Woodville, Lionel (DNB00)

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WOODVILLE, LIONEL (1446?–1484), bishop of Salisbury, born about 1446, was third son of Sir Richard Woodville (afterwards first Earl Rivers) [q. v.], by his marriage with Jacquetta, widow of John of Lancaster, duke of Bedford [q. v.] Anthony Woodville, second earl Rivers [q. v.], was his elder brother. He was educated at Oxford, where he graduated D.D. Wood says that he was an inceptor in canon law. Probably as a provision for him, he was made dean of Exeter in November 1478. In 1479 he succeeded Thomas Chaundler as chancellor of the university of Oxford, being then, according to Wood, who is not supported by Le Neve, archdeacon of the diocese. On 31 Oct. 1480 he became prebendary of Mora in St. Paul's Cathedral. In 1482, being then at Cumnor, he was made bishop of Salisbury by papal provision; the temporalities were restored to him on 28 March. He was consecrated in April.

After Edward IV's death Woodville's position became difficult. In the beginning of May the queen, Elizabeth Woodville, received word of the arrest of Rivers and Grey at Stony Stratford, and at once went into sanctuary at Westminster. Woodville went with her, but it seems likely that he soon came out. As a bishop he had nothing to fear. He was in the commission of the peace in June and July. Later he took an important part in organising Buckingham's rebellion, was named in Richard's proclamation, and when the rising failed he was one of the many who fled to Henry of Richmond in Brittany. Richard was in some difficulty with regard to the see, the temporalities of which were handed over to the keeping of Thomas Langton [q. v.], who eventually succeeded him as bishop. The matter was settled by an act of parliament which declared his temporal possessions forfeited, but spared Woodville's life. He died, possibly in Brittany, before 23 June 1484. A manuscript book of miscellaneous entries compiled about the end of the seventeenth century, preserved at Salisbury, says that he died and was buried at Beaulieu. A local tradition says that he was buried in Salisbury Cathedral, and that a canopied tomb at the intersection of the north-west transept and north aisle of the choir is his.

[Information kindly furnished by H. E. Malden, esq.; Ramsay's Lancaster and York, ii. 475, &c.; Gairdner's Richard III, new edit., pp. 58, 135, 141, 158; Wood's App. to Hist. of Colleges and Halls, ed. Gutch, pp. 63–4; Cal. of Inquisitions Hen. VII, p. 345; Excerpta Historica, p. 16; Rot. Parl. vi. 250, 273; Dep.-Keeper's Publ. Records, 9th Rep. App. ii. pp. 18, 21, 31, 39, 112, 127; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 386, ii. 411, 604; Paston Letters, iii. 246. For the story of Woodville's family connection with Stephen Gardiner, see that article.]

W. A. J. A.