Melton, William de (d.1528) (DNB00)

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MELTON, WILLIAM de (d. 1528), chancellor of York, a native of Yorkshire, was educated at Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. 1479, B.D. 1490, and D.D. 1496. In 1495 he was master of Michaelhouse, Cambridge, and on 13 Jan. 1495–6 became chancellor of the church of York. He died at the end of 1528, and his will is dated 28 Aug. of that year, from Acklam, Yorkshire. He is supposed to have been buried either there or in York minster. He was famed as a philosopher, divine, and preacher. Melton was author of a ‘Sermo Exhortatorius,’ published by Wynkyn de Worde in 1494, a copy of which is in the British Museum Library.

Melton has been constantly confused with his namesakes William de Melton (d. 1340) [q. v.], archbishop of York, and William of Meliton [q. v.] Misled by the identity of name, Wood (Athenæ Oxon. i. 49) claimed him for Oxford. Pits, Tanner, and others state that he was a Dominican (which is an additional mistake, because Meliton was a Franciscan, not a Dominican) and chancellor of the university of Paris, and attribute to him numerous works written by Meliton (cf. Sixtus Senensis, Bibliotheca Sancta, iv. 243; Echard, Scriptores Ord. Prædicatorum, i. 488; and Sbaralæus, Supplementum ad Scriptores Trium Ordinum, pp. 324–5).

There was yet another William de Melton, a Franciscan, who in 1426 preached at York on the subject of miracle plays, and in 1427 went about the country preaching against tithes. He was arrested and brought to Oxford, where he was compelled to recant (Cf. Little, Greyfriars in Oxford, pp. 86, 259).

[Authorities quoted; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 37; Tanner's Bibliotheca Brit., p. 521; Le Neve's Fasti, iii. 165; Pits's Scriptores, p. 696.]

A. F. P.