ALCOCK, JOHN (c. 1430-1500), English divine, was born at Beverley in Yorkshire and educated at Cambridge. In 1461 he was made dean of Westminster, and henceforward his promotion was rapid in church and state. In the following year he was made master of the rolls, and in 1470 was sent as ambassador to the court of Castile. He was consecrated bishop of Rochester in 1472 and was successively translated to the sees of Worcester (1476) and Ely (1486). He twice held the office of lord chancellor, and exhibited great ability in the negotiations with James III. of Scotland. He died at Wisbech Castle on the 1st of October 1500. Alcock was one of the most eminent pre-Reformation divines; he was a man of deep learning and also of great proficiency as an architect. Besides founding a charity at Beverley and a grammar school at Kingston-upon-Hull, he restored many churches and colleges; but his greatest enterprise was the erection of Jesus College, Cambridge, which he established on the site of the former Convent of St Radigund.
Alcock’s published writings, most of which are extremely rare, are: Mons Perfectionis, or the Hill of Perfection (London, 1497); Gallicontus Johannis Alcock episcopi Eliensis ad frates suos curatos in sinodo apud Barnwell (1498), a good specimen of early English printing and quaint illustrations; The Castle of Labour, translated from the French (1536), and various other tracts and homilies. See J. Bass Mullinger’s History of the University of Cambridge, vol. i.
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