Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jewel, John
JEWEL, JOHN (1522–1571), bishop of Salisbury, born on 24 May 1522, was the son of John Jewel of Buden, in the parish of Berimber, or Berrynarbor, Devonshire. His mother's name was Bellamy, and at the age of seven he was placed under the care of her brother, John Bellamy, rector of Hampton. He was afterwards educated under different teachers at Bampton, South Molton, and Barnstaple. In July 1535 he entered Merton College, Oxford, as the pupil of Thomas Borow, who soon accepted the living of Croydon, and committed Jewel to the charge of John Parkhurst [q. v.], who made him his postmaster. Jewel owed much to the teaching of Parkhurst, who trained him in biblical criticism by employing him in comparing the translations of the New Testament made by Tyndal and Coverdale. By Parkhurst's advice, with a view to advance his future prospects, Jewel left Merton for Corpus Christi College, where he was elected scholar on 19 Aug. 1539. He graduated B.A. on 20 Oct. 1540, was elected fellow of Corpus on 18 March 1542, and proceeded to the degree of M.A. on 28 Jan. 1545 (Boase, Reg. Univ. Oxon., Oxf. Hist. Soc., i. 199). From the beginning of his university career he was so assiduous in his studies that he neglected his health and became prematurely old. An attack of rheumatism, which came upon him at Witney, where he retired before the plague, affected him so severely that he became permanently lame in one leg.
After taking his degree Jewel soon gained a reputation as a teacher, and was appointed by his college prelector in humanity and rhetoric. His lectures were attended by many of the older members of the university, and his former tutor, Parkhurst, sometimes came from his living of Cleeve in Gloucestershire to listen to him. Parkhurst was a staunch friend, whose house was always open to Jewel in vacations, and who frequently supplied him with money. Jewel also benefited by the liberality of Richard Chambers, who administered a fund for the purpose of helping rising scholars on the protestant side, and allowed Jewel 6l. a year for the purchase of books. In 1547 Peter Martyr came as professor of divinity to Oxford, and greatly influenced Jewel, who always regarded him as a second father. Chambers endowed a popular lectureship in Oxford, which was held by Martyr, but once in his absence Jewel supplied his place. His address on that occasion (Works, ed. Parker Society, iv. 1302, &c.) and an ‘Oratio contra Rhetoricam,’ delivered in his college hall for the purpose of exhorting to sound learning (ib. p. 1283, &c.), are his earliest writings. The date when Jewel took holy orders is not known; but he was a licensed preacher in December 1551 (Strype, Eccl. Mem. ii. ii. 268), and about the same time became vicar of Sunningwell, near Oxford, that he might have some cure of souls. In 1552 he took the degree of B.D., and his sermon on that occasion has been preserved (Works, ii. 950, &c.)
On Mary's accession in 1553 the popish party in Oxford were in the ascendant, and Corpus College at once proceeded to purge itself of all who were suspected of protestantism. Jewel was deprived of his fellowship, and sorrowfully bade farewell to his class (ib. iv. 1299). He took refuge in Broadgate Hall, now Pembroke College. It would seem that just before the death of Edward VI he had been appointed public orator of the university, in which capacity he was called upon to write a congratulatory address to Mary. He confined himself to general expressions of loyalty, and avoided all reference to religion (an abstract is given by Humphrey, Juelli Vita, p. 79). But he could not long hope for religious peace, and saw most of his friends flee before the coming storm. Peter Martyr departed, and Jewel made a journey to Cleeve to consult his friend Parkhurst, only to find that he also was gone. However, Jewel determined to await the issue of events; but he did not conceal his opinions, and in April 1554 acted as notary to Cranmer and Ridley in their disputation (Strype, Cranmer, p. 483). In the autumn of the same year a visitation of the university was held, and Jewel, for the sake of quietness, did violence to his conscience, and signed articles which he did not believe. He did not thereby escape suspicion, and Richard Marshall, dean of Christ Church, was on the point of sending him as a heretic to Bishop Bonner, when Jewel saved himself by a hasty flight. He set out on foot, but fortunately was recognised by a servant of Hugh Latimer, who gave him his horse, and confided him to the care of a pious lady, by whom he was sent to London, where Sir Nicholas Throgmorton supplied him with the means of leaving England. He made his way to Frankfort, where he arrived 13 March 1555.
