Thomas Sampson (c. 1517–1589) was an English Puritan theologian. A Marian exile, he was one of the Geneva Bible translators. On his return to England, he had trouble with conformity to the Anglican practices. With Laurence Humphrey, he played a leading part in the vestments controversy, a division along religious party lines in the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.
He was said to have been born at Playford, Suffolk, but possibly came from Binfield in Berkshire.He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. In 1547 he joined the Inner Temple. He married a niece of Hugh Latimer; Latimer and Sampson influenced the conversion of John Bradford, a Marian Protestant martyr. He has been described as perhaps the most eloquent of all the new generation of evangelical preachers.
After Sampson's conversion to Protestantism in 1551, he became rector of All Hallows, Bread Street, London.When the dean of Chichester, Bartholomew Traheron, resigned in December 1552, he recommended Sampson to succeed him, calling him a preacher … of such integrity as I would be glad to see placed here and he was duly preferred to the post the following February. However Sampson was never installed: Mary Tudor's accession intervened. His arrest was ordered as early as August 1553, however, he did not move out of the country until May 1554 when he went to Strasburg.
His successor as rector at All Hallows, Laurence Saunders, was burned at the stake.
Sampson was strongly anti-Catholic throughout the rest of his life.He communicated to his parishioners his distaste for Catholic prayers for the dead.
He did not return immediately upon Elizabeth's accession, waiting until 1560.In that year he became canon of Durham, and in 1561 Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.
In the controversy over clerical dress, Matthew Parker ordered the Anglican clergy to wear surplice and caps. Sampson attempted to give the debate a broader Protestant dimension, involving correspondence with Heinrich Bullinger. He was ultimately unsuccessful, since Bullinger sided with Parker.The Court of High Commission ruled against Sampson, after summoning him in 1565. He was deprived of his position as Dean, despite being thought a very effective administrator.
He subsequently held other positions. He was prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral in 1570. He became Master of Whittington College. The old College of St. Spirit and St. Mary and almshouse set up by Richard Whittington at St. Michael Paternoster Royal had been shut down, first by Edward VI and then for good by Elizabeth,but he lectured there regularly. The spectacular case of Peter Birchet, who wounded John Hawkins in 1573, mistaking him for Christopher Hatton, brought attention to Sampson, since Birchet had heard him preach on the morning of the attack. Afflicted by bad health, Sampson gave that post up. He was then appointed Master of the Hospital of William de Wygston, at Leicester.
Sampson continued to argue his position. He prepared a summary of Martin Bucer's De Regno Christi, which he passed to Lord Burghley during the 1570s. He died in Leicester in 1589, and was buried in St. Ursula's Chapel, attached to the Hospital, where his sons erected a memorial to him.
He had a daughter, Anne.
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.
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.
Edmund Grindal was Bishop of London, Archbishop of York, and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Elizabeth I. Though born far from the centres of political and religious power, he had risen rapidly in the church during the reign of Edward VI, culminating in his nomination as Bishop of London. However, the death of the King prevented his taking up the post, and along with other Marian exiles, he was a supporter of Calvinist Puritanism. Grindal sought refuge in continental Europe during the reign of Mary I. Upon Elizabeth's accession, Grindal returned and resumed his rise in the church, culminating in his appointment to the highest office.
John Rogers was an English clergyman, Bible translator and commentator. He guided the development of the Matthew Bible in vernacular English during the reign of Henry VIII and was the first English Protestant executed as a heretic under Mary I of England, who was determined to restore Roman Catholicism.
Hugh Latimer was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and Bishop of Worcester during the Reformation, and later Church of England chaplain to King Edward VI. In 1555 under the Catholic Queen Mary I he was burned at the stake, becoming one of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism.
John Foxe, an English historian and martyrologist, was the author of Actes and Monuments, telling of Christian martyrs throughout Western history, but particularly the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the 14th century and in the reign of Mary I. The book was widely owned and read by English Puritans and helped to mould British opinion on the Catholic Church for several centuries.
John Roy Hooper was an English churchman, Anglican Bishop of Gloucester, later of Worcester and Gloucester, a Protestant reformer and a Protestant martyr. A proponent of the English Reformation, he was executed for heresy by burning during the reign of Queen Mary I.
John Day was an English Protestant printer. He specialised in printing and distributing Protestant literature and pamphlets, and produced many small-format religious books, such as ABCs, sermons, and translations of psalms. He found fame, however, as the publisher of John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, also known as the Book of Martyrs, the largest and most technologically accomplished book printed in sixteenth-century England.
Lawrence Humphrey DD was an English theologian, who was President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Dean successively of Gloucester and Winchester.
