Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury

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Robert Abbot

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Guildford, Surrey, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, (Present UK)
Cause of death: Kidney Stones
Place of Burial: Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Maurice Abbott and Alice Abbott
Husband of Bridget Abbott; Elizabeth Egioke; First wife of Robert Abbot and Bridget Abbot
Father of Martha Brent and Unknown number of sons of Robert Abbot
Brother of George Abbott, Archbishop of Canterbury; Sir Maurice Abbott, MP, Lord Mayor of London; Richard Abbott and Anthony Abbott

Occupation: Bishop of Salisbury
Managed by: J. Darlene Scott
Last Updated:

About Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury

From the English Wikipedia page on Robert Abbott:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Abbot_(bishop)

Robert Abbot (1560–1617) was an Anglican clergyman and academic, known as a polemical writer. He served as Master of Balliol College, Oxford, Regius Professor of Divinity, and Bishop of Salisbury from 1615. His brother George was Archbishop of Canterbury.[1]

He was born in Guildford, the elder brother of George Abbot the future archbishop, and shared the same course of education. He early distinguished himself as a preacher, and a sermon which he preached at Paul's Cross gained for him the living of Bingham, Nottinghamshire, to which he was presented by John Stanhope.[2]

King James appointed Abbot one of the chaplains in ordinary. In 1609, he was elected master of Balliol College. In 1613 he became Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, and attacked the writings of Petrus Bertius, a Dutch Remonstrant, on the topic of falling from grace. Subsequently he made a broader attack based on orthodox Calvinism and Augustine of Hippo on the spreading ideas of Jacobus Arminius. In 1615 he attacked John Howson and William Laud, implying Catholic sympathies, and wrapping in those terms the further implication that Laud was Arminian. Howson retorted that the Abbot brothers were Puritans.[3]

In speaking of secret methods by which certain persons were attempting to undermine the Protestant Reformation, Abbot was clearly referencing Laud, who was present for the lecture. Laud, stung, wrote to his friend, Richard Neile, Bishop of Lincoln, complaining that, "he was fain to sit patiently at the rehearsal of this sermon, though abused almost an hour together, being pointed at as he sat," [4] and asking whether he ought to take public notice of the insult. Abbot obtained the see of Salisbury, and his brother consecrated him.

On his departure from the university, he delivered a farewell oration in Latin, which was much admired. Comparing the merits of the two brothers, Robert and George, Thomas Fuller remarks[5] that

"George was the more plausible preacher, Robert the greater scholar; George was the abler statesman, Robert the deeper divine."

Abbot died in Salisbury, being one of five bishops who succeeded to the see of Salisbury within the space of six years.

Works

Abbot's writings were mainly against the Roman Catholic Church; he also attacked Arminianism.

In 1594, Abbot appeared as a writer with A Mirror of Popish Subtilties (1594) which was designed as a refutation of the arguments advanced by Nicholas Sander and Robert Bellarmine against the Protestant theory of the sacraments.[2] The occasion for this work was a disputation in which Abbot had been involved, with a Marian Father Paul Spence who was being held prisoner in Worcester Castle.[6]

Antichristi Demonstratio [A Demonstration of Antichrist] (1603), was against Bellarmine once more. It was admired by the new king James I, who ordered material from his own Paraphrase on the Apocalypse to be printed with it in a second edition of 1608. Abbot was concerned to refute Bellarmine's reading of the Book of Revelation as literal and innovative (by comparison with the tradition of Nicholas of Lyra on Revelation 13), and to attack what would be identified later as the futurist approach in the tradition of Francisco Ribera. Abbot's own reading was typically historicist and concerned to argue for the Pope as Antichrist.[7]

His A Defence of the Reformed Catholic of Mr. William Perkins (3 vols, 1606–1609), won Abbot royal favour and a promise of preferment. It was an intervention defending the late William Perkins from an attack by the Catholic priest William Bishop.[8] The work responded to a royal commission and prompting from Richard Bancroft, and in the first part covered the ground of the Gunpowder Plot.[6] Abbot in the main argument of the Defence indicates his Puritan sympathies by deriving the true tradition of the Early Christian Church through the Albigensians, Lollards, Huguenots, and contemporary Calvinists. In the concluding part Abbot drew "the true ancient Roman Catholike" as he himself conceived the character. He dedicated the book to Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, who promised that Abbot should not be forgotten.[2]

