He was for nearly eighteen years the soul of the republican conspiracies, the prompter of revolutionary propaganda, the chief inspirer of intrigues concerted by discontented military men of all ranks.
The course taken by Cranmer in promoting the Reformation exposed him to the bitter hostility of the reactionary party or " men of the old learning," of whom Gardiner and Bonner were leaders, and on various occasions - notably in 1543 and 1 545 - conspiracies were formed in the council or elsewhere to effect his overthrow.
The king, however, remained true to him, and all the conspiracies signally failed.
Victories in the field were not more effective in consolidating Napoleon's power than were his own coups d'etat and the supremely skilful use which he made of conspiracies directed against him.
Would-be plotters remained quiet from sheer terror of his power and ability, or from a conviction that conspiracies redounded to his advantage.