Thomas II of York

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Archbishop; d. Beverley, England, Feb. 24, 1114. The son of Samson, afterward bishop of Worcester (d.1112), he was also the brother of Bp. Richard of Bayeaux and the nephew of Abp. Thomas I of York (d. 1100), who brought him up and looked to his education. Through the favor of his uncle he became provost at Beverley in 1092, and one of the royal chaplains. King henry i was about to appoint him to the vacant See of London (Pentecost 1108) when, at the death of Archbishop Gerard, york also became vacant; Henry then nominated Thomas to York instead of London. He was elected by the chapter of York, but for more than a year was not consecrated because he refused to swear obedience to Abp. anselm of canterbury. With the backing of his cathedral chapter and the apparent support of the king, Thomas delayed his recognition of Canterbury's primacy, hoping in the meantime to receive the pallium from Rome. From his deathbed Anselm suspended Thomas from his priestly office and refused consecration until he submitted. After Anselm's death (April 21, 1109), Thomas at length yielded to episcopal and royal pressure, made his profession, and was consecrated June 11, 1109. Although still a young man, Thomas was limited in his activity by a disease that caused him to become enormously fat. He was reputedly religious, liberal, of good disposition, learned, and eloquent. He is buried in York Minster near the grave of his uncle.

Bibliography: eadmer, Historia novorum, ed. m. rule (Rerum Brittanicarum medii aevi scriptores 81; 1884). w. hunt, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 19:643645. r. w. southern, Saint Anselm and His Biographer (New York 1963).

[o. j. blum]