Henry of London (c.1170–1228), archbishop of Dublin, justiciar, was second son of Bartholomew Blund, alderman of London during the reign of Richard I. He appears as a royal clerk and archdeacon of Stafford by 1194, and remained a royal clerk for almost two decades, becoming a firm supporter of King John (qv), who eventually rewarded his support with the archbishopric of Dublin after the death of John Cumin (qv) in October 1212. Henry does not seem to have had any connections with Ireland before his election as archbishop, although he may have accompanied John to Ireland in 1210. His election was the first time that both chapters in Dublin voted for a new archbishop. He was present at Dover on 15 May 1213 when John formally submitted to the pope; was appointed justiciar of Ireland on 23 July 1213; and took up his new positions within the month, being consecrated in August 1213.
Henry proved to be a capable archbishop and administrator and was at the centre of Anglo-Irish affairs throughout his episcopate. He took custody of Dublin castle in November 1213 and oversaw its completion in less than two years. Always a firm supporter of King John, he was present at Runnymede in June 1215 when John sealed Magna Carta. He surrendered his office of justiciar of Ireland in 1215 because he had been summoned to attend the fourth Lateran council in Rome (November 1215). Archbishop Henry remained in Rome for over a year, acting as leader of the Anglo-Irish contingent, and returned to England after the news of John's death reached Rome. While in Rome, he pursued the policy of unifying the sees of Glendalough and Dublin and received papal confirmation of the union (October 1216). He returned to Ireland, where he had been appointed papal legate (29 April 1217), by July 1217. As legate he worked with the justiciar, Geoffrey de Marisco (qv), to pursue two policies that attempted to ensure the control of the Irish episcopate by the English crown: he forced chapters to abide by the custom of seeking a licence to elect from the king, and he attempted to block the election of any Irishman as bishop. This second policy led him into conflict with Donnchad Ua Longargáin (qv), archbishop of Cashel, who took the case to Rome, where the policy of anglicising the episcopate was condemned. As a result of this challenge Henry was stripped of his status as legate (1219), but the disputes continued till Ua Longargáin's resignation (1223). Within his own diocese, Archbishop Henry was an active litigant who worked zealously to protect his rights as archbishop, earning him the nickname of ‘scorchvillein’ from the fierceness with which he did so. He also rewrote the constitution of the diocese, raising the secular college of St Patrick's to cathedral status, and making Dublin the only diocese in Latin Christendom with two cathedrals. His new constitution was approved by the pope in March 1221.
Henry was the first archbishop of Dublin to claim the title ‘primate of Ireland’ for Dublin, leading to a centuries-long dispute with the archbishops of Armagh. He had been granted the temporalities of Armagh in October 1217 and worked to delay the election of Luke Netterville (qv) as the new archbishop. Even after Netterville's election, Henry refused to turn over all of the temporalities, and still retained some of them at his own death in 1228. During 1217–21 he was often appointed to oversee and investigate the financial irregularities of the justiciar, de Marisco. He was again appointed justiciar in July 1221, a position that aided him in his disputes with the archbishops of Armagh and Cashel, but his inability to cope with the revolt of Hugh de Lacy (qv) (d. 1242) led to his replacement as justiciar in the summer of 1224 by the second William Marshal (qv), earl of Pembroke (d. 1231). He died before November 1228 and was buried in Christ Church, Dublin.