William of Wykeham
|William of Wykeham|
|Bishop of Winchester|
|See||Diocese of Winchester|
|Born||1320 or 1324|
|Died||27 September 1404|
William of Wykeham (1320 or 1324 – 27 September 1404) was Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, founder of Winchester College (1382), New College Oxford (1379), and New College School (1379); and builder of a large part of Windsor Castle.
William was born to a peasant family, in Wickham, Hampshire, and educated at a school in Winchester. He was appointed Justice in Eyre south of the Trent along with Peter Atte Wode in 1361, a position he held until about 1367. He became secretary to the constable of Winchester Castle and in that capacity learned a lot about building. This led to architectural work for King Edward III, for whom he reconstructed Windsor Castle whilst residing at Bear's Rails in Old Windsor. William was paid for these services by being given the incomes of various churches, and eventually, in 1362, he was ordained. He had shown considerable talent as an administrator and in June 1363 was appointed Lord Privy Seal and then in October 1366 he was elected Bishop of Winchester, and in 1367, Chancellor of England. He resigned this position in 1371 and began a long conflict with John of Gaunt. However, with the ascension of Richard II to the throne, William was reappointed Chancellor in 1389, retaining that office through 1391.
He had many ups and downs in his long career, but at the time of his death on 27 September 1404, he was one of the richest men in England. Much of his wealth went into the schools he patronized, but he also contrived to leave a fortune to a nephew, whose descendants include the Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes family.
His motto was 'Manners makyth man'. This, along with a coat of arms, were assumed by him and not acquired by descent. His biography was written by Bishop Lowth. He was also written about by Lord Brougham in his 'Old England's Worthies' (1857) and by Froissart. 'Manners Makyth Man' is also the motto of the establishments Wykeham founded, Winchester College and New College, Oxford.
See also 
- Powicke Handbook of British Chronology p. 91
- Powicke Handbook of British Chronology p. 258
- Powicke Handbook of British Chronology p. 84
- Powicke Handbook of British Chronology p. 85
- "Winchester College, Arms". Winchester College website. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- Lowth, Robert Life of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester. London, 1759
- Moberly, G. H. Life of William Wykeham. Wells, 1887; 2nd edition, London, 1893
- Powicke, F. Maurice and E. B. Fryde Handbook of British Chronology 2nd. ed. London: Royal Historical Society, 1961
- Walcott, Mackenzie Edward Charles William of Wykeham and his Colleges. London, 1897
Further reading 
- John, Lord Campbell, Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England. London, 1848; I, xv, xvii
- Augusta Theodosia Drane, The Three Chancellors, or Sketches of the Lives of William of Wykeham, William of Waynflete and Sir Thomas More. London, 1882; pp. 1–112
- Thomas Kitchin, Winchester. London, 1890.
- Virginia Davis, William Wykeham: a life. London; New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007
Thomas de Braose
|Justice in Eyre
south of the Trent
with Peter atte Wood
John de la Lee
|Lord Privy Seal
Sir Robert Thorpe
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Winchester