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Walter Travers

c.1548-1635. Puritan divine. Born in Nottingham, he matriculated at Christ's College, but studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a fellow in 1569. Whitgift's* new university statutes forced him out of Cambridge, and he traveled to Geneva where he became a close friend of T. Beza* and a convert to Presbyterian polity as the divinely ordained form of church government. His ideas on the subject were set out in De Ecclesiasticae Disciplinae...Explicatio (1574). After a brief return to England in 1576, he became minister to the Merchant Adventurers in Antwerp, but tensions led to his resignation. His refusal to accept Anglican orders and his leadership in the classical movement made him unacceptable to Whitgift. He was passed over for the mastership of the Temple and finally inhibited from preaching. His last important post was the first provostship of Trinity College, Dublin, between 1594 and 1598, and for the rest of his life he lived in comparative obscurity. Though he played a vital role in editing the draft Book of Discipline, widely discussed by the classical movement, his final book, Vindiciae Ecclesiae Anglicanae (1630), suggested that he no longer so explicitly equated Christianity and Presbyterianism. His defense of Reformed theology and exposition of Presbyterian polity of this deeply learned man made him one of the most influential Elizabethan Puritans.

See S.J. Knox, Walter Travers (1962).

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