Cox, Leonard (DNB00)

COX, LEONARD (fl. 1572), schoolmaster, was the second son of Laurence Cox of Monmouth, by Elizabeth [Willey] his wife, and received his education in the university of Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. (Cooper, Athenæ Cantab. i. 94). In 1528 he removed to Oxford, where he was incorporated as B.A. on 19 Feb. 1529-30, and he also supplicated that university for the degree of M.A., though whether he was admitted to it does not appear (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 83; Boase, Register of the Univ. of Oxford, i. 159). Soon afterwards Hugh Farringdon, abbot of Reading, appointed him master of the grammar school in that town, which appointment was confirmed by the king by patent on 10 Feb. 1540-1, his salary being 101. per annum charged on the manor of Cholsey, which had been an appendage of the abbey (Rymer, Fœdera, xiv. 714). When John Frith, the martyr, was apprehended as a vagabond at Reading and set in the stocks, Cox 'procured his releasement, refreshed his hungry stomach, and gave him money' (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 74). He was succeeded in the mastership of Reading school by Leonard Bilson in 1546 (Man, Hist. of Reading, p. 196). About this period he travelled on the continent, visiting the universities of Paris, Wittenberg, Prague, and Cracow (Leland, Encomia Illustrium Virorum, p. 50). Afterwards he went to reside at Caerleon in his native county, where he appears to have kept a school. In or about 1572 he became master of the grammar school at Coventry, founded by John Hales. If he held that appointment until his death, he must have died in 1599, when John Tovey succeeded to the mastership (Colvile, Worthies of Warwickshire, p. 883; Tanner, Bibl. Brit. p. 205).

Cox, who was a friend of Erasmus and Melanchthon, was himself eminent as a grammarian, rhetorician, poet, and preacher, and was skilled in the modern as well as the learned languages (Bale, De Scriptoribus, pt. i. p. 713). He was author of: 1. 'The Art or Crafte of Rhetoryke,' 1524; and also Lond. (Robert Redman), 1532, 16mo (Lowndes, Bibl Man. ed. Bohn, 543; Coates, Hist. of Reading, p. 322). 2. 'Commentaries upon Will. Lily's Construction of the eight parts of Speech,' 1540. He also wrote verses prefixed to the publications of others, and translated from Greek into Latin 'Marcus Eremita de Lege et Spiritu,' and from Latin into English 'Erasmus's Paraphrase of the Epistle to Titus,' 1549, with a dedication to John Hales, clerk of the hanaper (Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, ii. 30, folio). He had a son, Francis, D.D., of New College, Oxford.

[Authorities cited above.]

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