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Thomas Lamplugh
(1615-1691)

Bishop of Exeter
Archbishop of York
Born: 1615 at Octon, East Yorkshire
Died: 5th May 1691 at Bishopthorpe, North Yorkshire


Thomas Lamlugh was the son of Thomas Lamplugh Senior, MP for Cumberland, whose family had been seated at Dovenby in that county for a number of generations. In 1676, he succeeded Anthony Sparrow as Bishop of Exeter. On receiving the news of the arrival of William of Orange in Tor Bay, Bishop Lamplugh delivered a public address, in which he exhorted the people of his diocese to remain faithful to King James. He proceeded, however, to set them a somewhat unedifying example by taking flight to London, together with Dr. Annesley, the Dean. Thus leaving his clergy without a head. On William's arrival in Exeter, one of the most remarkable scenes took place in the cathedral which that venerable edifice had ever witnessed. The "Deliverer" repaired to it in military state. "As he passed under the gorgeous screen, a renowned organ, scarce surpassed by any of those which are the boast of his native Holland, gave out a peal of triumph. He mounted the Bishop's seat, a stately throne, rich with the carving of the fifteenth century. Burnet stood below and a crowd of warriors and nobles appeared on the right hand and on the left. The singers, robed in white, sang the Te Deum. When the chant was over, Burnet read the Prince's declaration; but as soon as the first words were uttered, prebendaries and singers crowded in all haste out of the choir. At the close, Burnet cried, in a loud voice, "God save the Prince of Orange," and many fervent voices answered, Amen." Lamplugh's adherence to King James procured him the Archbishopric of York, which had been kept vacant for two years. He was confirmed in his new see, before the arrival of William in London, but his Jacobitism was of no very profound character and did not prevent him from assisting at the coronation of the Prince of Orange. He died, at York, in 1691.

Edited from Richard John King's "Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: Southern Division" (1903).