William Zouche
Archbishop of York
Elected2 May 1340
Term ended19 July 1352
PredecessorWilliam Melton
SuccessorJohn Thoresby
Other post(s)Dean of York
Ordinationc. 1317
Consecration7 July 1342
by Pope Clement VI
Personal details
Died19 July 1352
Cawood Palace, Yorkshire
BuriedYork Minster
DenominationRoman Catholic
Arms of Zouche of Lubbesthorpe: Azure, ten bezants 4, 3, 2, 1, being a difference of the arms of the senior line of Zouche which has a field gules[1]

William de la Zouche (1299–1352) was Lord Treasurer of England and served as Archbishop of York from 1342 until his death.


He was the youngest son of Sir Roger de la Zouche (d.1302) of Lubbesthorpe[2] in Leicestershire (younger brother of William la Zouche, 1st Baron Zouche (1276–1351) of Harringworth, Northamptonshire) by his wife Juliana de Brascy.


He was educated at Oxford University where he graduated as a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Canon Law, before taking holy orders. He served as a royal chaplain before entering the Treasury and was appointed Keeper of the Wardrobe from 1329 to 1334, Controller of the Wardrobe from 1334 to 1335 and Lord Privy Seal from 1335 to 1337.[3]: 94 

In 1337 he was promoted to Lord Treasurer, a post which he held until March 1338, and again from December 1338 to May 1340.[3]: 104  In this role, he was responsible for receiving monies from tax collectors and holding it for the King.[4]

After preferment to various benefices, in 1329 he was appointed Archdeacon of Barnstaple in Devon,[5] was collated Archdeacon of Exeter on 12 July 1330[6] and was made Dean of York in 1336.

Following the death of William Melton, Archbishop of York, King Edward III wanted his secretary, William de Kildesby (of Kilsby) elected to the post.[7] However, the Canons of York Minster elected Zouche, then Dean of York, on 2 May 1340.[3]: 282  The king endeavoured to set aside the election, but without effect, and after a delay of two years, Zouche was consecrated at Avignon on 7 July 1342 by Pope Clement VI.[3]: 282 

Zouche had been in the employ of Edward III before his elevation to the see, but had fallen out of favour. He was not forgiven until 1346, when he was appointed a Warden of the Marches. In this capacity he led one of the bodies of English troops which defeated the Scots at the Battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, on 18 October 1346. The king was extremely thankful and Archbishop Zouche was asked to continue his careful watch over the Scottish Marches.

Whilst Zouche was serving as archbishop, the Black Death spread throughout England and his province, thus in 1349 he sought papal approval to consecrate extra burial grounds and to ordain replacement clergy.[8]: 401–402 

Death and burial

Zouche died on 19 July 1352[9] at Cawood Palace and was buried before the altar of St Edward in the nave of York Minster. He founded and began the building of a chantry chapel adjoining the south wall of the choir. This appears to have been demolished when Thoresby's wider choir was built and no trace of it remains.[10]

See also


  1. ^ See e.g. J. Nichols, 'History and Antiquities of Leicestershire', vol. iii, pt. 1, p. 514. London, 1800.
  2. ^ Bennett, Nicholas (2004). "Zouche, William (d. 1352)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30303. Retrieved 5 November 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. ^ a b c d Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56350-5.
  4. ^ "Close Rolls, Edward III: August 1337 Pages 151-172". British History Online. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  5. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1964). "Archdeacons: Barnstaple". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541. Vol. 9, Exeter Diocese (Online ed.). London: Institute of Historical Research. pp. 19–21. Retrieved 22 February 2015 – via British History Online.
  6. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1964). "Archdeacons: Exeter". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541. Vol. 9, Exeter Diocese (Online ed.). London: Institute of Historical Research. pp. 12–15. Retrieved 22 February 2015 – via British History Online.
  7. ^ Waugh, Scott L. (2004). "Kilsby, William (d. 1346)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50146. Retrieved 22 February 2015. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  8. ^ Raine, James, ed. (1873). Historical Letters and Papers from the Northern Registers.
  9. ^ Fryde, 282
  10. ^ King, Richard John (1869). Handbook to the Cathedrals of England. Vol. 1, Part 2. London: John Murray.
Political offices Preceded byRobert Tawton Lord Privy Seal 1335–1337 Succeeded byRichard Bintworth Preceded byHenry Burghersh Lord High Treasurer 1337–1338 Succeeded byRobert Wodehouse Preceded byRobert Wodehouse Lord High Treasurer 1338–1340 Succeeded byRobert Sadington Catholic Church titles Preceded byWilliam Melton Archbishop of York 1342–1352 Succeeded byJohn of Thoresby