Rygge, Robert (DNB00)
|←Ryerson, Egerton|| Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 50
|Ryland, Herman Witsius→|
|1904 Errata appended.|
RYGGE, RIGGE, or RUGGE, ROBERT (d. 1410), chancellor of the university of Oxford, was a native of Devonshire, and possibly a relative of Thomas de Bitton, bishop of Exeter. He was elected fellow of Exeter College in 1362, and held that position till the autumn of 1372. Afterwards he was a fellow of Merton College, and was bursar in 1374–5. He may be the Robert Rygge who was going abroad in the suite of Sir John de la Pole in March 1378 (Napier, Swyncombe and Ewelme, p. 268). In March 1381 he had license, with other clerks, to alienate in mortmain to Merton College certain lands at Bushey, Hertfordshire (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Richard II, pp. 608, 611). Rygge was a secular priest, and had graduated as B.D. before 22 Sept. 1378 (Boase, p. lix), and as D.D. before the date of the condemnation of Wiclif by William of Berton [q. v.], probably in 1379–80 (cf. English Hist. Review, v. 329–80). As a member of Merton College, Rygge would naturally be inclined in favour of the Wiclifites; and his accession as chancellor of the university, on 30 May 1381, probably marked the temporary ascendency of the reformer's party (cf. Matthew, English Works of Wyclif hitherto unprinted, Introd. p. xxv).
In the spring of 1382 doctrinal questions at Oxford came to a head. Rygge, in effect if not openly, favoured Wiclif's followers, Nicholas of Hereford [q. v.] and Philip Repington [q. v.], and supported them against the Carmelite, Peter Stokes [q. v.] Eventually he appointed Hereford to preach the sermon at St. Frideswide's on Ascension day, 15 May. On 30 May Archbishop Courtenay wrote to Rygge rebuking him for his favour to Hereford and opposition to Stokes. But the chancellor nevertheless continued his former course of action, because Stokes's conduct was contrary to the privileges of the university. He even assembled armed men for the intimidation of his opponents, and appointed Repington to preach the university sermon at the feast of Corpus Christi (5 June). Stokes had presented the archbishop's letter on 4 June, but Rygge did not publish it till two days later; and Stokes, on reporting the matter to the archbishop, announced that he dare not for his life proceed any further. Rygge himself went to London immediately, and was present in the council at Blackfriars on 12 June. He was severely rebuked for his conduct, but nevertheless signed the decrees of the council. A fresh mandate was at the same time issued, forbidding him to molest the archbishop's supporters, or to permit any further teaching of false doctrine. Rygge declared that he dared not publish this order at Oxford, but under pressure from the royal council published it, amid great excitement, on 15 June. However, he still held out so far as to suspend Henry Crump [q. v.] for attacking the lollards, and was in consequence summoned once more to London. A royal writ dated 13 July ordered Rygge to proceed against Wiclif's followers, and send all the writings of Wiclif and Hereford to the archbishop. A second writ on the same day cancelled the suspension of Crump, and directed Rygge to abstain from molesting Crump, Stokes, or Stephen Patrington [q. v.] Rygge after this gave way, and abandoned the Wiclifites. When in November the convocation of Canterbury met at Oxford, Rygge, as chancellor, preached at St. Frideswide's on the text ‘Congregati sunt in valle benedictionis.’ On 25 Nov., acting no doubt in defence of university privileges, he accused Crump and Stokes before the convocation of heresy. But they declared that what they had done was ‘causa exercitii et doctrinæ’ in the schools, and with some difficulty they were reconciled to the university (Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 172).
In 1384 Rygge obtained the exemption of the colleges from the payment of tenths. In 1386 he was one of the commissioners for settling the dispute at Oriel College about the election of a provost. In the same year he expelled Robert Lytham of Merton College from the university for disturbing the peace of the town (Rogers, History of Prices, ii. 667). He had been ordered in 1385 to prohibit the quarrels of north and south, and in 1388 was deposed from his office as chancellor by authority of parliament for having failed to preserve the peace (Wood, Hist. and Antiq. i. 516, 519; Adam of Usk, p. 7; Lyte, p. 308). Nevertheless he was again chancellor in 1391, but held the office only one year. On 16 Feb. 1395 he was appointed canon of Exeter and archdeacon of Barnstaple. He was one of the doctors appointed in 1398 to consider the letter of the university of Paris on the schism. In 1400 he resigned his archdeaconry, and on 30 Jan. was appointed chancellor of Exeter Cathedral. He was vicar-general for Edmund de Stafford, bishop of Exeter, on 27 Sept. 1400, and in April 1404 was the bishop's proctor in convocation. He died in the spring of 1410 before 10 April, which was the date when his successor at Exeter was collated. Previously to 1392 Rygge had endowed a chest for loans to poor scholars at Exeter College, and at his death bequeathed some books to the college (Boase, p. 11).[Fasciculi Zizaniorum (Rolls Ser.); Knighton ap. Scriptores Decem, col. 2705; Brodrick's Memorials of Merton; Boase's Register of Exeter College (these two in Oxf. Hist. Soc.); Register of Bishop Stafford, ed. Hingeston Randolph, pp. 166, 311; Maxwell-Lyte's Hist. Univ. Oxford; Wood's History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford, i. 492, 499, 504, 510, 516, 519, 534, and Fasti, pp. 30–3; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 406, 418.]
|54||ii||20||Rygge, Robert: for 1393 read 1392|