Aungervyle, Richard

, commonly known by the name of Richard de Bury, was born at St. Edmundsbury, in Suffolk, in 1281. His father, sir Richard Aungervyle, knt. dying when he was young, his uncle John de Willowby, a priest, took particular care of his education and when he was fit sent him to Oxford, where he studied philosophy and divinity, and distinguished himself by his learning, and regular and exemplary life. When he had finished his studies there, he became a Benedictine monk at Durham. Soon after he was made tutor to prince Edward, afterwards king Edward III. Being treasurer of Guienne in 1325, he supplied queen Isobel, when she was plotting against her husband king Edward II. with a large sum of money out of that exchequer, for which being questioned by the king’s party, be narrowly escaped to Paris, where he was forced to hide himself seven days in the tower of a church. When king Edward III. came to the crown, he loaded his tutor Aungervyle with honours and preferments, making him, first, his cofferer, then treasurer of the wardrobe, archdeacon of Northampton, prebendary of Lincoln, Sarum, and Lichfield, and afterwards keeper of the privy seal. This last place he enjoyed five years, and was in that time sent twice ambassador to the pope. In 1333 he was promoted to the deanery of Wells, and before the end of the same year, being chosen bishop of Durham, he was consecrated about the end of December, in the abbey of the black canons of Chertsey in Surrey. He was soon afterwards enthroned at Durham, on which occasion he made a grand festival, and entertained in the hall of his palace at Durham, the king and queen of England, the queen-dowager of England, the king of Scotland, the two archbishops, and five bishops, seven earls with their ladies, all the nobility north of Trent, with a | Tast concourse of knights, esquires, and other persons of distinction. The next year he was appointed high-chancellor, and in 1336, treasurer of England. In 1338 he was twice sent with other commissioners to treat -of a peace with the king of France, though to no purpose.

This prelate was not only one of the most learned men ef his time, but also a very great patron and encourager of learning. Petrarch he frequently corresponded with, and had for his chaplains and friends the most eminent men of the age. His custom was, to have some of his attendants read to him while he was at meals, and when they were over, to discourse with his chaplains upon the same subject. He was likewise of a very bountiful temper. Every week he made eight quarters of wheat into bread, and gave it to the poor. Whenever he travelled between Durham and Newcastle, he distributed eight pounds sterling in alms; between Durham and Stockton, tire pounds between Durham and Auckland, five marks and between Durham and Middleham, five pounds. But the noblest instance of his generosity and munificence was the public library he founded at Oxford, for the use of the students. This library he furnished with the best collection of books that was then in England, fixed it in the place where Durham, now Trinity-college, was built afterwards, and wrote a treatise containing rules for the management of the library, how the books were to be preserved, and upon what conditions lent out to scholars. The title of this book is, “Philobiblon, sou de Amore Librorum et Institutione Bibliothecae,” cum Appendice de Mss. Oxoniensibus, per Thorn. James, printed at Oxford in 1599, 4to. It was, however, first printed at Spires in 1483, and there are several ms copies in the libraries of Oxford and Cambridge. This prelate died at Auckland, April 24, 1345, and was buried in the south part of the cross aile of the cathedral of Durham. 1


Hutchinson’s Hist, of -Durham. Biog. Brit.