Salisbury, John (1500?-1573) (DNB00)
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Salisbury, John (1500?-1573)
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SALISBURY, JOHN (1500?–1573), bishop of Sodor and Man, born about 1500, was a member of the ancient family settled at Llewenny in Denbighshire, whose name was frequently spelt Salesbury or Salusbury. He was educated at Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. in 1519–20, M.A. in 1523, and B.D. in 1534. After his arts course he entered the Benedictine order, and became a monk of Bury St. Edmunds. He subsequently repaired to Oxford, where he graduated in both the canon and civil law in 1529–30 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. i. 81, 84; his christian name is given as Thomas in Boase's Reg. of Univ. of Oxford, i. 156). Here he associated with Thomas Gerard [q. v.] and other early protestants, and is himself mentioned as a ‘gospeller’ (Strype, Eccles. Memorials, I. i. 569; Foxe, Actes and Monuments, ed. 1846, v. 428). Suspected of holding heretical opinions, he was imprisoned for a year at Oxford by order of Cardinal Wolsey.
On returning to his abbey he was for five years little better than a prisoner, till Henry VIII appointed him prior of St. Faith's, Horsham. That post he and the six monks under him soon resigned to the king, subscribing an acknowledgment of the royal supremacy on 17 Aug. 1534 (Deputy-Keeper of Records, 7th Rep. App. ii. 289). He is also mentioned as abbot of St. Mary's, Titchfield, Hampshire, which he surrendered about the same time (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vol. xii. No. 1313 ). On 19 March 1535–6 he was consecrated suffragan-bishop of Thetford, and within the next few years he received numerous other preferments. He was collated on 20 Dec. 1537 to the archdeaconry of Anglesey; on 2 May 1538 he was appointed canon of Norwich Cathedral by the charter refounding that church, and was promoted to the deanery in the following year. His signature as dean occurs to the decree dated 9 July 1540 annulling the king's marriage with Anne of Cleves. In 1541, after reserving to himself a pension for life, he resigned the rectory of Creke in Norfolk to a son of Sir Roger Townsend, who forthwith presented Salisbury to the rectory of Cleydon, Suffolk. To this was added the rectory of Lopham, Norfolk, on the king's presentation, 2 Feb. 1546–7.
On 1 March 1553–4, after the accession of Mary, Salisbury was deprived of his deanery, and about the same time he lost his other preferments, on the ground that he was married; his wife was a member of a Norfolk family named Barret. He was, however, re-presented to the rectory of Lopham in 1554, installed chancellor of Lincoln on 5 April 1554, restored to the archdeaconry of Anglesey in 1559, and to the deanery of Norwich in 1560. He was, moreover, appointed to six other independent rectories in the counties of Lincoln and Norfolk between 1554 and 1567.
In 1562 Salisbury appeared in convocation, subscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles, and signed the petition for discipline. Owing to a violent dispute with Rowland Meyrick [q. v.], bishop of Bangor, he was for a short time deprived of his archdeaconry, probably on account of his non-residence in the diocese. He was also suspended from his deanery for preaching, in his cathedral, a sermon in which he ‘inveighed too sharply against the vices of the gentry and clergy, and seemed to prefer the popish’ to the reformed religion. He soon after made a satisfactory explanation in the same place. Both sermons are preserved among the Lambeth manuscripts (No. 113, ff. 69, 79).
On 27 March 1570–1 he was appointed bishop of Sodor and Man, and was granted a dispensation by Parker enabling him to hold in commendam his deanery, archdeaconry, and the rectories of Diss and Thorpe in Norfolk. He does not appear to have visited his diocese, but died at Norwich towards the end of September 1573, and was buried in St. Andrew's Church in that city (Blomefield, Hist. of Norfolk, viii. 255; Ashmolean MS. 792, ii, fol. 64).
Salisbury has occasionally been confounded with William Salisbury (1520?–1600?) [q. v.] Probably as a result of this confusion it has erroneously been stated that Salisbury rendered some assistance in the translation of the New Testament into Welsh; he does not appear to have taken any part in Welsh affairs beyond drawing the emoluments of his archdeaconry. He is said to have been highly esteemed by the Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Tusser [q. v.], who was a chorister in Norwich Cathedral, speaks of him as ‘the gentle dean’ (Suffolk Garland, p. 264).
[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 807; Strype's Annals, i. 328, 339, 343, iv. 310 (for other references in Strype's Works see general index); Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 318–19, 560; Browne Willis's Survey of Bangor, pp. 138–9, 262. For an account of Salisbury's various preferments in Norfolk see F. Blomefield's History of Norfolk, iii. 617–18 (and also numerous other references given in general index thereto), and Foster's Alumni Oxonienses (s. v.); biographical memorandum in Lansdowne MS. No. 981, f. 126.]