Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 18.djvu/315

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Felton
309

then sent a deputation to the Duke of Buckingham, begging him to allow them to retain him as their head, notwithstanding his elevation to the episcopate. Felton, however, appears to have found by experience that the two offices were incompatible, and resigned the headship of Pembroke before his election to Ely. As a bishop we are told he proved himself ‘a profound scholar, a painful preacher, conspicuous for his hospitality and charity; happy in the wise choice of his curates, and not less happy in his learned and religious chaplains’ (Parkins MSS., Pembr. Coll. Cambr.) Fuller records of him (Church Hist. vi. 63) that he had ‘a sound head and a sanctified heart, was beloved of all good men, very hospitable to all, and charitable to the poor,’ devoting a considerable portion of his income to their relief, and proving himself one of the most upright and deservedly popular prelates of his time. Felton's exact theological position is not easy to determine. He left no writings, and little is recorded by his contemporaries of any part taken by him in the controversies of the day. Puritan sympathies have been attributed to him, because Edmund Calamy the elder [q.v.] was his domestic chaplain, and was presented by him to the incumbency of Swaffham Priors, and others of his curates and chaplains were of the same theological school. An opposite inference may be drawn from his close and confidential friendship with Andrewes, as well as from the fact that in the severe struggle for the lectureship at Trinity Church, Cambridge, in 1624, Felton espoused the cause of Micklethwait, fellow of Sidney, against Dr. Preston, master of Emmanuel, the most eminent of the nonconformist party in the university. His reputation for soundness of judgment in practical matters is evidenced by the appeal made to him by some of the fellows of St. John's, 15 April 1624, to interpret certain clauses in their statutes (BAKER, Hist. of St. John's, p. 490), and by his being appointed to compile the statutes for Merchant Taylors' School in reference to the annual probation days. His theological erudition is sufficiently evidenced by his appointment as one of the translators of the Bible, ‘non infimi nominis,’ forming one of the group to whom the Epistles were assigned, his name, however, being commonly misspelt Fenton. He married the widow of Dr. Robert Norgate, master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He died 6 Oct. 1626, aged 63, and was buried by his desire beneath the communion-table of St. Antholin's Church, London, of which he had been rector for twenty-eight years, without any memorial. Fuller remarks that he was ‘buried before, though dying some days after, Bishop Andrewes. Great was the conformity between them; both scholars, fellows, and masters of Pembroke Hall; both great scholars and painful preachers in London for many years, with no less profit to others than credit to themselves; both successively bishops of Ely’ (Church Hist. vi. 63). Felton's portrait when bishop of Bristol is at Pembroke College, and another half-length, given to Cole by Bishop Gooch, and by him to the see, hangs in the palace at Ely.

[Parkins MSS., Pembroke College, Cambridge; Lansdowne MS. 484, No. 47, p. 83; Godwin, i. 274; Newcourt's Repert. i. 136, 375; Fuller's Church Hist. vi. 63; Fuller's Worthies; Russell's Life of Andrewes, pp. 17, 354, 445; Russell's Memorials of Thomas Fuller, pp. 11, 114, 179.]

E. V.

FELTON, Sir THOMAS (d. 1381), seneschal of Aquitaine, was second son of Sir John Felton, governor of Alnwick in 1314, who was summoned to parliament in 1342, and was lord of the manor of Litcham, Norfolk. Sir John's father, Sir Robert, governor of Scarborough Castle in 1311, was slain at Stirling in 1314. William Felton, Sir Robert's father, governor of Bambrough in 1315, was originally known as William Fitz-Pagan, being son of Pagan of Upper Felton, Northumberland, and was the first to bring the family into notice. Sir Thomas Felton had an elder brother, Hamond, who was M.P. for Norfolk in 1377, and died in 1379. A younger brother, Sir Edmund, who was living in 1364, was ancestor of Robert Felton of Shotley (d 1506), who by his marriage with Margaret Sampson of Playford, Suffolk, acquired the Playford property, and was grandfather of Sir Anthony Felton, K.B. (d. 1613). Sir Anthony's son, Henry (d. 1659), was created a baronet 20 July 1620.

Sir Thomas was with the expedition, commanded by Edward III, that invaded France in 1346, and took part in the battle of Crécy, the capture of Calais, and the other important events of that campaign. When the Black Prince went to take possession of Gascony in 1355, Felton went with him, and followed him to the battle of Poitiers. He was one of the commissioners who signed the important treaty of Bretigny (1360) and took oath to see it executed. He was deputed to receive the king of Cyprus, who came to Aquitaine on a visit to the prince in 1364. The prince when requested by Don Pedro to reinstate him on the throne of Castille, referred the matter to Sir John Chandos [q.v.] and Felton. Chandos was unfavourable. Felton recommended that the barons and knights of Aquitaine should be consulted in the matter. The prince replied,