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STOPES, LEONARD (1540?–1587?), priest, born about 1540, probably belonged to the branch of the family of Stopes settled at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire, and may have been brother of James Stopes, whose son James, brother of St. Catharine's by the Tower, was rector of St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London, from 1577 till his death in 1624 (cf. his will—a very detailed document—110 Byrde at Somerset House). In 1555 Leonard was chosen one of the four original scholars on the foundation of St. John's College, Oxford, by Sir Thomas White (1492–1566) [q. v.], and afterwards became one of the first four fellows. He graduated B.A. on 23 Oct. 1558, and M.A. on 21 March 1558–9. In 1559, refusing to conform, he was ejected from his fellowship, and went abroad, as Wood conjectures, to Douai. Returning to England as a seminary priest, he was imprisoned for some years in Wisbeach Castle. He subsequently was released and exiled. He died before 1588 (Bridgewater, Concertatio Eccl. Catholicæ in Anglia).

Stopes was the author of twenty-four verses in praise of Queen Mary, entitled ‘Haile Mary, full of grace,’ which were printed as a broadside by Richard Lant. The Society of Antiquaries possesses a copy. It is possible that Stopes was also the author of ‘An Epitaph on the Death of Queen Mary,’ another broadside belonging to the Society of Antiquaries, for printing which without a license Lant was imprisoned in 1559 (Ames, Typogr. Antiq. ed. Dibdin, 1814, p. 583; Arber, Transcript of the Stationers' Reg. iv. 237).

[Boase's Reg. Univ. Oxon. i. 234; Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Oxford Colleges, p. 538; Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Univ. Oxon. ii. 133, Annals, ii. 145; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 154; Dodd's Lives of Elizabethan Clergymen, ii. 87; Sanders, De Visibili Monarchia Ecclesiæ, 1592, vii. 674; Much Hadham Registers; Stonyhurst MSS.; Addit. MS. 29489; Chester's Marriage Licences; Antiquary, p. 198, November 1890.]

C. C. S.