Thomas Hatfield: Bishop, Soldier, and Politician

Thomas Hatfield: Bishop, Soldier, and Politician

Edited by Antony Bash

Durham Publications in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2012
ISBN: 978–0–88844–440–0

Thomas Hatfield (c. 1310–81) rose from origins amongst the Yorkshire gentry to become a valued royal servant under King Edward III. As such, he participated in the elaborate administration required for warfare in France in the late 1330s. Clerical careers in royal administration could lead to ecclesiastical office through royal patronage, and Hatfield’s qualities marked him for early promotion. In 1345 he was elected Bishop of Durham, an office he held until his death. As bishop he retained a strong connection with royal service. He was also employed in the management of northern England and England’s relations with Scotland. At the same time, he remained a dedicated advocate of the autonomy of the Durham palatinate over which he ruled as bishop. Hatfield’s long episcopacy ensured that he made his mark on his bishopric and on the cathedral church of Durham, where his elaborate tomb is still seen. Hatfield College, a college of Durham University, is named after him.

Based on a series of lectures given at Hatfield College in 2010, the assumed seven hundredth anniversary of Thomas Hatfield’s birth, this volume highlights the unique military, political, and clerical roles he performed and his notable legacies. The studies in this volume advance knowledge of both the man and his remarkable career and, in so doing, enhance understanding of the wider secular and religious world in which he lived.


Thomas Hatfield at War, by Michael Prestwich

Hatfield the Politician, by W. Mark Ormrod

Hatfield the Bishop, by Christian D. Liddy

Bishop Hatfield’s Legacy, By Richard Britnell

Wisdom and Hope: A Sermon by the Bishop of Durham, by T.N. Wright

Durham Cathedral in Hatfield’s Time, by David Boardman



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