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having forsaken it, insomuch as only two were left, whereof one was determined to begone shortly, the other but an infant: this good bishop obtained license of King Henry VII. to convert the same to a college; wherein he placed a master, six fellows, and a certain number of scholars.” The reason of the demolition of this nunnery given by Camden, is however very different. He says it was spiritualium meretricium crnobium, and that Pope Julius II. with Henry VII. consented to its suppression.
The bishop died October 1st, 1500. “ He lieth" says Godwin, “buried in a chappell of his own building, on the north side of the presbytery, where it is to be seen a very goodly and sumptuous tombe, erected in memory of him, which by the babarous and dottish peevishness of somebody is pitifully defaced, the head of the image being broke off, the compartiment and other buildings torne downe.”
The bishop wrote the following works: 1. Mons Perfectionis ad Carthusianos: otherwise called in English the Mount of Perfection,' London 1501. 2. “Gaili Cantus ad Confratres suos curatos in Synado apud Barnwell,' 1498. 3. ‘Abbatia Spiritus sancti in Pura Conscientia Fundata.' The same in English under the title of • A Matere, spekjng of a place that is named the Abbaje of the Holy Ghost that shall be founded or grounded in a clene conscjence, in which Abbaye shall dwelle xxix Ladyes Ghostly.' 4. In Psalmos Penitentiales. 5. · Homiliæ Vulgares.' 6. Meditationes Piæ.' 7. “Spousage of a virgin to Christ' 8. 'Sermon on Jesus clamabat, qui habet aures audiendi audiat.'
Richard Jox, Bishop of Durham.
DIED A. D. 1528.
This eminent prelate was born towards the latter end of the reign of Henry VI., at Ropesley, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. The grammar-schools of Boston and Winchester dispute the honour of his early education. He subsequently studied first at Oxford, and then at Cambridge, from which latter university he removed to Paris, where lie studied divinity and the canon law, and probably received his doctor's degree. It was during his residence in the metropolis of France that he became acquainted with Bishop Morton, and through him was introduced to the earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII. That 1!obleman thought so highly of his talents and integrity that he employed him in various missions connected with his English expedition, and rewarded his diligence therein with a seat in the privy-council and some substantial appointments, when success had crowned their exertions. In 1487, he was advanced to the see of Exeter, and appointed keeper of the privy seal. He was also, about the same time, made principal secretary of state. These various appointments threw an immense load of political business upon the bishop, and, in addition to his employments at home, he was repeatedly despatched upon foreign embassies, in all of which he acquitted himself entirely to the satisfaction of the king, who acknowledged his services by successive translations from the see of Exeter to that of Bath, and from Bath to Durham. In 1497, he bravely defended the castle of Norham, in the
latter diocese, against the Scottish forces, until the approach of How. ard, earl of Surrey, compelled the assailants to retire. Shortly after this he was sent a third time into Scotland for the purpose of negotiating a treaty betwixt the two kingdoms. He discharged this embassy with his usual promptitude and success, and soon afterwards added to his many important services that of negotiating a marriage betwixt James IV. of Scotland and Margaret, Henry's eldest daughter. In 1500, he was elected chancellor of the university of Cambridge.
Between the years 1507 and 1514, he was repeatedly employed in missions to foreign courts. His last public act appears to have been that of witnessing the treaty of amity between Henry VIII. and Francis I. His political influence, however, had gradually waned since the death of Henry VII. before the ascendency, first, of the earl of Surrey, and, afterwards, of Wolsey, who had been first introduced hy Fox himself. He took leave of public life, along with Archbishop Warham, in 1515, and devoted his retirement at Winchester to acts of charity and munificence. Architecture was a favourite art of his; and Milner-an excellent judge-speaking of the repairs and alterations which the bishop executed upon his cathedral of Winchester, declares that “ if the whole cathedral had been finished in the style of this portion of it, the whole island, and perhaps all Europe, could not have exhibited a Gothic structure equal to it.”! His last appearance in parliament was in 1523. He was then very infirm and blind ; but had sufficient vigour of mind left to enable him to reprove, with dignity, the greedy and ungrateful Wolsey, who wished him to resign his bishopric to him, and accept of a pension instead of it. He died on the 14th of December, 1528. His character was that of a liberal and hospitable prelate, magnificent in his taste, and unbounded in his charities. In his political capacity he showed great aptitude for public business, and maintained a character of unimpeachable integrity. Of his writings we have only a translation of the Rule of St Benedict,' executed for the use of his diocese, and published in 1516, and a letter to Cardinal Wolsey on his intended visitation and reformation of the English dioceses. By royal license, dated 26th November, 1516, Bishop Fox founded and endowed Corpus Christi college, in the university of Oxford. In this instance, the bishop, as Mr Warton observes, made a new and noble departure from the narrow principles which had hitherto regulated academical education in England. The course of the Latin lecturer was thrown open to all the students at Oxford, and he was expressly directed to drive barbarism from the new college,—"barbariem e nostro alveario pro virili si quando pullulet, extirpet et ejiciat." The Greek lecturer was also enjoined to confine his prelections to the best Greek classics, and those which the bishop specified are still allowed to furnish the purest specimen of that noble literature. With the same enlightened views, the bishop invited to his new college many of the most distinguished sons of letters then known in Europe ; amongst these was Ludovicus Vives, Nicholas Crucher, Clement Ėdwards, Nicholas Utten, Thomas Lupset, and Richard Pace. Yet, strange to say, it was not without difficulty that the university consent. ed to the introduction of Greek literature into its curriculum at this
· Hist. of Winchester, vol. ii. p. 20.
