Gardiner, Stephen

, bishop of Winchester, and chancellor of England, was the illegitimate son of Dr. Lionel Woodvill or Wydville, dean of Exeter, and bishop of Salisbury, brother to Elizabeth, queen consort to Edward IV.*


Mr. Lodge says, that one of Rawlinson’s Mss. in the Bodleian library, with more probability makes him a younger son of sir Thomas Gardiner, knt. the representative of a very ancient family in Lancashire. Lodge’s Illustrations, vol. I. p. 102. But this contradicts all former accounts, and leaves us at a loss to conjecture why he was in early life often called Dr. Stephens.

He was born in 1483, at Bury St. Edmonds, in Suffolk, and took his name from his reputed father ,

Viz. Gardiner; but this was not done till after he became bishop of Winchester, when he also assumed the arms of the Gardiners of Glemsford, in Suffolk, with a distinction of a border; and at last they were impaled with the arms of the see of Winchester without the distinction. —Strype’s Memorials, vol. III. Before that time he usually went by the name of Stephens.

whom his mother married, though in a menial situation, to conceal the incontinence of the bishop. After a proper education at school, he was sent to Trinity-hall, in Cambridge; where pursuing his studies with diligence, he soon obtained reputation by the quickness of his parts, and was particularly distinguished for his elegance in writing and speaking Latin, as well as for his uncommon skill in the Greek language .

Leland compliments him on this account, in a poem addressed to him by the name of Stephen Gardiner, in the close of which he foretels him, that his brow would be honoured with a mitre; a proof that his surname was at least given him by others before he was a bishop. —Leland’s Encom. lllustr. Viror. p. 49.

In the former he made Cicero his pattern, and became so absolute a master of his style, as to be charged with affectation in that respect. With these attainments in classical learning, he applied himself to the civil and canon law; and took his doctor’s degree in the first of these, in 1520; in the latter, the following year; and it is said, was the same year elected master of his college.

But his views were far from being confined to the university. He had some time before been taken into the family of the duke of Norfolk, and thence into that of

| Cardinal Wolsey, who made him his secretary. This post he now held, and it proved the foundation of his rise at court. The cardinal having projected the treaty of alliance with Francis I. in 1525, employed his secretary to draw up the plan, and the king coming to his house at Morepark, in Hertfordshire, found Gardiner busy at this work. He looked at it, liked the performance extremely well, the performer’s conversation better, and his fertility in the invention of expedients best of all; and from this time Gardiner was admitted into the secret of affairs, and entirely confided in, both by the king and his first minister. He received a public mark of that confidence in 1527, when he was sent to Rome, in order to negociate the arduous business of Henry’s divorce from queen Katharine. Edward Fox, provost of King’s-college, in Cambridge, went with him on this embassy; but Gardiner was the chief, being esteemed the best civilian in England at this time; and having been admitted into the king’s cabinet-­council for this affair, he is styled in the cardinal’s credential letters to the pope, “primary secretary of the most secret counsels.” He was now in such favour with the cardinal, that, in these very letters, he called Gardiner the half of himself, “Dimidium sui,” than whom none was dearer to him. He wrote that Gardiner should unlock his [the cardinal’s] breast to the pope; who, in hearing him speak, he might think he heard the cardinal himself. The successful issue of this embassy in obtaining a new commission, directed to the cardinals Wolsey and Campejus, as well as Gardiner’s address in the negociation, may be seen in the general histories of England. We shall only notice one particular not mentioned there, which is his success in disposing Campejus to make a tour to England. This requiring some extraordinary management, Gardiner took it upon himself; and having put every thing requisite to set the affair in a proper light at home, into the hands of his colleague Fox, dispatched him to carry the account to the king, who joined with Anne Boleyn in applauding *

There is a letter from this lady to our negotiator in the Paper-office, supposed to be written on this occasion, which begins, ``Mr. Stephens, I thank you for my letter, wherein I perceive the willing and faithful mind you have to do me pleasure,‘’ &c. See the whole in Biog. Brit.

the ingenuity, intrepidity, and industry of the new minister. | But the loudest in his praises was the cardinal, in whose private business Gardiner had reconciled the pope to the endowment of his two colleges at Oxford and Ipswich,*

