KEMPE, JOHN (c. English cardinal, archbishop of Canterbury, and chancellor, son of Thomas Kempe of 011an tigh, near Ashford, Kent, was born about 138o and educated at Merton college, Oxford. He practised as an ecclesiastical lawyer, was an assessor at the trial of Oldcastle, and in 1415 was made dean of the Court of Arches. He passed into the royal service and after being entrusted with several diplomatic missions was eventually made chancellor of the duchy of Normandy. He was consecrated bishop of Rochester at Rouen on Dec. 3, 1419. In Feb. 1421 he was translated to Chichester, and in November following to London. During the minority of Henry VI. Kempe had a prominent position in the English council as a supporter of Henry Beaufort. In 1426 he became archbishop of York. Succeeding Henry Beaufort, in 1426, Kempe held office as chan cellor for six years; his main task was to keep Humphrey of Gloucester in check. His resignation on Feb. 28, 1432, was a con cession to Gloucester. He still enjoyed Beaufort's favour and was sent to the congress of Arras in 1435 and the conference at Calais in 1438. In Dec. 1439 he was created cardinal. He sup ported Suffolk over the king's marriage with Margaret of Anjou; but later there arose some difference between them arising from the nomination of the cardinal's nephew, Thomas Kempe, to the bishopric of London. In Jan. 1450 Kempe once more became chan
cellor and pronounced the final sentence on Suffolk in March. In spite of his age he dealt vigorously with Cade's rebellion, and by his official experience and skill did what he could for four years to sustain the king's authority. He was rewarded by his translation to Canterbury in July 1452, when Pope Nicholas added as a special honour the title of cardinal-bishop of Santa Rufina. As Richard of York gained influence, Kempe became unpopular and his fall seemed imminent when he died suddenly on March 22, 1454. He was buried at Canterbury, in the choir. Kempe was a politician first, and he was accused with some jus tice of neglecting his dioceses. He founded a college at Wye, which was suppressed at the Reformation.