Thomas Rotherham - Encyclopedia


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THOMAS ROTHERHAM (1423-1500), archbishop of York, also called Thomas Scot, was born at Rotherham on the 24th of August 1423; he was educated in his native town and seems to have been connected with both the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Having entered the church he became rector of Ripple, Worcestershire, and later of St Vedast, Foster Lane, London, and it was probably when he was chaplain to John de Vere, earl of Oxford, that he made the acquaintance of Elizabeth Woodville, afterwards the queen of Edward IV. In 1467 Rotherham became keeper of the privy seal to this king; in 1468 he was appointed bishop of Worcester, in 1472 bishop of Lincoln and in 1475 chancellor of England. Several times he went to France on public business; in 1475 at the treaty of Picquigny he received a pension from Louis XI. of France, and in 1480 he was chosen archbishop of York. When Edward IV. died in April 1483 the archbishop remained true to his widow Elizabeth, and consequently lost the chancellorship and was put into prison by Richard III. He was soon set at liberty, and he died in 1500 at Cawood, near York. At Oxford Rotherham built part of Lincoln College and increased its endowment; at Cambridge, where he was chancellor and master of Pembroke Hall, he helped to build the University Library. He founded a college at Rotherham, which was suppressed under Edward VI., and he was responsible for the building of part of the church of All Saints there.

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