Gardiner and Fox were the persons on whom the cardinal chiefly relied for laying the plan of these magnificent foundations. —Strype.

out of the revenues of the dissolved lesser monasteries. This added to the rest, made such an impression upon the cardinal’s mind, that crying out, “O inestimable treasure and jewel of this realm!” he desired Fox to remark those words, and insert them in his letter. There was still another instance of Gardiner’s abilities and attachment to Wolsey, which had its share in exciting this burst of admiration. During the course of this embassy, the pope falling dangerously ill, the cardinal set all his engines to work, to secure the keys provisionally to himself, in case of a new election, and the suffrages of one-third part of the cardinals were procured for him. He dispatched orders immediately to provide that those cardinals should be withdrawn to a place of safety, and should there declare him pope, though the majority should appear against him; assuring his own party, that they should be vigorously sustained by king Henry and his allies. This scheme, however, was rendered abortive by the recovery of Clement VII. but the pains taken in it by the cardinal’s agents, among whom Gardiner had at least an equal share, could not fail to be highly pleasing to him. In the event, indeed, the king had most reason to be satisfied with his minister, who gave his opinion that all solicitations at Rome would be lost time; the pope, in his judgment, being immoveable in the resolution to do nothing himself; though he might not improbably be brought to confirm such a sentence as his majesty could draw from the legates

The whole letter is inserted in the Big. Brit, as an instance of Gardiner’s elegant style in English, above others written at the same time, or even later

Henry, fully persuaded in the issue of the sincerity and judgment of this advice, recalled Gardiner, resolving to make use of his abilities in managing the legantine court .

The king did not suffer the proceedings to be begun before the cardinals till Gardiner’s return. Burnet’s Hist, of Reform, vol. II.

During his residence at Rome, he had among other things obtained some favours at that court for bishop Nix of Norwich, who on his return rewarded him with the archdeaconry of Norfolk, in 1529; and this probably was

| the first preferment he obtained in the church. In truth, it must be owned that his merit as a divine did not entitle him to any extraordinary expectations that way, but as he made his first entrance into business in a civil capacity, so he continued to exercise and improve his talents in state affairs, which, gave him an opportunity of rendering himself useful, and in a manner necessary to the king; who soon after his arrival, took him from Wolsey, and declared him secretary of state. Thus introduced into the ministry at home, besides the ordinary business of his office, and the large share he is said to have had in the administration of affairs in general, he was particularly advised with by the king in that point which lay nearest to his heart; and when cardinal Campejus declared that the cause of the divorce was evoked to Rome, Gardiner, in conjunction with Fox the almoner, found out Cranmer, and discovering his opinion, introduced him to his majesty, whom they thus enabled to extricate himself out of a difficulty then considered as insuperable.

As this step proved the ruin of Wolsey, in his distress he applied to his old servant the secretary, who on this occasion is said by the writer of his life in the Biog. Britannica, to have afforded an eminent proof of his gratitude, in soliciting his pardon; which was followed in three days by his restoration to his archbishopric, and 6000l. sent him, besides plate and furniture for his house and chapel. It is certain, however, that Gardiner did not interpose before Wolsey had supplicated him more than once in the most humble manner, to intercede for him, and it is equally certain that Gardiner did not risk much in applying to the king, who for some time entertained a considerable regard for the fallen Wolsey. Gardiner also, at the cardinal’s recommendation, in 1530, introduced the provost of Beverly to the king, who received him graciously, and shewed him that he was his good and gracious lord, and admitted and accepted him as his orator and scholar. These were matters of easy management. But the year had not expired, when the king’s service called the secretary to a task of another nature, which was to procure from the university of Cambridge their declaration in favour of his majesty’s cause, after Cranmer’s book should appear in support of it. In this most difficult point his old colleague Fox was joined with him; and they spared no pains, address, or artifice in accomplishing it. To make amends | for such an unreserved compliance with the royal will, a door was presently opened in the church, through which, by one single step (the archdeaconry of Leicester, into which he was installed in the spring of 1531), Gardiner advanced to the rich see of Winchester, and was there consecrated the November*


