WILLIAM FULKE (1538-1589), Puritan divine, was born in London and educated at Cambridge. After studying law for six years, he became a fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1564. He took a leading part in the "vestiarian" controversy, and persuaded the college to discard the surplice. In consequence he was expelled from St. John's for a time, but in 1567 he became Hebrew lecturer and preacher there. After standing unsuccessfully for the headship of the college in 1569, he became chaplain to the earl of Leicester, and received from him the livings of Warley, in Essex, and Dennington in Suffolk. In 1578 he was elected master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. As a Puritan controversialist he was remarkably active; in 1580 the bishop of Ely appointed him to defend puritanism against the Roman Catholics, Thomas Watson, ex-bishop of Lincoln (1513-1584), and John Feckenham, formerly abbot of Westminster, and in 1581 he was one of the disputants with the Jesuit, Edmund Campion, while in 1582 he was among the clergy selected by the privy council to argue against any papist. His numerous polemical writings include A Defense of the sincere true Translations of the holie Scriptures into the English tong (London, 1583), and confutations of Thomas Stapleton (1535-1598), Cardinal Allen and other Roman Catholic controversialists.
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