Champneys, John (DNB00)

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CHAMPNEYS, JOHN (fl. 1548), religious writer, born near Bristol, is described by Strype as living in later life at 'Stratford-on-the-Bow,' near London. He was a layman and an ardent reformer. He published in London in 1548 a controversial treatise in English, 'The Harvest is at hand wherein the tares shall be bound and cast into the fyre and brent,' London (by H. Powell), 1548. Some extreme Calvinistic opinions advanced in this work and in others by the same writer, which are not now known, offended Archbishop Cranmer, who insisted on the author's recantation on 27 April 1548. The proceedings are described at length in Strype's 'Cranmer,' ii. 92-4. At the beginning of Elizabeth's reign a writer of the same name, who had had to recant some Pelagian heresies, published anonymously a reply to Jean Veron's 'Fruteful Treatise of Predestination' (1563?), which Veron answered in his 'Apology.'

Another John Champneys (d. 1566) was a skinner of London; was sheriff in 1522 and lord mayor in 1534, when he was knighted. Stow states that he was struck blind in his later years, a divine judgment for having added 'a high tower of brick' to his house in Mincing Lane, 'the first that I ever heard of in any private man's house, to overlook his neighbours in this city.' He was son of Robert Champneys of Chew, Somersetshire, and was buried at Bexley, Kent, 8 Oct. 1556 (Machyn, Diary, Camd. Soc. p. 115). His epitaph is given in Thorpe's 'Registrum Roffense,' p. 924. His family long continued in Kent.

[Tanner's Bibliotheca Brit.; Strype's Cranmor, ii. 92-4; Machyn's Diary, Camd. Soc. p. 352; Hasted's Kent, i. 160, iii. 326; Stow's Survey, ed. Thorns, p. 51; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

S. L. L.