Page images

in February 1579-80, upon the bishop's repeated desires, forms of resignation were actually drawn up. But the court could not find any divine of note, who would take that bishopric on their terms, of surrendering up the best manors belonging thereto. The first offer of it was made to Freak, bishop of Norwich ; and, on his refusal, it was proffered to several others : But the conditions were so ignominious and base, that they all rejected it: By which means bishop Cox enjoyed it till his death, which happened on the twenty-second of July, 1581, in the eighty-second year of his age. .

By his will he left several legacies, amounting in all to the sum of nine hundred and forty-five pounds; and died worth, in good debts, two thousand three hundred and twenty-two pounds. He had several children. His body was intérred in Ely cathedral, near bishop Goodrich's monument, under a marble-stone, with an inscription ; which having been defaced, there are only four verses of it now legible. Many things, of which he was author, have been published chiefly since his decease. As to his character; he was a man of sound judgment, and clear apprehension, and attained to great perfection in all polite and useful learning. He wanted no advantages of education, and improved them with such diligence and industry, that he soon became an excellent proficient both in divine and human literature. The holy Scriptures were his chief study; and he was perfectly well versed in the original language of the New Testament. He was extremely zealous for the true interest of our Reformed church, and a constant and vigorous defender of it against all the open assaults of its popish adversaries, and, what he thought in some particulars, the no less dangerous designs of the Puritans. He is accused by some of having been a worldly and covetous 'person; and is said to have made a great havock and spoil of his woods and parks, feeding his family with powdered venison to save expences. Several complaints, and long accusations, were exhibited against him and his wife, in 1577, to Q. Elizabeth, upon those accounts, by some false and evil disposed persons ; but the bishop fully vindicated himself, and shewed, that all those complaints were nothing but malicious calum. nies, and groundless imputations. It is likewise said, that he appears to have been of a vindictive spirit, by reason of his prosecution of, and severity to, the deprived Catholics in his custody; and especially by his complaints against Dr Feckenham the last abbot of Westminster. But

the the bishop alledges in his own excuse, that the doctor was a very troublesome guest, and good for nothing: And that his endeavours to convert him, were by order of the court. It must be remembered of this bishop, that he was the first who brought a wife to live in a college ; and that he procured a new body of statutes for St John's-college in Cambridge, of which, as bishop of Ely, he was visitor. · His Works, They are, “ 1. An Oration at the beginning of the Disputation of Dr Tresham and others with Peter Martyr. 2. An Oration at the conclusion of the same. These two orations, which are in Latin, were printed in 1549, 4to, and afterwards among Peter Martyr's works. The second is also printed in the appendix to the Memorials of archbishop Cranmer, by J. Strype, 3. He had a great hand in compiling the first Liturgy of the church of England : And was one of the chief persons employed in the review of it in 1559. 4. He turned into verse the Lord's Prayer, commonly printed at the end of Sternhold and Hopkins's Psalms. 5. When a new translation of the Bible was made in the reign of Q. Elizabeth, now commonly known by the name of the Bishops Bible,' the Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistle to the Romans, were allotted to him, for his portion. 6. He writ Resolutions of some Questions concerning the Sacraments; in the collection of Records at the end of Dr Burnet's History of the Reformation. 7. He had a hand, in the Declaration concerning the Functions and Divine Institution of Bishops and Priests : And in the Answers, to the Queries concerning some Abuses of the Mass. 8. Several Letters, and small pieces of his, have been published by the industrious Mr Strype, in his Annals of the Reformation ; namely, 1. A Letter to Wolfgang Weidner at Wormes, 20 May, 1559. 2. To the Queen, wherein he excuses himself for refusing to minister in the Royal Chapel, on account of the Crucifix there. 3. To Bullinger, on occasion of his answer to the Pope's Bull against the Queen. 4. To the Queen, upon her requiring his house in Holbourn for Mr Hatton. 5. To the same, upon her desiring him to surrender Somersham. 6. Reasons sent to the lord Burleigh to tender the state of GOD's Ministers. 7. Answers to the accusations of the lord North, and others against him. 8. To the lord Burleigh, upon the Queen's having ordered Archbishop Grindal to be suspended. 9. Letter congratulatory to the Queen in her progress, and to excuse himself for not waiting upon her. 10. To the lord Burleigh, upon the

Queen's Queen's granting him leave to resign his Bishopric. 11. To the same, informing him he had received intelligence, that twelve thousand Spaniards were to be sent by the Pope and Spaniard against the realm, 1580. 12. Account of his conference with Dr Feckenam. 13. To the lord Burleigh, of the ill state of St John's College, Cambridge, for want of Statutes. 14. Proofs and Evidences from ancient Grants, to shew, that his Manor and House in Holbourn is exempt from the jurisdiction of the city of London. He also had a hand in Lily's Grammar."




