Chicheley Gardens, HA3

Place Name

Henry Chichele also spelt Checheley and Chicheley (born sometime around 1364 – April 12, 1443) served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1414 and his death. This is one of a cluster of streets that remembers the Lords of Harrow Manor Rectory alias Harrow-on-the-Hill, which came to the church in the 9thCentury via a priest named Werhardt. From 1094 Harrow Rectory was a peculiar of the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the rector having sole manorial jurisdiction over Harrow-on-the-Hill and Roxborough, allowing him to collect tithes over a large area. This was a prized position which attracted ambitious and important men, and the rectory house was accordingly fine and spacious. The archbishops of Canterbury lost much of this prized possession on December 30, 1545 when Henry VIII forced the then incumbent, Thomas Cranmer, to sell the property to him. Six days later, the king sold it to Sir Edward (later Lord) North, Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations and a court favourite. It remained in his family’s ownership until 1630. After Oxford, Chichele took up the church, becoming an ecclesiastical lawyer in London, this at a time when church law and secular law varied greatly. His talents – and aided by family connections – saw him rapidly promoted. He was at the heart of a dispute between various bishops and the successive Popes, the result was he had to give up some of his preferments. By this point he was mixing in royal circles and was with Henry V’s English forces in France, acting as negotiator in surrenders. At home, he was elevated to Archbishop of Canterbury following the death of Thomas Arundel. On domestic matters he was ruthless against so-called heretics and led the charge in persecuting the Lollards, much of his efforts appear to have been directed at ensuring the church’s income streams remained protected. In 1438, he and Henry VI  founded All Souls College, Oxford, to commemorate the victims of the Hundred Years’ War. He was buried at Canterbury Cathedral.

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