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company, and a misprision of heresy to give him a civil salutation as he walked the streets' (HEYLIN, ed. 1668, p. 54).


Laud was not the only champion of dissentient views that Abbot thought it necessary to attack at the time. A certain audacious person who termeth himself Doctour Hill,' a seminary priest, had represented in a book printed at Antwerp that popery was the true faith of Christ, and that England was a sinke of wickednesse beyond all the nations of the earth' (see FOLEY, Records, vi. 192). The volume was a new version of Richard Bristow's Motives inducing to the Catholike faith,' 'a book of great vogue with the papists' (STRYPE, Annals, II. i. 498). At the intreaty of others,' Abbot spent a year and a half (1603-4) in preparing a refutation of Bristow's and Hill's logic, and late in 1604 he published at Oxford, with a dedication to Lord Buckhurst, who had just been created Earl of Dorset, a fiercely worded pamphlet, 'unmasking' Dr. Hill, and showing ten of his reasons to be very weake, and upon examination most insufficient for the purpose.' An eloquent eulogy on the reign of Queen Elizabeth is to be found in its pages, and a justifiable attack upon Cardinal Allen's writings. A continuation of the work was partly written, but was never sent to press. The heated temper in which Abbot conducted controversial discussion did not always commend itself to the undergraduates, and when holding the office of vice-chancellor for the third time in 1605, he had to commit one hundred and forty of them to prison for disrespectfully sitting 'with their hats on' in his presence at St. Mary's Church (NICHOLS, Progresses, i. 559).

In 1604 Abbot's scholarship had been put to a more dignified employment. Early in that year a new translation of the Bible had been resolved on at the Hampton Court conference, and Abbot, with seven other Oxford graduates, was entrusted with the responsible task of revising the older translations of the four gospels, the Acts, and the Apocalypse. But these labours did not withdraw him from polemical literature or public affairs. In 1606, Abbot, as dean of Winchester, attended convocation. The assembly was engaged in examining a work by Dr. Overall, concerning the government of God's catholic church and the kingdoms of the whole world.' The book vigorously advocated the doctrine of non-resistance to de facto rulers; it confirmed its conclusion by a misty interpretation of Old Testament history, and was imagined to strike a crushing blow at the political theories of the Roman catholics. Convocation by a unanimous vote expressed its

high approval of the volume, but James I was dissatisfied with this result: he feared that Overall's doctrine would confirm every successful usurper in undisturbed possession of the throne. Abbot had doubtless taken an active part in the discussion, and he had already come into personal relations with the king; once, in 1603, he had carried to him at Woodstock the congratulations of the university on his accession; and again, in 1605, he had been much in his company when the king had been entertained at Oxford by the chancellor, the Earl of Dorset, and had honoured with his presence several formal theological debates over which Abbot had presided. Upon Abbot, therefore, James conferred the distinction of addressing him a letter, partly written in his own hand, stating his views on the action of convocation. Good Dr. Abbot,' the king began, ‘I cannot abstain to give you my judgment of your proceedings in your convocation, as you call it.' And he proceeded to point out that he himself was no mere de facto ruler, but owed his throne to the highest claims of hereditary right. The letter marked a distinct stage in the growth of Abbot's reputation.


In 1608 his patron, the Earl of Dorset, died, and on 20 May Abbot preached the sermon at his funeral in Westminster Abbey; it was published soon afterwards at the earnest solicitations of diuers of speciall qualitie and note,' with a dedication to Cicely, the widowed countess. But Abbot immediately found a new and equally influential patron. He became chaplain to the Earl of Dunbar, lord high treasurer of Scotland, who, as Sir George Hume, had become the intimate friend of James I before his accession to the English throne, and while in attendance upon him Abbot performed several important political services. Lord Dunbar had for some years devoted himself to the re-establishment of episcopacy in Scotland, a project in which the king was deeply interested, and he had so far succeeded as to have obtained an act of parliament for the creation of a number of bishops, but the part they were to play in the presbyterian system of government, which was to remain, as far as possible, undisturbed, was not yet satisfactorily settled. In July 1608, a general assembly was summoned at Linlithgow, to give thorough effect to the episcopal reforms, and Abbot, with Dr. Higgins, was ordered to accompany Lord Dunbar to put the claims of episcopacy before the Scotch ministers. Abbot was well received at Linlithgow. The English doctors,' says Calderwood, the historian of the Scotch church, 'seemed to

