Grindal, Edmund

, archbishop of Canterbury, was born in 15 ID, at Hinsingham, a small village in Cumberland. After a suitable inundation of learning at school, he was sent to Magdalen-college, in‘ Cambridge, but removed thence to Christ’s, and afterwards to Pembrokehall; where, having taken his first degree in arts, he wa chosen fellow in 1538, and commenced M. A. in 1541, having served the office of junior bursar of his college the preceding year. In 1548 he was appointed senior proctor of the university, and is said to have often sat as assessor to the vice-chancellor in his courts. In 1549 he became president [vice-master] of his college; and being now B. D. was unanimously chosen lady Margaret’s public preacher at Cambridge; as he was also one of the four disputants in a theological extraordinary act, performed that year for the entertainment of king Edward’s visitors.

Thus distinguished in the university, his merit was observed by Hid ley, bishop of London, who made him his chaplain in 1550; perhaps by the recommendation of Bucer, the king’s professor of divinity at Cambridge, who soon after his removal to London, in a letter to that prelate, styles our divine “a person eminent for his learning and piety.” And thus a door being opened to him into church -preferments, he rose by quick advances. tiis patron the bishop was so much pleased with him, that he designed for him the prebend of Cantrilles, in St. Paul’s church, and wrote to the council (some of whom had procured it for furnishing the king’s stables) for leave to give this living, as he says, “to his well deserving chaplain, who was without preferment, and to whom he would grant it with all his heart, that so he might have him continually with him and in his diocese to preach,” adding, that “he was known to be both of virtue, honesty, discretion, wisdom, and learning.” What effect this application had does not appear, but the praecentor’s place becoming vacant soon after, his lordship on August 24, 1551, | collated him to that office, which was of much greater value, and likewise procured him to be made one of his majesty’s chaplains, with the usual salary of 40l. in December of the same year. On July 2, 1552, he obtained a stall in Westminster-abbey; which, however, he resigned to Dr. Bonner, whom he afterwards succeeded in the bishopric of London. In the mean time, there being a design on the death of Dr. Tonstall, to divide the rich see of Durham into two, Grindal was nominated lor one of these, and would have obtained it, had not one of the courtiers got the whole bishopric dissolved, and settled as a temporal estate upon himself.

In 1553, he fled from the persecution under queen Mary into Germany; and, residing at Strasbourg, made himself master of the German tongue, in order to preach in the churches there; in the disputes at Francfort about a new model of government and form of worship, which was to be different from the last liturgy of king Edward, he sided with Cox and others against Knox and his followers. Returning to England on the accession of Elizabeth, in 1558, he was employed among others, in drawing up the new liturgy to be presented to the queen’s first parliament; and was also one of the eight protestant divines, chosen to hold a public dispute with the popish prelates about that time. His talent for preaching was likewise very serviceable, and he was generally appointed to that duty on all public occasions. On May 15, 1559, he preached at St. Paul’s at the first reading of the common-prayer before the privy-council, nobility, lord mayor, and aldermen. About the same time he was appointed one of the commissioners in the north, o the royal visitation for restoring the supremacy of the crown, and the protestant faith and worship. This visitation extended also to Cambridge, xvhere Dr. John Young being removed for refusing the oath of supremacy, from the mastership of Pembroke-hall, Grindal was chosen by the fellows to succeed him in 1559. This office, however, he accepted with reluctance, and finding that he could not reside, he resigned it in May 1562, if not before; yet so highly was he beloved by the society, that the three succeeding masters were chosen by his recommendation.

