The Right Reverend
|Bishop of Winchester|
|Church||Church of England|
|Diocese||Diocese of Winchester|
|Elected||8 March 1551|
|Term ended||1553 (Counter-Reformation)|
|Other posts||Bishop of Rochester (1550–1551)|
|Ordination||10 June 1536 (priest)|
|Consecration||29 June 1550|
|Alma mater||Queens' College, Cambridge|
John Ponet (c. 1514 – August 1556), sometimes spelled John Poynet,was an English Protestant churchman and controversial writer, the bishop of Winchester and Marian exile. He is now best known as a resistance theorist who made a sustained attack on the divine right of kings.
Ponet was from Kent.He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1533, was elected a fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge in the same year: and became a Master of Arts in 1535.
Ponet was a pupil and one of the humanist circle of Thomas Smith, who claimed that the new pronunciation of Ancient Greek had been introduced by himself, Ponet, and John Cheke. Smith and Cheke also were proponents of mathematics, and Ponet was one of their numerous followers.A sundial of his design was installed at Hampton Court.
Ponet was ordained a priest at Lincoln on 10 June 1536. From 1539 to 1541 he was a university professor of Greek.In the later 1530s and early 1540s he took on college offices at Queens', acting as bursar and Dean.
By the time of the Prebendaries' Plot, Ponet was a partisan of Thomas Cranmer.By 1545, he was Cranmer's chaplain.
By November 1548, Ponet had married, though the Parliament of England had not yet removed the ban on clerical marriage.In the power struggles of the early reign of Edward VI, he was a supporter of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and suspicious of his rival the Earl of Warwick (later the Duke of Northumberland). Following Somerset's fall from political power, Ponet was arrested in November 1549, perhaps in connection with his translation from Ochino, which flattered Somerset and was dedicated to him.
By spring 1550 Ponet was rehabilitated, and preached before the king. In March 1550, he was nominated as bishop of Rochester, and was consecrated at Lambeth Palace on 29 June. In January 1551, he was appointed to a commission to investigate anabaptists in Kent.
On 8 March 1551 Ponet was appointed to the see of Winchester, replacing Stephen Gardiner.As a diocesan he agreed a reduction in the income of the see, to the benefit of the government. His own salary fell to £1300 compared to £3000 for his predecessor.
In 1553, the Roman Catholic Mary I succeeded to the English throne. With the group of nearly 800 others, Protestants and mainly of higher social status, Ponet and his wife left for continental Europe. Ponet was the highest-ranking ecclesiastic among the Marian exiles.His exact movements are still a matter of debate, however. As a married man, he was deprived of his bishopric. John Stow claimed that during Wyatt's rebellion in early 1554, Ponet participated in the uprising. He is known to have been in Strasbourg after the rebellion's defeat with his wife. A child was born to them in later in 1554, and they were granted citizenship in February 1555. Peter Carew, who was one of the rebels, took refuge with Ponet at Strasburg.
Ponet died at Strasburg in August 1556.
Ponet rejected outright the idea that the King was ordained by God to rule his Church on Earth. His major work was A Shorte Treatise of Politike Power (1556), in which he put forward a theory of justified opposition to secular rulers. Ponet had used the library of Peter Martyr Vermigli, a less radical resistance theorist.The work justified tyrannicide. The Treatise was a seminal volume that later political philosophers such as John Locke expanded on, and influenced John Adams. An anonymous work, it had seven chapters, and a conclusion, and proposed a radical resistance theory, of the Calvinist type and based on biblical exemplars. Chapter VII, What Confidence is to be Given to Princes and Potentates, published the murder story Arden of Faversham .
This work also presented some recent political history, in Ponet's account of the palace revolution of 1549, and the fall of Somerset. He held responsible, as supporters of John Dudley (then Earl of Warwick), Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, and Richard Southwell.It did not accord any legitimacy to Dudley's subsequent attempt to displace Mary Tudor from the succession. Its contemporary focus was not on secular politics, but the church powers of the Marian bishops.
In 1549 Ponet dedicated a work defending clerical marriage to the Duke of Somerset. This work, A Defense for marriage of priests by scripture and auncient writers proved, was one of the most comprehensive works on the subject written in the English reformation. It used examples of scriptural allowance of marriage, scriptural figures who married and early Church figures who married or permitted it to priests to argue priests should be able to marry.In October 2013 a manuscript A Traictise declarying and plainly prouying, that the pretensed marriage of Priestes … is no mariage (1554), from the Mendham Collection and sold by the Law Society, was barred from export by Ed Vaizey. It contains the views on clerical marriage of Stephen Gardiner, and those of Ponet. In 1556 appeared An Apologie Fully Answeringe ... a Blasphemous Book, an answer to A Defence of Priestes Mariages by Thomas Martyn. It was published after Ponet's death by Matthew Parker, whose role may have been largely editorial.
In 1549 also, Ponet published A Trageodie, or, Dialogue of the Unjust Usurper Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, a translation of a work by Bernardino Ochino. It argued against the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome; and in claiming the Papacy had fallen into heresy, may have been intended to undermine expectations of the effectiveness of the Council of Trent, convened from 1545, by proposing that conciliarism was a dead letter.It contained also Cranmer's reasoning on the Pope as Antichrist.
A catechism added by Ponet to the 42 Articles of 1553 formed the basis of a later catechism of Alexander Nowell (1570).It was commissioned from Ponet by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland. A translation by Michaelangelo Florio (1553) was the first Italian book published in England.
