Lesley [Leslie] John

Biography: Bishop of the Isles (Sodor and Man). Church of Ireland bishop of Clogher. Born at Crichie, Aberdeenshire 1571. Educated King's Coll., then the continent, spent 20 years in France. Said to have spoken Spanish, French, Italian and Latin fluently. Ordained at some point in this period and chaplain to several English noblemen. Also spent some time in Oxford. Domestic chaplain to the King 1621. D.D., Cambridge, 1624. Obtained the living of Hartlebury, Gloucester, which he exchanged in 1625 for the rectory of St Faith, London. Appointed rector of St Martin Vintry 1625. Appointed Bishop of the Isles 1628. Scottish privy councillor 1631. Translated to the bishopric of Raphoe, Ireland 1633. Constructed an episcopal palace 1636-7. Prosecuted covenanters in his diocese. Castle became a refuge for the British and for protestants in the uprising of 1641, raised an army of foot soldiers to defend the castle, earned the name "the Fighting Bishop". Remained in Ireland during the interregnum, received a state pension. Received the deanery of Raphoe 1660, but resigned it when he was translated to the bishopric of Clogher. Died 1671 after several false rumours of his death, at the time one of the oldest bishops in Christendom (aged 99). Castle was attacked 1690 and many of his books destroyed.

Biography Date: 1571-1671

Biography References: Prov. Reg. Notes (DNB); DNB; Drummond 302;


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