Philpot, John

, a learned English divine and martyr, was the son of sir Peter Philpot, knight of the Bath, and twice sheriff of Hampshire. He was born at Compton in. that county, and educated at Winchester school, whence he was admitted of New college, Jan. 27, 1534, was made fellow, and took the degree of bachelor of laws. In a manuscript list of persons educated in that college, preserved in the Bodleian library, he is termed, “constans martyr pro verbo Dei, regnante Maria regina,” a faithful martyr for the word of God in queen Mary’s reign. He | was, according to Wood, esteemed a good civilian, and admirably well skilled in the Greek and Hebrew tongues. Strype says, that when at college, “he profited in learning so well, that he laid a wager of twenty-pence with John Harpsfield, that he would make two hundred verses in one night, and not make above two faults in them. Mr. Thomas Tuchyner, schoolmaster, was judge; and decreed the twenty-pence to Mr. Philpot.

In 1541 his fellowship became void, /probably by his setting out on his travels through Italy. He returned in the beginning of king Edward’s reign, and was collated to the archdeaconry of Winchester by Dr. Ponet, or Poynet, the first protestant bishop of that see. He was not unknown to Gardiner, Ponet’s predecessor, who had often forbidden his preaching in king Henry’s reign, and on one occasion cited him to his house, before certain justices, and called him rogue. Catching hold of this abusive epithet, Philpot said, “Do you keep a privy sessions in your own house for me, and call me rogue, whose father is a knight, and may spend a thousand pounds within one mile of your nose? And he that can spend ten pounds by the year, as I can, I thank God, is no vagabond.

While archdeacon of Winchester he was a frequent preacher, and active in promoting the reformed religion in the county of Hampshire; and considering the doctrine of the Trinity as of fundamental importance, was a decided enemy both in word and writing to the Arian opinions which appeared first in that reign. He and Ridley were reckoned two of the most learned men of their time, yet Philpot‘ s zeal was sometimes too ardent for the prudent discharge of his duty, and the tract he wrote against the Arians has the air of a coarse invective in the title of it. On the accession of queen Mary he disdained to temporize, or conceal his sentiments, but publicly wept in the first convocation held in her reign, when he saw it composed of men who were determined to restore popery. He wrote a report of this convocation, which fell into bishop Bonner’ s hands among other of Philpot‘ s books, which Bonner had seized. It was not long, therefore, before he was apprehended, and after various examinations before Bonner, and a most cruel and rigorous imprisonment of eighteen months, was condemned to be burnt in Smithfield. This was accordingly executed December 18, 1555, and was suffered by the martyr with the greatest constancy. He wrote “Epistolue Hebraicæ| and “De proprietate linguarum,” which are supposed to be in manuscript; “An Apology for Spitting upon an Arian, with an invective against the Arians,” &c. Lond. 1559, 8vo and 4to; “Supplication to king Philip and queen Mary;” “Letters to lady Vane;” “Letters to the Christian Congregation, that they abstain from Mass;” “Exhortation to his Sister;” and “Oration.” These are all printed by Fox, except the last, which is in the Bodleian. He also wrote translations of “Calvin’s Homilies” “Chrysostome against Heresies;” and Crelius Secundus Curio’s “Defence of the old and ancient anthority of Christ’s Church:” and his account of the convocation above mentioned, or what appears to be so, under the title of “Vera Expositio Disputationis institute mandate D. Mame reginae Ang. &c. in Synodo Ecclesiastico, Londini, in comitiis regni ad 18 Oct. anno 1553;” printed in Latin, at Rome, 1554, and in English at Basil. 1


Fox’s Acts and Monuments in year 1555.—Strype’s Memorials, vol. III. 261.—Fuller’s Abel Redivivus.—Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit.—Strype’s Cranmer, 295, 322, 341, 350, 359.