Bernher, Augustine (DNB00)


BERNHER, AUGUSTINE (fl. 1554), clerk and servant of Latimer, bishop of Worcester, was a Swiss, or, according to Fox, a Belgian. During the reign of Mary he was minister of a congregation in London, and is said to have lived much at Baxterley. He was married (Tanner). When Latimer was committed to the Tower (13 Sept. 1553) Bernher attended him there, and the next year waited on him and the other bishops imprisoned at Oxford (Strype's Cranmer, 492, 957). In this year also he succoured Jewel when in great need during his flight from Oxford, and so saved his life (Memorials. 227). Throughout the Marian persecution he was a constant friend to the martyrs, and a kind of overseer to the wives and fatherless children of those who died for religion (ib. 589). In a letter written shortly before hs death, Robert Glover bade his wife be guided by Bernher, whom he calls 'an angel of God;' and Bradford, writing from his prison, addresses him as 'my own good Augustine' (Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vii. 262). He comforted and attended on Glover (ib. 398), Careless (ib. viii. 185), Mrs. Joyce Lewes (ib. 404), and Cuthbert Sympson (ib. 456), who suffered martyrdom 1555-58. In the reign of Elizabeth he was rector of Sutton (Memorials, i. 589), or, according to Tanner, of Southam, and was noted for the indignation he expressed against the priests who conformed to the ecclesiastical changes then enforced. He wrote 'Testimonies taken out of God's Word,' &c., 'An Answer to Certain Scriptures,' &c., manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, 'Epistola ad dominum suum' (Ridley), a manuscript in Emanuel College, Cambridge, and edited Latimer's Sermons with a Latin preface addressed to Catherine, duchess of Suffolk, 4to, 1572, 1635, and Latimer's Works (Parker Soc.), i. 311. Notices of Bernher will be found in various works published by the Parker Society, e.g. Bradford's Works, i. 306, ii. 168, 186, and Ridley's Works, 381; see index to the series.

[Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, Memorials of Cranmer, 8vo, Oxford, 1828; Foxe's Acts and Monuments, 1849; Publications of Parker Society, with Gough's Index; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.]

W. H.