Hygdon, Brian (DNB00)

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HYGDON, BRIAN (d. 1539), dean of York, brother of John Hygdon [q. v.], was educated at Broadgates Hall, Oxford, of which he became principal in 1505. He proceeded D.C.L. at Oxford on 28 May 1506. In 1508 he appears to have been rector of Buckenhall, perhaps Buckenham, Norfolk, and was successively prebendary of Welton Ryval 29 Aug. 1508, Clifton 1513, and Ailesbury 26 June 1523, in the cathedral of Lincoln. On 3 July 1511 he obtained the living of Kirby juxta Rippingale, and from 12 Nov. 1511 till 1523 was sub-dean of Lincoln. On 18 Dec. 1513 he received the living of Nettleton, Lincolnshire. He became archdeacon of the West Riding of Yorkshire 26 May 1515, prebendary of Ulleskelf in York Minster 14 June 1516, and dean of York 21 June 1516; at his death he also held the prebend of Neasden in St. Paul's Cathedral. While prebend of Ulleskelf he built a pleasant house there (cf. Leland, Itin. ed. Hearne, vol. i. fol. 47). At York he was always busy, and a good servant to the crown. He was long on the council of the king's natural son, the Duke of Richmond, he made frequent journeys to various Yorkshire castles, and was regularly placed on the commission of the peace. In January 1525-6 he was a commissioner in company with Ralph Fane, earl of Westmorland, and Thomas Magnus [q. v.] to arrange for the signing of a treaty of peace with Scotland, and concluded the matter with great rapidity at Berwick, peace being proclaimed on Monday, 15 Jan. In a letter to Wolsey (20 May 1527) he complained of the custom of transferring ecclesiastical causes from his court to London; that he was a friend of the cardinal is clear from his conduct at the election of a prior at Selby in 1526 (cf. Letters and Papers Henry VIII, vol. iv. app. 73). A letter from him to Wolsey of 26 Jan. 1528 is valuable as showing the great poverty of the diocese of York at that time (ib. 3843). When Wolsey fell, Hygdon found no difficulty in maintaining friendly relations with Cromwell (cf. ib. v. 224, 237, 486). As he grew old his mind seems to have given way. Launcelot Colyns, the treasurer of the cathedral, wrote to Cromwell 12 Jan. 1536 that the dean was 'a crasytt;' a scheme for pensioning him fell through (ib. vii. 92, 163). He died 5 June 1539, and was buried in the south cross aisle of the minster, where there was a brass with an epitaph to his memory.

Hygdon gave a fine cope to the minster at York, and founded a fellowship at Brasenose College; his name appears several times as executor or guardian in local wills of the period.

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 18, 21; Wood's Colleges and Halls, ed. Crutch, pp. 358, 615; Reg. Univ. Oxf. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), i. 38, 290, 296; Browne Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, i. 69; Drake's Eboracum, pp. 496, 559; Le Neve's Fasti, vols. ii. iii.; Letters and Papers Henry VIII, passim; Fabric Rolls of York Minster (Surtees Soc.), ed. Raine,p.310; Testamenta Eboracensia (Surtees Soc.), ed. Raine, v. 85, 121, 179, 229, 244; Shean's and Whellan's Hist. of York, i. 455; Macray's Notes from the Muniments of Magdalen, p.29.]

W. A. J. A.