Other works attributed to Ponet are Diallecticon viri boni et literati (1557) which was edited by his friend Anthony Cooke, and translated into English by Elizabeth Hoby in 1605;and possibly An Answer unto a Crafty and Sophistical Cavillation (1550) as ghost-writer for Cranmer. The Diallecticon, an anonymous publication, was an irenical discussion of the Eucharistic controversy within the Protestant churches. The work was edited in 1688 by Edward Pelling. William Goode in the 19th century argued that earlier attributions to Cooke were correct.
Ponet married twice. In July 1551, his first wife was found by a consistory court at St Paul's Cathedral to have a legal pre-contract marriage to a butcher and he was forced to divorce her and compensate him. He married his second wife, Maria Hayman, on 25 October of the same year; she was the daughter of one of the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's financial officers.After his death, having sold his books to Anthony Cooke, Mary Ponet had to apologise to Peter Martyr, some of whose volumes were in the sale.
...one of the leading Protestant theologians during the Edwardian phase of the English Reformation. His writings offer compelling opinions on some of the most contentious doctrinal issues of the time. Unfortunately, one could not find this out by reading current scholarship on the man or, for that matter, on the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I. In fact, research on Ponet has without exception emphasized his ideas on political resistance.
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. Edward was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant. During his reign, the realm was governed by a regency council because he never reached maturity. The council was first led by his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick (1550–1553), who from 1551 was Duke of Northumberland.
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages, and, in particular, his efforts to have his first marriage annulled. His disagreement with Pope Clement VII on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy," as he invested heavily in the navy, increasing its size from a few to more than 50 ships, and established the Navy Board.
Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents, was the queen of England from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her vigorous attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. Her attempt to restore to the church the property confiscated in the previous two reigns was largely thwarted by parliament, but during her five-year reign, Mary had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of royal supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.
The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion are the historically defining statements of doctrines and practices of the Church of England with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. The Thirty-nine Articles form part of the Book of Common Prayer used by both the Church of England and the U.S. Episcopal Church, among other denominations in the worldwide Anglican Communion and Anglican Continuum.
Reginald Pole was an English cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and the last Roman Catholic archbishop of Canterbury, holding the office from 1556 to 1558, during the Counter-Reformation.
Peter Martyr Vermigli was an Italian-born Reformed theologian. His early work as a reformer in Catholic Italy and his decision to flee for Protestant northern Europe influenced many other Italians to convert and flee as well. In England, he influenced the Edwardian Reformation, including the Eucharistic service of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. He was considered an authority on the Eucharist among the Reformed churches, and engaged in controversies on the subject by writing treatises. Vermigli's Loci Communes, a compilation of excerpts from his biblical commentaries organised by the topics of systematic theology, became a standard Reformed theological textbook.
Nicholas Ridley was an English Bishop of London. Ridley was burned at the stake as one of the Oxford Martyrs during the Marian Persecutions for his teachings and his support of Lady Jane Grey. He is remembered with a commemoration in the calendar of saints in some parts of the Anglican Communion on 16 October.
Stephen Gardiner was an English bishop and politician during the English Reformation period who served as Lord Chancellor during the reign of Queen Mary I and King Philip.
Sir John Cheke (Cheek) was an English classical scholar and statesman. One of the foremost teachers of his age, and the first Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge, he played a great part in the revival of Greek learning in England. He was tutor to Prince Edward, the future King Edward VI, and also sometimes to Princess Elizabeth. Of strongly Reformist sympathy in religious affairs, his public career as Provost of King's College, Cambridge, Member of Parliament and briefly as Secretary of State during King Edward's reign was brought to a close by the accession of Queen Mary in 1553. He went into voluntary exile abroad, at first under royal licence. He was captured and imprisoned in 1556, and under threat or apprehension of execution by the fire made a forced public recantation and affiliated himself to the Church of Rome. He died not long afterwards, filled with remorse for having forsworn his true belief from the infirmity of fear. His character, teaching and reputation were, however, admiringly and honourably upheld.
Edward Foxe was an English churchman, Bishop of Hereford. He played a major role in Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and he assisted in drafting the Ten Articles of 1536.
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The Marian exiles were English Protestants who fled to Continental Europe during the 1553–1558 reign of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I and King Philip. They settled chiefly in Protestant countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, and also in France, Italy and Poland.
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The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practise of Christianity in western and central Europe. Causes included the invention of the printing press, increased circulation of the Bible and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. The phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.
Thomas Martin (1521-1593), of Winterbourne St. Martin, Dorset; Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, and London, was an English lawyer, controversialist and politician. He was prominent in the trial of Thomas Cranmer.
John London, DCL was Warden of New College, Oxford, and a prominent figure in the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII of England.
John Seton D.D. was an English Roman Catholic priest, known as the author of a standard logic text.
The will of Henry VIII of England was a significant constitutional document, or set of contested documents created in the 1530s and 1540s, affecting English and Scottish politics for the rest of the 16th century. In conjunction with legislation passed by the English Parliament, it was supposed to have a regulative effect in deciding the succession to the three following monarchs of the House of Tudor, the three legitimate and illegitimate children of King Henry VIII of England. Its actual legal and constitutional status was much debated; and arguably the succession to Elizabeth I of England did not respect Henry's wishes.
John Mullins or Molyns was an English churchman and Marian exile, archdeacon of London from 1559.
|Church of England titles|
| Bishop of Rochester |
| Bishop of Winchester |