Registr. Centuar. He had resigned the archdeaconry of Leicester in the end of September, and been in­ corporated LL. D. at Oxford, October preceding. Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. col. 158.

following. Gardiner was not, at the time, apprized of the king’s design of conferring on him this rich bishopric; for Henry, in his caprice, would sometimes rate him soundly, and when he bestowed it on him said, “I have often squared with you, Gardiner, but I love you never the worse, as the bishopric I give you will convince you.” As bishop of Winchester he now assisted in the court when the sentence, declaring Katharine’s marriage null and void, was passed by Cranmer, May 22, 1533. The same year he went ambassador to the French king at Marseilles, to discover the designs of the pope and that monarch in their interview, of which Henry was very suspicious; and upon his return home, being called, as other bishops were, to acknowledge and defend the king’s supremacy, he readily complied, and published his defence for it, with this title, “De vera Obedientia.” His conduct was very uniform in this point, as well as in that of the divorce and the subsequent marriage, and he acquired great reputation by his writings in defence of them.

In 1535, Cranmer visiting the see of Winchester, in virtue of his metropolitan power, Gardiner disputed that power with great warmth. Some time afterwards, he resumed his embassy to France, where he procured the removal of Pole (then dean of Exeter, afterwards cardinal) out of the French dominions, having represented him as his master’s bitter enemy; and this was the original root of that disagreement between them, which in time became public. Before his return this second time, being applied to by Cromwell for his opinion about a religious league with the protestant princes of Germany, he declared himself against it, and advised a political alliance, which he judged would last longer, as well as answer the king’s ends better, if strengthened by subsidies. In 1538 he was sent ambassador to the German diet at Ratisbon, where he incurred the suspicion of holding a secret correspondence | with the pope. Whatever truth there may be in this charge, it is certain that Lambert this year was brought to the stake by his instigation, for denying the real presence in the sacrament. This instance of a sanguinary temper was then shown before the statute of the six articles was enacted; a law on which many were put to death, and which he undeniably framed and promoted in the house of lords to the utmost extent of his influence. This act passed in 1540; and the first person condemned by it, and burnt in Smithfield, the same year, was Robert Barnes, who at his death declared his suspicion of Gardiner’s having a hand in it .*


His words at the stake were, that he forgave the world in general, and the bishop of Winchester in particular, if he had any hand in his death; which implying a doubt, —Bayle, preposteruusly enough, infers Gardiner’s innocence of this man’s blood. See his Dict. in Barnes (Robert.)

Upon the death of Cromwell, his rival long in the king’s favour, the university of Cambridge, where he still held his mastership of Trinity-hall, chose him their vice-chancellor; and in return he shewed his sense of it by an assiduity in his office among them, and a warm zeal to assist them on all occasions with his interest at court; which, as long as the sunshine of any signal service lasted, was very good. But in this, his case, like other courtiers, was subject to the sudden vicissitudes of light and shade which so remarkably checquered the series of that reign; and this minister was no more excepted than his fellows from complying with those conditions of ministerial greatness, which were indispensable as long as Henry sat at the helm: and, though he tells us himself that, after the king had let him into the secret, that he could look sour and talk roughly, without meaning much harm, he ever after bore those sallies with much less anxiety, and could stand a royal rattling pretty well ;

This secret Henry acquainted him with on the following occasion: Our doctor had been joined with the earl of Wiltshire, his relation by blood, in some affair of consequence, which had not been managed to the king’s satisfaction, upon which he treated (Gardiner in the presence of the earl with such a storm of words as quite confounded him; but before they parted, the king took him into his chamber, and told him, that he was indeed very angry, yet not particularly with him, though he had used him so, because he could not take quite so much liberty with the earl. See his letter to Somerset in Fox’s Acts and Monuments, and in Biog. Brit.

yet this was only sometimes, and on some occasions. For upon others, we rind him submitting to very disagreeable supplications and expressions of deep humility, and great sense of his failings, directly contrary to the convictions of his own conscience and | understanding. Of this we have the following remarkable instance. The bishop had for his secretary a relation of his own name, Gardiner, who, in some conferences with Fryth the martyr, had acquitted himself so well that they were judged fit for the public view.*

The title of this piece is, “A Letter of a young gentleman named master German Gardiner, wherein men may see the demeanour and heresy of John Fryth, lately burnt, &.c.”

