GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameEdmund Freke
DenominationChurch of England
Livedb. ca. 1516-01-01 - d. 1590-03-21 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked SermonsSermon on Matthew 18:21-22 -- preacher (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesNorwich -- BishopricRochester -- BishopricWorcester -- BishopricSalisbury -- DeaneryFowlmere -- ParishCambridge University -- Place of StudyCanterbury -- PostPurleigh -- PostWestminster -- Post
Source of DataHannah Wood
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB; AO (Foster); ACAD (Venn)
Other NoteLittle is known about Edmund Freke's (Freake) early life. After being ordained deacon in 1544, he disappears from records until he was presented with the rectory of Fowlmere (Cambs) in 1562. Freke enjoyed court patronage, even serving as Queen Elizabeth's chaplain. These connections helped him rise in clerical rank, with appointments to a canonry of Westminster in 1564, rectory of Purleigh, Essex in 1567, deanery of Rochester in 1570, and deanery of Salisbury in 1571. He received his D.Th from Cambridge in 1570 and was made lord high almoner in 1572. The same year he was elected bishop of Rochester, although he was translated to the bishopric of Norwich at the behest of the queen in 1575. Freke quelled religious dissent with fervour in his diocese, ostracizing men who would become leading figures of the presbyterian movement. Freke's episcopate was plagued by discord between Freke and his chief officer John Becon, culminating in a series of accusations and proceedings against Freke, his officials, and his wife Cicely; seeking a quieter and less hostile environment, Freke was translated to Worcester in 1584. Freke died on 21 March 1591 and was buried at Purleigh, survived by Cicely and their children John, Edmund, and Martha.
GEMMS record createdJanuary 22, 2021
GEMMS record last editedFebruary 03, 2021