Arundel, Thomas

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Archbishop, chancellor of England, foe of Lollards; b. 1352; d. Feb. 19, 1414. He was the son of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, whose title he used as a surname; his mother, Eleanor, his father's second wife, was daughter and coheiress of Henry, Earl of Lancaster. His studies at Oriel College, Oxford, were terminated by his exceptionally early promotion to the bishopric of ely, to which he was provided by the pope (Aug. 13, 1373) in opposition to both King Edward III and the cathedral chapter. On the same day that he was consecrated bishop (April 9, 1374) he was ordained both deacon and priest. During the turbulent reign of richard ii, Arundel joined his brother Richard, Earl of Arundel, in opposition to the king. He supported the Lords' Appellant (138688) and served as Lord Chancellor (138689). When Abp. alexander neville of York was translated in partibus to the schismatic See of Saint Andrews, Scotland (see western schism), Arundel was translated to york (April 3, 1388). In May 1389 he relinquished the great seal to William of wykeham, but he resumed the chancellorship in 1391 and held it until his translation to the Archbishopric of canterbury (Sept. 25, 1397). However, the Commons impeached and banished him as Richard II's former adversary at the same time that his brother, the Earl of Arundel, was appealed of treason, summarily condemned, and executed (Sept. 1397). Arundel fled to Rome, but Richard II's will prevailed, and Pope boniface ix translated him, as his predecessor at York, Neville, in partibus to Saint Andrews. After he had traveled widely on the Continent, visiting among others the great Florentine humanist Coluccio Salutati, Arundel joined Henry Plantagenet, with whom he returned to England in July 1399; restored to his see, he crowned Henry IV (Oct. 13, 1399). Subsequently Arundel proved an efficient and vigorous administrator: he made a visitation of his entire province, successfully maintained his right to visit Oxford University, and provided new statutes for the Court of arches. Most important he became a vigorous opponent of lollards, whom he fought through provincial councils at London (1397) and at Oxford (1408) and through constitutions regulating preaching and forbidding the translation of the Bible into the vernacular; above all he worked in cooperation with the secular authority through parliament. In 1401 he was instrumental in securing the passage of the statute De heretico comburendo, after which he presided at the trials of Lollard sympathizers John purvey and William Sawtry (1401), John Badby (1410), and Sir John Oldcastle (14l3). In addition, he vigorously opposed the Commons's demand for disendowment of the Church, especially in 1404 and 1410. He served Henry IV as chancellor (140710 and 141213). Because of his exercise of authority during Henry's illness, he earned the resentment of Henry V, who replaced Arundel as chancellor with Henry beaufort upon his accession in 1413. Arundel was buried in a tomb, since destroyed, in Canterbury cathedral.

Bibliography: Arundel's registers are extant in MS: Ely at the Ely Diocesan Registry; York, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research; Canterbury, Lambeth Palace Library, London. j. gairdner, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900; repr. with corrections, 21 v., 190809, 192122, 1938; suppl. 1901) 1:609613. a. steel, Richard II (Cambridge, Eng. 1941; repr. 1963). k. b. mcfarlane, John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity (New York 1953). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 1:5153. j. leneve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 13001541 (1716). Corrected and continued from 1215 by t. d. hardy, 3 v. (Oxford 1854). New ed. by h. p. f. king et al. (London 1962) 4:4, 14 for Canterbury and Ely; 6:4.

[h. s. reinmuth, jr.]