The Family Tree of Carole Behne and Dennis Murray:Information about Richard Cox
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Richard Cox (b. 1500, d. 22 Jul 1581)Richard Cox (son of Richard or John Cox and Eme Agnes Richmond Webb) was born 1500 in Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, England, and died 22 Jul 1581 in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.He married Jane Auder on 1568 in Pembrook Hall, Cambridgeshire, England, daughter of George Auder and Turner.
Notes for Richard Cox:
Birth:1500 - Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, , England
Death:22 Jul 1581 - Ely, Cambridgeshire, , England
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900
about Richard Cox
Name: Richard Cox
Died: 22 Jul 1581
More Information: Adm. at KING'S, a scholar from Eton, 1519.
S. of Richard, of Whaddon, Bucks.
B. c. 1500.
B.A. 1523-4. Incorp. (Oxford)
1525, Canon of Cardinal College.
M.A. (Oxford) 1526. Incorp. (Cambridge)
1534-5; B.D. (Cambridge)
1537. Incorp. (Oxford)
1545. Fellow, 1522.
Head Master of Eton, 1530-4.
Archdeacon and preb. of Ely, 1541-53.
Preb. of Lincoln, 1542.
Dean of Osney, Oxford. R. of Harrow, Middlesex, 1544.
Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 1546-53.
Chancellor of Oxford, 1547.
Canon of Windsor, 1548.
Dean of Westminster, 1549.
Deprived of his preferments, and imprisoned, under Mary; afterwards retiring to Frankfurt.
Bishop of Norwich, 1559.
Bishop of Ely, 1559; where he refused to alienate the revenues, and incurred the Queen's displeasure.
Died July 22, 1581.
Father of the next and John (1574). (Cooper, I. 437; D.N.B.)
Richard Cox lived during the reign of Henry VIII. Richard was born in 1500 and Henry was born nine years earlier in 1491 and became King in 1509 at the age of 18.
The Anglican Church of England is a creation of Henry VIII. It was created by Henry, with himself as the head of it, when the Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment from his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Henry wanted to dissolve his marriage so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Henry wanted a male heir desperately. Ultimately, the Pope issued a public denial of Henry's request.
Up to this point, Henry and all of England was Catholic. Undoubtedly, Richard Cox was a devout Catholic when he began his studies for the priesthood. He was nearly complete with his doctorate when Henry, in effect, declared the Catholic church to be null and void in England.
In 1533, Henry then denounced the Pope, rejected all Papal authority in England, seized all church and monastery property in England, established the Church of England and appointed himself as head of the church with sole authority to make ecclesiastical decisions. The Pope promptly excommunicated Henry and all those in England who followed him. This of course forced people in England to choose which church they wanted. Those who insisted on remaining Catholic, particularly the clergy, where imprisoned, tortured and executed if they would not swear allegiance to the Church of England and to Henry as its head.
When Henry rejected Papal authority, divorced Katherine of Aragon and married Anne Boleyn in 1533, Richard Cox was Headmaster at Eton and was studying at Cambridge for his Doctorate of Divinity degree. It must have been "interesting," as a clergyman, to have the entire foundation of your Catholic faith swept away by your sovereign and replaced by his earthly authority. How does a pastor explain such a thing to his parishioners without risking his own neck?
When Anne Boleyn was condemned to death on a charge of adultery in 1536, it is not clear where Richard was or what he was doing. Perhaps he was lying low, trying not to attract attention. The historical record, however, makes it clear that he was a mid-rank church official during perhaps the most complex and dangerous period for a clergyman in all of English history. He managed to survive all of Henry's reforms and to actually elevate his position from one assignment to the next.
When Henry died in 1547, Richard was Chancellor of Oxford. I assume that means he was the CEO of Oxford University. Henry was succeeded by his nine year old son Edward VI and a Regency Council until Edward reached age 18. But Edward died in 1553 at the age of 15 and was succeeded by his sister Mary, an ardent Catholic who immediately undertook reforms to reestablish the Catholic church and to reverse all of Henry's reforms. In her zeal to restore Catholicism to England, she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake, earning the title of "Bloody Mary." Richard Cox was the Dean of Westminster Abbey at the time and escaped death but was imprisoned and lost all his privileges as a clergyman. With prominent clerics all around him being condemned and executed, one can only wonder what he did or said to survive. After his release, he left England for the safer Protestant environment of Frankfurt, Germany.
Following the death of Mary in 1558 and the succession of her half-sister Elizabeth 1 to the throne, the pendulum again swung away from Catholicism and Richard Cox returned to England in 1559, becoming Bishop of Norwich. He later became Bishop of Ely, where he refused to "alienate the revenues and incurred the Queen's displeasure." I have no idea what "alienate" the revenues means or why the Queen would be displeased.
Apparently Elizabeth was more benign than her sister Mary towards those with whom she disagreed. Richard lived another 22 years before dying at the age of 81 in 1581.
Today, the Church of England is called the Anglican Church and the English monarch, now Elizabeth II, is still the head of the church.
More About Richard Cox and Jane Auder:
Marriage: 1568, Pembrook Hall, Cambridgeshire, England.
Children of Richard Cox and Jane Auder are:
- +John Cox*, b. 1551, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d. Oct 1607, Broxburn, Hertfordshire, England.