Gilbert Foliot

(c. 1110—1187) Benedictine monk and bishop of London

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Bp. of London. A monk of Cluny, he became Bp. of Hereford in 1148. He was a candidate for the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 1162, and with T. Becket's support he was translated to London in 1163. When Henry II quarrelled with Becket, Foliot supported the King. After Becket's flight (1164), Foliot, as Dean of the Province of Canterbury, operated as its acting head until Becket excommunicated him for recalcitrance (1169). The next year Becket reanimated the excommunication (which had been lifted on Papal authority), and reinforced it by suspension because Foliot had taken part in the coronation of the King's son in derogation of the rights of the Church of Canterbury. Becket on his return to England refused to absolve him; Foliot then went to the King's court in Normandy and took part in the discussions which led to Becket's murder. After purging himself of complicity, he was released from excommunication (1171) and suspension (1172) and resumed a leading position in the English Church.

Subjects: Christianity.

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