have no other direction but to persuade the Scots there was no substantial difference in religion betwixt the two realms, but only in things indifferent concerning government and ceremonies' (Hist. of Kirk of Scotland, published by the Wodrow Soc., vi. 735). A letter from Scotland reached James, describing with enthusiasm the effect of Abbot's preaching (Orig. Letters on Eccles. Affairs, Bannatyne Club, i. 146). It is true that the Scotch episcopate was not ultimately restored till 1610, but Abbot's conciliatory tone did much to prepare the way, and he himself put the finishing touch to the work in that year by presiding at the consecration of the bishops of Glasgow, Brechin, and Galloway (CALDERWOOD, vii. 150).

This was only one of the services that Abbot rendered James on his visit to Scotland. While at Edinburgh, the trial of George Sprot, a notary of Eyemouth, charged with conspiring in 1600 to murder the king, took place, and the man was condemned and executed before Abbot left the city. Abbot carefully watched the proceedings, and attended Sprot on the scaffold. The plot in which the convict had taken part was known as the Gowrie plot, and its chief authors, the Earl of Gowrie and his friends, were alleged to have invited James, in 1600, to a house at Perth, and to have locked him in a room with a ruffian who had been hired to kill him. James escaped; the earl and his friends were slain by the royal attendants, and an order was issued to the ministers of religion throughout Scotland to hold thanksgiving services for the king's salvation; these services had been introduced at a later date into England, and continued throughout James's reign. But the Scotch ministers had resisted them. Anact of parliament had been necessary to enforce the order; doubts as to the real circumstances of the alleged plot were still abroad at the time of Sprot's execution, and they continued to imperil friendly relations between James and his Scotch subjects. Abbot assumed the responsibility of attempting to remove the ground of disagreement. He published the notes taken by the judge at Sprot's trial, together with a lengthy account of the 'treasonable device betwixt John, Earl of Gowry, and Robert Logane of Restalrig (commonly called Lesterig) plotted by them for the cruel murthering of our most gracious sovereign.' The task was probably undertaken at the suggestion of Lord Dunbar. The pamphlet, which has been reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany' (ix. 560 et seq.), was penned in a spirit that, from a modern point of view, befitted the courtier rather than the historian. James's life was de

clared to be 'so immaculate and unspotted from the world . . . that even malice itself could never find true blemish in it.' In successive passages he was compared to David, Solomon, Josias, Constantine the Great, Moses, Hezekiah, and Theodosius; but extravagant adulation was the recognised homage that loyal subjects, and especially the clergy, paid their sovereign at the time, and the warning tones in which Abbot here addressed disturbers of the public peace honestly expressed the value he himself set upon orderly behaviour and respect for authority.

It was thus that Abbot, whose theological attainments had already attracted James's notice, established a claim on his gratitude, and Lord Dunbar's influence with the king insured that his reward should not be long delayed. On 27 May 1609, within a few months of his return from Scotland, Abbot was appointed bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and his enthronement took place on 29 Dec. following. He had, however, scarcely visited his diocese when he was translated to a higher dignity, the bishopric of London, and he was enthroned at St. Paul's on 12 Feb. 1609-10. But this preferment was little more permanent. In August 1610 Abbot consecrated a new churchyard presented to St. Bride's parish by his old benefactor's son, the Earl of Dorset. In October he consecrated the Scotch bishops. At Oxford he helped to establish Pembroke College out of the old foundation of Broadgates Hall, and throughout the year his letters to the Earl of Salisbury show that he was repressing with a strong hand throughout his diocese any manifestations of sympathy with Roman Catholicism. The poet, John Davies of Hereford, who claimed an acquaintance with him in earlier years, congratulated him on his promotion in a sonnet (Appendix to the Scourge of Folly). On 20 Nov. 1610, Richard Bancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and Abbot preached a conventional sermon in his praise on the Sunday following (25 Nov.). The two religious parties throughout England were soon anxiously speculating as to Bancroft's successor. The choice was generally expected to fall on Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Ely. Abbot had no belief in his own chances of promotion, and the death of Lord Dunbar on 30 Jan. 1610–11, before the vacancy was filled, seemed to exclude him altogether from the list of likely candidates. But James had already consulted Dunbar; the earl had unhesitatingly advanced Abbot's claim, and his advice had been accepted. On 25 Feb. 1610-11, Sir Thomas Lake, clerk to the signet, informed