This young clergyman was much in his master’s favour, yet he fell under a prosecution upon the act of supremacy; and being very obstinate, was executed as a traitor, March 7, 1544. This was made an engine against the bishop by his enemies, who whispered the king that he was very likely of his secretary’s opinion, notwithstanding all he had written; and that if he was once in the Tower, matter enough would come out against him. On this suggestion, his majesty consented to his proposed imprisonment. But the bishop being informed of it in time, repaired immediately to court; confessed all that his majesty had charged him with, whatever it was; and thus, by complying with the king’s humour, and shewing the deepest concern for real or pretended failings, obtained full pardon, to the great mortification of his enemies. We have selected this instance from many others of a similar nature, all which are evident proofs of Gardiner’s want of honest and sound principle, because it may be of use in discovering his real principles upon the subject of the supremacy, which will at last be found to be nothing more, in fact, than an engine of his political craft. It has indeed been alleged in his behalf, that he was not always so servile and ready an instrument of the king’s will, especially upon the matter of the supremacy, and Strype publishes (Memorials, vol. I. p. 215) a letter in the Cottonian library, which Gardiner wrote to the king in consequence of his majesty’s being angry with him for approving some sentiments in a book that seemed to impugn his supremacy. But if this letter, as Strype conjectures, was written about 1535, this was the time when the king had some thoughts of a reconciliation with the see of Rome, and of returning the supremacy to the pope, which being very well known to Gardiner, might encourage him to speak with the more freedom on that subject. Gardiner, than whom no man seems to have more carefully studied the king’s temper, was not accustomed to look upon | himself as undone because he sometimes received such notices of his majesty’s displeasure as threw some other courtiers into the most dreadful apprehensions. This knowledge and his artful use of it taught him to seek his own safety, in taking a share with others, in the divorce of Anne of Cleves, and that of queen Catherine Howard; the first of which, if we consider his skill in the law, must have been, against his conscience, and the second as much against his inclination, on account of his attachment to that noble family. The same regard for himself might also, had he been in the kingdom at the time, have led him to take a part against queen Anne Boleyn, sir Thomas More, and bishop Fisher.

All his sagacity, subtlety, and contrivance, however, were not sufficient to save him from a cloud, which shewed itself in the close of this reign; a change which might be attributed to the unsteadiness of the master, were there not facts sufficient to throw the imputation in some measure upon the servant.‘ Certain it is, though upon what particular provocation is not known, that he engaged deeply in a plot against the life of Cranmer; which being discovered and dispersed by the king, his majesty, fully satisfied of the archbishop’s innocence, left all his enemies, and among the rest Gardiner, to his mercy. The malice, though forgiven by Cranmer, cannot be supposed to be forgotten by Henry. But this did not hinder him from making use of this willing servant, against his last queen, Katharine Parr. That lady, as well as her preceding partners of the royal bed, falling under her consort’s distaste, he presently thought of a prosecution for heresy; upon which occasion he singled out Gardiner, whose inclinations that way were well known, as a proper person for his purpose to consult with. Accordingly the minister listened to his master’s suspicions, improved his jealousies, and cast the whole into the form of articles; which being signed by the king, it was agreed to sendKatherine to the Tower. But she had the address to divert the storm from breaking upon her head, and to throw some part of it upon her persecutors. The paper of the articles, being entrusted to chancellor Wriothesly, was dropt out of his bosom, and carried to her; and she, with the help of this discovery to her royal consort, found charms enough left to dispel his suspicions: the result whereof was, severe reproaches to the chancellor, and a rooted displeasure to the bishop, | insomuch that the king would never see his face afterwards. His behaviour to him corresponded with that resentment. In the draught of his majesty’s will, before his departure on his last expedition to France, the bishop’s name was inserted among his executors and counsellors to prince Edward. But after this, when the will came to be drawn afresh, he was left out; and though sir Anthony Brown moved the king twice, to put his name as before into it, yet the motion was rejected, with this remark, that “if he (Gardiner) was one, he would trouble them all, and they should never be able to rule him.” Besides this, when the king saw him once with some of the privy- counsellors, he shewed his dislike, and asked his business, which was, to acquaint his majesty with a benevolence granted by the clergy: the king called him immediately to deliver his message, and having received it, went away. Burnet assigns Gardiner’s known attachment to the Norfolk family for the cause of this disgrace: but, whatever was the cause, or whatever usage he met with on other occasions, this justice is undeniably due to him, that he ever shewed a high respect to his master’s memory, and either out of policy or gratitude, he always spoke and wrote of him with much deference.

