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English Stephen GARDINER

English Roman Catholic bishop and politician during the English Reformation

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: in 1483 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Died: on November 12, 1555 in Southwark, Surrey, England


He was born in Bury St Edmunds, but the date of his birth is suspect. His father is known to have been John Gardiner, a substantial cloth merchant of the town where he was born, who took care to give him a good education. His mother was once thought to be Helen Tudor, an illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, but recent research suggests that she was the mother of a different cleric, Thomas Gardiner.

In 1511 Gardiner, still a boy, met Erasmus in Paris. He had probably already begun his studies at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he distinguished himself in the classics, especially in Greek. He then devoted himself to canon and civil law, in which subjects he attained so great a proficiency that no one could dispute his pre-eminence. He received the degree of doctor of civil law in 1520, and of canon law in the following year.

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