THE LIFE AND CAREER OF EDMUND BONNER BISHOP OF LONDON UNTIL HIS DEPRIVATION IN 1549
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The conventional picture of Bishop Bonner as the 'butcherly beast" of the Marian persecutions has never been seriously investigated. Discussion of the problems of his family and his education, together with a study of his service in Wolsey's household and his relationship with Thomas Cromwell form the first part of this thesis. Bonner's diplomatic career as Henry VIII's ambassador in Rome, Germany, France and Spain between 1532 and 1543 as well as his government service in England between 1535 and 1541 are next considered. The diocesan financial structure and Bonner's policy in clerical appointments have been analyzed for both halves of his episcopate, the nature of the sources rendering it necessary to consider his episcopal administration as a whole. Finally the development of Bonner's theological views up to 1549 and the story of his trial in that year complete this study. Bonner's was a complex personality, quarrelsome and rude, yet probably obsequious and time-serving. He was certainly ambitious and clever, but he seems to have lacked both statesmanship and judgment. This is the picture of him as he was before he participated in the storms of the Marian Counter-Reformation. Much of the material for this thesis has been taken from the State Papers. There are, however, three other main manuscript sources which have been used. The Lechmere papers in the Worcestershire Record Office throw some light on Bonner's early youth and the volume of hiB despatches in the Yelverton collection in the British Museum revealS his activity in the winter of 1535-1536. The account books of the Bishop of London's Receiver-General for 1526-1521 and 1561-1568 in the Guildhall Library and the account rolls for 1549-1550 and 1555-1556 in the Public Record Office provide the basis for the analysis of the Bishop's diocesan administration.
AuthorsALEXANDER, GINA MARY VERE
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