James Brooks (bishop)

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James Brooks D.D. (or Brookes) (1512–1558) was an English Catholic bishop.[1]


Born in May 1512, in Hampshire, southern England, Brooks became a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1532, took the B.A. that same year and in 1546 the D.D. He was Master of Balliol College, Oxford in the years 1547–1555.[2] He was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University during 1552–3.[3][4]

Widely known as an eloquent preacher, with the deprivation of John Hooper on the accession of Queen Mary, Brooks succeeded him as Bishop of Gloucester by papal provision in 1554 and was consecrated on 1 April.

In 1555, Brooks was one of the papal sub-delegates in the Royal Commission for the trial of the Oxford Martyrs, Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley. Brooks was a man not only of learning but also of integrity. He refused to degrade Ridley, probably on the ground that Ridley's consecration in 1547 had been according to the invalid form which was established by law very soon after that date. If, as the Protestant polemicist John Foxe asserts, Brooks refused to degrade Latimer as well, his position may have been based upon the fact that Latimer had lived for several years as a simple clergyman.

Brooks died in July or August 1558.ref name="ODNB"/> He was buried in Gloucester Cathedral, but without a monument.


  1. Litzenberger, Caroline. "Brooks, James". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3565.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Salter, H. E. and Lobel, Mary D., ed. (1954). "Balliol College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Victoria County History. pp. 82–95. Retrieved 27 July 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: editors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Previous Vice-Chancellors". University of Oxford, UK. Retrieved 27 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. University of Oxford (1888). "Vice-Chancellors". The Historical Register of the University of Oxford. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 21–27. Retrieved 27 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1907). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2FCatholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29%2FJames_Brookes "James Brookes" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Catholic Encyclopedia. 2. New York: Robert Appleton.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Academic offices
Preceded by
William Wright
Master of Balliol College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Francis Babington
Preceded by
Owen Oglethorpe
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
Richard Marshall
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Hooper
Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by
Richard Cheyney