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William Whitaker

1548-1595. Cambridge Puritan theologian. Born in Lancashire and educated in his hometown of Burnley and (with the aid of his uncle, Dean A. Nowell) at St. Paul's School, he then went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow. He excelled at Greek and translated the Book of Common Prayer,* as well as Nowell's Larger Catechism, into that language. In 1578 he became a canon of Norwich and two years later regius professor of divinity. Like other Puritans he was totally committed to Protestant principles in opposition to those of Roman Catholicism, and he heartily defended his views against those of R. Bellarmine* and T. Stapleton.* His Puritanism nearly prevented his being appointed master of St. John's in 1586 but once in this post, as also when he was master of Trinity (1593-95), he made sure that Calvinistic orthodoxy was the theology taught in college. He was one of the group of men responsible for the Lambeth Articles* (1595). Most of his twenty or so treatises were written in Latin and enjoyed a wide readership in Europe.

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