More, William (d.1540) (DNB00)

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MORE, WILLIAM (d. 1540), suffragan bishop of Colchester, is said to have been educated at both Oxford and Cambridge. He first appears as rector of Bradwell in Essex, having been collated 25 April 1534. On 5 Oct. of the same year he was further collated to the rectory of West Tilbury in the same county, and then held the degree S.T.B. On 3 Jan. 1534-5 a William More was collated prebendary of Sutton-in-the-Marsh, Lincolnshire (Browne Willis, ii. 249), and was installed 6 March (Le Neve, ii. 218). On 20 Oct. 1536 he was consecrated bishop of Colchester as suffragan to the Bishop of Ely. He was a master in chancery at the time (Rymer, Fœdera, xiv. 577). He became abbot of Walden in commendam at an unknown date. As abbot he presented to the vicarage of Walden on 29 Sept. 1537 (Newcourt, p. 627), and was afterwards vicar there himself till his death. On 11 March 1537-8 he was collated to the prebend of Givendale in the church of York, which he resigned in the following year. On 22 March 1537-8 (Kennett, Monasticon, iv. 135, note t) he surrendered the abbey of Walden on receiving a promise from Lord Audley to buy the archdeaconry of Leicester for him for 80l. (Braybrooke, Audley End, pp. 13, 19). This was probably in lieu of the pension of 200l. which Audley, in a letter to Cromwell, proposed he should receive. He obtained the archdeaconry in 1539 (14 Sept. Wood, ed. Bliss; 24 Sept. Le Neve, ii. 62), and died in 1540.

Another William More (1472-1559?), prior of Worcester, son of Richard and Ann Peers or Peres, entered the Worcester priory in 1488 at the age of sixteen; was kitchener in 1504 (Noake, Monastery and Cathedral of Worcester, p. 261), sub-prior under John Wednesbury (1507-18), and was made prior 2 Oct. 1518 (Mon. Angl. i. 581). He spent large sums on repairs, on plate for the churches upon the monastery's estates, and on books, including printed books for the convent (Noake, pp. 414, 417). He was fond of comfort, amusement, and display. A letter from a monk, John Musard, written while in prison, which has been printed by Noake from the MS. Cotton Cleop. E. iv. f. 99, contains a list of complaints against a certain 'untrue master,' who is clearly identical with More, for one charge is that he made a new mitre, a needless extravagance, and the costs of this mitre are entered in More's diary. Musard complains, too, of the prior's gifts to his relations, of the sale of the monastery's plate, and of neglect of the buildings. Musard had been put in prison by More in 1531. In February 1532 More served in the commission of the peace for Worcestershire (Letters and Papers, v. 399). Foreseeing the dissolution, he resigned in 1535 on condition that he was allowed a well-furnished room in the monastery, with a supply of fuel, and exemption from a debt of 100l.; and that his house at Crowle should be repaired. More died after 1558, and was buried in Crowle Church (Dingley, History from Marble, Camden Soc., ii. 116, cccvi, where his arms and coffin-lid are given).

The dean and chapter of Worcester possess an English journal and account-book, written by More, from which selections have been published. (Noake, pp. 133 sqq.)

Two principals of Hart Hall (afterwards Hertford College), Oxford, who held the office in 1416 and 1544 respectively, were also named William More.

[Athenæ Cantabr. vol. i.; Le Neve's Fasti, vols. ii. iii.; Newcourt's Repertorium, vol. ii.; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ii. 2.]

M. B.