The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.
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Simon de Sudbury to Henry Dene
59. SIMON DE SUNBURY, bishop of London, and doctor of the common law, was thus accordingly promoted to be the next archbishop of this see in May, 1375, (fn. 1) being so called from the place of his nativity, his father's name being Tybold. Going abroad to finish his education, he commenced doctor of the canon law in France, and afterwards became chaplain to pope Innocent VI. and auditor of the Rota at Rome. At his return to England, he was made chancellor of Salisbury, and then bishop of London. On the 20th of October following his promotion to this see, he accompanied the duke of Lancaster to negociate a treaty of peace between England and France; but after some months being spent in this business, without success, he returned and was inthronized on Palm Sunday, in his own church, (fn. 2) with great solemnity, the earl of Stafford performing the office of high steward at that feast. He performed the solemnity of crowning king Richard II. and was made chancellor of England on January 30, 1380. (fn. 3)
He was a man, wise, learned, eloquent, merciful, wonderfully revered, and of a liberal, free and generous spirir; (fn. 4) whilst bishop of London, he built the east end of St. Gregory's church, in Sudbury, and founded and endowed a college of secular priests, on the same scite on which his father's house once stood. (fn. 5) After his coming to this see he was a great benefactor to the city of Canterbury, for he built the Westgate of it, together with the greatest part of the wall between it and Northgate, called the Long Wall; a great work, no less necessary and profitable to the city, than costly and chargeable to the builder; in remembrance of this goodly work the mayor and aldermen of this city, once a year used to come solemnly to his tomb to pray for his soul, to prevent which superstition, (fn. 6) his epitaph was torn off from it at the reformation. Besides this, he built the two lower cross wings of the cathedral, and pulled down the whole of the nave, with an intent of rebuilding it, at his own costs, (fn. 7) and had done greater things than any of his predecessors, if he had not been untimely cut off; for in the rebellion which was headed by Walter Hilliard, commonly called Wat Tiler, and his followers, on June 14, 1381, he was, together with Sir Robert Hales, master of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, barbarously murdered on Tower hill; (fn. 8) some time after which, when the disturbance was ended, his body was brought to his own cathedral, and there honourably deposited under a handsome tomb upon the south side of the choir, and of the altar of St. Dunstan, the next above the tomb of archbishop Stratford. (fn. 9)
The archbishop made a nuncupative will, on Tuesday, being the feast of St. Basil Confessor, in the tower of London, anno 1381, in the presence of William Rising, prior of the church of the Holy Trinity, in London, and John Onyngs, steward of his household, whom he appointed his executors. (fn. 10)
There is a seal of this archbishop appendant to one of the Chartæ Antiquæ, in the treasury of the dean and chapter, oval, 3 inches by 1¾, perfect; under gothic niches, over which is a crucifix, is Becket's murder; underneath which is the figure of the archbishop, on one side of him a shield, with the arms of the see; on the other, another with the archbishop's own arms—A talbot bound, seiant, within a bordure, engrailed; legend, S. SIMONIS DE SUDBURI, the rest obliterated, F. 80.
60. WILLIAM COURTNEY, LL. D. bishop of London, was promoted to this see in 1381. He was 4th son of Hugh, earl of Devonshire; (fn. 11) he was educated at Oxford, and was first promoted to prebends in the churches of Wells, Exeter, and York, after which, by the pope's bull of provision, he was in 1369, promoted to the bishopric of Hereford, at which time he was chancellor of that university; from the above see he was translated to that of London in 1375, and from thence again to this archbishopric, when being archbishop elect, he appeared as lord chancellor, and was confirmed as such in parliament, on November 9, anno 5 Richard II. (fn. 12) having received his pall with great solemnity in his hall at Croydon palace.
He was a prelate of a high and noble mind, and of a liberal disposition; he was ever jealous to rescue the ecclesiastical jurisdictions from the incroachments of the secular power, and was a severe enemy to the Lollards and followers of Wickliff. (fn. 13) He called to account the bailiffs of the city of Canterbury, for intermeddling with ecclesiastical matters, and forced them to desist, under the penalty of having an interdict laid upon the city; and he did the like to the sergeants of the city, for bearing their maces and using their authority within the precincts of the church. But at the petition of the city, they were dismissed, provided, that for the time to come, they should leave their maces without the outer gate, when they came to the church, or within the precincts of it. He had the bailiffs of the town of Romney, in suit, for intermeddling in church business, who obstinately resisted, and thought to secure themselves by a prohibition; but in this they were deceived; for he got it reversed, and, as the record says, made that unadvised town to submit.
Notwithstanding this strictness on the one hand, he was not remiss in exacting from his clergy their assistance, when public necessity demanded it; for when the French had an intention of invading this kingdom, the archbishop directed his letters to his commissary, to arm the clergy of this city and diocese, for the defence of it; in short, in all matters in this turbulent reign of Richard II. he behaved with great prudence, opposing the usurpations of the pope over the prerogatives of the crown, and maintaining friendship with those great and wise men Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London, and William Wickham, bishop of Winchester. (fn. 14)
At Maidstone, the archbishop pulled down the old work, first built by archbishop Boniface, his predecesfor, for an hospital, and having built it after a more modern and stately manner, he converted it into a college of secular priests; and in the codicil to his last will, he gave all the residue of his goods, after his debts and legacies were paid, according to the dispostion of his executors, towards the building of this collegiate church. (fn. 15) He repaired the church of Meopham, and confirmed it to the use of the almonry, and built four houses near it, and he added five scholars to Canterbury college, in Oxford.
