STOKESLEY, JOHN (c. 1475-1539), English prelate, was born at Colly Weston in Northamptonshire, and became a fellow of Magdalen College, serving also as a lecturer. In 1498 he was made principal of Magdalen Hall, and in 1505 vice-president of Magdalen College. Soon after 1 509 he was appointed a member of the royal council and chaplain to Henry VIII. In 1520 he was at the Field of the Cloth of gold; in 1529 and 1530 he went to France and Italy as ambassador to Francis I. and to gain opinions from foreign universities in favour of the king's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. In 1 530 he became bishop of London. In 1533 he christened the princess Elizabeth, and his later years were troubled by disputes with Archbishop Cranmer. Stokesley opposed all changes in the doctrines of the Church and was very active in persecuting heretics. He was a man of learning, writing in favour of Henry's divorce, and with Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of Durham, a treatise against Cardinal Pole. He died on the 8th of September, 1539.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)