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Campeggio in France — His Diplomatic Interview^th Francis I. 
— Wolsey learns that Campeggio will be neither complaisant 
nor corruptible — A magnificent Reception prepared for him 
at London and Greenwich — His Coming is delayed by fits of 
the gout — Hasty semi-official Visit of Wolsey to Campeggio ; 
Long Conversation of the two Legates — Catharine's Hopes 
and Fears — Private Conference of Henry VIIL with the 
Legate — Visit of the two Legates to Queen Catharine ; their 
Advice, and the Queen's Reply — Counsel for the Defence 
given by Henry VIH. to Catharine, and the persons named 
by him — Campeggio hears the Queen's Confession — The 
icing's Impatience, and Fresh Conversation with Catharine 
— The Unhappy Queen is worried by the numerous Bishojj^s 
of Henry VIH. 's Party 1 


Charles V.'s Letter — Mendoza's Communication with Campeggio 
— Odious Official Interrogatory that the Queen m compelled 


to Undergo — Effect produced by the Exidbition of the copy 
of the Brief of Dispensation ^asserted to be False — Attempts 
made at Kome and in Spain to procure the Original of this 
Document — ^The Queen's Advisers persuade her to write 
Herself to the Emperor to beg him to send the Original to 
London — Mendoza's Opposition — The King's Speech to the 
Aldermen — Moral Condition of the Court, and Increasing 
Favour of Anne Boleyn — Popular Discontent . . 26 


Montoya, Catharine's Agent, sent to Spain — Secret Communica- 
tions between the Queen and Muxetula, the Emperor's Am- 
bassador to the Sovereign Pontiff — Henry VHI. sends to 
Rome first Bryant and Vannes, afterwards Knight and 
Benett — Strange Instructions that he gives them, and his 
Recourse to the Pope's Absolute Power — His JVIiserable 
Trickery against the Queen — Catharine's Touching Com- 
plaints and Protestations 41 


Casale's Unsuccessful Attempts to accelerate the Divorce Case — 
Two other English Agents, Bryant and Vannes, sent to 
Rome to work in the matter of the Brief alleged to be False 
— ^Their Objections refuted by the Imperial Ambassador — 
Micer Mai and Cardinal Santa Croce — Wolsey's Political 
Strategy finds no Favour, either at Rome or in London — 
France makes Overtures to the Emperor — Clement VII. 's 
Illness — Wolsey's Candidature for the Pontiff's Chair — 
Clement VII. recovers, and is beset by the English Agents 
— He resists them with Unconquerable Decision — He has a 
Long Conference with Micer Mai, and gives a Promise that 
he wiU never Assent to the Divorce — Micer Mai gives him 
an Affecting Letter of Queen Catharine — Vain Complaints 
of the English Ambassadors 63 


Official Exhibition in Spain of the Original of the Brief of Dis- 
pensation, in the presence of the English Ambassadors — A 
Copy of the Document is delivered to them — Wolsey changes 
his Policy — He is desirous above all things to conclude the 


Business of the Divorce — The Legates' Court is constituted, 
aii<l issues Citations to both Parties — ^The Emperor's Letter 
to Catharine — Doubtful Dispositions of Campeggio — He re- 
ceives the Queen coldly — First Meeting of the Ecclesiastical 
Court — The Parties appear — Solemn Hearing of June 21st — 
The Queen throws herself at the King's Feet, and addresses 
a Beautiful Protest to him against the Persecution directed 
at her — Great Impression on the Audience — Catharine refuses 
her Judges, appeals to the Pope, and retires — The Legates * 
receive and register her Appeal, but they think it their duty 
to proceed — As she refuses to appear again, they declare her 
contumacious — Popular Interest on her account — Henry 
VIII. 's Attitude after Catharine left the Hall . .73 


Campeggio's Embarrassment — Henry VIII. declares that Wolsey 
was not the First Suggestor of the Divorce — Appearance of 
Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and his Bold Address to the 
Legates — General Surprise in Court, and Great Impresvsion 
without — Henry VIII. 's Anger, and his Pamphlet in answer 
to Fisher — His Revenge nursed for another time — Opposing 
Petitions of the English and Imperial Agents before the 
Pope — Campeggio's Correspondence with Rome stopped for 
some time by the English Officers — Casale informs Henry 
VIII. that the Pope has determined to transfer the Trial of 
the Divorce Suit to Rome — At Henry's desire the two Le- 
gates make another Attempt to persuade Catharine, but they 
find her just as resolute — The Legates hold another Judicial 
Sitting on July 23rd, and adjourn the case till after the 
Vacation — Altercation of Wolsey and the Duke of Suffolk — 
A Fortnight after this Last Hearing, the BuU of Revocation 
was pubUshed in London 90 


Position assumed by Henry VIII. after the Divorce Suit was ad- 
jonmed by the Legates, and its transfer to Rome — Cardinal 
Wolsey out of Favour — Henry treats Wolsey and Campeggio 
very differently — But the latter is arrested at Dover, and 
shamefully searched — Then set at Liberty — Wolsey is dis- 
graced, deprived of the Great Seal and his Temporal Digni- 


ties — He is prosecuted criminally — His Despair— His Humble 
- Supplication to Henry VIII.— Arraigned before Parliament, 
he is acquitted of Treason, but afterwards condemned for a 
Violation of the Statute of Prsemunire — Henry pardons him, 
and only confiscates a Portion of his Wealth — He is banished 
to his Diocese — The Exemplary Life he leads there — Watch- 
ed, and betrayed by his Doctor, he is arrested on a charge of 
High Treason — He falls iU, and dies on his Journey to Lon- 
don — His Modest Funeral at Leicester — Henry loses in him 
a Great Minister, and Useful restraint on his Passions . Ill 


Political Situation of England — Henry VIII. absorbed by his 
Passion — The chief Universities of Europe desired to dehbe- 
rate on the Divorce Case — Pressure exercised on those of 
Oxford and Cambridge — Henry makes large Grants of 
Money to Francis I. to obtain favour from the French 
Universities, and especially the Sorbonne — Du Bellay and 
Marshal de Montmorency themselves visit the Doctors in 
Theology of Paris, and do everything they can to win them 
over to Henry's side — Disorder, Riots, and Violent Disputes 
between the Doctors — An Imperceptible Majority, due to 
Irregular Proceedings, in favour of the Divorce — In Italy 
Henry's Agents contrive to corrupt several Doctors of Bo- 
logna, Ferrara, and Padua — But the Success of their Prac- 
tices is not Complete — It is discovered that the Minutes have 
been substituted or falsified — In Germany the Universities ex- 
press themselves steadfastly against the NulUty of Catharine's 
Marriage — The Imperial Ambassadors in France and Rome 
protest against these Debates and the Irregularities of the 
DeUberations of the Universities — Petition presented to the 
Pope by some English^ Noblemen, putting forward political 
and other reasons for the Divorce — Firm and Dignified Reply 
in the negative from Clement VII. — Cromwell, in a confer- 
ence with Reginald Pole, preaches to him the most Cynical 
Machiavelism, and most Servile Complaisance to all the 
King's Wishes — Courageous Attitude of Reginald Pole to- 
wards the King— Henry VIII. , after a First Burst of Anger, 
shows himself generous and pardons him . . . 135 



Henry VIII.'s two Ministers — Doctor Gardiner ; hia Diplomatic 
Talents — Sir Thomas More — His Father a Judge of the 
King's Bench ; he himself a Counsel and Member of Parlia- 
ment — He becomes Speaker of the House of Commons — 
Cromwell, his Origin and first Adventures — In the Begin- 
ning of his career he shows Hostility to the Church — Corona- 
tion of Charles V. at Bologna — ^The Earl of Wiltshire, Anne 
Boleyn's Father, sent as Ambassador to the Pope and the 
Emperor — Cranmer goes with him as Theologian — Cold and 
Haughty Reception of Charles V. — Henry loses heart, and 
almost gives up Anne and returns to Catharine — Inspired by 
the Boleyns, Cromwell tries a Bold Stroke — He begs a Pri- 
vate Audience of Henry VIH., hardens him against every 
scruple, and becomes his Evil Genius — He procures the pass- 
ing of Resolutions in favour of the Divorce, and a first bUl 
of the King's Spiritual Supremacy, first by Convocation, and 
then by both Houses of Parliament .... 160 


Another Vain Attempt to Influence Catharine — Her Degradation 
and Dismissal from Court — Delay demanded of the Pope by 
the English Ambassadors — Continual Increase of the state of 
Hostility to Rome — Cautionary Brief addressed by Clement 
Vn. to Henry — Suppression of Annates by Parliament — 
Proposal by Nicholas Temse in Catharine's favour — Dismissal 
of Sir Thomas More — Another English Embassy to Rome — 
Henry does not choose to be represented before the Court of 
Consistory by an Accredited Proctor ; he sends an Excuser — 
Sharp Dispute between the Imperial Ambassadors and the 
English Agents — Clement VU. grants them more Delay, 
and desires the Interference of Francis I. in the Business — 
That King's Excellent Attitude 183 


Du Bellay indulges Anne Boleyn's Whims — Anne made Marchio- 
ness of Pembroke— Meeting of Henry VIII. and Francis I. 
at Boulogne ; no Lady of the French Court chooses to be 
present — Secret Marriage of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn 
— Cranmer is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, and ac- 


cepted by the Pope — His Consecration and Qualified Oath — 
Severe Reproaches addressed to him by Pole — Bossuet's 
Opinion of this Prelate 195 


Portrait of Clement VII., by a Venetian Ambassador — Play acted 
between Henry VIH. and Cranmer — Meeting of Bishops 
and Divines, and majority in Favour of the Divorce — An 
Ecclesiastical Court, with Cranmer as President, pronounces 
a Sentence of Divorce between Henry VIII. and Catharine 
of Aragon — The same Cranmer confirms and legitimises the 
Marriage contracted by the King with Anne Boleyn — Catha- 
rine's Correspondence with her Daughter — Communication 
of the Sentence of Divorce to Henry VIII. and Catharine — 
Catharine will not renounce her title of Queen — His Protests 
and Erasures — Her Moral Victory over Henry VIII. — Fisher 
and More under Espial in their Retirement . . .211 


The Pope annuls the Sentence of Divorce, and threatens Henry 
with Excommunication — Guillaume du Bellay de Langey, 
French Ambassador in England — Cardinal de Tournon, 
Ambassador at Rome — Norfolk and the English Ambassadors 
in France — They endeavour to separate France from Rome, 
and Norfolk advises Francis I. to nominate a Galilean Patri- 
arch — NorfoUc accuses Francis I.'s Domestic Policy of weak- 
ness in respect of the Roman Court — Interview of Clement 
VII. and Francis I. at Marseilles — Improper Behaviour of 
the English Ambassadors present — Conciliatory Mission of 
Bishop Jean du Bellay to England and Italy — Well received 
by Henry Vni., he afterwards goes to Rome — He sends a 
Dispatch to the King of England — Notwithstanding the 
Promises made to Du Bellay, Henry VIII. continues his 
Aggressions against the Romish Church — Sentence given 
almost unanimously by the Consistory of Cardinals in favour 
of the Validity of Catharine's Marriage, and Bull of the 
Pope to the same Effect— The answer to Du BeUay's Dis- 
patch arrives two days after the Sentence of the Consistory — 
But this Reply could not be of Consequence — While the 
Cardinals are stiU deliberating, the Anglican Church is 


being constituted — Henry VIII.'s Condemnation had become 
Necessary — Clement VII. had pushed his Temporisings, Con- 
cessions, and Tenderness to the last Extremity . . 221 


I. Henry VIH. gradually becomes a Persecutor — A vehement 
Sermon of a Franciscan Friar of the Observance, before the 
King, comparing him to Ahab — Next day Henry sends his 
Chaplain to the Monastery of the Observants — The Chaplain 
having been badly received, the Privy Council summon the 
Prior before them, and condemn him and the Preacher to 
banishment — All the Monks of the Monastery are soon after- 
wards condemned to the same Punishment — Singular Fulfil- 
ment, at least to a certain amount, of the Prophecy made to 
the modem Ahab. 

n. Father Forest and his Correspondence with Catharine — The 
Predictions of the ecstatic Elizabeth Barton — Fisher's and 
More's Communications v/ith her are politically Incriminated 
— Fisher prosecuted and made to apologise — More guiltless 
on this occasion — Interrogatory and Answers of Sir Thomas 
More — Fisher and More committed to the Tower for not 
taking the Oath of Succession — Their property is Confis- 
cated, and they are kept in Prison — Spiritual Supremacy of 
the King proclaimed all over England — Fisher and More 
refuse to swear to this act of Supremacy — Condemnation, 
Execution, and heroic Behaviour of Fisher — Trial, Defence, 
and Condemnation of More — His Firmness and Death — 
Indignation in the Political and Learned World of Euro^Je — 
Execution of several Clergymen 247 


Pretended Conspiracy of Catharine — Visit of two Bishops or 
Commissioners of Henry to Bugden — Requirement of the 
Oath — Resistance of Catharine and her Servants — Arrest of 
her two Chaplains — Touching Letter to the King — She only 
obtains a Portion of her Request — She objects to residing at 
Fotheringay, and prefers Kimbolton — Her Distress and Tears 
— A Labourer's Generosity — Catharine's Letter to Father 
Forrest — His Answer — Henry VIII.'s Commissioners . 265 



I. Letter sent by Catharine from Kimbolton to Henry VIII. — 

Her last Illness — Visit of her early Friend, Lady Willoughby 
— Eustace Chapuys, the Spanish Ambassador, obtains an 
Audience of the Queen — Her last Wishes — Henry VIII, does 
not respect Them, or pay her Legacies — He puts on Mourn- 
ing for Catharine, as his Sister-in-law — Anne Boleyn refuses 
to wear it. 

II. Portrait of Catharine— Justice done to her Character by 
Shakespeare — Appreciation of M. Rio . . . 275 


Salutary Fear and wise Reflections of Anne Boleyn — Beginning 
of Conversion — This Conversion is only Superficial — She 
becomes jealous of Jane Seymour — A Violent Scene with the 
King, and the Consequences — Coolness and Jealousy of 
Henry VHI. — He appoints a Commission of Inquiry — The 
Tournament at Greenwich ; great Imprudence of Anne 
Boleyn — Her Arrest — Her father and uncle among the 
Commissioners, but her father only sits on the Trial of the 
supposed Accomplices — He is excused when Anne is brought 
to the Bar — Anne's uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, presides 
over the High Court that finds her guilty, and he gives 
Sentence — Anne B61eyn shows proofs of Piety and Repent- 
ance — Her Spirit rises at the prospect and moment of Death 
—Indecent Joy of Henry VIII 285 


I. Spiritual Supremacy of Henry VIII. — Correspondence of 

Starkey and Reginald Pole. 

II. Immediate Consequences of the Bill of Supremacy — Spolia- 
tion of the Monasteries, and Distribution of their Property 
to the Nobles or Gentry of the Counties, to Win them over 
to the new Schism— Use of Terror to Intimidate the Court 
Nobles — Popular Rebellion stifled in Blood, after Lying 
Promises of Amnesty — Pauperism and Vagrancy repressed 
by hard and cruel Penal Laws. 

III. Political Consequences of the Bill of Supremacy — Religious 
Consequences, and Possibility of the Return of an Anti- 
Christian Imperialism 305 





Campeggio in France — His Diplomatic Interview with 
Francis I. — Wolsey learns that Campegn;io will be neither 
complaisant nor corruptible — A magnificent Reception 
prepared for him at London and Greenwich — His Coming 
is delayed by fits of the gout — Hasty semi-official Visit 
of "Wolsey to Campeggio ; Long Conversation of the two 
Legates — Catharine's Hopes and Fears — Private conference 
of Henry VIII. with the Legate — Visit of the two Legates 
to Queen Catharine; their Advice, and the Queen's Reply 
— Counsel for the Defence given by Henry VIH. to 
Catharine, and the persons named by him — Campeggio 
hears the Queen's Confession — The King's Impatience, 
and Fresh Conversation with Catharine — The unhappy 
Queen is worried by the numerous Bishops of Henry 
Vin.'s Party. 

CARDINAL CAMPEGGIO had received his com- 
mission in Italy during the month of April. He 
had been delayed at Rome, as he had to re-furuish 
his house, and to procure a suite befitting his dig- 


nity, as all his moveables had been plundered, and 
he did not start till the month of June. He was 
further delayed by fits of the gout and various acci- 
dents, and only reached Lyons on August 22nd. He 
started again on the 30th with some fresh resources 
that were to make his journey more speedy and 
convenient. Clerk, the English ambassador at the 
French Court, sent a very fine mule, with splendid 
housings, and four carriage mules, as far as Orleans 
to meet Campeggio ; Clerk had borrowed them, but 
he had added twenty horses of his own, and ten that 
belonged to the Master of the Rolls. Sir Francis 
Bryant had been waiting for the cardinal in that 
city since the 24th, and was to escort him to Calais 
with several horsemen and a certain number of 

Thus it was the beginning of September when 
Cardinal Campeggio made his entry into Paris. 
Fifteen or sixteen archbishops or bishops, and person- 
ages of the highest distinction, were to come and 
meet him beyond the gates of the capital. But, 
wearied with the journey, sufiering from the gout, 
and hardly able to sit his mule, he arrived a little 
sooner than he was expected, to escape the crowd 
and avoid the honours of the reception prepared for 
him. However, as soon as he was within Paris, he 
met Francis I., who received him with expressions of 
the deepest respect. Then the king conducted the 
legate to his lodging ; they were seen together at a 
window talking for two hours. 


The subject of this long conversation was the suit 
of Henry VIII. The King of France was not ac- 
quainted with all the particulars. " His majesty in- 
quired," writes Campeggio to Sanga. " I replied 
that I was one of the judges deputed, and that the 
sentence depended on the evidence ; but it was im- 
possible as yet to say what determination would be 
taken, except that there would be no lack of justice. 
I added, * What is your majesty's opinion V He an- 
swered that he was not learned, and in such cases 
he would adopt the opinion of anyone who under- 
stood more about it than himself, though he regarded 
the king, his brother, as a wise and good man, and 
believed that, when he knows that the queen is his 
lawful wife, he will not attempt any such thing (as 
a divorce) ; but, if she were not, it would be a great 
matter to persist in a sin which involved the salva- 
tion of his soul." * 

The two speakers treated one another with diplo- 
matic reserve. Yet a report prevailed at the French 
Court that Campeggio, in accordance with the pope's 
present policy, would be more inclined to the em- 
peror's side than was supposed ; that he would be 
tmfavourable to the divorce, and that his mission 
was especially to change Henry VIII.'s ideas and 
intentions in this matter if possible. Lastly, that, if 
he could not reconcile the king and queen, he was 
not to proceed to judgment without fresh instruc- 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. ii, p. 2061. 

B 2 


tions from the pope. These public reports reached 
Wolsey from France, or from Rome, where hi» 
agents, the Casali and Stafileo, Dean of La Rot.a» 
watched everything, and kept him informed of all 
they could learn. Thus the English statesman's 
anxieties were more keen than ever. He plainly 
saw that in Campeggio he would find neither a 
docile instrument nor even a complaisant colleague. 
On the contrary, the Roman cardinal, in making 
communication to him of the plan he intended to 
pursue, took in some respects the first place, and 
assumed what may be called the directing authority. 
Besides, he seemed to prefer to continue his journey 
by short stages, and cared not for Wolsey's efibrts to 
hasten his arrival in London as much as possible. 
Lastly, they were much surprised when Clerk, hav- 
ing been commissioned by his master to offer to 
Campeggio a liberal payment of the expenses of his 
journey, the cardinal returned a firm and dignified 
refusal of the sum of money offered to him, and only 
received the horses and mules necessary for his 

This unusual specimen of independence shown by 
a member of the Court of Rome seemed very extra- 
ordinary to the English ministers, and made them 
suppose that Campeggio had promised the pope to 
preserve his independence, so as to be able to give 
an impartial sentence in the suit. 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. ii, p. 2054 ; and 
Introduction, p. ccccii. 

henry's confidence. 5 

But Campeggio was Bishop of Salisbury, and 
Henry VIII. thought he would be kept in check by the 
use of this ecclesiastical benefice as a curb. The king 
made so sure of winning his cause that he thought 
he had no further cause for restraint. He had splen- 
did apartments ready for Anne Boleyn in one of 
the houses at Greenwich about the time that Cam- 
peggio was to land in England ; for, in a letter of 
September, 1 528, he writes, " The legate which we 
most desire arrived at Paris on Sunday or Monday 
(September 14th) last past, so that I trust by the 
next Monday to hear of his arrival at Calais, and 
then I trust, within a while after, to enjoy that 
which I have bo longed for, to God's pleasure, and 
our both comfort." * 

It seems that she accepted this accommodation, but 
soon went away again to her father's house, as the 
king feared that her presence at Court might pro- 
duce a bad impression on Campeggio just as he 

Clerk returned to the charge, and begged Cam- 
peggio to accept at least seven or eight hundred 
crowns to clear his expenses. Campeggio persisted 
in an absolute refusal, saying he had all he wanted. 

Though Anne Boleyn had princely rooms in Green- 
wich palace, the king continued to live in the same 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, voL iv, pt. ii, p. 2057. 
t A letter of Mendoza's to the Archduchess Margaret, queen of 
the Low Countries. State Papers, Calendar, voL iv, p. 784. 


apartments as Catharine, eat at the same table, and 
seemed to live a united life with her ; persons, in- 
deed, seemed to fancy that the queen had recovered 
the good humour and cheerfulness of former days. 
And yet she was subjected to the most iniquitous 
espial : the English counsel given her had been in- 
structed beforehand. They were prompted to dis- 
courage their royal client in her opposition ; to 
make her fancy that her perseverance would disgust 
the Holy Father and all Christian people, and that 
she would be blamed for having preferred her per- 
sonal affection to the submission she owed to the 
law and the church. This was not all : attempts 
were made at the same time to persuade the sove- 
reigns of the Continent, and Charles V. himself, that 
the queen agreed to the suit, and was quite ready to 
acquiesce in the legates' judgment. It was said that 
she had been made to promise not to write to the 
emperor without informing the king; and it was 
supposed effectual means had been taken to prevent 
her having any communication either with Charles 
V. or with the sovereign pontiff. Thus were the 
approaches for Campeggio's daily-expected mission 
astutely prepared. 

But the Roman legate's progress seemed to be the 
more retarded the nearer he drew to the termination 
of his journey. He left Paris on September 18th, and 
had allowed a week for his journey to Calais. He 
had been carried all the way in a litter, and was so 


grievously tormented by the gout that, when he tried 
to mount on horseback for his entrance into the 
city, his hands could not hold the bridle nor his feet 
keep the stirrups. Either on account of his illness, 
or because of a violent storm, he could not leave 
Calais till the 29th. On the 1st of October he arrived 
at Canterbury and had a splendid reception. His 
entry into London was fixed for the morning of 
October 8th. But an attack of the gout, more violent 
than any he had before experienced, made his journey 
impossible, even in a litter, and he was obliged to 
stop in the suburb, where he was received and enter- 
tained by the Duke of Suffolk, who had a house there. 
He was detained there all the next day by his suffer- 
ings, and the morning after Wolsey sent a barge for 
him, and he was carried by the Thames without 
state, and quite incognito, to his lodging in Bath 
House. He says : 

" I have remained there all this present time (i.e., 
until the 17th of October), and am confined to my 
bed, my agony being greater than usual, owing to the 
journey. I do not know when I shall be sufficiently 
free from pain to be able to visit the king. The day 
following Wolsey came to see me. I had believed 
and hoped that he would not discuss any business 
with me ; but he entered immediately into the cause 
of my coming. He showed me that, in order to 
maintain an increasing authority of the Holy See, he 
had done his utmost to persuade the king to apply 


for a legate, in order to remove the scruple which he 
had on his conscience, although many of the prelates 
in this kingdom had declared that such a course was 

Wolsey had understood that, if Rome were not 
represented by a member of the curia in judging the 
divorce suit, the dissolution of the marriage would 
be attributed to him alone, and he did not feel strong 
enough to bear singly the load of such a responsi- 

Besides, he thought he had a right to expect some 
credit from the Court of Rome for having had re- 
course to that authority in constituting the ecclesi- 
astical tribunal for trying the divorce suit in England, 
and for persuading the king to remain united to 
Catharine until there was a regular sentence of 

In this same conference Wolsey told Campeggio 
that if the legates resisted the king's demand, which 
was founded upon the most worthy motives, the 
advice and writings of learned and religious men, 
the entire destruction of the influence of the Church 
in the kingdom of England would be the consequence. 

" As I am still confined to my bed," writes Cam- 
peggio, " his lordship came three or four times to visit 
me. We have debated the question three or four 
hours together; but though, in the pope's name, I 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccvii, 
and pt. ii, p. 2099. 


have endeavoured to bring over the mind of his 
majesty, and reconcile him to the queen, I have had 
no more success in persuading the cardinal than if I 
had spoken to a rock. His objections are founded on 
the invalidity of the marriage, the instability of the 
realm, and the succession ; and they are so wedded 
to this opinion that they not only solicit my com- 
pliance with them, but the expediency of this busi- 
ness with all possible despatch. Thus I find myself 
in great straits, with a heavy burden on my shoul- 
ders; nor do I see how judgment can be deferred 
even for a brief space. They will endure no pro- 
crastination, alleging that the affairs of the kingdom 
are at a standstill, and that if the cause remains un- 
determined it will give rise to infinite and imminent 

What was going on at Henry VHI.'s Court while 
the cardinals were having these interesting con- 
ferences? Although Anne Boleyn had gone away 
for the time,t the king and she looked upon their 
future union as just as certain as if the marriage with 
the queen had already been dissolved. Indeed it 
seemed that some secret preparations had been made 
for this second marriage. 

Yet Catharine had some hope left. Although very 
closely watched, it seems that she had been able to 
see the ambassador Mendoza, who had come to her 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccviii. 
t Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 709. 


secretly, and wlio thought that he had reason to 
believe that Cardinal Carapeggio had not brought 
full powers to give a final judgment, but that his 
mission only was to "watch what was going oa 
here," consult public opinion, examine witnesses, etc., 
and then take the result of his inquiries back to 
Rome. Catharine likewise thought that the pope 
would do all he could to delay his decision ; and 
she was mistaken in supposing that Wolsey himself 
would be quite inclined to act by Campeggio's ad- 
vice, and would willingly accede to this sort of plan 
of the campaign. " It is true," she added, " that he '^ 
would do this from his fear of the lady Anne, and 
not from any good motive." * 

In the same letter Mendoza, while acknowledging 
the receipt from the emperor of a copy of the brief of 
dispensation of Julius IL, which had lately been 
sent him from Spain, requests an attested copy of 
the same brief, and in this gives proof of a wise 
foresight, as will appear below. 

A few days afterwards the unhappy queen passed 
from hope to fear. Mendoza writes to the emperor, 
telling him, " The queen wrote yesterday to say she 
had heard that this new legate brought powers and 
mandates very detrimental to her and to her rights ; 
which powers she says have been obtained from the 

* Mendoza says this. (Ed.) Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, 
p 790. 


pope under false pretences."* In this the queen 
was pretty nearly right. Such powers had indeed 
been given to Campeggio, but on condition that he 
should not let anyone know of the brief containing 
them before he had made an examination on the 
spot, and inquired whether, as the pope had been 
told, popular feeling in Great Britain were favour- 
able to the divorce, and whether the queen was 
disposed to make concessions or to acquiesce in the 
king's wishes. It was even asserted at Kome that 
Charles V. was quite ready to consent to Catharine's 
repudiation. Campeggio was soon to receive a letter 
from the emperor to put him on his guard against 
this invention and diplomatic lie, as well as all the 
other equally unfounded statements that it was 
thought possible might have been added. 

The queen also complained to Mendoza of the 
conduct of several bishops and doctors, who, after 
making formal declaration in her favour, had yielded 
to intimidation and bribery, and had deserted her 
cause. She even cast doubts upon the firmness and 
sincerity of the English counsel who had been assign- 
ed her. She had especially wished to have a Span- 
ish lawyer at her disposal, or, failing him, and for 
the sake of greater speed, some Flemish canonists, 
or men of law. She said she would trust to the 
emperor's choice and to his good advice. She had 
been told that his majesty would write an urgent 
* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 803. 


letter in her favour, and she sent her thanks to him, 
and told him that his powerful support was her chief 
consolation in her sufferings and anxieties. She 
asked for the intervention of the Kings of Hungary 
and Portugal in addition to the emperor's, to miti- 
gate the effect of Henry VHI.'s manoeuvres upon the 
Court of Rome. 

Notwithstanding the defection of many of her 
former partisans, and the influences that beset her 
on every side, the queen continued to be firm and 
■energetic, always resolute in her valiant defence of 
her own honour and her daughter's legitimacy.* 

The emperor had named as counsel for the queen's 
defence the canonist Micer Miguel Mai, who could 
not reach England in time, for what reason is 

Henry VIH. did not let Campeggio rest. The 
unhappy legate could neither walk nor ride, and 
could hardly sit in a chair when his majesty told him 
that he should have his audience on the 22nd of 
October following, at Blackfriars. This palace was 
near the cardinal's lodging, and had been specially 
chosen to spare him fatigue. The king welcomed 
him in friendly and affectionate manner. In the 
hall, where he was received, were assembled the 
princes of the blood, the chief noblemen of the king- 
dom, the leading English bishops, and the various 

* ThesameletterofMendoza, September, 30th, 1628. Gayangos, 
Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 804. 


ambassadors, with the exception of Mendoza, who 
had not been invited to this meeting. Campeggio 
says, " My friend Florian made an appropriate 
speech, and was attentively heard. When he al- 
luded to the calamities of Italy and Rome all were 
moved to tears. Doctor Fox made an eloquent 

In all this there was no discussion of the divorce, 
it had not even been mentioned. It seemed as if 
Campeggio's mission to England had been intended 
merely as an attempt to re-establish peace between 
the Christian princes ; indeed this was the ostensible 
object. But when the formal orations had been 
spoken, and the public ceremonial came to an end, 
the king drew the two legates into his private cham- 
ber. Then it was supposed that Campeggio gave 
him a letter from the Holy Father that was read on 
the spot, and he seemed much gratified at his holi- 
ness's expressions of good will.f 

Next day, after dinner, Henry went to visit Cardi- 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccx. 
Mendoza tells the emperor, " Another orator replied on the 
king's side, laying much more stress still on the damage done at 
Rome by the imperial troops. He went on to say how hard the 
king had worked to make peace between his imperial majesty and 
the King of France. To this end he had allied himself to the 
party which appeared to him to have most right on its side, in 
order the better to resist the encroachments and ambition of the 
tyrant." Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 840. 

t Mendoza, "as is generally supposed, the Legate Campeggio 
delivered his secret credentials to the king." (Ed.) 


nal Campeggio in private; the conversation lasted 
three or four hours. First the cardinal exhorted him 
to reflect maturely before applying for the dissolution 
of his marriage, and told him that, if his scruples 
were respecting the invalidity of the dispensation, a 
more regular one could easily be obtained. Henry 
patiently listened to all Campeggio had to say, and 
made him an answer evidently prepared beforehand, 
making use of all the arguments Wolsey had be- 
fore urged upon his colleague. He asserted that 
Pope Julius II.'s dispensation was contrary to divine 
right, and that, if it were not so, there were many 
other reasons against the validity of the document. 
His majesty seemed to Campeggio to be specially 
conversant with this theological question, like a pro- 
fessed canonist. The cardinal wrote in round terms 
to Sanga, his correspondent at Rome, " and I believe 
if an angel descended from heaven, he would not be 
able to persuade his majesty to the contrary." 

After the discussion on law, Campeggio offered, as 
a mean term, to do all he could to persuade the 
queen to enter a religious house. This greatly 
pleased Henry, and the cardinal says, " There are 
strong reasons for it, as he has ceased for two years 
from cohabiting with her, and will not return to her 
whatever the result may be." 

The king added that in all other matters he would 
be ready to make any possible concessions, and, as an 
instance, he would engage to confirm the Princess 

THE pope's intentions. 15 

Mary's succession to the crown, in default of male 
issue bj another marriage. He promised to go and 
speak to the queen as soon as possible, with the 
Cardinal of York. 

In the interval Campeggio endeavoured to shake 
Wolsey's resolution, exhibiting to him the dangers 
that might result from the emperor's resentment. 
Wolsey answ^ered that Catharine might be treated 
with such consideration, even while she was made to 
lose her suit, as to give no excuse for her relations 
to be angry, and that the emperor would not embark 
in an arduous war against England for such a reason, 
when he had peaceably acquiesced in the expulsion 
from their kingdoms of his two sisters, the Queens of 
Hungary and Denmark. Then Campeggio fell back 
upon the pope's intentions. He represented that he 
was bound to make His Holiness acquainted with his 
opinion in this matter, and wait for further instruc- 
tions before giving judgment. Then Wolsey cried 
out, with great marks of ill-humour, " Si sic est, 
nolo negociari vobiscum sine potestate, neque sic 
agitur cum rege." Campeggio writes to his corre- 
spondent Sanga, " that he does not see how it is 
possible to persevere in this course, as the pope 
had desired him. They are so determined and en- 
grossed by their own opinion that it is impossible to 
shake them. In my last conversation with his lord- 
ship, he said, and repeated it many times in Latin, 
' Most reverend lord, beAvare lest in like manner as the 


greater part of Germany, owing to the harshness and 
severity of a certain cardinal, has become estranged 
from the Apostolic See and the faith, it should be 
said that another cardinal has given the same occa- 
sion to England with the same result.' He often 
impresses on me that if the divorce be not granted 
the authority of the Apostolic See in this kingdom 
will be at an end ; and he certainly proves himself 
very zealous for its preservation, for he has done, and 
is still doing for it, very great services, because all 
his grandeur is connected with it." 

In this state of feeling the legates proceeded to 
visit the queen. 

"Taking leave of his majesty/' continues Cam- 
peggio, " the cardinal and I repaired to the queen, 
with whom we conversed alone, about two hours. 
After our greetings, I gave her the pope's letter, 
which she received and read with good cheer. She 
then inquired what I had to say to her. I began by 
telling her that, as the pope could not refuse justice 
to anyone who demanded it, he had sent the Cardinal 
of York and myself to examine the state of the ques- 
tion between her highness and the king ; but as the 
matter was very important, and full of difficulty. His 
Holiness in consideration of his patei*nal office, and 
of the love which he bore her, counselled her, confid- 
ing much in her prudence, that, rather than press it 
to trial, she should herself take some other course^ 
which would give general satisfaction and greatly 


benefit herself. I said no more, in order to discover 
what she would demand. The Cardinal of York 
followed to the same effect, as far as I could under- 
stand, for he spoke chiefly in English. 

" Her majesty replied ' that she knew the sincerity 
of her own conscience, and was resolved to die in the 
Faith, and in obedience to God and His Holy Church ; 
that she wished to unburden her conscience to our 
lord (the pope) ; and for the present she would give 
no other reply, as she intended to demand counsel- 
lors of the king, her lord and consort, and then she 
would bear and answer us.' She added that she had 
heard we were to induce her to enter some religion. 
I did not deny it, and strove to persuade her that it 
rested with her, and by doing this she would pre- 
serve her dignities and temporal goods, and secure 
the succession of her daughter ; that she would lose 
nothing, for she had lost la persona del re already, and 
would not recover it. She should, therefore, rather 
yield to his displeasure than submit her cause to the 
hazard of a sentence — considering, if judgment went 
against her, how great would be her grief and trou- 
ble, and how much the ruin of her reputation. The 
dowry would be forfeited, and how great would be 
the scandal and enmity that would ensue. On the 
other hand, if she complied, she would retain her 
dower, the guardianship of the princess, her rank, 
and whatever else she chose to demand, and would 
neither offend God nor her conscience. I enforced 



these arguments by the example of a Queen of 
France who did the same, and is still honoured by 
God and that kingdom. The same arguments were 
enforced by the Cardinal of York, who begged her 
to ponder them well, and hoped she would resolve 
for the best. Then he ventured to mention Henry's 
conscientious scruples to her, to be taken into 
account. That, since her highness had already 
reached the third and last period of natural life, and 
had spent the first two setting a good example (of 
virtue) to the world, she would thus put a seal to all 
the good actions of her life, and would, besides, pre- 
vent, by such religious profession, the many and 
incalculable evils likely to arise from such matri- 
monial discord." 

The queen at first showed a little irritation at 
these words, and spoke quite angrily to the 
resident legate (Wolsey), hinting that he was the 
cause of all her misfortunes ; but after some time she 
grew calm, and said to Campeggio, with great com- 
posure, " that she held her husband's conscience and 
honour in more esteem than anything else in this 
world, that she entertained no scruple at all about 
her marriage, but considered herself the true and 
legitimate wife of the king her husband, that the 
proposal just made in the name of His Holiness was 
inadmissible. She knew for certain that if His Holi- 
ness, instead of listening to the arguments and 
suggestions of her enemies, had heard what she had 


to say in her defence, such a proposal would never 
have been made. She was, however, so dutiful a 
daughter of the church that nothing would make her 
swerve from the path of obedience. So we left her, 
assuring us that she would make known to our lord 
(the pope) the sincerity of her conscience. To this I 
replied that I had been sent by the pope to hear 
whatever she chose to explain to me, and 1 would 
faithfully report to him my opinion, and by his reply 
she would learn that I had done my duty sincerely. 
She concluded the conference by saying she was a 
lone woman and a stranger, without friend or ad- 
viser, and intended to ask the king for counsellors, 
when she would give us audience." * 

Campeggio was greatly affected by this firm and 
noble language. The illnesses of the unhappy cardi- 
nal were a continually renewed obstacle to the speedy 
settlement of the suit. When he returned from his 
audience of the queen, he was seized with a violent 
6t of gout in the knee, and could not move without 
excruciating pain. Surrounded with great books of 
theology and canon law, besieged by the doctors' 
visits, bringing him their proofs and authorities, 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccocxiv, 
pt. ii, p. 2101. Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 439, 441. 
We have fused together Campeggio's account and Mendoza's, from 
his letter to the emperor, Nov. 18, 1528. Iklendoza was not present, 
but he was informed of all that took place either by the two 
legates or by the queen herself. Campeggio perhaps designedly 
omits some of the particulars. 



worried by incessant importunity, receiving repeated 
instructions from the pope, with continual orders to 
try to gain time, and on no account to exceed the 
limits of his commission, the legate Campeggio could 
not get a moment's rest, either of mind or body. 
Everyone engaged in the business with him was too 
absolutely engrossed in it to have any regard for his 
cruel sufferings. 

He learnt from Wolsey that there had been an 
interview between the king and queen, and that his 
majesty had named as her counsel the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and the Bishops of London and Bath, 
and to them was afterwards added Doctor Standish, 
the Bishop of Saint Asaph. The king did not wish 
her to send for another lawyer from Spain, but he 
allowed her to have a proctor and another advocate 
from Flanders, and he also authorised her to continue 
to see a Spaniard who was in London, and was named 
Vives. Campeggio had a private interview with 
Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, whom he knew to be 
high in the queen's favour and confidence. He was 
satisfied with these good arrangements.* 

Soon after a remarkable incident took place ; the 
queen, with the king's permission, requested Cam- 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. i, p. 2108. Some 
writers say that, in addition to these counsel, was the queen's own 
confessor, Father Forest, and the Bishop of Rochester, the pious 
and valiant Fisher. Other historians state that Catharine no doubt 
consulted these two venerable men, but that they were not on the 
list of counsel named by the king. 


pegp^o to hear her confess, and the legate thought 
he ought not to refuse. While Catharine found in 
this the means of quieting her conscience, her inten- 
tion was to inform the cardinal legate, who was to 
be her judge as well as confessor, of several of the 
details of her private life that he could not have 
suspected. She wanted to lay bare her whole soul 
before him. It was the best way — she saw it in- 
stinctively — to gain and keep his confidence. At 
the end she released him from the absolute secrecy 
that should have enfolded the information of the 
confessional, and, indeed, formally requested him to 
communicate it to the sovereign pontiff. 

The precise information she gave concerning her 
former marriage could leave no doubt upon Cam- 
peggio's mind as to the nature of her relations with 
Prince Arthur. 

At the end of this confidential conference she in- 
sisted that everything should be judicially decided, 
and she assured Campeggio that, if a legal and final 
decision were given annulling her marriage and 
sanctioned by the pope, she would submit, and look 
upon herself as free as Henry VIII. himself. Never- 
theless, "in the third place she prayed me to suppli- 
cate, and to prevail upon his majesty to allow her to 
remove this phantasy from His Holiness, and to re- 
gard her as his consort, as she had been till now» 
and [to tell the king] that she ofiered her head to 
use her influence with the emperor for the conclusion 


of the universal peace, and that his majesty (the 
emperor) would, for her sake, abate so much of his 
demands that the peace at least might take place. 
As I had not failed to say all I could to persuade her 
[to adopt] the profession [of some religion], and had 
found her so firm, nothing more occurred to me, and 
she left me. I assure you that from all her con- 
versation and discourse I have always judged her 
to be a prudent lady, and now more so. But as she 
can without prejudice, as I have said above, avoid 
such perils and difficulties her obstinacy in not ac- 
cepting this sound counsel does not much please 
me." * 

On the 27th of October following, Campeggio and 
Wolsey had another official conference with the 
queen. They found her attended by most of her 
counsel, and the chief seemed to be the Bishop of 
Saint Asaph (Doctor Standish). She received them 
with her accustomed dignity, without the least shade 
of anger or impatience. Campeggio repeated his 
advice to her to take the veil.f Wolsey pressed 

* Letter of October 26th, from Campeggio to Salviati for 
the pope, written in cipher. It has been quite lately found at 
the Vatican, and deciphered. It was written partly in Italian, 
partly in Latin. It is given by Professor Brewer, vol. iv, pt. ii, 
pp. 2108, 2109. There are many particulars that cannot be pro- 
duced in the text. See also Introduction to vol. iv, p. ccccxvii. 

t This question had already been discussed in the first inter- 
view between her and the legates. Campeggio had returned to 
the charge even in the confessional, and had failed again. The 
queen was always inflexible on this point. 

THE king's annoyance. 23 

it very much, and supplicated her on his knees to 
follow this advice, to her honour and the good of her 
soul. She replied that she would not violate God's 
law nor risk eternal condemnation ; that she would 
advise with her counsel, and give a final reply. 

Cardinal Wolsey was not pleased at the indecision 
and interminable delays of his colleague ; Henry 
VIII. found it still harder to endure them. The day 
after the last conference of the legates with the 
queen took place, the king came in person to Cam- 
peggio's residence, and had a most confidential con- 
versation with him. An Italian, who was in a 
contiguous chamber, and could hear something of 
this conversation, told Mendoza that the king from 
time to time showed great impatience. He pressed 
the legate to give judgment as quickly as possible, 
and when Carapeggio made evasive replies or kept 
on raising objections the king's voice was raised, and 
he seemed to become very angry. Mendoza writes 
to the emperor that "he has been assured that on 
that occasion the king was by no means pleased 
with his visit, and that he left the legate's apartments 
very much disappointed." * 

Two days after this Henry VIII. had a serious 
conference with the queen, and told her " that she 
was not his wife, and that all the jurists of England 
had subscribed a declaration to that effect with their 
own names. The pope had condemned her at Rome, 

* Gayangos, Calendar, voL iii, pt. ii, p. 842. 


and the legate Carapeggio had come for the sole 
purpose of having the sentence executed." Upon 
which the queen inquired, " How can the pope con- 
demn me without a hearing ?" The king replied, 
"The emperor has answered for you, and conse- 
quently the pope has decided against you.'^ Many 
other equally groundless statements (burlerias) did 
the king make, and ended by advising her to make a 
religious profession, as the legate had recommended, 
otherwise he said she would be compelled to do so. 
The queen, with tears in her eyes, answered, *'May 
God forbid my being the cause of that being done, 
which is so much against my soul, my conscience, 
and ray honour ! I know very well that if the 
judges are impartial, and I am granted a hearing, 
my cause is gained, for no judge will be found 
unjust enough to condemn me," and she ended by 
begging that she might be allowed to plead her own 
cause. The king then said, " I am quite willing that 
it should be so. A counsel shall be appointed for 
your defence, and, moreover, you may send to 
Flanders for a jurist ; but," added he, " this must 
be done forthwith, for the affair admits of no delay." * 
As soon as the king had left her, the queen wrote 
to the Princess Margaret, regent of the Low Coun- 
tries, to ask her to send two lawyers from Flanders, 
who could undertake her defence and plead her 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 842. 


, Some English bishops came again to visit her, and 
again preached the necessity of going into a convent. 
She had been so wearied and harassed by these per- 
petual attacks that she was, says Mendoza, in a 
pitiable condition. 



Charles V.'s Letter — ^IVIendoza's Communication with Cam- 
peggio — Odious Official Interrogatory that the Queen is 
compelled to Undergo — Effect produced by the Exhibi- 
tion of the copy of the Brief of Dispensation asserted to 
be False — Attempts made at Rome and in Spain to pro- 
cure the Original of this Document— The Queen's Ad- 
visers persuade her to write Herself to the Emperor to beg 
him to send the Original to London — ^IVIendoza's Opposi- 
tion — The King's Speech to the Aldermen — ^IMoral Con- 
dition of the Court, and Licreasing Favour of Anne 
Boleyn — ^Popular Discontent. 

WHILE Catharine was surrounded with hostile 
conspiracies, her powerful protector, Charles 
v., did not allow the zeal he had from the beginning 
shown in her cause to relax for a moment. 

On the 9th of November, 1528, reckoning that 
Campeggio must be in London by that time, he 
wrote a letter of minute directions to Mendoza, and 
especially insisted that the divorce suit must not be 
tried in England. 

To attain this end, he sent him two protests 
against the selection that had been made of the two 
legates. The first contains, as it seems,* formal ex- 
* The drafts of these protests have not been found. 


ceptions against both of the judges as holding bene- 
fices from Henry VIII. ; the second raised objections 
against Wolsey alone, as having published his opin- 
ion. He gave his ambassador full power to make 
use of either of these documents at his discretion. 

He even authorised him not to make use of either 
of them unless Campeggio had received an express 
commission from the pope to pass judgment upon 
the validity of Catharine's marriage ; in this case, 
he thought it would be wiser to dissemble.* 

Nothing is more curious than to see what minute 
details a prince who had such enormous affairs upon 
his hands in Europe thought it right to give. 

When Mendoza had mastered the instructions con- 
tained in this letter, he thought -he ought to proceed 
to work upon Campeggio, and try to find out how 
the cardinal understood the aim and spirit of his 
commission ; thus did this clever diplomatist catch 
and ably interpret his master's idea. So he went to 
see Campeggio before the end of November, and thus 
reports the result : 

" I spoke some time ago to the legate (Campeggio), 
and, after congratulating him upon his coming [to 
England], told him how pleased your imperial ma- 
jesty was at his appointment, knowing that a prelate 
of his parts and learning could never have accepted 
such a commission as this unless he were sure of 
doing some good in the affair, and promoting the 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 810, 811, 812. 


welfare of Christendom at large. He began to re- 
count most minutely the causes of his coming, and 
ended by expressing his opinion that the best way to 
avoid the embarrassments that might arise would be 
for the queen, of her own free will, to take the veil 
before her case was submitted for trial. My reply 
was that I never thought that his commission in 
coming to England as Papal legate could be to pro- 
pose such a settlement of the question pending be- 
tween the queen and her husband, especially in such 
troubled times as these, when it seemed to me that 
old quarrels and dissensions between Christian princes 
ought to be appeased instead of being stirred up. The 
queen's case, moreover, so nearly touched his im- 
perial majesty, as well as his brothers, the Kings of 
Hungary and Portugal, that the emperor would 
never allow her to be unjustly treated. The legate's 
reply was that he was aware how much your im- 
perial majesty took this affair to heart, as appeared 
from the written answer given (in Spain) to this 
king's herald ; but if the queen persisted in her re- 
fusal, and would not take the pope's advice, he 
(Campeggio) could do no more in the matter than 
follow his instructions, which were not to deny jus- 
tice to either side. I replied that the queen wished 
for nothing more than her right [to be heard], only 
that, her case being one of such importance, she 
naturally wished to have it decided at Rome. The 
legate assured me that the whole kingdom of 


England together would not make him swerve from 
the right path. He was so far advanced in age that 
it befitted him rather to prepare to appear before 
God with a pure conscience than try to court the 
favour of any prince in this world. He would pro- 
ceed in the affair with such justice and impartiality 
that nobody would have occasion to raise any com- 
plaint against him. He would not move a step in 
the affair without fresh instructions from Rome, and, 
should he receive any, would not fail to apprise me 
of them." Then he required and received a promise 
of the most absolute secrecy from Mendoza on these 
confidential communications.* 

Five or six days afterwards, the queen received a 
strange visit, and had to submit to an interrogatory 
that she was far from expecting. 

As the legates, in their last conference with her^ 
had asked for any papers she had in her possession 
which might be useful in her suit, she had given them 
a copy of the brief of dispensation, the original having 
been at the time sent to Queen Isabella of Castille. 
Catharine had received this copy from Mendoza some 
time before. In the month of October she gave 
audience to two prelates who had been named as 
her counsel — Wareham,Archbi8hopof Canterbury, and 
Tunstall, Bishop of London, with some other persons 
of distinction. They told her that two questions had 
been put to them by the other party, and that they 

♦ Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 844. 


were obliged to refer them to her. Thereupon they 
had to ask her, first, whether she had desired the 
king's death, and had conspired against his life, so 
that she might be free, she herself and her daughter, 
to marry as they pleased ; secondly, whether she 
had any special reason for not having sooner ex- 
hibited the brief of dispensation for her marriage 
which she had lately placed in the legates' hands, 
and wished to know how she had procured it. 

The answer was, as to the first question, " that she 
could not imagine that such an abominable accusation 
could come from the king, her lord, for he knew well 
that she prized his life more than her own, and that 
therefore there was no need for her to answer such a 
question as that ; and respecting the copy of the brief 
of dispensation, she had not exhibited it before be- 
cause she had never imagined that it would be re- 
quired. As to who had given it to her, she stated 
that Don Inigo de Mendoza had sent it to her six 
months ago." 

When the bishops had gone the queen sent Men- 
doza a message to tell him what had passed, and, as 
she was not sure of the exact date when the copy 
was given her, she told him what her answer had 
been, so that, if he were asked, his reply might agree 
with hers. This shows how prudent Catharine was, 
cautious, and attentive to the smallest circumstances ; 
she would not expose a flank in any quarter to her 
accusers. Mendoza afterwards says :* 

* Gaj'angos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 848. 

jiendoza's letter. 31 

•' The reason why they interrogated the queen as 
to whether it was true that she had attempted the 
king's life, that she and her daughter, the princess, 
might afterwards marry whomsoever they pleased, 
was solely from the king's impatience to have the 
separation hastily pronounced by Legate Campeggio 
before proceedings had been even commenced. Most 
likely the queen's enemies could not think of a more 
gratuitous or false accusation to serve their purpose 
than to make this king believe that he could not live 
with her except at the risk of his life. So great, 
however, are the avarice of the English people and 
the king's violence, that I am very much afraid wit- 
nesses will in the end be found to testify to anything 
whatsoever. Your imperial majesty may judge how 
difficult the queen's position is when accused of the 
very crime which has perhaps been attempted against 
her, and that in the name of the king, her husband, 
who must know her innocence. 

*' The queen has been advised by some who take 
an interest in her affairs not to show in any way that 
she hopes or expects to be assisted in her troubles by 
your imperial majesty. That, they say, would not 
help her cause in the least, but, on the contrary, 
prejudice it, as it might irritate the king. If he is 
to desist from his demand, it must be by convincing 
him that he can continue in his present matrimony 
without sin, not by any other considerations, much 
less that of fear of your imperial majesty." 


In the same letter, according to very ill-founded 
public report, Mendoza expresses a fear that Cam- 
peggio might be accessible to corruption. Some said 
that the cardinal had received twenty thousand 
crowns, partly in presents, partly in gold. " For, 
though this king is generally very careful of his 
money, such is his passionate love for the lady 
(Anne) that he will spare nothing to see his wishes 
accomplished, and will put all his fortune at stake.'* 
That was true ; it is also certain that money and 
valuable presents had been ojQTered to Campeggio, 
but he had sent back the money and refused the 
presents. Henry VIII. had even oflfered him the 
rich bishopric of Durham,* but the honest cardinal 
would not hear a word of it. He preserved his inde- 
pendence completely throughout his mission. 

As for the queen's English advisers, their conduct 
seemed suspicious, and they abused the influence 
given them by their position to engage her in pro- 
ceedings that seemed contrary to her real interests. 

We must first explain that the terms of the bull of 

* Lingard translation, vol. vi, p. 211. (It is not to be found 
in the English edition of 1838. Ed.) It seems that, when Cam- 
peggio had refused the bishopric of Durham, the revenues, amount- 
ing to twenty thousand pounds, were given to Lady Anne for a 
whole year. Howard, Wolsey the Cardinal and his Times, London, 
1824, s. I., p. 437. Burnet has the audacity to say that Cam- 
peggio had brought an illegitimate son with him to England. 
Now the cardinal had been married before he was a priest, and 
only took orders at an advanced age. So his son Rodolphe was 


dispensation granted by Julius II. had been held to 
be quite insufficient, and that Wolsey had contrived 
a fresh plan of attack on this ground. But the copy 
of the brief furnished by Catharine upset this plan 
completely, for the brief had provided for all the 
omissions of the bull. Neither the cardinal nor 
Henry VIII. suspected that this document had been 
sent into Spain to Ferdinand and Isabella, and that 
the original was safe in Charles V.'s hands. Then 
the divines and doctors in attendance on the king 
did not scruple to raise objections against the authen- 
ticity or fidelity of the copy produced by Catharine. 
They said that if the brief had really been the work 
of Julius II. a minute of it must be found on the 
registers in the Vatican, and the king sent instruc- 
tions to his ambassadors to make inquiries for it ; but 
in addition they said that the emperor had only to 
send the original of the brief, as it was in his pos- 
session, to London, and an examination could be 
made whether it bore the marks of authenticity. 

Mendoza informed the emperor of these fresh facts. 
He said some friends of the queen were afraid that 
the last English ambassador sent to Rome in great 
haste, with his hands full of gold, might be intended 
to bribe the cardinal datary (Giberto), and to purloin 
the register, or to falsify the original brief of dispen- 
sation, so as to destroy its force. He says : 

" The queen has sent me a message to this eflfect, 
requesting that I would communicate the intelligence 

VOL. U. D 


to the imperial ambassador at Rome. I have com- 
plied with her wishes and written to him (Muxetula), 
not by special messenger, owing to the roads in Italy 
being, as I am told, intercepted by the Venetians, 
but through a merchant of this place. May my letter 
reach him in safety, that the imperial agents near the 
pope may be warned against the designs of these 
people, who, after accusing the poor queen of 
attempting the life of her husband, will not certainly 
scruple to falsify the draft of the dispensation brief, 
or cause the original register to be conveyed where 
it will never be found again. As I have said over 
and over again, had the attested copy arrived [from 
Spain], or were it to come soon, much mischief might 
be avoided ; but such is the king's impatience, and 
the pressure he puts upon those who are conducting 
this aflfair, that I am very much afraid, unless at the 
moment I write the document is already on its way, 
it will come too late." * 

In another place he insists that the original of the 
brief must be carefully retained and preserved at 
Madrid. He thought that Henry VIII. would be 
capable of making it disappear as soon as he got it 

* Additional letter of Nov. 19. Gayaugos, Calendar, vol. iii, 
pt. ii, pp. 849, 850. Mendoza elsewhere explains that the king 
had both the copy of the bull and the original of another brief sent 
in Henry VII.'s time. But the brief that Isabella had received in 
Spain just before her death was more explanatory, and established 
the queen's right to marry again whether her first marriage were 
consummated or not. Brewer, Letters and Papers, p. 2,297. 

THE queen's advisers. 35 

into his possession. He suggested that a new certi- 
fied copy should be made in Spain in the presence of 
the ambassadors. 

