Juxon, William (DNB00)

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JUXON, WILLIAM (1582–1663), archbishop of Canterbury and lord high treasurer of England, was the son of Richard Juxon, who lived in Chichester as receiver-general of the estates of the see. His grandfather, John Juxon, was a Londoner; the family had long been settled in the city of London, and was closely connected with the Merchant Taylors' Company (Wilson, History of Merchant Taylors' School). William was born probably in the parish of St. Peter the Great, Chichester, where he was baptised in October 1582. He was sent to the Merchant Taylors' School in London, and on 11 June 1598 he was elected scholar of St. John's College, Oxford. While at Oxford he applied himself chiefly to the study of law (cf. Joseph Taylor, ‘History of St. John's College,’ St. John's College MSS.) He matriculated on 7 May 1602, and was admitted bachelor of civil law on 5 July 1603. According to Wood, he was ‘about that time a student in Gray's Inn,’ but the register records his admission on 2 May 1636 (Foster, Gray's Inn Reg. p. 211). On 20 Jan. 1609, Juxon, who was then ordained, was nominated by his college to the vicarage of St. Giles, Oxford, where he ‘was much frequented for his edifying way of preaching’ (cf. Lloyd, Memoirs, &c., 1668, p. 595). On 8 Jan. 1616 he resigned the living, having been presented by Benedict Hatton on 16 June 1615 to the rectory of Somerton, Oxfordshire. At Somerton he built at his own cost a new rectory house, in which he resided continuously until 10 Dec. 1621. On that day he was unanimously elected to the vacant headship of his college, on the recommendation of Laud, who ‘had taken great notice of his parts and temper … but greater of his integrity and policy’ (Lloyd, Memoirs, &c., as above; Heylin, Cyprianus Anglicus, and Clarendon). He proceeded to the degree of D.C.L. in 1622 (cf. Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., ii. i. 153). Until 1633 he continued to reside during the vacations at Somerton, where he was assisted by curates (cf. Cal. of State Papers, Dom. Car. ii, vol. xxiii., 18 Dec. 1660). The parishioners placed his arms (Or, a cross gules, between four negroes' heads couped wreathed about, proper) in the east window of the church (removed, before 1827, to the rectory house, where it still remains) and on the rood screen, dated 1642 (J. C. Blomfield, History of Middleton and Somerton, 1888).

In 1626 and 1627 Juxon was vice-chancellor of the university. On 7 January 1626–1627, having already been made prebendary of Chichester and chaplain in ordinary to the king, he was appointed dean of Worcester. From the changes made by Mainwaring, his successor in the deanery (Heylin, Cyp. Anglic. p. 292), it would appear that he allowed the ordering of service to continue as before, making no such alterations as had been made by Laud at Gloucester. In August 1627, as vice-chancellor of the university, he received the king at Woodstock with a Latin speech. On 17 Nov. 1629 he, with Dr. J. Bancroft and Dr. Gamaliel Bridges, reported to the privy council on differences which had arisen between the dean and chapter and the students of Christ Church. He was already noted for his business capacity and for his tact and patience.

After Laud's election as chancellor of the university in 1630, Juxon became actively engaged in the reform of the statutes which resulted in the issue of what is known as the Laudian code. He governed his college meanwhile with skill and discretion; he was friendly both with Laud's bitter opponent, Dr. Rawlinson, and with his firm friend, Sir William Paddy, the late king's physician, and a great benefactor to the college. On 10 July 1632 he was sworn clerk of the king's closet, at Laud's recommendation, ‘that I might have one that I might trust near his Majesty if I grew weak or infirm’ (Laud, Diary, in his Works, ‘Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology’). Juxon was for many years Laud's chief correspondent at Oxford, and regularly sent him university gossip (letters printed in Laud's Works, and Cal. of State Papers). He actively aided him, too, in the reconciliation of Chillingworth to the English church in 1628. (For correspondence, see Cal. of State Papers).

Towards the end of 1632 Juxon was nominated to the see of Hereford, and on 5 Jan. 1632–3 he resigned the headship of St. John's College. Before his consecration Laud's election to Canterbury left the see of London vacant. The new archbishop's first care was, says Clarendon, ‘that the place he was removed from might be supplied with a man who would be vigilant to pull up those weeds which the London soil was too apt to nourish,’ and he easily procured Juxon's appointment to the post. About the same time Juxon became dean of the Chapel Royal (Cal. of State Papers, 12 Aug. 1633). On 3 Oct. 1633 he was consecrated bishop of London.

