Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Nobys, Peter

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NOBYS, PETER (fl. 1520), master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, was son of John Nobys, sometime of Thompson, Norfolk, and of Rose, his wife. He graduated B.A. at Cambridge in 1501, M.A. 1504, became fellow of Christ's College in 1503, and was appointed university preacher in 1514. On 18 Feb. 1515–6 he obtained the rectory of Landbeach, Cambridgeshire, and by 1516–7 had proceeded B.D. In the same year he was promoted to be master of Corpus Christi College, and graduated D.D. in 1519. Obtaining from the Bishop of Norwich a license of absence from his benefice of Landbeach, and letters testimonial as to his life from the university, he set out for Rome in 1519. During his visit he obtained from Leo X a privilege dated 9 Cal. Feb. 1519 (i.e. 24 Jan.), and addressed to the master and fellows of Corpus Christi College, granting for the term of twenty-five years apostolical indulgences and pardons ‘to all sinners of either sex who shall be truly penitent … if so be they should attend the public procession of the college on Corpus Christi, or should be of the congregation at mass in St. Benedict's on that day.’ Nobys was ‘generally reckoned of good understanding and sound learning. He caused to be compiled a register donationum, called “the whyte book of Dr. Nobys,” and it is evident from the only extract remaining, which contains “some observations of keepeinge courts,” that he was versed in the laws of the land.’ It was during his mastership that the tiled roofs of the chambers of the college on the east side were repaired (Willis and Clark, i. 255). He further gave 13l. 6s. 4d. for the celebration of his obsequies and those of his father and mother in St. Benedict's Church on the eve of St. Martin, and a large collection of books, of which a catalogue is noticed in Masters's ‘History’ (p. 71). Nobys also co-operated with Sir Thomas Wyndham in a donation of 130 works to the prior and convent of Thetford, ‘on condition of paying to Dr. Nobys five marks during his natural life, and finding him a stable, two chambers,’ &c., failing which condition Nobys was to have a right of distraint on the manor of Lynforth and Santon. Nobys was a legatee under the will of Sir Thomas Wyndham, dated 22 Oct. 1521.

About midsummer 1523 Nobys resigned his mastership and benefice. He reserved from the former a pension of fifty marks per annum. In the rectory he was followed by ‘Mr. Cuttyng, who agreed to allow him five marks a year out of the profits till he should obtain some other ecclesiastical preferment of that value.’ He was alive at least two years after, when he was an executor of the will of John Saintwarye. Nobys's will is not at the Prerogative Court.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cant. i. 32; Coles MS. vi. 36; Masters's Hist. of Corpus Christi Coll. ed. Lamb; Nicolas's Test. Vetusta, p. 584; Willis and Clark's Architect. Hist. of the University of Cambridge; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge; Martin's Hist. of Town of Thetford, p. 143, App. p. 50; Collins's Peerage, v. 209.]

W. A. S.