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Henry Chicheley

Bishop of St. Davids
Archbishop of Canterbury
Born: 1363 at Higham Ferrers, Northants
Died: 12th April 1443 at Canterbury, Kent

Henry Chicheley was born about 1363, the son of a yeoman of Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, with which the munificence of William of Wykeham had recently endowed the University.

Chicheley held the living of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, till his appointment to the Archdeaconry of Dorset, and, afterwards, became Archdeacon of Salisbury. He also held Canonries in the Dioceses of Salisbury and Lichfield. He took part in diplomatic missions to France and to the Popes Innocent VII and Gregory XII.

In 1408, he was consecrated to the Bishopric of St. Davids and was translated to Canterbury in 1414. He gave his support to King Henry V's campaign in France and was one of the Ambassadors who carried on the negotiations for a truce.

The liberty of the National Church, which was increasingly threatened by Papal aggression, found in him a staunch defender. He also occupied himself actively in the administration of his Province, in the suppression of heresy and in promoting education. All Souls' College was founded by him and, at Lambeth, he built the tower which erroneously came to be known as the "Lollards' Tower". He died in 1443.

Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).      Copyright ©1999, LLC