Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Percy, Alan

PERCY, ALAN (d. 1560), master of St. John's College, Cambridge, was third son of Henry Percy, fourth earl of Northumberland [q. v.], by Maud, daughter of William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke of the second creation [q. v.] He apparently was not educated at a university, but on 1 May 1513 he was in holy orders, as he then received the prebend of Dunnington in York Minster, a preferment which he resigned before 1 Nov. 1517. On 6 May 1515 he received the rectory of St. Anne, Aldersgate, London, which he held till 1518. The new and struggling foundation of St. John the Evangelist at Cambridge, influenced doubtless by his Lancastrian connections and wide family influence, chose him as their second master on 29 July 1516. But he seems to have been unsuited to his new position, and resigned the mastership on 1 Nov. 1518; the college granted him a pension of 10l. a year for life, with the use of the low parlour, belonging to the master, and two inner chambers there whenever he should come to reside. On 2 April 1520 the king gave him a house and garden at Stepney, Middlesex, and he consequently, on 4 Feb. following, resigned all his interest under the grant of the college. Percy soon received other preferments. On 25 Oct. 1521 he became rector of St. Mary-at-Hill, London. In 1526 the Earl of Rochford presented him to the rectory of Mulbarton-cum-Keningham, Norfolk; about the same time he became master of the college of the Holy Trinity at Arundel, which he joined with the two fellows in surrendering to the king on 12 Dec. 1545. It has been suggested that he was the Percy who proceeded M.A. at Cambridge as a grand compounder in 1528, but it is difficult to know why he should have waited so long to take a degree he might have had in 1516. He is mentioned in June 1527 as one of the trustees of his brother, the Earl of Northumberland, who died in that year. In 1530 it appears that he owed Wolsey's estate 9l. for expediting a suit for the union of certain parishes. The Duke of Norfolk gave him the rectory of Earsham, Norfolk, in 1558. Percy died in May 1560, and was buried in the old chapel of St. John's College, where there were a brass and a marble tomb to his memory. One portrait, made in 1549, was at the Norwich Guildhall; he had given a house to the city of Norwich in 1534. Another (a copy), which is in the combination room at St. John's College, shows a refined and ascetic face.

[Cooper's Athenae Cantabr. i. 206; Baker's Hist. of St. John's Coll. (ed. Mayor), i. 8, &c., ii. 566, &c.; J. Bass Mullinger's Hist. of the University of Cambridge, i. 470; De Fonblanque's Annals of the House of Percy, i. 307; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 779, ii. 4183, iv. ii. 3213, iv. iii. 6748.]

W. A. J. A.