John Aylmer, bishop of London, born at Tilney in Norfolk in 1521, died June 3, 1594. He was sent to Cambridge by the marquis of Dorset, afterward duke of Suffolk, but graduated in divinity at Oxford, after which he became the duke's chaplain and tutor to his daughter, Lady Jane Grey. On the accession of Queen Mary, in 1553, Aylmer was compelled to give up the archdeaconry of Stow in Lincolnshire, to which he had just been appointed, and fled to Switzerland. In his exile he published a reply to John Knox's "First Blast," against the propriety of women holding the sovereign sway, and complimented Elizabeth. Returning to England after the accession of the latter, he manifested much zeal in favor of the reformed faith, was made archdeacon of Lincoln in 1562, and was a member of the synod which reformed and settled the doctrine and discipline of the Anglican church. He was made bishop of London in 1576, and in this capacity became so unpopular, on account of his intolerance toward the Catholics and the Puritans, that the privy council rebuked his severity.
He was a ripe scholar and a popular preacher, but published nothing except his courtly answer to John Knox.