John Alcock (bishop)

John Alcock (bishop)

Infobox bishopbiog
name =John Alcock

religion =Catholic
See =Diocese of Ely
Title = Bishop of Ely
Period = 1486–1500
Predecessor = John Morton
Successor =Richard Redman
ordination =
bishops = Bishop of Rochester
Bishop of Worcester
post =
date of birth = about 1430
place of birth =Beverley, Yorkshire
date of death =October 1 1500
place of death =

John Alcock (c. 1430 – October 1 1500), was an English churchman.

He was born at Beverley in Yorkshire, son of Sir William Alcock, Burgess of Kingston upon Hull and educated at Cambridge. In 1461 he was made dean of Westminster, and his subsequent promotion was rapid in both church and state. In the following year he was made Master of the Rolls,Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 88] and in 1470 was sent as ambassador to the court of Castile. He was nominated to the see of Rochester on January 8 1472 and consecrated Bishop of Rochester on March 15Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 268] and was successively translated to the see of Worcester on July 15 1476Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 280] and the see of Ely on October 6 1486.Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 245] He twice held the office of Lord Chancellor, once from June 1475 to September 1475 and then again from October 1485 to March 1487.

Alcock was one of the leading pre-Reformation divines; he was a man of deep learning and also of great proficiency as an architect. Besides founding a charity at Beverley and a grammar school at Kingston upon Hull, he restored many churches and colleges; but his greatest achievement was the building of Jesus College, Cambridge, which he established on the site of the former convent of St Radegund.

Alcock was appointed to the Council in 1470 and became Master of the Rolls in 1471, soon after being appointed tutor to King Edward IV's eldest son, Prince Edward. After the King's death he was with Prince Edward and his younger brother when they were intercepted by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, at Stony Stratford. Alcock was arrested and removed from office but soon rejoined the Council. He was with King Richard III when he entered York in August 1483 and was a member of the English delegation that met the Scots at Nottingham.

Later he was one of several clerics who openly canvassed the proposition that Henry Tudor marry Elizabeth of York. Appointed temporary Lord Chancellor he opened King Henry VII's first Parliament on 7 November 1485 and became one of the new king's most trusted servants.

Alcock died on October 1 1500 and lies buried in the Alcock Chantry in Ely Cathedral.

Alcock's published writings, most of which are extremely rare, are: "Mons Perfectionis, or the Hill of Perfection" (London, 1497); "Gallicontus Johannis Alcock episcopi Eliensis ad frates suos curatas in sinodo apud Barnwell" (1498), a good specimen of early English printing and quaint illustrations; "The Castle of Labour", translated from the French (1536), and various other tracts and homilies. See J. Bass Mullinger's "History of the University of Cambridge", vol. i.

John Alcock and the Princes in the Tower

Valerie Anand, a believer in the innocence of Richard III in the matter of The Princes in the Tower, points out the fact that John Alcock, the tutor of Edward V, never quarrelled with Richard III, either publicly or privately, but chose to "continue to work serenely beside Richard" [ Valerie Anand, "Crown of Roses" (1989), page 404. ] This would have been unthinkable if Alcock had any reason at all to suspect that King Richard had done any harm at all to young Edward.




NAME= Alcock, John
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Bishop of Rochester; Bishop of Worcester; Bishop of Ely; Lord Chancellor of England
DATE OF BIRTH=about 1430
PLACE OF BIRTH=Beverley, Yorkshire
DATE OF DEATH=October 1, 1500

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