Wolsey, on the other hand, wishing to procure the 
original document at any price, thought it would be 
a masterpiece of cleverness to get it demanded from 
Charles V. by the queen herself. So he managed to 
indoctrinate her chief advisers, telling them that an 
inspection of the original of the brief would dissipate 
all doubts and prove its authenticity, and also that 
a simple copy would have no weight before a regular 

The queen's advisers, therefore, prepared a very 
curious document, published entire by Professor 
Brewer in his collection.* They began by repeating 
the arguments suggested by Wolsey, representing to 
their august client that, if she did not do as asked, 
she ran the risk of having her marriage annulled and 
her daughter declared illegitimate. 

" This may easily be done if you write to the em- 
peror that your counsel has shown you that the 
original of the brief must be produced. The lacking 
thereof might be the extreme ruin of your affairs, 
and no little danger to the inheritance of your child. 

* Letters and Despatches. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccxxiv. 
It is headed. Advice to be given to the Queeii's grace by her counsel, 
and is in Wriothesley's hand, who was at this time either under- 
secretary to Tuke or Cromwell — that is, in the service either of 
the king or Wolsey. Brewer, Note. Therefore it was put into 
the queen's advisers' mouths by the adverse party. (Ed.) 



You shall further say you have promised to exhibit 
the original here within three months ; failing which, 
sentence will probably be given against you. If you 
do not succeed in this, it will be much to your hin- 
drance, for if we ourselves were judges in this matter, 
and should lawfully find that where ye might ye 
did not do your diligence for the attaining of the 
said original, surely we would proceed further in 
that matter as the law would require, tarrying no- 
thing, therefore, as if never any such brief had been 
spoken of. 

"It is desirable also that you should write to the 
emperor's ambassador, from whom you had the copy, 
to support your application. If the emperor utterly 
refuses, then the queen must protest that as it is her 
own she will sue to the pope for compulsories, and 
adopt other remedies as shall be thought convenient ; 
but she hopes she will not be driven to use such 
extremities. And to the intent that the king and 
his council shall not think that she intends any 
frivolous delay, it will be expedient that she declare 
in the presence of a notary that she intends not to 
use any delay, but will recover it with all diligence, 
bond fide, and when it is sent it shall be exhibited." * 

This last demand, showing an insulting want of 
confidence, was no doubt also suggested by Wolsey. 
We do not know if such a declaration was made by 
the queen, according to her counsel's advice, drily 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccxv. 

ABEL'S mSSION. . 37 

enough expressed as may be seen. But what is 
quite certain is that she wrote a letter to the em- 
peror of the kind the prelates, her advisers, wished, 
desiring him to be satisfied with keeping a certified 
copy for himself, and sending her the original brief.* 

This letter was entrusted to her chaplain, Thomas 
Abel, for transmission to her nephew, Charles V. 
But Abel, in the same parcel and the same conveyance, 
sent another letter to the emperor, written by him- 
self, and informing his majesty that, in claiming the 
original of the brief, the queen did not express her 
real desire, but had acted under pressure of a sort of 
moral violence. He added that she begged him to 
do everything in his power to have the suit trans- 
ferred to Rome, for she could expect no justice in 
England. Lastly, he requested, in the name of the 
queen, that the imperial ambassador at Rome, Muxe- 
tula, should be informed of her real situation, her 
almost complete want of liberty ; and that he should 
be requested to tell all this to the pope, in explanation 
of the queen's silence. 

The king had also taken umbrage at the accla- 
mations and tokens of respect which were paid to 
the queen as she passed through the city. He was 
much angered at the symptoms of his own loss of 
popularity and its transfer to her ; and his ill- 

* Brewer says this letter is preserved in the archives at 
Simancas, but we cannot find it in the last volumes of the 
Calendar edited by Gayangos. 


humour had been increased by stories that the em- 
peror had boasted that, whenever he chose to give 
Henry's own subjects a leader, together with some 
assistance, he could overthrow his throne. The king 
therefore arranged this scene to stifle any notion 
of insurrection by intimidation. This scene is very 
forcibly described by the French ambassador, Dq 

" On Sunday week * the king made a great repre- 
sentation of this affair to the lord mayor and council 
of London, who were all assembled, with those of 
his privy council, and a greater part of the lords of 
the land, and other personages having charge of hi» 
affairs in different places. He spoke of the good 
turns done him by the emperor, both in the present 
and the past ; and on the other hand the great 
friendship shown him by Francis, declaring that the 
scruples of conscience he has long entertained have 
terribly increased upon him since a French bishop 
(De Tarbes), a learned man, who was then ambassa- 
dor here, had spoken of it in his council in terms 
dreadfully plain, so that he was anxious to secure 
the succession of his realm, and wished to learn from 
his good subjects and friends what was to be thought 
of it in law and reason ; that he was determined 
to follow entirely what was reasonable, and that if, 
meanwhile, any man should speak of it in other 
terras than he ought to speak of his prince, he would 

* November 8th. 

DU bellay's letters. 39 

let him know that he is master. I think he used 
this expression, *that there was not a head so 
dignified (si belle) that he would not make it fly.' " * 

There was in it a kind of reminder of Bucking- 
ham's execution, a sort of flash of the sword soon to 
be handed to the executioner, a kind of awful pro- 
clamation of the era of tyranny dawning upon 

Some days later the same ambassador, in the 
course of his diplomatic correspondence, faithfully 
described the situation of the Court, the king's 
policy, and the interference of his police in the 
disturbed and secretly agitated country. 

"Mademoiselle de Boulan is at last comef thither, 
and the king has lodged her in a very fine lodging, 
which he has prepared for her close by his own. 
Greater court is now paid to her every day than has 
been to the queen for a long time. I see they mean 
to accustom the people by degrees to endure her, so 
that when the great blow comes it may not be 

* Letter of Jean du Bellay, November 17th, 1528. Letters 
and Papers, Brewer, vol. iii, pt. ii, p, 2144. Histoire du Divorce 
of Joachim Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 218, 219. 

t Henry VIII., with a reasonable respect for conventionality, 
and perhaps by Wolsey's advice, had sent Lady Anne some time 
before to her father. When he wished to recaU her the young 
lady received her royal lover's invitation with a show of disdain. 
At last she yielded, not to the king's orders but to her father's 
entreaties. This little scene was admirably played. This is the 
reason of Du Bellay 's expression, " at last." See also Lingard, 
vol. vi, pp. 140, 141. 


thought strange. However, the people remain quite 
hardened, and I think they would do more, if they 
had more power ; but great order is continually 
taken." * 

That is to say that the revulsion of general feeling 
was suspected, and popular discontent closely watched 
by authority. 

* Letter of December 9th. Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iii, 
pt. ii, p. 2,177. Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 231. 

There is a most remarkable letter from the emperor to Catha- 
rine, dated September 1st, 1528: — "Now I hear that Cardinal 
Campeggio is going to England, but I am certain — because the 
pope writes me so — that nothing wiU be done to your detriment, 
and that the whole case wiU be referred to him at Rome, the car- 
dinal's secret mission being to advise the king your husband to do 
his duty." Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 781. (Ed.) 



Montoya, Catharine's Agent, sent to Spain — Secret Com- 
munications between the Queen and Muxetula, the Empe- 
ror's Ambassador to the Sovereign PontiiF — Henry VIII. 
sends to Rome first Bryan and Vannes, afterwards Blnight 
and Benett — Strange Instructions that he gives them, 
and his Recourse to the Pope's Absolute Power — His 
Miserable Trickery against the Queen — Catharine's Touch- 
ing Complaints and Protestations. 

THE unseen struggle between Henry VIII. and 
Catharine continued. The king's attempts were 
repeated, both upon Clement VII. and the Pontifical 
Court, and upon the two legates in London ; counter- 
mines were sprung by Charles V. and his agents, with 
unfailing attention and forethought. 

The bad effect that might have been produced upon 
Charles V. by the letter the queen had been forced to 
write had been neutralised either by that of her 
chaplain, Thomas Abel, or by Mendoza's despatches. 
But that was not all. After Catharine's agent, 
Philipp, had returned to London, she obtained the 
king's permission to send an officer of her household, 
named Montoya into Spain. She gave him no letter, 
either in ordinary writing or in cipher. She only 


sent a verbal message, and Mendoza made him 
almost learn by heart* what he was to say confi- 
dentially to the emperor. Montoya was to enlighten 
the emperor as to the moral constraint that 
Henry VIII. was exercising over the queen, and 
repeat to him that no account was to be taken of 
her last letter, nor of the wish she expressed to be 
judged in England as soon as possible. 

Campeggio continued to oppose the power of 
inertia to Henry VIII. The king supposed, with 
some reason, that the cardinal was fettered by in- 
structions he received from Rome.f So he deter- 
mined to send fresh agents to Italy. Mendoza says 
"that these agents were well provided with false 
tales, and every possible means of corruption; the 
queen is greatly alarmed." 

The new ambassadors were Vannes and Sir Francis 
Bryan ; their mission was not only to demand that 
Campeggio should be hurried, but to contend against 
the efforts the emperor was said to be making to 
conciliate the pope. 

Muxetula, the imperial ambassador at Rome, was 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 884, 885. 
t See a letter from Sanga, the pope's secretary, who writes to 
Campeggio that he was especially to endeavour to make Henry 
VIII, renounce his plan of divorce, and persuade him to restore 
his affection to the queen. This was easier said than done. Sanga 
also told him he was not to move a step more without fresh in- 
structions from the pope. Letter quoted by Brewer. Introduction, 
vol. iv, p. ccccxix. 


informed of these new diplomatic manoeuvres, and he 
acted with indefatigable vigilance and zeal to discon- 
cert all the intrigues going on around the pope, and 
protect his master's and Queen Catharine's interest. 
She knew it, and wrote him a very flattering and 
grateful letter. 

*' Ambassador, 

" Your letter enclosing papers has come to 
hand. I thank you very much for the diligence and 
care you display in my affairs, without my having 
directly applied to you. Be sure that you will always 
find a true friend in me to do you any favour within 
my power. I beg you to continue in future as 
hitherto, and follow up this cause as it has begun. 
Let me know what answer His Holiness makes to 
your representations and petitions on my behalf. I 
shall feel grateful for this and any other service you 
may render me, and will not fail to apprise the 
emperor, your master, of any further steps taken in 
my defence. In all other matters you shall give full 
credence to Don Inigo de Mendoza, the emperor's am- 
bassador at this Court, to whom I am as much in- 
debted as I am to yourself, for the trouble and pains 
you have taken in my affairs. His letters will inform 
you of the proceedings. 

"Anton Curt (Hampton Court) this 25th of January, 1529."» 

Thenceforward Muxetula might consider himself 
* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 880, 881. 


to be Catharine's accredited agent; he possessed 
written proofs of her real intentions. Thanks to 
Mendoza, who wrote to him often enough, he was 
kept awake to all the plots hatched in England, and 
was always ready to act at a moment's notice. 

Catharine's letter was at the same time an implied 
ratification of the protest* made in Charles V.'s name 
in the summer of 1528, by this same ambassador, 
against the proposed divorce announced at this time 
by Henry VIII. 

Muxetula, being himself neither canonist nor 
divine, wished the queen to have a lawyer at Rome 
in special charge of her case. Mendoza replied that 
the queen was too much beset and watched to be 
able to correspond freely with an agent of her own, 
and told him at the same time that he had persuaded 
her to write a letter with her own hand to the pope, 
to tell him her real wishes. He says, 

"As your worship wrote that your stay [at Rome] 
would not be of long duration, the letter will go 
under cover to Cardinal Santa Croce, to whom, in 
case of your worship having already left Rome, full 

* A copy of a protest is preserved in the imperial archives at 
Vienna, presented at Viterbo to the pope on July 20, 1528, by 
Giovanni Antonio Muxetula, patricius Neapolitanus thus docketed 
(Rep P, Fax C, 224, No. 21), Copie de I'acte de protestation 
faicte de la part de I'empereur par devant le pape k Viterbo contra 
tout ce qui se faisait en Angleterre en la cause du divorce. Note 
to Calendar, Gayangos, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 884. 

The emperor in a letter to Mendoza, p. 810, also mentions the 
protest. (Ed.) 


instructions shall be sent of the present cipher. Your 
worship is requested to inform the cardinal, or the 
imperial ambassador who may remain in charge of 
the embassy after his departure, that I (Don Inigo^ 
happen to know from a good source that the Kings 
of France and England, together with Cardinal 
(Wolsey), are pressing the pope to go to Avignon, 
whither they themselves offer to go and meet him, 
to devise means for preventing the emperor's journey 
to Italy." * 

Mendoza again begs the ambassador to cause 
search to be made at Rome to see if the minute of 
the brief of dispensation held by Charles V. can be 

Thus Cardinal Santa Croce and Muxetula received 
important papers, and all possible information to en- 
lighten them as to the state of affairs, and so were 
strongly armed to contend with the new English 

These arrived at Rome with very detailed instruc- 
tions, very full and insidiously contrived. The 
emperor was accused of a desire of making himself 
master of Italy, and of taking Rome for the seat of 
his empire, and of having even invoked the aid of 
ancient prophecies in support of these ambitious de- 
signs. The ambassadors were to collect all these 
scattered rumours, however childish, and give them 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 882, 883. 


They were also to dazzle the pope's eyes with the 
powerful and effectual assistance that Henry VIII. 
and Francis I. would give hina, and their promise to 
provide him with a chosen band of body-guards ; the 
ambassadors were to be careful to contrast the selfish 
demands of Charles V. with the devotion and disin- 
terestedness of the King of England. Then they 
were, with much caution, to approach the inquiry in- 
to the secret reasons why the proceedings necessary 
before pronouncing judgment on the divorce business 
were not according to their ordinary course, but 
seemed hampered by orders from Rome. Then the 
sovereign pontiff's attention was to be called to a 
copy of a brief, alleged to be authentic, produced by 
the queen, that had never been heard of till then, 
neither in the days of King Henry VII., nor the time 
of Ferdinand, nor under Leo X. ; and, if there was 
no trace of it existing in the Roman cancellaria, they 
were to require Clement VII. to declare the docu- 
ment fabricated and false. 

In these instructions, signed by the king himself, 
the ambassadors are also desired to retain for the 
side of the divorce cause, by suitable payments and 
secret agreements, the best advocates and most 
learned canonists to be found in the Eternal City, 
" and must learn from them whether, if the queen 
can be induced to enter into lax religion, the pope 
may, in plenitudine potestatis, dispense with the king 
to proceed to a second marriage, with legitimation 

THE king's instructions. 47 

of the children ; and, although it is a thing that the 
pope perhaps cannot do in accordance with the 
divine and human laws already written, using his 
ordinary power, whether he may do it of his mere 
and absolute power, as a thing in which he may dis- 
pense above the law ; what precedents there have 
been, and how the Roman Court shall define or de- 
termine, and what it doth use or may do therein, so 
that no exception, scruple, or doubt may be hereafter 
alleged in anything that shall be affirmed to be in 
the pope's power. Similarly, as the queen will prob- 
ably make great difficulty in entering religion or 
taking the vow of chastity, means of high policy 
must be used to induce her thereunto ; and, as she 
will perhaps resolve not to do so unless the king will 
do the like, the ambassadors must find out from their 
counsel if, to ensure so great a benefit to the king's 
succession and realm and to the quiet of his con- 
science, he takes such a vow, whether the pope will 
dispense with him for the said promise or vow, dis- 
charging him clearly of the same, and thereupon to 
proceed, ad secunda vota cum legitimatione prolis, as is 

*' Furthermore to provide for everything, as well 
propter conceptum odium as for the danger that may 
ensue by continuing in the queen's company, they 
shall inquire whether the pope will dispense with the 

* If the pope had this power, what becomes of the argument from 
Leviticus against marriages between brother and sister-in-law ? 


king to have duas uxores, making the children of the 
second marriage legitimate as well as those of the 
first ; whereof some great reasons and precedents, 
especially of the Old Testament, appear."* 

This is a specimen showing to what had come the 
mind of Henry VIII., who signed these strange in- 
structions. It is well known that the leaders of 
Protestantism in Germany allowedf that in certain 
cases bigamy might become a legitimate necessity. 
But the Church of Rome has more self-respect, and 
more respect for the traditions that she holds from 
the Saviour and his apostles. If such a request had 
been addressed to the pope, he would have felt deeply 
outraged in his pontifical dignity. 

Happily, Henry, in a kind of postscript, desired 
Bryan and Vannes not to execute the last part of his 
instructions, until they should have conferred with 
two fresh ambassadors, who he said would soon 
arrive — Knight, his private secretary, and Doctor 

Indeed, in his impatience to end the matter, the 
king had chosen to add these two diplomatists to the 
others, who had only started a few days sooner. 
Benett and Knight themselves took with them Doctor 
Taylor, and, as they went through France, they all 
waited upon Francis I. They talked to that king 
about the late production of the brief, said they 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 2158. 
t Melancthon in the case of the Landgraf of Hesae. 


thought it false, and lately forged to meet the re- 
quirements of the case. It seemed as if there was 
no affair more important, not only in England, but at 
Rome, and in all Europe. The ambassadors were 
not to let anyone guess how bitter would be the dis- 
appointment and deep the grief of Henry VIII., if it 
were proved that the suspicions of falsity were un- 
founded. They were to learn what their forerunners 
had effected towards obtaining evidence of the falsity 
of the document. The king did not wish to appear 
as a party before the Court of Rome, as that would 
have implied his acceptance of the pope's jurisdiction ; 
he desired that his ambassadors should try to lay 
before the pope, as a case of conscience, the doubts 
that Henry had conceived as to the authenticity of 
the brief just produced. They were instructed to 
say " that the king, having his mind fixed on the 
certainty of eternal life, hath in this cause put before 
his eyes the light and shining brightness of truth, as 
the best foundation for the tranquillity of his con- 
science, knowing, as the apostle says, that there is 
no good foundation except that which Christ has 
laid ; and that the king, finding his conscience 
touched by plain suspicion of the falsity in the brief, 
has recourse to the only fountain of remedy on earth 
— the pope himself. 

" They shall desire him to set aside all vain allega- 
tions, and in this matter bring the truth to light ; 
and, considering the importance of the thing, how 

VOL. n. E 


many may be touched by it to urge that by consent- 
ing to put an end to the cause, as he may do by the 
plenitude of his power, all suspicions may be re- 
moved. They shall also obtain a commission decretal 
to the legates to pronounce the breve forged. If the 
pope will not consent, they shall deliver to His Holi- 
ness the other letters of the two legates desiring the 
avocation of the cause, and a written promise from 
the pope to give sentence in the king's favour, on 
certain grounds of which a summary is sent ; e. g., 
that the emperor will not send the brief, that the 
brief is false on the face of it, and that the king is in 
great perplexity, and his health is in danger, &c. 
But they shall obtain a promise from the pope before 
the avocation."* 

We can hardly believe our eyes when we read such 
things! It really seems as if Henry had lost his 
head, and a species of madness seems to be visible 
in the midst of all his diplomatic villainies. 

There were also instructions from the legates 
urging the despatch of the business, and apologising 
for the king, saying that it was not for the sake of 
pacifying his passions that he desired the voiding of 
his former marriage, but that in the interest of the 
country he wished for a family, and male children. 

Unhappily there is only one copy of this paper, 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. ii, p. 2160. Intro- 
duction, p. ccccxxxii. 


and it is not believed that Campeggio signed it.* 
Whilst Heniy VIII. was thus intriguing at Rome 
he was also at work upon his unhappy wife herself. 
He would not give her liberty of defence nor power 
of appeal, which he would not have refused to the 
least of his subjects. He had sent away the Spanish 
advocates associated with Catharine's counsel, as 
being harder to influence than natives of his king- 
dom. Now he made use of the legates themselves 
to procure the queen's submission, persuading them 
to employ in turn cajolery and menaces. Most odi- 
ous espial was directed on the details of her private 

Thus, when Henry had abolished the household, 
and dismissed the Court of the Princess Mary, she 
had returned to her mother. Now Catharine was 
accused of a habit of savage and morose devotion 
unseasonable to the youth around her. The queen, 
thinking she ought to give her daughter some diver- 
sion, 80 as to prove that her piety was not so nar- 
row, without having anything that could be called 
an entertainment, let her dance sometimes with her 

companions. The opportunity was seized of blam- 

* See a note of Brewer. Introduction to vol. iv, p. 2162. 
" The reader must be on his guard against supposing that any of 
these drafts were really sent or submitted to the persons to whom 
they are addressed. They are probably, like other papers on the 
question of the divorce, devices which occiured to the king or 
Wolsey from time to time, and might or might not be used as 
occasion served." (Ed.) 

E 2 


ing her roundly for this great impropriety. The 
legates were to tell her that she ought not to amuse 
herself while the king was sad and pensive, on 
account of all that was going on. And what was 
Henry about? He was going, no doubt, without 
much publicity, it is true, to lighten his sorrow and 
cheer his pensiveness by Anne Boleyn's side, in her 
fine apartments at Greenwich. 

That was not all ! He caused reproaches to be 
made to Catharine on account of the acclamations in 
her favour that met her when she showed hei'self in 
London, and the dislike of the people to Wolsey 
and the king himself. He pretended to see in it 
proofs of a secret conspiracy against the whole 
English government I 

Meanwhile the unhappy queen told the Spanish 
doctor, Vives, confidentially — " The queen began to 
open to him — as her countryman — her distress that 
the man whom she loved more than herself should 
be so alienated from her that he should think of 
marrying another ; which was the greater grief the 
more she loved him. The queen desired him to ask 
the imperial ambassador to write to the emperor to 
do what was just with the pope, lest she should be 
condemned without being heard I" * 

* Doctor Vives, whom Catharine had wished to place among 
her advisers, was sent away by Henry VIII. as being a Spaniard. 
But he remained some time longer in London to give the Princess 
Mary Latin lessons. See his letter in Letters and Papers, Brewer, 
vol. iv, p. 2166. 



Casale's Unsuccessful Attempts to accelerate the Divorce 
Case — ^Two other English Agents, Bryant and Vannes, 
sent to Rome to work in the matter of the Brief alleged 
to be False — Their Objections refuted by the Imperial 
Ambassador — Micer Mai and Cardinal Santa Croce — 
"Wolse/s Political Strategy finds no Favour, either at 
Rome or in London — France makes Overtures to the 
Emperor — Clement VII.'s Illness — Wolsey's Candidature 
for the Pontiff's Chair — Clement VII. recovers, and is 
beset by the English Agents — He resists them with 
Unconquerable Decision — He has a Long Conference 
with Micer Mai, and gives a Promise that he will never 
Assent to the Divorce — Micer Mai gives him an Affect- 
ing Letter of Queen Catharine — Vain Complaints of the 
English Ambassadors. 

CASALE, the regular English agent at Rome, had 
been desired to endeavour to induce the pope 
to send orders to Cardinal Campeggio to communi- 
cate to Henry's privy council the pontifical com- 
mission, giving him the fullest powers to proceed to 
the judgment of the divorce, and to authorise him to 
act as speedily as he pleased. The pope replied that 
Campeggio had burnt it, in accordance with the 
instructions lately sent him, and that he had done 
right. "But," he added, "that he (Campeggio) 
would proceed whenever it was required, but he was 


instructed to send word to Rome when the process 
commenced." * 

Casale objected that the pope had been brought 
back to the emperor's party by a promise of the 
restoration of Cervia and and Ravenna, parts of the 
states of the church, which were still retained by the 
Venetians. Wolsey was already aware of the pope's 
ardent desire to recover them. But how could this 
sacrifice be demanded from such a power as Venice, 
unless with the support of France? But France 
refused when she was applied to for her assistance. 

When our ambassador communicated this refusal 
to Wolsey we are assured that this old statesman 
shed tears. This humiliating check to his diplomacy 
was destined to entail many others ; and he foresaw 
this with a kind of terror. 

On their arrival, Bryant and Vannes obtained in- 
formation confirming Casale's reports. The pope 
and his advisers recognised that the emperor was all- 
powerful in Italy, and that a second occupation of 
Rome was not impossible. Moreover, the emperor 
threatened the sovereign pontiff with the convoca- 
tion of a general council, and this terrified the weak 
and timid Clement Vll.f 

The ambassadors' first proceedings were directed 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. ccccxliii. 
t Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt, ii, pp, 2105, 2186. 
Clement VII. was illegitimate, and therefore legally ineligible 
as pope. A general council must have declared his election void. 
This gave power to the threat. (Ed.) 


against the brief so unexpectedly produced by Catha- 
rine. They said they could not understand how the 
document could have been sent to Ferdinand in 
Spain, unknown to anyone, while the authentic copy 
of the bull had been addressed to Henry VII. in Eng- 
land, at his request. What was the use of this double 
process ? They were anxious to search the Vatican 
registers, and did not find a minute of the brief. 
Besides, they said that the two documents purport- 
ing to be written the same day, at the beginning of 
the year, could not have been signed by Julius II., 
for the ecclesiastical year of Rome begins on the 
25th of December of our common calendars, and at 
that time Julius II. had not become pope. 

But this objection proved too much ; for it applied 
to the bull as well as the brief, and the fact of the 
bull was not contested. 

As to Clement VII., in the preparation of a brief, 
perhaps only a few hours later than the bull it- 
self, he only saw Julius II.'s deliberate intention to 
confirm, and perhaps explain, the dispensation already 
given. Besides, he thought he could not decide a 
point of fact like a forgery in an authentic document 
in virtue of his infallibility, since that ought to be 
reserved for doubt in points of doctrine and morality. 
He said that the emperor's explanations must be 
awaited; for that prince had sent information to 
Rome that he was in possession of the original of 
the brief in question in Spain, that he would exhibit 


it to several ambassadors, especially to the Eng- 
lish, and that, until a formal demand had been 
made upon the Spanish government to thus pro- 
duce it, no accusation of forgery could be brought 
against King Ferdinand or the emperor Charles V. 

The ambassadors also proposed assistance to the 
pope, to provide him with a guard of honour, etc. 
And as Clement VII. received all these offers of 
service very coolly, they ventured to say, on behalf 
of Wolsey, " that the emperor for some time had 
become conciliated to Henry VIII., and that he might 
do himself the pleasure to condescend to the king's 
desire." * 

But Wolsey did not suspect that Muxetula and 
Cardinal Santa Croce were well informed of all 
that passed in England, and perhaps only the night 
before had told the sovereign pontiff the very reverse 
of what the English ambassadors affirmed. 

Everything was turning against the unhappy 
Wolsey. The English divines would have been of 
opinion that the local jurisdiction was competent 
to decide the divorce case, certainly in the first 

* Reference not given. We find in Letters and Papers, 
Brewer. Introduction, p. ccccxlvii, " What those ends were, the 
cardinal did not scruple to inform the ambassador." By taking 
this presidy the pope would be brought to have "as much fear 
and respect towards the king's highness as he now hath towards 
the emperor, and consequently be the gladder to grant and 
condescend unto the king's desire." (Ed.) 

t This was the course Napoleon I. adopted to cause his mar- 

Clement's perplexities. 57 

But Wolsey dreaded that such a course might lead 
to a complete separation, that is to say, a schism 
between England and Rome. In order to maintain 
the bonds of union between England and the Catholic 
church he had devised that a demand should be 
made for one of the two judges in the divorce suit 
to be a representative of the pope, and that, in virtue 
of this qualification, he might give judgment in first 
and last instance. Clement VII. did not choose to 
make this arrangement, and always reserved cognis- 
ance of the case on appeal to himself. Wolsey 
thought that the pope would be thankful to him 
for having asked for a second judge and legate from 
Rome. Clement, overwhelmed with cares and anxie- 
ties, both for the sorrows of Italy and for the con- 
sequences of the Lutheran heresy in Germany, would 
have much preferred, at such a moment, not to have 
besides on his hands this delicate and difiicult busi- 
ness, bringing him into all kinds of difficulties with 
the King of England and the emperor. 

Thus Wolsey had by no means gained the pope's 
good-will, by an expedient which he thought was a 
concession to the pope's prerogative, and all the 
Boleyn party began to be alienated from him, on 
account of his ill-success in the conduct of the divorce 
suit. Lady Anne had for some time shown the 

riage with Josephine to be annulled, and to be set free to marry 
Marie Louise of Austria. But Napoleon had taken his measures 
to prevent any appeal being made to Rome against the decision of 
the Paris courts. 


greatest exasperation against the minister, on whom, 
but a few months before, she had been lavishing 
assurances of the warmest gratitude. She supposed 
that this statesman was playing a double game, and 
was endeavouring, in secret, to delay the judgment 
of the suit, " from fear of losing his power the mo- 
ment she becomes Queen of England. This suspicion 
of the lady," says Mendoza, " has been the cause of 
her forming an alliance with her father (Viscount 
Rochford), and with the two Dukes of Norfolk and 
Suffolk, to try to see whether they can conjointly 
ruin the cardinal. Hitherto they seem to have made 
no impression on the king, save that the cardinal is 
no longer received at Court as graciously as before, 
and that now and then King Henry has uttered cer- 
tain angry words respecting him. It is not likely, 
however, that his displeasure will take any other form 
for the present." * 

There was a circumstance that might have appeas- 
ed the king's impatience and quieted his ill-humour, 
which was that Lady Anne was said to be relaxing 
her apparent strictness. According to Du Bellay, 
whose language is less serious and less diplomatic 
than Mendoza's, "I strongly suspect that for some 
time the king has been very closely intimate with 
Mademoiselle Anne, and so you must not be astonish- 
ed if they wish to hurry the divorce." And then he 

* Letter of Mendoza to the emperor, Feb. 4th, 1529. Gayan- 
gos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 885, 886. 


mentions rumours as to the necessity of a speedy 
marriage, and a decision to legalize it. 

In his extremity Wolsey induced Du Bellay to 
write to the King of France, and claim his support 
with the pope in Italy. He wrote at the same time 
to Racket, the diplomatic agent employed by England 
at the Court of Flanders, to ask information respect- 
ing the relations between the emperor and Francis I. 
Du Bellay reminded his Court that Wolsey had 
always been favourable to the French alliance, and 
that he had refused the most flattering and brilliant 
offers of Charles V. in order to be faithful to it. 
Francis and his mother transmitted to the ambassa- 
dor expressions of their great gratitude to the cardi- 
nal. But they only gave very vague hopes of 
effective assistance in Italy. And that is not sur- 
prising, for, just at the very time when he was giving 
fair words to the English minister, the king was 
secretly working for terms of peace with the 

Hacket wrote to Wolsey at the end of the month 
of January : 

"I have been secretly informed, by two men of 
credence, that the French king and the regent have 
a secret conveyance (communication) with my lady 
(Margaret) and Hogestrath to make peace with the 
emperor unknown to the king or Wolsey. My lady 
(Margaret) said last night that Madame de Pinnay 
(Espinay), who came lately from France, was told by 


the French king to show verbally to my lady that 
the French king is willing to come to an agreement 
with the emperor, and that if the emperor and he 
were at agreement they would cause the king 
(Henry) to leave some fantasy that he has afore him. 
Told my lady that it was indiscreetly spoken for a 
noble prince. She answered, 'Monsieur I'Ambassa- 
deur, you may do all that you like to oblige the 
French, but, when you have done all, you will find 
they are not to be trusted.' " * 

Wolsey did not take much account of this letter, 
because he looked upon Hacket as a man of no great 
sagacity, and likely to take the merest gossip seriously. 
He also communicated this information to Du Bellay, 
and was completely reassured by him. Yet it is very 
remarkable that a statesman generally so attentive 
as the cardinal should have neglected such informa- 
tion, and not troubled himself about it at all. Yet, 
in view of the increasing difficulties of the situation, 
he determined to send Gardiner to Rome, to assist 
and direct the other ambassadors. 

Very soon after this diplomatic agent set forth on 
his journey a great piece of news came to distract 
Wolsey's mind from any other thoughts ; namely, a 
dangerous illness of Clement VII. ; indeed, a report 
of his death. 

The King of England immediately thought of pro- 

* Lettera aud Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, ccccl and 
li, and pt. ii, p. 2283. 

wolsey's ambition. 61 

curing the election of Wolsey to the Papacy in case 
of a vacancy. The cardinal himself passionately de- 
sired the tiara, either to gratify his old ambition, or 
as a means of escape from the inextricable difficulty 
that had overtaken him in England. The King of 
France promised his support in the conclave. A 
calculation was made of the probabilities of the votes. 
It was found that the Anglo-French party might 
reckon upon twenty voices, and there were only 
thirty-six cardinals in all, and of them five or six 
more might be won over.* But Providence prolonged 
the days of Clement VIL, and put g,n end to these 
odious calculations and speculations on the presumed 
approach of his end. He had hardly become conva- 
lescentf when the English agents made their way 
even to his bedside, and tried to take advantage of 
his physical weakness to obtain what they wanted 
from him. But all their prayers and threats were 
wrecked against the pope's wisdom and firmness. 
He said he could not deprive Catharine of the privi- 
leges allowed by canon law to every accused person 

* See the nominal list of cardinals of the two parties, with notes 
on each of them. Letter of Carpi, the French agent, dated Feb. 2nd, 
given in the third volume of L'Histoire du Divorce, by Joachim 
Legrand, p. 299 et seq. 

t Lingard, vol. vi, p. 147. Indeed, they hardly awaited his 
convalescence ; for, according to Henry VIII .'s instructions, the 
ambassadors were to force an entry to the pope, and to see him 
even in articnlo mortis, in order that he might be the more dis- 
posed to justice as being just about to appear before his God. 
Brewer, Calendar. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. cccclvii, Iviii. 


or defendant in any suit. That the plenaria potestas 
did not authorise him to change the true into false, 
nor the just into the unjust. He was greatly de- 
voted to the king, but could only do him services 
compatible with reason and equity. His expression 
was that the king had a good place in his Pater 
noster, but none in his Credo. 

All the expedients of the English diplomatists fell 
impotent, all their hopes failed. Thus Vannes wrote 
that, even if the queen were to take the veil, the pope, 
having consulted with the most learned canonists at 
Rome, had declared that, according to their advice, 
he would have no right to allow the king to contract 
a second marriage. 

As to the supposed forgery, Clement wrote himself 
to Henry VHI. on the 29th of April, 1529, that he 
could not give a decision on this point till he had 
heard both sides. 

The pope had offered to send a special delegate to 
Spain to examine the original on the spot, and com- 
pare it with the copy, in concert with the English 
ambassador. But Gardiner and his colleagues would 
not consent ; time pressed, and an immediate de- 
cision was needful. Gardiner did not spare the 
wretched pontiff some violent scenes, even while he 
was writhing with pains that seemed to be the agony 
of death. Yet Gardiner could get nothing out of 
that valiant spirit which continually rose above 

THE pope's firmness, 63 

bodily suffering. In vain did he and his colleagues 
demand the publication of the bull of decretal, con- 
taining the original commission, and insist on a 
promise of ratification of the legate's sentence at 
Rome, in case of its being unfavourable to the queen. 
They had to be contented with further powers for the 
cardinals, and, as this first pollicitation did not appear 
sufficient, a second was obtained, more distinct aud 
more extended, under specious pretexts.* 

But as the pope in this document did not renounce 
the right of receiving an appeal from the adverse 
party, nor of transferring the caupe, if need arose, 
the ambassadors' success was very incomplete. One 
of the number, Bryant, a cousin of Anne Boleyn's, 
wrote her a letter disguising a portion of the truth, 
so as not to discourage her. But in his correspond- 
ence with Wolsey he more frankly lamented that the 
dexterity displayed by Gardiner, Vannes, and Gre- 
gory Casale had been useless, and that their efforts, 
as well as his own, had been thrown away.f 

On their side Charles V. aud his ambassadors did 
not remain inactive. In order to cut short the 
arguments of the English agents the emperor had 
proposed to furnish the original brief, the copy of 
which had been impeached, but to show it to the 

* See Bumet, Memoirs, and lingard, voL vi, p. 147. 
t Brewer, Calendar. Introduction, vol. iv, p. cccclx. State 
Papers, vii, p. 166. 


pope alone, Gardiner and his colleagues would not 
take any account of this offer, but it produced a 
great effect upon the mind of Clement VII. 

The emperor, in his letters to his diplomatic 
agents, in the beginning of the year 1579, Men- 
doza in England, and Muxetula and Micer Mai at 
Rome, had never ceased to stir up their zeal in 
his aunt Catharine's cause.* 

In one of these letters, February 5th aud 6th, 
1529, after accusing the English ministry and cour- 
tiers of perverting King Henry's mind by vile arti- 
fices and low intrigues, he tells Mendoza that it is 
necessary to demand that the decision of the divorce 
case should be transferred to the apostolic Holy See, 
even though the queen, under the influence of fear 
and even of violence, should oppose this measure, 
"protesting, of course, the nullity of action, and 
appealing to Rome, and, if necessary, to the next 
general council,t citing and summoning each and 
every one of them individually, and by their own 
names, to appear at the Court of Rome, or before the 
said general council, as it may be." 

On the 16th of February following, he writes to 
Muxetula, his ambassador at Rome, " It is our duty, 
though the queen, desirous of avoiding scandal, 

* Gayangos, Calendar. Charles V.'s letters. 
t Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 891. "Protestando de 
nullidad y appellacion pora la decha Sede Apostolica, y sino fuere 
para et futuro Concilio, y de emplazarlos a ellos, y cada uno 
dellosen su proprio y particixlar nombre." 


had not applied for it, to claim in this instance the 
protection and favour of the Holy See, and to request 
that the case be tried before his sacred consistory, 
and the commission given to Cardinal Campeggio 
revoked. We, therefore, command you to beg His 
Holiness, in our name, to have the cause brought 
before his Court, notwithstanding any contrary steps 
taken by the new English ambassadors to prevent a 
thing so just and reasonable." * 

Meanwhile Micer Mai, the Spanish envoy to the 
pontifical Court, had returned with all speed to his 
post, and had taken several steps there. On March 
6th he wrote to his master, " With regard to the 
Queen of England's case, he (Mai) hopes that the 
first brief put for the pope's signature will be that 
for the adjudication of the suit at Rome."t 

This hope was premature; for though the ponti- 
fical Court and the cardinals seemed inclined for the 
transfer of the cause to the Court of Rome their 
good intentions were paralysed by the queen herself 
not having expressed a wish, although Charles V. 
and his agents had acted for her, and in her name. 
This obstacle was soon to vanish. 

By the 16th of March it is clear that events are 
drawing on. Cardinal Santa Croce wrote the fol- 
lowing letter to the emperor, and it must have 
considerably advanced the solution of the question : 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt, ii, p. 895. 
t Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 917. 



"To-day, the 6th of March, a packet of letters has 
been received from the imperial ambassador in Eng- 
land of the 25th of February. There is, inside, one 
from the queen to the pope, closed and sealed, ask- 
ing him, as it is presumed, to have her case tried 
here [at Rome]. The queen having complained that 
she had no liberty to defend herself in England, it 
was resolved that she herself should write an auto- 
graph letter to the pope, stating her wishes. That 
has been done^ as it would appear, with great dif- 
ficulty, and is, most probably, the subject of her 
missive. The queen writes to him (Santa Croce), 
commanding him to put the letter into the pope's 
hands with the greatest possible secrecy, as she does 
not want anyone to know of it. The pope, how- 
ever, is not well enough now to treat affairs of this 
kind. As soon as he recovers, the letter shall be 
given to him. 

" Rome, 16th March, 1529." * 

The cardinal wrote again on the 23rd of the same 
month : that the pope was completely recovered, 
and that he would immediately perform his commis- 

Micer Mai, with the assistance of the lawyer to the 
embassy, Doctor Ferrando, an Aragonese,t was mak- 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 928, 929. 
t He says he is satisfied with this lawyer, only that it was 
necessary to keep his eye upon him. The man was a Spaniard, 
but Micer Mai knew that English gold tried to tempt all 


in^ active search in the archives of the datorium, and 
elsewhere, for the duplicate or minute of the brief of 
dispensation sent to Spain. He could not find it ; 
but he laid his hand on two subsequent briefs re- 
ferring to it, and implying its existence. 

Micer Mai then says he would be very watchful of 
the intrigues of the English ambassadors, and would 
unravel and disappoint them. He discovered the 
efforts they had made, and continued to make, to 
procure the condemnation of the brief produced by 
Queen Catharine, as tainted with forgery. The same 
agents had not given up their idea of forcing her 
to enter a convent. They added threats to persua- 
sion. Jacobo Salviati, in order to overcome Micer 
Mai's resistance, dared to say and repeat three or 
four times that Catharine, for the sake of her salva- 
tion, ought to go into a convent. Thus, he said, 
she would be secured from any temptation to employ 
poison or assassination. 

Lastly, the English ambassadors, still discourte- 
ous to the pope,* pretended that the emperor did not 
attach as much importance to the divorce as was 
averred. Micer Mai induced Clement VH., in a pri- 
vate interview, to repeat to him the allegations of 
these ambassadors. " When I heard the English am- 
bassador express himself in this manner, I was on 

* The English ambassadors assaUed the Head of the Church 
■with terms anything but courteous. Letters and Papers, Brewer. 
Introduction, vol. iv, p. cccclxiv. 

F 2 


the point of making an angry answer, but the respect 
due to His Holiness made me refrain. I said, how- 
ever, that I was really ashamed that men in his 
service should hold him in so small esteem as to 
entertain him with similar tales,* and that they 
should presume to spread and authorise in his pres- 
ence at Rome, and, indeed, all over the world, the 
absurd inventions circulated in England. My im- 
pression was that the courtesy (facilidad) with which 
His Holiness treated ambassadors had encouraged 
them to such follies and lies. His Holiness would 
perhaps pardon me if I said that the French and 
English ambassadors were better treated at his Court 
than we the imperialists ; for I had observed that, 
whilst he barely treated us with common courtesy 
(vulgarmente), he received the others most graciously 
(a la evangelica). The pope having asked what I 
meant by these words, I told him that there was a 
common saying in Spain that honest men were on 
the decrease,! and that such was evidently the case 
here also ; for, seeing us so mild and obedient, he 
took from us all he could ; whereas, the more insolent 
and overbearing the others were, the better he was 
pleased, and the more he attended to their pleasure 
and comfort, as with the prodigal son in the Gospel. 
"As to their arguments in proof of the invalidity 

* Que tenia verguenza eu su servi que le toviesen en tan poco 
que le acometiesen destos bellaguerias. 

f El hombre honrado sempre va a menor. 


of the brief, I said that it was no new thing to write 
out a bull or a warrant of some king, and then find 
that there was something wanting in it. In such 
cases, rather than have the bull or warrant amended 
and re-written, it was customary to draw out a brief 
or private letter. I myself had seen a thousand of 
such letters at the Court and council of the emperor, 
and I knew it to be the practice of all European 
Courts. To this assertion the pope assented, and 
said that the same thing was done at Rome. To 
their objection that the entry in the register-book 
could not be found, my answer was that His Holiness 
was well aware, and could, if necessary, testify, that 
briefs were not generally registered, either formerly 
or at the present day ; which assertion of mine the 
pope also corroborated with his testimony. Besides, 
I added, who can tell me that the English ambassa- 
dors, seeing the interest their master takes in the 
disappearance of the said instrument, have not had 
it stolen and made away with ? To their allegation 
that similar deeds and papers should exist in England 
as well as in Spain, I at once assented, but said, who 
tells us that they are not there, but that the English 
do not choose to look for them ? Besides, the other 
day, in turning over some papers, I found a brief of 
that pope, addressed to the King of England, where- 
in he tells him, in answer to a complaint of his, that 
the papers had been sent to Spain because Queen 
Isabella was ill at the time, and wished to see the 


brief of dispensation before she died. That is the 
reason, and no other, why Pope Julius sent the 
deeds to Spain, both parties having promised him to 
keep the matter secret. This circumstance might 
have prevented the registering of the brief — or, at 
least, might have led to the entry of it on the books 
being made so cautiously that it could not be found, 
as is often the case with many things so carefully 
hidden in the bowels of the earth that they never 
again come to the surface. 

" With regard to their gratuitous supposition that 
your imperial majesty cared not about the cause, I 
only remarked that His Holiness might infer by that 
how deceitful and malicious the statement of the 
English ambassadors was. His Holiness, therefore, 
might judge from the English lies in this particular 
what credit could be given to their other statements. 

" The pope on this occasion went so far as to say 
that the English ambassadors, in their address, had 
certainly alluded to the matter of poison by saying,. 
* Were not the king, our master, as good as he is, 
he would have looked for other means of obtaining 
his object, and certainly faithful servants would not 
have been wanting to do his pleasure in an affair of 
this sort.' My answer was that the queen had been 
encouraged to run that risk rather than be a bad 
wife, and prejudice her daughter's interests, and that 
your imperial majesty approved highly of such con- 
duct, because, should poison be administered to her. 


your majesty would take his revenge. Again did 1 
tell the pope that I was really ashamed at such 
matters being mentioned in his presence, and as- 
tonished at the impudence of the ambassadors ; to 
which the pope replied, *I must observe, however, 
that the ambassador did not enter into further par- 
ticulars.' * That is quite enough,' said I. Then he 
added, ' Draw out your protest, and I will take care 
that the case be tried here, at Rome. Even if the 
emperor and all the rest of them should agree to the 
divorce taking place, I will never authorise it.' I 
thanked him for his good purposes, and said, * Your 
Holiness is more bound to God than to the emperor 
and the rest of the world.' 

" After this came letters from Don Inigo, advising 
that the affair was taking a very bad turn in Eng- 
land, and would be irretrievably lost if the adjourn- 
ment of the case to Rome was not immediately de- 
cided on. A very touching letter* from the queen to 
the pope came also, which I duly delivered into his 
bands. He read it through very attentively, and 
seemed touched by it, so much so that he made very 
tine promises at the time."t 

When the ambassador took leave, he received most 

* Y en verdad que era por quebrantar las piedras. 
t Probably the letter given to Cardinal Santa Croce, mentioned 
above. But possibly the queen had sent two different letters, 
both addressed to the pope. This conversation is in a letter of 
Micer Mai's. Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 973, 974, 



satisfactory promises and friendly expressions from 
the sovereign pontiff. His example shows that it is 
possible to be a skilful diplomatist, and yet to have a 
heart. This lofty and Christian language was ad- 
dressed to the father of the faithful, not to an ordinary 
prince. It was understood and accepted by Clement 
VII. No surprise can be felt that, two or three days 
afterwards, the English ambassadors, presenting 
themselves at the Pontifical Court, were coldly re- 
ceived. It was in vain that they made bitter com- 
plaints of the breach of promises made to them. 
They were answered that they had taken vague 
forms of politeness for positive assurances, and that 
there had not been much real good faith on their own 



Official Exhibition in Spain of the Original of the Brief of 
Dispensation, in the presence of the English Ambassadors 
— A Copy of the Document is delivered to them — Wolsey 
changes his Policy — He is desirous above all things to 
conclude the Business of the Divorce — The Legates' Court 
is constituted, and issues Citations to both Parties — The 
Emperor's Letter to Catharine — Doubtful Dispositions of 
Campeggio — He receives the Queen coldly — First Meeting 
of the Ecclesiastical Court — The Parties appear — Solemn 
Hearing of June 21st — The Queen throws herself at the 
King's Feet, and addresses a Beautiful Protest to him 
against the Persecution directed at her — Great Impression 
on the Audience — Catharine refuses her Judges, appeals 
to the Pope, and retires — The Legates receive and register 
her Appeal, but they think it their duty to proceed — As 
she refuses to appear again, they declare her contumacious 
— Popular Interest on her account — Henry VIII.'s Atti- 
tude after Catharine left the Hall. 

A MOST important event was taking place in Spain, 
just about the time when Micer Mai had the 
interesting conversation with the pope mentioned 

The King of England's ambassadors to Charles V., 
Doctor Lee and Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester, 
having expressed to Catalayud their desire to see the 


original brief of dispensation sent bj Julius 11. to 
Queen Isabella, his majesty the emperor gave orders 
for the document to be exhibited to them in presence 
of some notaries nominated for the purpose, and 
several grandees of Spain. 

In this solemn meeting, Nicholas Perrenot, Sieur 
de Granvelle, and the chancellor of the empire, ex- 
plained how the emperor had done all he could to 
preserve friendly relations with his ally, the King of 
England, but that this prince had cast doubts upon 
the authenticity of the copy of the brief of dispen- 
sation of which Queen Catharine had made use, the 
original being in the possession of her nephew, 
Charles V. Then the Sieur de Granvelle took the 
document in his hands, unsealed, opened it, and gave 
it to the English ambassadors to read, and to copy, 
if they chose. 

The ambassadors, visibly embarrassed, refused to 
take cognisance, on the pretext that the question 
of forgery having been referred to the pope they 
did not think themselves authorised to interfere in 
the question. On the invitation of the Bishop of 
Osma and the Bishop of Elna, Nicholas Perrenot 
read the precious document aloud in presence of the 
two above-named bishops, Henry, Count of Nassau, 
the lord chamberlain of the emperor, the Count de 
Pont-de-Vaux, grand-master of the king's house- 
hold, the Sieur de La Chaux, prefect of the palace, 
and Louis of Flanders, Sieur de Prael. 


A minute of this meeting was drawn up in Latin 
by the notaries, containing a copy of the brief, and 
the minute was signed by the witnesses present, 
except the English ambassadors. This ought to 
have put an end to the miserable quibbles advanced 
against the sincerity and fidelity of the copy pre- 
sented to the legates by Queen Catharine.* 

Charles V". himself wrote to Mendoza that the 
English ambassadors, after the meeting, having ask- 
ed him to allow them a private examination of the 
brief he immediately consented. '' And an authentic 
copy of it made, properly revised, and collated with 
the original, in order to show that we omit nothing 
that is likely to preserve the friendship of their king, 
and that, if he will but attend to the letter of the 
brief, his scruples will at once vanish.'^ t 

Is it credible that the two ambassadors, in their 
oflScial correspondence, still found reasons for suspect- 
ing the validity of the original document ? | 

The king and Wolsey were hugging themselves in 
their delusions during these same months of April 
and May, whilst the business of the divorce was 
taking a different form in Spain, and more especially 
in Rome, as we have seen. Communications were 
then so slow that all Europe was not living a simul- 
taneous life, as is the case now in the days of 

railroads and electric telegraphs. 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 967. 

t Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 98i. 

X Histoire du Divorce, Joachim Legrand, vol. i, p. 20. 


Wolsey determined to expedite the trial of the 
divorce with great energy. He thought that, in 
concert with Carapeggio, he might arrive at a satis- 
factory conclusion before the pope could find a suit- 
able occasion for interference. He changed his style 
of political action towards the Court of Rome. Fresh 
instructions were sent to the ambassadors not to 
speak to the pope any more of the forgery of the 
brief, nor to insist on the propriety of the despatch 
of a pontifical agent to Spain to examine the original 
document. The object was now no longer to stimu- 
late the Court of Rome, but to lull it to sleep, and to 
finish the business in London with all possible activity 
and speed. It was imagined that, when once judg- 
ment was given in England, the pope would accept 
it, and do nothing to annoy Henry VHI., to whom he 
had always shown great good-will. 

In consequence, about the end of May the ecclesi- 
astical court for the trial of the divorce suit held a 
sitting in the great hall of the palace at Blackfriars 
in London, suitably arranged, and richly decorated 
for the hearings. Notaries, or clerks, were appoint- 
ed, and ushers, to make the court complete, and 
oaths were administered to them. By the side of 
the judges, to their right, was an arm-chair set for 
the king, and on the left another for the queen. 
Opposite the judges, within the enclosure of the 
court, were seats for the Archbishop of Canterbury 
and the other English bishops. Below the king's 

THE legates' court. 77 

chair were places for the two advisers, Doctor Samp- 
son and Doctor Bell, and, below the queen's, for 
Clerk, the Bishop of Bath, Standish, Bishop of Saint 
Asaph, and Doctor Ridley, a most distinguished 
preacher and divine. On the morning of May 31st. 
the two legates entered the hall with all the ensigns 
of their dignity. Wolsey sat on Campeggio's right ; 
and word was given to the Bishop of Lincoln to read 
the bull constituting the two legates commissioners 
to try the divorce suit.* When he had finished 
reading the prelate was desired, by agreement with 
Doctor Bell and the Bishop of Bath, to issue citations 
to the King and Queen of England to appear before 
the court on the 18th of June following. 

The die was cast ; the strife, so long conducted 
in obscurity, was now brought on the official and 
legal platform. Ceremonies of this kind have always 
been very attractive to the English nation. But it 
must be allowed that this grand judicial assize com- 
manded a deeper and keener interest than had 
attached to any that had ever been held in London 
for many ages, and even, perhaps, in the whole 

Catharine was still less informed than Henry VIIL 
of the events bearing on her suit that had taken place 
at Rome and in Spain. It is true she must have re- 
ceived a letter from her nephew, Charles V., dated 

* The Bishop of Lincoln was Doctor Longlands, the king's 


April 23rd, and concluding thus : " As a case of this 
sort must be referred to our Most Holy Father and 
his Holy Apostolic See, we have earnestly requested 
him not to allow it to be tried elsewhere than at his 
Court, inasmuch as your honour, and that of all our 
relatives and friends, is deeply concerned in the issue. 
You may be sure, most serene queen, our dearest and 
most beloved aunt and sister, that I shall not fail in 
what I consider to be my duty." * But it is not 
known whether this letter had reached the queen in 
the month of May. Certainly she did not know that 
the protests and petitions mentioned by Charles V. 
had been made ; and lastly, Mendoza, who had al- 
ways been her faithful support, and kept up her com- 
munications with Spain and Rome, being greatly 
injured in health by the English climate, had per- 
suaded the emperor to recall him, in order to save 
his life. The loss of this able and devoted adviser 
left a great void for the unhappy Catharine. 

Moreover, the lawyers she expected from Flanders 
had not arrived. The advisers given her were more 
concerned with their fear of displeasing the king 
than their client's interests. The queen, keenly feel- 
ing her moral isolation, thought she could do no 
better than go a second time to see Campeggio, who 
was again confined to his bed by the gout. 

The cardinal was not very well-disposed to her at 
the moment. He was anxious about his own posi- 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 989, 990. 


tion, and afraid that lie should make more trouble 
for himself if he seemed partial to her, so he carefully 
avoided any appeai'ance of it, and did not even give 
her spiritual consolation. Perhaps, though he may 
have had at the bottom of his heart some compassion 
and sympathy for Catharine, he took pains to give it 
no externa] expression, and succeeded in concealing 
hie feelings. As Bishop of Salisbury, he was under 
Henry VIII.'s influence, and feared to get into dis- 
grace with him. He felt that his colleague Wolsey 
was a vigilant and active spy upon him, and much 
more desirous than he was to conclude the business 
as soon as possible. 

Du Bellay writes about the end of June to M. de 
Montmorency, the grand-master of the king's house- 
hold, that "Campeggio is half conquered and per- 
suaded to shorten the trial for various reasons too 
long to give." * 

Thus the queen's expectation was disappointed. 
The legate was very reserved with her, and almost 
discouraging. He told her that she ought to have 
full confidence in the counsel the king had given her, 
and that, as to her judges, they would do nothing 
contrary to reason and justice. Finally, no doubt, 
thinking the occasion favourable, he spoke to her 
again of entering a religious house, since such a step 
would terminate many difficulties, and prevent many 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. iii, p. 2544. Histoire 
du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 334. 


troubles both in church and state. Thus Campeggio 
was plainly unaware of the answer given a short 
time before by the canonists of Rome to Vannes, the 
English ambassador.* 

Notwithstanding the moral pressure put upon her, 
the queen repulsed the cardinal's suggestions as 
before. Her Christian devotion, her gentle humility, 
were not inconsistent with an impregnable Spanish 
tenacity and unbending royal pride ; she never would 
voluntarily have yielded her place to the clever 
manoeuverer who wished to usurp her rights as wife 
and queen. She did not understand this inversion 
of any idea of justice, and turn of the cai'ds to make 
the king's mistress a legitimate wife, and his legiti- 
mate wife a concubine. 

And so Campeggio, after his conference with the 
queen, could not help praising her sincerity, her 
firmness, and greatness of soul. However, the car- 
dinal lamented that he had no news from the Court 
of Rome, that he did not receive supplies of money, 
and that he was obliged to get into debt or to 
borrow of Henry VHI.* 

Perhaps he did not know that protests and peti- 
tions in full form had been pi-esented to the pope at 
Rome, about the end of April, against the King of 

* See above the quotation of the answer given by the pope to 
Vannes, by which it appears that Henry VIII. would not have 
been able to marry even if Catharine had gone into a convent, 
and taken the vows. 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, voL iv, p. cccclxx. 