At Frankfort Jewel found many friends, but was looked upon with disfavour by the party headed by John Knox, on account of having signed Romish articles. On the advice of Richard Chambers, Jewel publicly expressed before the congregation his sorrow for his cowardice. After this he joined Richard Cox [q. v.] in his hostility to Knox and the advanced Calvinists. Soon, however, he received an invitation from Peter Martyr to be his guest at Strassburg, where again he listened to Martyr's lectures, and followed him to Zurich in July 1556. From Zurich, where he lodged in the house of Froschover the printer, Jewel seems to have paid a visit to Padua; for Brent, in the appendix to his translation of Sarpi's ‘History of the Council of Trent,’ ed. 1629, prints an ‘Epistola Rev. P. Joannis Juelli episcopi Sarisburiensis ad virum nobilem D. Scipionem, patricium Veneti,’ excusing England's attitude towards the Council of Trent. The writer speaks of the time ‘quo una viximus Pataviæ’ (Works, iv. 1094). Brent gives no indication of the source of the letter; but Jewel, in a letter to Peter Martyr, 7 Feb. 1562, says: ‘Nos nunc cogitamus publicare causas quibus inducti ad concilium non veniamus’ (ib. p. 1246), and the internal evidence of the ‘Epistola ad Scipionem’ is in favour of Jewel's authorship. It may, therefore, be assumed that he spent a short time in studying at Padua.
The news of Mary's death reached Zurich on 1 Dec. 1558, and Jewel prepared to return to England, where he arrived in March 1559, after a journey of fifty-seven days. From this time onward his letters to Martyr and other friends abroad give most valuable information respecting religious affairs in England. At first Jewel complains of the slow progress made in clearing away popery; but his lamentations over the want of zeal and learning at the universities show the difficulty which Elizabeth experienced in finding men capable of holding office in the church who were at the same time in touch with popular feeling. The bishops were opposed to any change; the returned exiles desired more radical changes than the country was prepared for. There were no men of mark who stood midway between the two, and Elizabeth had to get rid of the existing bishops, and at the same time train their successors. Jewel was one of those selected for this training, and a little experience soon brought him into harmony with the anglican system. As a first step he was appointed one of the disputants at the Westminster conference which began on 31 March, and ended in silencing the old bishops. On 15 June he was chosen to preach at St. Paul's Cross, and on 19 July was associated with the Earl of Pembroke, Henry Parry, and William Lovelace as commissioners for the visitation of the western counties (Strype, Annals, i. i. 248). Before setting out he was nominated bishop of Salisbury, and seems to have carried thither his congé d'élire, which is dated 27 July. He returned from his visitation on 1 Nov., and was consecrated bishop at Lambeth on 21 Jan. 1560.
Up to this time Jewel says of himself, ‘I never set abroad in print twenty lines’ (Works, i. 52); but he now deliberately chose the line of literary activity which he afterwards pursued. In a sermon preached at St. Paul's Cross on 26 Nov. 1559 he put forward a challenge that ‘if any learned man of our adversaries be able to bring any one sufficient sentence out of any old doctor or father, or out of any old general council, or out of the holy Scripture, or any one example out of the primitive church for the space of six hundred years after Christ,’ in proof of the specifically Romish doctrines and practices, ‘I will go over to him’ (ib. p. 20). He repeated this challenge in a sermon before the court on 17 March 1560, and again at St. Paul's Cross on 31 March, and the last sermon was published on 10 May. The gage so thrown down was first taken up by Henry Cole [q. v.] in a short letter dated 18 March. This controversy, which was somewhat rambling, was closed by a long pamphlet of Jewel, which, together with his sermon and the other letters, was published in the same year. When this controversy was over Jewel at the end of May went to his diocese, where he found the tower of his cathedral shattered by lightning, the temporalities of his see in a deplorable condition, and his hopes of religious activity sadly disappointed owing to the lack of capable preachers. Jewel strove to supply the last of these deficiencies by his own exertions, and went about his diocese preaching. In November he was called, by the archbishop's command, to the less congenial work of holding a visitation of the dioceses of Salisbury and Bristol. In April 1561 he was in London, where he preached at St. Paul's Cross, but the greater part of the year was spent in his own diocese, and he was occupied chiefly in literary work. In 1562 the fruits of his labours appeared in his ‘Apologia pro Ecclesia Anglicana,’ which was intended to be an answer to the scruples raised in some men's minds by the proceedings of the Council of Trent. The ‘Apologia’ is the first methodical statement of the position of the church of England against the church of Rome, and forms the groundwork of all subsequent controversy. In it Jewel sketched the doctrines and practice of the English church, defended them against the charges of heresy and disorder, justified the deviations from Roman belief and usage, explained the grounds on which the papal supremacy was not de fide, pointed out the long-felt need of a reformation, and claimed that, as it was impossible to proceed with it by means of a general council, national churches were at liberty to act through provincial synods. The book was written in Latin, as it was intended for circulation on the continent, where Elizabeth's proceedings had been systematically misrepresented. Its weighty learning was at once recognised (see Peter Martyr in Jewel's Works, iii. 1), and it was immediately adopted on all sides as the literary exposition of England's ecclesiastical position. It was translated into English in the same year under Parker's direction; but the first translation was superseded by another made by Ann, lady Bacon [q. v.], which was published in 1564 with a preface by Parker, and an appendix, apparently by Parker also, which described the existing order of the English church.
