William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 27 of 48)
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for the prefent ; take a copy of the articles, examine them
carefully ; and God grant that, at our next meeting > we may
find each other in a better temper!" The next and feveral
fucceeding meetings the fame fcene was acted over again.
He continued inflexible, and they continued to diflrefs him.
Three times every week they regularly fent for him, with
a view either to draw fomething from him, by captious quef-
tions, or to teaze him at length into compliance. Of one of
thefe examinations he gives the following account : " I was
brought out," fays he, " to be examined in the fame cham-
ber as before ; but, at this time it was fomewhat altered : for,
whereas before there was a fire in the chimney, now the fire
was t;-ken away, and an arras hanged over the chimney,
and the table itood near the chimney's end, There was,
among thefe bifhops that examined me, one with whom
have been very familiar, and whom I took for my
reat friend, an aged man; and he fat next the table-end.
Then, among ether queftions, he put forth one, a very fubile
and crafty one j and when I fhould make anfwer, ' I pray you,
Mr Latimer,' faid he, * fpeak out, I am very thick of hearing, 1
and there be many that fit far off. 1 1 marvelled at this, that I
was bidden to fpeak out, and began to mifdeem, and gave
an ear to the chimney; and there 1 heard a pen plainly
fcratching behind the cloth- They had appointed one there to
write all my anfwers, that I mould not ftart from them.
God was my good Lord, and gave me anfwers ; I could never
cl-e have efcaped them.'*


234 L A T I M E R.

Thus the bifhops continued their profecu:ion, till their
-fch ernes were fruftrated by an unexpe&ed hand ; for, the kin-,
being informed, moft. probably by lord Cromwell's means, of
La timer's ill -ufage, interpofed in his behalf, and refcued him
out of their hands. A figure of fo much (implicity, and fuch
an apoftolic appearance as his at v court, did not fail to ilnke
Anne Boleyn, who mentioned him to her friends, as a perfon,
in her opinion, well qualified to forward the Reformation, the
principles of which file had imbibed from her youth. Crom-
v/ell raifed our preacher (till higher in her eflcem ; and they
both joined in an earned recommendation of him for abilhopric
to the king, who did not want much iolicitation in his favour
It happened, that the fees of W orcefter and Saliibury were at
that time vacant, by the deprivation of Ghinuccii and Cam-
pegio, two Italian blilicps, who fell under the king's dif-
pleafure, upon his rupture with Rome. The former of thefe
was offered to Latimer ; and, as this^promotion carne unex-
pedledly to him, he looked upon it as the work of Providence,
and accepted it without much perfuafion. All hiflorians
mention him as a perfon remarkably zealous in the difcliarge of
his new office; and tell us, that, in overlooking. the clergy of
his diocefe, he- was uncommonly a&ive, warm, and refolute,
and prefided in his ccclefiaflical court in the fame fpirit. Thus
far he could acl with 'authority ; but in other things he found
himfelf under difficulties. The popifh ceremonies gave him
great offence .: yet he neither durft, in times fo dangerous and
imfettjed, lav them entirely afide ; nor, on the other hand,
was he willing entirely to retain them. In this dilemma
his addrefs was admirable : he inquired into their origin ; and
when he found any of them derived from a good meaning,
lie inculcated their original, though itfelf a corruption, in the
room of a more corrupt practice. Thus he put the pepple in
mind, when holy bread and water were diftributed, that thefe
elements, which had long been thought endowed with a kind
of magical influence, were nothing more than appendages to
the two facraments of the Lord's-fupper and baptifm : the
former, he laid, reminded us of Chrift's death ; and the latter
was only a fimple reprefentation of being purified from fin.
By thus reducing popery to its principles, he improved, in
fome meafure., a bad flock, by lopping from it a tew truitleis

