Page images


et seq.

Dean of

question a good pennyworth. The sum to be paid was SECT. 9581. 3s. 5d. ob. a sign that Cheke had by this time got money in his purse. It was the college of St. John Baptist Ann. 1548, de Stoke juxta Clare in Suffolk; and likewise, all the messuages, tenements, cottages, cellars, solars, chambers, stables, &c. with the appurtenances belonging to the college of Corpus Christi, in the parish of St. Laurence Poultney, London, lately dissolved; together with divers other lands and tenements in the counties of Suffolk, Devon, Kent, and in London. The Head of the foresaid college, who was styled the Dean of it, was Dr. Matthew Parker, after- Dr. Parker wards Archbishop of Canterbury. He indeed by founding Stoke. a free school in it for education of children, and by good statutes making it an useful foundation, deserved still to have enjoyed it. But by the act of Parliament in the first of the King, it fell under the same fate with the rest of the colleges superstitiously founded. So when Parker could not obtain the continuance of it, (which he endeavoured,) he gave Cheke (to whom it was granted) such friendly counsel and advice concerning the state of it, and for the better improvement of it, that he professed his great obligations to him in a letter, promising to take care that he should be the first to whom a pension should be appointed, as soon as the commission came out for stating the pensions; and so rewarded, that, as he trusted, no pensioner better: writing thus to him;

"Mr. Doctor,


Dr. Parker,


"After most hearty commendation, I am as diligent in Cheke to your behalf as I would be in my own; and labour as 66 sore, that you may think yourself to have found some c.c. "kind of friendship at my hand, as indeed I think I have "received at yours. When the commission is once come "out, you and yours shall be the first to whom pensions "shall be appointed: and for your part, I trust so or"dered, that no pensionary better. The time is not now "long, within this sevennight or more, it is thought you "shall be despatched; wherefore you need not much now


CHAP. "to accumber yourself with any unquietness or delay; 66 thinking that ratably you shall be despatched the best Ann. 1548," and soonest. Fare you well.

et seq.

Cheke's gratitude. Int. MSS. C.C.C.C.

7th of June, from

"Your assured,


He promised Dr. Parker also to take his opportunity with the King effectually to recommend him for some preferment, when it should fall. But Parker remaining two years after in statu quo prius, upon another occasion of writing to him to Cambridge, Cheke voluntarily took notice, that he had not yet done for him as he would; yet assuring him, "that he did not forget his friendship "shewed him aforetime, and was sorry no occasion "served him to shew his good will. But bid him assure 66 himself, that as it lay long, and took deep root in him, "so should the time come, he trusted, wherein he should "understand the fruit thereof, the better to endure, and "surelier to take place. Which might as well shortly be, "as be deferred. But good occasion, he said, was all." So that we may hence conclude Cheke had a great hand in the places and dignities that afterwards were obtained by the said Dr. Parker.


From Cheke's retirement to Cambridge, to his receiving the honour of knighthood.


Goes to Cambridge. Visits the University by commission from the King. Resides there. Writes a book against the rebels.


IN May this year 1549, I find Cheke gotten to the be- Anno 1549.

tires to

loved place of his nativity and education; and, as it seems, Cheke resettling himself in his provostship lately granted him. Cambridge. Whither it appears he was now gladly withdrawn from the Court, and all its gay but ticklish splendours, and the frowns as well as the flatteries of it: the former whereof he had lately experienced. Here he is now busy, in order to his residence, fitting up his chamber and study; and sends to his friend Peter Osborn, at London, to convey down to him thirty yards of painted buckram, to lay between his books and the boards in his study, which he had trimmed up; a ream of paper, a perfume pan, and some other furniture. And to shew that he was now under some cloud at Court, and how glad of this his present recess he was, these words fell from him in a letter to his above mentioned friend; "That he now felt the calm of "quietness, having been tossed afore with storms, and "having felt ambition's bitter gall, poisoned with hope of hap. That he could therefore be merry on the bank“side, without endangering himself on the sea. Your "sight," added he, "is full of gay things abroad, which I "desire not, as things sufficiently known and valued. Oh! "what pleasure is it to lack pleasures, and how honour"able to flee from honour's throes!" Our philosopher esteemed this the truest pleasure and the best honour, and much beyond that of a Court. And there being a visita