period ; and the bishop was obliged to plead the authority of the coun. cil of Vienne in Dauphiny, promulged in 1311, which enjoined that professorships of Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, should be instituted in the universities of Oxford, Paris, Bononia, Salamanca, and Rome. Nor was even this altogether satisfactory to the masters of Oxford ; it required the example and persuasions of Erasmus, then residing in St Mary's college, to silence their objections and win their consent to the establishment of a Greek chair in the university.
DIED A. D. 1532.
This distinguished prelate was born of good family, at Okely, in Hampshire. He was educated at Winchester school and New college, Oxford. In 1488, he was collated to a rectorship by the bishop of Ely, and soon after became an advocate in the court of arches, and moderator of the school of civil law in St Edward's parish, Oxford. In 1493, he was associated with Sir Edward Poynings in an embassy to Philip, duke of Burgundy, to persuade him to deliver up Perkin Warbeck. The negotiation failed, and Henry was at first disposed to resent this on his ambassadors, but, soon after, we find Warham high in favour with the king, and, in 1502, made keeper of the great seal.
In the beginning of 1503, he was advanced to the see of London, having been previously created lord-high-chancellor of England. He strongly opposed the marriage of Catharine of Arragon to the king's second son, after the death of her first husband, Prince Arthur ; he told the king that he thought the projected match would neither prove honourable to himself nor well-pleasing to God; but Fox's doctrine, that the pope's dispensation could remove all impediments, civil or sacred, was more pleasing to Henry, and of course prevailed.
In March, 1504, Bishop Warham was elevated to the primacy. His installation was conducted with great magnificence. In 1506, he was elected chancellor of Oxford—an honour to which he was justly entitled, by his munificent and well-directed patronage of learning. On the accession of Henry VIII. the archbishop's influence waned before that of Bishop Fox, but he held his place of chancellor for the first seven years of the new reign. The rise of Wolsey into favour also greatly contributed to lessen the archbishop's influence, and ultimately drove him altogether from public life. Warham, says Burnet, always hated Cardinal Wolsey, and would never stoop to him, esteeming it below the dignity of his see. Erasmus relates of Warham, that it was his custom to wear very plain apparel, and that when Wolsey took upon him to publish an order that all the clergy should appear richly dressed in silk or damask, at the interview of Henry and Charles, Warham, alone, despising the cardinal's injunction, attended in his usual simple garb. In December, 1515, Warham resigned the seals, and Wolsey became lord-chancellor. In 1529, on the degradation of Wolsey, the great seal was again offered to Warham, but he prudently declined, at his advanced age, again entering upon the stormy and fickle sea of politics. He, soon after this, appears to have sunk into a
state of dotage; for we find him at one time entirely duped by the silly pretences of the · Holy Maid of Kent,' as she was called, and at another exhibiting a very silly and unmeaning protest against all the laws that had been made, or that should thereafter be made, in derogation of the authority of the pope, or to the hurt of the church's rights and privileges. He died at St Stephen's, near Canterbury, in 1532. It appears, from a letter of Erasmus to Sir Thomas More, that this prelate, notwithstanding of his having occupied the highest posts in church and state for a long series of years, had so little regarded his own private advantage that he left no more than was barely sufficient to pay his funeral charges.
Erasmus gives us a very pleasing account of Warham's private life.
