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Latimer
Latimer
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sermons delivered at Paul's Cross. He also, it would seem, preached on Wednesday, the 18th, in the covered place called 'the Shrouds,' outside St. Paul's, his famous sermon 'of the Plough,' in which he declaimed against many public evils, especially 'unpreaching prelates,' and declared the devil to be the most assiduous bishop in England. This was published separately in the same year. On Wednesday, 7 March, a pulpit was set up for him in the king's privy garden at Westminster, as the Chapel Royal was too small. Here he preached on the duty of restoring stolen goods with such good effect that a defaulter gave him 20l. 'conscience money' to return into the exchequer. This was followed next Lent by 320l. more, and the Lent following by 180l. 10s. The money came from John Bradford [q.v.], the future martyr, and 50l. of it was awarded to the preacher by the council as a gratuity (Sermons, p. 262; compare Nichols, Lit. Remains of Edward VI, cxxvii). It was doubtless to these Lenten sermons in 1548 that Lord Seymour referred when examined before the council in the next spring. The king, after asking Seymour's advice, sent 20l. for Latimer, and 20l. for his servants (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 14024, f. 104). In April Latimer was appointed on a commission with Cranmer and others for the trial of heretics, some of whom were induced to abjure. About this very time, if not a few months earlier, both he and Cranmer gave up their belief in transubstantiation (Orig. Letters, Parker Soc., p. 322, and note). On 8 Jan. 1549 the House of Commons petitioned for the restoration of Latimer to his old bishopric of Worcester (Journals of the House of Commons, i. 6); but he was content to remain court preacher merely. The seven sermons which he preached before the king in the following Lent are a curious combination of moral fervour and political partisanship, eloquently denouncing a host of current abuses, and paying the warmest tribute to the government of Somerset. He was indignant at the insinuation that it was the government of a clique, and would not last. When popular sympathy was moved by the execution of Lord Seymour, he not only justified it from the pulpit by a number of scandalous anecdotes, but intimated a strong suspicion that Seymour had gone to everlasting damnation. These passages were wisely suppressed in later editions of the sermons. Not even in Tudor times did they appear creditable to the preacher.

A curious entry in the churchwardens' accounts of St. Margaret's, Westminster, shows the excitement occasioned by his preaching in that church some time in 1549, 1s. 6d. being paid 'for mending of divers pews that were broken when Dr. Latimer did preach' (Nichols, Illustrations of Antient Times, p. 13). In April of that year he joined in passing sentence on Joan Bocher [q.v.], who was burnt in the year following (Burnet, v. 248, ed. Pocock). On 6 Oct. he was named on the commission of thirty-two to reform the canon law, but he was not a member of the more select commission of eight, to whom the work was immediately afterwards entrusted (Strype, Cranmer, p. 388, ed. 1812). In the beginning of 1550 he is said to have been very ill, so that he despaired of recovery, but on 10 March (Demaus, p. 378) he found energy enough to preach a last sermon before King Edward, which, like some of his previous discourses, was in two parts, forming really two sermons, each of considerable length. A renewed offer of a bishopric seems to have been made to him not long before (Original Letters, p. 465, Parker Soc.).

In the autumn of 1550 he went to Lincolnshire, where he had not been since his ordination (Sermons, p. 298), and preached at Stamford on 9 Nov. On 18 Jan. 1551 he was appointed one of a commission of thirty-two to correct anabaptists and persons who showed disrespect to the new prayer-book (Rymer, xv. 250, 1st ed.). It does not appear, however, that he took any active part in these proceedings, and it is doubtful whether he was ever in London during the remaining two years of Edward's reign. Part of that time he was the guest of John Glover at Baxterley Hall in Warwickshire, and during another part of it he was with the Duchess of Suffolk at Grimsthorpe, Lincolnshire. In an undated letter of the duchess to Cecil, written in June 1552, she regrets not having been able to send Latimer a buck for his niece's churching (State Papers, Dom. Edw. VI, vol. xiv. No. 47). Careless copyists have misread 'wife' for 'niece,' but Latimer was apparently a bachelor.

At this time he is described by his attached Swiss servant, Augustine Bernher, as being, although 'a sore bruised man,' over threescore and seven, most assiduous in preaching, generally delivering two sermons each Sunday, and rising every morning, winter and summer, at two o'clock to study (Sermons, p. 320). He fully anticipated, however, that on Mary's accession he should be called to account for his doctrine, especially after Gardiner was released from the Tower. On 4 Sept. 1553 a summons was issued to bring him up to London (Haynes, State Papers, p. 179), but apparently there was every desire to allow him to escape. He had private notice six hours before it was

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