Thomas Wynter

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Thomas Wynter or Winter (c. 1510 – c. 1546) was the Archdeacon of York, Richmond, Cornwall, Provost of Beverley, Dean of Wells Cathedral and the illegitimate son of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

The Archdeacon of York is a senior clergy position in an archdeaconry subdivision of the Church of England Diocese of York in the Province of York. It is named for the City of York and consists of the seven rural deaneries of Derwent, Easingwold, New Ainsty, Selby, Southern Ryedale, South Wold and York.

The Archdeacon of Cornwall is a senior cleric in the Church of England Diocese of Truro.

Provost of Beverley Minster

The Provost of St John's, Beverley is a position said to have been created by Archbishop Thomas of Bayeux (1070–1100). The provost had responsibility for the administration of the lands owned by the minster and for the general revenues of the chapter. He was an external officer with authority in the government of the church, but with no stall in the choir and no vote in chapter.



Thomas Wynter's exact date of birth is unknown, but most scholars argue that he was born sometime around the year 1510. [1] His mother is the supposed mistress of Thomas Wolsey, Joan Larke, daughter of Thetford innkeeper Peter Larke. [2] Some historians, such as Stella Fletcher, show some scepticism about Wynter's parentage, as Wolsey had two brothers and one sister that leave little trace in the historical record that could be the true parents of Wynter. [3] Most historians argue that Wynter was Wolsey's son because Wolsey had maintained a great interest in Wynter’s education and career. [4] Contemporary ambassadors and officials also believed Wynter was the cardinal’s son, and stated as much in their correspondence. Thomas Lupset, a tutor of Wynter's, wrote to Erasmus in August 1525, stating that Wolsey treated Wynter with so much affection that it was as if "he were his own legitimate offspring." [5] The Spanish diplomat Eustace Chapuys wrote to Emperor Charles V that "A son of [Wolsey's], who is in Paris following his studies, and of whom I have formerly written to your Majesty, has received orders to return," to England in October 1529. [6] Similarly, the ambassador from Milan referred to Wynter as Wolsey's son in a dispatch the following year. [7]

Joan Larke was the mistress of the powerful English statesman and churchman in the Tudor period, Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, and mother of his two illegitimate children.

Thetford town in Norfolk, England

Thetford is a market town and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England. It is on the A11 road between Norwich and London, just south of Thetford Forest. After World War II Thetford became an ‘overspill town’ taking people from London, as a result of which its population increased substantially. The civil parish, covering an area of 29.55 km2 (11.41 sq mi), has a population of 24,340.

Thomas Lupset (c.1495–1530) was an English churchman and humanist scholar.

Wynter supposedly grew up North of London in an area (now part of London) called Willesden. [8] In August 1518 at roughly age nine, Wynter matriculated to the University of Louvain. [1] He studied Latin, among other elements of classical education, under his first known tutor, Maurice Birchinshaw. [9] Within a few years, Wynter received dispensation to start holding clerical offices, and obtained three benefices by June 1522, including the lucrative prebend of Milton at Lincoln Cathedral. [10] Wynter would go on to obtain several more benefices in England over the next few years, despite the fact that he was studying abroad almost constantly until 1529. He became Archdeacon of York on 31 August 1523, which he held longer than any other benefice, before surrendering it in June 1540. [11] When his father, Wolsey, spoke of Wynter in his correspondence, he referred to him as the Dean of Wells, a position he received in January 1526. [12]

Willesden area in North West London, England

Willesden is an area in north west London which forms part of the London Borough of Brent. It is situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It was historically a parish in the county of Middlesex that was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Willesden in 1933, and has formed part of the London Borough of Brent in Greater London since 1965. Dollis Hill is also sometimes referred to as being part of Willesden.

Old University of Leuven Studium Generale Lovaniense

The Old University of Leuven is the name historians give to the university, or studium generale, founded in Leuven, Brabant, in 1425. The university was closed in 1797, a week after the cession to the French Republic of the Austrian Netherlands and the principality of Liège by the Treaty of Campo Formio.

A benefice or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered. Its use was adopted by the Western Church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice specifically from a church is called a precaria such as a stipend and one from a monarch or nobleman is usually called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority.

