Rudborne, Thomas

, bishop of St. David’s in the fifteenth century, was, according to Fuller, a native of Hertfordshire, and took his name from Rudborne, a village near St. Alban’s; but Wood says he was born at Rodburne in Wiltshire. He studied at Merton college, Oxford, and became one of the greatest mathematicians of his day, and an able architect. He built the gateway and fine tower of Merton college, and probably the chapel, for that seems improperly given to bishop Rede. He was so much esteemed, that Henry V. who became acquainted with him when a student at Queen’s college, afterwards appointed him his chaplain, on his going to Franc previous to the battle of Agincourt. He received some ecclesiastical preferments, as the prebend of Horton in the church of Salisbury, the living of East Deping in Lincolnshire, and the archdeaconry of Sudbury. He served the office of proctor in the university, and was elected chancellor, but Wood thinks that if he accepted this office, he did not retain it long. In 1426 he was admitted warden of Merton college, which he appears to have resigned the following year. In 1433 he was promoted to the see of St. David’s, from which the king, Henry VI. would have translated him to Ely; but Wood says, “could not effect it.| He died about 1442. The tower and chapel of Merton will long remain monuments of his skill and taste. He was also a benefactor to the first public library in Oxford. Like the majority in his day, he was an opponent of the first attempts at reformation in religion, and in 1411 was one of the commissioners for suppressing Wickliff’s doctrines and writings. He wrote, according to Bale, a “Chronicle,” and some epistles “ad Thomam Waldenem et alios.” He must be distinguished from the Thomas Rudborne, whose “Historia Major Wintoniensis” is printed by Wharton in vol. I. of his “Anglia Sacra,” who was, however, a monk of Winchester about the middle of the same century, but survived bishop Rudborne. 1


Bale, Pits, and Tanner.—Godwin de Præsulibus.—Wood’s History of Colleges and Halls.