John Balliol, the Bishops of Durham and Balliol College

Beam-Frazier, A. (2005) John Balliol, the Bishops of Durham and Balliol College. Northern History, 42(2), pp. 239-256. (doi:10.1179/174587005X68388)

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This article examines the events that, as legend has it, resulted in the foundation of Balliol College (c. 1263) by John (I) Balliol (d. 1268). The Balliol family had long been at odds with successive bishops of Durham over certain lands in Sadberge, the homage of which the bishops believed they were owed. John (I) began his struggle just after his inheritance in 1229 and the dispute reached its height in 1255-60, at which time an intense argument broke out. Other factors, including his actions whilst serving as one of Henry III's English representatives in the Scottish government (1251-55), led to Balliol's ultimate submission to Bishop Kirkham (d. 1260) at Durham Cathedral in 1260 and the foundation of Balliol College at Kirkham's instance. The theory remains, as one historian argues, that Balliol's penance was to give the long delayed homage to the bishop for these lands and not to establish Balliol College. However, there are no surviving records of homage and other possibilities remain, including perhaps that the penance called for Balliol's youngest son, John (II), the future King of Scotland, to be educated at a Durham school.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Beam-Frazier, Dr Amanda
Authors: Beam-Frazier, A.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Northern History
ISSN (Online):1745-8706

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