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but, on an examination of dates, it will be found that these CHAP. victims had been offered up before the opening of parliament, and before he had so much distinguished himself by his eloquence.*
He felt great penitence in his last moments. The passion His last of our Saviour being read to him, when they came to the denial of Peter he bid them stay there, for, saith he, “Negavi cum Petro, exivi cum Petro, sed nondum flevi cum Petro." This remorse arose not from the cruelties he had inflicted, but from the temporary renunciation of his allegiance to the Pope.
To the time of his death he was in possession of the Great Seal, and the entire confidence of his Sovereign.
In those times religious controversy so completely absorbed the attention of mankind, that we read little of him as a Judge; but, in the absence of all complaint, we may fairly infer that he acquitted himself with ability and impartiality. The profound knowledge of jurisprudence which he early acquired he kept up and extended by continual study, and his practice in the ecclesiastical Courts must have well initiated him in judicial procedure. It had been intended that the equitable jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery over landed property should be, in a great measure, abolished by the statute of Usest; but by a decision of the common-law Judges, while Gardyner was Chancellor, it was held that a use could not be limited on a use‡, so that the doctrine of uses was revived under the denomination of trusts, and a statute made on great deliberation, and introduced in the most solemn manner, in the result had little other effect than to introduce a slight alteration in the formal words of a conveyance.
Descr. G. Brit. These hours were probably reckoned rather late, for Froissart mentions that having himself called on the Duke of Lancaster at five o'clock in the afternoon, he found that supper was over. Down to this time, the Courts of law meeting at seven in summer and eight in winter, never sat later than eleven in the forenoon; though some Chancellors, like Sir Thomas More, had sittings again after dinner.
Ridley, Latimer, and Collier, suffered at Oxford on the 16th of October, and parliament did not meet till the 21st. † 27 Hen. 8. c. 10.
Jane Tyrrel's case, Dyer, 152. Law, 520.
See Bl. Com. 336. 4 Reeve, Hist. of
duct as a
As a states. man.
His mode of living.
As a statesman, he is to be praised for great discernment and vigour. He had even a regard for the liberties as well as independence of his country, and on several memorable occasions gave constitutional advice to the Sovereigns whom he served. But whatever good inclinations he had, they were all under the control of ambition, and never obstructed his rise. In the various turns of his fortune he displayed a happy lubricity of conscience, which surmounted or evaded every obstacle, convincing him that his duty coincided with his interest. Though his strong sense and persuasive manners gave him an appearance of sincerity, he had an insidious cast of his eye, which indicated that he was always lying in wait; and he acquired at last such a character for craft and dissimulation, that the saying went, "My Lord of Winchester is like Hebrew, to be read backwards."
He lived in great style at Winchester House, in Southwark, where he had a number of young gentlemen of family as his pages, whose education he superintended. His establishment was the last of this sort in England, for Cardinal Pole did not live long enough to form a great household at Lambeth, and after the Reformation the Bishops' palaces were filled with their wives and children. He daily came
"The Lord Cromwell," says Gardyner in one of his letters, "had once put in the King's head to take upon him to have his will and pleasure regarded for a law; and thereupon I was called for at Hampton Court. And as he was very stout, 'Come on, my Lord of Winchester,' quoth he, ‘answer the King here; but speak plainly and directly, and shrink not, man. Is not that,' quoth he, that pleaseth the King a law? Have you not that in the civil law, QUOD PRINCIPI PLACUIT, &c.?' I stood still, and wondered in my mind to what conclusion this would tend. The King saw me musing, and with gentle earnestness said, ‘Answer him whether it be so or no.' I would not answer the Lord Cromwell, but delivered my speech to the King, and told him that I had read of Kings that had their will always received for law, but that the form of his reign to make the law his will was more sure and quiet; and by this form of government ye be established,' quoth I, and it is agreeable with the nature of your people. If you begin a new manner of policy, how it may frame no man can tell.' The King turned his back, and left the matter." - Fox, ii. 65.
In Mary's time, the Spanish ambassador submitted a plan to her by which she should be rendered independent of parliament. Sending for Gardyner she made him peruse it, and adjured him, as he should answer at the judgment-seat of God, to speak his real sentiments respecting it. "Madam," replied the Chancellor, "it is a pity that so virtuous a lady should be surrounded by such sycophants. The book is nought; it is filled with things too horrible to be thought of." She behaved better than her father as above related, for she thanked him, and threw the paper into the fire.- Burnet, ii. 278.
up the river Thames, in his great state barge, to Whitehall and Westminster. He was interred with much pomp in the cathedral at Winchester.