He obtained of king Richard II. four fairs for his church, to be kept within the precincts of it; (fn. 16) to the buildings of his church and priory, he was a munificent benefactor, for he gave towards the repairing of the walls of the precincts, 266l. 13s. 4d. He newbuilt the lodgings and kitchen belonging to the infirmary, at his own cost of 133l. 6s. 8d. He expended in making a new glass window in the nave of the church, in honour of St. Elphage, 20l. He built the south pane, or side of the cloister, at the expence of 200l. He gave to the high altar, an image of the Holy Trinity, with six of the apostles in silver, gilt, valued at 340l. and a rich cope, worth 300l. He obtained of king Richard and others of his friends, towards the building of the nave of the church, the sum of 1000l. and he is recorded to have given out of his own purse 1000 marcs, towards the same building.
He died at his palace of Maidstone, on July 31, in the year 1396, having sat in this chair twelve years, all but one month. (fn. 17) Where he was buried, has been a great doubt, our historians differing much as to the place of it. Bishop Godwyn tells us, this archbishop lies buried on the south side of Thomas Becket's shrine, at the feet of the black prince, in a goodly tomb of alabaster. Here in the Trinity chapel is, at this time indeed extant, this his tomb, having his effigies at full length, habited in his pontisical dress, lying at length on it, (fn. 18) but Weever in his Funeral Monuments, seems to differ from him, for he tells us, (fn. 19) it was the custom of old, and so it was in his days, for men of eminent rank and quality to have tombs erected in more places than one; for example and proof of which, he found here in this church a monument of alabaster, at the feet of the black prince, in which, by tradition and writing, it was affirmed, that the bones of William Courtney, archbishop of Canterbury, lay intombed; but as he found another to his memory at Maidstone, he rather believed, because of the epitaph, that he laid buried there under a plain gravestone with his portraiture, in his pontisical vestments, and this epitaph round it, all inlaid with brass:
Nomine WILLELMUS en COURTNEIUS reverendus,
Qui se post obitum legaverat his tumulandum,
In presenti loco quem jam fundarat ab imo;
Omnibus & sanctis titulo sacravit honoris.
Ultima lux Julii sit vite terminus illi;
M. ter C. quinto decies nonoque sub anno,
Respice mortalis quis quondam, sed modo talis,
Quantus & iste fuit dum membra calentia gessit.
Hic primas patrum, cleri dux & genus altum,
Corpore valde decens, sensus & acumine clarens.
Filius hic comitis generosi Devoniensis.
Legum doctor erat celebris quem fama serenat.
Urbs Herefordensis, polis inclita Londoniensis.
Ac Dorobernensis, sibi trine gloria sedis
Detur honor digno, sit cancellarius ergo.
Sanctus ubique pater, prudens fuit ipse minister
Nam largus, letus, castus, pius atque pudicus,
Magnanimus, justus; & egenis totus amicus.
Et quia rex CHRISTE pastor bonus extitit iste,
Sumat solamen nunc tecum quesumus. Amen.
The archbishop's place of burial appointed by him in his will, which is still extant in the register of the church of Canterbury, was the cathedral of Exeter, in the nave there; but having afterwards changed his mind in this point, he, whilst lying on his death bed, made a codicil to his will, in which, holding his body, as he then declared, unworthy of burial in his metropolitical, or any other cathedral or collegiate church, he willed to be buried in the church-yard of his collegiate church of Maidstone, in the place designed for John Boteler, his esquire; but it seems as if this part of his will was not fulfilled, for it appears by a small leiger book or obituary, kept in the library of the dean and chapter of Canterbury, that the king happening to be at Canterbury when he was to be buried, most likely at the request of the monks, over-ruled this matter, and commanded the body to be brought to Canterbury, where it was deposited in this cathedral, as above-mentioned; (fn. 20) the king, many of the principal nobility, bishops, abbots and clergy, and upwards of 10,000 of the populace attending the solemnity of it. (fn. 21)
There are large extracts from his will, with the codicil to it, printed in Battely, part ii, p. 74, appendix, Numb. xiii.c. In the will, according to the piety of those times, he made provision for his soul in an ample manner, by ordering 15,000 masses to be celebrated for it, and 2,000 matins to be said; he mentions his parents, buried in Exeter cathedral, and the parish of St. Martin of Exminster, wherein he was born; he wills to king Richard his best cross, and 100l. and mentions the heavy and costly expences, with which, notwithstanding the instability of the time, he had repaired his manors, with his castle of Saltwode. His legacies to his relations were many and considerable, in money, vestments, plate, jewels, &c. and they were so many besides to others, being more than one hundred, that he could not specify what to give, but in general devised to such and such a one, something; to Richard Courtney, his godson and pupil, whom, I suppose, he brought up, he gave 100 marcs and his best mitre, provided he should attain to the episcopal dignity, which he did, by being consecrated bishop of Norwich; besides which, he devised to him three books, provided he should take his degree of master of arts, or batchelor of law, and enter into holy orders, and after his death these books to be given for ever to his church at Canterbury, in the register R. of which church there is an acquittance to the bishop, that the church had received of him the three precious books in six volumes, specified in the archbishop's will; and except these, I do not find that he gave any other books to this church. Hence bishop Godwyn's assertion may be doubted, who says, he gave very many books to this church; besides the above books, he gave to others several books, which were esteemed, at that time, of great value. His executors were, Thomas Chillenden, prior of Christ-church; Adam de Mottrum, his archdeacon, and six others.
