Thomas Arundel (1353 – February 19, 1414) served as Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York during the reign of Richard II and later as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1399 until his death. As a young man he left his studies at Oxford to take up the post as Bishop of Ely, which had been secured from him by his influential family. He soon became embroiled in his brother’s political machinations against Richard II. His connection with Harrow came while Archbishop of Canterbury, when at the time he found himself up against the lollards, an early-Protestant religious movement led by John Wycliffe that among other things rejected the Roman Catholic belief of transubstantiation. Arundel was staying at Headstone, which as part of the Harrow Manor had been bought by John Stratford, his predecessor, from the Archdeacon of Richmond in 1344 to use as a country house not too far from Lambeth Palace. It was from Headstone Manor that Arundel wrote to the Bishop of London discussing the various troubles which had befallen the church and state, suggesting that they should make amends to God with a series of solemn processions, with an offer of 40 days’ indulgence (forgiveness) to anyone taking part in them. The Lollards and Wycliffe, who questioned the privileged status of the clergy and the luxury and pomp of local parishes as well as advocating translation of the Bible into English, were to vex Arundel for the rest of his life.
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