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HOLBEACH or RANDS, HENRY (d. 1551), bishop of Lincoln, was a native of Holbeach, Lincolnshire. His surname was properly Rands, but on becoming a monk of Crowland he assumed the name of his birthplace. He entered Cambridge presumably as a student of the Benedictine house called Buckingham College, where, having taken the B.D. degree in 1527, and commenced D.D. in 1534, he became prior in 1535. By the king's command he was chosen prior of Worcester on 13 March 1536; his election, which was not according to custom, but by way of compromission, was confirmed on the 22nd. On 24 March 1538 he was consecrated suffragan, with the title of Bristol, to the see of Worcester, of which Latimer was bishop. He held the priory together with his new office. In October he assisted Latimer in testing the relic called the ‘blood of Hales.’ On the surrender of the priory of Worcester on 18 Jan. 1540 he was made the first dean of the cathedral church, being also the king's almoner; he resigned the deanery on being translated to the see of Rochester in June 1544, but held in commendam the rectory of Bromsgrove with the chapelry of King's Norton, Worcestershire, which had formerly belonged to the priory. In 1545 he was appointed a commissioner to assess the revenue of Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury, and in February 1547 he attended the funeral of Henry VIII. He was in the same year translated to the see of Lincoln, being elected on 9 Aug., and receiving the temporalities on the 16th, and confirmation on the 20th. He conveyed to the crown twenty-six or, according to Strype, thirty-four rich manors belonging to his see, though ‘not by his fault.’ In 1548 he was appointed with others to draw up the Book of Common Prayer, and is said to have done good service. He also served on a commission to consider the question of the remarriage of the innocent party in a divorce, with reference to the case of the Marquis of Northampton. John Hooper [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Worcester, had a high opinion of him; his opinions may be inferred from a letter in which Hooper tells Bullinger that he thoroughly comprehended the doctrine of Christ about the Lord's Supper, adding, however, that he and other bishops were held back from reformation by the fear of losing their property. He was one of the king's visitors for Oxford in 1549, and assisted at the disputation held there in May [see under Cox, Richard], and was appointed on the commissions for the trial of Bishop Gardiner and for the correction of anabaptists and irregular ministers of the sacraments in 1550. In July 1551 he received the young Duke of Suffolk and his brother [see under Brandon, Henry] at his house at Buckden, Huntingdonshire. He died on 2 Aug. 1551 at Nettleham, Lincolnshire, and was buried there. He was married, his wife Joan proving his will on 5 Oct., and left a son named Thomas.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 105; Strype's Memorials, II. i. 134, 385, ii. 167, 168, 200, Whitgift, iii. 352, 8vo edit.; Latimer's Works, ii. 371, 407, 412, and Zurich Letters, iii. 74, 76, 391, 576 (Parker Soc.); Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, ii. 117, iii. 203 (Pocock); Godwin, De Præsulibus, p. 300 (Richardson); Tanner's Notitia, p. 54; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 550; Dugdale's Monasticon, i. 581; Rymer's Fœdera, xv. 166; Chambers's Biog. Illustrations of Worcestershire, p. 46.]

W. H.