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William of Longchamp

Longchamp, William of (lôngˈshămp, lôNshäNˈ) [key], d. 1197, chancellor and justiciar of England, bishop of Ely. After service with Geoffrey, duke of Brittany, he joined Richard (later Richard I) and John in their uprising (1189) against their father, Henry II. Upon Richard's accession (1189) to the throne, William was made chancellor and bishop of Ely. When the king went on crusade in 1190, William was appointed joint justiciar, and within the same year he had ousted the other justiciar and been appointed papal legate, thus becoming the acting head in England of both state and church. His strong administration was very unpopular, and in 1191 a series of disputes led to a rebellion by the king's brother John and the barons. A settlement was reached, but shortly thereafter the justiciar's high-handed arrest of Geoffrey, archbishop of York, provoked another uprising, and William was deposed from office. In 1193 he joined the captive Richard in Germany and was active in the negotiations to secure his release. He remained chancellor to the king and visited England with him in 1194.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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