Cox, Leonard

, a learned writer of the sixteenth century, was the second son of Laurence Cox, | son of John Cox, of the city of Monmouth. His mother’s name was Elizabeth Willey. He was educated at Cambridge, where he took his bachelors degree in arts, but at what college is not known. In 1528 he went to Oxford, and was incorporated in the same degree in February 1529. He supplicated also for the degree of M. A. but it does not appear that he was admitted to it. About this time he became master of Reading school; and was living there, in great esteem, at the time when Fryth, the martyr, was first persecuted by being set in the stocks. Cox, who soon, discovered his merit by his conversation, relieved his wants, and out of regard to his learning, procured his release. In 1532 he published “The art or craft of Rhetoryke,” inscribed to Hugh Farington, abbot of Reading, in which he divides his subject into four parts, invention, judgment, disposition, and eloquence in speaking; but the present treatise is confined to the first. In 1540 he published tc Commentaries on William Lilly’s construction of the eight parts of speech,“which are mentioned in Dr. Ward’s edition of Lilly’s grammar; and, according to Wood, he translated from Greek into Latin,” Marcus Eremita de lege et spiritu;“and from Latin into English,” The paraphrase of St. Paul’s Epistle to Titus,“by Erasmus, with whom he was well acquainted. These, Wood says, were published in 1540, but by a ms note of Mr. Baker, we are told, that the paraphrase of Erasmus was published in 1549, at which time, the author says,” he was then in hand“with Eremita, who had written” on the law and the spirit,“and” of them that thynke to be justyfyed by their works."

In 1541, Henry VIII. granted him, by patent, the office of master of the grammar-school of Reading, with a certain tenement called “a scole-house,” with a stipend of ten pounds, issuing out of the manor of Cholsey, belonging to the late dissolved monastery of Reading. A few years after he had obtained this patent, which he appears, to have had the power of assigning during his life, he quitted Reading, and travelled over great part of the continent, teaching the learned languages. Leland, in some Latin verses, among his “Encomia,” addressed to Cox, speaks of his visiting the universities of Prague, Paris, and Cracow, and that he was known to Melancthon, who was Greek professor at Wittemberg. In the latter part of his life he kept a school at Caer-leon, and is said to have | survived until the reign of Edward VI. Bale says that he was instructed in all the liberal arts, that he was a grammarian, a rhetorician, and a poet; a sound divine, and a diligent preacher of God’s word. It is needless after this to add that he was of the reformed religion. In Edward Vlth’s time, he was one of the licensed preachers. 1

1

Ath. Ox. vol. I Coates’s Hist, of Reading. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry, vol. II. 416, III. 331. Jortin’s Life of Erasmus.