Owen Oglethorpe

Owen Oglethorpe

Owen Oglethorpe: Bishop of Carlisle (died 1559) was an English academic and bishop.


Childhood and Education

He was born in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, (where he later founded a school) in approximately 1505-10 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was elected a fellow in 1526 and received his MA in 1529 and his DD in 1536. He was reputed to have taken a keen interest in his studies.


He was appointed a Junior Proctor at Oxford University in 1533 and President of Magdalen in 1535. He was also Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1551 and a canon of both Christ Church, Oxford and St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

He was unpopular with the Puritans and was forced to resign his university offices in 1552, but was reappointed by Queen Mary and was Dean of Windsor from 1553 to 1556.

Elizabeth I's Coronation

He became Bishop of Carlisle in 1557. Whilst saying mass in the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace on 25 December 1558 he incurred the wrath of a furious Queen Elizabeth I (who had succeeded her half-sister Mary I on the latter's death on 17 November) when, contrary to her explicit instructions, he elevated the host, thereby implying the corporeal presence of Christ - an anathema to Elizabeth I's more Protestant religious beliefs. Elizabeth stormed out of the service. Nevertheless, being the only Bishop prepared to officiate at her coronation on 15 January 1559 in Westminster Abbey, he did so, again ignored her instructions not to elevate the host at the coronation mass which followed the crowning, again had the Queen walk out on him — this time from her own coronation service — and he was rewarded for his services by being deprived of his see later the same year (1559) very shortly before he died.


Dictionary of National Biography

Academic offices
Preceded by
Thomas Knollys
President of Magdalen College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Walter Haddon
Preceded by
William Tresham
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
James Brokes alias Brooks, Richard Martiall
Preceded by
Walter Haddon
President of Magdalen College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Arthur Cole
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Aldrich
Bishop of Carlisle
Succeeded by
John Best

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