61. THOMAS ARUNDEL, son of Robert, the brother of Richard Fitz Alan, earl of Arundel, by his wife Eleanor, daughter of Henry Plantagenet, earl of Lancaster, was next promoted to this see in 1396. (fn. 22)
He had been first archdeacon of Totness, and then preferred to the see of Ely, being consecrated on August 13, 1373, at which time he was only twenty-two years of age; and notwithstanding his youth, he governed that church laudibly for upwards of fourteen years, and was a liberal benefactor to it, as he was to that of York; to the archbishopric of which he was translated in 1388, and from thence again to this of Canterbury on Sept. 25, 1396, being the 19th year of king Richard II.'s reign, being inthronized with much magnificence, in the king's presence, on Sunday the 18th of February following; on which he resigned the office of lord chancellor, which he had held some years. But before the end of that year, having lost the king's favour, his goods were confiscated, and he was the year afterwards, anno 21 Richard II. attainted of treason in parliament, and sentenced to banishment; (fn. 23) upon which he went to Rome, when the pope would have translated him to the see of St. Andrew, in Scotland, constituting Roger Walden archbishop in his room; but Arundel would not submit to it.
On king Richard's being imprisoned in the tower, he returned home, and was present and aiding towards his deposition, (fn. 24) and was one of the chief instruments in placing king Henry on the throne, whom, with the assistance of the archbishop of York, he afterwards crowned; immediately after which, the duke of York, the earl of Northumberland, and others of his kindred, prayed the king in full parliament, that the archbishop might have his recovery against Roger Walden, for the waste and spoil done by him in the archbishoprie, which the king granted, and thanked them for the motion. (fn. 25) The archbishop was present in the parliament held in the 4th year of king Henry IV. anno 1404, at Coventry, when some among the commons moved, in order to raise money for the defence of the realm, and for carrying on the king's wars, that the clergy should be deprived of their temporal possessions, to the relief of the king's necessities; but archbishop Arundel opposed it, shewing what great service the clergy did to the crown for their lands, and that they were always ready to assist the king, not only with their prayers and counsels, but with their purses likewise, and put him in mind of his coronation oath, which so far prevailed on the king, that the matter was then laid aside; and the archbishop told the commons, that the king and his predecessors had formerly been advised to seize the alien priories, under the pretence of being much enriched by their goods and possessions, which were certainly of great value, but that the king was not at that time half a marc richer, because they had begged them; and that their advice to the king then was to seize on the temporalities of the clergy, to enrich themselves, and not him, and should he gratify their wicked designs, he would not be one farthing the richer the year after.
In 1407 he was made chancellor, (fn. 26) but resigned that high office three weeks afterwards; (fn. 27) however, he was again reinstated in it, and continued to hold it in the 13th year of that reign. (fn. 28)
In the year 1411, the archbishop intending to visit the university of Oxford, was opposed in so doing, (fn. 29) upon which, the right to it was litigated, and it was decreed in chancery, that the whole university, and all orders, persons and faculties in it should be fully subject to the visitation of the archbishop and his successors, and to his and their officers; and that on any interruption to it, their liberties should be seized into the king's hands, until the archbishop, &c. should be restored to the same; and that for every such offence, the chancellor of the university, or other officers, should pay to the king 1000l. all which proceedings the archbishop exhibited in the parliament at Westminster, in the 13th year of that reign, and the whole was confirmed by the entire assent of parliament. (fn. 30)
In the year 1413 he resided at Leeds castle, in this county, which he had the grant of for his life, for in that year he dates a decree or sentence, which he gave between his monks and the convent of St. Gregories, by Canterbury. From his castle of Leeds, (fn. 31) he confirmed the foundation of the college of Bredgare, to which the parish church there was, in his time, converted. (fn. 32)
It is probable that James the Ist. king of Scotland, then a prisoner in England, was under the custody of archbishop Arundel, at Croydon palace, a charter of his, being dated from thence, which palace the archbishop repaired, and built the guard chamber there, on which were his arms.
Archbishop Arundel was very active against the Lollards; he had a commission to try Sir John Oldcastle, as an heretic, and he excommunicated the famous John Wicliff, after his death, who had studied in Canterbury college, in Oxford, and died in 1384. (fn. 33)
Having sat in this see seventeen years, he died on February 20, in the year 1414, of a swelling in his tongue, so that he was unable to eat, drink, or speak, sometime before his death, at Hackington, aliasSt. Stephen's, near Canterbury, having by his will ordered his body to be buried in the new tomb, which he had caused to be built in the nave of this cathedral, within his perpetual chantry, of two chaplains constituted there, and gave to this church his volume, containing all the books of St. Gregory. (fn. 34)
His particular benefactions to this church are recorded in the obituary, which is printed; (fn. 35) among others, he gave 1000 marcs towards the rebuilding the nave of this church, and made the spire on the northwest steeple of it, bestowing on it a tuneable ring of five bells, which he dedicated to the Holy Trinity, the blessed Virgin, the angel Gabriel, St. Blaze and St. John the Evangelist; besides which, he gave many rich vestments, jewels and plate to a great value.
