The published material on this James is a tad confused. All Saint’s Church at Hillesden has a booklet suggesting Sir Thomas Denton my GGF11 was the son or descendant of James. But I prefer to show James as the brother of my GGF12, Thomas Denton of Fyfield (1464-1560), and that my GGF11 Thomas is the son of this Thomas, of course making James his uncle and my GU13.
James was born in Halifax, he attended Eton College where he was a King’s Scholar, and subsequently became a priest. At King’s College Cambridge he gained his BA in 1489 and an MA in 1492.
James later studied canon law and earned his doctorate at Valencia, Spain. In 1505 he arranged for Cambridge University to recognise this as a Cambridge doctorate. His coat of arms (below) indicates his connection to my Denton branch.
He was Canon of Windsor from 1509 to 1533 and Archdeacon of Cleveland from 1523-1533. He also enjoyed prebends (a portion of revenue as his stipend) at Lichfield in 1509, Salisbury in 1510 and Lincoln in 1515.
Appointed in 1509 to the ninth stall in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle he held the position until 1533.
He was also rector of several parishes including St Olave’s of Southwark, London in 1509 and later St Swithun’s Church, Headbourne Worthy in Hampshire. From1522-1533 he was the 14th Dean of Lichfield.
As her almoner and chancellor, James accompanied Princess Mary (aka Mary Tudor), daughter of Henry VIII, to France where she became Queen of France. He stayed with her for the four months of her marriage to Louis XII (Oct 1514 – Jan 1515). On his return Mary pressed Cardinal Wolsey to reward him and he became the royal chaplain and later a privy councillor to Henry VIII.
In 1519 James built a property adjacent to St George’s Chapel at Windsor as a residence for the choristers and chantry priests where they would live and eat. It became known as Denton’s Commons; this was demolished in 1895. In 1520 he was one of the royal chaplains dressed in damask and satin at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, the summit between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France.
In 1524 James was appointed legate, part of a three-man (with Sir Anthony Fitzherbert and Sir Ralph Egerton) royal commission sent to seek to reform the Irish ‘pale’. He died in 1533 and was buried at St Lawrence’s Church, Ludlow which is known as the ‘Cathedral of the [Welsh] Marches’.
From the evidence it is not clear if James would have been permitted to get married, he certainly had one child with Sarah Jane Webb (1468-1560):
James Denton of Ovenden (1492-1548)