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Full text of "The history of the Protestant reformation, in Germany and Switzerland : and in England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, France, and northern Europe : in a series of essays, reviewing D'Aubigné, Menzel, Hallam, Bishop Short, Prescott, Ranké, Fryxell, and others"

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BY M. J. SPALDING, D. 0^- 





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by 


In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States for the District 

of Kentucky. 

Stereotyped by Hills, O Driscoll & Co. 
141 Main St., Cincinnati. 


IN this volume I have endeavored to trace the history of the Protestant 
Reformation in the principal European countries outside of Germany and 

As, among these, England and its dependencies possess most interest for the 
American or English reader, more space in proportion has been devoted to the 
history of the Anglican Schism than to that of any other European country. 
Besides an Introduction, in which the religious history of England preliminary 
to the Reformation is discussed, four chapters are devoted to the English Refor 
mation, besides separate chapters on the Reformation in Scotland and Ireland. 
The statements of the great English historian, Lingard, are shown to be sub 
stantially confirmed by Hallam, Macaulay, Bishop Short, Sir James Mackintosh, 
Agnes Strickland, and other accredited Protestant historians ; and, unless I am 
greatly mistaken, it will be seen from the comparison of authorities, that not one 
important fact alleged by Lingard has ever been successfully controverted, even 
by the most determined opponents of the Catholic Church. 

The excellent Miss Strickland, in her Lives of the English and Scottish 
Queens, has incidentally thrown much additional light on what may be called 
the internal history of the Anglican and Scottish Reformation. Though a 
decided Protestant, she has done justice to the memory of Mary of England 
and of Mary of Scotland ; and also, in another sense, to Queen Elizabeth and 
John Knox. Availing herself with much industry and fidelity of her ample 
opportunities for investigation, she has published several new documents from 
the English State Paper Office ; and, what is still better and more commendable, 
she has dared tell a considerable portion of the truth, in spite of fashionable 
obloquy and stereotype misrepresentation. She has drawn, what might be called 
a Daguerreotype likeness of John Knox in his relations with Mary Stuart, whom 
the Scottish reformer fiercely hunted to death in the name of the religion 
of love ! 



In the chapter on the fruitless attempts to thrust the Reformation on Ireland, 
I have endeavored to present, on the most unexceptionable Protestant authority, 
together with a summary of the principal facts, a condensed but somewhat 
detailed account of the truly infamous Penal Code enacted by the British par 
liament against the members of the ancient Church in that faithful Island, 
which, in spite of almost incredible hardships and the most atrocious perse 
cutions, have preserved untarnished the precious jewel of faith bequeathed to 
her by St. Patrick. 

The chapter on the Reformation in the Netherlands is a review of Prescott s 
Philip II.; and it presents an appreciation of the stern Spanish monarch and 
of his cruel lieutenant Alva, together with a portraiture of the atrocities com 
mitted against the Gatholics by the Dutch Calvinists, who are shown to have 
raged more fiercely than Alva himself. The history of the French Huguenots, 
together with that of the great central tragedy in this history the massacre of 
St. Bartholomew is sketched in the chapter on the French Reformation, which 
is a review of Ranke s History of the Civil Wars in France. It will be seen, 
that Catholics have nothing whatsoever to fear from the verdict of history, even 
as the facts are furnished by Protestant historians, in the comparison between 
the cruelties committed by the French Huguenots and those charged on their 

Two chapters are devoted to the Reformation in Northern Europe. These 
review the statements of the Protestant historians of Sweden, Fryxell and Geijer, 
and present a summary account of the manner in which the Reformation was 
introduced into Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Here, as elsewhere, I have 
relied chiefly on Protestant authority, copious extracts from which I have sought 
to interweave with the narrative. 

In the eight notes appended to this volume, the reader will find several useful 
and interesting documents confirmatory of the statements made in the text ; 
besides some brief essays on important matters connected with the history of 
the Reformation in England and Scotland. 

To the lovers of historic truth I confidently present these Essays, composed 
with the sincere desire of exhibiting the Protestant Reformation in its true light. 
Those who have derived their information on this important subject from preju 
diced or partisan writers owe it to themselves, and to the cause of justice and 
truth, to examine the other side. Though I have written plainly, I trust that I 
have employed no language which may be justly construed as harsh or offen 
sive, and that I have sought to meet fairly and roundly, if summarily, the 
various issues of fact and argument presented by the great religious revolution 
of the sixteenth century. 

LOUISVILLE, KY., Easter Monday, 1860. 




PRELIMINARY view useful, p. 17 Early religious history of England 
England indebted for every thing to Koine, 18 Testimony of Bishop Short, 
21 Her conversion through St. Gregory the Great The early British 
Churches Their controversy with St. Augustine, first Archbishop of Can 
terbury, 23 Morality of their Clergy Gildas Massacre of British Monks, 
24 The Anglo-Saxon Church, 25 St. Wilfrid Testimony of Bishop 
Short, 26 St. Dunstan The Primacy recognized, 28 Nomination of 
Bishops, 29 Growing encroachments of the Civil power Under the 
Anglo-Saxon Princes And under the Norman Kings Archbishops of 
Canterbury, 30 Lanfranc and William the Conqueror, 31 William Rufus 
and St. Anselm, 33 Varied fortunes and persecution of St. Anselm 
Two English Prime Ministers, Flambard and Cromwell, compared, 34 
General remarks and inferences, 37 St. Thomas A Becket, 38 And St. 
Edmund Rich, 40 Increasing assumptions of English Kings Statute 
of Provisors And of Prasmunire, 41 Dr. Lingard reviewed, 45 And 
Bishop Short quoted on Investitures, 46 The Primacy always recognized, 
Superiority of the Bishops named by Rome, 47 Protestant authority 
Cardinal Langton And Lanfranc, 48 Simon of Sudbury And William 
of Wykeham, 49 Monastic Chronicles Curious developments And tragi 
cal incidents, 50 Modern historic justice, 53 The true key to the contests 
between English Kings and Roman Pontiffs in middle ages Eve of the 
Reformation Spirit of servility and slavery increasing, 54 Recapitula 
tion, 55. 

( v } 




The way now prepared, p. 59 The "pear ripe" Henry VIII. the 
founder of the English Eeformation, 60 Two theories One of them re 
futed, 61 And the other defended, 63 Bishop Short And the Book of 
Homilies, 64 What we propose to examine Five questions, 65 Was 
Henry sincere ? 66 Auspicious beginning of his reign Defender of the 
Faith, 67 The Divorce Henry s scruples ! Anne Boleyn Sir James 
Mackintosh and Miss Strickland, 68 The Sweating Sickness a test, 70 
D Aubigne s moral standard, 72 Heroism of Clement VII., 74 Noble 
answer of Campeggio Cardinal Wolsey, 75 Thomas Cromwell, 76 
Was Henry licentious and cruel? Treatment of his six wives Anne 
Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Catharine Howard, 77 Satanic conspiracy, 80 
Catharine Parr Was Henry a tyrant ? Confiscation of monasteries, 82 
Bishop Short testifies again Protestant testimony, 84 Exorbitant taxa 
tion Atrocious tyranny Trampling on ancient Catholic liberties of En 
gland, 86 Hallam s testimony, 87 Means of Reformation, 90 Cromwell s 
advice Royal supremacy, 91 Cromwell Vicar General Degradation of 
bishops, 93 Testimony of Bishop Short Imaginary and real despotism. 94 
Horrid butcheries Fisher and More, 95 Pole s brother and relatives 
And his mother, 96 The Friars Peyto and Elstow, 98 Hallam s testimony 
Bishop Short on Henry s murders, 100 A system of espionage established 
Curious examples, 101 Froude s idea of law His defending Henry VIII. 
and persecution, 102 Character of the Anglican Reformation, 103 The 
Six Articles, 104 Catholics and Protestants butchered together Cranmer 
aids and abets, 105 Edward VI. Reformation has now an open field 
Cranmer and Somerset, 107 Gradual Reformation Book of Common Prayer 
And Articles of Religion, 108 Inquisition established Joan Bocher 
burned, 109 Her answer to Cranmer, 110 Barbarous law against mendi 
cants, 111 People opposed to the new religion Popular insurrections 
Put down by foreign soldiers, 112 State of public morals Suppression of 
monasteries, a master-stroke of policy, 114 Analysis of Hallam s testimony 
and reasoning on this subject, 115 The three concupiscences, 118 Con 
clusion, 119. 


What Mary and Elizabeth did, p. 120 Macaulay s testimony Current 
opinion, 121 What we propose to establish Mary s accession Conspiracy 


and rebellion, 122 The reformed preachers The popular enthusiasm, 123 
Mary resolves to restore the ancient religion Her constant devotion to it 
Ridley s attempt to convert her, 124 Steps by which the restoration was 
accomplished, 125 Deprived Catholic bishops re-instated The acts of Ed 
ward VI. on religion repealed, 126 A compromise with the Holy See con 
cerning church property, 127 Solemn scene Cardinal Pole His address 
The old Church restored, 128 Chancellor Gardiner s last speech and 
death The queen s noble disinterestedness, 129 The spoilers retain their 
p re y "Bloody Mary" The persecution The principle of intolerance gen 
erally avowed and acted on by early Protestants The "original sin" of the 
Reformation, 130 Hallam and Miss Strickland, 131 Number of victims, 
132 Causes which provoked the persecution, 133 Political motives and 
action, 134 Insurrections and rebellions, 135 Mary not naturally cruel 
Proofs of her clemency, 136 Her merciful treatment of Elizabeth Con 
trasted with the latter s treatment of Mary of Scots Candid testimony of 
Agnes Strickland, 137 Mary restored the British Constitution together 
with Catholicity, 138 Mary s merciful treatment of Cranmer The career 
of this man dissected, 139 His seven recantations His death, 141 Mac- 
aulay s portraiture, 145 Other provocations and palliating circumstances, 
147 Bonner and Gardiner And other Catholic bishops, 150 Miss Strick 
land s theory on the persecution, 151 Cardinal Pole, 154 Mary s difficulty 
with the Pope, 157 Bishop Short s estimate of Mary, 158. 



LAW, PP 159207 

Glance at the four reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Eliza 
beth, p. 159 Elizabeth the real foundress of the Anglican Church Four 
questions propounded, 160 The first question ^Temporal interests and 
political expediency, 161 Elizabeth and the Pontiff Stern consistency of 
the Papacy, 163 Elizabeth takes her stand, 164 Sir William Cecil Her 
-insincerity and his intrigues Measures adopted for re-establishing Anglican 
ism Cecil s plan, 165 Firm opposition of the Catholic bishops Reasons for 
their alarm, 166 The queen crowned And immediately breaks her solemn 
oath, 167 The second question Did the Anglican church reform itself? 
A packed parliament, 168 The convocation in the opposition How its 
voice was hushed The public discussion, 170 Bishop Short reviewed 
Catholic bishops imprisoned The acts enforcing conformity, 171 And 


establishing the Book of Common Prayer and Thirty-nine Articles, 172 
The church established by law, 173 Catholic bishops deposed, 174 The 
non-juring clergy Vacancies in parishes Mechanics appointed to read the 
new service Bishop Short s testimony, 175 Third question Foundations 
of Anglican hierarchy, 176 Embarrassment Parker s consecration Three 
great difficulties stated, 178 The validity of Anglican ordinations at least 
doubtful The question of jurisdiction, 183 The fourth question stated 
And answered, 184 A curious "bull" of Elizabeth Elizabeth swears 
Testimony of Hallam Penal laws of 1562-3, 186 Lord Montague s noble 
speech, 187 Hallam on Camdem and Strype Northern insurrections, 189 
A terrible and bloody code Hallam on Lingard, 190 Elizabeth s Inquisi 
tion, 192 Her "Pursuivants" Fines for recusancy, 193 The prisons filled 
And the magistrates complaining Nobility and gentry ruined Bloody 
executions Number of victims, 194 Bull of Pope Pius V. Did not cause, 
but greatly aggravated the persecution, 196 Hallam s testimony, 197 He 
confirms all our important statements The rack seldom idle Loyalty of 
Catholics Cecil defends the use of the rack, 198 The hunted priests, 201 
The church spoilers, 203 Nothing can soften Elizabeth Bishop Short 
on her rapacity, sacrilege, and tyranny, 204 Fate of the church spoilers, 
205 Three other Protestant witnesses, 206 The verdict of history 
rendered, 207. 



Kelative length of their reigns, p. 208 Their respect for their mothers, 209 
Their religious feelings and conscience Plautus in the church on Sunday, 
210 Their respective relations to the Church Their comparative moral 
character Their disinterestedness and selfishness, 211 The one merciful, 
the other cruel The one liberal in government, the other a tyrant Hal 
lam on Lingard s authorities, 212 Testimony of Miss Strickland and of 
Macaulay, 213 Their restoring and crushing English liberty, 214 Their 
foreign policy That of Mary single and honest That of Elizabeth tortu 
ous and insincere, 215 Her motto "Divide and conquer" The success of 
Elizabeth the chief element of her popularity Her ministers compared 
with those of Mary, and particularly Gardiner, 216 Their respective per 
secutions compared, 217 Hallam answered Macaulay s statement, 219 
Their deaths Success of Elizabeth no evidence of divine approval, 221 
Awful death of Elizabeth, the real foundress of modern Anglicanism, 222. 




Distinctive characteristic of the Scottish Reformation, compared with that 
of England It works its way from low to high Condition of the Catholic 
Church in Scotland in the sixteenth century, p. 224 Abuse of Patronage 
McCrie s statement reviewed, 225 Exaggeration The real secret of the 
degeneracy, 227 John Knox His motto Compared with Calvin, 228 
His life sketched, 229 The fearful struggle Ancient Catholic glories 
scattered, 230 What we propose to prove The Scottish Reformation the 
work of violence Assassination of Cardinal Beatoun, 231 Previous nego 
tiations with Henry VIII. The Scottish proto-martyr Wishart concerned, 
232 Knox approves the deed His horrible "vein of humor" The Scot 
tish nobles seek plunder, 233 The "Lords of the Congregation" Two 
Solemn Leagues and Covenants, 234 Knox s ideas of religious liberty and 
toleration Conciliation thrown away Burning and destructive zeal, 235 
Reformation at Perth, 236 At St. Andrew s And elsewhere Horrible 
destruction and desolation, 237 McCrie defends it all, as removing the 
monuments of idolatry, 238 The queen regent offers religious liberty Her 
offer spurned, 239 Knox s idea of religious liberty Two armies in the 
field Elizabeth of England meddling, 240 The queen regent deposed, 241 
Treaty of peace How the Kirk was established by law, 242 Mary of 
Scots arrives Her first reception and treatment She is imprisoned at 
Lochleven, 245 John Knox her relentless enemy He clamors for her 
blood Glance at her subsequent history and death Miss Strickland and 
Mackintosh, 246 How she was treated in Scotland She is hated by Knox 
Her marriage with Darnley Sermon of Knox Who approves of the 
assassination of Rizzio He flies from Edingburg, 247 Mary innocent, 248 
A cluster of wicked men Murray the worst Mackintosh reviewed, 249 
"The end justifies the means" Forgery Whitaker on Knox and 
Buchanan, 252 Moral Character of Knox His death, 253 Quotations 
from Miss Strickland confirmatory of the above narrative of facts Mary s 
reception in Edingburg. 254 The "Rebels of the Crafts" Tumult on her 
first attendance at Mass, 255 Her chaplain narrowly escapes death Mary s 
firmness in her faith, 256 Knox abhors her music andjoyousity Malignant 
intolerance, 258 Cruel hard-heartedness of the Scottish nobles, 259 Who 
will not wear mourning on the anniversary of the death of Mary s husband, 
260 Church property Greediness of lay Protestant impropriators Knox s 
"humorous" lament over the destitution of the ministers, 261 The queen 
dancing Sermon of Knox thereupon, 262 His interview with the queen, 
363 Another interview Still fiercer intolerance, 264 Another interview 


of Knox with the queen He opposes her marriage Knox s account, 265 
Still another interview, 266 He mocks at the queen s tears, 267 Signs 
and wonders against her, 268 She is blamed for the weather ! Knox calls 
her a slave of Satan, 269 Is arraigned before the Kirk assembly His 
answer and behaviour Protests again against Mary s freedom of conscience, 
270 Tumult at her marriage Mary promises and asks for freeedom of 
conscience Her eloquent speech, 271 Darnley, 272 Horid plot, 273 
Butchery, 275. 



Ireland a noble exception, p. 277 England labors in vain to destroy her 
faith Ireland compared with England, Scotland, France, Bavaria, and 
Austria, 278 Progressive cruelty of the English government, 279 Succes 
sive steps taken to reform Ireland, 280 Under Henry VIII., 281 Under 
Edward VI., 282 Attempts to thrust the new service on Ireland, 283 Its 
failure Heylin s testimony Glaring inconsistency, 284 Elizabeth trying 
to reform Ireland, 285 Extracts from McGree The terrible contests under 
Elizabeth s reign, 286 The O Neill The revolt of Desmond And of 
Tyrone, 287 Wholesale confiscation Confiscation of Ulster, Munster, and 
Connaught The Deputy Mountjoy Miss Strickland s testimony, 288 
McGee on martyred Irish bishops, 289 The English Jezabel, 290 The 
system of colonization, 291 Rather one of extermination Elizabeth s land 
partnership with Essex, 292 The English penal laws enforced in Ireland, 
283 Another more formidable code established, 294 Its details furnished 
by Bancroft A horrible picture Other Protestant opinion and testimony, 
299 North American Review, 300 Sidney Smith and Junius, 301 
Ireland faithful to the last, 302 The result summed up Intolerance nobly 
rebuked Conclusion, 303. 



Interest which attaches to the subject, p. 305 Prescott s Philip II. His 
prejudices glanced at, 306 The Netherlands in the sixteenth century, 307 
Their highly prosperous condition in commerce and manufactures The 
new doctrines penetrate into the Netherlands, 308 Policy of the emperor 
Charles V., 309 His edicts He does not establish the Inquisition His 


repressive policy fails The Netherlands continue to flourish Accession of 
Phillip II., 310 View of the religious condition of Europe in the middle of 
the sixteenth century The "fiery cross" of the Eeformation, 311 It 
everywhere brings about a union of church and state, 312 Results in civil 
commotions Which weaken the cause of liberty Guizot s testimony 
Character of Phillip II., 313 The hereditary Spanish feeling beautifully por 
trayed by Prescott Sublime sternness of Philip, 314 We have no mission 
to defend him, 315 Much less Alva Philip s war with the Pope, 316 
Frescott s position reviewed Church not responsible for Philip s policy Case 
of Caranza, 317 Philip defies the Council of Trent His opposition to the 
Pope in matters trenching on the spiritual order, 318 Nomination of bishops 
The Pope and despotism, 319 Good qualities in Philip s character, 320 
The Catholic liberties of the Netherlander The struggle begins, 321 
Catholics and Protestants at first combine against Philip The war-cry 
Vivent les Queux! Matters precipitated by violence, 322 Horrible excesses 
committed by the Protestant party fully related by frescott The Icono 
clasts and church spoilers, 323 The preachers take the field And stir up 
the people to violence Churches and convents sacked Awful riot at Ant 
werp, 329 The Cathedral plundered The "two thieves" presiding over 
the work Its beautiful ornaments in ruins, 325 The sacrilegious fury 
spreads over all Flanders, 326 Four hundred churches demolished or 
sacked in Flanders alone, 327 Awful desolation Irreparable injury to the 
fine arts, 328 What the "beggars" really meant and wanted, 329 Their 
idea of religious liberty Reaction Tumults stopped And an insurrection 
quelled Impression made by these outrages on Philip Duke of Alva the 
embodiment of his stern resolve Execution of the Catholic Counts Egmont 
and Hoorne, and of Montigny, 330 William of Orange prudently flies 
Menzel s account Two inferences drawn, 331 Glance at the subsequent 
events of the struggle Queen Elizabeth fneddling, 332 Treasures of Alva 
seized by her A general gloom in consequence of the troops being quartered 
on the people And of the imposition of new taxes by Alva A calm before 
a storm The struggle begins in earnest Privateers scour the British 
channel Alva recalled and Requesens appointed, 333 Elizabeth coquetting 
with the insurgents Requesens succeeded by Don John of Austria The 
Spanish soldiery break through all restraint, and sack Antwerp General 
indignation The Pacification of Ghent Approved by Don John in the 
Perpetual Edict Discontent of Orange The Spanish troops dismissed and 
recalled The war re-commences The Netherlands become the battle 
ground of Europe, 334 The Catholic provinces compelled to separate from 
the Protestant Outrages on their churches and themselves committed by 
Casimir, the ally of Orange, 335 An army of Lutheran Huns Alexander 
Farnese, 338 Brilliant in the cabinet as in the field Renews the Perpet- 


ual Edict And attaches the Catholic Provinces to his government 
Philip issues his ban agaist Orange Who replies with a declaration of inde 
pendence He is assassinated Atrocities committed against the Catholics, 
337 Menzel and Motley Dutch Catholics exterminated Horrid excesses 
" Better Turks than Papists," 339 Lutherans do not sympathize with 
their Dutch brethren The Catholic religion suppressed, 340 Diplomacy of 
Orange His character, 341 The butcher Sonoy, 342 His horrible barbar 
ities, 343 Orange screens him from punishment Van der Marck, his pre 
decessor in the butchery, 344 He slays more than Alva Testimony of 
Kerroux The subsequent history of the Dutch Eepublic, 345 Final result 
of the struggle Gomarists and Arminians King James I. of England 
intermeddling Synod of Dort Grotius persecuted The patriot Barnavelt 
beheaded Many Protestants banished Kecapitulation Four conclusions 
reached, 346 Religious liberty, as understood by the Dutch Calvinists, 347 
And as exhibited in their acts, 348. 



The whole history of the French Reformation told in two sentences, p. 
350 Origin of the Huguenots, 351 Calvin the founder and father of 
French Protestanism Leopold Ranke s History of the French Civil Wars 
reviewed in this chapter Lefevre d Estaples the first forerunner of Refor 
mation, 352 A Humanist, like Erasmus Ranke s portraiture of him 
Ranke an intense Protestant William Bric,onnet, bishop of Meaux, 353 
The University of the Sorbonne, 354 The delegation for examining matters 
of faith Francis L, 355 His volatile character encourages the Humanists 
and the reformers The Anabaptists in Paris The state policy of Francis 
tortuous and unprincipled His sister, Queen Margaret of Navarre, an open 
friend of the new gospelers Her poetry and writings The Concordat, 356 
And the grievous abuses which grew out of its perversion by the court 
Court patronage, the real source of the evil, 357 Ranke s testimony 
Remarks on the great question of Investitures Henry II., Francis II., and 
Henry III., 358 The queen regent Catherine de Medicis, 359 Henry of 
Navarre Calvin intriguing from Geneva And Elizabeth from England 
The contest fairly begins Plots, intrigues, and threatened insurrections 
Torturous and unprincipled policy of Catherine Conspiracy of Amboise, 
360 Account of Lingard and Ranke, 361 Calvin s agency examined 
Elizabeth at the bottom of it Throckmorton s interview with Antoine de 
Bourbon Ranke s statement examined Confirmation of Lingard s state- 


ment by Morley, in his Life of " Palissy the Potter,"362 Lingard s author 
ities Ranke substantially confirms Lingard and Morley The conspiracy 
defeated by Guise, and the Huguenots leaders executed, 364 Elizabeth s 
double policy Singular declaration of peace ! Warlike attitude of Conde, 
365 The more the Huguenots gain, the more they ask Their liberty se 
cured, but they wish to crush that of others Who began the war? 366 
Affair at Vassy Ranke on the duke of Guise The civil war breaks out, 
367 Elizabeth aids the Huguenots, who deliver up to her Havre and 
Dieppe, 368 First campaign, 369 Battle of Dreux The two commanding 
generals taken prisoners Guise and Coligny Siege of Orleans Assassina 
tion of the duke of Guise, brought about by Coligny, 370 Sudden pacifica 
tion Elizabeth foiled The pacification broken by the Huguenots Attempt 
to seize the king at Monceaux, 371 Its failure The English ambassador 
implicated Treaty of Bayonne a fabrication Lingard, Hal lam, Ranke, and 
Mackintosh alleged Second civil war, 372 The third one, 373 Third 
general pacification Marriage concluded between the king of Navarre, and 
the sister of Charles IX. of France Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 374 Lin 
gard s account, 375 And Ranke s, 376 Dispatches of the papal nuncio at 
Paris settle the question of premeditation, 377 Number of victims, 378 
Religion had nothing to do with the massacre, 479 The Pope The Catho 
lic bishops and clergy Previous atrocities committed by Huguenots, 380 
The Michdade, 381 The ferocious Baron d Adrets, 382 His barbarities 
against Catholics, 383 Events succeeding the massacre, 385 The Hugue 
nots seize Rochelle Renewed pacifications And new civil wars The 
Huguenot Confederacy, 386 And the Catholic League Assassination of 
Henry III. And accession of Henry IV., 387 He becomes a Catholic on 
the advice of the Huguenots ! Publishes the Edict of Nantes Its revoca 
tion by Louis XIV., 388 Motives for the revocation, 389 Did it impair 
the prosperity of France ? Number of Huguenot exiles, 390 Testimony 
of the duke of Burgundy and of Caveirac Atrocities on both sides Those 
of Huguenots began at an early period D Aubigne The Wool-comber 
Leclerc, 391 Recapitulation The French Reformation and the French 
Revolution, 393. 



Reformation in Sweden the work of the crown Gustaf Wasa its author, 
p. 395 Conversion and civilization of Sweden, 396 Its bishoprics And 
early sanctity Upsala the metropolis Union of Calmar, 397 Sweden 


reluctant to submit, 398 The Stures administrators Contests and a com 
promise, 399 The families of Sture and Trolle The feud between them 
Archbishop Trolle deposed by the diet, 400 Bishop of Linkoping The 
Pope excommunicates all who were concerned The tyrant Christian II. 
The "Blood Bath" of Stockholm, 401 Bishop of Linkoping escapes 
Gustaf Wasa, the deliverer of Sweden, 402 His treachery in breaking his 
parole, 403 His remarkable adventures in Northern Sweden His eloquent 
address from a tomb- stone, 404 Popular enthusiasm The army of inde 
pendence The Catholic bishops Wasa intriguing with them and with the 
nobles Employs force when persuasion fails His army of foreign mercen 
aries, 405 He appoints new bishops, and re-organizes the diet He is 
elected king, 406 Decides to rob the Church Turns reformer, 407 The 
two brothers Olaus and Lawrence, 408 Beginning the work of sacrilege 
Wasa deposes and appoints bishops, 409 The Anabaptists, 410 The arch 
bishop of Upsala, 412 The peasants and the Chapter of Upsala, 413 
Manoeuvring of Wasa to bend or oust the archbishop, 414 He deposes him 
and expels him from Sweden, 415 The exile and death of the archbishop 
Two bishops mocked and put to death, 416 The foreign troops furnish 
the key to Wasa s position, 417 Diet of Westerns, 418 The Catholic 
Pieligion abolished, 419 And Wasa declared supreme in church and 
state, 420 Diet of Orebro completes the work of destruction, 421 Lament 
of the people Exile and death of Bishop Brask, 422 An extraordinary 
pastoral visitation Watching and preying, 423 Wholesale confiscation 
New archbishop consecrated, 424 Rebellions, 425 Sacrilege and taxation 
Confiscation of church bells, 426 The Dalmen How disaffection was 
put down, 427 The priests beheaded How the popular grievances were 
redressed, 428 Confirmatory testimony of Geijer, 429 Wasa and Henry 
VIII. compared, 432 Avarice of Wasa, 433 His hard swearing, 434 
How he was rebuked by the two brothers, 435 And how he punished 
them The curse of sacrilege Family of Wasa His death Immorality 
of Sweden Testimony of Bayard Taylor, 436 Conclusion, 437. 



Reformation in these countries similar to that in Sweden, p. 438 That 
of DENMARK adviced by Gustaf Wasa Christian II. His attempt to intro 
duce Lutheranism, 439 His injustice to the dnurch Humane provisions 
in his code of laws, 440 The peasants liberated The nobles enraged He 


is deposed Frederick I. begins the Reformation by crashing popular liberty, 
441 And by violating his solemn oath Protestant testimony, 442 His 
measures for this purpose, 443 Contest after his death, 444 Christian III. 
succeeds him And completes the work of the Reformation in Denmark, 
445 A Catholic confessor and martyr The new church organization 
Terrible penal laws against Catholics, 446 Recapitulation, 447 NORWAY 
Determined opposition to the new gospel, 448 How it was quelled by 
force, 449 Penal laws Firmness of the monks Norwegian independence 
destroyed The Reformation and despotism triumph together Religious 
liberty, as understood in Norway The bishop of the North Pole, 450 
Interesting anecdote by Bayard Taylor ICELAND Its discovery and con 
version to Christianity, 451 Its golden age, 452 The great pestilence Its 
annexation to Denmark The Reformation introduced by violence The last 
Catholic bishop put to death, 453 Its two old Catholic sees abolished Its 
decline since that period The North and the South Conclusion, 454. 



PRAYER, P 455 










QUEENS, P 505 






PRELIMINARY view useful Early religious history of England Eng 
land indebted for every thing to Rome Testimony of Bishop Short 
Her conversion through St. Gregory the Great The early British 
Churches Their controversy with St. Augustine, first Archbishop of 
Canterbury Morality of their Clergy Gildas Massacre of British 
Monks The Anglo-Saxon Church St. Wilfrid And St. Dunstan 
The Primacy recognized Testimony of Bishop Short Nomination of 
Bishops Growing encroachments of the Civil power Under the Anglo- 
Saxon Princes And under the Norman Kings Archbishops of Canter 
bury Lanfranc and William the Conqueror William Rufus and St. 
Anselm Varied fortunes and persecution of St. Anselm Two English 
Prime Ministers, Flambard and Cromwell, compared General remarks 
and inferences St. Thomas A Becket And St. Edmund Rich Increas 
ing assumptions of English Kings Statute of Provisors And of Pr3- 
munire The Primacy always recognized Dr. Lingard reviewed And 
Bishop Short quoted on Investitures Superiority of the Bishops named 
by Rome Protestant authority Cardinal Langton And Lanfranc 
Simon of Sudbury And William of Wykeham Monastic Chronicles 
Curious developments And tragical incidents Modern historic justice 
The true key to the contests between English Kings and Roman 
Pontiffs in middle ages Eve of the Reformation Spirit of servility and 
slavery increasing Recapitulation. 

A SUMMARY view of the religious condition of England 
before the Reformation would seem necessary, to enable us 
to understand how it was that, after the first quarter of the 
sixteenth century, almost the whole Island was so suddenly 
drawn away from the Catholic Church into the vortex of the 
VOL. ii. 2 ( 17 ) 


new religious opinions. Of the English Catholic bishops of 
the time, but one stood firm and unyielding to the last ; all 
the rest showed themselves ready, however reluctantly, to do 
the bidding of Henry VIII., in opposition to the Pope and 
the Church. How is this singular fact to be accounted for 
and explained? There must surely have been something 
eadly out of joint and grievously wrong somewhere, to bring 
about so sudden and so general a defection from the Church 
of the English body of bishops. What that wrong was, our 
readers will probably be better able to pronounce, after they 
will have read the facts from previous English history, which 
will be contained in this Introduction. 

"We do not, of course, propose to furnish a complete and a 
connected summary of the religious history of England before 
the Reformation; this would require one or even several 
volumes, to do the subject any thing like justice. We intend 
only to glance at such facts in this preliminary history as may 
seem best calculated to throw light on the startling religious 
revolution of the sixteenth century. We shall number our 
remarks, and arrange them, in general, in chronological order. 

1. There seems to be nothing more certain in all history, 
than that England was indebted to Rome for Christianity, 
and for all the numberless blessings which followed in its 
train. Near the close of the sixth century, Pope St. Gregory 
the Great sent thither St. Augustine and his band of forty 
monks; who, under the auspices of that great and holy 
pontiff, first converted Ethelbert, King of Kent, and many of 
his people, and subsequently extended their successful mis 
sionary labors rapidly over the whole Island.* The present 

* In one of his letters, Pope St. Gregory the Great states, that at Christ 
mas more than ten thousand of the pagan Saxons were baptized by St. 
Augustine and his colleagues : In solemnitate Dominicae Nativitatis plus 
quam decem millia Angli ab eodem mmciati sunt fratre et co-episcopo nostro 
baptizati. (Epist. Greg. L. VII. Epist. 30. Smith s Bede, app. viii.) 
Apud Lingard, Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, p. 23, note. Ameri 
can edition, Fithian, Philadelphia, one vol., 8vo. 


Anglican church must necessarily derive its orders and its 
hierarchy if at all from any ancient source from the see 
of Canterbury; and this see was certainly established by 
Pope St. Gregory the Great. Its first incumbent so consti 
tuted by the Pontiff was St. Augustine himself, whom he 
had sent out to become the .apostle of England. No one, we 
believe, has ever ventured to deny this fact, or has been able 
successfully to avoid the inference fairly deducible therefrom. 

2. The present Anglican church has manifestly no histori 
cal connection whatsoever with the earlier British churches, 
of which some Anglican writers make so much account. It 
is not even pretended, so far as we are informed, that the 
former derives its orders from ,the latter; which, in fact, 
"ceased to exist, as a distinct organization, not long after the 
conversion of England under Augustine and his immediate 
successors. Even the claim set up by some Anglicans, that 
these earlier British churches were founded without the 
agency of Kome, and that they existed not only in a con 
dition of independence, but of antagonism to the See of 
Peter, rests upon no solid historical foundation whatsoever. 
The best that can be said of this theory is, that it is a mere 
speculation, which may appear more or less plausible to its 
friends not certainly a proposition supported by solid reason 
ing based on ascertained facts. 

3. When Christianity was first introduced into England is 
not known with any degree of certainty. The introduction 
evidently took place some time before the close of the second 
century. Nennius and other British writers tell us, that, late 
in the second century, Pope Eleutherius, acceding to the 
pious request of Lucius, a British king, sent out to England 
two missionaries, Fugatius and Damian;* whose preaching 
and ministrations, under the regular apostolic commission 
derived from the Chair of Peter, converted great numbers 

* These names are differently written by various early authors ; some 
apparently retaining 1 the British, and others the Latin form. 


to the faith, and thus laid the foundations of Christianity in 
England.* What Tertullian says of "places among the 
Britons inaccessible to the Komans, but subject to Christ," 
tallies well with this account; for Tertullian wrote about 
that very time, or perhaps a little afterward; and it was 
natural that, in his defense of Christianity addressed to 
pagans, he should refer to events which were recent and well- 
known. According to this highly probable interpretation of 
his words, it would appear, that the first apostles of England, 
after successfully preaching the gospel to the Britons who 
were then under the Koman dominion, carried the light of 
the faith among the neighboring tribes, inhabiting districts 
over which the Roman eagle had never soared. 

The testimony of a somewhat earlier writer than Tertullian 
St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons on which Bishop Hopkins 
and other Anglican writers insist so strongly, appears, from 
the interpretation given to it by Grabe, the learned Protestant 
editor of that father s works, to have nothing whatever to do 

* For a full and learned vindication of the fact, that England was, at 
least partially, converted to Christianity by missionaries sent out by Pope 
Eleutherius, at the instance of King Lucius, see Milner s History of Win 
chester, vol. i. p. 30, English edition. The event took place probably 
between the years 176 and 180 of the Christian era; that is, between the 
election of Eleutherius and the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, both 
of whom are referred to by the Venerable Bede in his account of the matter. 
Archbishop Usher refers to two ancient medals struck in honor of the event, 
and the English historian, Camden, to still another. Our readers are aware 
that both these authorities are Protestant and decidedly Anglican in their 
prejudices. Speaking of the petition made to the Pontiff by King Lucius, 
Bede says: "Obsecrans, ut per ejus mandatum Christianus efficeretur; et 
mox effectum pise postulationis consecutus est. Beseeching that, by his 
(the Pontiffs) command, he might be made a Christian ; and immediately he 
obtained the object of his pious petition." The silence of Gildas on the 
subject is a merely negative argument devoid of all force ; for what remains 
to us of his work, De Excidio Britanniae, is merely fragmentary, besides 
being rather a desultory discourse than a history professing to furnish a full 
and connected account of events. 


with the conversion of the Britons;* while all other early 
references to the subject seems to be very obscure and incon 
clusive, entirely too much so to justify the airy fabric of con 
jectures or fables which some learned Anglican writers have 
attempted to build up on them.f 

* Speaking of the unity of the Church and of its diffusion throughout the 
world, Irenaaus "enumerates the churches of Germany, the churches among 
the Hibernians, and the churches among the Celts." So says Bishop 
Hopkins, who understands the Britons as being designated under the name 
Celts- This is an unfounded supposition, refuted by Irengeus himself, who 
says (Lib. 1. adv. haar. Praef.) : " We live among the Celts " thereby clearly 
implying that the name was given to the people of Southern France living 
about Lyons. " The Hibernians turn out to be Iberians, inhabitants of Spain," 
as appears from the third chapter of St. Irenaeus first book against heresies. 
See Archbishop Kenrick s "Vindication of the Catholic Church" in reply to 
Bishop Plopkins, p. 303. 

f See Dr. Lingard s Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, chap. 1, for 
more on this subject, which the learned and judicious historian may be said to 
have exhausted. The testimony of Eusebius, the father of Church History, 
to the effect that the apostles "passed the ocean and came to the Islands 
called the British," (Demonstrat. Evang., I. 7.) is vague and inconclusive. 
He gives no names nor specifications, and the sentence may have been a 
mere rhetorical amplification the British Islands being then regarded as 
the ultima fhule. A subsequent historian Thedoret probably copied or 
imitated Eusebius, though his language is not at all definite, and may admit 
of a much wider interpretation. Both these writers lived hundreds of 
years after the apostolic days, and their merely general and vague allusions 
to a matter so remote affords no solid historical ground on which to rest a 
statement so important. If other documents ever existed on the subject, 
they have long since perished ; the only facts at all reliable are those referred 
to in the text. 

The Anglican bishop Short candidly admits the obscurity which hangs 
over the history of the early British churches, as well as the uncertainty of 
the theory, that has been broached at a comparatively recent period, that St. 
Paul or one of the apostles preached the Gospel in Britain. He says : " To 
him who seeks only for truths which may be useful for the formation of his 
own opinions, any considerable investigation of the records which are left 
us can offer little beyond labor, accompanied with very trifling hopes of re 
ward." After quoting the general and rather vague passages from Eusebius, 
Theodoret, and others, usually alleged to prove that the apostles evangelized 


4. The story that the ancient British churches were sub 
jected by force to the see of Canterbury, through the agency 
of St. Augustine and his colleagues or of their immediate 
successors, is all a mere fabrication resting upon no evidence 
whatsoever; has been long since abandoned by all 
moderate and impartial writers, however a few violent par 
tisans may still love to give it currency.* As the Venerable 

the British Isles, he remarks : "If these words are to be taken in their literal 
sense, little doubt can remain that the kingdom was converted to Christi 
anity by the apostle to the gentiles ; yet such deductions must always be 
regarded with suspicion." Again, after stating all that is supposed to be 
known on the subject, he adds: "The whole of the history of the British 
church has been exhausted by Stillingfleet in his Origines Britannicse ; and 
to any one who will examine that work, it will be apparent how little is 
known, and how unimportant that little is ; that is, unimportant as far as 
the present state of the world is concerned." The History of the Church 
of England, to the Revolution, 1688 ; by Thomas Vowler Short, D. D., Lord 
Bishop of St. Asaphs. Fourth American, from the third English edition. 
New York, 1855. In one vol., 8vo, pages 1, 2, and 8. 

As this is a standard work among Anglicans, we shall often have occa 
sion to quote from its pages. Though the author takes no pains to disguise 
his prejudice against the Catholic Church, yet he is learned and more than 
usually candid for writers of his class. Thus, speaking of the Anglo-Saxon 
churches, he says-: 

"The Englishman who derives his blood from Saxon veins will be un 
grateful, if he be not ready to confess the debt which Christian Europe owes 
to Koine ; and to profess that whenever she shall cast off these innovations 
of men (!), which now cause a separation between us, we shall gladly pay 
her such honors as are due to the country which was instrumental in bring 
ing us within the pale of the universal Church of Jesus Christ." Ibid., p. 9. 