From this date Juxon was immersed in public affairs, political as well as ecclesiastical. In his episcopal office he seems to have enforced the law and obeyed the injunctions of Laud without offending the people. Lloyd (Memoirs of those that Suffered, p. 596) says that he was ‘the delight of the English nation, whose reverence was the only thing all factions agreed in, by allowing that honour to the sweetness of his manners that some denied to the sacredness of his function, being by love, what another is in pretence, the universal bishop.’ There is abundant testimony to support this statement. During the first three months of his episcopate he received no complaints against any of his clergy (Laud's annual account of his province, sent to the king, 2 Jan. 1633–4, in his Works), but his primary visitation revealed several cases of nonconformity. His ‘articles to be enquired of’ were printed at the time in pamphlet form (London, printed for Nathaniel Butter, 1634). In the articles for his visitation in 1640 (printed by Richard Baxter) certain changes were ordered in accordance with the new canons of that year, and these changes formed the subject of one of the articles of impeachment against Laud.

From May 1634 Juxon actively directed the scheme for the restoration of St. Paul's. But every year, despite his gentleness and tolerance, his difficulties in securing conformity increased. The records of the high commission and Star-chamber courts show him to have been almost always in favour of lenient sentences. In the case of Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, he, like Laud, gave no judgment. The supervision of English congregations abroad was included in his duties, and a letter of 21 June 1634 to the English merchants residing at Delft shows him solicitous for the observance on the continent of the rules of the church. He was associated with Laud and Wren in revising the Scots' prayer-book and canons, but seems to have left the chief work to his colleagues. He fully recognised the difficulties that beset the scheme of reformation in Scotland. Writing to the Bishop of Ross on 17 Feb. 1635–6 he said: ‘With your letter of the 6th of this month I received your book of canons, which perchance at first will make more noise than all the cannons in Edinburgh Castle’ (Baillie, ed. Laing, i. 438).

On 6 March 1635–6 Juxon received the white staff of lord high treasurer from the king's hand, and took the oath as a privy councillor. As an unmarried man and an ecclesiastic he would (it was believed) be above the temptations which had led his predecessors to enrich themselves at the expense of the state (Heylin, Cyp. Anglic.) He owed the appointment to Laud, who saw in his friend a man capable of ending the corrupt practices prevailing in the treasury, and of proving a useful coadjutor in directing secular affairs. No ecclesiastic had held the post since William Grey, bishop of Ely, was promoted to it in 1469. ‘And now,’ Laud wrote in his ‘Diary,’ ‘if the church will not hold themselves up under God, I can do no more.’ The selection caused general astonishment, and ‘sharpened the edge of envy and malice against the archbishop himself;’ but the new treasurer proved himself well worthy of his office by his patience, economy, and activity. Shortly afterwards (3 June 1636) he was made a lord of the admiralty, a post he held till April 1638, when his commission was terminated, by the king's resolution to make the young Duke of York lord high admiral. He was a very regular attendant at the meetings of the council held every Sunday, and meetings of the admiralty board were constantly held at his own house. He thus exerted a general supervision over all departments of the government. On 10 April 1636 he was put on the commission for the government of all colonies planted by English subjects. From the time of the first exaction of ship-money he was constantly engaged in receiving reports respecting its collection. His heavy work was rendered more difficult by disputes among his colleagues. Windebank and Laud had quarrelled, and Juxon tried in vain to be the peacemaker. In August 1636 he was present at Laud's reception of the king and queen at St. John's College, when the new library and rooms were thrown open. Juxon had directed the early stages of the building on behalf of the donor, and had hit upon the marble used for the pillars while engaged in his favourite sport of hunting.