England's project of a divorce, and making formal 
demand to the pope for the transfer of the suit to 
the Court of Rome.* 

And yet the French ambassador, Du Bellay, seemed 
well informed of what had passed at the Papal Court. 
If he did not know positively, he at least suspected ; 
for, being a zealous partisan of Henry VIII.'s, in his 
diplomatic correspondence of the month of June he 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 990, 991. The pro- 
test presented by the imperial ambassadors to the pope, D. 
Michael Maius, Knight of Barcelona, the emperor's ambassador 
at Rome, and D. Andreas de Burgo, Count Castelleoni, also am- 
bassador from the King of Bohemia and Hungary, Ajchduke of 
Austria, &c., in the presence of the undersigned notary and wit- 
nesses summoned for the purpose, drew out and presented to 
[Pope Clement VII.] in behalf and in the name of their respective 
sovereigns, the following protest, requisition, intimation, &c. : — 

" Go on to state the futility of the reason alledged for the divorce. 
Beg the pope to have the case adjudicated to his Court, since, 
were it to be tried in England, Queen Catharine would never 
obtain justice. Acta fuerunt haec Romae, in palatio apostolico, in 
camera sanctissimi D. N. Papse, prsesentibus ibidem magnificis et 
nobilibus viris dominis Jacobo de Salviatis, Patricio Florentino, et 
Gasparo Maradat Valentino, milite militse Sancti Jacobi de Spata, 
testibus ad prsemissa vocatis et rogatis. Notarius Alfonsus de 
Cuevas Caes. sacerdos et sollicitor." (Latin, nine pages.) 

Petition presented to the pope by the imperial ambassadors 
r^pecting the divorce case : — 

" At Rome, on Tuesday, the 27th of April, Richard Mai, knight, 
doctor in law and theology, and Andrea de Burgo, Count of 
Castel Leone (comes castrileonis), councillor and orator to his 
Serene Highness Ferdinand, King of Hungary and Bohemia, 
humbly petition His Holiness the Pope [Clement VII. J to summon 
(advocare) the divorce case to be tried at his Pajial Court. Rome, 
27th of April, 1529." (Latin, one and a half pages.) 



displays great anxiety. He is especially the echo of 
Wolsey, and thus speaks of him : 

" I assure you, sir,* that, without fiction, the legate 
is in terrible trouble, for all along till now he has 
always assured his master, both in public and private, 
that this would be nothing, and that nothing, what- 
ever would be done without them. Now he strongly 
suspects the contrary ; I leave you to imagine whether 
he speaks kindly to me, and plainly says that I have 
deceived him, &c.," and, further on, " You will see by 
the king's letters what condition they are in about 
this divorce ; all the help they ask of you is for the 
pope not to revoke his commission." 

Wolsey was therefore especially afraid of this 
revocation ; the cardinal had, some time before, con- 
fided to Du Bellay that he had been desirous of cool- 
ing down the king's passion, and his eagerness for 
divorce, and the king had answered him with terrible 

Now, as the decisive moment approached, Du 
Bellay sent messenger after messenger to the Court 
of France, for he says, " There are people of the Duke 
of Suffolk's in all the posts, who would not fail to 

* Histoire du Divorce, Joachim Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 328, 329. 
The letter is addressed, as usual, to the grand master of the king's 
household, M. de Montmorency. 

f These are Du Bellay 's exact expressions, " Le roi lui usa de 
terribles termes k cause qu'il semblait Ten vouloir refroidir et lui 
monstrer que le peuple n'y voudrait condescendre." Histoire du 
Divorce, vol. iii, pp. 164, 165. 


\\e 80 good a chance ; the cardinal gave me a pretty- 
clear hint, and I find one despatch has been lost since 
I have been here, and I am sorry for it."* 

And yet this is a partisan of the government of 
Henry VIII. and the English policy, who is so dis- 
trustful, and complains of what we should now call 
the black chamber. 

In a subsequent letter in cipher he sends informa- 
tion to Francis I. that Wolsey begs him *' very 
humbly and affectionately to write a line to Cardinal 
Campeggio, begging him to hasten the business." f 

I doubt whether this curious commission was carried 
to his credit at the French Court ; but it shows 
that Wolsey was extremely anxious, and that he 
wanted to clutch at every straw. 

The fact is that the business of the divorce was 
just about to undergo a great change, but in a direc- 
tion entirely contrary to the hopes of the Cardinal of 

Nevertheless there seemed slight reason for the 
feeling of distrust Wolsey felt for his colleague, for 
Campeggio took a serious view of his office of judge. 
He also seemed as if he would like to conclude 
matters as soon as possible. 

The citation to appear before the legates had been 
served on the 1st of June upon the king and queen 
in their private apartments at Windsor for the 18th 

* Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, p. 330. Me fandraient. 
t Page 335. 



of the month, and it was presented to them by 
Longlands, Bishop of Lincoln, and Clerk, Bishop 
of Bath. On the appointed day the court met. The 
king did not appear in person on this occasion, but 
was represented by his proctors, Doctor John Bell 
and Doctor Sampson,* dean of the chapel royal. As 
to the queen, she attended in person. She protested 
against the competence and jurisdiction of the Court, 
and, having read her protest aloud, demanded that it 
should be placed on the record, and a minute given 
to her. The legates acceded to her demand, and 
appointed for her to appear on the 21st of June 
following, the day which the Court named for its* 
second sitting. Then, remembering that the law 
required the personal appearance of both parties, 
under pain of being treated as contumacious, they 
announced that, at the next sitting, they would 
give a decision on their competence and the regu- 
larity of their proceedings. 

In consequence, the two parties appeared on the 
2 let of June, between nine and ten in the morning. 
The queen entered first, and was almost immediate- 
ly followed by the king. He occupied the throne, or 
chair, on the right of the legates ; Catharine sat on 
the left, her seat being a little lower than the other. 

As soon as the hearing commenced, the king, turn- 
ing to the judges, made them a short address, ex- 
pressing his firm resolution to cease to live in mortal 
* Afterwards Bishops of Chichester and Worcester. 


ein, as he had done for twenty years. He said he 
could not feel easy in his conscience until a decision 
had been come to as to the lawfulness or unlawful- 
ness of his marriage, and so he demanded that judg- 
ment should be given with all speed. Then Wolsey 
spoke, and said that, although he was loaded with 
benefits from the king, and might therefore be 
suspected of partiality, the moment he received a 
commission from the sovereign pontiff he would 
judge according to his " poor ability," but perfectly 
conscientiously, and that he would omit no require- 
ment of justice. The two legates gave a decision 
rejecting the queen's appeal to Rome. But Catha- 
rine declared that she would renew the appeal, and 
persist in it ; and then she went and kneeled at the 
king's feet, and cried to him for mercy and justice in 
a voice broken by emotion. She said she was only 
a poor foreign woman, away from her parents, 
friends, and all help ; and she called God to 
witness that, for twenty years of married life, she 
had been always his obedient, faithful, and devoted 
wife: that he knew; and she appealed to himself 
that she was a virgin when she was married to him. 
That, if what she said was untrue, she was ready 
to suffer infamy. What had she done, to be re- 
pudiated and branded, and the stain of dishonour 
extended to her parents, and children, and her whole 
family ? That she had suspicions of all around her, 
the judges, and even her advisers, as they were the 


king's subjects, and had received benefits and favours 
from him. She stated that her desire was the 
recognition and confirmation of the validity of her 
marriage ; but that she wished this judgment to 
come from Rome, and that she appealed to Rome. 
That was the only place where the suit could be 
judged without any suspicion of favour or partiality. 
She demanded that her appeal should be sent to the 
pope; and also to be freed from every restraint 
and able to correspond in perfect freedom with Rome 
and the emperor.* 

* Burnet, who often contests or denies the most authentic 
facts when they contradict his preconceived ideas, has called 
this scene fabulous, though it is attested by several contempor- 
aries, and among them Wolsey*s own secretary, Cavendish, who 
was, apparently, likely to be well informed. But this will remove 
every doubt, if there is any still existing. Mr. Stephenson, a 
man of great learning, has just discovered, at the Vatican, two 
letters in cipher, addressed to Salviati at Rome by Campeggio 

The last is dated June 2l8t, 1529, and was probably written 
as soon as the sitting was over. The cardinal says that, on the 
18th of June, " comparse la reuia personalmente, interposuit 
appellationem in formS, recurso li judici, cum insertionibus cau- 
sarum deduxit avocationem causae ad curiam et sic litis penden- 
tiam, protestb de nullitate omniiun agendorum. Li demo termine 
ad primam che e stato hoggi alle vinterio, ad audiendam volunta- 
tern nostram super deductis ab ea, et cosi hoggi si k pronuntiato 
nos esse judices competentes, rejectis omnibus ab e§ deductis. 
Lei ha interposto una amplissima appellatione et supplicationem 
ad Pontificem et recessit ; ma primk ibi corkm tribunal! genuflexa, 
benche il re due volte la soUevasse demando licentia al re che por 
trattarsi del honore et conscienti<\ sua e della casa di Spagna, le 
volessi concedere Ubero adito di scnvere e mandare messi k [Cesare] 
ru (et) a quesi (Sua Santita) ru (et) sogle (se gli 1) la concessero, 


While she spoke thus, the king twice tried to raise 
her, and twice she fell again upon her knees ; and, 
when she had done, she did not return to her seat, but 
bowed to the king and the Court, and left the hall 
leaning on the arm of her Receiver-General, Griffith.* 
The king, seeing her depart, commanded that she 
should be called again. Then the crier of the Court 
called, "Catharine, Queen of England, come into 
Court !" With that quoth Master Griffith, " Madam, 
ye be called again." " On, sir," quoth she, " it 
maketh no matter, for it is no indifferent Court for 
me ; therefore I will not tarry." And she left the 
hall without making any reply, either then or after- 
wards ; for she would not again appear before the 
legates' Court.f 

cosi credo, mandarh. con copia di tulto qiiella si h flatta, per che 
habbiamo deliberate che de omnibus ad ejus petitionem gli sia dato 
copia." Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, ap- 
pendix, pp. dclxxi, ii. No doubt the scene and the queen's speech 
are condensed in this letter, half Latin, half Italian. Campeggio, 
who did not understand English very well, may not have been 
able to catch all Catharine's words, spoken, as a contemporary 
says, in broken English; but all the chief points of Cavendish's 
account are found in the cardinal's, and there are some other 
points added that are left out by Cavendish and the other 

* Griffin Richardes, Receiver- General to the queen, has himself 
left a record of these events, and is the " honest chronicler " most 
quoted by Shakespeare in the scene of the play of Henry VIII. 
where he presents Catharine of Aragon spealcing so nobly, and 
indeed had only to repeat her language accurately to be sublime. 

f Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. 
cccclxxii, iii. Lingard, vol. vi, p. 150. Miss Strickland, vol. iv, 
p. 130, edition, 1842. (Ed.) 


The judges caused her to be summoned three 
times by the crier, and, as she did not appear, pro- 
nounced her contumacious. While they rejected her 
appeal as groundless, they did not refuse her a mi- 
nute of all that had passed at this hearing to make 
any use of that she pleased. 

The two parties were cited to appear again on 
Friday, June 25. As Catharine was on her way 
from Baynard's Castle,* where she lived, to the 
Palace of Blackfriars, the women, as she passed, en- 
couraged her, and shouted to her to care for nothing. 
" If the matter was to be decided by the women, the 
king would lose the battle," says Du Bellay, with 
some spite, and then he adds, ironically, " She recom- 
mended herself to these good prayers, with other 
Spanish tricks." f 

According to Cavendish, after Catharine was gone, 
the king, perhaps agreeing with the general feeling, 
could not help speaking aloud in her favour. " She 
is, my lords, as true, as obedient, and as conformable 
a wife as I could in my phantasy wish or desire. 
She hath all the virtuous qualities that ought to be 
in a woman of her dignity, or in any other of baser 
estate. Surely she is also a noble woman born, if 
nothing were in her ; but only her conditions will 
well declare the same." 

It may be observed that he did not contradict 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. cccclvi. 
t Letters and Papers, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. iii, p. 2226. 

henry's inconsistency. 89 

certain private matters that might have a bearing on 
the state of the question* on which Catharine had 
appealed to his own evidence. 

It might have been expected that these expressions 
of respect for the queen's character would have been 
accompanied by some marks of sympathy and pity ; 
but that was not the case. At Blackfriars Henry 
had seen his noble wife kneeling at his feet ; he went 
from there to Greenwich, to throw himself at the feet 
of his mistress, Anne Boleyn. 

* HiUlam, who did not know of Campeggio's letter, yet allowed 
that Cavendish's account was quite correct ; it also seemed to him 
to be supported by a letter of Henry VIII.'s own, printed at the 
end of the first volume of Burnet's History of the Reformation, 
Appendix, p. 78. He observes, with his usual impartiality, that 
Catharine's appeal made to Henry himself, de integritate corporis 
usque ad secundas nuptias servata, not being contradicted by 
Henry, is a decisive argument in favour of the truth of the queen's 
statement. Last note to vol. i. of the Constitutional History of 



Campeggio's Embarrassment — Henry VIII. declares that 
Wolsey was not the first Suggestor of the Divorce — Ap- 
pearance of Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and his bold 
Address to the Legates — General Surprise in Court, and 
and great Impression without — Henry VIII.'s Anger, and 
his Pamphlet in answer to Fisher — His Revenge nursed for 
another time — Opposing Petitions of the English and Im- 
perial Agents before the Pope — Campeggio's Correspond- 
ence with Rome stopped for some time by the English 
Ofiicers — Casale informs Henry VIH. that the Pope has 
determined to transfer the Trial of the Divorce Suit to 
Rome — At Henry's desire the two Legates make another 
Attempt to persuade Catharine, but they find her just as 
resolute — The Legates hold another Judicial Sitting on 
July 23rd, and adjourn the case till after the Vacation — 
Altercation of Wolsey and the Duke of Suffolk — A Fort- 
night after this last Hearing, the Bull of Revocation was 
published in London. 

THOUGH Campeggio was much shaken by the 
pathetic scene he had witnessed, he wrote to 
Salviati that he could not refuse the wish of his 
colleague Wolsey, who begged him to write and re- 
quest that the queen's appeal might not be received, 
or the case revoked to Rome. That he quite under- 
stood His Holiness's intentions, who did not wish 

wolsey's uneasiness. 91 

judgment to be given even in the fii'st instance ; but 
the suit made progress, and perhaps they would be 
constrained by the force of circumstances to give 
sentence, unless the pope did something decided. 
Besides, they would know that in case he refused to 
give judgment, or was unable to sit, through the 
state of his health, there was a provision in the bull 
for the appointment of another judge. So his dif- 
ficulty may be imagined, and he calls God to help 
him. He adds that the king seemed as if he would 
not make peace till his marriage was dissolved ; and 
he has also but little confidence in France, as that 
alliance does not seem to be depended on.* 

Wolsey, himself uneasy at the general expression 
of opinion in favour of the queen, seemed desirous of 
evading the responsibility of having been the first to 
suggest this fatal suit ; for, before the rising of the 
court on June 21st, he made this remarkable speech 
to the king. " Sire, I most humbly beseech your 
highness to declare now, before all this audience, 
whether I have been the chief inventor and first 
mover of this matter with your majesty ; for I am 
greatly suspected of all men herein." " My lord 
cardinal," quoth the king, " I can well excuse you 
herein. Marry, ye have been rather against me in 
attempting or setting forth thereof." Then he entered 

* This is the end of the letter quoted iu note to preceding 
chapter. Appendix to introduction, Brewer, Letters and Des- 
patches, vol. iv. 


again upon the old story of his scruples about his 
marriage with his brother's wife ; it was a way of 
explaining his conduct, but the hypocritical explana- 
tion was not accepted by the public. 

On the 25th of June the court met again, to take the 
king's oath respecting the propositions, and adjourn- 
ed to the 28th, though opposed by Campeggio, who 
thought these hearings were so near together and so 
frequent that they did not leave the judges time 
enough to study the questions that arose, and to 
deliberate on the evidence at each hearing. 

This of the 28th was marked by an episode as 
striking of its kind as the last appearance of the 
queen. Just as Catharine^s absence and contumacy 
were being again recorded, Fisher, Bishop of Roches- 
ter, advanced to the bar and asked leave to speak. 

The appearance of this aged man was in itself an 
event. It was well known that Fisher lived in re- 
tirement in his episcopal palace at Rochester, and 
hardly ever left it for anything but his diocesan 
duties, that he had arranged a kind of anchorite's cell 
there, and lived alone in it, with his books and in- 
struments of mortification. He was regarded as a 
saint worthy of primitive times, a kind of renewal of 
one of the rude hermits of the East, or of one of the 
noble bishops who sometimes appeared at the eflfem- 
inate Byzantine Court, like a living and open rebuke. 
Before he had spoken a single word, a thrill of expec- 
tation ran through the spectators. All understood 

fisher's PROTEST. 9^ 

that he had not come there to flatter Henry VIII., 
that the king before whom all had hitherto bent was 
at last to encounter a champion of the right wha 
would meet him face to face. 

Fisher did not disappoint the expectation so keen- 
ly excited by his presence. He advanced with dig- 
nity, and said, in a loud voice expressive of great 
but repressed feeling, " That in a former audience he 
had heard the king's majesty discuss the cause, and 
testify before all men that his only desire was to 
have justice done, and to relieve himself of the 
scruple which he had on his conscience, inviting 
both the judges and everybody else to throw light 
on the investigation of the cause, because he found 
his mind much troubled and perplexed. At the time 
of this offer and command of the king, he had forborne 
to come forward and manifest what he had dis- 
covered in this matter after two j/ears of diligent 
study ; but now, to avoid the damnation of his soul, 
and to show himself not unfaithful to the king, or 
neglectful of the duty which he owed to the truth in 
a cause of such importance, he presented himself 
before their reverend lordships to assert and demon- 
strate with cogent reasons that this marriage of the 
king and queen could not be dissolved by any power 
divine or human. He declared that, in maintenance 
of this opinion, he was willing to lay down his life, 
adding that, as John the Baptist, in olden times, re- 
garded it as impossible to die more gloriously than 


in a cause of matrimony, and it was not so holy then 
as it has now become, by the shedding of Christ's 
blood, he could not encourage himself more ardentl}'-, 
more effectually, or face any extreme peril with 
greater confidence than by taking the Baptist for 
his own example. He used many other suitable 
words, and at the end presented them with a book 
which he had written on the subject." * 

After him, Standish, Bishop of Saint Asaph, presi- 
dent of the queen's official advisers, spoke in the same 
sense, but without so much force, warmth, or elo- 
quence. Lastly, Ridley, Dean of the Arches, handled 
the question from the point of canon law, and arrived 
at the same conclusion. Wolsey expressed his sur- 
prise at what he called an unexpected attack upon 
the legates. He allowed, on the observations made 
to him, that they ought to hear everything relating 
to the cause in which they had to administer justice, 
and prayed the divine wisdom to guide them in the 
path of truth and equity, and said that the Bishop of 
Rochester had no need to express himself in such a 
decisive manner on the root of the question ; he had 
not to judge the suit. 

Wolsey's protest did not efface the great sensa- 
tion produced by Fisher's speech. After his last 
words the hearei'S had seemed in a sort of way stupe- 
fied, but that was soon followed by an expression 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. 
cccclxxvi, vii, pt. iii, pp. 2538, 2359. 

henry's annoyance. 95 

of admiration for this noble man, whose energy pre- 
sented such a strange contrast with the meanness of 
all the Court prelates, who had been bought over to 
the side of Henry VIII. 

The impression made by Fisher's discourse was 
not confined to the interior of the Palace of Black- 
friars; it spread rapidly among the population of 
London and England, and, a little later, to the 
Courts of France, Spain, and Rome, informed by 
their agents of this quite unexpected testimony by 
a true bishop in favour of Queen Catharine. 

Henry VHI. was excessively annoyed at this power- 
ful voice, the first raised amid the general silence in 
opposition to the divorce desired by the king. He 
had not chosen to condescend to a personal alter- 
cation with Fisher before the legates' court, but he 
instantly took to his pen, and in a few weeks com- 
posed a written reply to Fisher, full of bitter sar- 
casms against that noble bishop; he sent him one 
copy,* and forwarded another of this specimen of 
defence to the legates, the judges of his suit. The 
king says in this curious pamphlet : 

" It is true that men sometimes fail, even the wisest, 
in their projects ; but I never thought, judges, to 
see the Bishop of Rochester taking upon himself the 
task of accusing me before your tribunal — an ac- 
cusation more befitting the malice of a disaffected 
subject, and the unruly passions of a seditious mob, 

* The copy has been found with annotations of Fisher's own. 


than the character and station of a bishop. I had 
certainly explained this to Rochester some months 
ago " (Fisher, in the margin, nearly a year ago), " and 
not once only, that these scruples of mine respecting 
my marriage had not been studiously raked up or 
causelessly invented. Until the present time Roch- 
ester approved of them, and thought them so grave 
and so momentous that, without consulting the pope 
respecting them, he did not think I could recover 
my tranquillity of mind." (Fisher, in the margin, 1 did 
not say so ; hut the cardinal would have been glad if I 
had said so.) " When the pope, moved by the judg- 
ment of his cardinals and others, considered that the 
reasons urged were sufficient, and the doubts were 
such as were worthy the consideration of the ablest 
judges — when he left the whole decision of the cause 
to your religious determination, and sent you Cam- 
peggio here, at great expense, for no other purpose 
than to decide this cause, — what are we to suppose 
could have instigated Rochester, or by what spirit, 
let me ask you, could he have been inspired to press 
forward thus impudently, and thus unseasonably de- 
clare his opinion after keeping silent many months,'' 
(Fisher, I was obliged to this by the protestation of the 
king and the cardinal)^ " and not until now declare 
his mind in this full consistory. Had he been con- 
sistent, he would not have attributed to mere logical 
subtleties and rhetorical refinements those scruples 
of my conscience which he once admitted I had 

THE king's pamphlet. 97 

rightly entertained. If, after a study of many years, 
he had clearly discovered what was just, true, and 
lawful in this most weighty cause, he should have 
admonished me privately again and again, and not 
have publicly announced, with such boldness and 
self-assertion, the burthensome reproaches of my con- 
science. Two most pernicious councillors have taken 
possession of him, and agitate all his thoughts, 
unbridled arrogance and overweening temerity. 
What is the meaning of that comparison of his, 
in which he endeavours to assimilate his own cause 
w^tih that of John the Baptist, unless he held the 
opinion that 1 was acting like Herod, or attempting 
some outrage like that of Herod ? Whatever Fisher 
may think of me, I have never been guilty of such 
cruelty." * 

After this introduction, the whole of which we 
have not given, Henry touched on the principle of 
the question, and tried to prove that an impediment, 
according to the divine law, could not have been 
removed by the pope's authority. 

Why was it that Henry, so impatient of all op- 
position, so imperious, so despotic, was contented 
with this verbal contest, when it was in his own 
power to drown his adversary's arguments in blood ? 
He knew very well that he could find, among the 
penal statutes for high treason, passed in the time of 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. 
cccclxxxii, iii. 



the civil wars between York and Lancaster, weapons 
enough to punish and crush the Bishop of Rochester. 
But the divorce suit was going on ; he was very- 
anxious it should be tried in London, at least in the 
first instance ; so this was not the moment to give 
prominence to the antagonism existing between the 
statutory right created by his predecessors and the 
canon law of the church.* Just for the sake of his 
cause he would not bring these rival laws into con- 
flict. Henry likewise still shrank back before the 
populai'ity of the queen and her defenders. How- 
ever, the offence that Fisher had given him, none the 
less remained graven deep in his heart. The hour 
of vengeance, and an atrocious vengeance, was to 
come later. 

So Henry VHL for the present confined himself 
to urging the decision of the suit ; but Campeggio, 
who had seemed hitherto to incline to his side, and 
to be desirous of hastening the despatch of the 
business, appeared all at once to take fright at its 
over-rapid progress. It might be supposed that his 
courage had revived at the sight of the example set 
by the Bishop of Rochester, and that he had gone 
over to the opposition from the very day he had 
heard the eloquent speech. 

* That is as if in France, under Henry IV. and Louis XIII., 
the ordinances of Philip the Fair, the jurisprudence of the 
parliaments, and the treatises of Dupuy and Python on the 
alleged freedom of the Gallican Church had been raised in 
opposition to the Council of Trent and canon law. 


He writes to Salviati, on June 29th : " They are 
proceeding with inconceivable anxiety in the king's 
case, and expect to come to the end of it within 
twenty days." About a fortnight afterwards, that is 
on July 13th, he writes again : " By my letters I in- 
formed you in what state this cause then stood, and 
how it was proceeding with much celerity and more 
urgency. We have since progressed in the same 
manner, with great strides, till this day always faster 
than a trot, so that some expect a sentence within 
ten days ; and although we have many things to do, 
writings, allegations, and processes to see and ex- 
amine, yet such is their speed and diligence that 
nothing is sufficient to procure us a moment's breath- 
ing time. It is impossible for me not to declare my 
opinion, and what seems to me most convenient, but 
it is of little avail. 1 will not fail in my duty and 
office, nor rashly nor willingly give cause of offence 
to anyone. When I pronounce sentence 1 will keep 
God before my eyes, and the honour of the Holy See."* 

Du Bellay himself had thought Campeggio half 
won, but now he saw that there was a change. 
" On Monday (19th July) matters were almost as the 
king wishes, and the judges were deliberating about 
giving sentence the Monday following. I think he 
(Campeggio) is inclined to remit the matter to the 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. 
cccclxxxiv, V. 



All this month of July no time had been lost hj 
the legates. The 5th, the 9th, the 12th, the 16th, 
and the 19th, they had carefully examined the evi- 
dence collected on the circumstances attending the 
marriage with Arthur, and preceding the marriage 
with Henry VIII.* One of the witnesses declared 
he heard Prince Arthur say " That night I went to 
Spain." This was no contradiction at all to what 
the queen herself had told Campeggio. It was then 
also that the old Doctor Fox, Bishop of Winchester, 
who had baptised Henry VIII., made his celebrated 
deposition. Great importance was attached to a pro- 
test of Henry, then Prince of Wales, as far back as 
1505, against the kind of betrothal he had figured in, 
as if it could destroy the effect of the dispensation of 
Julius II. But this protest, which had been only a 
device of Henry VII. to alarm King Ferdinand, so 
as to get better terms out of him, the young bride- 
groom, according to Fox, had not even read ; he was 
not present at the signing of the document, and 
Catharine was not informed of it. Four more years 
had passed before this marriage took place, the sub- 
ject of such strange contention between two powerful 
kings ; but the young Henry, Prince of Wales, had 

* It was not the legates themselves who took the depositions. 
Fox was questioned by Doctor Taylor, Archdeacon of Bucking- 
ham. Other witnesses were examined by Doctor Wolman. The 
legates had the minutes of evidence read to them. 


never ceased to aspire to the hand of the Spanish 
princess, and she, having worn mourning for her first 
husband two years, had resumed her virgin white 

Thus the result of the inquiry had been mostly in 
the queen's favour. 

Meanwhile Micer Mai and the Spanish agents had 
not ceased to make the most urgent demands on the 
pope to transfer the cause to Rome. They succeeded 
against the opposition of the English ambassadors, 
and Mai wrote triumphantly to the emperor on 
July 13th : 

" The cause is now safe, thank God, and all that 
has been done in England will be now annulled. Six 
duplicates of the acts will be transmitted, two to be 
set up in Flanders, one at Bruges and Dunkirk, the 
rest transmitted to the queen, or to whomsoever it 
may be thought best. The pope has written to 
Oampeggio, but he has behaved so badly in this 
matter that nothing could have been worse." f 

* See in the Histoire de Henri VHI., of Audin, the text of 
Doctor Fox's deposition, at the end of the authorities in the first 
volume, and a very curious extract from a little work written in 
Italian, by De Rossi, who was at Rome at the time of the divorce ; 
this work is entitled, Argvunenta Causae ; speaking of Catharine and 
Henry VIII., " Anzi confessb U medesimo Arrigo h Carlo V., in 
una sua lettera d'averla avuta vergine," Argumenta Causre, vol. i, 
pp. 49, 55. It is to be observed that Henry VIII. himself never 
said the contrary, 
t Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. cccclxxxix. 


Two or three days afterwards Casale sent the same 
information to the King of England in a tone of the 
greatest consternation.* 

Doctor Bennett had left England about the end of 
May to endeavour by all means to prevent such a 
conclusion, but his efforts, as well as those of Casale 
and Vaux, had been useless. He had told the pope 
that the revocation of the divorce suit to Eome 
would entail not only Wolsey's fall, who had always 
been so faithful to him, but also the destruction of 
the Catholic Church in England. Clement VII. re- 
plied, shedding tears, that no one saw more plainly 
than he did the fearful troubles that would arise 
from this ; but how could they be exorcised, or 
prevented ? Was he to sacrifice his conscience and 
dishonour the Apostolic See to do a pleasure to their 
king? The queen had written to him about the 
matter, and she certainly had the right of appeal 
to the tribunal of the sovereign pontiff. 

Bennett, for his colleagues in the embassy, then 
wrote to Wolsey ; '' Seeing that we could obtain no- 
thing from him, we consulted among ourselves how 
the evocation might be delayed until you (Wolsey) 
had concluded the cause in England. We can do no 
more. The king must now decide whether it will 

♦ This is the fragment of his letter, dated July 15th. "El 
papa a rivocato la causa del re nostro ; so che cosa al mundo non 
poteva di piu dispiacere a S: Maestk, massime essendo fat to ad 
instantia del Imperatore, e in questa dichiarazione con el papa." 
Authorities, J. Legrand, Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, p. 316. 


be better to suspend the process, or proceed to 
sentence before the evocation." * 

To keep the pope in ignorance, Bennett had desir- 
ed that Campeggio's letters should be stopped in 
England, in which he had made complaints to Rome 
of the precipitation with which the divorce suit was 
pushed along. They were also doing all they could 
to influence Clement to defer the signature and 
publication of the brief of evocation. But the pope 
knew, through the Regent of Flanders, Margaret, of 
the desperate struggle Catharine was keeping up 
for her own and her daughter's honour. On another 
side, the imperialists were every day besieging the 
Vatican with complaints at His Holiness letting the 
trial go on in England, contrary to agreement, and 
threatening from Charles V. that, if the promises 
were broken, he would seek another remedy. 

Thus Clement VII. was dragged in opposite direc- 
tions by two equally imperious kings. He lamented 
over the cruel situation in which he was placed, and 
said that he would be glad to die. 

Wolsey had approved of the plan and measures of 
Doctor Bennett ; but Campeggio, astonished at get- 
ting no reply from Rome to his communications, 
opposing an energetic resistance to his colleague^s 
wishes, and desiring to wait for more exact informa- 
tion, kept on adjourning the Court till the end of 
July. His resolution, very firmly expressed on this 
* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, voL iv, pp. ccccxci, ii. 


point, was contrary to Wolsey's desire that the judg- 
ment should be given at once. So the dissension 
between the two legates became more pronounced. 

Besides, Campeggio had at last learnt that the 
principle of evocation had been decided by the pope, 
and he wanted fresh instructions. He asked whether 
he was to keep the brief of evocation in his own 
hands when it reached him, or immediately com- 
municate it to the king ; he wanted to know what 
method of proceeding should be adopted in putting 
this brief in execution ; whether the king was to be 
cited to appear in person at the Court of Rome, 
under pain of excommunication, or if he could send 
an agent, under power of attorney, to represent him. 
And, if this last supposition was right, would the 
proud Henry VHI. consent to be cited to appear 
before a foreign Court, like an ordinary private 

For twenty years of his reign that king had 
never met with any obstacle to the execution of his 
will, or even serious opposition to his wishes ; and 
he was surprised and indignant at the difficulties he 
encountered, both at Rome and in his own kingdom. 

He claimed to have been the protector of the 
Church from the infection of Lutheranism by his 
writings, and he thought that from that time, of 
course, the Church ought to be at his feet. 

Before the last sitting to be held by the legates' 
Court, the king sent Lord Rochford to Wolsey, to 

wolsey's imprudence. 105 

induce him to pay a visit to the queen, to endeavour 
to induce her by friendly means to renounce the 
evocation of her cause, and the appeal to Kome. 
Rochford performed his commission without any 
delay. The cardinal did not conceal from Anne 
Boleyn's father that he expected but little success 
from this expedient, but that he would do as Henry 
VIII. wished. "But," he observed to Lord Roch- 
ford, " that he and the other lords of the council had 
put the fantasy into the head of the king, whereby 
they would give much trouble to the realm, but 
small the thank either from God or the world." * 

When Wolsey let slip this imprudent speech, fated 
to be remembered by Anne Boleyn, he showed him- 
self an example that the best diplomatists may forget 
themselves in a moment of ill-temper. And we may 
also conclude that the share he had undertaken in 
the business of the divorce, had not been determined 
by real convictions on the root of the matter, but 
by reasons of State, and a far distant view of the 
rupture of the King of England with the Church. 
However this may be, Wolsey, desiring to join Cam- 
peggio in the attempt he was going to make, 
picked him up when passing his lodging, and they 
both went to Bridewell, where the queen was living. 

When Catharine was informed of their arrival, she 
came out of her chamber to receive them in the hall, 
attended by the ladies of the household ; she had a 
* Howard, i. c, p, 443. 


skein of white thread about her neck, and showed it 
to them, saying these were her occupations, and she 
did not think the king could take umbrage. The 
legates expressed a desire for a private interview; 
and, as she seemed to hesitate, or at least to be in no 
haste to comply with their request, Wolsey began to 
speak in Latin. 

"Nay, good my lord," quoth she, "speak to me 
in English, I beseech you, although I understand 

"Forsooth, then," quoth my lord, "Madam, if it 
please your grace, we came both to know your mind, 
how ye be disposed to do in this matter between the 
king and you, and also to declare secretly our 
opinions and our counsel unto you, which we have 
intended of very zeal and obedience that we bear to 
your grace." 

" My lords, I thank you then/' quoth she, " of your 
good wills ; but to make answer to your request I 
cannot so suddenly, for I was set among my maidens 
at work, thinking full little of any such matter, 
wherein there needeth a large deliberation and a 
better head than mine to make answer to so noble 
wise men as ye be. I had need of good counsel in 
this case, which toucheth me so near. Alas I my 
lords, I am a poor woman lacking both wit and 
understanding sufficiently to answer such approved 
wise men as ye be both, in so weighty a matter. I 
pray you to extend your good and indifferent minds 


in your authority unto me, for I am a simple woman, 
destitute and barren of friendship and counsel here 
in a foreign region ; and, as for your counsel, I will 
not refuse, but be glad to hear." 

With this she took Wolsey by the hand, and led 
him, with the other cardinal, into her privy chamber, 
where they had long communication. 

" We in the other chamber," says Cavendish, 
'' might sometimes hear the queen speak very loud, 
but what it was we could not understand."* 

Another chronicler says that the queen sharply re- 
proached Wolsey, telling him that he might have 
stopped the king in the beginning, by plain and de- 
cided opposition, before his plans of divorce, born of 
a senseless passion, had taken serious form. And 
that she treated Campeggio most graciously .f 

Next day, July the 23rd, the legatine court sat, 
and this was destined to be the last time. On this 
occasion the king remained in a gallery adjoining the 
hall, whence he could see and hear the judges. All 
the proceedings had taken place in Latin, and it was 
in that language that the king's advocate demanded 
that the final sentence should be given. And in that 
language also the president, Campeggio, speaking it 
with great facility, stated that the practice of the 
Court of Rome was to suspend proceedings of every 

* Cavendish, p. 225. Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduc- 
tion, vol. iv, pp. ccccxcvi, vii. 

t Histoire du Divorce, par J. Legrand, vol. i, pp. 140, 141. 


kind from the end of July to the beginning of October. 
There could be no protest against this practice so 
authoritatively announced. It seems that Campeggio 
had received orders from the pope to follow the prac- 
tice of the Court of Rome in every particular, and 
entirely to suspend judgment till further orders. 

The hearers were evidently disappointed in their 
expectations, and were silent in surprise ; some noble- 
men present looked so threatening that Campeggio 
thought it well to add a few words to this announce- 
ment of the adjournment of the debate. He said 
that no consideration would make him deviate from 
the path of duty ; that he was too old, and too weak, 
and too infirm, to desire the favour or fear the re- 
sentment of anyone in the world. The queen had 
refused the legates as her judges, because they were 
subjects of the opposite party. Under such circum- 
stances the Court had thought it their duty to sus- 
pend its sittings until the sovereign pontiff had 
deliberated on these difiiculties, and come to a final 

Then the Duke of Suffolk, unable to restrain him- 
self, gave a great slap with his hand on the table, 
and exclaimed, 

" By the mass 1 now I see that the old said saw is 
true, that there was never legate nor cardinal that 
did good in England." 

Cavendish adds that Wolsey, seeing the furious ges- 
tures of the duke, calmly replied, 


" Sir, of all men in this realm, ye have least cause 
to dispraise or be offended with cardinals ; for if I, 
simple cardinal, had not been, you should have had 
at this present no head upon your shoulders, wherein 
you should have a tongue to make any such report 
in despite of us." 

After this vigorous reply he represented to him 
that the legates were only the pope's commissioners, 
and that, in face of new and unexpected diiBculties* 
they ought to have recourse to the sovereign from 
whom their commission emanated. *' Pacify your- 
self then, my lord, and speak not reproachfully of 
your best friend. You know what friendship I have 
shown you ; but this is the first time I ever revealed 
it, either to my own praise or your dishonour." * 

The duke made no reply. Henry VIII. had in- 
tended to try the Duke of Suffolk for high treason, 
in having disbanded his army before the conclusion 
of the peace, contrary to the king's own orders ; 
Wolsey had averted the blow. 

The king had already retired to his palace of 
Bridewell. The Court of the legates was declared 
adjourned.f A fortnight afterwards, it was known 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. ir, p. ccccxcviii. 
Lingard, vol. iv, p. 153. (Ed.) 

t At the sitting before (probably July 19th, Brewer) must 
have taken place another altercation between Wolsey and Fisher, 
related by Cavendish. Fisher had quoted the well-known axiom, 
Quod Deus conjunxit homo non separet. Wolsey answered, " So 
much doth all faithful men know as well as you. Yet this reason 


in London that the pope had transferred the suit to 
Rome by a brief, dated the previous 18th of July. 
This clearly explained the attitude taken by the two 
cardinals in their last audience. 

is not sufficient in this case ; for the king's council doth allege 
clivers presumptions to prove the marriage not good at the begin- 
ning. ' Ergo,' say they, ' it was not joined by God at the begin- 
ning, and therefore it is not lawful ; for God ordaineth and joineth 
nothing without a just order.' " On Doctor Ridley urging, with 
some temper, that it was a shame and a dishonour that such pre- 
sumptions should be alleged in open Court, and that they were 
too detestable for decent ears, "Domine doctor magis reverenter,^^ 
exclaimed the cardinal. " No, no, my lord," was the reply, " an 
unrevered tale would be unreverently answered," Cavendish's 
Life of Wolsey, p. 224. Something of the kind must have taken 
place during the arguments on the suit ; only Wolsey, according 
to this version, had completely the better in the discussion. It 
must be remembered that Cavendish was his secretary, and always 
most faithful servant. 



Position assumed by Henry VIII. after the Divorce Suit 
was adjourned by the Legates, and its transfer to Rome — 
Cardinal Wolsey out of Favour — Henry treats Wolsey 
and Campeggio very differently — But the latter is Ar- 
rested at Dover, and shamefully searched — Then set at 
Liberty — "Wolsey is disgraced, deprived of the Great 
Seal and his Temporal Dignities — He is prosecuted 
criminally — His Despair — His humble Supplication to 
Henry VIH. — Arraigned before Parliament he is ac- 
quitted of Treason, but afterwards condemned for a 
Violation of the Statute of Proemunire — Henry pardons 
him, and only confiscates a Portion of his Wealth — He is 
banished to his Diocese — The exemplary Life he leads 
there — ^Watched, and betrayed by his Doctor, he is ar- 
rested on a charge of High Treason — He falls ill, and 
dies on his Journey to London — His modest Funeral at 
Leicester — Henry loses in him a great Minister, and useful 
Restraint on his Passions. 

MORE quietly than might have been expected did 
Henry bear the news of the adjournment of the 
suit by the legates' Court, and, a little later, that 
of the revocation of the commission given them, 
and the transfer of the cause to Rome. The 
despatches of his ambassadors announcing their 
diplomatic check were also accompanied by a letter 


from the sovereign pontiff to the king, full of courtesy 
and good-will. 

Henry at first thought that he might win his 
cause at Rome as well as in London ; and, in order 
to influence the opinion of the consistory, he, by 
Wolsey's advice, obtained the opinions of the uni- 
versities of France, Italy, Germany, and England. 
He would have liked to combine upon his side the 
universal suffrage of theological science throughout 

At the same time Clerk, Bishop of Bath, was desir- 
ed to act upon the queen's mind, being one of her 
official counsel, and induce her to refrain from citing 
the king before the consistory of cardinals ; for 
Henry VIH. had a repugnance to be forced to ap- 
pear in person at the bar of a foreign Court like a 
private person. No doubt this susceptibility, as it 
may be called, was illogical ; for he had clearly 
thought it his duty to obey the citation served on him 
in England by the pope's delegates sitting at Black- 
friars. So it seems that, after having accepted the 
jurisdiction of the representatives of the spiritual 
sovereign, he could not refuse that of the sovereign 
himself. Besides, in the forum ecclesiasticum, in princi- 
ple, earthly dignities count for nothing. 

In this matter the prejudices of the English people 
were in accordance with those of the king; and, if they 

* See chapter xvii, for a detailed account of the request to a 
great many universities to hold these doctrinal consultations. 

wolset's decline. 113 

were not shared, they seemed to be respected by 
Catharine. Clerk took pains to make her understand 
that a brief of the pope's addressed to the king would 
make a judicial citation unnecessary. Clerk, as his 
previous conduct shows, tried above everything to 
please the king, even at the risk of basely betraying 
the interests of his client. 

Another complaisant prelate, Gardiner, had been 
summoned to Henry at Greenwich as chief secretary 
to his majesty. Gardiner, a creature and pupil of 
Wolsey, was endeavouring gradually to supplant his 
old master. The favour of this great minister sen- 
sibly declined.* After the dissolution of the Court 
at Blackfriars, the king seemed much more annoyed 
with him than with Campeggio for this disappoint- 
ment in his suit. He gave the latter some valuable 
presents, as marks of his satisfaction at his sei'vices.f 
No doubt he thought that the Italian cardinal might 
still be of some use to him at Rome. When the two 
legates visited Henry at Grafton, Campeggio, who 

* Some time before Wolsey was worsted by Anne Boleyu's in- 
fluence. He had banished Sir Thomas Chesney from the Court 
for a serious personal offence. Chesney procured his recall from 
Anne Boleyn, and Henry blamed Wolsey and reprimanded him 

t But he did not give him money, as Campeggio would have 
angrily refused it, as he had done before. See a letter of Du 
Bellay of January or February, 1529, Histoire du Divorce. J. 
Legrand, vol. iii, p. 299. [Calendar, Brewer, vol. iv, pt. iii, pp 
2653 and dxix. There is no reason to believe he received any 
presents.] (Ed.) 



was to start next day for Kome, was given a splen- 
did and hospitable reception. As to Wolsej, he had 
at first a mysterious conversation with the king, was 
taken into the bay of a window away from the com- 
pany, and shown a letter accusing him. There was 
no chamber prepared for him in the palace. He had 
to lodge in a house near belonging to Mr. Empton, 
formerly one of his proteges* 

On the next day, September 20, he again had a 
conference with the king, and, according to a chroni- 
cler (Cavendish), sat with him at the council On 
that day he went back to London, as did Campeggio, 
after dining with him in the palace at Grafton. 

All this time Henry was living with Anne Boleyn, 
and she never ceased to malign all the actions of the 
statesman whom she sought to ruin, and who did 
not hesitate to say that if the Dukes of Suffolk or 
Norfolk, or the Earl of Rochford, her father, had 
done as much^ their heads would be off their shoul- 
ders. Could Wolsey's devotion and great services 
much longer outweigh the importunities of a woman 
devotedly loved, who, herself being more ambitious 
than affectionate, pretended that she would only 
give her heart on condition of the sacrifice of the 
minister whom she envied and hated ? 

Henry also thought he knew that Wolsey had 
joined Campeggio in requesting the sovereign to 

* See Brewer, Calendar. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. dxv, dxvi, 
dxvii, &c. (Ed.) 


transfer a cause that they both found full of danger 
and diflSculty, and wished to be rid of at any price, 
while in reality the two legates at the same time 
were begging the Holy Father to annul Catharine's 
marriage by his own authority ; but the king could 
not forgive his minister and old favourite for having 
thus thrown up the game without warning, and 
having contributed to break up the very ecclesias- 
tical court which he had so strenuously advocated. 
Probably the secret and confidential conversations 
mentioned above, referred to the letters written by 
Wolsey to the pope on this occasion, and the want 
of openness in his conduct. 

As for Campeggio, he was in haste to be gone, 
and reached Dover without diflSculty ; but there he 
did not find the vessel he expected for the passage. 
Moreover, very soon after he was installed in his 
lodgings near the port, an officer of justice entered 
with a troop of archers. He gave himself up for 
lost, and threw himself at the feet of his almoner 
for confession and absolution. Everything in his 
lodgings was turned over, and there was not a place 
which they did not search. It was said that they 
were looking for treasure, or letters of Wolsey ^s ; 
but nothing Avas found. Campeggio had hardly 
money enough to pay for his journej'^ ; as for the 
bull of decretal, and other papers that might have 
compromised himself or the pope, he had entrusted 



them to his son Rodolphe,* who had gone two or 
three weeks before him. So, as soon as he recovered 
from his first fright, Campeggio, with a good deal of 
dignity and boldness, complained of the violation of 
the rights of nations in his person, and himself wrote 
to the king to demand a reparation proportionate to 
the offence. 

We have the reply Henry made to his complaints ; 
he disapproved and disavowed the rude and clumsy 
proceedings of the subaltern agents in performing 
their orders, but he told Campeggio that he no 
longer recognised him as legate in England, because 
his powers had been revoked. The king said he 
could see no more in him than a bishop of the king- 
dom, who owes respect and fidelity to his sovereign. 
And he says afterwards : " You may infer from it 
that my subjects are not very well pleased that my 
cause has come to no better conclusion. I have 
reason to doubt your faith, and the integrity of your 
friendship, when your deeds and your professions so 
little agree." f 

Henry, however, did not oppose Campeggio's de- 

* We have mentioned above that Campeggio had been mar- 
ried before he became priest and cardinal. This is related at 
length by Sigonius in his life of Campeggio. 

t October 22nd, Henry VIII. to Campeggio. The letter is 
endorsed by Gardiner, and, considering its style and pungency, 
was probably his composition. Letters and Papers, Brewer. In- 
troduction, vol. iv, p. dxxi, and pt. iii, p. 2077. Perhaps it was 
not very politic to thus aUenate a prince of the Church who was 
treated so well just before as an attempt to gain him over. 


parture, and he took advantage of his liberty to sail 
from Dover to Calais, where he could breathe more 

Wolsey was the person on whom the blame was 
laid for all that had occurred. We must here recall 
that Wolsey had desired to be sent to Cambrai, 
where negotiations were in progress for a treaty 
between Francis I. and the emperor. As this treaty 
was being arranged just at the time of Campeggio's 
arrival in England, this proposal was brought up 
against him, and it was alleged not to be a purely 
patriotic wish, but an excuse for avoiding to sit 
as one of the judges of the divorce suit; yet the 
event showed that the English interests had been ill 
served and almost sacrificed at Cambrai. 

Wolsey's enemies — that is to say, the relations 
and friends of Lady Anne — were always working 
with her to bring about the downfall of the prime 
minister ; they accused him again of having kept up 
a correspondence with the regent during the war 
with France, and of having received splendid pre- 
sents from her ; they declared that when the Duke 
of Suffolk had retreated from Montdidier to Calais, 
instead of marching upon Paris, he was under precise 
orders from the cardinal. The fact of the receipt of 
presents is undoubted, for Du Bellay, when inter- 
ceding with the Court of France in favour of the 
minister when disgrace was impending, writes : " As 
to the presents, the cardinal hopes that Madame will 


do him no harm when anything is said about it ; ia 
everything else he requests her favour." * 

As some return to favour seemed to shine upon 
Wolsey after an interview he had with the king, Anno 
Boleyn made her suitor promise never to see or hear 
the cardinal again.f He attended and satfora last time 
at a meeting of the council at Westminster, and his 
bearing with his colleagues was much more humble, 
whilst theirs to him was much more haughty and 
disdainful.^ When he afterwards attended to per- 
form his usual duties at the Court of Chancery, § the 
attorney-general informed him from the king that he 
would be prosecuted under the statutes of proemunire 
and provision of the sixteenth year of the reign of 
Richard II., for having sat in a court of justice in 
England as the representative and delegate of the 
pope. This indictment involved the forfeiture of all 
his property. 

Wolsey had obtained the king's licence for this 
act ; he might have produced the letters patent he 
bad asked for and obtained to that effect, but he 
thought it more prudent to submit without murmur 
or protest. He wrote a letter to the king acknow- 
ledging his guilt — at least, by implication — and 

* See Du BeUay's letter, October 17th, 1529. Histoire du 
Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 370 et seq. Addressed to the 
Marshal de Montmorency, grand master of France. 

t Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 375. 

X See Hall, p. 760. § October 9th and 20th. 

wolsey's depression. 119 

humbling himself to ask for favour and mercy, with 
ignoble and undignified entreaties.* 

It was then, whilst he was under the influence of 
his recent disgrace, that his friend, G. du Bellay, 
came to see him. The French ambassador was struck 
with the moral prostration of this formerly proud 
and haughty statesman ; he mentions this impression 
in his antique and familiar language. 

" Heart and tongue failed him entirely, his face is 
already thinner by half ... He begs the king 
and madame to take pity upon him. And you may 
be sure that his misfortune is such that his enemies, 
even though they are English, cannot help pitying 
him, and yet they will not give over their pursuit of 
him to the very end . . . These lords fancy that, 
when he is dead or ruined, they will immediately 
dispose of the Church's property, and take all his 
goods . . . They mention it aloud." f 

Wolsey was banished to Esher, the plainest and 
smallest of his country houses. In haste to obey, he 
went thither at once, though the weather was bad. 
He was overtaken on the road by Norris, a gentleman 
of the bed-chamber, bringing a message from the 

* The letter concludes thus : " For surely, most gracious king, 
the remembrance of my folly, with the sharp sword of your high- 
nesses displeasure, hath so penetrate my heart that I cannot but 
himibly cry .... and say, Sufficit ; nunc continue, piissime rex, 
manum tuam." State Papers, vol. i, p. 347. Letters and Papers, 
Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. dxxiii. 

t Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol ii, pp. 372, 375. 


king, a letter, and a gold ring. Wolsey got off his 
raule and knelt in the mud to receive these unex- 
pected marks of kindness. Then, desirous himself of 
sending back some token of thankfulness and affec- 
tion to Henry VIIL, he took from his neck a golden 
cross, in which was set a portion of the true cross, 
and then, turning again to Norris, after having said 
adieu, he said he was sorry that he could not send 
the king a present worthy of him, but, if Norris 
would be kind enough to offer his poor fool to the 
king, he hoped his majesty would condescend to 
accept him, as he certainly was worth a thousand 
pounds for a nobleman's amusement. Norris pre- 
pared to take the fool along with him. But Caven- 
dish reports that Wolsey was obliged to send some 
of his yeomen to take the fool to Court by force, as 
the poor man became quite desperate when he found 
that he had to leave his old master. But he was 
taken to the Court, and the king was much pleased 
with him. 

This poor fool, so faithful to the cardinal's fortunes, 
deserved, like the fool in "Lear," a more grateful 

Then Wolsey re-mounted, and went on his way to 
banishment somewhat lighter in heart. • 

Thenceforward Henry VIII. fell more and more 
under the influence of the person who was called his 

* Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, pp. 182, 186, 191, and Tytler, 
p. 279. His name was Williams, generally called Patch. 


night crow* and this influence was fatal to Wolsey, 
who never received any further reply to the letters 
he addressed to the king. In his lonely house at 
Esher, depiived of all the pleasures of life, a prey to 
anxiety and most cruel apprehension, he fell seriously 
ill. Then Henry's interest in his old servant revived, 
at least for the moment; he sent three physicians 
to Esher, and, to relieve him from all anxiety, he 
persuaded Anne Boleyn to send him her tablets of 
gold, with a kind and courteous message. 

But Wolsey got better, and, when he was supposed 
to be quite well again, an order was given him to 
resign all his ecclesiastical benefices to the crown, 
except the Archbishopric of York ; out of the revenues 
of Winchester he was only allowed a thousand 
crowns ; the rest was shared between the Duke of 
Norfolk, the Earl of Rochford, and their relations and 

Two different prosecutions were commenced against 
• Wolsey, one before the House of Commons for high 
treason, the second before the Court of King's Bench 
for breach of the statutes of proemunire. On the first 
he was acquitted, on the second convicted. His con- 
viction entailed political incapacity, and prevented 
him from holding any office of State ; it also entailed 
the forfeiture of all his property to the treasury. 
Wolsey applied to Gardiner to obtain at least a 
partial remission of the penalty. This favour was 
* See Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p 213. (Ed.) 


shown him, and the king even gave him a release 
from a personal debt ; but York House was confiscated, 
and all its valuable furniture. This palace was 
Church property, and Wolsey had no right to re- 
linquish it. However, he consented, that he might 
not further irritate Henry. 

He soon left Esher and went to Richmond. There 
he lived in perfect retirement with the Carthusian 
monks, passing his time in prayer and mortification ; 
but he was still too near the Court, 

Anne Boleyn saw plainly that the king had some 
remains of affection for his old servant, and that he 
did not accept her continual hostile suggestions un- 
reservedly. It was necessary, therefore, that the 
cardinal should be kept at a distance, so that he 
could not approach the king, or make him hear 
plausible excuses, or dangerous recriminations. As 
to her, she was always present, keeping a watch for 
any errors he might commit, collecting not only his 
deeds, but the speeches truly or falsely attributed to 
him, and surrounding him with spies and traitors, as 
we shall see afterwards. In this underhand, pitiless 
warfare she was also assisted by all the councillors 
and ministers of the new cabinet, who were jealous 
of the superiority of their old rival, and feared that a 
return to favour, restoring him to power, would 
bring them down again. 

Anne, therefore, thought she could not do better 
than contrive that Wolsey should be banished to his 


diocese. His enemies did not think that this would 
give him the opportunity for a moral restoration, 
and some recovery of the popularity he had com- 
pletely lost. 

As soon as the cardinal was established in his 
Archbishopric of York, his time was spent in the 
most exemplary manner ; he remembered that he 
was, and ought to be, a bishop before everything, 
and that he held the cure of souls in his diocese. 
He began to make pastoral visitations ; he laboured 
to reconcile disunited families, and largely distributed 
both moral and spiritual alms. 

Henry VHI. had recommended him to the nobility 
of the county, and they began to draw towards him ; 
the people were grateful to him for his kindness and 
charity. Gradually public opinion, even in London, 
became less hostile to him. The time might be 
predicted when the old minister, who had been 
sacrificed to the nation's murmurs like a kind of 
scape-goat, would at last regain some popularity. 
And more, the interest Henry VIII. had shown in 
him, on the occasion of his recent illness, might 
revive ; a return to favour was not impossible. But 
his implacable enemies were ceaselessly on the watch 
to meet this risk ; they had made every preparation 
to complete the destruction of the unhappy cardinal, 
whom they dreaded, even absent in his diocese. 
They had hired as a spy a certain Doctor Augustino, 
an Italian physician who had long enjoyed Wolsey's 


confidence, and, while attending him with an appear- 
ance of devotion during his last illness, had com- 
pletely gained his affection. When Du Bellay 
wrote to the Court of France to beg Francis I. to 
interfere, as if spontaneously and of himself, and 
endeavour to prevent the minister's fall when dis- 
grace was already imminent, he also recommended 
that this proceeding of his should be kept secret, so 
as not to compromise the very man he wished to 
serve. At Wolsey's request, he entrusted this mes- 
sage to the physician Augustino. At this very 
moment this doctor was receiving a hundred pounds 
from the Duke of Norfolk for betraying his master's 
secrets.* This base wretch kept a journal of Wol- 
sey's alleged machinations ; and this treacherous 
book, prepared with the greatest care, was intended 
to enlighten the government concerning the man 
whose life he had only saved to contrive his 

When Joachim de Vaux replaced Du Bellay as 
French ambassador, one of his duties was to en- 
deavour to procure the restoration of his ancient 
power and dignities to Wolsey. He employed 
Augustino in the secret negotiations he set on foot 
for that purpose. On the 8th of November De Vaux 
wrote to the Marshal de Montmorency that he had 
delayed the dispatch of his letter that be might 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer* Introduction, voL iv, p. dxcix, 
pt. iii, p. 3057. 


obtain fresh information about the poor cardinal; 
the king and the lords of the council he had seen, 
had sworn that they had not the least shadow of 
suspicion against De Vaux himself, and thought him 
a safe man. He says, " As to the cardinal, I fear 
there are no hopes. They say that they have many 
and grave proofs against him ; and the king has 
told me that he has intrigued against his majesty, 
both in and out of the kingdom, telling me where 
and how, and that one, and perhaps more than one of 
his servants have discovered and accused him." * 

There can be no doubt that Doctor Augustino 
kept the Duke of Norfolk informed of Wolsey's com- 
munications with France. These clandestine com- 
munications, although innocent in themselves, had 
been enough to excite the rage of Henry VHI., who 
could not bear the interference of a foreign power 
in domestic matters. 

Bryan, the ambassador to France, wrote from 
Blois to say he had seen Francis I., and that, in 
conversation about Wolsey's late arrest, it was said 
" the king your brother was of the opinion that he 
thought he had well merited his said imprisonment." 
To this Bryan replied, " showing him if the particu- 
larities which 1 said did chiefly concern presumptu- 
ous (presumptive) sinister practices made to the 
Court of Rome for reducing him (Wolsey) to his 
former estate and dignity, contrary to his allegi- 

♦ Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, pp. dxcix, de. 


ance . . . . " This fresh accusation was entirely 
groundless. But it is none the less true that Francis 
said that Wolsey had dishonoured high positions by 
exhibiting in them the mean conduct derived from 
his birth, and that he deserved severe punishment.* 

We are sorry to see the roi chevalier so lightly and 
ungenerously abandoning the fallen minister, whom 
he had formerly received so graciously, and who had 
implored his support with so much discretion and 
delicacy. But Henry VlII.'s ingratitude to a states- 
man whose whole life had been one course of devo- 
tion to his person is still more inexcusable. As for 
the king's ministers and councillors, who reproached 
that distinguished man with the obscurity of his 
birth, they had undoubtedly been born in the high- 
est ranks of society, but certainly there was nothing 
noble, nothing that was not mean and vile, in the 
base means they made use of to ruin their political 
opponent. And, after all, it is not to their credit to 
repeat the words of Guillaume du Bellay : " The 
rulers now are the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
the Earl of Rochford, and, above all. Miss Anne." f 

There is also a letter from the Spanish ambassa- 
dor that throws a vivid but lurid light upon the 
situation. " Eight days ago the king gave orders 

* Letters and Papers, Brewer. Intr(xluction, vol. iv, pp. dci, 
dcii, pt. iii, p. 3029. State Papers, 211. 

t Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 377. Letter of 
October 22nd. 


for the cardinal to be brought here .... It is said 
he is to be lodged in the same chamber in the Tower 
where the Duke of Buckingham was detained .... 
A gentleman told me that a short time ago the king 
was complaining to his council of something that 
was not done according to his liking, and said in a 
rage that the cardinal was a better man than any of 
them for managing matters ; and, repeating this 
twice, he flung himself out of the room. Since then 
the duke (of Norfolk), the lady, and her father, have 
not ceased to plot against the cardinal, especially 
the lady, who does not give over weeping and la- 
menting her lost time and her honour, threatening 
the king that she will leave him, in such sort that 
the king has had much trouble to pacify her ; and 
though he prayed her most affectionately, with tears 
in his eyes, that she would not speak of leaving him, 
nothing would satisfy her but the cardinal's arrest. 
It is pretended that he had written to Rome to be 
reinstated in his possessions, and to France for its 
favour, and was returning to his ancient pomp, and 
corrupting the people. But since they have had the 
cardinal's physician (Augustine) in their hands, they 
have found what they sought for. Since he has 
been here, the same physician has lived in the Duke 
of Norfolk's house like a prince. He is singing the 
tune as they wished him." 

Joachim (de Vaux) would not say a word about 
it to the Papal nuncio, but he told the Venetian am- 


bassador that, according to ilie confession of the car- 
dinaVs physician, the cardinal had solicited the pope 
to excommunicate the king, and, if he did not, banish 
the lady from Court, and treat the queen with due 

Further on, the ambassador intimates that there 
is another traitor in correspondence with the phy- 
sician remaining with the cardinal ; it seems this 
was Wolsey's own chaplain. Henry VIII.'s unwor- 
thy weakness must be deplored. This imperious 
sovereign, making all around him tremble, himself 
yielding to a woman and the passion that enslaved 
him, and inclined him to sacrifice everything, even 
the minister to whose abilities he paid remarkable 
and well-deserved homage. 

Wolsey himself had no suspicion of the plots 
against him ; he was at Cawood, and expected the 
chief nobles of the neighbourhood; his invitations 
had been sent out. 

Without warning, he saw the Earl of Northumber- 
land present himself early on the 4th of November. 
As soon as the earl was introduced into his chamber, 
he laid his hand on his shoulder and said, "My lord, 
1 arrest you of high treason." The cardinal was 

* Letter of November 27th. Letters and Papers, Brewer. Intro- 
duction, vol. iv, p. dciii, pt, iii, p. 3035. See also a despatch of 
the Mantuan ambassador. Ven. Calendar, p. 262. These letters 
were written about three weeks after Wolsey's arrest and his 
physician's, but are now quoted in explanation of the circum- 
stances that led to this arrest. 

:• ■ wolsey's arrest. 129 

quite astonished, and neither spoke a word. At 
last Wolsey, breaking silence, asked the earl for his 
written commission, and, as he did not produce it, 
refused to obey. A moment afterwards there came 
to the door Walshe, an oflScer of the king's chamber, 
who had just arrested Augustino with some pretence 
of using violent language, so that his treachery should 
not be suspected. The cardinal surrendered to 
Walshe, though neither he could show a regular 

Augustino was at once sent off to London strongly 
guarded, and then, as we have said, he found good 
entertainment at the Duke of Norfolk's. 

As for Wolsey, he was obliged to deliver up the 
keys of his boxes and desks to the Earl of Northum- 
berland and Walshe. For two days they were en- 
gaged in examining his papers and searching the 
house ; they refused to tell him the grounds of his 
arrest and the charges brought against him. 

He easily divined from what hand the blow came ; 
he complained bitterly that the king, forgetting his 
old services, let himself be led by the hatred and 
prejudice of a mistress unworthy of his affection and 
confidence. He said that his political enemies were 
well aware of his innocence, but had only tried to 
find a way to destroy him. 

The same evening he was taken to Pomfret in 
custody of Sir Roger Lascelles, followed by five of 
his own attendants. On the second day after, he 

VOL. 11. K 


was received at Sheffield Park with much courtesy 
by the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury ; he stayed 
there a week, and the earl came several times in the 
day to offer consolations to the unhappy prisoner. 
Wolsey devoted all his time to pious exercises and 
serious preparation for death. 

He was only fifty-nine years old, but his constitu- 
tion had been undermined by the labours and anxie- 
ties of power ; his health had been greatly affected 
by the annoyances that had not been spared him 
since his disgrace. At this time he was suffering 
from an attack of dysentery that seemed to exhaust 
what strength he had left. 

Henry VHI., under the influence of his passion, 
had never felt any return of interest or compassion 
for his old servant. He gave him the last blow, by 
sending Sir William Kingston, Lieutenant of the 
Tower of London, with orders to take the cardinal 
to that formidable state-prison. The Earl of Shrews- 
bury had made a pretence of writing to the king to 
ask him to confront the innocent prisoner with his 
accusers, on purpose to relieve the apprehension that 
this officer's arrival was likely to produce on Wol- 
sey's mind; and he now desired Cavendish to tell 
the cardinal that a favourable answer had been 
brought him from Henry VHL 

But Wolsey suspected that there was some artifice, 
and when Master Kingston was announced he said, 
"Master Kingston, Master Kingston," and then he 

wolsey's illness. 131 

understood all. He requested his attendance ; and 
when Kingston knelt to beg his blessing, " I pray 
jou stand up," said Wolsey ; " kneel not unto a very 
wretch, replete with misery, nor worthy to be es- 
teemed, as a vile object utterly cast away. Stand 
np, or I will myself kneel down by you." And he 
made him rise. Kingston tried to re-assure the un- 
fortunate prelate, telling him that the king bore him 
as much good-will and favour as ever . . . and there 
was no doubt he would be able to clear himself from 
all accusations. " If I were as able and as lusty as I 
had been lately, I would not fail," replied Wolsey, 
" to ride post with you ; but I am sick and very 
weak. Alas I all these comfortable words which you 
have spoken to me are only to bring me into a fool's 
paradise. I know what is provided for me. Not- 
withstanding, I thank you, and will be ready to- 

So he did not deceive himself; but his illness was 
destined to save him from the axe. Next day, 
though Wolsey had passed a very bad night, he 
had himself placed on his mule, and with difficulty 
managed to reach Leicester Abbey on Saturday, 
November 26. 

As he entered the convent he said to the abbot. 
*' Father Abbot, 1 am come hither to leave my bones 
among you.^' Immediately he went to bed. He was 
very ill, and his last moments scarcely escaped fresh 
annoyance. Fifteen hundred pounds in Wolsey's 



possession had not been found at Cawood ; Kingston 
was charged by the king to ask the cardinal what he 
had done with this money. When he entered the 
room where Wolsey had just received the viaticum, 
seeing him weak and dying, he had the delicacy not 
to insist upon doing Henry VIII.'s commission, and 
even said some words of comfort to him. The 
cardinal answered from his bed : 

"Well, well, Master Kingston, 1 see the matter 
against me, how it is framed; but if I had served 
God as diligently as I have served the king. He would 
not have given me over in my grey hairs. Howbeit, 
this is the just reward that I must receive for my 
worldly diligence and pains that I have had to do 
him service. Commend rae to his majesty, beseech- 
ing him to call to his remembrance all that has passed 
between him and rae to the present day, and most 
chiefly in his great matter ; then shall his conscience 
declare whether I have offended him or no. He is a 
prince of royal courage, and hath a princely heart ; 
and, rather than he will miss or want part of hia 
appetite, he will hazard the loss of one half of his 
kingdom. I assure you I have often kneeled before 
hitn in his privy chamber the space of an hour or 
so, to persuade him from his will and appetite, but I 
could never dissuade him." 

He also urged Kingston to warn the king to be on 
his guard against the fearful encroachments of 
Lutheranism, as destructive to the authority of 

wolset's death. 133 

temporal sovereigns, as well as to that of the Church, 
But his voice failed, his eyes became fixed and glassy. 
At this moment the convent clock struck eight, and 
he breathed his last. This was the morning of 
November 30th, the feast of Saint Andrew. 

Kingston took upon himself to permit funeral 
honours to be paid to the cardinal without display, 
but with proper respect. Some few friends and 
servants, faithful to the end, are to be noticed amid 
the general desertion of this great minister after his 
last disgrace. When the clothes were removed to 
lay him out, a hair shirt was found next the skin. 
His corpse lay in state from eleven at night till four 
in the morning, in a chapel of the great church of 
the convent. Four persons only watched around his 
modest bier, with lights in their hands. Before day 
the monks chanted a mass for the repose of his soul, 
then he was borne to the grave on one of those chill 
-and foggy December mornings when the day seems 
mourning, and nature feels the first rigours of winter.* 

Wolsey had, however, incurred such hatred that 
the most virulent expressions were used against him. 
A pamphlet of the time says he had accumulated 
riches and honours with the intention of opening him- 

* The king afterwards erected a handsome monument to him in 
Saint George's chapel at Windsor. 

There was a report that the cardinal had poisoned himself to 
avoid a death on the scaffold ; by a curious trick it was desired to 
make his faithful servant and secretary, Cavendish, originate this 
<alumny. In the firat printed editions of the life of Wolsey that 


self a road to the pontifical throne, and that thi» 
mass of dignities had only made the cardinal an 
eminence of mud. 

As his enemies, even after his death, endeavoured 
to blacken his memory, a report was spread that 
Henry lost in him a great minister and a useful 
moderator of his passions. 

In Wolsey Henry VHI. lost the curb which had 
always restrained his passions within bounds. Thus 
he was not the same after the disgrace and death of 
that great statesman. The second portion of his 
reign does not at all resemble the first. By his 
caprice and cruelty he became the terror of his sub- 
jects, the scourge of the Church, and the scandal of 

The policy of England was sensibly lowered by 
several degrees, when it fell from the hands of a 
minister like Wolsey into those of Norfolk, Suffolk, 
Cromwell, Gardiner, and Cranmer, and its pros- 
perity at home and greatness abroad suffered an 

appeared the imputation on his master of having poisoned himself 
is to be found. But this passage is not to be found in the original 
manuscript. Wordsworth has effectually proved that it was an 
interpolation. There are moral proofs to be found as well as 
material. The notion of suicide could not have existed in a prelate 
who showed so much piety and resignation in his last moments. 
See note to Lingard, vol. vi, p. 164. 



Political Situation of England — Henry VHI. absorbed by 
his Passion — The chief Universities of Europe desired to 
deliberate on the Divorce Case — Pressure exercised on 
those of Oxford and Cambridge — Henry makes large 
Grants of Money to Francis I. to obtain favour from the 
French Universities, and especially the Sorbonne — Du 
Bellay and Marshal de Montmorency themselves visit the 
Doctors in Theology of Paris, and do everything they 
can to win them over to Henry's side — Disorder, Riots, 
and Violent Disputes between the Doctors — An Imper- 
ceptible Majority, due to Irregular Proceedings, in favour 
of the Divorce — ^In Italy Henry's Agents contrive to 
corrupt several Doctors of Bologna, Ferrara, and Padua 
— But the Success of their Practices is not Complete — 
It is discovered that the Minutes have been substituted 
or falsified — ^In Germany the Universities express them- 
selves steadfastly against the Nullity of Catharine's Mar- 
riage — ^The Imperial Ambassadors in France and Rome 
protest against these Debates and the Irregularities of the 
Deliberations of the Universities — ^Petition presented to 
the Pope by some English Noblemen, putting forward 
political and other reasons for the Divorce — Firm and 
Dignified Reply in the negative from Clement VII. — 
Cromwell, in a conference with Reginald Pole, preaches 
to him the most Cynical Machiavelism, and most Servile 
Complaisance to all the King's Wishes — Courageous Atti- 
tude of Reginald Pole towards the King — Henry VIII., 
after a First Burst of Anger, shows himself generous and 
pardons him. 


N the course of the year of Wolsey's fall the 
policy of England had become more and more 


involved in its relations with other powers ; never 
had Henry VIII. been in greater need of the assist- 
ance of that able and experienced minister. 

Charles V. had made his peace with the pope with- 
out losing his power over Italy. The two sons of 
Francis I. were still kept as hostages, and closely 
confined in the north of Spain ; he, therefore, was 
careful not to offend the emperor for their sake. 
Nearer home Henry VIII. had two enemies, one on 
each flank : Ireland still half independent, and in a 
constant state of commotion, and Scotland always 
ready to make war upon him on any favourable 

But the King of England neglected his people's 
interests for the interest that mastered him entirely 
— his passion. He tried to get auxiliaries at any 
cost in the chief universities of Europe, so as to 
obtain support for the doctrine he desired should 
prevail. His polemical ardour was infused into 
them ; he stirred up violent disputes and noisy 
contentions ; indeed, for what Wolsey called his 
phantasy, he disturbed the theological and scientific 
world all over Christendom. 

Our subject somewhat leads us into a world apart, 
but the grand institutions called universities must 
not be judged by the melancholy scenes that will be 
sketched or described. 

The corruption and disturbance introduced by the 
base agents of Henry VIII. were not the normal 


state of these sanctuaries, usually so respected and 
so peaceful. Even in these times of revival, when 
human learning seemed already becoming popular, 
it was in the midst of these corporations of the 
middle ages that the torch of literature and real 
science burnt most brightly. 

Oxford and Cambridge had long rivalled the best 
French and Italian universities ; and Henry VIII. 
first endeavoured to win these two national insti- 
tutions to his side. But this was the moment of 
Wolsey's disgrace, and he had greatly loved and 
improved the university of Oxford. A great many 
doctors and divines there, in consequence of this 
event, were very ill-disposed towards Henry VIII. 

As the king suspected this was the case, the theo- 
logical consultation was conducted irregularly. 1st, 
contrary to the usual practice, the masters of arts 
were not allowed to attend convocation ; 2nd, the 
Duke of Suffolk, with Gardiner and Fox, were pre- 
sent at all the deliberations, and gave the doctors 
no liberty to express their opinions ; 3rd, the learned 
divine, Holyman, was imprisoned, and two or three 
others were blamed for protesting against the pres- 
sure put upon them ; 4th, the opposition stated that 
decision in the king's favour had not been that of the 
majority, and that the university seal had been 
clandestinely appended to a falsified sentence.* 

At Cambridge the first meeting was very stormy, 

* Lingard, voL vi, note F, p. 385. 


and passed iu animated discussion without any con- 
clusion.* At the second meeting, twenty-six doctors 
and bachelors were appointed as a committee to 
examine the question of law. They are said to have 
been equally divided, thirteen votes one way, and 
thirteen the other ; at last they gave an affirmative 
reply, but conditionally, t 

It was also plainly seen that the opinion of foreign 
universities would have more weight at the Court of 
Rome, and even on public opinion, than that of the 
two English universities, rightly suspected of being 
under the influence of the government of their coun- 
try. Henry VIII. was especially desirous to secure 
the various faculties of the Sorbonne at Paris, and 
of the chief French universities, in favour of the 

But to accomplish this the consent of Francis T. 
had to be obtained. Henry knew that he was in 
want of money to pay his children's ransom, and 
perform the engagements of the treaty of Madrid, 
To obtain favour, he did not hesitate to make the 
greatest sacrifices. 

The King of England had in his possession a 
splendid fleur-de-lis of diamonds that had once be- 
longed to the house of Burgundy, and which Philip 

* J. Legrand says this was the first university consiilted. 
Histoire du Divorce, vol. i, p. 170, et seq. 

t The king had excluded the point of consummation of the first 
marriage, and that was restored. 


the Handsome, Charles V.'s father, had pledged to 
Henry VHI. for the sum of fifty thousand crowns. 
Francis I. had entered into an engagement to redeem 
this fleur-de-lis, and pay five hundred thousand 
crowns more to the emperor, as he had not fulfilled 
some conditions of the treaty of Madrid. Henry 
Vni. gratuitously remitted these five hundred thou- 
sand crowns for the King of France, as well as the 
fleur-de-lis, and lent him four hundred thousand 
crowns more to make up the sum of two million 
crowns that was required to ransom the French 
princes from their long and hard captivity. 

Guillaume du Bellay and Joachim de Vaux were 
both in England as ambassadors, and were desired 
to receive the money, give receipts, and sign deeds. 
They both wrote to their government that Henry 
VHI. was most ardent in his wish for the dissolution 
of his marriage, and complained that the University 
of Paris had not sent him any answer, though he 
had consulted it on this theological question several 
months ago. 

Du Bellay returned to France during the month 
of February, 1530; he brought the receipt for the 
five hundred thousand crowns and the diamond 
fleur-de-lis. He was accompanied by Sir Francis 
Bryant, a friend and relation of Anne Boleyn, and 
one of Henry VlII.'s favourites. They were to work 
together to procure a favourable declaration for him 
from the University of Paris. Joachim de Vaux re- 


tnained a year in England, and received the four 
hundred thousand crowns lent by Henry to Fran- 
cis I. 

Du Bellay, after a short stay at Blois, went to 
Orleans, and won that university over to approve of 
the dissolution of Catharine's marriage. But he met 
with much greater difficulties in gaining the vote of 
the Sorbonne. The King of England had written 
with his own hand most flattering letters to the 
doctors of theology of this celebrated faculty. Mar- 
shal de Montmorency, the first minister to the King 
of France, had gone in person from door to door 
begging their votes. After the ground had been 
well broken by these proceedings, Du Bellay was 
present on June 8th, by the order of Francis I., at 
a general congregation of the University of Paris, 
summoned to deliberate on the question as to 
whether Henry VHI. could lawfully marry the 
widow of his brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. 

Du Bellay made a long speech, and, under colour 
of impartiality, came to a direct conclusion in favour 
of the King of England's proposition. Amongst 
othei'S, he made a very rash assertion that some 
Italian universities had already pronounced in favour 
of the divorce, while those of Padua and Bologna, 
the only ones of that country which finally gave in 
to that opinion, had not yet come to a final decision. 
Du Bellay was said to be not only the friend, but the 
pensioner of the King of England. 


Doctor Beda ventured to complain of the partiality 
of the King of France towards the monarch whose 
cause Du Bellay seemed to advocate ; and he, afraid 
of a more direct accusation, put the troublesome 
doctor to silence by saying that the faculty had only 
to do justice, and that, if they pleased God, thexf 
would please the king and displease no one. 

On this Du Bellay left the hall, so that the doctors 
might be more at liberty to say what they thought, 
and come to what conclusion they chose. 

The first to speak were of opinion that they ought 
to deliberate on the question submitted to them in 
accordance with the desire of the King of France^ 
Others maintained that they could not consider the 
matter without having written to the pope, as this 
cause was dependent upon him in its essence. Others 
desired to write to the king and the pope at the same 
time, and meanwhile commence their deliberations. 
Some said that the sovereign pontiff had forbidden 
discussion of this business, either in England or else- 
where, whilst it was pending at Rome. On this a 
member of the Sorbonne " remonstrated, saying that 
the privileges of their body were derived from the 
king as well as the pope, that it was an imputation 
on the pope's honour to impute to him that he w^ould 
have given such a prohibition, so that no consolatioQ 
nor remedy could be given to the wounded conscience 
of a Christian, and that there was no reason to obey 
such a prohibition ; and when the bedel was taking 


the names and opinions of the debaters that the 
opinion of the majority, one of the said lords our 
masters got up, snatched the roll from him, and tore 
it up, and thereupon they rose in a body with great 
and disorderly tumult . . . Thus did the meeting 
break up, and the King of England's ambassadors, 
who were walking in a corridor, and saw them come 
out with so much noise and disorder, and heard all they 
said to one another, returned to their lodging very 
angry, and thinking very ill of the business."* 

The ambassadors were much disgusted at such an 
exhibition, and Du Bellay persuaded them not to 
write to their master till two days afterwards ; and 
be also caused the recalcitrant doctors to be informed 

* Histoire du Divorce, pp. 465, 466. 

Doctor Garay to the emperor, April 9th, 1530 : " The King of 
England has worked and is working so furiously in this matter of 
the divorce that his doings are enough to set the world on fire. 
Fearing lest he (Garay) should obtain the signatures of the 
majority of these doctors — which might easily have been accom- 
plished had not the above-mentioned obstacles been thrown in his 
way — he has hit upon a diabolical device to mar our success and 
ensure his own, which consists in the appointment of a gentleman 
named Langes (De Laugeais), a brother of the Bishop of Ba 
youne, French ambassador at the English Court, and, as it is to 
be believed, well trained in civil law, to serve his plans. This is 
the very man who, as above stated, caused the original conclusion 
in favour of the queen, signed by fifteen doctors, to be snatched 
out of his (Garray's) hands by the rector, on the plea that in so 
doing they were only acting in obedience to superior orders, and 
fulfilling their duty." Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iv, pt. i, pp. 
497, 498. " Langeais, or De Langeay, as his name is otherwise 
written, was Guillaume du BeUay, brother of Jean, Bishop of 
Bayonne." Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iv, pt i, p. 623. (Ed.) 


by the president that they must meet again for de- 
bate, and at last they consented. 

There were, however, some very stormy meetings, 
and the English ambassadors gave a very unsatis- 
factory account of what had passed, so that the Duke 
of Norfolk wrote to Marshal de Montmorency that he 
did not understand anything about it at all, and that 
his correspondents informed him that at one meeting 
of the doctors of the Sorbonne there had been fifty- 
six votes for the King of England and only seven 
against him, and in the next thirty-six against and 
twenty-two for him. Such a defeat must have been a 
great surprise to Henry VIII. In this letter the 
duke cynically tells the first minister of France that 
he must contrive, by his kind assistance, to procure 
for Henry the end of his desire at Paris in his 

Du Bellay not only made use of threats, but also 
of promises, and even of bribery, with some needy 
doctors, who were, as Pole says, more susceptible to 
hunger than honour, quos fames magis quam fama 

The lawyer Dumoulin, unfavourable to Rome, 
says that the doctors of Paris gave their final opinion 

* Histoire du Divorce, p. 476. 
t Pole, still a young man, being at Paris was requested by- 
Henry Vni. to assist the divorce, he made excuses, saying he was 
no theologian. [" Many again by downright bribery, for he has 
given them one crown per head, have voted in favour of the 
English king." Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iv, pt. i, p. 498.] (Ed.) 


at the end of the month of June, and on the votes 
being counted there were fifty-three for the King of 
England, and forty-two against him, and five who 
wished the matter referred to the pope. As the 
votes were thus divided the Bishop of Senlis took 
the registers with him. The faculty ordered him to 
return these registers, but he refused, pleading secret 
orders from the king.* The two parties were very 
much enraged with one another. Never was there 
such an uproar among the divines of Paris. The 
imperial ambassadors interfered, and complained to 
the king of the English agents' intrigues ; they 
begged to have the minutes communicated to them, 
and to be authorised to bring forward their argu- 
ments against the divorce before the University of 
Paris, and, at the same time, desired a safe-conduct 
for the Spanish doctors, for fear the English am- 
bassadors should have them killed.f The king allay- 
ed their scruples, and spoke them fair, but their 
attendance did not take place. As the Sorbonne had 
already held its deliberations, and come to a decision, 
Du Bellay insisted on having an authentic copy of 
the decree delivered to him, and applied to the first 
president of the Parliament of Paris to get it for 
him.:{: This magistrate was much disinclined to be 

* Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, p. 498. 

t Letter of Du Bellay, and Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, 
vol. i, p. 183. 

t Jacques Brinon was the name of the president. Gayangos, 
Calendar, vol. iv, pt. i, p. 623. (Ed.) 


engaged in the business, and he wrote to the king 
that it would injure Henry VIII. more than serve 
him. He was desired to punish Doctor Beda, who, 
according to Du Bellay, had raged like one possess- 
ed. He absolutely refused, and contented himself 
with remonstrating with both sides, to calm and 
quiet them.* Do all he would, Du Bellay could 
not get the copy of the minute given to himself. 
First President Lizet had it sent direct to the kiug.f 

* Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, pp. 489, 490. G. du Bellay was 
obliged to go to Bayonne, and left the prosecution of the business 
to his brother, who, he says, took it moins chaudement que moi. 
Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, pp. 490, 491. Du Bellay also says 
that Beda was very much suspected of having altered the register. 
Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, p. 502. We have a very rare 
pamphlet before us, a letter of Burnett's to M. Thevenet, with 
notes and remarks of M. Legrand upon Burnett's letter. Paris, 
Veuve Martin, 1688. In page 21, it is stated that the real feel- 
ing of the University of Paris was that there was no divine 
law at all in the Old Testament, except the Ten Commandments ; 
that those who were of a contrary opinion had been won by the 
Angelots of England, and most of them retracted,j)Zwn«u" re- 
tractarunt sententiavi. This is the proof given by the author 
in his notes. In the winter of 1532-3, a thesis was proposed 
in the Sorbonne declaring the validity of the dispensation grant- 
ed to Catharine of Aragon to marry her brother-in-law, and, 
consequently, the validity of her second marriage. More than 
five hundred doctors and bishops were present. An immense 
majority pronounced in favour of the thesis. " Pronunciaverunt 
matrimonium serenissimorum Angliae regum, modis omnibus 
ratum, legitimum, sunctumque esse, neque aligno pacto impia, 
et intempestiva curiositate debere convelli." This thesis, followed 
by this decision, is quoted as having been printed at Lunebourg, 
by Sebastian Golseman, in 1533. 

t Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii. See Du Bellay's long letter of 
August 15th, when he says that he had "pursued" that magis- 

VOL. n. L 


There were fourteen universities in France ; three 
more of them were consulted, and consented to 
deliberate. They were those of Toulouse, Bourges, 
and Angers. That of Toulouse was favourable to 
Henry VIII. In that of Bourges, it is believed that 
the faculty of law pronounced against the divorce. 
At Angers the faculty of divinity, in the face of all 
machinations, roundly decided that a marriage be- 
tween brother and sister-in-law was not contrary to 
either human or divine law, and that in such a case 
the sovereign pontiff might grant a dispensation on 
reasonable grounds.* 

There were six or seven Italian universities, and 
Henry had managed to gain over three of them — 
Bologna, Padua, and Ferrara. The commissioners 
sent by Henry VIII. to these universities were 
Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester, Gregory Casale, 
Stokesley, and Croke. The last-mentioned especially 
did not shrink from employing any kind of means. 

trate, and, instead of himself receiving the document, was obliged 
to be contented with the reply that it had been sent to the king 
the same morning. He begs Marshal de Montmorency to send 
him the document incontinent, and says, " I should like to have 
bought it with my blood, and to have it ; I have promised it to 
the King of England's agents." Histoire du Divorce, vol. iii, 
pp. 502, 503, 504. It is a very curious letter to read, half comic, 
half serious. 

* " Hujusmodi matrimonium non adversatur juri naturali 
neque divino, et pontifex, propter causam rationabilem potuit in 
hac re dispensare." See the entire document, Histoire du Divorce, 
vol. iii, pp. 507, 508. 


He himself wrote to Henry about Padua that he had 
not bought the doctors with gold, but that, when 
they had voted right and signed their names, he 
had given them handsome presents in recognition of 
their good-will; and then he says: "Albeit, gra- 
cious lord, if that in time I had been sufficiently 
furnished with money, albeit I have besides this seal 
(which cost me one hundred crowns) procured unto 
your highness one hundred and ten subscriptions, 
yet it had been nothing in comparison of that might 
easily and would have been done." * 

In the University of Bologna Pallavicino, a carme- 
lite friar, and one of the dignitaries of the university, 
had been gained. He and four of his colleagues had 
prepared a document which he declared had been 
privately decided on by the university, and he had 
given a notary the text of this pretended delibera- 
tion, undated. But, this trick having transpired, 
Pallavicino was called before the governor of Peru- 
gia, and confessed that he had manufactured the 
document, and that no debate had taken place in 
the university.! 

* Lingaxd, vol. vi, p. 387, quoted from Strype i, ap. 106. 
Morisson, writing four or five years after Cockeens, was obliged to 
admit that Henry had given presents to the doctors supporting his 
cause, but alleged that this waa only as a mark of recognition, 
and more as a recompense for their trouble than as a bribe. His- 
toire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. i, p. 187. 

t The depositions of Pallavicino and his accomplices are to be 
seen in a very genuine collection.. Rymer s Fcedera, vol. xiv, pp. 



At Ferrara, one portion of the faculty of theology 
seems to have voted in favour of Henry VIII. But 
Croke failed in his negotiation with the professors 
of civil and canon law. He had offered them a hun- 
dred crowns ! This offer was contemptuously re- 
fused. Two days afterwards, he would have given 
twice as much, but it was too late ; the faculty of 
law had the evening before decided that they would 
not interfere in the matter, nor submit it for delibera- 

Putting all these things together, it is clear that 
Henry VIII. had not much reason to boast of the 
suffrages of these universities, which he had claimed 
as favourable to his views, f 

Though the king had sent some very active 
agents to Germany — Cranmer, Giovanni Casale, 
Andreas, and Previdellus — the universities of that 
country either refused to deliberate or declared 
against the divorce, and indignantly rejected Henry 
VIll.'s money and presents. No one has ever as- 
serted that similar methods of corruption were em- 
ployed by Charles V. The English ministers and 

893, 395, 397. Probably Croke had obtained a copy of the de- 
positions to show that he had not meant to deceive the king, but 
had been deceived himself. 

* Burnet, vol. i, p. 91. 
t Bossuet's analysis of these debates is to be found in his His- 
toire des Variations, Book vii : " Clement VII. aurait ete indigne 
do la tiare, s'il avait eu le moindre egard k ces consultations 


courtiers said, with great insolence : "After all, they 
are only Germans." 

A protest, the date of which is not exactly known, 
was sent to the pope by the inaperial agents residing 
in Rome during the course of the year 1529, whilst 
the consultation of the universities was still going 
on, and before their replies were known. lu this 
species of petition they desired that an inquiry 
should be made as to the promises, interruption, and 
corruption made use of by the King of England in 
order to obtain favourable opinions on the divorce 
from these learned bodies. The English nuncio was 
to be charged with the inquiry in the universities of 
Oxford and Cambridge ; the Parisian as to the 
French universities. As for Ferrara and Bologna, 
the legates of those two cities had already received 
orders to question the doctors of the various facul- 
ties to ascertain what had taken place. 

In their petition the Spanish ambassadors requested 
the pope " crescente necessitate" to publish a new brief,* 
enjoining everyone, under severe penalties^ not to 
attempt any opposition to the pontifical decrees and 
interdicts in matrimonial matters, and in particular 
forbidding the English Parliament, and the nobility 
and gentry of England, to interfere in the marriage 
suit, now actually pending before His Holiness. They 
wished that a special brief should be sent to each and 
every university, " turn ultra quam citra monies/' en- 

* One had been published. 


joining them not in any way to give their opinion on 
this question during the trial, and they asked that 
letters might be addressed to the doctors of Paris 
who had voted against ecclesiastical authority to 
come to Rome and give an account of their conduct. 

They also desired that the King of England should 
be enjoined to dismiss " the adulterous woman, or the 
one suspected to be such, and express a wish that the 
nuncio in England should be desired to make a fresh 
inquiry in reply to that held on Catharine's first 

This document is subscribed by " Michael Mai and 
Andreas de Burgo, councillors and ambassadors of 
his imperial majesty and of the King of Hungary 
respectively, prosecutors and solicitors of her most 
serene highness the Queen of England." Probably, 
therefore, Catharine had sent them a regular power. 

We think it well now to go back and relate an 
occurrence of considerable importance, and tending 
to remove the question of Henry VIH.'s divorce from 
the narrow circle of his passions and selfishness. 

* Gayangos, Calendar, vol. iii, pt. ii, pp. 979, 980. As the 
document has no date it is placed by the editor in April. But the 
votes of the University of Paris could not have been known at 
Rome before the months of August or September, so the petition 
of the imperial ambassadors (Michael Maius and Andreas de 
Burgo) must be referred to this date. And on the margin of the 
(draft) document is an observation of the lawyer of the embassy in 
these terms, " Quum ipsi habeant vota quatuor universitatiun, 
melius est tacere, donee nos habeamus etiam nostra." Possibly this 
petition only remained in draft, and was never sent to the pope. 


When the King of England saw public opinion 
arising in favour of Catharine, and the zeal of the 
legates entrusted with the trial of the suit declining 
more and more, he perceived that he must make 
some sort of diversion, and give his suit a colour of 
national interest. So he tried to attach the English 
nobility to his cause, and induced them to take a kind 
of initiative in the matter, hy a direct address to the 
sovereign pontiff. Doubts having been raised as to 
the legitimacy of the Princess Mary, even though 
these doubts were ill-founded, pretenders to the 
crown would make them an excuse to enaiit their 
claims over those of a young girl incapable from 
her sex of defending her own. Then there would be 
the spectacle of a renewal of civil war, like that which 
had seen the houses of York and Lancaster in arms, 
and had caused English blood to flow in torrents 
during the fifteenth century. Henry, his ministers, 
and all his friends or favourites, dexterously put for- 
ward these considerations, and managed to get the 
nobles of the kingdom, or a certain number of them, 
to write a letter to the pope, entreating him to give 
their sovereign satisfaction by declaring the nullity 
of his former marriage, so that he might contract a 
second, and have an heir male, whose rights should 
be incontestable. 

Policy does not always agree with justice, and it 
prompted a number of lords spiritual and temporal 
to write a letter to the sovereign pontiff, of which 


this is the substance. They said that not only the 
king but the whole realm of England were complain- 
ing of the interminable delays that had arisen in the 
decision of an affair that was in the highest degree 
interesting to the whole country. His Holiness had 
received incontestable services from the English 
government, and really ought to give a favourable 
hearing to their prayers, and remedy their grievances, 
as he could not be ignorant of them. That the most 
learned universities in Europe had examined the 
question of the validity of the king's marriage, and 
are said to have found that Henry VKI. had reason 
to require a declaration of nullity ; " therefore all 
England beseeches His Holiness to give his sanction 
to this general opinion that the voiding of this 
marriage would be equitable and advantageous. 
This would be the only means of ensuring the 
peace of England and preventing the horrors of 
civil war, into which it would certainly again fall, 
if the king were to die without male offspring ; and 
therefore supplication is made to His Holiness to 
enable him to have hopes. Having always consider- 
ed the sovereign pontiff as our father, we beseech 
him to look upon us as his children, and not to 
abandon us. If His Holiness should indefinitely 
defer to grant our request, we shall take too long 
a delay as a refusal, and shall, in consequence, find 
ourselves obliged to seek a remedy elsewhere, and 
perhaps come to some melancholy extremity, to 

THE pope's reply. . 153 

our great regret ; but finally a sick man seeks 
comfort wherever he thinks he can find it." 

The date of this letter is July 13th, 1529. It is 
signed by Cardinal Wolsey, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, the Dukes of Norfolk and Sufiblk, two 
marquisses, thirty earls, four bishops, twenty-five 
barons, twenty-two abbots, and twelve members of 
the House of Commons.* 

The 29th of September following, Clement VII. 
made a calm and dignified reply to this petition. 
He said he forgave the English lords the harsh 
language they had used in the end of their letter, 
and attributed the improper expressions to their 
affection for their king. He begged them, as a fond 
father, not to think of seeking remedies elsewhere 
than in the bosom of the church. He pointed out to 
them that it is not the physician's fault when the 
sick man is impatient, and will do nothing he dis- 
likes ; that, if Henry VIII. had the opinion of some 
doctors and some universities on his side,t the 
queen could appeal to the law of God, and high 
authorities found in the writings of learned divines ; 
that Europe would not understand that a marriage 
could be disputed which had been contracted and 
completed so many years ago on a dispensation 

• Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, voL i, pp. 200, 201, 202, 

t ITie opinions of the foreign universities could not be known 
in England by the 13th of August, but certainly were at Rome 
by September 22nd. 


from the pope, asked for by two great kings, and 
after the birth of several children. He said he had 
no greater wish than to gratify the king as far as he 
could, without violating the most sacred claims of 
justice ; and he did not think that, as the king was so 
pious, he would approve of the letter of these lords. 

The king expressed great discontent at this letter, 
though the pope had taken pains to speak with the 
greatest kindness of him personally. 

Clement, however, did not for a moment swerve 
from the line of moderation he had laid down. Just 
now Henry VHI. thought he could find a firm and 
powerful support in the French alliance. He sup- 
posed that, as soon as the French Princes were set 
free, Francis I., on the spur of gratitude, would do 
everything he wished, and that by getting France 
to join him in the threats of separation already 
thrown out by England, and supporting these threats 
by preparations for war against the emperor, he would 
force the hand of Charles V. and of the pope himself. 
But Francis I. did not intend to push matters to 
such an extremity. He wanted peace to cure the 
wounds and exhaustion of France. In spiritual 
matters he desired union, and not rupture. 

Within England, Henry VIH. continued his system 
of seduction and temptation of the most distinguished 
and respected men of the country. 

Thus did he try to win Sir Thomas More, Chancel- 
lor of the Duchy of Lancaster, whom he made Lord 


Chancellor instead of Wolsey. And thus did he cause 
overtures to be made to young Reginald Pole,* his 
relation, who had just concluded a brilliant course of 
study, and had become intimate at Padua with Bem- 
bo, Sadolet, Contarini, and other learned men of the 
time. He was a pattern of propriety, and a lawyer 
of the first rank. He had just returned to England 
to breathe his native air, and find a little peace and 
rest in the Carthusian monastery at Shene. There, 
according to his own account, he received a visit 
from Cromwell, who had been Wolsey's secretary, 
and had just passed into the service of Henry VHI. 
This statesman came to put an adroit question to 
him as to the validity of Catharine's marriage. 
Young Pole replied that it was a very difficult ques- 
tion, and that the learned ought to be consulted oa 
the answer. Cromwell replied, with an ironical and 
disdainful smile, that the learned were buried in their 
books, and knew nothing of the world or its business, 
and were apt to make great mistakes. They were 
especially apt to incur the anger of kings, and run 
into great perils with their eyes shut, if they could 
not suit their words to time, places^ and persons. 

* Pole's grandmother was a Clarence. The facts here related 
took place a little later, but the order of events leads us to antici- 
pate their chronological place. 

That young nobleman was the son of Sir Richard Pole, a Welsh 
knight, and of Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, the daughter of 
George, Duke of Clarence, who had been put to death by the 
order of his brother, Edward IV. Lingard, voL vi, p. 180. (Ed.> 


That he ought to know that a wise adviser should 
observe these things with care, so as to discover 
what is the real veritable will of the monarch, and, 
having found it out, while pretending not to advise 
him against any duty or virtue, — for princes pay great 
attention to the appearance of this, — he must be most 
careful to take every pains to comply with his 
master's wishes, and make them acceptable. He 
said a minister of Nero ought not to have expressed 
any horror at the murder of Agrippina, when the 
parricide had once been accomplished ; but he would 
have acted very wisely if he had endeavoured to 
quiet the king's conscience, and invent reasons of 
State for him, to put him at peace with himself. 

And as Cromwell saw that, far from being seduced, 
Pole was rather disgusted by these suggestions, he 
told him that he was inexperienced ; that great ex- 
perience in public business was wanted for an under- 
standing of him (Cromwell) ; that the government 
of men and disputes in the schools were quite differ- 
ent things. Then he advised the study of Machiavel's 
work, his statesman's breviary, and sent next day the 
book of "The Prince." " When I began to read that 
book," says Reginald Pole, naively, " I recognized 
that it had been written by the finger of Satan."* 
And he sent this treacherous present back to Cromwell 
at once. 

* " Vix coepi legere quin Satanse digito scriptum agnoscerem." 
Apologia ad Carohim quintum Caesarem, by Pole. 


Among the favourites and advisers of Henry Vlll.y 
such as Bryant, Rochford, Norfolk, and Suffolk, 
Cromwell was perhaps the most cynical, but the rest 
were no less corrupt. They acted on the same princi- 
ples, only did not venture to speak them aloud. 
And this gives us a glimpse of gulfs of wickednesa 
around this unhappy king. 

Some time after the conversation with Cromwell^ 
Reginald Pole was received by Henry in the royal 
gallery at Whitehall. We do not know that the 
touch of Machiavel's philosophy might have slightly 
contaminated his purity of soul. He himself states 
that he had prepared a speech, and intended to give 
a more or less qualified assent to the king's news of 
the divorce. But he exclaims to divine goodness, 
just as he was going to tell the king that he thought 
favourably of his wishes and plans, his tongue hesi- 
tated, his mouth remained shut, and he could not 
say a word he had prepared. When he at last re- 
covered his speech, it was to put forward all the 
arguments that could be found to turn against the 
very thesis that he had intended to support.* The 

* Lingard, generally so correct, seems to us to have slightly distorted 
the facts when he says, " After many debates with his brothers and 
kinsmen, and a long struggle with himself, he fancied that he had 
discovered an expedient by which, without wounding his conscience, 
he might satisfy his sovereign." Lingard, vol. vi, p. 181. Making 
Pole less weak and guilty than he was, at least intentionally. This is 
the text of Pole himself, in that part of his narrative which does not 
correspond with the English historian's account : 

" Ad regem. Ut veni valde expectatus, quemadmodem initio ser- 


king's surprise and anger may be imagined, when he 
beard this language ; be laid bis band on bis dagger, 
and sharply interrupted the speaker, who retired in 

When Pole returned home, Lord Montagu and his 
brothers were greatly alarmed, and told him that 
his obstinacy would bring them to ruin, and perhaps 
to the scaffold. Pole, attributing what bad passed 
in bis conversation with the king to a supernatural 
intervention, did not care to deny language that 
seemed to him a direct inspiration of the Holy 
Ghost. He recognised that be had been arrested on 
the road to apostasy by a kind of miracle, and so he 
consented to write a modest and touching letter to 
the king, firmly maintaining his own opinion on the 
divorce, and lamenting bis misfortune in being un- 
able to share that of his august benefactor and rela- 
tion. Montagu went to Henry with his brother's 
excuses ; the king told him : " My lord, I cannot be 
offended with so dutiful and affectionate a letter. I 
love him in spite of his obstinacy, and, were be but 

monis ipse testatus est, quum, ut ejus satisfactioni satisfacerem in- 
gressTUD in causam qnsererem, hie non dicam haesitasse me, non satis 
quae dicere volni, explicasse ; sed, o bonitatem divinam ! Ita mihi et 
lingua plane impedita et os obstructum, ut ne verbum quidem effari 
potuerim de iis quae mecum eram meditatus. Cum autem loqui tandem 
coepissem minima de rerum, quae eam sententiam oppugnarent, cujns 
defensor expectatus veneram hie, quam graviter perculsus fuerit et 
attonitus, nihil attinet dicere, &c." De Ecclesiae Unitatis Defensione. 
Lib. iii, cap. iii, fol. Ixxvi. In his apology to Parliament, Pole em- 
ploys almost the same language. 

henry's moderation. 159 

of my opinion on this subject, I would love him 
better than any man in my kingdom." * 

At this time Henry VIII. had still some remains 
of his old generosity. He continued to tolerate 
opposition when it was presented in respectful 
terms. The time was not far distant when he would 
not bear it in any shape. 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 181. 



Henry VIII/s two Ministers — Doctor Gardiner ; his Diplo- 
matic Talents — Sir Thomas More — His Father a Judge of 
the King's Bench ; he himself a Counsel and Member of 
Parliament — He becomes Speaker of the House of Com- 
mons — Cromwell, his Origin and first Adventures — In the 
Beginning of his career he shows Hostility to the Church 
— Coronation of Charles V. at Bologna — The Earl of 
Wiltshire, Anne Boleyn's Father, sent as Ambassador to 
the Pope and the Emperor — Cranmer goes with him as 
Theologian — Cold and Haughty Reception of Charles V. — 
Henry loses heart, and almost gives up Anne and returns 
to Catharine — Inspired by the Boleyns, Cromwell tries a 
bold Stroke — He begs a private Audience of Henry VIII., 
hardens him against every scruple, and becomes his Evil 
Genius — He procures the passing of Resolutions in favour 
of the Divorce, and a first bill of the King's Spiritual 
Supremacy, first by Convocation, and then by both Houses 
of Parliament. 

WOLSEY'S offices were divided between Gardiner 
and Sir Thomas More, whom we have men- 
tioned before. Stephen, or Stevens, Gardiner was 
born at Bury St. Edmunds, of very humble parent- 
age. He spent the first years of his life at the Uni- 
versity of Paris, and there gained a good reputation 
as a jurist, and better as a humanist, for he repeated 


and acted Plautus's comedies with great spirit. He 
was called Felix actor et eloquens* lu 1525 he be- 
came tutor, or professor, in Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge. In 152G he entered into Wolsey's service, 
and this introduced him to the political world. 

It may be remembered that he was selected by 
the cardinal, with Fox, for a. difficult mission to Cle- 
ment VII. He distinguished himself by his ability, 
and became leader of the deputation, and in that 
capacity made himself again remarkable for audacity 
and arrogance towards the sovereign pontiff. 

Henry VIII. was pleased at the way in which he 
had performed his mission, took him into his confi- 
dence, and made him Secretary of State ; thus he 
became successor of the great minister who had been 
his tutor in public business. If he had not been an 
ordained priest, perhaps he might have been made 
Lord Chancellor. But the king would not have an- 
other churchman in that high office. 

Gardiner was audacious enough towards the pope, 
but terror-stricken before Henry VIII. ; he always 
seemed ready to be servile and compliant, and to 
gratify his master's passions. He was of the race of 
Court prelates, who are the ruin of kings by twisting 
even the law of God to accommodate their whims.f 

The lawyer, Thomas More, who was made Lord 

* John Leland calls him so in his Encomia, p. 117. See also 
Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. cccxxxvi. 

t But it must be allowed that he acted better during the second 
portion of his life. 



Chancellor, was very different in character. His 
father had been a judge of the court of king's 
bench, and he wished his son to put on the long 
robe. So, having finished his studies at Oxford with 
great success, the young student early entered upon 
legal labours. But it seems that he turned aside, for 
a moment, from law to theology ; he was scarcely 
more than eighteen when he lectured in Saiut Law- 
rence's Church, London, on Saint Augustine's Civitas 
Dei. His enthusiasm for the Bishop of Hippo was 
unbounded. At this period of his life he wished to 
put on the serge gown of the Franciscan friars, 
after preparing himself for a life of mortifications ; 
but from this his confessor dissuaded him. His real 
vocation was to be a pattern husband and father, 
and to set an example of perfect integrity and heroic 
independence in public life. 

Towards the end of the reign of Henry VIL he 
had been Under-sheriff of the City of London, and 
"was elected a member of parliament, when he be- 
came the principal opponent of an aid that the 
avaricious king had wished to claim from England.* 

The first of the Tudors was inclined, like most of 

* This was on the occasion of the marriage of the king's 
eldest daughter, Margaret, to the I^ng of Scotland, when he 
had a right to claim an aid, but thought it a good opportunity 
to gratify his avarice by demanding a much larger sum than he 
intended to give his daughter. More was then about twenty- 
four. Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, vol. i, p. 518. 


bis successors, to curb the constitutional liberties of 
the country by a considerable exercise of arbitrary 

" And for as much as he, nothing having, nothing 
could lose, his grace devised a causeless quarrel 
against his father, keeping him in the Tower till 
he had made him pay to him a hundred pounds fine. 
Shortly hereupon it fortuned that Sir Thomas More, 
ijoming in a suit to Doctor Fox, Bishop of Win- 
chester, one of the king's privy council, the bishop 
called him aside, and pretending great favour to- 
wards him promised that, if he would be ruled by 
hira, he would not fail into the king's favour again 
to restore him ; meaning, as it was afterwards con- 
jectured, to cause hira thereby to confess his ofifences 
against the king, whereby his highness might with 
the better colour have occasion to revenge his dis- 
pleasure against him ; but when he came from the 
bishop he fell into communication with one Maister 
Whitforde, his familiar friend, then chaplain to that 
bishop, and showed him what the bishop had said, 
praying for his advice. Whitforde prayed him by 
the Passion of God not to follow the counsel, for 
my lord, to serve the king's turn, will not stick to 
agree to his own father's death. So Sir Thomas 
More returned to the bishop no more." * 

Henry VII.'s death soon followed ; and Thomas 
had no occasion for an honourable sacrifice in order 

* Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, p. 619, from Roper. 

M 2 


to ransom his father. He was elected member of 
parliament for the session of 1522-23. He distin- 
guished himself as an orator, and was appointed 
Speaker of the House of Commons. But More was 
especially distinguished at the bar. He was selected 
to conduct one important case before the Star Cham- 
ber. The nuncio had chosen him to plead for the 
restoration of a vessel belonging to Leo X., which 
bad been seized as forfeited to the English crown. 
He won the case, and Henry VHL, being present, 
was so much struck with More's ability and elo- 
quence that he made him, successively. Master of 
Requests, a Privy Councillor, and Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster. 

A fortunate argument for a pope was the cause of 
his rise ; his devotion to the papacy was afterwards 
the cause of his ruin and fall. In choosing More for 
chancellor, and keeper of the great seal, Henry had 
been careful to select a person of undistiugTiished 
family, and unconnected with the high church dig- 
nitaries, or great nobles of the kingdom. He count- 
ed on servile obedience from More, who owed every- 
thing to him. But he had to deal with a conscience 
that was too pure and noble to give or sell itself 

Yet we may feel surprise that Thomas More, an 
opponent of the divorce, should, even when the suit 
was still in progress, have accepted the dangerous 
post of chancellor and minister to Henry VHL in 


succession to Wolsey. He was not ambitious, nor 
supposed to be so. He said he accepted the office in 
the hope of being useful to his country, and was 
generally believed. 

On his installation as chancellor he made a bold 
and dignified reply to the address of the president 
of council, the Duke of Norfolk, concluding thus, 
^' Wherefore I ascend this seat as a place full of 
labour and danger, the which, by how much the 
higher it is, by so much greater fall I am to fear, as 
well in respect of the very nature of the thing itself 
*is because I am warned by this late fearful example. 
And truly I might even now at this very first 
entrance stumble, yea, faint, but that his majesty's 
most singular favour towards me, and all your good- 
wills, which your joyful countenance doth testify in 
this most honourable assembly, doth somewhat re- 
create and refresh me ; otherwise this seat would be 
no more pleasing to me than that sword was to 
Damocles, which hung over his head, and, tied only 
by a hair of a horse's tail, seated him in the chair of 
state of Denis, the tyrant of Sicily." * 

More's time was divided between the duties of his 
high office and his domestic life. There was no 
change in his simple habits and practice of devotion.f 

* Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, vol. i, p. 642. 
(Ed.) Rudhoert, Thomas Morus, Nuremburg, 1829. 

t It is remarkable that Wolsey's opponents comprised not only 
Lutherans, or Protestants, but also Catholics, disgusted with the 
duplicity of his policy. And so Henry VIII. thought he must 


Lord Rochford, afterwards created Earl of Wilt- 
shire, was a member of the cabinet, and it was shortly 
afterwards completed by the addition of Cromwell, 
who had been Wolsey's secretary. 

Cromwell was the son of a fuller in the suburbs of 
London. He had early taken service as a volunteer in 
the army of the Constable de Bourbon in Italy. He 
was present at the sack of Rome ; then he became the 
librarian of a Venetian^ and made himself acquainted 
with the Italian literature of the period. He soon 
returned to London, was called to the Bar, and took 
his place among the council practising in matters of 
State right.* He was therefore employed by VVolsey 
in the dissolution of the small monasteries authorised 
by Henry VIII., and contrived to make a considerable 
profit in the performance of his work. When the 
cardinal was sent to Esher, and fell ill, Cromwell 
deserted him soon enough, came to London to offer 
his services to Henry VIlI.'s ministers, and was con- 
firmed in his employments, till higher duties should 
be entrusted to him.f 

satisfy both parties. Most likely More consulted the bishops who 
still remained good Catholics before he accepted the office of 
chancellor ; such as Fisher, and perhaps the nuncio himself ; and 
they all advised him not to refuse. They hoped he might be of 
use to the church. 

* Domi reversus causidicis se immiscuit his qui jura regni 
profitentur. Polus, Apol. Reg., vol. i, p. 126 and Seq. Always 
and in every country there have been lawyers who have made it 
their practice to defend ths rights, or rather the pretensions, of 
the State against the Church. 

t It was during this Parliament (1529) Cromwell is said to have 

Cromwell's contrivanoe. 167 

It was with the assistance aud by the advice of 
this lawyer that Henry summoned a Parliament to- 
wards the end of 1529, and in it began his warfare 
against the privileges of the Church and the authority 
of the pope. A bill was passed by his direction en- 
acting that every clergyman, who had obtained in 
the Court of Rome, or elsewhere, a licence of non- 
residence on his cure, or a dispensation to hold more 
benefices than the statute allowed, became liable, in 
the first case, to a penalty of twenty pounds, and 
in the second to a penalty of seventy pounds, and 
the forfeiture of the profits arising from such 

We need not say these bills passed without dif- 
ficulty. An extraordinary thing it would have been 
for a Parliament or convocation of the clergy to give 
the smallest sign of independence. 

greatly distinguished himself in defence of his master. " There could 
nothing be spoken," says Cavendish, " against my lord in the Parlia- 
ment House, but ho would answer it incontinent, or else take imto the 
next day, against which time he would resort to my lord to know what 
answer he should make in his behalf ; in so much that there was no 
matter alleged against my lord, but that he was ever ready furnished 
with a suflBcient answer ; so that at length, for his honest behaviour 
in his master's cause, he grew into such estimation in every man's 
opinion that he was esteemed to be the most faithful servant to his 
master of all others, wherein he was of aU men greatly commended." 
Cavendish, p. 247. " His occupation as a scrivener, half lawyer, half 
money-lender. ... A thriving usurer, wool-stapler, and merchant.' 
Letters and Papers, Brewer. Introduction, vol. iv, p. dxli. 

* The lower house of convocation complained that they had not 
been previously consulted on these statutes. Nee consenserunt per 
se, nee per procuratores suos neque super iisdem consulti fuerunt. 
Collier, Memoir, xxviii. 


It would have been difficult to find a single parlia- 
mentary protest at that time against any act of the 
crown, however unjust and tyrannical it might be.* 

The House of Commons had also tendencies 
favouring the ideas of reform already propagated 
over a large portion of Germany ; and thus was well 
disposed to give a good reception to any measure 
hostile to the Romish Church. 

Meanwhile a complete reconciliation had taken 
place between Charles V. and Clement VII. Charles, 
in an interval of peace left him by his enemies, wished 
to have himself crowned emperor by the hands of the 
pope. On November 5th, 1529, Charles V. met the 
pope in the open square at Bologna before all the 
people he kissed his feet, and then his hand and 
ring, and His Holiness, having raised him, presented 
his cheek and kissed him : this was the grant of an 
amnesty for the sack of Rome.f 

The coronation took place afterwards with great 
ceremony in the church of Saint Petronilla. The 

* Brewer, vol. iv, p. dcxlvii. This same Parliament released 
the king from a loan made to him by his subjects six years before, 
on the pretext that the prosperity of the nation under the king's 
paternal government ought to induce his subjects to show him 
their gratitude by releasing him from his debt. The clergy made 
a similar concession. Lingard, vol. vi, p. 167. 

t The French ambassadors say that Clement was very unwiUing 
to perform this ceremony. The Cardinal de Gramraont thus 
speaks of the pope: " Aucunes fois qu'il pensoit qu'on ne le re- 
gardast, il faisoit de si grands soupirs, que pour pesante que fut 
sa chape, il la faisoit branler h bon escient." Letter, Feb. 26th, 
1530. Legrand, Authorities, vol. iii, p. 386. 


pope placed Charlemagne's iron crown upon the head 
of the new emperor, and Charles made oath to defend 
the pope and the Romish Church, the patrimony, 
privileges, and rights of the Holy See. 

As Charles was to spend several months at Rome 
with the pope, Henry VHI. had the strange fancy of 
sending an extraordinary embassy to both of them 
to endeavour to extract from them an assent to his 
plan of divorce. He thought that the Duke of Al- 
bany, his regular ambassador, had not known how to 
pursue the matter as he ought to have done, and 
that his want of address might be repaired by more 
able agents. 

Henry was not afraid to place at the head of the 
embassy the Earl of Wiltshire, the very father of 
Anne Boleyn, on the pretext that no one ought to 
be more interested in the success of the mission. 
Three colleagues were sent with him — Stokesley, 
Bishop-elect of London, Doctor Rowland Lee, the 
king's chaplain, and Benett, a lawyer. As chaplain 
to the embassy Thomas Cranraer was appointed, a 
priest attached to the Boleyn family, and Lady Anne 
in particular. This churchman, who became Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and took a leading part in the 
divorce case, had an unsatisfactory history. 

At Cambridge, where he had been a fellow, he had 
given his opinion against the monks, and in favour 
of the divorce. At this time, not having taken 
orders, be married an innkeeper's daughter, and left 


the university ; but, having lost his wife, he was en- 
treated to return to it. Afterwards, being a priest, 
he secretly made a second marriage in Germany, 
during his mission to the universities of that coun- 
try ; he had then married the grand-daughter of the 
pastor Osiander, but he left her at home, and did 
not bring her to England.* Cranmer then brought 
back Lutheran notions from the Continent more 
advanced than Henry's, making him a convenient 
instrument for a rupture, if the king chose to have 
recourse to one. 

This doctor of doubtful character was sent to 
present the pope with a letter he had himself written 
concerning the unlawfulness of the marriage of 
Henry and Catharine of Aragon. 

The ambassadors were authorised to employ all 
possible means of persuasion with the pope and the 
empei'or. But, though bribery might have been suc- 
cessful with some doctors of the universities, it must 
fail before these two grand thrones ruling Christen- 
dom, one in spiritualities, the other in temporalities.f 

According to Joachim de Vaux, the ambassadors 

* There are some doubts as to the time of this marriage, but 
the fact of it is attested by Godwin. Annales, pp. 49, 138. 
Osiander was pastor at Niiremberg, and one of Luther's most 
zealous disciples. 

t It seems that, a few days before, the pope had decided on 
signing a brief forbidding Henry from contracting a second mar- 
riage, and enjoining him to treat Catharine as his lawful wife, 
and that, after he had seen the ambassadors, he consented to 
suspend the publication of the brief. 


were to live iu great luxury, and display great 
splendour, as if to make His Holiness see that, if he 
had need of money, the King of England had some 
at his service. Clement VH. did not, or would not, 
understand the meaning of this unspoken hint ; but 
he gave the Earl of Wiltshire and his colleagues a 
favourable reception, saying he would do all he could 
for Henry VHI.* 

The English ambassadors were not so well re- 
ceived by Charles V. When he saw that the Earl 
of Wiltshire, Lady Anne's father, was intending to 
speak, he could not repress a movement of impa- 
tience. " Stop, sir," said the emperor ; " allow your 
colleagues to speak — you are a party in the cause." 
The earl must have had a good stock of audacity 
ready to meet the difficulties of his mission, a post 
he had not been afraid to accept, and even to solicit, 
and so he replied with firmness that he did not 
stand there as a father defending the interests of his 
child, but as a minister representing the person of 
his sovereign ; that, if Charles would acquiesce in 
the royal wish, Henry would rejoice ; if he did not, 
the imperial disapprobation should never prevent 
the King of England from demanding and obtaining 
justice. Then he ventured to offer Charles V., as 
the price of his consent to Henry's wishes, the sum 

* " El comte aveva commission di fare una grossa spesa, come 
sarebbe sovenir h SS. in questi suoi bisogni d'una buona somma 
di denari." Letter of Joachim de Vaux to Francis, dated Lon- 
don, March, 1530. He always wrote in Italian. 


of three hundred thousand crowns, the return of 
Catharine's marriage portion, amounting to four 
hundred thousand crowns, and security for a main- 
tenance suitable to her birth, for life. 

The emperor replied with dignity that he was not 
a merchant to sell the honour of his aunt ; the cause 
was now before the proper tribunal. If the sove- 
reign pontiff^s decision should be against Catharine, 
he would be silent ; if in her favour, he would sup- 
port her cause with all the means which God had 
placed at his disposal.* 

The English ambassadors stayed some time longer 
at Rome to collect the deliberations and decisions, 
more or less authentic, and more or less prompted, 
of the various universities that had given their opin- 
ions in favour of the divorce ; but Clement VII. had 
soon learnt by what artifices these pretended suf- 
frages of learning had been obtained, and also that the 
majority of these universities had depended on cer- 
tain suppositions that Catharine herself always ener- 
getically denied, and Isabella while alive had dis- 
believedjt so such authorities were but of small 

Then Henry's diplomatic agents informed him 
that, on the application of the imperial ambassadors, 
the pope, though doing all he could to protract the 

* See Lingard, vol. vi, p. 170, from Bishop of Tarbes, March 
27th and 28th. Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 401, 454. (Ed.) 
t See pt. i, chap. iii. 


business as much as possible, would be forced to 
sign and publish a brief forbidding archbishops and 
bishops, courts and tribunals, from giving any kind 
of judgment in the matter of the marriage of Henry 
and Catharine, and reserving to the sovereign pontiff 
alone the right to pronounce or refuse the divorce. 

It is the Earl of Wiltshire himself, in whom the 
king had so much reason to confide, who informs 
him that all legal expedients seem exhausted, and 
that a current favourable to the emperor and Catha- 
rine seemed to be setting in at the Court of Rome. 

Henry became melancholy at this news. He 
lamented the futility of the vast efforts he had so 
far made. His resolution began to shake ; he let 
some of his confidants hear that he had been de- 
ceived, that he would never have thought of a 
divorce from Catharine unless he had believed he 
could obtain it from a regular ecclesiastical Court, or 
from the pope himself ; and since the assurances that 
had been made to him were unfounded, as he was 
forced to allow, he said he would give up the prose- 
cution of the suit, leave Anne Boleyn, and restore to 
Catharine all her rights as lawful wife.* 

These expressions of discouragement and repen- 
tance came like menaces to the ears of the Boleyns, 
and of Anne herself. The whole party were thrown 

* Pole mentions this on the authority of one of those to whom 
such confidences had been made. Mihi re/erebat qui audivit. 
Apologia ad Carolum Quintum Caesarem, p. 127. 


into a state of anxiety, and terror-struck. Their ruin 
was already prophesied, when an unexpected chance 
came to their rescue, and produced a complete change 
in Henry's fickle mind. 

Cromwell's antecedents have been mentioned. As 
for his morality, the measure of it has been given in 
the account of his interview with Reginald Pole. He 
had sold himself to Norfolk and Wiltshire ; their dis- 
grace would have entailed his own. Setting one 
danger against another, he preferred to try a grand 
etroke ; for an ambitious man like him, it was playing 
double or quits. 

The sovereigns most accustomed to find every- 
thing bend to their will and pleasure would often 
pause upon the road to evil, were they not urged on 
by some person more cynical and wicked than them- 
selves. Ahasuerus had his Haman, Tiberius his 
Sejanus, Nero his Narcissus ; Henry VHI.'s evil 
genius was Cromwell. 

The son of the fuller of the suburbs of London, the 
comrade of coarse lansquenets in pillage and revelry 
authors of the sack of Rome, did not shrink from 
asking Henry VHI. to give him a jjrivate audience. 
He ventured to interfere with the inward conflicts of 
that soul, hesitating, disturbed, discouraged under 
the inspiration of perversity concealed beneath a 
mask of devotion. 

When Cromwell found himself in the presence oi 
the King of England, he at first appeared to be agi- 


tated, almost alarmed. He seemed to have some 
difficulty in approaching his subject, giving his 
advice to so powerful a king, and so learned, about 
such a delicate matter as the divorce ; yet, seeing the 
anxieties and uneasiness of his beloved sovereign, he 
had thought he could not keep silence. No doubt it 
was great presumption on his part, but he thought 
that, if the regular advisers of the crown kept silence 
in this instance, it was from a wrongful fear of dis- 
pleasing their master. As for him, he had come to 
the resolution of venturing everything in the endea- 
vour to be of use to his king and country. He said 
the opinion of Christendom had conclusively pro- 
nounced in favour of the divorce by the mouth of 
many universities, and the principal divines and law- 
yers in Europe. It was true the pope^s approval 
was wanting, being kept in check by the emperor's 
threats. But, if the king could not obtain the favour- 
able judgment he had a right to expect from the 
Court of Rome, was he therefore for that to give up 
the attempt, and renounce his demand for justice? 
Should he not rather follow the example of those 
German princes who had withdrawn from the yoke of 
the papacy ? And why could not he declare himself 
head of the Church within his realm, relying on the 
authority of his parliament! England had really 
two sovereigns; it was a double-headed monster. 
But, if Henry VHI. did not hesitate to grasp the 
authority usurped by the pope, he might put an end 


to this great anomaly ; all the difficulties of the situ- 
ation would vanish at the same time, and the church- 
men, strongly attached to their benefices and their 
fortune, would submit themselves to their king, and 
become the most humble servants of his will. He 
said also that the oath to the pope, taken by a bishop 
on his consecration, seemed to him to be contrary to 
the oath of allegiance to the king, and that this 
contradiction ought to be put a stop to.* 

Henry, who had at first listened to Cromwell with 
great surprise, gradually allowed himself to yield to 
the seductions of his words ; that which at first he had 
looked upon as impossible, at last came to seem to 
him to be acceptable and easy. So he yielded to 
the suggestions of the clever tempter, and hardened 
himself for ever against all remorse. The scheme 
laid before him offered the means of reaching with 
certainty the object that he had so long pursued, 
and that seemed always to fly before him. He 
also perceived, in the execution of this project, 
a chance to make himself master of a considerable 
part of the wealth of the clergy. Therefore he 
thanked Cromwell much for his bold and judici- 
ous advice, and ordered him to take the oaths as 
a member of the privy council. Some time after- 

* The French is stated to be a translation from the speech as 
reported in Latin by Pole. " Hoc possum affirmare nihil in Ula 
oratione positum alicujus momenti, quod non ab eodem nuncio 
(Cromwell) eo narrante intellexi, vel ab eis qui ejus concilii fue- 
runt participes." Pole, p. 123. 


wards, he made him chancellor of the exchequer.* 
But how was the submission of the clergy to be 
obtained, that the new member of council had, in 
some sort, guaranteed to the King of England? 
Cromwell had conceived a plan of singular clever- 
ness for this purpose, and its success seemed to him 
to be certain. When it has been exposed, it will be 
seen that Machiavelli's pupil, even in the commence- 
ment of his career as a statesman, was the equal, or 
even superior of his master. 

We have already mentioned the old statutes of 
prcemxinire, condemning to confiscation of property 
and imprisonment any person seeking " provision " f 
or survivorship at the Court of Rome, or carrying 
suits within the jurisdiction of secular judges before 
ecclesiastical tribunals. 

Cardinal Wolsey, to avoid irritating the king, had 
pleaded guilty to contravention of these statutes ; and 
yet he might have protested that they had fallen 
into disuse, and also that he had letters patent of 
Henry VIII. formally dispensing with their observa- 

* He was afterwards named Vicar-general of the English 
Church ; the vicar, or vice-gerent, was worthy of his chief. 

t " Provisions " were grants of temporalities to provide for 
the maintenance of persons appointed to ecclesiastical dignities, 
granted at first by the king, afterwards attempted to be usurped 
by the pope. 27, Edward III., Lingard, vol. iv, pp. 153, 154. 
Ill, Richard II., Lingard, vol. iv, p. 225. The same penalties 
were imposed on the offence of administering the benefice of an 
alien, or conveying money out of the kingdom in virtue of such 
administration. (Ed.) 



tion. But the unfortunate cardinal's plea of guilty, 
which had been only intended to appease his master, 
and obtain his forgiveness, furnished Cromwell with 
a weapon against all the English clergy, as having 
recognized Wolsey's authority, either as legate of 
the pope, or as ecclesiastical judge. He found evi- 
dence in it that the clergy had been accomplices of 
the illustrious criminal, convicted on his own con- 

The king appreciated the reasoning, and adopted 
the plan of his minister. And he thereupon ordered 
his attorney-general to cite the whole of the English 
clergy to appear before the court of king's bench, 
and at the same time desired Cromwell to summon 
what he called the convocation. This body, as is 
well known, is a general assembly of the clergy, 
divided, like the parliament, into two chambers : the 
higher, where the prelates sat, and the lower, com- 
posed of simple holders of benefices. 

In the face of this imposing assembly Cromwell 
had the audacity to assert that the first duty of a 
loyal subject was to honour the king, and serve him 
faithfully, as the image of God on earth, and that all 
the English clergy had transgressed this duty in 
submitting to the authority of the legate, contrary 
to the statutes of prcemunire^ in virtue of which the 
king would have the right to obtain a conviction 
against them, and forfeiture of all their property for 
the benefit of the crown. 


Several prelates desired to speak, but Cromwell 
refused to hear them, and broke up the sitting. The 
effect of intimidation had been established, and the 
astute statesman took advantage of it. Three days 
afterwards convocation met again ; and two great 
questions were submitted for resolution. The first 
was to determine whether marriage between brother 
and sister-in-law was forbidden by divine right ; the 
second was whether the marriage of Prince Arthur 
and Princess Catharine was complete. Convocation, 
by a large majority, decided both these questions in 
the affirmative. 

Having made these concessions in order to re- 
cover the king's favour, the prelates asked for remis- 
sion of the penalties they had incurred under the 
acts of prcemunire. The answer was that they could 
only obtain this on payment of a fine. They offered 
a ransom of a hundred thousand pounds ; but Henry 
VHI. caused them to be informed that he would hot 
accept that sum, and would not forgive them unless 
they added a clause to the donation, recognising him 
as supreme head of the Church of England. 

This was going very fast, and seemed foreign to 
the English temperament, as it only acts step by 
step, especially when relinquishing old traditions. 
Nevertheless, so great was the effect produced upon 
the clergy by fear, that Henry VIII., at Cromwell's 
instigation, thought he could venture any lengths, 
and hoped to carry everything at one blow. 



There was great dismay in the assembly when 
Cromwell announced tliis new demand of the king ; 
but no one broke silence until Doctor Tunstall, 
lately appointed Bishop of Durham, thought it his 
duty to point out to his seniors the full danger, and 
he laid the question before them with courage and 
plainness, inconvenient, it may be, to more than one 
servile conscience. " If the clause meant nothing 
more than that the king was head in temporals, 
why, he asked, did it not say so ? If it meant that 
he was the head in spirituals, it was contrary to the 
doctrine of the Catholic Church, and he called on all 
present to witness his dissent from it, and to order 
the entry of his protest among the acts of the convo- 

Such a bold action was beyond the power of the 
majority of the meeting ; they looked for expedients 
and contrivances, when they ought to have given a 
strong direct refusal. Warham, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, moved an amendment, declaring that 
they recognised the King of England's supremacy, 
quantum per legem Chris ti liceat. When the royal 
commissioners came to Henry to submit this amend- 
ment, he was at first much enraged, and exclaimed, 
" Marry, I thought I had the laugh at the bishops, 
but they laugh at me ! Go back to them, and tell 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 179, from Wilkins' Concilia, vol. iii, p. 
745- This was in the convocation of the province of York. (Ed.) 

THE king's supremacy. 181 

them I will have no quantum nor tantum in the 

business, but let it be done."* 

The king was brought to understand that, as 
long as Rome had not given its doctrinal judgment 
against the divorce, there was one chance left that 
should not be thrown away — that it might be useful 
to show that a rupture was possible, but that it 
would be unseasonable and impolitic to precipitate 
it. He therefore thought it well to content himself 
with this formula, " of which church and clergy we 
acknowledge his majesty to be the chief protector, 
the only and supreme lord, and, as far as the law of 
Christ will allow, the supreme head." Thus in these 
last words there was a feeble bond that still con- 
nected the English monarchy with Roman unity. 
Henry VHI. afterwards could break it without diffi- 
culty, if his divorce was finally rejected by the pope. 

The absence of the names of Fisher and Pole as 
supporters of Tunstall's motion would have been 
rather surprising, if it were not known that they 
had both protested by their absence.f In 1529, when 
the king and Wolsey had proposed the suppression 
of the lesser monasteries as a salutary reform, Fisher 

* The life and death of the renowned John Fisher, Bishop of 
Rochester, by Thomas Bayley, London, 1740, 12mo, p. 135. 

t Pole says formally that he was not present. Dum hsec 
statuerentur, non adfui, &c., xix, Ixxxii. [Fisher, as Bishop of 
Rochester, was a member of the convocation of the province of 
Canterbury.] (Ed.) 


had been the first to sound the note of alarm ; he 
had ventured to say, " It is not so much the good as 
the goods of the church which men are now looking 
after,"* and that they were on the way to break the 
bonds that united the Church of England to the 
Apostolic See. 

After the assemblies of the clergy had consented 
to the kiug's supremacy, it might have been expect- 
ed to be passed by the House of Lords and the 
Commons without debate, but there were some diffi- 
culties raised in the latter; however, they at last 
voted almost unanimously for the bill of supremacy 
as amended and passed by the convocation of the 

* Tytler, p. 303. 



Another Vain Attempt to influence Catharine — Her Degra- 
dation and Dismissal from Court — Delay demanded of 
the Pope by the English Ambassadors — Continual In- 
crease of the state of Hostility to Rome — Cautionary Brief 
addressed by Clement VII. to Henry — Suppression of 
Annates by Parliament — Proposal by Nicholas Temse in 
Catharine's favour — Dismissal of Sir Thomas More — 
Another English Embassy to Rome — Henry does not 
choose to be represented before the Court of Consistory 
by an Accredited Proctor ; he sends an Excuser — Sharp 
Dispute between the Imperial Ambassadors and the Eng- 
lish Agents — Clement VII. grants them more Delay, and 
desires the Interference of Francis I. in the Business — 
That King's Excellent Attitude. 

THE clergy and Parliament, representatives of the 
living power of all England, had pronounced 
against the validity of Henry VlII.'s marriage ; 
Catharine seemed deserted by all. Anne Boleyn, 
impatient to hasten the hour of her triumph, per- 
suaded Henry to take advantage of the discourage- 
ment that the queen must feel to induce her to give 
up all resistance. So an attempt at coercion was 
again made upon this noble and unhappy princess. 
Immediately after the prorogation of Parliament, 


Henry VIII. sent several nobles of his Court to 
Catharine, who proposed to her to refer the question 
of the validity of her marriage to the arbitration of 
four spiritual and four temporal members of the House 
of Lords. The commissioners again dwelt upon the 
disturbed conscience of Henry VIII. requiring to be 
relieved as soon as possible. But this time the snare 
was clumsy; if she had consented to this arbitration, 
it would have been signing her own sentence. She 
therefore made a firm and dignified reply to the en- 
treaties of the royal commissioners. 

" God grant my husband a quiet conscience ; but I 
mean to abide by no other decision excepting that of 

Henry then declared there was no reason for any 
further consideration towards her. He sent orders 
to Catharine immediately to leave Windsor Castle, 
her residence ; she undauntedly replied that wherever 
she went she would still be his wife. After receiving 
Henry's imperative letter, dated July 13th, 1531, she 
left Windsor on the 14th, and afterwards went to 
take up her residence at Ampthill, and wrote from 
there to Pope Clement VII., to inform him that 
she had been sent away from the king's Court.* 

* Letters and Papers, Gairdner. Introduction, vol. v, p. xi, pub- 
lished in 1880, after the work of M. Du Boys. "Wo are now in 
possession of a more circumstantial account than has hitherto been 
accessible of Henry's separation from the queen. Long as he had 
already been a stranger to her bed, it was not till July, 1531, that he 
parted company with Catharine altogether. The chronicler Hall in- 


In the month of January, and the following month of 
May, 1532, the pope addressed monitory briefs to 
Henry VIIL, admirable in their paternal tone and 

forms us that, after Whitsuntide in this year, the king and queen 
removed to Windsor, where thoy remained together till the 14th of 
July, when the king left her, and remained for some little time longer 
at Windsor, but was afterwards removed to Moore, and again to 
Easthamsted, and from that time she and the king never met again. 
This account is entirely confirmed by the despatches of Chapuys, who 
further tells us that the queen complained of not being allowed to 
speak with her husband at his departure, as it would have been a 
consolation at least to have bid him adieu ; and that Henry sent her 
a bitter answer, after taking coimsel with the Duke of Norfolk and 
Gardiner, that he was very much offended at her for causing him to 
be cited personally to Rome, and for refusing a reasonable offer he had 
made to her by his council to allow the cause to be decided by some 
other tribunal." See Chapuys to Charles V., 17th July, p. 160, and 
also, " The lady only allows three or four months for the nuptials. She 
is preparing her state royal by degrees, and has just taken an almoner 
and other officers. She goes along with the king to the chase ; and the 
queen, who used to follow, has been commanded by the king to stay at 
Windsor, &c.," 31st July, p. 167. " According to the custom that was 
between them of visiting each other every three days, the queen sent 
to the king six days ago to inquire of his health, &c. — the letter had 
no address, probably because they mean to change her name, and have 
not determined what title to give her. The princess is now with her. 
They amuse themselves by himting, and visiting the royal houses 
round Windsor," 19th August, p. 188. " The king, under pretence of 
hunting about Windsor, has ordered the queen to dislodge, and retire 
to More, a house belonging to St. Alban's, and the princess to Rich- 
mond," 10th September, p. 204. "The queen is exceeding sorry that the 
king has refused her certain houses to which she wished to retire, and 
has commanded her to go to one of the worst in England." Catharine to 
Charles V., 15th December, dated " At Mur," Moor Park, in Hertford- 
shire, p. 270, May 22nd, 1532, Chapuys, p. 475. " Since the presen- 
tation (of the brief) he has ordered the queen to remove, after these 
holidays, to a house much further off than where she is now, and with 
bad accommodation," 26th August, p. 456. " The queen is in a house 
of the Bishop of Ely, seventeen miles from London," October 1st. " Eight 
days ago the king met the princess in the fields, but did not say much 


their truly apostolic feeling. They are quoted almost 
at full length.* 

"Report is prevalent that you have some time 
ago banished the noble Queen Catharine, your spouse, 
with whom you have so far lived in holy union. For 
your honour we hope that this report is false. We 
are informed that the queen is supplanted by an 
unworthy rival, named Anne Boleyn. We are infi- 
nitely grieved at anything so contrary to your duty^ 
such a scandal to the Church, and so opposed to the 
peace of your royal house. We have no doubt that, 
when you have recovered from this impulse, you will 
yourself condemn a passion so little worthy of your 
glory, and so fatal to your repose. A prince so just 
and religious, as you have always been, cannot re- 
main long in a state so inconsistent with his piety. 
"You have defended the honour of the Church with 
your pen and with your arms. Will you stain it by 
your actions, despise its authority, and insult its 
ordinances ? You have been the umpire of Christen- 
dom, and mediator of the princes of Europe, will you 
sow dissension in your own family ? I address you 
as father before proceeding to judgment. This is a 
duty owed to your services and my gratitude. Do 

to her, except to ask how she was, and assure her that in future he 
would see her more often. It is certain that the king does not bring 
her where the lady is, for she does not wish to see her or hear of her." 
November 5th and 11th, Catharine to Charles V., pp. 641, 647, dated 
from Arforde Castel (Hertford). (Ed.) 

* We have compounded the two briefs addressed to Henry. As 
this is M. Boys' composition, wo translate it as it is. (Ed.) 

THE pope's letters. 1«7 

not cause such a sorrow to the Catholics, or roatter 
of triumph to the heretics. All the actions of princes 
have results. Being a station raised above others, 
they attract the eyes of all, and everyone wishes to 
copy them. A Christian prince ought to have a care 
of public order ; his glory is concerned in advancing 
it. You also should do justice to the deserts of the 
queen, daughter of a great king, aunt of an emperor, 
mother of a princess, the precious offspring of your 
mutual affection and inviolable pledge.' After being 
married twenty years, ought she to expect a divorce 
as the reward of her cares and her virtues? Recall 
the queen, dismiss her rival ; do not tarnish the 
glory of a whole reign by one action. Do not insult 
the emperor so openly ; do not throw Christendom 
open to the inroads of the Turks. Charles and 
Ferdinand cannot protect it, if they are obliged to 
make war on you. Consider what a source of evil 
you will be by continuing in your present course. 
Consider the troubles you will bring upon the Church 
if you proceed to a fresh marriage, without even await- 
ing its decision. If my exhortation is unavailing, re- 
course to severe remedies proportioned to the great- 
ness of the evil will become a necessity." 

Notwithstanding the pope's exhortations, matters 
continued to be driven on to the last extremity. 
After Catharine had been turned out of her palace 
and banished from Court, she was further despoiled 
of all the honours due to her rank as queen. Her 


daughter was harshly torn from her, and no longer 
treated like a legitimate child. The various bodies 
of the state had not attended to the pope's warning 
against venturing on the question of divorce before 
judgment had been given at Kome. Henry VIII. 
bad entered upon his contest against the clergy and 
against the pope's prerogatives with remarkable 
audacity; he evidently was preparing to untie or 
break the last link that bound him to the centre of 
<yatholic unity. The pope had readily conceded a 
delay of some months before proceeding to a final 
judgment at the request of the English ambassadors, 
but the promise made to him to, meanwhile, keep 
everything as it was, in legal phraseology, had been 
openly broken. 

About this time, the month of April, 1532, the 
parliament had spoken out concerning Annates more 
hastily and violently than the king had wished.* 
The House of Commons also proposed to abolish 
the oath which the bishops took to the pope. The 
king did not reject these two measures, but he would 
not give his assent to them. Probably he was play- 
ing a double game. He had caused them to be 
proposed by members under his influence, so that 
they might not seem to originate with himself, while 

* The annates were the revenue the pope received from bishop- 
rics left vacant. [The annates, or first-fruits, were the first year's 
Income required by the pope from any bishop on his appointment. 
Lingard, vol. iv, p. 147.] (Ed.) 


the delay in the assent was a conditional threat 
hung over the head of the pope. But, as a counter- 
poise to these concessions in religious matters, a 
member, named Nicholas Temse, made a remarkable 
motion, clearly showing that Catharine's personal 
popularity had survived the ruin of even the ponti- 
fical authority ; he moved that the king should be 
entreated by the House of Commons to be willing . 
to take back his lawful wife, and not to marry 
another, for violent contests might ensue between 
the children of the two marriages, resulting in dread- 
ful civil wars for England. Temse was very favour- 
ably listened to by most of his colleagues. Henry 
Vni.'s wrath may be imagined when he heard of 
such an attempt at opposition, altogether unusual 
and unforeseen, from a member of the lower chamber. 
He immediately caused a message to be sent to the 
House by the speaker, Thomas Audley, "That he- 
wondered any amongst them should meddle in busi- 
ness which could not be properly determined in 
their House, and with which they had no concern ; 
that he was only actuated by a regard for the good 
of his soul ; that he wished the marriage with Catha- 
rine were unobjectional, but, unfortunately, the 
doctors of the universities having declared it con- 
trary to the Word of God, he could do no less than 
abstain from her company ; that wantonness of ap- 
petite was not to be imputed to him, for, being now 
in his forty-first year, it might justly be presumed 


that 8uch notions were not so strong in him as 
formerly." * 

On the 14th of May, 1532, the parliament was 
prorogued. Two days afterwards Sir Thomas More, 
seeing with anxiety the increase of dissension be- 
tween the Courts of England and Rome, sent in his 
resignation of the office of Lord Chancellor. Thomas 
. Audley, Speaker of the House of Commons, succeed- 
ed to the dignity. He was a learned and clever 
lawyer, but quite unprincipled, and called the great 
seller of justice. f 

Still there was excitement at Rome and in Eng- 
land on account of the pope's last brief; for when a 
month had expired, if the king did not take back his 
lawful wife, he would incur the threatened censure 
and excommunication. A letter of Nicholas Raince 
to the King of France informs us that he had pre- 
vailed on Clement VII. to suspend the effect of his 
censures for a certain time.f 

Henry VIII. had again sent three ambassadors to 
the pope — Bonner, Benett, and Edward Carne. He 
had allowed the latter to take the title of excusator, 
to attend the suit in the Pontifical Court. The 
report of the Court of the Rota had been concluded, 
and presented to the consistory. The ambassadors 

* Histoire du Divorce, Legrand, vol. i, p. 223. [Lord 
Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, vol. i, p. 603.] (Ed.) 

t Letter of M. de Marillac, quoted by J. Legrand, vol. i, p. 223. 
X Histoire du Divorce, Legrand, vol. iii, p. 569. 

THE pope's hearing. 191 

had asked Clement not to summon their master to 
Rome, but to appoint fresh commissioners to judge 
the Buit in England. This was formally refused. 
Afterwards, they complained of having no advocate 
authorised to plead for the king, and were told that 
any advocate of the Rota was quite free to take up 
his cause. Memorials were written and printed. At 
first it had been resolved that the matter, after the 
first day, should be publicly argued in open Court 
before the full consistory. But during the night, 
from the 15th to the 16th of February, the pope 
changed his mind, and preferred to give a first 
hearing to the ambassadors and advocates in private 
and separately. 

The Spanish ambassadors were first introduced 
into the chamber where Clement VII. sat. They 
pointed out to him that the King of England had 
not commissioned any of his diplomatic agents to 
represent him in the suit being tried at Rome, nor 
even to Edward Carne, who said he was his excusa- 
tor, a title newly invented, and unknown in the 
practice of law, either canonical or civil ; they said 
that there was nothing officially to show that Henry 
VIII. acknowledged the competency of the Court of 
Rome, and that the pretended excusator and his 
colleagues should be required to produce letters of 
credence, or powers of attorney in proper rule, 
before they were allowed to plead to the consistory 
for the prince they said was their client. The pope 


listened a long time to them, and did not seem 
to pay much attention to these points of objec- 

As soon as they were gone, a private audience 
was granted to Gregorio Casale and Ghinucci, the 
Bishop of Worcester. They both asserted that, as 
the King of England was not obh'ged to appear in 
person or by attorney, the excusator ought to be 
sufficient whom he had sent, and his counsel should 
be heard. This reasoning and subtle reservation of 
Henry VIII. was not much more to the pope's taste. 
Then he left the ante-room, put on a stole, and went 
into the consistory, after having cleared the court of 
the public. There he conversed for some time with 
several cardinals, the master of the ceremonies, the 
datary, and some prelates. Then the advocates 
were summoned, and desired to speak. Sigismund 
Dandolo spoke first for the King of England, and 
maintained that he was not obliged to appear at 
Rome either in person or by attorney, and added 
that there was an excusator present who desired to 
be heard only as an Englishman, who wished to 
defend the interests and independence of his coun- 
try. Don Pedro of Aragon, who appeared for the 
queen, spoke after Dandolo, and accused him of 

* Journal of Clement VII., written by Blosius Baronius de 
MartineUis, MS., St.-Germain-des-Pres. Histoire du Divorce, 
Legrand, vol. i, p. 227. The imprimatur had been granted at 
Rome to Henry VIII.'s memorial. 


doing nothing but beating about the bush, and 
eluding the real question of the suit. Then Charles 
V.'s ambassadors themselves interposed, requesting 
the English to produce their powers, and declare in 
whose name thej acted, and saying that, if they 
would not, there was no occasion to continue the 
debate. There was so much heat about it that the 
pope and the cardinals closed the sitting, greatly 
scandalized at the disrespectful and unsuitable bear- 
ing of both parties. 

On the next 28th of February, there was another 
consistory on the same subject. Dandolo, Michael 
de Corandis, and Providelli argued for the King of 
England, and Don Pedro of Aragon for Queen 
Catharine. The audience was much more numerous. 
The arguments were very violent and debates very 
stormy. An author of the time says that during the 
six months that the business lasted the Romans 
went to the consistory as if to a play.* The car- 
dinals wished an immediate decision against the 
King of England. But Clement VII., hoping to ob- 
tain some concessions from him, adjourned the busi- 
ness to the month of November, after the vacation. 
Meanwhile, he sent a message to Henry VIII. that 
he must send a power of attorney to his excusator, 
and that, if he would do so, the pope would not 
oppose a fresh inquisition being held in England. 

* Letters of Mgr. d'Auxerre and others, p. 176 et seq. of the 
Melanges of Camusat. 



On their side, the English ambassadors did not hide 
from their master that popular feeling was against 
him, that all the Romans clamoured for a decision 
against him, and that it would certainly have been 
pronounced if final judgment had been given. 

Meanwhile, Clement VII., who always recoiled 
from this inexorable sentence, conceived the idea of 
calling in the intervention of Francis I., and begging 
him to do all in his power to induce Henry VIII. to 
come to some terms that might evade the difficulty. 

This was a last resource on which the unhappy 
pope depended. An interview was to take place 
soon after between the two kings. The King of 
France, who was himself animated with most con- 
ciliatory sentiments, promised that he would make 
use of this opportunity to beg Henry to stop on the 
brink of the chasm. Francis I., as we shall see 
afterwards, kept his word — at least, as far as he 
could. Whatever may be our judgment of the 
character of that king, it must be allowed that 
he resisted the torrent of reform, or rather religi- 
ous revolt, of the sixteenth century, that he pre- 
served France, and tried to preserve England to 

* He persecuted the Reformers in his own dominions when he 
was in alliance with the pope, but he was the supporter of the 
Lutherans in Germany. (Ed.) 



Du Bellay indulges Anne Boleyn's Whims — Anne made 
Marchioness of Pembroke — Meeting of Henry Vm. and 
Francis I. at Boulogne ; no Lady of the French Court 
chooses to be present — Secret Marriage of Henry VHI. 
and Anne Boleyn — Cranmer is appointed Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and accepted by the Pope — His Consecra- 
tion and Qualified Oath — Severe Eeproaches addressed 
to him by Pole — Bossuet's Opinion of this Prelate. 

DU BELLAY remained as ambassador in England 
all through the years 1531 and 1532, and con- 
tinued in favour with Henry VHI. In order to keep 
up this favour, he intimates in his correspondence 
that he is obliged to pay his court to Anne Boleyn ; 
but a close examination of his letters makes it clear 
that this necessity was not disagreeable to him. He 
appears as the honnete homme in the meaning* that 
the expression retained even under Louis XIV., and, 
as will be seen, applies it to himself with a modest 
denial of his title to the appellation. 

He becomes the channel of communication to the 

* Accomplished man of the world; what the English call a 
perfect gentleman. 



Marshal de Montmorency of the King of England's 
wish to have a private interview with Francis I. ; 
and he insinuates that if that king could induce 
Henry VIII. to take Anne Boleyn with him on his 
journey to France he would do his royal brother 
great pleasure, and says that he knew it from a sure 
source. " The greatest pleasure that the king can 
do to this king and Madame Anne is to write to Du 
Bellay to ask the king to bring Madame Anne with 
him to Calais, so that they may not be there without 
ladies ; but then the king must bring the Queen of 
Navarre with him to Boulogne. Will not say where 
he heard this, as he has sworn not to. The king 
does not wish the queen to come, for he hates the 
Spanish costume, * tant qiCil luy semble veoir nn diable* 
fle would be very glad if the king would bring the 
princes to Boulogne, where they and the ladies 
would stay. Norfolk says he hopes that Mont- 
morency and he will arrange this interview so well 
that it will redound to the honour of both of them. 
Advises him to remove from the Court two classes 
of men, imperialists if there are any, and those who 
have the reputation of being mockers and jesters, 
who are as much hated as any people by this nation. 
Will soon send the roll of those whom this king will 
take with him." * 

And so, to gratify Anne Boleyn's whim, the suite 
of Francis I. was to be made up in a peculiar fashion ; 
* Gairdner, Calendar, vol. v, p. 621. (Ed.) 

DU BELL ay's LETTER. 197 

he was to bring the Queen of Navarre with him, but 
not Eleanor of Austria. What is to be thought of 
such demands, and how could the Bishop of Bayonne 
have consented to be the interpreter of them ? This 
incredible condescension is somewhat explained by 
the rest of the letter. 

" The king makes him good cheer, and treats him 
familiarly. Is alone with him all day hunting, and 
he talks about all his private affairs, and takes as 
much pains to show him sport as if he were a great 
personage. Sometimes he places Madame Anne and 
the bishop (Du Bellay) together with their cross- 
bows to shoot the deer as they pass, and in other 
places to see coursing. Whenever they come to any 
house of the king's, he shows it to Du Bellay, and 
tells him what he has done and what he is going to 
do. Lady Anne has presented Du Bellay with a 
hunting-frock and hat, horn and greyhound. Tells 
him this to show him how the affection of the King 
of England for Francis increases, for all that the 
lady does is by the king's order." 

Du Bellay does not quite attribute Lady Anne 
Boleyn's favours and his success with her to his 
qualities as a 'perfect genilemati, but explains them by 
Henry VIII.'s policy. But he takes a pleasure in 
telling how he is sometimes alone with the lady to 
see the deer go by, and complacently describes the 
hunting-dress she had given him. 

The English bishops who had now sold themselves 


to Henry VIII. are with justice greatly blamed. 
What can we say of the French bishop who is so far 
forgetful of episcopal dignity and gravity at the 
king's Court? 

About this time Anne Boleyn was made Mar- 
chioness of Pembroke* by the king's patent, with a 
pension of a thousand pounds a year, and a great 
deal of furniture and valuable presents.f 

At last, by the month of September, 1532, the 
conditions of the meeting between the two kings 
were arranged. Francis I. consented with some 
reluctance that the new Marchioness of Pembroke 
should be one of the company ; but when she arrived 
at Boulogne on the 21st of October, with her royal 
lover and a great many attendants, she found there 
neither the King of France's sister nor any other 
lady of his Court. The French ambassador's sugges- 

* September 1st, 1532. 
t It was also about this time that a curious circumstance must 
have taken place, showing once more the unpopularity of Anne 
Boleyn, especially with those of her own sex. One day she was 
in a house a short distance from London, taking part in a picnic 
near a stream, when six or eight thousand women collected to 
carry her off by main force, and would have treated her very badly 
if she had not escaped, and got away in time by a cross road. It 
must be observed that the king was not present at this party, and 
that there were some great ladies disguised amongst this large 
assembly. It seems that Anne Boleyn concealed the affair for her 
own sake, for there was no inquiry nor prosecution. A letter 
written to the French ambassador by the Venetian ambassador 
(probably Lodovico FaUiero). Venetian Calendar, Rawdon Brown, 
vol. iv, p. 248. 


tions had not been attended to. Though the Queen 
of Navarre was not regarded as very austere, she 
would not compromise her dignity by entering into 
communication with a female whose position was at 
least false and equivocal.* The severity of such a 
lesson must have been felt by the object of it. 

When Henry had been four days at Boulogne, 
Francis returned his visit by accompanying him to 
Calais. There, after a magnificent supper, the door 
opened, and twelve ladies in masks entered, and each 
chose a cavalier to dance with her. Then the masks 
were removed, and Francis I.'s partner turned out to 
be Anne Boleyn ; he conversed courteously with her, 
and next day sent her a diamond worth fifteen or 
sixteen thousand crowns. The king's gallantry and 
the valuable jewel might be a sufficient compensation 
for the bitter disappointment of the first meeting at 

Henry VHI. and Francis I. had some great political 
interests for serious discussion ; they agreed to raise 
an army of eighty thousand men, on pretence of 
making war against the Turks, but in reality as a 
check upon the emperor. They compared the causes 
of resentment they thought they had against the 
pope ; but Henry wished to exasperate the King of 

* This abstinence was remarkable, especially from the former 
connection of Anne Boleyn with the Princess Margaret when she 
was Duchess of Alen^on. [Margaret's character was unblem- 
ished.] (Ed.) 


France against Rome, and Francis had ideas of con- 
ciliation in the background. The former, full of 
personal anxiety lest he might lose his suit before the 
Roman Court, wanted to drive matters to extremity, 
and obtain the convocation of a general council ; the 
King of France, v^ith some difficulty, reduced his 
notions to more moderate bounds. It veas at last 
agreed betvs^een the two kings that Francis I. should 
invite the pope to come to Marseilles, and that the 
King of England should go thither in person, or be 
represented there by one of the greatest noblemen of 
his country ; that Francis should send Cardinals De 
Tournon and De Grammont to Rome to settle the 
preliminaries and conditions of this congress ; that at 
the same time he should protest, on behalf of the 
dignity of the crowned heads, against the claim of 
the sovereign pontiff to cite the King of England, 
like a private person, before the high court of justice 
at Rome ; and that Henry should abstain from any 
fresh act of hostility to the papacy until the termina- 
tion of the conference at Marseilles. 

Nevertheless at Rome judicial action was resumed 
in the divorce suit. Capisucci, the Dean of the Rota, 
again cited Henry VHI. to appear in person before 
the consistory, or to send an accredited proctor as his 
representative ; while the King of England, through 
Doctor Benett, made a proposal to refer the case to 
four umpires, one of whom was to be the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, another the Bishop of London, a third to 


be selected by Catharine, and the fourth by Francis I. 
At the same time he required that the trial should 
take place in England. The pope proposed to send 
commissioners to Cambrai; and the king rejected 
this expedient. Clement wrote again to Henry, 
offering to appoint a legate and two assessors of the 
Rota to hear the case in a neuti-al place, and reserv- 
ing decision on the evidence to himself. The king 
again rejected this conciliatory offer. 

Now not long after his return to England he took 
the decisive step, that is to say, he decided on marry- 
ing Anne Boleyn in private. 

Instead of being surprised at this determination, 
there is rather reason to be surprised why he had 
been so long about it. Lingard explains this by his 
fear lest she, from whom he expected an heir to the 
crown, might have no children.* But when Henry 
had hopes of this heir be hesitated no longer, and 
hastened his union with Anne Boleyn. And here we 
borrow the account of this clandestine marriage from 
a contemporary, Harpsfield, the Archdeacon of 

*' The first whereof was that the king was married 
to (the) Lady Anne BuUeyne long ere there was any 
divorce made by the said Archbishop (of Canterbury). 
The which marriage was secretly made at Whitehall 
very early before day, none being present but Mr. 
Norris and Mr. Henage, of the privy chamber, and 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 188. 


the Lady Barkeley, with Mr. Rowland, the king's 
chaplain, that was afterwards made Bishop of Coven- 
try and Lichfield. To whom the king told that now 
he had gotten of the pope a lycence to marry another 
wife, and yet, to avoid business and tumult, the thing 
must be done (quoth the king) very secretly; and 
thereupon a time and place was appointed to the 
said Master Rowland to solemnise the said marriage. 
*'At which time Mr. Rowland being come accord- 
ingly, and seeing all things ready for celebration of 
mass, and to solemnise the wedding, being in a great 
dump and staggering, came to the king and said, 
* Sir, I trust you have the pope's lycence, both that 
you may marry, and that I may join you together in 
marriage.' * What else V quoth the king. Upon this 
he turned to the altar and revested himself, but yet 
not so satisfied, and, troubled in mind, he cometh 
eftsoones to the king, and saith, ' This matter toucheth 
us all very nighe, and therefore it is expedient that 
the lycence be read before us all, or else we run all 
— and I more deep than any other — into excommuni- 
cation, in marrying your grace without any baynes 
asking, and in a place unhallowed, and no divorce as 
yet promulgated of the first matrimony.' The king, 
looking upon him very amiably, * Why, Master Row- 
land,' quoth he, ' think you me a man of so small 
faith and credit — you, I say, that do well know my 
life passed, and even now have heard my confession ? 
or think you me a man of so small and slender fore- 


«ight and consideration of my affairs that, unless all 
things were safe and sure, I would enterprise this 
matter? I have truly a lycence, but it is reposed in 
another sure place whereto no man resorteth but 
myself, which, if it were seen, should discharge us 
all. But if I should, now that it waxeth towards 
day, fetch it, and be seen so early abroad, there 
would rise a rumour and talk there of other than 
were convenient. Goe forth in God's name, and do 
that which appertaineth to you. I will take upon 
me all danger.' " * 

The chaplain Rowland determined to begin the 
mass and perform the marriage ceremony. Harpsfield 
severely says, " This is, then, one error and fault. 
For, though the first marriage were not good, yet 
could not the king marry before the sentence of 
divorce, unless he should have (had) two wives 
living all at one time." 

This marriage was performed in obscurity, with- 
out noise or ceremony, like a work of darkness and 
shame. Some months afterwards, the future Queen 
Elizabeth was to be born of this union. f 

* Pretended Divorce, Harpsfield, pp. 234, 235. Marginal note. 
This Doctor Rowland's surname was Lee, and for performing 
the ceremony was made Bishop of Lichfield. Wood's Athenae 

t The date of November 14, 1532, given for Anne Boleyn's 
marriage, was a fresh deceit, propagated with a view to make sure 
of the legitimacy of the infant soon to be bom. Lingard explains 
this in a special note, and shows that the real date was the 26th of 
January of the following year, voL vi, p. 190. 


Parliament met on the 4th of February, and con- 
tinued the war against the Romish Church. It re- 
newed the statutes of prcemunire passed in the reigns 
of Edward I., Edward III., Richard II., and Henry 
IV. England, according to one of the bills passed 
on this occasion, was a united state that should be 
sufficient in itself (a perfect state), and not recognise 
any foreign power, neither in spiritualities nor in 
temporalities. And, therefore, it enacted that all 
matters ecclesiastical or mixed — marriages being 
among them — should be judged by the Dean of the 
Arches, or by the English bishops, without any re- 
servation or appeal to the Court of Rome. When 
matters of this kind presented especial difficulty, the 
king might cause the upper house of convocation to 
decide upon them. 

Whilst parliament was still sitting, the King of 
England sent the Earl of Wiltshire to France to in- 
form Francis I. of his marriage, and announce to him 
that he had nothing now to do with the pope. The 
King of France was displeased at this information. 
He represented to the earl that he had sent the Car- 
dinals de Grammont and Tournon to negotiate with 
Clement VII. for a meeting at Marseilles, as had 
been agreed, and that he could not break off these 
negotiations without loss of honour. At last Francis 
prevailed on Henry to continue the appointment of 
the Duke of Norfolk, who had been selected to attend 
the conference with the pope. The Earl of Wiltshire 


was much annoyed at this selection, as he was a 
great political opponent of the duke, though his 

Meanwhile Henry VIII. pursued his designs in 
England as if nothing fresh had occurred in France. 
Warham, the Archbishop of Canterbury, though he 
might reproach himself with some weakness in giving 
way to the king concerning the divorce, was not de- 
sirous of a breach with Rome, and held firmly to his 
attachment to the Apostolic See. Cromwell was 
furious when he found this aged prelate make an 
unexpected resistance, and proposed that he should 
be prosecuted for rebellion and high treason; and 
when he was told that it was not so easy to prose- 
cute one of the Lord's anointed, a primate of England, 
the insolent minister replied he would observe his 
dignity and give him a gibbet twice as high as the 
highwaymen's. But Warham died in the month of 
August, 1532, and there was no need to resort to an 
act of judicial iniquity, in order to raise an arch- 
bishop, obedient to all the whims of Henry VIII., to 
the throne of Canterbury. This archbishop was 
Cranmer, who is considered the chief author of the 
Reformation in England. 

There are some statements as to his hesitation to 
accept, either on account of his recent marriage, or 
the fears he entertained, in spite of all his good-will, 

* This complete oppoaition between members of one family is 
characteristic of the times. 


that he might not always be able to satisfy the im- 
perious whims of the King of England.* But at last, 
after six months, he yielded to the king's wishes — 
not a very long delay, according to the practice of 
the Roman cancellaria, for the confirmation of the 
appointment. It would no doubt have been rejected 
by the pope if he had received sufficient information 
concerning this disguised Lutheran. 

Meanwhile Francis I. continued his attempts at 
reconciliation between the pope and the King of 
England in good faith ; though the latter only 
agreed to them for form's sake, and with an in- 
difference more or less pointed. 

Francis I.'s influence with Clement VII. had much 
increased since he had asked and obtained the hand 
of the pope's niece, Catharine de* Medici, for his son. 
But what could this influence do, if Henry VIII. 
disdained to make use of it? 

Francis had been desirous of marrying his daugh- 
ter to the young King of Scotland, to cement an 
alliance between that prince, France, and the Court 
of Rome, so as to be able to resist the emperor. 
This proposed alliance was very ill-received by- 
Henry VIII. 

He was more inconvenienced than thankful for the 
attempts the King of France continued to make in 
his favour. Sure of having the lately-appointed 

* See the Life of Cranmer, by Todd, voL i, p. 51. 


Primate of England in his favour, he was not much 
troubled about what might take place at Rome or in 

After having asked, and received bulls from the 
pope, with special authorisation from Henry VIII., it 
seemed that Cranmer had merely to be consecrated 
Archbishop of Canterbury. But two or three days 
before the ceremony, with the royal approbation, he 
had to swear that he renounced all the clauses, 
sentences, and injunctions contained in the pope's 
bulls, wherever they were in any respect prejudicial 
to the dignity or rights of the king, and claims of 
his heirs and successors. He acknowledged that he 
owed his appointment as archbishop, and all append- 
ages to the title, to the king alone. And lastly, 
promised obedience and fidelity to his grace, upon 
the Gospel, by the help of God.* 

The ceremony of consecration had been fixed for 
the 30th of March, 1533, and was to take place in 
Westminster Abbey. In order to explain and qualify 
beforehand the oath he was about to take to the 
sovereign pontiff, before his unction, he summoned a 
notary and four witnesses into the sacristy of Saint 
Stephen's Chapel. He then made a protest that the 
oath he was just going to take to the sovereign 
pontiflf, whatever the terms might be, should not 
bind him to do anything contrary to the laws of 

* Strype, Appendix, No. vii, p. 10. 


England and the king's prerogative, nor be pro- 
hibitory of any religious reforms that might be 
thought desirable for England.* 

Then he went into the church, put on his robes, 
went to the high altar, where the Bishops of Exeter, 
Lincoln, and Saint Asaph were standing, and, hold- 
ing the Pontifical in his hand, he turned towards 
his witnesses, aside, saying that he only took the 
oath under the qualifications and protests he had 
just made. Then he read the form of the oath, 
and swore upon the Gospel he would keep it faith- 


The consecrating bishops were ignorant of the 
protests he had made out of their presence. Cer- 
tainly the sovereign pontiff had only issued his bulls 
to Cranmer on condition of the full and complete 
oath of fidelity that was his due ; any alteration or 

* " Non est meae voluntatis, nee intentionis per hujusmodi 
juramentum qualitercumque verba in his posita sonare videbuntur, 
me obligate ad faciendum aut obligandimi quod est aut esse 
videbitur contra legem Dei, aut contra Anglise leges et prseroga- 
tivas Regis ; — et non intendo quovis modo me obligare quominus 
libere loqui consulere et consentire valeam in omnibus et singulis 
reformationem religionis christianae quoquo modo concernentibus, 
etc." Strype, Cranmer, Appendix, No. v, p. 9. Ecclesiastical 
Memorials, London, 1721, 3 vols., folio. 

f *' Behold him," says Bossuet, "a specimen of a Lutheran, 
married, and concealing his marriage, archbishop of the Romish 
priesthood, subject to the pope, whose power he abhorred in his 
heart ; saying mass he did not believe, and giving authority to 
say it, and, nevertheless, according to M. Burnett, one of the most 
perfect bishops that ever was in the church." Histoire des 
Variations, liv. vii. 

pole's letter. 209 

diminution of the scope of this oath was destruc- 
tive of the force of the bulls that gave him the 
power of archbishop in England. It was trifling 
with holy things, and purchasing the highest dignities 
of the church by solemn perjury. 

Reginald Pole addressed a letter to Cranmer him- 
self, exclaiming, " That he had only been selected for 
the dignity for the sake of gratifying a shameful pas- 
sion, and cloaking it with some show of law and jus- 
tice ; for it is plain that was the only reason he had 
been made archbishop. That he was known to few 
before, and least of all to the giver of the dignity. Far 
from any of them thinking he was fit to be the head 
of the English clergy, he did not think so himself, 
and he would not have been appointed if he had not 
found that way of intruding himself into the Saviour's 

After that can there be any doubt that he 
entered in by the window, and not by the door, or 
rather crept into the sanctuary by hidden ways, like 
a thief and a robber 1* 

The first pastoral visitation that Cranmer made 
in his province was intended to establish firmly the 
ecclesiastical primacy of the King of England, and 
on this Bossuet observes, in his vigorous and bold 
language, " Then the complaisant archbishop had 
nothing so much at heart ; and the first act of 
jurisdiction done by the bishop of the premier See 

* Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. i, p. 252. 

VOL. n. p 


of England was to put the church under the yoke, 
and to subject the power she had received from on 
high to earthly kings." * 

* Histoire des Variations, voL vii, p. 329 ; small 12iiio edition. 



Portrait of Clement VII., by a Venetian Ambassador — 
Play acted between Henry VIII. and Cranmer — Meet- 
ing of Bishops and Divines, and majority in Favour of 
the Divorce — An Ecclesiastical Court, with Cranmer as 
President, pronounces a Sentence of Divorce between 
Henry VTH. and Catharine of Aragon — The same Cran- 
mer confirms and legitimises the Marriage contracted by 
the King with Anne Boleyn — Catharine's Correspond- 
ence with her Daughter — Communication of the Sentence 
of Divorce to Henry VHI. and Catharine — Catharine 
will not renounce her title of Queen — His Protests and 
Erasures — Her Moral Victory over Henry VIII. — Fisher 
and More under Espial in their Retirement. 

THERE is a portrait of Clement VII., drawn by a 
Venetian ambassador to Rome, about the time 
we have reached. " Prudent and wise, but long in 
coming to a decision, and giving rise to various 
conjectures, he talks well, he sees everything, but 
he can begin nothing. In statecraft no one is his 
superior; he hears what all have to say, and then 
only does what he thinks himself; he is just and 
devoted to God. He has not the spirit of magnifi- 
cence peculiar to Leo X., though he is very charit- 
able ; most self-restrained, economical in his mode 



of living, he will not have any jesters or musicians, 
and is no sportsman. Since he has been pope, he 
has only twice gone to Magnana, Leo X.'s villa." * 

Clement VII.'s continual irresolution is quite 
enough to explain how he could again defer his 
judgment in the divorce suit, after information of 
Anne Boleyu's marriage had reached him, and even 
after still more decisive acts in open insult to the 
pope's authority. 

In London no time was lost by the partisans of 
the divorce. Cranmer had been consecrated on the 
30th of March, and in the early part of April he in- 
stituted proceedings by calling a meeting of bishops, 
divines, and lawyers, to give their opinion as to the 
legitimacy of the marriage of Henry VIIL and Catha- 
rine of Aragon. Of the eighty-two divines, sixty-six 
said that the marriage was clearly unlawful and 
void ; but there was still a bold minority of sixteen 
to say no. Of the forty-four lawyers, six only voted 
against the king. 

Henry VUI. re-commenced a comedy like that he 
had played with Wolsey, but it was to be more 
complete, and carried on to the very end. Cranmer, 
in the name of the laws of Holy Church, demanded 
the king's permission to have the suit tried by the 
archiepiscopal court of the province of (Canterbury. 
Henry declared that he did not recognise the supre- 
macy of the church in such matters ; then Cranmer 
* Vol. vii of the Italian Collection, pp. 217, 306, et se(i. 


tnade a fresh demand for authorization, but in the 
name of God alone,* and the licence to act was 
immediately granted him. An ecclesiastical court 
was therefore appointed to be held on May 8th at 
Dunstable, a few miles from Ampthill, Catharine's 
residence. She was cited three times, and did not 
appear ; she was then declared contumacious. Cran- 
mer's assessors were Longlands, Bishop of Lincoln, 
and Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and eight doc- 
tors of canon law. And on Friday, May 23rd, 1533, 
Cranmer gave sentence on the finding of the court, 
that in the name of God the marriage of Henry and 
Catharine was null and void, as having been con- 
tracted and completed in violation of divine right. 

Cranmer, communicating this sentence to Henry 
in an official letter, gravely exhorts him to submit 
to the will of God, and on that condition declares 
him free from the censures he had incurred by living 
in unlawful connection with his brother's wife. Pole 
asks him if he had not laughed within himself when 
he thus acted the strict judge towards the king, and 
alluded to the risk he had run of being struck by 
the thunderbolts of heaven.f 

But this was not all ; this commencement had to 
be finished up by declaring the marriage of Henry 
and Anne Boleyn retrospectively valid, so as to 
leave no doubt as to the legitimacy of the children 

* See State Papers, published in 1847, vol. i, pp. 890, 391. 
t Poli, Epist., De Sacram. Eucharistix, p. 6. 


that might come, and their right to succeed to the 
crown. No doubt this union had taken place before 
the first marriage was annulled, but no difficulty 
could stop such docile judges and complaisant casu- 
ists as Cranmer and his worthy assessors. 

Cranmer therefore held another judicial sitting at 
Lambeth on May 28th ; and then, after having heard 
the king's power of attorney read, and examined 
various witnesses, he declared that Henry and Anne 
Boleyn had been joined in lawful marriage ; that this 
marriage had not been clandestine, but public and 
manifest, and that, if need were, he would confirm it 
by his judicial and archiepiscopal authority.* 

As soon as the pretended judgment against Catha- 
rine had been pronounced, she had written to the 
pope to inform him that she had been banished from 
the Court to Ampthill. Harshly parted from her 
daughter, she wrote to her not to make vain lamen- 
tations over her own fate, but advising her to apply 
diligently to her studies, under the direction of her 
new tutor, Doctor Featherstone. 

" Daughter, 

*' I pray you think not that forgetfulness has 
caused me to keep Charles so long here, and answered 

* As Bossuet points out, the unworthy weakness of Cranmer, 
his gross ingratitude to Anne, and his shameful complaisance in 
quashing all his marriages at Henry VIII's. will, deprive his first 
judgment of all appearance of authority that the name of arch- 
bishop might have given it. Histoire des Variations, liv. vii. 

THE queen's letter. 215 

not your good letter, in the which I perceive ye 
would know how I do. I am in that case that the 
absence of the king and you troubleth me. My health 
is metely good ; and I trust in God He who sent it 
me doth it to the best, and will shortly turn to come 
with good effect. And in the meantime I am very 
glad to hear from you, especially when they show 
me that ye be well amended. I pray God to con- 
tinue it to His pleasure. 

" As for your writing in Latin, I am glad that ye 
shall change from me to Maister Federstone ; for that 
shall do you much good to learn from him to write 
right, but yet sometimes I would be glad when ye do 
write to Maister Federstone of your own enditing, 
when he hath read it, that I may see it, for it shall 
be a great comfort to me to see you keep your Latin 
and fair writing and all. And so I pray to recom- 
mend me to my lady of Salisbury. 

" Your loving mother, 

" Catharine the Queene. 

"At Wobume, this Friday night,"* 

The last part of this letter betrays the pupil of 
Peter Martyr, the distinguished classical scholar who 
had attracted the attention of Erasmus in his youth. 
It is beautiful to see how this persecuted queen is 
able to control the expression of her sorrow and 
personal anxiety, thus to watch from a distance over 

* Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p. 136. 


her daughter's welfare, and procure for her a solid 
education which offers so many resources and conso- 
lations in all occurrences of life. 

Soon after, Catharine wrote her daughter another 
letter full of excellent advice, begging her to submit 
to her father's will with patience and meekness ; she 
feared, with good reason, that Mary might displease 
the king by the expression of her complaints, and 
that the spies surrounding her might gather them up. 
She felt that it would be unwise to risk damaging 
any chance that might remain of the rightful heiress 
of the crown some day gaining recognition and 
triumph for her lawful claims. This letter contains 
some expressions of affection for Lady Salisbury. 
" Tell her that to the kingdom of heaven we never 
come but through many troubles." 

A little later the unhappy queen, having heard that 
her daughter was ill, even condescended to write to 
Cromwell and ask him to obtain permission for her 
to see her child, saying "that a little comfort and 
mirth she would take with me would be a half health 
to her. For my love let this be done." But this 
affecting request was cruelly refused. This last trial 
was too hard and too bitter for Catharine ; she herself 
fell ill in the house at Ampthill where she was re- 

Cranmer had caused both parties to be informed 
of the sentence of divorce. He sent a notification of 

* It was a country house of Sir Thomas More in Hertfordshire. 


the judgment to Henrj VIII., with threats of the 
anger of heaven if he persisted in his unlawful com- 
merce with his brother's widow. These threats were 
tardy and illusive, for this intercourse thus stigmatised 
had ceased for quite three years.* 

The communication of the judgment to the queen 
was of quite another character. It was conveyed to 
her by Lord Mountjoy,t who had been her page, and 
who was sent to inform her that she was degraded 
from the rank and title of Queen of England. As 
she was ill, he could not wait upon her till after three 
or four days. 

At last she received him, " lying upon her pallet, 
because she had pricked her foot with a pin, so that 
she might not well stand or go, and also sore 
annoyed with a cough. Perceiving that many of 
her servants were there assembled, who might hear 
what should be said, she then demanded ' whether 
we had our charge to say by mouth or by writing V 
We said ' both ;' but as soon as we began to declare 
and read that the articles were addressed to the 
Princess Dowager, she made exception to that name, 
saying she was not * Princess Dowager, but the 

♦ An non tecum ipse ridebas cum tanquam severus judex regi 
tninas intentares ? Poli, Epist. De sac. Euch. 

t Miss Strickland, from whom we borrow this account, vol. iv, 
p. 139, does not say that Lord Mountjoy was attended by Sir 
Robert Dymoke, John Tyrrel, Griffith, Richard and Thomas de 
Vaux. See their report in the State Papers. This was July 13th, 


queen, and the king's true wife ; had been crowned 
and anointed queen, and had by the king lawful 
issue, wherefore, the name of queen she would vin- 
dicate, challenge, and so call herself during her 
lifetime.' " 

It was in vain that Mountjoy and his coadjutors 
alternately offered bribes and used threats. Catha- 
rine remained firm in her determination. She treat- 
ed all offers of augmentation to her income with 
queenly contempt. They proceeded to tell her, if 
she retained the name of queen, " she would (for 
a vain desire and appetite of glory) provoke the 
king's highness, not only against her whole house- 
hold to their hindrance and undoing, but be an 
occasion that the king should withdraw his fatherly 
love from her honourable and dearest daughter the 
Lady Princess Mary, which ought to move her if no 
other cause did." 

As they found that nothing would make Catharine 
yield, they endeavoured to prove her, and terrify her 
with threats directed towards her daughter. This 
was the first time such a thing had been done. 
Catharine would not be daunted, and quietly an- 
swered, " As to any vain glory, it was not that she 
desired the name of a queen, but only for the dis- 
charge of her conscience to declare herself the king's 
true wife, and not his harlot for the last twenty-four 
years. As to the princess her daughter, she was the 
king's true child, and as God had given her unto 


them ; so, for her part, she would render her again 
to the king as his daughter, to do with her as should 
stand with his pleasure, trusting to God that she 
would prove an honest woman ; and that neither for 
her daughter, her servants, her possessions, or any 
worldly adversity, or the king's displeasure that 
might ensue she would yield in this cause to put her 
soul in danger ; and that they should not be feared 
that have power to kill the body, but He only that 
hath power over the soul." 

Then she caused the minute of proceedings, 
brought by Lord Mountjoy, to be handed to her, 
and drew her pen through the words " princess 
dowager " wherever she found them, and substituted 
" Queen of England." * This minute is preserved in 
the national archives in London, with the alterations 
and additions made by Catharine. Authentic and 
everlasting protests against a great judicial iniquity .f 

By permitting her to make these brave alterations, 
Mountjoy, and the commissioners with him, allowed 
her, by implication, the title in dispute, and she 
made them feel her power as their queen both by her 
dignified attitude and the authority of her words. 

According to the orders he had received, Mountjoy 
wished to exact an oath from Catharine's servants 

* On July 5th, 1533, Henry withdrew the title of queen from 
Catharine by official proclamation. See the text of this proclama- 
tion in Rawdon Brown's Calendar, vol. iv, No. 933, p. 430. 

t It appears that she had a copy in Spanish immediately 


that they would only recognize and treat her as 
Princess of Wales. She forbade them to take this 
oath. However, several of them quitted her service, 
only a few remained with her at all risks ; and as 
Henry VHI. could not dismiss them all he was 
obliged to excuse those who remained in attendance 
on Catharine from the oath he had required. 

This was another moral victory gained by the 
deserted and friendless queen over the all-powerful 
Henry VHI. The king's persecution recoiled before 
the heroic constancy of some faithful servants. 



The Pope annuls the Sentence of Divorce, and threatens 
Henry with Excommunication — Guillaume du Bellay 
de Langey, French Ambassador in England — Cardinal 
de Tournon, Ambassador at Rome — ^Norfolk and the Eng- 
lish Ambassadors in France — They endeavour to separ- 
ate France from Rome, and Norfolk advises Francis I. 
to nominate a Gallican Patriarch — ^Norfolk accuses 
Francis I.'s Domestic Policy of weakness in respect 
of the Roman Court — Interview of Clement VII. and 
Francis I. at Marseilles. — Improper Behaviour of the 
English Ambassadors present — Conciliatory Mission of 
Bishop Jean du Bellay to England and Italy — "Well 
received by Henry VIII., he afterwards goes to Rome — 
He sends a Dispatch to the King of England — ^Notwith- 
standing the Promises made to Du Bellay, Henry VIII. 
continues his Aggressions against the Romish Church — 
Sentence given almost unanimously by the Consistory of 
Cardinals in favour of the Validity of Catharine's Mar- 
riage, and Bull of the Pope to the same Effect — The 
answer to Du Bellay's Dispatch arrives two days after 
the Sentence of the Consistory — But this Reply could 
not be of Consequence — While the Cardinals are still 
deliberating, the Anglican Church is being constituted — 
Henry VIII.'s Condemnation had become Necessary — 
Clement VII. had pushed his Temporisings, Concessions^ 
and Tenderness to the last Extremity. 

CLEMENT VII. would have appeared to acquiesce in 
the sentence of divorce pronounced in England, if 
he had not protested at the Vatican by an authentic 


deed emanating from his spiritual authority. He 
was in some sort compelled to do this, not nearly so 
much by the proceedings of what was called the 
Spanish faction at Rome as by the actual right of 
Queen Catharine, and the great interest attaching to 
her cause taken in itself, independently of all human 
support. A Papal bull was therefore published in 
the month of July, annulling Cranmer's sentence, 
and excommunicating Henry VHI. and Anne Boleyn, 
unless they appeared before the pope during the 
month of September, or separated before that time. 
Henry fought for his position foot by foot, and 
attacked this bull in a doctrinal tract, claiming to 
discover several nullities in it. 

On another side he had to conciliate France, even 
for the purpose of his suit, and, what is very curious, 
he had not lost all hopes of getting his marriage 
with Anne Boleyn, and the divorce sentence of 
Cranmer, approved at Rome by the pope. 

As he was displeased at the treaty of Cambrai, 
and required pecuniary compensations from Francis 
I. that he could not or would not pay, it was pro- 
posed to give him satisfaction of another sort. He 
said he wished to have a secret conference with an 
extraordinary ambassador of the King of France on 
most important matters. For this mission was im- 
mediately selected Guillaume du Bellay, better 
known under the name of Langey, brother of the 
bishop, Jean du Bellay, a general of distinction in 


the army, and a more steady man of business than 
his brother, the lively and rather worldly bishop, 
whom we have already had occasion to know. 

For this we can rely upon the memoirs of Martin 
du Bellay, Langey's third brother, written from 
fragments and notes of Langey's own.* 

The ambassador had been desired to announce to 
Henry VIII. the approaching marriage of the Duke 
of Orleans with the Duchess of Urbino, niece of 
Clement VII. Francis I. was to have an interview 
with the Holy Father in Provence, and take his son 
there, while Clement would bring his niece Catha- 
rine, and there, " to give greater security to our said 
Holy Father, and divert him completely from his de- 
votion to the emperor, the marriage should be 
brought to a conclusion." 

When the King of England saw Langey he replied 
by a no less interesting communication. 

" The business that Henry VIII. desired to declare 
to the King of France was that, after so many ad- 
journments and ' dissimulations ' {sic) as the Bishop 
of Rome " — as he called the pope — " had treated him 
to in the divorce suit, he had obtained a declaration 

* Montaigne says concerning this work : " C'est toujonrs plaisir 
de voir choses escrites par ceux qui ont essaye comme il faut les 
conduire." But he suspects Langey and Martin du Bellay of some 
partiality, for he adds: "C'est icy plustost un plaidoyer pour le 
roi Francois oontre Charles cinquieme qu'une histoire." See Me- 
moires relatifs a I'Histoire de France, by Michaud and Poujoulat, 
vol. V, p. 98, Paris, 1838. 


grantiog it from the English Church, with the Pri- 
mate of England as president, that his marriage had 
been declared null, and the dispensation null, as 
given in a case not capable of dispensation, and not 
within the power of the pope or the church." * 

The King of England also told Langey that he 
had married " la Marquise de Boleyn " before three 
or four witnesses only, that he should keep this 
marriage secret for some time, hoping that Francis 
I., during the interview proposed to be held in Pro- 
vence, might induce Clement VII. to confirm the 
sentence of divorce given by Cranmer, otherwise he 
would publish his marriage, and proceed to free 
himself entirely from the yoke and servitude to the 
Church of Rome. 

The emperor, according to Henry VIII., had made 
a " very passionate " speech to the Bishop of Rome 
concerning " the cruel war " that should be made 
upon the King of England, if he did not take back 
Catharine of Aragon for his wife, and restore her 
honours and dignities. Charles V. must expect a 
diversion in his favour to be made by the King of 
Scotland, with whom he had made an offensive and 
defensive league. 

Guillaume de Langey seemed to enter into Henry's 
ideas as to the bad behaviour of Charles V., but tried 
to pacify him as regarded the pope, and made him 
hope that Francis I., who was flattering the pride of 

* Memoires relatifs k THistoire de France, p. 254. 

THE pope's grievance. 225 

the Medici by offering them au alliance with one of 
the oldest dynasties of Europe, would get anything 
he chose from the sovereign pontiff when the mar- 
riage was being concluded ; only he added that suc- 
cess would be much more probable if the King of 
England himself were present at this interview. 

Henry would not expose himself to be called upon 
for explanations of his conduct which he would have 
found very difficult, for he could not very well ex- 
cuse his continued disobedience to the pope, after 
his promise not to press matters any further, and 
not only marrying Anne Boleyn, but even also mak- 
ing her Queen of England, and giving her the hon- 
ours of a solemn coronation. 

That was the very point Clement VII. complained 
of to the French ambassadors, especially Cardinals 
de Tournon and De Grammont. " To have taken 
cognisance of the divorce suit contrary to the formal 
prohibition of the Holy See, reserving the judgment 
to itself, was a matter of considerable encroachment 
upon the privileges of the Holy See especially as 
during the time he was prayed to suspend the pro- 
cess, and make no innovation until the meeting, the 
said king was always making innovations and going 
further." * 

Cardinal de Tournon, commissioned by Francis I. 
to press the pope in favour of the King of England, 
did his best, and thus relates the result of his attempt 

* Memoires relatifs h I'Histoire de France, p. 255. 


to his master : " The Holy Father replied that he was 
much grieved to have been unable to satisfy your 
majesty, but that the King of England had con- 
strained him, and almost obliged him to do as he 
had done,* especially since he had seen that the new 
marriage had taken place contrary to his inhibition 
and prohibition, and, further, had passed his laws of 
supremacy and others to the grand detriment of the 
Holy See and the Church, and again caused the 
Archbishop of Canterbury to proceed to judgment, 
who, in the same judgment, whereof we have seen 
the duplicate in open consistory, styles himself legat 
ne in England of the Apostolic See, and he has pro- 
ceeded against and beyond the authority of the said 
Holy See. Truly, sire, most of the cardinals would 
have been disgusted with the pope if he had not 
acted as he has. Certainly, sire, you would not do a 
small thing for the King of England if you persuade 
the Duke of Norfolk that this is the case. If the 
King of England will make ever so small a semblance 
of retiring from his attacks, and obeying the pope — 
and His Holiness can find an honourable colour to 
do anything for the King of England — I assure you, 
sire, that, for love of you and him, he will do it as 
willingly as he can .... I believe, sire, that you 
have been informed that the king has recalled all his 
ambassadors here away (at Rome), and has desired 

* Memoires de Du Bellay, Authorities, the Abbe Lambert's 
edition, vol. ii, p. 454. 


Doctor Benoit (Benett) to take leave of the pope and 
come home." 

This letter gives a clear account of the position of 
Clement VII., and the judicious mind and great 
practical sense of Cardinal de Tournon is evident 
in it. 

A very strong current in favour of the rights of 
Queen Catharine had set in all over the Catholic 
world, and at the Court of Rome. The pope could 
not withhold his deference to it. Henry VIII. had 
managed to create an opposing current in England 
by his machinations, frauds, and abuse of power, and 
would have found it diflScult, if he had wished it, to 
stem its course and go back. And so, when he sent 
an embassy to France composed of the Duke of Nor- 
folk, Lord Rochford, Pawlet, Brown, and Bryant, the 
ostensible object was to discuss Francis's offers of 
mediation. But the secret instructions were to 


counsel that king also to pass a law of supremacy 
in spiritual matters, or, at least, to appoint a French 
patriarch, who might free him from the necessity of 
having recourse to the sovereign pontiff, either for 
the institution of bishops, dispensations, or the disci- 
pline of the clergy ; if the King of France would take 
up this plan, and engage to forbid any dispatch of 
money to the pope's treasury, Norfolk was desired 
to offer a considerable subsidy to the King of France. 
Francis endeavoured to persuade the duke that, with 
concessions on both sides, an agreement might still 



be come to between Rome and England. But he 
firmly refused the corrupting proposals made to 
draw him into a revolt against the Holy See ; pro- 
testing, nevertheless, that he should be able ta 
defend the prerogatives of his crown, as his pre- 
decessors had done, and would not permit any 
encroachment on the part of the spiritual authority 
over his temporal dominion. 

Norfolk, having failed in his real mission, left 
France on some excuse ; and his speedy departure 
must have vexed Cardinal de Tournon considerably, 
as he looked upon the duke's presence at the inter- 
view at Marseilles as the last chance of success for 
his attempts at concihation. Norfolk persuaded 
Henry to send two other ambassadors, Bryant and 
the Bishop of Winchester. 

When Francis had met the sovereign pontiff at 
Marseilles, he wished to proceed with the divorce 
business before anything else, and invited the English 
agents to a conference, and to discuss the clauses of 
an agreement between Henry VHI. and the Holy 
See. Their cold and disdainful attitude struck the 
King of France. Bonner, lately come from England, 
went with his two colleagues to inform the Holy 
Father " of his master's appeal, and give him notice 
of the council, a thing that put His Holiness, and not 
without cause, into such a state of despite and de- 
spair as cannot be told." At last Francis I., taking 


them apart, said to them, "I see plainly that the 
king my brother, however much he presses me to 
mediate in his affair with our Holy Father, does not 
consider anything should be done." The ambassa- 
dors began to smile,* and confessed that they had 
no power from their master to negotiate or treat 
this aSair. 

However, as the King of France would still hope 
and try a last effort, he endeavoured to persuade 
dement VH. that all chance of reconciliation was 
not lost ; and he took upon him to send to Henry, 
Jean du Bellay, who had become Bishop of Paris, 
and, on his appointment, ceased to be ambassador to 
England. Indeed, the bishop himself solicited this 
important mission ; he knew the ground perfectly, 
possessed Henry's confidence, and asserted that he 
should be successful in effecting a reconciliation, not 
only between the two kings, but even between the 
King of England and the Court of Rome. 

We, however, should think that the sycophant of 
Anne Boleyn and flatterer of Henry VHI. was less 
desirably situated than anyone to exercise an influence 
on that king. 

The King of France had given detailed instruc- 
tions to Jean du Bellay, entitled, "Minute of the 
points that Monsieur du Bellay, Bishop of Paris, will 
have to introduce to the King of England, to impute 

* Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 580, 683. 


to his ministers the rupture of the negotiations 
undertaken by Francis I. with the pope in favour of 
King Henry VIII."* 

After some tolerably strong complaints as to the 
conduct of the English ministers, in dexterous language 
that threw all the responsibility upon them, as if 
Francis had understood one of the fundamental points 
of the British constitution, he concludes, '' that an 
attempt must be made to connect and re-unite the 
King of England and the Holy Apostolic See by the 
means mentioned at Marseilles, and others considered 
good and reasonable, So that on both sides the 
injuries or attacks given and received might be 
gently repaired, and the said Paris should do every- 
thing he possibly could to the very end, not forget- 
ting to offer him to make a good confederation and 
defensive league among those three." 

The Bishop of Paris was very well received by 
Henry VHI., but he made bitter complaints of the 
way the pope had behaved to him, as he said he 
wished to compel him to leave his kingdom and ap- 
pear at Rome in person, to personally uphold his right. 
Nevertheless, after the sharp and strong remonstrance 
made him by the Bishop of Paris, he was pleased to 
promise that, if the Holy Father consented to arrest 
judgment of the divorce until new commissioners had 
been appointed to try the suit, he also would delay 
the plan he had announced of withdrawing entirely 

* Histoire du Divorce, Legrand, vol iii, pp. 571, 588. 


from the authority of the Romish Church.* There- 
upon the ofBcious prelate proposed to undertake to 
go himself to Rome to argue in favour of the divorce, 
and this oflfer was accepted. Jean du Bellay there- 
fore went to Italy through all the inclemencies of 
winter. He was to act in concert with the English 
ambassadors in residence at the pope's Court. These 
last had instructions that were called conciliatory. 
They were commissioned to propose that the divorce 
suit should be tried again in England, with an un- 
derstanding that the judgment given should be 
sanctioned by the pope, and to promise that on these 
conditions the kingdom should remain in obedience 
to the Apostolic Holy See. 

In spite of the promises made to Du Bellay, as soon 
as that ambassador had started for Italy, Henry did 
not trouble himself in the least to suspend his atta cks 
upon the Romish Church. On the contrary, while in 
the instructions sent to his ambassadors he pretended 
in some respects to make advances to the Holy Father, 
and aflfected to be reconciled to him, he contioued to 
separate from him further and further, by the direc- 
tion given to his home government. 

There is in existence a curious letter of the Duke 
of Norfolk,! in which he thanks Francis I. for having 

* Memoirs of Maxtin du Bellay, JVIichaud's Edition, vol. v, pp. 
283, 284. This author's authority is especially good here, as he 
must have known what Henry VIII. had told his brother. 

t Of January 27th, 1534, J. Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 688, 595. 
It has been stated that Francis I. had entered into negotiation 


sent Monsieur de Paris to Rome in the interest of 
Henry VIII., and allows himself to assert that, accord- 
ing to the best doctors of England, the pope has no 
more power beyond the diocese of Rome than any 
other bishop has beyond his own diocese. He says that 
"these doctors have, by their irrefragable reasons, 
convinced me and other nobles and common people of 
this kingdom of this truth, and confirm it from day 
to day ; so that if the king his master gave them 
permission to bring the matter forward, if he allowed 
the present Parliament to discuss it, the pope him- 
self and his successors would not only lose the obedi- 
ence of the whole kingdom, but even everything 
connected with him and his authority would always 
be there detested and held abominable." 

The Duke of Norfolk, under pretext of giving 
semi-official advice and friendly information to 
the ministers of Francis I., dares to use these ex- 
pressions, saying that " since the interview at Mar- 
seilles the king his master (Francis) is by no means 
too much inclined to favour the pope to the detri- 
ment of his own jurisdiction and royal power. For 
his said master being the very powerful and most 

with the German Lutherans for their support, and to engage to 
■withdraw himself from obedience to the pope. This does not seem 
to be proved historically. Only one contemporary's testimony 
can be quoted, and that is very suspicious, being Christopher 
Mount's, a German, and agent of King Henry VIII. with 
Francis I. This Mount had tried to put Melancthon in communi- 
catioa with the King of France, but, it seems, had not succeeded. 


Christian king, who recognises no superior, why 
had he, as was reported, procured a bull from the 
pope to do justice in his kingdom. As mucH as to 
say that he had no such power before without the 
pope's bull. Could not the pope, under colour of 
this, usurp the royal power, and also bring up the 
case to the detriment of all other kings and princes?" 

Now what was all this about ? It relates to two 
pontifical bulls ; one on the correction and punish- 
ment of heretics in France, the other concerning the 
condemnation of priests and clerks convicted of 
heresy. In order to avoid any conflict with ec- 
clesiastical authority, Francis I. asked and obtained 
a formal authorisation from the pope to have crimes 
against religion prosecuted before his secular judges, 
and even to simplify the necessary forms for the 
degradation of a priest accused of heresy, a degrada- 
tion that could only be decreed by spiritual au- 
thority.* This was on Francis's side in full accord- 
ance with the Church, while in England the only aim 
was war and separation. 

Thus Henry VIII. was not contented with seeking 
to draw England into schism, but also attempted to 
propagate this policy of discord between State and 
Church among the neighbouring powers; he en- 
deavoured to encourage mistrust and hatred towards 
the papacy. 

* See the letter of the bull quoted in the authorities. Histoire 
du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii, pp. 615, 616, 617. 


We have just seen that one of his ministers had 
the audacity to interfere in French policy, and cen- 
sure it for over-complaisance towards the Court of 
Rome. Such an impudent interference would have 
deserved to be repulsed with the knightly scorn that 
was part of Francis I.'s character, and was at times 
80 well expressed by him. 

It may be seen from Norfolk's letter that Henry 
had managed to turn public opinion within his king- 
dom in a direction most hostile to the papacy ; and 
by that means he had prepared a favourable recep- 
tion for the bills he laid before his parliament in the 
beginning of 1534, which were destined to make the 
breach between Rome and England yet wider and 

Cromwell, who, as we have said, had been ap- 
pointed chancellor of the exchequer, as a recompense 
for his past services, was desired to support these 
bills, with the assistance of Cranmer, the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. 

The submission in spiritual matters extracted the 
year before from the convocation of the clergy, was 
established by statute, and in the preamble was 
intentionally placed * an article that seemed to limit 
the duration of it to the reign of Henry VIH., but a 
clause had been added to the eflfect *' that all such 
canons and ordinances as had been already made, 
and were not repugnant to the statutes and customs 

* Lingard says, " artfully omitted," vol. iv, p. 204. (Ed.) 


of the realm, or the prerogatives of the crown, 
should be used and enforced till it should be other- 
wise determined according to the tenor and effect of 
the said act." 

Therefore, in virtue of this statute the king might 
have caused religious crimes and suits to be tried by 
the civil tribunals ; but neither he nor his successors 
made use of this power, because the spiritual courts 
had lost their purely ecclesiastical character, and 
the entire clergy, since the separation, had become 
one of the divisions of the power wielded by the 
state. The clauses of an earlier statute, forbidding 
appeals to Rome in certain cases, were extended to 
all cases whatsoever, and in the event of an appeal 
from the archbishop's judgment, instead of the ponti- 
fical court, it was to be carried before the king in 
chancery, and he was to appoint commissioners, 
whose judgment should be final in the cause. This 
high court bore the name of the Court of Delegates. 

" In addition to the statute by which the payment 
of annates had been forbidden, and which had since 
been ratified by the king^s letters patent, it was 
enacted that bishops should no longer be presented 
to the pope for confirmation, nor sue out bulls in his 
Court ; but that, on the vacancy of any cathedral 
church, the king should grant to the dean and 
chapter, or to the prior and monks, permission to 
elect the person whose name was mentioned in 
his letters ; that they should proceed to the election 


•within the course of twelve days, under the penalty 
of forfeiting their right, which, in that instance, 
should devolve to the crown ; that the prelate 
named or elected should first swear fealty; after 
which the king should signify the election to the 
<irchbishop, or, if there be no archbishop, to four 
bishops, requiring them to confirm the election, and 
to invest and consecrate the bishop-elect, who might 
then sue his temporalities out of the king's hands, 
make corporal oath to the king's highness, and to no 
other, and receive from the king's hands restitution 
of all the possessions and profits, spiritual and 
temporal, of his bishopric." * 

Certainly this was breaking the last links that 
bound the English episcopacy to the Roman Catholic 
Church. This was destroying the natural lawf which 
now had regulated the relations of kings and states 
with Rome for several centuries all over Europe. 
The spiritual power had no longer any share left in 
the hierarchial government of England. The new 
Act of Parliament placed this power entirely in the 
English crown. In truth, certain nominal preroga- 
tives were reserved to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
in his character of primate. But it was decided that, 
if any person found himself injuriously affected by a 

* Lingard, vol. iv, p. 204. (Ed.) 
t Le droit public. This law, or right, is of course assumed by 
the writer, who cannot be expected to acknowledge that it was 
the result of Roman usurpation. (Ed.) 


eentence of the archbishop, by presenting a petition 
to Chancery he might compel the prelate to give the 
reasons for his sentence, and the king would still 
consider them, and give supreme judgment. 

Parliament also settled the question of succession 
to the throne. The marriage of Henry and Catha- 
rine had been declared null at law, and that which 
he had contracted with Anne Boleyn, having been 
declared lawful and valid, the king's issue by the 
first marriage was excluded irom the succession, and 
that by the second alone was made inheritable of 
the crown. Any attempt to slander this last mar- 
riage, or seek to prejudice the rights of the heirs 
that might issue from it, was declared to be high 
treason. Any person knowing of writings, or hear- 
ing words against this act of succession, might be 
prosecuted, if he did not denounce them, as an ac- 
complice of misprision of treason. Lastly, all the 
king's subjects of full age were obliged to swear 
obedience to this act, under the penalty incurred by 

Never were the rights of liberty of conscience 
more outrageously violated than by such acts of 
Parliament. This set of acts and laws just described 
contained a whole ecclesiastical organization, inde- 
pendent and even exclusive of the Romish Church. 
Henry VHI. was building a kind of spiritual fortress^ 
and surrounding it with entrenchments, on pretence 
of defending himself against attacks from without. 


But when he had established his little church, he 
8oon came to merciless proscription of any who still 
desired to be in communion with the great church 
he had himself belonged to. In his eyes it was an 
immediate consequence of his separate establishment. 
Anglicanism was already created, and the only work 
left was to strengthen it and develop it to the 

Henry VIII. may be said to have already made 
his breach with the Papacy irreparable. His mar- 
riage to Anne Boleyn seemed to shut him out from 
the possibility of retreat. 

Du Bellay, not choosing to believe that this revo- 
lution in religion had advanced so far, continued to 
labour at the impossible reconciliation. As soon as 
he arrived at Rome, he obtained an audience of the 
consistory, and gave information to the cardinals of 
his proceedings with the King of England, and asked 
permission to send him the Holy Father's final pro- 
posals before definite judgment was given in the 
divorce case. This request seemed reasonable, and 
was well received by the august assembly. Du 
Bellay, therefore, immediately despatched a messen- 
ger to King Henry VIII. himself, ordered to travel 
with the utmost expedition, so as to get back by the 
day appointed for the consistory. The day arrived 
before the courier's return. Then the Bishop of 
Paris prayed for a further delay of six days, pointing 
out that the courier might have met with accidents 


on the road, that there had been storms at sea and 
contrary winds ; lastly, that, as the King of England 
had waited six years, the cardinals might well wait 
six days for him.* 

These last words, betraying an eager partisan of 
Henry Vlll., were neither suitable, nor just, nor 
true ; from these boasted six years of royal patience 
must be deducted three years of intimacy with Anne 
Boleyn, without reckoning the secret marriage with 
her, or the sentence of divorce given by Cranmer. The 
cardinals considered that the request was a little too 
much for their forbearance. 

They determined to proceed to judgment on the 
day arranged, March 23rd, 1534. Twenty-two car- 
dinals were present. With the exception of three, 
who were for more delay, and absented themselves 
when it was refused, they all gave sentence to the 
effect that " the marriage of the King of England 
and Catharine has been and is good and valid, and 
the present or future offspring of it is and will be 
legitimate." t 

The pope immediately confirmed the cardinals' 
sentence in a firm and dignified bull, given below. } 

* Martin du Bellay, Histoire du Divorce, p. 234. 
t Letter of J. du Bellay, Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. 
iii, p. 631. 

X The Latin text of the bull : 

" Clemens Papa VII., 
" Christi nomine invocato, in throno justitise pro tribunali sedentes, 
et Bolmn Deum prse oculis habentes, per banc nostram definitivam 


This was the triumph of justice so long expected. 
Rome had at last spoken, and given the case against 
a powerful king to the weak unjustly oppressed. As 
the sovereign pontiff had been forced to give an 
opinion, he could not decide against Queen Catharine 
without dishonour to himself. He was obliged to 
condemn Henry VHI., whatever might be the conse- 

sententiam, quam Tenerabilimn fratrum nostronim, sanctse Romanas 
Ecclesiae cardinalium consistorialiter coram nobis, congregatorum con- 
cilii et assensu, ferimus in his scriptis, pronnntiamus, decernimus, et 
declaramus : in causa et causis, ad nos et sedem apostolicam per ap- 
pellationem, per carissimam in Christo filio, Catliarinam Angliae regi- 
nam illustrem, a nostris et sedis apostolicae legatis, in regno Anglije 
deputatis, interpositam legitime devolutis et advocatis, inter praedictam 
Catharinam reginam et carissimum in Christo fihmn Henricum octa- 
vnm Angliae regem illustrem super validitate matrimonii inter eosdem 
reges contracti et consummati, rebusque aliis in actis causae et causa- 
rum hujusmodi latins deductis. Et dilecto filio Paulo Capissucho, 
causarum sacri Palatii tunc decano, et propter ipsius Pauli absentiam, 
venerabili fratri nostro, Jacobo Simonetae, episcopi Pisauriensi, unius 
ex dicti Palatii causarum auditoribus lociim tenenti, audiendis, instru- 
endis, et in Consistorio nostro Secreto referendis commissis et per eos 
nobis et eisdem Cardinalibus relatis et mature discussis coram nobis 
pendentibus, matrimonium inter praedictos Catharinam et Henricum 
Angliae reges contractum, et inde secuta quaecumque fuisse et esse 
validum et canonicum ; et debere sortiri effectus, et prolem exinde 
susceptam et suscipiendam, fore et fuisse legitimam. Et praefatum 
Henricum Angliae regem teneri et obligatvmi fuisse et fore, ad cohabit- 
andum ciun dicta Catharina, ejus legitima conjuge, illamque maritali 
affectione et regie honore tractandam. Et eumdem Henricum Angliae 
regem, ad praemissa omnia et singula cimi effectu adimplendum, con- 
demnandum, omnibusque juris remediis cogendum et compellendum 
fore prout condemnamus, cogimus et compellimus. Molestationesque 
et denegationes, per eumdem Henricum regem eidem Catharinae, super 
invaliditate ac foedere dicti matrimonii quomodolibet factas et praestitas, 
fuisse et esse illicitas et injustas. Et eidem Henrico regi super iUis ac 
invaliditate matrimonii hujusmodi, pei-petuum silentium imponendum 
fore et imponimus . . . . " 


quences. Clement VII. had himself made public 
recognition of this some time before his final 

The English and French ambassadors were as- 
tounded; the same evening the Bishop of Paris 
wrote to King Francis I., " It has not been your 
fault, and the imperialists allow it, that, while hon- 
ourably acting up to your friendship for the King of 
England, you did not make it your duty to prevent, 
both now and for the future, one of the greatest 
troubles that has for a long time fallen upon the 
Church, or, peradventure, the whole of Christendom. 
At the present moment there are great crowds of the 
imperialists in the streets, crying out, Impero e 
Spagna, and they are firing great guns and small to 
show ofi" their delight." * 

Bishop du Bellay, writing in hearing of all these 
rejoicings, shows clearly enough how much they vex 
him. This seems to show that he really had a hope 
that his negotiation would be successful even at the 
last gasp. 

Two days afterwards, on the 25th of March, came 
the courier expected from England ; he brought, it 
is said, satisfactory declarations from Henry VIII. 
** This," according to Martin du Bellay, " marvel- 
lously astonished those who had chosen to precipi- 
tate matters. They met several times to try to 
mend what they had spoiled, but they found no 

♦ Histoire du Divorce, J. Legrand, vol. iii. Authorities, p. 634. 


remedy. The King of England, seeing with what 
indignity he had been treated, and the disrespect 
shown to his majesty, being also treated no better 
than the meanest in Christendom, separated both 
himself and his kingdom from obedience to the 
Romish Church ; making himself, next to God, head 
of the English Church. This is the summary of 
events." * 

Such great events, whatever may be said, did not 
hang on two days' delay of a public messenger. 
Whatever was the nature of Henry VIII.'s des- 
patches, he had not waited to know what effect they 
might produce before having himself proclaimed head 
of the English Church, and deriving most important 
consequences from this spiritual supremacy. It is 
clear that he would only have submitted to Rome, 
if Rome had put him in the right. 

Martin du Bellay, whose account we have given, 
could not forget that his two brothers had pleaded 
for the divorce, no doubt in the belief that they were 
acting in the interest of France, and perhaps of the 
Church. He naturally, therefore, endeavoured to 
diminish the moral value of a decision that con- 
demned the side they had taken, and entailed the 
failure of all their diplomacy. Besides, to take a 
comprehensive view of the situation, when the con- 
sistory gave sentence, it was necessary to look at 
England as well as Rome ; there can be no doubt 

* M^moires, p. 284. 


that one of those decisive steps that are irrevocable 
had been just taken in that country in the direction 
of separation and spiritual rebellion. 

Therefore it cannot be supposed that the reply- 
sent by the messenger to Rome was favourable ; for, 
at the time when Henry VIII. gave his despatches 
to this messenger, all his actions showed his invin- 
cible determination to withdraw himself from the 
authority of the Holy See and communion with the 

As Lingard points out, " The judgment given by 
Clement could not be the cause of that separation, 
because the bill abolishing the power of the popes 
within the realm was introduced into the Commons 
in the beginning of March, was transmitted to the 
Lords a week later, was passed by them five days 
before the arrival of the courier (March 20), and re- 
ceived royal assent five days after his arrival in 
Rome (March 30)." See Laud's journals, pp. 75, 77, 
82. " It was not possible that a transaction in Rome 
on the 23rd could induce the king to give his assent 
on the 30th." * Indeed there was no telegraph, nor 
railway, nor steamboat, not even regular, well-served 
posts, and a messenger who went from London to 
Rome in eight days would have accomplished such a 
prodigious feat as to be specially mentioned in 

* Lingard. Note, vol. vi, p. 203. 
t We find in a history of Hugh of Lyons, called La diplomatie fran- 

B 2 


Therefore it was not because the Court of Rome 
had precipitated matters, and had showed little re- 
spect for the King of England, that the separation 
was proclaimed in that kingdom ; the separation wa& 
the result of the spiritual supremacy there arrogated 
to himself by Henry VIII., as well as the suppression 
of all appeal of English subjects to the Court of 
Rome ; and the pope would have gained nothing by 
extending his consideration to such a length. Is it 
credible that he might have succeeded in re-establish- 
ing his power over England, if he had delayed sen- 
tence in the divorce suit for a few days ? Would the 
Parliament and the king have repealed the bills they 
had just passed and given assent to 1 Besides, Jean 
du Bellay, who received Henry VIII.'s despatch, must 
have known its contents ; if they embraced acceptable 
proposals of agreement, why did not he make them 
known ? Why did he neglect this means of defend- 
ing the King of England, being such an ardent parti- 
san. No doubt Henry VIII. required the pope to 
pardon and authorise the deed that was done ; but 
the sovereign pontiff, who had at three different 
times sent prohibitions and inhibitions to the King of 

9ai8e, au xvii sifecle by Valfrey, vol. i, introduction, p. xciv, Paris, Didier, 
1877 : " In the seventeenth century an ambassador often had to bear 
great responsibiUties, because the urgency of business rendered it im- 
possible to ask for and await special instructions, an operation that re- 
quired, between Paris and Rome, for instance, thirty days." This 
proves the case. 


England * against proceeding to a second marriage 
before the first was annulled, and had menaced him 
with his anathemas, in case of violation of these 
inhibitions, could not discredit his own judgment, 
and give a premium to the rebellion because it had 
been perpetrated. It would have been a moral abdi- 
cation, a kind of suicide of the papacy such as could 
not be dreamt of, and Providence could not permit. 

This created a double weight of circumstances, and 
any wish to contend with them was senseless. It is 
impossible to understand how, on the eve of March 
23rd, Jean du Bellay could still dream of reconcilia- 
tion. Still less can it be understood how some 
modern historians could venture to accuse Clement 
VII. of having driven England into separation by 
excessive obstinacy and precipitancy. 

On the contrary, a careful study of facts will pro- 
duce a conviction that the pontiff carried the system 
of temporisation, concession, and political circum- 
spection to the utmost verge.f The gate of repent- 
ance long stood open for Henry VIII., but his in- 
curable obstinacy prevented his taking advantage 
of it. 

At last the gate was shut, and shut so that it 

* The first brief fulminated on this matter by Clement VII. is 
dated March 7th, 1530, the second on January 10th, 1531, the 
third December 23rd, 1532. 

t Histoire d'Angleterre, by M. de Larrey, p. 273. 


could not be opened. It was time the suit was ended, 
perhaps the most famous that ever took place in the 
world. The King and Queen of England appeared 
as principals ; the emperor and the King of France 
joined in as counsel. All Europe was the attentive 
and silent audience. After very sharp and sometimes 
passionate debates, and a grave and profound inquiry, 
the church spoke its final judgment. 

A Protestant writer has said that the prejudices of 
Europe were in favour of Rome ; the event turned 
out in England's favour. This prejudice of Europe, 
that is to say the whole civilized world of the time, 
was only a remarkable testimony paid to justice and 
truth ; the event that took place in England was a 
local victory won over innocence and virtue by fraud 
and force.* 

* I have ineffectually examined tlie French archives and libraries at 
Paris in search of the despatch of Henry VIII. to Du BeUay, that he 
says would have prevented the decision of the consistory, and conse- 
quently the Enghsh separation. I afterwards applied to Professor 
Brewer, and he made a similar search in the Record Office and London 
collection of papers, and this is the reply he was kind enough to send 
me : — 

"Jane 26th, 187& 
" Deab Sm, 

" I have made careful search among the papers preserved at 
this office, but I can find none like that mentioned in your letter. 
Notwithstanding the statement of Du Bellay, I should much doubt 
whether any such proposal was made by Heniy, still less in the definite 
terms stated by that historian. It would be entirely at variance with 
the rest of the king's correspondence. I am sorry I have not been able 
to answer your letter before. 

" Yours very truly, 

" J, L. Brewer." 



I. Henry VllX. gradually becomes a Persecutor — A vehe- 
ment Sermon of a Franciscan Friar of the Observance, 
before the King, comparing him to Ahab — Next day 
Henry sends his Chaplain to the Monastery of the Ob- 
servants — The Chaplain having been badly received, the 
Privy Council summon the Prior before them, and con- 
demn him and the Preacher to banishment — All the 
Monks of the Monastery are soon afterwards condemned 
to the same Punishment — Singular Fulfilment, at least to 
a certain amount, of the Prophecy made to the modern 

n. Father Forest and his Correspondence with Catharine 
— ^The Predictions of the ecstatic Elizabeth Barton — 
Fisher's and More's Communications with her are politi- 
cally Incriminated — Fisher prosecuted and made to 
apologise — More guiltless on this Occasion — Interroga- 
tory and Answers of Sir Thomas More — Fisher and More 
committed to the Tower for not taking the Oath of Suc- 
cession — Their property is Confiscated, and they are kept 
in Prison — Spiritual Supremacy of the King proclaimed 
all over England— Fisher and More refuse to swear to 
to this act of Supremacy — Condemnation, Execution, and 
heroic Behaviour of Fisher — Trial, Defence, and Condem- 
nation of More — His Firmness and Death — Indignation 
in the Political and Learned World of Europe — Execution 
of several Clergymen. 



N English political historian has called Henry 
VIII. " by nature the most uncontrollable of 


mankind." * Indeed there are but few sovereigns of 
modern times who have had a greater determination 
not to accept a check or any sort of disapproval of 
their government, their views, and personal opinions. 
Nevertheless, while Wolsey and Campeggio were 
holding their last sittings at Blackfriars, even after 
the evocation of the suit to Rome, while priests or 
divines were remonstrating with Henry VIII. about 
the divorce, and even attacking him yiolently, he 
had no notion of the infliction of corporal punish- 
ment upon them. He still entertained some kind of 
respect for the freedom of the church, and especially 
for the freedom of the pulpit. He was not in the 
least desirous of driving away indiscreet censors, 
or of stifling their words like a troublesome or in- 
convenient outcry. But here is an instance when 
his royal patience seems to have been driven to 
extremity by the audacity of a Franciscan monk 
called Peto, a member of the Convent of the 
Observants; "which Peto, having more regard to 
the (health of the) king's soul and the public wealth 
of the realm than to the safeguard of his own body, 
and having occasion in a sermon he made to entreat 
of King Achab, said, ' This King Achab would needs 
give ear to the false prophets which did circumvent 
and deceive him, and would not hearken to God's 
own prophet, Mycheas, whom he pained and pinched 
with hard diet and straight imprisonment,' which 

* Hallam. 


story he, accommodatiog to his purpose, did tell the 
king to his face : ' Sir, I am the Mycheas that you 
deadly hate, for prophesying and telling you the 
truth ; and albeit I know that I shall be fed with 
the bread of tribulation, yet that which God putteth 
in my heart I will frankly speak.' " Whereupon, with 
many persuasions, he dehorted the king from the 
divorce. Among other things, " Your preachers," 
(quoth he), " resemble the four hundred preachers ot 
Achab, in whose mouths God had put a lying spirit. 
But I beseech your grace to take good heed at least ; 
if you will needs follow Achab in his doings, you 
will incur his unhappy end also, and that the dogs 
lick your blood as they did his, which thing God 

When the bold preacher used this strong language 
the king was apparently amazed at it, and almost 
stupefied ; and let him go without a thought ot 
arrest or rebuke. But, after a time for reflection, 
the feeling of insult overcame him, and he was 
greatly exasperated. " The next Sunday, which 
was Palm Sunday, (he provided) that one of his 
chaplains, called Courrant, should prettily play home 
the said Friar Peto, who was in the mean season 
gone to a provincial chapter of the said Observants, 
then kept at Canterbury. But, lord, what a stir that 
Courrant made against that poor friar, being absent, 
and what nicknames he gave him I At length, as 
though he had now full conquered him, he began to 


triumph and insult upon him, crying out, ' Where ia 
Miser and Micher Micheas? Where doth he now, 
Micher ? He is run away, for that he would not 
hear what should be said unto him. Belike he is 
somewhere lurking, and musing with himself by 
what means he may honestly recant.' 

" There was at this time among others in the 
rood-loft, adjoining to the pulpit, a reverend, grave, 
and virtuous friar and father, called Elstowe, who 
being much offended with this great Golias bragge 
answered out of this said rood-loft, ' Forsooth,* 
(quoth he), 'Micheas is gone abroad, not for any 
fear of you, but for the affairs of our house, and 
to-morrow will he return. In the mean season, lo 
I will be another Micheas, and do offer myself, upon 
the loss and peril of my life, to avouch and prove 
by the Holy Scripture all that he hath said, and do 
offer myself to stand against you (being one of the 
four hundred false prophets) before any indifferent 
judge.' Many other things he would have then 
spoken, and much ado there was to stay him. At 
the hearing of this the king was cast into a great 
choler ; and in a great heat commanded that these 
friars should be conveyed thither where he should 
never hear more of them. After a day or two they 
were called before the counsell, and, after many 
rebukes and threats, a nobleman told them that they 
deserved to be thrust into a sack, and to be thrown 
and drowned in the Thames. Whereat, Friar Els- 

THE friars' banishment. 251 

towe, smiling : * Make these threats,' (saith he), ' to 
the courtiers, for as for us we make little accompt, 
knowing right well that the way lieth as open to 
heaven by water as by land.' " * 

Elstowe and Peto were banished the kingdom, 
and the other monks of the convent, having taken 
their part, were served the same. Twenty-four 
years afterwards, being almost all alive, they were 
restored to their convent by Queen Mary.f 

* Pretended Divorce, Harpsfield, pp. 202, 203. [Gairdner, Calendar, 
vol. V, p. 441. Chapuys to Charles V. " On Easter Day the provincial 
of the Friars Minors preached at their convent at Greenwich before the 
king, who was not pleased with the sermon ; for the preacher said that 
the unbounded affection of princes and their false counsellors deprived 
them of the knowledge of the truth. The king spoke to the provincial 
afterwards, and heard words which did not please him ; for the pro- 
vincial told him clearly that he was endangering his crown, for both 
great and little were murmuring at this marriage. The king dis- 
sembled his ill-will, and, not being able to alter the provincial's opinion, 
gave him leave to go to Tholouse. When he heard of his departure he 
caused one of his chaplains (Doctor Richard Coren, or Curwen) to 
preach there in his presence, contrary to the custom of the convent, 
and the wish of the warden. The chaplain began to contradict what 
the provincial had preached, saying that he wished he were present to 
answer him. On this the warden rose and said that he would answer 
for his minister in his absence. At the close of his sermon the chap- 
lain dared to say that all the universities and doctors were in favour of 
the divorce. The warden could not stand this lie, and said, in pre- 
sence of the king, that it was not so. The king was very angry, and 
has caused all the bishops to tell the provincial, who has returned, 
that he ought to deprive the warden, and make him amend his error. 
This he will not do, and yesterday the king had them both arrested. 
They have promised Chapuys they wiU rather die than change their 
opinion. The provincial went abroad more to have a book in the 
queen's favour printed than for the chapter." Given to show Harps- 
field's general accuracy in the matter.] (Ed.) 
t Harpsfield, p. 205. 


Here the learned doctor who tells this story also 
mentions a remarkable incident that happened imme- 
diately after Henry VHI.'s death, on the faith of 
most honourable testimony. 

When the king's body was being taken from Lon- 
don to Windsor where he was to be buried, it lay 
the night at the convent of Sion, one of those or- 
dered by the government to be suppressed. In the 
night, whilst lying in the deserted church of the 
convent, from the shaking of the oar or some reason, 
the lead coffin containing the king's body burst, and 
blood fell on the floor of the church. Next day, 
when the plumbers came to solder up the coffin, they 
found a dog licking up Henry VHI.'s blood, like the 
dogs in Scripture licking Jezebel's blood.* So Father 
Peto's prophecy seemed fulfilled. 

If there had been any monks left in the convent 
at Sion, they would have been praying around the 
king's coffin, and the pavement of the sanctuary 
defended from pollution. No Catholic, even the 
meanest and poorest, would leave the corpse of a 
member of his family alone the night before burial. 
And the powerful king, who had made all around 
him tremble, who found nothing to resist his will, 
a few hours after his death had not a faithful servant 
to protect his remains.f 

* Harpsfield, p. 203. 
t The account does not appear to imply that the corpse was left 
alone. On the contrary, the previous mention of " A continual watch 
was made by the chaplains and gentlemen of the Privy Chamber in 


Harpsfield, the Archdeacon of Canterbuiy, who 
gives this strange story, is anxious to relieve a large 
number of the English clergy from the reproach of 
servility at this time. Having displayed the noble 
conduct of the friars observants, he mentions the 
names of several doctors who dared to write against 
the divorce, and take the pope's side in this great 
theological dispute, " as Doctor Kirkham, Doctor 
Roper, Doctor Holyman, Master Moremon, Master 
Bayner, and many others ;" and then he goes on : 
" But the chief and most notable captains were the 
Bishop of Rochester, Sir Thomas More, and the Lord 
Cardinal Pole."* 

We must dwell a short time on the two former of 
these illustrious men, as their noble death must not 
be passed over in silence. 

About the beginning of the year 1534, religious 
tyranny extended over the kingdom. A poor vision- 
ary, Elizabeth Barton, better known under the name 
of the Nun of Kent, pretended to have visions. It 
was said she had prophesied the king's death within 
six months if he should divorce Catharine. Fisher 
and More had seen the visionary, and had heard her 

their coarse and order night and day for fire days, till the chapel was 
ready " — Burke's Historical Portraits, vol. ii, p. 253 — and other men- 
tions of ceremonial observed, would show that there . was no want of 
attention. Moreover, Harpsfield says the dog was creeping under the 
plumbers' feet. (Ed.) 

* Harpsfield, p. 205. 


menacing prediction. They had not sent informa- 
tion to Henry VIII. The nun was hung, after mak- 
ing confession of trickery and deceit. Some monks 
were also executed who had encouraged her in her 
imposture ; also, the illustrious ex-chancellor and 
saintly Bishop of Rochester were prosecuted for not 
revealing it (misprision of treason).* 

These two men were very simple in their lives, 
equally averse to luxury and careless of riches. 
Their independent characters stood out in bold relief 
from the general corruption. 

Fisher was but a young churchman when the 
Duchess of Richmond, grandmother of Henry VIIL, 
before her death begged him to watch over her 
grandson, and give him good advice. When the 
bishop grew old, he did not forget the trust placed 
in him, and it was the easier, for, when Henry VIII. 
became king, for eighteen years of his reign he al- 
ways showed great respect for the bishop, and sanc- 
tioned the apostolic freedom of his language. 

But all this was changed when the suit was 
brought against the queen. We have seen how 
Fisher's noble protest in Catharine's favour was fol- 
lowed by Henry VIII.'s minute full of excessive 
polemical anger against his old adviser. 

When the nun of Kent was prosecuted, the Bishop 
of Rochester was questioned as to his communica- 

* See the end of chap, xviii. 


tions with her; he refused to answer. A bill of 
attainder was launched against hira. Cromwell 
caused a suggestion to be made that, if he would 
plead guilty and throw himself on the king's mercy, 
he might be pardoned. Fisher refused the dishon- 
ourable bargain ; he wrote a very firm letter to the 
Lords, saying that he had not informed his sovereign 
of the visionary's language ; first, " She spoke not 
of any violence to be ofiered to Henry, but of the 
ordinary visitations of Providence ; secondly, because 
she assured him that she had already apprised the 
king of the revelation made to her." However, the 
bill was read a second and a third time in the House 
of Lords by a large majority, and Fisher was obliged 
to compound for a fine of three hundred pounds to 
the crown. When it was paid, he was set at liberty. 
As to Sir Thomas More, perhaps he had done 
wrong in accepting the office of chancellor, which he 
had held for nearly two years ; and we have seen 
that he resigned because he feared he might find 
himself committed to a religious policy irreconcilable 
with his conscience. He had retired to his country 
house at Chelsea, where he spent his life in his 
domestic cares, study, and prayer. He had distrust- 
ed the ecstatic Elizabeth Barton. He thought she 
was a pious woman, but ill and a prey to hallucina- 
tions.* He wrote several times about it to the king 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 212. 


and Cromwell. The Duke of Norfolk also warmly 
took the ex-chancellor's part, and he escaped criminal 

But a fortnight after the condemnation of Eliza- 
beth Barton and her accomplices, April 13th-, 1534,* 
Sir Thomas More and Fisher were called before the 
council at Lambeth, and asked whether they would 
take the new oath of succession. But the act con- 
tained a great deal more than appeared in its title. 
It declai'ed that no power on earth could dispense 
with the prohibitions of the divine law, and that the 
marriage of Henry and Catharine had been from the 
beginning null and void. 

More was introduced first, and offered to take the 
oath as concerning the succession alone, and except- 
ing the other clauses contained in the act, for mo- 
tives that prudence compelled him to suppress. 
" It was intimated to him that, unless he gave the 
reasons for his refusal, that refusal would be at- 
tributed to obstinacy. MoRE: It is not obstinacy, 
but the fear of giving offence. Let me have suf- 
ficient warrant from the king that he will not be 
offended, and I will explain my reasons. Crojiwell : 
The king's warrant would not save you from the 
penalties enacted by the statute. MoRE: In that 
case I will trust to his majesty's honour. But yet it 
thinketh me that, if I cannot declare the causes 

* This was also nineteen days after the sentence given against the 
divorce at Rome. 


without peril, then to leave them undeclared is no 
obstinacy. Cranmer : You say that you do not 
blame any man for taking the oath. It is then 
evident that you are not convinced that it is blam- 
able to take it ; but you must be convinced that it is 
your duty to obey the king. In refusing, therefore, 
to take it, you prefer that which is uncertain to that 
■which is certain. More : I do not blame men for 
taking the oath, because I know not their reasons 
and motives; but I should blame myself, because I 
know that I should act against my conscience. And 
truly, such reasoning would ease us of all perplexity. 
Whenever doctors disagree we have only to obtain 
the king's commandment for either side of the ques- 
tion, and we must be right. Abbot OF WESTMINSTER : 
But you ought to think your conscience erroneous 
when you have against you the whole council of the 
nation. More : I should, if I had not for me a still 
greater council, the whole council of Christendom."* 

After this examination, at which More never ceased 
to show his ability and nobleness of mind, Fisher was 
called in, and he took up a similar position. He 
made no objection to the oath required of him as to 
the succession to the throne, since the right might be 
settled by the civil power ; but, as to the doctrinal 
point, he asserted that the church alone was com- 
petent. He and More were both sent to the Tower. 

A council was summoned to consider their fate. 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 213. Note from More's works, pp. 1429, 1447. 


There were two opinions as to it. Cranmer proposed 
that their oaths should be taken with the restrictions 
attached to it. In reality the concession they made, 
imperfect as it was, might have great advantages. 
Catharine at home and the emperor, abroad would 
not be able to claim two high authorities against the 
.rights of the new queen's children to the crown. 
Refusal of this partial submission to the bill by the 
Bishop of Rochester and the ex-chancellor was to 
make them reject it altogether. This opinion of 
Cranmer^s was opposed by Cromwell, who, perhaps 
less politic, and certainly less merciful, desired to ex- 
tract an unconditional submission, or to terrify their 
friends by punishing them with the utmost severity. 
Henry VIII. adopted this view. 

The two distinguished prisoners were attainted, 
and lost all their titles and dignities, and were 
sentenced to confiscation of their property and 
imprisonment for life. 

Sir Thomas More, thanks to the care of his daugh- 
ter, Margaret Roper, was not left in want of the 
necessaries of life. Fisher, forbidden all communica- 
tion from without and thrown into a damp dungeon, 
was obliged to ask Henry VIII. himself for some 
clothing, as his own had fallen to rags, and left him 
half naked in the cold and frost. 

In the month of November following, the king's 
spiritual supremacy was proclaimed by act of parlia- 
ment all over the kingdom of England. This new 

fisher's CONDEMNATION. 259 

legislation furnished the means of resuming, by im- 
plication, the criminal prosecution against the ex- 
chancellor and Fisher. 

Magistrates and dignitaries of the church went 
down into the dungeon where the Bishop of Roches- 
ter lay. They promised him freedom and restoration 
to all his honours, if he would consent to take the 
oath of supremacy. Here there was no distinction 
to draw. Fisher repelled the tempters. He plainly 
answered them that the king could not be the head, 
of God's Church. 

On the 7th of May, 1535, Fisher was convicted of 
having said " maliciously and traitorously, the kyng, 
our sovereign lord, is not supreme hedd yn erthe of 
the Churche of Englande." He was found guilty on 
the evidence of persons sent by the council to discuss 
the question of supremacy with him. Paul III., 
successor to Clement VH., had named Fisher in a 
general promotion of cardinals before the report of 
his condemnation reached Rome. When Henry VHI. 
heard this, he let drop these words that cannot be 
read without shuddering, " Paul may send him a hat, 
but I will take care he have never a head to wear it 

Fisher was condemned on June 17th, 1535, to the 
punishment of traitors, but this was not carried out 
to its full extent. The 22nd of the same month, the 
day he was to die, he took care to be dressed more 
carefully than usual, and, when asked why, he said 



he hoped it was the day of his eternal bridal. As he 
was on his way to execution, the crowd of people 
delayed his progress for some time. He made use 
of this opportunity to consult the Bible, opening it 
by chance, and praying to God to let him find in 
Holy Scripture, at the moment of his death, the con- 
solation he had always drawn from it all the days of 
his life. He fell on the following passage, " This i» 
eternal life that they might know Thee the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." — St. 
John, xvii, 3. 

He expressed great satisfaction at having met with 
a text that seemed to justify him for having preferred, 
before his king on earth, his king in heaven, — the 
real king of eternity. So he went on repeating and 
meditating on these beautiful words. On the scaffold 
he chanted the Te Deum, and when he had done his 
head was cut off.* 

All Henry VIH.'s old affection for the Bishop of 
Rochester had turned into deep^ implacable hatred. 
He was not content with the execution, but pursued 
his vengeance beyond death, giving orders that the 
body should be exposed naked all the rest of the day 
to the insults of the people.f Thus did he wash 
away his old respect for this saintly bishop. 

Sir Thomas More had avoided committing himself 

* See Histoire d'Angloterre, by the Protestant refugee, M. de Larrey, 
ToL i, p. 309. Rotterdam, R. Lcert, 1697, dedicated to William m. 

t Mortui corpus nudum prorsus in loco supplicii ad spectaculum 
populo relinqui mandaverat. Polus, Apolog. ad Car., p. 96. 

more's condemnation. 261 

on the burning question of Henry VIII.'s supremacy. 
In a long indictment he was accused, among other 
charges, of having encouraged Fisher in his resist- 
ance. He clearly proved in his defence that he had 
neither written to him nor sent him any message on 
this matter. Thinking the case desperate, the 
fiolicitor-general, Rich, requested to be heard as a 
witness. He declared that More had told him " the 
Parliament cannot make the king head of the Church, 
because it is a civil tribunal, without any spiritual 
authority." * More denied saying this, because he did 
not trust Rich, and had only answered him by silence. 
But even this silence seemed to be a mark of high 
treason. After a short deliberation the ex-chancellor 
was found guilty. 

More requested to speak, and, after some objection, 
was allowed. He said that he had not before ex- 
pressed his opinion, " lest he might appear to be 
wantonly courting his doom ; but he now said he 
never could find that a layman could be head of the 

" This further only have I to say, my lords, that 
like as the blessed Apostle, St. Paul, was present and 
consenting to the death of the proto-martyr, St. 
Stephen — and yet they be now twain holy saints in 
heaven — so I verily trust that we may hereafter meet 
in heaven." t 

* Lingard, vol. vi, p. 223. 
t Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, voL i, p. 584. 


As he left the bar to return to the Tower, his bod 
kneeled to ask his blessing. His daughter followed 
the guard, and twice made her way through them 
to kiss him and weep. The people were much dis- 
tressed when they saw this venerable old man, witik 
white hair, leaning on his sta£^ walking with difficulty 
through the most crowded streets of the City. Preju- 
dice was silenced by mercy, and sympathy supplanted 

When he reached the Tower he was informed that 
Henry VIU., as a special favour, had commuted the 
punishment of traitors into decapitation, when he 
expressed a hope that none of his friends might ex- 
perience a like mercy from the king. 

He mounted the scaffold with the same serenity 
and lengnation. Being allowed to address the 
people, he only said he died faithful to God and the 

Certainly More and Fisher are two noble charac- 
ters, but there are differences between them.. 
When prosecuted for treason, the Bishop of Roches- 
ter considered that any defence would be useless and 
undignified. He would not plead for his life with 
judges whose votes were already sold to tyranny. 
He was a saint who calmly went to meet martyrdom. 

The attitude of Sir Thomas More was not the 

* Tlin -mi not all tiie blood abed at tius time for the same cause. 
The priots of flie thiee dtMitBr-haaaea of Ltmdoa, AxOiolm, and Belle- 
▼al voe ezeentod, Reyaidda, a monk of Sioii, and a secular deigyman,, 
also time modka «£ Sua. JJbagu^ ^oL vi, p. S18. 

more's conscientiousness. 263 

same ; less heroic, no doubt, especially at the begin- 
ning, it was that of a conscientious but clever law- 
yer, defending himself foot by foot against treacher- 
ous accusations and infernal plots. The mission he 
had to fulfil was to illustrate in his person the 
violence of his country's laws, and the scorn of 
fundamental principles, considered by the English 
to be the most sacred of their constitution.* 

With them the home, the hearth of the head of 
the family was guarded by special rights. The 
threshold of a free man could not be crossed without 
his leave ; the Englishman's house was a castle, and 
social justice itself paused before this fortress, and 
had no right of entry. 

Well, there is an asylum still more inviolable than 
a man's house, there is a sanctuary so impenetrable 
that even the power of the Caesars must respect it ; 
this asylum, this sanctuary, is conscience. 

Sir Thomas More believed that his thoughts were 
out of reach of attack if they remained confined to his 
own home. In this wide and high meaning did he 
understand domestic right. With all the resources 
of a lawyer, he had kept himself within the bounds 
of strict legality. But there is a kind of government 
under which silence becomes a crime, and it is rebel- 
lion to hold the independence of belief even in secret. 

• See voL i. of an Histoire du droit criminel des peaples modemes, 
pp. 94, 95, et seq. The violation of certain rights was punished by the 
outlawry of the guilty. 


This independence seems to be a tacit protest ; and 
apostacy in power, having the control of force and 
authority, cannot forgive it ; especially imperious, 
and implacable in its proselytising, it will never ad- 
mit innocence but in accomplices. 

When More and Fisher perished on the scaffold, 
there was a sort of amazement in England ; but com- 
plaints were only under the breath. On the Conti- 
nent there was a noisy and unanimous explosion of 
public indignation. It found vent not only among 
the learned Catholics, but among the educated of 
all shades of opinion, and echoed throughout 



Pretended Conspiracy of Catharine — Visit of two Bishops 
or Commissioners of Henry to Bugden — Eequirement of 
the Oath — Resistance of Catharine and her Servants — 
Arrest of her two Chaplains — Touching Letter to the 
King — She only obtains a Portion of her Request — She 
objects to residing at Fotheringay, and prefers Kimbol- 
ton — Her Distress and Tears — A Labourer's Generosity 
— Catharine's Letter to Father Forrest — His Answer — 
Henry VHI.'s Commissioners. 

A MODERN historian, who is regarded as a highly 
graphic writer, but who is partial and impas- 
sioned, Froude, ventures to accuse Catharine of 
having, together with certain monks, originated a 
dangerous conspiracy against Henry VIII. " The 
innocent saint at Bugden was the forerunner of the 
prisoner at Fotheringay." * 

The memory of the illustrious prisoner, Mary 
Stuart, has been vindicated by Wiesener, De Chan- 
telauze, Gautier, &c. It would be easierf still to 
justify Catharine, if need were. Froude is conde- 
ecending enough to excuse the supposed plots of 

♦ Froude, vol. ii, p. 173. t Far easier. (Ed.) 


Catharine and her daughter Mary ; he says, " Most 
naturally blending their private quarrel with the 
cause of the Church." * 

Catharine requires no such excuses. It is plain 
that Henry VIII.'s counsellors tried to impute an air 
of conspiracy to the noble resistance of the queen 
and her household. 

During the course of the summer, the queen's resi- 
dence had been transferred to Bngden, a country 
house belonging to the Bishop of Lincoln. It was 
there that, " when one of her gentlewomen began to 
curse the Lady Anne Boleyn, she answered, ' Hold 
your peace. Curse her not, but pray for her ; for the 
time will come shortly when you shall have much 
need to pity and lament her case.' " 

At Bugden the queen seemed gradually to recover 
her usual cheerfulness and peace of mind, but the 
tranquillity of her retreat was disturbed by the visit 
of Archbishop Lee and Bishop Tunstall. The two 
prelates began by reading her the articles whereby 
she was enjoined not to consider herself anything 
but Prince Arthur's widow, and no longer to bear 
the title of queen, and, as they report to Henry, 
" for that your highness was discharged of that mar- 
riage made with her, and had contracted new mar- 

* Page 172. But he allows a little further on, " The scheme, in the 
form it had so far assumed, was rather an appeal to fanaticism than a 
plot which could have laid hold of the deeper mind of the country. 


riage with your dearest wief^ Queen Anne — and fair 
issue has already sprung of this marriage." Catha- 
rine's patience at last gave way ; she replied, with 
evident anger, " she would never quit the title of 
queen, which she would persist to retain till death, 
concluding with the declaration that she was the 
king's wife, and not his subject, and therefore not 
liable to his acts of parliament." Thus in this king- 
dom, where everything bowed beneath the tyranny 
of Henry VIII., his wife continued almost singly to 
resist his will, depending on her rights as wife and 

The commissioners ordered that the members of 
the household should take the oath not only to 
Henry VIII. but to the new queen, Anne Boleyn, 
as ordered in the new act, known as the bill of the 
six articles. The queen rose from the couch she was 
resting on, and dragged herself to the hall where all 
the persons in her service were assembled, and, with 
regal dignity, she forbade them to take the oath to 
any but the king and herself. Then the commis- 
sioners inquired whether Catharine's spiritual ad- 
visers had fomented this spirit of rebellion and 
sedition in her. Her two chaplains, Abel and Parker, 
were pointed out to them, and were called before the 
commissioners to be questioned ; these worthy priests 
declared that, in their eyes, this pretended rebellion 
was only legitimate resistance, and that they had 
not and would not be able to discountenance it, for 


they considered Catharine of Aragon to be the only 
real and true Queen of England. 

This was a bold reply, and they were both arrested, 
but Parker was presently released, and resumed his 
duties as almoner to Catharine. Abel was thrown 
into prison, and reserved, like Father Forrest, for the 
death of a traitor. 

Sir Edmund Bedingfield was appointed governor 
of Catharine's household. A guardian or gaoler, 
under another name. 

Henry VIII. was enraged at Catharine's obstinate 
resistance, and chose to punish her through her 
daughter ; so he did not allow the Princess Mary to 
visit her mother, and declared her incapable of suc- 
ceeding to the throne of England, as not born of a 
lawful marriage. 

The unhappy queen at the same time saw that any 
mark of interest shown towards herself or her cause 
would be severely punished. It was for making use 
of expressions of that kind that ladies of the highest 
rank, such as the Duchess of Norfolk and the Coun- 
tess of Rochford, were arrested and sent to the 
Tower, when Henry VIII. said that he would leave 
them time enough to reflect upon the rashness of 
their speeches. A more serious matter was the 
prosecution of More and Fisher, and their conviction 
and execution. Nothing conld have wounded Catha- 
rine more than the death of the Bishop of Rochester, 
formerly her spiritual director, whom she loved as a 


friend and worshipped as a saint. No wonder, then, 
that sore grief vexed Catharine's heart at Bugden, 
and that traces long remained in this residence where 
she suffered so much, but was not to die. A con- 
temporary says : 

" There was in the said house of Bugden a cham- 
ber with a window that had a prospect into the 
chapel, out of the which she might hear divine 
service. In this chamber she enclosed herself, se- 
questered from all other company, a great part of 
the day and night, and upon her knees used to pray 
at the same window, leaning upon the stones of the 
same. There were some of her gentlewomen which 
curiously marked all her doings, who reported that 
oftentimes they found the said stones where her head 
had reclined wet, as though a shower had rained 
upon them. It was credibly thought that, in the 
time of her prayer, she removed the cushions that 
ordinarily lay in the same window, and that the said 
stones were imbrued with the tears of her devout 
eyes, when she prayed for strength to subdue the 
agonies of wronged affections."* 

And yet she wished to live for her daughter's sake. 
In a private communication to the king she begged 
him to leave with her not only her confessor, but also 
her physician and potecary, two men-servants, and as 
many women as it should please the king's grace to 
appoint ; but at the same time she declared that she 
* Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p. 141, from Harpsfield, p. 200. 


Avould only keep those persons near her who had 
taken oath only to the king and herself, and to 
" none other woman." This reservation was caused 
by the form of oath required of the servants. " Ye 
«hall swear to bear faith, troth, and obedience only 
to the king's grace, and to the heirs of his body, by 
his most dear and entirely beloved lawful wife. Queen 

" As to my physician and potecary," continues 
Queen Catherine, " they be my countrymen ; the king 
knoweth them as well as T do. They have continued 
many years with me, and have (I thank them) taken 
great pains with me ; for I am oft times sickly, as 
the king's grace doth know right well. And I re- 
quire their attendance for the preservation of my 
poor bodie, that I may live as long as it pleaseth 
God. They are faithful and diligent in my service, 
and also daily do they pray that the king's royal 
estate long may endure. But, if they take any other 
oath than they have taken to the king and me (to 
serve me), I shall never trust them again, for in so 
doing I should live continually in fear of my life with 
them. Whereupon I trust the king, of his high 
honour and goodness, and for the great love that 
hath been betwixt him and me (which love in me 
now is as faithful to him as ever it was, so take I 
Ood to record I), will not use extremity with me, my 
request being so reasonable." * 

* Miss Stricldand, vol. iv, p. 146. The papers are damaged by fire. 


Only a portion of Catharine's reasonable and natu- 
ral request to the king was granted, though made in 
such humble and gentle terms. Her confessor, Abel, 
who was quite conversant with her native language, 
Spanish, was not restored to her. It is true that her 
physician and potecary were left to her, and an old 
priest named Allegua, and designated as Bishop of 
Llandaff, because the old man was timid and quiet, 
and always imploring Catharine to yield to expedi- 
ency. And she was allowed to keep some of her 
servants and several women. 

Henry VHI. did not believe that Catharine was 
conspiring against him, but that did not prevent his 
taking insulting and useless precautions. She would 
have liked to have been assigned a residence more 
healthy than Bugden, and nearer to her daughter. 
Taking no account of this desire, Lord Sussex came 
from the king with an order that she was to go at 
once to Fotheringay, a place already noted for its 
malaria, arising from the miasma of the marshes. 
"Against all humanity and reason," says Sussex, 
*' she still persists that she will not remove, saying 
that, although your grace have the power, yet ne 
may she, ne will she go, unless drawn with ropes." 
And the noble lord asked directions what to do if 
she took to her bed, and said she was ill. 

Thomas Vaux, one of the queen's officers, and a 
spy of Cromwell, sent information that Catharine 
did not care to remain at Bugden, but would like to 


live in one of her dower houses. At last she con- 
sented to take up her abode at Kimbolton, though 
she thought the air of that residence was not very 
good for her health, from its excessive moisture. 

Thpugh she made this concession, the Duke of 
SuiFolk treated her with such insolence that she felt 
obliged to turn him out of the room. 

When she took up her abode at Kimbolton, in the 
beginning of the year 1535, she very soon saw that 
the little comfort left her at Bugden was much re- 
duced. As Prince Arthur's widow, she had a right 
to five thousand pounds a year. But she was very 
irregularly paid by Sir Edmund Bedingfield during 
the long sickness that preyed upon her all the time 
of her stay there. She writes that she was abso- 
lutely in want of money for her household expenses. 
This was known in the neighbourhood, and there is 
an instance that shows how much disposed the people 
around were to help her. 

A labourer of Grantham, near Kimbolton, found a 
great pot of brass, containing a helmet of pure gold 
set with jewels, and chains of gold, with some old 
defaced rolls of parchment. He at once took this 
little treasure to Queen Catharine. But she was 
already dangerously ill in bed, and the present the 
good man wished to make her was intercepted, and 
fell into the hands of Henry VIII.'s agents.* 

About the same time, Catharine heard that Father 
* Harpsfield, p. 137. 


Forrest, her old confessor, who had been arrested on 
suspicion of high treason, had been thrown into 
Newgate prison, and associated with the vilest 
criminals. He would have been released, if he 
would have sworn to the act of succession, but he 
absolutely refused, and was subjected to twice as 
much severity. 

Greatly troubled at the information she received 
of the torments inflicted upon her spiritual father 
for no crime but fidelity to her, the queen sent him 
a letter full of fervent piety and tender reverence 
for the confessor of the faith ; and it breathes at the 
same time the accent of ineffable sadness which re- 
calls the sorrows at Calvary. 

The letter and reply are to be found in the pages 
of Sanders, no doubt preserved and communicated 
to him by the English Jesuits. In the end of the 
reply, Forrest says he has only three days to live ; 
but that was not so — he was not to suffer martyr- 
dom so quickly — and death seemed only deferred in 
order to prolong his sufferings. He was spared 
none of the horrors of the punishment, being burnt 

The king had some notion that secret communica- 
tions were established between Catharine and some 
of her old servants ; he was enraged at it, and sent 
commissionei's to Kimbolton to seize the letters, or 
even persons who might be hidden there. These 
agents did their work with such brutal violence that 


the scene must have shortened the queen's days.* 
Thus do the servants of princes, in the beh'ef that 
they are making themselves acceptable to their 
masters, often exceed the orders they have received. 
Absolute kings ought to know that they are gene- 
rally too well served by their subordinates, and they 
ought to moderate, and not stimulate, a zeal that 
may throw terrible responsibilities upon them, and 
ruin them for ever in the judgment of history. 

* This appears from a letter written to Father Forrest by one of 
Catharine's ladies, Elizabeth, Lady Hammond, whom Polino, in his 
Italian Chronicle, calls Lisabetha Amnonia. See Polino, pp. 126, 129, 
and Miss Strickland, 2nd ed. 



I. Letter sent by Catharine from Kimbolton to Henry 
VIII. — Her last Illness — ^Visit of her early Friend, Lady 
Willoughby — Eustace Chapuys, the Spanish Ambassador, 
obtains an Audience of the Queen — Her last "Wishes — 
Henry VIII. does not respect Them, or pay her Legacies 
— He puts on Mourning for Catharine, as his Sister-in- 
law — Anne Boleyn refuses to wear it. 

II. Portrait of Catharine — Justice done to her Character 
by Shakespeare — ^Appreciation of M. Eio. 


WHEN Catharine believed herself to feel the ap- 
proach of death, she wrote to the king in 
most moving language to beg him to allow her 
daughter to have a short interview with her, and 
receive her last blessing. This favour was merci- 
lessly refused. Shortly before her death, she sum- 
moned one of her servants to her bedside, and 
dictated to him the following letter : 

" My Lord and Dear Husband, — I commend me 
to you. The hour of my death draweth fast on, 
and, my case being such, the tender love I owe you 
forceth me with a few words to put you in remem- 

T 2 


brance of the health and safeguard of your soul ; 
which you ought to prefer before all worldly mat- 
ters, and before the care and tendering of your own 
body, for the which you have cast me into many 
miseries, and yourself into many cares. For my 
part, I do pardon you all, yea, I do wish and 
devoutly pray God that He will also pardon you. 

"For the rest, I commend unto you Mary, our 
daughter ; beseeching you to be a good father unto 
her, as I heretofore desired. I entreat you also in 
behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions ; 
which is not much, they being but three. For all 
my other servants I solicit a year's pay more than 
their due, lest they should be unprovided for. 

" Lastly, do I vow that mine eyes desire you 
above all things." * 

This letter was received by Henry on December 
15th, 1535. It is said he had tears in his eyes when 
he read it, and that he sent a messenger to Kimbolton 
to carry a loving message to his repudiated wife. 
A copy was given to the Spanish ambassador. It 
was little for the king to do, but perhaps it was a 
good deal for this forsaken soul, so used only to 
meet with a repulse where she should have found 
help and support. If it was not a very decided sign 
of sympathy, it was at least a last token of his 
existence that Henry gave her. 

* Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p. 149. 


Proofs of more devoted affection and sweeter 
consolations remained for Catharine in her last 

Among the ladies Catharine had brought with her 
from Spain was DoSa Maria de Salazar, who had 
married Lord Willoughby.* She had never ceased 
to keep up a communication with her distant rela- 
tion, the unhappy queen. Her consent to pay but 
very few visits, according to the king's desire, was 
very likely intended to secure admission at the last. 
As soon as Lady Willoughby was informed of the 
queen's danger, she did not waste a moment, or lose 
time by asking for a fresh royal permission, as it 
might have been refused. She mounted her horse, 
although it was very cold, snowing, and the roads 
bad. A short distance from Kimbolton she had a 
fall, but mounted again at once, and valiantly pur- 
sued her way. She arrived at six in the evening, 
when it was dark, covered with mud, and very 
weary. Governor Bedingfield began by asking her 
if she had a written permission to visit the Princess 
Dowager, for such was the official title of Catharine. 
She answered that she would get leave afterwards, 
but in her present condition her chief need was to 
get warm herself, and arrange her dress. After 
resting a little, she insisted on being conducted to 
the queen's bedside. Bedingfield did not dare to 

* She had become a widow at the age of twenty-seven, and so was 
mistress of her actions, when she paid her bold visit to Elimbolton. 


refuse. This was the Ist of January, 1536. No 
doubt she wished Catharine a happy New Year, not 
to be spent on earth, but in heaven. Meanwhile 
she poured a little balm upon the cruel wounds. 
8he spoke to the queen in Castillian, their native 
tongue, not understood by the other women present. 
They must have exchanged some sweet recollections 
of youth and home, like a beam of Spanish sunshine 
come to brighten the deathbed. 

Eustachius Capucius, or Chapuis, the Spanish am- 
bassador, reached Kimbolton next day, January 2nd. 
He had his permit in form, and penetrated without 
difficulty to Catharine^s chamber, where he remained 
about a quarter of an hour. Bedingfield was with him, 
but did not understand the talk of the queen and 
the ambassador, as he knew no Spanish. 

Lady Willoughby had no permit to show. But 
she had managed to secure her place by Catharine's 
bed, and would not be removed till she had closed 
the eyes of her royal friend. 

For three or four days more Catharine was perfectly 
conscious. She thus was enabled to receive the last 
sacrament with great fervour. For a short time her 
physician entertained hopes, but the improvement 
was transitory. On the morning of January 7th the 
breathing became laboured, the tongue swelled ; ex- 
treme unction was administered at about ten o'clock. 
At two in the afternoon the queen breathed her last 
in the presence of Eustace Chapuys and Lady Wil- 


onghby. As Harpsfield well says, "She changed 
this woeful, troublesome existence, for the serenity 
of the celestial life, and her terrestrial ingrate hus- 
band for the heavenly spouse, who will never divorce 
her, and with whom she will reign in glory for ever." 

Catharine's will shows how carefully she kept her 
accounts. She forgot none of her little current debts, 
not even her laundress's. And she also left several 
legacies that show her piety and gratitude to those 
who had been faithful to her.* 

She desired to be buried in the convent of the 
reformed Franciscans ; and expressed a wish that 
one of her friends should go and pray for her soul in 
the chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham, and be de- 
sired to distribute twenty nobles to the poor for her. 

It is almost inconceivable that, when Henry heard 
the will, his first thought was how to prevent the 
execution of the last wishes of this woman he had 
pretended to respect, and whose letter had made him 
«hed some tears! Since he had become suspicious 
and cruel, this king, once so generous and chivalrous, 
had turned mean and avaricious, like his father. So 

* She desired that her state dresses, left in her husband's hands, should 
be made into church vestments ; she desired Henry VIII. to give the 
necklace she brought from Spain to her daughter. There was mentioned 
in it every one of her good servants and friends. Mistress Blanche 
jEIOO, Mistress Margery £40, Mr. Whyller £40, Mistress Mary, her 
physican's wife, £40, to her physician himself a year's salary, to 
Francis Philipp, the faithful messenger who took her letters to Spain, 
£40, to each of the "httle maidens" £10. See the text in Miss 
Strickland, vol. iv, p. 151. 


he sent for the lawyer Rich, and asked him if he 
could not seize upon Catharine's furniture and ward- 
robe, without settling her debts or paying her lega- 
cies. Now, though it appeared that the sum she 
left in her coffers would not have been enough to 
satisfy the terms of her will, there was five thousand 
pounds in arrear upon her dowry, much more than 
the amount of which she had wished to dispose. And 
there was no account taken of the jewels and other 
treasures she had brought from Spain. " Such dis- 
honesty appears the more intolerable."* 

Rich's letter to Henry from Kimbolton is a& 
follows : 

" To seize her grace's goods as your own would be 
repugnant to your majesty's own laws, and I think, 
with your grace's favour, it would rather enforce her 
blind opinion while she lived than otherwise," namely, 
that she was the king's lawful wife. He then puts 
the king into an underhand way of possessing him- 
self of poor Catharine's spoils by advising him to 
administer, by means of the Bishop of Lincoln, for 
her as princess dowager, and then confiscate all as 
insufiicient to defray her funeral charges.f 

Henry adopted this abominable expedient, and so 
avoided paying Catharine's legacies.! Nor did he 
pay any more regard to her last wishes as to her 
burial place ; she was interred, not in the convent of 

* Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p. 152. t iliss Strickland. 

X Mrs. Darell was paid. Miss Strickland. 

THE king's meanness. 281 

the Franciscans, but the Abbey of Peterborough, and 
no thought was given to the prayers she had desired 
at the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. 

Henry VIII., however, had a funeral mass cele- 
brated at Greenwich for the repose of the soul of his 
sister-in-lawy the Princess Catharine. He was present 
dressed in mourning, and ordered all the Court to 
follow his example. Catharine's holy and beautiful 
end was much spoken of, the conclusion of an ad- 
mirable life. What trials and sorrows had she not 
experienced in this life as a queen I 


Born under the brilliant sky of Andalusia, passing^ 
her earliest years amid the splendours of Isabella's 
Court, this princess had scarcely passed beyond 
childhood before her lot was cast in a far different 
spot, not only to endure the fogs of England, but, 
after Prince Arthur's death, she had to undergo the 
capricious and uncertain moods of King Henry VII., 
who reduced her to moral and physical distress, 
and clouded the fairest years of her youth with most 
tyrannical acquisitions. Her riper years had still 
more bitter agonies in store for her. The material 
privations she had to undergo towards the decline 
of her life were as nothing compared with the most 
acute anguish that could poison married life. 

Yet besides her great qualities, she is shown to 
have had those of a domestic and accomplished 


woman. A Protestant writer says,* " She loved 
work and quiet, and took great care of her house ; 
ber gentleness was invariable, and she showed the 
most perfect obedience to her husband." Her heart 
was also most charitable, warm, and tender, and, as 
we have seen, excited almost fabulous devotion even 
to the last moments of her life. It is remarkable 
how she managed to preserve her self-possession in 
the most difficult circumstances. In her words, in 
her actions, in her letters, is always to be found tho 
simplicity that is a mark of real greatness. At cer- 
tain times she becomes sublime, quite naturally, and 
without effort ; it is only the spontaneous expression 
of her inner thoughts. She made a point of claiming 
the prerogatives of her rank to the very end, and not 
allowing a single one to be invaded. Her modest 
abode became a kind of little independent state 
within great England, where she could preserve all 
the majesty and inviolability of her crown. It was 
the will of heaven that she should pass her life with- 
out reproach, and even without suspicion. There 
was never the least failure in this pure and great 
soul. The king's desertion was to remain without 
pretext or excuse. 

There was mourning all over the Continent when 

the death of the daughter of Isabella of Castille, the 

real Queen of England, became known. The learned 

composed prodigious eulogies ; many preachers made 

* Larrey. 


funeral orations. Even the very Protestant writers 
who were the apologists of Anne Boleyu never ven- 
ture to assume the part of detractors of Catharine. 

In England the people lamented for this good 
queen, and never ceased to pity her as being un- 
justly divorced and persecuted. Round her last 
moments there arose one of those legends that 
crown some heads with a mysterious halo, a kind 
of popular consecration that nothing can prevent, 
neither the triumph of the adverse cause nor the 
pressure of suspicious despotism. 

These traditions were kept up in families in after 
generations, and Shakespeare gave them an elo- 
quent shape. In his play of " Henry VIII.," the queen 
is presented dying like a saint. And the English 
poet, in verses as vigorous and lofty as the most 
beautiful lines of Dante, describes a celestial vision 
as sent to the queen in her last hour ; she is suddenly 
roused from stupor with her attendants round her, 
and exclaims, 

'•No ? saw you not even now a blessed troop 
Invite me to a banquet ; whose bright faces 
Cast thousand beams upon me like the sun ? 
They promised me eternal happiness, 
And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel 
I am not worthy yet to wear : I shall 

Henry VIIL, Act 4, Scene 2. 

A modern author says, " She draws this assurance 
from the increasing peacefulness that her reconcilia- 


tion with her two great enemies gives her in the 
sight of heaven. She wins her greatest victory in 
forgiving Wolsey, and sends her blessing to Henry 
VIII. before her death . . . alas I the most unpro- 
ductive blessing that ever was.* 

Shakespeare wrote under Elizabeth,! Anne Boleyn's 
daughter, and had his play acted before that proud 
queen ; a courtier poet — and there were many at that 
time who might have been unjust to Catharine and 
favoured her rival — the great tragedian in his integ- 
rity is honourable enough to remain firm and inflexi- 
ble like history. When genius thus comes to the 
support of truth and virtue, it nobly performs the 
task set by Providence.| 

* Larrey, p. 236. 

t M. Rio has, we think, conclusively proved that the fifth act of this 
play, full of incense offered to Elizabeth, is not from Shakespeare's 
hand, and was added subsequently. His demonstration is to be found 
in his works. A vulgar impressario would have fancied that this mer- 
cenary eulogy would pass and get pardon for the rest of the piece. 

X The divorce caused £22,000 of sepret service money to be ex- 
pended. Historical Portraits, Burke, vol. ii, p. 56. (Ed.) 



Salutary Fear and wise Reflections of Anne Boleyn — Begin- 
ning of Conversion — This Conversion is only Superficial 
— She becomes jealous of Jane Seymour — A Violent 
Scene with the King, and the Consequences — Coolness 
and Jealousy of Henry VIII. — He appoints a Commission 
of Inquiry — The Tournament at Greenwich ; great Impru- 
dence of Anne Boleyn — Her Arrest — Her father and 
uncle among the Commissioners, but her father only sits 
on the Trial of the supposed Accomplices — He is excused 
when Anne is brought to the Bar — Anne's uncle, the 
Duke of Norfolk, presides over the High Court that finds 
her guilty, and he gives Sentence — ^nne Boleyn shows 
proofs of Piety and Repentance — Her Spirit rises at the 
prospect and moment of Death — Indecent Joy of Henry 


IT seems as if the history of Catharine of Aragon 
would not be quite complete without an inquiry 
into the causes of her rival's fall, and if we omitted 
to point out the justice of Providence as displaj'ed 
upon Anne Boleyn. 

In the autumn of the year 1535, when her daugh- 
ter Elizabeth was growing out of infancy with every 
sign of good health, and she herself had hopes 
of giving Henry a male heir, Queen Anne, having 


reached the summit of earthly prosperity, began to 
be alarmed at her own good fortune. She under- 
stood that to be worthy of it she must treat life 
more seriously, and raise her eyes to heaven. So 
far her life had only been one of pride, vanity, and 
revenge. She had been able to exercise these dread 
passions, and fully to taste this gratification. At 
last she seemed to perceive that the time had come 
for giving her soul more noble occupations and a 
higher aim. She was observed to avoid noisy pleas- 
ures, give up dancing and hunting, gather her 
women round her, and, like Catharine, join them in 

She had persuaded the king to release Latimer, 
who had been under suspicion of Lutheranism, he 
being, in fact, full of the new notions of Reformation. 
He was appointed to preach at Court, and, far from 
paying in base flattery the price of the benefits he 
had received from the queen, he reminded her in his 
sermon of the vanity of greatness and the deceit of 
human hopes. Ann6 listened to him with an appear- 
ance of profound humility. Latimer, profiting by 
the opportunity, told her with the freedom of an 
apostle that it was not enough to preach good doc- 
trines to those around her, but that she must join 
example to precept by reforming her life. Far from 
bearing a grudge at Latimer for the severity of his 
teaching, she made him her chaplain, and soon after- 
wards procured his nomination to the episcopal See 

anne's triumph. 287 

of Worcester. She made arrangements with him 
for giving help to the poor, and distributing abun- 
dant alms.* 

But, as a Protestant author of our day points out,t 
" however powerful Anne's religious impressions 
might be, it is impossible that a real change of heart 
had taken place while she continued to incite the 
king to harass and persecute his forsaken queen.'^ 
She knew how great was Catharine's popularity, and 
the unfortunate captive queen excited in her vague 
fears that mingled with remorse. When she was 
told that the prisoner of Kimbolton was dead, she 
cried out, with a triumphant but blind expression of 
delight, " Now I am at last a queen !" She was 
washing her hands in a rich ewer when Sir Richard 
Southwell came to give her the information, and she 
gave him the ewer, with its cover, very valuable, as 
his reward. Then she went to see her parents the 
same evening, and told them, with unconcealed de- 
light, " Now the crown is fixed for ever on my head.'^ 

When the king went into mourning for Catharine, 
he told Queen Anne to do the same, but she not only 
did not hesitate to disobey this formal order, but 
even put on a yellow dress, and told her ladies to 
do the same.t Was there not in all this an almost 

* In the last nine months of her life she spent £14,000 in charity, 
t Miss Strickland, vol. iv, p. 251. 

X Cardinal Pole says that she said of Catharine, " Doleo non qnidem 
quod sit mortua, sed quod tarn honesto generis obierit " — " I am sorry, 
not for her death, but because she died so well." Anne's fault in the 


total absence of moral feeling ? It may be observed 
that from this moment Henry VIII. began to cool in 
his passionate affection for her. Anne also, after 
Catharine's death, resumed her old frivolous and 
worldly habits of life. She thought she had no more 
need to be prudent. 

Just at this time she had to endure sufferings of 
the same nature as those she had before inflicted on 
her excellent mistress. She soon found that she 
was supplanted in Henry's heart by Jane Seymour. 
The jealousy that the unhappy Anne experienced 
was the more poignant because combined with a 
sense of retributive justice ; she saw with despair 
that she must in her turn drain the bitter cup with 
which she had poisoned Catharine's life. 

One day, entering Henry's chamber unexpectedly, 
she found her fair rival sitting on the king's knee, 
and receiving most tender caresses. Struck with 
the sight as with a mortal blow, she could not re- 
strain an outburst of grief and anger. Henry, who 
feared that this scene might be fatal to the hopes of 
offspring, did all he could to quiet her, but unsuc- 
cessfully. Anne could not bear such a shock to her 
mind unhurt, and was soon after prematurely con- 
matter of the dress is excused by the pretence that, 1st, Henry VIH. 
had himself given Anne's attendants dresses of yellow silk ; 2nd, that 
this colour was the customary colour of mourning at the Court of 
France. Miss Strickland shows that the first excuse is imfounded ; 
and as for the second, white, and not yellow, was worn as widows' 
mourning by the Queens of France. 


fined; her life was in imminent perif; she was almost 
dead, and gave birth to a stillborn son. 

When the king was informed of the result, he 
never thought of giving her the least mark of 
sympathy, but roughly entered her room, and blam- 
ed her for the death of his son. Anne answered 
with more spirit than prudence that " he had no one 
to blame but himself for this disappointment, which 
had been caused by her distress of mind about that 
wench, Jane Seymour." Henry turned sullenh'' 
away, murmuring that " she should have no more 
boys by him." It was a dark and significent threat, 
and a kind of prologue to the drama that was to 
bring Anne Boleyn to the scaffold. 

Soon after, it was the talk of markets and public 
places that there would speedily be a third queen. 

Though she had experienced so severe a shock, 
Anne gradually recovered her health, but not her 
peace of mind. She endeavoured in vain to obtain 
the dismissal of her dangerous rival from the palace. 
The check must have shown her that she no longer 
possessed a real influence over the king, and that 
she must resign herself to see a new star eclipse her 
own. She fell into a black melancholy ; she did not 
appear at the Court banquets ; she strayed in sad- 
ness amid the darkest and most lonely thickets of 
Greenwich Park. The king had not forgiven her 
the hasty answer she had made to his unjust re- 
proach. He shunned her in private and in public. 


She was refused the pleasures of motherhood, that 
might have been her best consolation. Her daugh- 
ter Elizabeth had been removed from her care and 
caresses, and placed with her nurse in a separate 
abode, on account of the state and ceremony that 
must surround the heir to the crown. 

She had entirely alienated the good-will of her 
uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, by her carelessness and 
misplaced airs of grandeur and disdain ; and had 
turned her old mistress, Mary, widow of Louis XII., 
into a declared enemy. 

As even on the throne she had preserved her old 
coquetry, and the familiarity and boldness of her 
manners with men, she encouraged them all, not 
excepting the lowest officers of her household, to 
speak to her in an unsuitable tone of equality, and 
allow themselves great freedom of expression to her. 
She had such a thirst for general admiration that 
she even encouraged a man of such low station as 
the musician Smeaton to exhibit marks of the passion 
she inspired. All these little tricks were reported to 
the king, greatly exaggerated by the enemies who 
spied upon her all around. 

Henry VIII. wished to escape a marriage bond 
that began to seem unbearable, and became more 
and more impatient to make the new object of his 
passion sharer of the throne. He was only too 
willing to hear and welcome serious denunciations, 
and even most absurd gossip, already making Anne 
its subject and victim. 


Thus it was that he believed the public report, 
that named as her lovers, besides the musician Smea- 
ton, three gentlemen of her household, Brereton, 
Weston, and Norris. He did not even reject a 
strange report that slandered the innocent affection 
of the queen for her brother, George Lord Rochford. 
This last calumny was, to a certain extent, sup- 
ported by the evidence of Lady Rochford, inspired by 
her infernal hatred of her sister-in-law, and murder- 
ous jealousy of a husband who had been faithless to 
her in another way, so that she eagerly seized the 
chance of revenge.* 

In the month of April, 1536, during the proroga- 
tion of parliament, a secret commission was directed 
by the king to inquire into the conduct of Anne 
Boleyn. It is fearful and shocking to find on this 
commission the names of the Duke of Norfolk, the 
queen's uncle, the Duke of Suffolk, the king's 
brother-in-law by his marriage with the Princess 
Mary, and even of Anne's own father, the Earl of 

* Some years afterwards Lady Rochford was incnipated in the guilt 
of Catharine Howard, and condemned, like the unhappy queen, to be 
beheaded, confessed upon the scaffold that she was not guilty of the 
crimes she was condemned for, but had deserved to die for having 
borne false witness against her husband. The most she said against 
him as an actual fact was that she had seen Lord Rochford sitting on 
the foot of the queen's, his sister Anne's, bed ; but she drew inferences 
that wore very far-fetched and slanderous. 

t The names of the members of this extraordinary commission are 
as follows : Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Nor- 
folk, the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Wiltshire, the Earls of Oxford, 



This commission was to take informations con- 
cerning the four real or supposed lovers of the 
queen. It had been appointed on the 24th of April, 
and had not commenced its work when two events 
occurred most injurious to Anne Boleyn. 

Two or three days afterwards, that is to say on 
the 27th or 28th, the queen saw the musician Smea- 
ton leaning on the window of her presence-chamber 
in a dejected and melancholy attitude. She asked 
him why he was so sad. 

" It is no matter," he answered. Then she said, 

" You may not look to have me speak to you as if 
you were a nobleman, because you be an inferior 

" No, no, madam," he replied, " a look suflSceth 

On the 1st of May following, Anne was guilty of a 
great act of imprudence with Norris, one of her ad- 
mirers. She was present at a tournament at Green- 
Westmoreland, and Sussex, Lord Sandys, Thomas Cromwell, Sir 
William Fitzwilliam, the Lord High Admiral, an old man whose 
career had been very brilliant; the Lord Treasurer, Sir William 
Paulet, afterwards Marquis of Winchester, and the nine Judges of the 
Courts of Westminster; Sir John Fitz-James, Sir John Baldewyn, 
Sir Richard Lister, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter 
Luke, Sir Antony Fitz-Herbert, Sir Thomas Englefield, and Sir 
William Shelley. The part taken by Anne Boleyn's father will be 
seen afterwards. 

* Some historians say that Smeaton had come to warn the queen of 
her danger, but that his foolish passion made him forget everything. 
See Lingard, Mackintosh, and Miss Strickland. It seems that Brereton, 
one of the gentlemen denounced to Henry, had just been arrested. 


wich with her royal husband, richly dressed, and in 
all royal state. Lord Rochford was the chief chal- 
lenger, and Henry Norris one of the defenders. All 
at once, in the middle of the splendid pageant, the 
king left his gallery with an expression of fury, fol- 
lowed by five or six of the oflBcers in attendance. The 
spectators were astonished, and the queen especially 
seemed dismayed, and retired suddenly. 

The reason for Henry's wrath was this. Either 
by accident, or on purpose, Anne had let her 
handkerchief fall from the gallery into the lists. 
Norris, warm with fighting, and being under the 
gallery, picked it up, kissed it fervently, and restored 
it to the queen on the point of his lance. This put 
the finish to the king's jealousy, previously awakened 
by perfidious suggestions. Rochford was arrested 
at the barrier ; Norris, having refused to accuse the 
queen and himself, was sent to the Tower from 
Westminster. The same evening Mark Smeaton and 
Sir Francis Weston were committed to prison. Next 
morning, after breakfast, an officer came to Anne and 
said, " Madam, the barge is ready." She went at 
once, and they ascended the river in silence to the 
Tower. They met another barge containing the Duke 
of Norfolk, Cromwell, and the Lord Chancellor, 
Audley. The latter announced her arrest on a 
charge of adultery and infidelity to her royal husband. 
Anne clasped her hands and protested her innocence. 
The barge was brought to the stairs at the old Saxon 


arch called the Traitor's Gate, and she was lodged 
in the same apartment she had occupied the night 
before her coronation. 

During the second week in May juries were sum- 
moned from Middlesex and Kent; the indictment 
was prepared and read to the prisoners on the lltb 
of May.* The sitting of the court commenced on 
Wednesday, the 12th. At the first hearing the four 
supposed accomplices of the queen appeared — Sir 
Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brere- 
ton, and Mark Smeaton. All the commissioners we 
have mentioned were present, the Earl of Wiltshire 
among them, when the four prisoners were brought 
to the bar. Only one of them, Smeaton, acknowledg- 
ed his guilt, for he had been made to expect mercy 
as the price of a confession. The other three pleaded 
not guilty. The verdict of the petty jury found 
them all guilty. Their finding was taken as a verdict,, 
and was to supersede the necessity of strict legal 

The Duke of Norfolk had been appointed lord 
high steward, and as such presided on Monday, May 
15th, over the court for the trial of Anne Boleyn 
and her brother. Lord Kochford. But four of the 

* A few years ago there were found some dusty bags labelled, 
Baga de Secretis, and in them the names of the jurors of Middlesex and 
Kent, tho text of the indictment, and the crimes laid to the charge of 
Anne Boleyn and her accomplices. The facts are stated, as well as the 
places and dates of the alleged commission of the crimes. Turner is 
the first author who has made extracts from the Baga de Secretis. 
Froude made a more minute examination and greater use of them. 


commiHsioners who had sat before were not present 
on this occasion. They were Shrewsbury, Essex, 
Cumberland, and Wiltshire.* 

The latter was therefore not summoned to try his 
own daughter, as has been supposed. But on the 
preceding Friday he had condemned Queen Anne's 
accomplices, and their conviction implied the un- 
happy queen's guilt; she could not be acquitted 
when the crimes attributed to Norris and the other 
three accused had been judicially proved. The cases 
may have been tried separately and successively, 
but they were substantially connected and indivisible. 

Though the absence of the Earl of Wiltshire on 
the day of his daughter's trial is proved, there is no 
great reduction of the odium attaching to the des- 
picable conduct of this unnatural father in a trial 
where his name ought not to have appeared. But, 
failing her father, Anne had to encounter her uncle, 
the Duke of Norfolk, who bore an implacable hatred 
to her. Among her judges there was also her old 
lover, Percy, Earl of Northumberland, but he fainted 
almost as soon as he took his seat ; he was carried 
out, left the court, and died less than a year after- 

It must be allowed that Anne defended herself 
with considerable force and eloquence. The Court 

* Froudo, vol. ii, p. 494. M. Andin is therefore not quite accurate 
in the statement that the Earl of Wiltshire, within a few hours, con- 
demned his daughter to be burnt alive and his son to be quartered. 


was not open, but, though the audience were limited, 
their feelings were so strong as to transpire beyond 
its bounds, and penetrate the closed doors. It was 
even reported among the crowd which pressed 
around the chamber that the queen had made a 
triumphant reply to all the proofs of the indictment, 
and that her acquittal was certain. But the peers 
disappointed this public expectation ; some under the 
influence of hatred, some of fear, they almost unani- 
mously found Queen Anne and her brother, Lord 
Rochford, guilty.* 

After the verdict, Anne was required to put off the 
marks of royalty ; she did so without resistance or 
complaint, but vigorously maintained that she had 
not committed any of the crimes laid to her charge. 

After she had undergone this kind of degradation 
from her royal state, her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, 
as high steward, gave sentence upon her, to be burnt 
or beheaded at the king's good pleasure. At the 
mention of the stake, Anne grew pale, and for the 
first time showed signs of fear. But when the duke 
had concluded the cruel sentence she clasped her 
hands, and, raising them to heaven, made her appeal 
to the Judge of all. " Father I Creator ! Thou 
who art the Way, the Life, and the Truth, knowest 

* Miss Strickland, from Bishop Godwin. The Duke of Suffolk is 
said to have voted for acquittal ; unanimity is not necessary in the 
Court of Peers as it is with a common jury. 

anne's address. 297 

whether I have deserved this death." Then, turning 
to her judges, she said, " My lords, I will not say 
your sentence is unjust, nor presume that my reasons 
can prevail against your convictions. I am willing 
to believe that you have sufficient reasons for what 
you have done, but then they must be other than 
those which have been produced in Court, for I am 
clear of all the offences which you then laid to my 
charge. I have ever been a faithful wife to the king, 
though I do not say I have always shown him that 
humility which his goodness to me, and the honour 
to which he raised me, merited. I confess I have 
had jealous fancies and suspicions of him which I 
had not discretion and wisdom enough to conceal at 
all times. But God knows, and is my witness, that 
I never sinned against him in any other way. Think 
not that 1 say this in the hope to prolong my life. 
God hath taught me how to die, and He will 
strengthen my faith. Think not that I am so be- 
wildered in my mind as not to lay the honour of my 
chastity to heart now in mine extremity, when I 
have maintained it all my life long as much as ever 
queen did. I know these my last words will avail 
me nothing but for the justification of my chastity 
and honour. As for my brother and those others 
who are unjustly condemned, I would willingly 
suffer many deaths to deliver them ; but, since it so 
pleases the king, I shall willingly accompany them 


in death with this assurance, that I shall lead an 
endless life with them in peace." * 

The Lord Mayor was present at the verdict and 
sentence of Anne Boleyn, and he said, some time 
afterwards, " he could not observe anything in the 
proceedings against her, but that they were resolved 
to make an occasion to get rid of her." As he was 
chief judge in the civic Court of Justice, his opinion 
is of importance. Camden says that all the spec- 
tators thought that Anne was not guilty.f It has 
been observed that one witness only deposed to a 
direct and precise fact against her, the musician 
Smeaton. And this witness, quite against all rules 
of criminal procedure, was not confronted with her. 

On the next day the king signed the death-warrant 
of this woman who had been his beloved wife, and 
sent Cranmer to desire her to prepare for death. 
This visit of the Primate of Canterbury made Anne 
imagine that Henry would pardon her. She told 
those about her that she understood she was to be 
banished, and she supposed she should be sent to 
Antwerp. Possibly Cranmer had intentionally left 
her under this mistake, telling her that she had no- 
thing to hope if she did not consent to the dissolu- 
tion of her marriage, and the renunciation of all 
claim to the crown for her daughter Elizabeth. 

* It is a foreigner, a Dutchman, Crispin de Mishervo, \vho gives 
these words ; he left a metrical version, falsely attributed to Marot, 
that is highly esteemed by Meteren, the historian of the Low Countries. 
t Miss Strickland, vol. iv, pp. 274, 275. 

THE archbishop's COURT. 299^ 

Anne accepted the degrading act required of her 
without the smallest resistance, in hopes of re- 
deeming herself from death. 

On the ensuing day, May 17, Anne received a 
citation to appear before the archbishop's Court at 
Lambeth to answer certain questions as to the 
validity of her marriage with Henry VIII. A dupli- 
cate was served on the king, but he did not appear, 
and was represented by his proctor, Doctor Sampson. 
Though the ex-queen was under sentence of death, 
she was compelled to appear in person before the 
primate. She was taken from the Tower to Lam- 
beth. For form's sake, two proctors were assigned 
to her. Doctors Walton and Barbour, who in her 
name admitted that before her marriage there had 
been a precontract with Percy, and this was one of 
Henry's greatest objections to the validity of his 
marriage with her.* This was another retribution 
of Providence on her who had so worked for the 
divorce of Catharine of Aragon ; but that noble queen 
had never assented to the judgment which branded 
her and disinherited her daughter. Anne, passive 
and hanging down her head, accepted all the 
humiliations and forfeitures. 

* Henry Vill. had suggested another, his previous connection with 
Mary Bole]^, Anne's sister, and that this had created an impediment 
to his marriage both by natural and divin* law. This cause of nullity 
was also allowed. Burnet's Records, vol. xxvi ; see also the histories of 
Lingard and Audin. Percy, on oath, denied that there had ever been 
«ny engagement or precontract with Anno Boleyn. 


As a recompense for her compliance, the king did 
not grant her life, but excused the stake. 

Most strange fact, and now incontestible, Anne 
Bolejn died a Catholic* This enemy of the Papacy, 
in some ways its personal enemy, desired to confess 
to a priest in the Roman communion. Remorse and 
a wish for forgiveness brought her back to the 
Church's feet. Her conference with the priest is 
said to have been long ; long indeed must have been 
the history of the guilty feelings and secret faihngs 
of this great sinner. But it seems that absolution 
was only granted her on condition of a moral re- 
paration made to Catharine, who was no more, in 
the person of the Princess Mary, her daughter. So, 
when the priest had gone, Anne went into the cham- 
ber occupied by six ladies sent by Henry VHI. 
nominally to support and cheer her, but really as 
spies upon her. She took the Lady Kingston into 
her presence-chamber, and there, locking the door 

* Miss Strickland relies for proof on two good authorities : Kingston, 
the lieutenant of the Tower, who in his letters to Cromwell formally 
attests this, and the other is Speed, who tells the following details on 
contemporary authority. Probably he heard it from Lady Kingston 
herself, and her evidence in this is very important. Miss Strickland 
is sui-prised at the unfavourable bias displayed by Roman Catholic 
accounts of the last moments of Lady Anne. But is not she herself too 
indulgent ? 

[It was by no means a strange fact. AH Henry had done was to 
separate the jurisdiction of the Church of England from that of Rome. 
The doctrine was as yet untouched by authority, and though Anne 
Boleyn had accepted a copy of the English Bible, this did not make 
her cease to follow the ritual to which she had been brought up.] (Ed.) 


upon them, willed her to sit in the chair of state. 
Lady Kingston answered that it was her duty to 
stand, and not to sit at all in her presence, much 
less upon the seat of state of her the queen. "Ah, 
madam," replied Anne, " that title is gone ; I am a 
condemned person, and by the law have no estate 
left me in this life, but for clearing of mine own con- 
science. I pra}'- you sit down." "Well," said Lady 
Kingston, " I have often played the fool in my youth, 
and, to fulfil your command, I will do it once more 
in mine age," and thereupon sat down under the 
cloth of state upon the throne. Then the queen 
most humbly fell on her knees before her, and, hold- 
ing up her hands with tearful eyes, charged her as 
in presence of God and His angels, and as she would 
answer to her before them, when all should appear 
to judgment, that she would so fall down before the 
Lady Mary's grace, her daughter-in-law, and in like 
manner ask her forgiveness for the wrongs she had 
done her, for till that was accomplished her conscience 
could not be quiet. 

Soon after, she said to Kingston, the lieutenant 
of the Tower, " Mr. Kingston, I hear that I shall not 
die afore noon, and I am very sorry, therefore, for I 
thought to be dead by this time, and past my pain." 
" I told her," says Kingston, ** that the pain should 
be little, it was so subtle." And then she said, " I 
liave heard say the executioner is very good, and 1 
have a little neck," and put her hands about it. 


laughing heartilv. " I have seen men, and also 
women, executed, and they have been in great sor- 
row, but to my knowledge this lady hath much joy 
and pleasure in death," continues the lieutenant. 

It must be said this gaiety is painful — a discord in 
such a death — but perhaps an excuse may be found 
in some estrangement of such a weak mind.* 

The execution was fixed for May 19th. Henry 
VIII. ordered that it should take place on the green 
within the Tower. It -^as the first time in England 
that the blood of a crowned queen was to be shed 
upon the scaffold. Not a single instance is to be 
found under the Plantagenets, and they were not 
paragons of mercy. The age of chivalrous respect 
for the person of a queen, hitherto considered almost 
sacred and inviolable, had gone by. To the last 
moment of her life Anne protested that she had 
never committed a single act of conjugal infidelity .f 

At the appointed time she mounted the scaffold 
with a firm step, attended by Sir William Kingston 
and four of her ladies. Among the chief personages 
come to behold this melancholy spectacle she recog- 
nised the Duke of Suffolk and Secretary Cromwell, 
whom she had formerly favoured very much, and 
whom she assisted to gain the favour of Henry VIII. 
She might also have seen the king's natural son, the 
young Duke of Eichmond, who had no reluctance to 

* Probably hysterical. (Ed.) 
t Her innocence before marriage must remain matter of speculation. 


gratify an unwholesome curiosity by coming to see 
how the unhappy lady would die who had only de- 
scended from the throne on the way to execution. 

When she came to the scaffold, she turned to the 
spectators and said, "Good Christian people, I am 
come hither to die, according to law, for by the law 
1 am judged to die, and therefore I will speak no- 
thing against it. I am come hither to accuse no 
man, nor to speak anything of that whereof I am 
accused, as I know full well that aught I could say 
in my defence doth not appertain unto you. I pray 
God to save the king, and send him long to reign 
over you." 

Covering her head, and confining her hair with a 
little linen cap, that the action of the sword might 
not be impeded, she said, " Alas I poor head, in a 
very brief space thou wilt roll in the dust on the scaf- 
fold ;" then last words to the ladies that were with 
her, " Esteem your honour far beyond your life ; 
and in your prayers to the Lord Jesus forget not to 
pray for my soul." 

Mary Wyatt, sister of Sir Thomas, was there 
among the ladies who attended on Anne Boleyn. 
She alone followed her on to the platform of the 
scaffold. It is said she had brought a message frooi 
her brother, Sir Thomas. She showed her fidelity 
to this old attachment to the very last. Anne gave 
her prayer-book to this constant and devoted friend, 
as a token of thankfulness and last adieu. 


Then the ex-queen knelt down, and, just as the 
executioner raised his arm, she only said, " 0, Lord 
God, have pity on my soul." 

The head fell at one blow of the sword, as 
Kingston had expected. 

Henry was hunting near London when he heard 
the cannon-shot, arranged to be a signal of the death 
of her who had owed such various fate to him. He 
could not restrain an outburst of indecent joy. The 
rest of the day he spent in feasting. Next day he 
married Jane Seymour. 



I. Spiritual Supremacy of Henry VIII. — Correspondence 
of Starkey and Reginald Pole. 

II. Immediate Consequences of the Bill of Supremacy — 
Spoliation of the Monasteries, and Distribution of their 
Property to the Nobles or Gentry of the Counties, to 
Win them over to the new Schism — Use of Terror to 
intimidate the Court Nobles — Popular Rebellion stifled 
in Blood, after Lying Promises of Amnesty — ^Pauperism 
and Vagrancy repressed by hard and cruel Penal Laws. 

III. Political Consequences of the Bill of Supremacy — 
Religious Consequences, and Possibility of the Return of 
an Anti-Christian Imperialism. 


IN the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there were 
a few examples given by kings of violation of 
the indissolubility of the marriage bond.* But these 
princes had no notion of abolishing the spiritual 
jurisdiction of the Holy See, and making themselves 
popes in their own states. In the sixteenth century, 
when heresy had raised the standard of religious re- 
volt in Germany and the Low Countries, men's minds 
were everywhere prepared for the separation of 
princes and people from the head of the church. 

* And a flagrant one much later in the person of Louis XII. of 
France. (Ed.) 



Nevertheless, it took a king like Henry VIII., a 
logician and theologian, to understand that it would 
be to his advantage immediately to invent a new- 
form of law for his own use, intended to cover 
nameless wrongs and inexcusable rashness. 

The theory of the spiritual supremacy of the lay 
sovereign, as conceived by Henry VIII., was stupidly 
simple. It is entirely contained in the few lines that 
serve as a title to Richard Sampson's treatise on 
this supremacy, a treatise approved by the king's 
privy council on December 2nd, 1533, and serving to 
expound the reasons for a bill brought in to the 
English parliament on this matter. 

" The discourse of Richard Sampson, Dean of the 
Chapel Royal ; in which he teaches, exhorts, and 
admonishes all, especially the English, to obey the 
king's majesty in the first place, because the Word of 
God orders it ; not to be obedient to the Bishop of 
Rome, who has no power over them by any divine 
right, because the king orders them not to obey 
him. Those who act otherwise he teaches especially 
that they are despisers of divine law. There is 
therefore no reason why the English should have a 
fear of any human authority of the Bishop of Rome ; 
for he has no other authority over the English than 
human, that is by man's consent ; let them, therefore, 
obey God, not man. This is the truth established by 

* Latin. 


And we should say that it is just the contrary to the 
truth established by man. It is at least strange to 
maintain that spiritual jurisdiction only appertains to 
the pope by human right, while it appertains to a 
temporal prince by divine right. 

Well, this wager against good sense was actually 
won by Henry VIII. by means of his tyranny and 
the terror he spread around him. 

Yet his conscience was exercised by doubts and 
secret remorse, more real than his pretended scruples 
concerning his first marriage, without his choosing 
to allow them to himself. And he desired to quiet 
this remorse by trying to lean on the assent given to 
his doctrine of the supremacy by the most respected 
men in England. 

It may well be supposed that Henry VIII. was 
much pleased with Doctor Sampson's treatise. More, 
Fisher, and some priests and strict monks had resist- 
ed these theories. Parliament was in haste to adopt 
them, and, in a bill of unheard-of severity, declared 
anyone who should deny the king's spiritual supre- 
macy to be guilty of high treason. But that was 
not enough for Henry VIII. He wished to win over 
to his side the young Reginald Pole, who several 
years before had declined to admit the principle of 
the legality of the divorce when it was under con- 
sideration, and after that time had prudently left his 
country, and lived in Italy, out of reach of the new 
English criminal code. 



The king had not ostensibly withdrawn his coun- 
tenance from him, and permitted him to receive the 
emoluments of his deanery of Exeter ; he had even 
excused him the oath that all holders of benefices 
were required to take to the issue of Anne Boleyu. 
He wished to know Pole's feelings on the point of 
supremacy, and even of the divorce, now it was an 
accomplished fact. For this purpose he turned to 
Starkey, his almoner, intimate with the young priest, 
and Starke}'- told him that his friend had always 
preserved an absolute silence with him on that 
matter. Henry pressed him to write to Reginald 
Pole, as his talents would be valuable when employed 
in defence of the supremacy, if he were favourable 
to it. 

By the king's orders Starkey wrote a long letter 
to Pole, and at the end assured him that the king 
never intended to part from Rome on points of doc- 
trine, and had no desire to make innovations in 
religious form and ceremony. Otherwise he said he 
would never have entered his service. 

Pole's reply did not come for two months ; to ex- 
cuse the delay he wrote that Starkey's letter had 
reached him by way of Florence, and had been very 
long on the road. He promised that he would make 
a careful study of the questions addressed to him 
from the king, and would answer them clearly and 
distinctly, without circumlocution or dissimulation.* 

* Evidently Pole only wished to gain time, and, by not allowing his 


Meanwhile some Carthusians and priests had been 
executed for having refused to subscribe to the doc- 
trine of roj'-al supremacy. When Starkey wrote 
again to Pole, he was desired to explain these facts 
to him, as they might have been presented in a false 
light. The worthy almoner of Henry VIII. says it 
is quite plain the Carthusians were put to death for 
having asserted that the pope's supremacy was an 
essential article of the Catholic faith, contrary to the 
act of Parliament lately passed, branding denial of 
the king's supremacy as high treason. So they had 
to suflfer the punishment of traitors, that is to say, 
were hung, drawn, and quartered, not for any point 
of religion, but for contravention of the act of 
Parliament. Was this explanation made to Pole's 
satisfaction ? We doubt it very much. 

This letter crossed one of Reginald Pole's, promis- 
ing that he would soon send his opinion, drawn at 
length, and with authorities on the questions of the 
supremacy and the divorce. Then ensued more 
pressure from Starkey, and a short answer of Pole's, 
saying that he was consulting and studying the 
Holy Scripture, as its authority is above that of 

The learned editor of this correspondence, hardly 
published a year ago,* very gratuitously supposes 

opinion to transpire, endeavoured to produce the greater effeet on the 
mind of Henry VIII. when he should send him his tract that was in 
preparation, " De Unione Ecclesiastica." 

* Among the last works published by the Early English Text Society, 


that Pole, before committing himself to anything 
decisive in favour of either king or pope, wished to 
know which of them would recompense his assent 
and services the best. Pole, as we have seen above, 
had told Henry to his face what he thought of the 
divorce. As he gi*ew older he had not changed his 
opinion on this point; at Rome and in Italy he 
could not have learnt to love the doctrine of the 
temporal supremacy of kings. It was the restoration 
of Pagan imperialism, when the emperor was also 
high priest. 

Pole worked a long time afterwards in great 
secresy at his treatise, " De Qnione Ecclesiastica," and 
he addressed it to the king on May 29th, 1536, with 
a letter in courteous and deferential tones, at vari- 
ance, it must be said, with the harsh language of this 
celebrated treatise. 

When Pole was blamed for the vehemence of his 
personal attacks upon Henry VIII., he replied that 
tenderness had not been successful with that prince^ 
and that he thought it his duty to exhibit the naked 
truth to him, thinking that a faithful image of him- 
self might shock him, and make him retreat sooner 
or later. It must also be remembered that Henry 
Vni. had entered upon his course of persecutions 
and cruelties, and was too unsparing of his adver- 
saries to deserve mercy himself. 

Mr. Sidney Heritage has brought otit this work, with full luxury of 
type and erudition. See England in the Reign of Heniy VIII., vol. xxxii, 
extra series, Starkey'a Life and Letters. London, Triibner, 1878. 

pole's treatise. 311 

It was afterwards imputed as a crime to Pole that 
he had published this treatise. He replied that he had 
written it for the king alone, and would not have 
had it printed, had not an incorrect edition appeared 
in German, from some manuscript leaves no doubt 
stolen from him by a faithless scribe. 

Henry VHI. restrained his anger when he received 
the treatise, " De Unione Ecclesiastica," first because 
the book was not then printed, and that he was 
afraid that Reginald Pole would be driven to publish 
it, if he were treated too harshly, and afterwards be- 
cause he wished to bring him to England. He de- 
sired that he should be told to return thither to 
discuss several passages that he did not understand. 
Pole had no doubt that this request for explanation 
concealed a snare ; he saw plainly that for him to go 
to England was to kindly put himself into the tiger's 
mouth. So he declined the invitation with formal 
respect and hidden irony. 

Henry VlII.'s divorce, and the religious innovations 
that accompanied it, at once produced results of 
great gravity. Even before the divorce was com- 
pleted, the king's policy of corruption, already pre- 
paring his revolt against the Church of Rome, was 
directed to captivating the favour of the gentry, that 
little country aristocracy, by granting to them, or 
selling at a low price, the property of the monas- 


teries confiscated by the treasury. William the 
Conqueror had divided the lands of the Saxons 
among the Norman knights, the companions of his 
achievements and victories. Under Henry VIIL, 
there was a fresh Domesday book. This was the regis- 
ter of the spoliation in time of peace. In order to re- 
ceive a magnificent share of the lands brought under 
cultivation by the monks, there was no need to draw 
the sword or expose a life to the hazard of battle. It 
was enough to deny the pope's supremacy, and to 
join the king's spiritual revolt. If the process was 
not very chivalrous, it was certainly lucrative. 

As for the high aristocracy of the Court, no doubt 
they had a large share of the spoil, but they were 
insatiable for honour and power. Henry VIII. both 
feared and hated them ; they were too near him. 
He made use alternately of corruption and intimida- 
tion to win them over or to daunt them. But the 
first method appeared uncertain to him, and he 
trusted most to the latter. 

The Court was so different from what it had been 
at the beginning of Henry VIII.'s reign ; the ruin of 
Catholicism seemed to be the signal for fearful de- 
moralisation of the higher nobility of the state. 
Passions were not restrained now that the king 
had set the example of letting loose his own. All 
men sought refuge from the evil forebodings that 
hung over the heads of the most distinguished in the 
intoxication of pleasure. Suspicion and anxiety were 

henry's despotism. 313 

everywhere making way ; treachery was active even 
at the domestic fireside, and betrayal was hatched in 
the shade. The father distrusted the son, and the 
son the father. The servants that seemed the most 
faithful were spies upon their masters ; ladies of the 
highest rank, having lulled their husbands to sleep 
with feigned caresses, basely denounced them, and 
handed them over to the king's justice — that is to 
say, to the executioner.* The suspicious despotism 
of Henry VIII. went so far that it could not be con- 
tented with the penal laws, though they were already 
strict enough in political matters. When one ac- 
cused of treason did not appear to answer before the 
Court, the English law held him to be guilty ; he 
was no longer simply contumacious, but out of law. 
A sentence of attainder was recorded against him. 
He was liable to arrest wherever he was found. An 
ordinary jury was summoned, his identity was estab- 
lished, and he was put to death. His property was 
confiscated, his children and grandchildren suffered 
corruption of the blood, a cruel fiction that cut them 
off in a way from their family, prevented them from 
inheriting from their grandfather if he survived their 
father, or from their uncles, aunts, or other collateral 

A bill of attainder was brought in by the crown 

* This was what Lady Rochford did [Jane Parker, daughter of Lord 
Morley] (Ed.), and other ladies tried to follow her example, among 
others the Duchess of Norfolk. 


and passed against the fugitive by parliament. A 
bill was first brought into the House of Lords on the 
information of the attorney-general, and after the 
third reading it was sent down to the Commons, 
where it was again debated, and almost always 
passed. It was then sent to the king, and he gave 
his assent. 

Henry VIH. applied the perfection of his tyranny 
to the bills of attainder. According to a new system 
of jurisprudence contrived by him, when the accused 
was not really a fugitive, the fact of his absence was 
enough for the supposed contumacy. Thus Henry 
kept Cromwell, Earl of Essex, prisoner in the Tower, 
and the Countess of Salisbury and the Marchioness 
of Exeter, mother and sister of Cardinal Pole. These 
imprisoned nobles were cited to appear before the 
Court of Peers ; they did not answer, because they 
were kept in fetters in their dungeons. This was a 
way to condemn them unheard, and to ensure the 
accuser's triumph, even without a charge to bring. 
Seventeen bills of attainder were thus passed in 
1539, sixteen in 1540, and fifteen in 1541. 

The attorney-general laid the information ; then 
the English peers and members of parliament gave 
their votes in a low voice, and with unwearied com- 
plaisance condemned the, victims indicated by the 
crown ; so much did terror degrade the character and 
freeze the soul. 

It was curious that Henry VIII., tormented by 


remorse, consulted his lawyers whether it was abso- 
lutely necessary for him to give a formal assent to 
such bills of attainder, and the answer he received 
was that he might dispense with it, the essential 
point being that he should be informed of it. Per- 
haps he wished to persuade himself that he avoided 
the responsibility of these deeds by not putting his 
signature at the foot. It was the last resource of a 
conscience at bay. 

But it is plain that, when he found none around 
him but minds moulded b}"- corruption, he must at 
last have made them yield with greater facility to 
his religious requirements, especially as he always 
exhibited a prospect of the scaffold. There was really 
a pretence of taking him for pope in England ; even 
the great English nobles, formerly so haughty and 
high-spirited, vied with one another who should bow 
the lowest to this civic tiara. 

As for the episcopal bench, that other aristocracy, 
they were, as we have mentioned above, with three 
or four exceptions, inexpressibly weak and cowardly. 
The rulers thought they could get anything from 
these bishops, trained to subserviency. So, under 
Edward VI., Henry's successor, the articles to be 
published to the people were, by the Duke of Somer- 
set's direction, settled by the Privy Council. "Await- 
ing second thoughts, they adhered to the six articles 
of Henry VIIL, and did not blush to require an ex- 
press declaration from the bishops that they would 


make profession of the doctrine as it might from time to 
time he established and explained hy the king and the 
clergy." As Bossuet says, " It was only too clear 
that the clergy were only mentioned for form's sake, 
as everything was really done in the king's name." * 

If the Bishop of London or the Archbishop of 
Canterbury had been asked what was the right doc- 
trine to hold on the point of transubstantiation, the 
prelate might have answered, " Provisionally we 
must believe what Henry VIII., of religious and 
glorious memory, ordered ; but, for your definitive 
faith, wait till the doctrine has been settled by his 
successor." f 

If now we pass from the aristocracy to the mer- 
cantile or middle classes, it must be allowed that the 
soil was much more favourably disposed for religious 
innovations. They were already powerful and nu- 
merous, and were imbued with new notions imported 
from Germany and the Low Countries. So they were 
quite ready to adopt the denial of the pope's supre- 
macy. Only Henry VIII.'s new ecclesiastical consti- 
tution seemed insufficient to these disciples of Luther 
and Zwinglius, and, when they ventured to profess 
their doctrines openly, the pile was lighted for them 
also. This judicial process had been invented by 

* Bossuet, Histoire des Variations, Book vii. 
t This is like the answer of a sectarian socialist in 1831 to one of 
his neophytes, who asked if the human soul preserved its individuality 
after death. " Come back in a few days ; the doctrina is not settled 


the reforming king, to prove his strict impartiality 
towards all who denied his personal supremacy. 

As for the English people properly so called^ 
meaning especially the country people, they were 
firmly attached to Catholic traditions ; and so, when 
their religious ceremonies were altered, when a 
change in their worship was attempted, and the de- 
struction of their altars — when the monks, givers of 
the bread of charity to all, were turned out of their 
monasteries, deep despair fell upon these simple minds 
faithful to their creed, there was a general rising in the 
north of England. Thirty or forty thousand country- 
men took up arms in the name of the Cross, and the 
army sent against them was nearly surprised and 
surrounded. If at this moment Charles V. could 
have sent a good general to the insurgents, and 
landed a few thousand Spaniards to help them, the 
new Church would have been extinguished, with the- 
king's supremacy, and even his crown.* 

But Henry gained over or disarmed the chief 
leaders of this popular sedition by making them 
promises of religious freedom and amnesty that he 
did not keep. Blood flowed in torrents ; the Catholic 
worship t was again proscribed, even in private 

* It may be remembered that in 1528 and 1529 Mendoza wrote to 
Charles V. that discontent had come to a head, and that the people 
only wanted a leader to rise against Henry VIII. and overthrow him. 
pTes, but that would have taken a native leader with a cause, not a 
foreigner, and we suspect Charles V. himself knew this very well. Ed.], 

t Only so far as that clergy, still owning the pope, were prosecuted.- 


houses. The heads of priests and monks who re- 
fused to take the oath of supremacy were put to 
ransom, or rolled on the scaffold. 

The English people were writhing under physical 
misery that cannot be imagined, as well as the 
moral sufferings of a constrained conscience. The 
monasteries, so numerous all over the country, al- 
ways had plenty of bread to feed the wanderer, 
clothing to cover his nakedness, and a temporary 
shelter for the homeless and destitute. A large 
number of hospitals, served by the monks, were 
devoted to the cure of various diseases. 

When Henry VIII. had confiscated the property of 
the hospitals and monasteries, he at once saw the 
void left in his kingdom by voluntary charity, with 
its inexhaustible sources, not to be met with outside 
of Catholicism and its productive establishments. So 
he was induced to take measures of excessive rigour 
against the pauperism he considered a crime. When 
a poor wretch, even not able-bodied, was found beg- 
ging beyond the bounds of his parish, he was arrest- 
ed, whipped, put in the stocks, and kept in prison three 
days and three nights, fed upon bread and water, 
and then sent back to his home. 

In a statute that was the king's own work, it was 
enacted that, on a second offence, a mendicant vaga- 
bond should have his ear cut off. At the third 
offence he was condemned to death as a felon and 
an enemy to the state.* 

* Reeve's History of Law, vol. iv, pp. 227, 228. 


These arrangements were not confined to threats. 
In the last fourteen years of his reign, Henry VIII. 
caused about seventy thousand of his subjects to be 
hung for the crime of repeated vagrancy, by a literal 
application of the statute he had enacted.* After- 
wards there was a respite from these sanguinary 
deeds. Subsequently a palliative for pauperism was 
contrived in the establishment of workhouses. Al- 
though certain improvements have been made 
lately in the conduct of these houses, not much has 
been done to diminish this leprosy of misery, born of 
the Anglican schism.f 

The papacy had hitherto been greatly respected in 
England, and Henry VIII. and his worthy ministers 
spread the most atrocious calumnies against it, in 
order to make the people hostile to Romanism. 
While the higher orders were intimidated by judicial 
rigours, the lower were led by their hatred ; then 
fanaticism was roused, and at last they came to 
favour, or at least tolerate to some extent, the disci- 
ples of sects coming from Germany as declared and 

* Knight's Popular History of England, voL iv. 
t Several English protestants at the present day consider that, in a 
political and social point of view, the measures of Henry VIII., direct- 
ed against the religious orders of his kingdom and the numerous con- 
vents, were a great mistake socially and politically. A motion to this 
effect was carried in the Cambridge Union Debating Society, after a 
long discussion. [How much pauperism has been caused by indis- 
criminate almsgiving ?] (Ed.) 


inveterate foes to Catholicism. This dark and bloody 
fanaticism at last turned against royal authority, 
when it had arrogated to itself all the prerogatives 
of the papacy with greater arbitrariness, as is always 
the case with usurpers of every kind. The Estab- 
lished Church and its head became an object of 
aversion to the Presbyterians, the Independents, and 
all those who were called Puritans. The measures 
of violence put in force against the dissidents only 
exasperated them and made them stronger. Respect 
for the king was lost after respect for the pope. 
Thus there came a day when the rage of the people 
did not pause before the majesty of the throne. 
Charles I., tried like a common criminal, was the 
victim of the bills of attainder that had been so 
cruelly used by his predecessors, and especially by 
Henry VIII. 

Therefore, but for the divorce of that king from 
Anne Boleyn, a Stuart would not have laid his head 
on the scaifold in expiation of the crimes of the 
Tudors. The hatred and popular prejudice excited 
by Henry against the religion of Catharine of 
Aragon, were aroused with extraordinary vigour in 
the reign of James II. This last of the Stuarts lost 
his crown for attempting to restore Catholicism. 
Torrents of blood again flowed in consequence of 
the armed rising of the Pretender and after the 
defeat of Culloden. 

Scotland, and especially Ireland, were sorely per- 


eecuted by the English Government. Religious 
liberty, or indeed toleration, have only been recov- 
ered in these later days. Thus the disastrous effects 
of Henry VIII.'s divorce were gradually obliterated, 
but after centuries of efforts on the part of the 
Catholics long treated as outcasts in political and 
civil rank. 

Externally the religious feelings of the mother 
country were frequently repeated in the numerous 
colonies founded by England in America and India. 
One instance is Maryland, where Lord Baltimore, a 
Catholic, landed with a large number of his servants 
and friends, Catholics like him. The government of 
this territory had been granted him, and he enacted 
complete religious liberty. The Puritans and other 
Protestants, by successive immigrations, became the 
majority, and took advantage of it to deprive the 
Catholics of all civil rights, and to recognise the 
benefits they had received from their too kind hosts 
by religious exclusiveness directed against them. 
New England and Pennsylvania were already marked 
by very rigorous preventive intolerance. This was 
the melancholy system at first inaugurated on all 
the coasts where an English vessel came ashore. The 
Catholic religion gradually became not only tolerated, 
but respected. In the East Indies, first the great 
company, then the English Government, generally 
recognized that the missionaries of the Koman 
religion had more converting and civilizing power 



than Protestant missionaries. But this justice to 
our Catholic apostles has been very dilatory; the 
prejudices born from the divorce and Anglican schism 
have displayed great tenacity ; they have prevented 
and still prevent unity of faith. 

Who in London could have foreseen in 1533 that 
the divorce was to be one of those blows whose 
recoil is so far-reaching, according to Bossuet's 
expression ? 

We have now another subject for meditation to 
draw from this history that seems to be a lesson to 
the future of mercy and liberty of conscience. The 
spectacle of a monarch, who trampled so cruelly 
upon souls, and reproduced the phenomenon of a 
modern Nero in the history of a Christian nation, 
ought to put us on our guard against the return of a 
dictatorship or imperial tyranny that it is perhaps 
wrong to suppose impossible. This would be the 
greatest scourge of God in modern times. 



13, Gbeat Maklbobodou Street. 



CATHARINE OF ARAGON, and the Sources 

OF THE English Reformation. Edited, from the French of Albert 
DD BoTS, with Notes by Charlotte M. Yonge, Author of " The 
Heir of Rcdclyffe," &c. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 21b. 

MONSIEUR GUIZOT in Private Life (1787- 

1874). By His Daughter, Madame de Witt. Translated by Mrs. 
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crated to us by their identiQcation with Bible history." — Daili/ Telegraph. 

"A most charming narrative of a tour in the East amongst scenes of the deep- 
est interest to the Christian. No one can rise from the perusal of this fascinating 
volume without the pleasant conviction of having obtained much valuable aid for 
the study of the inspired narrative of Our Blessed Lord's life." — Record. 
"An attractive volume, which is very agreeable reading." — John Bull. 
" A most interesting and charming book, which will afford readers both instruc- 
tion and amusement.'' — Hampshire Chronicle. 


Ceylon, New Zealand, Australia, Torres Straits, China, 
Japan, and the United States. By Captain S. H. Jones-Pabbt, 
late 102nd Royal Madras Fusileers. 2 vols, crown Svo. 2l3. 
" A very pleasant book of travel, well worth reading." — Spectator. 
"A readable book, light, pleasant, and chatty." — Globe. 

" A lively account of the author's experiences ashore and afloat, which ia well 
worth reading." — Daily A'etcs. 

" It is pleasant to follow Captain Jones-Parry on his journey rotind the world. 
He is full of life, sparkle, minlight, and anecdote." — Graphic. 

"A thoroughly entertaining book of travel. Captain Parry's style is lively, his 
anecdotes are good, his aonso of humour considerable, and to these admirable 
qualities he adds the insight into persons and things of the man of the world. It 
ia a book that ahoold be read by OTeryone."— ^iome News /or India. 

13, Great MjusLBOROnGH Street. 

NEW WO^KS— Continued. 

ROYAL WINDSOR. By W. Hepworth Dixon. 

Second Edition. Volumes I. and II. Demy 8vo. 30s. 
.CONTENTS OF VOLS. I AND IL— Castle Hill, Norman Keep, First King's House, 
Lion Heart, Kingless Windsor, "Windsor Won, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Windsor 
Lost, The Fallen Deputy, The Queen Mother, Maud do Braose, The Barons' 
War, Second King's House, Edward of Carnarvon, Perot de Gaveston, Isabel 
de France, Edward of Windsor, Crecy, Patron Saints. St. George, Society of 
St George, Lady Salisbury, David King of Scots, Third King's House, Ballad 
Windsor, "The Fair Countess, Kichard of Bordeaux, Court Parties, Hoyal Favour- 
ites, Rehearsing for Windsor, In the Great Hall, Simon de Burley, Radcote 
Bridge, A Feast of Death, Geoffrey Chaucer, At Winchester Tower,' St George's 
Chapel, The Little Queen, At Windsor, Duchess Philippote, The Windsor Plot, 
Bolingbroke, Court of Chivalry, Wager of Battle, Captive Little Queen, A New 
Year's Plot, Night of the Kings, Dona Juana, Constance of York, The Norman 
Tower, The Legal Heir, Prince Hal, The Devil's Tower, In Captivity Captive, 
Attempt at Rescue, Agincourt, Kaiser Sigismund, The Witch Queen, Sweet 
Kate, The Maid of Honour, Lady Jane, Henry of Windsor, Richard of York, 
Two Duchesses, York and Lancaster, Onion of the Roses. 
" ' Royal Windsor ' follows in the same lines as ' Her Majesty's Tower,' and aims 
at weaving a series of popular sketches of striking events which centre round 
Windsor Castle. Mr. Dixon makes everything vivid and picturesque. Those who 
liked 'Her Majesty's Tower' will find these volumes equally pleasant" — AtJiemeum. 
"A truly fine and interesting book. It is a valuable contribution to English 
history; worthy of Mr. Dixon's fame, worthy of its grand subject" — Morning Post. 
"Mr. Dixon has supplied us with a highly entertaining book. 'Royal Windsor' 
is eminently a popular work, bristling with anecdotes and amusing sketches of 
historical characters. It is carefully written, and is exceedingly pleasant reading. 
The story is brightly told ; not a dull page can be found." — Examiner. 

" These volumes will find favour with the widest circle of readers. From the first 
days of Norman Windsor to the Plantagenet period Mr. Dixon tells the story of this 
famous castle in his own picturesque, bright, and vigorous way." — Daily Telegraph. 

"Mr. Hepworth Dixon has found a congenial subject in 'Royal Windsor.' Un- 
der the sanction of the Queen, he has enjoyed exceptional opportunities of most 
Bearching and complete investigation of the Royal House and every other part of 
Windsor Castle, in and out, above ground and below ground." — Daily News. 


W. Hepworth Dixok. Second Edition. Demy 8vo. 30s. Com- 
pleting the Work. 
CONTENTS OF VOLS. Ill AND IV.— St George's Hall, The Tudor Tower, A 
Windsor Comedy, Tho Secret Room, Treaties of Windsor, The Private Stair, 
Disgrading a Knight, In a King's House, The Maiden's 'Tower, Black Days, 
The Virgin Bride, Elegy on Windsor, Fair Geraldine, Course of Song, AWind- 
sor Gospeller, Windsor Martyrs, A Royal Reference, Hatchment Down, The 
People's Friend, St George's Enemy, Lady Elizabeth's Grace, Queen Mary, 
Grand Master of St George, Deanery and Dean, Sister Temperance, Eliza- 
beth's Lovers, Dudley Constable, The Schoolmaster, Peace, Proclaimed, 
Shakespere's Windsor, The Two Shakesperes, The Merry Wives, Good Queen 
Bess, House of Stuart, The Little Park, The Queen's Court, The Kings 
Knights, Spurious Peace, King Christian, A Catholic Dean, Apostasy, Expul- 
sion, Forest Rights, Book of Sports, Windsor Cross, In the Forest, Windsor 
Seized, Under the Keep, At Bay, Feudal Church, Roundheads, Cavalier 
Prisoners, The New Model, Last Days of Royalty, Saints in Council, Chang- 
ing Sides, Bagshot Lodge, Cutting Down, Windsor Uncrowned, A " Merry '' 
Caesar, Windsor Catholic, 'The Catastrophe, Domestic Life, Homa 
" Readers of all classes will feel a genuine regret to think that these volnroea 
contain the last of Mr. Dixon's vivid and lively sketches of English history. His 
hand retained its cunning to the last, and these volumes show an increase in force 
and dignity." — Athenoium. 

"Mr. Dixon's is the picturesque way of writing history. Scene after scene is 
brought before us in the most effective way. His book is not only pleasant read- 
ing, but full of information."— Grftp/itc. 


13, Qreat ALutLBOEOnaH Stbebt. 

NEW WORKS— Continued. 

CONVERSATIONS with Distinguished Persons 

during the Second Empire, from 1860 to 1863. By the Late 
Nassau W. Senior. Edited by his Daughter, M. C. M. Simpson. 
2 vols. 8vo. 303. 
Among other persons whose conversations are given in these volomes are : — Princo 
Napoleon; the Duo de Broglie; the Marquises Chambrun, Lasteyrie, Palla- 
vicini, Vogu^ ; Marshal Randoa; Counts Arrivabene, Circourt, Corcelle, Ker- 
gorlay, Montalembert, B^musat, Zamoyski ; G^enerals Changamier, Fdndlon, 
Trochu; Lords Cowley and Clyde; Messieurs Ampfere, Beaumont, Chambol, 
Chevalier, Cousin, Dayton, Drouyn de Lhuys, DuchStel, Dnfaure, Dumon. 
Duvergier de Hauranne, Guizot, Lamartine, Lomdnie, Lavergne, Lanjuinais, 
Maury, Marochetti, Masson, Merimde, Odillon Barrot, Pelletan, Pietri, Rdnan, 
St. Hilaire, Slidell, Thiers, De Witt; Mesdames Circourt, Comu, Mohl, &c. 
"Mr. Senior's 'Conversations with M. Thiers, M. Quizot,' &c., published about a 
year and a half ago, were the most interesting volumes of the series which had 
appeared up to that time, and these new 'Conversations ' are hardly, if at all, less 
welcome and important A large part of this delightful book is made up of studies 
by various critics, from divers points of view, of the character of Louis Napoleon, 
and of more or less vivid and accurate explanations of his tortuous policy. The 
work contains a few extremely interesting reports of conversations with M. Thiers. 
There are some valuable reminiscences of Lamartine, and among men of a some- 
what later day, of Prince Napoleon, Drouyn de Lhuys, Montalembert, Victor 
Cousin, R^nan, and the Chevaliers."' — AthenceuTn. 

" It is impossible to do justice to these ' Conversations ' in a brief notice, so we 
must be content to refer our readers to volumes which, wherever they are opened, 
will be found pregnant with interest" — The Times. 

" Many readers may prefer the dramatic or literary merit of Mr. Senior's ' Con- 
versations ' to their historical interest, but it is impossible to insert extracts of such 
length as to represent the spirit, the finish, and the variety of a book which is 
throughout entertaining and instructive." — Saturday Review. 

CONVERSATIONS with M. Thiers, M. Guizot, 

and other Distinguished Persons, during the Second Empire. By 
the Late Nassau W. Senior. Edited by his Daughter, M. C. M. 
SmpsON. 2 vols, demy 8vo. 30s. 

Among other persons whose conversations are recorded in these volnmes are:— 
King Leopold; the Due de Broglie; Lord Cowley; Counts Arrivabene, Cor- 
celle, Daru, Flahault, Kergolay, Montalembert; Generals Lamorici^re and 
Chrzanowski; Sir Henry Ellis; Messieurs Ampfere, Beaumont, Blanchard, 
Bouffet, Auguste Chevalier, Victor Cousin, De Witt, Duchatel, Ducpetiaux, 
Dumon, Dussard, Duvergier de Hauranne, Ldon Faucher, Frfcre-Orbau, Grim- 
blot, Guizot, Lafltte, Labaume, Lamartine, Iianjuinais, Mallac, Manin, Me'rimde, 
Mignet, Jules Mohl, Montanelli, Odillon-Barrot, Quetelet, Kdmusat, Rogier, 
Bivet, Bossini, Horace Say, Thiers, Trouv^-Chauvel, Villemain, Wolowski; 
Mesdames Circourt, Comu, Ristori, &c. 
" This new series of Mr. Senior's ' Conversations ' has been for some years past 
known in manuscript to his more intimate friends, and it has always been felt that 
no former series would prove more valuable or important Mr. Senior had a social 
position which gave him admission into the best literary and political circles of 
Paris. He was a cultivated and sensible man, who knew how to take full advan- 
tage of such an opening. And above all, he had by long practice so trained his 
memory as to enable it to recall all the substance, and often the words, of the long 
conversations which he was always holding. These conversations he wrote down 
with a surprising accureusy, and then handed the manuscript to his friends, that 
they might correct or modify his report of what they had said. This book thus 
contains the opinions of eminent men given in the freedom of conversation, and 
afterwards carefully revised. Of their value there cannot be a question. The book 
ia one of permanent historical interest There is scurcely a page without some 
memorable statement by some memorable man. Politics and society and literature 
— the three great interests that make up life — ^are all discussed in turn, and there is 
nodiscossioa which is unproductive of weighty thought or striking liaV—Atheiiittiini. 

13, Great Marlborough Street. 


NEW WO'EiKS— Continued. 


OF ARAQON and ANNE BOLEYN. By W. Hepworth Dixox. 
Second Edition. Vols. 1 & 2. Demy 8vo. 30s. 

"In two handsome volumes Mr. Dixon here gives ns the first instalment of a 
new historical work on a most attractive subject. The book is in many respects a 
favourable specimen of Mr. Dixon's powers. It is the most painstaking and 

elaborate that he has yet written On the whole, we may say that the book 

is one which will sustain the reputation of its author as a writer of great power 
and versatility, that it gives a new aspect to many an old subject, and presents in 
a very striking light some of the most recent discoveries in English history."— 

" In these volumes the author exhibits in a signal manner his special powers 
and finest endowments. It is obvious that the historian has been at especial pains 
to justify his reputation, to strengthen his hold upon the learned, and also to 
extend his sway over the many who prize an attractive style and interesting narra- 
tive more highly than laborious research and philosophic insight." — Morning Post. 

" The thanks of all students of English history are due to Mr. Hepworth Dixon 
for his clever and original work, ' History of two Queens.' The book is a valuable 
contribution to English history." — Daily News. 


By W. Hepworth DrxoN. Second Edition. Demy 8vo. Price 30s. 
Completing the Work. 

" These concluding volumes of Mr. Dixon's ' History of two Queens ' will be per- 
used with keen interest by thousands of readers. Whilst no less valuable to the 
student, they will be far more enthralling to the general reader than the earlier 
half of the history. Every page of what may be termed Anne Boleyn's story affords 
a happy illustration of the author's vivid and picturesque style. The work should 
be found in every library." — Post. 


Pennsylvania. By W. Hepworth Dixon. A New Library Edition 
1 vol. demy 8vo, with Portrait. 12s. 

" Mr. Dixon's ' "William Penn ' is, perhaps, the best of his books. He has now re- 
vised and issued it with the addition of much fresh matter. It is now offered in a 
sumptuous volume, matching with Mr. Dixon's recent books, to a new generation of 
readers, who will thank Mr. Dixon for his interesting and instructive memoir of 
one of the worthies of England." — Examiner. 


PERMISSION TO THE QUEEN. Completing the Work. Third 
Edition. Demy 8vo. 30s. 

FREE RUSSIA. By W. Hepworth Dixon. Tliird 

Edition. 2 vols. 8vo, with Coloured Illustrations. SOs. 
"Mr. Dixon's book will be certain not only to interest but to please its readers 
and it deserves to do so. It contains a great deal that is worthy of attention, and 
ia likely to produce a very useful effect" — Saturday Review. 

THE SWITZERS. By W. Hepworth Dixon. 

Third Edition. 1 vol. demy 8vo. 15s. 
" A lively, interesting, and altogether novel book on Switzerland. It is full of 
valuable information on social, political, and ecclesiastical questions, and, like aU 
Mr. Dixon's books, is eminently readable."— Z>ai7y Newt. 

13, GbEAT ^lABLBOBOnaR Stheet. 

NEW WO^KS— Continued. 


HOME AND ABROAD ; With Anecdotes of the Drama and the 
Stage. By Lord Whjjam Pitt Lennox. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 21s. 

" Lord ■William Lennox's gossiping volumes will be read with great interest 
They embrace notes concerning Peg Wofflngton, Mra Jordan, Q. P. Cooke, the 
Infant Roscius, T. P. Cooke, Mrs. Honey. Eomeo Coates, Alfred Bonn, the Kem- 
blea, Edmnnd Kean, Liston, Braham, Young, Qrimaldi, Mrs. Billington, Morton, 
Colman, Planchc, Sheridan Knowles, Theodore Hook, ^Tark Lemon, Palgrave 
Simpson, Byron, Burnand, Arthur Cecil Toole, Comey Grain, Irving, and many 
others. A vast amount of carious information and anecdote has been gathered 
together in these pleasant, readable volumes." — Sunday Times. 

"These volumes are full of good stories and anecdotes, told with remarkable 
spirit, and will be a treasure to playgoers." — Graphic. 

"The lover of the stage will find a host of interesting and amusing passages, 
let him dip into these volumes wherever he will." — Era. 


Series. By Edward Walford, M.A. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 21s. 
Contents: — The Old Countess of Desmond, The Edgcumbes of Edgcumbe and 
Cothole, The Lynches of Galway, A Cadet of the Flantagenets, The Proud 
Duke of Somerset, Lady Kilsyth, The Dalzells of Camwath, The Ladies of 
Llangollen, The Foxes, The Stuarts of Traquair, Belted Will Howard, An 
Episode in the House of Dundonald, The Ducal House of Hamilton, The 
Chief of Dundas, The Duke of Chandos and Princely Canons, The Spencers 
and Comptons, AH the Howards, The Lockharts of Lee, A Ghost Story in the 
Noble House of Beresford, A Tragedy in Pall Mall, An Eccentric Russell, The 
Lady of Lathom House, Two Royal Marriages in the Last Century, The 
Boyles, The Merry Dnke of Montagu, The Romance of the Earldom of Hun- 
tingdon, Lady Hester Stanhope, The Countess of Nithsdale, The Romance of 
the Earldom of Mar, Margaret Duchess of Newcastle, Lord Northington, The 
Cutlers of Wentworth, The Earldom of Bridgewater, TThe Carews of Bedding- 
ton, A Chapter on the Peerage, The Kirkpatricks of Closebum, The ClifTords 
Earls of Cumberland, The Homes of Polwarth, The Ducal House of Bedford, 
Tragedies of the House of Innes, The Ducal House of Leinster, The Royal 
Eonse of Stuart, The Great Douglas Case, The Radcliffes of Derwentwater, 
The Rise of the House of Hardwicke, Field-Marshal Keith. 
" The social rank of the persons whose lives and characters are delineated la 
this work and the inherent romance of the stories it embodies will ensure it a 
widespread popularity. Many of the papers possess an engrossing and popular 
interest, while all of them may be read with pleasure and profit" — Examiner. 


AND RUSSIA, IN 1827. By The Marchioness of Westminster. 
i vol. demy 8vo. 153. 

" A bright and lively record. So pleasantly are the letters written which Lady 
Westminster sent home, that her book is most agreeable ; and it has this special 
merit, that it brings clearly before us a number of the great people of former 
days, royal and imperial personages, whose intimate acquaintance the traveller's 
rank enabled her to make." — Athenaeum. 

"A very agreeable and instructive volume." — Saturday Review. 

"A highly instructive book of interesting travel, replete with graphic sketches 
of social life and scenery, abounding with entertaining anecdotes." — Court Journal. 


of Travel in Champagne, Franche-Comtb, the Jdra, the Valley of 
the Dodbs, &c. By M. Betham-Edwards. 8vo. Illustrations. 153. 
"Miss Edwards' present volume, written in the same pleasant style as that which 
described her wanderings in Western France, is so much the more to be recom- 
mended that its contents are fresher and more novoL" — Saturday Review. 

" Readers of this work will find plenty of fresh information about some of the 
most delightful parts of France. The descriptions of scenery are as graphic as the 
sketches of character are lifelike." — Qlcbe. m 

18, Great Mablbobouoh Street. 


NEW WO'RKS— Continued. 

THE VILLAGE OF PALACES ; or, Chronicles of 

Chelsea. By the Rev. A. G. L'Esthange. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 2 la. 

" Mr. L'Estrange has much to tell of the various public institutions associated 
with Chelsea. Altogether his volumes show some out-of-the-way research, and 
are written in a lively and gossipping style." — The Times. 

" These volumes are pleasantly written and fairly interesting." — Aihenxum. 

"Mr. L'Estrange tells us much that is interesting about Chelsea. We take 
leave of this most charming book with a hearty recommendation of it to our 
readers." — Spectator. 

" One of the best gossiping topographies since Leigh Bunt's 'Old Court Suburb.' 
So many persons of note have lived in Chelsea that a book far less carefully com- 
piled than this has been could not fail to be amusing." — Daily Telegraph. 

" This is a work of light antiquarian, biographical, and historical gossip. Mr. 
L'Estrange is inspired by interest in his subject" — Daily Neics. 

" Every inhabitant of Chelsea will welcome this remarkably interesting work. 
It sheds a flood of light upon the past; and, while avoiding the heaviness of 
most antiquarian works, gives, in the form of a popular and amusing sketch, a 
complete history of this ' Village of Palaces.' " — Chelsea News. 

AN ACTOR ABROAD; or, Gossip, Dramatic, 

Narrative, and Descriptite : From the Recollections of an 

Actor in Australia, New Zealand, the Sandwich Islands, CaU- 

fornia, Nevada, Central America, and New York. By Edmttnd 

Leathes. Demy 8vo. 15s. 

" ' An Actor Abroad ' is a bright and pleasant volume — an eminently readable 

' book. Mr. Leathes has the great merit of being never dull. He has the power of 

telling a story clearly and pointedly.'" — Saturday Heview. 

'• A readable, gossipping, agreeable record of the chances and changes of an 
actor's career in far distant lands. Many of the sketches of character display con- 
siderable literary skill." — Era. 

"A very readable book. It is a combination of the experiences of the voyager 
with those of the artist.'' — Academy. 


from the French of L. Wiesener, by Charlotte M. Yonge, Author 
of " The Heir of Redclyii'e," &c. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 21s. 
">L Wiesener is to be complimented on the completeness, accuracy, and re- 
search shown in this work. He has drawn largely on the French Archives, the 
Public Record Office, and British Museum, for information contained in original 
documents, to some of which notice is directed for the first time. M. Wiesener'a 
work is well worth translating, for it is most interesting as showing the education 
and circumstances which tended to form the character of that extraordinary 
queen. Miss Yonge appears to have successfully accomplished the task which she 
has undertaken." — Athenanim. 


Glance at Bermuda, the West Indies, and the Spanish Main. By 
J. W. Boddam-Whetham. 8vo. With Map and Illustrations. 15s. 
"The author has succeeded in producing an interesting and readable book of 
travels. His remarks on every-day life in the tropics, his notes on the geography 
and natural history of the countries he visited, and, above all, his vivid descrip- 
tions of scenery, combine to form a record of adventure which in attractiveness it 
will not be easy to surpass." — Athenceum. 

"Mr. Whetham writes with Vigour, and describes the life in the forests and on 
the rivers and prairies of South America with a picturesqueness and freshness of 
interest not inferior to that of the late Mr. Waterton's immortal wanderings. Mr. 
Whetham travelled in portions of Guiana little known, meeting with many adven- 
tures, seeing many strange sights, and taking notes which have furnished matter 
for a book of fascinating interest." — Daily ^eics. 


13, Obeat Marlbobocoh Street. 

NEW WOUKS— Continued. 


LiEDT.-CoLONEL E. S. BRIDGES, Grenadier Guards. 1 vol. 8vo. 15s. 

" The author may be congratulated on his success, for his pages are light and 
pleasant The volunae will be found both amusing and useful." — Athenseum. 

" Colonel Bridges' book has the merit of being lively and readable. His advice 
to future travellers may be found serviceable." — Pall Mall Oazette. 

A LEGACY : Being the Life and Remains of John 

Martin, Schoolmaster and Poet. Written and Edited by the 

Author of " John Halifax." 2 vols, crown 8vo. With Portrait. 2l8. 

" A remarkable boolc It records the life, work, aspirations, and death of a 

schoolmaster and poet, of lowly birth but ambitious soul. His writings brim with 

vivid thought, touches of poetic sentiment, and trenchant criticism of men and 

books, expressed in scholarly language." — Guardian. 

"Mrs. Craik has related a beautiful and pathetic story — a story of faith and 
courage on the part of a young and gifted man, who might under other circumstances 
have won a place in literature. The story is one worth reading." — Pall Mall Oazette, 

LIFE OF MOSOHELES ; with Selections from 

HIS diaries and correspondence. By His Wife. 

2 vols, large post 8vo, with Portrait. 243. 
"This life of Moscheles will be a valuable book of reference for the musical his- 
torian, for the contents extend over a period of threescore years, commencing with 
1794, and ending at 1870. We need scarcely state that all the portions of Mosche- 
les' diary which refer to his intercourse with Beethoven, Hummel, Weber, Czemy, 
Spontinl, Rossini, Auber, Haldvy, Schumann, Cherubini, Spohr, Mendelssohn, F. 
David, Chopin, J B. Cramer. Clementi, John Field, Habeneck, Hauptmann, Salk- 
brenner, Kiesewetter, 0. KItngemann, Lablache, Dragonettl, Sontag, Persian!, 
Malibran, Paganini, Bachel, Bonzi de Begnis, De Beriot, Ernst, Donzelli, Cinti- 
Damoreau, Chelard, Bochsa, Laporte, Charles Kemble, Paton (Mrs. Wood), 
Schroder-Devrient, Mrs. Siddons, Sir H. Bishop, Sir G. Smart, Staudigl, Thalberg, 
Berlioz, Velluti, 0. Young, BaLfe, Braham, and many other artists of note in their 
time, will recall a flood of recollections. It was a delicate task for Madame Mos- 
cheles to select from the diaries in reference to living persons, but her extracts have 
been judiciously made. Moscheles writes fairly of what is called the ' Music of the 
Future ' and its disciples, and his judgments on Herr Wagner, Dr. Liszt, Ruben- 
Btein, Dr. von Biilow, Litolff, &c., whether as composers or executants, are in a 
liberal spirit He recognizes cheerfully the talents of our native artists ; Sir S. 
Bennett, Mr Macfarreu, Madame Goddard, Mr. J. Bamett, Mr Hullah, Mr. A. Sul- 
livan, &c. The volumes are full of amusing anecdotes." — Athenseum. 

HISTORIC CHATEAUX: Blois, Fontainebleau, 

ViNCBNNEs. By Lord Lamington. 1 vol. 8vo. 158. 
"A very interesting volume." — Times. 
"A lively and agreeable book, full of action and colour." — Athenseum. 


William Piti Lennox. Second Series. 2 volumes demy 8vo. 30s. 
"This new series of Lord William Lennox's reminiscences is fully as entertain- 
ing as the preceding one. Lord William makes good use of an excellent memory, 
and he writes easily and pleasantly." — Pall Mall Oazette. 

COACHING ; With Anecdotes of the Road. By 

Lord Willi^vm Pitt Lennox. Dedicated to His Grace the 
Duke of Beaufort, K.G., President, and the Members of 
the Coaching Club. 1 vol. demy 8vo. 15s, 

" Lord William's book is genial, discursive, and gossipy. We are indebted to the 
anthor's personal recollections for some lively stories, and pleasant sketches of 
Bome of the more famous dragsmen. Altogether his voluma, with the variety of 
its contents, will be found pleasant reading."— PaJi Mall Gazette. 

13, Great Maslborouoh Stbeet. 


NEW WO'RKS— Continued. 


THOSE IN SORROW. Dedicated by Permission to Thb Queek. 
Fourth Edition. 1 vol. small 4to, 5s. bound. 

"These letters, the work of a pure and devout spirit, deserve to find many 
readers. They are greatly superior to the average of what is called religious 
literature." — Athenasurn. 

"The writer of the tenderly-conceived letters in this volume was Mrs. Julius 
Hare, a sister of Mr. Maurice. They are instinct with the devout submissiveness 
and fine sympathy which we associate with the name of Maurice ; but in her there 
is added a winningness of tact, and sometimes, too, a directness of language, which 
we hardly find even in the brother. The letters were privately printed and circu- 
lated, and were found to be the source of much comfort, which they cannot fail 
to afford now to a wide circle. A sweetly-conceived memorial poem, bearing 
the well-known initials, 'E. H. P.', gives a very faithful outline of the life." — British 
Quarterly Review. 

" This touching and most comforting work is dedicated to The Qijken, who took 
a gracious interest in its first appearance, when printed for private circulation, and 
found comfort in its pages, and has now commanded its publication, that the 
world in general may profit by it. A more practical and heart-stirring appeal to 
the afQicted we have never examined." — Standard. 


CENTURY, from the Papers of Christopher Jeaffreson, of Dul- 
lingham House, Cambridgeshire. Edited by John Cordt Jeaffre- 
son, Author of "A Book about Doctors," &c. 2 vols, crown 8 vo. 21s. 
" Two agreeable and important volumes. They deserve to be placed on library 
shelves with Pepys, Evelyn, and Keresby." — Notes and Queries. 


Arnold, B.A., late of Christ Church, Oxford. 2 vols. 8vo. SOs. 
" This work is good in conception and cleverly executed, and as thoroughly 
honest and earnest as it is interesting and able." — John Bull. 


Including His Correspondence. By His Grandson, Spencer Wal- 
POLE. 2 vols. Svo. With Portrait. 30s. 
"This biography will take rank, as a faithful reflection of the statesman and 
his period, as also for its philosophic, logical, and dramatic completeness." — Post. 


Lord Ddfferin's Tour XHRonoH British CoLtr&iBiA in 1876. By 

MoLTNEUx St. John. 2 vols. With Portrait of Lord Dufferin. 21s. 

"Mr. St. John has given us in these pages a record of all that was seen and done 

in a very successful visit His book is instructive, and it should be interesting to 

the general reader." — Times. 

" Mr. St. John is a shrewd and lively writer. The reader will find ample variety 
in his book, which is well worth perusal"— PaW Mall Gazette. 


OF LOUIS XV. By Lord Lamington. 1 vol. demy 8vo. 15s. 
" A most valuable contribution to dramatic literature. All members of the pro- 
fession should read it." — Morning Post. 

MY YOUTH, BY SEA AND LAND, from 1809 to 
1816. By Charles Loftus, formerly of the Royal Navy, 
late of the Coldstream Guards. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 21s. 
"A more genial, pleasant, wbolesome book we have not often lead."— Standard. 

13, Great Mablbobouoh Street. 

NEW ^YORKS— Continued. 

LONDONIANA. By Edward Walford, M.A., 

Author of " The County Families," &c. 2 vols, crown 8vo. 2l8. 
"A highly interesting and entertaining book. It bristles with anecdotes and 
amusing sketches." — Court Journal. 


TON ; With some Passages from her Diary. By E. Heneaqk 
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