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perjured baseness of the bishop. But the candid explanation which Bonner entered into with his prisoners at a public examination in " the open Consistory in Pauls,” the modest way in which he proposed himself to them as a model of conscientious prudence-in short, the whole thing, if we can only be sure that there was no irony in it, no sense of the humour of his writing a preface to the great learned man's” book, none of that broad, and even coarse, humour in which he sometimes indulged at the expense of those who insulted him, and to the amusement of those about himif one can be quite sure that he said all that is reported, and seriously meant all that he said, the passage is very remarkable indeed. It sets the stubborn old bishop, who had stuck in gaol all the days of King Edward, in quite a new light. What a nice peculiarity of conscience there must have been to prevent his doing for the royal son half what he had done so freely for the royal father! But Fox goes on :
“Then was the Bishop somewhat abashed, and looking upon such as were present, spake very gently, saying, 'Lo! here is a goodly matter indeed. My Lord of Winchester being a great learned man, did write a book against the Supremacy of the Pope's Holiness, and I also did write a preface before the same book, tending to the same effect. And thus did we because of the perilous world that then was : for then was it made treason by the laws of this realm to maintain the pope's authority, and great danger it was to be suspected a favourer of the see of Rome; and therefore fear compelled us to bear with the time, for otherwise there had been no way but one. You know when any uttered his conscience in maintaining the pope's authority, he suffered death for it.' And then turning his tale unto Tyms, he said, “But since that time, even since the coming in of the Queens Majesty, when we might be bold to speak our conscience, we have acknowledged our faults, and my Lord of Winchester himself shamed not to recant the same at Paul's Cross. And also thou thyself seest that I stand not in it, but willingly have submitted myself. Do thou also as we have done.'
“ My Lord,' quoth Tyms, 'that which you have written against the supremacy of the pope, may be well approved by the Scriptures. But that which you now do, is against the word of God, as I can well prove.'
“ Then another (I suppose it was Dr. Cooke) said, 'Tyms, I pray thee let me talk with thee a little,' &c."-Fox, viii. 10.
I do not pretend to say that others may not have made reference to this Preface, when under examination by Bonner; but as I have stated, this is the only instance which I have observed, though I believe I may say that I have examined every case in which Bonner had to do with any accused person. Bishop Gardiner's conduct with respect to his part of the work was very different, as the reader will perceive.
It may at first be difficult for some readers, but perhaps on reflection they will find it possible, to imagine a man ardently denying the Supremacy of the Pope, and avowing a zealous desire to abolish his usurped authority, and yet at the same time strenuously maintaining Transubstantiation, Purgatory, the Invocation of the Saints, and a variety of other doctrines and practices which the adherents to the Pope maintain, but which protestants have rejected. Such men, however, there were among those who lived in, and survived, the reign of Henry the Eighth ; and Bishop Gardiner was one of them. When the person of the king had changed, and Edward was on the throne, Gardiner not only avowed that he had in the former reign maintained the King's Supremacy, but he still maintained it, and in the process for his deprivation before Edward's Commissioners, he pleaded in his “Long Matter," which has been already quoted, that the articles brought forward against him ought not to have any weight, for various reasons :
"And, among other things, because the said bishop hath been always ready, with his best endeavour, diligence, and industry, according to his bounden duty, to publish, declare, and set forth, as well the supremacy, and supreme authority, of the king's majesty that now is, and of the most noble prince of famous memory, the king's majesty's father that dead is, as the abolishing of the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, and setting forth of all and singular acts, statutes, laws, injunctions, and proclamations, made and ordained in that behalf, and concerning orders of religion in this his majesty's church of England ; and bath had, hitherto, a very circumspect, learned, and diligent chancellor under him, who hath duly executed, and put in execution, the same accordingly: all which things the said bishop, for his own part, hath likewise always justly, duly, and obediently done, kept, observed, and executed, and for the approving, confirming, and stablishing the said supremacy. And of the usurped power of the bishop of Rome aforesaid, he hath not only openly preached, affirmed, and declared the same, in many and divers his sermons (preaching and teaching always due obedience), but also hath made and set forth a certain book or work concerning the same, as by the contents thereof more plainly appeareth, and hath defended the same in the university of Louvain. And these things were and be true, public, notorious, manifest, and famous."-Fox, Vol. vi. p. 105.
