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SANDERSON, JOHN, D.D. (d. 1602), catholic divine, a native of Lancashire, matriculated as a sizar of Trinity College, Cambridge, in May 1554, became a scholar of that house, and in 1557–8 proceeded to the degree of B.A. He was subsequently elected a fellow, and in 1561 he commenced M.A. (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 351). In 1562 he was logic reader of the university. His commonplaces in the college chapel on 2 and 4 Sept. in that year gave offence to the master, Dr. Robert Beaumont, and the seniors. He was charged with superstitious doctrine as respects fasting and the observance of particular days, and with having used allegory and cited Plato and other profane authors when discoursing on the scriptures. In fine he was expelled from his fellowship for suspicious doctrine and contumaciously refusing to make a written recantation in a prescribed form, although it would seem that he made what is termed a revocation. Among the reasons for his expulsion was ‘a stomachous insultinge ageynst the Masters charitable admonycion.’ He appealed to the vice-chancellor, but the visitors of the university, or the commissioners for causes ecclesiastical, interposed, and he was not restored to his fellowship. Alexander Nowell [q. v.], in a letter to Archbishop Parker, observes: ‘It is not onlie in hande whether John Sanderson shalbe felow of Trinitie college, or noo felow; but whether ther shalbe enie reuerence towards the superiors, enie obedience, enie redresse or reformation in religion in that hoole Vniversitie or noo: whether the truthe shall obteine, or papistrie triumphe’ (Churton, Life of Dean Nowell, pp. 75, 398).

Soon afterwards Sanderson proceeded to Rome, and then into France. Being obliged to leave the latter country in consequence of the civil commotions which raged there, he retired into Flanders, and in 1570 was enrolled among the students of the English College at Douay. There he formed a close friendship with John Pits [q. v.] He was ordained priest, and took the degree of D.D. in the university of Douay. On 2 April 1580 he arrived at Rheims, in company with Dr. Allen, and became divinity professor in the English College there. He was likewise appointed a canon of the cathedral church of Cambray, a dignity which he retained till his death. About 1591 he was at Mons (Strype, Annals, iv. 68). He died at Cambray in 1602, bearing a high reputation for sanctity and learning.

His only printed work besides Latin verses to Archbishop Parker (Parker MS. in Corpus Christi College Library, No. 106, p. 543), published in Churton's ‘Life of Nowell,’ p. 77, was ‘Institutionum Dialecticarum libri quatuor,’ Antwerp, 1589, 8vo; Oxford, 1594, 1602, 1609, 12mo, dedicated to Cardinal Allen. The grant of the exclusive privilege of printing the work is dated 11 Aug. 1583. Arnold Hatfield, a stationer of London, obtained in 1589 a license to reprint this book. The chief points of his commonplaces delivered in Trinity College Chapel are in Parker MS. 106, p. 537; and he is also credited with ‘Tabulæ vel schema catechisticum de tota theologia morali, lib. i.’ and ‘De omnibus S. scripturæ locis inter pontificios et hæreticos controversis’ (an unfinished work), which do not seem to be extant.

[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, p. 1214; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, ii. 175; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 84; Douay Diaries, p. 439; Fuller's Church Hist. ed. Brewer, v. 236; Nasmith's Cat. of MSS. in Corpus Christi College, Cambr. pp. 97, 98, 104; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 799; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 653.]

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