Christopher Urswick

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Christopher Urswick (1448? – 1522) was a priest and confessor of Margaret Beaufort. He was Rector of Puttenham, Hampshire, and later Dean of Windsor. Urswick is thought to have acted as a go-between in the plotting to place her son Henry VII of England on the throne.


He was Archdeacon of Wilts (1488–1522), Archdeacon of Richmond (1494–1500) and Archdeacon of Norfolk (1500–1522). He was also Dean of York from 1488 to 1494, a Canon of St George's Chapel, Windsor from 1492 to 1496 and then Dean of Windsor from 1495 to 1505. He was the Lord Almoner from 1485 to 1495.[1]

He declined the position of Bishop of Norwich in 1498 and was collated Archdeacon of Oxford in 1504.

Amongst his more important positions, Urswick became Rector of the Parish of Hackney in 1502, where he ordered the medieval parish church to be rebuilt. St Augustine's Tower is the only remnant.

He also built a new parish house (Urswick House, now demolished), where he lived for a time; and he remains commemorated in Urswick Road in nearby Homerton, as well as The Urswick School which he founded and was until recently called Hackney Free and Parochial School in Hackney Central.[2] The Urswick Chantry in St. George's Chapel commemorates him.[3]

He appears as a minor character in Shakespeare's Richard III. He opened a school for 12 poor boys which is now known as the urswick school (hackney free)


  1. ^ Thompson, Benjamin. Political Society in Later Medieval England. p. 226.
  2. ^ "The History of the School".
  3. ^ [1]

Further reading

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