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Ashton was a member of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s household and served as her receiver-general from around 1502, before rising to the position of comptroller from late 1508. He began an MA at Oxford in 1507, but was quickly granted permission to transfer to Cambridge in order to study canon law. Among his various subsequent appointments, Ashton served as canon and prebendary of St. Stephen’s, Westminster from 1509; Archdeacon of Winchester, 1511-1519; Archdeacon of Cornwall from 1515; Rector of Grasmere to 1511; and Archdeacon of York from 1516.
Ashton was an early fellow of and benefactor to St. John’s College. His tomb and effigy were transferred from their chantry in the old College chapel to the new chapel in 1868 and are still visible in the north transept today.
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