Gardiner, James (1637-1705) (DNB00)

GARDINER, JAMES, D.D. (1637––1705), bishop of Lincoln, was the son, by his second wife, of Adrian Gardiner, apothecary, of Nottingham, 'who brought up many sons very well' (Thoroton, Nottinghamshire, p. 498, ed. 1677). He entered at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1649, taking the degrees of B.A. 1652-3, M.A. 1656, and D.D. 1669. On the Restoration he obtained favour at court, became chaplain to the Duke of Monmouth, chaplain to the guards, and received the crown living of Epworth, Lincolnshire, and the stall of Stow-in-Lindsey in Lincoln Cathedral, 4 March 1660-1. He was also presented by Charles II (sede vacante) to the prebendal stall of Stratton in the cathedral of Salisbury, 3 Feb. 1665-6. In 1671 he received the sub-deanery of Lincoln from Bishop Thomas Fuller, in the room of Robert Mapletoft [q. v.] While holding this office he rebuilt his official residence, which had been reduced to ruins by the parliamentary forces on the storming of the castle and close in 1644. On the death of Dr. Honywood [q. v.] in 1681, he was recommended for the deanery of Lincoln by Archbishop Sancroft, but unsuccessfully, the dignity having been promised to Dr. Brevint [q. v.] On the serious illness of the latter in 1685, Gardiner applied to the archbishop for his interest for the anticipated vacancy, which, however, did not occur till 1695. Meanwhile, on the translation of Tenison from the see of Lincoln to that of Canterbury, Tenison successfully recommended his friend Gardiner as his successor, and Gardiner's was the first consecration performed by the new archbishop, 10 March 1694-5, being the first episcopal consecration since Tenison's own in 1691-2. Gardiner had permission to retain the stall of Stow-in-Lindsey in commendam for three years. Gardiner's ten years' episcopate was quiet and uneventful, and devoted to the conscientious discharge of his duty. He was a whig and a low churchman, and voted steadily with his party. He desired to be excused giving his opinion either way when, 22 Feb. 1699-1700, the case of Bishop Watson's deprivation came before the court of delegates. His colleagues were unanimous in confirming the sentence of the inferior court. Gardiner's conduct illustrates his irresolute character (Luttrell, Diary, iv. 616). When the bill against occasional conformity was thrown out by the House of Lords, 7 Dec. 1703, he was one of the majority, ranging himself with Tenison, Burnet, Lloyd of Worcester, &c., against Compton of London, Mews of Winchester, and Sprat. Gardiner's charge at his primary visitation (2nd edit. 1697) shows an earnest desire for raising the tone of his clergy and promoting the spiritual good of his diocese in what he terms an 'atheistical and deluded age.' Many of his clergy he describes as unaccountably negligent, some grossly immoral; they indulged in the immoderate pursuit of pluralities, and were hard to reconcile to residence, cheapening their curates and calling 20l. or 30l. a year a competency. Catechising was disused, the fasts and festivals were unobserved; private baptism was too usual; for the sake of fees clandestine marriages were winked at; chancels were disused and left 'in a more nasty condition than the meanest cottage,' while the holy table was brought down into the mid-aisle, and the elements administered to persons in their seats. His faithfulness in the discharge of his duties and the gentleness of his character are set forth in a very admirable set of six sapphic stanzas on his monument in the retrochoir of Lincoln Cathedral. He died at his house in Dean's Yard, Westminster, 1 March 1704-5, his end being hastened by grief at the sudden death of his wife under peculiarly painful circumstances. He left three sons, James [q. v.], William, and Charles, and two daughters. He was an antiquary of some note, and assisted Simon Patrick [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Ely, when dean of Peterborough, in deciphering and transcribing the charters and muniments of the abbey. Besides his charge of 1697, his only published work is a sermon preached before the House of Lords on Psalm lxxix. 9, on the fast day, 11 Dec. 1695. He also published twenty sermons left in manuscript by the learned Dr. W. Outram, prebendary of Westminster, of which a second edition was printed in 1797. A portrait of him exists at Emmanuel, and it has been engraved.

[Willis's Cathedrals, i. 72; MSS. Tanner, No. 88, 170; Kennett, Lansdowne MS. 987, No. 126.]

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