Covell, William (DNB00)


COVELL, WILLIAM, D.D. (d. 1614?), divine, a native of Chatterton, Lancashire, received his academical education at Christ's College, Cambridge, and was elected a fellow of Queens' College in that university in July 1589. The dates of his degrees are as follows: B.A. 1584, M.A. 1588, D.D. 1601. On 2 Jan. 1595–6 Dr. Goade, vice-chancellor of the university, complained to Lord Burghley that Covell, in a sermon at St. Mary's, had railed against noblemen and bishops (Lands. MS. 80, art. 53; Heywood and Wright, University Transactions, ii. 87). He was collated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the vicarage of Sittingbourne, Kent, 27 Jan. 1602–3, and he also held the living of Leaveland in the same county, resigning it on 9 May 1603. He was appointed sub-dean of Lincoln 11 Sept. 1609. In the following year he was nominated one of the original fellows of ‘King James's College at Chelsea,’ which was founded by Dr. Matthew Sutcliffe for the maintenance of polemical divines who were to be employed in writing against the doctrines of the Roman catholic church (Faulkner, Chelsea, ii. 225). He was collated to the prebend of All Saints in Hungate, in the church of Lincoln, 22 Sept. 1612, and he probably died in 1614, in which year his successor in that dignity was nominated.

His works are: 1. ‘A Just and Temperate Defence of the Five Books of Ecclesiastical Polity, written by Mr. Richard Hooker; against an uncharitable “Letter of certain English Protestants (as they call themselves) craving resolution in some matters of doctrine,”’ London, 1603, 4to; reprinted in vol. ii. of Hanbury's edition of Hooker's ‘Works,’ ii. 449–568. 2. ‘A modest and reasonable Examination of some things in vse in the Church of England, sundrie times heretofore misliked, and now lately, in a Booke called the (Plea of the Innocents) and an Assertion for true and Christian Church Policy,’ London, 1604, 4to. 3. ‘A briefe Answer vnto certaine Reasons by way of an Apologie deliuered to the Right Reuerend Father in God, the L. Bishop of Lincolne, by Mr. Iohn Bvrges,’ London, 1606, 4to.

[Carter's Univ. of Cambridge, pp. 180, 233; Richardson's Athenæ Cantab. MS. p. 46; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), ii. 41, 101; Horne's Cat. of Library of Queens' Coll. Camb. p. 98; Cooper's MS. Collections for Athenæ Cantab.; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit Mus.; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

T. C.