ABBOT, ROBERT: 1. Bishop of Salisbury; elder brother of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury; b. at Guildford (30 m. s.w. of London) about 1560; d. at Salisbury Mar. 2, 1618. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford (fellow, 1581; M.A., 1582; D.D., 1597), and held several important livings. In 1609 he became master of Balliol; in 1612 regius pro-fessor of divinity at Oxford; in 1615 bishop of Salisbury. He was a learned man, an able preacher, and a prolific writer, holding in general the same views as his brother, but advocating them with more discretion and tact. His works include two treatises in reply to Bellarmine, A Mirror of Popish Subtilties (London, 1594), and Antichristi demonstratio (1603); and A Defence of the Reformed Catholic of Mr. William Perkins (3 parts, 1606-09), which won him royal favor and a promise of preferment.
2. Vicar of Cranbrook, Kent, 1616-43; b. probably, 1588; d. about 1657. He studied at Cambridge (college unknown), took the degree of M.A. there, and was incorporated at Oxford. Parliament having decided against pluralities of ecclesiastical offices, he resigned his Cranbrook vicarage in 1643, retaining that of Southwick, Hampshire, although much smaller. He was afterward rector of St. Austin's, London. He was a strong churchman; and engaged in many controversies, particularly with the Brownists, to whom he was not always fair. Many of his writings, as his Milk for Babes or a Mother's Catechism for her Children (London, 1646), were very popular.