Abbot returned to the theme of the Plot in his Antilogia (1613), defending the condemnation of Henry Garnet. It used both state papers and scurrility;[6] taking the form of a reply to the Jesuit Eudæmon Joannes, it was later considered by David Jardine to be the major historical work of its period on the Plot.[2]

A course of anti-Catholic lectures, read in his college, was published after his death aa On the King's Supremacy. He wrote several commentaries on the scriptures which were not printed; among these is a Latin commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, in four volumes folio. Abbot's manuscripts passed to the Bodleian Library by his grandson.

Family

Abbot was twice married. By his first wife Abbot had sons and a daughter Martha,[9] who was married to Sir Nathaniel Brent; their daughter Margaret Brent was married to Edward Corbet, rector of Great Haseley, and the latter presented some of the bishop's manuscripts to the Bodleian Library.

His second wife was the widow Bridget Cheynell, mother of Francis Cheynell. This second marriage is said to have displeased his brother, the archbishop, who regarded it as an infringement of the apostolic injunction that a bishop should be the husband of one wife.[2]

References

  • 1.^ Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 2
  • 2.^ "Abbot, Robert (1560-1617)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  • 3.^ Nicholas Tyacke, Seventeenth-century Oxford (1997), p. 578; Google Books.
  • 4.^ Rushworth's Collection, vol. 1, p. 62.
  • 5.^ Fuller, Thomas. Worthies of England. Surry, p. 82.
  • 6.^ Lock, Julian, "Abbot, Robert", on the website of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • 7.^ David Brady, The Contribution of British Writers between 1560 and 1830 to the Interpretation of Revelation 13.16-18: (the number of the beast) : a study in the history of exegesis (1983), p. 58; Google Books.
  • 8.^ Dictionary of National Biography, Bishop, William, D.D. (1554–1624), bishop of Chalcedon, by Thompson Cooper. Published 1885.
  • 9.^ "Brent, Nathaniel". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

Attribution

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Abbot, Robert (1560-1617)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. This article incorporates content from John Aikin's General Biography, a publication in the public domain. Academic offices

  • Master of Balliol College, Oxford 1610–1616
    • Preceded by Edmund Lilly
    • Succeeded by John Parkhurst
  • Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford 1612–1615
    • Preceded by Thomas Holland
    • Succeeded by John Prideaux

Church of England titles

  • Bishop of Salisbury 1615–1618
    • Preceded by Henry Cotton
    • Succeeded by Martin Fotherby

-------------------- Robert Abbot (1560–1617) was an Anglican clergyman and academic, known as a polemical writer. He served as Master of Balliol College, Oxford, Regius Professor of Divinity, and Bishop of Salisbury from 1615. Among his four younger brothers, George became Archbishop of Canterbury[1] and Maurice became Lord Mayor of London.

Contents [hide] 1 Life 2 Works 3 Family 4 References 5 External links


[edit] LifeHe was born in Guildford, the elder brother of George Abbot the future archbishop, and shared the same course of education. He early distinguished himself as a preacher, and a sermon which he preached at Paul's Cross gained for him the living of Bingham, Nottinghamshire, to which he was presented by John Stanhope.[2]

King James appointed Abbot one of the chaplains in ordinary. In 1609, he was elected master of Balliol College. In 1613 he became Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, and attacked the writings of Petrus Bertius, a Dutch Remonstrant, on the topic of falling from grace. Subsequently he made a broader attack based on orthodox Calvinism and Augustine of Hippo on the spreading ideas of Jacobus Arminius. In 1615 he attacked John Howson and William Laud, implying Catholic sympathies, and wrapping in those terms the further implication that Laud was Arminian. Howson retorted that the Abbot brothers were Puritans.[3] In speaking of secret methods by which certain persons were attempting to undermine the Protestant Reformation, Abbot was clearly referencing Laud, who was present for the lecture. Laud, stung, wrote to his friend, Richard Neile, Bishop of Lincoln, complaining that, "he was fain to sit patiently at the rehearsal of this sermon, though abused almost an hour together, being pointed at as he sat," [4] and asking whether he ought to take public notice of the insult.

