Thomas Hatfield
Bishop of Durham
The elaborate tomb of Bishop Thomas Hatfield, Durham Cathedral.jpg
Hatfield's elaborate tomb in Durham Cathedral
Elected8 May 1345
Term ended8 May 1381
PredecessorRichard Aungerville
SuccessorJohn Fordham
Consecration7 August 1345
Personal details
Died8 May 1381
Previous post(s)Lord Privy Seal
Coat of arms
Thomas Hatfield

Thomas Hatfield or Thomas de Hatfield (died 1381) was Bishop of Durham from 1345 to 1381 under King Edward III. He was one of the last warrior-bishops in England.

He was born around 1310, presumably in one of the several British towns named Hatfield. He entered the employment of the king (Edward III) on 26 October 1337.[1]

Hatfield was Receiver of the Chamber when he was selected to be Lord Privy Seal in late 1344. He relinquished that office to his successor in July 1345.[2]

Hatfield was elected on 8 May 1345 in succession to Richard de Bury,[1] and was consecrated on 7 August 1345.[3]

Thomas fought in King Edward's division at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346.[4]

In 1380, he drew up a covenant to leave £3000 to endow Durham College, Oxford, which was the primary endowment of the college and enabled the construction of its quadrangle, chapel and surviving library.[5]

He died on 8 May 1381.[3]

He is buried near the choir stalls in Durham Cathedral beneath the Bishop's Chair.

Due to his endowment of Durham College, Hatfield's arms appear in the canton of the arms of the University of Durham.[6] Hatfield College, a constituent college of the university, is named after him.


  1. ^ a b Barker, Nicholas Andrew (2003). "'If the king had asked for an ass, he would have received his wish, this time: a study of the career of Thomas de Hatfield, bishop of Durham (1345-1381), as a royal servant, 1336-1357" (PDF).
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 94
  3. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 242
  4. ^ Wrottesley. Crecy and Calais p. 34
  5. ^ Blakiston, Herbert E. D. (1896), "Some Durham College Rolls", in Burrows, Montagu (ed.), Collectanea, Oxford: Oxford Historical Society, pp. 1–76, retrieved 31 January 2021
  6. ^ Woodward, John (1894), A Treatise On Ecclesiastical Heraldry, Edinburgh: W. & A. K. Johnston, p. 444, ISBN 9785878640695


Political offices Preceded byJohn de Ufford Lord Privy Seal 1344–1345 Succeeded byJohn Thoresby Catholic Church titles Preceded byRichard Aungerville Bishop of Durham 1345–1381 Succeeded byJohn Fordham