Although Wynter studied in Paris with some of the best Humanists in Europe, he never showed any serious aptitude beyond normal intelligence. [13] Wynter certainly made strong attempts at learning, attending public lectures, and often dedicating much of his time to studying. [14] However, Wynter was instead a surrogate for his father's influence, as well as a source of income. Scholars in Paris praised Wynter partly for his own skills, but also for Wosley's sake. [15] Wynter would often entertain guests, and was forced to spend considerable sums of money on furniture and housing to befit the son of a Cardinal as important as Wolsey. [16] Besides his ecclesiastical income, Wynter also received the mineral rights to the bishopric of Durham, worth £185 per year, in 1528. [17] In total, Wynter's lands and benefices were worth about £1,575 per year in 1525, and would be worth £2,700 per year in November 1529. [18] Most of Wynter's income was siphoned off by Wolsey, who forwarded around £200 per year to Wynter in Paris, which helps explain Wynter's near constant requests for more money. [19] Despite his son's less than stellar intellect, Wolsey continued to try and bestow greater honours on Wynter, including a failed attempt to secure the Diocese of Durham in 1528. [20]

Renaissance humanism

Renaissance humanism is the study of classical antiquity, at first in Italy and then spreading across Western Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The term humanism is contemporary to that period, while Renaissance humanism is a retronym used to distinguish it from later humanist developments.

Mineral rights are property rights to exploit an area for the minerals it harbors. Mineral rights can be separate from property ownership. Mineral rights can refer to sedentary minerals that do not move below the Earth's surface or fluid minerals such as oil or natural gas. There are three major types of mineral property; unified estate, severed or split estate, and fractional ownership of minerals.

Diocese of Durham Church of England diocese

The Diocese of Durham is a Church of England diocese, based in Durham, and covering the historic County Durham. It was created in AD 635 as the Diocese of Lindisfarne. The cathedral is Durham Cathedral and the bishop is the Bishop of Durham who used to live at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, and still has his office there. The diocese's administrative centre, the Diocesan Office, is located at Cuthbert House, Stonebridge just outside Durham City. This was opened in 2015.

Historians have traditionally seen Wolsey's promotion of his son as an example of the corruption in late medieval Catholicism. Stanford Lehmberg wrote that the "most glaring example" of senior clergy granting their children benefices and skimming the profits. [21] Recently, scholars more sympathetic to Wolsey and the Church argue that Wolsey's actions were not unique to the time period. [22] Further, though there many prebends and benefices were held in pluralism, the parishioners of England were, for the most part, content with the state of the Church, and there were clergymen in the parishes to administer the sacraments. [23] Even so, Wolsey's decline from power beginning in 1528 only accelerated once Parliament wrote and submitted their formal protest against Wolsey in 1529. This included references to Wynter as recipient of "great treasures and riches" which Wolsey then acquired as a proxy. [24] Wynter was in Paris at the time of his father's downfall, and King Henry VIII summoned Wynter to return, as it seemed likely that his father would die soon. [25] Before his return to court in July 1530, Wynter resigned the majority of his benefices, though he kept his offices as the Archdeacon of York, Provost of Beverley, and a few other benefices. [1]

Sacraments of the Catholic Church seven visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of Gods presence, consisting of those of initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and of service (holy orders, matrimony)

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony.

The English Reformation Parliament, which sat from 3 November 1529 to 14 April 1536, was the English Parliament that passed the major pieces of legislation leading to the Break with Rome and establishment of the Church of England. In Scotland, their 1560 Parliament had a similar role. Sitting in the reign of King Henry VIII of England, the Parliament was the first to deal with major religious legislation, much of it orchestrated by Thomas Cromwell.

Henry VIII of England 16th-century King of England

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled. His disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy"; he invested heavily in the Navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.

Cardinal Wolsey died in November 1530, and Wynter was left without a protector. He reached out and became a patron of two of the leading minister's in Henry VIII's government, being Bishop Gardiner [26] and Thomas Cromwell. [1] In 1530, Wynter was joined the influential association of patronage and learning known as the Doctors Commons, whose members included such powerful civilians and bishops as Thomas More, Cuthbert Tunstall, Nicholas West, among others. [27] From there, Wynter went about raising funds to return to schooling on the continent. By 1533, Wynter was studying law in Padua, Italy, thanks to his benefices and the generosity and influence of Thomas Cromwell. [28] Wynter regularly wrote Cromwell to update him on his studies, and whatever international news or gossip as he heard while meeting ambassadors and scholars from across Europe. [29] Despite Cromwell's assistance and his benefices, Wynter could not reconcile his spending and his budget. Wynter wanted to maintain a life of a financially independent scholar, where wealth was "a great assistance to study and an ornament to life." Wynter stated his problem simply, as "I am devoted to letters but desire to keep my preferments," and by the end of 1533, he could not do both. [30]

Stephen Gardiner English bishop

Stephen Gardiner was an English bishop and politician during the English Reformation period who served as Lord Chancellor during the reign of Queen Mary I and King Philip.