Abbot obtained the see of Salisbury, and his brother George consecrated him. On his departure from the university, he delivered a farewell oration in Latin, which was much admired. Comparing the merits of the two brothers, Robert and George, Thomas Fuller remarks[5] that

"George was the more plausible preacher, Robert the greater scholar; George was the abler statesman, Robert the deeper divine." Abbot died in Salisbury, being one of five bishops who succeeded to the see of Salisbury within the space of six years.

[edit] WorksAbbot's writings were mainly against the Roman Catholic Church; he also attacked Arminianism.

In 1594, Abbot appeared as a writer with A Mirror of Popish Subtilties (1594) which was designed as a refutation of the arguments advanced by Nicholas Sander and Robert Bellarmine against the Protestant theory of the sacraments.[2] The occasion for this work was a disputation in which Abbot had been involved, with a Marian Father Paul Spence who was being held prisoner in Worcester Castle.[6] Antichristi Demonstratio [A Demonstration of Antichrist] (1603), was against Bellarmine once more. It was admired by the new king James I, who ordered material from his own Paraphrase on the Apocalypse to be printed with it in a second edition of 1608. Abbot was concerned to refute Bellarmine's reading of the Book of Revelation as literal and innovative (by comparison with the tradition of Nicholas of Lyra on Revelation 13), and to attack what would be identified later as the futurist approach in the tradition of Francisco Ribera. Abbot's own reading was typically historicist and concerned to argue for the Pope as Antichrist.[7]

His A Defence of the Reformed Catholic of Mr. William Perkins (3 vols, 1606–1609), won Abbot royal favour and a promise of preferment. It was an intervention defending the late William Perkins from an attack by the Catholic priest William Bishop.[8] The work responded to a royal commission and prompting from Richard Bancroft, and in the first part covered the ground of the Gunpowder Plot.[6] Abbot in the main argument of the Defence indicates his Puritan sympathies by deriving the true tradition of the Early Christian Church through the Albigensians, Lollards, Huguenots, and contemporary Calvinists. In the concluding part Abbot drew "the true ancient Roman Catholike" as he himself conceived the character. He dedicated the book to Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, who promised that Abbot should not be forgotten.[2] Abbot returned to the theme of the Plot in his Antilogia (1613), defending the condemnation of Henry Garnet. It used both state papers and scurrility;[6] taking the form of a reply to the Jesuit Eudæmon Joannes, it was later considered by David Jardine to be the major historical work of its period on the Plot.[2]

A course of anti-Catholic lectures, read in his college, was published after his death aa On the King's Supremacy. He wrote several commentaries on the scriptures which were not printed; among these is a Latin commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, in four volumes folio. Abbot's manuscripts passed to the Bodleian Library by his grandson.

[edit] FamilyAbbot was twice married. By his first wife Abbot had sons and a daughter Martha,[9] who was married to Sir Nathaniel Brent; their daughter Margaret Brent was married to Edward Corbet, rector of Great Haseley, and the latter presented some of the bishop's manuscripts to the Bodleian Library. His second wife was the widow Bridget Cheynell, mother of Francis Cheynell. This second marriage is said to have displeased his brother, the archbishop, who regarded it as an infringement of the apostolic injunction that a bishop should be the husband of one wife.[2]

[edit] References^ Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, p. 2 ^ a b c d e "Abbot, Robert (1560–1617)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. ^ Nicholas Tyacke, Seventeenth-century Oxford (1997), p. 578. ^ Rushworth's Collection, vol. 1, p. 62. ^ Fuller, Thomas. Worthies of England. Surry, p. 82. ^ a b c Lock, Julian. "Abbot, Robert". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8. (subscription or UK public library membership required) ^ David Brady, The Contribution of British Writers between 1560 and 1830 to the Interpretation of Revelation 13.16–18: (the number of the beast) : a study in the history of exegesis (1983), p. 58. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, Bishop, William, D.D. (1554–1624), bishop of Chalcedon, by Thompson Cooper. Published 1885. ^ "Brent, Nathaniel". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. Attribution

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Abbot, Robert (1560–1617)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. This article incorporates content from John Aikin's General Biography, a publication in the public domain.