Both the chantry and monument of archbishop Arundel have been long since entirely removed; (fn. 36) the gravestone over him, on which were the marks of his effigies in his pontifical dress, the brasses of which had been many years since torn off, remained till it was taken away within these few years, on the new paving of the nave. (fn. 37) The chantry or chapel remained till the suppression of such foundation in king Henry VIII.'s reign, when it was taken down, and sold by the king's commissioners, and the revenues of it seized for his own use. (fn. 38)
Archbishop Arundel left behind him the character of having been a man of good natural capacity, well improved by study and experience of the world, and endowed with courage, learning and activity, sufficient to qualify him for the eminent stations he had borne, both in church and state.
62. ROGER WALDEN, the king's treasurer, was, at the desire of king Richard II. constituted archbishop of this see in 1398, (fn. 39) at which time archbishop Arundel, was in banishment at Rome. (fn. 40) It is to be observed, that during the above reign, a scandalous custom prevailed, that as often as either party got the upper hand, the bishops of the adverse side were, against their consents, thrust down from greater to lesser bishoprics, the pope ever supporting with his authority, the prevailing party, a practice which was productive of great gain to him. (fn. 41)
Thus in 1388, Alexander Nevil, archbishop of York, had been removed to the see of St. Andrew's in Scotland, and Arundel, then bishop of Ely, was translated to York, and took possession of the chair in that church; but he was severely reprimanded for it by archbishop Courtney, before the bishops and barons, then assembled in parliament, for countenancing so evil an action as that of accepting the see of York, during the life of archbishop Nevil.
Arundel being now in the possession of the see of York, sided with those who opposed the king, and was fairly promoted by their means and power to the archbishopric of Canterbury, in which he was scarcely seated, and in the full possession of it, before the king having reduced his enemies to subjection, archbishop Arundel was, on the king's suggestion, accused in parliament of mal-administration of the office of chancellor, and with the assent of the king and barons therein assembled, was divested of all his goods, and condemned to banishment: all which has been already fully related before. After which he was translated to the bishopric of St. Andrew's, by the papal authority, and though he refused to consent to this removal, yet in consequence of it, Roger Walden, the king's treasurer, was constituted archbishop of Canterbury, and was consecrated and inthronized in 1398; but Henry, duke of Lancaster, afterwards king Henry IV. having next year obtained the crown of England, Walden was ejected and archbishop Arundel was restored to this see, though the former, as has been mentioned, had been consecrated and inthronized, and had performed all kind of archiepiscopal functions; after this, Walden was forced to betake himself to a private life for more than five years, when the pope, by a bull of provision, dated December 10, 1404, in which he is stiled a bishop of the universal church, constituted him bishop of London. (fn. 42)
But archbishop Arundel would not again take possession of his see by any new collation, or by any bull of provision, insisting, that his translation to St. Andrew should be declared null and void from the begin ning, and that he should return to the see of Canterbury, as his own proper right, out of which he had never been canonically ejected. King Henry favoured him in these pretensions, and the pope consented to a decree, that no bishop, against his own will and consent, should be translated to another see, for which the king sent him his letter of thanks. (fn. 43)
63. HENRY CHICHELEY, LL.D. chancellor of the church of Salisbury, and bishop of St. David's, (fn. 44) was next advanced to the archbishopric in 1413. (fn. 45) He was a native of Higham Ferrers, in Northamptonshire, and was brought up at New college, in Oxford; at the former place he founded and endowed a collegiate church and an hospital, (fn. 46) and obtained of the king a grant of several privileges to that town. He was a patron of good learning, which he promoted to the utmost of his power. He built a college in Oxford, dedicated to St. Bernard, in which novices of the Cistertian order might be instructed in the studies of arts and sciences, and of divinity, since called St. John's college. (fn. 47) He built likewise the magnificent college of All Souls, which he munificently endowed, (fn. 48) intending it as a future maintenance for those of his own kindred, in preference to all others, and by his statutes given for the government of it; he directed the successive members of it, to be sworn to the observance of this particular injunction.
He gave two hundred marcs to each of the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge, to be reserved in the chests of those universities for ever, to be freely lent for the use and benefit of the colleges and students there. He promoted the finishing of the divinity schools in Oxford, and the library over them; not only by his own liberal contribution, but by his recommendations of the work, with much zeal, to the bishops and lords, then assembled in parliament, from whom he procured large sums for that purpose. In the 2d year of king Henry V. which was soon after his coming to the see, there was another attempt made against the possessions of the church; but archbishop Chichley found the means of preventing it, by setting forth to that martial young prince, his title to the crown of France, and pressing him to assert his right to it; promising, in the name of the clergy, such a benevolence for the vigorous carrying on of the war, as scarce ever had been given by the subject. (fn. 49) The king readily embraced the proposal, and the revenues of the church were thus, by the archbishop's wisdom, once more preserved. Indeed he shewed, upon every necessary occasion, an undaunted courage and resolution; (fn. 50) Two years after which, I find him signing an instrument, by the title of legate of the apostolic see. (fn. 51) In a synod held at London, (fn. 52) he caused that constitution to be ordained, by which it was provided that no ecclesiastical benefices should be conferred upon any who were not graduates in one of the universities; an act which greatly promoted and encouraged learning.—He enriched his church here with ornaments of great value, repaired and furnished the library of it with books of all sorts, and built great part of the steeple at the south-west corner of the nave of the cathedral, since called from him at times, both the Chichley and Oxford steeple. (fn. 53) And at Lambeth palace he built in 1434, the great tower at the west end of the chapel, usually called the Lollard's tower, at the expence of two hundred and seventy eight pounds.
