Free Online Bible Library | Peter Heylyn

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Peter Heylyn

1600-1662. Anglican polemicist and historian. Born at Burford, Oxfordshire, and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he held a fellowship from 1618-29, he was ordained in 1624 and early showed strong High Church sympathies. A series of anti-Puritan treatises and debates gained him notoriety, and in 1630 he was made a royal chaplain. He basked in the favor of Charles I and Laud, receiving several livings, including a prebend of Westminster (where eventually he became subdean). He came into conflict with the dean there, Bishop J. Williams, continually slandering Williams until the latter was suspended by the Star Chamber (1637). Heylyn's inveterate anti- Puritanism brought him to grief during the Puritan revolution. W. Prynne,* perhaps in revenge for Heylyn's part in the condemnation of his Historiomastix and the subsequent personal ignominies, brought him before a Long Parliament committee. In the event Heylyn was heavily fined, his goods and library confiscated, and his life jeopardized. After 1648 he settled in Oxfordshire and, though continuing his rancorous treatises against Puritanism and Presbyterianism, lived in relative peace until the Restoration. He regained his influence in the church, but died soon after in London. His main works include Ecclesia restaurata, or the History of the Reformation of the Church of England (1661; new ed. 1849); Cyprianus Anglicus, or... the Life and Death of... William Laud (1668); Aerius redivivus, or the History of the Presbyterians (1670; 1672 ed. reprinted 1969).

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