Cheke, John

   English humanist and teacher. One of the most brilliant of the Cambridge scholars who fostered the study of Greek, Cheke became the first regius professor of that language at Cambridge in 1540. Strongly sympathetic to Protestantism, he became tutor to the future King Edward VI in 1544 and had an important role in the education of the prince to be a Protestant ruler. He sat as a member of Edward's first Parliament and was ordained to the clergy in 1549. Upon the premature death of the young king in 1553, Cheke was involved in the attempt to block the succession of the Catholic Mary Tudor and was arrested after she gained control of the government. He fled to the Continent, lived in both Basel and Strasbourg, and taught Greek in the latter place. Arrested by the government of Charles V while travelling in the Netherlands, he was sent back to England as a prisoner and was forced to abjure his Protestant beliefs by threat of torture.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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