Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/John Aylmer

AYLMER, JOHN, Bishop of London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was born in the year 1521 at Ayltner- hall, in the parish of Tilney, in the county of Norfolk. Whilst a boy, he was noticed for his precocity by the marquis of Dorset, afterwards duke of Suffolk, who sent him to the university of Cambridge. He afterwards proceeded to Oxford, where he completed his studies and took his degree in divinity. He was then made chaplain to the duke and tutor to his daughter, the accomplished and unfortunate Lady Jane Grey, whose extraordinary proficiency in the Greek and Latin languages reflects no small honour on her preceptor. His first preferment was to the archdeaconry of Stow, in the diocese of Lincoln, which gave him a seat in the Convocation held in the first year of Queen Mary, where he resolutely opposed the return to Popery, to which the generality of the clergy were incb ned. He was soon after obliged to fly his country, and take shelter among the Protestants in Switzerland. While there he wrote a reply to Knox s famous Blast against the Monstrous liegiment of Women, under the title of An Harborowe for Faithfull and Treue Subjects, &c. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he returned to England. In 1562 he obtained the arch deaconry of Lincoln, and was a member of the famous synod of that year, which reformed and settled the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England. In 1576 he was consecrated bishop of London, and while in that position made himself notorious by the harsh manner in which he insisted on the Act of Uniformity. His persecution of the Puritans, and of any clergymen suspected of Puritanical leanings, with the extreme measures he used, made him unpopular even with his own party. He is frequently assailed in the famous Marprelate Tracts, and is char acterised as Morrell, the bad shepherd, in Spenser s Shephearde s Calendar. He seems to have been a man of harsh and violent temper, coarse, and avaricious, and with few redeeming qualities. He is said to have been an able scholar, but he has left nothing which could prove this. He died in 1594. (Strype, Life and Actions of John Aylmer, Bishop of London.}