* Such writers, for instance, as D Aubigne, who evidently is more intent 
on establishing a theory, than on vindicating the truth of history. For this 
purpose, he makes no scruple in garbling Bede, and making the venerable 
historian say, in effect, the very contrary of what his language would imply, 
if fairly interpreted. He also quotes Wilkins, the Protestant historian of 
the English councils, to prove that St. Augustine was not only aware of the 
war which proved so disastrous to the British Christians, but that he 
actively promoted it ! He forgot, however, to state, that St. Augustine had 
gone to his reward several years before ! See D Aubigne, History Refor- 


Bede declares, and as the whole tenor of the letters of St. 
Gregory the Great clearly proves, one of the principal lessons 
taught to King Ethelbert by St. Augustine and his missionary 
associates was, that " the service of Christ ought to be volun 
tary, not by compulsion."* St. Augustine indeed sought, by 
earnest expostulation, and by threatening the wrath of God 
in case of disobedience, to induce the prelates and clergy of 
the British churches to abandon their peculiarities of obser 
vance in matters of discipline, to acknowledge his authority, 
and to re-enter the pale of Catholic unity, from which their 
remoteness from the other churches, together with their ignor 
ance of what was passing . in Christendom, as much perhaps 
as any other cause, had in a measure severed them. They 
proved obstinate, and the efforts of the English apostle thus 
proved abortive. He died in 605 ; and it was only in 613, 
eight years afterward, that a ferocious pagan king of Nor- 
thumbia Edelfrid stimulated by vengeance against the 

mation, 5 vols. in one, 8vo. Edit. Carter, New York, 1854, p. 685, 

* This is the testimony of Bede, Eccl. Hist. L. 1. b. xxvi., quoted by Arch 
bishop Kenrick in his Vindication, p. 305. 

We may as well here, as elsewhere, refer to the singular theory of Bishop 
Short in regard to the ancient Liturgy of the British churches. He says, (p. 4, 
and note) that it was derived from the Gallican Liturgy, which was itself 
probably "derived from St. John through Poly carp and Irgeneus." The 
differences between this and the Koman service he states as follows : " These 
consisted in a confession of sins, wherewith the service began ; in proper 
Prefaces, which were introduced for certain days before the consecration of 
the elements ; in several expressions which mark that the doctrine of tran- 
substantiation had not then been received ; and in the attention to singing 
paid in the Roman Church." 

What he says, without any proof whatever, in regard to the doctrine of 
transubstantiation not being then received, may be simply denied, as opposed 
to the unanimous voice of all Christian antiquity, whether Eoman or Greek, 
Gallican or Oriental. The other "differences" must provoke a smile from 
every one who has even glanced at the Roman Missal, which has always 
contained those very things, especially "the attention to singing paid in the 
Roman Church!" 


Britons for having given shelter to the heir of a rival claim 
ant of his crown, as well as by the feeling of inveterate 
hatred which existed between the conquerors and the con 
quered, invaded their territory in the fastnesses of Wales, 
conquered them in a great battle at Chester, and finding that 
the monks of Bangor were praying on a neighboring hill for 
the success of their British countrymen, caused his troops to 
rush upon and to massacre them by hundreds. Thus, St. 
Augustine had been already in his grave for fully eight 
years, and he could not therefore possibly have had any thing 
to do with the expedition of the sanguinary pagan king ; who, 
on the other hand, was not likely to be at all influenced by 
Christian advice.* 

According to the testimony of Gildas, a contemporary 
writer and a countryman of the Britons, the British clergy 
were exceedingly profligate in their morals, and many of 
them were addicted to disorders which were a disgrace to the 
priestly character. They openly bought, or sacrilegiously 
seized upon the dignities of the Church ; they were ignorant 
and indolent ; and, in general, all ecclesiastical discipline was 
greatly relaxed among them.f It was the view of these cry 
ing disorders which quickened the zeal of St. Augustine, and 
which induced the great Koman Pontiff to extend his powers 
and jurisdiction over all England, in order to enable him 
effectually to root out scandals so grievous and so glaring. 

* For a full account of all these transactions, with a temperate but tri 
umphant vindication of St. Augustine, from the original authorities, see 
Lingard s Antiquities, etc., sup. cit., chap. 2. That St. Augustine was dead 
long before the massacre of the monks at Chester, is expressly asserted by 
Bede : Ipso Augustino jam multo ante tempore ad coelestia regna sublato. 
Bede, p. 81. Apud Lingard, p. 43, note. The absence of this passage from 
the very imperfect Saxon version made by King Alfred, is no argument 
against its authenticity ; for it is generally admitted by the learned that this 
version was a mere abridgment. Its presence in the original Latin is quite 
sufficient and satisfactory. See Ibid. 

f Ep. Gild. Edit. Gale, pp. 23, 24, 38. Apud Lingard, sup. cit., p. 41. 


The British prelates and clergy did not wish to be reformed, 
especially by a prelate who was acting with their Saxon con 
querors lately converted to Christianity. At a conference 
which w r as held with them on the borders of Wales, St. Au 
gustine "reduced his demands to three: that they should 
observe the orthodox computation of Easter ; should conform 
to the Roman rite in the administration of baptism ; and join 
with him in preaching the Gospel to the Saxons. Each re 
quest was refused, and his metropolitical authority contempt 
uously rejected."-* The result was such as we have already 
indicated. The British clergy were unwilling to be reformed 
by legitimate authority; they obstinately refused to unite 
with the lawful pastors of the Church in preaching the Gos 
pel to the Saxons, most of whom were still pagans. In 
consequence, they experienced the anger of God for their 
obstinacy, and they soon afterwards almost disappeared from 
the earth. The prophecy of St. Augustine was fearfully 
accomplished ! 

* Ibid., p. 42. The fact that the British clergy refused to acknowledge 
the authority of Augustine, is no sufficient proof that they rejected the pri 
macy of the Pope. Church history alxmnds with examples of men who, 
while fully admitting the doctrine of the papal supremacy, refused neverthe 
less to comply with the commands of the actual Popes, on various pretexts 
which they ingeniously sought to reconcile with the admitted principle of 
faith. The facts alluded to in the text furnish a key for understanding the 
obstinacy of the British clergy. The recognition of St. Augustine s author 
ity would have carried along with it, not merely the relinquishment of their 
old and long-cherished usages, or rather abuses, but also what was much 
more difficult the correction of their morals. That all of them were not, 
however, so immoral as Gildas would seem to imply, would appear from the 
fact, that St. Augustine earnestly invited their co-operation for the conversion 
of the Saxons. 

Bishop Short confirms the statement of Lingard in regard to the demands 
made by St. Augustine, and he adds : " The question about the time of ob 
serving Easter was also discussed in the council of Whitby, where Oswi de 
cided it in favor of the Roman method, because both parties agreed that St. 
Peter kept the keys of heaven, and that he had used the Roman method of 
computing (A. D. 664)." Sup. cit, p. 5. 
VOL. II. 3 


5. Having thus founded the Anglo-Saxon church, the 
Roman Pontiffs continued to watch zealously over its inter 
ests, and to exercise over it that apostolical jurisdiction 
which all antiquity recognized as inherent in their sacred 
office. Their primacy was openly and generally acknowl 
edged in England by the Anglo-Saxon Christians, by princes 
and people, by bishops and clergy ; and the examples of its 
exercise for the organization and regulation of the hierarchy, 
the reformation of morals, the establishment of sound disci 
pline, and the correction of abuses, abound throughout the 
whole Anglo-Saxon period of English history, from the first 
advent of St. Augustine near the close of the sixth century, 
down to the Norman conquest after the middle of the 
eleventh. During this time, no less than eight Saxon kings 
devoutly made the pilgrimage to Rome, to receive the papal 
benediction ; and others, who were deterred from performing 
the journey by its anticipated difficulties, sent their ambassa 
dors to do homage to the Chair of Peter in their name. The 
Popes repeatedly sent their legates into England, to regulate 
discipline, to settle disputes, and to preside over councils. 
Those who felt aggrieved appealed to Rome for redress, and 
the appeal was always heard and acted upon.* 

Thus St. Wilfrid, the holy and celebrated bishop of York, 

* Bishop Short virtually admits all this. He writes : 

" That the Church of Rome did, at an early period, try to extend its power 
where it could, is beyond all doubt ; that it did in after times obtain a spirit 
ual supremacy in England is equally unquestionable. The Roman Catho 
lic, by proving the early date of these encroachments (!), touches not the 
broad principles which guided our church in throwing off all foreign author 
ity ; and the Protestants can never prove, by denying these points, that 
the Pope did not afterward possess the supreme power over the English 
church ; while both incur the danger of neglecting the pursuit of truth, in 

endeavoring to establish their own opinions We shall not be able to 

prove that our forefathers were Protestants, even if they had not then fully 
admitted the authority of the See of Rome." Ibid., p. 6. 

In proof of this last statement, he goes into an investigation (p. 9, seqq.) 
of the doctrines and discipline of the Anglo-Saxon church ; from which, 


when unjustly deposed by Theodore, archbishop of Canter 
bury, flew to the Holy See for redress ; and he obtained it in 
full from the justice of Pope Agatho, who convened a coun 
cil at Eome to assist him with their advice in determining on 
an affair of so much importance.* The prelates of the Anglo- 
Saxon church received, with reverent obedience, the decision 
of the sovereign Pontiff; and archbishop Theodore, having 
found out and acknowleged his error, expostulated with the 
Northumbrian king to have the papal judgment executed by 
the restoration of St. "Wilfrid to his see. But the anger of the 
wounded Northumbrian queen, whom St. Wilfrid had offend 
ed, would not be appeased, and she and her husband, Egfrid, 
continued to pursue the holy prelate with undying hos 
tility. It was only after the death of the king, that St. "Wil 
frid recovered his see, from which he was soon afterwards 
again ejected by Aldfrid, successor of Egfrid, at the instiga 
tion of the prelate s enemies. Again he appealed to the 
Pope, who, after long deliberation, again restored him to his 
place. The same scenes are now re-enacted : Aldfrid, the 
Northumbrian king, refused the earnest application made to 
him for St. Wilfrid s restoration by Berth wald, the successor 
of Theodore in the see of Canterbury ; who, like his prede 
cessor, had received with great respect, and was fully pre 
pared to do every thing in his power to execute the papal 
decision. It was necessary to await the death of Aldfrid, 
before the mandate of the Pope could be effectually executed. 
Thus we see manifested, as early as the close of the seventh 

even as the facts are unfairly stated by himself, it would appear that " our 
forefathers " were any thing but Protestants. Thus, among other things, he 
admits that " prayers and oblations for the dead were probably established 
in England from the first." 

* St. Wilfrid was deposed at the instance of Egfrid, king of Northumber 
land, who was instigated thereto by his unprincipled wife Ermenburga, 
whom St. Wilfrid had grievously offended by endeavoring to curb her vices, 
and to put an end to her grievous scandals. Bishop Short admits all the 
facts connected with the appeal of St. Wilfrid to the Pope. P. 5-6. 


century, that evil spirit which prompted, not the bishops or 
clergy, but the sovereigns of England, to interfere with the free 
dom of the Church, to thwart the efforts of the Popes for its pro 
per government, and to persecute its most saintly prelates. St. 
Wilfrid felt the sting of kingly persecution during twenty years 
of exile and tribulation ; but, in spite of sufferings so grievous 
and so protracted, he faltered not in his advocacy of sound doc 
trine, in the practice of heroic virtue, and in his loyal alle 
giance to the Chair of Peter. And, as we have seen, he 
triumphed at length over all opposition, and his brethren sus 
tained him, while the Church has hallowed his name.* 

6. If the attempt of temporal princes to tamper with the 
freedom of the Church, and to trammel and persecute such 
of her holy prelates as dared rebuke vice in high places, and 

* For a full account of the eventful life of St. Wilfrid, drawn from the 
original documents, and especially from the statements of his contemporary, 
the Venerable Bede, and of Eddius, the companion of his varied fortunes, 
see Lingard s "Antiq. Anglo-Saxon Church," p. 106, seqq. For the life of 
another Anglo-Saxon saint, Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, who so 
nobly rebuked the vices of King Edgar, who reformed the morals and re 
stored the learning of the monks and clergy, and who was himself the vic 
tim of much obloquy and persecution from corrupt kings and queens whom 
he had the courage to rebuke, see the same distinguished historian. Ibid., 
p. 234, seqq. 

The chief instigator of the persecutions against this saintly man was an 
other wicked woman Ethelgiva to whom he had given mortal offense by 
thwarting her improper intrigues with Prince Edwin, his own favorite pupil. 
She afterwards suffered a horrible death from the enraged princes and people. 
Her forehead was branded with a hot iron, and she was ignominiously ban 
ished the kingdom ; and returning afterwards was cruelly slain by the insur 
gents who had risen in arms against her youthful royal lover. (Ibid., p. 
237-8.) St. Dunstan, like all the holy prelates who ever lived in England, 
always reverenced the Holy See ; nor is the solitary instance of his opposing 
the execution of a papal decision, in the case of a nobleman who had de 
ceived the credulity of the Pontiff by false representations, a valid exception 
to the general tenor of his loyalty. His representations on the subject to 
the Holy Sae were respectful, and such as an humble and sincere inferior 
may well make to an acknowledged superior. See Ibid. 


struggle valiantly for the independence of the Church and 
for purity among the clergy, had already done so much mis 
chief under the Anglo-Saxon dynasties, it was destined to 
accomplish much more evil under the Norman kings. Wil 
liam of Normandy effected the conquest of England in 1066 ; 
and from this epoch an entirely new order of things arose in 
England both in church and state. Instead of the numerous 
monarchs who had previously divided among themselves, or 
had but feebly administered the government of England, we 
now find the executive power in the hands of one vigorous 
sovereign. William often wielded the sceptre with an iron 
arm, and not unfrequently he sought to encroach upon the 
legitimate province of the Church, and to enslave her minis 
ters. The encroachments of the Anglo-Saxon were, in gene 
ral, as nothing, compared with the encroachments of the 
Norman kings : the former were comparatively few and 
harmless, while the latter were as frequent in their occur 
rence as they were mischievous in their results. Yet the 
Anglo-Saxon state policy had unfortunately left the germ of 
the evil, which under the Norman rule was easily developed, 
until it produced its noxious fruits. The history of this pro-, 
gressive development of royal encroachment is curious ; and 
as the subject is one of vital interest in its bearing on the 
Church, we shall be pardoned if we enter into some details. 

7. In regard to the usages which had successively prevailed 
in the nomination of bishops under the Anglo-Saxon dynas 
ties, we can not state them more clearly or succinctly than in 
the language of the learned author of the Antiquities of the 
Anglo-Saxon Church. He begins his account with Theo 
dore, the learned and zealous archbishop of Canterbury in 
the seventh century: 

By Theodore the discipline of the Saxon church was reduced to a more 
perfect form. The choice of bishops was secured to the national synods, in 
which the primate presided and regulated the process of election. Gradu 
ally it devolved to the clergy of each church, whose choice was corroborated 
by the presence and acclamations of the more respectable among the laity. 


But the notions of the feudal jurisprudence incessantly undermined the free 
dom of these elections. As it was dangerous to intrust the episcopal power 
to the hands of his enemy, the king forbade the consecration of the bishop 
elect, till the royal consent had been obtained ; and as the revenues of the 
church were originally the donation of the crown, he claimed the right of 
investing the new prelate with the temporalities of his bishopric. As soon 
as any church became vacant, the ring and crozier, the emblems of episcopal 
jurisdiction, were carried to the king by a deputation of the chapter, and 
returned by him to the person whom they had chosen, with a letter by 
which the civil officers were ordered to maintain him in the possession of 
the lands belonging to his church. The claims of the crown were pro 
gressive. By degrees the royal will was notified to the clergy of the vacant 
bishopric, under the modest veil of a recommendation in favor of a particu 
lar candidate ; at last, the rights of the chapter were openly invaded ; and 
before the fall of the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, we meet with instances of 
bishops appointed by the sovereign, without waiting for the choice, or solicit 
ing the consent of the clergy."* 

9. Kings seldom give up what they have once unlawfully 
grasped. And no where, perhaps, has the force of precedent 
been more felt or more frequently acted on than in England. 
The Norman kings began where the Anglo-Saxon kings had 
left off, and they successively encroached on the rights of the 
Church, especially in the matter of the election of bishops, 
until at last her freedom of action had well nigh disappeared. 
From the forcible thrusting of incompetent or unworthy men 
into the episcopal sees by the king, in spite of the protests 
of the clergy, the Church had occasionally suffered much 
under the later Saxon rulers. Abuses and scandals had 
abounded, as a necessary consequence of this unhallowed 
attempt of the secular power to lay violent hands on sacred 
things ; and the subsequent Norman conquest, with its horrors, 
was viewed by many as a just retribution of heaven on the 
degeneracy of morals among the Saxons. But the case was 
destined to be still worse under the Norman rule. 

10. Fortunately for the Church, the first archbishop of 
Canterbury under the Norman dynasty was Lanfranc, an 

* Lingard, Ibid., p. 47-8. 


Italian by birth, and a most learned, pious, and prudent man, 
who was not easily influenced by considerations of courtly 
policy, much less by those of flesh and blood. William the 
Conqueror entertained feelings of great respect and veneration 
for the character of his metropolitan, and he proved a steady 
friend and protector of the archbishop in his frequent strug 
gles with the rapacious Norman barons. So long as Lanfranc 
lived, though the original Saxon bishops and clergy were 
often harshly dealt with by their haughty conquerors, yet 
the freedom of the Church in the appointment of her bishops 
seems not to have been, at least glaringly, violated by the 
crown. The vigor and unbending integrity of the archbishop 
rooted out abuses, restored ecclesiastical discipline, promoted 
learning, overawed disaffection, and checked the rapacity of 
the hungry adventurers who had came over in the train of 
the Conqueror. He rendered willing homage to the character 
and office of the sovereign Pontiff, from whom, like his pre 
decessors, he had received the pallium, the badge of metro- 
political jurisdiction. 

William, though fierce and haughty, had many good quali 
ties both of head and heart. The spirit of chivalry had 
tempered his native ferocity ; and though he could not well 
brook opposition, much less endure rebuke, yet he was in 
clined to admire the boldness and courage of the man who 
dared thwart him in his royal will. According to Orderic, a 
contemporary historian, he refrained from seizing on the 
revenues of vacant bishoprics and abbeys, protected them 
from the rapacity of his barons, and " named a successor with 
the advice of the principal clergy."* He had a special vener 
ation for the bold character and chivalrous bearing of his 
great contemporary, Pope St. Gregory VII., and though often 
blunt in his intercourse with the Pontiff, he seems never to 
have fully broken with him, and generally to have treated 

* Apud Lingard, History of England, vol. ii, p. 71. Edit, of Dolman, 
London, 1844. 


him with as much respect as his haughty character would 
allow him to render to any man on earth. In return, Gregory 
commended him " for his attachment to the Holy See, for the 
zeal with which he enforced the celibacy of the clergy, and 
for his piety in not exposing to sale, like other kings, the 
vacant abbeys and bishoprics."* 

Still the Conqueror discovered in his conduct and in the 
spirit of his enactments, the germs of that unworthy supicion 
of Rome, which, under his successors, produced fruits so very 
disastrous to the English church. u He would not permit the 
authority of any particular Pontiff to be acknowledged in his 
dominions without his previous approbation ; and he directed 
that all letters issued from the court of Rome should, on 
their arrival, be submitted to the royal inspection :" and " so 
jealous was he of any encroachment on his authority, that 
without the royal license he would not permit the decisions 
of national or provincial councils to be carried into effect."! 
He even went so far in his jealousy of papal influence, as to 
require that no English bishop should visit Rome without his 
permission ! St. Gregory VII. expressed his just indignation 
at this petty tyranny in the following energetic language : " No 
one of all kings, even pagan, ever presumed to attempt so much 
against the Apostolic See."J Finally, though William recog 
nized the regular ecclesiastical courts, yet " he forbade them 
either to implead or to excommunicate any individual holding 
in chief of the crown, till the nature of the offense had been 
certified to himself." 

10. His son and successor "William IL, surnamed Rufus^ 
unhappily carried into full effect the insidiously encroaching 
spirit of these various enactments. He inherited the haughty 
boldness of his father, without any, or hardly any, of his many 
good traits of character. He was extravagant, licentious, and 
reckless. He ascended the throne in 1087. So long as Lan- 

* Greg. VII. Epist, Lib. 1. 10. Ibid. f Ibid. \ Epist. vii. 1. Ibid. 
Eadmer, 6. Ibid. 


franc lived, he was overawed into something like decorum by 
the influence of the words and example of the venerable pri 
mate. But after the death of the latter, two years later in 
1089 he openly cast off all restraint, and recklessly trampled 
under foot all the laws even of common decency. To supply 
himself with money, for his own sensual gratification and for 
squandering among his guilty favorites, he seized without 
scruple on the revenues of the vacant benefices, and applied 
them to his own uses. That he might enjoy them the longer, 
he kept the bishoprics and abbeys vacant for years together, 
to the great injury of the faithful and detriment of the Church. 
Thus he forcibly kept the see of Canterbury without a pastor 
for four years from the death of Lanfranc in 1089 to the ap 
pointment of St. Anselm in 1093 ; and he would probably 
have protracted the widowhood of the principal English see 
to a much longer period, had not a dangerous illness overtaken 
him in the midst of his excesses, and awakened remorse in a 
heart not yet wholly dead to the principles of faith. Fearing 
the approach of death, he sent for the sainted monk Anselm, 
and gave his royal consent to his appointment to the prima- 
tial see.* Well knowing the fickle character of the king, and 
fully appreciating the difficulty and responsibility of the ele 
vated position, the holy man at first refused the proffered 
honor. After much entreaty, he however finally consented to 
accept it, but only on condition that William would restore the 
church property upon which he had seized, and acknowledge 
Pope Urban II. as legitimate Pontiff. The sick king promised 
ever.y thing with willing alacrity, and Anselm was accord 
ingly consecrated. 

But, as the holy archbishop had feared, William well was 
not what William had been when sick. The fear of death 

* Like his friend and preceptor Lanfranc, St. Anselm was a Benedictine 
monk from the renowned monastry of Bee in Normandy, and he was also, 
like him, a native of Italy. He was born at Aosta, or Aouste, in Piedmont, 
while Lanfranc was a native of Pavia, in Lombard) . 


once removed, the king became even worse than before ; he 
forgot all his solemnly plighted promises, and plunged again 
into all his former excesses. He refused to give up the church 
property and revenues, to allow the vacant benefices to be 
filled, or to permit the convening of free ecclesiastical coun 
cils, for re-establishing decaying discipline and correcting ex 
isting abuses.* In vain did the zealous primate plead and 
expostulate with the unprincipled and infatuated monarch, 
who had now given himself up wholly to the guidance of his 
unscrupulous prime minister, Flambard. This reckless man 
had purchased his royal master s confidence by pandering to 
his worst passions. He played toward William II. the same 
unprincipled part which Cromwell afterwards acted towards 
Henry VIII. ; and with similar results, though fortunately not 
so disastrous to religion. f He was the first who had advised 
William to seize on the revenues of the Church, and in order 
the better to accomplish this purpose, to keep the sees and 
abbeys vacant during his royal pleasure. 

Anselm continued firm, the king obstinate. The latter even 

* See Lingard, Hist. England, vol. ii, p. 100, for the original authorities ; 
Edit. Dolman, London. 

f Those fond of historical parallels may compare the two cases in all their 
bearings, as furnishing one out of a thousand evidences that human nature is 
substantially the same in all ages, and that similar agencies generally pro 
duce similar results, making proper allowance for difference of times and 
circumstances. In the present instance, neither Henry nor William profited 
much by the riches of the Church on which they sacrilegiously seized. 
These were speedily squandered on unprincipled favorites or consumed in 
low debauchery, and the two monarchs remained in the end none the richer 
for the unholy seizure. The fate of both these courtly prime ministers 
who advised the sacrilege was similarly disastrous. Both perished suddenly 
and violently. Both monarchs also died miserably ; William by a violent 
and unprovided death while engaged in the chase, Henry on his bed, in 
deed, but in the eyes of faith, in a manner probably still more fearful and 
terrible. History has its lessons, some of them fearful ones indeed, but all 
of them profitable, if we would only learn wisdom from the treasured expe 
rience of the past. 


attempted to have the former deposed, on the ground that 
without the royal assent he had dared recognize Pope Urban 
II. ; whom he himself nevertheless had solemnly promised to 
acknowledge a short time before, and whom he actually did 
acknowledge very soon afterwards. During the controversy, 
the king won over to his side the bishop of Durham and some 
other prelates more courtly than courageous, who, however, 
declared that they were vested with no power to depose the 
holy archbishop, and could merely withdraw themselves 
from his obedience, on the ground of his having acknowledged 
Urban II. in anticipation of the royal recognition. The king 
would probably have succeeded in accomplishing his wicked 
purpose, but for powerful opposition from an unusual and 
unexpected quarter. The barons stood up nobly and reso 
lutely in defense of their primate. The king then tried a new 
expedient. He acknowledged Urban, and wrote him an obse 
quious letter, in which he promised the Pontiff a rich pension, 
if he would consent to depose Anselm. The Pope spurned 
the bribe, and sternly refused his consent to the punishment 
of an innocent and holy man. 

Tired of the seemingly fruitless contest, Anselm left England 
in 1097, and betook himself to the feet of the sovereign Pontiff, 
in order to disburden his conscience of the heavy responsibility 
which weighed upon it, and to obtain redress for the griev 
ances of his afflicted church. If the Pope could not assist him 
in his overwhelming affliction, who could ? There was no 
other means of redress left to him on earth against the injustice 
of his all-powerful and wholly unscrupulous persecutor. In 
his letter to the Pope, the holy prelate presented the follow 
ing reasons for leaving the kingdom : 

" The king would not restore to my church those lands belonging to it, 
which he had given away after the death of Lanfranc ; he even continued 
to give more away notwithstanding my opposition ; he required of me griev 
ous services, which had never been required of my predecessors ; he annulled 
the law of God and the canonical and apostolical decisions, by customs of 
his own creation. In such conduct I could not acquiesce without the loss 


of my own soul : to plead against him in his own court was in vain; for no 
one dared assist or advise me. This then is my object in coming to you, to 
beg that you would free me from the bondage of the episcopal dignity, and 
allow me to serve God again in the tranquillity of my cell ; and that, in the 
next place, you would provide for the churches of the English, according to 
your wisdom and the authority of your station."* 

The Pope received the persecuted primate with open arms, 
but he would not consent to accept his resignation. Anselm 
remained in Italy for about three years, and he attended the 
synod held at Bari, and the subsequent one atEome in 1099; 
both of which pronounced sentence of excommunication 
against laymen who would dare usurp the right of granting 
investiture for cathedrals and abbeys without a previous free 
and canonical election. In the meantime, his royal persecutor 
met with a sudden and violent death on the second of August, 
1100 ; f and Anselm returned to England in the following 
September. He was at first well received by the new king, 
Henry I., whom he had greatly aided in securing the crown 
against the claims of his brother Robert, duke of Normandy. 
But very soon afterwards, the ungrateful monarch lost sight of 
all gratitude, forgot all his good resolutions, and revived the 
claim to investitures, very similar to that which had been so 
scandalously exercised by the late king. Anselm was again 
compelled to visit Rome in 1103, and to lay his grievances 
before Pope Paschal II. This Pontiff first condemned the 
king, but afterwards entered into an accommodation with him 

* Eadmer, 43. Apud Lingard, Hist. England, vol. ii, p. 100, note. 

f Of William s continued rapacity, even to the very hour of his sudden 
and unhappy death, Dr. Lingard bears the following testimony on the au 
thority of the original documents : 

" William kept the vacant bishoprics for several years in his own possess 
ion ; and if he consented at last to name a successor, it was previously un 
derstood that the new prelate should pay a sum into the exchequer propor 
tionate to the value of the benefice." Again : "The king at his death had 
in his hands one archbishopric, four bishoprics, and eleven abbeys, all of which 
had been let out to farm." (Hist. England, vol. ii, p. 94, note. He quotes 
Orderic 763, 774, and Blcs. iii.) 


in virtue of which Anselm was allowed to return to England. 
Here, after struggling to the last for the rights of the Church 
against royal rapacity and tyranny, he died holily in 1109.* 

11. We have given this rapid summary of well-known 
facts, in order to exhibit the growing spirit of royal encroach 
ment on the legitimate province of the Church, which was 
actively at work in England at so early a period as the close 
of the eleventh century. Unhappily the case of St. Anselm is 
not a solitary one in English history. It was repeated, at 
least substantially, in almost every subsequent reign, down to 
the period of the Reformation. The Henrys vied with the 
Williams, and the Edwards and Richards with the Henrys, 
who should be most exorbitant in their claims to the seizure 
and administration for their own benefit of church revenues, 
and to the nomination to the vacant bishoprics and abbeys. 
This claim, and the intolerable abuses and scandals to which 
its exercise necessarily gave rise, constituted the most crying 
evil of the times, and the one which gave most uneasiness to 
the holy men of those ages ; precisely because it was the one 
which inflicted the most grievous injury upon the Church. 
It was the fruitful origin, not of a single evil, but of a whole 
series of scandals, which were sure to follow in the train of a 
bad appointment to a vacant bishopric or abbey. Whenever 
a mere creature of the king was thrust by royal influence into 
a bishopric, he was sure to neglect his own duties, and to ap 
point other clergymen under him who were no better than 
himself; and thus the scandal was extended and perpetuated. 

* For all the facts and authorities on this subject, see Alban Butler, life of 
St. Anselm, Apl. 21, and Lingard in loco. The facts are, so far as we know, 
disputed by no one. 

Dr. Lingard thinks, that, in this settlement with the Pontiff, the king, 
while resigning the form, retained the substance of his mischievous claim. 
At any rate, he did not discontinue his encroachments on the rights of the 
bishops, nor his rapacity in seizing the revenues of the vacant benefices. He 
violated without scruple his solemn promises, and persisted in annoying St. 
Anselm to the hour of the saint s death. (Ibid., ii., p. 118.) 


12. It is a remarkable fact, which is susceptible of the 
clearest proof, that all the greatest and best archbishops of 
Canterbury, under the Norman Kings, with the exception, per 
haps, of Lanfranc, were more or less the victims of royal perse 
cution, and that all of them were protected in their tribulation 
by the sovereign Pontiffs. From St. Anselm in the eleventh, 
down to St. Edmund Kich in the thirteenth century, we know 
of no exception to this statement ; unless, perhaps, it be Car 
dinal Langton, who, aided by the barons whom, he headed, 
was able to overcome the tyranny of King John, without the 
aid, and seemingly in spite of the Pope, whose vassal John 
had become. But in this contest, Langton was struggling for 
civil rights and franchises, not for the freedom of the Church.* 

13. Every one is acquainted with the eventful career and 
glorious martyrdom of the brilliant and sainted Thomas 
A Becket, in the reign of Henry II. He was, in some respects, 
the Wolsey of the twelfth century, but he was composed of much 
sterner material, and was therefore far greater than Wolsey ; 
for he became, what Wolsey was not privileged to be, a 
martyr for the freedom of the Church against royal encroach 
ments and tyranny. At first he was, like Wolsey, a great 
favorite at court ; then, like him, he fell into disgrace for hav 
ing dared follow his conscience and do his duty. Made 
archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, he gave up, to a great 
extent, his worldly occupations, and applied himself diligently 
to the work of a Christian bishop. For resisting the king in 
the attempt of the latter to enforce the pretended customs of 
the kingdom, which either he or his immediate predecessors 

* That the Pope, Innocent III., though he at first was led by false repre 
sentations, to side with John against Langton and the barons, was really 
not opposed to the liberties secured by the Magna Charta at Runnymede, 
which instrument was afterward so often confirmed and renewed with the 
full sanction of Honorius and subsequent Roman Pontiffs, must be apparent 
to all who have diligently studied the history of England. We have at 
tempted to present a summary of the facts bearing on this case, chiefly from 
Hurter s Life of Innocent, in the appendix to the Miscellanea. 


had but recently introduced, he lost favor, was forced to fly the 
kingdom, and was pursued with undying hostility by Henry s 
emissaries. The Roman Pontiff received the persecuted exile 
with parental kindness, fully sanctioned his noble resistance 
to royal tyranny, and employed every means in his power to 
soften the heart of the king. He succeeded at length in 
bringing about an accommodation, in consequence of which 
the archbishop returned to his see. But he returned only to 
die at the foot of his own cathedral altar by the hands of 
courtly assassins, who thought they would thereby ingratiate 
themselves into the royal favor. The fearful deed of blood 
and sacrilege filled all Christendom with horror, and the 
royal tyrant himself trembled on his throne when he heard 
of its horrible details. Filled with remorse, he expiated the 
crime, which he had only indirectly authorized, by assuming 
the humble garb of a penitent, and making a memorable 
pilgrimage to the tomb of the martyred archbishop, which 
he bedewed with his tears. 

There is a show of consistency, and a species of logic, in error 
as well as in truth, in crime as well as in virtue. Henry VIII. 
ruthlessly destroyed the tomb of ABecket, which admiring 
Christendom had erected and decked with the richest orna 
ments, and which Englishmen had visited with growing rever 
ence for nearly four centuries. He went further still in his 
insane indignation. He caused the venerable relics of the 
martyr to be exhumed and destroyed! The boldness with 
which the martyr had withstood royal encroachment on the 
rights of the Church, commemorated and kept alive by the 
splendid monument over his remains, conveyed a standing 
reproach to his own sacrilegious rapacity, which he could 
not endure. The memory which it awakened of the royal 
penitent who had prostrated himself weeping thereat, with 
all Christendom reverently looking on the edifying and 
affecting scene, was too much for the eighth Henry, in com 
parison with whose crimes, actual or meditated, those of the 
second Henry were as nothing. The times were, moreover. 


sadly changed for the worse. The spirit of royal encroach 
ment had fearfully grown in strength and extension, and after 
having first attempted alas ! but too successfully gradually 
to undermine the freedom of church government by thwart 
ing the Papacy for centuries, it was now prepared to sap the 
very foundations of the faith itself, and sacrilegiously to set 
up altar against altar ! 

14. The case of St. Edmund Rich was almost a counterpart 
of that of St. Anselm and of St. Thomas, with this exception, 
that he did not die at home like the former, nor a martyr like 
the latter. After having been long heart-sick at the sight of 
evils which he could not remedy, he voluntarily withdrew from 
his see of Canterbury, the responsibilities of which his con 
science could no longer bear ; and he retired to the continent, 
where he devoted himself to prayer for his afflicted flock, 
and where he died holily at Borins in Champagne, in 1242. 
King Henry III., true to the encroaching spirit of his prede 
cessors, had still persisted in keeping the sees vacant, or in 
filling them with his own creatures. To check the crying 
abuse, St. Edmund had obtained a bull from the reigning 
Pope Gregory IX., by the tenor of w T hich he w r as himself 
authorized to fill such sees, whenever they would be left 
vacant for more than six months. This measure irritated the 
king to such a degree, that the prudent or timid Pontiff, 
probably fearing greater evils, withdrew the bull some time 
afterward. The state of things which followed w T as such, as to 
render the holy archbishop s position no longer tolerable ; and 
finding himself like a lamb in the midst of wolves, he quietly 
withdrew from the scene of useless contention, to await in 
solitude and prayer the coming of better times. But these 
did not come during his life-time; and he died in exile, a 
noble confessor of the faith, and another victim of royal 
encroachment on the liberties of the English church. 

15. The spirit of royal aggression on the freedom of the 
Church, especially in the matter of elections to bishoprics and 
abbeys, instead of diminishing, went on steadily increasing 


after the death of St. Edmund. The rightful authority 
claimed by the Popes, as the universally acknowledged heads 
of the Church, to have a voice in the nomination of bishops 
and abbots, was clogged and hampered at almost every step 
by royal interference and opposition ; and the natural result 
was any thing but favorable to the character of many among 
the higher English clergy. The Popes never resigned, and 
never could resign their claim; however they may have 
occasionally and for a time let it lie in abeyance, for the sake 
of peace, or because they were hopeless of a favorable issue. 
Worried w r ith the protracted and often useless contest, they 
sometimes entered into terms of accommodation with the 
English monarchs, who, however, generally abused the con 
ciliatory temper of the Holy See, by making it an occasion 
of still further encroachment. Things went on in this way, 
until near the middle of the fourteenth century, when a series 
of enactments were passed by the English parliament, which 
were highly detrimental to the freedom and true interests of 
the Church, because they clearly trenched on the rightful 
prerogatives of the Papacy. We refer to the different statutes 
of Provisors and Prsemunire, passed successively between 
the years 1343 and 1393, under Edward III. and Richard II. 
16. Our present purpose does not require, nor will our 
limits permit a full and detailed account of these odious 
enactments. The following brief summary of the principal 
facts connected with them will suffice. They were leveled 
against the authority claimed by the Popes to issue what were 
called Letters of Provision for the filling of vacant benefices. 
Those persons who were named to execute such letters, and 
sometimes those also in whose favor they were issued, were 
called provisors* The exercise of this right by the Pontiffs, 
though often quietly submitted to by the English kings, had 

* The term prcsmumre, as applied to a subsequent statute, was derived 
from the first word in the royal writ for inducting the candidate into office : 
Prcemunire facias Forewarn, etc. However Fuller, quoted by D Aubigne 

VOL. II. 4: 


generally been viewed by them with more or less of disfavor, 
as being an encroachment on what they conceived to be the 
rights of the crown ; and the higher clergy, who were or 
expected to be benefited by the royal patronage, but too fre 
quently sympathized with their monarch in the protracted 
struggle which ensued, and which came to a crisis in the 
fourteenth century. 

The acts of 1343 and the following years, under Edward 
III., forbade, under penalty of forfeiture, and subsequently 
of outlawry, the bringing into the kingdom of such letters 
of provision for vacant benefices, or of documents of any 
other description which should be deemed contrary to the 
rights of the monarch and of the realm ;* and provided that 
the elections to vacant sees and abbeys should be nominally 
free, but that the king should have the bestowal of the va 
cant benefice whenever the Pope interfered, and the lay 
patron neglected to select the incumbent.f With this last 
enactment the clergy were greatly dissatisfied ; because while 
it professed to protect the freedom of election against the 
Pope, it really " abolished such freedom in favor of the king." 
The clergy began then to open their eyes, and to perceive 
whither the encroaching spirit of their kings was really tend 
ing ; a lesson which it is a great pity they did not learn 
sooner, or better profit by at a later period. Every blow 
struck at the prerogatives of the Popes was one really leveled 
at their own dignity, and at their independence of royal ag 
gression in the exercise of their spiritual functions. The 
Pontiff was the only person on earth who had the power or 
the will to shield them from the tyranny of their sovereigns, 
which afterwards, when this restraint was entirely removed, 

(p. 702, note), thinks the more obvious meaning of the term is to fence and 
fortify the royal authority. We prefer the former meaning, which is that 
adopted by Lingard. 

* Eotul. Parliam. ii, p. 1M-5. Apud Lingard, Hist. England, vol. iv, p. 153. 

f Statutes of Realm, I, 316. Ibid. 


actually crushed out all the remaining liberties of the 
English church, and rendered it the most abject slave of the 

In the year 1375, a compromise was effected between Ed 
ward III. and Pope Gregory XI., in the Concordat entered 
into at Bruges ; by which all previous penalties were remitted 
by the English king, and Gregory, without renouncing his 
claims, revoked all reservations and provisions made by him 
self and his predecessors which had not yet taken effect.* 
This Concordat was but a temporary remedy for a permanent 
evil, which it palliated without removing. The noxious plant 
was indeed removed from sight, but its roots remained deep 
in the soil. In 1379, the controversy was revived, on occa 
sion of the appointment by the Pope of Edward Bromfield to 
the vacant abbey of St. Edmund s.f After continuing for 
some months, the contest was finally settled by the translation 
of Bromfield to another benefice, in 1380. 

Pope Urban YI. confirmed the Concordat of Bruges, but 
he was unwilling to give up the right, so often claimed and 
exercised by his predecessors, to fill up such English benefices 
as had been previously held by cardinals and other prelates 
attached to the immediate service of the Holy See. The 
English parliament re-enacted the Statute of Provisors in 
1383 ; but as its execution was made dependent on the dis 
cretion of the crow T n, the king generally granted his royal 
license to such cardinals and Roman prelates as the Pontiff 
designated to fill vacant benefices ; and thus the re-enactment 
of the statute proved nugatory in practice. 

