Watson, Robert (fl.1555) (DNB00)

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WATSON, ROBERT (fl. 1555), protestant, was born in the city of Norwich. Under Edward VI he attained considerable fame as a civilian, and became steward to Archbishop Cranmer. On the accession of Mary he was deprived of his post and returned to Norwich. There he was arrested for his opinions, and, after a month's imprisonment, sent to London to appear before the council, by whom he was sent back to be confined in the bishop's palace. After an imprisonment of a year and four months he was examined on his views concerning the eucharist. He was set at liberty through the good offices of John Barret (d. 1563) [q. v.], on declaring that he held the doctrine of transubstantiation as far as it was expounded in scripture and understood by the catholic church and the fathers. John Christopherson [q. v.], the dean of Norwich, regarding this profession as equivocal, endeavoured again to lay hands on him, but he succeeded in escaping to the continent. While in exile he published an account of his trial and his controversy with his examiners, entitled ‘Ætiologia Roberti Watsoni Angli,’ 1556, 8vo. The preface is dated 1 Nov. 1555, but the place of publication is unknown.

[Watson's Ætiologia; Strype's Memorials of Cranmer, 1812, pp. 450, 610.]

E. I. C.