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SALKELD, JOHN (1576–1660), catholic renegade and author, born in 1576, was descended from the Salkelds of Corby Castle, Cumberland (see pedigree in Nicholson and Burn's Westmoreland and Cumberland, ii. 335; Visit. of Yorkshire, p. 272, Visit. of Cumberland, p. 25, Harl. Soc.), and was fourth son of Edward Salkeld, second brother of Sir George Salkeld. He was possibly of Queen's College, Oxford, but did not graduate, and was soon after sent to Spain, and studied under the jesuits in the university of Coimbra. He studied later at Cordova and after spending six further years in Portugal joined the English mission under the assumed name of John Dalston. He soon fell under the suspicion of the English government, and in March 1612 he was in the custody of Sir William Godolphin as a ‘guest.’ He delivered to Godolphin ‘papers relative to his conversion from Popery’ (State Papers, Dom. James I, lxviii. No. 81, 23 March 1612). Reports of his learning reached James I, who had several conferences with him, and it was stated that the cogency of the king's arguments finally led to his conversion to protestantism. After living for a time at the house of Dr. King, bishop of London (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ii. 315), he indulged in speculations as to the nature of angels, and dedicated a treatise on the subject to the king in 1613. James presented him to the living of Wellington, Somerset, in November 1613 (Weaver, Somerset Incumbents, p. 462), and subsequently granted him a pardon under the sign manual for having gone beyond sea without license and joined the church of Rome (17 March 1615; Royal Sign Manual, iv. No. 83, Public Record Office). Salkeld was then described as B.D. (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 488).

In 1616 Salkeld informed against Lord William Howard for recusancy (Hist. MSS. Comm. 12th Rep. pt. vii. p. 15, 12 Nov. 1616). In 1635 he became rector of Church Taunton in Devonshire. In the civil wars he was strongly royalist, and was deprived of Church Taunton about 1646. He subsequently settled at Uffculme in Devonshire, and there in November 1651 and January 1652 he was arrested and examined by the county commissioners on the ground of his royalist sympathies (Cal. Committee for Compounding, iii. 1413; Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 353). He died at Uffculme in February 1659–60, and was buried in the church there. He left a son.

Salkeld wrote: 1. ‘A Treatise of Angels, of the nature, essence, place, power, science, will, apparitions, grace, sinne, and all other proprieties of angels collected out of the Holy Scriptures, ancient fathers and school divines,’ London, 1613 (dedicated to King James). 2. ‘A Treatise of Paradise and the principall Contents thereof, especially of the greatnesse, situation, beautie, and other properties of that place,’ London, 1617, 8vo (dedicated to Sir Francis Bacon). He also left manuscripts fit for the press, among them two concerning controversies between Rome and the church of England (see Foley, Records, v. 854); and another concerning the end of the world (see Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 489).

[Authorities as in text; Foley's Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, v. 854, vi. 355; Dodd's Church History, iii. 319.]

W. A. S.