In this unhinged situation he stood when Edward VI. ascended the throne; and his behaviour under the son more than justified the father’s censure upon the unruliness of his temper. Being prevented from disturbing the council within doors, he opposed all their measures without. The reformation was the great object of this reign; and that, as planned by Cranmer, he could not by any condescension of the archbishop be brought to approve, or even to acquiesce in. He condemned the diligence in bringing it on as too hasty, which would cause a miscarriage; observing, that under a minority, all should be kept quiet, and for that reason no alterations attempted; and this served him also for a ground to oppose the war with Scotland, as too hazardous and expensive. From the same principle, he no sooner heard of the intended royal visitation, than he raised objections to it: he both questioned its legality, and censured its imprudence as an innovation; alledging that it would tend to weaken the prerogative as assumed by Henry, in the eyes of the meanest, when they saw all done by the king’s power as supreme head of the church (on the due use of which all | reformation must depend) while he was a child, and could know nothing at all, and the protector, being absent, not much more. These, however, were words only, and he did not stop there; for when the homilies and injunctions for that visitation were published, he insisted, on the perusal of them, that he could not comply with them, though at the expepce of losing his bishopric; asserting, at the same time, that all their proceedings were framed against the law both of God and the king, of the danger of which, he said, he was well apprized.

Upon his coming to London he was called before the council, Sept. 25, 15-17; and there refusing to promise either to receive the homilies, or pay obedience to the visitors, if they came into his diocese, he was committed close prisoner to the Fleet. Some days after, he was sent for to the deanery of St. Paul’s by Cranmer, who, with other bishops, discoursed in defence of the hornily upon justification; which he had censured, as excluding charity from any share in obtaining it. The archbishop proceeded to apologize for Erasmus’s “Paraphrase on the New Testament,” as the best extant; which, being ordered by the injunctions to be set up in all churches, had been objected to by Gardiner. His grace, seeing no hopes from arguments, which made no impression, let fall some words of bringing him into the privy-council, in case of his concurrence with them; hut that too having no effect, he was remanded to the Fleet, where he continued till the parliament hroke up, Dec. 24, and then was set at liberty by the general act of amnesty, nsuajly passed on the accession of a prince to the throne. He was never charged with any offence judicially, every thing being done in virtue of that extent of prerogative which had been assumed by Henry VIII. which was thought necessary for mortifying the pre r late’s haughty temper, as well as to vindicate their proceedings from the contempt he had shewn them.

After his discharge he went to his diocese;and,- though he opposed, as much as possible, the uew establishment in its first proposal, yet now it was settled by act of parliament, he knew how to conform; which he not ’only did himself, but took care that others should do the same. Yet he no sooner returned to town than he received an order, which brought him again before the council; where, after some rough treatment, he was directed not to stir from his house till he went to give satisfaction in a | sermon, to be preached before the king and court in zt public audience; for the matter of which he was directed both what, he should, and what he should not say, by sir William Cecil. He did not refuse to preach, which was done on St. Peter’s day but so contrarily to the purpose required ,*


His text was Matthew viii. 15. whence he took occasion, in acknowlidging the king’s supremacy, to deny that of his council, whom he treated very contemptuously. The ms. is extant in Bene’t college library, at Cambrulge. Tanner’s Uiol. int. Hiberri. p. 309.

