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Stephen Gardiner
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Stephen Gardiner

(c. 1495x8 - 1555) [ODNB]

Theologian, administrator; BCnL Cambridge 1518; DCL 1521; DCnL 1522; chancellor of Cambridge

Principal secretary to the king 1529; ambassador to France

Bishop of Winchester (1531 - 51, 1553 - 55)

Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More and Stephen Gardiner served together in Thomas Wolsey's household. 1563, p. 592; 1570, p. 1347; 1576, p. 1150; 1583, p. 1178.

Gardiner and Edward Fox urged leniency on Cardinal Wolsey when dealing with Robert Barnes. They stood surety for him and convinced him to abjure. 1563, pp. 601-02; 1570, pp. 1364-65; 1576, pp. 1164-65; 1583, pp. 1192-93.

Stephen Gardiner was sent as ambassador to Rome by Henry VIII during the time of Clement VII to deal with the matter of the king's divorce and to promote Thomas Wolsey as pope. Both the king and Wolsey wrote letters to him. 1570, pp. 1125-28, 1193; 1576, pp. 963-66, 1021; 1583, pp. 990-92, 1049.

Shortly after Gardiner became secretary to King Henry, he and William Fitzwilliam were assigned by the king to ensure that Thomas Wolsey's goods were not stolen after his deprivation of his offices, but returned to the king. 1570, p. 1130; 1576, p. 967; 1583, p. 994.

Richard Bayfield was tried before John Stokesley, assisted by Stephen Gardiner and others. 1563, p. 484; 1570, p. 1161; 1576, p. 993; 1583, p. 1021.

John Frith was taken first to the archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth, then to the bishop of Winchester at Croydon, and then to London to plead his case before the assembled bishops. He was examined there by the bishops of London, Winchester and Lincoln. 1563, pp. 501-03; 1570, pp. 1176-78; 1576, pp. 1006-08; 1583, pp. 1034-35.

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Andrew Hewett was examined by Stokesley, Gardiner and Longland. 1563, p. 506; 1570, p. 1180; 1576, p. 1009; 1583, p. 1036.

The archbishop of Canterbury (Cranmer), along with the bishops of London (Stokesley), Winchester (Gardiner), Bath and Wells (Clerk) and Lincoln (Longland) and other clergy went to see Queen Catherine. She failed to attend when summoned over 15 days, and they pronounced that she and the king were divorced. 1570, p. 1200; 1576, p. 1027; 1583, p. 1055.

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Gardiner swore an oath of allegiance to Henry VIII as head of the church. 1570, p. 1203; 1576, p. 1030; 1583, p. 1057.

In his De vera obedientia, Gardiner challenged the authority of the pope and argued against the validity of the king's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. 1570, pp. 1204-06; 1576, pp. 1031-32; 1583, pp. 1058-59.

Gardiner was one of the subscribers to the Bishops' Book. 1570, p. 1211; 1576, p. 1037; 1583, p. 1064.

Gardiner was sent with a Henry VIII's answer to Francis I, king of France, regarding Henry's supremacy over the English church. 1570, p. 1221; 1576, p. 1045; 1583, p. 1072.

Gardiner was suspected of involvement in the downfall of Anne Boleyn, and urged the king to disinherit Elizabeth. 1570, pp. 1233, 1243; 1576, p. 1056; 1583, pp. 1082, 1083.

Gardiner was a resident ambassador to France in 1538, when Edmund Bonner, through the efforts of Thomas Cromwell, was brought in to replace him. There were great disagreements between the two, since Bonner at the time was in favour of reform. 1570, p. 1239; 1576, p. 1061; 1583, p. 1088.

The bearward who had a book belonging to Archbishop Cranmer's secretary intended giving it to Sir Anthony Browne or Stephen Gardiner. 1570, p. 1356; 1576, p. 1157; 1583, p. 1186.

In a letter to Henry VIII, Philip Melancthon called Gardiner wicked and impudent. 1570, p. 1341; 1576, p. 1145; 1583, p. 1173.

Bonner sent a declaration to Cromwell of Stephen Gardiner's evil behaviour. 1570, pp. 1241-44; 1576, pp. 1063-66; 1583, pp. 1090-92.

Gardiner urged Henry VIII to withdraw his defence of religious reform in order to ensure peace within the realm and to restore good relations with foreign rulers. 1570, pp. 1296; 1576, p. 1109; 1583, p. 1135.

Stephen Gardiner urged Henry VIII to use the case against John Lambert as a means of displaying the king's willingness to deal harshly with heresy. 1563, pp. 533-34; 1570, p. 1281; 1576, p. 1095; 1583, pp. 1121-22.

