(Bishop of Ely and Westminster)

Died: 1570, Lambeth Palace, London, Middlesex, England

English churchman and diplomatist. When Winchester arrived at Paris in Sep 1535, he worked with Sir John Wallop, already there as the English resident. It was the duty of Wallop, also a member of Henry's privy chamber, to acquaint Winchester with recent events in the kingdom and to instruct him concerning matters of protocol that were relevant to his mission. In the spring of 1537 when Wallop returned home, Winchester carried on alone as resident but was later joined by Sir Francis Bryan of the privy chamber and Thomas Thirlby. In 1538 Edmund Bonner, future Bishop of London, and a series of ad hoc diplomats replaced Winchester and his two colleagues. Bonner had actually expected to be joined in his residency by a member of the privy chamber but that appointment was never made.

In 1540 he was appointed Bishop of Westminster, but the bishopric only existed for ten years. He was appointed Bishop of Norwich between 1550 and 1554, and then translated to Ely.

On the advice of Cardinal Pole, Felipe and Mary, sent a Legation to the Pope in Rome in the month of Feb 1555. The Royal Ambassadors three men "most illustrious and endowed with every virtue", of whom one was Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Ely, were charged to inform the Pope more fully as to the religious condition of the country, and especially to beg that he would ratify and confirm what the Legate had been at pains to effect, and had succeeded in effecting, towards the reconciliation of the Kingdom with the Church. For this purpose, all the necessary written evidence and the pertinent parts of the new Ordinal were submitted to the Pope. The Legation having been splendidly received, and their evidence having been "diligently discussed", by several of the Cardinals, "after mature deliberation".

He was deprived of the bishopric of Ely on 5 Jul 1559, after the accesion of Queen Elizabeth, and was one of the eleven confessor-bishops imprisoned by the Queen.

Thomas Thrilby died at Lambeth in 1570.

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