Cartwright, Thomas

(1535–1603)
   Theologian and Polemicist.
   Cartwright was educated at the University of Cambridge. As a committed Protestant, he was forced to flee from England during the reign of Queen mary. He returned with the accession of Queen Elizabeth I and in 1569 he was appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. However, the following year he was deprived of his chair when he publicly declared that the Elizabethan constitution of the Church of England was less satisfactory than that of the apostolic Church. He travelled abroad and for a time stayed in Geneva where he made the acquaintance of Theodore beza. Returning to England, he advocated Presbyterianism in his Second Admonition to Parliament, although, later, he dissociated himself from the followers of Robert browne. Arrested in 1590, he was tried by the Court of High Commission, but was released in 1592. On the accession of King James i, he tried to influence the new king against the ‘Romish’ ceremonies of the Church of England by organising the Millenarian Petition of 1603. In response, the King summoned the Hampton Court Conference. In the event, Cartwright died before the Conference opened and little was conceded to the Puritan position. Cartwright is remembered as one of the most eminent and learned of the Elizabethan Protestant divines.
   P. Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (1967);
   A.F.S. Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism (1925).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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