Cranmer had sent letters for Henry VIII to sign relating to reform in the church. Gardiner convinced the king that these reforms would jeopardise a league with the king of France and the emperor, so the letters were never signed. 1570, p. 1426; 1576, p. 1215; 1583, p. 1245.

Gardiner disputed with Lambert during his trial. 1563, pp. 535-36; 1570, pp. 1282-83; 1576, p. 1097; 1583, p. 1123.

Stephen Gardiner was Thomas Cromwell's chief opponent. 1563, p. 598; 1570, p. 1359; 1576, p. 1160; 1583, p. 1189.

Stephen Gardiner complained to the king about the sermon of Robert Barnes preached during Lent at Paul's Cross. He disputed with Barnes, and Richard Coxe and Thomas Robinson acted as arbiters. Gardiner then submitted articles against Barnes. 1570, p. 1371; 1576, pp. 1169-70; 1583, p. 1198.

Adam Damplip was brought before Thomas Cranmer, Stephen Gardiner, Richard Sampson and others and examined. 1563, p. 657; 1570, p. 1401; 1576, p. 1194; 1583, p. 1224.

Thomas Broke, Ralph Hare, James Cocke and James Barber were sent from Calais with their accusers to England to be examined by Cranmer, Gardiner, Sampson and other bishops. 1563, p. 661; 1570, p. 1401; 1576, p. 1195; 1583, p. 1224.

William Symonds and John London kept notes of Anthony Pearson's sermons at Windsor. They included the names of all those who frequented the sermons and reported all of these to Stephen Gardiner, who in turn reported to the king and received a commission for a search at Windsor. 1570, pp. 1389-90; 1576, p. 1185; 1583, pp. 1213-14.

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Gardiner had Simon Haynes and Philip Hoby committed to the Fleet, but their friends secured their release. 1570, p. 1390; 1576, p. 1186; 1583, p. 1214.

Gardiner conducted the third examination of John Marbeck himself. He ordered Marbeck to be placed in irons and kept in isolation. 1570, pp. 1391-92; 1576, pp. 1186-88; 1583, pp. 1215-16.

On the orders of Stephen Gardiner, John Massie took Adam Damplip to Calais. 1570, p. 1400; 1576, p. 1193; 1583, p. 1223.

John Capon and others of the judges in the trial of Marbeck, Testwood, Pearson and Filmer at Windsor sent a message to Stephen Gardiner in favour of John Marbeck. Gardiner went straight to the king and obtained a pardon. 1570, p. 1397; 1576, p. 1191; 1583, p. 1220.

After the burning of Filmer, Pearsons and Testwood, Capon sent Robert Ockham with a report to Stephen Gardiner. 1570, p. 1398; 1576, p. 1191; 1583, p. 1221.

Gardiner was one of the questioners at the second examination of Anne Askew in 1546. 1563, p. 683; 1570, p. 1417; 1576, p. 1208; 1583, p. 1237.

Katherine Parr read and studied the scriptures and discussed them with her chaplains. The king was aware of this and approved, so she began to debate matters of religion with him. When the king became more ill-tempered because of his sore leg, her enemies, especially Stephen Gardiner and Thomas Wriothesley, took the opportunity to turn the king against her. 1570, pp. 1422-23; 1576, pp. 1212-13; 1583, pp. 1242-43.

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Gardiner and other enemies of Katherine Parr planned to accuse and arrest Lady Herbert, Lady Lane and Lady Tyrwhit and search their quarters for books and other evidence to use against the queen. 1570, p. 1423; 1576, p. 1213; 1583, p. 1243.

During Henry VIII's final illness, Sir Anthony Browne tried unsuccessfully to get Stephen Gardiner reinstated in the king's will. 1570, p. 1478; 1576, p. 1253; 1583, p. 1291.

After the death of Henry VIII, the duke of Suffolk related to Thomas Cranmer how Stephen Gardiner had nearly been arrested at the time of the execution of Germaine Gardiner. He confessed his fault to the king and was pardoned. 1570, p. 1477; 1576, p. 1253; 1583, p. 1290.

Stephen Gardiner preached a sermon contrary to King Edward's injunctions. He was arrested and taken to the Tower by Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir Ralph Sadler; Sadler and William Hunnings were instructed to seal off doors to his house. He was transferred to the Fleet. 1563, pp. 728, 760; 1570, pp. 1521, 1529; 1576, pp. 1297, 1304; 1583, pp. 1340, 1353-54.

