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pers for the
MSS. as he could of learned men, into his possession, for SECT. King Edward's use. Thus, as he got the papers and books of Dr. Martin Bucer, after his decease the last year, so he did Anno 1552. those of John Leland, the antiquarian, this, upon his death, which happened in April 1552. And all the MSS. and collections, (as we are told by a late author,) with many Procures other matters of moment belonging to Leland, by virtue of a commandment from the King, were brought into Sir King, John Cheke's custody, for the use of that King's library; Oxon. p. and which the King seemed to have a right and title to, 69, 70. since Leland had been employed by the King's father to make those collections out of the libraries of the dissolved monasteries and elsewhere, and had a salary allowed him for that purpose, and other preferments granted him. That author adds, that not long after, our Cheke (it must rather be his son Henry, who was Secretary to the Council in the north under Queen Elizabeth) gave four volumes of these collections to Humphrey Purefoy, Esq. one of the said Council, whose son, Thomas Purefoy of Barwel in Leicestershire, gave them to the antiquarian Will. Burton of Lindley in the same county, anno 1612, who made use of them in his description of Leicestershire. And many years after by his gift they came at last to be safely lodged in the public library at Oxford. Lastly, the same author tells us, that some other of these collections, after Cheke's death, came into the hands of William Lord Paget and Sir William Cecil.
Now we are speaking of the King's library, it may not Keepers of the King's be amiss to note here, that the keeper of it was the library. learned and ingenious Roger Ascham, preferred to it by Cheke's means, with an honourable salary: and after him Bartholomew Traheron, preferred afterwards in this reign to be Dean of Chichester. For Ascham being now abroad, as was shewed before, Cheke thought good he should resign this place to some other that could daily attend; and recommended the said Traheron to Ascham, who shewed himself willing he should succeed him, whom, he said, he loved upon many accounts; and that he should the more easily
CHAP. suffer himself to be shut out of that library, [however
IV. highly he esteemed the place,] for the sake of so worthy Anno 1552. a man to be let into it. This was in January 1550. Cheke falls It had been a very crazy time in England by reason of dangerously the sweating sickness that raged the last year, and by fevers before and after that, whereby very many persons were cut off, and some escaped very hardly, after that they had been brought even to the gates of death: and as Haddon, Cheke's dear friend, was one of these the last year, so Cheke himself must have his turn this. His distemper (under which he laboured in May) brought him exceeding low. The King and all good men were extraordinarily concerned for him, knowing how useful a man the nation was in danger of losing; the King inquired of the physicians every day how he did, who, not able to conquer the malignancy of the distemper, at last told the King the heavy news, that there was no hope of his life, and that they had given him over as a man for another world. But the pious King had not only recommended his schoolmaster to the care of his physicians, but also to the heavenly Physician, whom in his devotions he earnestly implored to spare his life; and upon his prayers such a strange assurance was impressed in his mind that Cheke would recover, that when the doctors (as was said) despaired of him, the King made this surprising reply to them; 66 No," said he, "Cheke will not die this time; for "this morning I begged his life in my prayer, and ob❝tained it." And so it came to pass; for towards the latter end of the month of May he recovered. This was attested (saith Fuller) by the old Earl of Huntingdon, bred up with the King in his young years; who told it to Cheke's grandchild, Sir Thomas Cheke of Pyrgo, aged near eighty years, anno 1654, who then, it seems, made a relation of it to the said Fuller. His recovery was looked
upon as a public blessing, and all good men rejoiced at it. Bishop Rid-Bishop Ridley, in a letter to the Secretary, speaking of Lever, their him, added, "in whose recovery God be blessed." Mr. Lever, a very learned and pious preacher, wrote to Ascham,
joy at it.
(of whom we have spoke before,) now at Villacho in Carin- SECT. thia, and in his letter prayed to God, that England might. be thankful for restoring such a man again to the King. Anno 1552. "And I am firmly persuaded," said he, "that God wist "and would we should be thankful, and therefore be"stowed this gift upon us. He trusted," as he went on, "that God's wrath was satisfied in punishing divers or"ders of the realm for their misorder, having taken away 66 many singular ornaments from them, as learning by the "death of Bucer, counsel by Denny, nobility by the two 66 young Dukes [of Suffolk, who died very shortly after 66 one another of the sweating sickness,] courtship by gen"tle Blage, St. John's college by good Eland; but if learning, counsel, nobility, Court, and Cambridge, should "have been all punished at once by taking away Mr. "Cheke, then I should have thought our wickedness had "been so great, as cried to God for a general plague, in 66 depriving us of such a general and only man as he."
