Bishop John Booth

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Colin Middleton
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Bishop John Booth

Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:44 am

One of our group is looking for information of John Booth, Bishop of Exeter & Chancelor to Edward IV. He fought at Hedgely Moor and dies in 1478.

In particular, he want to know about his personal Heraldry and the Livery & Standard used by his followers.

Many thanks


Colin

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John Booth

Postby Ghost » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:12 pm

Booth [Bothe], John (d. 1478), bishop of Exeter, was a younger son of Sir Robert Booth of Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire, and later of Dunham Massey, Cheshire, and his wife, Dowse, daughter and coheir of Sir William Venables. References in historical works to John's father as Roger Booth, esquire, arise from confusing him with his cousin John [see below]. The Booth or Bothe family produced an unusual number of important clergy. Robert's brother William Booth (d. 1464) became bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and later archbishop of York, and their half-brother Laurence Booth (d. 1480) bishop of Durham and later archbishop of York. John studied civil law at Cambridge during the 1450s, graduating BCL, and was appointed master of Gonville Hall in or shortly before 1456, but the appointment was contested and became the subject of an appeal to the papacy. His first recorded ecclesiastical benefice is the rectory of Thornton-le-Moors, Cheshire, in 1451, to which he was presented by his father, Sir Robert, the patron of the living. In due course he acquired various other parishes including Barnack in Northamptonshire, Girton in Cambridgeshire, Leigh in Lancashire, and St Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London, and was later promoted to the substantial posts of treasurer of York Minster (1457), provost of Beverley Minster, Yorkshire (1457), and archdeacon of Richmond, Yorkshire (1459), all three of which were in the gift of his uncle William Booth. John was also warden of Manchester College, Lancashire, from 1459 and a canon of St Paul's Cathedral, London, with the prebend of Mapesbury, from 1464.

William and Laurence Booth had close connections with Henry VI and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, but transferred their allegiance to Edward IV after his accession in 1461. John occurs as Edward's secretary in 1462 and held the office until at least 1464. His rising status and influence led to his election as chancellor of Cambridge University in 1463. Promotion as bishop of Exeter followed in 1465, doubtless on the king's initiative. The pope provided him to the dignity on 15 March, the temporalities of the see were restored to him on 12 June, and he was consecrated on 7 July. One of his first acts, on 19 June, was to appoint Henry Webber, dean of Exeter Cathedral, as his vicar-general, and Webber carried out business for him in the diocese until the early months of 1467. The register of Booth's activities as bishop first indicates his presence in the south-west of England on 22 February of that year, when he is mentioned at Exeter. He stayed in Devon until January or February 1469, living mostly on the episcopal manors of Bishop's Clyst and Chudleigh but making a brief expedition to Penryn in Cornwall, where he did business in June 1468. From February 1469 to April 1473 the vicar-general again ran the diocese, apparently in the bishop's absence, until Booth's return to Devon, where he is next to be found in May 1473. Between then and 1477 Booth spent part of each year in the county and part at London, Chelsea, or the episcopal manors of Faringdon, Hampshire, and East Horsley, Surrey. From August 1477 until his death he is recorded only at East Horsley.

Booth's register is wholly composed of routine business, and there is no evidence that he engaged in any great project in his diocese. He was more original in bringing to it three men who were northerners and Cambridge graduates and therefore unusual in the south-west, although he also promoted southerners and men who had studied at Oxford. The three were Robert Aiscough (archdeacon of Exeter), Robert Barford (archdeacon of Barnstaple), and John Stubbes (treasurer of Exeter Cathedral). Booth died at East Horsley on 5 April 1478 and was buried in the chancel of the local parish church, not, as the antiquary John Hooker believed, in St Clement Danes Church, London (a mistake for the bishop's brother Sir William Booth, buried there in the same month). The ledger stone over his grave was inlaid with a monumental brass that survives, showing a kneeling bishop in cope and mitre, holding a pastoral staff. Its inscription, as well as identifying him and the date of his death, includes a couplet in Latin verse with a variant of the commonplace sentiment of ‘I am what you will be, and I was what you are’. The brass displays the bishop's coat of arms: argent three boars' heads erect and erased sable; in chief a label of three points gules. Obit masses for his soul and those of Barford and Stubbes were subsequently instituted at Exeter Cathedral and the collegiate church of Ottery St Mary, Devon.


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

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Postby Ghost » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:13 pm

John Booth [Bothe] (c.1436–1496), who is sometimes confused with his cousin, Bishop John Booth, was the son of Roger Booth, esquire, of Mollington, Cheshire, Roger being a brother of Sir Robert Booth and Archbishop William Booth and a half-brother of Archbishop Laurence Booth. In 1449, when John was said to be only in his fourteenth year, William Booth, then bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, appointed him to a sinecure post as master of the hospital of St Andrew at Denhall, Cheshire. In 1459 Reginald Boulers, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, promoted him to be treasurer of Lichfield Cathedral, and William Booth, by that time archbishop of York, added a canonry of Beverley Minster, Yorkshire, in 1461. During the 1460s he studied at Cambridge University, graduating as a bachelor of canon law c.1465–6, and he acquired a further canonry, of York Minster, from Archbishop Thomas Rotherham in 1465. John Booth resigned as treasurer of Lichfield in 1495 and died, still holding his canonry of York, in 1496, being replaced on 26 July.


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

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Postby Ghost » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:17 pm

Sources:

Nicholas Orme - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Emden, Cam. · E. Axon, ‘The family of Bothe (Booth) and the church in the 15th and 16th centuries’, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 53 (1938), 32–82

J. Otway-Ruthven, The king's secretary and the signet office in the XV century (1939) · CEPR letters, 10.120–21, 128, 134; 11.630 · VCH Cheshire, 3.185–6

Archives Devon RO, episcopal register

Likenesses: monumental brass, East Horsley church, Surrey


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

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Colin Middleton
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Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:50 pm

Thanks for that Ghost, I suspected that I could count on you for some info. 8)

You don't happen to know anything about his standard or livery do you?

Thanks again


Colin

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Re: Bishop John Booth

Postby Ghost » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:05 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:John Booth, Bishop of Exeter & Chancelor to Edward IV fought at Hedgely Moor


I would be interested in the source as I have been researching the Hedgley Moor / Hexham campaigns of 1464 and had not come across this reference


"Tell your masters that Englishmen do not surrender" - Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset to French Herald; Valmont, 1416.

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Postby Allan Harley » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:35 am

Does that mean we can bash the bishop - I'll get me gown :oops:


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Colin Middleton
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Re: Bishop John Booth

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:52 pm

Ghost wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:John Booth, Bishop of Exeter & Chancelor to Edward IV fought at Hedgely Moor


I would be interested in the source as I have been researching the Hedgley Moor / Hexham campaigns of 1464 and had not come across this reference


Well I got it from Simon's e-mail to the group. :oops:

I'd guess either an Osprey or a Lance & Longbow book, but I'll ask Simon.

Thanks

Colin


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