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Church of England Magazine.
MEMOIRS OF ENGLISH DIVINES.
cox. RICHARD Cox, a name which graces of good will from his contempothe episcopal records of the Church raries, and was treated by them of Ely, was born in 1499, at with that respect which was due to Whaddon in the north of Bucking- his general character for piety and hamshire; his early history affords erudition. But, acting up to the little more than the usual routine' light which he possessed, he was of academical gradation and clerical graciously blessed with more. preferment; but the part which he showing himself averse from many sustained in the British reforma- of the popish superstitions, and tion, and the documentary evidence declaring freely for some of Luther's preserved by ecclesiastical histo- opinions, he incurred the displeasure rians of his faithful conduct in of his superiors, who not content trying seasons, together with his with depriving him of his means connexion with his fellow-sufferers of subsistence, imprisoned him on in the cause of truth on the Con- suspicion of heresy. Recovering tinent, render the advanced period his liberty, he was elected master of his life more interesting.
of Eton School, which flourished He was of humble descent, and under his industrious and vigilant supposed to have received the rudi superintendence. The harsh treatments of education in the little ment experienced at Oxford was in priory of Snelshall in his native some measure compensated by the parish, but being removed to Eton favor shown by the sister university, School, he was chosen a scholar who renewed her former kindness, of King's College, Cambridge, of and seated him among her doctors which he became fellow in 1519. in divinity in 1537. This honor Having in the same year taken the was followed by advancement to the degree of bachelor in arts, and Archdeaconry of Ely about three distinguished himself by his in- years after ;* and he was also aptegrity and attainment, he was one pointed the first prebendary in the of those invited by Cardinal Wolsey first stall of the same cathedral on to fill up his new foundation at its new foundation by Henry the Oxford, where he was preferred to Eighth. He was presented also by a junior canonry, admitted to the the same monarch to the prebend same degree in that University of Sutton with Buckingham in the which he held in Cambridge, and church of Lincoln, which however soon after licensed to proceed in he did not long retain. arts, in which he became Master, July 2, 1526. Here he continued March 25, 1541. Registrum Good. for some time receiving testimonies rich, fol. 36.
In the year 1543, he supplicated ists, from whom however they come the University of Oxford, that he with very ill grace, and as inconmight take place among her doctors siderately echoed by certain Proin divinity, which was unusual, testants; but they should be received because he was not then incorpo. with no little qualification, knowing rated into that degree, to which as we do that the promotion of he was admitted two years after; useful science was one great printhe growth of protestantism, and ciple of the reformed, while in decountenance of the Sovereign, con- stroying much superstitious lumber spiring to produce this alteration or mystical trifling, they imitated the in his favor at that ancient seat converts of Ephesus, who “ having of learning. When a design was used curious arts, brought their formed of converting the collegiate books together, and burned them church of Southwell in the county before all men.” of Nottingham into a bishopric, In 1550, Dr. Cox was ordered to Dr. Cox was nominated to the See. go down into Sussex, and endeavor He was then made second Dean by his addresses from the pulpit, of the newly-erected cathedral of distinguished as they were by sound Osney near Oxford; and in 1546 learning and affectionate exhortawhen that See was translated to. tion, to counteract the effects proChrist-church, he became Dean. duced by the violent declamations These promotions he obtained of Day, Bishop of Chichester, in through the interest of Archbishop favor of the decaying superstitions. Cranmer and Bishop Goodrich, to After rendering assistance to the the last of whom he had been necessary revision of the canon law, chaplain : by the recommendation and upholding the privileges of the of the same prelates, he was chosen Universities against the attempts to the important office of Tutor to of interested statesmen, he was the young Prince Edward ; on whose deprived of his preferments on the accession to the throne he was ele- accession of Queen Mary, and comvated to a seat in the privy council, mitted to the Marshalsea prison. and appointed King's almoner. On His name was included in a list the twenty-first of May 1547, he was of persons who were regarded elected Chancellor of the University as promoters of the succession of of Oxford, installed to a canonry Lady Jane Grey from