Cheke a Vi

CHAP. tion of the University instituted by the King this summer, III. Cheke, being now at Cambridge, had the honour to be noAnno 1549. minated for a Commissioner; joined with Goodrick and sitor of the Ridley, Bishops of Ely and Rochester; Sir William Paget, University. Comptroller of the Household; Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State; Dr. May, Dean of St. Paul's; and Dr. Wendy, the King's Physician; all formerly choice learned men of the said University. The disputations that were now performed before the Visitors, the correction of superstitious practices, the furtherance of the King's good proceedings, the reforming of the old statutes of houses, managed and provided for by Cheke and his Fellows' care, I leave to other historians to relate.


Cheke's Book, viz. The true Subject to the Rebel.

THIS visitation being over, Cheke, who I conclude was still in Cambridge, employed his thoughts (and that perhaps by order from above) in composing an expostulation with the rebels; who this summer brake out, partly for enclosures, and partly for religion, into an open and formidable insurrection, in most counties in England, and especially in Devon in the west, and Norfolk in the northa. It was framed by way of a plain and earnest address from himself to them: and being finished, was commitgainst the ted to the press to be dispersed, as well among them, as

Cheke makes a book a


elsewhere in the realm. The book was entitled, The
Hurt of Sedition: how grievous it is to a Common-
wealth. The running title, The true Subject to the Rebel.
And as there were two sorts of these mutineers, who pre-
tended two virtuous causes for their complaints, so Cheke
suited his discourse to each. Those in the west made their
disturbances for the restoring the old Popish religion.
Those in Norfolk and Suffolk would have amendment in
the commonwealth; that the gentlemen should not be put
into places of honour and trust, and the poor commons

Rather east.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


partake of none of these benefits and advancements; but SECT. that all ranks of people should be brought to an equal level.

Anno 1549.

them about


The former of these thus did our learned man in his Argues with aid book accost: "Ye rise for religion: what religion religion; taught you that? If ye were offered persecution for reli"gion, ye ought to flee; so Christ teacheth you, and yet "you intend to fight. If ye would stand in the truth, ye “ought to suffer like martyrs; and ye would slay like ty❝rants. Thus for religion ye keep no religion; and nei"ther will follow the counsel of Christ, nor the constancy "of martyrs. Why rise ye for religion? Have ye any thing "contrary to God's book? yea, have ye not all things agreeable to God's word? But the new [religion] is dif"ferent from the old, and therefore ye will have the old. "If ye measure the old by truth, ye have the oldest. If ye 66 measure the old by fancy, then it is hard, because men's "fancies change to give that is old. Ye will have the old "style. Will ye have any older than that as Christ left, and "his Apostles taught, and the first Church did use? Ye will "have that the Canons do establish. Why, that is a great "deal younger than that ye have of later time, and new"lier invented; yet that is it that ye desire. And do you 66 prefer the Bishops of Rome afore Christ? men's inven❝tions afore God's law? the newer sort of worship before "the older? Ye seek no religion; ye be deceived; ye "seek traditions. They that teach you, blind you; that


so instruct you, deceive you. If ye seek what the old "Doctors say, yet look what Christ the oldest of all saith: "for he saith, Before Abraham was made, I am. If ye "seek the truest way, he is the very truth: if ye seek the "readiest way, he is the very way: if ye seek everlasting "life, he is the very life. What religion would ye have "other now than his religion? You would have the Bibles "in again. It is no marvel, your blind guides would lead "you blind still.But why should ye not like that "[religion] which God's word establisheth, the primitive


« PreviousContinue »