An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

British Calvinists: John Hooper (c.1495-1555)

John Hooper  (c.1495-1555) was, under Edward VI, the bishop of Gloucester (1551-1553) and Worcester (1552-1554). Hooper had to leave the country during Henry VIII's reign. He went to the continent where he became more familiar with the ideas of Zwingli, Bucer and Bullinger. On his return to England he helped pave the way for the Stranger churches in Glastonbury and London. 

These stranger churches were set up by foreigners in England during the Reformation. The first stranger church in England was an Italian church in 1547 by Bernardino Ochino. In 1550 a Dutch church in Austin Friars, London was established by royal charter. The Polish reformer John a Lasco (Jan Łaski) (1499 – 1560) was the first superintendent of the Dutch church. Hooper became good friends with a Lasco. These stranger churches were seen as models for a Protestant church in England.

When Hooper was consecrated as bishop he at first refused to wear the traditional bishop's vestments. Hooper regarded them as being vestiges of Roman Catholicism. For his refusal he was imprisoned; his refusal broke the 1549 Act of Uniformity. Another British Reformer, Nicholas Ridley, disagreed with Hooper. Calvin was sympathetic to Hooper's views, but he counselled Hooper to go ahead with the practice as it wasn't important enough to justify refusing the post of bishop. Hooper was eventually consecrated as bishop of Gloucester in 1551. Hooper had to wear vestments when preaching to the king, but not as a daily habit.

The Dutchman Maarten Micron described Hooper as "the future Zwingli of England".

He died at the stake in Gloucester. 

Some of Hooper's works can be found here:

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