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BECKINGTON (or Bekynton), THOMAS (c.1390-1465), English statesman and prelate, was born at Beckington in Somerset, and was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford. Having entered the church he held many ecclesiastical appointments, and became dean of the Arches in 1423; then devoting his time to secular affairs he was sent on an embassy to Calais in 1439, and to John IV., count of Armagnac, in 1442. At this time Beckington was acting as secretary to Henry VI., and soon after his return in 1443 he was appointed lord privy seal and bishop of Bath and Wells. The bishop erected many buildings in Wells, and died there on the 14th of January 1465. The most important results of Beckington's missions to France were one Latin journal, written by himself, referring to the embassy to Calais; and another, written by one of his attendants, relating to the journey to Armagnac.

Beckington's own journal is published in the Proceedings of the Privy Council, vol. v., edited by N.H. Nicolas (1835); and the other journal in the Official Correspondence of Thomas Bekynton, edited by G. Williams for the Rolls Series (1872), which contains many interesting letters. This latter journal has been translated into English by N.H. Nicolas (1828). See G.G. Perry, "Bishop Beckington and Henry VI.," in the English Historical Review (1894).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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