While his endeavours to reform were thefe in his diocele,
he was called upon to exert them in a more public manneiy
bv a fummons to parliament and convocation in 1536- This
fcflion was thought a crifis bv the Proteftant party, at the
head of which flood the lord Cromwell, whole favour with
rjie king was now in its meridian. .Next to him in power


L A T I M E R. 235

was Crr.nmer, archbifhop of Canterbury, after whom the
biinop of Worcefter was the moil considerable man of the
party ; TO whom were added the bifhops of Ely, Rochefter,
Hereford, Salifbury, and St. DavH's. )*\ ihe other hand,
the pppifh party was headed by Lee, archbi of Y

Gardiner, Stokefley, and Tunttal, biih : \."/s of WinchefUr,
London, and Durham. The convocation .vase ^ened as ufual
by a fermon, or rather an oration, Ij-uken, at the appointment
of Cranmer, by the bifhop of Worcefler, whofe eloquence
was at this time everv where famous, Many warm debates
pailed in this airembly ; the refult whereof was, that four
facraments out )f the feven were concluded to be infignificant :
but, as the biihop of Winchefter made no figure in them, for
debating was not his talent, it is befiiJe our pv<j fe to enter
into a d-.tail of what was done it it. Many alterations were
made in favour of the reformation ; and, a few monihs alter,
in 1537, the Bible was tranilated into Engliiii, and recom-
mended to general perofal.

Mean while the biihop of Worcefter, highly fatisfied with
the profpeft of the times, repaired to his dioceie, having made
a longer flay in London than was abfolutely neceffarv. He
had no talents for frate affairs, and therefore meddled not
with them. His whole ambition was to difcharge the p.iitoral
functions of a bidiop, neither aiming to diipiay the abilities of
a ilatefman, nor thofe of a courtier. Gardiner, bifliop of
Winchefler, \vas jutl returned from Germany, having fuc-
cefs fully negotiated fome commiffions, which the king had
g:early at heart ; and, in 1539, a parliament was called, to
confirm the ieizure and furrendry of the monafleries, when
that fubtle minifter took his opportunity, and fucceeded in pre-
vailing upon his majefty to do fomething towards reftoring
the old religion, as being moil advantageous for his views i;i
the prejent fituation of Europe. In this parliament psiTdthe
famous act, as it was called, of the fix articles, which was no
fooner pubiii'hed than it gave an univerfal alarm to ail the
favourers of the Reformation ; and, as the bifliop of Worcefter
could not give his vote for the aft, he thought it wrong to
hold any office. He therefore refigned his bilhopric, and re-
tired into the country ; where he refided during the heat of
that perfecution which followed upon tins acl, and thought e f
nothing for the remainder of his days but a fequeftereJ life.
He knew the florm which was up could not foon be ap; c^fed,
and he had no inclination to trull himieir in it. But, in the
midft of his fecurity, an unhappy accident carried him again
into the tempefluous weather that was abroad : he received a
bruife bv the fall of a tree, and the contirfion was fo danqer-
ous, that he was obliged to leek out tor better amTtance than



the country afforded. With this view he repaired to L,ondon,
where he had the misfortune to fee the fall of his patron, the
lord Cromwell ; a lofs of which he was foon made feniible.
Gardiner's emiffaries quickly found him out ; and fomething,
that fomebody had fomewhere heard him fay againft the fi/c
articles, being alleged againft him, he was fent to the Tower,
where, without any judicial examination, he fuiFered,- through
one pretence or another, a cruel imprifonment for the re-
maining fix years of king Henry's reign.

