Cottisford, John (DNB00)

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COTTISFORD, JOHN (d. 1540?), rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, was educated at Lincoln College, taking the degrees of B.A. in 1505, M.A. in 1510, and D.D. in 1525 (3 July). He served as proctor for 1515, and, on the resignation of Thomas Drax, was elected rector of his college (2 March 1518). This office he held for nearly twenty years. He was also 'commissary' or vice-chancellor of the university. He received this appointment from Archbishop Warham, the chancellor, on the death of Dr. Thomas Musgrave in the autumn of 1527, and took the oaths on 7 Dec. On Warham's death in August 1532 he resigned, and was succeeded by William Tresham, the nominee of John Longland, bishop of Lincoln, the newly elected chancellor. As commissary, Cottisford was engaged in the attempt to stop the introduction of heretical books into Oxford, and in the arrest of Thomas Garret, parson of Honey Lane, London, who was active in the distribution of such literature, and was subsequently burnt in Smithfield in company with Barnes and Jerome. A graphic account of the whole affair, and the dismay of Cottisford on hearing of Garret's escape from his prison by his friend Dalaber, is in Foxe's 'Martyrs' (v. 421). Both Foxe and Strype erroneously give 1526 instead of 1528 as the date of the occurrence.

In 1532 Henry VIII nominated him as one of the canons of the new college (now Christ Church) which he erected on the foundation laid by Cardinal Wolsey, but he continued to hold his rectorship of Lincoln College, in which capacity he signed an acknowledgment of the royal supremacy on 30 July 1534. This document is now in the Public Record Office. His connection with Lincoln College was terminated by his resignation on 7 Jan. 1538, and shortly after (13 Sept.) he was collated to the prebend of All Saints in Hungate, Lincoln, being installed on 5 Oct. His successor was collated in October 1542, so that Gutch's statement that he died in 1540 is, perhaps, not far wrong. The 'Mr. Cotisforde, preacher,' mentioned by Strype (Cranmer, p. 147) in the reign of Edward VI, must be a different person.

[Cal. State Papers Henry VIII, vols. iii. iv. v.; Wood's Fasti Oxon. i. 14, 29, 41, 71, 76, 81, 84, 85-90; Gutch's Colleges and Halls, 241, 428; Strype's Eccl. Mem. i. i. 570; Foxe, v. 5, 422, 801, 829; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 101, iii. 475, 486, 557.]

C. T. M.