LIVES OF THE BISHOPS OF EXETER
GERVASE BABINGTON, a native of Nottinghamshire. Whilst Chaplain to Henry, Earl of Pembroke, he assisted the noble Countess, Mary Sidney, in her translation of the Psalms. Through the interest of such patrons, he was promoted to the See of Llandaff, to which he was consecrated by the Primate, Whitgift, on 29th August, 1591. On the death of Bishop Woolton, Queen Elizabeth recommended him to our Dean and Chapter in her letters patent, dated 22nd March, 1594, as a successor. It is highly creditable to Dr. Godwin, the biographer, then Canon and Subdean of Exeter, that he did all he could to prevent this new bishop from injuring the see, by surrendering to the Crown the manor and borough of Crediton: yet all opposition proved abortive. Queen Elizabeth had no sooner secured this property, than she granted it, on 15th May, 1595, to William Killigrew, Esq., one of the Grooms of her Chamber. Heylin has very incorrectly charged this wrongful dismemberment to the memory of Dr. Cotton, the successor of Babington ('Hist. Reform.' part ii. p. 58). Perhaps this act of obsequious subserviency to the royal wish induced her Majesty to translate our prelate to the wealthier see of Worcester, on 4th October, 1597. He could not be regretted here: he left the palace in a dilapidated state, as we shall show hereafter.
After sitting at Worcester nearly thirteen years, he died on 17th May, 1610. The library of that church he "enriched with many choice books" ('Athen. Oxon.' part i. p. 754). His previous printed works, comprising 'Notes on the Pentateuch,' 'Exposition of the Creed, the Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer,' 'A. Conference betwixt Man's Frailty and Faith,' and three Sermons, were published in a folio volume in 1615,. and 1622.
Arms: - [Argent] Ten Torteauxes - four, three, two, and one, in chief a label of three points azure; Westcote omits the label.
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