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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Roger Andrewes - in the shadow of his brother

Very little is known of Roger Andrewes, not least because he stood constantly in the shadow of his far more influential brother, Lancelot Andrewes. His date of birth is unknown, and no details are readily accessible concerning his early education and upbringing.

Doorway - Jesus College, Cambridge

Obvious nepotism?

Roger's brother Lancelot was Master of Pembroke College, when Roger was made a fellow there, perhaps through Lancelot's influence. When Lancelot was bishop of Chichester, Roger was a prebendery, an archdeacon and chancellor of Chichester cathedral. When Lancelot went on to Ely cathedral in 1609, Roger also received a prebend there. It was no accident that Roger Andrewes became Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, as this post was in the gift of the Bishop of Ely! By this time Roger was a fellow of Pembroke Hall, which independently shows he had genuine scholarship. However, a clear pattern emerges through his adult life, which causes Nicolson says Roger Andrewes was widely loathed by his contemporaries - which, if true, shows a deep jealousy or envy at work, in the face of nepotism.

Work as a translator

The first Cambridge group was responsible for translating the Old Testament books, Chronicles to Ecclesiastes. Members of this group were Roger Andrewes (or Andrews), Master of Jesus College, Cambridge; Andrew Byng, and Laurence Chaderton, one of the original delegates at Hampton Court. Also members were Francis Dillingham, prolific as a writer; Thomas Harrison, whose scholarship approached that of Lancelot Andrewes; Edward Lively, a Hebraist; Robert Spalding, and John Richardson. Being in the same group as his brother Lancelot, Roger was surely Lancelot's choice. But, that is not to say he did not have, at the very least, the expertise required to fulfil the appointed task. Having said that, we may wonder what caused Lancelot Andrewes to remark his group was largely neglecting their commission in the earlier years of the translation process.

Roger Andrewes died in 1630.

Nicolson, Adam. (2003) Power and glory: Jacobean England and the making of the King James Bible, Lon: Harper.

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Friday, 22 July 2011

John Richardson -- well-accepted Hebraist.

Doctor John Richardson was born in Linton, Cambridgeshire seven miles from Cambridge. Like most of the KJV translators he was youngish or of middle-age and came from one of the regions of London, Oxford and Cambridge. The translators were not a cross section of English people or English clergy but of the scholars who happened to be on hand for the venture. The restricted geographical source was inevitable for two reasons (1) Universities were located only in the two communities of Oxford and Cambridge; (2) Extreme difficulties (compared to today) in communication and travel made it expedient to hold the committee sessions in the three main centres of London , Oxford and Cambridge. London University was founded by Royal Charter in 1836 over two hundred years later.

Academic appointments

John Richardson matriculated as a sizar from Clare College, Cambridge in 1578, obtained an MA in 1585. Further studies in divinity led to a BTh in 1592, and DTh in 1597. He became a fellow of Emmanuel College. In 1607 he succeeded John Overall as Regius Professor of Divinity. He was Master of Peterhouse (1608 - 1615), and then appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1615), and serving for two years as Vice-Chancellor of the University.(1617 - 1618).

Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge.

Linguistic Ability

He was noted, says McClure, as

"a most excellent linguist," as every good theologian must be; for, as Coleridge says, "language is the armory of the human mind; and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future conquests.

Not only a fine Hebraist, Richardson’s Latin was skillfully honed, shown by some Latin verses he contributed to Michael Dalton's The Countrey Justice (1618).

One day King James 1 was entertained at Cambridge by an intellectual joust:

In those days, it was the custom, at seats of learning, for the ablest men to hold public disputes, in the Latin tongue, with a view to display their skill in the weapons of logic, and "the dialectic fence." As the ancient knights delighted to display and exercise their skill and strength in running at tilt, and amicably breaking spears with one another; so the great scholars used to cope with each other in the arena of public argument, and strive for literary "masteries." Those scholastic tournaments were sure to be got up whenever the halls of science were visited by the king, or some chief magnate of the land; and the logical conflicts, always conducted in the Latin tongue, were attended with as much absorbing interest as were the shows of gladiators among the Romans. McClure

Rodin's thinker

A Dr. John Davenant (later Bishop of Salisbury) was defending the view - against all-comers - that the Church had no right to excommunicate a King. This contest had in mind the Pope's excommunication of Henry VIII in 1533 and of Elizabeth I in 1570, and the desire of James 1 to establish the Stuart dynasty on rock-solid foundations. However, Richardson trumped Davenant in the wordy war by alluding to the example of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, a man of outstanding merit and acknowledged saintliness. Ambrose excommunicated the emperor Theodosius in 390 AD

