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William Hubbock

William Hubbock, A. M.—fie was born in the county of Durham, in the year 1560, and educated first in Magdalen-hall, then in Corpus Christi college, Oxford. Afterwards entering upon the sacred function, says the Oxford historian, he was in great repute for his learning ;t and he might have added, that he was a divine of distinguished worth, on account of his christian piety, his excellent preaching, and his manifold labours; and that he was highly esteemed and admired by some of the most worthy persons in the nation. Mr. Strype denominates him one of Mr. Cartwright's fraternity, yet a modest nonconformist.

In the year 1590, Mr. Hubbock was cited before Archbishop Whitgift, and other high commissioners, at Lambeth, when he was charged with having preached a sermon at Oxford, in which he made some reflections upon a certain great person (this was the archbishop,) which the commissioners held to be undutiful and seditious. He was therefore required, as a just punishment of his crime, to enter into bonds that he would preach no more, nor come again within ten miles of Oxford. Upon the proposal of these demands, he thus replied, in the presence of his judges: " I cannot, with a safe conscience, enter into any such bonds, nor do any thing by which I should willingly exclude myself from the exercise of my ministry. Nevertheless, if I must be put to silence, I had rather be committed to prison, than thus silence myself; especially unless I had committed some fault, by preaching some false doctrine, or by publishing some offence, for which 1 justly deserved to be punished. Whitgift, at the same time, required him to subscribe, signifying, that, if he would comply, he should be dismissed,

• Burges's Answer Rejoined, p. 218. Edit. 1631.

+ Paget'! Defence, Pref. j Wood's Athene Oxon. Voi. 1. p. 281.

and bis (roubles ended. But thc good man refused subscription, as well as entering into bonds; and, accordingly, received the ecclesiastical censure.*

In this state of perplexity and distress, Mr. Hubbock made application to Sir Francis Knollys; who, most warmly espousing his cause, immediately wrote to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, recommending his distressing case to his lordship's consideration. But the zealous intercessions of these great statesmen were of no avail whatever. Whitgifl and Sits brethren had parsed a decree against Mr. Hubbock, which, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, could not be altered. With this decree, however, the treasurer was much displeased. Though our learned historian has altogether failed in saying what the decree was, we may easily conjecture, that, as it proceeded from Lambeth, and was against a divine of puritan principles, it savoured not of the things of Jesus Christ.

But the treasurer did not immediately relinquish the cause of this injured servant of Christ. One repulse from the archbishop did not discourage him. Beholding the severity with which the good man was treated, he still took his part, and wrote again to the archbishop, boldly declaring, " That Mr. Hubbock had committed no ofTence, only he had said in his sermon, thai a great nobleman (meaning the archbishop) had kneeled down to her majesty, for staying and hindering her intent to reform religion." Sir Francis Knollys also wrote again to the treasurer in these words: " You know how greatly and how tyrannically the archbishop hath urged subscription to his own articles without law ; and that he has claimed a right of superiority in the bishops over the inferior clergy, from God's own ordinance, to the great injury of her majesty's supreme government. Though at present he does not profess to claim it; yet I think Tie ought openly to retract it."t

The worthy endeavours of these illustrious statesmen proved altogether ineffectual. The inflexible prelates would not alter their purpose. The good man continued under the sentence of his spiritual judges; but how long, or whether he was ever restored, our materials fail to afford sufficient information. Mr. Hubbock published " An Oration Gratulatory upon King James's Coronation," 1604; and several sermons.