John Hooper

d.1555. Protestant martyr and Anglican bishop. Graduate of Oxford and later a monk, he moved to London after the dissolution of the monasteries. After reading some reformational writings he was converted to Protestantism and then sought to spread his views at Oxford. As a result of his activities he had twice to flee from England. In 1546 he married a woman from Antwerp. For a brief period they settled in Zurich, where he enjoyed the friendship of H. Bullinger* and a correspondence with M. Bucer* and J. à Lasco.* Returning to England in 1549, he became chaplain to Protector Somerset.

Hooper gained fame as a supporter of the principles of the Swiss reformation. His preaching was very popular, being devoted to biblical exposition and exposure of imperfect reformation in his own land. Following the fall of Somerset he was Northumberland's chaplain. In 1550 he was nominated to the see of Gloucester, but his consecration was delayed until 1551 due to his opposition to vestments. During 1552 the sees of Gloucester and Worcester were amalgamated, and he was made bishop of both. With the accession of the Catholic Mary he was imprisoned, deprived, degraded, and publicly burned. His record as a bishop was praiseworthy. He preached several times each day, visited all the parishes of his dioceses, was generous to the poor, denounced ruthless landlords, and sought to persuade his clergy and people to read the Bible.

For his writings, see the two-volume collection by the Parker Society (1843 and 1852). There are short biographies by J.C. Ryle (1868) and by W.M.S. West (1955). See also L.B. Smith, Tudor Prelates and Politics (1953).