William de Hothum

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William Houghton, English Dominican theologian, archbishop of Dublin; b. probably Yorkshire; d. Dijon, France, Aug. 27, 1298. After having studied at the friary of Saint-Jacques in Paris, he taught theology at Oxford (c. 1269), acted as one of the dominican representatives in the mendicant controversy, lectured at Paris (c. 1275), became a doctor of theology, and was regent master at the University of Paris (1280). The general chapter of Vienne (1282) made him Dominican provincial of England, and he then publicly defended the Thomistic doctrine of the unity of forms (1284). When he was relieved of his office by the next chapter (Bordeaux 1287) and appointed to teach theology at Saint-Jacques, William, by then a trusted adviser of King Edward I of England and a busy royal diplomat, refused to comply; he was reproved, ineffectually, by the next chapter (Lucca 1288). Reelected provincial in 1290, he refused to accept the see of Llandaff from Pope nicholas iv, but did accept the archbishopric of Dublin, which Edward had requested for him. He was consecrated at Ghent by Anthony bek, bishop of Durham, in August or September 1297. Acting as emissary between the quarreling Edward and King Philip IV of France, he drew up a two-year treaty that he took to Rome for Pope boniface viii to arbitrate. He died on the way home, and his body, at Edward's command, was carried to Blackfriar's Church, London, for burial. Attributed to him are Commentarii in IV sententiarum libros, De immediata visione Dei tractatus, De unitate formarum tractatus, Lectuare scholasticae, and a speech defending the English king's rights. In tres libros de anima and Questiones quodlibetales also are possibly his.

Bibliography: m. h. macinerny, A History of the Irish Dominicans (Dublin 1916), only v.1 pub. a. g. little and f. pelster, Oxford Theology and Theologians, c. A.D. 12821302 (Oxford 1934) 83. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 (Oxford 195759) 2:970.

[b. cavanaugh]