Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1506-1517 St Stephen (Westminster)

Humanist scholar and poet Andreas Ammonius [Andrea della Rena] was born in Lucca into a family of silk weavers and baptised on 13 October 1476. In preparation for an ecclesiastical career, he studied with Oliviero da Montegallo at the University of Bologna from 1494 to 1498. He then went to Rome where he was a member of the Lucchese circle which included Silvestro Gigli, Henry VIIs ambassador in Rome. Ammonius was sent to England by Pope Julius II in 1506. Three years later he became Latin secretary to William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, and by 1511 he was secretary to Henry VIII. In February 1512, he received a prebend in the Cathedral of St Stephen, Westminster, and later a canonry at Worcester. In April 1514, he became an English citizen, and in 1515 Pope Leo X appointed him sub-collector of papal taxes in England. Ammonius is remembered as a correspondent to Erasmus. From 1511 to 1517 they exchanged more than forty letters. At some point they met up at the home of Thomas More. Ammonius died suddenly in 1517 of the sweating sickness’ epidemic in London. It was Thomas More who informed Erasmus of the death of his friend.

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