Bishop Gardiner, it is plain, was not anxious to conceal or disavow, in the reign of King Edward, what he was said to have written to curry favour with King Henry; and it is somewhat curious to see how this one of his Articles is treated by some of those who were called upon to depose in reply to the multitude of them contained in his Long Matter." A considerable portion of those who were interrogated, were, it will be seen, in a state of remarkable ignorance concerning the book.
“The Right honourable Lord Edward Duke of Somerset, being examined upon the articles ensuing, saith as followeth :
“To the 1st article his Grace saith that it hath oftentimes appeared to his Grace, by sundry complaints and informations made against the said bishop, that he hath not done his duty in setting forth the King's Majesty's proceedings, in matters of religion, in such ample sort as his duty required. And as for his chancellor, his Grace can little testify therein otherwise than that there hath been of late in him no towardness of conformity ; for which he doth now remain in prison. And his Grace, also, saith, that touching the bishop's preaching against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, he remembereth not of any sermon by him so made, saving one, whereof fuller mention is made in his depositions upon the articles, ministered against the said bishop of office in this behalf. And as for the book mentioned in this article, bis Grace saith, he hath heard of such a book by him made ; but to what effect it weigheth, his grace knoweth not, nor also of his defence made in the university of Louvain.”-Fox, Vol. vi. p. 168.
It was hardly to be expected that the minor courtiers of King Edward should be better informed than his Grace the Lord Protector. Perhaps it was only a proper compliment to his station to profess a still more complete ignorance. Turning over the depositions, we find that,
“ As for the bishop's book, and his disputation in Louvain, mentioned in this article, his lordship (the Earl of Wiltshire) knoweth nothing of it,” p. 171,-absolutely nothing.
“As touching the said bishop's book, and disputation in Louvain, his Lordship (the Marquis of Northampton) knoweth nothing thereof,” p. 173.
“This deponent [the Lord Chancellor Riche] hath heard say (of whom he remembereth not) that the said bishop did set forth a book in maintenance of supremacy to be in the king that dead is, his heirs and successors. And otherwise he cannot depose," p. 175.
The Earl of Warwick passed the matter by, without mention, "Touching the book made by the said bishop and his disputations at Louvain, they are unknown to his lordship,” [the Earl of Bedford,]
“What book or work the said bishop hath set forth against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, or defence he made in the university of Louvain, this examinate [Sir William Harbert] knoweth not,“ p. 182.
Sir John Baker passed over the matter of the book entirely; and, indeed, he could say but little about the bishop's opinions on any subject, "for he never heard him preach but one sermon, the which was at St. Mary Overys before the house was suppressed. And whether he treated of such matter, yea or no, he doth not remember," p.
184. "He (Sir Edward Carne] heard say, that the said bishop did make a book for the king's supremacy, and against the bishop of Rome's authority. And further this deponent saith, that he, being ambassador in Flanders, heard say that the said bishop of Winchester, going in an ambassade to the emperor of Germany through Louvain, communing with certain learned men, there offered to dispute openly touching the defence of the said book, upon occasion ministered by the said learned men against the said bishop, touching the said book. And otherwise he cannot depose;" though he added, when examined upon the Interrogatories, that "he heard a talk at the time the said bishop of Winchester made the book afore deposed of, that he was loth to write against the said bishop of Rome; but, whether the talk was true he cannot tell."-p. 185.
It could not be denied, even by Gardiner's bitterest and least scrupulous enemies, that there was a sort of hearsaya blind rumour-abroad, that Bishop Gardiner had once written some book, about something, though they did not know what. How strange that a work by such a person, on such a subject, at such a time, should have fallen still-born from the press of the king's printer-to say nothing of its being (if it was) caught up and puffed and prefaced by the zealous Bonner, and reprinted at Hamburgh and at Strasburgh! How very odd that so many and such persons should have known so little about it! One might almost imagine that the whole thing was an imposture, if we had not Bishop Gardiner's own acknowledgment, and the testimony of credible witnesses to support it. For some of those who were examined knew, or professed to know, more about it than the Lord Protector and his friends. “ Cuthbert