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[Tonstal] Bishop of Durham, one of the king's most honourable privy council, of the age of 76," deposed that
“In the king's time that dead is, the said bishop, as one of the Council, did set forth for his part all such articles, statutes, injunctions, and proclamations, as were then decreed and determined; and did set forth at all times the same accordingly. And deposeth further, that the said bishop did make a book against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, and setting forth the king's supremacy; which book this deponent hath seen; and all the premises before deposed, he saith, are true, notorious, and manifest to them that were of the Council at that time.”—p. 189.
We may presume that the Bishop of Durham was not aware of some of the declarations which have just been quoted from the examinations of deponents who were of the Council at that time," and who were “ of the Council” at this time also, as they meant to show.
“ Thomas (Thirlby] Bishop of Norwich, of the age of 47 or thereabouts,” deposed that
“Although the said Bishop of Winchester (very loth to condescend to any innovations) was earnest against alterations, as well concerning the bishop of Rome as other orders in Religion, yet after those matters were established and set forth, by the acts, statutes, and laws of this realm, and the king's majesty's injunctions and proclamations, this deponent hath known and heard the bishop of Winchester publish, declare, and set forth, as well the supremacy or supreme authority of the king's majesty's father of famous memory, as the abolishing of the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, accordingly as he was bound : and did set forth a book concerning the same, as by the contents thereof may appear, which this deponent hath heard. But how the said bishop of Winchester and his Chancellor (whom this deponent hath of long time known to be wise and learned) have executed in his diocese, the king's majesty's injunctions and proclamations, he knoweth not; for he hath not been conversant there. Which things, before by this deponent deposed, be true, notorious, manifest, public, and famous. And as touching the defence of the bishop's book at Louvain, he hath heard reported, that he offered to defend the said book then and there; and before certain of the doctors, did defend the same, as he heard say.”—p. 190.
“John Pottinger of Winchester, gentleman, where he hath continued these ten years, of the age of 36 ; sworn and examined," deposed
“That the said bishop hath set forth a book in Latin, many years since, entituled “De Vera Obedientia,' wherein the said bishop set forth the king's supremacy, as he remembereth ; and treated against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome, and of obedience of the subjects to their prince, as supreme head, very earnestly, to this deponent's remembrance. For this deponent hath seen and read the book, and in the same did read of the premises. And, examined whether he understandeth the Latin tongue, he saith, yea; and that once he was fellow of New College in Oxford, and hath the same book at this present in his study.”--Fox, vol. vi. p. 217.
“ Master John White, Warden of the college of Winchester, of the age of 40,” being sworn and examined, among other things “deposeth as followeth : "
"All the contents of this article, touching as well the bishop as his chancellor, are true, to this deponent's certain knowledge, saving the defence of the said bishop's book at Louvain ; which book the said bishop (as this deponent hath heard say of certain learned men being then with the bishop) did defend against the rector and certain divines of the university of Louvain ; which book that he so defended (as it was said) was the book made by the bishop 'De Vera Obedientia,' and that book this deponent hath seen and read, which entreateth of the king's supremacy, and the abolishment of the bishop of Rome's authority. And saith, that all the premises, saving the defence of the said book, are notorious, manifest, and famous, within the diocese of Winchester, to this deponent's certain hearing and knowledge.
“And for further declaration, this deponent saith, that about twelve years ago, or thereabouts, as he doth remember, this deponent (then being schoolmaster of the college of Winton) did by the commandment of the bishop of Winchester, make certain verses extolling the king's supremacy, and against the usurped power of the bishop of Rome; which said verses this deponent caused his scholars to learn, and to practise them in making of verses to the like argument; the said bishop encouraging this deponent so to do."-Fox, vol. vi. p. 223.
One would be glad to have a fuller account of Bishop Gardiner's proceedings at Louvain in reference to his book; and no doubt materials are in existence, though I have it not in my power at present to avail myself of them. I know of only two other documents, preserved in Fox's Martyrology, which tend to throw light on the matter. They add indeed very little to our knowledge, though they are not without interest in several points of view. The first is the deposition of “ Master William Medowe, clerk, chaplain to the bishop of Winchester, and master of the hospital of Holy Crosses, beside Winchester; of the age of 60 years,” which begins in the following manner :
"To the first article of the matter this deponent saith, that the space of this twenty years he hath been with the said bishop of Winchester, and is his chaplain, and all the said space, he saith, that the said bishop, to this deponent's sight and knowledge, hath always set forth, to the uttermost of his power, the king's supremacy, and the abolishment of the bishop of Rome's authority. And saith, that at five several times he hath attended upon the said bishop, when he was sent beyond the seas for ambassador, as well to the emperor, as to the French king ; at one of which times, the said bishop was at Louvain, when there was a commencement, wherein proceeded two doctors of physic; at which said commencement, the said bishop was desired to be the Father of the Act, and was at the same Act present.