The publication of the ‘Apologia’ made Jewel notorious as the official champion of anglicanism; but private and personal motives to some extent affected the long controversy in which he was next engaged. Thomas Harding (1516–1572) [q. v.], an Oxford contemporary of Jewel's, was a prebendary of Salisbury when Jewel made his first visitation; he refused to take the oath of supremacy, was deprived of his prebend, and fled to Louvain. There he employed himself in preparing an onslaught on Jewel, whom he attacked personally with considerable virulence in ‘An Answer to Doctor Jewel's Challenge,’ which appeared early in 1564. Jewel set to work to reply, and had finished his work in May 1565, when in a sermon at St. Paul's Cross he referred to Harding's book, and gave a sample of his own arguments against it (Strype, Annals, i. ii. 176). Harding answered this sermon by an angry letter (ib. Appendix xxx.), and the first controversy was thus complicated by a second. In the autumn of 1565 appeared Jewel's ‘Reply unto Mr. Harding's Answer.’ Scarcely had this been issued before Harding returned to the combat with a ‘Confutation of an Apology for the Church of England.’ Jewel, oblivious of the fact that he had provoked the controversy, sighed for peace, and wondered why he was specially singled out for attack (Works, iv. 1266). However, he showed no signs of weariness in his ‘Defence of the Apology,’ which was published, with a dedication to Queen Elizabeth, in 1567. Harding continued his criticism of both of Jewel's books, but received no detailed answer, save by additional matter inserted in a second edition of the ‘Defence’ issued in 1570, and again in 1571. The subjects covered by Jewel and Harding involved the whole of the Romish controversy; in one point, at all events, Jewel had the advantage over his antagonist—he wrote in good temper and avoided personalities. The importance of Jewel's argument lay in his willingness to admit the appeal to the first six centuries of Christian literature. His learning was solid, and though the method which he employed of answering his opponent in consecutive order, paragraph by paragraph, was tedious, and robbed his book as a whole of literary charm, it was perhaps well adapted to carry conviction at the time, and showed his readiness to enter fairly upon the whole question.
The great interest attaching to Jewel's writings is the insight which they give into the process by which the anglican system was established on a logical basis. Jewel began his episcopate with decided leanings to Calvinism, and hoped that the Elizabethan church would develope in a Calvinistic direction. But he soon saw that the first necessity was to make good its position against the discontented adherents of the Marian church, and in arguing against them he discovered the strength of the Elizabethan system. When the puritan party began to press for further changes, and demanded the abolition of the surplice, Jewel vigorously opposed them in the interests of peace and order. He had unconsciously shifted his position, and was somewhat inconsistent. Thus in February 1566 he wrote to Bullinger that he wished all vestiges of popery were swept out of the church (Works, iv. 1267), while at the same time he refused to accept the presentation of his friend Laurence Humphrey [q. v.] to a benefice in his diocese because he declined to wear a surplice (Strype, Annals, i. ii. 133; Strype, Parker, i. 369). He regarded all attempts to alter the settlement of the church with increasing disfavour, and wrote some notes of an answer to Cartwright, ‘Certain Frivolous Objections against the Government of the Church of England,’ which were first published by Whitgift in his ‘Answer to the Admonition,’ and drew on Jewel's memory a good deal of reproach from the puritans.
