Johannes Peckham (or John Pecham) was born around 1220 to 1225 in Patcham in the county of Sussex. He received his school education from the monks of the abbey of Cluny in Lewes. Johannes Peckham began studying in the art department of the Sorbonne in 1245. He completed his studies in Oxford; Roger Bacon was possibly one of his teachers.
He then returned to Paris, where he devoted himself to theology and met some of the most important scientists of his time. Bonaventura was one of his teachers here. In 1250, Johannes Peckham entered the Franciscan order. When he publicly defended the vow of poverty against the world clergy, he made a theological opponent of Thomas Aquinas.
From 1269 until 1271, he was "magister regens" at the Sorbonne. Johannes Peckham stayed in Oxford in 1271, where he introduced the academic rite, to keep "disputationes de quodlibet." He was named provincial of England for his order in 1275.
Peckham participated with his quill at the general chapter of the Franciscan order in Padua in 1276. He was the first minorite to be named "Magister Sacri Palatii" (Master of the Sacred Palace; papal theologian) in the Vatican.
Finally on January 28, 1279, Johannes Peckham was elected to succeed Robert Kilwardby as Archbishop of Canterbury and English Primate. He was a strict representative of Church discipline and released various anti-Averroistic and anti-Thomistic decretals. It therefore came to a judgment of some teachings of Richard Kanpwell in 1286. Johannes Peckham preached the Crusade in 1290.
Besides his scholastic-theological writings, which are partly unedited, he composed essays on psychological and mathematic-physical questions, including the piece "Perspectivae communis libri tres. Iam postemto correcti ac figuris illustrati." He composed hymns in addition to his other activities. In the history of theology, he stands out as a co-founder of the New Augustinian School of Scholasticism.
Johannes Peckham died on December 8, 1292, at Mortlake Manor in Surrey County.