Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Walker, John (d.1588)

WALKER, JOHN, D.D. (d. 1588), archdeacon of Essex, graduated from Cambridge, B.A. in 1547, B.D. in 1563, and D.D. in 1569. He was presented to the small living of Alderton, Suffolk, and at some time was a noted preacher at Ipswich. In February 1563 he attended convocation as proctor for the clergy of Suffolk. In this capacity he voted in favour of the six articles for reforming rites and ceremonies, and signed the petition of the lower house for improved discipline. In 1564 he was licensed to be parish chaplain in St. Peter's, Norwich. Here his gift of preaching was so much admired that Matthew Parker, finding in 1568 that Walker was about to return to Alderton to avoid an information for non-residence, suggested that one of the prebendaries named Smythe, 'a mere lay body,' should resign in Walker's favour, who else 'might go and leave the city desolate.' Parker also appealed to Lord-chancellor Bacon, as did the Duke of Norfolk, with the result that, after some delay, Walker was installed a canon of Norwich on 20 Dec. 1569. In September of the following year Walker and some other puritan prebendaries protested against the ornaments in Norwich Cathedral. He was cited, it appears, to Lambeth in 1571 in consequence of his puritanism, but was collated to the archdeaconry of Essex on 10 July 1571, to the rectory of Laindon-cum-Basildon, Essex, on 12 Nov. 1573, and on 14 Aug. 1575 was installed prebendary of Mora in St. Paul's Cathedral.

Bishop Aylmer summoned Walker in 1578 to elect sixty of the clergy to be visitors during the prevalence of the plague. In 1581 he was prominent in the conviction of Robert Wright, Lord Rich's chaplain, who because of his ordination at Antwerp was refused a license by the bishop; and on 27 Sept. of the same year he assisted William Charke at a conference in the Tower with Edmund Campion [q. v.], the Jesuit. The fourth day's dispute was chiefly in Walker's hands (cf. A Remembrance of the Conference had in the Tower betwixt M. D. Walker [sic] and M. William Charke, Opponents, and Edmund Campion, 1583, 4to). Bishop Aylmer also employed him to collect materials for a work in refutation of Campion's 'Decem Rationes,' and in 1582 appointed him to confer with captured catholic priests. He preached at Aylmer's visitation on 21 June 1583, but resigned the archdeaconry about August 1585, and died before 12 Dec.1588, on which date the prebend in St. Paul's was declared vacant by his death.

Walker wrote a dedicatory epistle to 'Certaine Godlie Homilies or Sermons,' translated by Robert Norton from Rodolph Gualter, London, 1573, 8vo.

[Cooper's Athenae Cantabr. ii. 37; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy. ii. 336, 412, 498; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 748; Cal. State Papers Dom. 1547-80, p. 545; Blomefield's Norfolk, iii. 665, iv. 187; Parker Correspondence, pp. 312, 313, 382; Newcourt's Report. Eccles. i. 73, ii. 357; Strype's Works (General Index).]

C. F. S.