Thomas Rotherham

Last updated

Thomas Rotherham
Archbishop of York
Archbishop Thomas Rotherham.jpg
Portrait of Thomas Rotherham from "Historic Notices of Rotherham", by John Guest,1879
Appointed7 July 1480
Installedunknown
Term ended29 May 1500
Predecessor Lawrence Booth
Successor Thomas Savage
Other posts Bishop of Rochester
Bishop of Lincoln
Personal details
Born24 August 1423
Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Died29 May 1500(1500-05-29) (aged 76)
Cawood Castle
Buried York Minster
NationalityEnglish
Denomination Roman Catholic

Thomas Rotherham (24 August 1423 – 29 May 1500), also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. He is considered a venerable figure in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, his town of birth.

Contents

Life

Background

Thomas Rotherham was born 24 August 1423 in Rotherham, Yorkshire. [1] He is said to have been the eldest son of Sir Thomas Rotherham of Rotherham by his wife, Dame Alice. From the sixteenth century onwards he was also known by the alternate surname 'Scot', although that surname was not used by Rotherham himself or by his contemporaries. In his will, however, Rotherham does refer to his kinsman John Scott of Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, and it has been speculated that he was the son of Sir John Scott of Scot's Hall in Smeeth, Kent and Agnes Beaufitz. [2] However this claim is said to have been disproved. [3]

Education

He was first educated as a young boy by a teacher of grammar, who came, according to Thomas, "I know not by what fate save it was the Grace of God". Afterwards he was sent to the newly founded Eton College to prepare for university entrance.

Appointments to office

Rotherham was educated at King's College, Cambridge, graduating as a Bachelor of Divinity and becoming a Fellow of his college, [4] and lectured on Grammar, Theology, and Philosophy. After his ordination as a priest, he became a prebendary of Lincoln in 1462 and then of Salisbury in 1465. He moved on to powerful positions in the Church, being appointed as Bishop of Rochester in 1468, [5] Bishop of Lincoln in 1472, [6] and then Archbishop of York in 1480, a position he held until 1500. [7]

In 1467, King Edward IV appointed Rotherham as Keeper of the Privy Seal. [8] He was sent as ambassador to France in 1468 and as joint ambassador to Burgundy in 1471, and in 1475 was entrusted with the office of Lord Chancellor. [9] Between 1477 and his death, Rotherham was the owner of Barnes Hall in South Yorkshire. [10]

Involvement in intrigue

When Edward IV died in April 1483, Rotherham was one of the celebrants of the funeral mass on 20 April 1483. [11] Immediately after Edward's death, Rotherham sided with dowager queen Elizabeth Woodville in her attempt to deprive Richard, Duke of Gloucester of his role as Lord Protector of the new King, her son Edward V. When Elizabeth sought sanctuary after Richard had taken charge of the king, Rotherham released the Great Seal to her. Though he later recovered it and handed it over to Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, [12] his mishandling of the seal – indicative of questionable loyalty, led to his dismissal as Lord Chancellor. On 13 May he was replaced by John Russell, who earlier had also been his successor as Bishop of Lincoln.

On 13 June 1483, Rotherham was charged with being involved in a conspiracy between Lord Hastings and the Woodvilles against Richard and imprisoned in the Tower of London. [13] He was released in the middle of July. [14]

Retirement

Once again appointed Lord Chancellor in 1485, [9] he was shortly afterwards dismissed by Henry VII. After this he retired from most public work.

Death and memorial

Rotherham died of the plague in Cawood near York on 29 May 1500. [7] His remains were transferred to a magnificent marble tomb in York Minster in 1506.

Endowments

Rotherham built part of Lincoln College, Oxford, and increased its endowment; [15] at Cambridge, where he was four times Chancellor and Master of Pembroke Hall, he helped to build the University Library.

In 1480 Rotherham endowed a Chapel of Jesus within Rotherham parish church, providing a priest to sing masses for the souls of his ancestors. He founded the College of Jesus in Rotherham as a memorial to his first teacher. [15] The foundations of the red brick College were laid at his birthplace in Brookgate in March 1482 and a licence was granted on 22 January 1483 "for the honour and glory of the name of Jesus Christ to found a perpetual College".

The statutes of the college were dated 1 February 1483. The College of Jesus was to consist of a Provost and three Fellows, all to be in Holy Orders, who must attend church on Sundays and Holy Days. The Fellows were to teach grammar and train the six choristers of Jesus in song and music. They were also to teach promising boys who did not aspire to the priesthood reading, writing, and reckoning, free of charge. If the boys continued to show merit, they should be taught the rudiments of grammar and music. The college was dissolved around 1550 by Edward VI of England and all its possessions seized by the crown. Very little now remains of the original building, although the street is still known as College Street.

The teaching of grammar to boys continued at Rotherham after the 1550s. The Rotherham Grammar School looked upon Thomas Rotherham as its founder, took 1483 to be its year of origin, and adopted as its badge the armorial bearings of Thomas Rotherham. The school took its last intake of boys in September 1966 and was progressively phased-out over the following several years.

Rotherham is still remembered in the name of Thomas Rotherham College, which is the post-1967 descendant of the Rotherham Grammar School for Boys.

