Baynes, Ralph (DNB00)

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BAYNES, RALPH (d. 1559), bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, a native of Knowsthorp in Yorkshire, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, proceeded B.A. in 1517–1518, and was ordained priest at Ely on 23 April 1519, being then a fellow of St. John's on Bishop Fisher's foundation. He took the degree of M.A. in 1521, was appointed one of the university preachers in 1527, and was collated to the rectory of Hardwicke in Cambridgeshire, which he resigned in 1544. He was a zealous opponent of Hugh Latimer at Cambridge. Afterwards he went to Paris, and was appointed professor of Hebrew in that university. He continued abroad till the accession of Queen Mary, when he returned to England. On 18 Nov. 1554 he was consecrated bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. In 1555 he commenced D.D. at Cambridge. He assisted at the trials of Hooper, Rogers, and Taylor for heresy (Strype, Memorials, folio ed. i. 180–3), and took a leading part in the persecution of the protestants. Fuller says ‘his greatest commendation is, that though as bad a bishop as Christopherson, he was better than Bonner’ (Worthies, ed. Nichols, ii. 503). He was one of the eight catholics who took part in the conference on controverted doctrines that was held at Westminster in March 1558–9 by order of the privy council (Strype, Annals, i. 87, 90), and on 21 June 1559 he was deprived of his bishopric by the royal commissioners, who went into the city of London to tender the oath of allegiance and supremacy (id. i. 141). Subsequently he lived for a short time in the house of Grindal, bishop of London. He died of the stone at Islington on 18 Nov. 1559, and was buried in the church of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London.

Baynes was one of the chief restorers of Hebrew learning in this country, and was also well versed in Latin and Greek. His works are: 1. ‘Prima Rudimenta in Linguam Hebraicam,’ Paris, 1550, 4to. 2. ‘Compendium Michlol, hoc est, absolutissimæ grammatices Davidis Chimhi,’ Paris, 4to, 1554. 3. ‘In Proverbia Salamonis,’ Paris, 1555, fol. Addressed to Henry II, king of France.

[T. Baker's Hist. of St. John's Coll. Camb. (Mayor), i. 243, ii. 662; MS. Addit. 5863, f. 48 b; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, 759; Godwin, De Præsulibus (1743), 342; Strype's Annals (fol.), i. 57, 58, 59, 60, 64, 77, 87, 90, 94, 95, 139, 141, 144; Strype's Cranmer (fol.), 320; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 202; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vi. 203; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 82; Dodd's Church History, i. 489.]

T. C.