ABSTRACT

“I PROTEST before you all,” affirmed Cranmer at his trial, “there was never a man came more unwillingly to a bishopric than I.” 1 “For the Passion of God,” wrote another famous prelate 2 to a friend at Court when about to be offered an episcopal See, “if it be possible yet, assay as far as you may to convey this bishopric from me”; and he signed his letter “Yours to his little power. Add whatsoever you will more to it, so you add not bishop.” Twenty years later this same divine was suggested for the Archbishopric of Canterbury, but even this splendid temptation failed to move him from his attitude of nolo episcopari. Parker was as loath to accept the primacy from Queen Elizabeth as Cranmer had been from her father 3 ; and when Latimer 62discarded his rochet in 1539 he danced for joy at the thought of his freedom 1 ; not all the pressure of the Court nor even a petition from the House of Commons could induce him to resume his episcopal garb in the reign of Edward VI.