Thomas Goldwell

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Thomas Goldwell
Bishop of Saint Asaph
Diocese St Asaph
See St Asaph
Appointed 21 June 1555
Installed July 1555
Term ended 3 April 1585
Predecessor Robert Parfew
Successor None; Diocese suppressed
Consecration July 1555
Personal details
Born 1501 (1501)
Died 3 April 1585(1585-04-03) (aged 83–84)
Denomination Roman Catholic

Thomas Goldwell (1501 – 3 April 1585) was an English bishop, the last of those who had refused to accept the English Reformation.


Thomas Goldwell was the son of William Goldwell of Great Chart, Kent.[1] He is thought to have studied at Canterbury College, Oxford; in January 1532 a student surnamed Goldwell was questioned concerning books in his possession which supported Catherine of Aragon, and Goldwell later referred to Richard Thorndon, who was warden of that College from 1524 to 1534, as his ‘old friend and master’. He graduated BA in 1528, MA on 17 July 1531, and BTh on 20 March 1534.[1][2]

He became chaplain to Cardinal Pole and lived with him at Rome, was attainted in 1539, but returned to England on Mary's accession, and in 1555 became bishop of St Asaph, a diocese, largely within Wales, which he did much to win back to the Roman Catholic Church. Mary planned to make him Bishop of Oxford and ambassador to Rome in November 1558, and the documents were drawn up, but were not enacted due to her death. Goldwell attended Cardinal Pole's funeral by the Queen's permission and then returned to St Asaph's. When Elizabeth came to the throne, Goldwell complained of not being invited to her first parliament as a bishop, but then by June 1559 decided to escape from England.

In 1561 Goldwell became superior of the Theatines at San Silvestro, their house in Rome. He was the only English bishop at the council of Trent, and in 1562 was again attainted. In the following year he was appointed vicar-general to Carlo Borromeo, archbishop of Milan. Later, he returned to Rome, where he is known to have ordained the famous Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria as a priest.[3] He died in Rome in 1585.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mayer 2004.
  2. "Thomas Goldwell". Catholic Encyclopedia.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Liner Notes on Victoria's Requiem". Tallis Scholars.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Goldwell, Thomas" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Warton
Bishop of St Asaph
Succeeded by
Richard Davies