Juxon, William

, a loyal and worthy English prelate, the son of Richard Juxon of Chichester in Sussex, was born in 1582, and educated, upon the foundation, at Merchant Taylors’ school, whence he was elected a fellow of St. John’s college, Oxford, in 1598. Here, as his intentions were for the bar, he studied civil law, and took the degree of bachelor in that faculty, July 5, 1603, having before entered himself a student in Gray’s-inn. But for some reasons not assigned by his biographer, he entirely changed his mind, and after having gone through a course of divinity studies, took orders, and in the latter end of 1609 was presented by his college, which stands in that parish, to the vicarage of St. Giles’s, Oxford. Here he was much admired for his plain, practical style of preaching. In 1614, we are told, he left this living, probably on being presented to the rectory of Somerton in Oxfordshire, in the east window of the chancel of which church are his arms; but it is equally probable that he might hold both. It is certain | that his connexion with Oxford continued; and when, in 1621, Dr. Laud resigned the office of president of St. John’s college, Mr. Juxon was chosen in his room, chiefly by his influence. In December of the same year, he proceeded doctor of laws, and in 1626 and 1627 served the office of vice-chancellor of the university. About this time his majesty Charles I. appointed him one of his chaplains in ordinary, and collated him to the deanery of Worcester, along with which he held a prebend of Chichester. In all these promotions, he was chiefly indebted to Dr. Laud, then bishop of London, who had a high regard for him, and, as dean of the king’s chapel, recommended him to be clerk of the closet, into which office Dr. Juxon was sworn July 10, 1632. Laud’s object in this last promotion is said to have been, that “he might have one that he might trust near his majesty, if he himself grew weak or infirm.” By the same interest Dr. Juxon was elected bishop of Hereford in 1633, and was made dean of the king’s chapel, but before consecration was removed to the bishopric of London, in room of Laud, now archbishop of Canterbury, and was also sworn of the privy council. He entered on his bishopric Nov. 5 of the above year, and although his diocese was much displeased with the conduct of his predecessor, bishop Juxon, by his mild temper and urbanity, obtained the respect of all parties.

It was, however, his misfortune, that the archbishop carried his esteem for him too far, and involved him in a scheme which Laud vainly fancied would raise the power and consequence of the church. This was no other than to place churchmen in high political stations;.and by way of experiment, he prevailed on the king to appoint bishop Juxon to the office of lord high treasurer, to which he was accordingly promoted in 1635. This office no churchman had held since the time of Henry VII. and although that was not such a very distant period, as not to afford something like a precedent to the promotion, yet the sentiments of the nation were now totally changed, and the noble families, from which such an officer was expected to have been chosen, were not more astonished than displeased to see the staff put into the hands of a clergyman scarcely known out of the verge of his college until called to the bishopric of London, which he had not filled two years. Notwithstanding this, it is allowed un all hands that Dr. Juxon conducted himself in such a manner, as to give no | offence to any party; while, in the management of official concerns, he was so prudent and oeconomical, as considerably to benefit the exchequer. There cannot, indeed, be a greater proof of his good conduct than this, that when the republican party ransacked every office for causes of impeachment, sequestration, and death, they found nothing to object to bishop Juxon. He was not, however, made for the times; and when he saw the storm approaching which was to overset the whole edifice of church and state, he resigned his office May 17, 1641, just after the execution of the earl of Strafford, in consequence of the king’s passing the bill of attainder, contrary to Juxon’s express and earnest advice.

On his resignation, he retired to his palace at Fulham, where he continued for some time, not only undisturbed, but. sometimes visited by the greatest persons of the opposite party, although he remained firm in his loyalty to the king, who consulted him upon many occasions. Sir Philip Warwick, being employed on one of those occasions, desired he might bring the bishop himself to his majesty, for fear of a mistake in the message, or lest the bishop should not speak freely to him. To which the king replied, “Go as I bid you if he will speak freely to any body, he will speak freely to you. This I will say of him I never got his opinion freely in my life, but, when I had it, I was ever the better for it.Bishop Juxon also attended upon his majesty at the treaty in the Isle of Wight in 1643, by the consent of the parliament; and by the king’s particular desire, waited upon him at Cotton-house in Westminster on Jan. 21 following, the day after the commencement of his trial. During the whole of this trial, he attended the king, who declared that he was the greatest support and comfort to him on that occasion. He followed his royal master also to the scaffold, and when he was preparing himself for the block, Juxon said to him, “There is, sir, but one stage more, which, though turbulent and troublesome, is yet a very short one. Consider, it will soon carry you a great way; it will carry you from earth to heaven; and there you shall find, to your great joy, the prize to which you hasten, a crown of glory.” “I go,” said the king, “from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be.” “, You are exchanged,” replied the bishop, “from a temporal to an eternal crown; a good exchange.| It was remarked by the regicides, that the king, the moment before he stretched out his neck to the executioner, said to J uxon, with a very earnest accent, the single word Remember. Great mysteries were consequently supposed to be concealed under that expression; and the generals vehemently insisted with the prelate, that he should inform them of the king’s meaning. Juxon told them, that the king having frequently charged him to inculcate on his son the forgiveness of his murderers, had taken this opportunity, in the last moment of his life, when his commands, he supposed, would be regarded, as sacred and inviolable, to reiterate that desire; and that his mild spirit thus terminated its present course, by an act of benevolence towards his greatest enemies. Dr. Uuxon was also one of those who accompanied the king’s body to "Windsor, but was not permitted to read the funeral service.

Some months after this, when the commonwealth was established, he was deprived of his bishopric, and retired to his private estate, the manor of Little Compton, in Gloucestershire, where he passed his time free from molestation, and in the occasional enjoyment of field sports, to which he was rather more addicted than became his rank in the church. At the restoration he was nominated archbishop of Canterbury, in Sept. 1660, and at the coronation placed the crown on the head of Charles II. He was a man of a liberal and princely spirit. During the short period that he enjoyed the archbishopric, he expended in building and repairing Lambeth and Croydon palaces, nearly 15,000l.; and augmented the vicarages, the great tithes of which were appropriated to his see, to the amount of 1103l. In the decline of life he was much afflicted with the stone, of which he at length died June 4, 1663, in his eighty-first year, and was interred with the greatest solemnity in the chapel of St. John’s college, Oxford, near the remains of archbishop Laud. To this college he had ever been a friend, and was at last a munificent benefactor, bequeathing 7000l. to be laid out in the increase of fellowships. His other charitable bequests amounted to 5000l. His contemporaries unite in praising his piety, learning, charity, moderation of temper, and steady loyalty. As a divine he has left little by which we can appreciate his merits. There is but one sermon of his extant entitled “The Subjects’ sorrow or Lamentations upon the death of Britain’s Josiah, king Charles,1649, 4to, and | Some considerations upon the Act of Uniformity; with an expedient for the satisfaction of the clergy within the province of Canterbury. By a Servant of the God of peace,” Lond. 1662, 4to. It is also said that he was the author of " A Catalogue of the most vendible books in England,' 1 a well-known 4to, printed in 1658, and signed W. London, in the dedication; but whoever peruses that dedication will perceive it cannot be from the pen of our prelate. 1


Biog. Brit. Le Neve’s Lires of the Archbishops. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Hume’s History. Sir Philip Warwick’s Memoirs. Laud’s Life and Diary. Clarendon’s History.