Chedsey, William (DNB00)

CHEDSEY or CHEADSEY, WILLIAM, D.D. (1510?–1574?), divine, was a native of Somersetshire. He was admitted a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 10 March 1528, was elected a probationer fellow of that society on 13 Oct. 1531, and two years later a complete fellow. He graduated M.A. in 1534, B.D. in 1542, and D.D. in 1546, having about that time subscribed the thirty-four articles. He became chaplain to Bonner, bishop of London, who highly esteemed him on account of his learning and zeal for the catholic religion, and who collated him on 9 July 1548 to the prebend of Twyford in the church of St. Paul. In 1549 he distinguished himself in a public disputation with Peter Martyr, held in the divinity school at Oxford. After the disgrace of the Duke of Somerset, Chedsey inveighed openly at Oxford against the reformed doctrines, and in consequence was, by an order in council of 10 March 1550-1, committed to the Marshalsea for seditious preaching, and there he was imprisoned till 11 Nov. 1551, when he was removed to the house of the Bishop of Ely, 'where he enjoyed his table and easier restraint.'

On the accession of Queen Mary he regained his liberty and received several marks of the royal favour. He was presented by the queen to the living of All Saints, Bread Street, London, on 2 April 1554 (Rymer, Foedera, xv. 382, ed. 1713); a few days later Bonner collated him to the prebend of Chiswick in the church of St. Paul; and by letters patent, dated 4 Oct. the same year, he was appointed a canon of the collegiate chapel of St. George at Windsor. On 28 Nov. 1554 the lord mayor and aldermen in scarlet, and the commons in their liveries, assembled in St. Paul's, where Chedsey preached in the presence of the Bishop of London and nine other prelates, and read a letter from the queen's council, directing the Bishop of London to cause 'Te Deum' to be sung in all the churches of his diocese, with continual prayers for the queen, who had conceived and was quick with child. When the letter had been read, Chedsey began his sermon with the antiphon, 'Ne timeas, Maria, invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum.' At its close 'Te Deum' was sung and solemn procession was made of 'Salve festa dies,' all the circuit of the church (Stow, Annales, 625, ed. 1615). On 10 Oct. 1556 he was collated to the archdeaconry of Middlesex, and by letters patent, 18 June 1557, he was nominated by the king and queen to a canonry of Christ Church, Oxford (Rymer, Foedera, xv. 467). Writing to Bonner from Colchester, 21 April 1558, he says that he had just received letters by a pursuivant, directed to himself alone, requiring him to appear 'indelayedly' before the council. He remarks that he and the other commissioners were engaged in the examination of 'such obstinate heretiks, anabaptists, and other unruly parsons, how as never was harde of;' and he urges that if they were to leave off in the midst of their labours his own estimation and the wisdom of the commissioners would be for ever lost (Harleian MS. 416, f. 74). On the 5th of the following month he was admitted to the vicarage of Shottesbroke, then in the diocese of Salisbury, on the presentation of King Philip and Queen Mary (Kennett MSS. xlvii. 3, citing Reg. Pole, 43). He was admitted president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on 15 Sept. 1558, but was removed from that office in the next year by the commissioners sent by Queen Elizabeth to visit the university. In 1559 he was one of the eight catholic divines who were summoned to Westminster to dispute with a like number of protestant champions before a great assembly of the nobility (Strype, Annals, i. 87, folio). At length he was deprived of all his preferments on account of recusancy, and committed a prisoner to the Fleet in London. He appears to have been living in 1574. Wood says ‘he was by the protestants accounted a very mutable and unconstant man in his religion, but by the Roman catholics not; but rather a great stickler for their religion, and the chief prop in his time in the university for the cause, as it appeared not only in his opposition of P. Martyr, but of the three bishops that were burnt in Oxon,’ i.e. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. Leland describes him as ‘Cheadseyus resonæ scholæ columna’ (Κύκνειον Ἇισμα Ασμα, 22, ed. 1658).

He was the author of: 1. ‘A Sermon preached at St. Paul’s Cross 16 Nov. 1543 on Matthew xxii. 15,’ and printed in 1544. 2. ‘Replies in the Disputations held with Peter Martyr at Oxford in 1549,’ Harl. MS. 422, f. 17; Sloan. MS. 1576; MS. Corp. Christi Coll. Oxon. 255, f. 155. An account of the disputations was printed in Latin at London, 1549, 4to, and in Peter Martyr’s Works. An English translation also a peared. 3. Replies in disputations with Philpot, Cranmer, Ridley, and other protestant martyrs. Printed in Foxe’s ‘Acts and Monuments.'

[Ames’s Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), 1556; Ayscough’s Cat. of MSS., 47; Coxe’s Cat. Codd. MSS. in Collegiis Aulisque Oxon. ii. 108; Cranmer's Works (Cox), ii. 383, 445, 553; Dodd's Church Hist. i. 609; Foxe's Acts and Monuments (Townsend); Fuller's Church Hist. (Brewer), iii. 16, iv. 275; Jewel's Works (Ayre), iv. introd. p. viii, 1199, 1200; Lansdowne MS. 981, ff. 3, 4; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy),ii. 330, 443, 527, iii. 394, 566; Newcourt's Repertorium. i. 218, 246; Philot`s Examinations and Writings, 50, 63, 168; Ridley’s Works, 308; Cal. of State Papers (Dom. 1547–80). 127; Strype°s Works (general index); Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 171; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 322; Wood`s Annals of Oxford (Gutch), ii. 93, 99, 125, 142; Zurich Letters, i. 11.]

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