Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Day, John (1566-1628)

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DAY, JOHN (1566–1628), divine, son of John Day [q. v.], the printer, was born ‘near or over Aldersgate,’ London, in 1566. He became a commoner of St. Alban Hall, Oxford, in 1582, and was elected a fellow of Oriel College in 1588, being then a bachelor of arts. He afterwards took the degrees of M.A. and B.D., entered into holy orders, and gained the reputation of being ‘the most frequent and noted preacher in the university.’ In the beginning of the reign of James I he travelled for three years on the continent, where his attachment to the doctrines of Calvinism was strengthened. After his return he was appointed in January 1608–9 vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford, but missing the provostship of his college on the resignation of William Lewis in 1621, he left his fellowship and vicarage in the following year, and was presented by Sir William Soame to the rectory of Little Thurlow, Suffolk, where he died on 10 Jan. 1627–8. He was buried in his church, where a monument to his memory, with a Latin epitaph, was placed by his brother Lionel ‘bene sexagenarius,’ who describes himself as the sole survivor of twenty-six brothers and sisters. Wood says that Day ‘was a person of great reading, and was admirably well vers'd in the fathers, schoolmen, and councils. He was also a plain man, a primitive christian, and wholly composed, as 'twere, to do good in his function.’

He published several detached English sermons and ‘Conciones ad Clerum,’ and also wrote: 1. ‘Commentarii in octo libros Aristotelis de Auscultatione Physica,’ 1589. Manuscript in Dr. Rawlinson's collection in the Bodleian Library. 2. ‘Day's Dyall, or his Twelve Howres, that is, twelve severall Lectures by way of Catechisme, as they were delivered by him in the Chappel of Oriell Colledge,’ Oxford, 1614, 4to. These lectures, which contain a great deal of learning and instruction, are written in a quaint style. Several translations in verse, from Greek and Latin writers, are introduced. 3. ‘Day's Festivals, or Twelve of his Sermons,’ Oxford, 1615, 4to. After the sixth sermon he has added ‘Sacred Fragments out of the bookes of the best of our Protestant writers’ on ‘The Sacraments in generall’ and ‘The Sacrament of the Supper in particular.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 412–14; Addit. MS. 19103, ff. 270 b, 271, 273; Granger's Letters, p. 129.]

T. C.