Open main menu

HANNIBAL, THOMAS (d. 1531), judge, was incepted in the canon law at the university of Cambridge in 1504, and the same year was installed prebendary of Gevendale in the church of York. He was incorporated D.C.L. at Oxford in 1513, and graduated LL.D. at Cambridge, and received the appointment of vicar-general to Silvester, bishop of Worcester, in the following year. He entered the service of Wolsey, for whom he conducted negotiations with the Easterling merchants at Bruges in 1515, and with the merchants of the Hanse at the same place in 1520. On 9 March 1521-2 he was commissioned to treat, on behalf of Henry VIII, for a league offensive and defensive with the emperor Charles V and John, king of Portugal. He reached Saragossa, where the pope was then staying, on 9 May 1522, was admitted to an audience by the pontiff, and made a favourable impression by an eloquent oration, in which he descanted on the devotion of his master to the holy see. The negotiations, however, came to nothing. He was subsequently transferred to Home, where he remained as ambassador between March 1522-3 and June 1524. From his despatches during this period it appears that his diplomacy was chiefly directed to securing for Wolsey an enlargement of his powers as legate, in which he was partially successful. On the death of Adrian VI (14 Sept. 1523) he exerted himself actively in promoting the candidature of Giulio de' Medici, who ultimately succeeded to the papacy as Clement VII. On 24 May 1524 he was commissioned, jointly with Clerk and Pace, to treat for a peace or truce with France by the mediation of the pope. On 3 June he left Rome for England, bearing with him the sacred rose, which he presented to Henry at Ampthill in October. While still in Rome he had, on 9 Oct. 1523, been appointed master of the rolls. In January 1526 he received a grant of an annuity of 37l. 4s. 7d. On 5 Sept. of the same year he was placed on the committee of the privy council to which legal business was specially assigned. He resigned the office of master of the rolls on 26 June 1527, and died in 1531. Hannibal was the author of a preface to the 1509 edition of the 'Pica, sive Directorium Sacerdotum' of the church of York, and of an unpublished 'Disquisition of the three following questions: 1. Whether the mother of the King being a woman is qualified to act as regent. 2. Whether a captive is the servant of his captor. 3. That parents or kinsmen are bound to redeem a captive, and the latter bound by the conditions they make' (Sloane MS. Calig. D. ix. 120).

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr.; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. iii. 189; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 39; Letters and Papers, For. and Dom. Henry VIII, i. 863, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 262, vol. iii. pt. i. p. 359, pt. ii. pp. 879, 952. 1223, 1416, 1495, vol. iv. pt. i. pp. 7, 146, 147, 175, 274, 318, 604, 870, pt. ii. p. 1458, vol. v. p. 191.]

J. M. R.