LIVES OF THE BISHOPS OF EXETER
WILLIAM BRADBRIDGE, born in London, but of a Somersetshire family. From Dean of Salisbury he was promoted on 26th February, 1571, to this vacant see, and on 18th of following month was consecrated at Lambeth by Archbishop Parker. In consequence of the impoverished estate of the bishopric, Queen Elizabeth and that Primate licensed him to hold two benefices in commendam, - one, Newton Ferrers in Devon, the other, Lezante in Cornwall. Strange that the new prelate, at the age of seventy, should embark largely in agricultural specultitions! The result soon appeared, by his becoming a ruined man. "He was far indebted to the Queen's Majesty for the monies received of the clergy for tenths and subsidies, so that immediately upon his death, all his goods were seized for her use" (Hoker). The Patent Book of the see in the principal Registrar's office at Exeter, p. 84, records that "he died 14001. in debt to Queen Elizabeth, and had not wherewith to bury him?' This is repeated in Bishop Ward's Register, fol. 69. His death happened suddenly at Newton Ferrers (where he generally resided, to the great inconvenience of his clergy), when no one happened to be present, between twelve and one o'clock of the day, on 28th June, 1578, aged 77; and his Register, fol. 44, concludes his acts with the old formula, "Cujus animæ propitietur Deus, Amen." He was buried on the north side of the choir of the cathedral.
Arms: - Azure, a Pheon's head, argent.
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