Thomas Cromwell English statesman and chief minister to King Henry VIII of England

Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540, when he was beheaded on orders of the king.

Thomas More 15th/16th-century English statesman

Sir Thomas More, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was also a councillor to Henry VIII, and Lord High Chancellor of England from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. He wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an imaginary, ideal island nation.

Wynter returned to England and court in July 1534 in poverty. He managed to get an audience with Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn, who took pity on Wynter. She told Wynter that he was beloved by the King, and that he had "many friends who wish you well. Reckon me among that number." [31] Wynter remained in England for the next several years, resident at either Cawood Castle in his Archdeaconry of York, or Beverley where he still held the provostship. [32] Wynter was eventually stable enough in England to have clients of his own, including Richard Morison and Edmund Harvel. [1] [33] Eventually, Cromwell was able to get a new preferment for Wynter in the southwest of England. On 10 October 1537 Wynter was collated and installed by proxy to the Archdeaconry of Cornwall. [34] As most of Wynter's lands and other property were in the East Riding of Yorkshire, he decided to rent out the Archdeaconry to one William Bodye, a servant of Cromwell. [35] Renting out the rights to hold Archdeacon's courts, receive probate fees, and perform visitations was common in the sixteenth century, and many Archdeacons were not resident. Unfortunately for Wynter, his flock in Cornwall came to despise Bodye, which would heighten tensions in the area for years to come.

Bodye purchased the rights to the Archdeaconry for thirty five years, for £30 per year, and a £150 down payment. [36] Over the next three years, Bodye received the rents and fees due to Wynter, slowly building up a resentment among the parishioners and the resident clergy. In 1540, Bishop John Vesey of Exeter brought suit against Wynter, citing that Wynter had "indulged in prohibited games and in other things contrary to the office of an archdeacon", largely as a front to nullify the lease between Wynter and Bodye. [37] Following this citation, Bodye was refused admittance into the Church in Cornwall and forcibly prevented from trying to collect payments from the parishioners. Bodye scuffled with John Harrys, the priest of the church, and threatened him with a knife. The chaos and lawsuits that followed lasted years as the people of Cornwall tried to remove Bodye, and Bodye sought to protect his rights. [38] Besides bringing suits in Chancery and Star Chamber, Bodye managed to convince Cromwell and the King order Vesey and the Dean and Chapter of Exeter to confirm the lease under their Episcopal and Chapter seals. [39]

Over the course of the unfolding events and lawsuits involving William Bodye, Wynter resigned his positions as Archdeacon of York. [40] Once the suits in Star Chamber settled in 1543, Wynter quietly resigned as Archdeacon of Cornwall and Provost of Beverly in exchange for a pension of £86 per year for the first five years, and diminishing to £30 per year after. [1] [41] Wynter after his resignations falls into obscurity. Wynter appears to have possessed a small prebend in tenure of Thame Abbey in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, in the first half of 1535. [42] The same Thomas Wynter held on to this prebend through the dissolution of the Abbey, and had his ownership confirmed in 1546. [43] Whether or not this Thomas Wynter was the same as the son of Wolsey, Wynter had faded from political importance years before, and for one who received his first clerical office in his preteen years, he had all but used up his influence before he was thirty-five.

