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Hugh Oldham

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Bishop of Exeter, b. in Lancashire, either at Crumpsell or Oldham; d. 25 June, 1519.

Having spent a short time at Oxford, he entered Queen's College, Cambridge. After his ordination he became chaplain to the Countess of Richmond and soon obtained many benefices, being appointed Dean of Wimborne and Archdeacon of Exeter. He also held prebends in the cathedrals of London, Lincoln, and York, and was rector of St. Mildred's, Bread Street, London. Henry VII honoured him by appointing him as one of those who laid the foundation stone of his chapel in 1503. In the following year he was appointed Bishop of Exeter by a Bull of 27 Nov., 1504. Though not a learned man, he encouraged learning and in 1515 founded and endowed Manchester Grammar School. Through his influence over his friend Bishop Foxe of Winchester, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was founded for the secular clergy, instead of for the Winchester monks. He added six thousand marks to Foxe's foundation, where his portrait is still honoured as that of a benefactor. From 1510 to 1513 he with other bishops was engaged in resisting what they considered the undue claims of Archbishop Warham with regard to the probate courts, and in the end won a considerable measure of success. Less fortunate was his litigation with the Abbot of Tavistock concerning their respective jurisdictions, during which he is said to have incurred excommunication. Before the dispute was ended, he died, so that his burial had to be postponed until absolution was procured from Rome.

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