commended him as a paragon of virtue for the see of Hereford when it should be vacant.
Henry borrowed money from Lyndwood, and suffered his official salary to fall into arrear; but on the death in 1442 of Thomas Rodburn, bishop of St. Davids, Lyndwood was nominated by the pope to the vacant see, received the temporalities on 14 Aug., and was consecrated in St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, on 21 Oct. In the debate in the council of 6 Feb. 1442–3, on the question whether Guienne, to which it was proposed to send the Earl of Somerset as captain-general, should be relieved before Normandy, where the Duke of York was in command, Lyndwood gave the cautious advice that ‘both should be relieved, if that it might, and else that that had the greatest need.’ The decision of the council to relieve Guienne at once, and meanwhile leave York to shift for himself, was one of the causes of the subsequent civil strife.
In concert with Beckington Lyndwood took an active part in promoting the foundation of Eton College, and on 9 June 1443 he was placed on the commission for framing statutes for the king's new foundation at Cambridge (King's College). He retained the office of keeper of the privy seal until shortly before his death, which took place on 21 Oct. 1446.
By his will, printed in ‘Archæologia,’ xxxiv. 418–20, Lyndwood directed his body to be buried in St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, and his book on the provincial constitutions to be chained there. As a chantry was founded in 1455 in the crypt of St. Stephen's Chapel for the benefit of Lyndwood's soul, it is extremely probable that his body was buried there, though the precise spot has not been determined. In the course of some operations in the crypt in January 1852 the body of a man about seventy years old, in good preservation, having a crozier of fifteenth-century workmanship laid diagonally across it from shoulder to foot, was discovered in a cavity under the seat in the easternmost window on the north side of the building, and, after inspection by a committee of the Society of Antiquaries (cf. their report in Archæologia, vol. xxxiv. art. xxxii.), was with great probability identified with that of Lyndwood, though the place where it was found cannot have been his original resting-place. The body was afterwards (6 March) reinterred in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey. To the Cambridge University Library he bequeathed a commentary on Justinian's code and a copy of Bartoli's gloss on the ‘New Digest,’ i.e. Justinian's ‘Digest,’ lib. xxxix–l. Both works appear in a catalogue of the University Library, compiled about 1470 (cf. Bradshaw, Collected Papers, Cambr. Univ. Press, 1889, p. 44, Nos. 172 and 183). The Bartoli has since disappeared, but the Codex is identified as Dd. vii. 17 (private information from the librarian).
The ‘Provinciale’ is a digest in five books of the synodal constitutions of the province of Canterbury from the time of Stephen Langton to that of Henry Chichele, accompanied by an explanatory gloss in unusually good Latin, and is the principal authority for English canon law. It was completed, with an elaborate ‘Tabula compendiosa,’ or index, bearing the quaint signature ‘Wilhelmus de Tylia nemore,’ in 1433, and was printed at Oxford, without title-page, date, or name of place or printer, about 1470–80. An edition without the gloss, entitled ‘Constitutiones Provinciales Ecclesie Anglicane per d. Wilhelmum Lyndewode utriusque iuris doctorem edite,’ appeared, with Caxton's cipher and Wynkyn de Worde's colophon, at Westminster in 1496, 8vo, and was reprinted with slight variations in 1499, 8vo, 1508, 16mo, 1517, 16mo, and 1529, 16mo. Other editions, similarly abridged, but with supplements containing the constitutions of Cardinals Otho, legate to Pope Gregory IX, and Othobonus (Ottoboni, afterwards Pope Adrian V), and the gloss of John Acton [q.v.] , have Pynson's cipher, but neither title-page nor date, and are assigned to the first decade of the sixteenth century, London, 8vo. Another is by Redman, London, 1534, 8vo; and yet another by Marshe, London, 1557, 8vo, with the title ‘Constitutiones Angliæ Provinciales ex diversis Cantuariensium Archiepiscoporum Synodalibus decretis per Guilielmum [sic] Lyndewode Anglum iam olim collectæ,’ &c. A folio edition of the entire work, text, gloss, and supplement, appeared at Paris (A. Bocard) in 1501, under the title ‘Provinciale, seu Constitutiones Anglie. Cum summariis atque iustis annotationibus, honestis characteribus, summaque accuratione rursum expresse,’ and was reprinted with slight variations at Paris in 1502, 1505, and 1506, and at Antwerp in 1520 and 1525, the last edition being published at London by Bryckman. A later edition, abridged by Dr. Sharrock of New College, Oxford, ‘cum selectioribus Linwodi annotationibus,’ appeared at Oxford in 1664, 8vo, and was followed in 1679 by a complete edition, entitled ‘Provinciale (seu Constitutiones Angliæ), continens Constitutiones Provinciales quatuordecim Archiepiscoporum Cantuariensium, viz.: a Stephano Langtono ad Henricum Chicheleium: cum summariis atque eruditis annotationibus summa accuratione denuo revisum atque impressum.