Buckmaster, William (DNB00)

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BUCKMASTER, WILLIAM (d. 1545), vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, graduated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, B.A. in 1513–14, M.A. in 1517, B.D. in 1525, and D.D. in 1528. In 1517 he was elected fellow of his college. He thrice served the office of vice-chancellor (1529, 1538, and 1539), and was twice elected Lady Margaret professor of divinity (1532 and 1534). He became rector of Barchester, Warwickshire (23 April 1530), fellow of King's Hall (1532), prebendary of Hereford (1539), and of St. Paul's Cathedral, London (1541). He died shortly before 14 Sept. 1545, but his effects were not administered (by his nephew, Hugh Buckmaster) until 5 Dec. 1546.

As vice-chancellor in 1529–30, Buckmaster took a prominent part in preparing the replies to the questions preferred by Henry VIIIto the university relative to his divorce. After much discussion, convocation resolved that marriage with a brother's wife was contrary to divine law, but the university declined to express any definite opinion as to whether the pope had power to permit such a marriage. This answer was not what the king desired, but Buckmaster was selected to carry it to Windsor and announce to Henry VIII the university's judgment. He wrote an interesting account of his reception at court in a letter to Dr. Edwards, master of Peterhouse, which is still preserved in manuscript at Corpus Christi College. Buckmaster asserts that his performance of the duty lost him an important benefice, which was about to be conferred upon him. He signed the well-known articles of religion of 1536 as proctor in convocation of the London clergy; and about 1537 he was consulted by Cromwell, with many other eminent divines, as to the form which certain theological dogmas of the Romish church should take in the Anglican articles. Roger Ascham [q. v.] refers to Buckmaster as one of his Cambridge patrons (Ascham, Epist., No. iv. (ed. Giles), I. i. 5).

[Buckmaster's account of the proceedings at Cambridge in 1529, now preserved at Corpus Christi College, has been fully printed in Dr. Lamb's collections from the C. C. C. MSS.; and (very carefully) in Burnet's Reformation (ed. Pocock), vi. 28–34. Portions of it appear in the Brit. Magazine, xxxvi. 72, and in Froude's History, i. 280–3. See also Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 86–7; Strype's Cranmer (1848), i. 178; Burnet's Reformation (ed. Pocock), passim; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; Le Neve's Fasti (ed. Hardy).]

S. L. L.