After the death of Urban YI., his successor Boniface IX. 
declared all the previous acts of the English parliament on 
this subject utterly void and of no effect, as infringing the 
clearly established rights of the Holy See ; and in 1391 he 
appointed Cardinal Brancaccio to a prebend in the church of 
Wells. Hereupon great popular commotion ensued in En- 

* See Lingard, vol. iv. p. 155. f Ibid., p. 224-5. 


gland, though the appointment certainly presented nothing 
that was unusual. The parliament re-assembled in 1393; 
and amidst much excitement, and after an angry debate, the 
famous Statute of Prsemunire was drawn up, though it was 
probably never regularly passed, but left to be carried out at 
the discretion of the king with the advice of his council.* 
By this statute, " it was provided that if any man pursue or 
obtain in the Court of Home, or elsewhere, such translations, 
excommunications, bulls, instruments, or other things against 
the king s crown and regality or kingdom as aforesaid, or 
bring them into the realm, or execute them either within the 
realm or without, such person or persons, their notaries, pro 
curators, fautors, and counsellors shall be out of the king s 
protection, their goods and chattels, lands and tenements 
shall be forfeited to the king, and their peroris attached 
wherever they may be found." " The prelates, however, de 
clared, that it was not their intention to deny that the Pope 
could issue sentences of excommunication and translate 
bishops, according to the law of the holy Church ; but to do 
so in the cases proposed would be to invade the rights of the 
crown, which they were determined to support with all their 
power." f 

Another accommodation was soon after entered into with 
the Pontiff, by which provisions in favor of aliens (not Eng 
lishmen), except cardinals, were entirely abandoned by the 
Holy See, and those in favor of natives were to be generally 
granted to such persons as had previously obtained the royal 
license.J Thus ended the controversy, evidently greatly to 

* It is not found in the Rolls of Parliament, but only in the Statutes of the 
Realm (Lingard, Ibid., vol. iv, p. 228, and note). It met with great resistance 
in the House of Lords, and it was sent back to the Commons, who seem to 
have withdrawn it, leaving the king and his council free to modify its enact 
ments at will, or to let them remain a dead letter ; as they, in fact, did gen 
erally remain for more than a hundred years up to the time of Henry 

f R. of Parl. iii, p. 304, Apud Lingard, Ibid., vol. iv, p. 227. J Ibid., p. 229. 


the advantage of the English monarch, who gained the prin 
cipal point, that of being able to thrust his own nominees, or 
creatures, into the vacant benefices, whether these were elect 
ed by the clergy or nominated by the Pontiff; the election 
being often merely nominal, and the Pope generally approv 
ing of the royal choice, which he seldom felt able to 

17. This result was certainly most disastrous to the English 
church; but the Popes had done all they could, and they 
were therefore not to blame for the evils which subsequently 
ensued ; among which the principal one was, that quite too 
many of the English bishops became courtiers, and were 
infected to a greater or less extent with worldly-minded- 
ness. The English kings would have it so, in spite of the 
Popes ; and the blame therefore should justly attach to the 
former, not to the latter. We totally dissent from the opinion 
expressed by the great English historian in the following sin 
gular passage his facts are nearly always reliable, his infer 
ences may occasionally be questioned : 

" In the obstinacy with which the Court of Rome urged the exercise of 
these obnoxious claims, it is difficult to discover any trace of that political 
wisdom for which it has been celebrated. Its conduct tended to loosen the 
ties which bound the people to the head of their Church, to nourish a spirit 
of opposition to his authority, and to create a willingness to listen to the 
declamations, and adopt the opinions of religious innovators." f 

So far from being fairly charged with " obstinacy," the 
counter charge of too much conciliation might be preferred 
with much greater plausibility. The Popes pushed this spirit 
of compromise to the extremity of almost yielding the exercise 
of their clear and inalienable rights, as Dr. Lingard himself 
admits in the case of Paschal II. above referred to, and also 
in his concluding remarks on the negotiations which followed 
the passage of the Statute of Prsemunire. Beset with diffi 
culties, and fearing that greater evils might arise from oppos- 

* Hist. England, Ibid. f Ibid., p. 157. J Ibid., vol. iv, p. 157. 


ing too strenuously the headlong passions of the English 
monarchs, the policy of the Popes was generally mild 
and conciliating, sometimes it was even timid and un 

18. Yet, in spite of all the efforts of the English monarchs 
and of their subservient parliaments for centuries, the Popes, 
however conciliatory in the adjustment of details, never would 
or could resign the right, inherent in the Primacy, to have a 
controlling voice in the nomination to the vacant bishoprics. 
This was indispensable, in order that they might be able to 
keep unworthy men from being numbered with the chief 

* It may be interesting to see how the Anglican bishop, Short, writes on 
this subject. He is probably almost, if not quite, as just to the Popes as 
Dr. Lingard. Speaking of William Rufus and St. Ansclm, he says : " Wil 
liam Rufus might have kept himself as independent as his father, had not 
his invasion of church property compelled Anselm to fly to Rome for protec 
tion. The quarrel about investiture was really one as to the power which 
it gave the king of selling his preferments." (Sup. cit., p. 24.) Again, 
treating of the general question between the Popes and the English mon 
archs, he writes : 

" Most of the contests which took place concerned the property of the 
church, and might more justly be viewed as questions of civil right than as 
belonging to ecclesiastical matters. The church is a body corporate with 
spiritual functions, but possessed of temporal rights; the injustice generally 
arose with regard to the temporalities, ordinarily with respect to the appoint 
ments ; and as the ecclesiastical body had no other means of defending its 
own rights than by spiritual thunders, the invasion of a right purely tempo 
ral (!) in its nature became a question of spiritual power, from the way in 
which the contest was carried on. The king kept a bishopric or abbey va 
cant, and let the temporalities out to farm. The church was injured by the 
want of a head, but the injustice was such as might have been remedied 
without any appeal to a foreign power, if the barons had maintained the 
rights of the church ; but when the church found no other remedy, her 
members were forced to seek for aid from any source which could afford it 
to them, and so put themselves under the protection of Rome." Ibid. 

The church was certainly not " in want of a head ;" the great evil was, 
that the king usurped the rights properly belonging to him who was the 
recognized head ; and the barons were often as bad as the king. 


shepherds of the flock. Though sometimes compelled reluct 
antly to acquiesce in a state of things which they could not 
approve, yet they never relaxed their vigilance over the inter 
ests of the English church ; and if its purity was generally 
preserved in spite of appalling difficulties, the result is due 
mainly to the Popes, not certainly to the rude and half-bar 
barous English monarchs of the middle ages. 

19. During the continuance of these protracted conflicts 
between the English sovereigns and the Roman Pontiffs, it is 
a remarkable fact that the Primacy of the latter was not im 
pugned by king, parliament, or people. On the contrary, it 
was repeatedly acknowledged and openly proclaimed. Dis 
tinctions were sometimes drawn between the spiritual juris 
diction inseparable from the Primacy, and the particular 
claims set up by the Popes to influence or control the 
episcopal and abbatial nominations : and while the former 
was unanimously acknowledged, the latter were often op 
posed, as involving matters of temporal interest. The dis 
tinction was more selfish than logical; still it was made. 
Says Lingard : 

" Of the Primacy of the Pontiff, or of his spiritual jurisdiction, there was 
no question : both these were repeatedly acknowledged by the Commons in 
their petitions, and by the king in his letters. But it was contended that 
the Pope was surrounded by subtle and rapacious counselors, who abused 
for their own emolument the confidence of their master; that by their ad 
vice he had accroached to himself a temporal authority, to which, as it 
invaded the rights of others, he could have no claim ; and that when repeat 
ed remonstrances had failed, it was lawful to employ the resources of the 
civil power in the just defense of civil rights." * 

20. Certain it is, that the English prelates who were ap 
pointed either directly by the Holy See, or with its full con 
sent, were those precisely to whom England is most indebted. 
In general, they were immeasurably superior to those who 
were nominated by the king, after a sham election by the 
chapter, and an extorted approval from the Pope. What a 

* Hist. England, vol. iv, p. 156. 


candid Protestant writer says of the clergy in Germany may 
apply, with still greater force, to those of England during the 
period of which we are speaking : 

" It can not be denied that, whatever the national writers may say to the 
contrary, the ecclesiastics appointed by the Pope were generally far superior, 
as regards both merit and conduct, to those nominated by the chapter or 
the bishops."* 

"We think we have already sufficiently proved this, in what 
we have heretofore said of Lanfranc, St. Anselm, St. Thomas, 
and St. Edmund. "We will merely add, that it was to the 
Pope, and in direct opposition to the twice declared wishes 
of the chapter of Canterbury supported by the English king, 
that the English church was indebted for the nomination to 
the English primacy of the great Stephen Langton, the cham 
pion of Magna Charta. Mathew of Westminster, a monkish 
chronicler of the times, furnishes all the particulars of this 
interesting case, which of itself would show how much Eng 
land is indebted to the Popes.f 

Again, the successor of Langton, St. Edmund Rich, was 
nominated by the Pope, who rejected Blunt, or Blundy, the 
candidate presented by the chapter of Canterbury with the 
sanction of the king. The chief ground for the rejection of 
Blunt was, that, contrary to the sacred canons, he already 
held a plurality of benefices. At the suggestion of Langton, 
the Pope had previously ordered a rigid visitation of the 
whole province of Canterbury, with a view to correct abuses, 
and especially to inquire into the conduct of the clergy, both 
secular and regular. In spite of monastic and royal opposi 
tion, the visitation was rigidly carried out ; and it resulted in 
the removal of scandals, and in the correction of many 
abuses, which had crept in through human weakness and 
royal encroachment. Roger of Wendover, another monkish 

* Hist. Germanic Empire, vol. ii, ch. 3, in Cabinet Cyclopedia, apud 
Dublin Review, for October, 1858. 

I An interesting summary of the facts is given in the article of the Dub 
lin Review, for October, 1858, already quoted. 


chronicler, furnishes us all the particulars of this most wise 
and salutary measure of discipline.* 

Speaking of Lari franc, the first archbishop of Canterbury 
after the Norman conquest, the recent Protestant biographer 
of the English Judges, Mr. Foss, bears the following honor 
able testimony : 

" He was not only willingly accepted by the monks and approved by the 
barons and people, but gladly confirmed by the Pope. He was accordingly 
consecrated in 1070, and on visiting Rome in the following year to receive 
the pall, he was welcomed with particular respect by his former pupil, Alex 
ander II., who rose to give him audience, kissed him instead of presenting 
his slipper for that obeisance, and not satisfied with giving him the usual 
pall, invested him with that which he had himself used in celebrating Mass. 
On his return from Rome, he devoted himself strenuously to the duties of 
his office, and labored successfully in reforming the irregularities and rude 
ness of his clergy. His severity in depriving many occasioned considerable 
complaints, but the introduction of foreign scholars in their places contri 
buted effectually to the enlightenment of the nation." f 

Of another archbishop of Canterbury, Simon of Sudbury, 
who was a favorite of the Pope, but was murdered by an 
English mob under Richard II., Mr. Foss says : 

" The character of the archbishop, as represented by the historians, was such 
as to make him least liable to popular hatred. He was of a liberal, free, and 
generous spirit ; admired for his wonderful parts, for his wisdom, his learn 
ing, and his eloquence, and revered for the piety of his life, the charity he 
dispensed, and the merciful consideration he always exhibited." J 

The same candid Protestant writer speaks equally well 
of another of the Pope s bishops, the illustrious William of 
Wykeham, whom the king compelled to become chancellor. 
He held the seals for two years and a half; but " during that 
period, he had the happiness to restore the public tranquillity 
so effectually, that parliament thanked the king for his good 
government ; and could he have been induced to remain in 
office, it is probable that his wise councils might have checked 

* Dublin Review, ibid. 

f The Judges of England, etc. 6 vols. By Edward Foss, F. S. A., apud 
Dublin Review, for July, 1858. f Ibid. 

VOL. II. 5 


the king s intemperance, and prevented the fatal consequences 
that followed/ * 

21. In reading the English monastic chronicles of the thir 
teenth and fourteenth centuries, some of which have been 
recently published by the British government,! we are often 
shocked at the sneering or irreverent tone, in which they not 
unfrequently speak of the Holy See. They are usually found 
sympathizing with the royal pretensions, and in opposition to 
the claims of the Pope. They occasionally dismiss, with cold 
words or a passing sneer, the most atrocious acts of violence 
perpetrated against the ecclesiastical nominees of the Pontiff. 
Take, for instance, the following extract from Ma the w of 
Westminster, for the year 1260 : 

"A prebendary of St. Paul s, dying beyond the Alps, the Pope imme 
diately bestowed the prebend on another. The king, not being aware of 
this, bestowed the prebend on Lord John ds Crakehall, his treasurer. When 
this was heard, a procurator, one of the secular clergy, was sent into Eng 
land with writings from the Pope, to support the papal collation. And the 
archbishop of Canterbury, deciding on the case, as he was ordered to do, 
ascertaining at length that the papal donation preceded the king s appoint 
ment in order of time, by his formal sentence adjudged the prebend to the 
Koman before mentioned ; who after he was installed, endeavored to take 
possession of the principal mansions attached to the prebend in the city ; but 
he was denied entrance, on which account, yielding to violence and arms, 
he withdrew. And they who occupied the house, seeing this, presently 
followed him behind, and some one in the crowd of passers-by clove his head 
in two between the eyes, and escaped without being arrested by any one ; and 
a companion was treated in the same manner, while the slayer escaped ;" 
and although "an investigation took place, tlie criminal could not be dis 
covered." I 

The whole account looks very much like a criminal conniv 
ance of the civil powers in two atrocious assassinations, un- 

* The Judges of England, etc., apud Dublin Keview. Quoted already. 

f Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Mid 
dle Ages. Published by the authority of her Majesty s Treasury, under the 
direction of the Master of the Ptolls. London ; Longman, 1858. 

| Quoted by Dublin Review, for October, 1858, sup. cit 


blushingly perpetrated at noonday in the streets of London, 
on a man too who was peaceably withdrawing, yielding qui 
etly his acknowledged rights to " violence and arms !" These 
horrid crimes seem to have created but slight sensation at 
the time, else the investigation which is said to have taken 
place would have had some result. Here we may, more 
over, see what was the character of some at least of 
the men whom the king thought proper to promote to 
the principal church-livings. This "Lord John de Crake- 
hall, the king s treasurer," was but one out of a vast num 
ber of such creatures of the king, who were thus promoted 
to high dignities in spite of the Pope. He was a man 
of little virtue or integrity a mere courtier. Here is 
another specimen exhibiting a similar spirit, from Capgrave, 
a chronicler of the fourteenth century the occurrence 
belongs to the year 1315: 

"At that time came into England two legates. As the manner of the 
Romans is, they ride with great solemnity into the North country, for to 
make Lodewick Beaumont bishop of Durham, against the election of the 
monks who had chosen another : And though they were warned that they 
should not come there, yet they rode till they came to Darlington. And 
sodeynly out of a vale rose a grete people Capteyns Gilbert de Mydleton 
and Walter Selby. They laid hands upon them, and robbed them of all 
their treasure ; and Lodewick, whom they intended to make bishop, they 
led to a town called Morpeth, and compelled him to make a grete ransom. 
Then came the cardinals to London, and asked of the clergy eight pence in 
the mark" by way of compensation for their loss. They were answered 
with a sneer, " that they gave them no counsel for to go so far 

And yet these same men, who could treat with so much 
cold contempt and hear tlessn ess the envoys of the Holy See 
thus grievously outraged in the discharge of their official 
duty, and who were so niggardly of their contributions even 
to the holy father himself when he called on them in his sore 
distress, were themselves the veriest slaves of the king, and 

* Dublin Review, ibid. 


dared not resist his demands for money, no matter how fre 
quent and how exorbitant these were. They were wholly 
at the mercy of their royal master ; and though they 
begrudged the miserable pittance of Peter pence to sup 
port the common father of the faithful in the discharge 
of his duties for the common good of Christendom, they 
would, with courtly cheerfulness, vote hundreds of thou 
sands of pounds to a profligate monarch, who generally 
squandered the amount among his unprincipled favorites, 
or in low debauchery! Verily, the mischievous claim of 
the crown to interfere with the nomination of bishops and 
abbots was producing its legitimate, but most poisonous 

Thus, for example, in the reign of Edward I., we are told by 
Mathew of Westminster, that the king demanded, and the 
clergy with apparent cheerfulness and unanimity granted one 
Tidl/Qi their annual revenues. A knight rose up in the midst 
of the convocation, and said : " My venerable men, this is 
the demand of the king, the moiety of the annual revenue of 
your churches. And if any one objects to this, let him rise up 
in the middle of the assembly, that his person may be recog 
nized and taken note of, as he is guilty of treason against 
the king s peace. When they heard this, all the prelates 
were disturbed,, and immediately agreed to the king s de 

These courtly ecclesiastics were in mortal dread of the king, 
who seems to have ruled them with a rod of iron ; as the in 
stance just furnished abundantly proves. Mathew further 
states, that before the extravagant tax of the king was voted 
by the terror-stricken clergy in the manner described above, 
the dean of St. Paul s ventured to the court with a view to 
expostulate with the monarch, and to induce him, if possible, 
to lower his demands, but that upon " coming before the king 
to deliver the speeches which he had conceived in his mind, 

* Quoted ibid. 


he became suddenly mute, and losing all the strength of his 
body, fell down before the king and expired."* 

22. Such was the sad condition to which the successive royal 
encroachments on the proper domain of the Church, and on 
the just prerogatives of the Holy See, had reduced the bishops 
and higher clergy of England, as early even as the beginning 
of the fourteenth century. It is manifest, from all these facts, 
and from many others of a similar nature which might be al 
leged, that though the Pope s supremacy was openly and gen 
erally recognized in theory, he was in effect already shorn of 
many of the rights to its practical exercise which were indis 
pensable for the proper government of the church in England. 
The royal pretensions had already absorbed almost every thing 
in the w^ay of patronage, and had left but little real practical 
power to the Pontiifs, either to select good men for the bishop 
rics, or to punish the worldly-minded and scandalous among 
the higher clergy and monks. As the late writer already 
quoted, energetically remarks : 

" The obstinate absurdity of ascribing to the Holy See all the evils in which 
they were compelled reluctantly to acquiesce, or at least to watch in silent 
anguish, is the fallacy which distorts most modern views of history ; and as 
it misled the Catholic chroniclers of that age, we can hardly wonder at its 
leading astray their modern Anglican editors. The truth is that the Pope, 
in the middle ages, was nearly powerless in the hands of princes. If they 
were ages of faith, they were far more ages of force. And it is impossible 
to quote too often the remarkable phrase of Mr. Froude, which is the key to 
mediaeval history, that the authority of the Pope was but a name and a 

This last expression, borrowed from the Protestant Froude, 
is doubtless much too strong. Throughout those ages, as we 
have already seen, the authority of the Popes was generally 
recognized ; and it was not only patiently submitted to, but 
reverently spoken of by all the good and virtuous of every 
country in Europe. But it is also lamentable to observe, that 

* Quoted ibid. f In Dublin Review, for October, 1858. 


the practice was not always in conformity with the theory, 
especially among those whose passions were curbed by the 
papal power. The haughty and but half civilized king or 
baron, who panted to lay sacrilegious hands on the treasures 
of the Church, and who, to carry out his design, wished to 
thrust into the richest livings such men as would be most 
ready to pander to his ungoverned appetites, was not 
likely to view with pleasure the exercise of a power, 
which alone could effectually thwart his wicked purpose, 
and protect the Church from his mischievous encroach 
ments. And, unfortunately, it too often happened, that 
the wicked prince was powerfully aided by courtier pre 
lates and monks, who expected to reap worldly advantage 
by pandering to his passions. 

23. This fact furnishes the true key to the scandalous quar 
rels of mediaeval English kings with the Popes, which so often 
meet our eyes and shock our religious sensibilities in reading 
the chronicles of the middle ages. These were written mostly 
by monks, who had caught the rude spirit of the times, and 
had learned to argue in favor of their temporal lords. The 
latter could reward them with rich benefices, whereas the 
Popes could only restrain their vices and hurl anathemas at 
their heads from a distance. 

This contemptible courtier-spirit among the higher clergy 
went on steadily increasing, especially in England, from the 
twelfth to the sixteenth century ; when under Henry VHE. 
it finally culminated in the most abject servility to the crown. 
The writer already quoted more than once very justly re 
marks as follows on this growing degeneracy : 

" As we advance towards the Beforjnation, we see the spirit of slavery 
stealing over men s minds, taking its origin from a servile worship of the 

visible, embodied in an earthly sovereignty The old English vigor of 

intellect and character was becoming palsied beneath the heavy, chilling pres 
sure of regal tyranny, and losing all its elastic energy and racy heartiness 

In truth, these chronicles, taken altogether, throw a clear, strong light upon 
our English history : and the more that light is diffused, the more apparent 
will it be, that all the abuses of the Church in that age arose from servility 


to royalty ; and from the virtual subjection of the episcopate to that spirit of 
the world, which was afterwards formally embodied and enthroned, and still 
is so in the royal supremacy : in other words, all these mediaeval chronicles 
are witnesses for the Papacy." 

24. From this rapid summary of facts showing the religious 
condition of England before the Keformation, especially in 
her relations with the Holy See, we draw the following con 
clusions, the soundness of which few impartial men will be 
inclined to dispute : 

1. That England was indebted /to Home for the boon of 
Christianity, and this in both epochs of her early religious 
history the British and the Anglo-Saxon. Pope St. Eleu- 
therius in the second, and Pope St. Gregory the Great in the 
sixth century, sent out the apostolic men that labored success 
fully for the conversion of her people ; who but for the effect 
ive zeal of those holy Pontiffs might have continued for 
centuries longer to sit " in the region of the shadow of death." 
There is no clear or satisfactory evidence of any attempt to 
convert England before the days of Eleutherius ; and if there 
were Christians on the island at an earlier period, they must 
have been few in number, and history has left no record of 
their existence as an organized body. 

2. That the present Anglican hierarchy, professing to derive 
its succession, as it certainly does, from Canterbury, and not 
from the British Christians of Wales, must necessarily refer 
back its origin to Pope St. Gregory the Great, who established 
the see of Canterbury, and who appointed its first incumbent. 
St. Augustine is thus clearly the first link in the chain of the 
Anglican succession, without which it could lay claim to no 
possible connection with the early Church. The present An 
glican hierarchy must then derive its authority if at all 
from the Pope through St. Augustine of Canterbury, else it has 
no beginning nor succession whatsoever, even in appearance. 

3. That throughout the entire period of the Anglo-Saxon 
and of the Anglo-Norman dynasties for nearly a thousand 
years before the Keformation the Primacy of the Holy See 


was fully and generally recognized by all classes in England ; 
that its authority was appealed to by the greatest and the 
best in all great emergencies; and that, in a word, the 
Church in England regarded herself during all those centu 
ries as being under the special protection and fostering care 
of the Koman Pontiffs. This is manifest from the public acts 
of Saints Wilfrid and Dunstan in the Anglo-Saxon period ; 
and of Lanfranc, St. Anselm, St. Thomas A Becket, St. Ed 
mund, and many other great men during the Anglo-Norman. 
The Popes continued to send their legates to England down 
to the reign of Henry VIII. inclusively ; and amidst the tur 
moil of those troubled times, and the storm of angry passions, 
the voice of Rome continued to be heard and to be generally 
respected throughout the Island. The Pontiffs often made the 
English tyrants quail, in the midst of their actual or medi 
tated oppressions and rapacity : and their authority proved a 
bulwark of strength to the good and virtuous, and a powerful 
shield to the oppressed. Though often thwarted by royal or 
princely chicanery and avarice, the Pontiffs were generally 
triumphant in the end, and they were always right in the 
principles which they upheld, for the vindication of the free 
dom of the Church. This is the general verdict of English 
religious history, when viewed impartially, and in all its 

4. That the numerous and protracted conflicts of the En 
glish monarchs with the Popes, to which we have referred 
somewhat at length, do not prove the contrary of this conclu 
sion, but rather serve to confirm its truth. The English kings 
and parliaments often sought to hamper in various ways the 
exercise of the Primacy, not to destroy the Primacy itself; 
which they clearly and repeatedly recognized, even while an 
grily opposing its decisions. The Saxon was naturally a rude 
and intractable character, narrow and almost insular in his 
views, suspicious of the least shadow of encroachment on what 
he conceived to be his rights ; and though often liberal and even 
generous, yet in the main strongly wedded to his material 


comforts and pecuniary interests. Most of the contests in 
question grew out of the intense English feeling, that money 
should not go out of the kingdom, nor aliens come in to share 
its emoluments whether in church or state, to the exclusion 
of natives. The mere fact of our opposing no matter on 
what personal grounds the justice or expediency of a decision 
emanating from an authoritative tribunal, does not carry with 
it the denial of the right itself of the tribunal to adjudge the 
case. Thus, many politicians in this country oppose certain 
decisions of the Supreme court of the United States ; and 
yet, few, if any, deny the authority of the court itself. 

5. That the best and brightest names in English ecclesias 
tical history were precisely those of men who were friends of 
the Popes, and often, in consequence of this, the victims of 
royal persecution. These were men above this world, who 
preferred the spiritual to the material, heaven to earth, eter 
nity to time. Such men were incapable of sacrificing con 
science to expediency, or of becoming the pliant and subser 
vient creatures of royal rapacity. Hence they were hated 
and persecuted by the world, represented by the English 

6. That most of the abuses and scandals which existed in 
the English church during the period preceding the Kefor- 
mation, grew out of the encroachments of the civil power on 
the domain of spiritual rights, and out of the persistent claim 
set up by the English monarchs to thrust worldly-minded 
or unworthy men into the highest dignities of the Church, in 
spite of the energetic protests so often made by the Popes. 
The question of the nomination to bishoprics and abbeys was 
the vital issue of the times ; and though it accidentally in 
volved temporal emoluments and interests, it was primarily a 
religious question, fraught in its issues with life or death to 
the Church. But for the interposition of the Roman Pontiffs to 
check this crying evil of overweening lay patronage, the En 
glish church would have been, according to all human calcu 
lations, utterly and irretrievably ruined. As it was, it re 
ceived many grievous wounds from this poisoned weapon, 


wielded so persistently, and often so fatally by the English 

7. We will add, that during the Anglo-Saxon period and, 
a fortiori, during the Anglo-Norman the same doctrines were 
held, and the same general usages of discipline connected with 
doctrine were observed, as we now see still held and observed 
by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. In his 
learned work on the Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, 
Dr. Lingard has established this great fact by cumulative evi 
dence, which no one can gainsay, much less refute. 




The way now prepared The " pear ripe" Henry VIII. the founder of the 
English Reformation Two theories One of them refuted And the 
other defended Bishop Short And {he Book of Homilies What we 
propose to examine Five questions Was Henry sincere ? Auspicious 
beginning of his reign Defender of the Faith The Divorce Henry s 
scruples! Anne Boleyn Sir James Mclntosh and Miss Strickland 
The Sweating Sickness a test D Aubigne s moral standard Heroism 
of Clement VII. Noble answer of Campeggio Cardinal Wolsey 
Thomas Cromwell Was Henry licentious and cruel ? Treatment of his 
six wives Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Catharine Howard Satanic 
conspiracy Catharine Parr Was Henry a tyrant ? Confiscation of 
monasteries Bishop Short testifies again Protestant testimony Exor 
bitant taxation Atrocious tyranny Trampling on ancient Catholic 
liberties of England Hallam s testimony Means of Reformation 
Cromwell s advice Royal supremacy Cromwell Vicar General Degra 
dation of bishops Testimony of Bishop Short Imaginary and real 
despotism Horrid butcheries Fisher and Moore Pole s brother and 
relatives And his mother The Friars Peyto and Elstow Hallam s 
testimony A system of espionage established Curious examples 
Froude s idea of law His defending Henry VIII. and persecution Bishop 
Short on Henry s murders Character of the Anglican Reformation The 
Six Articles Catholics and Protestants butchered together Cranmar aids 
and abets Edward VI. Reformation has now an open field Cranmer 
and Somerset Gradual Reformation Book of Common Prayer And 
Articles of Religion Inquisition established Joan Bocher burned Her 
answer to Cranmer Barbarous law against mendicants People opposed 
to the new religion Popular insurrections Put down by foreign sol 
diers State of public morals Suppression of monasteries, a master 
stroke of policy Analysis of Hallam s testimony and reasoning on this 
subject The three concupiscences Conclusion. 

WE are now better prepared to understand, how it was 
possible for Henry VIII. to succeed in so suddenly separating 
England from the communion of the Catholic Church. By 


the gradual operation of the causes above referred to in the 
Introduction ; by the growing abuse of the royal patronage 
in the nomination of bishops, and by the silent but powerful 
influence on the popular mind of the principles contained 
in the statutes of provisors and prsemunire, the higher clergy 
of England had become gradually more and more estranged 
from the Holy See, and more and more subservient to the 
king. The jealousy of Home was slowly leading them to the 
brink of the frightful abyss of schism, into which they were 
now prepared madly to plunge. The only one who could 
protect them from the usurpations and tyranny of the king, 
in matters connected with the interests of the Church, was 
the Pope ; but the feeling of loyalty to the Pope had been 
waning for centuries, however strongly his Primacy itself had 
been recognized. The increasing worldly spirit among the 
higher clergy itself a necessary consequence of the un 
due influence of the crown in their nomination and appoint 
ment was fast preparing their minds for unlimited and 
unreasoning obedience to the commands of a tyrant, in things 
spiritual as well as in things temporal. "The pear was 
nearly ripe" and Henry VIII. greedily plucked it at the 
first favorable moment. 

The whole merit or demerit of having caused the separa 
tion of England from the Catholic Church belongs fairly to 
Henry VIII. He was the real father of the English Refor- 
mation, which was peculiarly his own work, moulded accord 
ing to his royal will, and made to his own image and like 
ness. This fact is incontestable. But for him, there would 
been no schism, and consequently no Reformation in England 
at least not then. At a subsequent period, an equally unscru 
pulous English monarch might have, indeed, availed himself 
of the growing disaffection to Home, and brought about a 
schism ; but this is merely a speculation as to what might have 
possibly occurred, whereas we are dealing with the facts as 
they really took place. Had Henry remained firm, there 
would have been no divorce from Catharine, and conse- 


quently no Edward VI. and no Elizabeth, to carry out to its 
full length of heresy the fatal schism which he originated. 
The whole complexion of English history since the beginning 
of the sixteenth century would have been changed ; and in 
all human probability England would be Catholic to this 
very day. 

The apologists of the Anglican Reformation generally 
adopt one of two theories. One section of them, and per 
haps the larger and more respectable, give up the character 
and acts of Henry VIII. as wholly indefensible, and say that 
the Reformation was a good thing brought about by a bad 
man ; while another section, comprising several ancient and 
some recent Anglican writers, of some respectability and 
weight with their own partisans, undertake the defense of 
Henry VIII., and would have us believe that he was not half 
so bad a man as history usually paints him, and that his con 
duct was generally prompted by conscientious motives, and 
governed, more or less, by sound principles.* 

The first of these theories is easily refuted. God does not 
employ the agency of wicked men to do His work, especially 
to introduce great changes for the better. Such a course were 
unworthy His sanctity, as it is clearly opposed to all the facts 
of sacred history. The instrument employed must be suitable 
to the work to be accomplished. This is a sound maxim even 
in human policy and wisdom, and one who should contravene 
it would be justly deemed neither wise nor ordinarily prudent. 
With how much stronger reason is not the principle applica 
ble to the operations of the all- wise and all-holy ^redhead ? 
Would it not be clearly incompatible with both His holiness 
and His wisdom to select wholly unworthy, and therefore 
wholly unsuitable and inadequate instruments to accomplish 

* Two modern champions of Anglicanism, Bishop Hopkins in America 
and Froude in England, would seem to incline to this theory ; from the 
pains they take to show that Henry VIII. was not half so bad as he is usu 
ally represented. They herein adopt the only really logical course for de 
fending the Anglican Reformation, 



His great designs for the sanctification and salvation of men ? 
Would not this be clearly in opposition to the maxim laid 
down in the gospel by the Son of God himself: "By their 
fruits ye shall know them? How could this be verified, if 
bad men could produce good fruits ? 

True, God may and does tolerate some bad ministers of 
His own chosen work among many good ones, where the or 
dinary course of things is to be maintained, and no great re 
formatory change, whether in doctrines or morals, to be 
introduced. Under such circumstances, the influence of the 
evil example of the wicked could not be so extensively perni 
cious, being counteracted by the preponderating example and 
teaching of the good; and the former would be thereby effect 
ually restrained from circulating new or dangerous principles 
for the perversion of others. But the case is totally different, 
where a new order of teaching and practice is to be intro 
duced for the reformation of an entire people. Then we 
naturally expect to find the agents adapted to the nature 
of their work." Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of 

Accordingly, we find that all the true reformers of whom 
we read in sacred and ecclesiastical history were men of God, 
and that most, if not all of them, were even gifted with super 
natural powers. Such was the case with Moses who intro 
duced the old law, such was the case with the Apostles who 
proclaimed the new. Miracles were the seals of their apos- 
tleship, and the unmistakable evidence before the people of 
their divine mission and authority to teach the revealed truths, 
and enforce the divine commandments. Without such gifts, 
we can scarcely understand how Christianity could have 
been established, or even one nation converted from paganism. 
The apostles of all the different nations, which were success 
ively converted from paganism to Christianity, were men 
of this heavenly stamp, as all ecclesiastical history pro- 

* St. Mathew, vii : 16. 



claims. Not one of them all was certainly a man of even 
doubtful character, much less openly wicked in his life and 

And the same may be said of those Christian reformers of 
popular morals, without reference to doctrinal changes, who 
have adorned the Church in every age of her eventful history. 
They were all men of the purest morals and of the highest 
type of sanctity. They practiced in their daily life what they 
so eloquently preached to others ; and God abundantly blessed 
their holy labors for His own honor and glory. A hundred 
examples of this might be alleged, while not a solitary in 
stance of the contrary can be produced. It would lead us 
much too far to go into facts and specifications on this subject; 
but we may be allowed simply to refer to a few of such reform 
ers in mediaeval or in more modern times as many Anglican 
writers, like Palmer and Pusey, are in the habit of looking up 
to with respectful reverence ; to such men, for instance, as 
St. Bernard, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Charles Borromeo, St. 
Vincent de Paul, and St. Francis de Sales. Until the advent 
of the Protestant Reformation, such a thing as a true refor 
mation in morals, and still more in doctrine, brought about 
by the agency of wicked men, was never even thought of as 
probable, or even as possible. This remarkable discovery, 
like many others, was reserved for more enlightened modern 
times ! 

It is clear, then, that the only logical, or even plausible de 
fense of the Anglican Eeformation consists precisely in the 
adoption of the second theory referred to above ; namely, that 
those who brought it about and perfected the work were good, 
at any rate, not bad men or women. This line of defense, of 
course, necessarily carries along with it the vindication of 
Henry VIII. and of his daughter Elizabeth ; the former of 
whom began, and the latter consummated the Anglican 
Reformation. But though the defense of such characters 
is manifestly a very difficult, if not a hopeless task, it 


is really the only vindication which is at all admis 

That Henry VIII. was, in fact, the real originator and 
founder of the Anglican church, few impartial men will be 
disposed to deny. English history proclaims the fact in lan 
guage too clear to admit of any misunderstanding or doubt. 
The Anglican bishop Short, speaking of the gratitude Anglicans 
owe to God for having brought about the Reformation in 
England, says : "The chief mover of the Reformation in this 
country was a king brought up w r ith a high respect and ad 
miration for those doctrines which were combated by the 
reformers; who had publicly embarked in their defense 
and acquired the title of Defender of the Faith, etc." f A 
little further on, he candidly admits, that " the existence of 
the church of England, as a distinct body, and her final sep 
aration from Rome, may be dated from the period of the 
divorce." J 

The same fact is attested by an authority which may be 
deemed almost, if not quite official and decisive ; we refer to 
the Book of Homilies of the church of England, issued origin 
ally by Cranmer and his associates in the reign of Edward 
VI., and indorsed as containing sound doctrine in one of the 
Thirty-Nine Articles. In these Homilies is found the follow 
ing remarkable passage, highly eulogistic of Henry VIII. , as 

*In his Constitutional History of England, (Edit. Harper. New York, 
1857, p. 30, note,) Mr. Hallam rebukes a leading champion of Anglicanism 
Sharon Turner for having, "in his history of Henry VIII., gone upon the 
strange principle of exalting that tyrant s reputation at the expense of every 
one of his victims, to whatever party they may have belonged. Odit dam- 
natos. Perhaps he is the first, and will be the last, who has defended the 
attainder of Sir Thomas More." 

Burnet had previously set the example of unworthy adulation towards the 
royal tyrant ; and his spirit seems to have descended to the poet Gray, who 
sings of Henry, as 

" The majestic lord, 

Who broke the bonds of Rome." Quoted Ibid. 

f History of the Church of England, sup. cit. p. 53. J Ibid., p. 44. 


the great reformer whom God had raised up in England and 
filled with his own spirit: 

" Honor be to God who did put light in the heart of his true and faithful 
minister, of most famous memory, King Henry the Eighth, and give him the 
knowledge of His word, and an earnest affection to seek His glory, and to put 
away all such superstitions and pharisaical sects by antichrist invented and 
set up against the true word of God and glory of His most blessed name, as 
He gave the like spirit to the most noble and famous princes Josaphat, Josias, 
and Ezechias." * 

We willingly accept the issue as thus made by some of the 
strongest champions of Anglicanism, and we are fully pre 
pared to abide the test which the issue involves. Though our 
purpose does not require, nor will our limits permit, a full, 
detailed, and connected account of the rise and progress of 
the Anglican Reformation, the history of which is probably 
already familiar to most of our readers, yet we hope to refer 
to a sufficient number of facts fully to apply the test, and to 
enable the impartial to form a correct judgment on the sub 
ject. "What we will have to say will be comprised in our 
answers to the following questions, which, if we are not mis 
taken, cover the whole ground of the controversy : 

I. Was Henry VIII. sincere, in the motives which he al 
leged, and in the means which he employed for originating 
the Anglican schism ! 

II. Was he licentious and cruel ? 

III. Was he a tyrant, and did he destroy English liberty ? 

IV. By what means, and through what agencies, did he 
bring about the Reformation ? 

V. Finally, what was the nature and what the real char 
acter of the religious change or revolution called the Refor- 

f Book of Homilies ; Edition of C. Biddle ; Philadelphia, 1844, p. 52. This 
edition is indorsed by thirteen American Episcopal bishops, and by many 
of the more celebrated among the clergy. 
VOL. U. 6 


mation, begun under his reign, and continued under that of 
his son and successor, Edward VI. ? 

I. Was Henry VIII. sincere, in the motives which he 
alleged, and in the means which he employed for originating 
the Anglican schism ? 

God only searcheth hearts, and He alone can judge finally 
and with infallible certainty of the motives which prompt and 
govern the actions of men. Still we are not only not forbid 
den, but we are even sometimes required to form a judgment 
on the motives which control the public acts of public men, 
especially when these acts have, or may have, a powerful in 
fluence for good or for evil on faith and morals. Such is 
clearly the case in regard to Henry VIII. and the Reforma 
tion which he originated. ISTo event or revolution probably, 
whether in ancient or in modern times, has exercised a wider 
or more protracted influence on mankind, than the revolution 
called by its friends the Reformation, of which the Anglican 
is so important a branch. 

In forming our opinion of men, we have a reliable standard 
their acts. Judged by this criterion, Henry VIII. stands 
forth a man of strong and ungovernable passions, who was 
willing to sacrifice every thing for their gratification, and who 
boldly trampled down and crushed by the most unrighteous 
means all opposition to his imperious will. As a general rule, 
he did not play the role of the hypocrite ; this was little con 
genial with his naturally bold, blunt, impetuous temperament. 
When, however, he did think it expedient to put on the mask, 
it was so clumsily adjusted and so unskillfully worn, as to 
deceive no one. Pretension was not his element, and he 
betrayed himself at almost every step, whenever circumstan 
ces led him to adopt this expedient for appearing what he 
was not. His whole history abounds with evidences going to 


contirm this estimate of his character, which has been very 
compendiously and suitably designated by the homely, but 
significant English word Huff. 

