The Iron Man, Bishop Odo of Bayeux….

Archbishop Turpin of Soissons

If Bishop Odo of Bayeux is anything by which to judge, bishops were certainly something else back in the Norman period, and later, of course. As a friend has commented:

“….As late as the 14th Century there was Bishop Henry Despenser. He was knighted before he became a clergyman and was literally made Bishop of Norwich as a reward for fighting for the pope in Italy. He violently suppressed the Peasants’ Revolt in Norfolk. Yet he also wrote incredibly gentle and kind letters to his nieces….”

Odo of Bayeux was William of Normandy’s half-brother and right-hand man, and was a fearsome prospect when in armour and on the warpath. If you read this article you’ll see that it isn’t even known if he was of a religious disposition, because it seems probable he became a bishop because of the power this brought. The article is very interesting.

Somehow I can’t imagine Justin Welby galloping into battle in full armour, cutting and slicing whatever came within reach!

 

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