Cheke at Cambridge. Departs thence to the King. Places conferred on him.
I FIND him this year at Cambridge, gone thither, I suppose, to enjoy his native and beloved air after his sickness; and taking perhaps the opportunity of the King's progress this summer, to go to his residence upon his Provostship in King's college. Now at a Commencement, (as we are Cheke distold,) Sir John Cheke did the University the honour to putes at a make himself a part in the learned exercises then per- ment, formed; for when one Christopher Carlile, whose office it Oxon. p. was to keep a divinity act, maintained the tenet of Christ's 111. local descent into hell, our learned man in disputation opposed him. This seems to have been done by consultation, and the argument resolved on, on purpose to meet with the Popish doctrine of the limbus patrum; that is, an apartment of hell, where, they say, the ancient patriarchs and good men before Christ were detained, and
CHAP. whither Christ descended to deliver them thence. For IV. Carlile's question was, that our Saviour went into no Anno 1551. Other hell but the very lowest, that is, that of the damned. The ques- This disputation making some noise, Dr. Richard Smith, sometime Professor of Divinity at Oxford, wrote a pretended confutation of it; which was after printed, anno 1562, at Louvain, as it seems, where he now resided.
Places and favours
Soon after the Commencement, Cheke seems to have departed from Cambridge, and to have gone after the him by the King, then in progress in the south-west parts. And as the King, his gracious master, had the last year honoured him with knighthood; so he thought it fit now to add some farther royal testimonies of his favour to him, and to qualify him the better to bear that post: therefore this summer he granted him certain places of honour, and some of benefit too. First, he granted him a patent, bearing date July 23, that one of his household servants, at all times, might shoot in the crossbow, hand-gun, hack-butt, or demy-hack, at certain fowl and deer expressed in the patent, notwithstanding the statute made to the contrary in 33 Henry VIII. This was dated at the honour of Petworth in Sussex, the seat of Sir Anthony Brown, late Master of the Horse, where the King now was in the way of his progress. Again, August the 25th following, a patent was granted him to be one of the Chamberlains of Exchequer. the Exchequer, or of the Receipt of the King's Exchequer, which was once Sir Anthony Wyngfield's office, now dead; and also to appoint the keeper of the door of the said Receipt, when his room should fall, and the appointing of all other officers belonging to the same, pro termino vitæ. This was dated at Sarum, where the King was now gotten. Also, as a further token of his interest and favour with the King, he obtained the wardship and marriage of Thomas Barnardiston, son and heir of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, Knight, in the counties of Bedford and Suffolk, and the annuity of 307. per ann. But his last and highest steps were to be a Privy Counsellor, and Secretary of State. Of which we shall hear more in the ensuing chapter.
Chamberlain of the
From Sir John Cheke's highest advancements to his exile; and from thence to his surprise, imprisonment, recantation, repentance, and death.
Cheke's highest advancements. A Privy Counsellor. Secretary of State. Stands for the Lady Jane.
WE come now to the thirty-ninth year, or thereabouts, Anno 1553.
of Sir John Cheke's age, a year that saw him advanced very high, and soon after pulled down as low, stripped of all his honour and wealth, and first made a prisoner, and then an exile; for as this year concluded the life of that dear person his royal scholar, so with him of all his temporal felicity.
He was now Clerk of the Council, and so he is entitled He is Clerk in one of the books of the Office of Heralds, under the Chekes of Hampshire. And in May anno 1553, the King bestowed on him and his heirs male, Clare in Suffolk, with divers other lands, (as he had given him the manor of Stoke juxta Clare a year or two ago,) to the yearly value of 100%. But this clerkship was but in order to an higher advancement, namely, to that of one of the principal Se- and Secrecretaries of State, which he was called to in June, and State. made a Privy Counsellor. For to me it seems that in this juncture one of the Secretaries was intended to be laid aside, and he perhaps was Cecil, who cared not to go along with the purposes of the ambitious Duke of Northumberland, to advance his daughter-in-law, married to Guilford Dudley his son, to the crown, and so to bring the kingly dignity into his blood; though the attempt proved to his own and his children's ruin. Cecil was now absent from Court, sick in mind as well as in body. But Cheke's zeal for religion made him willing to side with Northum