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William Zouche
(Died 1352)

Archbishop of York
Died: 10th July 1352 at Cawood Palace, Yorkshire West Riding


Upon the death of Archbishop Melton of York, King Edward III, was anxious for the election of his Secretary, William of Kildesby. When the choice of the Canons of York fell upon William La Zouche, their Dean, he endeavoured to set aside the election, but without effect. After a delay of two years, Zouche was consecrated, at Avignon, by Pope Clement VI on 7th July 1342.

Zouche was a younger son of William, Lord Zouche of Haringworth, in Northamptonshire. He had been employed by Edward III before his elevation to the see, but then fell into disfavour, and was not forgiven until the beginning of the year 1346, when he was made one of the Wardens of the Marches. In this capacity, the Archbishop led one of the bodies of English troops which defeated the Scots at the Battle of Neville's Cross, close to Durham, on 18th October 1346. The King was profuse in his thanks and praises and Archbishop Zouche was desired to continue his careful watch over the border.

Zouche died at Cawood Palace and was buried before the altar of St. Edward in the nave of York Minster. He founded, and himself began the building of, a chantry adjoining south wall of the choir. This must have been taken down, when Thoresby's choir (wider than the old one) was built and no trace of it remains. Although the sent office of the Chapter Clerk, at one time the vestry the Cathedral, is thought to represent the Archbishop's chantry.

Edited from Richard John King's "Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: Northern Division" (1903).

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