John Pullain, B. D.—This zealous reformer was born in Yorkshire, in the year 1517, and educated first in New college, then in Christ's college, Oxford. He was a famous preacher, and a celebrated reformer, in the days of King Edward VI. He became rector of St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, in the year 1552, but suffered deprivation in 1555. Upon the commencement of Queen Mary's bloody persecution, he did not immediately flee, but endured the storm for some time. Having no prospect of enjoying his public ministry, and being deeply concerned for his persecuted countryment, he continued to labour in private as he found an opportunity. He preached and administered the Lord's supper, about a year, to the protestant congregation, which assembled in private places, in and about the city of London.
The persecution of the protestants becoming, at length, extremely hot, and Mr. Pullain finding himself most probably in danger of the fire, he fled into a foreign land, and became an exile and Geneva; where he became a member of the English congregation, and abode during the remainder of the bloody queen's reign. The news of the queen's death, and of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, gladdened the hearts of all the worthy exiles. On this occasion, Mr. Pullain united with his brethren at Geneva, in their letter of congratulation, addressed to their fellow-exiles at Arrau, Basil, Strasburgh, Frankfort, and other places. Upon the reception of the joyful news, he immediately prepared to return home; and was no sooner arrived in his native country, than he resumed his zealous ministerial labours. But he had not continued long in his beloved work, before he received a sudden check. For the new queen having issued her royal proclamation prohibiting all preaching, till all the affairs of the church were finally settled this worthy servant of Christ was taken into custody at Colchester, and sent prisoner up to London. His crime was that of preaching when prohibited by the queen; but our historican does not say what further prosecution he underwent.
Towards the close of the year 1559, Mr. Pullain became rector of Capford in Essex, which he kept to his death. About the same time, he was made Archdeacon of Colchester. He sat in the famous convocation of 1562, and subscribed the articles of religion. He was an avowed enemy to all popery and superstition; and, therefore, was much grieved at the imperfect state in which the reformation rested, and the severe proceedings of the prelates which immediately followed. He was ever anxious to have the church purged of all its corruptions and antichristian ceremonies, and for its discipline and government, as well as its doctrine, to be regulated by the word of God alone. These things made so deep and impression upon his mind, as brought a complaint upon his body, of which he died in the month of July, 1565, aged forty-eight years. He was a truly pious man, a constant preacher, a learned divine, a thorough puritan, and an admired English and Latin poet. He published "A Tract against the Arians," and several translations of the works of other learned men.