The commencement of his reign was auspicious, and it 
gave reason for anticipating a long and brilliant career for 
himself and a prosperous future for England. With a pre 
possessing personal appearance, tempered with a dash of that 
mediaeval chivalry which was not yet dead, and with a mind 
adorned by the graces and enriched with the stores of an 
education rather above than below the average standard of 
the time, he bade fair to outstrip all the contemporary sove 
reigns of Europe. Wedded to a virtuous woman of high 
lineage and lofty bearing, Catharine of Aragon the aunt of 
the great Charles Y. his kingdom was brought into close 
alliance with that of Spain, which was then, and for more 
than a century afterwards continued to be the most wealthy 
and powerful government of Europe. All eyes were turned 
upon the youthful sovereign, whose fervent attachment to the 
faith of his fathers was not the least among his many shining 
qualities. When Luther reared the standard of religious 
revolt, and launched forth his coarse tirades and virulent 
diatribes against the Papacy, the chivalrous Henry entered 
the arena of controversy, published his book in defense of 
the Seven Sacraments against the attacks of the German 
monk, and obtained from the reigning Pontiff Leo X., at 
whose feet he had laid his first literary offering, the honorable 
title of Defender of the Faith Fidei Defensor which his 
successors still retain, though scorning the religious faith for 
defending which it was bestowed. From Luther the royal 
champion received in reply a torrent of abuse, which greatly 
annoyed him, and caused him to prefer complaints to the 
Elector of Saxony. The latter compelled the audacious monk 
to write an apology, which, though marked by the lowest ser 
vility, was nevertheless so unskillfully drawn as to be but 
little better than the original insult. 


Things went on in this way for eighteen years, during all 
which time Henry lived peaceably and happily with Catha 
rine, against whose purity and loftiness of character, no one, 
no matter how much envenomed not even Henry himself in 
all his subsequent recklessness of wickedness has ever yet 
dared breathe a reproach. But Catharine was unfortunate in 
having no living male heir, an object naturally very desirable 
both to herself and her royal husband. 

Suddenly Henry s conscience becomes alarmed, and he 
now discovers, apparently for the first time, that he had been 
living unlawfully for eighteen years with the widow of his 
deceased brother Arthur ! * His eyes had fallen on, and he 

* Henry was solemnly united in marriage with Catharine on the 6th of 
June, 1509, six weeks after the death of his father, Henry VII. His elder 
brother Arthur had died at the age of fifteen, in the year 1503 ; and the 
dispensation of Pope Julius II., authorizing Henry s marriage with Catha 
rine, the widow of Arthur, had been in England already for six years ; so 
that Henry had full time to examine the matter of conscience before he freely 
chose, at mature age, publicly to wed Catharine. " If any doubt then oc 
curred of the validity of the marriage, the last moment for trying the question 
was then come ;" says the author of the Memoirs of Henry VIII., quoted 
by Waterworth ("Historical Lectures," etc., on the Eeformation in En 
gland, in one vol. 8vo. Stereotype edit, of Fithian, Philadelphia, 1842 ; 
p. 13.) 

An unimpeachable Protestant witness Sir James Mackintosh gives 
the following opinion of Henry s scruples : 

"Whether Henry really felt any scruple respecting the validity of his 
marriage during the first eighteen years of his reign, may be reasonably 
doubted. No trace of such doubts can be discovered in his public conduct 
till the year 1527. Catharine had then passed the middle age : personal 
infirmities are mentioned, which might have widened the alienation. About 
the same time, Anne Boleyn, a damsel of the court, at the age of twenty- 
two, in the flower of youthful beauty, and full of graces and accomplish 
ments, touched the fierce, but not unsusceptible heart of the king. One of 
her ancestors had been lord mayor of London, in the reign of Henry VII. ; 
her family had since been connected with the noblest houses of the king 
dom ; her mother was the sister of the Duke of Norfolk." 

He adds (ibid.) : " The light which shone from Anne Boleyn s eyes 
might have awakened or revived Henry s doubts of the legitimacy of his 


had been captivated by the charms of the youthful and 
blooming Anne Boleyn, one of the queen s maids of honor, 
who had been educated amidst the gayeties of the brilliant 
French court, and had there acquired all the arts of an ac 
complished coquette. While she employed every female 
stratagem to encourage his unhallowed passion, she at first 
coyly repelled every advance which was not made on the 
condition of her becoming queen of England by lawful mar 
riage with the king. This could be accomplished only by 
the death or divorce of Catharine ; and as the former was a 
doubtful contingency, if left to the ordinary course of nature, 
and as Henry was not yet trained to the line of conduct in 
which he subsequently became such an adept the murder 
of his wives the latter was evidently the only practicable 

Completely taken in the toils of a wicked and ambitious 
woman, Henry now bent his whole energies towards bringing 
about the divorce. This became his all-absorbing passion; 
and he spared neither labor, money, nor intrigue, to accom 
plish his darling object. Before his friends, especially "Wolsey 
and the clergy, he eloquently pleaded scruples of conscience ; 
to his parliament he alleged reasons of state policy, and the 
dangers to the realm of a disputed succession. His real 
motive was no doubt his own unbridled passion.* This was 
clearly established by the sequel, which is well known, and 

long union with the faithful and blameless Catharine. His licentious pas 
sions, by a singular operation, recalled his mind to his theological studies." 
History of England, p. 222. American edition, in one vol. 8vo. Carey, 
Lea, & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1834. 

* The excellent Protestant authoress, Agnes Strickland, admits this. 
She says : 

" Meantime a treatise on the unlawfulness of his present marriage was 
compounded by the king and some of his favorite divines. How painfully 
and laboriously the royal theologian toiled in this literary labyrinth, is 
evinced by a letter written by himself to the fair lady, whose bright eyes 
had afflicted, him with such unwonted qualms of conscience, that he had ben 


need not therefore be dwelt on in detail. We will, however, 
refer to one fact, bearing directly on the sincerity of Henry. 
During the pendency of the divorce, which he was wont 
to call his great " secret matter," God spoke to his heart and 
conscience, in the startling but salutary language of the 
" Sweating Sickness ;" a malady which, from its previous ap 
pearance and disastrous results in England, was peculiarly 
terrible in its influence on the simple Catholic faith of the 
inhabitants. This scourge was a providential test of faith 
and sincerity, which reached even to the throne of royalty. 
The king, as well as the vassal, deeply felt the influence of 
this touchstone of their loyalty to God. The conscience- 
smitten monarch now did, what might have been expected 
from a man who had not yet lost faith, and who wished to 
save his immortal soul. He quickly sent away Anne Boleyn, 
and recalled Catharine ; and this in spite of all his previous 
pretended scruples of conscience about the sin of living with 
the relict of his deceased brother ! Not only did he recall 
Catharine, but he united with her in all her daily devotions ; 
he devoted himself seriously to the great work of preparing 
himself for a better world ; he went to confession every day, 
and to holy communion every week! Nay more, he now 
became reconciled with Wolsey, and exchanged with him 
friendly greetings.* 

fain to add the pains and penalties of authorship to the cares of government 
for her sake." Lives of the Queens of England, vol. iv, p. 142. Edition 
of Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1847. We quote from this edition in 
the sequel. 

* If Anne was not actually his mistress at the time of the Sweating Sick 
ness in 1528, she seems to have become such not long afterwards, at least 
during the three years previous to her marriage with the king. The mar 
riage was hastened by the fact of her being suddenly found in a condition to 
give him an heir, the legitimacy of whose birth it was deemed important to 
place beyond doubt or cavil. The marriage was celebrated privately by Dr. 
Rowland Lee in a chapel situated in a garret at Whitehall, on the 25th of 
January, 1533 ; during the pendency of the application for the divorce, and 
Some time before Cranmer had pronounced the previous marriage with 


His faith was thus revived, and lie was apparently animated 
with the fervor of a saint, while apprehending the approach 
of death ; what did he become, so soon as the plague had 
disappeared and the fear of immediate death was removed ? 
He became just what he had been before, only much worse ! 
Immediately after all peril had vanished, he again dismissed 
his lawful wife Catherine, with whom he had daily prayed 
and confessed, and communed weekly while danger threat 
ened and recalled the unprincipled Anne Boleyn ! Does 
this look like the deed of a man acting sincerely and from 
conscientious scruples ? Out upon such a conscience as this ! 

Catharine annulled. The king quieted the scruples of the chaplain, by 
falsely assuring him that Pope Clement VII. had already granted the 
divorce, and that the papal decree was safely deposited in his closet ! See 
the authorities quoted by Lingard, Hist. Eng., vol. vi, p. 188-89. Elizabeth 
was born a little over seven months after the date of the marriage. 

Hallam (Constit. History, p. 46, note) severely censures Lingard, for hav 
ing asserted, on the authority of the French ambassador, that Anne had been 
Henry s mistress for three years before her marriage with him ; though he 
adds : " It may not be unlikely, though by no means evident, that Anne s 
prudence, though, as Fuller says of her, she was cunning in her chastity, 
was surprised at the end of this long courtship." Yet ( p. 69, note) he 
again severely blames Lingard for twt following more closely the authority 
of the French ambassador and of Carte who copied him, in portraying the 
character of Queen Mary ; though he clearly admits, that the French am 
bassador was at the time the bitter enemy of Mary, and was constantly 
intriguing with Elizabeth for her overthrow ! Lingard was wholly wrong 
in following the French ambassador in the former instance, and he was 
again wholly wrong in not following him in the latter ! Such is the justice 
of English Protestant criticism, even in the ordinarily moderate and just 
Mr. Hallam. In general, however, Hallam quotes Lingard with respect, 
and follows him, even while occasionall} 7 " making a show of censuring him 
as an adroit partisan. It is also remarkable, that, even while objecting to 
Lingard s statements or opinions, as in the case of his admirable balancing 
of evidence for and against Anne Boleyn s innocence (p. 29-30, note), he 
takes little pains to refute him, by answering his arguments, or even at 
tempting to dissect his authorities. Lingard may be said to have passed 
almost unscathed through the severe ordeal of Hallam s criticism. He 
questions very few, and he refutes not one of his statements of fact. 


It was all a sham a mere pretense to blind others ; and it 
did not succeed in accomplishing even this ; for the mask was 
too thin and transparent.* 

* In what he calls his history of the English Eeformation, D Aubigne gives 
in full the correspondence which passed between Henr}^ and Anne about the 
time of the Sweating Sickness, which correspondence, he says, has been 
preserved in the Vatican. His desire to invest his pretended history with 
the interest of a romance, and to make heroes and heroines of all his char 
acters who ever were privileged to lift their voices against Rome, would not 
allow him to forego the publication of such letters, which even he seems to 
have thought very questionable in their bearing on morals for he remarks : 
" We are far from approving their contents as a whole, but we can not deny 
to the young lady to whom they are addressed the possession of noble and 
generous sentiments." (History of the Eeformation, one vol. 8vo, p. 810, 
American Edit.) A " young lady" who would receive and answer such let 
ters from a married man, must have been singularly endowed with " noble 
and generous sentiments ! " "We fear that the moral theory of D Aubigne is 
but little, if any thing more rigid, than was the actual practice of his hero 
the founder of the Anglican Church. 

We can not refrain from extracting here what D Aubigne tells us of an 
interview which took place between Henry VIII. and Wolsey on the sub 
ject of the divorce, and of the influence which the Sweating Sickness had on 
the mind of the monarch. These extracts have the merit of being at least 
sufficiently graphic : 

" Wolsey now resolved to broach this important subject in a straightfor 
ward manner. The step might prove his ruin ; but if he succeeded he was 
saved and the popedom with him. Accordingly one day, shortly before the 
Sweating Sickness broke out, says Du Bellay, (probably in June 1528) 
Wolsey openly prayed the king to renounce his design ; his own reputation, 
he told him, the prosperity of England, the peace of Europe, the safety of 
the Church, all required it ; besides the Pope would never grant the di 
vorce. While the cardinal was speaking, Henry s face grew black ; and be 
fore he had concluded, the king s anger broke out. The king used terrible 
words, said Du Bellay. He would have given a thousand Wolseys for one 
Anne Boleyn. No other than God shall take her from me, was his most 
decided resolution 

" His real conscience awoke only in the presence of death. Four of his 
attendants and a friar, Anne s confessor, as it would appear, falling ill, the 
king departed for Hunsdon. He had been there two days only when Powis, 
Carew, and Carton, and others of his court, were carried off in two or three 


In spite of the Sweating Sickness, the project for the divorce 
was prosecuted with untiring vigor, and with every possible 
expedient which unscrupulous diplomacy could devise. The 
foreign Catholic universities were diligently canvassed ; bribes 
were liberally proffered and bestowed ; trickery the most con 
temptible was resorted to without scruple ; and still the an 
swers, though some of them favorable, were wholly unsatis 
factory, because predicated upon a state of the case which 
the virtuous Catharine solemnly denied.* 

The envoys of Henry might influence, bribe, or deceive 
others ; they could not deceive, or move in the slightest degree 
the venerable Pontiff, Clement VII., who then sat on the 
Chair of Peter. Though inclined to do every thing in his 
power to favor his dear son Henry Defender of the Faith 
he could not consent, even for his sake, to trample under foot 

hours. Henry had met an enemy whom he could not vanquish. He 
quitted the place attacked by the disease ; he removed to another quarter, 
and when the sickness laid hold of any of his attendants in his new retreat, 
he again left that for a new asylum. Terror froze his blood ; he wandered 
about pursued by that terrible scythe whose sweep might perhaps reach 
him ; he cut off all communication, even with his servants ; shut himself up 
in a room at the top of an isolated tower ; ate all alone, and would see no 
one but his physician : he prayed, fasted, confessed, became reconciled with 
the queen ; took the sacrament every Sunday and feast day ; received his 
Maker, to use the words of a gentleman of his chamber ; and the queen and 
Wolsey did the same At last the sickness began to diminish, and imme 
diately the desire to see Anne revived in Henry s bosom. On the 18th of 
August she re-appeared at court, and all the king s thoughts were now bent 
on a divorce." Hist. Eeformation, p. 812-13. 

* They were predicated on the hypothesis, that Catharine s marriage with 
Arthur had been consummated, which Catharine solemnly and persistently 
denied. According to Cardinal Pole, Henry himself had acknowledged to 
Catharine s nephew, the emperor Charles V., that her assertion was correct : 
" Tu ipse hoc fassus es, virginem te accepisse, et Coesari fassus es etc." 
(Pole, De Unitate Ecclesiae, apud Waterworth, sup. cit, p. 14, note.) The 
opinions of the universities which apparently pronounced for the divorce 
were, moreover, wholly valueless ; for the reason that they did not present 

VOL. II. 7 


the holy law of God, which forbids any Christian man to have 
more than one wife at a time.* He firmly refused to grant 
the divorce, both because it would have been wrong to do so, 
and because, at the same time, it would have been a flagrant 
outrage on the sacred rights of the virtuous Catharine. In 
thus defending the right, he was fully aware that he periled 
much. England would probably be lost to the Church, 
through the headlong passions of the baffled king. Still his 
duty was clear and unmistakable, and he must fearlessly do it, 
even if all the world should go to ruin in consequence. The 
attitude of the Pontiff, though not an unusual one for the 
Papacy, thus certainly had in it elements of the sublime. It 
ignored the doctrine of expediency, and thought only of main 
taining the right. 

All honor to Clement VII. for his noble heroism ! And 
let all men who prefer right to might, truth to error, virtue to 
vice, matrimonial unity and purity to polygamy and impurity, 
female innocence and dignity to overbearing male tyranny 
and oppression, applaud the righteous decision of the Pontiff. 
England was, indeed, lost by it, or rather in consequence of it, 

fairly the opinions of the members. That of the Sorbonne, for instance, was 
obtained by the merest trickery, while those of the Italian universities 
were procured by open fraud and bribery. Henry s agents used freely 
money, threats, and the lowest arts of diplomacy to attain their end. For 
the authorities, see Lingard Henry VIII. Even Hallam, in his Con 
stitutional History, (p. 45, note) speaks " of the venal opinions of foreign 
doctors of law," and expressly maintains, against Burnet, the bribery of the 

* Even Luther was strongly opposed to the divorce, though he would not 
appear to have been so averse to Henry s having two wives at once, accord 
ing to the famous indulgence which he and seven of his brother reformers 
had already granted to the scruples of Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, that im 
maculate fostering father of the German Reformation. (See Hallam, Con- 
stit, Hist, p. 49, note.) Says Miss Strickland : 

"Anne, however, had her anxieties at this crisis, for the opinion of all 
Christendom was so much against the divorce, that Henry was disposed to 
waver. Luther himself declared, that he would rather allow the king to 
take two wives than dissolve the present marriage. " Queens of England ; 
vol. iv, p. 163. She quotes Lutheri Epist, Halse, 1717, p. 290. 


to the Church ; but a signal and brilliant victory was gained 
for truth and virtue.* 

The stern resolution of Clement was communicated to his 
legate, the aged Campeggio. The Protestant historian Tytler 
so well describes what occurred at the last sitting of the 
court for trying the divorce, that we can not do better than 
report the scene in his own words :f 

" On the 23d of July the legatine court met for the last time, and as it 
was generally expected by those ignorant of the intrigues at Home that a 
decision would be pronounced for the king, the hall was crowded. Henry 
himself was present, but concealed behind the hangings, where he could 
hear all that passed. When the cardinals had taken their seats, his majes 
ty s counsel demanded judgment ; upon which Campeggio replied, that the 
case was too high and notable to be determined before he should have made 
the Pope acquainted with all the proceedings. I have not, said he, come 
so far to please any man for fear, meed, or favor, be he king or any other 
potentate. I am an old man, sick, decayed, and looking daily for death. 
What should it then avail me to put my soul in danger of Grod s displeasure, 
to my utter damnation, for the favor of any prince or high estate in this 
world. Forasmuch, then, that I understand the truth in this case is very 
difficult to be known, and that the defendant will make no answer thereunto, 
but hath appealed from our judgment ; therefore, to avoid all injustice and 
obscure doubts. I intend to proceed no further in this matter until I have 
the opinion of the Pope, and such others of his council as have more 
experience and learning. For this purpose, he concluded, rising from his 
chair, I adjourn the cause till the commencement of the next term, in the 
beginning of October. " 

During the pendency of the question concerning the 
divorce, Henry wavered more than once in his resolution. 
Wolsey, though he at first culpably favored the project in 

* " To all their remonstrances (of Henry s ambassadors) he (Pope Clement 
VII.) returned the same answer ; that he could not refuse to Catharine what 
the ordinary forms of justice required ; that he was devoted to the king, 
and eager to gratify him in any manner conformable with law and equity ; 
but that they ought not to require from him what was evidently unjust, or 
they would find that, when his conscience was concerned, he was equally 
insensible to considerations of interest or of danger. (Lingard, History of 
England, vol. vii, p. 147.) 

f Quoted by Waterworth, Lectures on the Reformation, p. 21-22. 


order t6 please his royal master, was in the end firmly 
opposed to it, and he availed himself of every suitable occa 
sion to avert the calamity. One of these occasions was the 
terror induced by the Sweating Sickness. Another was 
presented, when it became fully known in England, by the 
reports of Henry s Italian ambassadors, that Clement would 
never grant the divorce. Henry often declared that he 
would abide by the papal decision, and now he openly an 
nounced his determination to give up the project forever. 
Anne Boleyn was alarmed, and she employed, alas ! with too 
much success, all her arts of blandishment to turn him from 
his purpose. 

She had a powerful coadjutor in Thomas Cromwell, the 
son of a fuller in the vicinity of London, whom Wolsey had 
raised from his obscurity and employed in an honorable 
position in his own household. This man thought the present 
a favorable occasion for supplanting his noble benefactor, 
taking his place in the king s council, and thereby making 
his own fortunes. He succeeded but too well. "Wolsey was 
disgraced, Catharine was divorced, and Anne became queen 
of England ; while Cromwell for a time attained a position 
and a power which even Wolsev had never possessed in his 

IT i/ A 

palmiest days. By what arts Cromwell succeeded in gaining 
the royal ear, in supplanting "Wolsey, and in securing the 
divorce of Henry from Catharine and of England from the 
Catholic Church,* we shall see a little further on. Meantime, 
we must hasten on to the answer of the second question. 

* D Aubigne very appropriately heads his final chapter so far published 
on the English Keformation, " The Two Divorces ; " thereby very prop 
erly intimating, what is the fact, that the divorce of Henry from Catharine 
led to the divorce of England from the Catholic Church. " There is a close 
relationship," he says, "between these two divorces." He displays consid 
erable prudence also in closing his history at this early date ; for in con 
tinuing it further, he would find much difficulty in making heroes and saints 
of Henry, Cranmer, and other English reformers, and would moreover be 
greatly embarrassed in settling the rival claims of the various sections of 


IT. Was Henry VIII. licentious and cruel? 

This need not detain us long. Once separated from the 
Church, and rid of the curbing influence of Wolsey, Henry s 
passions knew no longer any restraints or bounds. He had 
divorced a virtuous wife, he soon tired of Anne Boleyn. At 
the instigation of the latter, he had pursued Catharine with 
every possible annoyance in her quiet and dignified retreat ; 
he had torn her only surviving child, Mary, from her com 
pany, after having had her declared illegitimate by his par 
liament; he had cruelly denied the dying request of the 
mother to see for the last time her beloved and only daugh 
ter.* Catharine died, invoking a blessing on the head of her 
cruel husband; whose stern heart relented somewhat on 
receiving her dying message but it was now too late. He 
had her buried with the solemnity befitting a queen of the 
royal house of Spain, and he, with all his court, went into 
mourning. Only Anne refused this tribute to the memory of 
her whom she had supplanted ; she arrayed herself in gay 
attire, as for a bridal, and openly declared that she was now 
indeed queen without a rival ! 

Short-lived triumph! But four months elapsed, and she 
was herself divorced and brought to the block as an adulteress 
and as guilty of high treason. The supple Thomas Cranmer, 
whom Henry had made archbishop of Canterbury, was now 
as ready, at the bidding of his royal master, to divorce her 
as he had been before to divorce Catharine. On this occa- 

Anglicanism, especially from his own " Evangelical " point of view. He may, 
perhaps, hereafter conclude to continue his history, but we suspect that both 
he and his readers will be content with what he has already written. 

* Cardinal Pole, in his Apology addressed to Charles V., mentions this 
act of unheard of cruelty of Henry refusing to be softened either by the en 
treaties of Catharine or the tears of Mary into granting one final interview 
between mother and daughter : " Cum hoc idem filia cum lacrymis postu- 
laret, mater vix extremum spiritum vitse ducens flagitaret, quod hostis nisi 
crudelissimus nunquam negasset, conjux a viro, mater pro filia, impetrare 
non potuit." Apud Lingard, vol. vi, p. 236, note. 


sion, he played the first of those solemn farces, for which his 
subsequent career was so distinguished. He solemnly pro 
nounced sentence involving two things which were wholly 
incompatible with each other: that Anne had never been 
truly married to Henry, and yet that she was guilty of adul 
tery by matrimonial infidelity! The subservient parliament 
accordingly declared her daughter Elizabeth illegitimate; 
and thus notwithstanding two marriages, the king was still 
without a legitimate heir. "Whether Anne was really guilty 
or not, it is hard to determine, in the midst of conflicting 
testimony on the subject ; nor does it much matter now, as it 
certainly mattered little then. Guilty or innocent, her death 
was decreed by her royal husband or paramour; and he 
always found willing instruments to execute his decrees. 
He had cast his eyes on Jane Seymour, one of Anne s maids, 
and Anne, in a fit of jealousy, had been prematurely delivered 
of a dead male child. This was offense enough for Henry. 
"He had wept at the death of Catharine; but, as if to dis 
play his contempt for the memory of Anne, he dressed him 
self in white on the day of her execution, and was married 
to Jane Seymour next morning."* 

Agnes Strickland graphically relates this occurence as 
follows : 

" While the last act of that diabolical drama was played out, which con 
summated the destruction of poor Anne, it appears that her rival had the 
discretion to retreat to her paternal mansion, Wolf Hall, in Wiltshire. 
There the preparations for her marriage with Henry VIII. were proceeding 
with sufficient activity to allow her royal wedlock to take place the day after 
the axe had rendered the king a widower. Henry himself remained in the 
vicinity of the metropolis, awaiting the accomplishment of that event. The 
traditions of Kichmond Park and Epping Forest quote each place as the 
locale of the following scene. On the morning of the 19th of May, Henry 
VIIL, attired for the chase, with his huntsmen and hounds around him, was 
standing under a spreading oak, breathlessly awaiting the signal gun from 
the Tower, which was to announce that the axe had fallen on the neck of 
his once entirely beloved Anne Boleyn ! At last, when the bright sum- 

* Lingard, Ibid., vol. vi, p. 250-51. 


mer sun rode high towards its meridian, the sullen sound of the death-gun 
boomed along the windings of the Thames. Henry started with ferocious 
joy. Ha, ha! he cried with satisfaction, the deed is done! Uncouple 
the hounds and away. The chase that day bent towards the west, whether 
the stag led it in that direction or not. At nightfall the king was at Wolf 
Hall, in Wilts, telling the news to his elected bride. 

" The next morning the king married the beautiful Seymour. It is com 
monly asserted that he wore white for mourning the day after Anne 
Boleyn s execution ; he certainly wore white, not as mourning, but because 
he on that day wedded her rival." * 

His subsequent career of licentiousness and cruelty is but 
too well known. On the death of Jane Seymour after hav 
ing given birth to Edward VL,t he negotiated a marriage 
with a German princess, Anne of Cleves. On her arrival in 
England, he was disgusted with her appearance, and he 
angrily inveighed against his ambassadors for having deceived 
him. At the persuasion of the wily Cromwell, he neverthe 
less married her ; but he divorced her soon afterwards ; the 
pliant Cranmer, as usual, officiating in both cases. Crom 
well s fate was sealed from that day. He had dared advise 
what proved to be disagreeable to the king, and his head soon 
rolled from the block. He was the first victim of his own law 
of attainder, by which much better men than himself in great 
numbers afterwards lost their lives, without a trial or even a 
hearing ! Vain were all his entreaties for mercy, based on 
loyal devotedness and services rendered; his offense was 
deemed unpardonable by the relentless Henry. 

The next victim of the royal cruelty was his fifth wife, 

* Queens of England, vol. iv. p. 219. 

f Of Henry s feelings on the birth of Edward, while the life of the mother 
was in imminent danger, Miss Strickland writes as follows : " When the 
hour came in which the heir of England was expected to see the light, it 
was by no means the good hour so emphatically prayed for in the ceremo 
nial of her retirement. After a martyrdom of suffering, the queen s attend 
ants put to Henry the really cruel question of whether he would wish his 
wife or infant to be saved. It is affirmed, and it must be owned the speech 
is too characteristic of Henry to be doubted, that he replied, The child by 
all means, for other wives could be easily found. " Vol. iv, p. 228. 


Catharine Howard, of the noble house of Norfolk. He first 
married, then divorced her for the alleged crime of adultery, 
said to have been committed before the marriage ; and he 
finally had her beheaded for the crime of treason, of which she 
certainly never had been guilty, even if the other charge had 
been made out which it was not. But Henry and his sub 
servient instruments stopped at nothing ; and on this occasion, 
a new crime of constructive treason, which would operate 
backwards so as to reach the case of Catharine, was created 
by special act of parliament ! There is the strongest reason 
to believe, that Cranmer and the other leaders of the Protest 
ant party cunningly contrived, and by false allegations 
basely accomplished the ruin of Catharine Howard, out of 
revenge for the fall of Cromwell, and through fear lest her 
influence and that of her family in favor of the Catholic 
Church might lead Henry back to the olden paths, and 
thus mar all their prospects for future advancement and 

That the death of Catharine Howard was the result of a 
conspiracy of the reformers, with Cranmer at their head, 
would seem to be the opinion of the candid Miss Strickland, 
whose testimony will scarcely be impeached. We furnish 
the following extracts on the subject from her interesting 

" Five years had passed away since these rival queens had vanished from 
the arena, and yet the names of Anne and Katharine were still the watch 
words of the warring parties, for Henry was again the husband of two living 

* See, on this subject, a strongly written paper reviewing Froude s History 
of England, in the Dublin Review for July, 1858, p. 476 seqq. The writer 
ably reviews the whole case, and furnishes abundant evidence to establish 
the fact, that "Cranmer was the prime mover in this satanic conspiracy 
against the poor queen ;" who, as the leader of the Catholic party, " was re 
garded by the Protestant faction with inveterate aversion." The evidence 
is chiefly circumstantial, but it is very plausible ; and the whole plot tallies 
well with what is otherwise known of " the diabolical craft and cruelty of 
Cranmer," who opportunely availed himself of the king s absence at the 
north to begin his machinations against his youthful and defenceless queen. 


wives of those names, and the legality of his divorce from the Protestant 
queen, Anne, and his marriage with the Catholic Katharine, was almost as 
much questioned by his Protestant subjects as his divorce from Katharine 
of Arragon, and his marriage with Anne Boleyn, had been by the Catholics. 
Thus we see that Katharine Howard was regarded by the reformed party 
in much the same light as Anne Boleyn had formerly been by the Catholics. 
It was fondly imagined by such of the former, who regarded Anne of Cleves 
as Henry s lawful queen, that he might be won to a reconciliation with her, 
if he could be convinced of the unworthiness of her fair successor to fill her 

" That the Duke of Cleves was so persuaded, we have shown in the pre 
ceding memoir, and it is a fact that throws some light on the diplomatic tact 
with which the political leaders of that party had organized their plans for 
the downfall of Katharine Howard. 

" The early follies of Katharine were known to too many, not to have 
reached the persons most interested in destroying her influence with the 
king, and if they delayed striking the blow that was to lay her honors in 
the dust, it was only to render it more effectual. The / snake .was to be 
killed, not scotched. "* 

Cranmer s agency in the dark plot is thus attested : 
" But on that fatal morrow, while Henry was at Mass, the paper that con 
tained the particulars of the misconduct of her, whom he esteemed such a 
jewel of womanhood and perfect love to himself, was put into his hands by 
Cranmer, with an humble request that he would read it when he was in 
entire privacy.f The object of Cranmer in presenting the information 
against the queen to Henry in the chapel was evidently to prevent the an 
nouncement to the people of the public form of thanksgiving, which had 
been prepared by the bishop. The absence of Katharine from her accus 
tomed place in the royal closet afforded the archbishop the better opportu 
nity of stiking this decisive blow." 

And again : 

" When this was reported to the king, he sent Cranmer to her in the 
morning with a deceitful assurance, that if she would acknowledge her 
transgressions, the king, although her life had been forfeited by the law, had 
determined to extend unto her his most gracious mercy." \ 

* Queens of England, vol. iv, p. 299-300. She preserves the old spelling 
of Katharine. 

f- She quotes Herbert, Burnet, Rapin. 
| Ibid., p. 304-5. 


Henry s sixth and last wife was Catharine Parr, who also 
narrowly escaped death at his hands for high treason, which, 
consisted merely in her having ventured to differ from him 
in theological opinions ! Henry had even given the order for 
her arrest ; but Catharine was watchful and adroit, and hav 
ing soon discovered her fatal mistake, had made so ample an 
apology for her heresy, mingled with so flattering an opinion 
of her royal husband s superior learning and almost divine 
discrimination in religious questions, that when the officers 
arrived to convey her to the tower, Henry drove them out 
rudely, after having loaded them with royal invective and 
abuse ! Catharine never more ventured to dissent from her 
lord, and she thus fortunately contrived to survive him. 

Out of six wives, Henry had divorced four, and led two to 
the block. The very announcement of this plain and unques 
tioned fact is well calculated to create a shudder in the bosom 
of every honest and impartial man ; but what must be the 
spontaneous expression of indignant feeling among all honest 
men, if, entering into further details, we shall be able tc prove 
by the undoubted facts of history, that the divorce and murder 
of his wives were not probably the greatest of the offenses com 
mitted by Henry YIIL and his parasites, Cranmer, Cromwell, 
and others, against society, against liberty, and against even 
common justice and common decency ! 

III. Was Henry VIII. a tyrant, and did he destroy 
English liberty? 

Most undoubtedly. All his acts prove it beyond the possi 
bility of successful contradiction. The following undisputed 
facts and specifications establish the proposition so clearly, as 
to leave no doubt whatever on the subject. 

1. Henry coveted the wealth of the monasteries, those 
venerable establishments w^hich had been for centuries the 
nurseries of religion and learning, as well as the solace and 
support of the poor. In 1536, a bill was introduced into 
parliament to give unto the king the property of all those 


monastic establishments, whose annual revenue did not ex 
ceed two hundred pounds sterling.* The bill soon passed the 
house of lords, who were probably anticipating a rich harvest 
to themselves in the division of the spoils, but it encountered 
much opposition in the commons, who knew well with what 
veneration the people looked up to those establishments. In 
this emergency, as the candid Protestant historian Sir 
Henry Spelman informs us, Henry sent for the commons, and 
with a scowl told them that " he would have the bill pass or 
take off some of their heads." f Of course, the terror-stricken 
commons passed the bill without further demur; and from 
that time forward, their spirit seems to have been completely 
broken, and they became the pliant tools of Henry s will. 

To confiscate, at one blow, so vast an amount of property, 
required some decent or plausible pretext which would have 
weight with the people. For this reason Henry appointed a 
commission to inquire into the morals of the monks, under 
the direction of Cromwell: and the commissioners, of course, 
reported in a manner satisfactory to their master. He thus 
" suborned the voice of calumny to sanctify the deeds of op 
pression ; " for neither this inquiry, nor that which was 
instituted subsequently to accomplish the destruction of the 
larger monasteries, really elicited any thing material in the 
way of evidence, to prove that the morals of the monks were 
such as to require the suppression of their houses. The 
monks were sent adrift on the world, to live as best they 

* A very large amount at that time, equal to nearly if not quite twelve 
thousand dollars of our present money, it being estimated that money then 
was about twelve times as valuable as now. From this fact, and from the 
confiscation of the larger monasteries which took place later in the same 
reign, we may easily gather what enormous wealth fell to the crown from 
these wholesale robberies. The king, however, soon squandered the whole 
of it, or distributed it among his courtiers, thereby strongly binding them to 
himself in a community of interests. Their fortunes were thus made de 
pendent on their maintenance of the religious changes, and hence their zeal 
ous support of Henry s supremacy. 

f History and Fate of Sacrilege, p. 183, apud Lingard, vol. iv, p. 232, note. 


might ; and the poor helpless nuns, with but a single gown a 
piece the munificent gift of the crown which robbed them 
of all else were driven out to live on the precarious charity 
of the faithful, or to starve. Meantime Henry and his 
rapacious courtiers parceled out among themselves the 
revenues and property thus sacrilegiously seized on, and the 
whole was soon absorbed, or dissipated in riotous living.* 

In his late History of the Church of England, the Angli 
can Bishop Short devotes considerable space to the question 
regarding the dissolution of the monasteries, which he views 
as an act of wanton avarice on the part of the king and 
nobility, and as disastrous in its immediate influence on 
religion and learning. Following Fuller, he estimates the 
number of the smaller monasteries which were dissolved at 

* Much testimony, Protestant as well as Catholic, might be here alleged 
in proof of what is asserted In the text. We content ourselves for the 
present with the following : 

" This would not have satisfied the ends of himself (Henry) and his 
covetous and ambitious agents. They all aimed at the revenues and riches 
of the religious houses, for which reason no arts or contrivances were to be 
passed by that might be of use in obtaining those ends. The most abomi 
nable crimes were to be charged upon the religious, and the charge was to 
be managed with the utmost industry, boldness, and dexterity. And yet, 
after all, the proofs were so insufficient, that, from what I have been able to 

gather, I have not found any direct one against any single monastery." 

Hearne, Preliminary Observations to the View of Mitred Abbeys by Brown 
Willis, p. 84. Apud Lingard, Antiquities Anglo-Saxon Church, p. 245, note 

Speaking of the spoliation of the monasteries, D Israeli says : 

" As the scheme was managed, therefore, it was a compromise or co-part 
nership of the king and his courtiers. The lands now lay the open prey of 
the hardy claimant or the sly intriguer ; crowds of suppliants wearied the 
crown to participate in that national spoliation. Every one hastened to urge 
some former service or some present necessity as a colorable plea for obtain 
ing a grant of some of the suppressed lands. A strange custom was then 
introduced, that of begging for an estate. .... 

" The king was prodigal in his grants ; for the more he multiplied the 
receivers of his bounties, the more numerous would be the staunch defend 
ers of the new possessions." (Amenities of Literature, 2 vols. 12mo. New 
York, 1845. Vol. i, p. 349.) 


three hundred and seventy-five, yielding an annual income at 
that time of thirty thousand pounds, "besides a large sum aris 
ing from plate and jewels ;" but he adds that " the mass of this 
wealth was quickly dissipated." Of the act for dissolving the 
smaller monasteries, he says: "But it was easy to perceive 
that this alienation was but a step to the total dissolution of 
the monastic orders, and that the same avarice which had 
swallowed up the weaker bodies was only restrained from 
destroying the stronger by want of power."* 

The total number of monasteries dissolved, including the 
greater ones, was, according to the same writer, eleven 
hundred, which yielded an annual revenue of about one 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds fully equal to the 
income derived from all the other church property in Eng- 
land.f Of the evil effects which followed this wholesale 
confiscation of what had been accumulated during centuries 
by the pious liberality of the Catholic English, for the benefit 
of the Church and the poor, he candidly writes as follows : 

" The estates of which the Church was deprived, were thrown into the 
hands of those who could not be entitled to them upon any plea ; and while 
at the moment the nation was the loser, the court favorite alone derived 
advantage from the spoil. The poor were robbed of the rude hospitality 
with which the monasteries abounded ; they were no longer provided with 
the same number of spiritual guides, who, with all their imperfections, must 
at least have equaled in point of information their lay contemporaries, and 
who, by being scattered through the country, must have furnished employ 
ment to a large portion of the lower orders. The farmer lost a kind and 
indulgent landlord, whose place was frequently supplied by a griping spend 
thrift ; at the hospitable board which his own farm supplied, he was always 
a welcome guest whenever he chose to partake of the liberality of the con 
vent : the new proprietor, under whom he held, was occupied with the 
affairs of the nation and the court ; and was scarcely known to him, but as 
the receiver of his hard-earned rents."]: 

Finally the candid bishop adds : 

* P. 56, 202. 

f Ibid., p. 77, $ 258. Reduced to the standard value of our present 
money, this income would be about nine millions of dollars ! 
J Ibid., p. 75, 253. 


" But the immediate effect was not at. all that of promoting the welfare of 
this land. It was not the quiet transfer of wealth, accompanied by activity 
and prudence ; but the forced dissolution of the right of property, and 
attended with waste and destruction. The tenants of the monastery were, 
in many cases, deprived of their leases, and the rents forced up to an unpre 
cedented hight Attempts were indeed made to obviate these evils ; 

but who shall be bold enough to presume to set limits to violence, when the 
first principles of justice are destroyed ? Or who shall check the rapacity 
of plunder, when the rights of property are systematically disregarded ? "* 

2. The English parliament, which in the good old Catholic 
times had hurled defiance in the face of kings, and which 
had stood bravely to the rights secured by Magna Charta 
even as lately as the earlier years of Henry s reign, was now 
suddenly palsied, and trembled at the slightest breath of the 
king s anger. Its independent spirit had vanished, its very 
manhood had disappeared. It became a mere automaton, for 
recording and legalizing the commands of the tyrant, whose 
royal prerogative swallowed up every other element of 
government. At his bidding, the parliament passed bills for 
divorcing and beheading his wives, bills of attainder against 
those whom he wished to destroy, bills to declare illegitimate 
and incapable of inheritance his daughters Mary and Eliza 
beth; and finally a bill authorizing him, failing issue by 
Jane Seymour, to grant the succession to the crown by 
letters patent to whomsoever he willed !f Nay more; by 
an act passed in 1539,J the king s proclamation was clothed 
with all the force of law, under the same penalties as 
if its provisions had received the sanction of parliament; 
and by a singular and unheard of refinement of tyranny, 
it was declared high treason to escape from the kingdom 
with a view to avoid these penalties ! Thus the liberties 
of the English people were laid prostrate at the feet 

* Ibid., p. 76, 255. f This bill was passed in June 1536. 

| 31 Henry VIII. 8. 

