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upon he was charged for intending an escape out of the Tower (was he not a very fool indeed, if not desiring his own liberty?); which far-fetched deduction was heightened into high treason. The simple earl was persuaded, by his friend-pretending foes, to confess the fact, as the only way to find favour; and so, freely acknowledging more against himself than others could prove, yea or himself did intend, soon after found the proverb true, "Confess, and be beheaded."
However, the blood of this innocent (so may he truly be termed, take the word in what sense you please) did not pass unpunished; and the lady Catherine dowager was wont to acknowledge the death of her two sons an ill success of her match, as heaven's judgment on her family for the murdering of this earl, which happened anno Domini 1499.
Saint WOLSTAN.-There is some difference, but what is easily reconcileable, about the place of his nativity:
"Sanctus Wolstanus, natione Anglus, Wigorniensis.”* "St. Wolstan was born in Warwickshire, of worthy and religious parents."+
The accommodation is easy, seeing a Warwickshire man by his county may be a Worcester man by his diocese, to which see the western moiety of that county doth belong. Since, I have learned from my worthy friend that Long Irtington in this shire may boast of the birth of Saint Wolstan. He afterwards became bishop of Worcester; and, for his piety and holiness, was generally reverenced.
Indeed he was, like Jacob, a plain man, with Nathaniel an Israelite without guile, welt, or gard. He could not mode it, or comport, either with French fickleness or Italian pride; which rendered him at once hated by two grandees, king William the Conqueror, and Lankfrank the lordly Lombard archbishop of Canterbury.
These resolved on his removal, quarrelling with him that he could not speak French (a quality which much commended the clergy in that age to preferment); and command him to give up his episcopal staff and ring into the hands of the king. But old Wolstan trudged to the tomb of king Edward the Confessor in Westminster, who had been his patron, and there offered up his episcopal habiliments. "These," said he, "from you I received, and to you I resign them."
This his plain-dealing so wrought on his adversaries (honesty at long running is the best policy), that he was not only continued, but countenanced, in his bishopric; yea, acquired the reputation of a saint. The greatest fault which I find charged
J. Pits, de Illustribus Angliæ Scriptoribus, ætate undecimâ, num. 174. † Hierome Porter, in the Flowers of the Lives of English Saints, p. 84. Mr. Dugdale, in his Illustrations of this County.
on his memory is his activity in making William Rufus king, to the apparent injury of Robert his elder brother. But it is no wonder if clergymen betray their weakness, who, being bred in a convent, quit church business to intermeddle with secular matters. He died January 19, 1095.
Laurence SANDERS, priest, martyred at Coventry, Feb. 8, 1555. Robert GLOVER, of Manceter, gentleman, martyred at Coventry, Sept. 20, 1555.
Cornelius BONGEY, of Coventry, capper, martyred at Coventry, Sept. 20, 1555.
John CARELES, of Coventry, weaver, martyred in King's Bench, London.
To these let me add JULIUS PALMER, a hopeful scholar, bred in Magdalen College in Oxford; and, though burnt in Newbury, born at Coventry. Ralph Bains, bishop of this diocese, was the cause of much persecution therein.
JOHN GLOVER.-David saith, "He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter."* Now hunters often change their hare, losing that which they first followed, and starting another which they hunt and take. So it happened here; for this John was the person by his persecutors designed to death, who (after many temporal and spiritual troubles) miraculously escaped those Nimrods; whilst Robert Glover, his younger brother (of whom before) without their intention fell into their hands, and lost his life. Yet was there no mistake in Divine Providence, making the swervings and aberrations of men tend, in a straight line, to the accomplishing of his hidden will and pleasure.
WILLIAM MAKLESFIELD was born, saith my author † (but with an abatement of a hic fertur) in the city of Coventry. He was made bachelor of divinity at Paris, doctor at Oxford, and being a Dominican, was made general of their order.
Pope Benedict the Eleventh (who was of the same fraternity), formerly his familiar acquaintance, made him cardinal, with the title of St. Sabine. But such his misfortune, that he was dead and buried at London, before his cardinal's cap was brought to him.
What said David? "He shall carry nothing away with him when he dies; neither shall his pomp follow him." Yet this man's state endeavoured to follow him as far as it could. For his cardinal's cap being sent to London with great solem
† Bishop Godwin, in his Catalogue of Cardinals, p. 170.
* Psalm xci. 3. Psalm xlix. 17.
nity, was with much magnificence set on the monument where he was buried.* And perchance this cap did him as much good when he was dead, as it would have done if he had been living. Sure I am, that faithful linen did him far more service, which adventured to go down with him into the grave, for the winding of his body therein.
PETER PETOW, by Master Camden called William Petow,† (and had I been at his christening I could have decided the controversy) was descended from ancient family, which for a long time have flourished at Chesterton in this county. Being by order a Franciscan, he was, by Pope Paulus the Third, created cardinal (his title unknown) June 13, 1557.
The same Pope also made him Legate à Latere and bishop of Salisbury, to the apparent wronging of John Capon, bishop thereof, then alive, and no more obnoxious than others of his order. But I forget what the canon law saith, "None may say to the Pope, Why dost thou so?" as if what were unjust in itself were made just by his doing it.
Petow, thus armed with a legatine power, advanced towards England, with full intent and resolution, either to force his admittance into the English court, or else to depart as he came.
But queen Mary, though drenched (not drowned) in Popish principles, would not unprince herself to obey his Holiness; and, understanding it a splenetic design against cardinal Pole, whom she entirely affected (wonder not at such differences betwixt anti-cardinals, whereas worse between anti-Popes) prohibited his entrance into the realm; which Petow took so tenderly, that the April after he died in France, 1558.
