John Christopherson

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John Christopherson (died 1558) was Chaplain and confessor to Queen Mary I of England, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1553–1558), Dean of Norwich (1554–1557) and Bishop of Chichester (1557–1558) - all during the reign of Queen Mary (1553–1558).

Born at Ulverstone, Lancashire, John Christopherson was educated at the University of Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1540-1 and M.A. in 1543. He became Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1541, Fellow of St John's in 1542 and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1546. During the reign of Edward VI he went abroad to Louvain.[1] In 1555, he was one of accusers of William Wolsey and Richard Pygot,[2] and he was involved in the trial of the Protestant martyr Richard Woodman in Southwark.

He was a member of a commission under direction from Stephen Gardiner to reintroduce Catholicism to the University of Cambridge.

He died in 1558, after Queen Mary, although the exact date is not known.

He is particularly known for writing a tragedy on Jephthah (based on Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis), which is noteworthy for being the only Tudor play written in Greek. (The Scotsman George Buchanan wrote one in Latin on the same theme.)


  1. ^ "Christopherson, John (CHRR540J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^
  • The Master of Trinity at Trinity College, Cambridge
  • On the literary milieu of Christopherson's time (a list)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Day
Bishop of Chichester
Succeeded by
William Barlow
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Bill
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
William Bill
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