« Barnes, Arthur Stapylton Barnes, Robert Barnes, William Emery »

Barnes, Robert

BARNES, ROBERT: Church of England; b. at or near Lynn (26 m. n.e. of Ely), Norfolk, 1540; d. at the stake as a Protestant martyr, London, July 30, 1540. He studied at Cambridge, where he became an Augustinian friar, and at Louvain, where he proceeded doctor of divinity. Returning to Cambridge, he rose to be master of the house of the Augustinians. In 1526 he began to advocate Protestant views with great boldness, and so quickly got into trouble. Though treated leniently he was imprisoned from 1526 to 1528, when he escaped to the Continent, where he lived till 1531, and called himself Antonius Anglus. He enjoyed the friendship of the German Reformers. In Wittenberg in 1530 he published his first book, a collection of passages 489 from the doctors of the Church—all in Latin—which supported, as he claimed, the Protestant position. In 1531 a German translation of these passages appeared in Nuremberg. In that year he returned to England and was employed on diplomatic journeys by Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, for instance to arrange the marriage between Henry and Anne of Cleves. He was always outspoken, and showed more zeal than prudence in propagating his Protestant views. So at last he was cast into prison in the Tower and, although no definite charge was laid against him, was burnt at Smithfield as a heretic. In 1573 John Foxe printed his English works (London) which display his courage, clearness, and comprehensiveness; selections were issued by Legh Richmond in his Fathers of the English Church (London, 1807)—in both the account of Barnes reprinted from Foxe’s Monuments will be found.

Bibliography: Sources for his life are in the Calendar of Letters and Papers . . . of Henry VIII, vol. v, ed. J. S. Brewer and J. Gairdner, in Rolls Series, 11 vols., 1862-88. Luther’s Preface to Barnes’s Confession in Luther’s works, Erlangen ed., lxiii, 396-400. Consult the biography in DNB, iii, 253-256.

« Barnes, Arthur Stapylton Barnes, Robert Barnes, William Emery »
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