The reckless extravagance of the court was an incessant source of trouble, and his anxieties were increased tenfold by the outbreak of the Scots war. On 10 Jan. 1638–9 he was added to the committee of the council of war, and he served on all the smaller committees for administrative purposes into which the council was divided during the king's absence in the north. While the Short parliament was sitting Juxon was busily writing letters on the king's order for the levying of a forced loan within ten days (to Sir R. Wynn, 10 April 1640, Fairfax Correspondence, ed. Johnson, i. 402). Juxon was summoned as a witness at the trial of Strafford, but, like Hamilton, Northumberland, and Cottington, could remember nothing of the suggested employment of the Irish army in England, which Vane attributed to Strafford. When the attainder was passed by the lords, Juxon and Usher alone advised Charles to refuse his assent, ‘seeing he knew his lordship to be innocent.’ He visited Laud in the Tower, and on 17 May 1641 he resigned the treasurer's white staff. While other bishops were impeached and imprisoned, he was left to reside peaceably at Fulham. ‘Neither as bishop or treasurer,’ says Sir Philip Warwick, who had been his secretary, ‘came there any one accusation against him in that last parliament, whose ears were opened, nay, itching, after such complaints;’ and Falkland, in an attack on the episcopate, made an honourable exception in his favour, ‘that in an unexpected place and power he expressed an equal moderation and humility, being neither ambitious before, nor proud after, either the crozier or the white staff.’ On 17 Aug. 1641 he had to pay part of a fine levied by the House of Lords on the judges of the high commission for exceeding their powers in the case of one Ekins. In 1643 he was obliged to pay 500l. to the support of the parliamentary army (Calendar of Committee for Advance of Money, pt. i. p. 229). He was not otherwise molested, and he seems for a while to have been crippled by illness (Nicholas to the king, 5 Oct. 1641, in Evelyn, Diary, Appendix, ed. Wheatley). The letters of Sir Edward Nicholas show that the king, now that Laud was in the Tower, took Juxon's advice on the appointments to vacant bishoprics.

During the troubles of the next few years, ‘when the king was admitted to any treaty with the two Houses' Commissioners, he always commanded [Juxon's] attendance on him. …’ ‘This,’ the king said, ‘I will say of him, I never got his opinion freely in my life but when I had it I was ever the better for it’ (Warwick). In the autumn of 1646, when Charles had concocted a scheme for the discussion of religious differences which was to lead to an establishment of presbyterianism, he wrote privately (30 Sept. 1646) to Juxon asking whether he might ‘with a safe conscience give way to this proposed temporary compliance’ (Ellis, Original Letters, 2nd ser. iii. 325). Juxon (and Brian Duppa, bishop of Salisbury), in reply, 14 Oct. 1646, acknowledged the wisdom of such tolerance during a period of conference (Clarendon State Papers, ii. 267). Juxon was with the king at the date of the negotiations of Newport in 1648, and during his trial. After the sentence he rarely left him, and the king declined the company of other ministers. On the morning of 30 Jan., the day of the execution, the bishop, after private prayers, read the morning service with the king, and alone of his servants was with him on the scaffold. To him and Colonel Tomlinson the king handed a copy of his speech in vindication of his government, and, in answer to Juxon's request, added his profession of loyalty to the church. Charles also gave Juxon a copy of his private prayers, printed in some copies at the end of the ‘Eikōn basilikē’ (see the controversy between Wordsworth and Todd, and the latter's Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1825). Juxon took leave of his master in the words, ‘You are exchanged from a temporal to an eternal crown, a good exchange,’ and as Charles laid his head on the block, he gave the bishop his last commission in the word ‘Remember!’ The paper handed by the king to Juxon, containing a note of his speech, was at once demanded by the officers (Fuller, Church History, p. 236). He was also strictly examined as to the meaning of the king's last word. The body was embalmed under his directions, and he, with several lay lords, chose the place for the grave in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, after permission to bury it in Henry VII's Chapel was refused. On 7 Feb. Juxon and his friends bore the coffin into the chapel through the driving snow, but Juxon was forbidden to read the burial service.