Immediately upon the accefiion of Edward VI. he and all
others, who were imprifoned in the fame caufe, were let at
liberty; and Latimer, whole old friends were now in power,
was received by them with every mark of affection He wot
have found no difficulty in diipofleiiing Heath, in every refpet
an insignificant man, who har! fucceeded to his bifhopric,: but
he had other fentiments, and would neither make fuit himfeif,
norfufTer his friends to make any, for his reftoration. How-
ever, this was done by the parliament, who, after fettling the
national concerns, fent up an addrefs to the prote&or to re-
ilore him : and the protector was very well inclined, and pro-
pofed the refumpUori to Latimer ; but Latimer perfevered in,
the n::,-:;\e, alleging his great acre, and the claim he had-
from thence to a private life. Having thus rid himfeif of all
jncurabrance, he accepted an invitation from Cranmer, and
took up his refidence at Lambeth, where he led a .very retired
life, being chiefly employed in hearing the complaints and re-
drefiing the injuries, of the poor people. And, indeed, his
character for fervices of this kind was fo xmiverfal'y known,
that ftrangers from every part of England would refort to him,
fo that he had as crowded a levee as a minifter of ftate. 1 n
thefe employments he fpent more than two years, interfering
as little as poiTible in any public tranfa&ion ; only he affiiied
the archbilhop in composing the homilies, which were fet
forth by authority in the firft year of king Edward ; he was
alfo appointed to preach the Lent fermons before his majefty,
which office he performed during the firft three years of his
reign. As to his fermons, which are ftill extant, they are,
indeed, far enough from being exaft pieces of compofition :
' .% his fimpl-city and low familiarity, his humour and gibing
drollery, were well adapted to the times ; and his oratory, ac-
cording to the mode of eloquence at that day, was exceedingly
popular. His action and manner of preaching too were very
affecting ; and no wonder, for he fpoke immediately from his
heart. His abilities, however, as an orator, made only the
inferior part of his character as a preacher. What particularly
recommends him is, that noble and apofloiic zeal which he
exerts in the caufe of truth.

6 Upon

L A T I M E R. 237

Upon the revolution which happened at court after the
death of the duke of Somerfet, Latimer ieems to have retired
into the country, and made n'e of the kind's licence as a

J f < 3

general preacher in thofe parts where he thought his labours
might be moil ferviceable. Ke was thus employed during the
remainder of that reign, and continued in the fame courfe,
for a fhort time, in the beginning of the next ; but, as foon
as the introduction of popery was refolved on, the hvit ftep
towards it was the prohibition of all preaching throughout the
kingdom, and a licenfing only of fnch as were known to be
popiflily inclined : accordingly, a Uriel: inquiry was made after
the more forward and popular preachers ; and many of them
were taken into cuflody. The bimop of Winchefter, who was
now prime miniiler, having profcribed Latimer from the
firft, lent a mefiage to cite him before the council. rle bad
notice of this deiign ; feme hours before the meflenger's
arrival, but made no ufe of the intelligence. The meffenger
found him equipped for his journey : at which expreffing fur-
prize, Latimer told him, that he was as ready to attend him to
London, thus called upon to anfwer for his faith, as he ever
was to take any journey in his life ; and that he doubted not
but God, who had enabled him to {land before two princes,
would enable him to {land before a third. The mefTenger,
then acquainting him that he had no orders to feize his perfon,
delivered a letter, and departed. Latimer, however, opening
the letter, and finding it contain a citation, from the council,
refolved to obey it. He fet out therefore immediately ; and,
as he paffed through Smithfield, where heretics were ufually
bcrnt, he faid chearfully, " This place hath long groaned
for me." The next morning he waited upon the council,
who, haying loaded him with many fevere reproaches, lent
him to the Tower. Cranmer and Ridley were alfo prifoners
in the fame caufe with Latimer ; and, when it was refolved to
have a public difputation at Oxford, between the moll eminent
of the popifti and proteilant divines, thefe three were appointed
to manage the difpute on the part of the proteftants. Accord-
ingly, they were taken out of the Tower, and fent to Oxford,
where they were clofeiy confined in the common prifon, and
might eafily imagine how free the deputation was likely to be f
when they found themfelves denied the ufe even of books,
and pen, and ink.