JOHN STRATFORD, Son of Robert and Isabel Stratford, is notoriously known to be born at Stratford, an eminent market in this county. This makes me much admire, and almost suspect my own eyes, in what I read, both in archbishop Parker and bishop Godwin, "De cujus gente atque patriâ nihil accepimus." "De cujus viri natalibus traditum non reperi quicquam." Being, by Papal provisions, preferred bishop of Winchester, without the royal consent, he fell into the disfavour of king Edward the Second, regaining his good will (by the intercession of archbishop Mepham); and being a subject, not to the prosperity but person of his prince, he forsook him not in the greatest extremity. This cost him the displeasure of the queen mother and king Edward the Third, till at last, converted by his constancy, they turned their frowns into smiles upon
Bishop Godwin, ut supra. + Camden's Britannia, in Warwickshire.
When archbishop of Canterbury, he persuaded king Edward the Third to invade France, promising to supply him with competent provisions for the purpose: a promise not so proportionable to his archiepiscopal capacity as to him; as he had been twice treasurer of England, and skilful in the collecting and advancing of money; so that he furnished the king with great sums at his first setting forth for France.
These being spent before the year ended, the king sends over for a supply. Stratford, instead of coin, returns counsel, advising him to alter his officers; otherwise, if so much was spent at a breakfast, the whole wealth of the land would not suffice him for dinner.
Over comes the angry king, from whose fury Stratford was forced to conceal himself, until, publicly passing his purgation in parliament, he was restored to the reputation of his innocence, and rectified in the king's esteem. He built, and bountifully endowed, a beautiful college in the town of his nativity; and, having sat archbishop fifteen years, died anno 1348, leaving a perfumed memory behind him, for his bounty to his servants, charity to the poor, meekness and moderation to all persons.
RALPH STRATFORD (kinsman to the foresaid archbishop) was born in the town of Stratford on Avon, where he built a chapel to the honour of Saint Thomas.* He was first canon of Saint Paul's; and afterwards, May 12, 1339, was consecrated at Canterbury bishop of London.
During his sitting in that see, there happened so grievous a pestilence in London, that hardly the tenth person in some places did escape. Then each church-yard was indeed a polyandrum, so that the dead might seem to justle one another for room therein. Yea, the dead did kill the living, so shallowly were their heaped corpse interred.
Whereupon this bishop charitably bought a piece of ground nigh Smithfield. It was called No-man's-land, not à parte ante, as formerly without an owner (seeing it had a proprietary of whom it was legally purchased); but de futuro, none having a particular interest therein, though indeed it was All-men's-land, as designed and consecrated for the general sepulture of the deceased. This bishop having continued about fourteen years in his see, died at Stepney 1355.
ROBERT STRATFORD (brother to the archbishop aforesaid) was, in the reign of king Edward the Third, made bishop of Chichester. He was at the same time chancellor of Oxford (wherein he was bred), and of all England; honourable offices, which sometimes have met in the same person, though never more deservedly than in the present enjoyert of them both.
⚫ Godwin, in the Bishops of London.
† Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards the famous Earl of Clarendon.-ED.
In his time there was a tough contest betwixt the South and Northern-men in that university. They fell from their pens to their hands, using the contracted fist of martial logic, bloody blows passing betwixt them. This bishop did wisely and fortunately bestir himself an arbitrator in this controversy,* being a proper person for such a performance, born in this county (in the very navel of England); so that his nativity was a natural expedient betwixt them, and his judgment was impartial in compromising the difference.
He was accused to the king for favouring the French, with his brother archbishop; contented patiently to attend till pregnant Time was delivered of Truth her daughter; and then this brace of prelates appeared brethren in integrity. He died at Allingbourn, April 9, 1362.
JOHN VESTY, alias HARMAN, doctor of law, was born at Sutton Colefield in this county, bred in Oxford; a most vivacious person, if the date of these remarks be seriously considered. 1. In the twentieth year of king Henry the Sixth, he was appointed to celebrate the divine service in the free chapel of Saint Blaise of Sutton aforesaid. 2. In the twenty-third year of Henry the Seventh, he was made vicar of Saint Michael's church in Coventry. 3. Under king Henry the Eighth, he was made dean of the chapel-royal, tutor to the lady Mary, and president of Wales. 4. In the eleventh of king Henry the Eighth, 1519, he was advanced to be bishop of Exeter. Which bishopric he destroyed, not only shaving the hairs (with long leases), but cutting away the limbs with sales outright, insomuch that bishop Hall, his successor in that see, complaineth in print, that the following bishops were barons, but bare-ones indeed.
Some have confidently affirmed, in my hearing, that the word to veize (that is, in the west, to drive away with a witness) had its original from his profligating of the lands of his bishopric; but I yet demur to the truth hereof.
He robbed his own cathedral to pay a parish church, Sutton in this county, where he was born, whereon he bestowed many benefactions, and built fifty-one houses. To enrich this his native town, he brought out of Devonshire many clothiers, with desire and hope to fix the manufacture of clothing there. All in vain; for, as Bishop Godwin observeth,
"Non omnis fert omnia tellus."
Which (though true conjunctively, that all countries put together bring forth all things to be mutually bartered by a reciprocation of trade,) is false disjunctively; no one place affording all commodities, so that the cloth-workers here had their pains for their labour, and sold for their loss.
• Brian Twine.