Mepeham, Simon

Mepeham, Simon archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Meopham, in Kent, and educated at Merton College. He devoted himself chiefly to the study of the sacred Scriptures, and became a Biblical divine. He was ordained priest at Canterbury on St. Matthew's day, 1297, and became rector of Tunstall, in the diocese of Norwich. He was elected archbishop on December 11, 1327, and received .the temporalities from the king at Lynn on September 19, 1329. His attention was chiefly directed to the state of morals and discipline in the Church. We occasionally find him interposing his good offices to effect a reconciliation between parties at variance. His endeavor to compel diocesans to attend to their spiritual duties rendered him anything but popular among his suffragans. Notwithstanding, he was in all things respectable, in nothing great. But the age demanded something more than respectable mediocrity, and Simon Mepeham, by confining himself to his religious duties, was regarded as mean-spirited by those who looked, in his position, for one who could lead them in temporal as well as in spiritual things. He died October 12, 1333. See Hook, Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 3:492 sq.

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