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JOHN DE KIRKBY, born at one of the two Kirkbys (Lonsdale or Stephens) in this county, was first canon, and afterwards bishop of Carlisle, anno 1332. This is that stout prelate, who, when the Scots invaded England, anno 1345, with an army of thirty thousand, under the conduct of William Douglas, and had taken and burnt Carlisle with the country thereabouts; I say, this John Kirkby was he who, with the assistance of Thomas Lucy, Robert Ogle (persons of prime power in those parts), fighting in an advantageous place, utterly routed and ruined them. Such as behold this act with envious eyes, cavilling that he was non-resident from his calling when he turned his mitre into a helmet, crosier-staff into a sword, consider not that true maxim, "In publicos hostes omnis homo miles ;" and the most conscientious casuists, who forbid clergymen to be military plaintiffs, allow them to be defendants. He died anno Domini 1353.
THOMAS de APPLEBY, born in that eminent town in this county where the assizes commonly are kept, was legally chosen bishop of Carlisle by all that had right in that election. Yet he was either so timorous, or the Pope so tyrannical, or both, that he durst not own the choice with his public consent, until he had first obtained his confirmation from the court of Rome. He was consecrated anno Domini 1363; and, having sat thirtythree years in that see, deceased December 5, 1395.
ROGER de APPLEBY went over into Ireland, and there became prior of Saint Peter's near Trimme (formerly founded by Simon de Rupe-forti, bishop of Meath). Hence by the Pope he was preferred bishop of Ossory in the same kingdom. He died anno Domini 1404.
WILLIAM of STRICKLAND, descended of a right worshipful family in this county, anno 1396, by joint consent of the canons, chosen bishop of Carlisle. However, by the concurrence of the Pope and king Richard the Second, one Robert Read was preferred to the place; which injury and affront Strickland bare with much moderation. Now it happened that Read was removed to Chichester, and Thomas Merx his successor translated to a Grecian bishopric, that Strickland was elected again* (patience gains the goal with long running), and consecrated bishop of Carlisle, anno 1400. For the town of Penrith in Cumberland he cut a passage with great art, industry, and expence, from the town into the river Petteril, for the conveyance of boatage into the Irish Sea. He sate bishop 19 years, and died anno Do
NICHOLAS CLOSE was born at Bibreke in this county, and Bishop Godwin, in the Catalogue of the Bishops of Carlisle.
+ Camden's Britannia, in Cumberland.
305 was one of the six original fellows whom king Henry the Sixth placed in his newly erected college of King's College in Cambridge. Yea, he made him in a manner master of the fabric, committing the building of that house to his fidelity, who right honestly discharged his trust therein. He was first bishop of Carlisle, then of Lichfield, wherein he died within a year after his consecration, viz. anno Domini 1453.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
HUGH COREN, or CURWEN, was born in this county, and made by queen Mary archbishop of Dublin ;* Brown, his immediate predecessor, being deprived, for that he was married. Here it is worthy of our observation, that though many of the Protestant clergy in that land were imprisoned, and otherwise much molested, yet no one person, of what quality soever, in all Ireland, did suffer martyrdom; and hereon a remarkable story doth depend,—a story which hath been solemnly avouched by the late reverend archbishop of Armagh in the presence of several persons, and amongst others unto Sir James Ware knight (that most excellent antiquary) and divers in the university of Oxford, who wrote it from his mouth, as he received the same from ancient persons of unquestionable credit.
About the third of the reign of queen Mary, a pursuivant was sent with a commission into Ireland, to empower some eminent persons to proceed, with fire and faggot, against poor Protestants. It happened, by Divine Providence, this pursuivant at Chester lodged in the house of a Protestant inn-keeper, who, having gotten some inkling of the matter, secretly stole his commission out of his cloak-bag, and put the knave of clubs in the room thereof. Some weeks after, he appeared before the lords of the privy-council at Dublin (of whom bishop Coren a principal), and produced a card for his pretended commission. They caused him to be committed to prison for such an affront, as done on design to deride them. Here he lay for some months, till with much ado at last he got his enlargement. Then over he returned for England; and, quickly getting his commission renewed, makes with all speed for Ireland again.
But, before his arrival there, he was prevented with the news of queen Mary's death; and so the lives of many, and the liberties of more, poor servants of God were preserved.
To return to our Coren, though a moderate Papist in queen Mary's days, yet he conformed with the first to the Reformation of queen Elizabeth, being ever sound in his heart. He was for some short time chief justice and chancellor of Ireland, till he quitted all his dignities in exchange for the bishopric of Oxford. It may seem a wonder that he should leave one of the archbishoprics in Ireland, for one of the worst bishoprics in England. * Manuscript Additions to Sir James Ware.
But oh, no preferment to quiet! And this politic prelate, very decrepit, broken with old age and many state-affairs, desired a private repose in his native land before his death, which happened anno Domini 1567.
BARNABY POTTER was born in this county, 1578, within the barony of Kendal, in which town he was brought up, until he was sent to Queen's College in Oxford, becoming successively scholar, fellow, and provost thereof. He was chosen the last, with the unanimous consent of the fellows, when, being at a great distance, he never dreamed thereof.
Then, resigning his provost's place, he betook himself to his pastoral charge in the country. He was chaplain in ordinary to prince Charles, being accounted at court the penitential preacher, and by king Charles was preferred bishop of Carlisle, when others sued for the place, and he little thought thereof. He was commonly called the puritanical bishop: and they would say of him, in the time of king James, "that organs would blow him out of the church;" which I do not believe, the rather because he was loving of, and skilful in, vocal music, and could bear his own part therein.
