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'RF' intials on the tomb of Bishop Richard Fox | by little_miss_sunnydale
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'RF' intials on the tomb of Bishop Richard Fox

Detail from the tomb of Bishop Richard Fox (c.1447/8–1528), in his chantry chapel, in Winchester Cathedral.

 

Fox was a leading minister during the reign of Henry VII. His connection to Henry predated his accession for, in early 1485, Richard III complained that Fox was sympathetic towards Henry Tudor who would, later that year, face Richard on the battlefield and take the throne. Fox was actually present at Bosworth. His early support for Henry naturally helped his career. By 1487, Fox was made Keeper of the Privy Seal and bishop of Exeter. Aside from domestic affairs, Fox was involved in foreign diplomacy, travelling to both France and Scotland. He was instrumental in securing an agreement between James IV of Scotland and Henry VII which culminated in the marriage of Margaret Tudor to James.

 

In 1492, Fox was also made the bishop of Bath and Wells, and created bishop of Winchester in 1501 (Winchester was the richest see in the realm). He continued to act as a royal advisor by the reign of Henry VIII. The Spanish ambassador alleged that Henry had told him that Fox was the councillor he trusted the most, though he would keep vigilant of all, Fox included. Though elderly by this point, Fox still played a notable role, namely he was involved in the elevation of Thomas Wolsey (who later became archbishop of York, a cardinal and a leading royal minister). Aside from his diplomatic endeavours, Fox was also a great patron of education. Most significantly, he founded Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1517.

 

Fox died on 5 October 1528 at Wolvesey Palace, situated by the cathedral, on the eve of the English Reformation. He was buried in his chantry at the cathedral.

 

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Uploaded on September 13, 2010