John Jewel

1522-1571. Bishop of Salisbury. Educated at Merton and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford, he became a fellow of Corpus in 1542. In 1547 the continental Reformer Peter Martyr* came to Oxford and greatly influenced Jewel, who became one of the leading thinkers in the Reforming party. On Mary's accession, Jewel agreed to sign anti-Protestant articles, but was still obliged to flee in danger of his life, and reached Frankfurt in 1555. There he was regarded suspiciously by John Knox* because of the articles he had signed, and he publicly expressed sorrow for his cowardice. With Richard Cox he defended the 1552 Prayer Book against Knox and the more advanced Reformers. Later he joined Peter Martyr in Strasbourg and accompanied him to Zurich. After his return to England in 1559 he corresponded with Martyr on the religious state of the country. In 1560 Elizabeth made him bishop of Salisbury, which he administered conscientiously and vigorously. He carried out several visitations, and on account of the lack of capable preachers, engaged himself in preaching and literary work.

In 1562 he published his Apologia pro ecclesia Anglicana, the first systematic defense of the Church of England against the Church of Rome. Written in Latin for circulation abroad, it was translated into English by Lady Bacon in 1564. It described the beliefs and practices of the Church of England, defending their deviation from the Roman ones, and sought to demonstrate both that a reformation had been needed and that local churches had the right to legislate for reform in provincial synods. The treatise was distinguished by weighty learning (especially of the early Church Fathers), logical reasoning, and absence of emotional appeal. It was given official approval in James I's reign by Archbishop Bancroft.

Lengthy and bitter controversy followed with the Roman Catholic Thomas Harding. A convinced Anglican, Jewel took his stand on the Elizabethan Settlement* and also opposed the Puritans with their desire for further reforms such as the abolition of the surplice. At Salisbury, Jewel built the cathedral library and educated and supported a number of poor boys, among them Richard Hooker,* whose Ecclesiastical Polity shows the strong influence of Jewel.

Collected Works (ed. J. Ayre, 1845- 50, and R.W. Jelf, 1848); N.M. Southgate, John Jewel and the Problem of Doctrinal Authority (1962); J.E. Booty, John Jewel as apologist of the Church of England (1963).