Lord Salisbury that the king had chosen the bishop of London to be archbishop, 'as being an able man, and recommended by the late Earl of Dunbar, whose memory is dear to his majesty. Speed, the contemporary historian, speaks of his promotion as due to the 'embassage' in Scotland; and Secretary Calvert wrote in March that by a strong north wind coming out of Scotland, Abbot was blown over the Thames to Lambeth.' The appointment was received with general astonishment and misgiving. Abbot himself was wonderstruck. 'Preferment did fly upon him,' says Fuller, 'without his expectation.' And if the Anglican party were depressed, the puritans were content to conceal their enthusiasm. His conduct in Scotland, to which his promotion was ascribed on all hands, had not raised him in their estimation. He was stated, it is true, to be of a more fatherly presence than those who might have been his fathers for age in the church of England,' but one ground of his unfitness was urged on many sides. 'He was never incumbent in any living with cure of souls;' he had not experienced the sufferings of the lower clergy, and it was feared that his want of practical training would prevent him from sympathising with their trials and difficulties. His one-sided tone of thought was more likely to render him inadequate for the post. The threatened disruption in the church of England, to which no one who mixed in public affairs could at the time close his eyes, surrounded the primacy with dangers which a statesman's conciliatory spirit alone could meet with effect; and of that spirit Abbot had shown no certain sign.

On 4 March 1610-11 Abbot was formally nominated to the see of Canterbury, and on 9 April was very honorably installed at Lambeth' (NICHOLS, Progresses, ii. 424 n.; LE NEVE, Fasti; see Rawlinson MS. at Oxford, C. 155, No. 54). On 30 April he took his seat in the high commission court, and on 23 June was sworn at Greenwich of the privy council. At first gloomy forebodings seemed unfounded. At court he met with a good reception. The king treated him with cordiality; the queen, who could have had no affection for his religious views, was 'graciously pleased to give him more credit than ordinary, which... she continued to the time of her death.' Henry, Prince of Wales, regarded him with the veneration that all who, like himself, approved his theology acknowledged to be his due. Nor was he without friends among the officers of state. The Earl of Salisbury, lord high treasurer, lord chancellor Ellesmere, and Sir Ralph Winwood, who became in later years secretary of state, sympathised

with his opinions, and a lavish hospitality at Lambeth, which James I strongly recommended him to maintain, secured him the favour of many lords spiritual and temporal, divers privy councillors and men of highest rank.' But enemies of Abbot were also to be found among the king's councillors. Sir Robert Carr, the king's favourite, afterwards Viscount Rochester and Earl of Somerset, viewed his stern integrity with suspicion. Men like the Earl of Northampton, once Lord Henry Howard, a secret papist and pensioner of Spain, did not hide their disappointment at his elevation. Similarly the bench of bishops was not without malevolent spectators of his recent successes; and among the judges with whom he was brought into close contact, Abbot found it impossible to keep on friendly terms with Sir Edward Coke.

Abbot flung himself with vigour into the various duties of his office, but his early actions showed much want of tact and prevision. He saw that the Calvinist theology was losing its hold on the upper classes of society, and that Arminianism was taking its place; but, with characteristic narrowness of view, he charged the newer doctrines with either Roman catholic or sceptical tendencies. To destroy them utterly by means of the high commission court and of the other arbitrary tribunals in which he took his seat was his immediate aim. 'Sentences of correction,' says Hacket, the biographer of Williams, or rather of destruction, have their epocha in the predominance of Abbot in that [the commission] court.' From the catholics bitter cries at once rose. Recusants' fines were unceasingly inflicted, and defaulters for payment imprisoned. They may expect,' wrote the Earl of Northampton of some catholic prisoners in 1612, little mercy when the metropolitan is mediator.' On 10 June 1615 he summoned a prebendary of Christ Church, Oxford, to appear before the king on a charge of coquetting with popery because he had complained of the prevalence of puritanism, and had failed to denounce its antithesis with fitting severity or frequency. In 1613 he came into open collision with the Spanish ambassador. He imprisoned in his own palace a lady, Donna Luisa de Carvajal, an enthusiastic benefactress of the English catholic college of Flanders, who was staying at the Spanish embassy, and appeal had to be made to James to obtain her release. He employed spies in all parts of England, and he did not fear to attack men in the highest stations. He obtained full information of the relations existing between the Earl of Northampton, the lord privy seal, and Spain, and

