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Thomas Becon

c.1512-1567. English Reformer. Born in Norfolk and educated at Cambridge, he became vicar of Brenzet in Kent and of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, and subsequently chaplain to Cranmer* and Protector Somerset. On the death of Edward VI (1553) he was committed to the Tower of London, but was released soon afterward due, according to Foxe, to mistaken identity. He fled with Bishop Ponet to Strasbourg, and later moved on to Frankfurt and Marburg. On the accession of Elizabeth he became a canon of Canterbury and held various benefices. His writings extended to three volumes in the Parker Society series (ed. J. Ayre, 1843- 44), and he may have contributed “The Homily against Adultery” to the Book of Homilies. Becon, who had studied under Latimer,* was not perhaps the most original thinker of his time, but he was a vigorous writer, popular, and knew how to express his views. He influenced Cranmer over the Black Rubric.

See D.S. Bailey, Thomas Becon and the Reformation of the Church in England (1952).

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