Bishop, chancellor of England; b. Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, c. 1394; d. South Waltham, Hampshire, Aug. 11, 1486. Having studied at oxford, he was made headmaster of Winchester College (1429–42) and provost of Henry VI's new school at Eton, (1442–47). Henry's great regard for him led to his promotion to the See of winchester by papal provision (May 10, 1447) and his appointment as chancellor of England, October 1456 to July 1460. A peace-loving man, he tried to mediate in the civil strife of Henry's later years, and despite his Lancastrian connections, enjoyed the confidence of the Yorkist kings. As a considerable patron of education, he obtained a license to found an Oxford hall for the study of theology and philosophy in May 1448; this foundation was later transformed (1457–58) into his college of Magdalen, Oxford. His statutes for Magdalen pointed the way to future developments in collegiate education. His belief in the need for a thorough grounding in language led him to establish a grammar school in Oxford beside his college (1478). He founded another school in his native village of Wainfleet (1459) and completed the building of Eton College largely at his own expense.
Bibliography: r. chandler, Life of William Waynliete (London 1811). h. a. wilson, Magdalen College (London 1899). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 3:2001–03.
[c. d. ross]