John Thornborough

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Bishop Thornborough.

John Thornborough (1551–1641) was an English bishop.


Thornborough was born in Salisbury, and graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford.

In a long ecclesiastical career, he was employed as a chaplain by the Earl of Pembroke, and Queen Elizabeth. He was Dean of York, Bishop of Limerick in 1593, Bishop of Bristol in 1603, and Bishop of Worcester from 1617.[1] He was appointed Clerk of the Closet in 1588, serving Queen Elizabeth I in that capacity until the end of her reign in 1603.

He was tolerant of Puritans, encouraging his congregation to attend puritan lectures.[2] He also shielded the future biographer Samuel Clarke (1599–1683).[3]

A discourse plainely proving the euident vtilitie and vrgent necessitie of the desired happie vnion of the two famous kingdomes of England and Scotland, 1604

He wrote an alchemical book, Lithotheorikos of 1621.[4] He is known to have employed Simon Forman.[5] Robert Fludd dedicated Anatomiae Amphitheatrum (1623) to Thornborough.[6]


  1. ^ Concise Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ The Civil War in Worcestershire, Malcolm Atkin, 1995, p25 Alan Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire. ISBN 0-7509-1050-X
  3. ^ Politics, Society and Civil War in Warwickshire, 1620-1660, Ann Hughes, 2002, p85.
  4. ^ Lithotheorikos, sive, Nihil, aliquid, omnia, antiquorum sapientum vivis coloribus depicta.
  5. ^ PDF Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine., p. 31.
  6. ^ William H. Huffman, Robert Fludd and the End of the Renaissance (1988), p. 32.

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Church of England titles
Preceded by
Matthew Hutton
Dean of York
Succeeded by
George Meriton
Preceded by
William Casey
Bishop of Limerick
Succeeded by
Bernard Adams
since 1593
Title last held by
Richard Fletcher
Bishop of Bristol
Succeeded by
Nicholas Felton
Preceded by
Henry Parry
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
John Prideaux