Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely

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Richard Cox, D.D.

Also Known As: "Coxe"
Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England
Death: July 22, 1581 (82)
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Coxe, Kt. and Eme Coxe
Husband of Jane Anne Auder and 1st wife of Richard Cox
Father of Thomas Coxe; Sir Richard Cox, of Brame & Ely; John Cox; Roger Cox; Joanna Parker and 1 other

Occupation: Clergyman
Managed by: Mark Allison Long
Last Updated:

About Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely

Richard Cox (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Cox (c. 1500 – 22 July 1581) was an English clergyman, who was Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely.

Cox was born of obscure parentage at Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, in 1499 or 1500.

He was educated at the Benedictine priory of St Leonard Snelshall near Whaddon, at Eton, and at King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1524.[1] At Wolsey's invitation he became a member of the cardinal's new foundation at Oxford, was incorporated B.A. in 1525, and created M.A. in 1526. In 1530 he was engaged in persuading the more unruly members of the university to approve of the king's divorce.

A premature expression of Lutheran views is said to have caused his departure from Oxford and even his imprisonment, but the records are silent on these sufferings which do not harmonize with his appointment as master of the royal foundation at Eton.

In 1533 he appears as author of an ode on the coronation of Anne Boleyn, in 1535 he graduated B.D. at Cambridge, proceeding D.D. in 1537, and in the same year subscribing the Institution of a Christian Man. In 1540 he was one of the fifteen divines to whom were referred crucial questions on the sacraments and the seat of authority in the Church; his answers (printed in Pocock's Burnet, iii. 443-496) indicate a mind tending away from Catholicism, but susceptible to "the king's doctrine"; and, indeed, Cox was one of the divines by whom Henry said the "King's Book" had been drawn up when he wished to impress upon the Regent Arran that it was not exclusively his own doing. Moreover, he was present at the examination of Barnes, subscribed the divorce of Anne of Cleves, and in that year of reaction became archdeacon and prebendary of Ely and canon of Westminster.

He was employed on other royal business in 1541, was nominated to the projected bishopric of Southwell, and was made king's chaplain in 1542. In 1543 he was employed to ferret out the "Prebendaries' Plot" against Cranmer, and became the archbishop's chancellor. In December, he was appointed dean of Oseney (afterwards Christ Church) Oxford, and in July was made almoner to Prince Edward, in whose education he took an active part. He was present at Dr Crome's recantation in 1546, denounced it as insincere and insufficient, and severely handled him before the privy council.

After Edward's accession, Cox's opinions took a more Protestant turn, and he became one of the most active agents of the Reformation. He was consulted on the compilation of the Communion office in 1548, and the first and second books of Common Prayer, and sat on the commission for the reform of the canon law. As Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1547-1552) he promoted foreign divines such as Pietro Martire Vermigli, and was a moving spirit of the two commissions which sought with some success to eradicate everything savouring of popery from the books, manuscripts, ornaments and endowments of the university, and earned Cox the sobriquet of its canceller rather than its chancellor.

He received other rewards, a canonry of Windsor (1548), the rectory of Harrow (1547) and the deanery of Westminster (1549). He lost these preferments on Mary's accession, and was for a fortnight in August 1553 confined to the Marshalsea. He was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made; he remained in obscurity until after the failure of Wyatt's rebellion, and then in May 1554 escaped in the same ship as the future Archbishop Sandys, to Antwerp. Thence in March 1555 he made his way to Frankfort, where he played an important part in the first struggle between Anglicanism and Puritanism. The exiles had, under the influence of Knox and Whittingham, adopted Calvinistic doctrine and a form of service far more Puritanical than the Prayer-Book of 1552. Cox stood up for that service, and the exiles were divided into Knoxians and Coxians. Knox attacked Cox as a pluralist, Cox accused Knox of treason to the emperor Charles V. This proved the more dangerous charge: Knox and his followers were expelled, and the Prayer-Book of 1552 was restored.

In 1559 Cox returned to England, and was elected bishop of Norwich, but the queen changed her mind and Cox's destination to Ely, where he remained twenty-one years. He was an honest, but narrow-minded ecclesiastic, who held what views he did hold intolerantly, and was always wanting more power to constrain those who differed from him (see his letter in Hatfield MSS. i. 308). While he refused to minister in the queen's chapel because of the crucifix and lights there, and was a bitter enemy to the Roman Catholics, he had little more patience with the Puritans. He was grasping, or at least tenacious of his rights in money matters, and was often brought into conflict with courtiers who coveted episcopal lands.