Fox has preferved a conference, afterwards put into writing,
which was held at this time between Ridley and Latimer, and
which fets our author's temper in a flrong light. The two
biiliops are reprefentcd fitting in their prifon, ruminating
upon the folemn preparations then making for their trial,


2gS L A U D.

of which, probably, they were now fir ft informed. <l The
time,'* faid Ridley, " is now come ; we are now called upon,
either to deny our faith, or to fufFer death in its defence.
You, Mr Latimer, are 211 old foldier of Chrift, and have
frequently withftood the fear of death ; whereas 1 am raw in
the fervice and unexperienced.' With this preface he intro-
duces a reqntft, that Latimer, whom he calls *' his father,"
would hear him propofe fuch arguments ;?s he thinks it mod
likely his sdverfaries would urge agairift him, and affift him
in providing proper anfwers to them. To this LatimtT, ! -;i
his ufual {Irani of good humour, replied, that " he fancied
t^e good bilhop was treating him, as he remembered Mr.
Bilney ufcd formerly to do ; who, when he wanted to teach
him, would aiwavs do it under colour of being taught him-

j o o

feif. But, in the prefent cafe," laid he, " my lord, I am
determined to give them very little trouble : I fhall juil offer
them a plain account of my faith, and fhall fay very little
more ; for 1 knlbw any thing rr.ore will be to no purpofe."
However, he aiifwered their quell ions, as far as civility re-
quired ; and in thefe arifwers, it is obfervable, he managed
the argument much {tetter than either Ridley or Cranmer \
who, vhen they were preffed, in defence of tranfubftantia-
tion, with fome pafiages from the fathers, infteacl of difaVow-
5 ii": an infufficient authority, weakly defended a good caul's by
cvafiops and diftiridfcions, aftep the manner of fchoolmen.
Whereas, when the fame proofs were multiplied upon Lati-
mer, he told them plainly, that " Inch proofs had no weight
v/ith him , that the fathers, no doubt, were often deceived ;
and thai: he never depended upon them, but when they depend-
ed upon fcripture." " Then you are not of St. Chryfoilom's
faith," replied they, " ncr of St. Auflin's r' " I have told
you," fays Latimer, " 1 am not, except they bring fcripture
for what they fay." The difpute- .being ended, fentence
was palled upon him ; and he and Ridley were burnt at
Oxford. This was in 1554. Such was the life of Hugh
Latimer, one of the leaders of that glorious army of martyr?,
who introduced the Reformation in England. He was not
efleeiVied a very learned man, for he cultivated only ufeful
learning; and that, he thought, lay in a very narrow com-
pafs. He never engaged in worldly -affairs, thinking that a
clergyman ought to employ himfelf only in his proteffion.
Thus he lived, rather a good than what the world calls a
creat man.

LAUD (WILLIAM), archbilhop of Canterbury, was fon
of William Laud, a clothier, of Reading, in Berkshire, by
Lucy his wife, widow of John Robinfon, of the fame place,
and lifter to Sir William W'eble, afterwaids lord-mayor of




London. He was born at Reading, Oct. 7, 1573, and edu-
cated at the free-fcbool there, till July, 1589; when, removing
to St. John's College, in Oxford, he became a fcholar of the
ho ufe in 1590, and fellow in 1593. He took the decree of
A. B. in 1594, and that of mailer in 159'', h-in;/, eftcemed
at this time, it is laid, a very forward, confident, and zealous,
per fon. He was this year chofcn grammar-lecturer; and,
being ordained pried in 1601, read, the following year, a
divinity- lecture in his college, which was then maintained by

s O J

Mrs. Maye. In fome of thefe cbapel-exercifes he maintained,

again ft the Puritans, the perpetual vifibijity of the church of
Rome till the Reformation; by which he incurred the dif-
pleafurfj of Dr. Abbot, then vice-chancellor of the univerfity.
In 1603, ^aud was one of the proctors, and the fame year
became chaplain to Charles Blount, earl of Devonshire,
whom he i neon fid erately married, Ucc. 26, 1605, to Pe-
nelope, then wife o( Robert lord Rich ; an affair that expo fed
him afterwards _to much cenfure, and created him great
uneafinefs: in reality, it made fo deep an impreflion upon
him, that he ever after kept that day as a day of failing and
humiliation [BJ.

