Moreman, John (DNB00)

MOREMAN, JOHN (1490?–1554), divine, was born at South Hole, Hartland, Devonshire, about 1490. He was sent to Oxford University about 1504, and graduated B.A. 29 Jan. 1508-9, M.A. 31 Jan. 1512-13, B.D. 18 Jan. 1526-7, and D.D. 8 April 1530. On 29 June 1510 he was elected to a fellowship at Exeter College. From 1516 to 1528 he held the vicarage of Midsomer Norton, Somerset, but he probably remained in residence at Oxford, as he retained his fellowship until 6 Nov. 1522, and was principal of Hart Hall from 1522 to 1527, when he severed his connection with the university. He was instituted by Bishop Voysey to the rectory of Holy Trinity, Exeter, on 25 Sept. 1528, but vacated it within less than six months upon his appointment, 25 Feb. 1529, by Exeter College, to the valuable vicarage of Menheniot, Cornwall, which he enjoyed for the rest of his life. His school in this parish became famous throughout the west of England; among his pupils was John Hooker, alias Vowell (1526?-1601) [q. v.] Moreman was also prebendary of Glasney College, near Penryn, Cornwall, canon of Exeter Cathedral 19 June 1544, and vicar of Colebrooke, Devonshire, 25 Oct. 1546.

At the university Moreman had strenuously opposed the divorce of Henry VIII from Queen Catherine. On the accession of Edward VI he was thrown into prison, and the eleventh demand of the Cornish rebels in June 1549 was, 'That Dr. Moreman and Crispin should be sent to them and put in their livings.' The answer of the Archbishop of Canterbury to this stipulation ran, that 'those were ignorant, superstitious, and deceitful persons.' On the accession of Queen Mary he was released from restraint, and in the disputation between Roman catholics and protestants which took place in the Convocation House, London, October 1553, he answered, as one of the champions of Catholicism, the arguments of Cheney, archdeacon of Hereford, afterwards bishop of Gloucester, Phillips, dean of Rochester, and Aylmer, chaplain to the Duke of Suffolk. During the commotion at Exeter in January 1553-4 [see Carew, Sir Peter] Moreman was in residence and active against the malcontents. He took a leading part in church affairs at Exeter, but the statement of Foxe that he 'was coadjutor to Voysey, the bishop of Exeter, and after his decease became bishop of that see,' must be an error. Hooker says that he was nominated to the deanery of Exeter, but that he died before presentation. He died at Menheniot, between May and October 1554, and was buried in the church.

While vicar of Menheniot he taught the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Commandments in English, the Cornish language having been in use before. A discourse by him, on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, was transcribed by the Rev. Lawrence Travers, vicar of Quethiock, Cornwall. He gave to the library of Oriel College, Oxford, three works (Shadwell, Reg. Orielense, i. 398).

[Oliver's Eccl. Antiquities, ed. 1840, ii. 184-188; Oliver's Monasticon, p. 206; Foster's Alumni Oxon. ; Boase's Eeg. Univ. Oxford (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), i. 63 ; Boase's Exeter College, pp. xvii-xviii, 29, 200-2 ; Weaver's Somerset Incumbents, p. 143 ; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 24, 35, 82-3, 104; Wood's Univ. of Oxford, ed. Gulch, vol. ii. pt. i. pp. 45-6 ; Wood's Oxford Colleges, ed. Gutch, p. 646 ; Prince's Devon Worthies, ed. 1810, pp. 600-2; Moore's Devon, ii. 235-6 ; Journ. Koy. Instit. of Cornwall, October 1864 pp. 76-7, April 1865 pp. 36-7; Burnet's Reformation, ed. Pococke, ii. 210-211, 424-6, v. 601; Foxe's Monuments, ed. Townsend,vi. 397-411, 536; Maclean's Sir Peter Carew, pp. v, 159-64; Journal of State Papers (Foreign and Domestic, vol. v.), 1531-2, p. 6.]

W. P. C.