Brinton, Thomas (DNB00)

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BRINTON or BRUNTON, THOMAS (d. 1389), bishop of Rochester, was a monk of the Benedictine house at Norwich. He is said to have studied both at Oxford and Cambridge, and is variously described as bachelor of theology and as ‘doctor decretorum’ of the former university. Having taken up his residence in Rome, he was made penitentiary of the holy see, and on 31 Jan. 1372–3 was appointed bishop of Rochester by Gregory XI, in the room of John Hertley, prior of Rochester, whose election was set aside by the pope. Brinton appears to have been distinguished as a preacher, and a sermon of his, delivered to the people of London on the occasion of the coronation of Richard II, is reported by Walsingham (Historia Anglicana, i. 338, 339, ed. Riley, who wrongly attributes the discourse to Brinton's predecessor, Thomas Trillek, ii. 513 b). Subsequently he was made confessor to the king. He was present at the council of Blackfriars in May–July 1382, which condemned the doctrines of Wycliffe (Fasciculi Zizaniorum, pp. 286, 287, 498), and assented to that condemnation (ib. pp. 290, 291). He died in 1389 (his will is dated 30 Aug.), and was buried in the parish church of Seale in Kent. Weever (Ancient Funerall Monuments, p. 325) describes the bishop's tomb, from which the name had already (1631) disappeared. On the authority of Bale (Script. Brit. Cat. xii. 12), who however confessed himself ignorant even of the century in which Brinton lived, the bibliographers attribute to him a collection of ‘Sermones coram Pontifice’ and ‘Sermones alii solennes.’

[Godwin, De Præsulibus (1743), p. 533; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 126; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 564, ed. Hardy. Of the alternative forms of the name given by Tanner, Briton looks like an error, and Brampton may easily have arisen from careless transcription of the form Brunton given by Walsingham (l.c., ii. 180).]

R. L. P.