LIVES OF THE BISHOPS OF EXETER
ROBERT CHICHESTER, Dean of Salisbury, was appointed to the vacant see of Exeter at the Council holden at Northampton in April, 1138, and was consecrated on the 18th of December that year by the Primate Theobald, whom he accompanied to Rome after the Christmas holidays, as we learn from Simeon of Durham. Godwin conjectures that our Bishop proceeded thither on a pilgrimage, and with the view of enriching himself with many relics; but the truth is he went in compliment to his Metropolitan, who received from the Pope on this occasion, for himself and his successors, Archbishops of Canterbury, the title of "Apostolicæ Sedis Legatus." Amongst the documents in the possession of our Chapter is a deed of Bishop Chichester, dated Sunday, 15th August, 1148, by which he appropriates to the Canons of his cathedral the churches of Brankescombe, St. Mary Church, Dawlish, East Teignmouth, Sidbury, Staverton, and Stoke, towards their better support. This deed or gift was laid by the donor on St. Peter's altar in this cathedral in the presence of Patrick Bishop of Limerick, and of the clergy and citizens of Exeter. From another document which he addressed to Walter, one of his Canons, we learn that the Bishop had brothers of the name of Peter and Philip. They also witness a deed of Chapter. We have printed in the 'Monasticon' of the diocese, under the articles of Tywardreth, and St. James and St. Mary Magdalene's Priories, several of the Prelate's Acts; and below we insert the confirmation of the property of the See of Exeter, which he obtained, on 14th March, 1152, from Pope Eugenius III., that special friend and admirer of the English nation. During the following year he witnessed the agreement of King Stephen and Henry Plantagenet, "de Successione Regni Angliæ" (Rymer's 'Foedera,' tom. i. p. 13). In his latter days our Bishop, as his contemporary Henry de Huntingdon informs us, was visited with blindness. Dying, according to the 'Tywardreth Obituary,' on 28th March, 1155, he is supposed to have been buried on the south side of the high altar of his cathedral.
Arms: - Checky or and gules, a chief vair.
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