Waynflete, William of

Waynflete, William Of an eminent English prelate of the 15th century, founder of Magdalen College, Oxford, was born of a noble family in Waynflete, Lincolnshire. He was educated at Winchester School and one of the colleges at Oxford. He was ordained deacon in 1420. and presbyter in 1426; became head-master of Winchester School in 1429; rector of Wraxall in 1433 master of St. Mary Magdalen Hospital in 1438; removed to Eton with a part of his school in 1440, by the advice of Henry VI; became bishop of Winchester in 1447, in which position he continued for thirty-nine years. In 1450 he was called upon by king Henry for advice in the matter of the rebellion of Jack Cade, which he tendered with great prudence; and soon after rendered a like service, when Richard, duke of York, took up arms against his majesty. In 1453 he baptized the prince of Wales, afterwards Edward IV. In 1456 he was appointed lord high chancellor, and resigned the office in 1460. He died August 11, 1486, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral, in a magnificent sepulchral chapel, which is kept in the finest preservation by the Society of Magdalen College. He founded Magdalen College, established a free school in his native town, and was a benefactor to Eton College and Winchester Cathedral. He possessed considerable ability as an architect, which he employed in connection with his benefactions.

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