Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dove, Thomas

DOVE, THOMAS (1555–1630), bishop of Peterborough, born in London in 1555, was son of William Dove. He entered Merchant Taylors' School 24 Jan. 1563–4. He was elected Wattes' scholar at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, in 1571. As an undergraduate he received commons, together with Spenser and Andrewes, when ill. He probably soon migrated to Oxford, where he was nominated by Queen Elizabeth one of the first scholars of Jesus College. The appointment probably did not take effect, as Dove was afterwards candidate for a fellowship at Pembroke, when Andrewes was his successful competitor. Dove did so well that he was appointed ‘tanquam socius’ (Fuller, Abel Redivivus, ii. 158). He was vicar of Walden in Hertfordshire from 26 Oct. 1580 to June 1607, and was presented by his college to the valuable rectory of Framlingham with Saxted in Norfolk. From 26 Oct. 1586 to 13 July 1588 he held the living of Hayden, Hertfordshire. He became chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, who is said to have admired his eloquence in preaching and to have observed that this Dove was a dove with silver wings, who must have been inspired by the grace of Him Who once assumed the form of a dove. He married Margaret, daughter of Olyver Warner of Eversden, Cambridgeshire; one son and three daughters survived him.

He was installed dean of Norwich 16 June 1589, and was promoted to the bishopric of Peterborough, in which he was confirmed 24 April 1601, and consecrated on Sunday, 26 April. His Norfolk rectory, the presentation of which fell to the crown, was kept vacant for twenty-five years. He scarcely ever missed appearing in the House of Lords for twenty years, but for the last ten years of his life he very rarely sat there. He appears as a member of the convocation of 1603, and was one of the nine bishops who represented the church party at the Hampton Court conference. During his episcopate (1612) the body of Mary Queen of Scots was transferred from Peterborough to Westminster.

In 1611 and 1614 he was charged with remissness in allowing silenced ministers to preach. Fuller, however, says that he was blamed even by James I for overstrictness. Some of his correspondence, preserved in the Record Office, shows that he was somewhat remiss in complying with orders or instructions from the court of the archbishop. In one of these letters, dated 4 Aug. 1629, Laud urges him to make collections for the palatinate, the briefs for which had been issued nearly two years earlier. On 13 March 1628 he obtained a dispensation for absence from parliament. He died 30 Aug. 1630, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, leaving his family well provided for. His second son, Thomas, who died before him, was a scholar of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, and was vicar of West Mersey for a few years before 1628, and archdeacon of Northampton from 1612 to the time of his death in 1629. The eldest was Sir William Dove of Upton in Northamptonshire, who died there 11 Oct. 1635. He raised a handsome monument to his father, who was buried in his own cathedral. This was entirely demolished in 1643, but the inscription has survived in the pages of Gunton's ‘Peterborough.’

[Strype's Annals and Life of Whitgift; Le Neve's Fasti; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), i. 498, ii. 802; Robinson's Merchant Taylors' School Register, i. 4; Newcourt's Diocese of London, i. 227, ii. 294, 415, 425, 627; Fuller's Church History; Laud's Works; Calendars of Domestic Papers; Lords' Journals; Stubbs's Registrum Sacrum.]

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