William of Wykeham


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William of Wykeham

or

William of Wickham

(both: wĭ`kəm), 1324–1404, English prelate and lord chancellor. He is thought to have been the son of a serf. Entering the service of the royal court in 1347, he supervised the building of additions to Windsor Castle and rapidly gained influence at the court of Edward III, becoming royal secretary and lord privy seal (1364). He received benefices in all parts of England but was not ordained a priest until 1362. In 1366 he was appointed bishop of Winchester, and he was made lord chancellor the following year. The debility of the aging Edward III and the strife of factions made his political position extremely difficult. In 1371, William was dismissed, largely as a result of the rising tide of anticlericalism. Opposing John of GauntJohn of Gaunt
[Mid. Eng. Gaunt=Ghent, his birthplace], 1340–99, duke of Lancaster; fourth son of Edward III of England. He married (1359) Blanche, heiress of Lancaster, and through her became earl (1361) and duke (1362) of Lancaster.
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, he supported the attack made on Gaunt's court party in the Good Parliament (1376). As a result he was charged (1376) with previous misuse of government funds, deprived of his temporalities, and harried for almost a year. On Richard II's accession (1377) he was exonerated and devoted most of his remaining life to his episcopal duties, although from 1389 to 1391 he again served as chancellor. His most lasting importance lies in his two great foundations, New College at Oxford (1379) and Winchester College (opened 1394), one of the most famous English public schools. He rebuilt the Norman nave of Winchester Cathedral and repaired many churches of his diocese. A conservative but conscientious churchman, William was a vigorous clerical reformer.

Bibliography

See biography by G. C. Heseltine (1932); W. Hayter, William of Wykeham: Patron of the Arts (1970).


Wykeham, William of:

see William of WykehamWilliam of Wykeham
or William of Wickham
, 1324–1404, English prelate and lord chancellor. He is thought to have been the son of a serf. Entering the service of the royal court in 1347, he supervised the building of additions to Windsor Castle and rapidly gained
..... Click the link for more information.
.
References in periodicals archive ?
The earliest account I have found that uses this precise translation of Froissart's French Chronicles is in Robert Lowth, The Life of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester.
The following morning we were shown around Winchester College, founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Winchester.
5) Baptized in the city of Winchester on 2 May 1723, Clarke in 1736 at the age of thirteen entered Winchester College, founded by William of Wykeham in 1387, and studied there for five years.