Gardiner, Stephen

Gardiner, Stephen
(c. 1490–1555)
   Bishop and Politician.
   Gardiner was educated at the University of Cambridge. He was introduced to public life by Cardinal wolsey and became involved in the negotiations for the divorce between King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. In 1532 he was consecrated Bishop of Winchester and in 1533 he presided over a court nullifying the marriage. He was a supporter of the King’s supremacy in the Church, arguing in his De Vera Obedientia that the Pope had no jurisdiction over national Churches. None the less he was not a Protestant. He was probably the author of the Six Articles and he was imprisoned and deprived of his bishopric during the reign of the Protestant King Edward vi. With the accession of the Roman Catholic Queen mary, he was reinstated and he was appointed Lord High Chancellor. He approved of the resubmission of the Church of England to Rome, but he succeeded in negotiating the very English compromise that the old monastic lands should remain in the hands of their new secular owners.
   Stephen Gardiner, Letters, edited by J.A. Muller (1932);
   J.A. Muller, Stephen Gardiner and the Tudor Reaction (1926).

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