===Years under the Tudors (1547–1603)===
'The Dictionary of the National Biography' Thomas Bilson was the eldest son of Herman Bilson, grandson of Arnold Bilson, whose wife is said to have been a daughter of the Duke of Bavaria. [[William Twisse]] was a nephew.<ref>http://www.scionofzion.com/kjvtransqual.htm</ref><ref name="1858KJV">[http://www.wilderness-cry.net/bible_study/translators/tbilson.html Alexander McClure. ''The Translators Revived'' 1858.]</ref><ref>http://www.go-newfocus.co.uk/pages.php?section=21&subsection=2&artID=18</ref> Bilson was educated at the twin foundations of William de Wykeham, [[Winchester College]] and [[New College, Oxford]].<ref>''Concise Dictionary of National Biography''</ref> He began to distinguish himself as a poet until, on receiving ordination, he gave himself wholly to theological studies. He was soon made Prebendary of Winchester, and headmaster of the College there until 1579 and Warden from 1581 to 1596.<ref>http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42044</ref> His pupils there included [[John Owen (epigrammatist)|John Owen]], and [[Thomas James]], whom he influenced in the direction of [[patristics]].<ref>Mordechai Feingold, ''History of Universities, Volume XXII/1'' (2007), p. 23.</ref> In 1596, he was made [[Bishop of Worcester]], where he found [[Warwick]] uncomfortably full of [[Recusancy|recusant]] Roman Catholics.<ref>[[Patrick Collinson]], ''The Elizabethan Puritan Movement'' (1982), p. 441.</ref><ref>Anthony Boden, Denis Stevens, ''Thomas Tomkins: The Last Elizabethan'' (2005), p. 73.</ref> For appointment in 1597 to the wealthy [[Diocese of Winchester|see of Winchester]], he paid a £400 annuity to [[Elizabeth I of England|Elizabeth I]].<ref>[[Hugh Trevor-Roper]], ''William Laud'' (2000 edition) p. 11.</ref>
He engaged in most of the polemical contests of his day, as a stiff partisan of the [[Church of England]]. In 1585, he published his ''The True Difference Betweene Christian Subjection and Unchristian Rebellion''. This work took aim at the [[Jesuits]] and replied to Cardinal [[William Allen (cardinal)|William Allen]]'s ''Defence of the English Catholics'' (Ingoldstadt, 1584).<ref name = SH>http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc02.html?term=Bilson,%20Thomas</ref> It was also a theoretical work on the "Christian commonwealth" and it enjoyed publishing success. Some historians have stated that the immediate purpose of ''True Difference'' was as much to justify Dutch Protestants resisting [[Philip II of Spain]], as to counter the Jesuits' attacks on Elizabeth I.<ref>Hugh Dunthorne, ''The Netherland's as Britain school of Revolution'', p. 141, in ''Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Memory of Ragnhild Hatton'' (1997).</ref> [[Glenn Burgess]] considers that in ''True Difference'' Bilson shows a sense of the diversity of "legitimate" political systems.<ref>Glenn Burgess, ''The Politics of the Ancient Constitution: An Introduction to English Political Thought, 1603–1642'' (1993), pp. 104-5.</ref> He conceded nothing to popular sovereignty, but said that there were occasions when a king might forfeit his powers.<ref>Michael Brydon, ''The Evolving Reputation of Richard Hooker: An Examination of Responses, 1600-1714'' (2006), pp. 132-3.</ref> According to James Shapiro,<ref>James Shapiro, ''1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare'' (2005), p. 177.</ref> he "does his best to walk a fine line", in discussing 'political icons', i.e. pictures of the monarch.