Holbrook, John (DNB00)

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HOLBROOK, JOHN (d. 1437), master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, was a native of Suffolk. He was educated at Peterhouse, of which he became a fellow in 1412; during the same year took holy orders, receiving ordination as priest in 1413. In 1418, being then D.D., he was elected master of Peterhouse. His signature is appended to an indenture made on 12 Feb. 9 Hen. VI (1431) between the college and John Wassyngle, mason, of Hinton, Cambridgeshire, for building a library at Peterhouse (Willis and Clark, Architect. Hist. of Univ. of Cambr. i. 10). In 1421 he was presented by Henry V to the rectory of South Repps, Norfolk, and held it until his death (Blomefield, Norfolk, 8vo edit. viii. 154). He was also appointed chaplain to Henry V and Henry VI successively. In 1428 he was chosen chancellor of the university, and again in 1429, when he continued in office until 1431. During his chancellorship in 1430 the memorable dispute concerning ecclesiastical jurisdiction, known as the ‘Barnwell Process,’ arose between Philip Morgan, bishop of Ely, and the university (Bentham, Church of Ely, p. 168; Mullinger, Univ. of Cambr. i. 289). In 1431 he resigned the mastership of Peterhouse, having been instituted the year before to the college vicarage of Hinton. He died on 12 July 1437, and was buried in the chancel of St. Mary the Less, Cambridge (the old college chapel of Peterhouse). In 1446 his executors, according to the instructions contained in his will, made the pavement of the choir and the desks in St. Mary the Less (Willis and Clark, i. 58). Holbrook was reputed a great mathematician, and, according to Leland, was author of: 1. ‘Tabellæ mediorum motuum,’ also called ‘Tabulæ Cantabrigienses,’ and extant in Egerton MS. 889 in the British Museum; a part of the preface exists in Bodl. MS. 300, f. 132 b. 2. ‘De reductione tabularum Alphonsi ad annos Christi menses, dies, et horas,’ which Tanner says is ascribed to Holbrook in Norwicensis More MS. 820. The Egerton MS. also contains: 3. ‘Tabulæ aliæ’ and 4. ‘Ars inveniendi figuram concepcionis nati,’ which are there ascribed to Holbrook. Pits likewise ascribes to Holbrook. 5. ‘Canones astronomici,’ which he says are in the Bodleian Library. The Egerton MS. is partly in Holbrook's handwriting, and was presented by him to Peterhouse; he also gave another manuscript to his college containing a translation in Latin of Abu Hasen Aly Aben Ragel, ‘De Judiciis Stellarum,’ which is now at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (MS. cli.; Coxe, Cat. Cod. MSS. Coll. Oxon.) His portrait is in Peterhouse combination room (Willis and Clark, i. 65).

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 406; Addit. (Cole) MS. 5871, f. 206; Carter's Univ. of Cambr. pp. 24, 26; Graduati Cantabr. (Luard, 1884), pp. 597, 635; Halliwell-Phillipps's Codex Holbrookianus; Mullinger's Univ. of Cambr. i. 609 n.]

G. G.