"Here was a poser! King James, who was always very nervous on the subject of regal prerogative, saw that his champion was staggering under that stunning fact; and, to save him, cried out in a passion,-- Profecto fuit hoc ab Ambrosio insolentissime factum. [“Verily, this was a great piece of insolence on the part of Ambrose!"] To this, Dr. Richardson calmly rejoined,-- Responsum vere regium, et Alexandro dignum; hoc est non argumenta dissolvere, sed desecare. [“A truly royal response, and worthy of Alexander! “This is cutting our knotty arguments, instead of untying them."] And so taking his seat, he desisted from further discussion." McClure

King James I

Here was a subject remonstrating with his King yet, while holding his own, still showing the humility of a spirit submissive to lawful authority.

Contribution to the KJV translation

Richardson as a skilled linguist served in the first Cambridge Company, appointed by King James I with the translation of the Old Testament books, from Chronicles to Song of Songs. Their love of balanced lines in free-verse couplets is shown in the way they rendered the Psalms, conspicuously improving on the Geneva Bible. This Cambridge Group had a masterly poetic touch with English words and sounds, and it is well illustrated in the lush and concrete love-poems of the Song of Songs. Balanced lines and free verse couplets - these rendered the parallelism of, for example, Psalms 23 and 121. More lyrical than:

Doubtless kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall remain a long season in the house of the Lord.
You can surely recite the KJV by heart? Whereas the Geneva Bible rendered Psalm 121 as:
I will lift mine eyes unto the mountains, From whence my help shall come,
the rhythm of the KJV improves it:
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, From whence cometh my help.

Theological concerns

Richardson attracted some obloquy as one of the first Cambridge theologians to take up an Arminian position, and he was a popular theologian. The Puritans called him “a fat-bellied Arminian.” However, there’s no evidence he got into cantankerous debate with such men as Laurence Chaderton (of Emmanuel). Rather, he seems to have been well liked by his peers. Nicolson has him “increasingly ceremonialist and fat.”

Richardson shared an Arminian view of salvation with John Bois and John Overall, Richard Thompson and many of the translators, over against the Calvinistic convictions of such scholars as Samuel Ward, Laurence Chaderton, and George Abbot. (1)

Last days

John Richardson died in Cambridge in 1625 and was buried in Trinity College chapel. Emmanuel and Peterhouse were beneficiaries of his will.

(1) Payne, Gustavus, (1959/1977)The men behind the King James version, MI: Bakerpp. Pp. 56-58, 141

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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Richard Clarke - preacher and family man

Academic attainment

Richard Clarke (also Clerke), was born in London, date unknown (1562?), to George Clarke (d. 1607). He entered Christ's College, Cambridge in 1579 and graduated BA, 1583, becoming a fellow of the College that same year. Three years later he was granted an MA. Clarke also proceeded BTh in 1593, and was awarded a D Th 1598. Conflict within the College caused him to relinquish his fellowship.

Christ Church College, Cambridge

Doctrinal conflict

Clarke was a leader of a minority faction in a generally puritan atmosphere, which preferred to conform to the prevailing rites and ceremonies of the Elisabethan settlement. In 1590 he came into conflict with the strongly Calvinist George Downame, a fellow at Christ‘s, and doctor of Divinity. This conflict stemmed from failure to gain desired promotion within the College - Clarke felt discriminated against because his puritan views were not more radical.

Family life

Having resigned his fellowship at Christ’s College, Clarke became a vicar on the island of Thanet. Marriage followed, and a son, Martin, born around 1602. The same year he was given the office of six-preacher in Canterbury Cathedral; and records of baptisms and funerals show he was often resident in the city.

Canterbury Cathedral Pulpit

During their marriage Clarke's wife had given birth to at least ten children/ She died and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral,1620; most of the children also predeceased their father. Having so many children may have cost him the Mastership of his College, as King James 1 passed over him, whereas his initial recommendation for the post made an appointment look promising.

Translating the KJV

Richard Clarke was highly respected for his knowledge of Hebrew, and he served in the First Westminster Company which was responsible for translating the first twelve books of the Old Testament - Genesis to 2 Kings.