Juxon was deprived of his see in 1649, but orders were given later that arrears due to him should be paid. For the next ten years he resided at Little Compton, Gloucestershire, a manor which he had purchased some time before. Whitelocke says that he engaged in hunting, and that his pack exceeded ‘all other hounds in England for the pleasure and orderly hunting of them.’ Tradition says that he read the church services every Sunday at the neighbouring Chastleton House. He assisted many of the deprived clergy. In 1657 he gave four oriental manuscripts to the Bodleian Library (Macray, Annals of the Bodl. Libr.) At the Restoration Juxon was recognised as the only possible primate. On 3 Sept. 1660 the congé d'élire was granted to the chapter of Canterbury, and on the same day he took the oath of supremacy and allegiance. On the 13th he was elected, and on the 20th the election was confirmed in Henry VII's Chapel amid a great concourse of clergy and laity and every sign of rejoicing. The king gave him the patronage that had belonged to his predecessor (e.g. letter of September 1660 on office of commissary of faculties), and he resumed at once all the ecclesiastical powers of his office, but he was much hampered by the king's interference (cf. Calendar of State Papers, February 1661; Evelyn, Diary, ed. Wheatley, ii. 124; Brodrick, Memorials of Merton College). He was ‘much indisposed and weak’ at the coronation, but he performed the ceremony of unction and the blessing of the sword, placed the crown on the king's head and the ring on his finger, and delivered to him the two sceptres (Evelyn, Diary). ‘The king treated him with outward respect, but had no great regard to him,’ and Juxon, ‘after some discourses with the king, was so much struck with what he observed in him that he lost both heart and hope’ (Kennett, Register, i. 666). He resumed the restoration of St. Paul's; he rebuilt the great hall at Lambeth ‘in its ancient fashion,’ and spent nearly 1,500l. in repairs at Lambeth and Croydon; but his sickness grew upon him, and he took no share in the revision of the prayer-book, though he was nominally the president of the Savoy conference. His last acts were acts of charity, in augmenting the endowment of the benefices, the great tithes of which were appropriated to the see of Canterbury. He died on 4 June 1663. His body was embalmed and taken to Oxford, where it lay in state in the divinity school, and an oration was delivered by South, then public orator. On 9 July he was laid in the chapel of St. John's by the side of the founder, Sir Thomas White, and next to the spot in which the body of Laud was placed a few days later.

As a churchman Juxon was simple, spiritual, and sincere. He held the views of Laud as to the constitution and order of the church, but enforcing ecclesiastical ordinances with tact and discretion. As a statesman he was laborious rather than original, carrying out a system, with which there is no reason to think that he was not in full agreement, as far as possible without friction. Strong and loyal, self-contained yet sympathetic, he was one of the few men in times of strife of whom it may be said that they made no enemies. ‘His best character was that which his royal master, King Charles I, gave him, that Good Man’ (Kennett, History, iii. 248).

By his will, dated 20 Sept. 1662, he left benefactions to the poor of the parishes with which he had been connected, and legacies to a great number of friends and kinsfolk. To St. John's College he left 7,000l. for the purchase of lands ‘for the increase of the yearly stipends of the fellows and scholars of that college;’ towards the restoration of St. Paul's he left 2,000l. His nephew, Sir William Juxon, was executor and residuary legatee, and his old friend Sir Philip Warwick, to whom he left his ‘silver standish, with the watch and counters,’ was named ‘overseer’ of his will.

Two tracts are attributed to him: 1. ‘The Subject's Sorrow, a Sermon on the Death of Britain's Josiah,’ London, 1649. There is no sufficient evidence for the authorship of this tract, though Halkett and Laing (Dict. of Anon. and Pseud. Lit.) attribute it to Robert Brown. 2. ‘Chapis kai Eirēnē, some Considerations upon the Act of Uniformity,’ London, 1662. This was probably written by Bishop Gauden. Juxon was concerned in drawing up an ‘Office of Penance and Reconciliation of a Renegado or Apostate for Turcism’ (Laud, Works, vol. v. pt. ii.) There are portraits of him at Lambeth, at Worcester deanery, at St. John's College, Oxford, in the National Portrait Gallery, and at Longleat, Wiltshire. A print appears in the octavo edition of Clarendon's ‘History’ (Oxford, 1712).

[The State Papers from 1627 are full of information as to Juxon's official labours. The Calendars (ed. Bruce and Hamilton) contain in each volume often as many as two hundred references to him. In addition to the authorities referred to in the text may be mentioned: The manuscript Registers, &c., of St. John's College; Sir Thomas Herbert's Memoirs, ed. 1702; Strafford Papers; Baillie's Letters, ed. Laing; and Gardiner's History of England to the Civil War and History of the Great Civil War. The best sketches of his character are those of Sir P. Warwick (who had been his secretary), Memoirs, pp. 93–6, and Lloyd (who had Oxford sources of information), pp. 595–6. The Life by Dean Hook (‘Archbishops of Canterbury,’ vol. ii. new ser.) is concerned chiefly with the last days of the king, and dwells little on Juxon's political career. A biography by the Rev. W. Hennessy Marah, 1869, is a compilation from well-known sources, but gives some traditions of Juxon's residence at Little Compton.]

W. H. H.