Cox, Richard

Cox, Richard bishop of Ely, was born about 1500, at Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England. He was educated at Eton School and at King's College, where he obtained a fellowship in 1519. He was invited by cardinal Wolsey to Oxford to fill up his new foundation. For speaking his mind too freely of the corruptions of popery, he was deprived of his preferment and thrown into prison. When he had recovered his liberty he left Oxford; some time after he was chosen master of Eton School, which flourished remarkably under him; and by the interest of archbishop Cranmer he obtained several dignities in the Church, viz., the arch-deaconry of Ely, a prebend of the same church and of Lincoln, and the deanery of Christ Church. He was appointed tutor to prince Edward, and on that prince's accession to the throne': became a great favorite at court. He was made a privy councilor and the king's almoner; was elected chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1547; the next year installed canon of Windsor, and the year following dean of Westminster. About this time he was appointed one of the commissioners to visit the University of Oxford, and is accused by some of abusing his authority by destroying many books out of his zeal against popery. After Mary's accession he was stripped of his preferments and committed to that Marshalsea; but his confinement was not long, and on his release he went to Strasburg, and thence to Frankfort, where he formed a kind of university, and appointed a Greek and a Hebrew lecturer, a divinity professor, and a treasurer for the contributions remitted from England. On the death of Mary he returned, and was the chief champion on the Protestant side in the disputation at Westminster between eight papists and an equal number of the Reformed clergy. His abilities and zeal were rewarded by the bishopric of Ely, over which see he presided above 21 years. He opposed with great zeal the queen's retaining the crucifix and lights in her chapel, and was a strenuous advocate for the marriage of the clergy, against which she had contracted a strange aversion. He was one of the compilers of the Liturgy of the Church of England; and when a new translation of the Bible was made in the reign of Elizabeth, now commonly known by the name of "The Bishop's Bible," the Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistle to the Romans were allotted to him for his portion. A number of his tracts on the Romish controversy are to be found in the addenda to Burnet's History of the Reformation. Several letters and small pieces of his have been published by Strype in his Annals of the Reformation. — Downe, Life of Bishop Cox; Collier, Ecclesiastical History; Kippis, Biographia Britannica, 4:396 sq.

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