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Aylmer, John


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


John Aylmer (1520/21–94) was bishop of London from 1577 until his death. During Elizabeth's reign, this position was one of the most political in the Church of England and one that most historians, with the exception of John Strype (1821) , believe that Aylmer was ill suited to. John Aylmer was born at Aylmer Hall in Tilney, Norfolk, younger brother to Sir Robert Aylmer, to whom their family estate was left. Henry Grey, third marquess of Dorset, and father to Lady Jane Grey, recognized a high level of intellectualism in John and helped him through his studies at Cambridge. Aylmer later attended Oxford University where he took a degree in divinity. In his early twenties he was made chaplain to Grey and appointed as tutor to Lady Jane Grey, also holding positions as the rector of Rodney Stoke and Stoke Gilford (1541) and as the vicar of Wellington (1543). In 1553 Aylmer was made the archdeacon of Stow in the diocese of Lincoln but when he opposed Marian officials on the doctrine of transubstantiation his position was revoked and he fled into exile. He first resided in Strasbourg but later moved to Zurich, supporting himself by undertaking private tutoring. Strype (1821) tells us that while he was in Switzerland Aylmer helped John Foxe, first on the martyrology that became Actes and monuments (1563) and then on A vindication of the most reverend Thomas Cranmer , a defence of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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