Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bek, Thomas II

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BEK, THOMAS II (1282–1347), bishop of Lincoln, born on 22 Feb. 1282, was the youngest of the three sons of Walter Bek of Luceby, constable of Lincoln Castle [see Bek, family of], a kinsman of the bishops of Durham and St. David's. His father died on 25 Aug. 1291, when Thomas was nine years old, and he and his brothers, John and Antony [q. v.] (afterwards bishop of Norwich), probably became wards of Anthony, bishop of Durham. Devoting himself to the clerical profession, he attained considerable distinction, being styled 'clericus nobilis et excellens' by Walsingham (p. 150). He became doctor of canon law, and in 1335 received the prebendal stall of Clifton in the cathedral of Lincoln (Le Neve, Fasti (Hardy), ii. 132). On the death of Bishop Burghersh in December 1340 he succeeaed to the bishopric of Lincoln, being, it would seem, then at the papal court at Avignon. Though the royal assent was given to his election on 1 March 1341, his consecration was delayed by the pope till the next year (Murimuth, 115, apud Raine, Fasti Ebor. p. 439, note m), when it took place at Avignon on Sunday, 7 July 1342, at the same time with Archbishop Zouche of York. He obtained letters of protection to come to England from Rome, and the temporalities of the see were restored to him on 17 Sept. (Pat. 16 Edw. III, p. 3, m. 20). His episcopate lasted only five years. He died on 2 Feb. 1346-7, and in his will, which is extant, he desired to be buried on the north side of the steps leading from the chapter-house to the choir.

[Le Neve's Fasti (ed. Hardy), ii. 14; Godwin, De Præsul. i. 295; Harl. MS. 3720.]

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