Sir John Cheke

(1514—1557) humanist, royal tutor, and administrator

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Cambridge‐born protestant Greek scholar and educator, Cheke was fellow of St John's College from 1529. As regius professor 1540–51, he was supported by his friends Sir Thomas Smith and Roger Ascham in introducing the new ‘Erasmian’ pronunciation of Greek. Under Henry VIII, Cheke was tutor to Prince Edward who, as Edward VI, gave him land, a knighthood, and the provostship of King's College, Cambridge; he was also member of Parliament, clerk to the council, and secretary of state. A supporter of Lady Jane Grey, he was imprisoned under Mary 1553–4 but allowed to migrate to Basle, before being enticed to Brussels by Mary's agents in 1556 and again imprisoned in London. Securing release by renouncing his religion, he died soon after.

Subjects: British History.

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