Richard PACE

Born: ABT 1482

Died: 28 Jun 1536

English diplomatist, was educated at Winchester under Thomas Langton, at Padua, at Bologna, and probably at Oxford. In Padua, ca. 1498, was taught by Niccolò Leonico Tomeo and Cuthbert Tunstall and William Latimer; to Bologna by 1501 where taught by Paolo Bombace; at Ferrara by end 1508 where student of Niccolò Leoniceno and friendly with Celio Calcagnini whom introduced to Erasmus to whom became close; friends also with Germans Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Ulrich von Hutten and probably in contact with Johann Goritz’s Roman academy. Other Italian friends included Gasparo Contarini, Pietro Bembo, Gianmatteo Giberti, Polydore Vergil, Marco Musuro, Alberto Pio, Francesco Maria Molza, Niccolò Guideco and Alessandro Alessandrini.

In 1509 he went with Cardinal Christopher Bainbridge, Archbishop of York, to Rome, where he won the esteem of Pope Leo X, who advised Henry VIII to take him into his service. The English King did so, and in 1515 Pace became his secretary and in 1516 a secretary of state. Published at Rome 1514 or 1515 trans of Plutarch and Lucian.

In 1515 Wolsey sent him to urge the Swiss to attack France, and in 1519 he went to Germany to discuss with the electors the impending election to the imperial throne. Collaborated with Thomas More in defense of Erasmus; gave Latin oration 3 Oct 1518 on occasion of Treaty of London. He was made dean of St Paul's in 1519, and was also dean of Exeter and dean of Salisbury. He was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520, and in 1521 he went to Venice with the object of winning the support of the republic for Wolsey, who was anxious at this time to become Pope.

Returned to London Nov 1525 when retired to Syon abbey where allegedly learned Hebrew as well as Chaldean and Aramaic in a few months; controversy over inspiration of Septuagint with Fisher, but persuaded by him to oppose divorce; Wolsey increasingly hostile, especially because of large library; imprisoned 1527 and tried by Wolsey and Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk; freed late 1529 but mistreated while in confinement for insanity perhaps also by Stephen Gardiner; retired until death in 1536 to Stepney, where he was buried.

His chief literary work was Defruclu (De fructu qui ex doctrina percipitur) (Basel, 1517), dedicated to John Colet, stirred controversy arising out of failure to understand it as ‘pedagogical miscellany’ for London school, also espoused version of conciliarism.

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