Acontius or Aconzio, James

Acontius or Aconzio, James a native of Trent, and the intimate friend of Francis Betti, a Roman. They both quitted Italy on account of their religion, having both left the communion of the Church of Rome. Betti, who left first, waited for Acontius at Basle; this was in the year 1557. Hence they went together to Zurich, where they parted, and Acontius, after visiting Strasburg, journeyed into England, where he was well received by queen Elizabeth, who employed him as an engineer. He was a member of the Dutch congregation in Austin-Friars, but falling under the suspicion of "Anabaptistical and Arian principles," proceedings were taken against him before Grindal, bishop of London, who sentenced him to be refused the Holy Sacrament, and forbade the Dutch congregations to receive him. He died in 1566, according to Niceron. He inclined toward moderation and principles of tolerance in matters of religion. Arminius styled him "divinum prudentina ac moderationis lumen." He wrote De Methodo, hoc est, de recte investigandarum tradendarumque Scientiarum ratione (8vo, Basle, 1558); Strategemata Satanoe (8vo, Basle, 1565. Transl. into French, 4to. There is also an English translation of the four first books, London, 1648). — Richard and Giraud, Bib. Sacr.; New General Biographical Dictionary, 1, 36; Landon, Eccl. Dict. s.v.

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