List of Offices and Benefices

Office or BeneficeDate of AssumptionDate of Resignation
Canon and Prebend of Timsbury Unknown7 December 1529 [44]
Prebend of Bedwyn 25 March 1522 [45] 4 December 1529 [45]
Prebend of Milton Ecclesia1 April 1522 [46] 1 December 1529 [46]
Prebend of Palishal at Overhall 2 June 1522 [47] 2 August 1522 [47]
Prebend of Norwell at Overhall 2 August 1522 [47] before 12 December 1529 [48]
Prebend of Fridaythorpe 30 September 1522 [49] 9 January 1523 [50]
Prebend of Strensall 9 January 1523 [51] 20 December 1529 [51]
Archdeacon of York31 August 1523 [52] 26 June 1540 [52]
Rector of Winwick c. 1525 [53] 24 November 1529
Dean of Wells Cathedral c. January 1526 [1] [54] before November 1529 [55]
Prebend of St. Peters, Beverley before 28 February 1526 [56] before 1535 [57]
Archdeacon of Richmond 24 March 1526 [58] 7 December 1529 [58]
Rector of St. Matthew's, Ipswich before 26 March 1526 [54] before or c. 26 June 1528 [59]
Prebend of Lutton before 26 March 1526 [54] before November 1529 [60]
Prebend of Odiham before 26 March 1526 [54] c. February 1530 [61]
Chancellor of Diocese of Salisbury before 26 March 1526 [54] 4 February 1530 [62]
Rector of Rudby before 26 March 1526 [54] after 7 April 1533 [63]
Provost of Beverleybefore 26 March 1526 [54] after July 1540 [64]
Archdeacon of Suffolk 12 November 1526 [65] before 25 April 1529 [66]
Prebend of Ramptonafter 30 October 1527 [67] 8 November 1540 [68]
Warden of St. Leonard's Hospital 17 July 1528 [69] 11 December 1529 [70]
Archdeacon of Norfolk before 23 August 1528 [71] 1 March 1530 [72]
Vicar of Atwick before 1535 [73] after or c. 1535 [73]
Vicar of Ratcliffe-on-Soar before 1535 [74] after or c. 1535 [74]
Prebend of Saunderton before 1535 [42] c. 1546 [43] [75]
Archdeacon of Cornwall 8 October 1537 [76] before 25 May 1543 [76]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (ODNB), "Thomas Wynter" by Julian Lock.
  2. Peter G. Bietenholz and Thomas B. Deutscher, eds. Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, 3 volumes (Toronto, Canada: 1985-7) 3:455-6.
  3. Stella Fletcher, Cardinal Wolsey: A Life in Renaissance Europe, (London, U.K.: 2009) pp. 7, 17.
  4. Peter Gwyn, The King's Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Wolsey, (London, U.K.: 1990) pp. 301–302.
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  9. Bietenholz and Deutscher, eds. Contemporaries, 1:148.
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  19. Pollard, Wolsey, p. 311; ODNB, "Wynter" by Lock.
  20. Arthur F. Leach, Memorials of Beverley Minster: The Chapter Act Book of the Collegiate Church of St. John of Beverley, 1286–1347, Volume 2, (Durham, U.K.: 1903) p. xcvii; L&P, Volume 4, no. 4824.
  21. Lehmberg, The Reformation Parliament, 1529–1536, (Cambridge, U.K.: 1970) p. 85.
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  28. Jonathan Woolfson, Padua and the Tudors: English Students in Italy, 1485–1603, (Toronto, Canada: 1998), p. 286.
  29. L&P, Volume 5, nos. 1210, 1452; Volume 6, no. 299; Volume 7, no. 100.
  30. L&P, Volume 7, no. 280.; W. Gordon Zeeveld, Foundations of Tudor Policy, (Cambridge, MA: 1948) pp. 92–94.
  31. Eric Ives, Anne Boleyn, (New York, NY: 1986) pp. 329–330.
  32. L&P, Volume 10, no. 86.iii.
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  35. John Le Neve, et al. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 1541–1857: Volume 12, Exeter, (London, U.K.: 2007) p. 26.
  36. Rowse, Tudor Cornwall, p. 150.
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  38. J. B. W. Chapman, List of Proceedings in the Court of Star Chamber, 1485–1558, (London, U.K.: 1901) pp. 23 (), 45 (); Barrett L. Beer, Rebellion and Riot: Popular Resistance in England during the Reign of Edward VI, revised edition, (Kent, OH: 2005), p. 46.
  39. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fifth Report, Appendix, (London, U.K.: 1876) p. 296.
  40. Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 6:19; L&P, Volume 15, no. 861.
  41. Leach, Memorials of Beverley Minster, pp. xcviii–xcix.
  42. 1 2 John Caley and Joseph Hunter, eds., Valor Ecclesiasticus Temp. Henr. VIII, 6 Volumes (London, U.K.:1810–1834) 2:214.
  43. 1 2 L&P Volume 17, no. 881 (26); Volume 21, Part 2, no. 648 (25) (p.336)
  44. Herbert Chitty, ed. Registrum Thome Wolsey, Cardinalis Ecclesie Wintoniensis Administratoris (Oxford, U.K.: 1926), pp. 63, 180; Victoria County History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Volume 4 (London, U.K.: 1911) p. 488.
  45. 1 2 Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 3:30.
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  51. 1 2 Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 6:82.
  52. 1 2 Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 6:19.
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  56. L&P, Volume 4, no. 2001.
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  59. L&P, Volume 4, nos. 4423, 4424.
  60. Held as Dean of Wells. Victoria County History of Somerset, Volume 2, (London, U.K.: 1911) p. 164.
  61. Attached to the Chancellorship of Salisbury. Chitty, ed. Registrum, p. xxiv.
  62. Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 3:18.
  63. L&P, Volume 6, no. 314.
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  73. 1 2 Caley and Hunter, Valor Ecclesiasticus, 5:121.
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  76. 1 2 Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, 9:17.