Edmund Rockrey, B. D.—He was fellow of Queen's college, Cambridge, and a person distinguished for learning and abilities, but was brought into many troubles on account of his nonconformity. He was a man of great reputation, and, in the year 1569, was chosen one of the proctors of the universitys The year following, he was convened before the ruling ecclesiastics, and required to enter into a bond of forty pounds, to appear from time to time before the vicechancellor or his deputy, until such matters should be determined and ended as were .and should be laid against him. After appearing several times before the vicechancellor, Dr. Whitgift, and the heads of colleges, it was decreed, " that he should remain, continue, and quietly keep his chamber as a true prisoner, till the matters objected against him should be ended.""
It appears very probable that he continued under con
» Neat's Puritans, vol. i. p. 423.
+ Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xv. p. 79.
t Fuller's Worthies, part iii. p. 70. \ Finnic'* Real Christian, Pref.
|| Palmer's Noncou, Mem. vol. iii. p. 284.
1 Fuller's Hist, of Cam. p. 141.
Baker's MS. Collec. vol. iii. p. 377, 378.
finement a long time: for towards the close of the year 1571, he was again several times brought before the vicechancellor and heads of colleges; when " Dr. Whitgift willed him to acknowledge and confess bis fault, and openly to revoke his rashness in the same place, and before the same company, where he had given the offence;" and in the conclusion, he was required to make the following public recantation:
" For as much as on Sunday, being the 26th of No" vembcr, in this place before you, I disorderly stood up, " (alter that Dr. Chadderton, having commandment from " the vice-chancellor, had given warning that we should " not speak against such statutes as the queen's majesty had " sent to the university,) and spoke words tending to the " complaining of such things as were then by our master " spoken, to the discrediting of some about the queen's " majesty; saying, that godly princes might lie deceived by " hypocrites and flatterers, as David was by Shebna, or " such like; and to the derogation of the said statutes, and " condemnation of some of them, saying, that they tended " to the impairing of the liberty and privileges of the " university, and that some of them were directly against u God's word. I therefore acknowledge my rashness and " indiscreetness in so doing, and am heartily sorry for them, " desiring you to think as it becometh dutiful subjects to " think of the queen's majesty, her counsellors and laws, and " reverently obey the same, as I for my part intend to do, " God willing, to the uttermost of my power. In witness " whereof, I have subscribed this confession with my own " baud, and deliver the same here in your presence, to u our master, to be by him also delivered to Mr. Vice" chancellor."*
From the above, we see the crimes with which Mr. liockrey was charged, together with the proceedings of these ruling ecclesiastics. He seems to have refused making this recantation. He would not defile his conscience, by subscribing that which appeared to him contrary to truth, as well as a tyrannical invasion of christian liberty. Though he was several times summoned before his superiors, it is probable, our author adds, that he still continued in the same mind.t
Mr. Rockrey scrupled wearing the habits, for which, during the above troubles, he was deprived of his fellowship,
and in effect, expelled from the university. Lord Burleigh, the chancellor, procured his restoration, with a dispensation from wearing the habits for a twelvemonth, at the expiration of which, he was admonished three times by the master of the college, to conform himself in wearing the apparel. But he could not with a good conscience comply, and, therefore, was finally expelled, as an example to keep others in a state of obedience.* He was one of the prebendaries of Rochester, where he was justly esteemed an admired and popular preacher; but, about the year 1584, was suspended from his ministerial function, and continued under the ecclesiastical censure many years.t