The qualifying clauses which were introduced to satisfy the scruples 
of some of the members seem to have been mere forms, and wholly nuga 
tory in their effects. See Lingard, vol. vi, p. 296, and note. 


of the royal tyrant, whose power, both in church and state, 
became almost as unlimited as that of the Russian Czar or 
the Turkish Sultan.* 

3. To understand still more clearly how Henry destroyed 
the ancient Catholic liberties of England, it will be useful 
to compare the political state of the kingdom in the fifteenth 
with what it became in the sixteenth century. Hallam tells 
us, that "England, more fortunate than the rest of Europe, 
had acquired in the fifteenth century a just reputation for the 
goodness of her laws and the security of her citizens from 
oppression." He furnishes under five heads a view of the 
liberties then enjoyed by the English people. At that period, 
the king could levy no new tax, nor impose any new law 
upon his people without the previous consent of parliament; 
and the personal liberty of the subject was still further 
guarantied by the privilege of habeas corpus, in virtue of 
which he could not be arrested without a regular warrant, 
nor detained in prison for an undue length of time, but was 
entitled to a speedy trial by a jury of his peers, with the 
additional privilege of arraigning the officers of the crown 
before the regular courts with a view to their condign punish 
ment, in case they violated any of the franchises secured to 
him by the old Catholic Magna Charta.f 

This is still further confirmed by the great English his 
torian : 

" When Henry ascended the throne, there still existed a spirit of freedom, 
which on more than one occasion defeated the arbitrary measures of the 
court, though directed by an able minister, and supported by the authority 
of the sovereign : but in the lapse of a few years that spirit had fled, and 
before the death of Henry, the king of England had grown into a despot, 
and the people had shrunk into a nation of slaves."]: 

4. Under such a monarch, invested with powers so wholly 

* The instigator to this royal absolutism seems to have been Cromwell, the 
king s vicar general, who tried to bring Gardiner orer to his views. See 
Gardiner s testimony, Ibid. 

f Condensed from his Constitutional History, p. 14, Am. Ed. 

t Lingard, vol. vi, p. 366. 


unlimited, it is not at all surprising that state trials became 
a mere delusion, and a not even solemn mockery of justice. 
All whom Henry willed to perish were as sure of their fate 
in advance, as if it had already overtaken them. Never has 
there, perhaps, been a more wicked and unjust act passed in 
Christian times, than Cromwell s bill of attainder, of which, 
as we have seen, he was himself the first victim. It gave 
the doomed man or woman no possible chance of suitable 
defense, no hope of escape but in the king s mercy. Hence, 
we find those who were prosecuted sometimes humbly plead 
ing guilty, even when innocent, and throwing themselves on 
the king s mercy. And when their fate was assured notwith 
standing, they dared not, even at the last dread hour, openly 
avow their innocence, for fear of additional vengeance to 
their family or friends after their death ! Some noble excep 
tions there were, indeed, but they were chiefly among the 
Catholic martyrs. Was there ever tyranny to equal this, 
whether in Christian or in pagan times ?* 

" When was it ever heard of" exclaims the indignant Regi 
nald Pole, the relative and contemporary of Henry " I say 
not merely in England, where the people have always been 
more free under the government of kings, but in any one of 
all Christian kingdoms, that one man should so lord it over 
all, and so subject all things to his power and lust, that the 
laws afford no longer protection to any against his will, and 
that all things are governed by the sole beck of the king." f 
The ancient liberties of England, secured by the sturdy resist 
ance in the "dark ages" of Catholics to royal aggression, were 
thus wantonly trampled in the dust by the royal founder of 
Anglicanism ; and all submitted tamely to the glaring usurpa 
tion, induced to this blind subserviency to the king by the 

* For the truth of this, we appeal with confidence to the timid and 
wavering declarations of many among Henry s victims, when about to be 
brought to the block for their honesty. 

f Pole, fol. ci. See Lingard, vi, 366, note, for the original Latin text. 


hope of plunder, and by the recently evoked and self-interested 
hatred of Rome. 

4. The revenues and property of the confiscated monasteries 
did not, as we have already said, long enrich the king, or add 
any thing to the real resources of the government. The idea 
that it would have this effect was all a mere sham ! Taxation 
grew more and more burdensome on the people at each suc 
ceeding year of the king s reign ; until at last it became so 
enormous, as to arouse a feeling of general discontent and 
murmuring throughout the kingdom.* This discontent w^as 
still more increased by the iniquitous adulteration of the 
coin current in the kingdom, and by its consequent deprecia 
tion in value, to the injury of all and the ruin of thousands. f 
The king went a step further, and adopted the despotic expe 
dient of exacting a forced loan ; and the obsequious parlia 
ment not only sanctioned the oppressive measure, but even 
passed an act to release the king from all obligation of repay 
ment! The great modern English Protestant lawyer Man 
ning confirms this statement in the following remarkable 
passage, which contains also a just appreciation of Henry s 
reign, in its bearing on popular rights and the security of 

" Henry VIII. obtained an indirect, though in his hands, a very available 
interest in the possessions of the secular clergy, by assuming the then unde 
fined character of head of the church. Having afterwards acquired the absolute 
disposal of the property of the monastic establishments of the country, by 
extorted surrenders or by direct spoliation, the prince next turned his eyes 
for further supplies towards the lay possessions of his subjects. From the 
same parliament which inflicted the penalty of death upon those who should 
preach, teach, or maintain any thing contrary to the king s instructions or 
declarations made, or to be made, two acts of a very peculiar complexion were 
obtained. By one of these the king was absolutely discharged from the 
payment of all debts which he had incurred during the two preceding years. 

* For the acts of parliament enforcing this progressive taxation, see Lin- 
gard, vol. vi, p. 302. f Ibid., p. 347. 

I Manning s Exchequer Practice, 4. See Rapin, vol. v, p. 438, and Dublin 
Review, for March, 1856. 

VOL. II. 8 


The other contained several provisions for the more rigorous exaction of 
debts due to the crown. The former of these acts contained this most 
singular clause, that if the king had paid to any person any sum of money 
which he had borrowed, such person should repay the same to the king ! " 

5. We conclude this branch of the subject with the testimony 
of another learned Protestant Englishman, Henry Hallam, 
who fully confirms what we have said of the utter obsequious 
ness of the English Parliament : * 

" They (the houses of parliament) yielded to every mandate of Henry s 
imperial will ; they bent with every breath of his capricious humor ; they 
were responsible for the illegal trial, for the iniquitous attainder, for the san 
guinary statute, for the tyranny which they sanctioned by law, and for that 
which they permitted without law. Nor was this selfish and pusillanimous 
subserviency more characteristic of the minions of Henry s favor, the Crom- 
wells, the Eiders, the Pagets, the Kussells, and the Pauletts, than of the 
representatives of ancient and honorable names, the Norfolks, the Arundels, 
the Shrewsburys. We trace these noble statesmen concurring in all the 
inconsistencies of the reign, and supporting all the changes of religion ; con 
stant only in the rapacious acquisition of estates and honors from what 
ever source, and in adherence to the present power." 

IV. By what means, and through what agencies, did 
Henry VIII. bring about the Reformation ? 

The answer is plain. He did it by his own imperious will, 
aided by a subservient clergy and a still more subservient 
parliament; by confiscation, spoliation, and bribery; by a 
code of pains and penalties so terrible as to silence all oppo 
sition ; by imbruing his hands in the blood of the best men 
in England : in one word, by making himself supreme lord 
and master of England in church and state, by crushing out 
all English liberty, both civil and religious, and lording it, 
with a rod of iron, over both the bodies and souls of his sub 
jects ! This is, indeed, strong language, but the facts fully 
justify it, and prove beyond the possibility of doubt or cavil, 
that Catholicity and liberty fell together in England. Our 
scope and limits will allow us to refer briefly to only some 

* Constitutional History of England, p. 51, quoted Ibid. 


of the more prominent facts, in addition to those already pre 
sented, out of the mass of evidence which might be alleged 
in proof. 

1. When Henry VIII. professed to have given up the pro 
ject of the divorce, Cromwell came to him, and in a private 
audience whispered in his ear the fatal plan by which he 
might be effectually rid of Catharine, and might secure Anne, 
in spite of the Pope s refusal to grant the divorce. This plan 
was, to oust the Pontiff from the spiritual supremacy, of which 
he had been in undisputed possession for nearly a thousand 
years, and to make himself supreme head of the church of 
England. The bishops and clergy, he suggested, by their ac 
quiescence in Wolsey s exercise of the office of papal legate, 
had incurred the penalties enacted in the unrepeaied statute 
of prsemunire ; and they, with their possessions, were there 
fore entirely at his mercy. Wolsey had, indeed, received the 
royal license for exercising the office of legate ; but this need 
not interfere with the project, as Wolsey and the prelates 
would scarcely dare plead the royal permission.* 

The suggestion of the wily courtier pandered to the pas 
sions and nattered the pride of Henry, who immediately 
promoted Cromwell to his privy council, and determined to 
act upon his advice.f The convocation of the clergy hastily 

* As, in fact, Wolsey did not, from motives of prudence or of excessive 
timidity. Judgment having in consequence gone against him by default, all 
the bishops were involved in its penalties as " fautors and abettors." 

f It is not likely that Henry at first contemplated a final rupture with 
Rome, much less an entire separation of England from the Catholic Church. 
But the refusal of the Pope to yield the sacred principle involved in the 
divorce aroused his own headlong passions, and drove him he scarcely knew 
whither. Says Heylin (Preface to History of the Eeformation) : " This 
king being violently hurried with the transport of some private affections, 
and finding that the Pope offered the greatest obstacle to his desires, he first 
divested him by degrees of that supremacy which had been challenged and 
enjoyed by his predecessors for some ages past, and finally extinguished his 
authority in the realm of England." (Apud Waterworth, p. 11.) Burnet 
says : " When Henry began his Reformation, his design seemed to have 


assembled, and in great alarm offered the king a present of 
one hundred thousand pounds to be released from the dreaded 
penalties of the statute. Though this had been the usual 
panacea for curing royal displeasure in former years, to their 
surprise and mortification it proved unsuccessful in the pres 
ent instance. Henry would not accept the offer, unless in the 
act granting it a clause should be inserted acknowledging him 
supreme head of the church in England ! Unfortunately, 
the clergy compromised between their consciences and their 
places, by passing the act with the clause annexed, " so far as 
the law of Christ will allow ;" which restriction Henry, after 
some hesitation, finally agreed to, knowing full well that he 
could afterwards sweep it away at will as he really did.* 

Thus it was, that the mischievous legislation of the four 
teenth century, referred to in our Introduction, by which the 
bonds of union with the Holy See had been so much weak 
ened, was now made the instrument for breaking those bonds 
entirely, and permanently severing England from Catholic 
unity. Innovations are always dangerous, and the aggres 
sions of the civil power are always progressive. Henry VIII. 
carried to its fullest extent the but imperfectly developed pro 
gramme of his predecessors the Edwards and the Richards 

been, in the whole progress of these changes, to terrify the court of Rome, 
and force the Pope into a compliance with what he desired." (Quoted ibid.) 

D Israeli, in his Amenities of Literature, (vol. i, p. 351) gives the follow 
ing opinion concerning Henry s Reformation : 

" We are accustomed to trace the Reformation to Henry the Eighth, but 
in verity, small are the claims of this sovereign on posterity ; for through all 
the multiplied ramifications of superstition (!) nothing under him was re 
formed. The other great event of the Reformation, the assumption of the 
spiritual supremacy, accorded with the national independence from a foreign 
jurisdiction. The policy was English (!), but it originated in the private 
passions of the monarch. (And was therefore peculiarly English ?) As 
suredly, had the tiara deigned to nod to the royal solicitor, then had the 
Defender of the Faith only given to the world another edition of his book 
against Luther." 

* See Wilkins, Concil. ii, p. 725 ; and Lingard, vol. vi, p. 178, seqq. 


another evidence that there is a logic in history as well as in 

2. But the humiliation of the time-serving bishops was not 
yet complete. The layman Cromwell the low-born son of 
the fuller was made spiritual vicar general of the realm; 
and as the representative of Henry the supreme head of the 
church he was placed over their heads, to rule them in the 
name of their sovereign ! On .the ground that the king was 
the only fountain of all power, spiritual as well as temporal, 
and at the suggestion of the new vicar general, the powers 
of all the bishops were suspended by a circular from the sub 
servient primate Cranmer, on pretext of an approaching 
visitation of their dioceses by Cromwell. The bishops reluct 
antly submitted, and within a month they humbly sued for 
new faculties from the king, to enable them to govern their 
flocks ! In consequence " a commission was issued to each 
bishop separately, authorizing him, during the king^s pleas 
ure, and as the king^s deputy, to ordain persons born within 
his diocese and admit them to livings ; to receive proof of 
wills ; to determine causes lawfully brought before ecclesias 
tical tribunals ; to visit the clergy and laity of the diocese ; 
to inquire into crimes and punish them according to the 
canon law ; and to do whatever belonged to the office of a 
bishop, besides those things which, according to the sacred 
writings, were committed to his charge. But for this indul 
gence a most singular reason is assigned : not that the govern 
ment of bishops is necessary for the Church, but that the 
king s vicar general, on account of the multiplicity of business 
with which he was loaded, could not be everywhere present, 
and that many inconveniences might arise, if delays and in 
terruptions were admitted in the exercise of his authority." * 

The degradation of the episcopal body was now complete, 
thanks to the wily Cromwell and the unprincipled and time- 

* For the sentence of suspension, see Collier, ii, Rec., p. 22 ; for the form 
of restoration, see Burnet, 1. Rec. iii, No. xiv. Lingard, vol. vi, p. 230. 


serving Cranmer. The bishops had, by their own act, dwin 
dled down into mere temporary civil functionaries, holding 
their precarious powers at the will or caprice of their royal 
head, and of his lay vicar general. They had cast off the 
supremacy of the Pope ; they had gained in its place the 
supremacy of a head much nearer home, the weight of whose 
little finger would press more heavily on them than that of 
the whole body, not merely of one Pope, but of all the Popes 
that ever reigned. They had rid themselves of the shadow 
of a distant and imaginary despotism ; they obtained, in its 
stead, the stern substance of an ever present and ever active 
tyranny, now wholly unrestrained, because the only effectual 
check on its encroachments was removed.* 

3. Supreme now, both in church and state, Henry began to 
rage fearfully against all who had the manliness to dissent 
from the new order of things, and especially against those 
who, however quietly and timidly, dared reject his spiritual 
supremacy. The penalty awarded to the latter was the ter 
rible death of a traitor, as had been solemnly declared by the 
parliament. I^or was the iniquitous act suffered to remain a 

* Bishop Short fully confirms all this. He writes : 

" Henry now suspended all the bishops from the use of their episcopal 
authority, during the visitation which he purposed to institute ; and after a 
time the power of exercising it was restored, by a commission to the follow 
ing effect, which was granted to each of them on their petitioning for it : 
Since all authority, civil and ecclesiastical, flows from the crown, and since 
Cromwell, to whom the ecclesiastical part has been committed, is so occu 
pied that he can not fully exercise it, we commit to you the license of or 
daining, proving wills, and using other ecclesiastical jurisdiction, besides 
those things which are committed to you by God in holy Scripture ; and 
we allow you to hold this authority during our pleasure, as you must an 
swer to God and to us. It must be confessed that this commission seems 
rather to outstep the limits of that authority which God has committed to 
the civil magistrate ; but in this case there was no opposition raised on the 
part of the bishops, excepting by Gardiner, and when the suspension was 
taken off, they continued to perform the usual duties of their office ; for the 
visitation was really directed against the monasteries." History of the 
Church of England, p. 55, 5 201. This extract speaks whole volumes. 


dead letter. The tragedies enacted under this new and un 
heard of law of high treason, by which some of the best men 
of England were brought to the block, merely for adhering 
quietly and without disturbing any one, to the time-honored 
faith of their fathers, are such as to make our blood run cold, 
even after the lapse of three centuries. The venerable bishop 
Fisher, of Rochester, Henry s former tutor, and the favored 
counselor of his father, now in the seventieth year of his 
age, was cruelly butchered by order of his ungrateful pupil, 
merely because he would not subscribe to the new doctrine 
of the king s supremacy.* The learned and irreproachable 
chancellor More suffered the same death penalty for the same 
cause. Of the execution of these two truly great and vener 
able men, the excellent and candid Agnes Strickland writes 
as follows, we furnish also her authorities : f 

"Fisher, bishop of Kochester, and Sir Thomas More, refused to take this 
two-fold oath on scruples of conscience ; both had previously enjoyed a 
great degree of Henry s favor ; both had much to lose and nothing to gain 
by their rejection of a test which they regarded as a snare. They were the 
fast friends of the persecuted and repudiated queen Katharine, and had 
incurred the animosity of her fair triumphant rival by counseling the king 
against forsaking the wife of his youth. 

" The resentment of Anne Boleyn is supposed to have influenced the king 
to bring these faithful servants to the scaffold under very frivolous pretexts. 
The integrity of Sir Thomas More, as lord-chancellor, had been some time 
before impugned by Anne s father, the earl of Wiltshire, but, like pure gold 
from the crucible, it shone more brightly from the trial.J 

"When More s beloved daughter, Margaret Roper, visited him in the 
Tower, he asked her, How queen Anne did? In faith, father, she 
replied, never better. There is nothing else in the court but dancing and 
sporting. Never better ! said he ; alas ! Meg, alas ! it pitieth me to think 

* He was treated with every possible indignity. He was suffered to re 
main in prison without necessary clothing and food, and after his death, "his 
head was placed on London bridge, but the trunk, despoiled of the garments, 
the perquisite of the executioner, lay naked on the spot till evening." Poll. 
Apolog. 96. Lingard, vol. vi, p. 221. 

f Lives of Queens of England, vol. iv, p. 181-2. 

| Roper s Life of More ; Hoddesden ; More s Life of More. 


into what misery, poor soul, she will shortly come. Those dances of hers 
will prove such dances, that she will spurn our heads off like foot-balls, but 
it will not be long ere her head will dance the like dance. And how pro 
phetically he spoke these words, adds the kindred biographer of More, the 
end of her tragedy proved. * 

" When the account of the execution of this great and good man was 
brought to Henry while he was playing at tables with Anne, he cast his 
eyes upon her, we are told, and said, Thou art the cause of this man s 
death ; then rising up, he left his unfinished game, and shut himself up in 
his chamber, in great perturbation of spirit.f 

" * Had we been master of such a servant, exclaimed the emperor Charles 
to the English ambassador, with a burst of generous feeling, we would 
rather have lost the fairest city in our dominions than such a counselor. " 

Out of revenge for the refusal of his relative cardinal 
Pole either to sanction the divorce or accept the royal su 
premacy, Henry had his brothers and nearest relatives arrested, 
and several of them executed as traitors ; J and to wound the 
absent cardinal in a still more tender part, he had the 
brutality to arrest, and afterwards to execute for treason his 
venerable mother, the countess of Salisbury, the last in a 
direct line of the noble race of the Plantagenets, and the 
nearest living relative of Henry himself! But neither the 
ties of blood, nor her advanced age she was over seventy 
could stay the bloody hand of the tyrant. She was beheaded ; 
but with the spirit of the Plantagenets, she nobly refused to 
lay her head on the block, exclaiming: "My head never 

* More s Life of More ; and Koper s More. f More s Life of More. 

J Says Miss Strickland : 

" While Anne of Cleves was thus tormented and perplexed by the per 
secutions of her unreasonable husband, terror was stricken into every heart 
by the execution of two of his nearest kinsmen, whom he relentlessly sent 
to the block on the 3d of March. One was the favorite companion of his 
youth, Courtenay, marquis of Exeter, the son of his aunt, Catharine Plan- 
tagenet ; the other was Henry Pole, lord Montague, the son of Margaret 
Plantagenet, countess of Salisbury. The offense for which they suffered was 
correspondence with Keginald Pole, (afterwards the celebrated cardinal,) 
whom Henry called his enemy." Ibid., vol. iv, p. 256-7. She quotes Hall 
and Burnet. For a fuller account, see Lingard, Hist. England, vol. vi, p. 


committed treason ; if you will have it you must take it as 
you can." The scene which followed was too horrible to 
contemplate ! Her last words were : " Blessed are they who 
suffer persecution for righteousness sake ! " Her death was 
a murder a downright butchery !* 

We must again quote Agnes Strickland, who enters into 
interesting details in regard to the trial and death of this 
venerable lady; it will be seen that Cromwell, who was 
mainly instrumental in bringing about her condemnation, 
suffered himself before her, in virtue of his own iniquitous 
law of attainder: 

" Cromwell produced in the house of lords, May 10, by Way of evidence 
against the countess, a vestment of white silk, that had been found in her 
wardrobe, embroidered in front with the arms of England, surrounded with 
a wreath of pansies and marigolds, and on the back the representation of the 
host, with the five wounds of our Lord, and the name of Jesus written in 
the midst. Cromwell persuaded the lords that this was a treasonable en 
sign ; and as the countess had corresponded with her absent son, she was 
for no other crime attainted of high treason, and condemned to death with 
out the privilege of being heard in her own defense.f The marchioness of 
Exeter was also attainted and condemned to death by the same illegal pro 
cess, in direct opposition to the laws of England. Both ladies were, mean 
time, confined in the Tower. 

" The lords, indeed, hesitated, for the case was without precedent ; but 
Cromwell sent for the judges to his own house, and asked them whether the 
parliament had a power to condemn persons accused without a hearing. 
The judges replied,! That it was a nice and dangerous question, for law and 
equity required that no one should be condemned unheard ; but the parlia 
ment being the highest court of the realm, its decisions could not be disputed. 
When Cromwell, by reporting this answer in the house, satisfied the peers 
that they had the power of committing a great iniquity if they chose to do 
so, they obliged the king by passing the bill, which established a precedent 
for all the other murders that were perpetrated in this reign of terror. As 
an awful instance of retributive justice, it is to be recorded, that Cromwell 
was himself the first person who was slain by the tremendous weapon of 

* See Pole s letter to the cardinal of Burgos, quoted by Lingard, vol. vi, 
p. 290, note. 

f Lingard ; Tytler ; Herbert ; Burnet ; Journals of Parliament. 
t Parliamentary History, vol. iii, p. 143-4; Rapin; Lingard; Herbert. 
VOL. n. 9 


despotism, with which, like a traitor to his country, he had furnished the 
most merciless tyrant that ever wore the English crown. 

" Exactly one month after this villany, Cromwell was arrested by the 
duke of Norfolk at the council-board, and sent to the Tower, by the com 
mand of the king, who, like a master-fiend, had waited till his slave had 
filled up the full measure of his guilt, before he executed his vengeance upon 


" She was the last of the Plantagenets, and, with a spirit not unworthy 
of her mighty ancestors, refused to submit to an unjust sentence by laying 
her head upon the block. So should traitors do, she said, but I am none, 
and if you will have my head, you must win it as you can. A scene of 
horror followed, which was concluded by the ruffian minister of Henry s 
vengeance dragging the aged princess by her hoary hair to the block, where 
he slovenly butchered her, and stained the scaffold from veins enriched with 
all the royal blood of England. " f 

4. Though among the monks of some of the greater monas 
teries, which were not yet suppressed, there was obtained by 
dint of threats and promises an appearance of acquiescence 
in the new state of things, there still remained many mem 
bers of the more rigid and secluded orders of the Carthu 
sians, Brigittins, and Franciscan Observants, who had spirit 
and conscience enough not to bow to the unlawful commands 
of the king. Upon such men as these, separated from and 
entirely above this world, the wily arts and the terrible 
menaces of Cromwell and his associates were thrown away. 
The answer of the noble Friar Peyto to Cronrwell who had 
threatened to inclose him and his associate Elstow in sacks and 
to cast them into the Thames is well known: "Threaten 
such things to the rich and dainty folk which are clothed in 
purple and fare deliciously. We esteem them not. We are 
joyful that for the discharge of our duty we are driven hence. 
With thanks to God, we know that the way to heaven is as 
short by water as by land, and therefore care not which way 
we go."! 

The three religious orders above named were then filled. 

* Queens of England, vol. iv, pp. 259, 260. 

f Ibid., p. 300 ; she quotes Acts of Privy Council, Hall, and G-uthrie. 

f Stowe, 543, apud Lingard, vol. vi, p. 218. 


according to Pole,* with the most strict and pious ecclesiastics 
in England ; and as it was found that most of them shared 
in the noble sentiments of Peyto and Elstow, they were driven 
by violence from their monasteries ; and the priors of the 
three great charter houses of London, also refusing from con 
scientious motives to take the oath of supremacy, were " sus 
pended, cut down alive, embowelled, and dismembered" as 
traitors, after having earnestly plead in vain for the consola 
tions of religion before their barbarous execution.! The jury 
had hesitated to convict men of so much acknowledged piety, 
and it required repeated threatening messages from the king, 
and even a personal visit from his vicar " general, to shake 
their righteous resolution, and to induce them to bring in a 
verdict of guilty.J Thank God, that amidst the general 
defection, there was some independence, some faith, and some 
manliness left in England, though those who dared possess 
these exalted qualities were almost sure to fall victims to the 
royal despotism. Besides those who perished on the scaffold, 
hundreds of the monks were thrust into the prisons, where 
many of them died of hardship and of cruel treatment. 

5. The new doctrine of the royal supremacy, to the exclu 
sion of the Pope, proved so repugnant to the general sense 
and feeling of the people, that it was everywhere viewed with 
distrust and astonishment. " To dispel these prejudices, 
Henry issued injunctions that the very name Pope should be 
carefully erased out of all books employed in the public wor 
ship ; that every school-master should diligently inculcate the 
new doctrine to the children intrusted to his care ; that all 
clergymen, from the bishop to the curate, should on every 
Sunday and holiday teach, that the king was the true head of 
the church, and that the authority hitherto exercised by the 
Popes was an usurpation, tamely submitted to by the care 
lessness or timidity of his predecessors ; and that the sheriffs 
in each county should keep a vigilant eye over the conduct 

* Pole, foL ciii, apud Lingard, vol. vi. \ Ibid. t Ibid., p. 220. 


of the clergy, and should report to the council the names not 
only of those who might neglect these duties, but also of those 
who might perform them indeed, but with coldness and indif 
ference."* J 

6. In his Constitutional History of England, Mr. Hallam 
furnishes the following estimate of Henry s increasing despo 
tism and blood-thirstiness, after he had severed England 
from the communion of the Catholic Church :f 

" But after the fall of Wolsey, and Henry s breach with the Koman See, 
his fierce temper, strengthened by habit and exasperated by resistance, de 
manded more constant supplies of blood ; and many perished by sentences 
which we can hardly prevent ourselves from considering as illegal, because 
the statutes to which they might be conformable, seem, from their temporary 
duration, their violence, and the passiveness of the parliaments that enacted 
them, rather like arbitrary invasions of the law than alterations of it. By an 
act of 1534, not only an oath was imposed to maintain the succession in the 
heirs of the king s second marriage, in exclusion of the princess Mary, but it 
was made high treason to deny that ecclesiastical supremacy of the crown, 
which, till about two years before, no one had ever ventured to assert. 
Bishop Fisher, the most inflexibly honest churchman who filled a high sta 
tion in that age, was beheaded for this denial. Sir Thomas More, whose 
name can ask no epithet, underwent a similar fate. He had offered to take 
the oath to maintain the succession, which, as he justly said, the legislature 
was competent to alter ; but prudently avoided to give an opinion as to the 
supremacy, till Rich, solicitor-general, and afterwards chancellor, elicited in 
a private conversation some expressions which were thought sufficient to 
bring him within the fangs of the recent statute. A considerable number of 
less distinguished persons, chiefly ecclesiastical, were afterwards executed in 
virtue of this statute. The sudden and harsh innovations made by Henry in 
religion, ... his destruction of venerable establishments, his tyranny over 
the recesses of the conscience, excited so dangerous a rebellion in the north 
of England, that his own general, the duke of Norfolk, thought it absolutely 
necessary to employ measures of conciliation."! 

* Lingard, vi, p. 216. He quotes the act of parliament and Wilkins, Cone. 

f P. 27 ; American Edition, sup. cit. 

I The Anglican bishop Short furnishes the following compendious state 
ment of the executions which occurred during Henry s reign, by his order: 

" Some urge two queens, one cardinal, (in procinctu at least in intention) 
for Pole was condemned though absent ; one or two dukes ; marquises, earls, and 


7. Towards the end of his reign the king became more and 
more morose and tyrannical, and more and more sensitive in 
this delicate matter of his spiritual supremacy ; and whosoever 
dared even whisper a doubt on the subject incurred imminent 
danger of meeting the doom of a traitor. The better to probe the 
minds of his subjects in reference to this new tenet of faith, 
a most minute, searching, and harassing system of espionage 
was organized throughout the kingdom, with Cromwell at its 
head, to inquire into the opinions and report to the king s 
council the careless words of the people of England, made use 
of in their most unguarded moments and when they were in 
the most confiding mood. From the most obscure laboring man 
up to the highest nobleman in the land, no man w&s safe ; 
his next neighbor might be a spy in the pay of the govern 
ment. The mutterings of old women, and the careless speeches 
of hostlers and grooms were alike reported. Mr. Froude gives 
us many curious examples of this in his recent History of 
England. We select two of these reports, as specimens of this 
vexatious system of tyranny. 

" A groom was dressing his master s horse when the hostler came in, and 
said there was no Pope, but a Bishop of Eome. And the groom said, he 
knew there was a Pope, and the hostler and they who held his part were 
strong heretics, and the hostler answered that the king s grace held of 
this opinion ; and the groom said that he was one heretic, and the king was 
another, and said moreover, that this business had never been, if the king 
had not married Anne Boleyn." * 

All honor to the noble independence of the honest groom, 
who no doubt spoke the general popular sentiment, how much 
soever he may have suffered for telling the truth ! The other 
example regards the abbot of Woburn Abbey : 

" In the spring of 1537, Woburn Abbey was in high confusion. The 
brethren were trimming to the times, anxious merely for secular habits, 
wines, and freedom. In the midst of them Robert Hobbes, the abbot, who 

earls sons, twelve ; barons and knights, eighteen ; abbotts, priors, monks, 
and priests, seventy-nine ; of the more common sort, between one religion 
and another, huge multitudes." (Hist, Ch. England, 227, note, p. 67.) 
* Quoted in Dublin Review, for July, 1858, p. 451. 


in the past year had accepted the oath of supremacy in a moment of weak 
ness, was lying worn down with sorrow, unable to endure the burden of 
his conscience. On Passion Sunday, dying, as it seemed of a broken heart, he 
called the fraternity to his side, and exhorted them to charity, and prayed 
them to be obedient to their vows. Hard eyes and mocking lips were all 
the answers of the monks of Woburn. Then, being in great agony, the ab 
bot arose from his bed, and cried out, and said: I would to God, that it 
would please Him to take me out of this wretched world, and I would I 
had died with the good men that have suffered death for holding with the 
Pope. Abbot Hobbes had his wish. Spiteful tongues carried his words to 
the council, and the law, remorseless as destiny, flung its meshes over him 
on the instant. He was swept up to London, and interrogated in the usual 
form, Was he the king s subject, or the Pope s? He stood to his faith 
like a man, and the scaffold swallowed him up." * 

The " law " indeed I And who made the law ? A remorse 
less king and a terror-stricken and subservient parliament. 
Mr. Froude can not defend the atrocious tyranny and unut 
terable cruelty of Henry in thus ferreting out and punishing 
with death men s secret thoughts and opinions, on the shallow 
plea that he had the law on his side, with such minions as 
Cranmer and Cromwell to execute its bloody enactments ; 
while such a man as Russell was looking eagerly on, waiting 
for the death of the abbot and the dissolution of the Abbey 
of Woburn, to pounce upon it and make it all his own.f 

Out upon a law which made men traitors to their country 
because they would not prove traitors to their God. Out 
upon a law, which thus threw a close network of espionage 
over all England, and made a once free people a nation of 
trembling slaves, and which, not content with enslaving the 
body, sought also to degrade and enslave the soul ! " The 
slightest whisper of sedition was considered as sedition ; and 
sedition was construed as treason. Nay, a statute passed 
making it a capital oifense for the hearer of aught seditious 
not to denounce the speaker ! The tyrant, conscious that the 
nation was disgusted with his impious assumption of suprem- 

* Quoted in Dublin Eeview ; ibid. 

f Lord John Russell still holds Woburn Abbey and its ample lands. 


acy, and yearned for the lost allegiance to Eome, set on foot 
by means of his minions, a detestable system of espionage, 
which made it almost as perilous to hear as to utter a word 
against his measures, which paralysed the voices of all but 
the few brave enough to die, making every man certain to 
feel that a whisper might betray him to death, and hushing 
the tongues of all into a terror-stricken silence, or moving 
them to a servile tone of adulation."* 

V. What was the character of the Reformation under 
Henry VIII., and under his successor Edward VI.? 

The answer to this is obvious. Those who, in the face of 
the facts so far stated, still maintain that the Anglican church 
reformed itself must be strangely forgetful of history, or con 
tent with a very slight foundation for their theory. During the 
first period of its existence as a separate organization, the 
Anglican church was just what Henry VIII. and his subser 
vient parliament chose to make it, neither more nor less. 
And the same may be said of its character during the subse 
quent period. Its standard of belief and practice varied with 
the ebb and flow of royal or parliamentary orthodoxy in each 
succeeding reign. Under Henry particularly, the bishops 
and the convocation of the clergy had only as much to do 
with deciding as to the shape which the new church was to 
assume, as the king chose to give them. This was about as 
much as the imperious master chooses to give to his trembling 
slaves, who are expected to hear and obey, nor to dare proffer 
advice as to what is best to be done without being first asked 
by their master ! 

Notwithstanding his defection from the Church, Henry was 
still attached to the ancient faith, and he decided to retain its 
principal articles, as well as the ancient worship. In 1536, 
he compiled, witli the assistance of his theologians, a book of 
" Articles, 5 which Cromwell presented for signature to the 

* Dublin Review ibid. 


convocation, and which the members, of course, subscribed 
without a word. These articles declare that a belief in the 
three ancient creeds, the Apostles , the Nicene, and the 
Athanasian, is necessary to salvation ; that the sacraments 
of baptism, penance, and the holy Eucharist are the ordinary 
means of salvation ; and that the use of Masses, the honoring 
and invoking of saints, and the usual ceremonies of the pub 
lie service "are highly profitable, and ought to be retained."* 
The lay vicar general accordingly issued his injunction to the 
bishops and clergy, requiring that these articles should be 
explained to the people, should be accepted by all and be 
reduced to practice. This was followed by a fuller exposition 
of doctrine, entitled, "The Godly and Pious Institution of 
the Christian Man," issued by the convocation on the com 
mand of the king. This document strongly denies the possi 
bility of salvation out of the Catholic Church ; and it incul 
cates slavish passive obedience to the king, in the same breath 
with which it denounces the papal supremacy.! 

A few years later, the famous Six Articles the Bloody 
Six, as Mr. Froude calls them were sanctioned by parlia 
ment, after having been first duly approved by the royal head 
of the church, who had selected themj in place of otheis 
presented by one section of the committee of convocation 
headed by Cranmer. They inculcated the real presence of 
Christ in the holy Eucharist, the sufficiency of communion 
under one kind, the celibacy of the clergy as obligatory by 
the divine law, the binding force of vows of chastity, the 
lawfulness of low Masses, and the obligation of auricular 
confession. The penalties annexed to the rejection or viola 
tion of these articles were terrible. Those who rejected the 
real presence were punished with death, without the privilege 
of abjuring; while the rejection of any of the other five 
articles was made a felony, with death for the second offense. 

* Wilkins Concil. iii, 804, apud Lingard, vol. vi, p. 272-3. f Ibid. 

| It is even probable that Henry composed them himself, at least in sub 
stance. See Lingard, vol. vi, p. 292, note. 


The last clause in the act is singular : that persons contempt 
uously refusing to confess at the usual times, or to receive the 
sacrament, shall for the first offense be fined and imprisoned, 
and for the second be adjudged felons, and suifer the punish 
ment of felony.* 

Cranmer did not believe in all, if in any, of these six 
articles ; in direct opposition to two of them, and in contra 
vention of his own solemn priestly vows, he had secretly mar 
ried a wife whom he still retained at his palace; yet he 
subscribed them all, and aided in their bloody execution. 
With his assistance, if not at his instigation, Catholics and 
Protestants were executed together ; the former perishing as 
traitors for denying the king s supremacy, and the latter 
being burned at the stake as heretics for rejecting either the 
real presence or some other article which the king and his 
parliament had chosen to adopt, as the faith of the new 
Anglican church for the time being. In one instance, three 
Catholics Powel, Abel, and Featherstone and three Prot 
estants Barnes, Garret, and Jerome were coupled two and 
two, Catholic and Protestant, on the same hurdles, and were 
thus led out to execution !f And if the bloody executions did 
not become more general, it was only because universal terror 
had stricken men with dumbness, and few dared even whis 
per dissent. Such was the emancipation of the mind, and 
the freedom of thought which the Reformation first gave to 
England ! 

In such a state of things, can we wonder that .the general 
popular discontent, so long kept down by a system of terror 
ism, should at length, like a smothered volcano, break out into 
open insurrection ? At one time in 1536, shortly after the 
suppression of the lesser monasteries the whole north of 
England rose in rebellion, while the south was kept down by 

* Statutes of Realm, iii, 739-741, apud Lingard, Ibid. 
f See Ibid, p. 309, and note. The Catholics were hanged and quartered 
as traitors, the Protestants burned as heretics. 


main force. " From the borders of Scotland to the Lune and 
Humber, the inhabitants had generally bound themselves by 
oath to stand by each other for the love which they bore to 
Almighty God, His faith, the holy Church, and the mainten 
ance thereof/ This formidable insurrection, called the " Pil 
grimage of Grace," was finally suppressed, partly by threats 
and violence, and partly by a general pardon, with the 
solemn promise of the king to the insurgents that their 
grievances should be speedily heard and discussed in a parlia 
ment to be assembled at York ; a promise which the king 
afterwards, however, violated without scruple.* 

The suppression of the northern insurrection was followed 
by that of the greater monasteries, which had hitherto been 
spared. A commission was appointed, under the presidency 
of the earl of Sussex, to examine into the conduct of the 
monks ; and as the commissioners made the inquiry with the 
express intention of suppressing these great houses, and of 
appropriating their lands and revenues to the king and to 
themselves, there could be from the very beginning but little 
doubt of its result. Guilty or innocent, the monks were to be 
expelled, because the king and his hungry lords wanted their 
property ! Thus, a most searching investigation was twice 
made into the conduct of the abbot and monks of Furness, but 
nothing was elicited to criminate them ; still the abbot was 
compelled by blandishments and menaces to relinquish the 
property to Henry by a regular deed, which his brethren also 
very reluctantly signed. And the same may be said of Whal- 
ley and other great monasteries in the north of England. 
When threats failed, bribery was tried, and finally open vio 
lence was used whenever it was found necessary. f So it 
happened that, by one unhallowed means or another, the 
whole vast property which the piety of ages had devoted to 
religion, to learning, and to charity, was swept away forever 
by sacrilegious avarice stimulating royal tyranny. 

* Lingard, p. 254, seqq. f See, for full details, ibid., vol. vi, p. 261, seqq. 



Henry died in 1547,* and lie was succeeded by Edward 
YL, his son by Jane Seymour, who was only in his ninth 
year. During his reign, which lasted for only six years, the 
leaders of the new religion had full scope. The terrors 
inspired by the iron will of Henry had ceased, and Cranmer, 
who occupied the principal place and wielded the most influ 
ence in the royal council, could now hope to mould to his 
own purposes the pliant disposition of the weak and sickly 
youth who nominally swayed the sceptre. He succeeded in 
this according to his utmost wishes. He controlled the spir 
itual, while the king s uncle, the Duke of Somerset, as lord 
protector, ruled the temporal administration. The Reforma 
tion had now a free and open field, and its leaders eagerly 
availed themselves of the golden opportunity. 