He was a constant preacher, and performer of family duties; of a weak constitution, melancholy, lean, and a hard student. He died in honour, being the last bishop that died a member of parliament, in the year of our Lord 1642.
Sir EDWARD BELLINGHAM, Knight, was born of an ancient and warlike family, in this county,† servant of the privy-chambers to king Edward the Sixth, who sent him over, anno 1547, to be lord deputy of Ireland; whose learning, wisdom, and valour made him fit to discharge that place.
Hitherto the English pale had been hide-bound in the growth thereof, having not gained one foot of ground in more than two hundred years, since the time of king Edward the Third. This Sir Edward first extended it, proceeding against the Irishry in a martial course, by beating and breaking the Moors and Connors, two rebellious septs.‡
And, because the poet saith true,
"It proves a man as brave and wise
To keep, as for to get the prize;"
he built the forts of Leix and Offaly, to secure his new acquisition. Surely, had he not been suddenly revoked into England, he would have perfected the project in the same sort as it was performed by his successor the earl of Sussex, by settling English plantations therein.
* Mr. S. Clarke, in his Lives of Modern Divines, p. 393.
†Though Sussex (where his surname is of good esteem) may pretend unto him, I am confident of his right location.-F.
Sir John Davis, in Discourse of Ireland, p. 69.
Such his secrecy (the soul of great designs) that his soldiers. never knew whither they went, till they were come whither they should go. Thus he surprised the earl of Desmond, being rude and unnurtured; brought him up to Dublin, where he informed and reformed him in manners and civility; sometimes making him to kneel on his knees an hour together, before he knew his duty, till he became a new man in his behaviour.* This earl all his life after highly honoured him; and, at every dinner and supper, would pray to God for good Sir Edward Bellingham, who had so much improved him.†
This deputy had no faults on his deputyship but one, that it was so short; he being called home before two years were expired. Surely this hath much retarded the reducing of the Irishry, the often shifting of their deputies; (too often change of the kinds of plaisters, hinders the healing of the sore); so that as they had learned their trade, they must resign their shop to another; which made king James continue the lord Chichester so long in the place, for the more effectual performance
Coming into England, he was accused of many faults; but cleared himself as fast as his adversaries charged him, recovering the king's favour in so high a degree, that he had been sent over deputy again, save that he excused himself by indisposition of body, and died not long after.
RICHARD KENDAL.-I place him here with confidence, because no Kendal in England save what is the chief town of this county. He was an excellent grammarian, and the greatest instructer (shrewd and sharp enough) of youth in his age. He had a vast collection of all Latin grammars, and thence extracted a quint-essence, whereof he was so highly conceited. that he publicly boasted "that Latin only to be elegant which was made according to his rules, and all other to be base and barbarous; "§ which, reader, I conceive (being out of his, though) under thy correction, a proud and pedantic expression. He flourished in the reign of king Henry the Sixth.
SINCE THE REFORMATION.
BERNARD, Son of EDWIN GILPIN, esquire, was born at Kentmeire in this county, anno 1517. At sixteen years old (very young in that age from those parts) his parents sent him to Queen's College in Oxford; whence his merit advanced him one of the first students in the new foundation of Christ's Church.
Hitherto the heat of Gilpin was more than his light; and he
Ralph Holinshed, Irish Chronicle. p, 109.
See" Villare Anglicanum."
+ Idem, ibidem.
Bale, de Scriptoribus Britannicis; et Pits, de Scriptoribus Angliæ.
hated vice more than error; which made him so heartily dispute against master Hooper (who afterwards was martyred) when indeed he did follow his argument with his affections.
How afterwards he became a zealous Protestant, I refer the reader to his life, written at large by bishop Carleton. He was rector of Houghton in the north, consisting of fourteen villages.
In his own house he boarded and kept full four and twenty scholars. The greater number of his boarders were poor sons, upon whom he bestowed meat, drink, and cloth, and education in learning. He was wont to entertain his parishioners and strangers at his table, not only at the Christmas time, as the custom is; but, because he had a large and wide parish, a great multitude of people, he kept a table for them every Sunday from Michaelmas to Easter. He had the gentlemen, the husbandmen, and the poorer sort, set every degree by themselves, and as it were ordered in ranks. He was wont to commend the married state in the clergy; howbeit himself lived and died a single man. He bestowed, in the building, ordering, and establishing of his school, and in providing yearly stipends for a school-master and an usher, the full sum of five hundred pounds; out of which school he supplied the Church of England with great store of learned men. He was careful to avoid not only all evil doing, but even the lightest suspicions thereof. And he was accounted a saint in the judgments of his very enemies, if he had any such. Being full of faith unfeigned, and of good works, he was at the last put into his grave, as a heap of wheat in due time swept into the garner. He died the 4th of March, 1583, and in the 66th year of his age.
[AMP.] RICHARD MULCASTER was born of an ancient extract in the north; but whether in this county or Cumberland, I find not decided. From Eaton school he went to Cambridge, where he was admitted into King's College, 1548 ;* but, before he was graduated, removed to Oxford. Here such his proficiency in learning, that, by general consent, he was chosen the first master of Merchant Tailors' school in London, which prospered well under his care, as, by the flourishing of Saint John's in Oxford, doth plainly appear.
The Merchant Tailors, finding his scholars so to profit, intended to fix Mr. Mulcaster at his desk to their school, till death should remove him. This he perceived, and therefore gave for his motto, "Fidelis servus, perpetuus asinus." But, after twenty-five years, he procured his freedom, or rather exchanged his service, being made master of Paul's School.
His method in teaching was this: In a morning he would exactly and plainly construe and parse the lessons of his scho
* Hatcher's MS. of the Scholars thereof.