Bull, Henry (DNB00)

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BULL, HENRY (d. 1575?), theological writer, a native of Warwickshire, was a demy of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1535, and full fellow and B.A. in 1540. He was a prominent member of the party in the college that desired religious reformation, and on one occasion, with the help of Thomas Bentham, afterwards bishop of Lichfield, snatched the censer from the hand of the officiating priest. When Mary came to the throne a visitation of the college was held, and on 23 Oct. 1553 the visitors deprived Bull of his fellowship. Wood says that he went into exile. Strype, however, states that he lived quietly at home, continuing steadfast in the reformed faith (Memorials, iii. i. 82). After the accession of Elizabeth he held two or three benefices (Wood). He died probably in 1575, and certainly before the publication of his translation of Luther's ‘Commentary on the Psalms’ in 1577. He edited the ‘Apology’ of Bishop Hooper, with a preface, in 1562, and in the same year Hooper's ‘Exposition of Psalm xxiii.’ Although he also prepared the bishop's commentaries on three other Psalms, these were not published until after his death, when they were printed, together with the work on Psalm xxiii., under the title ‘Certeine comfortable Expositions of … Master John Hooper on Psalms 23, 62, 72, 77, gathered by Mr. H. B.,’ 1580. He was also the editor of ‘Christian Praiers and Holy Meditacions.’ The first copy of this work mentioned by Herbert, Lowndes, and others is that printed by H. Middelton in 1570. This, however, is stated on the title-page to have been ‘lately augmented.’ Its original probably was a book which W. Powell received license to print in 1566, and which took its title, ‘Lidley's Prayers,’ from part of Bull's collection. ‘Christian Praiers’ was reprinted in 1584, 1592, and at other dates. It has also been reprinted in a separate volume by the Parker Society. Bull translated from Luther's Latin ‘A Commentarie on the Fiftene Psalmes called Psalmi Graduum … translated out of Latine into English by Henry Bvll,’ printed by Thomas Vautroullier, 1577, with a preface by Foxe the martyrologist. In this preface Foxe says that Bull, now ‘departed,’ made a vow to do this work, that he received much spiritual consolation from it, and that ‘it pleased the Lord to continue his life till this vowed work was fully finished.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 424, Antiquities of Oxford (Gutch), ii. 105, 121; Strype's Annals, i. i. 310, 544, Memorials, iii. i. 82; Bull's Christian Prayers, preface (Parker Soc.); Clay's Private Prayers, preface (Parker Soc.); Hooper's Latin Works, 182, 551 (Parker Soc.); Bull's Commentarie on the Fiftene Psalmes (ed. 1577), Foxe's preface; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 138.]

W. H.