Lech, John (d. 1313), archbishop of Dublin, first appears as a clerk of Edward II in 1307, although a later letter by the king indicated that he had served in that position for some time. His connection with Ireland began when the king secured the office of precentor of St Patrick's, Dublin, for him, the see being vacant and in the king's hands. By 28 August 1309 Lech, already a canon of Dunkeld, was serving as the king's almoner and had been presented by Edward II as his candidate for the vacant see of Dunkeld. Despite the pressure exerted by Edward, the chapter of the diocese elected their own candidate and the case was appealed to Rome. Lech went to Rome, with royal letters and financial support, to press his case, but was unable to secure the diocese.
Edward then appointed Lech to the diocese of Dublin, which had been vacant since the death of Richard de Ferings (qv) (October 1306), despite the nomination of Richard de Haverings by the king in 1307. De Haverings resigned his nomination in November 1310 and Lech was made archbishop over the protests of both chapters, who had elected Alexander Bicknor (qv). Lech was consecrated in Avignon on May 1311 and received the temporalities on 20 July, after doing homage to the king by proxy. The archbishop attended the council of Vienne from 16 October 1311 and was probably joined by a delegation from his new see. His most enduring contribution to his see was his request for papal approval for a university to be founded in Dublin. This request was confirmed in a papal charter (13 July 1312), which envisaged a university that would serve all Ireland, Gaelic and Anglo-Irish, as well as Scotland, Man, and Norway – a vision that was hopelessly out of step with the realities of the political situation in the region.
Lech returned to England but showed no real desire to go to his see immediately. He secured a two-year licence of absence from Ireland on 18 September 1312 and appointed Walter Thornbury as his vicar-general on 1 October. Lech was appointed treasurer of Ireland to replace Alexander Bicknor on 20 May 1313, but appears not to have travelled to his see before his death on 10 August 1313; he was buried in Westminster abbey.