The author of the Antiquities of the British Church tell us, that pope Martin V. created archbishop Chicheley, in 1428, a cardinal presbiter of the church of Rome, under the title of St Eusebius, and he quotes the archives of this church for his anthority (fn. 54); but bishop Godwyn doubts the truth of it (fn. 55), and with reason, for it is certainly a mistake, as neither in his monumental inscription, where all his titles are inserted, nor in Onuphrius's Catalogue of Cardinals, is there any mention of his being graced with this dignity; and there is a remarkable incident, which happened at that time, which, in great measure corroborates the fact; which was, that in the parliament then called, John Kemp, archbishop of York, having been newly created a cardinal, contended on that account with archbishop Chichley for precedence, in right of the pre-eminency due to his cardinalship; which contention increased to such a height, that it was argued on both sides, at the court of Rome. Probably the mistake of his being supposed to have been created a cardinal arose from another Englishman, of the name of Henry, having been so created by the same Pope at that time, which was Henry Beausort, bishop of Winchester, and with the same title of St. Eusebius.
In his latter days, labouring under the infirmities of old age, he earnestly requested, by letters to Pope Eugenius, dated in 1442, his leave to resign his archbishopric, and recommended John Stafford, bishop of Bath and Wells, for his successor; notwithstanding which, he kept possession of it till his death, which happened on April 12, 1443, after he had sat in the partriarchal chair of this see 29 years (fn. 56).
Weever says, he was a man, happy in the constantenjoyment of his prince's favour, and of wealth, honour, and all kind of prosperity, many years. He was wife in governing his see, worthily bountiful in bestowing his goods to the behoof of the common wealth, and lastly, stout and severe in the due administration of justice; he does not seem to have held any of those secular employments, so usual with his predecessors, though I find him once sent on an embassy to the court of Rome, with Sir John Cheyne. (fn. 57)
His public benefactions above-mentioned, employed the greatest part of his riches, which he preferred to the amassing a great wealth, to the raising of a great name in the world, or the aggrandizing his relations; instead of which, he spent his revenues in encouraging learning, in the interest of religion, and freeing deserving men from the difficulties of a slender income; in short, the archbishop was one of the greatest and best men of the age he lived in.
He was buried on the north side of the choir, under a costly tomb, on which are his effigies, in his pontifical habit, lying at full length with his inscription round it, inlaid with brass, yet remaining; the pillars at each end of the monument are adorned with the figures of the twelve apostles, and other emblematical ones, in imagery; and underneath the tomb, which is hollowed for the purpose, is the figure of an emaciated corpse, lying at length; the two figures above-mentioned being intended to shew the object state to which the gaudy pomp and vanities of the world are reduced after this worldly pilgrimage is finished.
The inscription round the tomb, is as follows: Hic jacet Henricus Chichley L. doctor, quondam cancellarius Sarum, qui anno 7 HEN. IV. regis ad GREGORIUM papam 22. in ambassiata transmissus, in Civitate Senensi per manus ejusdem papæ in episcopum Menevensem consecratus est. Hic etiam HENRICUS, anno 2 HEN. V. regis, in bac sancta ecclesia in archiepiscopum postulatus & a JOANNE papa 23. ad candem translatus, qui obiti anno Dom 1443. Mens. Apr. die 12.
Dr. Harris, in his History of Kent, p. 556, says, he had seen a seal of this archbishop to a deed then in the hands of Mr. Hare, Richmond herald, where his arms are borne with supporters; the only instance of an archbishop bearing them, who was not noble.
He was born at Hook, in the parish of Abbotsbury, in Dorsetshire, and was descended of the antient family of Stafford, of that place, (fn. 58) and was educated at Oxford, where he took his degree of doctor of laws, and became an advocate, and was vicar-general to archbishop Chichley. Weever says, he was no less learned, than noble of birth, and being much favoured by king Henry V. he was preferred by him, first to the deanry of Wells, and to a prebend in the church of Salisbury; he was then preferred to a seat in the council, was made privy seal, and afterwards treasurer of England; (fn. 59) and then, although the king was taken away by untimely death, he still went forward in the way of promotion, and obtained the bishopric of Bath and Wells, which he governed with great wisdom for eighteen years, whence he was translated, in 1443, to this archbishopric, (fn. 60) being in the mean time made lord chancellor; (fn. 61) which office he held eighteen years, which hardly any other had done for so long a time, until growing weary of so painful a place, he resigned it into the king's hands. (fn. 62)
Having sat in the see for almost nine years, during which time he rebuilt the great hall at Croydon palace, on which his arms were carved. He died at his palace of Maidstone, on July 5, 1452, and was buried in his own cathedral, in the martyrdom there, where his gravestone yet remains, with the marks of his effigies in his mitre and pontifical habit, which was, as well as his inscription round it, once inlaid with brass; but they have both been long since torn away. Weever has given the inscription as follows:
Quis fuit enuclees quem celas saxea moles ?
STAFFORD antistes fuerat dictusque JOHANNES.
Qua sedit sede marmor quæso simul ede ?
Pridem Bathonic, regni totius & inde
Primas egregius. Pro presule funde precatus
Aureolam gratus huic det de virgine natus.