That,” says he, “which enabled him to go through such various cases and employments, was, that no part of his time, nor no degree of his attention, was taken up with hunting, or gaming, in idle or trifiing conversation, or in luxury or voluptuousness. Instead of any diversions or amusements of this kind, he delighted in the reading of some good and pleasing author, or in the conversation of some learned man. And although he sometimes had prelates, dukes, and earls as his gue:ts, he never spent more than an hour at dinner. The entertainment which he provided for his friends was liberal and splendid, and suitable to the dignity of his rank, but he never touched any dainties of the kind himself. He seldom tasted wine; and when he had attained the age of seventy years, drank nothing, for the most part, but a little small beer. But notwithstanding his great temperance and abstemiousness, he added to the cheerfulness and festivity of every entertainment at which he was present, by the pleasantness of his countenance, and tlie vivacity and agreeableness of his conversation. The same sobriety was seen in him after dinner as before. He abstained from supper altogether, unless he happened to have any very familiar friends with him, of which number I was; when he would, indeed sit down to table, but then could scarcely be said to eat any thing. If that did not happen to be the case, he employed the time by others usually appropriated to suppers, in study or devotion. But as he was remarkably agreeable and facetious in his discourse, but without biting or buffoonery, so he delighted much in jesting freely with his friends. But scurrility, defamation, or slander he abhorred and avoided as he would a snake. -- In this manner did this great man make his days sufficiently long, of the shortness of which many complain.”
BORN A. D. 1506.-DIED A. D. 1533.
Tuis learned and pious man was born at Westerham, in Kent. He proceeded B. A. at King's college, Cambridge, but afterwards went to Oxford, where he obtained great reputation for learning, and was chosen one of the junior canons of Cardinal Wolsey's new college. Bt. coming acquainted with the celebrated Tyndale, he ultimately embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, as taught by that eminent man, and, having openly avowed his new sentiments, he was imprisone,
with some other young men of the same convictions and boldness, by the chancellor of the university. The rigour of this imprisonment was so severe that some of his companions in persecution drooped under it, but Frith ultimately obtained his release, and, about the year 1528, went abroad. He continued on the continent for about two years, and was greatly strengthened in the faith by intercourse, during that period, with many of the German and French reformers. Returning to England in 1530, he was apprebended as a common vagabond, and confined in the stocks at Reading, in Berks, where he was in danger of perishing with hunger but for the interposition of the schoolmaster of the place, who, perceiving that Frith was a scholar, and well acquainted with the classics, interested himself in his behalf, and effected his release. After this, he went to London, where he was in continual danger of apprehension by the commands of Sir Thomas More, the lord-chancellor, whose resentment was peculiarly excited
ainst him by the circumstance of Frith having refuted one of his own publications in defence of the church of Rome.
The origin of this controversy was as follows :—Simon Fish, of Gray's inn, had written a tract, entitled, “The Supplication of the Beggars;' avowedly levelled against the system of mendicity carried on by the Romish friars. The work was much admired by the scholars of the time, and even honoured with Henry the Eighth's approbation. But the lordchancellor, notw thstanding, ventured to answer it in a tract, entitled, • The Supplication of the Souls in Purgatory ;' in which he defended the friars, on the ground of the value of their exertions in relieving souls from purgatory. Frith, hereupon, answered the chancellor, and boldly denied the doctrine of purgatory altogether. So daring a step marked him out for the vengeance of the church; but, for a while, he eluded all the efforts of his enemies to secure his person. At last, he was betrayed into their hands by the treachery of a false friend, who, having procured a copy of a proposition, written by Frith, against the doctrine of transubstantiation, immediately carried it to the chancellor, with information where the heretic might be apprehended. Sir Thomas instantly ordered him to be seized and sent to the Tower, where he underwent several examinations by the lord-chancellor in person. In one instance, he was brought before an assembly of bishops, convened in St Paul's cathedral, before whom he openly defended his opinions, and subscribed them in the following sentence : Ego Frithius ita sentio, et quemadmodum sentio, ita dixi, scripsi, asserui, et affirmavi.” On this, he was pronounced incorrigible, and condemned to the fire. He suffered martyrdom at Smithfield, on the 4th of July, 1533, when only twenty-six years of age. An opportunity of making his escape had occurred some time before his condemnation, but he refused to avail himself of it, fearing that by so doing he should dishonour the gospel of Christ. Bale says that Frith was a“ polished scholar, as well as master of the learned languages.” And Fox assures us that Cran. mer was indebted for many of his arguments in his work on the sacrament, to Frith's writings. His works were printed in London, in one folio volume, in 1573. He seems, with Tyndale and Barnes, to have leaned to Presbyterianism, so far as he had considered the question of church-government.