On 26 May 1565 Jewel received the degree of D.D. by special decree of the university of Oxford, and it was conferred on him in his absence. In August of that year he accompanied Elizabeth on her visit to the university, and acted as moderator in the disputation which formed part of her entertainment. After this failing health and literary occupations kept Jewel almost entirely in his diocese; but he seems to have served as general literary adviser. Parker wrote to him about Saxon manuscripts, and Cecil consulted him about the purchase of a collection of Greek manuscripts. In 1570 the publication of the bull excommunicating Elizabeth roused Jewel to write ‘A View of a Seditious Bull,’ which was published after his death. He dragged himself to the parliament of 1571, and was empowered by convocation to supervise the publication of the revision of the Thirty-nine Articles. He returned home in a condition of great bodily weakness, but nevertheless undertook a visitation of his diocese, which was a task beyond his power. A friend remonstrated with him on his rashness, but was answered, ‘A bishop had best die preaching.’ He preached his last sermon at Laycock in Wiltshire, and with difficulty rode to Monkton Farleigh, where he took to his bed, and died on 23 Sept. 1571. He was buried in Salisbury Cathedral, where an epitaph composed by Laurence Humphrey was placed upon his simple tomb. By his will he bequeathed 600l. to relatives and friends (Works, iv., Introduction, p. xxv).
Jewel throughout his life was a diligent student, and made methodical notes of all that he read. He thus collected a mass of knowledge which was easily available for controversial purposes. He possessed a remarkable power of verbal memory, which made him a prodigy in the eyes of his friends. These qualities gave his writings an air of cold and mechanical precision, which was the natural result of his deliberate method. First he considered carefully the points which he wished to prove; then he selected the authorities whom he wished to quote in support of his position; he gave the references to a secretary, who copied out in full the passages specified; finally he arranged his argument in proper shape and embodied his quotations. Thus Jewel's writings are always clear, and the argument is conclusive within the limits which he has prescribed; but they are strictly logical, and make no appeal to the emotions. For that very reason they corresponded with the temper of England at the time, and did much to stamp upon anglican theology its distinguishing characteristics of reasonableness and sound learning. Personally Jewel had the kindliness and evenness of temper which characterise a true scholar. He was diligent in the discharge of his episcopal duties, and strove to set an example to his clergy of assiduous preaching. He showed his zeal for the advance of learning by building a library for the cathedral of Salisbury. He also used to maintain in his house and train for the university a few boys of promise. Among others whom he thus befriended was Richard Hooker, whom he educated at his expense and sent to Oxford. Hooker spoke of him as ‘the worthiest divine that Christendom had bred for some hundreds of years;’ and it is clear that Hooker learned from Jewel the method and fundamental principles which he afterwards employed with greater fervour and literary skill than his master. In appearance Jewel always looked worn and emaciated; in his later years he seemed a living skeleton. There is a portrait of him in the hall of Merton College, Oxford; an engraving is in Holland's ‘Herωologia.’
Besides the works mentioned above, his ‘Short Treatise of Holy Scripture,’ gathered out of his sermons at Salisbury, was edited by his friend John Garbrand (1542–1589) [q v.] in 1582; ‘Certain Sermons preached before the Queen and at St. Paul's Cross,’ together with ‘A Short Treatise of the Sacraments,’ in 1583, reprinted 1603; ‘An Exposition of the Epistles to the Thessalonians,’ 1583, reprinted 1584, 1594; ‘Seven Godly Sermons,’ 1607. The complete works of Jewel were collected and issued in a folio under the direction of Archbishop Bancroft, Fuller being editor, Overall writing the dedication, and Featley a memoir, in 1609, reprinted 1611. Modern editions are those by Jelf, in 8 vols., Oxford, 1848; and by Ayre, 4 vols., 1845–50, for the Parker Society. It may be noticed that the ‘Apologia’ was adopted as a statement of the anglican position in the ‘Harmonia Confessionum’ of 1581. A proposal was endorsed by Parker that the ‘Apology’ should be bound with the catechism and articles of the church of England, and be authorised as authoritative (Strype, Annals, i. i. 474). Bancroft ordered the ‘Apology’ to be placed in churches, and it may still be found chained to a lectern, as at Cirencester. There is a report by Jewel on the condition of his diocese in 1564 among the ‘Hatfield Papers’ (Hatfield Calendar, i. 309).
[Jewel's Life is largely to be gathered from his own letters. Immediately after his death ‘Joannis Juelli Angli, Episcopi Sarisburiensis Vita et Mors’ was written by his friend Laurence Humphrey (London, John Day, 1573), and was an official biography with Parker's sanction. This was condensed by Daniel Featley in the Memoir prefixed to the edition of Jewel's Works in 1609; and another condensation of Humphrey, with additions from Fuller's Church History and Heylyn's Ecclesia Restaurata, was prefixed to a translation of the Apology and the Epistle to Scipio ‘by a Person of Quality,’ London, 1685. This life is reprinted in Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Biography, iii. 311, &c. A Life of Bishop Jewel, founded on these materials, was written by Le Bas, London, 1835; and a Memoir by Ayre is prefixed to vol. iv. of his edition of Jewel's Works, 1850.]