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Thomas Bourchier Archbishop of Canterbury 1455-1486

Thomas Bourchier was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury on 26th January 1455 and was subsequently created a cardinal on 18th September 1467.

In 1456, only six years after its former owner, the tyrannical James Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele, had been ‘tried’ and brutally executed in London during Jack Cade’s rebellion, Archbishop Thomas Bourchier purchased for himself from the Fiennes family a ‘weekend retreat’ near Sevenoaks, a small manor called ‘Knoll’ after its elevated situation. He subsequently enlarged it – the basis of today’s mighty Knole House. Bourchier died there in 1485, leaving it in his will to the archbishopric, and thus, fifty years later Knole became subject to the turmoil of the English Reformation.