Philpot, John

Philpot, John an English divine of the Reformation period, noted for his learning and his devotion to the Prbtestant cause, for which he paid his life, was born near Winchester about the close of the 15th century. He was educated at New College, Oxford, which he entered in 1534, and of which he finally became a fellow. After leaving Oxford he travelled through Italy, where, on account of his religion, he was brought into danger. On returning to England he received the preferment of the archdeaconry of Winchester. During the time of Edward his labors were abundantand successful. He was well furnished both by nature and grace for his calling, and he devoted himself with an uncompromising zeal to the advancement of pure and undefiled religion. After the accession of Mary, Philpot distinguished himself by his bold stand for the Protestant cause. In a convocation of bishops and dignitaries, held for the purpose of changing the established religion from Protestantism to popery, the learned archdeacon, and a few others, bore a noble testimony against the design. For his exertions, notwithstanding the promised freedom of debate, he was called before the bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner), and was by his order imprisoned a year and a half. He was then sent to bishop Bonner, and other commissioners, who confined him in the bishop's coal-house. He here met with every insult: was once confined from morning till night in the stocks; was examined some fifteen or sixteen times; and, though he firmly and unanswerably defended his cause, was met only with taunts and abusive epithets. Yet in all this persecution the consolations of the Holy Spirit were abundantly administered to him; insomuch that on one occasion Bonner said to him, "I marvel that you are so merry in prison, singing in your naughtiless," etc. Philpot, proving a most uncompromising devotee to the new religion, and a most ingenious exponent of the law of the land, was regarded by the Papists as a dangerous man to be abroad, and he was therefore condemned as a heretic. After his condemnation he suffered many indignities in Newgate. But he was soon brought to the stake. He kissed the wood, and said, "Shall I disdain to suffer at this stake, when my Lord and Saviour refused not to suffer a most vile death on the cross for me?" When he was bound to it, he repeated the 106th, 107th, and 108th Psalms, and prayed most fervently; till at length, in the midst of the flames, with great meekness and joy, he gave up his spirit to God. This occurred at Smithfield, December 18, 1555. For both learning and piety he was esteemed as only next to Ridley among the English Reformers. They had sound and clear views of that Gospel which they sealed with their blood. Philpot's writings have been collected and published under the title, Examinations and Writings, edited for the Parker Society by the Reverend R. Eden (Camb. 1842, 8vo). They contain besides a Biographical Notice of Philpot; Notices of the Bishops and other Clergy, etc., who examined Philpot in 1555; the Process and History of Master John Philpot, examined, condemned, and martyred; Disputation in the Convocation House, October, 1553; Letters; Apology for Spitting upon an Arian; Defence of the True and Old Authority of Christ's Church, by Coelius Secundus Curio, translated by John Philpot.

See also Richmond's Fathers, 4:335; British Reformers, volume 3; Fox, Acts and Monuments, anno 1555; Strype, Memorials, and his Cranmer; Fuller, Abel Redivivus; Wood, Athenae Oxon.; Bickersteth, Christian Student, page 328; Middleton, Evangel. Biogr. 1:428 sq.; Burnet, Hist. of the English Ref.; Soames, Hist. of the Ref.; Hardwick, Hist. of the Ref. page 216; Froude. Hist. of England (see Index in volume 8); Hook, Eccles. Biog. 8:74. (J.H.W.)

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