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Gardiner wrote to Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, the Lord Protector and others while imprisoned in the Fleet. 1563, pp. 728-54; 1570, pp. 1522-25; 1576, pp. 1297-1300; 1583, pp. 1340-50.

Gardiner was released out of the Fleet by a general pardon, but was placed under house arrest for failure to conform. Nicholas Ridley, Thomas Smith and William Cecil were sent to him. He was called before the council. 1563, p. 755; 1570, pp. 1525-26; 1576, p. 1301; 1583, p. 1351.

Gardiner was imprisoned in the Tower with Cuthbert Tunstall under Edward VI and Edward Seymour. 1563, p. 685; 1570, p. 1486; 1576, p. 1260; 1583, p. 1296.

After Gardiner had been in the Tower for nearly a year, Sir William Paulet and Sir William Petre visited and urged him to admit his fault. Paulet, Petre, the earl of Warwick and Sir William Herbert delivered the king's letters to him. 1563, pp. 761-62; 1570, pp. 1529-30; 1576, p. 1304; 1583, p. 1354.

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Edward Seymour, John Russell, John Dudley and Sir William Petre visited Stephen Gardiner in the Tower at various times to attempt to get him to accept the king's reforms. 1563, pp. 766; 1570, p. 1532; 1576, p. 1306; 1583, p. 1356.

Articles were put to him to answer. 1563, pp. 754-68; 1570, pp. 1525-34; 1576, pp. 1300-07; 1583, pp. 1350-57.

When Sir William Herbert and Sir William Petre went to Stephen Gardiner in the Tower with new articles, they took with them a canon and a civil lawyer: Nicholas Ridley and Richard Goodrich. 1563, p. 768; 1570, p. 1534; 1576, p. 1307; 1583, p. 1357.

After Gardiner's sequestration, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Thomas Goodrich, Henry Holbeach, Sir William Petre, Sir James Hales, Griffith Leyson, John Oliver and John Gosnold were commissioned to examine him. 1563, p. 776; 1570, p. 1535; 1576, p. 1309; 1583, p. 1358.

William Paget, Andrew Baynton and Thomas Chaloner were deponents in the case of Gardiner. 1563, pp. 814-18; 1570, p. 1536; 1576, p. 1309; 1583, p. 1359.

Gardiner was examined and deprived of his bishopric. 1563, pp. 814-67; 1570, pp. 1536-37; 1576, pp. 1309-10; 1583, pp. 1359-60.

1374 [1350]

King Edward 6. Winchesters letter to M. Ridley. Positions ohiected agaynst Winchester.

MarginaliaAnno 1550.simple kings heretofore, and to confirme their blessinges, haue also deuised, how kings should blesse also, and so authoritie to maintayne, where truth fayled, and I haue had it obiected to me, that I vsed to prooue one piece of myne argument euer by a king, as when I reasoned thus. If ye allow nothing but scripture, what say you to the Kinges rings? but they be allowed, Ergo, somwhat is to be allowed besides scripture. And another, if Images be forbidden * Marginalia* Winchesters argumēt. The King would not weare S. George vppon his brest, if Images were forbidden. The Kyng weareth S. George vpon hys brest. Ergo, Images be not forbidden. Resp. This argument, besides that it standeth ex puris particularibus, whereby it may be denied. In the Maior also, there is a double vnderstanding in this word Images: whether it be takē indefinitely, or particularly. If the latter part of the Maior bee taken vniuersally for all Images, both in churches and in priuate houses vsed or worne in garmentes. Then the first part is false. If particularly, for such only as be set vp in churches: then the conclusion whecher it be vniuersall, maketh a false argument, ex iiij. terminis. Or if it be perticular, it may be graunted, and hurteth nothing our doctrine, for wee speake onely against the Images set vp in Churches, not agaynst the other. why doth the king weare S. George on his brest. But he weareth S. George on his brest: Ergo, Images be not forbidden. If saints be not to be worshipped, why kepe we S. * Marginalia

* S. Georges feast is kept.

Ergo, Saintes are to be worshipped.

Resp. A like argument. Lammas fayre is kept.

Ergo, Lambes are to be worshipped.