Among the Chartæ Antiquæ, in the treasury of the dean and chapter, are two seals of this archbishop, 3½ by 2, fair and fine, being a gothic canopy of three niches, first and third, two bishops; second, a figure sitting, holding before him Christ on the cross; over head in a niche, the Virgin and child and a saint on each side of her; under all, the archbishop mitred, robed, pall, kneeling; on one side, arms of the see, on the other side his own—On a chevron, a mitre within a bordure, engrailed; legend, in old English letters, S. AURIOLAS: JOHIS: PMISIONE: DOMINI: CANTUARIEN: ARCHIEPI T. 27. He bore for his arms, Or, on a chevron, gules, a mitre, or, within a bordure engrailed, sable.
He was a native of Wye, in the county of Kent, being born in 1380, at Ollantigh, in that parish, the seat of the knightly family of the Kempes, from whom he was descended. (fn. 63) He had been brought up at Mer ton college, Oxford, where he took his degree of LL. D. he had been dean of Durham (fn. 64) and of the arches, and vicar-general of the archbishop, and not long afterwards made by king Henry V. on his conquering Normandy, chief justiciary of that province; all which preserments he seems to have kept at one and the same time, being then LL. D. The king had such high opinion of his abilities, that he was, with others, in the 3d year of that reign, appointed ambassador to treat with Ferdinand, king of Arragon, to establish a perpetual league of peace and amity with that prince, and for the marriage of his daughter Maria with the king, and he was afterwards, during that reign, frequently employed by the king in his embassies and state affairs. (fn. 65) In the 7th year, anno 1419 of which reign, he was promoted to the bishopric of Rochester, on April 22, in which year there is a writ directed to him by the stile of bishop elect of Rochester, privy seal, and privy counsellor, (fn. 66) thence he was in 1421, translated to Chichester, and afterwards in the same year to London, from thence in 1425, to the archbishopric of York, and thence in 1452, to this patriarchal chair of Canterbury, on the 24th of September, of which year he received his pall at Fulham, by the hands of Thomas Kempe, bishop of London, his brother's son, and was inthroned on Dec. II, following, being at that time chancellor of England, (fn. 67) which office he held twice. He was twice created a cardinal, first in 1439, by the title of St. Balbina, and then by that of St. Ruffina, all which ecclesiastical preferments were comprehended in this one verse, composed by his nephew, Thomas Kempe, bishop of London. (fn. 68)
He founded a college in the church of Wye, before-mentioned, which he made collegiate, and placed in it secular priests, to attend divine service, and a grammar school close to it, for the instruction of youth, and endowed the whole with ample revenues. (fn. 69)
He sat in this see not more than a year and an half, and dying at Lambeth in April 1454, (fn. 70) was buried in his own cathedral, on the south side of the choir, where his monument, with the inscription in brass round the rim of it, remains entire at this time, (fn. 71) as follows: Hic jacet reverendissimus in Christo pater & dominusJoannes Kempe, titulo sanctæ Ruffine sacrosancte Romane ecclesie episcopus cardinalis, archiepiscopus Cantuariensis, qui obiit vicesimo secundo die Martii A. D. MCCCCLIII cujus animæ propitietur Deus.—Amen.
The inventory of the archbishop's goods, at the time of his decease, amounted to 4069l. 18s. 8d. (fn. 72) He seems to have been a man of great abilities, otherwise it is improbable he could have arrived at the high preferments he did, both in church and state; for, as the author of the Antiquities of the British Church observes, his executing so admirably those offices to which he was at first preferred, was the cause of his still higher promotion. He was munificent in his works of charity, in particular to the divinity schools, and to Merton college, in Oxford, and the university had so grateful a remembrance of it, that a particular day was appointed there to solemnize the memory of him and his nephew John Kempe, bishop of London, on which they were stiled the two Mecænas's of the university; besides which, he beautified the collegiate church of Southwell, and last of all endowed the college of Wye, in this county. (fn. 73)
66. THOMAS BOURGHIER, or, as he was usually spelt, Bourchier, S. T. P. bishop of Ely, was, fifteen days after the death of archbishop Kempe in 1454, promoted to this archbishopric. (fn. 74) He was the second son of William lord Bourghchier, earl of Ewe, brother of Henry, earl of Essex. (fn. 75) He was brought up at Oxford, and was afterwards dean of St. Martin's, in London, during which he was elected bishop of Worcester in 1435, being then A. M. and chancellor of that university. (fn. 76) He was afterwards promoted to the see of Ely, which being displeasing to the king, another was appointed in his room; however, he was a second time chosen, and was not without much difficulty translated to that see on December 20, 1443. Being elected to this archbishopric in 1454, (fn. 77) he was confirmed in it on August 22, and was magnificently enthroned at Canterbury on January 26th following.
In 1455 he was constituted chancellor of England, (fn. 78) which office he resigned into the king's hands in 1459, (fn. 79) and in 1465 was created a cardinal of the church of Rome, by the title of St. Cyriacus, having the hat delivered to him by the cardinal archbishop of Roan. (fn. 80) Soon after his coming to the see of Canterbury, he purchased the manor of Knole, at Sevenoke, in this county, and appropriated it to the archbishopric, for the benefit of his succeslors, and afterwards laid out much on it, to render the house a fit palace for himself and them.
