Page images


John Hooper, one of that band of confessors who “Resisted unto death, striving against sin," was born in Somersetshire in 1495, and educated at Merton College, Oxford. After quitting the University for a time he returned thither, and, becoming acquainted with the writings of some of the reformers, was led to embrace the principles of Protestantism. Leaving the University in 1539, when the statute of the six articles was put in execution, Hooper became chaplain in the family of a Devonshire gentleman, and afterwards retired to France, whence he returned to England; but being in danger he escaped to Ireland, and subsequently went to Holland and Switzerland. On the accession of King Edward Hooper was nominated Bishop of Gloucester, but when he came to be consecrated refused to wear a canonical habit; and it was not till these ceremonies were dispensed with by royal authority that the consecration took place in 1550. He also held for a short time the Bishopric of Worcester in commendam. In the persecution under Mary he adhered firmly to the truths he had so long taught, and was burned at the stake at Gloucester in 1555, suffering death with a noble endurance. On the 308th anniversary of this tragic deed, namely the 9th of February, 1863, a monument to the memory of the martyr, which had been erected on the spot where he was burned, was inaugurated by the authorities and inhabitants of Gloucester. It consists of a cross resembling to some extent the Eleanor crosses. Beneath the canopy is a statue of Hooper, who is represented in the act of preaching. Two inscriptions describe the object of the memorial : the first is as follows :

Gloria soli Deo.
“For the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God,” “Not
accepting deliverance," John Hooper, D.D., Bishop of Gloucester
and Worcester, was burnt to ashes on this spot, February 9, anno

Domini 1555.
The second inscription records that

This Monument was erected by public subscription anno Domini
1862, on the site of a smaller one, the gift of James Clealand, Esq.,

of Bangor, Ireland.* (A fac simile of this memorial, from a very beautiful photograph by Mr. H. T. Bowers, of Gloucester, has, with that gentleman's permission, been used as an ornament for the cover of this volume.) Bishop Hooper was the author of numerous works on religious subjects. Two passages from his pen will be found at pages 15 (Rich and Precious Jewel) and 162, (The Sabbath.)


The events in the life of this excellent prelate may be very briefly summed up. He was born in Devonshire in 1633 ; became chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1649; at the age of sixteen, being then B.A., was usher of the school adjoining; chaplain of the college when M.A.; and would have been a fellow had his county qualified him. Shortly after the Restoration he was elected preacher at one of the city churches, but the Bishop refused his consent on account of the popularity of Hopkins among the Dissenters; he was, however, subsequently appointed to the parish church of St. Mary Wolnoth. Retiring to Exeter on account of the plague, he became chaplain to Lord Robartes, afterwards Earl of Truro, who gave him his daughter in marriage, took him as his chaplain to Ireland, presented him to the Deanery of Raphoe, and recommended him so effectually to his

• Mr. Clealand, in the year 1826, sojourned for a short time at Gloucester, and erected a small and simple monument, which, as above stated, has now been replaced by a much statelier and more beautiful structure.

successor, Lord Berkeley, that he was consecrated Bishop of Raphoe in 1671 and translated to Londonderry in 1681. Driven thence by the forces under the Earl of Tyrconnel in 1688, he returned to England, and was elected minister of Aldermanbury, London, where he died in 1690. His published works comprise several sermons,

“Exposition of the Ten Commandments," and an “ Exposition of the Lord's Prayer.” An extract is given at page 187, (The Sabbath.)


He was

Few incidents in the life of this divine have been recorded. Some peculiar expressions in his writings have led to the inference that he was one of the many champions for religious truth who at the period of the Reformation were sent forth by the northern counties of England; but where or when he was born is not known. educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, “ The chief nursery in those times,” according to Strype, “Of the favourers of true religion and solid learning," and was contemporary there with Roger Ascham and other eminent

Hutchinson was admitted a fellow of his college in 1543, and a senior in 1547, in which latter year he was associated with a friend in a disputation held in the college chapel on the question then uppermost in men's minds, “Whether the mass was the same thing as the Lord's Supper, or not ?” Such was the attention attracted by their arguments that a proposition was made to have the question debated more openly in the public schools; but some persons less zealous than those with whom the movement originated took alarm at the proposal, and procured it to be stopped by authority. Hutchinson's


chief work, “ The Image of God, or Layman's Book," was published in 1550. In the epistle dedicatory to Archbishop Cranmer, the author states his object in writing it, as follows : “ Forasmuch as my intent and matter herein is to portray and paint our Saviour Christ, who is the brightness of the everlasting light, the undefiled glass and lively image of the Divine Majesty, I do call it the Image of God; or else, because such things be here opened and discovered which be necessary to be believed and known of the lay and unlearned people, name it, if ye will, the Layman's Book.” In the year following the publication, Hutchinson was appointed a fellow of Eton College, and is supposed to have been deprived of his fellowship at the commencement of the Marian persecutions; but he was mercifully spared from any suffering therein, being called to his eternal rest about the end of May, 1555 A letter of Ascham is the only known documentary evidence of his character : “If I am able to judge, he is a man of profound understanding, of singular learning, and yields scarcely to any one in strictness of life and clear judgment in religion.” Extracts from his writings are given at pages 103 (The Lord's Supper) and 281, (Christian Patience.)


This prelate, who has been reputed one of the fathers of the English Church, was descended from an ancient family in Devonshire, where he was born in 1522.

At Oxford he pursued his studies with indefatigable industry, usually rising at four in the morning and studying till ten at night. At a very early age he became tutor, and was also chosen Reader of Humanity and Rhetoric in his college, that of Corpus Christi. Jewell inculcated Protestant principles among his pupils, but privately till the accession of Edward VI., when he made a public declaration of his faith. During the lifetime of the youthful monarch he preached and catechised at his rectory of Sunningwell, in Berkshire, and zealously promoted the cause of the Reformation. Early in the succeeding reign he was expelled his college by the fellows on their private authority, though remaining at Oxford, where in a moment of weakness he made a subscription to Popish doctrines. Retiring to Frankfort, Jewell publicly confessed his sorrow, and soon after went to Strasburg at the invitation of the celebrated Peter Martyr. On the accession of Elizabeth he returned to England, and after being usefully employed on several public occasions was consecrated Bishop of Salisbury in 1559-60. His watchful and laborious life accelerated his death, which took place in 1571. Dr. Jewell's writings rendered his name celebrated over all Europe. The most important of his productions was the “Apologia Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ," which has been translated into several languages. So highly was this work approved of that it was ordered by Queen Elizabeth and her two successors to be read and chained up in all parish churches throughout England and Wales. Haweis (Sketches of the Reformation, p. 19) observes: “His sermons are those of a deeply and truly affectionate soul expanding itself over all who came within his influence. They are more correctly written and more beautifully illustrated, as well as more learned, than those of his contemporaries. If too many of them were polemical, and the most celebrated were not quite free from controversial violence and severity, others combine the fancy of a poet with the wisdom of a sage, the lore of a scholar with the simplicity of a child.” Passages will be found at pages 1 (Rich and Precious Jewel) and 96, (The Lord's Supper.)

« PreviousContinue »