In July the same year, he was nominated to the bishopric of London, vacant by the deposition of Bonner. The juncture was very critical, and the fate of the church | revenues depended upon the event. An act of parliament had lately passed, whereby her majesty was empowered to exchange the ancient episcopal manors and lordships for tithes and impropriations; a measure extremely regretted by these first bishops, who scrupled whether they should comply in a point so injurious to the revenue of their respective sees, which must suffer considerably by these exchanges; and which too would cut off all hope of restoring the tithes, so long unjustly detained from the respective churches, for the maintenance of the incumbents. In this important point our new-nominated bishop consulted Peter Martyr in a letter dated August of this year; nor did he accept of the bishopric till he had re* ceived an opinion in favour of it from that divine, who said that the queen might provide for her bishops and clergy in such manner as she thought proper, that being none of GrindaPs concern. He also communicated to that divine his scruples concerning the habits and some customs then used in the church, on both which Martyr gave him the advice of a sensible and moderate man who regarded more weighty matters. Before this answer could be received, Grindal was consecrated Dec. 1, but the exchange of lands with the queen not being fully settled, he could not compound for his first fruits, and consequently he was hindered from exercising his episcopal function, and was obliged to have the queen’s express authority for that purpose. We may here remark that Cox bishop of Ely, Barlow of Chichester, and Scory of Hereford, were consecrated at the same time by archbishop Parker, with whom they all joined in a petition to her majesty to stop these exchanges, and they offered her as an equivalent, 1000 marks a year during their lives. In 1560, he was made one of the ecclesiastical commissioners, in pursuance of an act of parliament to inspect into the manners of the clergy, and regulate all matters of the church; and the same year he joined with Cox and Parker, in a private letter to the queen, persuading her to marry. In 1561, he held his primary visitation. In 1563 he assisted the archbishop of Canterbury, together with some civilians, in preparing a book of statutes for Christ church, Oxford, which as yet had none fixed. This year he was also very serviceable, in procuring the^ English merchants, who were ill used at Antwerp and ether parts of the Spanish Netherlands, and who had been very kind to the English exiles in the late reign, a new settiemeut | Embden, in East-Frieslaml; and the same year, at the request of sir William Cecil, secretary of state, he wrote animadversions upjn a treatise entitled “Christiani Hominis Norma,” &c. “The Rule of a Christian Man,” the author of which, one Justus Velsius, a Dutch enthusiast, had impudently, in some letters to the queen, used menaces to her majesty; hut being at last cited before the ecclesiastical commission, was charged to depart the kingdom.

On April 15, 1564, he took the degree of D. D. at Cambridge, and the same year executed the queen’s express command, for exacting uniformity in the clergy; but proceeded so tenderly and slowly, that the archbishop thought fit to excite and quicken him; whence the puritans supposed him inclined to their party. However, he brought several nonconformists to comply; to which end he pub* Jished a letter of Henry Bullinger, minister of Zurich, in Switzerland, to prove the lawfulness of compliance, which had a very good effect. The same year, October 3, on the celebration of the emperor Ferdinand’s funeral, he preached a sermon at St. Paul’s, afterwards printed, from which Strype has given extracts. In 1567 he executed the queen’s orders in proceeding against the prohibited and unlicensed preachers; but was so treated by some with reproaches and rude language, that it abated much of his favourable inclinations towards them, which was felt and resented on their part. Even although some years afterwards he both procured the liberty of some separatists who had been imprisoned according to law, and indulged their ministers with a licence to preach on their promising not to act against the laws, yet they immediately abused that liberty, and when he proceeded against them for it, they had the boldness to lodge a complaint in the privy council representing his dealings with them. The archbishop, touched with their ingratitude, joined with the council in opinion that such men ought to be severely punished as a warning to others. Grimial was also threatened with a premunire by some of his clergy for raising a contribution upon them the preceding year for the persecuted Protestants abroad, without the queen’s licence. But this did not discourage him, and having procured a commission from her majesty to visit the Savoy, the hospital appointed for the relief and entertainment of poor travellers, he deprived the master, who had almost ruined the charity by his abuses and mismanagement. | This was the last piece of service he performed for his diocese, being on May I, 1570, translated to the see of York. He owed this promotion to secretary Cecil and archbishop Parker, who liked his removal from London, as not being resolute enough for the government there. The same year he wrote a letter to his patron Cecil, that Cartwright the famous nonconformist might be silenced; and in 1571, at his metropolitical visitation, he shewed a hearty zeal, by his injunctions, for the^discipline and good government of the church. In 1572 he petitioned the queen to renew the ecclesiastical commission. In 157* he held one for the purpose of proceeding against papists, whose number daily diminished in his diocese, which he was particularly careful to provide with learned preachers, as being in his opinion the best method of attaining that end. He rejected therefore such as came for institution to livings if they were found deficient in learning, and in this policy he was encouraged by the queen, to whom it was highly agreeable. In other respects he had frequently to contend with the avarice of the courtiers, some of whom, would have greatly impoverished the church, if he and Other prelates had not opposed them.