In 1461 he crowned king Edward IV. and four years afterwards married him to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Woodville, and the next year he entertained the king and queen at Canterbury, for several days together, very splendidly and nobly, on their coming there to pay their devotions to Becket's shrine; and two years afterwards, the whole court made another pilgrimage to it, and offered costly gifts there, when in 1483 the executors exhibited the king's will before the archbishop, and desired time to consider whether they should act or not; he sequestered all the king's goods and chattels, and took into his own custody the great and privy seals, and the royal signet. Next year he crowned Richard III. and afterwards, when king Henry VII. had obtained the crown, he married that prince to the lady Elizabeth, eldest daughter of king Edward IV. having a few days before king Henry's coronation, entertained him at Lambeth palace. Having continued in the episcopal dignity for fifty-two years, thirty-two of which he had presided over this see, he died at his palace above-mentioned, on March 30, 1486, (fn. 81) having by his last will given to the poor 100l.— to this church an image of the Trinity, of pure gold, enriched with pearls and precious stones, several rich vestments of cloth of gold, &c.— to the church of Worcester, an image of the Blessed Virgin, valued at 69l. 5s.—to the church of St. Ethelred, of Ely, 200 marcs; to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, each of them a chest with 100l. in it, to be lent gratis for the use of poor scholars; (fn. 82) to Henry, earl of Eslex, his nephew, a great cup of pure gold with a cover, commonly called the great bolle of gold, and to the heir male of the name of Bourghchier, for ever; besides which, he gave different legacies of rich vestments, books, money, &c. to several conventual and collegiate churches; to Sir Thomas Bourghchier his uncle, to his nephew of the same name, to whom he devised his manors of Eynesford and Halsted, and to others of his friends; and he gave to his successor the sum of 2000l. as a recompence for dilapidations. (fn. 83) By his will, he ordered his body to be buried in the place which he had chosen out for that purpose in his own cathedral church of Canterbury, in the choir, on the north side of the great altar, where his monument, of beautiful Petworth marble, (though now shut out from the choir) with an inscription round it inlaid in brass, remains at this present time; (fn. 84) the inscription is as follows: Hic jacet reverendissimus in Christo Pater & dominus D. THOMAS BOURGCHIER, quondam sacrosanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ S. Ciriaci in Thermis presbyt cardinalis, & archiepiscopus bujus ecclesiæ qui obiit 30 die mens. Martin, 1486, cujus animæ propitietur altissimus.
There was a chantry belonging to this archbishop in this church, which was suppressed at the dissolution of the priory, in king Henry VIII.'s time. (fn. 85) His name was among the benefactors to Rochester bridge, in a tablet, formerly hung up in the chapel there.—He was an encourager of learning; for Stow says, the year after he came to the see of Canterbury, being anno 34 Henry VI. five Schools were set up in London by his care, (fn. 86)and he is said to have been the means of bringing the art of printing into England, from Harlem, in 1464; to the expence of which he contributed three hundred marcs. He bore for his arms, Argent, a cross engrailed, gules, between four water bougets, sable, quartered with gules billettee, a fess, or.
67. JOHN MORTON, LL. D. was promoted to this archbishopric in the year 1486. He is recorded by our historians for his singular sidelity to Henry VI. to whom he constantly adhered in all his troubles, not forsaking him, even when he was deposed and deserted by all others. When that king was in prison, he sled with the queen and prince abroad; but when the king was released, and took the field again, he returned and continued with him to the last. This constancy and integrity recommended him so highly to the favour of king Edward IV. that he ceased not, after king Henry was dead, to woe and win him to his side, which having done, he not only received him into his favour, but even to be his intimate and private counsellor; so much did he repose confidence in his sidelity.
He was born, as Camden says, at St. Andrew's Milborne, in Dorsetshire, (fn. 87)and that for the good of all England, and was first educated at Corn abbey, and afterwards at Baliol college, in Oxford, where he commenced his doctor's degree; (fn. 88) and in 1447 was vice-chancellor of that university, and moderator of the school of civil law; and in 1453 became head of Peckwater inn; afterwards he practised as an advocate in the Prerogative court of Canterbury, was made prebendary of Fordington and Wathrington, in the church of Sarum; and in 1473 master of the rolls; (fn. 89) in the same year he was instituted to the rectory of St. Dunstan in the West, London, and the next year was made archdeacon of Winchester, and in the year 1478 he was promoted to the bishopric of Ely.
When king Edward died, he appointed him one of the executors of his last will; and he was so watchful over the life and safety of young king Edward V. and the prince his brother, that when their uncle Richard, duke of Gloucester, intended their deaths, the bishop was sent out of the way; for his integrity was known to be such, that neither threatnings could terrify, bribes corrupt, or promises allure to become false to his trust. After which, upon pretence of his having been guilty of great and heinous offences, he was confined to close imprisonment, till the duke had accomplished the death of the two princes his nephews, and had seated himself on the throne, and then bishop Morton was committed to the custody of the duke of Buckingham, at Brecknock, where he is said to have contrived the happy union of the two houses of York and Lancaster, by the marriage of Henry, earl of Richmond, with Elizabeth, eldest daughter of king Edward IV. Having made his escape from his keeper, he fled into Flanders, where he continued till the earl, (after king Henry VII.) was seated on the throne, whose especial favourite he became afterwards.
From the bishopric of Ely, (fn. 90) he was translated in 1486 to the archbishopric of Canterbury, (fn. 91) and was confirmed by the pope on October 6, that year, (fn. 92) and was afterwards made legate of the apostolic see; the year after which he was made lord chancellor of England, (fn. 93) and on Sept. 20, 1493, was created a cardinal, with the title of Saint Anastatia. (fn. 94)
He was a prelate of great natural parts, which he had improved by the study of the law and other branches of learning, in which, considering the age he lived in, he was very eminent; this procured him among other preferments in king Henry VI.'s reign, a place in the privy council; and he had genius, learning, secrecy and experience, to make him an able statesman. That he was a great and good man, all our histories bear testimony, and they are full of his praises; and if learning and religion did not make so great a progress during his administration, it was the fault of the times and not owing to him. His fortune was disposed of suitably to his rank and the largeness of his revenue, in munisicence and liberality to those who were in need, and at his death he bequeathed much of it to pious uses.
