Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/313

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catholic at heart, who had many youths of that communion under his care. When Bridgewater was removed from his post, Gifford continued his studies in the noted boarding-school at Oxford kept by George Etherege, M.D. [q. v.] After he had resided in the university for four years, ‘exercising himself in grammar, music, logic, and philosophy,’ he proceeded with his tutor to Louvain, where he graduated M.A. Having studied divinity for four years under Father Bellarmin, he took the degree of bachelor in that faculty. Being obliged by the war in the Low countries to quit Louvain, he retired to Paris, where he prosecuted his theological studies at the Sorbonne. Thence he went, by invitation of Dr. William Allen, to the English College at Rheims, and soon afterwards he was sent with other students to the English College at Rome, of which he was admitted a member on 15 Sept. 1579 (Foley, Records, vi. 139). Allen recalled him from Italy in 1582, and appointed him public lecturer on the ‘Summa’ of St. Thomas Aquinas in the college at Rheims. While he was thus occupied, Henry, duke of Guise, and the cardinal Louis de Lorraine granted him an annual pension of two hundred pieces of gold (ducentos aureos). To prepare himself for the doctorate in divinity he maintained thirty-six propositions concerning the sacraments at a public disputation in Cardinal Guise's palace. After the ceremony, in order to avoid expense, he took the degree of doctor of divinity on 14 Nov. 1584 at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, and, returning to Rheims, taught theology there at intervals for nearly twelve years.

On 18 April 1586 he wrote to Secretary Walsingham a letter of thanks for permission to return to England, and expressing his loyalty to the queen (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1581–90, p. 321). In the following year, when Allen was raised to the purple, he accompanied him to Rome and acted as his principal chaplain and almoner. In a list (at Simancas) of the members of the cardinal's household at his death in 1594 Gifford was described as ‘molto nobile e dotto, theologo del signor Cardinale … e di molto valore et merito et ha niente per mantenersi.’ He afterwards resided for a time in the household of St. Charles Borromeo, cardinal and archbishop of Milan, to whom he had been introduced by Dr. Owen Lewis. About 1596 the pope (Clement VIII) conferred upon him the deanery of the church of St. Peter at Lille. At this period he sided with the faction of Morgan and Paget, and incited the English students at Rome in the same direction (Records of the English Catholics, ii. 389, 390). In August 1603 he carried to James I a despatch from the nuncio at Brussels assuring James of the pope's anxiety that the English Roman catholics should submit peacefully to his government (Gardiner, Hist. i. 140). About 1606, according to one account, the archduke ordered him, at the request of the English king, to whom he had made himself obnoxious, to quit Flanders. He therefore returned to Rheims, where in 1608 he was nominated rector of the university (Marlot, Histoire de Reims, 1846, iv. 536). According to another account he was driven from Lille by the violence of the jesuits, whom he had offended by advocating the cause of the Benedictine monks (Lewis Owen, Running Register, 1626, p. 91). He certainly had a strong predilection for the Benedictines, and induced the cardinal Charles of Lorraine to grant the priory of St. Laurence at Dieulewart in Lorraine to Englishmen of that order in 1606. Gifford joined the order himself. He took the Benedictine habit on 11 July 1608, in the great abbey of St. Remigius at Rheims for the house at Dieulewart, where on 11 July 1609 he was privately professed in the chapter-house, taking the name in religion of Gabriel de Sancta Maria (Weldon, Chronicle, p. 105). He was prior at Dieulewart in 1609–10. In 1611 he laid the foundation of a small community of his order at St. Malo, in Brittany, but eventually he removed the establishment to Paris, and became its first prior (1611–18), though it had not a legal establishment till many years after his death. For fourteen years he was esteemed one of the most eloquent preachers in the French language at Paris. Louis XIII and many eminent men were frequently among his hearers. He also preached in Poitou, Brittany, and Saintonge. At an earlier period he had delivered Latin orations at Lille at the inauguration of Albert and Isabella, sovereign princes of the Low Countries, and at Rheims, before the cardinals of Bourbon, Vendôme, Guise, Vaudemont, and the Dukes of Guise and Aumale. When the English Benedictines were united in one province or congregation, Gifford was chosen the first president, 16 May 1617.

The cardinal of Guise, in 1618, wanting a coadjutor to the archiepiscopal see of Rheims, recommended Gifford to the holy see. Gifford was consecrated bishop of Archidiapolis, or Archidalia, in partibus, 21 Sept. 1618, by Charles de Balzac, bishop of Noyon, in the monastery of St. Germain-des-Près. On the death of the cardinal, Gifford succeeded him in 1622 as archbishop of Rheims, on the nomination of the king of France, confirmed by the pope. By virtue of this dignity he became also Duke of Rheims and the first