Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Partridge, Peter

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PARTRIDGE, PARTRICHE, or PERTRICH, PETER (d. 1451), chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, was educated at Oxford University, where he graduated B.D., and was subsequently styled ‘S. Theol. professor.’ He was a contemporary at Oxford of Peter Payne [q. v.] the Taborite, whom, according to Payne's account, he first introduced to Wiclif's doctrines, proving their truth to him by the scriptures; but, having a prebend, apparently that of CarltonKyme-cum-Dalby in Lincoln Cathedral, he soon drew back, and Payne consequently avoided him. Partridge maintained, on the other hand, that in his own house he urged Payne to abandon his heresies because they would ruin him; even if they were true he could not possibly profit by them, as they would hinder him in the way of preaching and teaching, and he would be useless in the church (Petrus Zatacensis, pp. 343–7). In 1413 Partridge was one of the inquisitors into the heresies of the lollards, and was present at the citation of Payne, who was diffamed for heresy about 1416. On 15 April 1417 he was one of those appointed at Constance to settle a dispute concerning the church at Bayonne (Rymer, ix. 449). On 30 Oct. 1424 he exchanged his prebend for the chancellorship of Lincoln Cathedral; and in July 1428 was sent on an embassy to the king of Aragon and king of the Romans.

In December 1432 he was appointed one of the representatives of the English clergy at the council of Basle; on 8 Dec. he received permission to take a hundred pounds of gold from England with him, and on the 21st was granted letters of protection. He was chiefly prominent at the council by his opposition to Payne, with whom he had frequent arguments; on 31 March 1433 he accused him of having fled from England to escape martyrdom, and on 6 April corroborated the charge of heresy brought against him. During the course of the debates he read two protests, one of which, entitled ‘Provocatio facta ex parte archiepiscopi Cantuar. et omnium episcoporum provinciæ ejusdem per Petrum Patriche eccl. Lincoln. cancellarium,’ is extant in Digby MS. No. 66 in the Bodleian Library. A note states that it was read ‘in domo T. Browne coram omnibus ambassiatoribus testibus et ad hoc vocatis, etc., 1433, 5to Maii.’

Partridge's tenure of the chancellorship of Lincoln was marked by frequent disputes between the dean, John Mackworth, and the chapter; on 8 June 1435 the dean sent a body of his servants, headed by his chaplain, into the cathedral while vespers were being sung under Partridge's direction. They attacked him, tore off his choral habit, and left him for dead upon the floor; the perpetrators of this outrage were brought before the justices for the county, but proceedings had to be abandoned on the ground that the cathedral was in the city of Lincoln, not the county.

In 1438 Partridge held the prebend of Sutton-in-the-Marsh (Tanner); he died on 10 Jan. 1450–1, and was buried in Lincoln Cathedral; according to Tanner, a ‘Tabula super Cowton a Petro Partriche compilata’ is extant among the manuscripts in Lincoln Cathedral.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 577; Rymer's Fœdera, orig. edit. ix. 499, x. 407, 532, 533; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 93, 121; Macray's Cat. Cod. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. ix. 71; Petri Zatecensis Liber Diurnus, printed in the Monumenta Conciliorum Generalium Sæculi XV. vol. i. passim, published by the Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna; notes supplied by the late Precentor Venables.]

A. F. P.