Bishop of Chichester, prelate in the reign of Henry VIII; b. probably at Newport, Shropshire, 1501; d. London, Aug. 2, 1556. After being educated at Cambridge (D.D. in 1537), he became chaplain to Bishop Fisher of Rochester, master of St. John's, and (1537) vice chancellor of Cambridge. In 1540 Day helped in revising the Bishops' Book, which emerged as the King's Book in 1543. In the latter year he became bishop of Chichester. His religious conservatism manifested itself in 1547, when he severely rebuked the Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, for discontinuing the traditional practice of saying private Masses. He was noted for his eloquence, and in Edward VI's reign preached against the destruction of altars, was summoned before the Council, imprisoned, and deprived of his bishopric. He was released in Mary's reign and restored to his see. Day is said to have confessed that his earlier religious adherence to Henry was against his conscience.
Bibliography: p. hughes, The Reformation in England, 3 v. in 1 (5th, rev. ed. New York 1963). r. w. dixon, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1885–1900) 5:681–682.
[j. e. paul]