He died of a quartan ague, at his palace of Knoll on Oct. 12, 1500, aged eighty, having by his will ordered his body to be buried in his own cathedral, before the image of the blessed Virgin, vulgarly called our Lady of Undercrost, and that it should be covered with a plain marble stone, without any other gaudy expences; and he gave at his funeral, on the day of his burial, in alms to poor people, and in other matters convenient and decent on such an occasion, 1000 marcs. To the cathedral church of Ely he gave his best gilt cross and mitre, which he had of the executors of William Gray, late bishop of Ely, and then after divers legacies to the king, queen, and the rest of the royal family, to his relations and others; (fn. 95) he ordered his executors to expend yearly, for the space of twenty years, in the maintenance of twenty poor scholars in the university of Oxford, and of ten in that of Cambridge, 128l. 6s. 8d. (fn. 96)
The archbishop had been a liberal benefactor to this see, in repairing and augmenting his houses at Knoll, Maidstone, Aldington park, Charing, Ford, Lambeth and Canterbury, and likewise to this cathedral; in particular, in the chapel at Lambeth he glazed the windows richly with painted glass, containing the Scripture History of the Old and New Testament, the repairing of which afterwards was imputed as a crime to archbishop Laud; these windows were afterwards destroyed by the Puritans. Notwithstanding these expences, archbishop Morton appears to have died possessed of large landed estates in the different counties of Kent, Surry, Suffex, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, Essex and Warwick, and in the city of London; all which are severally mentioned in the codicil to his will, and which he gives to his several relations of the name of Morton, but with an exception to those lands inclosed within the park of the Mote, near Maidstone, and the mill, which he willed to remain to the church of Christ, in Canterbury, and his successors, archbishops for ever; on this condition, that they should pay yearly and for ever, to the prioress and nuns of the priory of St. Sepulchre, near Canterbury, eight marcs for one chaplain to celebrate within that priory, according to the foundation of a chantry, founded in it by master John de Bourn, rector of the church of Frakenham, in the time of William Wittlesey, formerly archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 97)
According to his directions above-mentioned, he was buried in the Lady chapel, in the Undercrost, under a marble stone, on which are the marks of his effigies in his pontifical dress, once inlaid with brass, but long since torn from it. (fn. 98) Notwithstanding the archbishop's avowal against it, there was a sumptuous monument erected to his memory in this undercrost, at a small distance south-westward from the above chapel, having much imagery round it, and his figure, cloathed in his pontifical habit, lying at full length on it; close to it was a chantry erected for a priest to celebrate for his soul, which was demolished at the time of the reformation, and the tomb itself has suffered much injury since that time.
The Obituary honourably recites his benefactions to this church, (fn. 99) and among them, that he contributed to the new work of the Angel steeple of it, now called the Bell Harry tower, as appears by his device in the stonework without, which Camden, in his Remains observes, usually was the word Mor, over the figure of a tun, and that he presented eighty copes richly embroidered with gold, and his proper arms, and in letters of gold this motto, Deo sit Gratiarum actio; he is likewise recorded as a benefactor to Rochester bridge, in a tablet formerly hung up in the chapel there.
68. HENRY DENE, or Deny, as some call him, S. T. P. was promoted to this see on his predecessor's death, in the year 1500, the year after which he proceeded S. T. P. in the university of Cambridge. He had been prior of Lanthony, in Wales, (fn. 100) and bishop of Bangor, to which see he was a good benefactor. He was much entrusted and employed by Henry VII. in negoclations, and especially with Scotland, In 1494 he was constituted chancellor of Ireland, and when Sir Edward Poynings, lord deputy, was recalled, he was substituted justiciary of that kingdom, (fn. 101) and on his return to England, was translated to the see of Sarum, (fn. 102) and from thence to the patriarchal chair of Canterbury, and became the pope's legate, (fn. 103) and on Oct. 13, 1500, was made chancellor of England; (fn. 104) having sat in this see for two years, during which time he was never inthroned, he died at Lambeth, February 15, 1502. (fn. 105) By his will, which is in the register D. of this church, he appointed the place and manner of his funeral, and gave a silver cup to John Bell, his suffragan bishop of Mayo; and to his church of Canterbury, a silver image of St. John the Evangelist, weighing 151 ounces, and directed 500l. to be bestowed on his funeral. He was buried according to his will in his own cathedral, in the martyrdom there, where his gravestone yet remains; but the brass with which it was inlaid, on which were his effigies, in his pontifical habit, and his inscription, has been long since torn from it.
The inscription was as follows: Hic sub marmore iacet corpus reverendissimi in CHRISTO patris & domini D. HENRICI DENE, quondam prioris prioratus de Lanthona, deinde Bangorensis ac successive Sarum episcopi. Postremo vero bujus metropolitice ecclesie archiepiscopi; diem suum clausit extremum apud Lambeth. 15 die mens. Feb. Ann. Domini 1502, in secundo translationis anno. cujus anime propilietur altissimus.