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    17 January 2022

    Mayor's Diary 17/01/21

    Mayors Diary 17/01/21

    The Town Crier and Mace Bearers led a procession of the Mayor, Mayoress and city councillors to Wells Cathedral for the Bishop Bekynton Service. 

    This is held every January to thank the Bishop for his grant in 1491 of pipes and a conduit to provide a flow of clean water through the then extremely unhygienic city centre from St Andrew’s Well in the Bishop’s Palace grounds. 

    He was Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1443-1465 and his tomb has its own little chapel where the Mayor gave thanks for the gift of the waters which flow to this day and laid a posy of flowers on the altar. 

    Thomas Bekynton is also remembered for his building in Wells of the gateways (Bishop’s Eye, Penniless Porch, and Brown’s Gate), domestic buildings in the Bishop’s Palace and the row of 12 town houses along the north side of the Market Place. 

    He was probably born about 1390 at Beckington, near Frome, from where his family took their surname. He was educated at Winchester (1404) and New College Oxford (1406) then rapidly secured a reputation as a scholar that lasted all his varied and busy life. 

    He obtained employment at the King’s Court, and was later involved in the negotiations, in France, for Henry VI’s arranged marriage. 

    In England he acted as the King’s Secretary (1438), Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Keeper of the Privy Seal. He was closely involved with Henry VI’s plans for Eton College and its Chapel.

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