Georges feast? But we keepe S. Georges feast, Ergo, &c. And in this matter of holy water, if the strength of the inuocation of the name of God to driue away deuils, cannot be distribute by water: why can it be destribute in siluer, to driue away diseases, and the daungerous disease of the falling euill? But the rings hallowed by the holy church, may do so. Ergo, the water hallowed by the Churche may do lyke seruice. These were sore argumēts in his tyme, and I trust be also yet and may bee conueniētly vsed, to such as would neuer make an ende of talke, but rake up euery thyng þt theyr dull sight cannot penetrate, wherin me thought ye spake effectually, when ye sayd, men must receyue the determination of the particular church and obey, where Gods lawe repugneth not expresly. And in this effect to driue away deuils, that prayer and inuocation of the church may do it, scripture maintaineth euidently, and the same scripture doth autorise vs so to pray, and encourageth vs to it. So as if in discussiō of holy water, we attribute all the effect to þe holines which procedeth from God by inuocation of þe church, and take water for an onely seruaunt to cary abroad holynesse: there can be no superstition, where men regard only prayer, which scripture authoriseth. And if we shall say that the water cannot do such seruice: we shall be conuinced, in that it doth a greater seruice in our baptisme by gods speciall ordinance. Marginalia* The water of Baptisme hath an expresse ordinaunce, where holy water hath none. So as wee cannot saye, that water cannot, or is not apt to doe this seruice, onely the staye is, to haue precise place, in the newe Testament, to say, vse water thus in this seruice, as we do in holy water, which me thinketh needeth not where all is ordered, to be well vsed by vs: and whē the whole church agreed vpon such an vse: or any particular church, or the common minister of it: and by the exorcisme ordered for it, the thyng to be vsed, purged, there can be but slender matter to improoue that custome, wherin God is only honoured, & the power of his name set forth, whereunto all thing boweth and geueth place, all naturall operation set apart and secluded. And when any man hath denyed, that water may do seruice, because scripture appoynted it not, that (because) driueth away much of the rest, the church vseth, and specially our cramp rings. For if water may not serue to cary * Marginalia* Christ vseth not now in his Church dumme creatures of Gold and Siluer. &c. but ministers by the liuely ministring of his word to cary abroad his grace. abroad, the effect of Gods grace obteined by inuocation frō God, by þe common prayer of þe church. How can the mettall of siluer or gold cary abroad, the effect of the kings inuocation in the crampe rings? which manner of reasonyng (ad hominen) Christ vsed with the Iewes, whē he sayth, Si ego Belzebub, eijcio demonia, filij vestri, in quo eijeiune? And if by our owne principles, we should be enforced to say that our * Marginalia* Crampe ringes and holy water, both together in lyke case of abuse and superstition. crampe rings be superstitiō (where truth enforceth vs not so to do) it were a maruelous punishment. Si cæci essemus (as Christ saith) peccatum non haberemus, sed videmus, and this realme hath learnyng in it, and you a good portion thereof, accordyng whereunto I doubt not, but ye will waigh this matter non ad popularem trutin am, sed artificis stateram. I meane that artificer þt teacheth the church our mother (as ye full well declared it) & ordered our mother to geue nourishment vnto vs. In which poynt speaking of the church, although ye touched an vnknowen church to vs, and knowen to God only, yet declared the vnion of that Church in the permirt Church, which God ordereth men to complaine vnto, & to heare agayne, wherein the absurditie is taken away of them that would haue no church knowen, but euery man beleue, as he were inwardly taught himselfe, whereupon followen the olde Prouerbe. xxx Which is far frō þe vnitie, ye so earnestly wished for, wherof (as me thought) ye said pride is the let, as it is vndoubtedly, which fault God amend, and geue you grace, so to facion your words, as ye may agree with them in speeche, with whom ye be enclined to agree in opinion. For that is the way to relieue the world. And albeit there hath bene betwene you and me, no familiaritie, but contrarywise, a litle disagreement (which I did not hide frō you,) yet con-sideryng the feruent zeale ye professed, to teach * Marginalia

* After Peters doctrine the bloud of Christ onely purgeth vs from al sinne.

Ergo what should holy water doe.