boldly challenged him to deny his belief in papal doctrines at the council board in 1612. At the same time the earl was trying to suppress damaging reports about himself by a suit of defamation in the Star Chamber against several persons who publicly called him a papist, and Abbot is said to have produced in open court a letter from Northampton to Cardinal Bellarmine, in which he declared that his heart stood with the papists;' the death of the earl, which took place in 1614, has been somewhat erroneously attributed by a few writers to the shock of this disclosure. Nor was Abbot willing to see the authority of the high commission court in the smallest degree abridged. In 1611 a Sir William Chauncy had been charged with adultery before that tribunal, and had, on disobeying its order to provide a maintenance for his wife, been sent to prison. Chauncy had appealed to the lord chief justice of the common pleas against the high commission court's judgment, which Coke asserted to be illegal. Abbot tried in vain to change Coke's opinion, and although the king finally settled the point in the archbishop's favour, Coke treated Abbot's protest with irritating indifference. In 1616 Abbot was one of the commissioners appointed to report on Coke's opinion as to the interpretation of the præmunire statutes, and declared against it. Abbot was similarly anxious to enforce the utmost rigours that the law allowed him in cases of alleged scepticism, and in this procedure likewise Coke attempted to thwart him. In 1611 two 'blasphemous heretics,' as he called them, Bartholomew Legate and Edward Wightman, were brought before his court. Abbot was from the first resolved that no mercy should be shown them. Their offence was mainly Arianism, and on 21 Jan. 1611-2 he wrote to lord chancellor Ellesmere that a commission of three or four judges ought to deal with them as capital offenders, and that the king was anxious to see these evil persons' receive at once the recompenses of their pride and impiety.' He advised care in a later letter (22 Jan.) in the choice of the judges, and urged that those should be selected who make no doubt that the law is clear to burn them.' Coke was thus, he advised, to be excluded from the tribunal, for he was known to disagree with the archbishop's interpretation of the old statutes affecting heresy (Egerton Papers, Camd. Soc. pp. 446-8). And Abbot was finally triumphant. Early in 1614 Legate was burnt at Smithfield, and Wightman at Burtonupon-Trent. In another case of a political complexion he approved the use of torture. A Somersetshire clergyman, Edmund Peacham,

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was charged, in 1614, with libelling the king in a written sermon which had never been preached. Abbot was at the time receiving reports of catholic conspiracies, to which he always lent a willing ear. When, therefore, Peacham was brought before the privy council in his presence, and persisted in denying the alleged offence, Abbot readily assented to the proposal that he should be put to the 'manacles.' Bacon has been charged with taking a very active part in the persecution of Peacham, but Abbot must be credited with equal responsibility (SPEDDING, Life of Bacon, v. 91).

Abbot, however, did not confine his attention to propagating his views at home. He persuaded James I to use all his influence against Roman Catholicism and against heresies in every country of Europe. He sought information as to the state of religion abroad from the English ambassadors, and with Sir Dudley Carleton, the ambassador first at Venice and afterwards in Holland, he maintained a lengthy correspondence. In Holland he jealously watched the rise of Arminianism, and in 1612 he excited the king's hostility against Conrad Vorstius, recently appointed to the professorship of theology at Leyden, whose views were said to savour of Arianism and Arminianism. James, in fact, applied to the states general for the dismissal of Vorstius, and the request was granted. Grotius came over to England in 1613, to endeavour to soothe James's excited feelings against the Arminian party of the United Provinces, and to counteract Abbot's influence, which was aggravating the religious differences in Holland almost as much as in England. But Abbot resented his interference. He called him a busybody, and warned the secretary of state, Sir Ralph Winwood, of his ambition and indiscretion. 'You must take heed how you trust Dr. Grotius too far,' he wrote (1 June, 1613), and he reported how the Dutch envoy's conversation with the king was tedious and full of tittle-tattle,' and how he compared the factious contradictors' of his own opinions in his own country to 'our puritans' in England (WINWOOD, Memorials, iii. 45960)-a comparison that was little likely to reconcile Abbot to his presence at court. But both at home and abroad Abbot looked forward to the conversion of his religious opponents, and he treated all foreigners who set foot in this country, and were willing to follow his religious guidance, with much generosity. In his lectures on Jonah at Oxford he had condemned in a forcible passage the inhospitable reception often accorded to foreigners by 'the meaner people'