Robert Crowley, was a stationer, poet, polemicist and Protestant clergyman among Marian exiles at Frankfurt. He seems to have been a Henrician Evangelical in favour of a more reformed Protestantism than the king and the Church of England sanctioned. Under Edward VI, he joined a London network of evangelical stationers to argue for reforms, sharing a vision of his contemporaries Hugh Latimer, Thomas Lever, Thomas Beccon and others of England as a reformed Christian commonwealth. He attacked as inhibiting reform what he saw as corruption and uncharitable self-interest among the clergy and wealthy. Meanwhile, Crowley took part in making the first printed editions of Piers Plowman, the first translation of the Gospels into Welsh, and the first complete metrical psalter in English, which was also the first to include harmonised music. Towards the end of Edward's reign and later, Crowley criticised the Edwardian Reformation as compromised and saw the dissolution of the monasteries as replacing one form of corruption by another. On his return to England after the reign of Mary I, Crowley revised his chronicle to represent the Edwardian Reformation as a failure, due to figures like Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland. Crowley's account of the Marian martyrs represented them as a cost mostly paid by commoners. The work became a source for John Foxe's account of the period in his Actes and Monuments. Crowley held church positions in the early to mid-1560s and sought change from the pulpit and within the church hierarchy. Against the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, Crowley was a leader in the renewed vestments controversy, which eventually lost him his clerical posts. During the dispute he and other London clergy produced a "first Puritan manifesto". Late in life Crowley was restored to several church posts and appears to have charted a more moderate course in defending it from Roman Catholicism and from nonconformist factions that espoused a Presbyterian church polity.
The vestments controversy or vestarian controversy arose in the English Reformation, ostensibly concerning vestments or clerical dress. Initiated by John Hooper's rejection of clerical vestments in the Church of England under Edward VI as described by the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and 1550 ordinal, it was later revived under Elizabeth I. It revealed concerns within the Church of England over ecclesiastical identity, doctrine and church practices.
The White Horse Tavern or White Horse Inn was allegedly the meeting place in Cambridge for English Protestant reformers to discuss Lutheran ideas, from 1521 onwards. According to the historian Geoffrey Elton the group of university dons who met there were nicknamed "Little Germany" in reference to their discussions of Luther. Whilst the pub undoubtedly existed, several scholars have questioned the existence of the White Horse meetings – they are described by John Foxe in his Book of Martyrs, but no other evidence for them exists. Gergely M Juhász writes that "Foxe’s romantic image of these students and scholars convening secretly on a regular basis in the White Horse Inn… is unsubstantiated", and Alec Ryrie refers to it as "the stubborn legend of the White Horse Inn".
St Paul's Cross was a preaching cross and open-air pulpit in the grounds of Old St Paul's Cathedral, City of London. It was the most important public pulpit in Tudor and early Stuart England, and many of the most important statements on the political and religious changes brought by the Reformation were made public from here. The pulpit stood in 'the Cross yard', the open space on the north-east side of St. Paul's Churchyard, adjacent to the row of buildings that would become the home of London's publishing and book-selling trade.
Thomas Sedgwick (Segiswycke) was an English Roman Catholic theologian. An unfriendly hand in 1562 describes him as "learned but not very wise".
Perceval Wiburn or Wyburn (Percival) (1533?–1606?) was an English clergyman, a Marian exile, suspected nonconformist and Puritan, and polemical opponent of Robert Parsons.
The reign of Elizabeth I of England, from 1558 to 1603, saw the start of the Puritan movement in England, its clash with the authorities of the Church of England, and its temporarily effective suppression as a political movement in the 1590s by judicial means. This of course led to the further alienation of Anglicans and Puritans from one another in the 17th century during the reign of King James (1603-1625) and the reign of King Charles I (1625-1649), that eventually brought about the English Civil War (1642-1651), the brief rule of the Puritan Lord Protector of England Oliver Cromwell (1653-1658), the English Commonwealth (1649-1660), and as a result the political, religious, and civil liberty that is celebrated today in all English speaking countries.
Thomas Gerard (1500?–1540) was an English Protestant reformer. In 1540, he was burnt to death for heresy, along with William Jerome and Robert Barnes.
The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by Protestant English historian John Foxe, first published in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe's lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.
Thomas Aldersey was an English merchant, haberdasher, member of Parliament and philanthropist. A contemporary description placed him among the "wisest and best merchants in London", and he was particularly known for his efforts to set the Protestant colony of Emden on a secure trade footing. His charitable works included the establishment of a free grammar school at his birthplace of Bunbury in Cheshire.