the same year he was invited to return to England by Henry VIII's minister Cromwell, who saw that his master now required the aid of protestant arguments against the see of Rome. Foxe absurdly says that he was sent ambassador to Henry VIII, his own king, by the king of Denmark. It is pretty clear from the correspondence of the time that Henry really wanted him in England; a copy of his book having been sent over by Stephen Vaughan for presentation to the king (Calendar, Henry VIII, vol. v. Nos. 532–3, 593). But he certainly did not come as an ambassador, nor was he openly recognised as having been sent for by the king, else Sir Thomas More, who was then lord chancellor, would not have attempted (as Foxe informs us that he did) again to put him in prison. More, of course, only tried to put in force the existing law against a runaway friar; but Barnes was sufficiently protected by Cromwell and the king, and Sir Thomas contented himself with answering him in print.
During this period of his return to England he took up his abode in London at the Steelyard, the house of the German merchants. One day, at Hampton Court, he met his old friend Gardiner, who had before persuaded him to recant some absurdities, among others the opinion that it was unchristian to sue any one for debt. This proposition Barnes had hotly maintained, but had afterwards recanted on being shown by Gardiner a passage in St. Augustine's writings to the contrary. Yet after his recantation he had perversely returned to his old opinion, declaring in a printed book that Gardiner had inveigled him into the recantation by a garbled extract, and that the latter part of the passage in St. Augustine really favoured his view. Being now brought again into contact with Gardiner, who had recently become bishop of Winchester, he was compelled to ask forgiveness for this statement, and confess to him on his knees in the presence of Cranmer that St. Augustine's authority was altogether against the view that he had upheld; and he promised to write another book in Gardiner's justification, who upon this became friends with him once more, and had him to his own house.
He appears to have remained in England till 1534, when he was sent by Henry VIII to Hamburg. He wrote from that city on 12 July, advising Henry to make an alliance with the newly elected king of Denmark, Christian III. But he immediately afterwards returned home, and the very next month (August) he is spoken of as having daily discussions with the bishops and other divines in England, chiefly, doubtless, on the new doctrine of the royal supremacy. Early in the following year he appears to have been sent to Germany to procure from the Lutheran divines an approval of Henry VIII's divorce and second marriage. It was not a very hopeful attempt, seeing that he had already tried to extort such an opinion from Luther himself, even before the marriage with Anne Boleyn, and Luther had given him a very unfavourable reply (Lutheri Epp. 257). He very soon returned to England, and was again despatched in July of the same year to Wittenberg with letters from the king to the Elector of Saxony, in which he was designated the king's chaplain. One object of this second mission was to prevent Melanchthon from accepting an invitation from Francis I to visit France and get him rather to come to England, where Henry VIII desired to confer with him. But, though well disposed to do so, Melanchthon was not allowed by the elector to visit either sovereign.
After returning from this mission Barnes remained for some years in England. In 1537 he was left executor to a puritanical alderman named Humphrey Monmouth, who desired to be buried without any ringing of bells or singing of dirges, and left a bequest for thirty sermons instead of the usual thirty masses after his funeral. Next year Barnes and one or two others introduced for the first time the practice of saying the mass and the ‘Te Deum’ in English. He took part in the religious conferences held that year before the king, with some divines from Germany, of whose views he seems to have been the only English supporter. He was, however, a strong opponent of the anabaptists and of the sect called sacramentarians, who denied transubstantiation, insomuch that he was named on a commission for the examination and punishment of the former (1 Oct. 1538), and took some part in calling the unfortunate martyr Lambert to account for his opinions.
In 1539 he was sent into Germany to negotiate the king's marriage with Anne of Cleves, a mission not calculated in the end to win him the king's gratitude. Next year a catholic reaction took place, and Anne of Cleves was repudiated. But Barnes had got into serious trouble, and, it must be said, by his own extreme arrogance, before there was any visible sign of the coming change. In the early part of the year he and two other preachers of the same school, named Garret and Jerome, were appointed to preach at Paul's Cross; but the arrangement was altered to allow Gardiner, the bishop of Winchester, to preach the first Sunday in Lent. The bishop in his sermon made some severe remarks on the part that friars had taken in