See also:cardinal, archbishop of Canterbury, and chancellor, was son of
See also:Kempe, a
See also:gentleman of 011antigh, in the
See also:parish of Wye near
See also:Ashford, Kent . He was
See also:born about 138o and educated at Merton
See also:Oxford . He practised as an ecclesiastical lawyer, was an assessor at the trial of
See also:Oldcastle, and in 1415 was made dean of the
See also:Court of
See also:Arches . Then he passed into the royal service, and being employed in the administration of
See also:Normandy was eventually made chancellor of the duchy . Early in 1419 he was elected
See also:bishop of Rochester, and was consecrated at
See also:Rouen on the 3rd of
See also:December . In
See also:February 1421 he was translated to
See also:Chichester, and in
See also:November following to
See also:London . During the minority of
See also:Henry VI . Kempe had a prominent position in the English council as a supporter of Henry
See also:Beaufort, whom he succeeded as chancellor in
See also:March 1426 . In this same
See also:year he was promoted to the archbishopric of
See also:York . Kempe held
See also:office as chancellor for six years; his
See also:main task in
See also:government was to keep Humphrey of
See also:Gloucester in check . His resignation on the 28th of February 1432 was a concession to Gloucester . He still enjoyed Beau-fort's favour, and retaining his place in the council was employed on important
See also:missions, especially at the congress of
See also:Arras in 1435, and the
See also:conference at
See also:Calais in 1438 .
In December 1439 he was created cardinal, and during the next few years took less
See also:share in politics . He supported
See also:Suffolk over the
See also:marriage with
See also:Margaret of
See also:Anjou; but afterwards there arose some difference between them, due in
See also:part to a dispute about the nomination of the cardinal's
See also:nephew, Thomas Kempe, to the bishopric of London . At the
See also:time of Suffolk's fall in
See also:January 1450 Kempe once more became chancellor . His
See also:appointment may have been due to the fact that he was not committed entirely to either party . In spite of his age and infirmity he showed some vigour in dealing with
See also:rebellion, and by his official experience and skill did what he could for four years to sustain the king's authority . He was rewarded by his
See also:translation to Canterbury in
See also:July 1452, when
See also:Nicholas added as a
See also:honour the title of cardinal-bishop of
See also:Santa Rufina . As
See also:Richard of York gained influence, Kempe became unpopular; men called him " the cursed cardinal," and his fall seemed imminent when he died suddenly on the 22nd of March 1454 . He was buried at Canter-bury, in the
See also:choir . Kempe was a politician first, and hardly at all a bishop; and he was accused with some
See also:justice of neglecting his dioceses, especially at York . Still he was a capable official, and a faithful servant to Henry VI., who called him " one of the wisest lords of the
See also:land " (Paslon Letters, i . 315) . He founded a college at his native place at Wye, which was suppressed at the Reformation .
For contemporary authorities see under HENRY VI . See also J . Raine's Historians of the
See also:Church of York, vol. ii.; W .
See also:Dugdale's Monasticon, iii . 254, vi . 1430–1432; and W . F .
See also:Hook's Lives of Arch-bishops of Canterbury, v . 188–267 . (C . L .
WILLIAM KEMP (fl. 1600)
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