William Covell (or Cowell) was born at Chadderton, Lancashire; he entered Queens' College Cambridge as a pensioner in 1580 (B.A. 1585, M.A. 1588, fellow 1589-99, D.D. 1601). Covell was Vicar of Sittingbourne, Kent (1603), Vicar of Leaveland (1603), and Rector of Mersham (1605-13). He was sub-dean of Lincoln (1609-14), prebendary of Lincoln (1612-14), fellow of King James's College, Chelsea (1610) and chaplain to Archbishop Abbot. Covell tutored the poet John Weever at Cambridge and contributed verses to Weever's Mirror of Martyrs (1601).
Polimanteia: or the meanes to judge of the fall of a commonwealth. 1595.
A just and temperate defence of the Five books of ecclesiastical policie. 1603.
A modest and reasonable examination, of some things in use in the Church of England. 1604.
A brief answer unto ... the L. Bishop of Lincoln. 1606.