Bekinsau, John

, author of a book entitled “De Supremo et Absolute Regis Imperio,” was born at Broadchalke in Wiltshire, and educated at Wykeham’s school near Winchester: from whence he was sent very early to New-college in Oxford; where, having served two years of probation, he was admitted perpetual fellow in 1520. In 1526 he took the degree of master of arts, being that year (as one of the university registers informs us) “about to take a journey beyond the seas for the sake of study.” In his college he distinguished himself by his extraordinary skill in the Greek language. In 1538 he resigned his fellowship, and married. What preferment or employment he had afterwards is uncertain. He was familiarly acquainted with, and highly esteemed by, the most learned men of the nation, particularly Leland, who has bestowed an encomium on him. He was also in good esteem with king Henry VIII. and king Edward VI. When queen Mary came to the crown, and endeavoured to destroy all that her father and brother had done towards the reformation of the church, Bekinsau became a zealous Roman catholic. After Queen Elizabeth’s accession, he retired to an obscure village in Hampshire, called Sherbourne; where he spent the remainder of his life in great discontent, and was buried in the church of that place, the 20th of Dec. | 1559, aged sixty-three years; leaving behind him this character among the Roman catholics, that, “as he was a learned man, so might he have been promoted according to his deserts, if he had been constant to his principles.” The work abovementioned is a defence of the king’s supremacy against the claims of the church of Rome, and is dedicated by the author to king Henry VIII. He did not venture to publish it, till he saw that the pope’s power was wholly exterminated in England. It was printed at London in 1546, in 8vo, and afterwards in the first volume of “Monarchia Romani Imperil,” &c. by Melchior Goldast Hamensfeldius, at Francfort, 1621, fol. 1


Biog. Brit.—Wood’s Ath. vol. I.—Dodd’s Church Hist.—Leland’s Encomia.