Belmeis, Richard De

II. bishop of London in the reign of king Stephen, was nephew to the preceding, and son of Walter de Belmeis. Before he came of age, he was appointed by his uncle archdeacon of Middlesex: but the bishop was prevailed upon by William, dean of London, his nephew by his sister Adelina, and by the prior of Chich, to commit the administration of the archdeaconry, during Richard’s minority, to Hugh, one of his chaplains. It was with no small difficulty that Richard afterwards recovered his archdeaconry out of the hands of this faithless guardian. In the beginning of October 1151, he was advanced to the see of London, in the room of Robert de Sigillo, and consecrated at Canterbury by archbishop Theobald, in the presence of all the bishops of England, excepting Henry of Winchester, who excused his absence, but warmly approved the choice of Richard, in a letter to the archbishop. This prelate died 4th May, 1162, leaving behind him a reputation for singular eloquence. According to Dr. Richardson, whose authority is a manuscript of the late Roger Gale, esq. our prelate was the writer of the “Codex niger,” or Black Book of the Exchequer. 2