Rockray, Edmund (DNB00)

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ROCKRAY, EDMUND (d. 1597), puritan divine, matriculated as a sizar of Queens' College, Cambridge, in November 1558, graduated B.A. in 1560–1, M.A. in 1564, B.D. in 1570, and became fellow of his college and bursar shortly after 1560, and proctor of the university in 1568. Rockray was a zealous puritan. In 1570 he openly avowed his sympathy with Thomas Cartwright (1535–1603) [q. v.] (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. lxxii. 11; Strype, Annals, I. ii. 376, II. ii. 415–16). For attacking the new statutes imposed by the government on the university he was summoned before Whitgift, then vice-chancellor of the university, declined to recant, and was ordered to keep his rooms (Heywood and Wright, Cambridge Transactions during the Puritan Period, i. 59; Neal, Puritans, i. 306; Baker MSS. iii. 382–4). In May 1572 he signed the new statutes of the university (ib. i. 62; Lamb, Cambridge Documents), but about the same time he was ejected from his fellowship by order of the privy council for scruples as to the vestments, but was readmitted by Burghley's influence. He still continued obstinate as to the ecclesiastical and academic vestments (Strype, Annals, II. ii. 58), but he retained his fellowship until January 1578–9. In 1577 he had been made canon of Rochester, but, owing to his persistence in nonconformist practices, was suspended from the ministerial functions from 1584 till 1588. In 1587 he vacated his canonry, and, after continuing under ecclesiastical censure for many years, died in 1597.

[Authorities as in text; Neal's Puritans; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr.; ‘second part of a register,’ manuscript at Dr. Williams's Library, pp. 285, 585; Urwick's Nonconformity in Huntingdonshire, p. 803; information kindly sent by F. G. Plaistowe, librarian of Queens' Coll. Cambridge.]

W. A. S.