Edmund Grindal

Edmund Grindal

Ask a question about 'Edmund Grindal'
Start a new discussion about 'Edmund Grindal'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Edmund Grindal was an English church leader who successively held the posts of Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

, Archbishop of York
Archbishop of York
The Archbishop of York is a high-ranking cleric in the Church of England, second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of York and metropolitan of the Province of York, which covers the northern portion of England as well as the Isle of Man...

 and Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 during the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

Early life to the death of Edward VI

Tradition, also retailed by Grindal's biographer John Strype
John Strype
John Strype was an English historian and biographer. He was a cousin of Robert Knox, a famous sailor.Born in Houndsditch, London, he was the son of John Strype, or van Stryp, a member of a Huguenot family whom, in order to escape religious persecution within Brabant, had settled in East London...

, had long held that Grindal was born in Hensingham, now a suburb of Whitehaven
Whitehaven is a small town and port on the coast of Cumbria, England, which lies equidistant between the county's two largest settlements, Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness, and is served by the Cumbrian Coast Line and the A595 road...

. However recent scholarship has shown that his birthplace was Cross Hill House, St. Bees, Cumberland. Grindal himself gave a description of his birth place in a letter to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, "... the house wherein I was born, and the lands pertaining thereto, being a small matter, under twenty shillings rent, but well builded at the charges of my father and brother", which corresponds to Cross Hill House. This has been proven by the discovery of the long-mislaid St. Bees long leases, which have provided the missing link in the chain of ownership back to William Grindal, Edmund's father, a farmer in the village. Edmund Grindal's exact date of birth is uncertain, but is c.1519.
His education may have started with the monks at the nearby St Bees Priory
St Bees Priory
St Bees Priory is the parish church of St Bees, Cumbria. The Benedictine priory was founded by William le Meschin, Lord of Egremont on an earlier religious site, and was dedicated by Archbishop Thurstan of York sometime between 1120 and 1135...

, though this is not recorded. It is believed by Collinson that both Grindal and Edwin Sandys
Edwin Sandys
Edwin Sandys may refer to:*Edwin Sandys , Bishop of London, Worcester, Archbishop of York*Edwin Sandys , a founder of the colony of Virginia, son of the above...

 shared a childhood, quite probably in St Bees. Sandys himself recalled that he and Grindal had lived "familiarly" and "as brothers" and were only separated between Sandys's 13th and 18th Years. It is thought likely that Sandys grew up at nearby Rottington. Edwin Sandys kept one step behind Grindal in their subsequent careers, succeeding him as bishop of London, and then as archbishop of York. Whatever the place of early education, it is known that the Marian martyr John Bland was the schoolmaster of Sandys, so it is likely he would also have taught Grindal.

Grindal was educated at Magdalene
Magdalene College, Cambridge
Magdalene College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1428 as a Benedictine hostel, in time coming to be known as Buckingham College, before being refounded in 1542 as the College of St Mary Magdalene...

 and Christ's
Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.With a reputation for high academic standards, Christ's College averaged top place in the Tompkins Table from 1980-2000 . In 2011, Christ's was placed sixth.-College history:...

 Colleges and then at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge
Pembroke College, Cambridge
Pembroke College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college has over seven hundred students and fellows, and is the third oldest college of the university. Physically, it is one of the university's larger colleges, with buildings from almost every century since its...

, where he graduated BA and was elected fellow in 1538. Having obtained his MA in 1541, he was ordained deacon in 1544, appointed proctor in 1550 and was Lady Margaret preacher 1548–1549. Probably through the influence of Nicholas Ridley
Nicholas Ridley (martyr)
Nicholas Ridley was an English Bishop of London. Ridley was burned at the stake, as one of the Oxford Martyrs, during the Marian Persecutions, for his teachings and his support of Lady Jane Grey...

, who had been master of Pembroke Hall, Grindal was selected as one of the Protestant disputants during the visitation of 1549. He had a talent for this work and was often given similar tasks. When Ridley became Bishop of London, he made Grindal one of his chaplains and gave him the precentorship of St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

. He was soon promoted to be one of King Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

's chaplains and prebendary
A prebendary is a post connected to an Anglican or Catholic cathedral or collegiate church and is a type of canon. Prebendaries have a role in the administration of the cathedral...

 of Westminster
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, and in October 1552 was one of six to whom the Forty-Two Articles were submitted for examination before being sanctioned by the Privy Council
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

. According to John Knox
John Knox
John Knox was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in Scotland. He was educated at the University of St Andrews or possibly the University of Glasgow and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1536...

