Harding, Thomas

, a popish divine of considerable note, and the antagonist of bishop Jewel, was born at Comb-Martin in Devonshire, 1512. His school education was first at Barhstaple, and afterwards at Winchester, whence he was removed to New-college, Oxford, and after two years’ probation, was chosen fellow there in 1536. In 1542, having completed his degrees in arts, he was chosen Hebrew professor of the university by Henry VIII. and, fcis religion probably kept pace with the king’s, but | Edward no sooner ascended the throne, than Harding became a zealous protestant. He was afterwards chaplain to the duke of Suffolk, father of Jane Grey, and had the honour to instruct this young lady in the protestant religion; but, on the accession of queen Mary, he immediately became a confirmed papist, and was chaplain and confessor to Gardiner bishop of Winchester. There is a curious epistle preserved by Fox, said to be written by lady Jane to Harding on his apostacy, which, Burnet observes, “is full of Jife in the thought, and zeal in the expression.” In 1554, he proceeded D. D. at Oxford, and was the year after made treasurer of the cathedral of Salisbury, as he had been a little before prebendary of Winchester. When Elizabeth came to the crown, being deprived of his preferment, he left the kingdom; and, having fixed his abode at Louvain in Flanders, he became, says Wood, “the target of popery,” in a warm controversy with bishop Jewel, respecting ordination, against whom, between 1554 and 1567, he wrote seven pieces. He died at Louvain Sept. 16, 1572, and was buried in the church of St. Gertrude, with an epitaph, given at length by Pits. He was undoubtedly a man of parts and learning, and not an inelegant writer. Humphrey, in his “Life of Jewel,” comparing himwith his adversary, says, “in multis pares sunt, & arnbo doctrinae & eloquentiae gloria praecellentes.1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit. Dodd’s Ch. Hist. Prince’s Worthies of Derort. —Strype’s Cranmer, p. 36'J Tanner, &c.