A large folio volume of seventy-four sermons (“Sermons Preached by that Reverend and Learned Divine Richard Clerke (1637)”, was published posthumously by Charles White M.A. in London. McClure comments:

. . . [A]las for "folios" and learned sermons" in these days. When people look on such a thing, they are ready to exclaim, like Robert Hall, at the sight of Dr. Gill's voluminous Commentary,--"What a continent of mud!"
According to William Prynne's account (1646), Clarke's sermons showed his anti-Catholic views, as a moderate Calvinist who opposed papal authority, attacked the mass, criticized monks and clergy, and restricted salvation to a definitive elect.
. . . [T]heir message was generally non-controversial, valuing equally prayer, preaching, sacraments, and the decency of actions such as kneeling at communion. Such a message sits reasonably comfortably with the antipuritanism of his younger days. (3)

Clarke became rector of Shargate. and vicar of Monkton with Birchington, where he ministered from 1609 until his death in 1634. He left two sons and a daughter, having married a second time.

(1) Payne, Gustavus, (1959/1977)The men behind the King James version, MI: Bakerpp. 62 - 63
(2) Nicolson, Adam. (2003) Power and glory: Jacobean England and the making of the King James Bible, Lon: Harper. pp. 125-128
(3) Larminie, Vivienne. (2004) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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Thursday, 7 July 2011

John Duport - reverend and learned Puritan

John Duport was born c. 1549 (?) in Sheepshed, Leicestershire. He was the eldest son of Thomas Duport and his wife, Cornelia Norton of Kent. The Duports had been substantial landholders there since the early fifteenth century, tracing their origins to a Normandy family. John matriculated as a pensioner from Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1564, and remained there for most of his life. Having graduated BA - and MA in 1573, he gained a doctorate (DD) in 1590, was a fellow of the college for several years. He married Rachel, daughter of Richard Cox, bishop of Ely. By her he had two sons, one of whom (James Duport) was also a noted Greek scholar and divine. He was ordained clergyman during this time, and had several ‘livings‘ in different counties and parishes throughout his life. He acted as precentor of St Paul's for over thirty years, and was a prebendary of Ely for most of the final decade of his life.

Jesus College Cambridge

As Master of Jesus College Cambridge for almost thirty years from 1589 to his death in 1617, John Duport was a learned man of high standing, one of England‘s senior scholars. Having come from a wealthy family, and gaining frequent preferments - that is, promotions - in changing parishes, Duport became a liberal benefactor of the College. Alexander McClure has an interesting if scathing comment (from a nineteenth century perspective) about an ecclesiastical system which too easily allowed unsuitable pastoral appointments to be made for several successive centuries:

Almost every parish, whenever vacant, is in the gift of some man of wealth, or high officer in church, state, university, or other corporation: Hence frequence removals to more desirable parishes tend to shew that a clergyman has very influential friends or is in high esteem. Still this does not necessarily follow, inasmuch as a very great part of this business is mere matter of bargain and sale. The person who has the right of presenting a clergyman to be pastor of a vacant church is called the “patron;” and the right of presentation is called the “advowson.” These advowsons are bought, sold, bequeathed or inherited, like any other right or possession. They may be owned by heretics or infidels, who are under very little restraint as to their choice of ministers to fill the vacancies that occur. If the bishop should refuse to institute the person nominated, it would involve the prelate in great trouble, unless he could make out a very strong case against the fitness of the rejected presentee. Meanwhile the flocks, who pay the tithes which support the minister, have no voice in the matter, except in comparatively few parishes. They may be dearly loved for their flesh and fleece; but they must take the shepherd who is set over them. If they dislike his pasture, and jump the fence to feed elsewhere, they must pay tithes and offerings all the same to the convivial rector, fox-hunting vicar, or Puseyite priest, who has secured the “benefice” or “living.” It is astonishing, that, under such an ecclesiastical system, the Church of England is not more thoroughly corrupted. And it is astonishing, that such a system can be endured to the middle of such a century as this, by a nation whose loudest and proudest boast is of liberty.