protestant of Windsor the next year, and soon sentiments or secular views; but the after dignified with the Deanery Queen reduced the number from of Westminster. About the same twenty-seven to eleven, and the time he was appointed one of the ex-Dean was among the erased. commissioners to visit the Univer- On his liberation from confinement, sity of Oxford; on which occasion he deemed it prudent to withdraw the interests of literature are under- from that persecution which he stood to have suffered through the apprehended would be raised against indiscriminate zeal of the Dean and all who had been active in their his brother commissioners, who opposition to popish measures, and have been accused by Wood and resolved to retire to some place others of destroying some valuable where he might enjoy the free extreatises in the libraries, from an ercise of his religion, according to apprehension that they encouraged the form established in the reign popery and conjuration. That some of King Edward. works containing curious mathe. He first went to Strasburg, where matical diagrams, &c. might have he heard with concern of some been thus treated is not improbable; English exiles at Frankfort, who but accusations of this sort have had thrown aside the Liturgy, and been maliciously urged by Roman- set up a form more adapted to the Gallican and Helvetic models. A Knox and his partisans, and condeputation of these religionists,“ siderable altercation ensuing, the having requested the intervention Scotch pastor was interdicted from of Knox, the celebrated Scotch further interference. reformer, then staying at Geneva, "Dr. Cox returned however to that divine had composed a service Strasburg, that he might enjoy the for them, which had been approved conversation of Peter Martyr, with by his friend Calvin. It had been whom he had contracted an intiagreed by the congregation, that mate friendship at Oxford, loving the litany should be omitted, and and honouring him for his profound wearing the surplice disused; that learning and wise' moderation. loud responses after the officiating After the death of Queen Mary, he minister should be discontinued ; again set foot on the land of his that a confession should be made nativity, anticipating peace and by the minister which he might stability for the national Ark, under judge more suitable to the circum- a princess of known enlightened stances of time and place, than sentiments, and was one of those that belonging to the Anglican divines who were appointed to establishment; that after such con- revise fthe Liturgy, as well as to fession, the people should sing a hold a disputation at Westminster, psalm in decent melody and plain attended by seven other reformed metre, after the practice of the clergymen, against an equal numforeign protestants; that the minis- ber of Roman Catholics. On the ter should next implore the assist- twenty-fifth of January, 1559, ance of God's holy Spirit, and Queen Elizabeth assisted in state proceed to the sermon; that a at a solemn high mass, which was prayer for all estates, and England followed by a sermon from Dr. in particular should follow, with Cox; and as the Parliament was the Lord's prayer and the Creed, on the point of assembling, he exclosing with another psalm and the horted them in most affecting terms Benediction. Certain forms were to restore religion to its primitive to be omitted in the ministration purity, and banish all popish inof the Sacraments, adjudged to be novations and corruptions. He superstitious and superfluous. The preached also before her Majesty great argument of the majority for during Lent with such acceptance, these resolutions was theịr approx- that in the following June she imation to the custom of the French nominated him to the bishopric of reformed, to whom the same chapel Norwich, which was changed for had been granted by the magistracy that of Ely, on the deprivation of Strasburg, which had signified
of Dr. Thirlby, to which latter he its wish, that as far as possible, such
was consecrated on the twentyapproximation might be maintained, first of December, 1559.* There were however in the mino
Before his consecration, he joined rity some zealous members of the
alous members of the with Dr. Parker, elect archbishop English church, who did not allow
of Canterbury, and the bishops the necessity of departing so far elect of London, Chichester, and from their own venerated standard,
Hereford, in a petition to the but who wanted a leader of sufficient
Queen, against an act lately passed authority to give effect to their objec
for the alienating and exchanging tions, and who now recognized such
the lands and revenues of the an one in the ex-dean of Westmin
bishops; and sent her ten several ster. Under his regulation the Li
arguments from scripture and reatany was restored, and loud responses
son against the lawfulness of such made after the minister in time of divide service. This much offended * Parker de Antiq. Eccles. Brit. p. 55.