(1515–1584) was a Catholic Bishop
, notable among Catholics for his descriptions of the Protestant Reformation
Watson was born near Durham
in 1515 at a time when England
was still a Catholic country .
Watson grew up in a monastic world at Nun Stainton, near Durham. Little about his earliest schooling is known, but for entrance to Cambridge University
, he would have studied at Durham's Priory School. The Rites of Durham
, written in about 1593, recalls life in Durham Cathedral
before the Dissolution. Watson describes the school, and the last schoolmaster, Robert Hartburne, as a venerable and learned monk, always looking for a bright pupil who was "apt to learning, and did apply his book, and had a pregnant wit with all" to groom for university entrance.
Watson grew up in Durham. He left for St John's College, Cambridge
in 1529. The majority of staff and students, under their Chancellor, John Fisher
, were clerics or future clerics. Watson received his B.A. in 1532/3 and his M.A. in 1536.
In 1536, the 21-year-old Watson was required to swear an oath of allegiance to King Henry VIII
following the king's rejection of the Catholic Church. The oath included the following phrase:
In response to his oath of allegiance to Henry VIII, Watson wrote an unpublished five-act play. The play, written in Latin
verse and completed at around 1540, was based on Absalom
's revolt against his father David
described in the Old......