Polton, Thomas

views updated


Curialist, bishop; b. Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England, c. 1370; d. Basel, Aug. 23, 1433. A bachelor in laws of Oxford, he became commissary general in the Diocese of bath and wells. From 1394 he was a regular member of the Roman Curia, becoming an abbreviator of papal letters by 1401 and prothonotary apostolic by 1414. He was provided to the archdeaconry of Taunton in 1395 and later received other English benefices, some by provision; in 1420 he held the deanery of York, a rectory, and three prebends. Royal pardons for accepting provisions indicate that Polton was useful as an agent for English interests. He returned to England as a papal envoy in 1413 and the next year was appointed King Henry V's proctor at the Curia. Polton was a prominent member of the English delegation at the Council of constance. Afterward he resumed his curial duties under Pope martin v, who provided him to the See of hereford in 1420. Although the king recommended that he be promoted to the Diocese of London in 1421, John kemp was chosen and Polton succeeded Kemp at Chichester. He was appointed a delegate for the English kingdom of France to the Council of Siena. He retired to England shortly before his translation to worcester in 1426 (cf. Cal. Patent Rolls 14229, 283, and Rotuli Parliamentorum 3:296). He died while attending the Council of basel.

Bibliography: The Register of Henry Chichele: Archbishop of Canterbury, 14141443, ed. e. f. jacob and h. c. johnson, 4 v. (Oxford 193747) 2:485495, 671. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 3:149495.

[r. l. storey]