Britannia Biographies: William of Wykeham Part 1
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Biography of William of Wykeham (1324-1404), Bishop of Winchester

O F   W Y K E H A M
Part 1: Introduction

William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester There is an old tradition, perhaps not worthy of much credit that, upon the wall of a tower in Windsor Castle, known as the Winchester tower, was inscribed in Latin, "This made Wykeham." The great churchman, William of Wykeham, raised this tower as the architect of Windsor Castle, working under the commands of his patron Edward III. It is further said that, the King being offended at this inscription, its more obvious meaning was dextrously explained away, seeing that it should be interpreted to record that the building of the castle was "the making" of the architect.

There are other proud edifices still remaining upon which might be inserted, "This made Wykeham" in the most complete sense. No man ever left more permanent traces of his course and character. The founder of Winchester College and of New College, Oxford, the builder of the noblest part of Winchester Cathedral, had a title to be called their "maker," with no king or subject to dispute his pretensions. He was one of the very few men who, having raised themselves by their abilities and integrity to riches and honour, worked not sordidly for themselves to heap up treasure, but nobly employed their wealth in works of the highest public utility. The life of such a man is an example to all.

Part 2: Early Life      Copyright ©2000, LLC