Northumberland's recantation had done much to discredit the Reformation, Cranmer's, it was hoped, would complete the work.
He seems to have been a kindly, homely, somewhat feckless person like many an excellent parish priest, who did not conceal his indignation at some of Northumberland's deeds.
It was perhaps the most wanton of all Mary's acts of persecution; Ferrar had been no such protagonist of the Reformation as Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper and Latimer; he had had nothing to do with Northumberland's or Wyatt's conspiracy.
She may have had interviews, with French agents who helped to foment the insurrection; but she was strong and wary enough to avoid Henry II.'s, as she had avoided Northumberland's, toils; for even in case of success she would have been the French king's puppet, placed on the throne, if at all, merely to keep it warm for Henry's prospective daughter-in-law, Mary Stuart.
There is no doubt that he saw which way the wind was blowing, and disliked Northumberland's scheme; but he had not the courage to resist the duke to his face.
But Northumberland's plots and the active help of the French proved ineffective.
He was opposed to Northumberland's plot for the exclusion of Mary from the throne; but this did not save him from speedy imprisonment.