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Ralph Baines

Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, England (d.1519)

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Baines, RALPH, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, England, b. at Knowsthorp, Yorks, date of birth uncertain; d. November 18, 1559. Educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, he was ordained priest at Ely, 1519. Rector of Hardwicke in Cambridgeshire until 1544 when he went to Paris where he became Professor of Hebrew. In 1553 he returned to England and was consecrated Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, November 18, 1554. He vigorously opposed the Reformers and was one of the eight defenders of Catholic doctrine at the Westminster Conference 1558-59. On the accession of Elizabeth he was deprived of his bishopric (June 21, 1559) and committed to the care of Grindal, Protestant Bishop of London, thus becoming one of the eleven imprisoned bishops. The recent researches of the Rev. G. Philips (op. cit., inf.), who has exhaustively treated the question of the imprisonment of these bishops, prove that, though nominally a guest, he was in fact a strict prisoner. His captivity lasted until November 18, 1559, when, as Pitts writes, he “died an illustrious Confessor of the Lord”. He wrote “Prima Rudimenta in linguam Hebraicam” (Paris, 1550); “Compendium Michol, hoc est absolutissimae grammatices Davidis Chimhi” (Paris, 1554); “In Proverbia Salomonis” (Paris, 1555).

EDWIN BURTON


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