Skip to content

Robert Winchelsea, Archbishop of Canterbury 1293-1306 and 1308-1313

Robert Winchelsey was elected as the successor to Archbishop Petcham.

Unusually, neither the pope nor the king had a hand in his election. On 1 April, Winchelsey left England for Rome to get papal confirmation. He was not consecrated immediately because of a papal vacancy; Celestine V eventually performed the ceremony at Aquila on 12 September 1294. Winchelsey was a fearless opponent of Edward I.

Winchelsey, after a very stormy relationship with, and exile imposed on him by King Edward I, was restored by Edward II and spent most of the rest of his life at Otford where, in the early 1300s he undertook a major enlargement of the manor buildings. He died here on 11th May 1313 and his body interred in a magnificent tomb in Canterbury Cathedral five days later.