William Lenn

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William Lenn
Bishop of Worcester
Appointed 11 October 1368
Term ended 18 November 1373
Predecessor William Wittlesey
Successor Henry Wakefield
Personal details
Died 18 November 1373
Denomination Catholic
Previous post Bishop of Chichester
Dean of Chichester

William Lenn (also Lenne or de Lynn; died 1373) was a medieval Bishop of Chichester and Bishop of Worcester. The name Lenn was the old name for Lynn in Norfolk.[1]

Lenn went to Rome in his early life and became a doctor of canon law. He was subsequently made an auditor of causes, in the holy court, by Pope Urban V.[1][2]

In 1356 Lenn was made dean of Chichester Cathedral, then after the death of Bishop Stratford he was selected for the see of Chichester on 16 May 1362, and was consecrated about 18 August 1362.[3]

Lenn's tenure at Chichester was quite short, but during that time he got into a quarrel with the earl of Arundel, Stephens suggests that it was probably a dispute over land.[1] It seems that the bishop procured a citation from Pope Urban V ordering the earl to appear before a court, in Rome, to answer the charges laid against him.[1] The earl treated the summons with contempt and refused to go.[1] What the bishop was trying to do was seen as a violation of both the Statute of Praemunire and the canon law of England. The King, Edward III, was angry at the insult and summoned the bishop to attend the king's court, to account for his actions.[1] The bishop, however, was in Rome at the time but he was convicted in his absence, and all his goods and chattels seized, by the crown.[1]

Lenn was translated to the see of Worcester on 11 October 1368 [4] He died of a stroke, in that office on 18 November 1373, as he mounted a horse to go to London to attend Parliament.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephens Memorials pp. 117-118
  2. ^ Coleman English Culture pp. 50-51
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 239
  4. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 279


  • Coleman, Janet (1985). Piero Boitani, ed. Chaucer and the Italian Trecento: English Culture in the Fourteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521239981.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Stephens W.R.W. (1876). Memorials of the South Saxon See and Cathedral Church of Chichester. London: Richard Bentley and Sons.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Stratford
Bishop of Chichester
Succeeded by
William Reade
Preceded by
William Wittlesey
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Walter Lyghe

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