Howson, John an English divine, born in London in 1556, was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. He filled successively the vicarate of Bampton, in Oxfordshire, the rectorate at Brightwell, in Berkshire, and then became fellow of Chelsea College, and canon of Hereford. In 1619 he was appointed bishop of Oxford, and was transferred to the bishopric of Durham in 1628. He was also at one time vice-chancellor of Oxford. While in this position "he exerted himself against those Puritans who opposed the discipline and ceremonies, but was afterwards a more distinguished writer and preacher against popery." He died in 1631. Howson was the author of a number of sermons (published 1597-1661); and four of his polemical discourses against the supremacy of St. Peter were published by order of king James I, "to clear the aspersions laid upon him (Howson) of favoring popery" (1622, 4to). See Hook, Ecclesiastes Biogr. 6, 202; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 908.