Belmeis, Richard De

I. bishop of London in the reign of Henry I. was advanced to that sea through the interest of Roger Montgomery, earl of Shropshire, and consecrated 26th July, 1108. Immediately after his consecration, he was appointed, by the king, warden of the marches between England and Wales, and lieutenant of the county of Salop which offices he held about three years, residing for the most part of the time at Shrewsbury. This prelate expended the whole revenues of his bishopric in the structure of St. Paul’s cathedral, for which purpose he purchased several adjoining houses of the owners, which he pulled down, and converted the ground they stood upon into a church-yard, and this he surrounded with a very high wall. Bishop Godwin thinks this wall remained entire in his time, though no part of it was to be seen by reason of the houses, with which it was on all sides covered. Despairing, however, of seeing it finished, he turned the stream of his liberality another way; and, exchanging the manor of Landsworth for a place in the diocese of London called St. Osith de Chich, near Colchester in Essex, he built there a convent of regular canons. Being | seized with a dead palsy, and thereby disqualified for the exercise of his episcopal functions, he intended to have resigned his bishopric, and to have spent the remainder of his life in the monastery of his own foundation: but whilst he delayed his purpose from day to day, he died Jan. 16, 1127 and he was buried in the convent of St. Osith. Tanner informs us, that, in the monastery of Peterborough there was formerly a treatise, written in verse, by bishop Belmeis, and addressed to Henry I.1


Biog. Brit. Tanner. Godwin. Camden’s Britannia.