Thornborough, John (DNB00)

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THORNBOROUGH, JOHN (1551–1641), bishop of Worcester, born in 1551 at Salisbury, was son of Giles Thornborough of that city. He became a demy of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1569, graduating B.A. on 1 April 1573, M.A. on 27 June 1575, and B.D. on 22 March 1581–2. At Oxford he led a gay life, associating with Robert Pinkney of St. Mary's Hall, and employing Simon Forman [q. v.] as the minister of his pleasures. Becoming chaplain to Henry Herbert, second earl of Pembroke [q. v.], he was appointed rector of Orcheston St. Mary, Wiltshire, in 1575; of Marnhull, Dorset, in 1577, and of Chilmark, Wiltshire, in 1578. Soon afterwards he became chaplain in ordinary to Elizabeth, and on 14 July 1585 was installed in the prebend of Bedminster and Ratcliffe in the cathedral of Salisbury. On 28 Oct. 1589 he was elected dean of York, and on 17 March 1589–90 obtained the prebend of Tockerington in that church, which he retained till 1616. On 20 Sept. 1593 he was appointed bishop of Limerick, to which in 1601 was added the rectory of Kirby Misperton in Yorkshire, and in the following year that of Brandesburton in the same county. In Ireland he showed himself zealous on behalf of the crown, and in consequence was enthroned bishop of Bristol on 23 Aug. 1603 (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603–10, p. 415). On 25 Jan. 1616–17, in spite of the candidature of Henry Beaumont, Buckingham's kinsman, he was elected bishop of Worcester.

Thornborough showed much activity in his last diocese in putting the law into execution against recusants, and in aiding the crown to raise money by forced loans and other exactions. He died at Hartlebury, Worcestershire on 9 or 19 July 1641, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. He was twice married. By his first wife he had issue Benjamin Thornborough, knighted at Newmarket on 23 Nov. 1618; and Edward Thornborough, collated archdeacon of Worcester on 3 Aug. 1629, who died in 1645. By his second wife, Elizabeth Bayles of Suffolk, he had Thomas Thornborough of Elmley Lovet, Worcestershire, knighted at Whitehall on 11 Feb. 1629–30.

Thornborough was the author of: 1. ‘A Discourse plainly proving the evident Utility and urgent Necessity of the desired happy Union of England and Scotland,’ London, 1604, 4to. 2. ‘The joyful and blessed reuniting the two mighty and famous Kingdoms of England and Scotland,’ Oxford, 1605, 4to. 3. ‘Λιθοθεωρικός sive Nihil, Aliquid, Omnia, Antiquorum Sapientum vivis coloribus depicta, Philosophico-theologice, in gratiam eorum qui Artem auriferam Physico-chymice et pie profitentur,’ Oxford, 1621, 4to. 4. ‘The Last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ, touching the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood,’ Oxford, 1630, 4to. 5. ‘A Discourse showing the great Happiness that hath, and may still, accrue to His Majesty's Kingdoms of England and Scotland by reuniting them into one Great Britain,’ London, 1641, 4to.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 314, iii. 3, 6, 51; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 297; Bloxam's Registers of Magdalen College, iv. 175; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Chambers's Worcestershire, p. 89; Ware's Works concerning Ireland, ed. Harris, i. 511; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, passim; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. iii. 251, 299; Strype's Annals, 1824, iv. 292, 293; Strype's Life of Whitgift, ii. 518; Fuller's Worthies, p. 151; Lansdowne MS. 985, ff. 9, 26, 30; Notes and Queries, 9th ser. ii. 484.]

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