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Bourchier, Thomas

Bourchier, Thomas (c.1410–86). Archbishop of Canterbury. A great-grandson of Edward III, Bourchier became chancellor of the university and bishop of Worcester while studying at Oxford. Because of his ‘great blood’, he was chosen as archbishop in 1454 by the baronial council ruling during Henry VI's insanity. He welcomed the Yorkist descent on London in 1460, and was one of the nobles who agreed to Edward IV's assumption of the crown. He probably applied himself to his pastoral duties, for he held no political office (apart from a short term as chancellor in 1455–6) and seemed ready to accept force majeure, crowning both Richard III and Henry VII. From 1473, Bourchier was the first archbishop of Canterbury to hold the title of cardinal.

R. L. Storey

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