of England, and their groundless suspicions of outlandish folks.' He had bidden his pupils use protestant aliens as brethren, and such was his own invariable practice (STRYPE, Annals, II. i. 252). In 1612 an Italian friar desirous of conversion was installed in his palace; in the following year he made arrangements for the settlement in England of Antonio de Dominis, formerly archbishop of Spalato, who had renounced the catholic faith. Abbot offered Antonio, through Carleton (15 Dec. 1613), a private life in a university and 2007. a year, but the plan was not very successful. The prelate arrived and took up his quarters at Lambeth, but he was 'an unquiet man, and not of that fair, quiet, civil carriage as would give him contentment' (GOODMAN, Court of James I, i. 339). He obtained the deanery of Windsor and the mastership of the Savoy, but was still discontented, and a refusal of the reversion to the archbishopric of York caused him, in 1622, to turn upon his benefactors. He attacked Abbot severely, and reproached him with withholding the 2007. originally promised him; finally he announced his intention of returning to Rome, and thereupon Abbot ordered him, with the king's acquiescence, to leave England within twenty days and return at his peril (21 March 1621-2). Abbot secured his loose manuscripts, including the original manuscript of Sarpi's history of the council of Trent, of which he had long been anxious to obtain possession, and which was first printed at London under his direction in 1619 (cf. his letters in LEWIS ATTERBURY'S Some Letters relating to the Council of Trent, 1705). With Casaubon Abbot remained on more peaceable terms. He frequently received him at Lambeth, and stood with James I sponsor for one of his children on 4 Nov. 1612(Cal. State Papers); he aided with his influence the scholar's endeavour to convert a Jew of Oxford; he read over Casaubon's elaborate criticism on Baronius, and forbade the publication of a pirated version of some portions of the work (PATTISON, Life of Casaubon, pp. 410, 418, 429). Abbot often raised funds for French or Dutch protestants in distress, and educated at Oxford at his own expense several Greeks and other foreigners. In 1619, he had the satisfaction of reconciling the Calvinists of Jersey to the church of England. In Ireland Abbot discouraged any conciliatory policy towards the catholics, and although he strongly condemned the endeavours of the Scotch bishops to resist the practices of the English church, he maintained a personal intimacy with many of them. On 7 July 1616 he absolved the Marquis of Huntley at Lambeth from the

excommunication recently imposed on him by the Scotch bishops for his suspected papistical intrigues; and silenced the discontent in Scotland that his reversal of this act of the Scotch episcopate was likely to rouse by a very cleverly worded if somewhat casuistical letter (23 July) to the general assembly (CALDERWOOD, History, vii. 218, 226; Letters during Reign of James I, Bannatyne Club, ii. 471 et seq.).

In matters of wider political significance Abbot played an equally prominent part. His religious views had led him to form a definite foreign policy, of which the one aim was to crush Spain and to be wary of France. The marriages of James's son and daughter, Henry and Elizabeth, were occupying the ministers' attention when Abbot joined their councils. Proposals had been made as early as 1607 for a marriage between the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Savoy, brotherin-law of the King of Spain, and in 1611 it was suggested that Prince Henry at the same time should marry a Spanish princess. The scheme alarmed Abbot; he vehemently opposed it at the council board, but his opposition would hardly have been successful, though Salisbury discountenanced the alliances, had not the Spaniards themselves raised insuperable objections to the English terms. But Abbot was determined that, so far as he could help it, the debates, when they dropped in 1611, should not be reopened. The protestant Elector Palatine of Germany had offered Elizabeth his hand before the Spanish negotiations closed, and on this union Abbot set his heart. Prince Henry was of Abbot's opinion. In September 1612 the elector palatine came England, and Abbot and he were soon on friendly terms. A month or two before, a Spanish ambassador, Zuñiga, had been in England to propose another Spanish suitor to Elizabeth in the person of the king of Spain himself. But Abbot, in a strongly worded letter to the king (22 July), had shown how bribery and corruption of the courtiers were, according to his secret information, the instruments on which Zuñiga depended for the success of his mission (cf. STRYPE, Annals, iv. 564). It was by such means that Abbot cleared the path of the German prince, and matters made satisfactory progress. But the marriage seemed likely to be long and dangerously delayed. At the close of October, Prince Henry was taken fatally ill, and shortly afterwards died. Abbot, like a grave and a religious churchman,' was with him to the last, and certified that he died in the true faith; but the blow was a severe one for his prospects. His grief

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