He proceeded B. D. July 6, 1604.. In his exercife for
this degree he maintained thefe two points : the neceffity of
baptifm ; and that there could be no true church without.
dioccfan bifnops. Thefe were levelled alfo againil the Puri-
tans, and he was rallied by the divinity-profeflbr. He J ike-
wife gave farther offence to the Calvinifts, by a fermon
preached before the univerfity in 1606; infomuch, that it
was made an herefy for any to be feen in his company, and
a mifprifion of herefy, to give him a civil falutation. How-
ever, his learning, parts, and principles, procured him fome
friends. His nrit preferment was the vicarage of Stanford,
in Notthamptonfhire, in 1607; and, in 1608, he obtained
the advowfon of North Kilworth, in Leicefteribire. He
was no fooner inverted in thefe livings, but he put the par-
fonage-houfes in good repair, and gave twelve poor people
a conftant allowance out of them, which was his conitant
practice in all his fubfequent preferments. This fame year
lie commenced D. D. and was made chaplain to Neile, bilhop
of Rochefter ; to be near his patron, he exchanged North
Kilworth for the rectory of Weft Tilbury, in EfTex, into
which he was inducted in 1609. The following year, the
bifhop gave him the living of Cuckftone,- in Kent, where-
upon he refigned his fellowlhip, left Oxford, and fettled at

[B] She was divorced by the eccle- in the opinion, that in cafe of a cli-
fuitical judge fsr adultery; and Laud vorce, both the innocent and guilty raaj:
to the initances of his patron, lawfully remarry.

24 LAUD*

Cuckflone; but, the unhcalthineTs of that pla/:e having thrown
him into an ague, he exchanged it Toon after for Norton, a
benefice of lefs value, but in a better air.

Dec. 1610, Dr. Buckeridge, prefident of St. John's,
being promoted to the fee of Rochefter,. Abbot, newly made
archbifhop of Canterbury, retaining forae grudge againfl
Laud, complained of him to the lord-chancellor Ellelinere,
chancellor of the univerfity ; alleging, that he was at leaft
a Papifl in his heart, and cordially addicted to Popery. The
complaint was iuppoled to be made, in order to prevent his
fucceeding Buckeiidge in the preiicentfhip of his college;
and, the lord -chancellor carrying it to the king, ail his credit,
interefl, and advancement, would probably have been dei -
cd thereby, had not his immovable friend biflhop. Neiic
effaced thofe ill impreilicns. He was therefore elected pre-
fident, May 10, 1611, though then iick in London, and
unable either to make interefl in perfon, or by writing to his
friends ; and the king, not only confirmed his election, but,
as a farther token of his favour, made him one of his chap-
lains, upon the recommendation of bifnop Neilc. Our am-
bitious and afpiring doctor, having thus fet foot within the
court, flattered hiinfelf with hopes of great and immediate
preferment; but, abp. Abbot {landing always in his way,
no preferment came; fo that, alter three years fruitlefs
wailing, he was upon the point of leaving the court, and
retiring wholly to his 'college, when his friend and patron
Neile, newly translated to Lincoln, pre veiled with' him to
ilay one year longer. Mca nvhile, to kejp up his fpirits,
the bifhop gave him a prebend in the church of Lincoln,
in 1614; and the archdeaconry of Huntingdon, the following

