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 through 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 two sons, John and Nathaniel, and a daughter Johanna.
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 Calvinist 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 Calvinist 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 Calvinist theological textbook.
Edmund Grindal was a prelate of the Church of England who, during the reign of Elizabeth I, was successively Bishop of London, Archbishop of York, and Archbishop of Canterbury. 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; the death of the King prevented his taking up the post, and, along with other Marian exiles, 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.
Heinrich Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Church of Zürich and former pastor at Grossmünster. As one of the most important reformers in the Swiss Reformation, Bullinger is known for co-authoring the Helvetic Confessions and his work with John Calvin on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
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.
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.
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 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.
The vestments controversy or vestarian controversy arose in the English Reformation, ostensibly concerning vestments or clerical dress. It was initiated by John Hooper's rejection of clerical vestiments in the Church of England under Edward VI, and was later revived under Elizabeth I. It revealed concerns within the Church of England over ecclesiastical identity, doctrine and church practices.
Andrew Perne, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and Dean of Ely, was the son of John Perne of East Bilney, Norfolk.
Nicholas Shaxton was an English Reformer and Bishop of Salisbury.
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.
John Randall (1570–1622), was an English puritan divine.
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.
James Calfhill (1530?–1570) was an Anglican clergyman, academic and controversialist, who died as Archdeacon of Colchester and Bishop-designate of Worcester.