Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/381

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Lee
Lee
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office of his damnation — a papist, an idolator, and a fleshly priest into a bishop of Chester' (Letters and Papers). It was not until the summer of 1534 that Lee was released from his old employments. In December 1533 he and Thomas Bed^U were at Canterbury investigating the doings of the Nun of Kent. Towards the end of the month he wrote to Cromwell : 'I have nearly perfected your book, and it shall be clear written to-morrow' (ib. vi. 1567). The reference may be to the book of nine articles upon the validity of the king's second marriage, made by the council which is mentioned by Chapuys on 27 Dec. (ib.)

Early in 1534 he made vain efforts to obtain acknowledgments of the validity of the marriage with Anne Boleyn from Stokesley, bishop of London, and from Fisher, bishop of Rochester, who was in the Tower (ib.) In May he accompanied Archbishop Lee and Tunstall in their futile interview with Catherine (State Papers, Henry VIII, i. 421), and with Bedyll administered the, oath of allegiance to Anne Boleyn and to the Carthusians of Shene, and the Charterhouse (Letters and Papers, vii. 728 ; Fœdera, xiv. 491). His name appears among those who attested the conclusion of the convocation of York, 5 May, that the Bishop of Borne has no authority in England (Letters and Papers) . In June he and Bedyll vainly attempted to 'drive reason into the obstinate heads' of the Friars Observants of Richmond and Greenwich (ib. vii. 841 ; Gasquet, Henry VIII and the Monasteries, i. 183-5, 208).

At the end of June he set out for his diocese, taking Gregory Cromwell and his tutor with him, was very heartily welcomed, being 'beloved for his gentle dealing during his chancellorship there' (Letters and Papers, vii. 967). He assured Cromwell that though they were separated 'he was still his own' (ib. 10 July). He had as early as May been appointed president of the king's (until recently Princess [Mary]'s) council or commissioners in the marches ot Wales, in place of John Voysey, bishop of Exeter [q. v.], under whom the lawlessness of the marches had become intolerable (ib. vi. 946 ; cf. Froude, Hist. of England, iii. 419-23). Lee at once caused stringent articles to be made for the better preservation of order in the marches, an act of parliament ordered felonies committed in Wales to be tried in the next English county, and the new council was given a more summary jurisdiction. Lee was empowered to put down crime by capital punishment, which had been regarded as unbefitting the spiritual office of his predecessors, who were also bishops, and he acted upon his statement to Cromwell that 'if we should do nothing but as the common law will, these things so far out of order will never be redressed' (MS. Letter to Cromwell, 18 July 1538, Record Office).

Lee devoted his whole energies to the rooting out of Welsh disorder. It was rarely that he could 'steal home' to Lichfield, and his visits to London were rarer still. His presence was constantly required at different points in the marches, while he held his courts in all the adjoining English counties. He was constantly moving between the head-quarters of the council at Ludlow, and Shrewsbury, near which at Shotton he had a manor, to which the tradition of 'Bishop Rowland's' summary justice long clung (Owen and Blakeway, Hist. of Shrewsbury, i. 311). He kept up as before a constant correspondence with Cromwell, which gives a graphic picture of his difficulties and the iron will with which he grappled with them. The Earl of Worcester and other lords marchers attempted to evade his authority, 'shire-gentlemen' disdained his inferior court, he was sometimes disavowed by Cromwell, and recovered with difficulty the expenses he incurred in the repair of the royal castles. He was often ill, but he carried out his policy without faltering. At one sessions he hanged 'four of the best blood in the county of Shropshire;' in January 1536 he reports the execution of an outlaw who was 'brought in in a sack, trussed on a horse, and hanged on a gallows for a sign on market day m the presence of three hundred people' (Ellis, Letters, 3rd ser. iii. 13). ' Daily, he wrote to Cromwell, 'the outlaws submit themselves or be taken. If he be taken he playeth his pageant. If he submit himself I take him to God's mercy and the king's grace upon his fine' (Letters and Papers, viii. 584). Church robbers were hunted down (cf. Letters and Papers, x. 130). But whenever he was absent there was a fresh outbreak of felonies (ib. xii. 1237). Lee is credited with having first compelled the Welsh gentry to abridge their long names, making them drop all out the last (Ellis, Letters, 3rd series, ii. 364). It was long believed that it was by Lord-president Lee's advice that Henry VlII completed the division of Wales into shires, and incorporated it with England (Anglia Sacra, i. 45o ; Godwin, De Præsulibus, p. 342, ed. 1743). The reverse was the case. He protested vigorously against the statute of 1536, making Wales shire-ground and giving it justices of the peace and gaol delivery as in England. ' If one thief shall try another, all we have here begun is foredone' (State Papers, i. 454). Whether at his instance, or for other reasons, the 'shiring' of the marches seems to have been postponed for some years, for in 1539