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Airmyn [Ayreminne], William (d. 1336), administrator and bishop of Norwich, was the son of Adam and Matilda Airmyn, and probably came from the hamlet of Airmyn, near Selby, in Yorkshire, one of a large group of men from that region to obtain prominence in government service. First recorded as an attorney in ...

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Aiscough [Ayscough], William (c. 1395–1450), administrator and bishop of Salisbury, was the son of Robert Aiscough, of Potgrange, near Masham, Yorkshire, and brother of Robert, who became dean of the Chapel Royal. Ordained in 1415, he was master of arts by 1423 and doctor of theology by 1432, both probably of ...

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Alcock, John (1430–1500), administrator and bishop of Ely, was born at Beverley, Yorkshire, the son of William Alcock of Hull. Alcock received his early schooling in the grammar school attached to Beverley Minster, and then attended Cambridge University. DCL by 1459, he began his career in local diocesan administration in ...

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Alen, John (1476–1534), archbishop of Dublin, is of unknown parentage. He received his undergraduate training at Gonville Hall, Cambridge, between 1491 and 1495, although there is an unverified tradition that he studied at the University of Oxford before migrating to Cambridge. After receiving his BA in 1494–5, he obtained a fellowship from ...

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Arundel [Fitzalan], Thomas (1353–1414), administrator and archbishop of Canterbury, was the third son of Richard (II) Fitzalan, third earl of Arundel and eighth earl of Surrey (c. 1313–1376), and his wife, Eleanor (d. 1372), the daughter of Henry, earl of Lancaster, and widow of ...

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Bainbridge, Christopher (1462/3–1514), ambassador, archbishop of York, and cardinal, was born at Hilton, near Appleby, Westmorland, the eldest of six children of Reginald Bainbridge and Isobel Langton; he owed much in his education and early advancement to his maternal uncle Thomas Langton, bishop of ...

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H. A. Tipping

revised by M. C. Buck

Baldock, Ralph (d. 1313), administrator and bishop of London, was first recorded in February 1275, when he was admitted as rector of Little Woolstone in Buckinghamshire. In St Paul's he held, probably successively, the prebendal stalls of Holborn and Newington and is also found as prebendary of ...

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Balmyle, Nicholas [Nicholas of St Andrews] (d. 1319/20), administrator and bishop of Dunblane, first appears on record, described as master, in 1259. Balmyle may be derived from one of two places in Perthshire. Neither his date of birth nor his place of study is known. He is rarely mentioned before the 1280s and 1290s, during which time he is variously recorded as official of the archdeacon of ...

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J. M. Rigg

revised by D. B. Johnston

Barret, Patrick (d. 1415), bishop of Ferns and administrator, was a canon of the Augustinian abbey of Kells in the bishopric of Ossory. He was consecrated by the pope at Rome in December 1400 and was restored to the temporalities on 11 April 1401. From 1403 he was active in peacekeeping in ...

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Bateman [Norwich], William (c. 1298–1355), diplomat, founder of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and bishop of Norwich, was probably born in Norwich (from which he was sometimes named), the third son of William and Margery Bateman. His father was many times bailiff of the city, and in 1326–7 its member of ...

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Beaton [Betoun], David (1494?–1546), cardinal and archbishop of St Andrews, was a younger son of John Beaton (d. 1532), of Balfour, Fife, and Elizabeth Monypenny (d. 1541), daughter of the laird of Pitmilly, Fife.

Beaton entered St Andrews University in 1508, transferred to that of ...

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Beaton, James (c. 1473–1539), administrator and archbishop of St Andrews, was the sixth son of John Beaton of Balfour in the parish of Markinch, and Marjory, daughter of Sir David Boswell of Balmouto in the parish of Kinghorn. For one who was later to hold the highest offices in church and state and to exercise immense power, it is noteworthy that he was not connected by blood to any of the noble houses of ...

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Beaton, James (1524–1603), diplomat and archbishop of Glasgow, born in the spring or early summer of 1524, was the son of James Beaton, laird of Balfarg (Fife), and his wife, Helen Melville. He belonged to the third generation of the Beaton hegemony in the church: lesser prelates apart, ...

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Henry Beaufort (1375?–1447) stone effigy © English Heritage. NMR

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Beaufort, Henry [called the Cardinal of England] (1375?–1447), bishop of Winchester and cardinal, was the second of four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (1340–1399), and Katherine Swynford (1350?–1403), daughter of the Hainaulter Sir Payn Roelt, who was governess to the duke's children [...

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Becket, Thomas [St Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London] (1120?–1170), archbishop of Canterbury, was a London merchant's son who rose to be royal chancellor then archbishop, only to be murdered in his cathedral church. His posthumous reputation as a saint and martyr, with enduring thaumaturgical powers, was considerable throughout western Christendom, and in ...

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Thomas Becket (1120?–1170) manuscript illumination The British Library

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Thomas Beckington (1390?–1465) tomb effigy Chapter of Wells Cathedral

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Beckington [Bekynton], Thomas (1390?–1465), administrator and bishop of Bath and Wells, was the son of a weaver from Beckington, Somerset. He was admitted as a scholar to Winchester College in 1403, nominated a scholar of New College, Oxford, in 1406, and held a fellowship at ...

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Belmeis [Beaumais], Richard de (d. 1127), administrator and bishop of London, came (according to one of L. C. Loyd's less fully proven attributions) from Beaumais-sur-Dive in Calvados. Beaumais was in the Hièmois, and Belmeis first appeared in England as a rear-tenant of Roger de Montgomery, ...