Richard Cheyney
Richard Cheyney was an English churchman, bishop of Gloucester
Bishop of Gloucester
The Bishop of Gloucester is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Gloucester in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers the County of Gloucestershire and part of the County of Worcestershire and has its see in the City of Gloucester where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church...

 from 1562. Opposed to Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

, he was an isolated and embattled bishop of the reign of Elizabeth, though able to keep his see.


Born in London, according to John Strype
John Strype
John Strype was an English historian and biographer. He was a cousin of Robert Knox, a famous sailor.Born in Houndsditch, London, he was the son of John Strype, or van Stryp, a member of a Huguenot family whom, in order to escape religious persecution within Brabant, had settled in East London...

, he was a scholar of Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.With a reputation for high academic standards, Christ's College averaged top place in the Tompkins Table from 1980-2000 . In 2011, Christ's was placed sixth.-College history:...

, where he proceeded B.A. in 1529. In 1530 he was elected fellow of Pembroke Hall; was ordained subdeacon
-Subdeacons in the Orthodox Church:A subdeacon or hypodeacon is the highest of the minor orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church. This order is higher than the reader and lower than the deacon.-Canonical Discipline:...

 24 February 1532, and priest 21 September 1534; and commenced M.A. in 1532 and B.D. in 1540. He supported Sir John Cheke  in the controversy on Greek pronunciation. He received over time the livings of Halford
Halford may refer to:Places:*Halford, Shropshire, England*Halford, Warwickshire, England*Halford Island, Nunavut, CanadaPeople:* Alison Halford , Welsh former senior police officer and politician...

, Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

 (1547), Maids Moreton
Maids Moreton
Maids Moreton is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale district of northern Buckinghamshire, England. The village is about north of Buckingham. The village is contiguous with the Buckingham urban area and is thus often considered as a suburb....

, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

 (1558), and Bishop's Hampton, Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

 (1559), of Plainsford, Gloucestershire, and .

He was a court in Edward VI's reign, and on 3 February 1552 he was appointed archdeacon of Hereford, and afterwards one of the keepers of the spiritualities of the see of Hereford during a vacancy. As archdeacon he attended the convocation of Canterbury at the beginning of the reign of Queen Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 (October 1553); according to Heylyn few of the Edwardian clergy were present. By the command of the queen the convocation proceeded to vote a proposition declaratory of transubstantiation
In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

 in the Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

. Against this six divines offered to dispute, the five known being: Walter Phillips, dean of Rochester; James Haddon, dean of Exeter
Dean of Exeter
The Dean of Exeter is the head of the Chapter of Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Exeter, England. The chapter was established by Bishop William Briwere who set up the offices of Dean and chancellor of Exeter Cathedral, allowing the chapter to elect those officers.The current Dean lives at the...

; John Philpot, archdeacon of Winchester; John Aylmer, archdeacon of Stow; and Cheyney. Haddon and Aylmer were reluctant to comply with the conditions proposed for the discussion, but Cheyney who held Lutheran views on the subject began, and, the others afterwards coming to his assistance, it continued for four days. His disputation is printed in John Foxe
John Foxe
John Foxe was an English historian and martyrologist, the author of what is popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, , an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history but emphasizing the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the fourteenth century through the...

's Acts and Monuments. He resigned his archdeaconry in 1557, and became canon of Gloucester 14 November 1558; he had retired for a time to his living of Halford in the diocese of Worcester, under Richard Pate
Richard Pate (bishop)
-Life:Born in Oxfordshire, he was a nephew of John Longland. He graduated B.A. from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1523. He studied under Juan Luis Vives, at Bruges....

, one of those exempt from executions for heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 under Queen Mary. Cheyney paid a priest to perform the services.