THIS faithful and zealous pastor, usually distinguished

1 in his time by the character of Apostle of the North, was born in the year 1517, about the middle of the reigni of Henry VIII. His forefathers had been seated at Kentmire-hall in Westmoreland from the time of K. John; in whose reign this estate had been given by a baron of Kendal to Richard Gilpin, as a reward for some considerable services, alluding probably to the following, among others, as related by bishop Carleton, who says, “This is that

Richard Gilpin, who slew a wild boar, which, raging in • the neighbouring mountains, like the boar of Erýman• thus, brought great damage upon the country-people.' Hence it was, that his family afterwards gave a boar for their arms. From this gentleman the estate at Kentmire descended to Bernard's father, Edwin Gilpin, who became prematurely possessed of it by the death of an elder brother, killed at the battle of Bosworth, in the cause, most probably, of Richard III. whose studied behaviour, and very popular government, had established him greatly in the esteem of the northern counties. Edwin had several children, of which Bernard was one of the youngest, who discovered an extraordinary genius and disposition in his childhood, and from his earliest youth was inclined to a contemplative life, thoughtful, reserved, and serious. · A begging friar came to his father's house, where, according to the custom of those times, he was received in a very hospitable manner. The plenty set before him was a temptation too strong for his virtue, of which it seems he had not sufficient to save appearances. The next morning, however, he ordered the bell to toll, and from the pulpit expressed himself with great vehemence against the debauchery of the times, and particularly against drunkenness. Young Gilpin, then a child by his mother's knee, seemed for some time exceedingly affected with the friar's discourse, and at length, with the utmost indigna: tion, cried out, “ Oh! mamma, do you hear how this fel.“ low dares speak against drunkenness, and was drunk « himself yesternight at our house?”

Instances of this kind soon discovered the seriousness of his disposition, and determined his parents to breed him to the church. He was first put to a grammar school, and, after passing through all the classes with great approbation, was sent to Oxford and admitted a scholar on the foundation of Queen's College in the year 1533. Here he stuck close to the academical studies of logic and philosophy, and became a distinguished disputant in the schools; at the same time he made himself master of Erasmus's works, which were then in vogue, and acquired a singular knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew tongues. In the - last of these he was instructed by Thomas Neale, then fellow of New College, who afterwards became Hebrew professor. On March 21, 1541, he proceeded master of arts, having taken his bachelor's degree at the usual term before. He was now also chosen fellow of his college, being much beloved for the sweetness of his disposition and unaffected sincerity of his manners. At the same time, his eminence for learning was such that he was made choice of for one of the first masters to supply ChristChurch-College, after the completing of its foundation by Henry VIII. : . In July, 1549, he commenced bachelor in divinity.

And as he had been bred in the Roman Catholic religion, so he continued hitherto steady to that church, and in defence of it, while he resided at Oxford, held a disputation against bishop Hooper, afterwards a martyr for the Protese tant faith. But in K. Edward VI.'s time, being prevailed upon to hold a disputation with the famous Peter Martyr, against certain Protestant doctrines maintained by him in his divinity-lecture at Oxford, Mr Gilpin soon found his adversary's arguments too strong for him, coming with all the force of scriptural authority; and pubLicly owned, that he could not maintain his ground,

[ocr errors]


and determined to enter into no more controversies, till he had gained the full information he was in pursuit of. This ingenious regard for truth was shewn in the more advantageous light by the bigotry of his fellow-disputants; whose inflamed zeal, and fierceness of temper, discovered little of the scholar, and less of the Christian. This difference of behaviour Peter Martyr took notice of; and would frequently say, that • As for Chedsey, Morgan, Wes(ton, and the rest of those hot-headed zealots, he could ( not, in truth, be much concerned about them ; but Mr • Gilpin seemed a man of such uprightness of intention, " and of so much sincerity, both in his words and actions, « that it went to his heart to see him still involved in pre* judice and error. The rest, he thought, were only a • trifling, light sort of men, led into an opposition more • by vain-glory, and a desire to distinguish themselves, « than through any better motives ; but Mr Gilpin's in

genuousness of behaviour, and irreproachable life, left « room for no such suspicion with regard to him ; and he .. could not but own, he considered his espousing any cause ras a very great credit to it.' He would often likewise tell his friends, " It was the subject of his daily prayers, • that God would be pleased at length to touch the heart r of this pious Papist with the knowledge of true relir gion.' And he prayed not in vain ; for Mr Gilpin, from this time, became every day more inclined to the Re. formation.

In this temper he applied for further instruction to Cuthbert Tonstall, bishop of Durham, who was his mother's un. cle. That prelate told him, that, in the matter of transubstantiation Pope Innocent III. had done unadvisedly in making it an article of faith, and confessed that the pope had also committed a great fault in taking no better care than he had done in the business of indulgences and other things. After this, Mr Gilpin conferred with one Dr Redman, whose virtue and learning he had a great opinion of; and this friend affirmed that the book of Commonprayer was a holy book and agreeable to the gospel. These things threw him into many distracting thoughts. Afterwards, one of the fellows of Queen's College in Oxford told him, that he had heard Dr Chedsey, one of our author's old acquaintance, say among his friends, the Protestants and us must compound the matter, they must grant us the real presence, and we must give way to them in the point of transubstantiation. Dr Weston also, another of his fellow students, made a long oration to shew that the · VOL. II. *



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »