John Blair Linn, an American poet, born at Shippensburg, Pa., March 14, 1777, died in Philadelphia, Aug. 30, 1804. He graduated at Columbia college in 1795, and began to study law in the office of Alexander Hamilton. Within a year his drama of "Bourville Castle, or the Gallic Maidens," was brought out at the John street theatre, but was not successful. He turned his attention to theology, was ordained in 1798, and in 1799 became assistant pastor of the first Presbyterian church in Philadelphia. He engaged in a pamphlet controversy with Dr. Priestley, which gained him much reputation, and was the author of two poems, "The Powers of Genius" (1801), and " Valerian." The latter was published after his death, with a memoir by his friend and brother-in-law Charles Brockden Brown.
John Blow, an English composer, born at North Collingham, Nottinghamshire, in 1648, died in London in 1708. On the accession of Charles II. he became a chorister in the chapel royal, and, though only a child, composed several anthems. He afterward became successively one of James H.'s private musicians, master of the choir of St. Paul's, organist of Westminster abbey, and composer to the royal chapel. He published the Amphion Anglicus, a collection of songs and hymns. He was buried in Westminster abbey, and on his monument is engraved the Gloria Patri, one of his first canons.
John Bourchier Berners, baron, an English statesman, born in 1474, died in 1532. He was the eldest son of Sir Humphrey Bourchier, and was descended from the duke of Gloucester, the youngest child of Edward III. He was a member of parliament from 1495 to 1529, took an active part in putting down the insurrection in Cornwall in 1497, was appointed by Henry VIII. chancellor of the exchequer in 1515, and in 1518 was associated with John Kite, archbishop of Armagh, in an embassy to Spain. Soon afterward he was appointed governor of Calais, and retained that office till his death. He wrote a translation of Froissart's Chronicles by the king's command; the first volume was published in 1523 and the second in 1525. He also translated other works from the French and Spanish, and wrote a comedy entitled lie in Vineam meam, which was usually acted in the great church at Calais after vespers.
John Bradford, an English martyr, born at Manchester about 1510, burnt at Smithfield after a long imprisonment, July 1, 1555. He was appointed chaplain to Edward VI. in 1552, and became one of the most popular preachers in the kingdom. In the reign of Mary he was tried on a charge of sedition and heresy, and sentenced to death. The Parker society published his theological treatises in 1848.
John Bramhall, an English divine and polemic, born at Pontefract, Yorkshire, about 1593, died in Ireland in June, 1663. He was created bishop of Londonderry in 1634, and archbishop of Armagh in 1661, and was instrumental in restoring the temporalities, and inducing the church of Ireland to embrace the 39 articles. In 1640-'41 he was impeached, together with several of Lord Strafford's coadjutors, by the Irish house of commons. After the battle of Marston Moor he retired for a time to Hamburg. He was an industrious controversial writer, and is chiefly known by his dispute with Hobbes "concerning liberty, necessity, and chance." His works were republished in the "Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology" (5 vols., Oxford, 1842-'5).