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that it was expedient Cranmer should suffer, notwithstanding his recantation, the archbishop was called upon to declare his faith ; whereupon, to the astonishment of all, he solemnly retracted all his recantations, and ended by denouncing the pope as Christ's enemy and antichrist. “Upon which,” says Middleton, “they pulled him off the stage with the utmost fury, and hurried him to the place of his martyrdom, over against Baliol college: where he put off his clothes with haste, and, standing in his shirt and without his shoes, was fastened with a chain to the stake. Some pressing him to agree to his former recantation, he answered, showing his hand, “This is the hand that wrote, and therefore it shall first suffer punishment.' Fire being applied to him, he stretched out his right hand into the flame, and held it there unmoved, except that once he wiped his face with it, till it was consumed, crying with a loud voice, .This hand hath offended!' and often repeating, This unworthy right hand!' At last, the fire getting up, he soon expired, never stirring or crying out all the while, only keeping his eyes fixed to heaven, and repeating more than once, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit !' he died in the sixty-seventh year
of his age.” The character of Cranmer has been the subject of keen controversy. Mr Hallam says, “if we weigh the character of this prelate in an equal balance, he will appear far, indeed, removed from the turpitude inputed to him by his enemies, yet not entitled to any extraordinary veneration.” Others have not hesitated to enrol him in the very highest rank of English patriots and Christian martyrs. The truth, as usual in such cases, may perhaps lie between these extremes. Cranmer was a conscientious, but feeble, character; he saw and loved the truth, but wanted firmness to pursue it amidst the difficulties which the complexion of the times threw in his way. His cruel death has alone preserved his memory from reproach. Had Mary spared his life, he would never, it is most probable, have retracted the steps by which he forsook the profession of the reformed faith, until the re-ascendency of protestant principles, under her successor, had rendered it impossible for any one, situated as he was, to resume his profession of attachment to the reformed doctrines, without incurring universal suspicion and the contempt of posterity. His life has been written with much elegance by Gilpin, and voluminously by the Rev. J. H. Todd.
BORN A, D. 1483.—DIED A. D. 1555.
Stephen GARDINER was the natural son of Lionel Woodville, bishop of Salisbury, brother to the Lady Elizabeth Woodville, who, while the widow of Sir John Grey, captivated the affections of Edward IV. and became his queen. Gardiner was born in 1483, at St Ed. mund's Bury, Suffolk. He received his education at Trinity hall, Cambridge, where he distinguished himself by his progress in the study of the canon and civil law, the classics, and theology. In 1520, he succeeded to the headship of the society to which he belonged, but soon after left the university and attached himself to the Howard family. When a favourable opportunity offered of ingratiating himself with Wolsey, who was fast rising into power, he left the Howards, and obtained the patronage of the favourite. In the service of this prelate he obtained his high opinion and confidence, by his activity as an agent, and his ability as a secretary. The patronage of his master introduced him to the favour of the court. In 1527, his talents and ad. dress had made such an impression on Wolsey and those in power, that he was intrusted with the negotiation then going on at the papal court, respecting the king's divorce from Catharine of Arragon. Although he was unsuccessful in his mission, his exertions were not the less appreciated, and he was rewarded with the archdeaconries of Norwich and Leicester in succession, and the appointment of secretary of state. His devotion to the king now got the better of his allegiance, as churchman, to the pope, and he not only did every thing in his power to facilitate Henry's designs with respect to the queen, but, on the king's abjuring the supremacy of the pope, and declaring himself supreme head of the church, he warmly supported him, and was created bishop of Winchester. The first proof of his acquiescence in, and approbation of, this measure was a treatise written by him in its defence, entitled, • De vera obedientia.' The bishop continued to enjoy the full sun. shine of court favour, till the capricious sovereign, taking a disgust at Queen Catherine Parr, consulted with him on the easiest method of getting rid of her, and acquiesced in a plan, the leading feature of which was the exhibition of articles against her on a charge of heresy. The charge had proceeded so far that officers were already summoned for the purpose of arresting her, when the queen, in a personal interview with her husband, had sufficient address to turn the tables on the bishop, to re-establish herself in the king's favour, and to plunge the bishop, whom she suspected of being her principal adversary, into a state of disgrace from which he never extricated himself during the reign of Henry. On the accession of Edward VI. Bishop Gardiner was placed in more unfavourable circumstances still. He had been so strenuous an opposer of the doctrines of the reformed church, and of their establishment as the national religion, that the prevailing party viewed him with great suspicion, and visited him with marks of their high displeasure. He was, at their instigation, committed to the Tower by the young king, and deprived of his diocese. Mary's accession again changed the scene, and brought Gardiner once more forth into liberty and power. He was received into royal favour, restored to his see, and even elevated to the office of chancellor of England, and first minister of state. He had learned but little in the school of adversity, and the persecution he had undergone, on account of his religious tenets, had not taught him to respect the conscience of another. On the other hand, his own sufferings appear to have hardened his heart, and produced a bitter spirit of bigotry and cruelty. He soon distinguished himself as the principal instruinent in the hands of the infatuated queen ; and, during this reign, took the lead in all the murderous executions which stigmatized it, often acting with such a compound of caprice and cruelty as excites the utmost abhorrence and contempt. The history of the martyrs presents Gardiner in a most disgusting point of view, as discovering fiendlike craft and cruelty. In his private character, he appears to better advantage, as he was learned himself, and a great encourager of learn.
