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John Penry

1559-1593. Elizabethan Puritan divine. Born in Wales, he graduated from Cambridge, afterward becoming an itinerant preacher in Wales, calling the attention of the government to the need for the propagation of the Gospel there, in A Treatise addressed to the Queen and Parliament (1587). Archbishop Whitgift ordered his arrest and the seizure of the copies of this book. Penry himself received a short prison sentence. Later he was directly associated with the production of the Marprelate Tracts* (1588) in which the prelates were severely attacked. Being suspected as their author (which has not yet been verified), he fled to Scotland where he was protected by sympathetic clergy. When the controversy over the tracts had died down, he returned to London and joined a society of separatists. He was soon recognized and arrested. After a trial he was executed.