Wykeham, William (1539-1595) (DNB00)

WYKEHAM, or more correctly WICKHAM, WILLIAM (1539–1595), successively bishop of Lincoln and Winchester, born in 1539, claimed descent from William of Wykeham [q. v.], bishop of Winchester, but was a member of a different family. He was the son of John Wickham of the manor-house of Honylands or Pentriches in Enfield, Middlesex, by his wife Barbara, only daughter and heiress of William Parker of Norton Lees in Derbyshire, and of Luton in Bedfordshire. He was educated at Eton, and was admitted a scholar at King's College, Cambridge, on 18 Sept. 1550, and a fellow on 19 Sept. 1559. He proceeded B.A. in 1560–1, commenced M.A. in 1561, and graduated B.D., in 1569. He took priest's orders before the beginning of 1566, and on 30 June 1568 was admitted a fellow of Eton, resigning his fellowship at King's College soon afterwards. About 1570 he was vice-provost of Eton College under William Day (1529–1590) [q. v.], and during the absence of the master sometimes took part in the teaching. Among those who came under his care was Sir John Harington [q. v.], who styles him 'a very mild and good-natured man,' and speaks gratefully of his 'fatherly care.'

On 11 Aug. 1570 Wickham became prebendary of the fourth stall at Westminster, and by patent dated 22 June 1571 he was appointed a canon of Windsor. He was nominated a royal chaplain before 26 April 1574, when he was recommended by Edmund Grindal [q. v.], archbishop of York, for the mastership of the Savoy Hospital (Grindal, Remains, Parker Soc. p. 349). On 23 July 1574 he was collated to the archdeaconry of Surrey, which he resigned early in 1580. On 30 May 1577 he was elected dean of Lincoln, and on 7 Sept. was installed in the prebend of St. Botolph in that church. On 2 Sept. 1579 he was collated to the prebend of Eccleshall in the cathedral church of Lichfield.

On 20 Nov. 1584 he was elected to the see of Lincoln in succession to Thomas Cooper (1517?–1594) [q. v.], who had been translated to Winchester. He was consecrated at Lambeth on 8 Dec. During his episcopate he was active in the duties of his see, and was frequently placed on royal commissions for determining local disputes. He preached at the funeral of Mary Stuart at Peterborough on 2 Aug. 1587, and expressed a charitable hope for her salvation. For this he was assailed by Martin Marprelate, who taunted him with having suggested that his hearers might meet 'an unrepentant papist' in heaven (cf. Nichols, Progresses of Queen Elisabeth, 1823, ii. 510, 512–13).

On 7 Jan. 1594–5 Wickham was elected to the see of Winchester, in succession to Thomas Cooper, and received the temporalities on 11 March, On 10 Jan., immediately after his election, he wrote to Burghley, who had been the chief instrument of his preferment, protesting against the custom of requiring the bishop to grant leases of church lands to court nominees on terms disadvantageous to the see (Strype, Annals, 1824, iv. 286–7, original in Landsdowne MS. 78, art. 10). He had the courage to protest in a similar strain against the impoverishment of the English sees, when preaching before the queen herself, and found his admonitions well received. He died at Winchester House in Southwark, before he had removed to Winchester, on 11 June 1595, and was buried on 13 June at St. Mary Overies (now St. Saviour's), Southwark. He married Antonine, daughter of William Barlow (d. 1568) [q. v.], bishop of Chichester. She died on Ascension day 1598, and was buried at Alconbury in Huntingdonshire. By her he left three sons—Henry (d. 1641), archdeacon of York: Thomas, and Barlow (d. 1617)—and four daughters. William Wickham [q. v.] was descended from his eldest son, Henry. A good portrait of the bishop in his robes is at Binsted Wyck in Hampshire, in the possession of Mrs. Wickham.

Several writings by Wickham are extant. He was the author of 'An Interpretation of a Statute of Balliol College, Oxford,' written about 1584, which is printed in the 'Statutes of Balliol College' (ed. 1854, p. 29), and of an 'Interpretation of some Doubts in the Statutes of King's College,' dated 19 Nov. 1594, and printed in the 'Statutes of King's and Eton Colleges' (ed. 1850, pp. 270–5), by James Heywood and Thomas Wright (1810–1877) [q. v.] Some verses by Wickham are prefixed to a 'Discourse uppon usurye,' published in 1572, by Thomas Wilson (1525?–1581) [q. v.], and some others are contained in the university collection on the rehabilitation of Martin Bucer [q. v.] and Paul Fagius [q. v.] in 1560. An original letter dated 16 May 1592 from Wickham to his wife's brother-in-law, Tobie Matthew [q. v.] (afterwards archbishop of York), is preserved at the British Museum (Addit. MS. 4274, f. 78), and a number of others addressed to Burghley are also in the museum in the Lansdowne manuscripts.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 180–1, 547; Cassan's Lives of the Bishops of Winchester, 1827, ii. 49–58; Burke's Landed Gentry, s.v. ‘Wickham;’ Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Anglican. ed. Hardy; Tanner's Biblioth. Brit.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 832; Harwood's Alumni Eton. 1797, p. 60; Gent. Mag. 1799, i. 15, 117, 283–6; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 453; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1581–97 (several letters indexed under Wickham have reference to his successor, William Day [q. v.]); Acts of the Privy Council of England, ed. Dasent, 1580–89; Godwin, De Præsulibus, 1615, pp. 266, 311; Harington's Nugæ Antiquæ, 1804, ii. 92–4; Collect. Top. et Gen. 1836, iii. 369, 372–3; Eagle and Younge's Cases relating to Tithes, 1826, i. 100; Fuller's Worthies, 1811, ii. 40–1; Hackett's Epitaphs, 1757, i. 104; Visitation of Huntingdonshire (Camden Soc.), p. 46; Manning and Bray's Hist. of Surrey, vol. i. pp. lxxxv–vi, vol. iii. pp. 576, 577; Antimartinus, 1589, pp. 51–3; Hay any Work for Cooper, ed. 1845, pp. 24, 73; Marprelate's Epistle, ed. 1842, pp. 5, 64; Marprelate's Epitome, ed. 1843, p. 1; Nichols's Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, iii. 416; Rymer's Fœdera, xvi. 269, 274; Strype's Annals, 1824, II. ii. 189, III. i. 284, ii. 415, 416, IV. 172–3; Strype's Life of Whitgift, 1822, i. 337, 409, ii. 218; Stow's Survey of London, ed. Strype, 1720, bk. iv. p. 12, bk. v. p. 440; Fuller's Church History of Great Britain, 1655, bk. ix. p. 181; Lysons's Environs of London, 1795, ii. 329; Gunton's Hist. of the Church of Peterburgh, 1686, pp. 78, 79; Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, 1742, ii. 440, iii. 67, 78, 151.]

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