ing in others. The brightest trait in his character was gratitude, which he possessed in an unusual degree; this he manifested towards Wolsey, to whom he was as much devoted in his decline as in the zenith of his prosperity; and, notwithstanding the coolness and injustice he experienced from King Henry, towards the close of that prince's reign, he never was known to speak of him, but in terms of affectionate respect. He was often heard to exclaim, in the latter part of his life, Erravi cum Petro sed non flevi cum Petro l' He died November 12th, 1555. A treatise by him, entitled, Necessary Doctrine of a Christian Man,' printed in 1543, is said to be a joint work by him and Cranmer,
BORN CIRC. A. D. 1474.-DIED A. D. 1559.
This prelate, who acts a distinguished part in the annals of the English hierarchy, is generally supposed to have been the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Tunstall of Thurland castle in Lancashire. Sur. tees, in his ‘History of Durham,' seems inclined to think that he was the son of Thomas Tunstall, the brother and heir of Sir Richard, and consequently the brother of Sir Brian Tunstall who fell at Floddon. Rumour affixes a stigma to his birth ; he is said to have been the offspring of an illegitimate amour with a lady of the Conyers family.' He was admitted a student of Baliol college in 1491, but soon afterwards proceeded to Padua where he took the degree of doctor of laws. Godwin represents him as having attained high reputation as a scholar whilst studying abroad. On his return to his native country in 1508, he was presented to the rectory of Stanhope in the county of Durham ; and in 1514, Archbishop Warham constituted him vicar-general or chancellor of the see of Canterbury, and recommended him to the notice of his sovereign, Henry VIII. Preferments now flowed rapidly upon
and in 1516, he was appointed master of the rolls,-an office then chiefly supplied by churchmen, and for which he was eminently qualified by his early legal studies. In the same year he was joined with Sir Thomas More in an embassy to Charles V. then at Brussels. He there lodged under the same roof with the celebrated Erasmus, whose friendship he afterwards enjoyed throughout life. That most distinguished scholar has borne decided testimony to Tunstall's learning and varied acquirements, describing him as a man who excelled all his contemporaries in a critical acquaintance with the learned languages, and who to extensive scholarship united the more solid qualifications of an acute perception and sound judgment. It would appear that he acquitted himself in his embassy to the satisfaction of his royal master, as immediately on his return to London, he was again despatched with a similar commission to the diet of the empire at Worms. These services were rewarded with a succession of clerical appointments. In 1522, he was promoted to the bishopric of London; and in 1523, inade keeper of the privy seal.
This has been called in question with considerable success. See Hutchinson's Dur. ham, vol. i.
In 1525, Bishop Tunstall accompanied Sir Richard Wingfield into Spain to solicit the release of Francis, afterwards king of France, who had been taken prisoner in the battle of Pavia; and in 1527, we find him attending Cardinal Wolsey in his pompous embassy to France. The richer see of Durham rewarded these fresh services in 1529. The associate of Wolsey could hardly be expected to look with a favourable eye upon the early efforts of the reformers ; accordingly we find him adopting measures for the suppression of Tyndale's edition of the New Testament, and for preventing the dissemination of the new doctrines; yet it is but fair to add, that in all these measures Tunstall exhibited a spirit very different from that which actuated many of his contemporaries. He was willing to burn Tyndale's books, but he was always an advocate for the milder methods of reclaiming heretics themselves; and it is recorded to the praise of his humanity, that during the heat of the Marian persecution not a single victim suffered in the diocese of Durham.
