Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/318

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he had been trained by his uncle, and helped him in his diplomatic duties at the Roman court; for in the grant of the temporalities of his see by Henry VII he is called ‘archipresbyter Luccensis, causarum nostrarum in curia Romana solicitator’ (Thomas, Survey of Worcester Cathedral, Appendix, p. 130). He was appointed to the see by provision of Alexander VI, dated 24 Dec. 1498, and was enthroned by proxy in April 1499. He remained in Rome as resident ambassador of Henry VII, and as such took part in the ceremonies of the papal court (Burchard, Diarium, ed. Thuasne, iii. 354). At the end of 1504 he was sent by Pope Julius II as the bearer of some tokens of the pope's favour to Henry VII, and he distinguished himself by his eloquence before the king at Richmond (Bernard André, Annales Henrici VII, ed. Gairdner, p. 86). After that he seems to have stayed a few years in England, more engaged as a master of ceremonies about the court than in the work of his diocese (ib. pp. 122–3). When Henry VIII became more intimately connected with European politics, he sent to Rome as his ambassador Christopher Bainbridge [q. v.], archbishop of York, in 1509, but found it necessary to employ Gigli as well, and appointed him in 1512 one of his ambassadors to the Lateran council. Pope Leo X found Gigli a more congenial person than Bainbridge, who was not popular at the papal court. The two English ambassadors were not on good terms, and there were frequent disputes between them. So patent were their quarrels that when Bainbridge died in 1514, poisoned by a servant, Gigli was suspected of being the author of the murder (Ellis, Original Letters, i. Nos. 35–7). Pope Leo X inquired into the matter, and Gigli was acquitted. Wolsey supported him, and could afterwards count upon his gratitude. It is only fair to say that there was no evidence against Gigli; that Bainbridge's temper seems to have stung his servant to a desire for revenge and plunder; that the man was lightheaded, and committed suicide in prison. The accusation did not affect Gigli's credit, and he was Wolsey's confidential agent in securing the cardinalate and the grant of legatine powers. From this time Gigli was the chief diplomatic agent of Wolsey in Rome, and was in constant correspondence with him and Henry VIII. He was also a man of letters and a correspondent of Erasmus. He died in Rome on 18 April 1521.

[Thomas's Survey of Worcester Cathedral, pp. 202–3; Burchard's Diarium; Paris de Grassis, Diarium, Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 8440–4; Cal. of State Papers of Hen. VIII, vols. i–iii.; Brewer's Reign of Hen. VIII; Memorie per servire all' Istoria del Ducato di Lucca, ix. 140; manuscript Reg. in Worcester Diocesan Registry.]

M. C.

GILBART, JAMES WILLIAM (1794–1863), writer on banking, descended from a Cornish family, was born in London 21 March 1794. In 1813 he entered as clerk a London bank, which stopped payment on account of the panic of December 1825. He was for some time after this engaged as cashier in the employment of a Birmingham firm, but soon returned to London, where in 1827 he published ‘A Practical Treatise on Banking, containing an account of the London and Country Banks, a view of the Joint-Stock Banks of Scotland and Ireland, with a summary of the Evidence delivered before the Parliamentary Committees relative to the suppression of Notes under five pounds in those countries’ (6th ed. 1856. Revised ed. 1871, republished in America at Rio de Janeiro and in Spain). Gilbart had already written a number of articles for popular periodicals. He was also connected with the Union Club, a debating society founded by J. S. Mill, of which Macaulay was a member.

In 1829 Gilbart went to Ireland, and managed in succession the branches at Kilkenny and Waterford of the Provincial Bank of Ireland.

Gilbart continued his literary activity, and became so well known that when joint-stock banks were established in London, there was a competition for his services. He agreed to become manager of the London and Westminster Bank, 10 Oct. 1833. The bank opened its doors 10 March 1834, and both before and after Gilbart had hard and delicate work to pilot the new institution through early difficulties. In 1836 the Bank of England obtained an injunction against his bank ‘prohibiting their accepting any bills drawn at less than six months after date.’ This seemed likely to kill the bank's country connection, but Gilbart skilfully evaded the danger by getting the country banks to draw upon his bank bills ‘without acceptance.’ He took this plan from the method adopted by his adversary in dealing with the Bank of Ireland. Not content with this, Gilbart wrote on the subject, gave evidence before various parliamentary committees, and saw his labours completely successful, when in 1844 Peel's Bank Charter Act enacted (inter alia) that joint-stock banks could sue and be sued by their public officers, and could accept bills at six months after date.

Gilbart's interest in his profession was shown in 1851 by his giving a prize of 100l. for the best essay ‘On the Adaptation of Recent Inventions, collected at the Great