Alexander Ross, born in Aberdeen in 1591, was a clergyman and prolific author who became minister at both St Mary’s and All Saints Churches in Southampton. He was an unreconstructed scholastic and Aristotelian at a time when such ideas were being undermined by new scientific discoveries. He denied the findings of Galileo and Copernicus that the planets rotated around the sun rather than the earth, and his uncompromising style brought him into conflict with other more modern thinkers, including William Harvey and Thomas Hobbes.

His commitment to the royalist cause may also have led him into conflict. In 1641 he was accused of extortion and usury and left Southampton for the parish of St Mary’s at Carisbrooke, where he spent the early years of the Civil War. He was soon ejected from this parish and he may have spent some time in London before moving to Park House, Bramshill, Hampshire, where he died in 1654.

Further reading:
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004, Volume 47


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