Read The King's Bishop Online

Authors: Candace Robb

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Historical, #Mystery & Detective, #Crime

The King's Bishop

Candace Robb studied for a Ph.D. in Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Literature and has continued to read and research medieval history and literature ever since. The Owen Archer series grew out of a fascination with the city of York and the tumultuous 14th century; the first in the series, The Apothecary Rose, was published in 1994, at which point she began to write full time. In addition to the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and America, her novels are published in France, Germany, Spain and Holland, and she is also available in the UK on audiobook and in large print.

Also by Candace Robb








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Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9781446439326

Reprinted in 2001 by Arrow Books


Copyright © Candace Robb 1996

The right of Candace Robb to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

First published in the United Kingdom in 1996 by William Heinemann and Mandarin Paperbacks,

Arrow Books
The Random House Group Limited
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA

Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can be found at:

The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 9780099426271

Table of Contents

About the Author

Also by Candace Robb







1. A Body in the Moat

2. Matters of Conscience

3. A Hushed Argument

4. The King’s Bishop?

5. Mistress Mary

6. Matters of the Heart

7. Premonitions

8. Private Devils

9. Signs of Treachery

10. Blind Rage

11. Two Men Too Few

12. A Grave Matter

13. Magda’s Secret

14. Bodies in a Beck

15. Haunting Faces

16. An Invitation to Dine

17. Whom To Trust?

18. Ned Takes Action

19. Don Paulus Dissembles

20. Alice’s Mistake

21. Unwelcome Advice

22. Michaelo Rides North, Bringing Turmoil

23. Unlikely Alliances

24. A Plan Gone up in Smoke

25. A Remarkably Brave Lady

26. Owen Interrogates

27. Confessor to the Damned

28. Diplomacy



For my Mother and Father

The King’s Bishop

Thoresby walked back to his own quarters in a thoughtful mood. Who would have thought the ambitious William of Wykeham would be such a decent, conscientious man? Indeed, he seemed a man admirably suited to the position of bishop, someone with a heart, mind and soul that worked in concert. He might even make a good chancellor; though Thoresby wondered what he knew of the law.

It was a pity, really, that Wykeham was the King’s man. He would feel the conflicts as Thoresby did, the frustration when a compromise was necessary to please the King, a compromise in morals or justice.

Did Wykeham understand that? Did he see the price of becoming the King’s bishop?

Thoresby paused at his door, and shrugged. If he had not been the King’s man, Wykeham would never have risen so high. He could be nothing but the King’s bishop.

Pity. The man would undoubtedly someday regret it. But not now.


I thank my editors Lynne Drew and Hope Dellon for insightful critiques and Victoria Hipps for a sharp eye for detail; for advice and information about the period I thank Jeremy Goldberg, Pat Cullum, Betty Garbutt, and the medievalists on the Mediev-L, Medsci, and Chaucer discussion lists. Thanks to Karen Wuthrich for asking just the right questions, and Charlie Robb for being a terrific sys-op and mapmaker.

Research for this book was conducted on location in Windsor and Yorkshire and at the University of York’s Morrell Library, the British Library, the University of Washington libraries and the Seattle Public Library, with additional critical materials from the York Archaeological Trust, English Heritage, and the National Trust.



castle wall enclosing the outer court, also the court itself


the last of the seven canonical hours, after sunset


an outlying farmhouse with barns and other outbuildings belonging to an abbey, originally staffed by lay brothers


in a religious house, the person whose office it is to receive pilgrims or visitors


men’s attire; a flowing gown, often floor-length and slit up to thigh level to ease walking, but sometimes knee-length; sleeves large and open


a minstrel who sang, juggled and tumbled

the King’s road

highways under the King’s protection




an area of the city not subject to royal administration; for example, the Liberty of St Peter is the area surrounding York Minster which comes under the Archbishop’s jurisdiction

the Marches/Marcher Lords

the borders of the kingdom and the lords to whom the King granted jurisdiction over them


a large wooden cup


a large church or cathedral; the cathedral of St Peter in York is referred to as York Minster


the mound on which sits Windsor’s Round Tower


the fifth of the seven canonical hours, or the ninth hour after sunrise


the finest quality white bread, made from flour sifted two or three times
the first of the seven canonical hours, or sunrise


the first of the seven canonical hours, or sunrise


private room on upper level of house

the wards

at Windsor, the lower ward is the court west of the Round Tower, the middle ward is the area enclosing the Round Tower, and the upper ward is the court east of the tower, enclosing King Edward III’s new royal apartments


the sixth of the canonical hours, towards sunset

white monks

Cistercians, an offshoot of the Benedictine order; their aim was to observe more strictly the rule of St Benedict

A Body in the Moat

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