The queen herself intervened, when he refused to grant Ely House to her favorite, Sir Christopher Hatton; but the well-known letter beginning "Proud Prelate" and threatening to unfrock him seems to be an impudent forgery which first saw the light in the Annual Register for 1761. It hardly, however, misrepresents the queen's meaning, and Cox was forced to give way. These and other trials led him to resign his see in 1580, and it is significant that it remained vacant for nineteen years.

Cox died in July 1581: a monument erected to his memory twenty years later in Ely cathedral was defaced, owing, it was said, to his evil repute. Strype (Whitgift, i. 2) gives Cox's hot temper and marriage as reasons why he was not made archbishop in 1583 in preference to Whitgift, who had been his chaplain; but Cox had been dead two years in 1583. His first wife's name is unknown; she was the mother of his five children, of whom Joanna married the eldest son of Archbishop Parker. His second wife was the widow of William Turner, the botanist and dean of Wells.


*FA1: BET. 1559 - 1580 Bishop of Ely _FA2: Translated Acts and Romans for the Bishop's Bible _FA3: Served under Henry VIII and Elizabeth I _FA4: Tutor of Edward VI _FA5: Knighted by Henry VIII
Richard COX

(Bishop of Ely)

Born: ABT 1500, Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 22 Jul 1581

Father: John COX

Mother: ¿?

Married 1: ¿?

Children:

1. Son COX

2. Son COX

3. Joan COX (m. John Parker)

4. Son COX

5. Son COX

Married 2: Jane AUDER (b. 1524 - d. 1613) (dau. of George Auder and Agnes ?) (w. of William Turner)

Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely, was born of obscure parentage at Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, in 1499 or 1500. He was educated at the Benedictine priory of St Leonard Snelshall near Whaddon, at Eton, and at King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1524. At Wolsey's invitation he became a member of the Cardinal's new foundation at Oxford, was incorporated B.A. in 1525, and created M.A. in 1526. In 1530 he was engaged in persuading the more unruly members of the university to approve of the King's divorce. A premature expression of Lutheran views is said to have caused his departure from Oxford and even his imprisonment, but the records are silent on these sufferings which do not harmonize with his appointment as master of the royal foundation at Eton.

In 1533 he appears as author of an ode on the coronation of Anne Boleyn, in 1535 he graduated B.D. at Cambridge, proceeding D.D. in 1537, and in the same year subscribing the Institution of a Christian Man. In 1540 he was one of the fifteen divines to whom were referred crucial questions on the sacraments and the seat of authority in the Church; his answers (printed in Pocock's Burnet, iii. 443-496) indicate a mind tending away from Catholicism, but susceptible to "the king's doctrine"; and, indeed, Cox was one of the divines by whom Henry said the "King's Book" had been drawn up when he wished to impress upon the Regent Arran that it was not exclusively his own doing. Moreover, he was present at the examination of Robert Barnes, subscribed the divorce of Anne of Cleves, and in that year of reaction became archdeacon and prebendary of Ely and canon of Westminster.

He was employed on other royal business in 1541, was nominated to the projected bishopric of Southwell, and was made King's chaplain in 1542. In 1543 he was employed to ferret out the "Prebendaries' Plot" against Cranmer, and became the Archbishop's chancellor. In Dec he was appointed dean of Oseney (afterwards Christ Church) Oxford, and in Jul was made almoner to Prince Edward, in whose education he took an active part. He was present at Dr Crome's recantation in 1546, denounced it as insincere and insufficient, and severely handled him before the privy council.

After Edward's accession, Cox's opinions took a more Protestant turn, and he became one of the most active agents of the Reformation. He was consulted on the compilation of the Communion office in 1548, and the first and second books of Common Prayer, and sat on the commission for the reform of the canon law. As chancellor of the university of Oxford (1547-1552) he promoted foreign divines such as Peter Martyr, and was a moving spirit of the two commissions which sought with some success to eradicate everything savouring of popery from the books, manuscripts, ornaments and endowments of the university, and earned Cox the sobriquet of its canceller rather than its chancellor.

He received other rewards, a canonry of Windsor (1548), the rectory of Harrow (1547) and the deanery of Westminster (1549). He lost these preferments on Mary's accession, and was for a fortnight in Aug 1553 confined to the Marshalsea. He was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made; he remained in obscurity until after the failure of Wyatt's rebellion, and then in May 1554 escaped in the same ship as the future Archbishop Sandys, to Antwerp. Thence in Mar 1555 he made his way to Frankfort, where he played an important part in the first struggle between Anglicanism and Puritanism. The exiles had, under the influence of Knox and Whittingham, adopted Calvinistic doctrine and a form of service far more Puritanical than the Prayer-Book of 1552. Cox stood up for that service, and the exiles were divided into Knoxians and Coxians. Knox attacked Cox as a pluralist, Cox accused Knox of treason to the Emperor Carlos V. This proved the more dangerous charge: Knox and his followers were expelled, and the Prayer Book of 1552 was restored.

