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Henry of Abingdon (d. 1437)
Warden of Merton College, Oxford
Died: 1437

Henry of Abingdon, the Warden of Merton College, Oxford, was presumably a native of Abingdon in Berkshire. He was elected a fellow of Merton College in 1390 and was ordained a deacon 22nd February 1398 by Robert de Braybroke, Bishop of London. He was presented to the living of Weston Zoyland, Somerset, in 1403. He became a doctor of divinity and, in 1414, was one of the delegates from the university to the Council of Constance, where he defended the claim of Oxford to priority over Salamanca and of England over Spain, in the latter case with success. In 1421, he was elected the Warden of Merton College. During his wardenship, the chapel was completed, in 1425, by the addition of the tower and transepts. A new peal of five bells was also provided, partly at his expense, and his name was put on the tenor or great bell. The peal was recast in 1656. In December 1432, Abingdon received permission to go to the Council of Basle as one of the representatives of the clergy. He was a Prebendary of Wells and, in 1430, received the vicarage of West Monkton, also in Somerset. He died towards the end of 1437. He is usually given as the author of 'Quaestiones in primum librum Senten-tiarum'; while a 'Replicatio primi libri Sententiarum contra magistrum Henricum de Abyndon de Collegio Merton' is also extant. Abingdon was the donor of the Merlon College MS. 154, which contains the commentary of Hugh de St. Caro on Ecclesiasticus and a treatise on confession and absolution. He directed it to be chained in the library for the use of the scholars.

Edited from Leslie Stephen's 'Dictionary of National Biography' (1885)

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