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Thomas of Beckington



(BEKYNTON.)

Bishop of Bath and Wells, born at Beckington, Somerset, about 1390; died at Wells, 14 January, 1465. He was educated at Winchester (1404) and New College, Oxford (1406). After his ordination as priest he acquired much ecclesiastical preferment, including the archdeaconry of Buckingham and a canonry at Wells. Being a skilled canon lawyer he was made dean of the Arches in 1423. He was also frequently employed as English ambassador abroad. His influence with the young King Henry VI was so great that he was appointed lord privy seal in 1442; and in the following year the pope nominated him Bishop of Bath and Wells. He was consecrated, 13 October, 1442, at the new foundation of Eton College, in which he took great interest. As bishop he rebuilt the episcopal palace at Wells, and greatly improved the city. He was a lover of learning and a munificent patron to houses of education, particularly Winchester School and Lincoln College, Oxford.

BECKINGTON, Official Correspondence of Beckington, secretary to Henry VI in R.S. (London, 1872); NICOLAS, Journal by one of the suite of Beckington during embassy to negotiate marriage between Henry VI and the Count of Armagnac's daughter (London, 1828); MONRO, Letters of Margaret of Anjou, Bishop Beckington and others (Camden Society, London, 1863); GAIRDNER in Dict. Nat. Biog., s.v. Beckington or Bekynton, Thomas.

EDWIN BURTON








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