Bullingham, Nicholas (DNB00)
|←Bullingham, John||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 07
BULLINGHAM, NICHOLAS (1512?–1576), bishop of Lincoln 1560–1571, bishop of Worcester 1571–1576, probably a son of Thomas Bullingham, one of the bailiffs of that city 1528 and 1530, was born at Worcester about 1512, and educated at Oxford, where, according to Wood, he became fellow of All Souls in 1536. He took the degree of B.C.L. 24 Oct. 1541. In February 1546 he presented his supplicate for D.C.L., but was not admitted. He chiefly devoted himself to the study of civil and canon law, in which he obtained great distinction. His learning and his inclination towards the reformed faith commended him to Cranmer's favourable notice, and he was appointed one of his chaplains, in which capacity he attended on the primate at Ridley's consecration, 5 Sept. 1547 (Strype, Cranmer, p. 251). In November of the same year he appears as proctor in convocation for the clergy of the diocese of Lincoln, and was collated 17 Dec. by Bishop Holbeach to the prebend of Welton Westhall in the cathedral of Lincoln, which he exchanged for that of Empingham, 2 Sept. 1548. The next year, 22 Sept. 1549, he succeeded Heneage as archdeacon of Lincoln and was also vicar-general of the diocese. His name is found in the commission against anabaptists and other heretical teachers, 1549–50 (Strype, Mem. ii. i. 385, ii. 200). On the accession of Queen Mary, Bullingham, being a married man, and as one whose soundness in the faith was more than doubtful, was deprived of his archdeaconry and prebend and other preferments. On the outbreak of the Marian persecution he concealed himself until he found means to escape beyond seas (Strype, Parker, i. 127). He appears to have arrived at Emden about 5 Dec. 1554. During his exile he applied himself to the study of theology and canon law. The death of Mary and the accession of Elizabeth summoned Bullingham back to England. On the petition of Sir F. Ayscough to Cecil, 17 Dec. 1558 (State Papers), he was allowed to resume his preferments, and was appointed by Parker, to whom as dean of his cathedral of Lincoln he must have been well known, one of his chaplains. He appeared as Parker's proxy at his confirmation (Strype, Parker, i. 110), and assisted at his ever-memorable consecration in the chapel of Lambeth House, 17 Dec. 1559, together with his brother chaplain, Edmund Guest, archdeacon of Canterbury (subsequently bishop of Rochester and of Salisbury), both vested in silken copes (Strype, Ann. of Reform. ii. ii. 555). He had received the degree of LL.D. at Cambridge 16 Jan. of that year (Wood, Athenæ, ii. 814). His intimate acquaintance with law caused him to be much consulted by his friend Parker, whose intention to appoint him as judge in one of the leading ecclesiastical courts was prevented by his speedy elevation to the episcopate. On the deprivation of Bishop Watson he was appointed to the see of Lincoln, and was consecrated in the second group of bishops, at Lambeth, 21 Jan. 1559–60 (Strype, Parker, i. 126–7; Rymer, Fœd. xv. 561, 579; Sir John Hayward, Annals of Q. Eliz. (Camden Soc. 1840), pp. 19, 27; Burnet, Hist. of Reform. ii. 494, ed. 1825; appendix, vol. ii. pt. ii.) A royal license was granted to Bullingham to retain his archdeaconry in commendam for three years, in regard of the poverty of the bishopric, which had been stripped bare by Holbeach's weak connivance at the infamous robbery of Edward VI's ministers (Rymer, Fœd. xv. 564). On his resignation of this post in 1562 he was succeeded as archdeacon by Aylmer, afterwards bishop of London. Bullingham's sound learning and familiarity with canon law rendered him an important addition to the company of Elizabethan prelates, among whom his gravity and placable spirit and freedom from polemical bitterness gave him deserved weight. He served on many important commissions for the settlement of the state of the church, and took a prominent part in the memorable convocation in 1562 (Cardwell, Synodalia, ii. 495–527). He was one of the bishops appointed to draw up