Tunstall (or Tonstall), Cuthbert

Tunstall (or Tonstall), Cuthbert a learned Romish prelate, was born at Hatchford, near Richmond, Yorkshire, about 1474. He entered Balliol College, Oxford, about 1491, but subsequently went to Cambridge and became a fellow of King's Hall. He afterwards went to Padua and took the degree of LL.D. On his return to England, archbishop Warham constituted him vicar general, August, 1511, recommended him to Henry VIII, and in December of the same year collated him to the rectory of Harrow-on-the-hill, Middlesex which he held till 1522. In 1514 he was installed prebendary of Stowlonga, Church of Lincoln, and in the following year admitted archdeacon of Chester. He was made master of the rolls in 1516. Serving as an ambassador to emperor Charles V, he was rewarded on his return (prob. 1519) by a series of preferments. In 1519 he was made prebendary of Bontevant, Church of York; in May, 1521, prebendary of Combe and Hornham, Church of Saram, and dean of Salisbury. He was promoted to the bishopric of London in 1522; was made keeper of the privy seal in 1523; and in 1525 he and Sir Richard Wingfield went as ambassadors to Spain. In July, 1527, Tunstall attended cardinal Wolsey on his embassy to France, and in 1529 was one of the English ambassadors employed to negotiate the treaty of Cambray. On his return he exerted himself to suppress Tyndale's edition of the New Test. In 1530 he was translated to the bishopric of Durham, where he laid out large sums in improving his episcopal houses. At first Tunstall favored the divorce of Henry VIII, but afterwards espoused the cause of the queen. When Henry took the title of supreme head of the Church, Tunstall recommended this course in his injunctions and in a sermon preached at Durham. He also vindicated the king's supremacy in 1533, in a sermon preached before the king on Palm-Sunday. In 1535 he was one of the commissioners for taking the alhuation of ecclesiastical benefices and in 1538 was appointed to confer about the Reformation with the German ambassadors. A new edition of the English Bible was revised by him and Nicholas Heath, bishop of Rochester, in 1541. In December, 1551, he was committed to the Tower on a charge of misprision of treason, and although the bill was thrown out by the House of Commons, he was brought before a commission (consisting of the chief-justice of the king's bench and six others) and deprived of his bishopric. He continued a prisoner in the Tower during the remainder of Edward's reign. 'On the accession of Mary, in 1553, Tunstall was restored to his bishopric, but, on account of his mild treatment of the Protestants, was again deprived, July, 1559. He was committed to the custody of Parker, then in possession of Lambeth Palace, who treated him in a very friendly and respectful manner, until he died Nov. 18, 1559. Tunstall was opposed to making transubstantiation an article of faith, and also held the doctrine of justification by faith only. His principal writings are, In Laudem Slatrimonii (Lond. 1518, 4to): —De Arte Supputandi (Lond. 1522, 4to): —Sermon on Royal Supremacy (Lond. 1539, 4to): —Confudtio, etc. (Paris, 1522, 4to): —De Veritate Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Jesu' Christi in Eucharistia (Lutet. 1554, 4to): — (Compendium in Decem Libros Ethicorum A ristotelis (Paris, 1554, 8vo): —Contra Impios Blasphematores Dei Praedestinationis (Antwerp. 1555, 4to): —Godly and Devout Prayers in English and Latin, etc. (1558, 8vo). See Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.

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