Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lichfield, William

William Lichefeld in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

LICHFIELD, WILLIAM, D.D. (d. 1447), divine and poet, was doctor of divinity of Oxford according to Pits and Wood (MSS.), of Cambridge according to Gascoigne. In his dictionary (Loci e libro veritatum, ed. Thorold Rogers, sub voce ‘Prædicator’) Gascoigne enumerates Lichfield among the most famous preachers of his time. He left behind him at his death no fewer than 3,083 sermons, written in English with his own hand, besides a collection of materials for sermons, entitled ‘Mille Exempla,’ of which there was once a manuscript in Syon Abbey. He wrote also in verse ‘The Complaynt of God to Sinful Man and the Answer of Man,’ and a ‘Dialogue, “of the Passion,” between God and the Penitent Soul’ (both extant in MS. 174, Gonville and Caius Coll. Cambr. ff. 469–82).

Lichfield was rector of the church of All Hallows the Great, London, but the date of his admission thereto does not appear. His predecessor was admitted in 1397 (Newcourt, Repertorium Paroch. Londin. i. 248). Lichfield died 24 Oct. 1448, and was buried under the communion table of his church, ‘having a fair plated stone laid over him,’ with a long inscription in rhyming Latin verse (Stow, Survey of London, book ii. 205, ed. 1720).

[Pits, De Illustr. Angliæ Script. App. p. 854; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 480; authorities cited above.]

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