Fox, Edward

Fox, Edward one of the English Reformers, was born in Gloucestershire (date not known precisely). — He was educated at Eton, and at King's College, Cambridge, of which he became provost in 1528. He held this post during his life. Wolsey sent him on an embassy to Rome, with Gardiner, to promote a bull from Clement VII authorizing the divorce of the king from Catharine of Aragon. "It was in conversation with Fox. and Gardiner, in 1529, that Cranmer suggested his method of settling the question of the king's divorce, by taking the opinion of the most learned men and universities in Christendom; and he it was who made it known to the king as Cranmer's suggestion, when Gardiner would have taken the credit of it to himself. In the prosecution of this plan be was sent with Stephen Gardiner, in 1530, to obtain the determination of the University of Cambridge: The heads of the university, the vice-chancellor, and the afterwards notorious Bonner, were on the king's side, but the university was divided. It was honorable to the University of Cambridge that so strong a resistance was offered to the will of the king. The royal authority being at this time on the side of reform, the commissioners, Fox and Gardiner, the latter being afterwards the great opponent of the Reformation, at length, though with difficulty, carried their point, and it was determined that the king's marriage was contrary to the law of God. In 1531 he became archdeacon of Leicester, and in 1533 archdeacon of Dorset. In 1535 he was appointed bishop of Hereford. Shortly after his consecration he was sent ambassador to the Protestant princes in Germany assembled at Smalkald, whom he exhorted to unite, in point of doctrine, with the Church of England. He spent the winter at Wittenberg, and held several conferences with some of the German divines, endeavoring to conclude a treaty with them upon many articles of religion; but nothing was effected." Bishop Burnet gives a particular account of this negotiation in his History of the Reformation (part 3). He returned to England in 1536, and died at London May 8, 1538. He published a book, De vera differentia Regiae Potestatis et Ecclesiasticae, et quae sit ipsa veritas et virtus utriusque (Lond. 1534 and 1538), which was translated into English by Henry Lord Stafford. — Burnet, History of the Reformation, volumes 1, 3; Hook, Eccles. Biography, 5:166; Collier, Eccles. History of England, 4:312 sq.

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