Hugh Oldham (1452-1519)

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Hugh Oldham (c.1452 – 25 June 1519) was a Bishop of Exeter and a notable patron of education. Born in Lancashire to a family of minor gentry, he probably attended both Oxford and Cambridge universities, following which he was a clerk at Durham, then a rector in Cornwall before being employed by Lady Margaret Beaufort (mother of King Henry VII), rising to be the chancellor of her household by 1503. During this time he was preferred with many religious posts all over the country, being made archdeacon of Exeter in 1502 and finally bishop of that city in 1505, a decision that most likely was influenced by Lady Margaret.He was a conscientious bishop who ensured that only educated people were appointed to ecclesiastical posts. His patronage of educational establishments included the foundation of Manchester Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford for which he donated £4,000. After his death he was buried in Exeter Cathedral in a chantry chapel that he had caused to be built for that purpose. The chapel is decorated with numerous carvings of owls, which were his personal device.

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