« Bradley, George Granville Bradshaw, William Bradwardine, Thomas »

Bradshaw, William

BRADSHAW, WILLIAM: Puritan; b. at Market Bosworth (12 m. w. of Leicester), Leicestershire, 1571; d. at Chelsea 1618. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and became fellow of Sidney Sussex College in 1599; took orders but never received a living owing to his Puritan principles, and spent much of his time in retirement in Derbyshire, whence he made many journeys in behalf of the cause to which he was devoted. His chief work was English Puritanism: containing the main opinions of the rigid sort of those that are called Puritans in the Realm of England (London, 1605; Latin transl., by William Ames, Frankfort, 1610; an abstract is given in Neal's History of the Puritans, part ii, chap. i). The main point of his system was that he would subject no congregation to any ecclesiastical jurisdiction "save that which is within itself." He would have the members delegate their powers to pastors and elders, retaining that of excommunication. No clergyman should hold civil office. He was strongly opposed to "ceremonies." He was not a separatist and held that the king as "the archbishop and general overseer of all the churches within his dominions" had the right to rule and must not be resisted except passively. He published many other works and tracts, most of them anonymously.

Bibliography: A fair biography and references to the somewhat abundant literature may be found in DNB, vi, 182–185.

« Bradley, George Granville Bradshaw, William Bradwardine, Thomas »
VIEWNAME is workSection