Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/26

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Abbot
Abbot
12

of England, and their groundless suspicions of ‘outlandish folks.’ He had bidden his pupils use protestant aliens as brethren, and such was his own invariable practice (Strype, Annals, II. i. 252). In 1612 an Italian friar desirous of conversion was installed in his palace; in the following year he made arrangements for the settlement in England of Antonio de Dominis, formerly archbishop of Spalato, who had renounced the catholic faith. Abbot offered Antonio, through Carleton (15 Dec. 1613), ‘a private life in a university and 200l a year,’ but the plan was not very successful. The prelate arrived and took up his quarters at Lambeth, but he was ‘an unquiet man, and not of that fair, quiet, civil carriage as would give him contentment’ (Goodman, Court of James I, i. 339). He obtained the deanery of Windsor and the mastership of the Savoy, but was still discontented, and a refusal of the reversion to the archbishopric of York caused him, in 1622, to turn upon his benefactors. He attacked Abbot severely, and reproached him with withholding the 200l originally promised him; finally he announced his intention of returning to Rome, and thereupon Abbot ordered him, with the king’s acquiescence, to leave England within twenty days and return at his peril (21 March 1621–2). Abbot secured his loose manuscripts, including the original manuscript of Sarpi’s history of the council of Trent, of which he had long been anxious to obtain possession, and which was first printed at London under his direction in 1619 (cf. his letters in Lewis Atterbury’s Some Letters relating to the Council of Trent, 1705). With Casaubon Abbot remained on more peaceable terms. He frequently received him at Lambeth, and stood with James I sponsor for one of his children on 4 Nov. 1612 (Cal. State Papers); he aided with his influence the scholar’s endeavour to convert a Jew of Oxford; he read over Casaubon’s elaborate criticism on Baronius, and forbade the publication of a pirated version of some portions of the work (Pattison, Life of Casaubon, pp. 410, 418, 429). Abbot often raised funds for French or Dutch protestants in distress, and educated at Oxford at his own expense several Greeks and other foreigners. In 1619, he had the satisfaction of reconciling the Calvinists of Jersey to the church of England. In Ireland Abbot discouraged any conciliatory policy towards the catholics, and although he strongly condemned the endeavours of the Scotch bishops to resist the practices of the English church, he maintained a personal intimacy with many of them. On 7 July 1616 he absolved the Marquis of Huntley at Lambeth from the excommunication recently imposed on him by the Scotch bishops for his suspected papistical intrigues; and silenced the discontent in Scotland that his reversal of this act of the Scotch episcopate was likely to rouse by a very cleverly worded if somewhat casuistical letter (23 July) to the general assembly (Calderwood, History, vii. 218, 226; Letters during Reign of James I, Bannatyne Club, ii. 471 et seq.).

In matters of wider political significance Abbot played an equally prominent part. His religious views had led him to form a definite foreign policy, of which the one aim was to crush Spain and to be wary of France. The marriages of James’s son and daughter, Henry and Elizabeth, were occupying the ministers’ attention when Abbot joined their councils. Proposals had been made as early as 1607 for a marriage between the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Savoy, brother-in-law of the King of Spain, and in 1611 it was suggested that Prince Henry at the same time should marry a Spanish princess. The scheme alarmed Abbot; he vehemently opposed it at the council board, but his opposition would hardly have been successful, though Salisbury discountenanced the alliances, had not the Spaniards themselves raised insuperable objections to the English terms. But Abbot was determined that, so far as he could help it, the debates, when they dropped in 1611, should not be reopened. The protestant Elector Palatine of Germany had offered Elizabeth his hand before the Spanish negotiations closed, and on this union Abbot set his heart. Prince Henry was of Abbot’s opinion. In September 1612 the elector palatine came over to England, and Abbot and he were soon on friendly terms. A month or two before, a Spanish ambassador, Zuñiga, had been in England to propose another Spanish suitor to Elizabeth in the person of the king of Spain himself. But Abbot, in a strongly worded letter to the king (22 July), had shown how bribery and corruption of the courtiers were, according to his secret information, the instruments on which Zuñiga depended for the success of his mission (cf. Strype, Annals, iv. 564). It was by such means that Abbot cleared the path of the German prince, and matters made satisfactory progress. But the marriage seemed likely to be long and dangerously delayed. At the close of October, Prince Henry was taken fatally ill, and shortly afterwards died. Abbot, ‘like a grave and a religious churchman,’ was with him to the last, and certified that he died in the true faith; but the blow was a severe one for his prospects. His grief