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Richard Cox

c.1500-1581. Bishop of Ely. Becoming convinced of Reformed views while at Cambridge, he was appointed in 1540 to the commission which composed The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian Man, and from 1544 was tutor to Prince Edward. He became the first dean of Christ Church, Oxford (1547), and dean of Westminster (1549). He helped to compile the “Order of the Communion” of 1548 and the Prayer Books of 1549 and 1552. As chancellor of Oxford University (1547-52) he was responsible for introducing Peter Martyr, Stumphius, and John ab Ulmis to the university. On Mary's accession he was imprisoned and deprived, going into exile at Frankfurt in 1555. In the English congregation there, Cox wanted to maintain Edward VI's Prayer Book, while John Knox* wanted a more thorough reformation. The disputes between them gave rise to the names Coxians and Knoxians. Under Elizabeth, Cox was appointed bishop of Ely (1559- 80), and translated Acts and Romans for the Bishops' Bible.* He was severe toward both Roman Catholics and Puritans, but refused to minister in the queen's chapel because of its candles and crucifix, and becoming disgusted with the court he asked to resign his see. He died a year later.

See various letters in The Zurich Letters (ed. H. Robinson, 1842); and J. Strype, Annals of the Reformation (1824).

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