His patron, Cecil, then lord treasurer, recommended him to the first chair in the church, which became vacant by the death of archbishop Parker. Accordingly he was translated to the see of Canterbury, in which he was confirmed, February 15, 1575. On May 6, 1576, he began his metropolitical visitation, and took measures for the better regulation of his courts; but the same year fell under her majesty’s displeasure, upon account of the favour he shewed to what was called the exercise of prophesying.

These prophesyings had been used for some time, the rules of which were, that the ministers of a particular division at a set time met together at some church, and there each in their order explained, according to their abilities, some portion of scripture allotted to them before; this done, a moderator made his observations on what had been said, and determined the true sense of the place, a certain time being fixed for dispatching the whole. The advantage was the improvement of the clergy, who hereby coiisiderabiy profited in the knowledge of the scripture; but this mischief ensued, that at length confusions and disturbances took place at those meetings, by an ostentation of superior parts in some, by advancing heterodox | opinions, and by the intrusion of some of the silenced se* paratists, who took this opportunity of declaiming against the liturgy and hierarchy, and even speaking against states and particular persons. The people also, of whom there was always a great conflux as hearers, fell to arguing and disputing much about religion, and sometimes a layman would take upon himself to speak. In short, the exercises degenerated into factions.

Grindal laboured to redress these irregularities by setting down rules and orclers for the management of these exercises; however, the queen still disapproved of them, as seeing probably how very apt they were to be abused. She did not like that the laity should neglect their secular affairs by repairing to those meetings, which she thought might fill their heads with notions, and so occasion dissentions and disputes, and perhaps seditions in the state. And the archbishop being at court, she particularly declared herself offended at the number of preachers as well as the exercises, and ordered him to redress both; urging, that it was good for the church to have few preachers, that three or four might suffice for a county, and that the reading of the Homilies to the people was sufficient. She therefore required him to abridge the number of preachers, and put down the religious exercises. This did not a little afflict him. He thought^ and very properly, the queen infringed upon his office, to whom, next to herself, the highest trust of the church of England was committed; especially as this command was peremptory, and made without at alladvising with him, and that in a matter so directly concerning religion: he wrote a letter to her majesty, declaring, that his conscience would not suffer him to comply with her commands.

This refusal was dated December 20, 1576. The queen therefore having given him sufficient time to consider well his resolution, and he continuing inflexible, she sent letters next year to the bishops, to forbid all exercises and prophesyings, and to silence all preachers and teachers not lawfully called, of which there were no small number; and in June the archbishop was sequestered from his office, and confined to his house by an order of the court of starchamber. In November the lord-treasurer wrote to him about making his submission, with which he not thinking fit to comply, his sequestration was continued; and iri January there were thoughts of depriving him, which* | how-­ever, were laid aside. June 1579, his confinement was either taken off, or else he had leave to retire to his house at Croydon; for we find him there consecrating the bishop of Exeter in that year, and the bishops of Winchester, and Lichfield and Coventry, the year following. This part of his function was exercised by a particular commission from the queen, who in council appointed two civilians to manage the other affairs of his see, the two of his nomination being set aside. Yet sometimes he had special commands from the queen and council to act in person, and issued out orders in his own name; and in general was as active as he could be, and vigilant in the care of his diocese as occasion offered. In 1580, for instance, when there happened a violent earthquake, our archbishop having issued an order for prayer and humiliation, composed a prayer for families throughout his diocese, which was allowed by the council, who in a letter to him commended his great zeal, and required him to enjoin the observation of his new order of prayer in all other dioceses. The council also referred to him the decision of a dispute that happened the same year at Merton college, Oxford, of which he was visitor, as archbishop; and soon after he was employed by the lord treasurer in a controversy between the university and town of Cambridge.

This year (1580), a convocation met at St. Paul’s, at which, though he could not appear, yet he had a principal share in the transactions of it. He drew up an expedient for preserving the authority of the spiritual courts in the point of excommunications; he laid before them also a new form of penance to be observed for the future, better calculated than the former to produce a proper effect on offenders. It was moved in this convocation, that no business should be entered upon, nor any subsidy granted, till he was restored, and although the motion was negatived, yet they unanimously presented a petition in his favour to her majesty, which they thought was a more respectful proceeding. This, however, proved ineffectual, nor was he restored until after he made his submission, in which, among other things, to clear himself of the charge of a refiactory disobedience in the matter of the exercises, he proved that in his own bishopric, and other peculiar jurisdictions, he never suffered the practice after the time of her majesty’s command.