First, the older nobility, whose fortunes had been waning 
during the preceding reign, were now cast still more into the 
shade ; for a new set of hungry aspirants had their fortunes 
still to make. These new men looked with a greedy eye on 
the vast remaining property of the Church ; and to appease 
their avarice, many of the rich chantries, colleges, and free 
chapels which had escaped the rapacity of Henry, were now 
confiscated nominally for the king s, but really for their bene 
fit. Then the wily Cranmer proceeded to develop his real 
sentiments, before cautiously concealed, as to the nature and 

* Says Miss Strickland : 

"The will of Henry VIII. was as replete with seeds of strife for his 
subjects, as the capricious acts of his life had been. This monarch, who 
had, on the suppression of the monasteries, desecrated so many altars, and 
scattered the funds of so many mortuary chapels, and endowed chantries, in 
utter disregard of the intentions of the founders, whose very tombs were 
often violated, left, by his will, six hundred pounds per annum for Masses to 
be said for his soul ! He had likewise enjoined his executors to bring up his 
son in the Catholic faith ; by this he probably meant the cruel church of the 
six articles, which he had founded." Queens of England, v, 165. 


measure of the Reformation to be established. The successive 
steps of his progress in reform are sufficiently curious. 

1. He humbly petitioned the crown to be restored to the 
episcopal jurisdiction, which, according to his favorite theory, 
had wholly ceased with the death of the late king ; and most 
of the other bishops followed his obsequious example. 

2. Through his influence, a visitation of all the dioceses of 
the realm was ordered, the visitors to be composed of laymen 
and clergymen, and during its continuance the jurisdiction 
of the ordinaries was to be suspended. 

3. He composed the book of Homilies, and ordered every 
clerical incumbent of a church living to possess and use 
Erasmus paraphrase of the New Testament. 

4. The Mass was retained, for the present, until some better 
order of service could be devised. 

5. The celibacy of the clergy was first attacked and then 
abolished by act of parlrament , and by the same authority 
communion under both kinds was enjoined, with some excep 

6. In conformity with his well known opinion and practice, 
the parliament solemnly declared that all jurisdiction, both 
spiritual and temporal, is derived entirely from the king, and 
hence the election of bishops was withdrawn from the dean 
and chapters and vested wholly in the crown ; and the bishops, 
of course, became mere state officials.* 

7. A year later, the Book of Common Prayer was com 
pleted, and it was adopted by parliament in 1549, as having 
been dictated u by the aid of the Holy Ghost, with one uniform 
agreement," and as obligatory, instead of the Mass, through 
out the kingdom, under the usual pains and penalties for non- 
con formity.f 

8. Finally, the articles of religion, originally forty-two in 
number, were prepared by Cranmer and his colleagues, and 

* Stat. of Realm iv, 2. Apud Lingard, vol. vii, p. 24, seqq. 
t For an account of the Book of Common Prayer, and of its various chan 
ges, see note A. at the end of the present volume. 


adopted by the youthful king, who a short time before his 
death, ordered them to be subscribed by all clergymen pos 
sessed of benefices. 

This headlong career of innovation, so speedily entered 
upon and so eagerly pursued by Cranmer, in total opposition 
to the sentiments which he had so recently avowed, and for 
which he had so lately aided in sending much better men than 
himself to the scaffold or to the stake, did not meet with gen 
eral approbation. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, would not 
consent to the change, and he even boldly accused Cranmer 
of insincerity and duplicity, in so soon abandoning the belief 
which he had avowed during the reign of Henry. He wrote 
to the vacillating prelate as follows : 

"Which if had been so" (if the doctrine hi Henry the eighth s book had 
been erroneous) " I ought to think your grace would not, for all princes 
christened, being so high a bishop as ye be, have yielded unto. For obedire 
oportet Deo magis quam hominibus. (It is better to obey God than men.) 
And therefore, after your grace hath four years continually lived in agree 
ment of that doctrine, under our late sovereign lord, now so suddenly after 
death to write to me that his highness was seduced, it is, I assure you, a 
very strange speech."* 

It was difficult to answer such an argument, and danger 
ous to deal with so able an adversary. Accordingly, Gardiner 
was silenced by being sent to the Tower, where he remained 
closely confined till the death of Edward, and the succession 
of Mary. Others who had the boldness to judge for them 
selves, and to dissent from Cranmer, encountered an even 
sterner fate. Commissions were repeatedly issued by the 
royal council, appointing Cranmer and " several other prelates, 
and certain distinguished divines and civilians, inquisitors of 
heretical pravity."f The inquisitors apprehended and brought 
to trial many persons, both Protestant and Catholic. 

Among the former, was a poor, weak-minded fanatic Joan 
Bocher ; a woman who had deserved well of the Keformation 

* Strype s Cranmer. App., p. 74. See Lingurd, vol. vii, p. 20, note. 
f Ibid., p. 72. 


by her previous zeal in the cause of the new doctrines. Yet 
she was condemned to be burned as a heretic, and was ac 
cordingly so executed a year later in May, 1550. The reason 
of the delay was the reluctance of Edward to sign the death- 
warrant. The boy-king felt a scruple about sending the poor 
woman unprepared to the judgment seat of God, and thereby 
endangering her eternal salvation. It required all Cran- 
mers eloquence to overcome the reluctance of the youthful 
monarch, and to harden his tender heart against the cry of 
pity ; but he succeeded at length in securing this result.* 

The archbishop seems to have had some personal feelings 
in the matter ; for at her trial and after her condemnation, 
Joan had twitted him and his colleagues with their inconsist 
ency and duplicity, in the following energetic strain : "It is a 
goodly matter to consider your ignorance. It was not long 
ago that you burned Anne Askew for a piece of bread, (deny 
ing the real presence) and yet came yourselves soon after 
wards to believe and profess the same doctrine for which you 
burned her ; and now, forsooth, you will needs burn me for 
a piece of flesh,f and in the end will come to believe this also, 
when you have read the Scriptures, and understand them. ? J 
Such an argument as this could not well be answered but 
by the stake, the sight of which, however, did not change in 
the least, much less convert poor Joan. She cried out to the 

* Speaking of Edward yi. and Cranmer, in this connection, Hallam says : 
" Yet in one memorable instance he had shown a milder spirit, straggling 
against Cranmer to save a fanatical woman from the punishment of heresy. 
This is a stain upon Cranmer s memory, which nothing but his own death 
could have lightened ! (obliterated ? ") Constit. Hist. p. 64, sup. cit. 

f This determined Protestant female theologian persisted to the last in 
maintaining, that "Christ did not take flesh of the outward man of the 
Virgin, because the outward man was conceived in sin, but by the consent 
of the inward man which was undefiled." What she really meant by this 
jargon, it were hard to say; but at any rate she was but following her own 
clearly guarantied right of private judgment, and was certainly far better than 
those who burned her. 

1 Ibid. p. 73. Wilkins Concil., vol. iv, p. 39-42. 


preacher Dr. Scorey, who accompanied her to execution and 
sought to convert her from her heresy, that "he lied like a 
rogue, and had better go home and study the scripture."* 
And so she perished ; one out of a thousand evidences which 
history presents, to show how far the right of private judg 
ment was guarantied even to Protestants by the Reformation ! 

How very hard-hearted and cruel the English nation was 
fast becoming, or had already to a great extent become, under 
the influence of the Reformation, may be inferred from a most 
barbarous and unchristian act passed by the first parliament 
which was assembled under Edward VI. We refer to the 
cruel law against mendicants ; a class that had been formerly 
charitably fed at the gates of the monasteries, but now, since 
the suppression of these benevolent establishments, wandered 
in hungry crowds over the country. 

To abate this nuisance, as it was considered, the parliament 
enacted, that " whosoever lived idly and loiteringly for the 
space of three days, 5 came under the description of a vagabond, 
and was liable to the following punishment. Two justices of 
the peace might order the letter V. to be burnt on his breast, 
and adjudge him to serve the informer two years, as his slave. 
His master was bound to provide him with bread, water, and 
refuse meat ; might fix an iron ring round his neck, arm. or 
leg, and was authorized to compel him to labor at any work, 
however vile it might be, by beating, chaining, or otherwise. 
If the slave absented himself a fortnight, the letter S. was 
burnt on his cheek or forehead, and he became a slave for 
life ; and if he offended a second time in like manner, his 
flight subjected him to the penalties of felony ."j- 

This barbarous statute remained in force for two years, du 
ring the first fervor of Cranmer s Reformation ! 

No wonder the English people sighed for the good old 
Catholic times, when charity was cultivated as a virtue, and 
poverty was deemed no crime, but a misfortune to awaken 

* Wilkins, Con. iv, 39-42. f Stat of Realm, iv, 5 Apud Ling., vii, 24-5. 


compassion and elicit free and bountiful relief. No wonder the 
people all cried out for the restoration of the monasteries, 
which had for long centuries afforded so great and so general 
a relief to popular indigence and afflictions, both spiritual and 
corporal. No wonder they cried out, in their honest indigna 
tion, against the rapacity and hard-heartedness of the sacrile 
gious harpies, who, under pretense of reforming God s Church, 
had seized by violence upon these time-honored and sacred 
nurseries of religion and learning and ever-flowing fountains 
of charity. No wonder that the popular patience was com 
pletely exhausted, when the last indignity was attempted to 
be put upon them by force the total abolition of the holy 
Mass, and the substitution therefor of the cold and chilling 
service of the Common Prayer Book. 

The people rose in vast masses throughout the kingdom ; 
the insurrections under Henry were as nothing compared to 
those which now broke out under Edward. But unfortunately, 
though they had sufficient numbers, they had no sufficient or 
ganization and no able leaders. They were put down in detail, 
and butchered in immense numbers by the aid of foreign 
German and Italian troops! Butchery by foreign swords and 
bayonets, was followed by wholesale executions under native 
judges ; and it is estimated that the battle-field and the scaffold 
together swallowed up no less than four thousand victims! 
Martial law was proclaimed, and its sudden and awful awards 
were executed without remorse or scruple by the new lords 
Russell and Grey, who were greatly interested in establishing 
the new order of things, as their titles were new, and based 
solely on the sacrilegious spoliation of the Church. 

Against the foreign soldiery led by such men, vain were 
the efforts of the popular leader Ket the tanner of the 
county of Norfolk who, in the name of the " common 
people," issued his proclamation to this effect: that he waged 
war, for the ancient liberties of England, against the new 
lords who sought to change the established order, " who con 
founded things sacred and profane, and regarded nothing but 


the enriching of themselves with the public treasure, that 
they might riot in it during the public calamity." 

The friends of the ancient order of things were put down 
by the strong arm of the government, which, in this instance, 
employed for the purpose foreign bayonets and lances ; and 
the voice of the poor was smothered by the violence of the 
rich rich precisely because they had robbed the Church, and 
thereby left the poor without resource. 

That the bulk of the English people were totally opposed 
to the change of religion, especially under Henry VIII. and 
Edward VI., and that the change was forced on them by 
foreign bayonets, is freely admitted by Mr. Hallam; who, 
after saying that in the towns many were favorable to the 
new opinions, writes as follows :* 

" But the common people, especially in remote counties, had been used to 
an implicit reverence for the Holy See, and had suffered comparatively little 
by its impositions (!). They looked up also to their own teachers, as guides 
in faith ; and the main body of the clergy were certainly very reluctant to 
tear themselves, at the pleasure of a disappointed monarch, in the most 
dangerous crisis of religion, from the bosom of Catholic unity. They com 
plied indeed with all the measures of government far more than men of 
rigid conscience could have endured to do ; but many, who wanted the 
courage of More and Fisher, were not far removed from their way of 

Again : 

11 But an historian (Burnet,) whose bias was certainly not unfavorable to 
Protestantism, confesses that all endeavors were too weak to overcome the 
aversion of the people toward reformation, and even intimates that German 
troops were sent for from Calais, on account of the bigotry (!) with which the 
bulk of the nation adhered to the old superstition (!). This is a somewhat 


* Constit. History of England, p. 49. 

f Ibid., p. 62. He quotes Burnet (vol. iii, pp. 190, 196 ;) and adds this 
testimony of the unscrupulous lord Paget from Strype, (vol. ii, Appendix, 
H. H.:) " The use of the old religion is forbidden by a law, and the use of 
the new is not yet printed in the stomachs of eleven out of twelve parts of 
the realm, whatever countenance men may make outwardly, to please them 
VOL. n. 10 


The state of morals which ensued in England, in conse 
quence of all this native and foreign violence to force upon 
the people -the recent innovations in religion, was truly de 
plorable. Divorces were granted with the greatest facility. 
The founder of the Anglican church had set a brilliant ex 
ample in this respect, and the determined opposition thereto 
of the hated Roman Pontiff was rather a recommendation 
than an impediment. 

"Nor were the national morals improved, if we may judge from the por 
traits drawn by the most eminent of the reformed preachers. They assert 
that the sufferings of the indigent were viewed with indifference by the 
hard-heartedness of the rich ; that in the pursuit of gain, the most barefaced 
frauds were avowed and justified; that robbers and murderers escaped 
punishment by the partiality of juries ; that church-livings were given to 
laymen, or converted to the use of the patrons ; that marriages were repeat 
edly dissolved by private authority ; and that the haunts of prostitution 
were multiplied beyond measure. How far credit should be given to such 
representations, may perhaps be doubtful. Declamations from the pulpit 
are not the best historical evidence. Much in them must be attributed to 
the exaggeration of zeal, much to the affectation of eloquence. Still when 
these deductions have been made, when the invectives of Knox and Lever, 
of Gilpin and Latimer, have been reduced by the standard of reason and 
experience, enough will remain to justify the conclusion, that the change of 
religious polity, by removing many of the former restraints upon vice, and 
enervating the authority of the spiritual courts, had given a bolder front to 
licentiousness, and opened a wider scope to the indulgence of criminal 

As the suppression of the monasteries, and the partition of 
their property and revenues among the hungry courtiers of 
Henry VIII. and Edward VI., were among the principal, if 
not the principal means by which the change of religion in 
England was successfully accomplished; and as this spolia- 

in whom they see the power resteth." Du Bellay, the French ambassador, 
had written, as early as 1528, that a revolt was expected on account of the 
unpopularity of the divorce. Ibid., p. 49. 

* Lingard, vol. vii, p. 107-8. He refers to Strype, as having collected 
several passages from the invectives of the early reformed preachers on this 


tion did more, perhaps, than any thing else to shape the 
destinies of the English Reformation and the subsequent poli 
tical policy of England ; we can not probably better close 
this chapter, than by endeavoring to present a condensed 
analysis of what a very competent, and certainly an unex 
ceptionable witness the author of the Constitutional History 
of England says upon this subject, which he examines at 
considerable length, and in many of its bearings. Mr. Hal- 
lam says : 

" This summary spoliation led to the great northern rebellion soon after 
wards. It was, in fact, not merely to wound the peoples strongest impres 
sions of religion, and especially those connected with their departed friends, 
for whose souls prayers were offered in the monasteries, but to deprive the 
indigent, in many places, of succor, and the better rank of hospitable recep 
tion. This, of course, was experienced in a far greater degree at the dis 
solution of the larger monasteries, which took place in 1540." * 

The confiscation of monastic and church property was, 
moreover, a stroke of policy no less adroit than it was un 
principled. It would appear, that the same Cromwell, who 
had so cunningly suggested the bringing of the clergy under 
the operation of the terrible prsemunire in order to frighten 
them into acquiescence in the king s views, also suggested 
this iniquitous measure of seizing on the property and reve 
nues of the venerable monastic establishments. Says Hallam : 

" It has been surmised that Cromwell, in his desire to promote the Refor- 
mation, advised the king to make this partition of abbey lands among the 
nobles and gentry, either by grant, or by sale on easy terms, that, being thus 
bound by the sure ties of private interest, they might always oppose any 
return towards the dominion of Rome. In Mary s reign accordingly, her 
parliament, so obsequious in all matters of religion, adhered with a firm 
grasp to the possession of church lands ; nor could the papal supremacy be 
re-established until a sanction was given to their enjoyment. And we as 
cribe part of the zeal of the same class in bringing back and preserving the 
reformed church under Elizabeth to a similar motive ; not that these gentle 
men were hypocritical pretenders to a belief they did not entertain, but that 
according to the general laws of human nature, they gave a readier reception 
to truths which made their estates more secure." f 

* Constit. Hist., p. 51. f Ibid., p. 55. 


Most of the present aristocratic families of England owe the 
foundation of their princely fortunes to the suppression of the 
monasteries, and to the share which their ancestors received 
in the sacrilegious spoliation of the same : 

" Those families indeed, within or without the bounds of the peerage, 
which are now deemed the most considerable, will be found, with no great 
number of exceptions, to have first become conspicuous under the Tudor 
line of kings, and if we could trace the titles of their estates, to have ac 
quired no small portion of them, mediately or immediately, from monastic 
or other ecclesiastical foundations."* 

The suppression of the monasteries was a measure of state 
policy under another point of view : 

" The fall of the initred abbots changed the proportions of the two estates 
which constitute the upper house of parliament. Though the number of 
abbots and priors to whom the writs of summons were directed varied con 
siderably in different parliaments, they always, joined to the twenty-one 
bishops, preponderated over the temporal peers. It was no longer possible 
for the prelacy to offer an efficacious opposition to the reformation they ab 
horred. Their own baronial tenure, their high dignity as legislative counsel 
ors of the land, remained ; but one branch, as ancient and venerable as their 
own thus lopped off, the spiritual aristocracy was reduced to play a very second 
ary part in the councils of the nation. Nor could the Protestant religion 
have easily been established by legal methods under Edward and Elizabeth, 
without this previous destruction of the monasteries."! 

Mr. Hallam admits, that many enlightened and just-minded 
Protestants have always been and are still strongly opposed 
to the sacrilegious destruction of the monasteries ; though he 
thinks they are not consistent with their faith in their reason 
ing on the subject : 

" Those who, professing an attachment to that religion (Protestant,) have 
swollen the clamor of its adversaries against the dissolution of foundations 
that existed only for the sake of a different faith and worship, seem to me not 

* Constit. Hist. p. 55. Hallam makes a feeble attempt to show that this sac 
rilegious spoliation of the monastic establishments was ultimately beneficial to 
the nation. Its chief, if not only benefit certainly accrued to the families of the 
new nobility and gentry, not to the people ; and if the former constituted the 
nation, he is in so far right, not otherwise. 

f Ibid, p. 52. 


very consistent or enlightened reasoners. In some, the love of antiquity 
produces a sort of fanciful illusion ; and the sight of those buildings, so 
magnificent in their prosperous hour, so beautiful even in their present ruin, 
begets a sympathy for those who founded and inhabited them. In many, 
the violent courses of confiscation and attainder which accompanied the 
great revolution excite so just an indignation, that they either forget to ask 
whether the end might not have been reached by more laudable means, or 
condemn the end itself either as sacrilege, or at least as an atrocious viola 
tion of the rights of property. Others again, who acknowledge that the 
monastic discipline can not be reconciled with the modern system of religion, 
or with public utility, lament only that these ample endowments were not 
bestowed upon ecclesiastical corporations, freed from the monkish cowl, but 
still belonging to that spiritual profession to whose use they were originally 
consecrated. And it was a very natural theme of complaint at the time, that 
such abundant revenues as might have sustained the dignity of the crown, 
and supplied the means of public defense without burdening the subject, 
had served little other purpose than that of swelling the fortunes of 
rapacious courtiers, and had left the king as necessitous and craving as 

Though Hallam labors to prove that the poor laws of 
England did not, at least necessarily, grow out of the sup 
pression of the monasteries, yet the facts he alleges would 
go far towards proving that such was precisely their origin. 
At any rate, there is a remarkable coincidence in point of 
time between the vast multiplication of the destitute poor and 
the consequent laws for their relief, and the closing of the 
monastic establishments which had so long munificently aided 
in feeding and clothing them. There were no poor laws in the 
Catholic times ; they became indispensable, and were multi 
plied to an alarming and burdensome extent, immediately 
after the rise of the English Eeformation. These two facts 
are undeniable. The first parliamentary act for the relief of 
the indigent poor was passed in 1535, the 27th of Henry 
VIII. ; others followed under Edward VI. and Elizabeth; 

* Constit. Hist., p. 55-6. This single fact, which is fully admitted, goes far 
towards overthrowing the entire theory of Hallam about the " public utility " 
accruing from the high-handed confiscation of the monastic property. To 
say nothing of the sacrilege, the injustice of the proceeding, as well as its 
motive, was atrocious. 


until the system grew into the enormous proportions which it 
has since maintained.* 

Finally, there is not the slightest doubt that the Reforma 
tion, chiefly through the additional patronage growing out 
of the suppression of the monasteries, greatly increased the 
prerogative of the crown, to the proportionate detriment 
of popular liberty. The nobles became sycophants and the 
people slaves. This is not denied by Mr. Hallam, who 
writes : 

" Nor were the nobles of this age more held in subjection by terror than 
by the still baser influences of gain. Our law of forfeiture was well devised 
to stimulate as well as to deter ; and Henry VIII. better pleased to slaugh 
ter the prey than to gorge himself with the carcass, distributed the spoils it 
brought him among those who helped him in the chase. The dissolution 
of the monasteries opened a more abundant source of munificence ; every 
courtier, every peer, looked for an increase of wealth from grants of eccle 
siastical estates, and naturally thought that the king s favor would be most 
readily gained by an implicit conformity to his will. Nothing, however, 
seems more to have sustained the arbitrary rule of Henry VIII., than the 
jealousy of the two religious parties formed in his time, and who for all the 
latter years of his life were maintaining a doubtful and emulous contest for 
his favor."f 

Such, then, was the character of the Anglican Reforma 
tion, as first introduced by Henry YIIL, and as subsequently 
developed by Cranmer and his colleagues under his youthful 
successor Edward VI. Such were the means by which it was 
forced on a reluctant people. The three great concupiscences, 
which according to the inspired apostle, govern the world, 
had certainly more to do with the religious changes thus 
introduced than any sincere desire for reformation in doctrine 
or morals. " The concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence 
of the eyes, and the pride of life," were manifestly the ani 
mating principles of the Reformation in England. Had these 
fearful passions been wanting, or been properly governed, there 
would most certainly have been either no Reformation at 
all in England, or surely not such a one as was actually 

* See Constit. Hist., p. 55-6. f See Ibid. 


accomplished. As Macaulaj caustically remarks, speaking 
of the Anglican Keformation :* 

" Here zeal was the tool of worldliness. A king, whose character may 
be best described by saying that he was despotism itself personified, un 
principled ministers, a rapacious aristocracy, a servile parliament such were 
the instruments by which England was delivered from the yoke of Rome. 
The work which had been begun by Henry, the murderer of his wives, was 
continued by Somerset, the murderer of his brother, and completed by 
Elizabeth, the murderer of her guest. Sprung from brutal passion, nurtured 
by selfish policy, the Reformation in England displayed little of what had 
in other countries distinguished it." 

A very prejudiced Protestant historian Mackintosh 
furnishes the following estimate of Henry VIII., the chief 
actor in the first part of the Reformation drama in England : 

" Had he died in the twentieth year of his reign, his name might have 
come down to us as that of a festive and martial prince, with much of the 
applause which is lavished on gayety and enterprise, and of which some 
fragments, preserved in the tradition of the people, too long served to screen 
the misrule of his latter years from historical justice. In the divorce of his 
inoffensive wife, the disregard of honor, of gratitude, of the ties of long 
union, of the sentiments which grow out of the common habitudes of domestic 
union, and which restrain the greatest number of imperfect husbands from 
open outrage, threw a deeper stain over the period employed in negotiating 

and effecting that unjustifiable and unmanly separation The execution 

of More marks the moment of the transition of his government from jovial 
ity and parade to a species of atrocity which distinguishes it from, and per 
haps above, any other European tyranny He is the only prince of 

modern times who carried judicial murder into his bed, and imbrued his 
hands in the blood of those whom he had caressed. Perhaps no other mon 
arch, since the emancipation of women from polygamy, put to death two 
wives on the scaffold for infidelity, divorced another, whom he owned to 
be a faultless woman, after twenty-four years of wedded friendship, and 
rejected a fourth without imputing blame to her, from the first impulse of 
personal disgusff 

* Miscellan., p. 71. Review of Hallam s Constit. Hist. 

t Mackintosh, History of England, p. 237-8. American Edit. 




What Mary and Elizabeth did Macaulay s testimony Current opinion 
What we propose to establish Mary s accession Conspiracy and rebel 
lion The reformed preachers The popular enthusiasm Mary resolves 
to restore the ancient religion Her constant devotion to it Eidley s at 
tempt to convert her Steps by which the restoration was accomplished 
Deprived Catholic bishops re-instated The acts of Edward VI. on 
religion repealed A compromise with the Holy See concerning church 
property The old Church restored Solemn scene Cardinal Pole His 
address Chancellor Gardiner s last speech and death The queen s noble 
disinterestedness The spoilers retain their prey " Bloody Mary " The 
persecution The principle of intolerance generally avowed and acted on 
by early Protestants The " original sin " of the Ke formation Hallam 
and Miss Strickland Number of victims Causes which provoked the 
persecution Political motives and action Insurrections and rebellions 
Mary not naturally cruel Proofs of her clemency Her merciful treat 
ment of Elizabeth Contrasted with the latter s treatment of Mary of 
Scots Candid testimony of Agnes Strickland Mary restored the British 
Constitution together with Catholicity Mary s merciful treatment of 
Cranmer The career of this man dissected His seven recantations 
His death Macaulay s portraiture Other provocations and palliating cir 
cumstances Bonner and Gardiner And other Catholic bishops Miss 
Strickland s theory on the persecution Cardinal Pole Mary s difficulty 
with the Pope Bishop Short s estimate of Mary. 

MAKY restored, Elizabeth again destroyed the Catholic 
Church in England. To attain their respective ends, both 
resorted to measures of severity ; the former for more than 
three years, the latter during the more than forty-four years 
of her protracted reign. But history, as it has been generally 
written since the Keformation, has presented very different, 
in fact, opposite portraitures of the two sister queens. Mary 
haa been usually painted in the most odious colors, and her 


name has been handed down to the execration of posterity 
with the epithet bloody attached to it ; while Elizabeth has 
been extravagantly praised as the model queen, if not as the 
model woman of English history. 

The motives which have led to this relative estimate are 
very apparent. Elizabeth may be viewed as the real found 
ress of the church of England, as it now exists. Her long 
and vigorous administration consolidated the new order of 
things, and amply secured the new possessors in their titles 
to the church property, which had been confiscated during 
the two reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. Hence it 
was obviously the interest of all those who adhered to the 
new Anglican church, and more especially of that very large 
number of Englishmen who had been enriched by the change 
in religion, to make every effort to exalt Elizabeth, and to 
blacken Mary. The sacrilegious spoilers and their descend 
ants, as well as their numerous dependent aiders and abettors, 
judged rightly, that such a course would answer the double 
purpose of justifying themselves in public opinion, and of 
rendering more stable the immense fortunes which they had 
amassed by the religious revolution.* 

* In his He view of Nares Memoirs of Lord Burghley (Miscellaneous 
Essays, American Edition, p. 174,) Macaulay writes as follows of the Angli 
can Reformation : 

The history of the Reformation in England is full of strange problems. 
The most prominent and extraordinary phenomenon which it presents to 
us, is the gigantic strength of the government contrasted with the feebleness 
of the religious parties. During the twelve or thirteen years which followed 
the death of Henry VIII., the religion of the state was thrice changed. 
Protestantism was established by Edward ; the Catholic Church was restored 
by Mary ; Protestantism was again established by Elizabeth. The faith of 
the nation seemed to depend on the personal inclinations of the sovereign. 
Nor was this all. An established church was then, as a matter of course, 
a persecuting church. Edward persecuted Catholics. Mary persecuted 
Protestants. Elizabeth persecuted Catholics again. The father of those 
three sovereigns had enjoyed the pleasure of persecuting both sects at once ; 
and had sent to death on the same hurdle, the heretic who denied the real 
presence, and the traitor (!) who denied the royal supremacy." 

VOL. IT. 11 


We propose to examine the soundness of this verdict so 
generally rendered by English Protestant history ; and to do 
so with some order, we will inquire in successive chapters ; 
firstly, under what circumstances and in what way Mary 
restored the Catholic religion in England; secondly, how 
Elizabeth subverted it, and what was the character of the 
new Anglican system which she substituted in its place ; and 
thirdly, we will briefly compare the character and acts of 
these two queens. 

Under these three heads, we shall range whatever our pur 
pose and scope may seem to require us to state or establish in 
regard to the religious events and changes which occurred 
during these two important reigns. Our present chapter will 
be devoted to the reign of Mary. 

Mary came to the throne in the midst of political commotion 
and of threatened revolution. The ambitious Northumber 
land, who had succeeded the fallen Somerset as lord Pro 
tector of the realm, had, in conjunction with the royal coun 
cil, deliberately but secretly organized a conspiracy to set her 
aside, and to place on the throne her cousin, the youthful Lady 
Jane Gray. Cranmer, a leading and most influential member 
of the council, yielded his powerful co-operation towards con 
cocting and carrying out this nefarious scheme. 

Edward VI. died July 6, 1553 ; but his death was kept 
secret, in order to enable the conspirators to carry out their 
design, before the people could have time to rise and organize 
in defense of the rightful heiress. An essential part of the 
plan was to seize on Mary, and imprison, perhaps even make 
way with her, before the death of Edward should be publicly 
known. This design was luckily frustrated. The earl of 
Arundel, a member of the council, thought himself bound in 
loyalty to give Mary timely warning of the impending danger ; 
and accordingly, on the very night of Edward s death, she 
hastily escaped on horseback, and rode to Kenninghall in 
Norfolk.. She fled not too soon ; for that very night she 
would have been seized and lodged in the tower. 


The conspirators, though thus sadly disappointed and baulked 
of their purpose, had gone too Jfar to recede. They hastened 
the denouement as rapidly as possible. They determined to 
make the contemplated political revolution a matter of re 
ligion. For this purpose, they earnestly invoked the aid of 
the reformed preachers to stir up popular prejudice, and from 
their pulpits to arouse the people to a sense of the threatened 
danger to their liberties and property, if Mary should ascend 
the throne and the Catholic religion be restored. The preachers 
responded to the call with willing alacrity. Cranmer led the 
way and threw the whole weight of his powerful influence, 
and of his versatile talents and skill in the management of 
business, into the scale of the new line of succession. Ridley 
preached a strong sermon, full of bitter invectives against 
Mary, and of denunciation of " Popery," at St. Paul s cross ; 
while La timer entered the lists in his own more coarse and 
impassioned style of oratory, well calculated to awaken the 
prejudices and to excite the passions of the more ignorant 
among the populace. 

But the attempt to create popular excitement, by combining 
disloyalty and rebellion with the new religion, signally failed. 
The loyalty of the people was still too deeply rooted ; the 
memory of the virtuous and ill-treated Catharine was still too 
fresh ; and the public sympathy for the virtuous mother des 
cended too warmly to the scarcely less aggrieved daughter, 
to allow any general or deep popular feeling to be aroused 
against her, or awakened in favor of her rival. The burning 
words of Ridley and Latimer made but little impression on 
the minds or hearts of their hearers ; and when Mary unfurled 
her banner, the population rose in mass and bore her in 
triumph to the throne, while the armies of her enemies, till 
lately so formidable, melted away at her approach. The 
people were heartily tired of the perpetual changes in reli 
gion, as well as of the storms and insurrections, of the rob 
beries and butcheries, which had accompanied or followed 
each successive religious innovation. They sought repose, 


and they hoped to obtain it under the daughter of the venera 
ted and beloved Catharine of Arragon. 

On ascending the throne, the first and dearest object of 
Mary s heart was naturally the re-establishment of the Catho 
lic religion. This religion was closely associated in her mind 
with the memory and sufferings of her noble mother; it had 
been her chief solace and support during the vicissitudes, an 
noyances, and troubles which had marked her lonely life since 
her mother s death. When all other resources for comfort had 
failed her, she had stood firmly by this, and had courageously 
withstood every menace and resisted every attempt to tear 
this jewel of faith from her heart. Her health might, and it 
did suffer, and became enfeebled under the harassing annoy 
ances to which she was continually exposed ; her faith could 
never be impaired. * 

* Mary had been frequently annoyed on the subject of religion during the 
reign of her father, and more particularly during that of her youthful brother. 
On one occasion Ridley visited her in her retirement, with a view to bring 
about her conversion to the new doctrines. The account of the interview, as 
given by Lingard from Foxe, (vol. vii, note A.) is curious and interesting ; as 
showing, on the one hand, the courteous and dignified firmness of Mary, 
and, on the other, the rude zeal and overweening self-righteousness of the 
preacher : 

" Ridley waited on Mary, Sept. 2, 1552, and was courteously received. 
After dinner, he offered to preach before her in the church. She begged him 
to make the answer himself. He urged her again ; she replied, that he might 
preach, but neither she, nor any of hers, would hear him. 

" Ridley. Madam, I trust you will not refuse God s word. 

" Mary. I can not tell you what you call God s word. That is not God s 
word now, which was God s word during my father s time. 

" Ridley. God s word is all one in all times ; but is better understood and 
practiced in some ages than in others. 

" Mary. You durst not for your ears have preached that for God s word in 
my father s time, which you do now. As for your new books, thank God, 
I never read them. I never did, nor ever will do. 

" Soon afterwards she dismissed him with these words : My lord, for your 
gentleness to come and see me, I thank you ; but, for your offer to preach be 
fore me, I thank you not. As he retired, he drank according to custom 


Yet in bringing about the change which was nearest to her 
heart, she proceeded slowly and cautiously, in accordance with 
the advice of her cousin, the emperor Charles V., whom she 
had thought proper to consult on a subject of so much import 
ance. She decided to do nothing without the advice of her 
council and the full concurrence of her parliament. We will 
furnish a brief summary of the successive steps by which she 
accomplished her object.* 

1. While she issued no order for the restoration of the 
ancient religion, she proclaimed that she had a clear right to 
worship God within her own palace according to the dictates 
of her conscience, and she made no secret of the gratification 
which the imitation of her example by others would afford 
her, as the faith of her fathers was very dear to her heart. 

2. According to the award made by a new court of dele 
gates, the Catholic bishops who had been forcibly deprived 

with Sir Thomas Wharton, the steward of her household, but suddenly his 
conscience smote him. Surely, he exclaimed, I have done wrong. I have 
drunk in that house in which God s word hath been refused. I ought, if I 
had done my duty, to have shaken the dust off my shoes for a testimony 
against this house. " Foxe, ii, 131. 

* How very sincere and earnest Mary was in clinging to her faith, and 
how ready she was to sacrifice every thing, even life itself for its preserva 
tion, will appear still further from her conference on the subject with her bro 
ther King Edward VI., the particulars of which Miss Strickland has published: 

" Succeeding years have drawn the veil from the two hour s conference, 
which was Mary s concern at court, rather than the goodly banquet. The 
lady Mary, my sister, says young Edward, in his journal, came to me at 
Westminster, where, after salutations, she was called with my council into a 
chamber, where was declared how long I had suffered her Mass against my 
will, in the hope of her reconciliation, and how (now being no hope, which I 
perceived by her letters,) except I saw some short amendment, I could not 
bear it. He told her, moreover, ! she was to obey as a subject, not rule as a 
sovereign. She answered, that her soul was God s, and her faith she would 
not change, nor dissemble her opinion with contrary words/ She likewise 
offered to lay her head on the block in testimony of the same. To which 
it appears the young king answered with some tender and generous words." 
Queens of England, v. 174. 


during the last reign, and some of whom had been imprisoned, 
were restored to their respective sees. Gardiner was liberated 
from the tower, and Tunstall, Bonner, Heath, and Day were 

3. On the assembling of her first parliament, her earliest 
and most pressing solicitude was to have an act passed, by 
which the stain which rested on the name of her mother, and 
the consequent taint on the legitimacy of her own birth, 
might be obliterated from the statute book. 

4. This accomplished by an unanimous vote, her next 
step was, to have an act passed, by which all the laws con 
cerning religion which had been promulgated during Edward s 
reign were repealed, and religion was reinstated in the same 
condition in which it was at the death of Henry VIII. This 
act was passed with but little hesitation or difficulty ; and it 
was carried out by the new chancellor Gardiner almost with 
out opposition. The married bishops and clergy retired or 
were removed; and new bishops were consecrated for the 
vacant sees, with the secret approbation of the Roman 
Pontiff, with whom Gardiner had an understanding on the 

5. The recognition of the papal supremacy, a necessary 
preliminary to the full restoration of the Catholic religion, 
was a matter of much more delicacy and of much greater 
difficulty. During the two previous reigns, a new generation 
had grown up in a feeling of estrangement from the Holy 
See, and this feeling was in unison with, and had been 
greatly strengthened by, the hereditary jealousy of Rome, 
which, as we have seen, had been nurtured by repeated acts 
of legislation running far back into the Catholic times of the 
monarchy. Moreover, there was another most formidable 
obstacle in the way of a reunion with Rome. The confiscated 
monastic and church property had passed into the hands of 
a new and hungry body of gentry and nobility, who had 
built up their newly made fortunes and secured their new 
titles chiefly on it as a basis. Much of this property, too, 


had passed into other hands than those who had originally 
seized on it, or who had received it from the royal bounty. 
This class of new proprietors, who had thus fattened on the 
spoils of the Church, was numerous, active, greedy, and 
influential. They had much selfishness with but little 
religious principle ; they might yield all else, they certainly 
would not yield this, and it was dangerous even to try the 
experiment. Gardiner saw the difficulty, and he grappled 
with it at once with his usual ability and success. Fearing 
that Cardinal Pole, the newly appointed papal legate to Eng 
land, might entertain scruples on the subject, he had him 
detained in Flanders until he could obtain from the Pope a 
promise that the holders of the church property should not 
be interfered with, or forced to disgorge their ill-gotten goods. 
Very reluctantly, the Pontiff consented to the sacrifice, with 
a view to prevent greater evils and to accomplish a greater 
good in England. It was like throwing overboard the 
treasures, in order to save the ship in the storm. 

6. This great obstacle being removed, and the way for recon 
ciliation being now fully prepared, a numerous and brilliant 
delegation of nobles, among whom figured conspicuously such 
new lords as Paget and Sir William Cecil,* repaired to 
Brussels, and escorted the cardinal legate into England, 
where he was received with great pomp, and greeted with 
the hearty acclamations of the people. Parliament was 
opened, and the lords spiritual and temporal immediately 

* This man, who showed himself so zealous for the restoration of the 
Catholic religion, and who took so prominent a part in the proceedings, be 
came a few years later the most determined enemy and the most deadly per 
secutor of Catholics ; as we shall see in the next chapter. He appears to have 
been from the beginning a mere politician, if not a time-serving hypocrite, 
who made religion a cloak for his selfish purposes and interests. Mackintosh 
says : " Lord Paget who had been raised by Somerset, and Sir William 
Cecil, afterwards distinguished in a policy more acceptable to Protestants, 
were among the most forward persons in their respective parts of the recon 
ciliation." History of England, edit, sup. cit., p. 287. 


prepared and signed an humble petition, in which they ac 
knowledged their past errors, and earnestly pleaded for par 
don and reconciliation with the Holy See. The cardinal 
legate entered the august assembly in state, and took his seat 
at the right of the queen, who was on her throne, with her 
consort Philip of Spain at her left. The chancellor Gardiner 
then read the petition of the lords and commons, and the le 
gate delivered a lengthy and impressive address;* after 
which, the whole house being hushed in silence and on bended 
knee, he solemnly pronounced, in the name of the Pontiff, the 
sentence, by which he absolved "all those present, and the 
whole nation, and the dominions thereof, from all heresy and 
schism, and all judgments, censures, and penalties for that 
cause incurred ; and restored them to the communion of holy 
Church, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 5 
A responsive " Amen " resounded from every part of the hall ; 
" and the members, rising from their knees, followed the king 
and queen into the chapel, where Te Deum was chanted in 
thanksgiving for the event."f 

England, after a quarter of a century s alienation, was now 
at length reconciled to the holy Catholic Church and to the 
Apostolic See ! 