On the accession of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 Cheyney went on a preaching tour, and during his absence on this work the ecclesiastical visitors employed to carry out the queen's injunctions of 1559 visited Halford, where they found the rector absent, and the priest in charge a probable Catholic. They amerced the absent incumbent and seized his corn. Cheyney was well known to William Cecil
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

, and was very soon (6 April 1560) invited to preach before the queen. He then told her that her visitors ought rather to be called takers, as they had impoverished his living. Soon afterwards, in a letter to Cecil, he complained of neglect. On 21 June 1560 Cheyney was appointed canon of Westminster, and the provostship of Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 being vacant by deprivation, Archbishop Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of Anglican theological thought....

 recommended Cheyney for the post, unsuccessfully. Next year (1562) he obtained by Cecil's influence the bishopric of Gloucester, to which he was consecrated April 19, and by letters patent bearing date April 29 was allowed to hold the see of Bristol in commendam
In Commendam
In canon law, commendam was a form of transferring an ecclesiastical benefice in trust to the custody of a patron...

. On 3 May the archbishop issued a commission to Cheyney, as commendatory of the see of Bristol, to visit the diocese, appointing him his vicar-general in spirituals. But Parker withdrew his commission for Bristol diocese from Cheyney, and appointed John Cotterell
John Cotterell
John Cotterell DCL was an English clergyman and academic at the University of Oxford, who was one of the founding fellows of Jesus College, Oxford.-Life and career:...

 in his place 23 May 1563. The bishop wrote to Cecil, complaining of the encouragement thus given to puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

ism which was rampant in his diocese, and expressing his wish to resign. Cecil was willing to translate Cheyney to Chichester in 1568, but the archbishop objected. In 1569 the degree of D.D. was conferred on Cheyney at Cambridge.

Cheyney continued to act as bishop of Gloucester, becoming very popular by his liberality; but ran into debt.' About October 1576 process issued out of the exchequer to seize his lands and goods for 500l. due to the queen for arrears of tenths. The bishop, however, begged for time, and the request seems to have been granted. Cheyney died on 29 April 1579 at the age of sixty-five, and was buried in his cathedral of Gloucester.


Cheyney, a Lutheran ed , was opposed the Thirty-nine Articles
Thirty-Nine Articles
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Anglican church with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. First established in 1563, the articles served to define the doctrine of the nascent Church of England as it related to...

 of 1563. From a letter (22 December 1566) of Edmund Gheast
Edmund Gheast
Edmund Gheast was a 16th-century cleric of the Church of England.Guest was born at Northallerton, Yorkshire, the son of Thomas Geste...

 to Cecil it seems that Cheyney was offended by the insertion of the word 'only' in Article XXVIII on the Eucharist, and that he found it impossible to subscribe to this statement of doctrine. This article was drawn up by Gheast, who defended it against Cheyney, but without success.

Three of his sermons (preached 22 August, 29 August, 1 September 1568) against Calvinist doctrine gave such offence at Bristol that he was answered in the cathedral by James Calfhill, and also by Mr. Northbrook, a preacher of Bristol. On another visit to Bristol, where his views were unacceptable, the bishop again preached on the freedom of the will and on the corporal presence in the Eucharist.

In 1571 it became obligatory on all the bishops and clergy to subscribe the Articles. Cheyney refused to attend the convocation or to sign. It was unanimously resolved that he was contumacious and ought to be excommunicated. Accordingly the sentence of excommunication was pronounced by the archbishop (20 April), and was entrusted to Guy Etton, the archdeacon of Gloucester, accompanied by the queen's pursuivant, to be published in Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in Gloucester, England, stands in the north of the city near the river. It originated in 678 or 679 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter .-Foundations:The foundations of the present...

. Two or three days after a chaplain of the bishop appeared for him as proxy and requested absolution. This was granted, but only to the next meeting of convocation, when it would be necessary for the bishop to attend and give explanations. He apparently submitted, and was absolved on 12 May 1571. But he seems to have remained under a sort of ban.

The isolated Cheyney was a target for Edmund Campion
Edmund Campion
Saint Edmund Campion, S.J. was an English Roman Catholic martyr and Jesuit priest. While conducting an underground ministry in officially Protestant England, Campion was arrested by priest hunters. Convicted of high treason by a kangaroo court, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn...

, who had received sympathetic treatment from him. In his letter to Cheyney, by whom he had been ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church, he commends him for dealing gently with Catholics in his diocese, and exhorts him to convert. The letter produced no effect. Cheyney had been an antagonist to Rome, and was not inclined to accept her claims.
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