Peters true doctrine, that is to say, Christes true doctrine, whereunto ye thought the doctrine of Images and holy water, to put away deuils agreed not: I haue willingly spent this tyme, to communicate vnto you my folly (if it be folly) * Marginalia* Playnely as it is, his penne wil not let him lye. plainly as it is, whereupon ye may haue occasion, the more substantially, fully and plainly to open these matters for the reliefe of such as be fallen from the truth and confirmation of those that receyue and follow it, wherein it hath bene euer much commended, to haue such regard to histories of credite, and the continuall vse of the church * Marginalia* The beginning of holy water came first from the Gentyles, who vsed to sprincle aqua lustrati standing at the dore vpō such as went into the temple. rather to shew how a thyng continued from the beginnyng, as holy water and Images haue done, may be well vsed: thē to follow the light rash eloquence, which is euer ad manū, to mocke and improoue that is established. And yet agayne I come to Marcellus that made a crosse in the water, and bade his deacon cast it abroad, * Marginalia* Cum fide et Zelo. Sorcerers and Coniurers with such a wrong fayth ioyned to dumme creatures may and do with lyke reason call vp deuils, as holywater may driue them away. cum fide & zelo, after which sort, if our holy water were vsed, I doubt not but there be many Marcellus, and many Elizeus, and many at whose prayer God forgeueth sinne, if such as will enioy þt prayer haue faith and zeale, as Equitius, and were as desirous to driue the deuil out of the temple of their body and soule, as Equitius out of the tempe of Iupiter. So as if holy vse were coupled with holy water, there should be more plentie of holynesse then there is, but as men be prophane in their liuying, so they cannot bide to haue any thing effectually holy, not so much as bread and water, fearing lest they should take away sinne from vs, which we loue so well. Solus Christus peccata diluit, who sprinckleth hys bloud, by hys ministers, as he hath taught hys spouse, the Church in which those ministers be ordered, wherein many wayes, maketh not many sauiours, as ignorants do iest, whereof I neede not speake further vnto you, no more I neded not in the rest in respect of you, but me thought, ye coniured all men in your sermon, to say what they thought to you, id quod hanc mihi expressit Epistolam, quam boni consules, Et Vale.

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Your louyng friend.
Ste. Winchester.

AS I haue set foorth here (gentle Reader) the cauillyng letter of Winchester, agaynst M. Ridleys Sermon: so am I right sory, that I haue not likewyse the aunswer of the sayd Ridley agayne, to ioyne withall. For so I vnderstand, that not onely M. Ridley, but also M. Barlow B. of S. Dauids (for Winchester wrote agaynst them both) had written and sent immediately their aunsweres to the same, refutyng the friuolous and vnsauory reasons of this popish prelate, as may well appeare by a parcell additionall of a letter sent by the L. Protector to the sayd Byshop in these wordes.

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And because we haue begun to write to you, we are put in remembraunce of a certayne letter or booke which you wrote vnto vs agaynst the bishop of S. Dauids sermon, and D. Ridleys, to the whiche, aunswer beyng immediately made, was by negligence of vs forgottē to be sent. Now we both send you that, and also the aunswer which the B. of s. Dauids wrote to the same booke of yours.

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¶ Articles and positions ministred and obiected eche of them ioyntly and seuerally to the B. of Winchester, as foloweth. 
Commentary  *  Close
Stephen Gardiner deprived

The original of the 'Articles and imposicions ministered…' (1563, p.755) can be found in BL Harleian MS 304, no.13, where it is described as 'written for the use of the Right honourable and my singular good lord, my Lord Archbishop of York's Grace '[Robert Holgate]. The remaining proceedings against Gardiner, including the 'sentence definitive' and the 'circumstances of the Counsayles proceedings….(p.766) are taken from a unknown source. They do not appear either in Gardiner's Register (edited for the Canterbury and York Society by H. Chitty, volume 37, 1930) or in Cranmer's register. The accounts of Gardiner's troubles given by James Muller Stephen Gardiner and the Tudor Reaction (London, 1926), pp.161-216; Glyn Redworth (In Defence of the Church Catholic (Oxford, 1990), pp.248-81) and W.K. Jordan Edward VI: The Threshold of Power (London, 1970), pp. 243-5) are based mainly on Foxe. The whole story was drastically reduced in 1576 and 1583.

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David Loades
University of Sheffield

The 1. Article.

MarginaliaArticles layd agaynst Winchester.IN primis, that the kings Maiesty iustly and rightfully is, and by the lawes of God ought to be the supreme head in earth of the Church of England, and also of Ireland, and so is by the Clergy of this realme in theyr conuocation, and by acte of Parliament iustly and accordyng to the lawes of God recognised.

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MarginaliaWinchester graunteth to the kings supremacyThis first article the B. granteth.

The 2. Article.

Item, that hys Maiestie as supreme hed of the sayd Churches, hath full power and authoritie, to make and set forth lawes, Iniunctions, and ordinances, for and concerning religion & orders in the sayd churches for the encrease of vertue, and repressing of all errours, heresies, and other enormities, and abuses.

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MarginaliaWinchester grūnteth to the full authority of the king in setting forth his lawes.To this second article he answereth affirmatiuely.

The 3. Article.

Item, that all and euery his graces subiects are bound by the lawe of God to obey all hys Maiesties sayd lawes, Iniunctions & procedings concerning religion and orders in the sayd church.


To the third article, the said B. answereth affirmatiuely, and granteth it.

The 4. Article.

Item, that you Steuen B. of Winchester, haue sworne obedi-

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