Cole, Henry

, a person of considerable learning in the sixteenth century, was born at Godshill in the Isle of Wight, and educated in Wykeham’s school near Winchester. From thence he was chosen to New college, Oxford, of which he became perpetual fellow in 1523, and studying the civil law, took the degree of bachelor in that faculty, March 3, 1529-30. He then travelled into Italy, and improved himself in his studies at Padua, being a zealous Roman catholic, but upon his return to England, he acknowledged king Henry VIII. to be the supreme head of the church of England. In 1540, he took the degree of doctor of the civil law; and the same year resigned his fellowship, being then settled in London, an advocate in the court of arches, prebendary of Yatminster Secunda in the church of Sarum, and about the same time was made archdeacon of Ely. In September, 1540, he was admitted to the rectory of Chelmsford in Essex; and in October following, collated to the prebend of Holbora, which he resigned April 19, 1541; and was the same day collated to that of Sneating, which he voiding by cession in March ensuing, was collated to the prebend of Wenlakesbarne* In 1542 he was elected warden of New College; and in 1545 made rector of Newton Longville in Buckinghamshire. Soon after, when king Edward VI. came to the crown, Dr. Cole outwardly embraced, and preached up the reformation, but altering his mind, he resigned his rectory of Chelmsford in 1547; and in 1551 his wardenship of New College; and the year following, his rectory of Newton Longville. After queen Mary’s accession to the crown, he became again a zealous Roman catholic | and in 1554 was made provost of Eton college, of which he had been fellow. The same year, June 20, he had the degree of D. D. conferred on him, and was one of the divines that disputed publicly at Oxford with archbishop Cranmer, and bishop Ridley. He also preached the funeral sermon before archbishop Cranmer' s execution. He was appointed one of the commissioners to visit the university of Cambridge; was elected dean of St. Paul’s the llth of December, 1556; made (August 8, 1557) vicar-general of the spiritualities under cardinal Pole, archbishop of Canterbury; and the first of October following, official of the arches, and dean of the peculiars; and in November ensuing, judge of the court of audience. In 1558 he was appointed one of the overseers of that cardinal’s will. In the first year of queen Elizabeth’s reign he was one of the eight catholic divines who disputed publicly at Westminster with the same number of protestants, and distinguished himself then and afterwards, by his writings in favour of popery, for which he was deprived of his deanery, fined five hundred marks, and imprisoned. He died in or near Wood -street compter, in London, in December, 1579. Leland has noticed him among other learned men of our nation. He is called by Strype “a person more earnest than wise,” but Ascham highly commends him for his learning and humanity. It is evident, however, that he accommodated his changes of opinions to the times, although in his heart he was among the most bigotted and implacable opponents of the reformed religion. His writings were, 1. “Disputation with archbishop Cranmer and bishop Ridley at Oxford,” in 1554. 2. “Funeral Sermon at the Burning of Dr. Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury.” Both these are in Fox’s Acts and Monuments. 3. “Letters to John Jewell, bishop of Salisbury, upon occasion of a Sermon that the said bishop preached before the queen’s majesty and her honourable council, anno 1560,” Lond.1560, 8vo, printed afterwards among Bishop Jewell’s works. 4. “Letters to bishop Jewell, upon occasion of a Sermon of his preached at Paul’s Cross on the second Sunday before Easter, in 1560.” 5. “An Answer to the first proposition of the Protestants, at the Disputation before the lords at Westminster.” These last are in Burnet’s History of the Reformation. 1

1

Biog. Brit.—Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Fox’s Arts and Monuments.—Burnet’s, Collier’s, and Dodd’s Ch. Hist.

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