Although I guess you could call it "his house," it was the Palace of Canterbury that burned in 1543, which makes it less personal but still quite a blow. Cranmer had been planning a grand entertaiment for the Viceroy of Sicily and Naples, and apparently many of his papers and property were lost in the conflagration, along with his brother-in-law. His secret wife, as malicious rumor subsequently had it, did not have to be carried out concealed in a box; Diarmaid MacCulloch thinks she was stashed away at Cranmer's other palace at Ford.I think if there had been any evidence or allegation at the time that Cranmer's enemies - i.e., the conservative religious party at court - were behind it, Foxe would have reported it with relish. I don't think conservatives like Gardiner would have favored arson in regard to property, although arson in regard to actual heretics was another matter (and even then, only after a legally constituted church court). Moreover, the Palace of Canterbury was a church property, part of England's Catholic patrimony, and I would expect conservatives and "Papists" to make every effort to preserve that patrimony, however much they disliked the Canterbury incumbent. Jasper Ridley's biography calls the fire "accidental" and MacCulloch doesn't suggest anything sinister in his study of Cranmer. He does note, as Foxe's narrative emphasizes, that this fire - which occurred at a time when Cranmer was under attack by court conservatives - is a remarkable foreshadowing of the archbishop's ultimate fate under Mary.
There seems to be a lot of "burning" associated with Thomas Cranmer. And he almost "forgot" his Forty-Two articles. Here a few lines in Lewis Carroll's and Henry Holiday's The Hunting of the Snark (1876) come to my mind:021 There was one who was famed for the number of things022 He forgot when he entered the ship:023 His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,024 And the clothes he had bought for the trip.025 He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,026 With his name painted clearly on each:027 But, since he omitted to mention the fact,028 They were all left behind on the beach.029 The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because030 He had seven coats on when he came,031 With three pairs of boots--but the worst of it was,032 He had wholly forgotten his name.033 He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,034 Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"035 To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"036 But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"037 While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,038 He had different names from these:039 His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends,"040 And his enemies "Toasted-cheese."041 "His form is ungainly--his intellect small--"042 (So the Bellman would often remark)043 "But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,044 Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
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