Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 13.djvu/34

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the subject, in which Cranmer and others should be allowed to take part. This could not be reasonably refused; and Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were taken from their prison in the Tower and lodged in Bocardo, the common gaol at Oxford, till the disputation commenced. On 14 April they were called before a great assembly of divines, from Cambridge as well as from Oxford, which met in St. Mary's Church, presided over by Dr. Weston, prolocutor of the convocation. The three articles agreed on in convocation were proposed to them, and they refused to subscribe. Monday following, the 16th, was appointed to Cranmer to declare his reasons, Tuesday the 17th to Ridley, and Wednesday the 18th to Latimer. Of course there could be little doubt of the result. Dr. Chedsey was Cranmer's chief opponent, and after the discussion had lasted from eight in the morning till nearly two in the afternoon there was a cry of ‘Vicit veritas!’ The arguments were then handed in to the registrar, the doctors went to dinner, and Cranmer was conveyed back by the mayor to Bocardo. After his two fellow-prisoners had been heard and answered in the same style, and a formal condemnation of all three had been pronounced on the Friday, he wrote on the 23rd a brief account of the discussion to the council, complaining of the unfairness with which it had been conducted, and requesting them to obtain for him the queen's pardon.

It is clear that he had fought his argumentative battle with great calmness, moderation, and ability. Nor were his opponents, perhaps, altogether satisfied with the result; for though they had declared him vanquished upon the Monday, they allowed him to discuss the same question again on the Thursday following with John Harpsfield, who was to dispute for his degree of D.D.; and at the close of that day's controversy not only did Dr. Weston commend his gentleness and modesty in argument, but all the doctors present took off their caps in compliment to him. He and his two fellow-captives were, however, kept in prison for nearly a year and a half longer, during which time Mary married Philip of Spain, Pole arrived as legate from Rome, and a beginning was already made of those cruel martyrdoms which have cast so deep a stain on Mary's government. The council seem to have been unable for a long time to determine on further proceedings against Cranmer and his two friends, till at length it was determined to give them a formal trial for heresy. As yet they had only been condemned in a scholastic disputation, but now Pole as legate issued a commission to examine and absolve, or degrade and deliver to the secular arm, the two prisoners, Ridley and Latimer. As to Cranmer, who had filled the office of primate, a different course was adopted. He first received on 7 Sept. 1555 a citation to appear at Rome within eighty days in answer to such matters as should be objected to him by the king and queen. This, however, was mere matter of form, and it was notified to him that, at the king and queen's request, the pope had issued a commission for his trial to Cardinal Dupuy (or de Puteo), who had delegated his functions to Brookes, bishop of Gloucester.

Bishop Brookes accordingly opened his commission in St. Mary's Church on 12 Sept. Cranmer refused to recognise his authority, saying he had once sworn never again to consent to papal jurisdiction; and he made a rather lame answer when reminded that he had also sworn obedience to the church of Rome, taking refuge in the protest that he made before doing so, and the advice of learned men whom he had consulted. Sixteen articles touching his past career were then objected to him, most of which he admitted to be true in fact, though he took exception to the colouring. Eight witnesses who had in past times favoured the Reformation were brought in to confirm the charges, and when asked what he had to say to their testimony, he said he objected to every one of them as perjured, inasmuch as they had, like himself, abjured the pope whom they now defended. No judgment was delivered, but a report of the proceedings was forwarded to Rome, while Cranmer, besides making some complaints to the queen's proctor, wrote to the queen herself, expressing his regret that his own natural sovereigns had cited him before a foreign tribunal. He had been sworn, he said, in Henry VIII's days, never to admit the pope's jurisdiction in England, and he could not without perjury have acknowledged the bishop of Gloucester as his judge. He urged the queen to consider that papal laws were incompatible with the laws of the realm, and adduced arguments against the doctrine and practice of the church of Rome on the subject of the eucharist. An answer to this letter was written by Cardinal Pole by the queen's command.

Cranmer remained in prison while his friends, Ridley and Latimer, were conveyed outside to their place of martyrdom on 16 Oct. He witnessed their execution from a tower on the top of his prison, and complained after to his gaoler of the cruelty of Ridley's treatment, whose sufferings were protracted by a piece of mismanagement. He was al-