7. Mary not only cheerfully surrendered and renounced all 
claim to the spiritual supremacy, which her father had vio 
lently usurped and her young brother had unwittingly retained, 
but she could not rest quiet in conscience, until she had re- 

* Mackintosh (Ibid.) furnishes us the following extract from Pole s ad 
dress to the parliament : " That having for many years been excluded, not 
only from that assembly, but also from his country; by laws enacted person 
ally against himself, he should ever be grateful for the repeal of those laws ; 
and that, in return, he was come to inscribe them denizens of heaven, and 
to restore them to that Christian greatness which they had forfeited by re 
nouncing their fealty ; that to reap so great a blessing, it only remained 
that they should repeal the laws which they had enacted against the Holy 
See, and by which they had cut themselves from the body of the faithful." 

f Poli epist. v. Foxe, 91. Journal of Commons, 38. Lingard, vii, 179. 


stored every portion of the monastic and church property 
which still remained vested in the crown. Vain were the ex 
postulations of Philip, who had yielded but a reluctant consent 
to the measure of restitution before his departure for the con 
tinent; vain were the remonstrances of her council, who 
pleaded the amount of her debts and the sadly impoverished 
condition of the royal exchequer. Nothing could satisfy her 
conscience, short of a restoration in full of what had been so 
unjustly and sacrilegiously obtained ; and to all arguments she 
nobly answered, in w r ords worthy her exalted mother, that "she 
set more by the salvation of her soul than by ten such crowns." 
On the re-assembling of parliament, Gardiner made known 
her determination in a speech of more than usual ability and 
eloquence, even for him, and which won general admiration, 
arid was greeted with a burst of hearty applause.* It is but 
just, however, to add, that the applause was bestowed not so 
much on the eloquence of the chancellor, as on the distinct 
ness with which he stated, in the name of the queen and of 
the cardinal legate, that the newly created lords and com 
mons would not be required or even expected to follow the 

* This was the last speech of Gardiner. It proved too great an affort for 
his weakened frame. He took to his chamber, and died three weeks after 
wards, Nov. 12, 1555. 

" During his illness, he edified all around him by his piety and resigna 
tion : after observing, I have sinned with Peter, but have not yet learned 
to weep bitterly with Peter, he desired that the passion of our Saviour 
might be redde to him, and when they came to the denial of St. Peter, he 
bid them stay there; for (say the he) negavi cum Petro, exivi cum Petro, 
sed nondum flevi amare cum Petro. " (Lingard, vii, 113, who quotes 
Wardword, 48, and Pole, Ep. v. 52.) 

It is not true that he and Pole disagreed : the cardinal speaks of him in the 
highest terms of eulogy, and laments his death as a great calamity to Eng 
land. In this, he did but share in the sentiments of his royal relative, Mary. 
Lingard fully refutes the absurd story concerning the sudden and violent 
manner of Gardiner s death, related by Foxe on the authority of " an old 
woman." He proves by incontestable facts and dates, that the story is sim 
ply absurd and impossible a fiction wholly baseless and very clumsily con 
trived. (See note D., vol. vii.) 


noble and disinterested example of their sovereign! They 
would be allowed to retain their ill-gotten property ; which 
was still further and more fully secured to them, by a recent 
bull of the Pope which the chancellor read, and which ex 
pressly excepted them from the operation of another bull of a 
different tenor which had been recently issued. It was scarce 
ly to be expected that they, the queen s loyal subjects, would 
be gifted with her delicacy of conscience, or would feel in 
clined to participate in her disinterested love of restitution ! 
They were neophytes, as yet weak in the faith, and they 
should be carefully guarded from so rude a trial of their newly 
born orthodoxy ! 

Mary is usually represented by modern Protestant writers 
as a monster of cruelty, and her name is seldom heard with 
out having attached to it the odious prefix of bloody. It would 
seem as if she had monopolized all the cruelty, and done all 
the blood-shedding of her time. The charge rests entirely 
upon the religious persecution which unhappily raged during 
a portion of her reign ; the atrocity of which has been too 
vividly portrayed, while the number of its victims has been 
greatly exaggerated. Far be it from us to defend persecution. 
Catholics, especially those who speak the English language, 
have been too long the victims of persecution in all its terrible 
forms, to have grown enamored of it, or to feel disposed to be 
its advocates. It is, however, no justification of the doctrine 
of persecution, to state the real facts of history in regard to 
the executions of Protestants which took place during Mary s 
reign, and which were repaid, more than an hundred fold, on 
Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth and those of her Prot 
estant successors. During the sixteenth century and even 
during the two following ones the principal Protestant sects 
openly defended and steadily practiced persecution as fully 
and to as great an extent, to say the very least, as did Cath 
olics. As Lingard well remarks : 

" The extirpation of erroneous doctrine was inculcated as a duty by the 
leaders of every religious (Protestant) denomination. Mary only practiced 


what they taught. It was her misfortune rather than her fault, that she was 
not more enlightened than the wisest of her contemporaries."* 

What the great historian of England here asserts, in lan 
guage so terse and elegant, is declared even more emphatic 
ally by accredited and weighty Protestant historians. We 
shall probably have occasion to quote others hereafter ; for 
the present we content ourselves with the testimony of Henry 
Hallam and Miss Strickland. 

Hallam writes as follows : 

" The difference in this respect between the Catholics and Protestants was 
only in degree, and in degree there was much less difference than we are 
apt to believe. Persecution is the DEADLY ORIGINAL SIN OF THE REFORMED 
CHURCHES ; that which cools every honest man s zeal for their cause, in pro 
portion as his reading becomes more extensive. The Lutheran princes and 
cities in Germany constantly refused to tolerate the use of the Mass, as an 
idolatrous service ; and this name of idolatry, though adopted in retaliation 
for that of heresy, answered the same end as the other, of exciting animosity 
and uncharitableness. The Roman worship was equally proscribed in Eng 
land. Many persons were sent to prison for hearing Mass and similar 
offenses. The princess Mary supplicated in vain to have the exercise of her 
own religion at home, and Charles V. several times interceded in her 

Says Miss Strickland : 

"It is a lamentable trait in human nature, that there was not a sect 
established at the Reformation that did not avow, as part of their religious 
duty, the horrible necessity of destroying some of their fellow-creatures 
(mostly by burning alive), on account of what they severally termed heret 
ical tenets. The quakers were absolutely the first Christian community, 
since the middle ages, who disavowed all destructiveness in their religious 
precepts.! How furiously these friends to their species were persecuted, 

* Lingard, vol. vii, p. 242. f Constitutional History, sup. cit. p. 63-64. 

| The excellent authoress is here mistaken. As we shall see from her 
own testimony, to be alleged later in the present chapter, she herself admits 
that, under this very reign of Mary. Plowden and a respectable minority of 
both Catholics and Protestants in the British parliament were strongly and 
decidedly opposed to persecution for conscience sake ; and so also were Car 
dinal Pole and the great body of Catholic bishops of the time, according to 
her own testimony and that of the Protestant historian Mackintosh, whom 
she quotes. We say nothing of Sir Thomas More and of others. 


the annals of New England can tell ; and Great Britain, though more spar 
ing of their blood, was equally wasteful of their lives, for they were penned, 
by Cromwell and Charles II., by hundreds, in gaols such gaols as were 
provided then, rife with malignant fevers and every horror. James II. 
declared to the hon. Mr. Bertie, that he had released one thousand two 
hundred and thirty quakers, confined in different gaols at his accession." * 

The following summary of undoubted, and we believe, un 
disputed facts on the subject will, if we are not mistaken, 
exhibit the real causes and the true measure of the persecu 
tion under Mary ; and if we do not greatly err, they will have 
a tendency considerably to modify the opinion current among 
Protestants in regard to her supposed cruelty. 

1. The persecution continued, with frequent interruptions, 
for less than four years : from January, 1554, to near the end 
of Mary s reign in November, 1558. The total number of its 
victims did not probably reach two hundred ; all of whom, 
except Cranmer and a few of his immediate associates, were 
from the lower walks of life. The number of preachers who 
suffered was comparatively small; and most of these had 
been implicated, some as leaders, some as accessories, in the 
treasonable attempt to set aside Mary and to set up Lady Jane 
Gray. This offense, of itself, might have been visited by 
the death penalty, even under a milder administration and in 
milder times than Mary s. f 

* Queens of England, sup. cit. v, 166, note. 

f See Lingard, vol. vii, p. 206. 

Many of the preachers, not coveting the crown of martyrdom, fled to the 
continent of Europe ; where, though they were welcomed by the Zuing- 
lians, they were coldly received by the Lutherans, who viewed them as 
heretics, for denying the real presence in the holy Communion. Even the 
usually mild Melancthon, quoted by the Anglican historian Heylin, (p. 250) 
coarsely denounced the refugees as " martyrs of the devil ! " " Yociferantem 
martyres Anglicos esse martyres diaboli." (Apud Waterworth, sup. cit. p. 
283, note.) 

The number of those who suffered under Mary has been variously 
estimated by Protestant writers, as exceeding two, and not reaching three 
hundred. Miss Strickland places it above two hundred. (Vol. vii, p. 271.) 
Burnet s list comprises two hundred and eighty-four ; while that of Strype 


2. The persecution did not commence for more than a 
year after her accession ; and it originated in a series of most 
provoking causes, which, if they did not excuse, at least greatly 
palliated its enormity. It appears certain, that Mary was led to 
adopt these measures of severity by the urgent advice of her 
counselors, against the natural promptings of her own gentle 
heart, and from political much more than from religious mo 
tives. The treacherous conspiracy and stormy rebellion, 
through which she came to the throne, and which had well- 
nigh succeeded in depriving her of her hereditary right, by 
setting up one who was plainly an usurper; the subsequent 
rebellion of Wyat, which threatened to hurl her from the 
throne shortly after she had been seated thereon ; the fear 
fully agitated state of the kingdom, of which these and other 
later conspiracies were the index; and above all, the well 
known fact, that the leaders of the reformed party either 
actively promoted all these treasonable commotions, or at 
least warmly sympathized with them : these were some of 
the principal reasons that led to the deplorable measure of 
persecution ; which, Mary s counselors earnestly pleaded, was 
the only effectual means for securing the peace of the realm, 
and for upholding her throne. 

3. That Mary was not naturally cruel, but rather equitable 
and even kind-hearted, is apparent from the following plain 
facts and considerations. 1. At her accession, she issued two 

makes the number two hundred and eighty-eight. Cooper s estimate is two 
hundred and ninety ; Speed s, two hundred and seventy-four ; and that of 
Soames, the same as Strype s two hundred and eighty-eight. "We believe 
that Dr. Lingard was nearer the truth, when he wrote : " After having ex 
punged the names of all who perished as felons or traitors, or who died 
peaceably in their beds, or who survived the publication of their martyrdom, 
or who would for their heterodoxy have been sent to the stake by the reformed 
prelates themselves, had they been in possession of the power, .... almost 
two hundred persons perished in the flames for religious opinion." (Vol. vii, 
p. 207.) For the detailed lists of Burnet and Strype, and other particulars 
on this subject, see Waterworth, Lectures, etc., p. 282, note ; also Bishop 
Short s History of the Church of England. 


proclamations which drew down upon her the benediction of 
the whole nation : by the first she restored to its standard 
value the coin, which had been depreciated by her predeces 
sors, and she did this at the expense of the royal exchequer; 
by the second, she remitted a heavy tax, which had been 
imposed by the last parliament under her brother. 2. Though 
many persons, both among the lords and commoners, were 
deeply involved in the treason of Northumberland which 
had set up Lady Jane Gray, and though three of the former 
and four of the latter had already pleaded guilty to the 
charge, only Northumberland among the lords, and Gates 
and Palmer among the commoners, were executed. Mary 
willingly granted all the last requests which were made by 
the arch-traitor Northumberland himself; and, at the instance 
of Gardiner who had visited him in prison, she even pro 
posed to spare his life, and she would probably have done so, 
had not a portion of her council strongly opposed the act of 
clemency, and induced her cousin, the emperor Charles Y. to 
write to her, " that it was not safe for her or the state to par 
don his life."* 3. Mary went further in her clemency, and 
even intended to spare the life of her rival Lady Jane Gray, 
and of her husband Guildford Dudley. For this benevolent 
purpose, she delayed their execution as long as possible. It 
was only after the putting down of Wyat s rebellion, that her 
lenity was so severely censured by the emperor and by her 
own council, that she found herself compelled reluctantly to 

*For the authorities clearly proving this statement, see Lingard, vii, p. 
127-8, note. Northumberland s requests, which the queen granted, were : 
that he might be beheaded, instead of suffering as a traitor ; that his chil 
dren might be spared ; that an able Catholic divine might be sent to prepare 
him for death ; and that he might be allowed to confer with two lords of 
the council on certain secrets of state. He died a fervent Catholic, publicly 
stating "not being required or moved thereto of any man, nor tor any 
flattery or hope of life " that he died in the faith of his fathers, which am 
bition alone had induced him to abandon to conform to a worship whicb be 
condemned in his heart. Ibid. 


sign the death warrant ; which she did on the very day after 
the decisive action at Temple Ear, wherein Wyat had been 
captured, and his followers defeated and scattered. So much 
clemency, under all the aggravating circumstances of the 
case, may be justly regarded as without a parallel in the his 
tory of those times, if not in the annals of all history. 

4. Mary s treatment of her half-sister, the princess Eliza 
beth, is another signal proof of her natural kindness and clem 
ency. Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne Boleyn, who had 
basely supplanted her good mother Catharine in the affections 
of Henry her father. The very sight of Elizabeth must have 
recalled to her mind the bitter memories of the past her 
mother s disgrace and her own multiplied and protracted 
sufferings, from early childhood to mature womanhood. 
Elizabeth was, moreover, a formidable rival to the throne. 
Having been reared up a Protestant, she was the hope and 
almost the idol of the reformed party. She was well aware 
of this, and she had cunningly shaped her course accord 

In the first rebellion that of Northumberland Elizabeth 
had cautiously abstained from taking sides ; had given vague 
and non-committal answers to those who approached her on 
the subject; and had remained shut up in her apartments, 
ready to make the best terms for herself with whichever party 
might prove ultimately victorious. She was also known to 
have sympathized with the objects of Wyat s rebellion, though 
she had prudently avoided committing any overt act of trea 
son, by which she might be fully and legally compromised. 
She had certainly participated in the previous treasonable 
conspiracy of Courtenay; and she was strongly suspected of 
having been implicated in the subsequent attempts of Dudley 
and Cleobury, and in several other conspiracies having for 
their object the removal of her sister from the throne. She 
was, undoubtedly, a focus of insurrection, and the disaffected 
constantly looked up to her for encouragement, if not for 
positive assistance, in carrying out their treasonable designs 


Now, under all these aggravating circumstances, involving 
the strongest political and personal considerations, what was 
the treatment which Elizabeth received at the hands of her 
sovereign sister "the bloody Mary?" Against the urgent 
advice of her council, who recommended the at least tem 
porary arrest of Elizabeth as a necessary stroke of policy, 
Mary on her accession sent for her, greeted her as her dear 
sister, treated her according to her high rank, and made her 
ride in state by her own side in the solemn procession at her 
coronation. To her council, who represented that the reform 
ers looked up to Elizabeth as her rival, she generously and 
nobly replied ; that she would endeavor to weaken their 
interest in her good sister, by employing every means in her 
power to promote her conversion to the Catholic faith. She 
succeeded in her purpose. Elizabeth at first exhibited some 
reluctance, but suddenly, after only a week s instruction, she 
conformed to the faith of her fathers ; and to show the sin 
cerity of her conversion, she publicly accompanied her royal 
sister to Mnss, procured all the implements of Catholic wor 
ship from Flanders, and set up a Catholic chapel in her own 
house !* 

Her subsvjfj ient conduct soon tested the sincerity of these 
early religion* and sisterly professions. She secretly and cau 
tiously, and \ r. may add treacherously, availed herself of every 
occasion which offered, to supplant her sister, as Anne Boleyn 
had supplant d Catharine. Fully implicated, through inter 
cepted letters and dispatches, in the conspiracy of Courtenay, 
she was arrfc^d and consigned to the tower. Mary was very 
unwilling to yield her consent to this measure of necessary 
severity, and she consented to sign the warrant, only after she 
had in vain pleaded with each member of her council to 
assume the responsibility of guarding her sister in her own 
house. Elizabeth was soon afterwards released, chiefly 

* Dispatches of Nouailles, the French ambassador, and of Renaud, the 
ambassador of Charles V. Lingard, vii, 135. 


through the active influence and signal legal ability of the 
chancellor Gardiner ; whom many modern writers neverthe 
less choose to represent as her w^orst enemy. In spite of the 
advice of the emperor from Brussels ; in spite of the en 
treaties of the imperial party in the queen s own council, who 
strongly urged that she would not be safe on her throne so 
long as Elizabeth lived ; in spite of the powerful effort made 
to prejudice Gardiner in her good opinion ; she openly took 
his side which inclined towards mercy, and she followed his 
opinion in practice.* Elizabeth was not again arrested, nor 
even seriously molested during her reign. 

Had their relative positions been reversed, would Elizabeth 
have treated her royal sister with the same indulgent clem 
ency? For a satisfactory answer to the question, look to her 
subsequent treatment of the unfortunate sisters of Lady Jane 
Gray, and another imaginary rival to the throne, her ill-fated 
cousin, Mary Queen of Scots ! 

One who has studied the character of Mary and Elizabeth 
more deeply, perhaps, than any other modern writer, who has 
probably done more than any other to rescue the name of 
Mary from obloquy, and who, though a Protestant, has had 
the courage to tell the truth as unfolded in the original 
records, fully confirms all that we here say concerning Mary s 
clemency. We refer to Miss Strickland, who testifies, more 
over, to another important fact : that Mary wholly repudiated 
the system of political tyranny which had been introduced by 
her father and brother, and restored the British Constitution 
to its ancient Catholic integrity ! Speaking of her successful 
effort to save Elizabeth from punishment, Miss Strickland 
says and proves by her authorities, which we also copy, what 
follows : 

" It was fortunate for Elizabeth, that the queen meant conscientiously to 
abide by the ancient constitutional law of England, restored in her first par 
liament, which required, that an overt or open act of treason must be proved, 

* Dispatches of Nouailles, Lingard, vii, 166, seq. 

VOL. II. 12 


before any English person could be attainted as a traitor. Courtenay was, 
as well as Elizabeth, in disgrace ; he had been arrested a few days after the 
contest with Wyat, and sent to the tower. It is to Queen Mary s credit 
that she urged the law of her country to the Spanish ambassador, when he 
informed her that her marriage with the prince of Spain could not be con 
cluded till Courtenay and Elizabeth were punished. * 

" The Spaniard thus quotes her words to his master, Charles V. : The 
queen replied, that she and her council were laboring as much as possible 
to discover the truth, as to the practices of Elizabeth and Courtenay ; and 
that, as to Courtenay, it was certain he was accused by many of the prison 
ers of consenting and assisting in the plot, and that the cipher by which he 
corresponded with Sir Peter Carew had been discovered cut on his guitar ; 
that he had intrigued with the French, and that a match had been projected 
between him and Elizabeth, which was to be followed by the deposition and 
death of her, the queen ; yet the law of England condemns to death only 
those who have committed overt acts of treason ; those who have merely 
implied consent by silence, are punished but by imprisonment, and some 
times by confiscation of goods. Renaud, the Spanish ambassador, angrily 
observes elsewhere, that it was evident the queen wished to save Courte 
nay, and of course, Elizabeth ; since she does not allow that her guilt was 
as manifest as his. f Correspondence, of a nature calculated to enrage any 
sovereign, was discovered, which deeply implicated Elizabeth. Notwith 
standing all that has been urged against Mary, it is evident, from the letters 
of the Spanish ambassador, that she proved her sister s best friend, by remain 
ing steadfast to her expressed determination, that although she was convinced 
of the deep dissimulation of Elizabeth s character, who was in this instance, 
what she had always shown herself, yet proof, upon proof; must be brought 
against her before any harsher measures than temporary imprisonment were 
adopted. In short, whatever adverse colors may be cast upon a portion of 
her history, which really does her credit, the conclusion, built on the irre 
fragable structure of results, is this, Mary dealt infinitely more mercifully 
by her heiress, than Elizabeth did by hers. And how startling is the fact, 
that Queen Mary would not proceed against her sister and her kinsman, 
because the proof of their treason was contained in cipher letters, easy to be 
forged, when correspondence in cipher brought Mary queen of Scots to the 
block, protesting, as she did, that the correspondence was forged ! 

"At this crisis Queen Mary gave way to anger; she had offered if any 
nobleman would take the charge and responsibility of her sister, that she 
should not be subjected to imprisonment in the tower; but no one would 
undertake the dangerous office. The queen then expedited the warrant, to 

* Tytler s Mary L, vol. ii, p. 320. f Ibid. 


commit Elizabeth to the tower. The earl of Sussex and another nobleman 
were appointed to conduct the princess thither ; but she persuaded them, 
(it does not seem for any particular object, except writing a letter to the 
queen) to outstay the time of the tide at London bridge. This act of dis 
obedience incensed Mary ; she rated the offending parties at the council- 
board, told them that they were not traveling in the right path, that they 
dared not have done such a thing in her father s time, and finally, as the 
most awful feature of her wrath, wished that he were alive for a month ! 

" Well she knew that he was never troubled with scruples of conscience, 
concerning how the ancient laws of England regarded treasons, open or con 
cealed ; for if he supposed, that even a heraldic lion curled its tail contu 
maciously, that supposition brought instant death on its owner, despite of 
genius, virtue, youth, beauty, and faithful service."* 

5. Mary s treatment even of Cranmer affords additional 
evidence that she was not naturally inclined to severity, 
much less to wanton cruelty. Cranmer had been her very 
worst enemy, and he had done her mortal and almost irre 
parable wrong. He had officially divorced her mother, had 
stigmatized her memory by solemnly declaring that she had 
never been the lawful wife of her father, and had conse 
quently stigmatized her own birth by pronouncing her ille 
gitimate. On the death of her brother, he had been one of 
the prime movers in the attempt to exclude her from the 
throne, and had successfully urged the other leading reformed 
preachers to denounce her publicly as illegitimate, and there 
fore as not entitled to the throne. He was the active promoter 
of all the mischief by which her whole life had been embit 
tered, and now he had crowned all his previous misdeeds by 
treacherous conspiracy and open rebellion. 

Yet, in spite of all these indignities so long endured and 
so keenly felt as only a woman born and reared as she had 
been could feel them the "bloody Mary" exhibited no inde 
cent haste to punish the arch-traitor, and her own arch-enemy. 
She allowed him tranquilly to officiate at the funeral of 
Edward ; she did not permit him to be arrested for several 

* The gallant earl of Surrey was put to death for a supposed difference 
in the painting of the tail of the lion in his crest. 


months after her accession, content with merely ordering 
him to confine himself to his palace at Lambeth; and she 
finally consented to his arrest, only after he had published a 
coarse and violent attack on what she prized more dearly 
than honor or life her religion.* Even then, she allowed 
nearly two years to elapse before he was led to execution.! 
A portion of this very long interval was employed, at the 
instance of the "bloody" queen, in the attempt to win him 
and his associates, Ridley and Latimer, back to the true faith, 
and thereby to promote their eternal salvation. For this 
purpose the conference, or theological discussion at Oxford, 
between the three leaders of the reformed party and three 
Catholic divines, was ordered and took place. Mary would 
probably have saved them all from death, had she been 
allowed to follow her own gentle womanly impulses ; but her 
council resolutely demanded the execution of Cranmer " for 
ensample s sake/ J Kidley and Latimer, though both likewise 
deeply implicated in Northumberland s rebellion, might be 
spared, on condition they would recant; Cranmer s crimes 
had been too atrocious and too mischievous, to allow him to 
go unpunished. 

6. Ridley and Latimer refused to recant, and they were 
led to the stake, where they died martyrs to their opinions. 

* In this manifesto, he denounced the Mass as "a device and invention 
of the father of lies," though he had caused others to be burnt for much less 
during the reign of Henry VIII. Apud Lingard, vol. vii. 

f Mary came to the throne July 15, 1553 ; Cranmer was executed 
March 21, 1555. 

I Strype s Cranmer, p. 385. Ibid., p. 200. 

Ridley had been promoted by the influence of Cranmer, and under 
Henry VIII. he had blindly followed the theological views of that despotic 
monarch, uniting with Cranmer in sending Protestants and Catholics alike 
to the stake. Under E Award, he exhibited himself one of the most zealous 
promoters of the new religion, which he would not have dared defend under 
Henry. We have already seen how he intruded his officious zeal on the 
princess Mary, and with what meagre result. Implicated in the conspiracy 
for setting up Lady Jane Gray and excluding Mary from the throne, he was 


Not so Cranmer. True to the policy of his whole life, he 
recanted not once, but seven times;* each form of recanta 
tion being more ample than the preceding, f 

arrested as a traitor on the accession of the latter. In prison, he recanted 
and conformed to the ancient faith ; but finding that the step was likely to 
bring him no favor with Catholics, while it brought on him the execration 
of his former co-religionists, he relapsed ; and thenceforward, says Foxe, 
(iii, 836, apud Waterworth, p. 269,) "he never after polluted himself with 
that filthy dregs of anti-Christian service." 

Latimer had been still more erratic in his religious changes and evolu 
tions. He conformed backward and forward so frequently, that it were te 
dious to reckon his changes. First the bitter opponent, then the warm 
supporter of the German reformers ; then, on the command of Cardinal 
Wolsey, a second time their opponent and denouncer ; then again, after two 
years, threatened with excommunication by Cramnor and with the stake by 
Henry VIII., for being supposed to have relapsed into his former German 
errors, and narrowly escaping the spiritual and consequent temporal penalty 
by begging pardon on his knees and promising amendment, before Henry ; 
we next find him named by the royal monster head of the new church 
to the bishopric of Worcester, in reward for his coarse invectives against the 
Papacy ; then again thrown into prison for dissenting from Henry in theo 
logical matters ; finally, arrested by order of Mary s council for alleged 
seditious preachings against her, on her accession to the throne. Such was 
La:imer. See Tytler and Strype. 

* That the number of recantations was seven instead of six, Lingard 
proves by reference to a very old, if not the oldest printed copy of the book 
containing them, published in London shortly after Cranmer s death. See 
his Vindication against the strictures of the Edinburgh Review, etc., 
printed at the end of the volume, in the American edition of his History of 

f Bishop Short speaks of Cranmer s "fall" in the following tone of re 
gret : " The fall of which this good man was subsequently guilty, in signing 
the recantation, takes off from the whole of the glorious dignity with which 
the closing scene of the other martyrs was enlightened." In a note, he 
adds : " Fuller s view of this part of his history is far less favorable, (p. 371). 
Cranmer had done no ill and privately many good offices for the Protest 
ants, yet his cowardly compliance hitherto with popery, against his con 
science, can not be excused ; serving the times present in his practice, and 
waiting on a future alteration in his hopes and desires. " History of the 
Church of England, sup. cit. p. 115. 


" He acknowledged that he had been a greater persecutor of the Church 
than Paul, and wished that, like Paul, he might be able to make amends. 
He could not rebuild what he had destroyed ; but as the penitent thief on 
the cross, by the testimony of his lips, obtained mercy, so he trusted that, 
by this offering of his lips, he might obtain mercy of the Almighty. He 
was unworthy of favor, and worthy not only of temporal, but eternal pun 
ishment. He had offended against King Henry and Queen Catharine ; he 
was the cause and author of the divorce, and also of the evils which resulted 
from it. He had blasphemed against the Sacrament, had sinned against 
heaven, and had deprived men of the benefits to be derived from the 

* Lingard, Hist. England, ibid. This recantation is contained in Strype, 
iii, 235. See also Foxe, iii, 559. The recantations are given in full by 
Waterworth, p. 275, seqq., notes. 

We subjoin the sixth recantation as a specimen of the rest, and with a 
view to show how much he was in earnest in his efforts to persuade others 
of his sincerity : 

" I Thomas Cranmer, late Archbishop of Canterbury, confess and grieve 
from my heart that I have most grievously sinned against heaven, and the 
English realm ; yea against the universal church of Christ ; which I have 
more cruelly persecuted than Paul did of old ; who have been a blasphemer, 
a persecutor, and contumelious. And I wish that I, who have exceeded 
Saul in malice and wickedness, might with Paul make amends for the 
honor which I have detracted from Christ, and the benefit of which I have 
deprived the Church. But yet that thief in the gospel comforts my mind. 
For then at last he repented from his heart, then it irked him of his theft, 
when he might steal no more. And I, who, abusing my office and 
authority, purloined Christ of his honor, and the realm of faith and relig 
ion ; now by the great mercy of God returned to myself, acknowledge my 
self the greatest of all sinners, and to every one as well as I can, to God 
first, then to the Church and its supreme head, and to the king and queen, 
and lastly to the realm of England, to render worthy satisfaction. But as 
that happy thief, when he was not able to pay the money and wealth which 
he had taken away, when neither his feet nor his hands, fastened to the 
cross, could do their office ; by heart only and tongue, which were not 
bound, he testified what the rest of his members would do, if they enjoyed 
the same liberty that his tongue did ; by that he confessed Christ to be in 
nocent ; by that he reproved the impudence of his fellow ; by that he detested 
his former life, and obtained the pardon of his sins ; and, as it were by a 
kind of key, opened the gates of paradise ; by the example of this man, I 
do conceive no small hopes of Christ s mercy, that he will pardon my sins. 


Trembling for his life, his last act before he marched to the 
stake, was a striking evidence of that duplicity which had 
marked his entire career. After duly signing the last recan- 

I want hands and feet by which I might build up again that which I have 
destroyed, for the lips of my mouth are only left me. But he will receive 
the calves of our lips, who is mercifnl beyond all belief. By this hope con 
ceived, therefore, I chuse to offer this calf, to sacrifice this very small part 
of my body and life. 

" I confess, in the first place, piy unthankfulness against the great God ; 
I acknowledge myself unworthy of all favor and pity, but most worthy, not 
only of human and temporal, but divine and eternal punishment. That I 
exceedingly offended against King Plenry VIII., and especially against 
Queen Catharine his wife, when I was the cause and author of the divorce. 
Which fault indeed was the seminary of all the evils and calamities of this 
realm. Hence so many slaughters of good men ; hence the schism of the 
whole kingdom ; hence heresies ; hence the destruction of so many souls 
and bodies sprang, that I can scarce comprehend with reason. But when 
these are so great beginnings of grief, I acknowledge I opened a great win 
dow to all heresies ; whereof myself acted the chief doctor and leader. 
But first of all, that most vehemently torments my mind, that I affected 
the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist with so many blasphemies and re 
proaches ; denying Christ s body and blood to be truly and really contained 
under the species of bread and wine. By setting forth also books, I did 
impugn the truth with all my might. In this respect, indeed, not only 
worse than Saul, and the thief, but the most wicked of all which the earth 
ever bore. Lord, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. Against 
heaven, which I am the cause, it hath been deprived of so many saints ; 
denying most impudently that heavenly benefit exhibited to us. And I 
have sinned against the earth, which so long hath miserably wanted this 
sacrament ; against men whom I have called from this supersubstantial 
morsel ; the slayer of so many men as have perished for want of food. I 
have defrauded the souls of the dead of this daily and most celebrious sacrifice. 

" And from all these things it is manifest, how greatly after Christ I have 
been injurious to his vicar, whom I have deprived of his power by books set 
forth ; wherefore I do most earnestly and ardently beseech the Pope, that 
he, for the mercy of Christ, forgive me the things I have committed against 
him and the Apostolic See. And I most humbly beseech the most serene 
kings of England, Spain, etc., that by their royal mercy they would pardon 
me ; I ask and beseech the whole realm, yea, the universal church, that 
they take pity of this wretched soul ; to whom, besides a tongue, nothing 


tation to be read at the stake, he secretly wrote another 
directly opposite, which he meant to read and which he 
did read in case pardon should not be extended to him at 
the last moment! In this last instrument, he retracted all 
his previous recantations, which he declared were wrung 
from him by the fear of death alone. He even thrust the 
offending hand which signed them into the fire first; and 
thus he perished a willing martyr, because he could not 
help it and could not save his life! He perished in the 
flames which he had so often enkindled for much better men 
than himself;* and this circumstance, as well as the whole 
tenor of his life, must greatly modify the sympathy with his 

is left, whereby to make amends for the injuries and damages I have brought 
in. But especially because against thee only have I sinned, I beseech thee, 
most merciful Father, who desirest and commandest all to come to thee, 
however wicked, vouchsafe to look upon me neerly, and under thy hand, as 
thou lookedst upon Magdalen and Peter ; or certainly, as thou, looking upon 
the thief on the cross, didst vouchsafe by the promise of thy grace and 
glory, to comfort a fearful and trembling mind ; so, by thy wonted and nat 
ural pity, turn the eyes of thy mercy to me, and vouchsafe me worthy to 
have that word of thine spoken to me, I am thy salvation ; and in the day 
of death, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 

" Written this year of our Lord 1555, in THOMAS CRANMER." 

the 18th day of the month of March. 

* As we have already seen, he had employed the whole weight of his 
powerful influence with the amiable boy Edward VI., to steel his tender 
heart against its natural reluctance to persecution ; and in the last year of 
Edward s reign, he had prepared a code which provided for the burning of 
heretics ; but luckily, it was not formally approved, in consequence of the 
king s death. 

That such was really the meaning of the law concerning the punishment 
of heretics, contained in this code, is sufficiently proved by Lingard, who 
was probably the first to direct attention to the subject. Hallam, in his Con 
stitutional History, discusses this point at considerable length, but does not 
venture to dissent from the opinions of Lingard, which he deems at least 
plausible. The prejudiced Sir James Mackintosh flippantly blames Hallam 
for his qualified indorsement of Lingard ; but impartial men will be disposed 
to attach far more value to the opinions of the English constitutional lawyer 
than to that of the Scotchman. 


fate, which would otherwise be strongly felt by every one 
who detests persecution. 

In his review of Hallam s Constitutional History, Macaulay 
pronounces the following severe, but just opinion on the 
character of the false and time-serving patriarch of the 
Anglican church : 

" If we consider Cranmer merely as a statesman, he will not appear a 
much worse man than Wolsey, Gardiner, Cromwell, or Somerset. But 
when an attempt is made to set him up as a saint, it is scarcely possible for 
any man of sense, who knows the history of the times well, to preserve his 

"The shameful origin of his history, common enough in the scandalous 
chronicles of courts, seems strangely out of place in a hagiology. Cranmer 
rose into favor by serving Henry in a disgraceful affair of his first divorce. 
He promoted the marriage of Anne Boleyn with the king. On a frivolous 
pretense he pronounced it null and void. On a pretense, if possible, still 
more frivolous, he dissolved the ties which bound the shameless tyrant to 
Anne of Cleves. He attached himself to Cromwell, while the fortunes of 
Cromwell flourished. He voted for cutting off his head without a trial, 
when the tide of royal favor turned. He conformed backwards and forwards 
as the king changed his mind. While Henry lived, he assisted in condemn 
ing to the flames those who denied the doctrine of transubstantiation. 
When Henry died, he found out that the doctrine was false. He was, how 
ever, not at a loss for people to burn. The authority of his station, and of 
his gray hairs, was employed to overcome the disgust with which an intel 
ligent and virtuous child regarded persecution. 

" Intolerance is always bad. But the sanguinary intolerance of a man 
who thus wavered in his creed, excites a loathing to which it is difficult to 
give vent without calling foul names. Equally false to political and to re 
ligious obligations, he was first the tool of Somerset, and then the tool of 
Northumberland. When the former wished to put his own brother to 
death, without even the form of a trial, he found a ready instrument in 
Cranmer. In spite of the canon law, which forbade a churchman to take 
any part in matters of blood, the archbishop signed the warrant for the 
atrocious sentence. When Somerset had been in his turn destroyed, his 
destroyer received the support of Cranmer in his attempt to change the 
course of the succession. 

" The apology made for him by his admirers only renders his conduct 
more contemptible. He complied, it is said, against his better judgment, 
because he could not resist the entreaties of Edward! A holy prelate of 
VOL. II. 13 


sixty, one would think, might be better employed by the bedside of a dying 
child, than committing crimes at the request of his disciple. If he had 
shown half as much firmness when Edward requested him to commit trea 
son, as he had before shown when Edward requested him not to commit 
murder, he might have saved the country from one of the greatest misfor 
tunes that it ever underwent. He became, from whatever motive, the ac 
complice of the worthless Dudley. The virtuous scruples of another young 
and amiable mind were to be overcome. As Edward had been forced into 
persecution, Jane was to be seduced into usurpation. No transaction in our 
annals is more unjustifiable than this. If a hereditary title were to be re 
spected, Mary possessed it. If a parliamentary title were preferable, Mary 
possessed that ako. If the interest of the Protestant religion required a 
departure from the ordinary rule of succession, that interest would have 
been best served by raising Elizabeth to the throne. If the foreign relations 
of the kingdom were considered, still stronger reasons might be found for 
preferring Elizabeth to Jane. There was great doubt whether Jane or the 
Queen of Scotland had the better claim ; and that doubt would, in all proba 
bility, have produced a war, both with Scotland and with France, if the 
project of Northumberland had not been blasted in its infancy. That Eliza 
beth had a better claim than the Queen of Scotland was indisputable. To 
the part which Cranmer, and unfortunately some better men than Cramner, 
took in this most reprehensible scheme, much of the severity, with which 
the Protestants were afterwards treated, must in fairness be ascribed. 

" The plot failed ; popery triumphed ; and Cranmer recanted. Most 
people look on his recantation as a single blemish on an honorable life, the 
frailty of an unguarded moment. But, in fact, it was in strict accordance 
with the system on which he had constantly acted. It was part of a regu 
lar habit. It was not the first recantation that he had made ; and, in all 
probability, if it had answered its purpose it would not have been the last. 
We do not blame him for not choosing to be burned alive. It is no very 
severe reproach to any person, that he does not possess heroic fortitude. 
But surely a man who liked the fire so little, should have had some sym 
pathy for others. A persecutor who inflicts nothing which he is not ready 
to endure deserves some respect. But when a man, who loves his doctrines 
more than the lives of his neighbors, loves his own little finger better than 
his doctrines, a very simple argument, a fortiori, will enable us to estimate 
the amount of his benevolence. 

" But his martyrdom, it is said, redeemed every thing. It is extraordinary 
that so much ignorance should exist on this subject. The feet is, that if a 
martyr be a man who chooses to die rather than to renounce his opinions, 
Cranmer was no more a martyr than Dr. Dodd. He died solely because he 
could not help it. He never retracted his recantation, till he found he had 


made it in vain. The queen was fully resolved that, Catholic or Protestant, 
he should burn. Then he spoke out, as people generally speak out when 
they are at the point of death, and have nothing to hope or to fear on earth. 
If Mary had suffered him to live, we suspect that he would have heard 
Mass, and received absolution, like a good Catholic, till the accession of 
Elizabeth ; and that he would then have purchased, by another apostasy, 
the power of burning men better and braver than himself." 

7. Besides the causes already indicated, there were others 
which tended more immediately to overcome Mary s natural 
repugnance to measures of severity, and which should fairly 
be taken into account in considering the deplorable religious 
persecution of her brief, unhappy, and agitated reign. Not 
only had Ridley preached against her legitimacy and de 
nounced her " bigotry," at St. Paul s Cross, and Latimer had 
thundered forth his coarse and exciting invectives against her 
religion and herself among the people, even before she had 
mounted the throne, but shortly after her accession a popular 
riot was excited in London, in consequence of a priest cele 
brating Mass at a church in the horse market. Bourne, one 
of the royal chaplains, was rudely assaulted on the next day, 
while preaching by order of the council at St. Paul s Cross ; 
he was interrupted by tumultuous shouts, and a dagger, 
thrown at him from the crowd, stuck in one of the columns 
of the pulpit. The tumult was evidently preconcerted, and 
it was intended as a menace to the queen and an insult to 
her religion. 