that he was sent to the Tower the next clay, June 3O, 1548, where he was kept close prisoner for a year. But his affairs soon after put on a more pleasing countenance. When the protector’s fall was projected, Gardiner was deemed a necessary implement for the purpose; his head and hand were both employed for bringing it about, and the original draught of the articles was made by him. Upon this change in the council he had such assurances of his liberty, aid entertained so great hopes of it, that it is said he provided a new suit of clothes in order to keep that festival; but in all this he was disappointed: his first application for a discharge was treated with contempt by the council, who laughing said, “the bishop had a pleasant head;” for reward of which, they gave him leave to remain five or six weeks longer in prison, without any notice taken to him of his message. Nor did the lords shew any regard to his next address: and he had been almost two years in the Tower, when the protector, restored to that high office, went with others by virtue of an order of council, June 9, 1550, to confer with him in that place. In this conference they proposed to release him upon his submission for what was past, and promise of obedience for the future, if he would also subscribe the new settlement in religion, with the king’s complete power and supremacy, though under age; and the abrogation of the six articles. He consented to, and actually subscribed, all the conditions except the first, which he refused, insisting on his innocence. The lords used him with great kindness, and encouraged him to hope his troubles should be quickly ended, and upon this, seeing also the protector among them, he flattered himself with the hopes of being released in two days, and in that confidence actually made his farewell feast But the contempt he had at first shewn to the council, being still avowed by his refusing to make a submission. now, was not so readily overlooked. On the | contrary, this first visit was followed by several others of the like tenor; which meeting with the same refusal, at length the lords Herbert, Petre, and bishop Ridley, brought him new articles, in which the required acknowledgement, being made more general, runs thus: “That he had been suspected of not approving the king’s proceedings, and being appointed to preach, had not done it as he ought to have done, and so deserved the king’s displeasure, for which he was sorry;” and the other articles being enlarged were, “besides the king’s supremacy, the suppression of abbies and chanteries, pilgrimages, masses, and images, adoring the sacrament, communion in both kinds, abolishing the old books, and bringing in the new book of service, with that for ordaining priests and bishops, the completeness of the scripture, and the use of it in the vulgar tongue, the lawfulness of clergymen’s marriage, and for Erasmus’s Paraphrase, that it had been on good considerations ordered to be set up in churches.” These being read, foe insisted first co be released from his imprisonment, and said that he would then freely give his answer, such as he would stand by, and suffer if he did amiss; but he vvoukl trouble himself with no more articles while he was detained in prison, since he desired not to be delivered out of his imprisonment in the way of mercy, but of justice. On July ly, he was brought before the council, who having told him that they sat by a special commission to judge him, asked whether he would subscribe these last articles or no? which he answering in the negative, his bishopric was sequestered, and he required to conform in three months on pain of deprivation. Upon this the liberty he had before of walking in some open galleries, when the duke of Norfolk was not in them, was taken from him, and he was again shut up in his chamber. At the expiration of the limited time, the bishop still keeping his resolution, was deprived for disobedience and contempt, by a court of delegates, in which Cranmer presided, after a trial which lasted from Dec. 15 to Feb. 14 following, in twenty-four sessions. He appealed from the delegates to the king; but no notice was taken of it, the court being known to be final and unappealable.

In the course of the proceedings, Gardiner always behaved himself contemptuously toward the judges, and particularly called them sacramentarians and heretics; on which account he was ordered to be removed to a meaner | lodging in the Tower; to be attended by one servant only, of the lieutenant’s appointment to have his books and papers taken from him to be denied pen, ink, or paper; and nobody suffered to visit him. However, as he continued a close prisoner here during the rest of Edward’s reign, the severity of this order was afterwards mitigated; as appears from various pieces written by him in this confinement. He is said to have kept up his spirits and resolution, and it is not improbable, that he foresaw the great alteration in affairs which was speedily to take place. The first dawning of this began to appear on the demise of king Edward, when Mary was publicly proclaimed queen July 19, 1553. On Aug. 3 she made her solemn entry into the Tower, when Gardiner, in the name of himself and his fellow-prisoners, the duke of Norfolk, duchess of Somerset, lord Courtney, and others of high rank, made a congratulatory speech to her majesty, who gave them all their liberty. The spokesman took his seat in council the same day, and on the 8th performed the obsequies for the late king in the queen’s presence. On the 9th he went to Winchester-house in Southwark, after a confinement of somewhat more than five years; and was declared chancellor of England on the 23d. He had the honour of crowning the queen Oct. I, and on the 5th opened the lirst parliament in her reign. By these hasty steps Gardiner rose to the prime ministry; and was possessed at this time of more power, civil and ecclesiastical, than any English minister ever enjoyed, except his old master cardinal Wolsey. He was also re-chosen chancellor of Cambridge, and restored to the mastership of Trinity-hall there, of which, among his other preferments, he had been deprived in the former reign.