External links Portraits of Robert Abbot at the National Portrait Gallery, London

Academic offices


Preceded byEdmund Lilly Master of Balliol College, Oxford 1610–1616 Succeeded byJohn Parkhurst Preceded byThomas Holland Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford 1612–1615 Succeeded byJohn Prideaux Church of England titles Preceded byHenry Cotton Bishop of Salisbury 1615–1618 Succeeded byMartin Fotherby

-------------------- From DNB:

ABBOT, ROBERT (1560–1617), bishop of Salisbury, elder brother of George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Guildford in Surrey, about 1560, and educated at the free school there. The talent he evinced in a school ‘oration’ on the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession (17 Nov. 1571) appears to have led to his election to a scholarship at Balliol College, Oxford, where he shortly after entered (Life by Featley, in Fuller's Abel Redivivus, ed. 1651, p. 540). He was elected fellow in 1581, proceeded M.A. in the following year, and in 1597 was admitted D.D. Having entered holy orders and been appointed lecturer both at St. Martin's Church in Oxford and at Abingdon in Berkshire, he soon began to attract attention by his abilities as a preacher, and a sermon delivered at Worcester resulted in his appointment as lecturer in that important centre, and subsequently to the rectory of All Saints in the same city. About the same time a sermon which he preached at Paul's Cross procured for him the valuable living of Bingham in Nottinghamshire, to which he was presented by John Stanhope, Esq., an ancestor of the present patron, the Earl of Chesterfield. His oratory, as contrasted with that of his brother, the archbishop, is thus characterised by Fuller: ‘George was the more plausible preacher, Robert the greater scholar; George the abler statesman, Robert the deeper divine; gravity did frown in George, and smile in Robert’ (Worthies, Surrey, p. 82).

Abbot's reputation was increased by the publication in the year 1594 of his ‘Mirror of Popish Subtleties,’ designed as a refutation of the arguments advanced by Sander and Bellarmine against the protestant theory of the sacraments. On the accession of James I he was appointed one of the royal chaplains in ordinary. In the same year he published his ‘Antichristi Demonstratio,’ also designed as a reply to Bellarmine. This treatise was regarded by James with so much approval that he directed that a portion of his own commentary on Revelations (on the passage xx. 7–10) should be appended to the second edition — an honour unaccorded, says Abbot's biographer, to any other of the ‘great clerks’ of the realm (Abel Red. p. 541). It may be added that James's high estimate appears to have been concurred in by Bishop Andrewes. But the work which chiefly served to establish Abbot's reputation with his contemporaries was his ‘Defence of the Reformed Catholike of Mr. William Perkins’ (published in three separate parts 1606–9). The ‘Reformed Catholike’ of that eminent divine was admitted by writers of the Roman party to be the ablest exposition of heretical belief, and Abbot, in his ‘Defence,’ clearly indicates his sympathy with the puritan party, deriving the true tradition of the early church through the Albigenses, Lollards, Huguenots, and Calvinists, in distinct opposition not only to Tridentine doctrine, but also to the views of the Arminian party, which were then beginning to gather strength within the English church (pt. ii. p. 55). In the concluding part Abbot drew ‘the true ancient Roman Catholike’ as he himself conceived the character. He dedicated his performance to Prince Henry, who acknowledged the dedication in an autograph letter in which he promised that Abbot should not be forgotten in the future distribution of church preferment. In 1609 he returned to his own college at Oxford as master, a piece of preferment for which he was indebted mainly to Archbishop Bancroft's influence. He continued to preside over the society at Balliol until his promotion in 1615 to the see of Salisbury. His rule (of which his biographer gives a detailed account), while notable for assiduous care for the general welfare of the students, appears, like that of Whitgift at Trinity College, Cambridge, to have been distinguished by a rigorous enforcement of discipline, and especially of religious observances (Abel Rediv. p. 543). In 1610 he was appointed a fellow of the newly founded college at Chelsea, designed by King James as a school of controversial divinity and a bulwark against popery. In the same year he also obtained the prebend of Normanton attached to the ancient church of Southwell, ‘the mother church’ of Nottinghamshire. In 1612 he was appointed by King James regius professor of divinity at Oxford, in succession to Dr. Holland. During his residence in the university his sympathy with the Calvinistic party was unmistakably evinced by his suspension (when vice-chancellor) of Dr. Howson, canon of Christchurch, who had ventured publicly to animadvert upon the notes to the Genevan Bible; and also by a direct attack from the pulpit upon Laud, at that time president of St. John's College, for his leanings towards Romanism (Heylin, Life of Laud, p. 67; Aerius Redivivus, p. 390).

