William of Wykeham

From Academic Kids

William of Wykeham (1320September 27, 1404), Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, founder of Winchester College and of New College, Oxford, and builder of a large part of Windsor Castle, was born in Wickham, Hampshire.

William was born to an undistinguished family in Hampshire and educated at a school in Winchester. He became secretary to the constable of the castle there and in that capacity learned a lot about building. This led to architectural work for King Edward III, for whom he reconstucted Windsor Castle. William was paid for these services by being given the incomes of various churches, and eventually, in 1362, he was ordained. He had shown considerable talent as an administrator and in 1366 he became Bishop of Winchester, and in the following year, Chancellor of England. He had many ups and downs in his long career, but at the time of his death, he was one of the richest men in England. Much of his wealth went into the schools he patronized, but he also contrived to leave a fortune to a nephew, whose descendents are the Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes family.

His motto was 'Manners maketh man'. This, along with a heraldic style crest, were adopted by him and not acquired by descent. His biography was written by Bishop Lowth. He was also written about by Lord Brougham in his 'Old England's Worthies' (1857) and by Froissart.

His family name, despite what the spelling seems to indicate, is pronounced "wickum".

Further reading

  • CAMPBELL, Lives of the Lord Chancellors (London, 1848), I, xv, xvii
  • DRANE, The Three Chancellors (London, 1882), 1-112
  • KITCHIN, Winchester in Historic Towns Series (London, 1890).
  • LOWTH, Life of William of Wykeham (London, 1759)
  • MOBERLY, Life of William Wykeham (Wells, 1887)
  • WALCOTT, William of Wykeham and his Colleges (London, 1897)


Preceded by:
John Buckingham
Lord Privy Seal
13631367
Succeeded by:
Peter Lacy
Preceded by:
Simon Langham
Lord Chancellor
1367–1371
Succeeded by:
Sir Robert Thorp
Preceded by:
Thomas Arundel
Lord Chancellor
13891391
Succeeded by:
Thomas Arundel

Template:End box no:William av Wykeham

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