Pietro Martire Vermigli, commonly called Peter Martyr, an Italian reformer, born in Florence, Sept. 8, 1500, died in Zürich, Nov. 12, 1562. At an early age he entered the order of regular canons of St. Augustine, and by his learning and eloquence became famous throughout Italy. Intercourse with a Protestant convert at Naples, and the writings of Bucer, Zwingli, and Melanchthon, induced him to adopt their doctrines. His opinions becoming known while he was prior at Lucca, he was in 1542 compelled to fly to Switzerland, and was soon after made professor of divinity at Strasburg. In 1547 he went to England on the invitation of Cranmer, and was appointed by Edward VI. lecturer upon the Holy Scriptures at Oxford. On the accession of Queen Mary he resumed his chair at Strasburg, and also lectured on Aristotelian philosophy till 1556, when he became professor of theology at Zurich. He was present at the celebrated conference of Poissy in 1561. Peter Martyr was one of the most learned men of the Reformed church, and was the author of many works, among which were epistles to "his Brethren of the Protestant Church of Lucca," to the Protestant churches in Poland, to Calvin, Bullinger, Beza, Melanchthon, Queen Elizabeth, and others, commentaries on various parts of the Scriptures, and works on Christian ethics.
Several of his works in Latin and English were printed in the 16th century in England, the last in 1583, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, as " The Commonplaces of the most famous and renowned Divine Doctor Peter Martyr, divided into four principal Parts by Anthony Marten".