PERNE, ANDREW (1519-1589), a notable character in 16th-century history, was born at East Bilney in Norfolk in 1519. He received his education at St John's College, Cambridge, was afterwards a fellow of Queens' College, and finally master of Peterhouse in the same university. He is best known as a remarkable example of the tergiversation in reference to religious profession which, owing to the sudden changes in the prescribed theological belief of the state, was only too common in his age. In the reign of Henry VIII. he defended the adoration of saints, but subsequently abandoned this doctrine in the reign of Edward VI., and became distinguished as an active promulgator of Reformation tenets. In the reign of Mary lie subscribed the Roman Catholic articles, and when the remains of Martin Pincer and Paulus Fagius, - two Protestant professors in the university - were exhumed and burnt, he preached on the occasion. He was rewarded for his subservience by being promoted to the deanery of Ely. Notwithstanding this discreditable compliance, he succeeded in gaining Elizabeth's favour on her accession ; he signed the grace for restoring the names of Pincer and Fagius in the lists of honours and dignities from which they had been expunged ; and he was elected by the university to the office of vice-chancellor. He thus, like Sytnond Symonds, the vicar of Bray, was twice a Papist and twice a Protestant, During the remainder of his career he was known as a moderate supporter of Church of England doctrine against the Puritan party. "What bishop or politician in England," asks Gabriel Harvey, "was so great a temporizer as he?" The wags of the university invented a verb, pow), which, they declared, meant, "I rat," "I change often." Yet the satirist, notwithstanding, admits his many excellent qualities and eulogizes him for his urbanity and singular tact in his intercourse with men of every class and shade of opinion. To this latter characteristic we must attribute the fact that, while, throughout his life, Perne preserved the friendship of austere churchmen like Whitgift, he was popular with critics of a very different stamp, such as the dissolute Thomas Nash, who declares that " few men lived better." It is not a little to Perne's credit that the social influence which he thus acquired was uniformly exerted to bring about the ends which he had in view as a philanthropist and a true lover of learning. He was a distinguished benefactor of the university in which his life was mainly passed, and its library was restored chiefly through his efforts. His own library at Peterhouse was said to be the best at that time in England. Dr Perne died in 1589 while on a visit to Archbishop Whitgift, on whose gratitude he had established a lasting claim by the protection he accorded him during the persecution under Mary. He belongs to the class of men whose influence during their lives is felt rather than seen ; and the services he rendered to his generation become increasingly apparent in proportion as this period of English history is more closely studied.