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PENKETH, THOMAS (d. 1487), was a friar of the Augustinian house at Warrington, near which is the township of Penketh, probably his native place (Leland, Comment. de Script. Brit. p. 470, ed. 1709; Gandolfus, De Script. August. p. 340). Devoting himself to the study of theology and philosophy, Penketh attained to high distinction in both. Of the work of Duns Scotus he was commonly supposed in his time to have a unique knowledge (ib.) In 1469 he was made provincial of his order in England, and in 1473 taught theology at Oxford, of which university he was doctor of divinity (De Script. August. p. 341). Penketh's fame spread to Italy, and in 1474 he was called to Padua, where he held a salaried post as teacher of theology (ib.; Bale, Script. Brit. Cat. cent. viii. No. xlvii). While there, at the request of his pupils, he began to publish amended editions of the works of his master, Duns Scotus. Returning to England, Penketh resumed his work in Oxford in 1477, and was once more chosen provincial of his order (De Script. August. p. 341). In 1483, with Dr. Shaw [see under Shaw, Sir Edmund], he attached himself to Richard, duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III [q. v.], and preached in his favour against the children of Edward IV (Holinshed, Chronicles, iii. 386, ed. 1808). Penketh consequently fell into disgrace, and compromised his order. He died in London on 20 May 1487, and was buried in the house of the Austin friars there (De Script. August. p. 341).

His extant works are his editions of the writings of Duns Scotus, viz.:

  1. ‘Quodlibeta,’ Venice, 1474.
  2. ‘Quæstiones super secundo libro Sententiarum,’ Venice(?), 1474.
  3. ‘Super duodecem libros Metaphysice [of Aristotle] quæstiones … apud Andreæ (Antonii) “Dulciphus,”’ ed. Padua, 1475.
  4. ‘Quæstiones super quatuor libris Sententiarum,’ Venice, 1477; another edition, Nuremberg, 1481.
  5. ‘Quæstiones super libro primo Sententiarum,’ Venice, 1481.

Penketh is also said to have written various other works, which are not known to be extant or to have been printed.

[In addition to the authorities quoted in the text, see Pits's De Illustr. Angl. Script. pp. 675–6; Fabricius's Bibl. Lat. Med. æt. vi. 726; Chevalier, Répertoire, i. 1754; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 589; Stevens's Ancient Abbeys, ii. 220; Newcourt's Repert. Eccl. Lond. i. 289.]

A. M. C.-e.