Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Traheron, Bartholomew

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TRAHERON, BARTHOLOMEW (1510?–1558?), protestant writer, born about 1510, was descended from an ancient Cornish family, and is said to have been a native of Cornwall. Possibly he was son of George Traheron who was placed on the commission of the peace for Herefordshire in 1523 and died soon afterwards. Bartholomew was early left an orphan, and was brought up under the care of Richard Tracy [q. v.] of Toddington, Gloucestershire, who, says Traheron, ‘whan I was destitute of father and mother, conceaued a very fatherly affection towarde me and not onely brought me up in the universities of this and forayne realmes with your great costes and charges, but also most earnestly exhorted me to forsake the puddels of sophisters.’ Traheron became a friar minorite before 1527, when he is said to have been persecuted at Oxford for his religion by John London [q. v.], warden of New College; he is also said to have belonged to Exeter College or Hart Hall, but his name does not occur in the registers. Subsequently he removed to Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1533, being still a friar minorite (Lansd. MS. 981, f. 9). Soon afterwards relinquishing his habit, he went abroad, travelling in Italy and Germany. In September 1537 he joined Bullinger at Zurich (Bullinger, Decades, Parker Soc. v. p. xii), and in 1538 he was living at Strasburg. In that year he published an exhortation to his brother Thomas to embrace the reformed religion.

Early in 1539 Cromwell took Traheron into his service, and Lord-chancellor Audley seems to have befriended him (Original Letters, Parker Soc. i. 316–17). After Cromwell's fall he escaped from court ‘with much difficulty’ and retired into the country, where in May 1542 he was credited with an intention ‘to marry a lady with 120 florins income and keep a grammar school for boys’ (ib. i. 226). In 1543 he dedicated to Tracy his translation of ‘The moste Excellent Workes of Chirurgerye made and set forthe by maister John Vigon, heed chirurgien of our tyme in Italie,’ London, 4to (other editions 1550 fol., 1571 fol., 1586 4to). Before the end of Henry VIII's reign Traheron found it advisable again to go abroad, and in 1546 he was with Calvin at Geneva. Calvin exercised great influence over Traheron, who gradually abandoned his friend Bullinger's comparatively moderate views, and adopted Calvin's doctrine of predestination and antisacramentarian dogmas. In the summer of 1548 he returned to England, and was found a seat in the parliament which met for its second session in November (his name does not occur in the Official Return). The main question before it was the doctrine of the eucharist to be adopted in the Book of Common Prayer, on which the Windsor commission was then sitting. Traheron ‘endeavoured as far as he could that there should be no ambiguity in the reformation of the Lord's Supper; but it was not in his power to bring over his old fellow-citizens to his view’ (Original Letters, Parker Soc. i. 266). Early in 1549 he had a controversy with Hooper on predestination (ib. ii. 406, 416, 426; Hooper, Works, ii. p. xi). On 14 Dec. of that year he was on Cheke's recommendation appointed keeper of the king's library with a salary of twenty marks in succession to Ascham, and in February 1549–50 the council nominated him tutor to the young Duke of Suffolk at Cambridge.

On Suffolk's death (16 July 1551) Traheron again retired into the country, and occupied himself with the study of Greek. He contributed to the ‘Epigrammata Varia,’ London, 1551, 4to, published on the death of Bucer, and in September Cecil suggested to him that he might be of use in the church, and proposed his election to the deanery of Chichester (Lansd. MS. 2, f. 9). Traheron, who is incorrectly said to have taken orders about 1539, was only a civilian, but on 29 Sept. the council wrote to the chapter of Chichester urging his election as dean (Council Warrant-book in Royal MS. C. xxiv. f. 137). The chapter made some difficulty, and it was not till 8 Jan. 1551–2 that Traheron was elected (Le Neve, i. 257). Meanwhile, on 6 Oct. and again on 10 Feb. 1551–2, he had been nominated one of the civilians on the commission to reform the canon laws. His position at Chichester was not happy, and in 1552 he resigned the deanery, receiving instead a canonry at Windsor in September.

On Mary's accession Traheron resigned his patent as keeper of the king's library (Rymer, Fœdera, xv. 351) and went abroad. In 1555 he was at Frankfort, taking part in the famous ‘troubles’ there. He was one of the adherents of Richard Cox [q. v.], who, in opposition to Knox's party, wished to retain the English service-book; and when the congregation at Frankfort was remodelled after Knox's expulsion, Traheron was appointed, ‘when he is stronge, to take the divinity lecture’ (Whittingham, Brieff Discours, 1575, pp. lvii, lviii, lx). Soon afterwards he seems to have removed to Wesel, where he lectured on the New Testament. In 1557 he published ‘An Exposition of a parte of S. Iohannes Gospel made in sondrie readinges in the English congregation at Wesel by Bartho. Traherõ, and now published against the wicked enterprises of new sterte up Arians in Englande,’ Wesel? 8vo; another edition, ‘beinge ouerseen againe, corrected and augmẽted in manie places by the autor with additions of sondrie other lectures wherein the diuinitie of the holie gost … is treated and the use of sacramentes,’ was issued in 1558, sm. 8vo. In 1557 Traheron also published ‘An expositiõ of the 4 chap. of S. Joans Reuelation made by Bar. Traheron in sondrie readings before his contremen in Germaine,’ Wesel? 8vo; other editions, London, 1573, 8vo, and London, 1577, 8vo. Two other works followed in 1558, an ‘Answere made by Bar. Traheron to a privie papiste which crepte in to the english congregation of christian exiles …,’ Wesel? 8vo (Lambeth Library; cf. Maitland, Essays on the Reformation, pp. 75–85), and ‘A Warning to England to repente and to turn to god from idolatrie and poperie by the terrible exemple of Calece given the 7 of March Anno C. 1558 by Benthalmai Outis [i.e. Bartholomew Traheron], …,’ Wesel? 8vo.

Traheron probably died at Wesel in 1558 (Holinshed, iii. 1168; but cf. Lansd. MS. 981, f. 9). His daughter Magdalen married Thomas Bowyer of Leythorne, Sussex (Elwes, Castles of West Sussex). Besides the works mentioned above, he published ‘Ad Thomam fratrem Parænesis,’ Frankfurt, 1538, 8vo, has verses in ‘Johannis Parkhursti Ludicra sive Epigrammata,’ 1573, wrote various letters to Bullinger which are printed in ‘Original Letters’ (Parker Soc.), and is credited by Bale with the authorship of ‘In mortem Henrici Dudlæi carmen i.,’ ‘In mortem senioris Viati [Wyatt] carmen i.,’ ‘In testamentum G. Tracy [see under Tracy, Richard] lib. i.,’ and ‘Epistolarum et Carminum lib. i.’

[Lansd. MSS. 2 f. 135, 981 f. 9; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Gairdner; Lit. Remains of Edward VI (Roxburghe Club); Narr. of the Reformation (Camden Soc.); Bale's Scriptt. viii. 94; Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, i. 324; Fuller's Worthies; Strype's Works (general index); Gough's Index to Parker Soc. Publ.; Berkenhout's Biogr. Lit. 1777, p. 177; Lewis's Translations of the Bible, 1818, pp. 203–4; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Ascham's Epistolæ; Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, ed. Pocock; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 180, 551; Haweis's Sketches of the Reformation; Dixon's Hist. of the Church of England, iii. 220, 293, 351, 439; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub.; works in Brit. Mus.; authorities cited.]

A. F. P.