Seton, John (1498?-1567) (DNB00)

SETON, JOHN, D.D. (1498?–1567), Roman catholic divine, born in or about 1498, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1528. Soon afterwards he was elected a fellow of St. John's on Bishop Fisher's foundation, and he commenced M.A. in 1532. He taught philosophy in his college, and gained high reputation as a tutor. After being ordained priest he became one of Bishop Fisher's chaplains, and attended that prelate in the Tower (Baker, Hist. of St. John's, ed. Mayor, i. 101). In 1542 he was one of the fellows of St. John's who signed an appeal to the visitor against Dr. John Taylor (d. 1544) [q. v.], the master, afterwards bishop of Lincoln. In 1544 he proceeded D.D., and about that time was appointed one of the chaplains to Gardiner, bishop of Winchester and chancellor of the university, who highly esteemed him for his great learning, and collated him to the rectory of Hinton, Hampshire (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. i. 219). On the bishop's trial he bore testimony in his favour. In his deposition he is styled bachelor of divinity. He was present at the disputation with Peter Martyr held at Oxford in 1550. In 1553 he was installed canon of Winchester and in the following year prebendary of Ulskelf in the church of York (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 220). He was one of the doctors of divinity who, by the direction of Bishop Gardiner, proceeded to Oxford in order to take part in the disputation with Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, concerning matters of religion, and on this occasion he was incorporated D.D. there on 14 April 1554 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 144). In the following year he visited John Bradford in prison, for the purpose of inducing him to recant. In 1558 he attended Thomas Benbridge with the same object. His name is found in a list of the ‘papistical clergy’ drawn up in 1561, wherein he is described as learned, but settled in papistry, having been ordered to remain within the city of London, or twenty miles compass of the same (Strype, Annals of the Reformation, i. 275 et seq.). After suffering imprisonment and enduring much persecution on account of his attachment to the ancient form of religion, he escaped from the country and proceeded to Rome, where he died on 20 July 1567 (Gent. Mag. 1823, i. 218).

Seton's contemporaries bestowed much praise on him for his knowledge of philosophy and rhetoric. He wrote: 1. ‘Panegyrici in victoriam illustrissimæ D. Mariæ Angliæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ Reginæ, &c. Item in Coronationem ejusdem Sereniss. Reginæ Congratulatio. Ad hæc de Sacrosancta Eucharistia Carmen D. Joanne Setono authore,’ London, 1553, 4to; dedicated to the queen. 2. Latin verses before Dr. Alban Langdale's ‘Catholica Confutatio Nic. Ridlei,’ Paris, 1556. 3. ‘Dialectica; annotationibus Petri Carteri, ut clarissimis, ita brevissimis, explicata. Huic accessit, ob artium ingenuarum inter se cognationem, Gulielmi Buclæi arithmetica,’ London, 1572, reissued 1574, 1577, 1584, 1599, 8vo; Cambridge, 1631, 8vo; dedicated to Bishop Gardiner. This work was extensively circulated in manuscript among students long before it appeared in print, and for nearly a century it was recognised as the standard treatise on logic.

[Addit. MSS., 5880 f. 40, 24492 f. 12; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), pp. 861, 866, 942, 1205, 1268; Aschami Epistolæ, pp. (6) 68, 75, 82, 90, 209; Bale's Script. Brit. Cat. p. 720; Bowes's Cat. of Cambridge Books, p. 511; British Mag. xxxii. 511; Dodd's Church Hist. i. 511; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iv. 1334; Foxe's Acts and Monuments (Townsend); Palatine Note Book, iii. 46; Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, 2nd edit. p. 326; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 750; Strype's Works (general index); Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 664; Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, iii. 347.]

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