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James Brookes

Last Catholic Bishop of Gloucester, England (1512-1560)

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Brookes, JAMES.—last Catholic Bishop of Gloucester, England, b. May, 1512, in Hampshire; d. 1560. Proceeding to Oxford in 1528, he became Fellow of Corpus Christi in 1531, Doctor of Divinity, 1546, and Master of Balliol, 1547. Brookes was widely known as an eloquent preacher, and, on the deposition of Bishop Hooper, was elevated by Queen Mary to the See of Gloucester. He was consecrated April 1, 1554. In 1555 he was one of the papal sub-delegates in the royal commission for the trial of Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley. He refused to degrade Ridley, probably on the ground that Ridley’s consecration (1547) had been according to the invalid form which was established by law very soon after that date. If, as Foxe asserts, he refused to degrade Latimer, his position may have been based upon the fact that Latimer had lived for several years as a simple clergyman. It is hardly possible that Brookes, a man of learning and integrity, would. have been actuated in this trial by the selfish considerations hinted at by some Protestant historians. After the accession of Elizabeth he refused to take the oath of supremacy, and died in prison. He was buried in Gloucester Cathedral. Two of his orations in the Cranmer case are given in Foxe, “Acts and Monuments”. One of his sermons was printed by Robert Coly, or Caly, in 1553 and 1554.

J. VINCENT CROWNE


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