In the year 1613 Abbot took a leading part in the dispute respecting the complicity of the jesuit Garnet in the Gunpowder plot — a controversy in which Bellarmine, Bishop Andrewes, ‘Eudæmon Joannes’ (the jesuit L'Heureux), and Casaubon were likewise engaged. Abbot was invited to answer Eudæmon Joannes, whose treatise the catholic party regarded as a triumphant vindication of Garnet. His reply was entitled ‘Antilogia adversus Apologiam Andreæ Eudæmon Joannis.’ ‘It is manifest,’ says Jardine, ‘that, during its composition, Dr. Abbot had free access to all the documentary evidence against Garnet which was in the possession of the government . . . and in consequence of the vast body of evidence that it contains . . . as well as the powerful reasoning of the author, it is beyond all comparison the most important work which appeared in the course of the controversy.’

In December 1615, Abbot was consecrated by his own brother to the see of Salisbury. His appointment was not made without considerable opposition. ‘Abbot,’ said King James, ‘I have had very much to do to make thee a bishop; but I know no reason for it, unless it were because thou writest against one’ — alluding to the fact that Abbot's ‘Defence’ was a rejoinder to one Dr. Bishop, a jesuit (Abel Rediv. p. 545). On quitting Oxford, Abbot delivered before the university a farewell oration in Latin, of which some fragments are still preserved. He was attended, with every mark of respect, by the members of his own college and the heads of houses to the borders of his diocese. His discharge of the duties attaching to his episcopate, during the short period that he held the office, would seem to have been in every respect meritorious. He restored the cathedral which had fallen into decay, exercised a bountiful and discriminating hospitality, and devoted his best energies to the religious instruction of the people and the improvement of their social condition. He died 2 March 1617–18 after much suffering from a painful malady induced by his sedentary habits. ‘He was,’ says Wood, ‘a person of unblameable life and conversation, a profound divine, most admirably well read in the fathers, councils, and schoolmen.’ Abbot was twice married; the second time to a widow lady, Bridget Cheynell, mother of Francis Cheynell, an eminent presbyterian divine in the time of the Commonwealth. This second marriage is said to have displeased his brother, the archbishop, who regarded it as an infringement of the apostolic injunction that a bishop should be the husband of one wife. By his first wife Abbot had sons and a daughter, who was married to Sir Nathaniel Brent, warden of Merton College, Oxford. Their daughter, Margaret, was married to Dr. Edward Corbet, rector of Haseley in Oxfordshire, and the latter presented some of the bishop's manuscripts to the Bodleian.

Besides the works already mentioned, Abbot was the author of a laborious commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, a manuscript in four volumes folio and one of the collection presented by his granddaughter's husband to the Bodleian; of his other contributions to controversial theology an account will be found in Middleton, ‘Biographia Evangelica,’ ii. 381–2; ‘Biographia Britannica,’ i. 19.

[Life by Featley, in Fuller's Abel Redivivus, vol. ii.; Fuller's Church History; Wood, Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, ii. 224–7; Criminal Trials (S. D. U. K.), ii. 366–7.] J. B. M.

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Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury's Timeline

1560
1560
Guildford, Surrey, England, (Present UK)
1618
March 2, 1618
Age 58
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, (Present UK)
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Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom