In consequence of his prominence as a labour protagonist of the war, his life was threatened, along with the Prime Minister's, by the conspiracy of a Derby family of anarchists, who were duly convicted, and sentenced to considerable terms of penal servitude, in March 1917.
He took up the task with the greatest zeal, although Berengar had been his personal friend; he was the protagonist of orthodoxy at the councils of Vercelli (1050), Tours (1054) and Rome (1059).
Though still comparatively young, Gerhard had already come to be regarded as the greatest living theologian of Protestant Germany; in the numerous "disputations" of the period he was always protagonist, while on all public and domestic questions touching on religion or morals his advice was widely sought.
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.
The aristocracy of birth, despite its reverses, still remained the elite of society; and Griffenfeldt, the son of a burgess as well as the protagonist of monarchy, was its most determined enemy.