Thomas Bentham (1513–1578), Bishop of Coventry, was a Protestant minister, one of the Marian exiles, who continued secretly ministering to an underground congregation in London. On his return to England he was made the first Elizabethan bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, 1560 to 1579.
He was born at Sherburn, Yorkshine, in 1512-13. He was admitted perpetual fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, on 10 November 1546, proceeded, M.A. 1547, and 'about that time did solely addict his mind to the study of theology and to the learning of the Hebrew tongue,' in which last he was most excellent, as in those of Greek and Latin.' On the accession of Mary he was turned out of his fellowship 'for his forward and malapert zeal against the catholic religion in the time of Edward VI, by the visitors appointed by her to regulate the university. 
He retired to Zurich and afterwards to Basle, and became preacher to the exiles there, to whom he delivered an exposition of the Acts of the Apostles. He was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, as was John Foxe, who includes anecdotes of Bentham in his Book of Martyrs.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Grosart, Alexander Balloch (1885). "Bentham, Thomas". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 4. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- The Letter Book of Bishop Thomas Bentham, conserved at the National Library of Wales was edited by R.O'Day and J. Berlatsky, 1979, in Camden Miscellany, 27 (Camden, 4th ser., 22, London: RHS), 113–238.
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|Bishop of Lichfield