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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 * 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 as, sisted 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 Freuch 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, be declared himself against it, and advised a political alliance, wbich be 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
* Registr. Centuar. He had re corporated LL. D. at Oxford, October signed the archdeaconry of Leicester preceding. Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. col. in the end of September, and been in. 158.
with the pope. Whatever truth there may be in this charge, it is certain that Lambert this year was brought to phe 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 be 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 *. 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-ball, 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 greate pess, 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 t; yet this was only sometimes, and on some occasions.
For upon others, we find him submitting to very disagreeable supplications and expressions of deep humility, and great sense of his failings, directly contrary to the conyictions of his own conscience and un
* His words at the stake were, that not been managed to the king's satishe forgave the world in general, and faction, upon which he treated Garthe bishop of Winehester in particular, diner in the presence of the earl with if he had any band in his death ; which such a storm of words as quite con. implying a doubt, Bayle, preposte, founded him; but before they paried, rously enough, infers Gardiner's inno- the king took him into his chamber, cence of this man's blood. See his and told him, that he was indeed very Dict. in Barnes (Robert.)
angry, yet not particularly with him, + This secret Heury acquainted him though he had used him so, because with on the following occasion : Our he could not take quite so ciuch liberty doctor bad been joined with the earl of with the earl. See his letter to SomerWiltshire, his relation by blood, in set in Fox's Acts and Monuments, and some affair of consequence, which had in Biog. Brit.
derstanding. 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*. 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 bim 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 bis 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 him
Tbe title of this piece is, "A Letter of a young gentleman named mas. ter German Gardiner, wherein men
may see the demeanour and heresy of John Fryth, lately burnt, &e."
self 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 bis 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 send Katherine 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, in
somuch 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 bisbop's name was inserted among his execụtors 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 sbould 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 baving 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 bazardous 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 reforma