Geoffrey de Burgh

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Geoffrey de Burgh
Bishop of Ely
Elected June 1225
Term ended December 1228
Predecessor John of Fountains
Successor Hugh of Northwold
Other posts Archdeacon of Norwich
Consecration 29 June 1225
Personal details
Born c. 1180
Died December 1228
Buried Ely Cathedral
Denomination Catholic

Geoffrey de Burgh (c. 1180 – 8 December 1228) was a medieval Bishop of Ely.


Geoffrey was the brother of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent,[1] and William de Burgh, Lord of Connacht.[citation needed] He was born no later than 1180 or so, based on his appointment as archdeacon in 1200. The name of his father is not known, but his mother's name was Alice and the family was from Norfolk and was of knightly status.[1]

Geoffrey was canon of Salisbury Cathedral and a treasurer of the Exchequer before being named Archdeacon of Norwich in 1200.[2] He was elected to the see of Ely in 1215, but the election was quashed by Pope Honorius III before May 1219 due to a competing election with Robert of York.[3] The pope quashed both elections, and ordered a new election, where the monks elected John of Fountains, who was a Cistercian and the abbot of Fountains Abbey.[1]

Geoffrey was once more elected to Ely in June 1225.[3] He owed his election to his brother Hubert, who was Justiciar at the time.[1] He was consecrated Bishop of Ely on 29 June 1225 and died between 8 December and 17 December 1228.[4] He was buried in Ely Cathedral in the north choir. Besides his brothers, he also had a nephew, Thomas Blunville, who Hubert had elected to the see of Norwich in 1226.[1] Although he was buried in Ely Cathedral, no surviving tomb or monument has been identified as his.[5]

Roger of Wendover told the story of a Geoffrey, archdeacon of Norwich who was a victim of King John of England's cruelty. The story goes that Geoffrey was thrown into prison and fitted with a lead cloak and starved to death. However, this cannot be this Geoffrey, for the bishop died well after John. The historian Sidney Painter suggested that the real victim may have been another Geoffrey of Norwich, known to be a justice of the Jews.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Karn "Burgh, Geoffrey de" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. Greenway Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2: Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces): Norwich: Archdeacons of Norwich
  3. 3.0 3.1 Greenway Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 2: Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces): Ely: Bishops
  4. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 244
  5. Sayers "Once 'Proud Prelate'" Journal of the British Archaeological Association p. 77
  6. Poole Domesday Book to Magna Carta p. 427 footnote 1


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Ely
Election quashed

Succeeded by
Robert of York
Preceded by
John of Fountains
Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by
Hugh of Northwold