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occasion in which I find Bonner charged as having anything to do with him is, that according to Fox, after his second trouble with the Council “he remained in his own house as 'prisoner a long time, till at length through the uncharitable procurement of Bonner bishop of London, who could not abide such honest neighbours to dwell by him, he was removed from his own house to the prison called New
It will be seen by referring to the list of events in the foregoing section, that Rogers was removed from his own house to Newgate on the 27th of January, 1554, the day after preparations began to be made in earnest for the reception of Wyatt and his rebels. It may have been a mistake, but certainly since the affair of Bourn's preaching at Paul's Cross on the 13th of August (to say nothing of anything previous) Rogers was considered, not simply as a believer in false doctrine, but as a demagogue, and seditious person. How much Bonner had to do with his being removed from his house to a place of greater security, I cannot tell; but I suppose the bishop is only brought in here by way of a gratuitous flourish. Certainly Rogers says, in his own account of his examinations?, “I asked him (Gardiner not Bonner "Wherefore he put me in prison, He said, because I preached against the Queen;" and as far as I can see he throws the whole blame on the bishop of Winchester, and makes no complaint of the bishop of London.
After his sentence on the 29th of January, he made an application to the Chancellor in the court, for leave for his wife to visit him; which was refused (p. 602). I do not see that Bonner had anything to do with him until the morning of his execution, when “he was had down first to • Bonner to be degraded. That done, he craved of Bonner
but one petition. And Bonner asking what that should 'be; ‘Nothing' said he ' but that I might talk a few words . with my wife before my burning.' But that could not be
obtained of him. Then' said he 'you declare your charity, what it is." (p. 609.) Whether Bonner had the power to grant such a request, even if it had not been previously made to, and refused by, the Lord Chancellor, I do not know.
6 Vol. vi. 593.
? Fox, vi. 598.
(2.) LAURENCE SAUNDERS. The facts relating to the apprehension and commitment of this martyr have been so fully stated before (pp. 269, 273) that it is unnecessary here to repeat them. With regard to Bonner's share in those transactions, I have endeavoured to represent it fairly, and I do not see how any bishop of London could have done less than he did.
It has already appeared that Saunders was brought up before the Commissioners on January 30. It was I presume on that occasion when Saunders was declaring that he had been brought up to disbelieve the supremacy of the Pope, the Chancellor asked him whether it was by “consent and authority” that he had received all his heresies respecting the Sacrament of the altar. He tried to evade the question by an irrelevant answer about the papal supremacy, including that species of personal reflection which Fox calls a “privy nip” to the Chancellor. On this Bonner (referring to the writing made before him some fifteen months before) said “and it like your lordship I have his hand against the blessed sacrament. How say you to that?” Saunders answered “What I have written, that I have written ; and further I will not accuse myself.”
I do not observe that Bonner had anything more to do with him, except what is thus briefly recorded by Fox; “The 4th day of February the bishop of London did come 'to the prison where he was to degrade him; which when · he had done Laurence Saunders said to him, “I thank God · I am none of your church.'” (p. 627.) I do not find that the bishop made any reply.
(3.) BISHOP HOOPER, as has been stated, was “sent for by a pursuivant to be at London " for two causes; the first being the business of Dr. Heath, whom he had succeeded at Worcester; and “secondarily, to render an account to Dr. Bonner, Bishop of London, for that he in King Edward's time was one of his accusers 9," &c. But Fox tells us that before he could come to the aforesaid Drs. Heath and
8 If so, Fox calls it erroneously “The first Examination of Laurence Saunders," and represents him as being "convented before the Queen's most honourable Council, sundry bishops being present."-Vol. vi. p. 625.
9 Vol. vi. p. 645. See Hooper's Denunciation of Bonner addressed to the King. Fox, vol. v. p. 747.
Bonner, "he was intercepted and commanded violently against his will to appear before the Queen and her • Council to answer, to certain bonds and obligations, wherein they said he was bound unto her.” This was on August 29, 1553, and on the 1st September a second time', and was committed to the Fleet.
On the 5th of March in the next year a Commission, as we have seen, issued; and on the 19th he was deprived. Bonner's name is among those of the Commissioners, but it does not appear that he took any part, or said a word, or had had any kind of intercourse with Hooper since his own deprivation about four years and a half before.
After several months more of imprisonment Hooper was, as we have already seen, brought before the Commissioners on the 22d, 28th, 29th of January, 1555 ; after which he " was delivered as close prisoner to the keeper of Newgate, where he remained six days."
“During this time, Bonner bishop of London, and others at his appointment, as Fecknam, Chedsey, and Harpsfield, etc. resorted divers times unto him to assay if by any means they could persuade him to relent, and become a member of their antichristian church. All the ways they could devise, they attempted : for, besides the disputations and allegations of testimonies of the Scriptures, and of ancient writers wrested to a wrong sense, according to their accustomed manner, they used also all outward gentleness and significations of friendship, with many great proffers and promises of worldly commodities ; not omitting also most grievous threatenings, if with gentleness they could not prevail: but they found him always the same man, steadfast and immovable.”—Fox, vol. vi.
Fox cannot let this pass however without adding what is illnatured, and probably altogether untrue.
