Stephen Gardiner

c.1490-1555. Bishop of Winchester. After graduating in canon and civil law, he became master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1525, and private secretary first to Wolsey and then to the king. He was employed in legal proceedings against heretics and in negotiations with Rome for annulling the king's marriage. In 1531 he was made bishop of Winchester. In a famous oration, De Vera Obedientia, in 1535 he argued that the pope has no legitimate jurisdiction over other national churches and that kings and princes are entitled to supremacy in their respective churches. Unsympathetic with Protestant doctrines, he was generally regarded as responsible for the Six Articles* of 1539. In Edward VI's reign he was deprived of his offices and imprisoned, but Mary restored him, making him lord high chancellor. With Bonner* he organized vigorous proceedings against Protestants, securing the reenactment of the statute de heretico comburendo and taking a leading part in the trials of John Bradford and John Rogers. Though jealous of Archbishop Pole, he approved the submission of the English Church to Rome, despite his earlier views, and aimed at the reestablishment of ecclesiastical courts. He died a wealthy man, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. His Letters (ed. J.A. Muller) were published in 1933.

See also J.A. Muller, Stephen Gardiner and the Tudor Reaction (1926).