, Grindal distinguished himself from most of the court preachers in 1553 by denouncing the worldliness of courtiers and foretelling the evils that would follow the king's death.

Grindal benefited greatly from the patronage of Ridley and Sir William Cecil during this period, to the extent that on 11 June 1553 he was nominated to be bishop of London. However, only a month later Edward VI was dead, and very soon Catholicism would return under Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...


Mary I and Elizabeth I

Although Grindal was not politically compromised by the events surrounding the accession of Mary I in October 1553, he had resigned his Westminster prebend by 10 May 1554, and made his way to Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 as one of the Marian exiles
Marian exiles
The Marian Exiles were English Calvinist Protestants who fled to the continent during the reign of Queen Mary I.-Exile communities:According to English historian John Strype, more than 800 Protestants fled to the continent, mainly to the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, and France, and joined...

. In 1554 he was in Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

, where he tried to settle the disputes between the "Coxians
Richard Cox (bishop)
Richard Cox was an English clergyman, who was Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely.-Biography:Cox was born of obscure parentage at Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, in 1499 or 1500....

", who regarded the 1552 Prayer Book as the perfection of reform, and the "Knoxians
John Knox
John Knox was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in Scotland. He was educated at the University of St Andrews or possibly the University of Glasgow and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1536...

", who wanted further simplification.

He returned to England in January 1559, on the day that Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 was crowned. He was appointed to the committee to revise the liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

, and was one of the Protestant representatives at the Westminster conference. In July 1559 he was also elected Master of Pembroke Hall in succession to the recusant Dr Thomas Young (1514?–1580) and finally created Bishop of London in succession to Edmund Bonner
Edmund Bonner
Edmund Bonner , Bishop of London, was an English bishop. Initially an instrumental figure in the schism of Henry VIII from Rome, he was antagonized by the Protestant reforms introduced by Somerset and reconciled himself to Roman Catholicism...

, six years after his first nomination in Edward's reign.

Grindal had qualms about vestments and other traces of "popery" as well as about the Erastianism
Thomas Erastus
Thomas Erastus was a Swiss physician and theologian best known for a posthumously published work in which he argued that the sins of Christians should be punished by the state, and not by the church withholding the sacraments...

 of Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

's ecclesiastical government. Firmly Protestant, he did not mind recommending that a priest "might be put to some torment", and in October 1562 he wrote to William Cecil
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

, begging to know "if that second Julian, the king of Navarre, is killed; as he intended to preach at St Paul's Cross
St Paul's Cross
St Paul's Cross was a preaching cross and open air pulpit in the grounds of Old St Paul's Cathedral, City of London.-History:...

, and might take occasion to mention God's judgements on him". Nevertheless, he was reluctant to execute judgements on English Puritans, and failed to give Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of Anglican theological thought....

 much assistance in rebuilding the shattered fabric of the English Church.

Grindal lacked that firm faith in the supreme importance of uniformity and autocracy which enabled John Whitgift
John Whitgift
John Whitgift was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 to his death. Noted for his hospitality, he was somewhat ostentatious in his habits, sometimes visiting Canterbury and other towns attended by a retinue of 800 horsemen...

 to persecute nonconformists whose theology was identical to his own. London, which was always a difficult see, involved Bishop Sandys in similar troubles when Grindal had gone to York. As it was, although Parker said that Grindal "was not resolute and severe enough for the government of London," his attempts to enforce the use of the surplice
A surplice is a liturgical vestment of the Western Christian Church...

 evoked angry protests, especially in 1565, when many nonconformists were suspended; and Grindal of his own accord denounced Thomas Cartwright
Thomas Cartwright (churchman)
Thomas Cartwright was an English Puritan churchman.He was born in Hertfordshire, and studied divinity at St John's College, Cambridge. On the accession of Queen Mary I of England in 1553, he was forced to leave the university, and found occupation as clerk to a counsellor-at-law...

 to the Council in 1570. Other anxieties were brought upon him by the burning of his cathedral in 1561, for although Grindal himself is said to have contributed £1200 towards its rebuilding, the laity and even the clergy of his diocese were not generous.