In 1559 Cox returned to England, and was elected Bishop of Norwich, but Queen Elizabeth changed her mind and Cox's destination to Ely, where he remained twenty-one years. He was an honest, but narrow-minded ecclesiastic, who held what views he did hold intolerantly, and was always wanting more power to constrain those who differed from him. While he refused to minister in the Queen's chapel because of the crucifix and lights there, and was a bitter enemy to the Roman Catholics, he had little more patience with the Puritans. He was grasping, or at least tenacious of his rights in money matters, and was often brought into conflict with courtiers who coveted episcopal lands.

Queen Elizabeth herself intervened, when he refused to grant Ely House to her favorite, Sir Christopher Hatton; but the well-known letter beginning "Proud Prelate" and threatening to unfrock him seems to be an impudent forgery which first saw the light in the Annual Register for 1761. It hardly, however, misrepresents the queen's meaning, and Cox was forced to give way. These and other trials led him to resign his see in 1580, and it is significant that it remained vacant for nineteen years.

His first wife's name is unknown; she was the mother of his five children, of whom Joan married the eldest son of Archbishop Parker. His second wife was Jane Auder, Alder or Awder was the daughter of George Auder (b. 1490 - d. 1560), alderman of Cambridge, and his wife Agnes (d. Apr 1576). On 13 Nov 1540, she married William Turner, botanist, physician, and Dean of Wells (b. 1510- d. 7 Jul 1568). They were wed in secret because Turner was a clergyman who had taken a vow of chastity. It was against the law for such persons to marry. The penalty was death. Soon after the wedding, the newlyweds fled religious persecution in England. They spent time in Ferrara and Bologna, where Turner studied medicine, and then lived in various Rhineland cities. All three of their children, Peter (1542-May 27, 1614), Winifred, and Elizabeth, were born during this exile. Returning to England after the death of Henry VIII, Turner became the personal physician and auxiliary chaplain of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector, a position that ended abruptly when Somerset was arrested in 1549. From 1549 until Turner’s appointment as Dean of Wells in Mar 1551, the family lived in considerable poverty. The first part of Turner’s Herball was published before the death of Edward VI forced the family back into exile during Mary Tudor’s reign. Once again they lived in several different cities, including Cologne, Worms, and Weissenburg. Under Elizabeth, Jane and her husband had a home in Crutched Friars, London. Only a few months after Turner’s death, Jane married again and once again her marriage was controversial in religious circles. Her second husband was Richard Cox (c.1500-Jul 22,1581), whose first marriage ABT 1547 had raised eyebrows because his wife publicly resided with him in Christ Church. Cox, who eventually became Bishop of Ely, openly defended the right of priests to marry and remarried quickly when he became a widower. This displeased the Queen. By the end of 1575, there were a number of complaints against both Cox and Jane. Lord North accused them of corruption and one of their tenants called Jane “Jezebel”. These matters appear to have been settled by Cox relinquishing property, in particular to Lord North. In 1579, Cox asked to retire and had negotiated the grant of Doddington Manor for life and an annuity of £200, but the arrangements were never finalized and he died while still serving as bishop. He left goods valued at £1334 to his widow and seven children.

Cox died on the 22 Jul 1581: a monument erected to his memory twenty years later in Ely cathedral was defaced, owing, it was said, to his evil repute. Strype (Whitgift, i. 2) gives Cox's hot temper and marriage as reasons why he was not made Archbishop in 1583 in preference to Whitgift, who had been his chaplain; but Cox had been dead two years in 1583. _______________________________

Richard Cox (b. 1500, d. 22 Jul 1581) Richard Cox (son of Richard or John Cox and Eme Agnes Richmond Webb) was born 1500 in Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England, and died 22 Jul 1581 in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England. He married Jane Auder on 1568 in Pembrook Hall, Cambridgeshire, England, daughter of George Auder and Turner.