There were several Masters of Cambridge colleges at this time, who all shared moderate Puritan views of the Bible and church life. In 1595 he had joined with Laurence Chaderton and six other heads of colleges in a letter to the Archbishop. In it they complained that Calvinistic teaching was being undermined by unbiblical views (later dubbed “Arminian”). The letter was designed:

to testify our own opinions for the defence and preservation of that truth of doctrine in some substantial points which hath been always in our memories both here and elsewhere, taught, professed and continued and never openly impugned amongst us.(1)
Duport was vice-chancellor of the College several times, and in that capacity ensured the university condemned the anti-Calvinist views of William Barrett in 1595.
The central point of controversy was the old one of election. Could any Christian feel totally confident of his salvation, in spite of frequent lapses into sin? A substantial body of senior academics at Cambridge had no doubt on the matter.(1)

This was because they believed salvation depended entirely on the grace of God, and was not dependent on any human merit whatsoever! Neither was forgiveness cheaply obtained, because it cost God the most painful sacrifice of His “only begotten Son,” to enable us to enjoy salvation, as St. Paul implies in Romans 8:32.

Translation work

Duport headed up the second Cambridge group translating the Apocrypha of the King James Version. No details are available as to his specific contribution to the translation process. His colleague on the committee was John Bois, who worked assiduously for four years, and so was able to finish his part early. He then turned to help one of the other translators, who had fallen behind in his work. His name remains anonymous, and we have no certain idea as to who it might have been. John Duport died six years after publication, about Christmas, 1617, and left, says McClure "a well-earned reputation as 'a reverend man in his generation.' Let him also be reverend in this generation, for his agency in the final preparation of the Bible in English."

(1) Wilson, Derek The People's Bible Lon: Lion, p. 98.
(2) Payne, Gustavus, (1959/1977)The men behind the King James version, MI: Bakerpp. 62 - 63
(3) Shepard, Alexandra. (2004) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
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Friday, 1 July 2011

Ralph Hutchinson - quiet achievement.

Educational background

Ralph Hutchinson was a younger son of John Hutchinson of London. He was born in 1552 (?) and educated at Merchant Taylors' School. For the method of this school in teaching the Classics, see Lancelot Andrewes.

, Oxford
St John's College

Hutchinson then found his way to Oxford through the influence of Joan White (in her capacity as the widow of the founder of St. John's College, Oxford, Sir Thomas White). Concerned that his father, John Hutchinson, was ‘greatly charged with a great nombre of children’, Joan nominated Ralph in 1568 to a scholarship at the College. He was finally admitted two years later in 1570 (Stevenson and Salter, 164). Ralph graduated B.A. in 1575, and M.A. in 1578. In 1579 he was elected to the rhetoric readership, which he resigned in 1581 to become medical fellow. In June 1590 he was elected president of St John's College, by which time he had taken 'holy orders.' He became vicar of Charlbury, Oxfordshire, in 1593, and was also vicar of Cropthorne, Worcestershire. Further studies led to a BTh in 1596, and a Doctorate in 1602.

Cropthorne, Worcestershire.

His Translation work

In 1604 Hutchinson was appointed one of the translators of the Authorized Version of the Bible, to work at Westminster with William Barlow and five others on the Greek version of the Pauline and other epistles, from Romans to Jude. We catch a glimpse of Hutchinson's activity in translating, through his correspondence with John Rainolds, where he discusses with Rainolds the false estimation in which a mutual acquaintance held certain Bible commentaries known to them:
The commentaries . . . I can assure you to be mere empty names. For except those which are in the Venice Bible, let any man in Christendom show me so many as he speaketh upon the book of Esther, and I dare make myself his bondman.(1)
Hutchinson could not have been one of the six translators mentioned by John Bois, who were officially engaged in revising the first draft of the Bible at Stationer's Hall, as it issued from the groups in the Universities and at Westminster. The official process of revision took place during most of 1609, and involved John Bois, , Andrew Downes and three others. However, although Hutchinson had died three years earlier, he may have had an influence on an initial revision process. Paine adds:
When Hutchinson died at the age of fifty-seven he left a few notes about phrases in the New Testament. John Bois used these, which still exist in copy. They show how early the most painful re-examination of the Bible text began, and how the final product came from joint efforts. (1)
Hutchinson died on 16 January 1606 in Oxford, proud that his college had been ‘much blessed and increased duringe the tyme of [his] governement there’, and he was survived by nine children. As requested in his will, he was buried in the college chapel, where his widow (and executor) Mary placed a stone effigy in remembrance of his life and achievements. (3)

1. Paine, Gustavus, (1959/1977)The men behind the King James version, MI: Bakerpp. 74, 100
2. Shepard, Alexandra (2004) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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