« Burwash, Nathaniel Bury, Richard de Busch, Jan »

Bury, Richard de

BURY, RICHARD DE: Bishop of Durham; b. at Bury St. Edmunds (61 m. n.e. of London) 1281, the son of Sir Richard Aungerville; d. at Auckland (11 m. s.w. of Durham) Apr. 14, 1345. He studied at Oxford, then entered the Benedictine order at Durham, became tutor to the future Edward Ill., who on his accession (1327) entrusted various offices to him, and sent him twice to Pope John XXII. as ambassador, and later in the same capacity to Paris, Hainault, and Germany, and as commissioner for the affairs of Scotland. He was made dean of Wells, and the same year (1333) bishop of Durham. Useful as he was to the king and his country as a diplomat, and able as he was as an ecclesiastic, he is remembered solely as a bibliophile, perhaps the earliest in England worthy of the name. He has no claim to be considered a scholar, but he loved books and used all his personal and official influence in their accumulation. Wherever he was, he was on the lookout for MSS., and he also had agents on the Continent in the search for them. So he had more books than all the other English bishops put together. Some of these MSS. he stored in his palace, others he is said to have deposited in the library he founded in Oxford in connection with Durham College (on the site of the present Trinity College). His love of books comes out in that bibliophile's delight, the Philobiblon (first published at Cologne, 1473, next at Speyer, 1483, and in Paris, 1500). It has been often republished, the best edition, having both the Latin text and an English translation, being by Ernest C. Thomas (London, 1888), and Mr. Thomas's translation was reprinted 1902.

Bibliography: Sources for a biography are: H. Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. 765 sqq., London, 1691; Historiæ Dunelmenses, edited for the Surtees Society by J. Raine, Durham, 1839; T. Rymer, Fœdera, vol. ii., best ed., London, 1816. Consult also DNB, viii. 25–27.

« Burwash, Nathaniel Bury, Richard de Busch, Jan »
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