Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Gardiner, Stephen

Gardiner, Stephen, Bishop (1483-1555), was born at Bury St. Edmunds. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, of which society he became a fellow. In 1524 he lectured, and was appointed tutor to the Duke of Norfolk's sons, and introduced to Cardinal Wolsey, to whom he became private secretary. From 1525-1559 he was Master of Trinity Hall. In 1527 he accompanied Wolsey to France, and made the acquaintance of Erasmus. In 1528 he was sent on an embassy to the Pope, and soon went again to Italy on business connected with the royal divorce. In 1529 he. was in high favour at court, and was able to intercede for Wolsey, and endeavoured to save the cardinal's colleges at Ipswich and Oxford, being successful, however, only in the case of the latter. In 1531 his services in the matter of the divorce gained him the bishopric of Winchester, and in 1532 he was with Henry at Calais. He has been accused, and with some apparent reason, of double-dealing in the matter of the divorce and in his general ecclesiastical attitude. In 1534 he renounced allegiance to Rome, and wrote a treatise De Vera Obedientid, which gained him the odium of orthodox Catholics.

His opposition to Cromwell made him suspected at court, but in 1535 he was again in favour, and acting as ambassador to France. In 1538 Bonner superseded him at Paris, but in 1539 he was ambassador to Germany. He gave offence to Protestants both at home and abroad by promoting the Six Articles. At the accession of Edward VI. Gardiner fell upon evil days, and was for a time in the Fleet.

He then retired to Lambeth, but was arraigned upon various charges, and was committed to the Tower. Mary's accession set him free, and he crowned her, "and was made Lord Chancellor. He was prominent in the persecutions of her reign.