Upon the lord-chancellor Ellefmere's decline in .1616,
Laud's interefl began to rife at court; fo that, in November
that year, the king gave him the deanery of Gloucefter; and,
as a farther inftahce of his being in "favour, he was pitched
on to attend the king in his journey to Scotland, in 16 jj.
isorre royal directions were, bv his procurement, fent to
Oxford, for the better government of the unlverfily, before
he fet out on that journey ; the defign whereof was to bring
the church of Scotland to an uniformity with that of England;
a favourite fcheme of Laud and other divines. But the Scots
were Scots, as Heylin expreiles it, and refolved to go their
own way, whatever fhould be the confequence ; fo that the
king gained nothing by that chargeable journey, but the
negkdt of his commands, and a contempt of his authority.
Laud, in. his return from Scotland, Aug. 2, 1617, was in-
ducted to. the rectory of Ibilock, iu Leiceileriliire ; and,


LAUD. 241

Jan 22, 1620-1, infralled into a prebend of Weftminfter. About
the fame time, there was a general expectation at court, that
the deanery of that church would have been conferred upon
him; but Dr. Williams, then dean, wanting to keep it in
commend^n? with the biihopric of Lincoln, to which he was
promoted, got Laud put off with the biihopric of St David's.
The day before his consecration, he refiened the prefidentfhip
of St. John's, in obedience to the college-ftatute; but was
permitted to keep his prebend of WeStmi niter in commendam,
through the lord- keeper Wilhams's intereft, who, about a
year after, gave him a living of about 120!. a year, in the
dioceie of St. David's, to help his revenue; and, in January
1620, the king gave him aliothe rectory of Creeke, in Nor-
thamptonihire. The preachers of thofe times meddling with
the doctrines of predefti nation and election, and with the
royal prerogative, mote than was agreeable to the court, the
king publiihed, Aug. 1622, directions concerning preachers
and preaching, in which Laud was faid to have a hand ; and
which, being aimed at the Puritans and lecturers, occasioned
great clamours among them. This year alfo, our prelate
held his famous conference with Fillier the Jefuit, before the
marquis of Buckingham and his mother, in order to confirm
them borh in the Proteftant religion, wherein they were
then wavering. The conference was printed in 1624, and
brought an intimate acquaintance between him and the
marquis, whole Special favourite he became at this time, and
to whom he is charged with making himlelf too f ubfervient :
it is certain, this minion left him his agent at court, when he
went with the prince to Madrid, a.nd frequently thence corre-
1 ponded with him.

About Oct. 1623, the lord-keeper WilHams's jealoufy of
him, as a rival in the duke of Buckingham's favour, and
mifunderftandings or mifreprei'entations on both fides from
tale-bearers and bufy-bodies, occasioned iuch violent quarrels
and enmity between tbefe two prelates as w r ere attended wi'h
the worit coniequenccs Archbilhop Abbot alfo, reSolving to
keep Laud down as long as he could, left him out of the high-
commiffion, of which he complained to. the duke of Bucking-
ham, Nov. 1624, and then was put into the commiflion':
however, he oppoled the defign formed by the duke of ap-
propriating the endowment of the Charter-houie to the
maintenance of an a?my, under pretence of its being for the
king's advantage, and the eaic ot the fubjedt. December, this
year, heprefcmed to the duke a tract:, drawn up at his requelt,
under ten heads, about doctrinal Puritanilm. He corresponded
alfo with him, during his abSence in France, about Charles
the Firfl's marriage with the princefs Henrietta-Maria; and

VOL. IX. R that

242- LA U D.

that prince, foon after his acceflion to the throne, wanting
to regulate the number of his chaplains, and to know the
principles and qualifi* itions of the moft eminent divines in
his kingdom, our bilhop was ordered to draw a lift of them,
which he diflinguiihed bv the letter C for Orthodox, and P
for Puritans. At Charles's coronation, Feb. 2, 1525-6, he
officiated as dean of Weftminfter, in the room of Wiliiams,
then in difgrace ; and was charged with altering the coronation-
oath, but without any good foundation. In 1626, he was
tranflated from St David Yto Bath and Wells ; and, in 1628, to
London. The king having appointed him dean of his chapel-

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 27 of 48)