Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bampton, John (fl.1340)

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791490Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 03 — Bampton, John (fl.1340)1885Thomas Andrew Archer

BAMPTON, JOHN (fl. 1340), a theologian of the fourteenth century, was born at Bampton, in Devonshire. He seems to have entered the order of the Carmelites, and to have become a member of this brotherhood at Cambridge, where the Carmelites had had their own schools since about the year 1292 (Leland, Coll. i. 442). Bale, quoting from Leland, states that he paid special attention to the works of Aristotle, and was at last admitted to his doctor's degree in divinity ('supremo theologi titulo donatus fuit'). He is said to have had an acute intellect, but to have been much inclined to 'sophistical tricks.' The names of two treatises by this author have been preserved, respectively entitled 'Octo quæstiones de veritate propositionum' and 'Lecturæ scholasticæ in Theologiâ.' The year 1340 is assigned as the date when he flourished; but he must have been alive some years later than this, if Tanner's entry of the death of John de Bampton, rector of Stavenley in the archdeaconry of Richmond in 1361, refer to the subject of this article (Tanner quoting 'e regist. comiss. Richmond'). There is a tradition to be found in some topographical works that makes him the first lecturer on Aristotle's philosophy in Cambridge University. But there does not seem to be any sufficient authority for this statement, which is probably only based upon a misinterpretation of Leland's words with reference to Bampton's Aristotelian studies.

[Bale, ii. 46, and Pits, 449, both profess to quote from Lelund, whose catalogue, however, does not seem to contain any reference to John Bampton; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; St. Etienne's Biblioth. Carmel.]

T. A. A.