William James (bishop)

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Reverend
William James
Bishop of Durham
Diocese Diocese of Durham
In office September 1606 (conf.)–1617 (died)
Predecessor Tobias Matthew
Successor Richard Neile
Other posts Master of University College, Oxford (1572–1584)
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (1581–1582 & 1590–1592)
Dean of Christ Church (2 September 1584–1596)
Dean of Durham (5 June 1596 {installed}–1606)
Personal details
Born 1542
Sandbach, Cheshire, England
Died 12 May 1617(1617-05-12) (aged 74–75)
Durham, County Durham, England
Buried Durham Cathedral
Nationality English
Denomination Anglican
Parents John James & Ellen Bolte
Spouse 1. Katherine (née Risby)
2. unknown person
3. Isabel (Atkinson née Rilley)
Children at least 2 (a son, Francis, and a daughter who married a Ferdinand Morecroft)
Profession academic
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

The Rt Revd William James (1542 – 12 May 1617) was an English academic and bishop.


William James graduated with an MA degree at Christ Church, Oxford in 1565. He was Master of University College, Oxford in 1572, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1581, and again in 1590. He became Dean of Christ Church in 1584.[1]

James became Dean of Durham in 1596, where he was a witness to the decay of agriculture in northeast England.[2][3] He was Bishop of Durham from 1606.[1]

In early 1611, James had custody of Arbella Stuart, with the intention of the King to take her north to Durham. In the event, Arbella was moved from Lambeth to be confined at Barnet, while the bishop travelled north leaving Sir James Croft in charge, and for health reasons did not follow, being moved to East Barnet.[4] When Arbella and her husband William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset (who was in the Tower of London) made simultaneous but badly coordinated escapes on 3 June 1611, she simply walked free.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 James, William (1542–1617). Oxford University Press. September 2004. Missing pipe in: |first= (help); |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Online edition, January 2008.
  2. "Deans of Durham". British History Online. London: Institute of Historical Research. 2004. pp. 77–81. Retrieved 21 September 2015. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Richard L. Graves, Society and Religion in Elizabethan England (1981), page 638.
  4. Sarah Gristwood, Arbella: England's Lost Queen (2003), pp. 359–368.
  5. Gristwood, pp. 370–371.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Thomas Caius
Master of University College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Anthony Gate
Preceded by
Arthur Yeldard
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
Robert Hovenden
Preceded by
Nicholas Bond
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
Nicholas Bond
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Tobias Matthew
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
Richard Neile