Kemp, Thomas

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Bishop of London; b. c. 1414; d. March 28, 1489. He owed his early advancement to his uncle, Cardinal John kemp. After taking his M.A. and B. Theol. at Oxford, he became canon of Lincoln in 1433. Rapid preferment followed in the Archdiocese of York, where his uncle was archbishop, and Thomas became canon of York (1435), and archdeacon of York (143642) and of Richmond (144248); he was also archdeacon of Middlesex (1449). On Henry VI's recommendation, he was provided by Nicholas V to the See of London on Aug. 21, 1448, despite Henry's later change of mind. Consecrated by his uncle on Feb. 8, 1450, he held the see until death. He was king's clerk and chaplain by 1443, and he was among the bishops who tried to mediate between Henry VI and the Yorkists before the Battle of Northampton (1460). Afterward he played little part in politics. He was a considerable benefactor of Merton College, Oxford, and of the university, where he helped to finance the Divinity School and the building of the library.

See Also: oxford, university of.

Bibliography: Manuscript Register, Guildhall Library, London. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 vol. (Oxford 195759) 2:103234.

[c. d. ross]