“When they perceived that they could by no means reclaim him to their purpose with such persuasions and offers as they used for his conversion, then went they about, by false rumours and reports of recantations (for it is well known, that they and their servants did spread it first abroad), to bring him and the doctrine of Christ which he professed, out of credit with the people. So the bruit being a little spread abroad, and believed of some of the weaker sort, by reason of the often resort of the bishop of London and others, it increased more, and at last came to master Hooper's ears: wherewith he was not a little grieved, that the people should give so light credit unto false rumours, having so simple a ground; as it may appear by a letter which he wrote upon that occasion, the copy whereof followeth."- lbid.
i Fox, vi. 393. He makes it the first appearance, p. 645.
What motive could Bonner and his chaplains have for spreading such a report ? Fortunately, Fox has also given Hooper's own account of the matter, and it is not only written in a tone which shows that he took their proceedings civilly, but that he expected his popish adversaries to make a candid report of himself.
"Such is the report abroad (as I am credibly informed,) that I, John Hooper, a condemned man for the cause of Christ, should now, after sentence of death (being in Newgate prisoner, and looking daily for execution) recant and abjure that which heretofore I have preached. And this talk ariseth of this, that the bishop of London and his chaplains resort unto me. Doubtless, if our brethren were as godly as I could wish them, they would think, that in case I did refuse to talk with them, they might have just occasion to say that I were unlearned, and durst not speak with learned men; or else proud, and disdained to speak with them. Therefore, to avoid just suspicion of both, I have and do daily speak with them when they come; not doubting but that they report that I am neither proud nor unlearned.”-Ibid. p. 651.
On Monday the Bishop came to Newgate to degrade him and Rogers. Fox gives a particular account of the form, and the persons present, but does not intimate that there was anything done, or a word spoken, except the ceremonial proceeding. Some pages afterwards, in a rhetorical “ Comparison between Hooper and Polycarp," he mentions as a point of difference that Hooper was not only martyred but “ degraded by Bonner with such contumelies and reproaches, as I think in Polycarp's time was not used to any," p. 661. This, however, I presume, only refers to the common order of the ceremonial; for if Bonner had done any thing personally uncivil or extra-official we should have been pretty sure to hear of it. Burnet begins a paragraph by saying, “It was resolved to begin with Hooper; against whom both Gardiner and Bonner had so peculiar ' an ill-will, that he was singled out of all the bishops to be * the first sacrifice 3.” This, however, like a good deal more which suchwriters have said respecting Gardiner and Bonner, is, I apprehend, nothing but ornamental suggestion, unsupported, if not clearly contradicted by facts.
2 So Fox, vi, 651. But on the next page he says on the 4th of February, which was a Tuesday. Yet he says “ Monday" was the 4th of February.
3 Vol. ij.
240. • I have really looked in vain for actions which might seem to indicate vindictive feeling in Bonner towards any of those to whom he might be
(4.) ROWLAND TAYLOR.—I do not find that Bonner had anything to do with him until he had been condemned by the Council. Then the Bishop went to the Compter to degrade him. The scene is thus described by Fox;
“Being come, he called for the said Dr. Taylor to be brought unto him; the bishop being then in the chamber where the keeper of the Compter and his wife lay. So Dr. Taylor was brought down from the chamber above that, to the said Bonner. And at his coming, the bishop said, “Master doctor, I would you would remember supposed to feel a grudge. I know the language of party declamation ; but when one examines the facts it shows its true nature, and recoils on the writers. Who, for instance, can read, without feelings more unpleasant than those of mere pity, the following Heads of Chapters, as they stand in the Table of Contents prefixed to Strype's life of Sir Thomas Smith ?
“ CHAP. V. "Sir Thomas Smith in Commission. Words between Bishop Bonner and him. His fidelity to the Duke of Somerset
p. 37 “Smith in a Commission against the anabaptists. One of the visitors of Cambridge. In Commission npon Bishop Bonner who would bave declined bim. Smith deals roundly with him. His words to Bonner's servants. Bonner enters a recusation against Smith. Who charges him with disobedience. Smith in trouble with the Protector. Deposed against Bishop Gardiner. Makes a purchase. Goes in embassy to France."
“CHAP. VI. “The condition of Sir Thomas Smith under Queen Mary. His wise advertisements
." He loses all his places. He hath an indulgence from the Pope. Bishop Gardiner his friend. Gains Gardiner's favour upon his first aduress to him from Cambridge. Ascham favoured by Gardiner. Even Bishop Bonner pretends to be Smith's friend.”
I suppose that if Mr. Strype had been asked what he meant by “pretends," he would have been as much puzzled as Goldsmith was when asked the meaning of "slow” in the first line of his Traveller. How, or what, did Bonner“ pretend”? Strype's own account of the matter in the place referred to by that very table of contents is simply " Nay, bloody Bonner who had a personal pique against him since the last reign, as was shown before, let him alone, though he were in his diocese, admiring the man, and dissembling bis anger."-p. 50. But poor Mr. Strype cannot make this admission without the marginal caution “Bonner pretends to be Smith's friend."
If Bonner really did let Smith alone, I see nothing of pretence in it; and as to his admiring him, I think nobody but Strype would have suggested anything so very simple. If, however, I were writing to eulogize Bonner, in the servile spirit of hero-worship which sometimes renders Strype so absurd, I should claim high credit for the restored Bishop's acknowledged forbearance towards a man who had treated him with most