John Fox, an English author, born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1517, died in London in 1587. He was educated at Oxford, and elected a fellow of Magdalen college in 1543, but becoming a convert to Protestantism was deprived of his fellowship in 1545, and reduced to great distress by the withholding of his patrimony for the same reason. After some time he obtained a situation as tutor in the family of Sir Thomas Lucy, immortalized by the story of Shakespeare's robbing his deer park. He was next employed by the duchess of Richmond as tutor to the children of her brother, the earl of Surrey, who was then imprisoned in the tower, and afterward executed. After the accession of Edward VI. he was restored to his fellowship. In the reign of Mary he fled to the continent, and was employed at Basel as a corrector of the press. On the death of the queen he returned to England. The duke of Norfolk, one of his former pupils, gave him a pension, and he was appointed to a prebend in the cathedral of Salisbury. This office he retained while he lived, his refusal to subscribe to the new articles of religion preventing any further preferment.
He was the author of numerous works, all of which are now nearly forgotten save his Acta et Monumenta Ecclesiae, better known under its English name, Fox's Book of Martyrs," which first appeared in London in 1563. It details the sufferings of the early Protestant reformers from "the great persecutions, and horrible troubles, that haue been wrought and practised by the Romishe prelates, especiallye in this realme of England and Scotlande, from the yeare of our Lorde a thou-sande, vnto the tyme now present," and met with great success, though its trustworthiness has always been disputed by Catholics.