Nevynson, Christopher (DNB00)

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NEVYNSON, CHRISTOPHER (d. 1551), lawyer, was eldest son of Rowland Nevynson of Briggend, in the parish of Wetheral, Cumberland, and first-cousin of Stephen Nevynson [q. v.] (Berry's County Genealogies, p. 390; Nicolson and Burn, Westmorland and Cumberland, i. 451; Addit. MSS. 5520 f. 156, 5528 f. 45; Philipot, ‘Visitation of Kent,’ 1619–21, with additions by Hasted, in Addit. MS. 5507, f. 333). It is possible that he at first contemplated a religious life. He is probably identical with the Christopher Nevynson who in 1533 was sub-prior of the convent of Hulm Cultrum, in the parish of Wetheral, and there was a likelihood of his becoming abbot there (see State Papers, Henry VIII, 16 Aug. 1533 and 11 Aug. 1536). On the suppression of the monasteries he seems to have turned to law. He graduated LL.B. at Cambridge in 1535, and LL.D. in 1539, and on 1 July of that year was admitted to the College of Advocates.

As a lawyer Nevynson acquired a reputation for great learning and professional skill. At the accession of Edward VI (3 Sept. 1547) he was appointed a commissioner for the visitation of the dioceses of Westminster, London, Norwich, and Ely (Strype, Eccles. Mem. ii. 74; Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 9). In 1549 he was a commissioner for the trial, ‘for errors of scripture,’ of Anne, countess of Sussex (Wood, Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, iii. 240). He was also present as one of the king's visitors at Peter Martyr's disputation at Oxford, 28 May–June 1549 (Strype, Cranmer, p. 286; Foxe, Acts and Mon. vi. 298), and as one of the judges and commissioners of the process against George von Parre, an anabaptist follower of Joan Bocher [q. v.] of Kent (Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 39–45; Strype, Eccles. Mem. ii. i. 385; Burnet, Hist. of the Reformation, v. 249). Nevynson's will, dated 15 March 1550–1, was proved at Canterbury on 12 Sept. 1551. He is described as of Adisham, Kent, and mention is made of his wife, his daughter Jane, and son Thomas, and numerous cousins. He left the leases of not less than six manors to his son (Nicholas, Test. Vetusta). A sepulchral brass to the son and the son's wife in the church at Eastry was dated 1590 (cf. Addit. MS. 32490, f. 36).

[Authorities quoted; Cooper's Athenæ Cant.; Nicolas's Testamenta Vetusta, p. 736; Wilkins's Concilia; Charles Coote's Catalogue of English Civilians; State Papers, Dom. Henry VIII; Addit. MSS. 32490 f. 36, 5507 f. 333, 5520 f. 106, 5528 f. 45, 5534 f. 57; Hutchinson's Cumberland, i. 165; Hasted's Kent, iii. 217; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

W. A. S.