The great and important attain* transacted under his administration, in bringing about the change in the constitution by queen Mary, are too much the subject of general history to be related here. The part that Gardiner acted is very well known; and although from the arrival of cardinal Pole in England, he held only the second place in affairs relating to the church, in matters of civil government, his influence was as great as before, and continued without the least diminution to the last. By his advice a parliament was summoned to meet in Oct. 1555. As he was always a guardian of the revenues of the ecclesiastics, both regular and secular, he had at this time projected, | some additional security for church and abbey lands. He opened the session with a well-judged speech, Oct. 21, and. was there again on the 23d, which was the last time of his appearing in that assembly. He fell ill soon after, and died Nov. 12, aged seventy-two. His death was occasioned probably by the gout; the lower parts of his body, however, being mortified, and smelling offensively, occasion was hence taken to consider the manner of his death as a judgment. The report that he was seized with the disury in consequence of the joy with which he was transported on hearing of the martyrdom of Latimer and Ridley, has been disproved by the dates of that event, and of his illness, in this way. Fox says that when seized with the disorder he was put to bed, and died in great torments a fortnight afterwards. But, says Collier, Latimer and Ridley suffered Oct. 16, and Gardiner opened the parliament on the 2 1st, and was there again on the 23d, and lastly, died Nov. 12, not of the disury, but the gout. The reader will determine whether the disorder might not have been contracted on the 16th, and increased by his subsequent exertions; and whether upon the whole, Collier, with all liis prejudices in favour of popery, which are often very thinly disguised, was likely to know more of the master than the contemporaries of Gardiner. Godwin and Parker say that he died repeating these words, “Erravi cum Petro, at non flevi cum Petro;” i. e. “I have sinned with Peter, but I have not wept with Peter.

He died at York place, Whitehall, whence his body was removed to a vault in St. Mary Overy’s church, Southwark; and after great preparations for the solemnity, was carried for final interment to Winchester cathedral.

Gardiner, says an excellent modern biographer, was one of those motley ministers, half statesman and half ecclesiastic, which were common in those needy times, when the revenues of the church were necessary to support the servants of the crown. It was an inviduous support; and often fastened the odium of an indecorum on the king’s ministers; who had, as ministers always have, opposition enough to parry in the common course of business j and it^is very probable that Gardiner, on this very ground, has met with harder measure in history, than he might otherwise have done. He is represented as having nothing of a churchman about him but the name of a bishop. He had been bred to business from his earliest youth; and was | thoroughly versed in all the wiles of men, considered either as individuals, or embodied in parties. He knew all the modes of access to every foible of the human heart; his own in the mean time was dark, and impenetrable. He was a man, “who,” as Lloyd quaintly says, “was to be traced like the fox; and, like the Hebrew, was to be read backwards;” and though the insidious cast of his eye indicated, that he was always lying in wait, yet his strong sense, and persuasive manner, inclined men to believe he was always sincere; as better reasons could hardly be given, than he had ready on every occasion. He was as little troubled with scruples as any man, who thought it not proper entirely to throw off decency. What moral virtues, and what natural feelings he had, were all under the influence of ambition; and were accompanied by a happy lubricity of conscience, which ran glibly over every obstacle. Such is the portrait, which historians have given us of this man; and though the colouring may be more heightened in some than in others; yet the same turn of feature is found in all.

