Earle, John

, successively bishop of Worcester and Salisbury, was born at York in the year 1601, and entered of Merton-college, Oxford, in 1620, where hebecame M. A. in 1624, was senior proctor in 1631, and about that time was created chaplain to Philip earl of Pembroke, who presented him with the living of Bishopston, in Wiltshire. He was afterwards appointed chaplain and tutor to prince Charles, and chancellor of the cathedral of Salisbury. For his steady adherence to the royal cause, he was deprived of every thing he possessed, and at length was compelled to fly into exile with Charles II. who made him his chaplain, and clerk of the closet. He was intimate with Dr. Morley, afterwards bishop of Winchester, and lived with him a year at Antwerp, in sir Charles Cotterel’s house, who was master of the ceremonies; thence he went into France, and attended James, duke of York. On the restoration he was made dean of Westminster, and on Nov. 30, 1662, was consecrated bishop of Worcester, and in Sept of the following year, was removed to the see of Salisbury, on the translation of Dr. Henchman to London. In 1665 he attended the king and queen to Oxford, who had left London on account of the plague. Here he lodged in University-college, and died Nov. 17, of the same year. He was buried in Mertoncollege chapel, near the high altar, where, on a monument of black and white marble, is a Latin inscription to his memory. Walton sums up his character by saying that since the death of the celebrated Hooker, none have lived “whom God hath blest with more innocent wisdom, more sanctified learning, or a more pious, peaceable, primitive temper.” When the nonconformist clergy stepped forward to administer to the relief of the dying in the great plague, what is called the Five-mile Act was passed, forbidding them, unless they took an oath against taking up arms on any pretence whatever, &c. to come within five miles of any city or town. Our prelate before his death declared himself much against this act. Burnet, who informs us of this, adds, that “he was the man of all the clergy for whom the king had the greatest esteem.

Bishop Earle wrote an “Elegy upon Mr. Francis | Beaumont,” afterwards printed at the end of Beaumont’s Poems, London, 1640, 4to. He translated also from the English into Latin, the “Eikon Basilike,” which he entitled “Imago regis Caroli, in illis suis Ærumnis et Solitudine,Hague, 1649, and Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity, which was destroyed by the carelessness of his servants. But his principal work, of which a very neat and accurate edition was lately superintended by Mr. Philip Bliss, fellow of St. John’s college, Oxford, and published in 1811, is his “Microcosmographie, or a Peece of the World discovered, in essays and characters,” a work of great humour and knowledge of the world, and which throws much light on the manners of the times. It appears to have been in his life-time uncommonly popular, as a sixth edition was published in 1630. As his name was not to it, Langbaine attributed it to Edward Blount, a bookseller in St. Paul’s Church-yard, who was only the publisher. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. Biirnet’s Own Times. Salmon’s Lives of the Bishops. Cent. Lit. vol. IL Lloyd’s Memoirs, 604. Dean Barwick’s Life; see Index. Life of Lord Clareudluo, p. 40, 8vo edit. Letters from the Uodleian Library, 1813, 8vo.