Robertson, Thomas

, an eminent grammarian, was, according to Bale, “Eboracensis urbis alumnus” which may mean that he was educated at York; but Wood says, he was born at or near Wakefield in that county. He was originally of Queen’s college, Oxford, but afterwards a semi -commoner of Magdalen, and succeeded the famous John Stanbridge as master of the school adjoining to that college. He took his degree of M. A. in 1525, and was elected a fellow of Magdalen. In 1532 he was collated to the prebend of Welton-Westball in the cathedral of Lincoln; in the year following to that of Sleford, and in 1534, | to that of Gretton, in the same church. It seems probable, but Wood does not mention it as certain, that he took his degree of U. D. in 1539, at which time he says, Robertson was esteemed the “fas et decus Oxonite” and was treasurer of the church of Salisbury. He held also the archdeaconry of Leicester and vicarage of Wakefield, to which Brownie Willis adds the rectory of St. Laud’s, at Sherrington, Bucks.

In 1549 he was associated with other divines, ordered by Edward VIth’s council to form the new liturgy or common prayer; and thus far, as Dodd remarks, he complied with the reformers; but it does not appear that he advanced much further. In queen Mary’s reign, 1557, he was made dean of Durham, and refused a bishopric. This dignity he might have retained when Elizabeth came to the throne, or have obtained an equivalent; but he refused to take the oath of supremacy. Nothing more is known with certainty of his history, unless that he died about 1560. Among the records collected at the end of Burnet’s History of the Reformation, are, of Robertson’s, “Resolutions of some questions concerning the Sacraments,” and “Resolutions of Questions relating to Bishops and Priests.” His grammatical tracts, entitled “Annotationes in Lib. Gulielmi Lat. Norn, generibus,” &c. were printed together at Basil, 1542, 4to. His reputation as a correct grammarian and successful teacher was very great. Strype says, that after refusing the oath of supremacy, he began to propagate his opinions against the reformation, and was overlooked; but Willis thinks he was taken into custody. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edition.- Dodd’s Ch. Hist.