Whittlesey, William

Whittlesey, William archbishop of Canterbury, is supposed to have been a native of Whittlesey, a town situated in the County of Cambridge, and received his education at the University of Cambridge. In 1349 he became master custos of his college, the third in succession from the founder. In 1361 William Whittlesey was consecrated to the see of Rochester, and on Oct. 1., 1368, he found himself primate of all England and metropolitan by order of the pope. It seems that he was neither physically nor intellectually adequate to the exigencies of his position or the requirements of the time. His government was weak. The condition of the Church troubled him, greatly. He felt deeply his incapacity to take his proper place in the country. However, to Whittlesey belongs the merit of having put an end to the disputes which frequently arose between the University of Oxford and the bishop of Lincoln. He died in June, 1374. See Hook, Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 4:221 sq.

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