Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chillingworth, William, divine, was born in 1602 at Oxford. Elected a scholar in 1618 and then in 1628 a Fellow of Trinity College, he devoted himself to the question of paramount interest at that time, viz. the differences between the Anglican and Romish churches. The result was that he adopted the doctrines of the latter, and in 1630 went to Douay. Here further investigation led him to renounce the claims of Rome to infallibility, and he was unable to take orders in the Church of England through the Thirty-nine Articles. He now got entangled in a mass of controversy with different Catholics, and out of this came his most celebrated book, The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to Salvation, being a reply to a Jesuit, Edward Knott. After this, his scruples against the Articles of the Church appear to have been removed, and in 1638 he was made chancellor of the diocese of Salisbury. At the breaking out of the Civil war he accompanied the Royalist forces and was with them before Gloucester. At the surrender of Arundel Castle he was taken prisoner, and, falling ill, was lodged in the bishop's palace at Chichester. Here he died in 1644 and was buried in the cathedral. Besides his chief work already mentioned, he published many sermons, and contributed largely to the theological polemics of his time.