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Richard Fox
(1448-1528)

Born: 1448 at Pullock's Manor, Ropsley, Lincolnshire
Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Bath & Wells
Bishop of Durham
Bishop of Winchester
Died: 5th October 1528 at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, Hampshire


Richard was a man of yeoman stock from Lincolnshire, the son of one Thomas Fox and his wife, Helena. While a student in Paris, he had become attached to the service of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII, who was then seeking the assistance of the French Monarch. On his acquisition of the Crown of England, Henry made Fox Lord Privy Seal and employed him in various embassies. He was one of the most trusted ministers throughout his reign. In 1487, he was created Bishop of Exeter and was translated successively to the Sees of Bath & Wells, Durham and finally to Winchester in 1500. He was employed in most of the public transactions of his time; and was chosen by Henry VII to be the godfather of his son and successor, Henry VIII. He was the founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in conjunction with Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter; who, it is said, warned Bishop Fox that the monks, upon whom he had at first intended to bestow his wealth, possessed already more than they would long be permitted to retain.

His works in his own cathedral, and his beautiful chantry there, are of particular note. Bishop Fox introduced Wolsey to the royal notice; and the future Cardinal was employed by Henry VII in an embassy to the Emperor Maximilian. He was rewarded on his return by the Deanery of Lincoln. Higher dignities rapidly accumulated on him, but there was still one he greatly coveted. "All," says Fuller "thought Bishop Fox to die too soon, one only excepted, who conceived him to live too long. That is to say, Thomas Wolsey, who gaped for his bishopric and endeavoured to render him to the displeasure of King Henry VIII, whose malice this bishop, though blind, discovered and in some measure defeated." Bishop Fox was blind for some time before his death in 1528.


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