"And after the said Act done, in the selfsame day, after dinner, the rector of the university accompanied with four or five learned men, came to the said bishop, to his house. And, there and then, the rector brought with him the book, which the said bishop had set forth, concerning the supremacy of the king's majesty, and the abolishment of the bishop of Rome's authority ; with the which book, the said rector, and the other persons, were offended, and came to the said bishop, to see what he could speak for the defence of the said book. Unto whom the said bishop said, that he would gladly hear what they could object against it, and he would make them answer. And thereupon, the said bishop, with the said rector, and the other persons, went unto his chamber, and there continued in disputation; wherein this deponent heard the said bishop very earnest and loud in the defence of the said book; which said book, this deponent saith, he hath seen and read, and was in the house with the said bishop, when he did make the same book.
“And further he saith, that the said bishop, within his diocese, hath set forth all such acts, statutes, injunctions, and proclamations, as have been made and set forth by the king's majesty that dead is, and the king's majesty that now is.
“And further saith, that for the setting forth of the same, he hath had an expert chancellor, Dr. Steward, who hath caused the same accordingly to be set forth within the diocese, and specially within the city of Winchester, and within the hospital of the Holy Crosses, whereof this deponent is master; and for such a man, the said chancellor hath been and is commonly reputed and taken, within the diocese of Winchester, to this deponent's knowledge.
“And saith, that the said bishop, at divers and many of his said sermons whereat this deponent hath been present, hath set forth the king's majesty's supremacy, and the abolishment of the bishop of Rome's authority,
"And otherwise he cannot depose upon the statutes of the said article.”—Fox, vol. vi. p. 202.
The second is “a Letter written from Louvain by one Francis Driander, the contents whereof,” says Fox, hereunder expressed in Latin as he wrote it, and the English whereof, as much as to the present purpose appertaineth, here followeth translated ;” and for us it will be enough to extract the English translation, without criticising it, and only premising that the letter was dated September 22, 1541, and addressed to Edmund Crispin, a person of whom I believe little or nothing is known, except what is to be learned from Anthony a Wood's not very complimentary
notice of him?. But the value of the letter arises from its having been put in as evidence by Bishop Gardiner himself, during the process for his deprivation.
“Before my departure from the city of Paris, I wrote unto you by our friend the englishman, &c. Now the narration of your bishop of Winchester, shall satisfy and content you. He (the said bishop) as appertained to the ambassador of so noble a prince, came to Louvain with a great rout and bravery, and was there, at a private man's house called Jeremy's, most honourably entertained and received ; where the faculty of divines, for honour's sake, presented him wine in the name of the whole university. But our famous doctors, and learned masters, for that they would more deeply search and understand the learning and excellency of the prelate, perused and scanned a certain Oration made by him, and now extant, intitled “De vera Obedientia,' which is as much as to say, in our english tongue, 'Of true Obedience,' in the which his Oration he did greatly impair and subvert the supremacy of the bishop of Rome, and preferred his Lord and King's authority before the holy apostolic see as they were wont to term it: which being read and considered by them, they did not only repent them, for attributing such their honour unto him, but also recanted what they had done before ; and, like impudent persons, did not so much honour him afore, but now twice so much with many obloquies and derisions, disabled and dishonoured his person.
But, in conclusion, Richard Lathomus interpreter of the Terms, with the favourers of this fraternity, and other the champions of the falling church, boldly enterprised to dispute with him concerning the pope's supremacy. The Bishop stoutly defended his said Oration. The divines contrary did stiffily maintain their opinion, and, divers times openly with exclamation, called the said bishop an excommunicate person, and a schismatic; to the no little reproach and infamy of the english nation.
“I will not here repeat the arguments and reasons which were alledged on both parts, for the defence of the opinions of each side, for that lest, perhaps, to learned men, they shall not seem all of the strongest ; and also, because it becometh me to save and preserve the estimation of either party. The bishop not long after, minding to say mass in St. Peter's church, they did deny unto him, as to an excommunicate person, the ornaments and vestments meet for the same ; wherewith being highly offended, he suddenly hasted his
1 Under the year 1547 he tells us that “Edmund Crispyne of Oriell coll. lately a shagling lecturer of physic, now one of the proctors of the university, did supplicate to be licensed to proceed in physic,” and he adds, that though he found no registration of their license he has no doubt that it was granted, as he found the supplicant afterwards "written and stiled” a doctor of physic. Fast. Ox. Part I. col. 126. One would like to know how the letter came into Gardiner's possession. Strype seems to take it for granted that this Crispin was the divine of the “ popish stamp" bearing that name, whose services the Devonshire rebels required in the year 1548.—Cran., vol. i. 265.