Some years ago my attention was drawn by Professors Paul Kristeller and William Nelson of Columbia University to two manuscripts – one in the Bibliothèque Publique de Besançon and the other in the Escorial – of a text that appeared to be the last work of Stephen Gardiner, a leading conservative churchman, diplomat and publicist in the Henrician period, and, from 1553 until his death in 1555, Mary Tudor's chancellor. The text is in Italian, and is titled Ragionamento dell’advenimento delli inglesi et normanni in Britannia – ‘ A discourse on the coming of the English and Normans to Britain’. The translator, George Rainsford, worked from an English original now lost, and appended to the Gardiner text his own Ritratto d'Ingliterra or ‘Description of England’; he dedicated the composite volume to Philip II, among whose books the Escorial manuscript had been. The dedication is dated 16 March 1556, some four months after Gardiner's death. Both the Gardiner text and the Rainsford appendix have now been published.