Although, being an ecclesiastical Chancellor, we have His writnothing to say of his descendants, we must not forget the ings. progeny of his brain. He was a voluminous and popular author, but none of his writings have preserved their celebrity; not even his "Defence of Holy Water," which had a prodigious run for some years. He entered keenly into the dispute which raged in Cambridge in his time respecting the right pronunciation of Greek; and when he was chosen Chancellor of that University, notwithstanding his conservative notions, he patronised the new studies which were there introduced in rivalry to Aristotle and Aquinas. Had he lived in happier times, he might have left behind him a reputation for liberality of sentiment and humanity of conduct.*
It seems unaccountable that there has never hitherto been a separate life of Gardyner, although he made such a distinguished figure in three reigns, and in one most interesting reign was not only Lord Chancellor but Prime Minister, with power almost as great as that of Wolsey.
a Chancellor on
LIFE OF LORD CHANCELLOR HEATH.
THE sudden death of Gardyner was a heavy blow to Queen Mary, in the absence of Philip; and she was exceedingly perplexed in the choice of a successor.
Nov. 1555. She might Mary's dif- easily have selected an eminent lawyer from Westminster ficulty in Hall, but she at once resolved that "the Keeper of her Conscience" must be an ecclesiastic. According to the common the death of course of promotion, the Great Seal ought to have been Gardyner. offered to her cousin, Cardinal Pole, appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on the deprivation of Cranmer, and after the example of Wolsey, his legatine functions could have been no obstacle to this arrangement. Though Pole was not much versed in juridical practice, he was intimately acquainted with the civil as well as canon law; and, with good advice, he might have presided very reputably as an equity judge. Mary had a great personal regard for him and the highest respect for his learning and piety, but she placed no reliance on his civil wisdom, and was greatly shocked by his leaning in favour of toleration. In some respects, Bishop Bonner would have been much more agreeable to her; but, notwithstanding his claims as a furious zealot and remorseless persecutor, he was so brutally ignorant, his manners were so offensive, and he was so generally abhorred, that she was afraid to add to the odium she was sensible her government had already incurred, by placing such a man at the head of the administration of justice. The episcopal bench furnished no other individual of whom she could entirely approve. But it was now the middle of Michaelmas term; and some arrangement must be made for transacting the business of the Court of Chancery. In this perplexity, to obtain time for further deliberation, she issued a commission to Sir Nicholas Hare, the Master of the Rolls, and others, to hear causes and
to issue writs under the Great Seal, on account of the death CHAP. of Lord Chancellor Gardyner, till a successor to him should be appointed.*
She, at length, fixed upon the least exceptionable person presented to her choice; and
Archbishop of York, as
"On Friday, the 1st of January, in the second and third year of the reign of Philip and Mary, by the Grace of God, of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem, and Ireland, King and NICHOLAS Queen, Defenders of the Faith," [not Heads of the Church,] "Prince and Princess of Spain and Sicily, Archduke and Archduchess of Austria, Duke and Duchess of Milan, Burgundy, and Brabant, Count and Countess of Hapsburg, Flanders, and the Tirol, between the hours of four and six in the afternoon, the Great Seal of the said King and Queen, being in the Queen's custody, inclosed in a bag of leather, covered with a bag of red velvet, at Greenwich, in her inner private chamber there, was delivered by her to the most Reverend Father in God Nicholas, Archbishop of York, whom she then and there constituted her Chancellor of England.”†
This choice was made on the ground that the object of it was a man of spotless moral character, of undoubted orthodoxy, of respectable learning and ability, and of a quiet passive disposition; so that if he would not originate, he would not obstruct the necessary measures for consummating the reconciliation with Rome, and extinguishing the Lutheran heresy in England.
NICHOLAS HEATH was the son of a citizen of London, and His birth born there in the early part of the reign of Henry VII. He and eduwas educated at St. Anthony's school, in Threadneedle Street, famous at that time for its discipline, and for the great men it turned out; among whom were two Lord Chancellors.‡
Rot. Par. 2 & 3 Ph. & M.
R. Cl. 2 & 3 P. & M. "Et superinde prcus Revdiss. Pater N. Ebor. Archs sigillum prm de manibus ipsius dne Regne tune gratulr accipiens in nobilium virorum W. Marchionis Winton. &c. prcia curam et custodiam ejusdem Magni Sigilli Anglie de offic Cancellar Angl. sup se assumens sigillum illud illud penes se retinuit et retinet in prsi." The entries now are silent as to swearing in the Chancellor, and this entry is a rare instance of omitting to state that the new Chancellor took the Seal from the bag and sealed with it some writ or patent in the presence of the Sovereign.
Here, as we have before related, Sir Thomas More received the rudiments of