Barons, William (DNB00)

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BARONS, or BARNES, WILLIAM (d. 1505), bishop of London and master of the rolls, about whom singularly little is known, appears to have been educated at Oxford, where he took the degree of LL.D., but in what college or hall he studied has not been ascertained. Neither is it known when he took orders; but he was already a conspicuous man when, in 1500, on the vacancy of the see of Canterbury, he became commissary of the chapter and of the prerogative court. That same year he obtained the livings of East Peckham in Kent, and of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire; in 1501 that of Gedney in Lincolnshire; in 1502 that of Bosworth in Leicestershire; and in 1503 that of Tharfield in the archdeaconry of Huntingdon.

In 1501, at the marriage of Prince Arthur and Katharine of Arragon, when the banns were asked in St. Paul's, it was arranged that the king's secretary should ‘object openly in Latin against the said marriage,’ alleging reasons why it could not be lawful, and that he should be answered in the same language by Dr. Barons, who was to produce the dispensation (Gairdner's Letters and Papers of Richard III and Henry VII, i. 414). This programme was no doubt followed. Barons was evidently in high favour, and was made master of the rolls on 1 Feb. following (1502). On 24 Jan. 1503 he assisted in laying the first stone of Henry VII's chapel at Westminster. On 20 June following he was appointed one of the commissioners for the new treaty with Ferdinand for Katharine's second marriage. On 2 Aug. 1504 he was appointed by papal provision bishop of London on Warham's translation to Canterbury, Henry VII having written to the pope in his favour on 8 July preceding. He received the temporalities on 13 Nov., and gave up his office of master of the rolls the same day. He was consecrated on 26 Nov. But he enjoyed the bishopric scarcely a whole year, for he died on 9 or 10 Oct. 1505.

[Godwin, p. 190; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), ii. 694; Newcourt, i. 24; Rymer, xiii. 78, 111; Bergenroth's Spanish Calendar, i. No. 364; Brown's Venetian Calendar, i. 840; Foss's Judges.]

J. G.