Nicholas West - Encyclopedia

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NICHOLAS WEST (1461-1533), English bishop and diplomatist, was born at Putney, and educated at Eton and at King's College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow in 1483. He was soon ordained and appointed rector of Egglescliffe, Durham, receiving a little later two other livings and becoming chaplain to King Henry VII. In 1509 Henry VIII. appointed him dean of St George's chapel, Windsor, and in 1515 he was elected bishop of Ely. West's long and successful career as a diplomatist began in 1502 through his friendship with Richard Fox, bishop of Durham. In the interests of Henry VII. he visited the German king Maximilian I. and George, duke of Saxony; in 1506 he negotiated an important commercial treaty with Flanders, and he attempted to arrange marriages between the king's daughter Mary and the future emperor Charles V., and between the king himself and Charles's sister Margaret. By Henry VIII. West was sent many times to Scotland and to France. Occupied mainly during the years 1513 and 1514 with journeys to and from Scotland, he visited Louis XII. of France in the autumn of 1514 and his successor Francis I. in 1515In 1515 also he arranged a defensive treaty between England and France, and he was principally responsible for treaties concluded between the two countries in 1518 and 1525, and at other times. He was trusted and employed on personal matters by Cardinal Wolsey. He died on the 28th of April 1533. The bishop built two beautiful chapels, one in Putney church and the other in Ely cathedral, where he is buried.

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