Tunstall's character lies exposed to the charge of weakness and irresolution. When Henry VIII., in defiance of the pope's authority, assumed the title of supreme head of the English church, Tunstall at first remonstrated, then hesitated, and finally publicly defended the king's right to the supremacy from the pulpit. In 1537, Tunstall was appointed by the king to confer with the divines sent from the protestant princes of Germany to press a further reformation; and in 1541, he appears in conjunction with Heath, bishop of Rochester, as the editor of a revised version of the Scriptures. The confidence which his royal master reposed in him did not, however, save the see of Durham from the operations of Henry's sweeping measures of ecclesiastical reform. By the act 27° Henry VIII., the ancient honours and peculiar privileges which former monarchs, during a period of six centuries, had successively conferred on that see, were swept away at a blow; but the bishop wisely bowed to the storm, and continued in favour at court.
On the accession of Edward VI. Tunstall opposed, but with becoming moderation, the measures of the protestant party, and was allowed to remain in the undisturbed enjoyment of his see. But in 1551 he was suddenly committed to the Tower on a charge of misprision of treason. Burnet attributes this measure to the cupidity of the profligate Dudley, duke of Northumberland, who wished to obtain the temporalities of the bishop's rich see and be made count-palatine of Durham. The attainder passed against him in the house of lords, although Cranmer spoke warmly and freely in his defence; but the commons, dissatisfied with the evidence adduced, threw out the bill. The duke had then recourse to a commission directed to the chief justice of the king's bench, and six others. This scheme succeeded better than the plan of attainder. The commissioners, who were all creatures of the duke, pronounced the bishop guilty of misprision of treason, and passed sentence of deprivation against him on the 14th of August, 1552. Tunstall was imnie. diately committed to the Tower; and in the month of May following, Northumberland obtained letters patent appointing him steward of the revenues of Durham.
The accession of Mary changed the complexion of the bishop's fortunes, and restored him to his bishopric. But, though joined with Bonner and Gardiner in the commission for the deprivation of the married bishops, he was of much too mild a temper to go heartily along with these bloody-minded bigots in their work of intolerance. In fact he appears to have confined himself within his diocese during the whole of that bloody reign ; and to have put forth his powers chiefly for the purpose of screening the victims of persecution. Fox tells us, that when one Russell, a preacher, was brought before Tunstall on a charge of heresy, and his chancellor would have examined him more particularly, the bishop prevented him, remarking : “hitherto we have had a good report among our neighbours; I pray you, bring not this man's blood upon my head." It is also a proof of Tunstall's easy disposition at least, that when his nephew, the celebrated Bernard Gilpin, an avowed protestant, came home from his travels on the continent, he not only received the young man with great tenderness, but even bestowed on him the archdeaconry of Durham. One might feel disposed to attribute such leniency to an entire indifference to religion on the part of Tunstall ; but Gilpin, whose testimony will not be called in question, believed his uncle to be a conscientious man, and has recorded some pleasing instances of the dominion which religious feelings possessed over his whole character. It is also matter of history that Elizabeth on her accession, had nominated him first in a list of prelates to officiate at the consecration of several new bishops; but he refused to take the oath of supremacy to a protestant princess, and quietly submitted to the sentence of deprivation which followed. The remainder of his days were spent under the roof of Archbishop Parker. He died on the 18th of November, 1559, aged 85, and was buried in the chancel of Lambeth church.
BORN A. D. 1495.-DIED A. D. 1563.
John BALE was born at Cove, near Dunwich, in Suffolk, November 21, 1495. He received his early instructions at the monastery of the Carmelites, in Norwich, and from thence was sent to Jesus college, Cambridge. He was educated in the bosom of the Romish church, and initiated into all its superstitions, and we
are informed was a zealous papist before the light of protestantism broke in upon his mind. The exact period at which he received that light by which he was led to detect the errors of popery, and to relinquish the communion of that church, does not clearly appear, but he attributes to “ the illustrious, the Lord Wentworth, that he was stirred up to discover the glory of the Son of God, and his own deformity.” Soon after his renunciation of the tenets of the Romish church, he married a pious lady, who was a great assistance to him in his religious career. He manifested great decision of character, and became a zealous preacher of that gospel which he had felt to be the power of God to his own salvation. No sooner did he discover the errors of popery and the vices of the clergy, than he exposed them with great freedom and boldness. The
• See Gilpin's Life of Gilpin.