In opposition to this character, so ably epitomized by Mr. Gilpin, in his Life of Cranmer, we are not surprized at the labours of Roman catholic writers to palliate the vices of Gardiner; our only surprise, not unmixed with shame, is that such writers as Heylin and Collier, and Dr. Campbell in the “Biographia Britannica,” should have engaged in the same cause, and with such effect as to be quoted as authorities by the enemies of the reformation. After all, however, Gardiner’s actions sufficiently attest the badness of his character. Nor can he even be screened under the pretext that he acted under mistaken principles of conscience, unless at the same time we deprive him of that knowledge and those talents which have been justly ascribed to him. In the first edition of this Dictionary, it was said that “no maxim was more constantly professed, nor more uniformly observed by him, than that of making the law the rule of his conduct.” But this is not justified by fact. Many of the protestants were thrown into prison by him, while the laws of Edward VI. were yet in force, and they were kept there until he could procure a law by which they might be brought to the stake. And that sanguinary measures were delightful to him, appears from the gross scurrility with which he treated the protestants who were tried before him. Another curious apology has been | advanced, that although he was the author of those cruelties, yet he very soon grew weary of them, and refused to have any hand in them, leaving the whole to Bonner. But even this was, without any alteration in his disposition merely a change of policy. He saw that the end was not promoted by the means, and that the courage of the martyrs in their sufferings could not be concealed from the people, on whom it produced an effect the very reverse of what he purposed; and he seems to have discovered the truth of the maxim that “the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.

In his private character, Gardiner is entitled to some respect, not from its morality, for he is said to have been, licentious; but he was a man of learning, and in some remarkable instances a patron of learned men. Thomas Smith, who had been secretary to Edward VI. was permitted by him to live in Mary’s days, in a state of privacy unmolested, and with a pension of 100l. a year for his better support, though he had a good estate of his own. Roger Ascham, another secretary to the same prince, of the Latin tongue, was continued in his office, and his salary inCreased by this prelate’s favour; which he fully repaid, by those elegant epistles to him, that are extant in his works. Strype, who notices this circumstance, adds: “Thus lived two excellent protestants, under the wings, as it were, of the sworn enemy and destroyer of protestants.” He is said also to have been of a liberal and generous disposition; kept a good house, and brought up several young gentlemen, some of whom became afterwards men of the first rank in the state.

He wrote several books, of which the principal are, 1. “De vera Obedientia, 1534.” 2. “Palinodia dicti libri” when this was published is not known. 3. “A necessary doctrine of a Christian mart, set forth by the king’s majestie of England, 1543.” 4. “An Explanation and Assertion of the true Catholic Faith, touching the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar, &c. 1551.” 5. “Confutatio Cavillatiqnum quibiu sacrosanctum Eucharistise sacramentum ab impiis Capernaitis impeti solet, 1551.” This he composed while a prisoner in the Tower: he managed this controversy against Peter Martyr and others, who espoused Cranmer. After the accession of queen Mary, he wrote replies in his own defence, against Turner, Bonet, and other protestant exiles. | Some of his letters to Smith and Cheke, on the pronunciation of the Greek tongue, are still extant in Bene’t-­college library at Cambridge. The controversy made a great noise in its time, but was not much known afterwards; till that elegant account of it appeared in public, which is given by Baker in his “Reflections on Learning,” p. 28, 29, who observes, that our chancellor assumed a power, that Cæsar never exercised, of giving laws to words. However, he allows that, though the controversy was managed with much warmth on each side, yet a man would wonder to see so much learning shewn on so dry a subject. J)u Fresne was at a loss where the victory lay; but Roger Ascham, with a courtly address, declares, that though the knights shew themselves better critics, yet Gardiner’s letters manifest a superior genius; and were only liable to censure, from his entering further into a dispute of this kind, than was necessary for a person of his dignity. 1


Biog. Brit. —Strype’s Cranmer passim. —Strype’s Annals and Memorials. BuriiHt’s Hist, of the Reformation. Lloyd’s State Worthies. Gilpin’s Life of Cranmer, pp.67, 95, 119, 178- For his learning, see a note on Warton’s Life of Sir T. Pope, p. 238. Of his conduct as a persecutor, Fox’s Acts and Monuments, and in defence Collier’s Church History. Jl*ylm’s Hist, of the Reformation, and Dodd’s Church Hist.