Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society

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Autumn Lecture 2016
20th November 2016 at The Cathedral School, The Close, Salisbury


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Elias of Dereham

By Richard Owen KSG FCA

Summary:

Research into hundreds of 12th and 13th century legal contracts and documents is giving new insight into the enormous scope of Elias of Dereham’s activities. His services were sought on: architectural design and construction for: shrines; castles; churches; great halls, and monasteries. He was appointed to resolve legal issues and in the execution of Wills.  He was executor to William the Marshall, four consecutive Archbishops of Canterbury and many other Bishops and medieval ‘Big Wheels’. He helped negotiate the end of the 13th Century Papal edict with King John and his skills and diplomacy were used at Runnymede on Magna Carta. His principal achievement was the project management of the construction of Salisbury Cathedral for which he was responsible for twenty five years including the fundraising.  

From humble beginnings he rose to become the ‘Go to professional’ in England for over forty years. He built his reputation without holding any positions beyond that of Steward to Archbishops and Master of the Fabric and Common Funds of Salisbury Cathedral?

Elias of Dereham:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a celibate in possession of a fine brain and abundant energy must be in want of a project" !

 

 

  

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