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Stapledon Monument, Exeter Cathedral, 1820

Stapledon Monument, Exeter Cathedral, 1820

Artist: Buckler

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1820

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36361

Item number: f.104

Length: 26.1

Width: 34.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Walter de Stapeldon was Bishop of Exeter from 1308-1326. Edward II, who esteemed him highly, made him his treasurer and granted him several other positions and privileges. Though he was kept busy by his civic commitments, he never neglected his episcopal duties, looking after the needs of not only his great cathedral but those of the more humble parish churches in his bishopric. He was also the founder of Stapledon's Inn (now Exeter College, Oxford).

In 1325, he was sent as an envoy with the King's wife, Isabella, to the court of her brother, King Charles of France, who was planning to deprive Edward II of his French territories. Bishop Stapeldon returned to England after a treaty had been agreed, but the Queen remained in France. Soon, war was declared between the two countries and the Queen landed on the Suffolk coast, supported by 2000 troops from Hainault. She advanced to London, followed by a band of nobles disenfranchised from Edward. The King fled to Bristol and the Bishop remained in London. An angry mob, loyal to the Queen, ambushed the Bishop and beheaded him. His body was firstly buried beside his London palace, but six months later it was transferred to Exeter Cathedral. In 1329, the Archbishop of Canterbury called for his assassins to be tried. Those whom were caught were convicted and duly executed.

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