Whitehead, David

, an eminent divine of the sixteenth century, was of the family of Whiteheads of Tuderiey in Hampshire, and was educated at Oxford, but whether at All Souls or Brasenose colleges, Wood has not deter* mined. He was chaplain to queen Anne Boleyn. Wood says, he was “a great light of learning, and a most heavenly professor of divinity.” Archbishop Cranmer says that “he was endowed with good knowledge, special honesty, fervent zeal, and politic wisdom,”’ for which, in 1552, he nominated him as the fittest person for the archbishopric of Armagh. This nomination, however, did not succeed. lit the beginning of the tyrannic reign of queen Mary, he retired, with/many pf his countrymen, to Francfort, where he was chosen pastor to the English congregation of exiles, and when differences arose respecting church discipline, endeavoured to compose them by the moderation of his opinions. On the accession of queen Elizabeth, he “returned to England, and was one of the committee appointed to review king Edward’s liturgy; and in 1559 was also appointed one of the public disputants against the popish bishops* In this he appeared to so much advantage, that the queen is said to have offered him the archbishopric of Canterbury, but this he declined, as well as the mastership of the Savoy, excusing himself to the queen by saying that he could live plentifully by the preaching of the gospel without any preferment. He was accordingly a frequent preacher, and in various places where preaching was most wanted. He remained a single man, which much pleased the queen, who had a great antipathy against the married clergy. Lord Bacon informs us that when Whitehead was | one day at court, the queen said,I like thee better, Whitehead, because thou livest unmarried.“” In troth, madam,“he replied,I like you the worse for the same cause.“Maddox, in his examination of Neal’s History of the Puritans, thinks that” Whitehead ought to be added to the number of those eminent pious men, who approved of the constitution, and died members of the church of England;“but it appears from Strype’s life of Grindal, that he was deprived in 1564 for objecting to the habits; how long he remained under censure we are not told. He died in 1571, but where buried, Wood was not able to discover. The only works attributed to his pen are,” Lections and Homilies on St. Paul’s Epistles“and in a” Brief Discourse of the Troubles begun at Francfort,“1575, 4to, are several of his discourses, and answers to the objections of Dr. Home concerning matters of discipline and worship. In Parkhurst’sEpigram. Juvenil." are some addressed to Whitehead; and from the same authority we learn that he had been preceptor to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit Fuller’s Worthies. Churton’s Life of Nowell. —Strype’s Cranmer, p. 269, 274. Brook’s Lives of the Puritans.