Citations

  1. Horrox 2004.
  2. Berry, William, County Genealogies; Pedigrees of the Families of the County of Sussex, (London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper), 1830 p. 310 Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  3. Bennett, Henry Leigh, Archbishop Rotherham, (Lincoln: J.W. Ruddock, 1901), pp. 6-7 Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  4. "Rotheram, Thomas (RTRN443T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. Fryde et al. 1996 , p. 268
  6. Fryde et al. 1996 , p. 256
  7. 1 2 Fryde et al. 1996 , p. 282.
  8. Fryde et al. 1996 , pp. 95–96.
  9. 1 2 Fryde et al. 1996 , p. 88.
  10. "Historic Hallamshire", David Hey, Landmark Collectors Library, ISBN   1 84306 049 3, pp. 51 & 52
  11. Ross & Edward IV , p. 417
  12. Ross & Richard III , p. 76
  13. Ross & Richard III , p. 42
  14. Davies 1995, p. 142.
  15. 1 2 Ross & Edward IV , p. 268

Related Research Articles

John Morton (cardinal) 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and cardinal

John Morton was an English prelate who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1486 until his death and also Lord Chancellor of England from 1487. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1493.

Thomas Bourchier (cardinal) 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and cardinal

Thomas Bourchier was a medieval English cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England.

Thomas Langton was chaplain to King Edward IV, before becoming successively Bishop of St David's, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop of Winchester, and Archbishop-elect of Canterbury.

William of Wykeham 14th-century Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England

William of Wykeham was Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England. He founded New College, Oxford, and New College School in 1379, and founded Winchester College in 1382. He was also the clerk of works when much of Windsor Castle was built.

Robert Stillington was Bishop of Bath and Wells (1465–1491) and a courtier under Edward IV of England. He twice served as Edward's Lord Chancellor and in 1483, he was instrumental in the accession of Richard III, leading to later reprisals against him under Henry VII.

William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings English nobleman (1431-1483)

William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings KG was an English nobleman. A loyal follower of the House of York during the Wars of the Roses, he became a close friend and one of the most important courtiers of King Edward IV, whom he served as Lord Chamberlain. At the time of Edward's death he was one of the most powerful and richest men in England. He was executed following accusations of treason by Edward's brother and ultimate successor, Richard III. The date of his death is disputed; early histories argued for a hasty execution on 13 June, while Clements R. Markham argues that he was executed one week after his arrest on 20 June 1483, and after a trial.

John Alcock (bishop) 15th-century Bishop of Ely, Bishop of Rochester, Bishop of Worcester, and Chancellor of England

John Alcock was an English churchman, bishop and Lord Chancellor.

John Scott (died 1485) English Yorkist landowner in Kent

Sir John Scott of Scot's Hall in Smeeth was a Kent landowner, and committed supporter of the House of York. Among other offices, he served as Comptroller of the Household to Edward IV, and lieutenant to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

William Smyth 15th and 16th-century Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and Bishop of Lincoln

William Smyth was Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield from 1493 to 1496 and then Bishop of Lincoln until his death. He held political offices, the most important being Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches. He became very wealthy and was a benefactor of a number of institutions. He was a co-founder of Brasenose College, Oxford and endowed a grammar school in the village of his birth in Lancashire.

George Neville (archbishop) 15th-century Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England

George Neville was Archbishop of York from 1465 until 1476 and Chancellor of England from 1460 until 1467 and again from 1470 until 1471.

Peter Courtenay 15th-century Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Winchester

Peter Courtenay was Bishop of Exeter (1478-87) and Bishop of Winchester (1487-92), and also had a successful political career during the tumultuous years of the Wars of the Roses.

Lawrence Booth 15th-century Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England

Lawrence Booth served as Prince-Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England, before being appointed Archbishop of York.

John Russell was an English Bishop of Rochester and bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor.

William Ayermin was a medieval Bishop of Norwich.

Events from the 1480s in England. This decade marks the beginning of the Tudor period.

Events from the 1500s in England.

Thomas Rotherham College 16–19 Academy in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

Thomas Rotherham College is a college for 16- to 19-year-olds, founded in 1967, in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.

Rotherham Grammar School was a boys' grammar school in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.

James Harrington (Yorkist knight) English supporter of the House of York

Sir James Harrington of Hornby was an English politician and soldier who was a prominent Yorkist supporter in Northern England during the Wars of the Roses, having been retained by Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, who was brother-in-law to the head of the House of York, Richard of York. He was the second son of Sir Thomas Harrington, who had died with the king's father at the Battle of Wakefield in December 1460. James himself had fought with Salisbury at the Battle of Blore Heath in 1459, where he had been captured and imprisoned by the Lancastrians until the next year. He was a significant regional figure during the reign of King Edward IV, although the early years of the new king's reign were marred by a bitter feud between him and the Stanley family over a castle in Lancashire. On the accession of King Richard III in 1483, he was appointed to the new king's Household, and as such was almost certainly with him at the Battle of Bosworth Field two years later. It is likely that he fell in battle there, although precise details of his death are now unknown.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Stillington
Lord Privy Seal
1467–1470
Succeeded by
John Hales
Preceded by
John Hales
Lord Privy Seal
1471–1474
Succeeded by
John Russell
Preceded by
John Alcock
Lord Chancellor
1475–1483
Preceded by
John Russell
Lord Chancellor
1485
Succeeded by
John Alcock
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Low
Bishop of Rochester
1468–1472
Succeeded by
John Alcock
Preceded by
John Chadworth
Bishop of Lincoln
1472–1480
Succeeded by
John Russell
Preceded by
Lawrence Booth
Archbishop of York
1480–1500
Succeeded by
Thomas Savage
Academic offices
Preceded by
Laurence Booth
Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge
1480–1488
Succeeded by
George Fitzhugh