Smith, Richard (1)

Smith, Richard (1), a learned Roman Catholic divine of England, was born in Worcestershire in 1500, and educated at Oxford. In 1527 he was admitted a probationary fellow of Merton College, took his degree of A.M. in 1530, and was elected registrar of the university in the following year. He afterwards became rector of Cuxham, Oxfordshire;. principal of St. Alban's Hall, divinity reader of Magdalen College, regius professor of divinity, and took his degree of D.D. in that faculty. In 1537 he was made master of Wittington College, London, but was deprived in the reign of, Edward VI. In the first year of that reign he recanted his opinions at St. Paul's Cross, but was obliged to resign his professorship at Oxford. He went to St. Andrew's, Scotland; thence to Paris in 1550, and then to Louvain, where he was made professor of theology. On the accession of queen Mary he returned to England, was restored to his professorship, made canon of Christ Church, and chaplain to her majesty. He was one of the witnesses against Cranmer, and at the burning of Ridley and Latimer he preached, from 1Co 13:3, a sermon, lasting about fifteen minutes, full of invective against the martyrs. For this conduct he was deprived of all his preferments upon the accession of Elizabeth, and placed in the custody of archbishop Parker, by whose persuasion he recanted part of what he had written in defense of the celibacy of the clergy. He escaped to Dolay, Flanders, where he obtained the deanery of St. Peter's Church and a professorship. He died in 1563. Smith wrote about sixteen tracts in favor of popery: The Assertion and Defense of the Sacraments (Lond. 1546, sm. 8vo): — A Defense of the Sacrifice of the Masse (1546; 16mo; 1547, 8vo): — Bouclier of the Catholike Fayth of Christe's Church (2 pts. 8vo). The entire list may be seen in Dodd or Wood. See Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.

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