Dudley Fenner - Encyclopedia




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DUDLEY FENNER (c. 1558-1587), English puritan divine, was born in Kent and educated at Cambridge University. There he became an adherent of Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603), and publicly expounded his presbyterian views, with the result that he was obliged to leave Cambridge without taking his degree. For some months he seems to have assisted the vicar of Cranbrook, Kent, but it is doubtful whether he received ordination. He next followed Cartwright to Antwerp, and, having received ordination according to rite of the Reformed church, assisted Cartwright for several years in preaching to the English congregation there. The leniency shown by Archbishop Grindal to puritans encouraged him to return to England, and he became curate of Cranbrook in 1583. In the same year, however, he was one of seventeen Kentish ministers suspended for refusing to sign an acknowledgment of the queen's supremacy and of the authority of the Prayer Book and articles. He was imprisoned for a time, but eventually regained his liberty and spent the remainder of his life as chaplain in the Reformed church at Middleburgh.

A list of his authentic works is given in Cooper's Athenae Cantabrigienses (Cambridge, 1858-1861). They rank among the best expositions of the principles of puritanism.

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