The precise time of his restitution does not clearly | appear, yet several of his proceedings shew, that he was m. the full possession of the metropoiitical power in 1582, in which yet it is also certain hfc lost his eye-sight. Sir John Harrington imagines that his being blind was only a report circulate^ by his friends, in order to conceal his being in confinement by the queen’s order in his own house, but Strype has amply refuted this supposition. He was also much broken down by hard study and infirmities, especially the strangury and colic, with which he had long been afflicted; and losing all hopes of recovering his sight, he resigned his see towards the latter end of 1582, and although by no means a favourite with his royal mistress at this time, she thought proper to grant him a pension for his life. With this provision he retired to Croydon, where be died July 6, 1583, and was interred in that church, where a stone monument was erected to his memory.

Strype has ably vindicated his memory from the misrepresentations of Fuller and Heylin, who consider him as too much inclined to puritanism; and observes, that in the times in which he lived, when he was better known, his episcopal abilities, and admirable endowments for spiritual government, as well as his great learning, were much celebrated. He was a man, says Strype, of great firmness and resolution, though of a mild and affable temper, and friendly disposition; in his deportment courteous and engaging, not easily provoked, well spoken, and easy of access; and in his elation not at all affecting grandeur or state, always obliging in his carriage, as well as kind and grateful to his servants, and of a free and generous spirit. Strype allows, what indeed is obvious, that he used great moderation towards the puritans, to whose interest in the cabinet, joined to his own merits, his preferment was in a great measure owing; and had they repaid this moderation by a corresponding behaviour, he would have less seldom incurred the displeasure of the court ,*


Grindal had the misfortune to serve a queen who meddled too much in matters above her comprehension; but it was not on account of religion only that he lost her favour. At one time, Julio Borgamcci, an Italian physician, was in great estimation in this country with the people of quality, though infamous for his proficiency in the composition of poisons. The earl of Leicester, who was perhaps indebted to him for services of this kind, was excessively attached to him; and through that nobleman’s interference, Grindal, who had condemned the marriage of Julio to another man’s wife, lost the queen’s favour for ever.­Lodge’s illustrations, vol. II. p. 157. See also Harrington’s Brief View, and Canute li’s Annals.

who thought his favours ill-bestowed on men of restless and turbulent | dispositions. He had a great respect for the eminent reformers abroad, Calvin, Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, Peter Martyr, Bullinger, Zanchius, and others, with whom he had contracted a friendship during his exile, and always carried on a correspondence; and he was very instrumental in obtaining a settlement for the French protestants in their own way of worship, approaching to the Genevan, who were allowed to assemble in the Walloon church in Threadneedle-street, which has ever since been a French church.

Collier, whose authority is of some consequence in this case, clears Grindal from all imputations of puritanism, and speaking of the articles at one of his metropolitical visitations, observes, that he was no negligent governor, nor a person of latitude or indifference for the ceremonies of the church; but, on the other hand, he was more deeply concerned for her doctrines, and a strenuous assertor of them. He was celebrated as a preacher in king Edward VI.’s time, both at court and in the university; and in the beginning of queen Elizabeth’s reign, when the protestant religion was to be declared and inculcated to the people, he was one of the chief persons employed in the pulpit at St. Paul’s, and before the queen and nobility.

Besides what have already been noticed, Grindal assisted Fox in his Marty rology, in which is printed a composition of his entitled a “Dialogue between Custom and Truth,” written in a very clear manner, in refutation o the doctrine ^of the corporal presence in the sacrament. He lived and died unmarried, yet does not seem to have amassed much wealth amidst all his preferments. At his death, however, he became a considerable benefactor to learning. He left 30/, per annum for the maintenance of a free grammar-school at St. Begh’s, in Cumberland, near the place of his birth and for the building, &c. of it 366l. 13s. 4d', various sums to several colleges at Cambridge, and cups, pictures, &c. to various friends. It may be worth noticing, that Grindal, who, by the way, is the Algrind of Spenser, first brought the tamarisk to England, so useful in medicine, when he returned from his exile. 1


Strype’s Life of Grindal. Biog. Brit. Hutchinson’s Cumberland, vol. II. p. 35. Harrington’s Brief View. Le Neve’s Lives of the Bishops,