Archbishop of York

In 1570 Grindal became Archbishop of York, where Puritans were few and coercion would be required mainly for Roman Catholics. His first letter from his residence at Cawood
Cawood is a large village and civil parish in the Selby district of North Yorkshire, England that is notable as the finding-place of the Cawood sword....

 to Cecil told that he had not been well received, that the gentry were not "well-affected to godly religion and among the common people many superstitious practices remained." It is admitted by his Anglican critics that he did the work of enforcing uniformity against the Roman Catholics with good-will and considerable tact. He must have given general satisfaction, for even before Parker's death two persons so different as Cecil (now Lord Burghley), and Dean Nowell independently recommended Grindal's appointment as his successor, and Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

 spoke warmly of him in The Shepheardes Calender
The Shepheardes Calender
The Shepheardes Calender was Edmund Spenser's first major poetic work, published in 1579. In emulation of Virgil's first work, the Eclogues, Spenser wrote this series of pastorals to begin his career. However, Spenser's models were rather the Renaissance eclogues of Mantuanus. M. Y. Hughes. Virgil...

as the "gentle shepherd Algrind."

Archbishop of Canterbury

Grindal was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on 26 July 1575, though there is no actual proof that the new archbishop ever visited the seat of his see, Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, not even for his enthronement.

Burghley wished to conciliate the moderate Puritans and advised Grindal to mitigate the severity which had characterised Parker's treatment of the nonconformists.
Grindal indeed attempted a reform of the ecclesiastical courts, but his activity was cut short by a disagreement with the queen. Elizabeth wanted Grindal to suppress the "prophesyings" or meetings for discussion which had come into vogue among the Puritan clergy, and she even wanted him to discourage preaching. Grindal remonstrated, claiming some voice for the Church, and in June 1577 was suspended from his jurisdictional, though not his spiritual, functions for disobedience. He stood firm, and in January 1578 Secretary Wilson informed Burghley that the queen wished to have the archbishop deprived. She was dissuaded from this extreme course, but Grindal's sequestration was continued in spite of a petition from Convocation in 1581 for his reinstatement. Elizabeth then suggested that he should resign; he declined to do so, and after apologising to the queen he was reinstated towards the end of 1582. But his infirmities were increasing, and while making preparations for his resignation, he died and was buried in Croydon Parish Church
Croydon Parish Church
Croydon Minster is the parish and civic church of the London Borough of Croydon. There are currently more than 35 churches in the borough, with Croydon Minster being the most prominent.-History:...



He left considerable benefactions to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, the Queen's College, Oxford
The Queen's College, Oxford
The Queen's College, founded 1341, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Queen's is centrally situated on the High Street, and is renowned for its 18th-century architecture...

, and Christ's College, Cambridge; he also endowed a free school at St Bees, and left money for the poor of St Bees
St Bees
St Bees is a village and civil parish in the Copeland district of Cumbria, in the North of England, about five miles west southwest of Whitehaven. The parish had a population of 1,717 according to the 2001 census. Within the parish is St...

, Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, Lambeth
Lambeth is a district of south London, England, and part of the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated southeast of Charing Cross.-Toponymy:...

 and Croydon.

The most enduring monument to Grindal has proved to be the "free grammar school" which he founded in his native village of St Bees, where he had not been for perhaps forty-five years.
Only three days before his death Grindal had published statutes for the school; a series of minute and specific regulations which are a noted treasury of information for historians of Tudor education. Although the school was to be sometimes at risk in its early years, a school building had been erected by 1588 at a cost of £366.3s.4d. and endowed with annual revenues of £50. Nicholas Copland was nominated by Grindal as the first Headmaster and a tradition of learning had begun which has continued without a break for over four centuries.

Grindal also played a part in the establishment of Highgate School
Highgate School
-Notable members of staff and governing body:* John Ireton, brother of Henry Ireton, Cromwellian General* 1st Earl of Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice, owner of Kenwood, noted for judgment finding contracts for slavery unenforceable in English law* T. S...

 in North London, and is credited with having introduced the tamarisk
The genus Tamarix is composed of about 50-60 species of flowering plants in the family Tamaricaceae, native to drier areas of Eurasia and Africa...

tree to the British Isles.