articles of discipline (ib. p. 511; Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 238; Burnet, Hist. of Reform. iii. 512), and was among those to whom Dean Nowell's catechism was referred for consideration (ib. 522). He took part, with Grindal of London, Horne of Winchester, and Cox of Ely, in drawing up the celebrated ‘advertisements’ prescribing, not, as has been asserted, the maximum of ritual which would be allowed, but the minimum which would be tolerated, laid by Parker before Cecil 3 March 1565 and issued by him without the royal authority in 1566 (Parker Correspondence, Parker Soc. edit., p. 233; Cardwell, Docum. Annals, i. 287–97 (Cardwell's date, 1564, is incorrect); Strype, Parker, i. 315, bk. ii. ch. 20). In December of the same year he signed a letter to the queen, praying her to give her assent to a bill for enforcing subscription to the articles of 1562–3 (Parker Correspondence, pp. 292–294). On 18 Jan. 1570–1, on the promotion of Sandys to the see of London, Bullingham was elected bishop of Worcester (Le Neve, Fasti, iii. 65; Rymer, Fœd. xv. 689). As bishop of Worcester he was one of the episcopal commissioners appointed by the queen, 7 June 1571, for the enforcement of the use of the Book of Common Prayer and the prohibition of unlicensed ministers (Parker Corresp. p. 383; Strype, Parker, iii. 183, No. 62). The same year he signed the forty articles (Strype, Parker, ii. 54, bk. iv. ch. 5) and the ‘canons ecclesiastical’ (ib. p. 60; Cardwell, Synodalia, i. 131). Archbishop Parker commissioned Bullingham to ordain for him (Strype, u. s. i. 129), and, 4 Jan. 1566, forwarded to Cecil his request to be temporarily relieved of the care of Gilbert Bourne [q. v. , the deprived bishop of Bath and Wells, who had been committed to his custody (Parker Correspondence, p. 253; Strype, u. s. i. 279). Parker bequeathed to him his ‘white horse called Hackington with its harness and caparisons, valued at 13l. 6s. 8d.’ (Strype, u. s. iii. 336, 343). While bishop of Lincoln, 28 Feb. 1567–8, he issued a circular letter to the incumbents of his diocese for collections on behalf of the refugees for religion from France and Flanders (Calendar of State Papers, sub ann.). As visitor of King's College, on a complaint of the fellows of King's in 1566, that their provost, Philip Baker, was popishly inclined, he made a visitation of the college, and issued injunctions for the destruction of ‘a great deal of popish stuff,’ which the provost neglected, concealing the condemned articles in ‘a secret corner’ (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, ii. 225). He died, much respected and beloved, on 18 April 1576, and was succeeded after a year's vacancy of the see by Whitgift. He was buried in the Jesus chapel, on the north side of the nave of his cathedral. The effigy is of singular design, only the upper and lower part of the figure being visible. His quaint epitaph runs:—
Nicolaus Episcopus Wigorn.
Here born, here bishop, buried here,
A Bullyngham by name and stock,
A man twice married in God's fear,
Chief pastor, late of Lyncolne flock,
Whom Oxford trained up in youth,
Whom Cambridge doctor did create,
A painful preacher of the truth,
Who changed this life for happy fate
18 April 1576.
He was twice married and had children by both wives. His first wife Margaret was buried at Buckden in 1566. He died largely in debt, leaving his wife and children in great poverty. A supplication to the queen on their behalf is among the State Papers, 17 June 1576.
Bullingham took part in the Bishops' Bible, the Canonical Epistles and the Apocalypse being entrusted to him (Parker Correspondence, p. 336). A volume of his manuscript sermons is in the Lambeth Library, No. 739.[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 813; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 350, 563; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 175, ii. 23, &c., iii. 65; Richardson's Godwin, i. p. 301, ed. 1743; Strype's Parker, ll. cc.; Rymer's Fœdera, ll. cc.; Parker Correspondence, ll. cc.; Boase's Reg. of Univ. of Oxford, pp. 194, 211.]