Includes NotesNotes for Richard Cox:

Name: Richard Cox Birth: 1500 - Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, , England Death: 22 Jul 1581 - Ely, Cambridgeshire, , England

Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900 about Richard Cox Name: Richard Cox College: KING'S Born: 1500 Died: 22 Jul 1581 More Information: Adm. at KING'S, a scholar from Eton, 1519. S. of Richard, of Whaddon, Bucks. B. c. 1500. B.A. 1523-4. Incorp. (Oxford) 1525, Canon of Cardinal College. M.A. (Oxford) 1526. Incorp. (Cambridge) 1534-5; B.D. (Cambridge) 1535; D.D. 1537. Incorp. (Oxford) 1545. Fellow, 1522. Head Master of Eton, 1530-4. Archdeacon and preb. of Ely, 1541-53. Preb. of Lincoln, 1542. Dean of Osney, Oxford. R. of Harrow, Middlesex, 1544. Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 1546-53. Chancellor of Oxford, 1547. Canon of Windsor, 1548. Dean of Westminster, 1549. Deprived of his preferments, and imprisoned, under Mary; afterwards retiring to Frankfurt. Bishop of Norwich, 1559. Bishop of Ely, 1559; where he refused to alienate the revenues, and incurred the Queen's displeasure. Died July 22, 1581. Will, P.C.C. Father of the next and John (1574). (Cooper, I. 437; D.N.B.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Cox lived during the reign of Henry VIII. Richard was born in 1500 and Henry was born nine years earlier in 1491 and became King in 1509 at the age of 18.

The Anglican Church of England is a creation of Henry VIII. It was created by Henry, with himself as the head of it, when the Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment from his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Henry wanted to dissolve his marriage so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Henry wanted a male heir desperately. Ultimately, the Pope issued a public denial of Henry's request. Up to this point, Henry and all of England was Catholic. Undoubtedly, Richard Cox was a devout Catholic when he began his studies for the priesthood. He was nearly complete with his doctorate when Henry, in effect, declared the Catholic church to be null and void in England. In 1533, Henry then denounced the Pope, rejected all Papal authority in England, seized all church and monastery property in England, established the Church of England and appointed himself as head of the church with sole authority to make ecclesiastical decisions. The Pope promptly excommunicated Henry and all those in England who followed him. This of course forced people in England to choose which church they wanted. Those who insisted on remaining Catholic, particularly the clergy, where imprisoned, tortured and executed if they would not swear allegiance to the Church of England and to Henry as its head.

When Henry rejected Papal authority, divorced Katherine of Aragon and married Anne Boleyn in 1533, Richard Cox was Headmaster at Eton and was studying at Cambridge for his Doctorate of Divinity degree. It must have been "interesting," as a clergyman, to have the entire foundation of your Catholic faith swept away by your sovereign and replaced by his earthly authority. How does a pastor explain such a thing to his parishioners without risking his own neck? When Anne Boleyn was condemned to death on a charge of adultery in 1536, it is not clear where Richard was or what he was doing. Perhaps he was lying low, trying not to attract attention. The historical record, however, makes it clear that he was a mid-rank church official during perhaps the most complex and dangerous period for a clergyman in all of English history. He managed to survive all of Henry's reforms and to actually elevate his position from one assignment to the next.

When Henry died in 1547, Richard was Chancellor of Oxford. I assume that means he was the CEO of Oxford University. Henry was succeeded by his nine year old son Edward VI and a Regency Council until Edward reached age 18. But Edward died in 1553 at the age of 15 and was succeeded by his sister Mary, an ardent Catholic who immediately undertook reforms to reestablish the Catholic church and to reverse all of Henry's reforms. In her zeal to restore Catholicism to England, she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake, earning the title of "Bloody Mary." Richard Cox was the Dean of Westminster Abbey at the time and escaped death but was imprisoned and lost all his privileges as a clergyman. With prominent clerics all around him being condemned and executed, one can only wonder what he did or said to survive. After his release, he left England for the safer Protestant environment of Frankfurt, Germany.

Following the death of Mary in 1558 and the succession of her half-sister Elizabeth 1 to the throne, the pendulum again swung away from Catholicism and Richard Cox returned to England in 1559, becoming Bishop of Norwich. He later became Bishop of Ely, where he refused to "alienate the revenues and incurred the Queen's displeasure." I have no idea what "alienate" the revenues means or why the Queen would be displeased.

Apparently Elizabeth was more benign than her sister Mary towards those with whom she disagreed. Richard lived another 22 years before dying at the age of 81 in 1581.

Today, the Church of England is called the Anglican Church and the English monarch, now Elizabeth II, is still the head of the church.

More About Richard Cox and Jane Auder: Marriage: 1568, Pembrook Hall, Cambridgeshire, England.

Children of Richard Cox and Jane Auder are:

   +John Cox*, b. 1551, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d. Oct 1607, Broxburn, Hertfordshire, England.
view all 15

Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely's Timeline

1499
1499
Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England
1528
1528
Age 29
England, United Kingdom
1542
1542
Age 43
1547
1547
- 1552
Age 48
University of Oxford
1551
1551
Age 52
Pitminster, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
1554
1554
Age 55
1558
1558
Age 59
1559
1559
- 1580
Age 60