Brouns, Thomas

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English bishop, jurist and administrator; b. c. 1381;d. Hoxne, Suffolk, England, Dec. 6, 1445. He was the son of William Brouns, a military tenant of the Courtenays in Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire. Thomas took the master's degree at Oxford in 1404, the licentiate in laws in 1411, and later, the doctorate. He owed his early advancement to Bp. Philip repington of Lincoln, who made him sub-dean of the cathedral (1414), a canon of Lincoln and prebendary of Welton Westhall (1416), and archdeacon of Stow (1419). He was also given the prebends of St. Botolph's (1419) and Langford Manor (1423). Then Abp. Henry chichele brought him into the court of Canterbury as auditor of causes and chancellor (142529), in which capacity he was prominent in the Southern Convocation. In 1420 Brouns began his series of diplomatic missions on behalf of kings Henry V and Henry VI. In 143334 he was one of the king's representatives at the Council of basel and stayed on to be a member of the second English delegation to the council. In 1435 he was provided by Pope Eugene IV to the See of worcester, but the King's Council preferred the young Thomas bourgchier. Brouns was made bishop of rochester in 1435 and the following year accepted pro vision to norwich, but he had to apologize for receiving the bull without the royal assent, later given. At Norwich he was a zealous and methodical diocesan, much concerned with securing orthodoxy and liturgical uniformity. Despite the ill will of the Norwich citizens, who attacked his palace and the priory in 1443, he remained a good friend of the municipality, interceded for it twice with Henry VI, and left money to help it pay taxation. In his will he also left a sum for maintaining six boys to study grammar and logic at Oxford.

Bibliography: Norwich Register in Norwich Public Library, Institution Books, 10; Rochester Register preserved in the Rochester Diocesan Registry. m. archer, ed., The Register of Bishop Philip Repingdon, 140519 (Lincoln Record Soc., 5758; Hereford 1963). The Register of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. e. f. jacob, 4 v. (Canterbury and York Soc.; Oxford 193747)v. 3, 4. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500 (Oxford 195759) 1:281282. e. f. jacob, "T.B., Bishop of Norwich 14361445," Essays in British History: Presented to Sir Keith Feiling, ed. h. r. trevor-roper (London 1964).

[e. f. jacob]