John More.—This learned and pious divine was fellow of Christ's college, Cambridge, where he most probably received his education. After his removal from the university, he became a very popular and useful preacher at St. Andrew's church in the city of Norwich ; but here he met with persecution on account of his nonconformity. Having refused to wear the surplice, principally on account of the offence which it gave to others, he was convened before the bishop of the diocese, who told him that it was better to offend a few private persons, than to offend God and disobey the prince. His lordship, indeed, gives him this honourable character: "I have not known that he has at any time spoken against her majesty's book of Injunctions, nor can I find any manner of stubbornness in him. And surely," adds the bishop, " he is a godly and learned man, and hath done much good in this city, 't He was a zealous champion for the purity of the gospel, and a bold opposer of all false doctrine, as appears from his public contest with the famous Dr. Pern of Cambridge.} What a pity then was it, that a divine, endowed with such excellent qualifications, should have been interrupted in his public ministry.
The prelates rigorously imposing the ceremonies upon the clergy, Mr. More, with his brethren in and about Norwich, were among the numerous sufferers. These divines, seeing the approaching storm, prepared for it by presenting their humble supplication to the lords of the council, dated from Norwich, September 25, 1576. In this supplication they declare their great readiness to yield their bodies, their goods, and their lives in the service of
• Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xv. p. 76, 77.
+ Strype's Parker, p. 452.
$ Srrype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 282.
their prince; yet they dare not yield to the intended conformity. Having enlarged upon the manifold evils necessarily arising from such rigorous impositions, they conclude in these words: " As to ourselves," say they, " we dare not for all the world yield to those ceremonies. " And if the bishop proceed to urge them upon ministers, u as he hath begun, it will bring the most awful rum upon u the church. There are already nineteen or twenty " exercises of preaching and catechizing put down, by " the silencing of ministers in this city. We, therefore, " humbly crave your assistance, both with our prince " and the bishops. The Lord God direct your honours " in this affair, and in all your other concerns, that " they may be for the profit of the church of God and " the advantage of our land. Yours most humbly in the
If Mr. More and his brethren were not brought into
certain they were suspended not long after. This will appear from their own words, in the following submission, dated from Norwich, August 21, 1578, and presented to their diocesan:—" The ministers," say they, " whose names u are underwritten, humbly crave favour to be restored to *' their preaching, upon subscription to all those articles " which concern the confession of the true christian faith *' and doctrine of the sacraments, according to the words ** of the statute. And concerning ceremonies, order, and " government, they acknowledge that they are so far toler" able, that for the same, no man ought to withdraw <* himself from hearing the word of God, and receiving the u sacraments; nor, on the same account, ought any minister u to refuse to preach the word of God, and to administer *' the sacraments,
u John More, Richard Dowe,
" Richard Crick, George Leeds,
M Thomas Roberts, John MAPES."t " Vincent Goodwin,
" John More,
" Richard Crick,
" Thomas Roberts,
trouble previous to their
lication to the council, it is
From the above submission it is obvious that Bishop Maddox had not sufficiently examined the subject, or that his materials of information were defective, when he affirms that Mr. More does not appear to have been suspended.* It is not, indeed, equally clear how long he remained under the episcopal censure, nor whether his submission was at all available. About the year 1584, after the publication of Whitgift's three articles, we find this excellent divine and upwards of sixty others, all ministers of Norfolk, not resolved to subscribe. And about the same time, the ministers of Norwich, being grievously oppressed with the severities laid upon them, presented to the archbishop their reasons for refusing subscription, earnestly soliciting the resolution of their scruples and objections; but I do not find what satisfaction they obtained.+ Dr. Ames styles Mr. More a most heavenly man, and the light and glory of the church.} Mr. Granger gives the following account of him: " This worthy person, says he, " was about twenty years minister of St. Andrew's in Norwich; where he was held in great veneration for his general knowledge in the sciences, his exact skill in the learned languages, and, above all, for his extensive learning and indefatigable labours as a divine. He constantly preached thrice every Sunday, and was much admired for his excellent talent that way. He refused very considerable preferments, which would have been attended with less labour than his cure at Norwich, only because he thought he could be more useful in that city." This author, giving an account of the different modes of dress at this period, observes, that " Mr. John More of Norwich, one of the worthiest clergymen in the reign of Elizabeth, gave the best reason that could be given for wearing the longest and largest beard of any Englishman of his time; namely, ' That no act of his life might be unworthy of the gravity of his appearance.' "§ He died in the year 1592. Fuller includes him among the learned writers, being fellows of Christ's college, Cambridge ; and says, he made the excellent map of the Land of Palestine.il
In the last will and testament of Mr. Thomas Merburie,
• Vindication of the Church of England, p. 341.
+ MS. Register, p. 286, 436.
I Ames's Fresh Suit, Appen. p. 18.
( Granger's Biog. Hist. vol. i. p. 217, 218, 288.
| Fuller's Hist, of Camb. p. 92.
of the above college, dated December 1, 1571, and proved the 5th of the same month, honourable mention is made of Mr. More; and Mr. Merburie bequeathed to him all his books in divinity, and made him one of the supervisors of his will.*