Bubwith, Nicholas

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Bishop, ambassador, treasurer of England; b. Menthorpe, near Bubwith, Yorkshire; d. Wookey, Somersetshire, England, Oct. 27, 1424. During his career he was distinguished as a royal official and as a genuinely resident bishop. He began as a chancery clerk (c. 1380). He soon became such a notable provisor (Emden 1:295) that in 1399 he had to secure a pardon for obtaining papal provisions without the royal license. Under King Henry IV he received canonries and prebends in Exeter (1399), Wells (1399), and York (1400), and the archdeaconry of Richmond (Mar. 16, 1402, which he exchanged two days later for the prebend of Driffield in York), as well as canonries in Salisbury (1400), Chichester (1402), Lincoln (1403), and Saint Paul's (1406). These offices he held while he was secretary to Henry IV (1402); he was also custos rotulorum (140205) and keeper of the privy seal (140506). He was provided to the bishopric of London on May 19, 1406. A year later he became treasurer of England (140708), then bishop of Salisbury (June 22, 1407), but he was moved to allow for Robert hallum, who had been provided to the archbishopric of York but had been denied the title by the king and council. Bub-with was provided to Bath and Wells on Oct. 7, 1407. While bishop of the latter see, he was appointed an envoy to treat with Scotland (May 22, 1412); in 1414 he was one of the king's ambassadors at the Council of constance, returning in August of 1418. At Constance he and Bp. Robert Hallum induced Giovanni Bertoldi da Serravalle, bishop of Fermo, to translate the Divine Comedy into Latin verse with a Latin commentary. Bubwith was generous with his wealth, which was considerable. Wylie (Henry IV, 3: 131) states that he often returned to the Exchequer sums that he might legitimately have claimed, not least as a member of the council (£200 a year). He built the western tower and altered the walls of the church of Bubwith, Yorkshire; at Wells he contributed to poor churches and built the northern tower of the west front of the cathedral and the library above the east cloister. He also founded the Bishop Nicholas Almshouse.

Bibliography: j. h. wylie, History of England under Henry IV, 4 v. (London 188498) v. 3, 4. The Register of Henry Chichele, ed. e. f. jacob and h. c. johnson, 4 v. (Canterbury and York Society 42, 4547; London 193747) 2:298302, for his will. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500 1:294296.

[e. f. jacob]