" A proclamation followed, in which the queen declared that she could not 
conceal her religion, which God and the world knew that she had professed 
from her infancy ; that she had no intention to compel any one to embrace 
it, till further order were had by common consent ; and therefore she strictly 
forbade all persons to excite sedition, or to foment dissensions by using the 
opprobrious terms of heretic or papist."* 

More than a year later, on the eve of the breaking out of 
the persecution itself, Ross, a reformed preacher, had openly 
prayed, in presence of a large congregation which he had 

* Lingard, ibid. p. 134. Wilkins, Cone, iv, p. 86. 


assembled at midnight, " that God would either convert the 
heart of the queen, or take her out of this world? There 
upon he was apprehended and imprisoned with his disciples ; 
and the parliament hastened to declare it treason " to have 
prayed since the commencement of the session, or to pray 
hereafter, for the queen s death.* It was, however, provided 
that all who had been already committed for this offense 
might recover their liberty, by making an humble protesta 
tion of sorrow and a promise of amendment."! 

8. After the first four victims had perished, in February, 1555, 

* The statute was passed in great haste on the 16th of January, the day 
on which the parliament was dissolved. Speaking of the excesses and out 
rages committed by some of the reformed party, before the persecution broke 
out, Heylin says : " The like exorbitances were frequent in this queen s 
reign, to which some men were so transported by a furious zeal, that a gun 
was shot at one Dr. Pendleton, as he preached at St. Paul s Cross, on Sun 
day, 10th of June, the pellet whereof went very near him, but the gunner 
was not to be heard of. Before which time, that is to say, on the 8th of 
April, some of them had caused a cat to be hanged on a gallows, near the 
cross in Cheapside, with her head shorn, the likeness of a vestment cast 
upon her, and her two fore-feet tied together, holding between them a piece 
of paper in the form of a wafer (!). The governors of the Church, exaspe 
rated by these provocations, and the queen charging Wyat s rebellion on the 
Protestant party, she (they?) both agreed on the reviving of some ancient 
statutes made in the time of King Richard II. , King Henry IV., and King 
Henry V., for the severe punishment of obstinate hereticks, even to death 
itself." Heylin, p. 47, apud Waterworth, p. 261-2. 

So that Mary s parliament did not enact new statutes, but merely revived 
the old ones, according to Heylin. It merely carried out the programme of 

After the persecution was suspended, on occasion of De Castro s excellent 
sermon, and while the council were hesitating whether to renew it or not, 
new excesses were committed. The statue of St. Thomas of Canterbury 
was first mutilated, and then totally destroyed after it had been again re 
paired and set up. On the 14th of April, "as a priest was administering the 
Eucharist in St. Margaret s church, Westminster, a man drew a hanger, and 
wounded him upon the head, hand, and other parts of the body." Soames 
and Strype, apud Waterworth, p. 266. 

f Lingard, p. 191. Statutes of I teal m, iv, 254. 


Alphonso de Castro, a distinguished Spanish friar and con 
fessor of king Philip, preached before the court and strongly 
denounced these bloody executions, as contrary not only to 
the spirit but to the text of the gospel. He declared " that 
it was not by severity, but by mildness, that men were to be 
brought into the fold of Christ, and that it was the duty of 
the bishops, not to seek the death, but to instruct the ignor 
ance of their misguided brethren."* Coming from the quar 
ter it did, the noble rebuke of the friar made a deep impres 
sion; the executions were suspended for five weeks ;f and 
they would probably not have been revived at all, but for 
fresh outbreaks of fanaticism among the advocates of the new 
gospel, and the discovery of a new conspiracy extending 
throughout several counties of England. These things af 
forded a plausible pretext for those members of the council 
who had been from the first in favor of adopting strong meas 
ures, and their arguments finally but too unhappily triumphed 
over those of the more moderate and more enlightened mem 

9. Mary at length yielded to the arguments, and gave her 
reluctant consent to the stern resolves of her council. When 
their final resolution was communicated to her, she gave in 
writing the following answer : 

" Touching the punishment of heretics, we think it ought to be done with 
out rashness, not leaving in the meantime to do justice to such as, by learn 
ing, would seem to deceive the simple ; and the rest so to be used, that the 

* Miss Strickland presents the following account of De Castro s sermon : 
(Vol. v., p. 271.) 

"At the end of the week of crime, which saw the sufferings of these four 
good men, Alphonso de Castro, a Franciscan friar, confessor to king Philip, 
preached before the court a sermon, inveighing against the wickedness of 
burning them ; he boldly declared the truth, that the English bishops learned 
not, in Scripture, to burn any one for conscience sake. This truly Christian 
sermon produced an order from court, whether from the queen or her hus 
band is not known, to stop the burnings for upwards of five weeks, which 
raised hopes of future clemency, but in vain." 

| Lingard, vii, 193 Strype, iii, 209. 


people might well perceive them not to be condemned without just occasion; 
by which they shall both understand the truth, and beware not to do the 
like. And especially within London, I would wish none to be burnt, with 
out some of the council s presence, and both there and everywhere, good 
sermons at the same time."* 

10. By the statute, the bishops were made the judges of 
heresy, and were directed to use all diligence in finding out 
the guilty, whom on conviction they were to hand over to the 
secular arm for punishment. That they did not relish the un 
gracious task thus imposed upon them, and that they performed 
it with much reluctance, is apparent from the fact, that they 
were often rebuked by the council for their tardiness. The 
chancellor Gardiner was so averse to the office, that he sat but 
once in virtue of his office in the first prosecution for heresy ; 
after which he handed over the unwelcome duty to Bonner, 
bishop of London. But Bonner did not proceed fast enough, 
to escape the severe reprimands of the council ; he seems to 
have judged and with much apparent unwillingness, only such 
as were sent to him for trial ; and he was heard to complain, 
that he was often compelled, as bishop of London, to judge 
persons not born in his diocese.f 

11. Our account of the causes which led to the persecution 
under Mary tallies, in the main, with that furnished by Agnes 
Strickland in her learned and graphic account of this reign. 

* Collier, ii, 371. Ibid., p. 189-190. f See Foxe iii, 462. Ibid., p. 194, note. 

The numerous letters of rebuke addressed to Bonner by the council, prove 
that he acted too slowly and too tardily to suit their newly awakened zeal for 
the Catholic faith. In one of the prelate s letters, addressed to Philpot, he 
complains thus : "I am right sorry for your trouble, neither would I you 
should think that I am the cause thereof. I marvel that other men will trouble 
me with their matters ; but I must be obedient to my betters ; and I fear 
men speak of me otherwise than I deserve." Foxe, iii, 462, apud Water- 
worth, p. 268, note. 

Had Bonner been the bloody monster he has been painted, he would pro 
bably have fared worse than he did when Elizabeth came into power. The 
dreadful character given of him and of "bloody Mary" seems to have been 
an after-thought of the reformed writers, hit upon and developed for effect 
on popular prejudice. 



Speaking of the conspiracies formed, and of the libels uttered 
or published, against Mary, she writes : 

" Conspiracies against Queen Mary s life abounded at this unsettled time ; 
even the students of natural philosophy (which, despite of the stormy atmos 
phere of the times, was proceeding with infinite rapidity) were willing to 
apply the instruments of science to the destruction of the queen. I have 
heard, says Lord Bacon, there was a conspiracy to have killed Queen Mary, 
as she walked in St. James Park, by means of a burning glass fixed on the 
leads of the neighboring house. I was told so by a vain, though great dealer 
in secrets, who declared he had hindered the attempt. Of all things, the 
queen most resented the libelous attack on her character, which abounded 
on all sides. She had annulled the cruel law, instituted by her father, which 
punished libels on the crown with death ;* but, to her anguish and astonish 
ment, the country was soon after completely inundated with them, both 
written and printed ; one she showed the Spanish ambassador, which was 
thrown on her kitchen table. She could not suffer these anonymous accu 
sations to be made unanswered ; she said, with passionate sorrow, that she had 
always lived a chaste and honest life, and she would not bear imputations to 
the contrary silently ; and, accordingly, had proclamation made in every county, 
exhorting her loving subjects not to listen to the slanders that her enemies 
were actively distributing.! This only proved that the poisoned arrows gave 
pain, but did not abate the nuisance."]: 

Her theory for explaining the origin of the persecution is a 
very plausible one, and with one exception upon which we 
shall comment in a note, it appears conformable to the facts 
of history. She puts the blame on the parliament and the coun 
cil, and pleads the queen s extreme illness and feebleness, as 
an argument that she ought not to be held responsible for acts 
which she could scarcely control, even if she would. But we 
will let the fair historian speak in her own words, and give 
her own authorities : 

"Her hope of bringing offspring was utterly delusive : the increase of her 
figure was but symptomatic of dropsy, attended by a complication of the 
most dreadful disorders which can afflict the female frame ; under which 

* " See the abstracts from Parliamentary History and Holingshed, which 
show that Henry VIII. for the first time in England, caused an act to be 
made punishing libel with death." 

f Tytler s Edward and Mary, vol. ii, p. 377. 

t Queens of England, v., 237. Ibid., vol. v., p. 268-9. 


every faculty of her mind and body sunk, for many months. At this time 
commenced the horrible persecution of the Protestants, which has stained her 
name to all futurity. But if eternal obloquy was incurred by the half-dead 
queen, what is the due of the parliaments which legalized the acts of cruelty 
committed in her name ? Shall we call the house of lords bigoted, when its 
majority, which legalized this wickedness, were composed of the same indi 
viduals who had planted, very recently, the Protestant Church of England ?* 
Surely not ; for the name implies honest, though wrong-headed attachment 
to one religion. Shall we suppose, that the land laid groaning under the iron 
sway of a standing army, or that the Spanish bridegroom had introduced 
foreign forces ? But reference to facts will prove, that even Philip s house 
hold servants were sent back, with his fleet ; and a few valets, fools, and 
fiddlers, belonging to the grandees, his bridesmen, were all the forces per 
mitted to land no very formidable band to Englishmen. The queen had 
kept her word rigorously ; when she asserted, that no alteration should be 
made in religion, without universal consent. Three times in two years had 
she sent the house of commons back to their constituents ; although they 
were most compliant in every measure relative to her religion. If she had 
bribed one parliament, why did she not keep it sitting during her short 
reign ? If her parliament had been honest as herself, her reign would have 
been the pride of her country, instead of its reproach ; because, if they had 
done their duty, in guarding their fellow creatures from bloody penal laws 
regarding religion, the queen, by her first regal act, in restoring the ancient free 
constitution of the great Plantagenets, had put it out of the power of her 
government, to take furtive vengeance on any individual, who opposed it. 
She had exerted all the energy of her great eloquence, to impress on the 
minds of her judges, that they were to sit, as indifferent umpires between her 
self and her people. She had no standing army, to awe parliaments no rich 
civil list, to bribe them. By restoring the great estates of the Howard, the 
Percy, and many other victims of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. s regency ; by 
giving back the revenues of the plundered bishoprics, and the church lands, 

* " The house of lords, in the sixteenth century, was composed of fewer 
members than our present queen s privy council. A numerous legislative 
nobility, it may be inferred, from the history of the Tudors, is far more favor 
able to civil and religious liberty. Many of the haughty ancient nobility, 
who controlled the crown in the preceding age, were cut off by Henry VIII. ; 
and their places supplied by parvenus ; the menial servants of the royal 
household, raised by caprice, whose fathers had been mace-bearers to lord- 
mayors, heralds, and lower limbs of the law, etc ; proper candidates for the 
lower house if they won their way by ability, but awkward members of a 
house of peers, then amounting to but fifty laymen." Queens of England. 


possessed by the crown ; she had reduced herself to poverty, as complete, as 
the most enthusiastic lover of freedom could desire. But her personal ex 
penditure was extremely economical, and she successfully struggled with 
poverty, till her husband involved England in a French war. 

" The fact of whether the torpid and half-dead queen was the instigator of 
a persecution, the memory of which curdles the blood with horror, at this 
distance of time, is a question of less moral import, at the present day, than a 
clear analyzation of the evil, with which selfish interests had infected the 
legislative powers of our country. It was in vain, that Mary almost ab 
stained from creating peers, and restored the ancient custom of annual par 
liaments ;* the majority of the persons composing the houses of peers and 
commons were dishonest, indifferent to all religions, and willing to establish 
the most opposing rituals, so that they might retain their grasp on the ac 
cursed thing with which their very souls were corrupted for corrupted 
they were, though not by the unfortunate queen. The church lands, with 
which Henry VIII. had bribed his aristocracy, titled and untitled, into co 
operation with his enormities, both personal and political, had induced na 
tional depravity. 

"The leaders of the Marian persecution, Gardiner and Bonner, were of 
the apostate class of persecutors. Flesh bred in murder, they had belonged 
to the government of Henry VIII., which sent the zealous Eoman Catholic 
and the pious Protestant to the same stake. For the sake of worldly advan 
tage, either for ambition or power, Gardiner and Bonner had, for twenty 
years, promoted the burning or quartering of the advocates of papal supre 
macy ; they now turned with the tide, and burnt, with the same degree of 
conscientiousness, the opposers of papal supremacy. 

" The persecution appears to have been greatly aggravated by the caprice, 
or the private vengeance, of these prelates ; for a great legalist of our times, 
who paid unprejudiced attention to the facts, has thus summed up the case : 
Of fourteen bishoprics, the Catholic prelates used their influence so success 
fully, as altogether to prevent bloodshed in nine, and to reduce it within 
limits in the remaining five.f Bonner, whom all generations shall call 

* Drake s Parliamentary History. 

f We are sorry to find that the usually candid authoress here omits an 
important sentence in Mackintosh s testimony, going very far towards ex 
onerating Gardiner. The omitted passage is this: "Justice to Gardiner 
requires it to be mentioned that his diocese was of the bloodless class." 

She also omits a passage which immediately follows that quoted by her, 
and which contains a palliating circumstance in favor of Bonner ; and she 
forgets to mention Fuller, as the author of the strong denunciation uttered 
against him. We give the passage, marking in italics the omitted portions : 


bloody, raged so furiously in the diocese of London, as to be charged with 
burning half the martyrs in the kingdom."* 

" Cardinal Pole, the queen s relative and familiar friend, declined all inter 
ference with these horrible executions ; he considered his vocation was the 
reformation of manners ; he used to blame Gardiner, for his reliance on the 
arm of flesh, and was known to rescue from Bonner s crowded piles of mar 
tyrs the inhabitants of his own district.f It is more probable that the 
queen s private opinion leant to her cousin, who had retained the religion 
she loved unchanged, than to Gardiner, who had been its persecutor ; but 

" Of fourteen bishoprics, the Catholic prelates used their influence so suc 
cessfully as altogether to prevent bloodshed in nine, and to reduce it within 
limits in the remaining five. Justice to Gardiner requires it to le mentioned 
that his diocese was of the bloodless class. Thirlby, bishop of Ely, who wept 
plentifully when lie ivas employed in desecrating Cranmer, perhaps thought him 
self obliged to cause one man to be burned at Cambridge, as an earnest of his 
zeal. Bonner, says Fuller, whom all generations shall call bloody, raged 
so furiously in the diocese of London, as to be charged with burning about 
one half of the martyrs of the kingdom. Truth, however, exacts the observa 
tion, that the number brought to the capital for terrific example, swells the appar 
ent account, of Bonner even beyond his desert." (Mackintosh s History of Eng 
land, p. 249. Edit. Carey, Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1834.) 

Surely, while so strongly blaming Gardiner, she should not have omitted 
a passage so much in his favor. Whatever may be said of the conduct of 
Bonner and Gardiner un<ier the reign of Henry VIII.. we are strongly in 
clined to believe that injustice is done them by the amiable authoress, in as 
signing to them so prominent a part in the Marian persecution. They ap 
pear to have been rather reluctant agents than active instigators, much less 
originators of the persecution ; as we have partly shown above. 

Of the Catholic prelates under Mary, Mackintosh says, that many of them 
" are recorded by Protestant writers to have exercised effectual, and perhaps 
hazardous humanity. Tunstall, bishop of Durham, appears to have some 
times spoken to the accused with a violence foreign from the general tenor 
of his life. It has been suggested that, according to a practice of which there 
are remarkable instances, in other seasons of tyranny and terror, he submit 
ted thus far to wear the disguise of cruelty, in order that he might be better 
able to screen more victims from destruction." (Ibid. p. 291. See also Water- 
worth, p. 268, note.) And even the prejudiced Soames says : " The bishops 
eagerly availed themselves of any subterfuge by which they could escape 
pronouncing these revolting sentences." Vol. iv, p. 412, Ibid. 

* History of England, by Sir James Mackintosh, vol. ii, p. 328. 

f Burnet s History of the Reformation, vol. ii. 


Gardiner was armed witfi the legislative powers of the kingdom, unworthy 
as its time-serving legislators were to exercise them. 

" Yet all ought not to be included in one sweeping censure : a noble mi 
nority of good men, disgusted at the detestable penal laws, which lighted the 
torturing fires for the Protestants, seceded bodily from the house of com 
mons, after vainly opposing them. This glorious band, for the honor of hu 
man nature, was composed of Catholics as well as Protestants ; it was headed 
by the great legalist, Sergeant Plowden,* a Catholic so firm, as to refuse the 
chancellorship, when persuaded to take it by Queen Elizabeth, because he 
would not change his religion. This secession is the first indication of a 
principle of merciful toleration to be found among any legislators in England. 

" Few were the numbers of these good men,f and long it was before their 
principles gained ground. For truly the world had not made sufficient ad 
vance in Christian civilization, at that time, to recognize any virtue in reli 
gious toleration." 

*" When Francis Plowden published his History of Ireland, Sir Philip 
Musgrave entered into some strictures on it. He was answered by the au 
thor, who quoted a letter of Queen Elizabeth, offering the chancellorship to 
his ancestor, if he would abjure his religion. Fuller, our church historian, 
a man as honest as himself, is enthusiastic in the praise of this noble-minded 
lawyer, who is, perhaps, a still finer specimen of human nature than Sir 
Thomas More himself, since he was so far in advance of his age, as to have 
understood that religious toleration was a virtue. Camden, another honest 
man, speaks with delight of Plowden. How excellent a medley is made, 
says he, when honesty and ability meet in a man of his profession ! He 
was treasurer of the Temple in 1572, when that magnificent hall was builded, 
he being a great advancer thereof. His monument is to be seen in the Tem 
ple church close by, at the north-east of the choir, lying along, with his 
hands in the attitude of supplication ; he is represented in his coif and gown, 
and a little ruff 1 about his neck. He died Feb. 6, 1584." 

f " They were thirty-seven in number. See Parliamentary History, vol. 
iii, p. 333, where the names of all these intrepid members of parliament may 
be read. Good Christians they were, though different denominations of re 
ligion were found in their ranks. Some of their descendants are Catholics to 
this day, as the Plowdens ; some are Protestants of our church, as the des 
cendants of Eous, member for Dunwich. The humane seceders from parlia 
ment were punished for the desertion of their seats by fine, imprisonment, 
and other star-chamber inflictions, and (what does not appear so very un 
reasonable) by loss of tJieir parliamentary wages. The secession took place 
twice. Sir Edward Coke has preserved some particulars relating to it; he 
was the last man who would have followed such an example." 


12. There is abundant evidence, besides that already 
alleged, to show, that Cardinal Pole, the papal legate, was 
greatly averse to all these severe proceedings, and that his 
moderation even gave offense and provoked censure ; and it 
were manifestly unjust to charge them on the Catholic 
Church or on the sovereign Pontiff.* Though Mary 

* Of Cardinal Pole, the papal legate and official representative of the sen 
timents of the Holy See in England, the two standard Protestant historians, 
Burnet and Heylin, speak as follows : " He professed himself an enemy to 
extreme proceedings. He said, pastors ought to have bowels, even to their 
straying sheep ; bishops were fathers, and ought to look on those that erred 
as their sick children, and not for that to kill them ; he had seen that severe 
proceedings did rather inflame than cure that disease." " He advised that 
they should rest themselves satisfied with the restitution of their own reli 
gion ; that the said three statutes should be held forth for a terrour only, 
but that no open persecution should be raised upon them ; following therein, 
as he affirmed, the counsell sent unto the queen by Charles the emperour, 
at her first comming to the crown, by whom she was advised to create no 
trouble unto any man for matter of conscience, but to be warned unto the 
contrary by his example, who, by endeavoring to compell others to his own 
religion, had tried and spent himself in vain." Burnet ii, 467, apud Water- 
worth, p. 263-4. Heylin, p. 47, Ibid. 

Even the worst enemies of Pole seem never to have accused him of intol 
erance. The fact that he was a near relative of Mary, and her official 
adviser in behalf of the Church and the Pontiff, would seem to point to the 
inference, that her opinion agreed with his, and that she was forced by the 
pressure of her council and parliament, and by the reasons of state which 
these alleged, to act against her own opinion and wishes. Certain it is, that 
in persecuting she was not led, nor even warranted, by any principle or doc 
trine of her Church. 

In his History of England, Mackintosh very unjustly censures Pole for 
not having prevented the persecution, thereby supposing that he had more 
power in England than he really possessed. Bishop Short is more just ; he 
says (p. 114 sup. cit.) : 

" Pole had always been averse to violent persecution, but was unable to 
show any opposition to it sufficiently strong even to mitigate its severity ; 
for independently of the suspicions which were entertained concerning his own 
opinions, Gardiner had sent unfavorable reports of his conduct to the apos 
tolic chamber." 

This last fact may be questioned, but Short s opinion of Pole is valuable. 
He says, moreover, (p. 117) that the reason why Pole was recalled from 


inherited the exalted virtues of her mother, she had some 
thing, too, of the rude Tudor boldness and waywardness of 
her father, though she generally kept this temper under sub 
jection. She made no scruple, for instance, of quarreling 
with the Pope, when he thwarted her views. Thus, true to 
the traditions of her house, she urged the penalty of a prae- 
munire, to prevent the bulls of the Pope from entering the 
kingdom, when she apprehended his intention of recalling 
Pole.* She even went to the length of causing the bearer 
of the papal letters to be arrested at Calais on his way to 
England, of having his despatches secretly forwarded to her 
self, and of suppressing or destroying them; so that Pole 
might receive no official account of his being displaced. 
Such a sovereign was likely to rule on her own responsibility, 
and not to be guided by the advice, much less to brook the dicta 
tion of the Pontiff. Her acts were her own, and she, with her 
parliament and council, is alone fairly responsible for them. 

But that she was really a most virtuous, upright, conscien 
tious, and even merciful woman, and that there were strongly 
mitigating circumstances in the case of her persecution, all 
candid persons who have read English history, or even the 
imperfect summary of facts above given, will be fully pre 
pared to admit. That she does not deserve the epithet of 
"bloody," must be apparent to every man of justice and 

We will close this chapter by presenting the estimate of 
Mary s character as made even by the prejudiced Anglican 
bishop Short. Though he naturally censures her for perse 
cuting Protestants, yet, under some respects, he does a mea 
sure of justice to the long proscribed and unfortunate queen, 
as well as to Cardinal Pole and her chancellor Gardiner. Of 
the latter he writes : 

England, and his legative powers were withdrawn by the Pope was, that he 
had not prevented the war between France and Spain into which England 
was drawn. 

* For a full account of this difficulty, see Lingard, ibid., p. 233-4. 


"He was a shrewd, clever man, and probably much more of a politician 
than a churchman. The treatment which he himself had received may 
account for some of his virulence, if it cannot excuse it ; nor does he appear 
to have been totally devoid of kindness towards Protestants ; for during his 
prosperity he screened- Sir Thomas Smith and R. Ascham from persecution : 
and it must never be forgotten that he effectually prevented this country 
from falling under the Spanish yoke, at a moment when his personal inter 
ests would have induced him to promote a connection with that court."* 

Of Mary and Pole he writes as follows : 

"In the earlier part of the summer, the queen had been engaged in re 
building the convent of Franciscans at Greenwich ; and for the purpose of 
endowing as many religious houses as she could, gave up all the Church 
lands vested in the crown, and in the end of the year discharged the clergy 
from the payment, of first fruits and tenths ; anxious no doubt that the 
Church should be provided for in temporalities, as well as reformed in its dis 
cipline : for in the convocation which was held by Cardinal Pole (Nov. 2), 
many constitutions were made highly beneficial to the ecclesiastical body, in 
preventing abuses and reforming its members, and which, had they been car 
ried into full execution, must have gone far to establish the Roman Catholic 
religion, for a time at least, on a firm basis."f 

" With all her faults, Mary must be allowed the praise of sincerity ; for 
the love she bore to the Roman Catholic religion and the Papacy induced 
her to advance its supposed interests at her own expense, as well as that 
of her persecuted subjects ; and her chief misfortune seems to have been 
this, that a genius which would have shone in a nunnery was exalted to a 

In proof of her disinterested zeal for religion, he adds : 
" Her foundations were made out of the revenues of the crown, and in 
stead of making a gain of godliness, as was the general plan of the Beforma- 
tion, she offered not up unto the Lord of that which cost her nothing. 
Among other donations, she gave some rectories, which were in the hands 
of the crown, to Oxford, to repair the schools ; and restored the temporali 
ties to Durham, which had been taken away as a prey for the duke of 

* History Church of England, p. 114 f Ibid. J Ibid., p. 117. 

Ibid., note. We omit some of his remarks about Mary, whose chief 
misfortune he considers was not to have had more wise and liberal counsel 
ors. He must needs say something to show his sound orthodoxy as an 
Anglican, which circumstance renders his admissions all the more valuable. 




Glance at the four reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth 
Elizabeth the real foundress of the Anglican Church Four questions pro 
pounded The first question Temporal interests and political expediency 
Elizabeth and the Pontiff Stern consistency of the Papacy Elizabeth 
takes her stand Sir William Cecil Her insincerity and his intrigues 
Measures adopted for re-establishing Anglicanism Cecil s plan Firm 
opposition of the Catholic bishops Keasons for their alarm The queen 
crowned And immediately breaks her solemn oath The second ques 
tion Did the Anglican church reform itself? A packed parliament 
The convocation in the opposition How its voice was hushed The pub 
lic discussion Bishop Short reviewed Catholic bishops imprisoned 
The acts enforcing conformity And establishing the Book of Common 
Prayer and Thirty-nine Articles The Church established by law Catholic 
bishops deposed The non-juring clergy Vacancies in parishes Me 
chanics appointed to read the new service Bishop Short s testimony 
Third question Foundations of Anglican hierarchy Embarrassment 
Parker s consecration Three great difficulties stated The validity of 
Anglican ordinations at least doubtful The question of jurisdiction The 
fourth question stated And answered A curious "bull" of Elizabeth 
Elizabeth swears Testimony of Hallam and McCrie Penal laws of 
1562-3 Lord Montague s noble speech Hallam onCamden and Strype 
Northern insurrections A terrible and bloody code Hallam on Lingard 
Elizabeth s Inquisition Her " Pursuivants " Fines for recusancy The 
prisons filled And the magistrates complaining Nobility and gentry 
ruined Bloody executions; Number of victims The rack seldom idle 
Bull of Pope Pius V. Did not cause, but greatly aggravated the perse 
cution Hallam s testimony He confirms all our important statements 
Loyality of Catholics Cecil defends the use of the rack The hunted 
priests The church spoilers Their fate Three other Protestant wit 
nesses Nothing; can soften Elizabeth Bishop Short on her rapacity, 
sacrilege, and tyranny The verdict of history rendered. 

UNDER Henry VIII. the foundations of the Anglican church 
were laid, by the violent wresting of England from obedience 


to, and communion with the Holy See ; under Edward VI., the 
breach was made still wider, the remnants of Catholicity 
which Henry had left were swept away, and the prelimina 
ries were arranged for a new and distinct church organiza 
tion ; under Elizabeth, finally, the work of the Reformation 
was completed, the old Church was finally destroyed in Eng 
land, and the new church firmly established by law. Under 
her long reign of more than forty-four years, the new church 
organization was consolidated, and England took her final 
stand among the nations which were arrayed .in opposition to 
Rome and to the Catholic Church. Elizabeth may then be 
viewed as the zeal foundress of the Anglican church, as 
established by law, and as existing to this day ; and to her 
rightly belongs the merit or demerit of having firmly estab 
lished in England a new church on the ruins of the old.* 

Such being plainly the case, it is not only curious, but 
highly important to inquire, what motives prompted, and 
what means were employed to bring about and to consummate 
this final separation of England from Catholic unity. 

1. Was the action of Elizabeth prompted by religious, or 
by merely temporal and political motives ; by a newly born love 
of the truth as contained in the new gospel, or by a wish to 
promote her own interests and the consolidation of her own 
throne ? 

2. Did the regularly constituted authorities and organs of 
the English church willingly adopt the change in religion, 
and thereby make it true that " the English church reformed 
itself;" or was the change brought about by the state in spite 
of their solemn protest and united opposition? 

3. Were the foundations of the new hierarchy, which super- 

* Bishop Short, an accredited authority, admits this. He says (History 
of the Church of England, p. 125) : "As these documents together, (he is 
speaking of the acts passed in the first year of Elizabeth) form the basis of 
our present church, we may deem the Reformation to have now received its 
accomplishment ; the changes which have been since made are in their 
nature insignificant. 1 


seded the old, solidly laid; or are the claims of the new 
Anglican bishops to valid orders and lawful jurisdiction even 
plausibly defensible ? 

4. Finally, were the means employed for establishing the 
new religions order, and for securing conformity with the 
new worship and obedience to the new organization, such as 
are consistent with the spirit of the gospel, and such as we 
would naturally look for in a change for the better ? 

We propose briefly to answer these four questions, in the 
order in which they are here placed ; and the facts which we 
will endeavor to present under each head will, if we mistake 
not, go far towards enabling our candid readers to form a 
proper estimate of the real foundations upon which rest the 
claims of the present Anglican church to be the Church of 

I. Was the action of Elizabeth, in bringing about and 
consummating the final separation of England from Catho 
lic unity, prompted by religious or by merely temporal and 
political motives ? 

There can be but one answer to this question ; the facts of 
history clearly allow of no other. They all point in one 
direction not heavenward but earthward. We may not, 
indeed, penetrate the secrets of hearts, which only He " who 
searcheth hearts and reins " is able to fathom ; but it is fair 
to estimate the motives of public characters by their un 
doubted public acts ; and, in fact, we have no other criterion 
than this for forming a sound judgment on matters of his 
torical importance. Judged by this standard, it is altogether 
certain, that Elizabeth was prompted to her new course of 
religious policy, not by the love of truth, but by temporal 
motives alone. 

Elizabeth was a Catholic when she ascended the throne on 
the death of Mary, in November, 1558. As we have already 
seen, she had conformed to the Catholic faith during the 
reign of her sister, and had striven to give palpable evidence 

VOL. II. 14 


of her sincerity by the zeal and alacrity with which she per 
formed the outward duties of the ancient religion, which she 
had with so much seeming willingness embraced. The 
Catholics at first seem to have trusted her sincerity; the 
Protestants hoped that she had conformed only temporarily, 
through motives of enlightened self-interest, and that her real 
sympathies were still with them. The Protestants were right, 
and the Catholics were deceived, as the event abundantly 
proved.* With the sturdy self-will and tyrannical spirit of 
her father, she had inherited the coquetry, the finesse, and 
the insincerity of her mother ; but she was endowed with far 
more adroitness and cunning, was possessed of far more ad 
ministrative ability, and was probably guided in her conduct 
by less of moral principle, than either of her parents. All 
this is proved by the whole tenor of her long reign. 

2. It is probable that she was really indifferent on the 
subject of religion, and that if it had suited her interests as 
well, she would have continued a zealous Catholic, and would 
have maintained the Catholic religion just as she found it on 
her accession. But she was well aware, that the Catholic 
Church, through the Pope, had decided against the divorce of 
her father and his attempted marriage with her mother, 
thereby declaring her own birth illegitimate ; and that, as a 
principle was involved, and the Catholic Church never yields 
a principle, she could not reasonably hope that her claim to 
be considered the lawful heir of her father and the rightful 
successor to the throne, however it might be acquiesced in as 

* There is no evidence to sustain what Hallam says, in his Constitutional 
History of England (p. 71) concerning Elizabeth s "forced compliance with 
the Catholic rites during the late reign." As we have seen, Mary treated 
her with the utmost kindness, and no threats, much less forcible means, 
were employed for her conversion ; to the full sincerity of which Elizabeth 
most solemnly swore before her sister s death. Oaths, however, seemed to 
have cost her very little, and to have weighed but very lightly on her pecu 
liarly versatile and elastic conscience. What cared she, if the earth did open 
and swallow her up, in case she did not tell the truth ! she had not suffi 
cient faith to make this terrible imprecation even impressive. 


a matter of fact, would ever be formally recognized on prin 
ciple by the Pontiifs or the Church. 

This apprehension was still further increased by the answer 
of Pope Paul IY. to Carne, the English ambassador at Rome, 
when the .latter announced to him her accession to the throne, 
with the additional message containing her promise, that she 
would offer no violence to the consciences of her subjects. 
The aged Pontiff he had passed his eightieth year is said 
to have responded rather coolly, that " he could not com 
prehend the hereditary right of one not born in lawful wed 
lock; that the queen of Scots claimed the crown as the 
nearest legitimate descendant of Henry VII. ; but that, if 
Elizabeth were willing to submit the controversy to his arbi 
tration, she should receive from him every indulgence which 
justice could allow."* If this statement may be relied on,f 

* Pallavicino, Storia del Concilio di Trento, ii, 521 ; quoted by Lingard, 
History of England, vii, 253. 

f In his Constitutional History of England, (p. 72, note,) Mr. Hallam 
says, in reference to this alleged message to the Pontiff and the answer of 
the latter : " This remarkable fact, which runs through all domestic and 
foreign histories, has been disputed, and, as far as appears, disproved by the 
late editor of Dodd s Church History of England (vol. iv, preface,) on the 
authority of Game s own letters in the State Paper office. It is at least 
highly probable, not to say evident from these, that Elizabeth never con 
templated so much intercourse with the Pope, even as a temporal sovereign, 
or (as ?) to notify her accession to him ; and it had before been shown by 
Strype, that on December 1, 1558, an order was despatched to Carne, for 
bidding him to proceed in an ecclesiastical suit, wherein, as English ambas 
sador, he had been engaged." Mr. Tierney, the editor of Dodd, ascribes the 
story to "the inventive powers of Paul Sarpi." However, it had been stated, 
or copied, by Spondanus and Pallavicino, and from them had passed to most 

One thing appears certain : that Elizabeth s early movements against 
Rome were taken without any reference whatever to the alleged reply of the 
Pontiff, which she could not have had time to receive, before she took her 
final stand on the subject of religion. This is clearly proved by Hallam, by 
reference to dates and other arguments. He says : " But it is chiefly mate 
rial to observe, that Elizabeth displayed her determination to keep aloof from 
Rome in the very beginning of her reign ;" and again, "From the dates of 


probably the Pontiff had been previously addressed on the 
subject by the French ambassador, who had strongly urged 
the claims of Mary of Scots ; she having lately become the 
daughter-in-law of the French monarch, by marrying Fran 
cis, his eldest son and the heir to the throne. 

The alleged response of the Pontiff, if unfortunate and 
highly impolitic, as it may have been, was at least dictated 
by sound principle, and by that love of truth which rises 
above all merely human considerations and leaves conse 
quences in the hands of God. It was fully in conformity 
with the hereditary traditions of the Papacy, which has 
always preferred truth and justice to mere expediency. The 
opinion of the Pontiff, if ever uttered, was, moreover, clearly 
in accordance with the declaration of the English statute 
book itself, upon which the record of her mother s attainder 
and of Elizabeth s illegitimacy still remained unrepealed. 
The result was, to confirm Elizabeth in her determination to 
abolish the Catholic religion in England, and to set up another 
of her own creation, which would be more supple in prin 
ciple, more compliant with her wishes, and more subservient 
to her policy. She was haunted by the phantom of a Cath 
olic rival to the throne from the very moment of her acces 
sion ; and this phantom, while it seems to have thus deter 
mined her early policy, pursued her during more than half of 
her long reign, until it w^as finally laid by the bloody consum 
mation of a cruelty, combined with a treachery unparalelled 
in the annals of history the barbarous murder of her cousin, 
poor Mary of Scots ! 

these and other facts, it may be fairly inferred that Elizabeth s resolution 
was formed independently of the Pope s behaviour towards Carne." Constit. 
Hist., p. 72, note. 

The argument in the text is based on the supposed authenticity of the Pope s 
answer to Carne, as generally reported by historians. If this be not true, 
however, the argument is not weakened, but, in one point of view, rather 
strengthened ; for then the action of Elizabeth was wholly unprovoked, and 
her insult to the religion of her subjects more atrocious, because wanton and 
without any excuse. The truth is, she wished to be Pope, or Popess, herself! 


3. Having determined on her line of policy, Elizabeth 
chose her instruments for carrying it out. In this she dis 
played that sagacity in the selection of her advisers, which 
distinguished her throughout her reign. She chose, as her 
prime minister and principal counselor, a man as remarkable 
for his signal ability in the administration of public affairs, 
as for his utter disregard of principle in carrying out his 
measures. Sir William Cecil was a man after Elizabeth s 
own heart. Pardoned by the clemency of Mary for his par 
ticipation in the treason of Northumberland, he had, like 
Elizabeth, conformed to the Catholic religion, and had taken 
great pains to ingratiate himself with Mary by outward com 
pliance with Catholic duties and an affectation of zeal for 
Catholic interests, especially in bringing about the reconcilia 
tion with Rome. But Mary with reason distrusted his sin 
cerity, and was slow in bestowing on him her confidence, in 
spite of Cardinal Pole s recommendation. Cecil, thus foiled 
in his ambition, directed his attention towards Elizabeth, 
"the rising sun" and heir presumptive to the crown; and by 
his wily arts and fulsome flattery, he succeeded in worming 
himself fully into her confidence, even during the latter days 
of her sister s reign. From the moment of her accession, he 
became the controlling spirit of her council, and regulated 
her whole policy. He was as ready as she, to turn his back 
on the old Church, and to undertake the task of destroying it 
from the face of England. To accomplish this end the more 
surely, he suggested the following plan, which was acted on 
within the first month of Elizabeth s reign :* 

" 1. To forbid all manner of sermons, that the preachers (Catholic) might 
not excite their hearers to resistance ; 2. to intimidate the clergy by prose 
cutions under the statute of prasmunire and other penal laws ; 3. to debase 
in the eyes of the people all who had been in authority under the late 
queen, by rigorous inquiries into their conduct, and by bringing them, when 
ever it was possible, under the lash of the law ; 4. to remove the present 

* Lingard, vii, p. 244-5. Condensed from the paper as published by 
Burnet, ii, 327, and more accurately by Strypc, Annals, i, Kec. 4. 


magistrates, and to appoint others meaner in substance and younger in 
years, but better affected towards the reformed doctrines ; 5. to name a 
secret committee of divines, who should revise and correct the liturgy pub 
lished by Edward VI. ; and lastly, to communicate the plan to no other 
persons than Parr, the late marquess of Northampton, the earls of Bedford 
and Pembroke, and the lord John G-rey, till the time should arrive when it 
must be laid before the whole council." 

4. By degrees this secret movement became generally 
known. The Catholic bishops, most of whom were then in 
London to attend the funeral of Mary and assist at the coro 
nation of her successor, were justly alarmed. Their appre 
hension was increased by the arrest and imprisonment of 
Bishop White of Winchester, for having dared defend the 
Catholic religion in his funeral sermon over the remains of 
the late queen ; it settled down into a conviction of coming 
mischief to the Church, when a royal proclamation appeared, 
forbidding the clergy to preach, and ordering the established 
worship to be observed " until consultation might be had in 
parliament by the queen and the three estates." Another 
indication of the royal councils tended still further to aggra 
vate the alarm. Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle, when about 
to celebrate Mass in the royal chapel on Christmas day, 
received an order not to elevate the sacred Host in the 
queen s presence. He replied, with noble independence, 
" that his life was the queen s, but his conscience his own ; 
on which Elizabeth, rising immediately after the gospel, 
retired with her attendants."* 

5. Thank God, there was now found to exist some independ 
ence of royal dictation in the episcopal body ; which appears 
to have been only surprised into acquiescence or conformity 
in Henry s reign, but had now learned by bitter experience 
the wiles of unscrupulous politicians seeking to destroy the 
Church of God. The bishops immediately met in council, 
and after mature deliberation, unanimously resolved, that 
they could not in conscience assist at the consecration of a 

* Lingard, vii, p. 255. Camden 33, 34. etc. 


queen, who even at this early day undertook, by her sole will, 
to settle against them grave questions of theology; who 
would probably take it upon herself to set aside, in the same 
arbitrary way, the most solemn and important rites of the 
coronation service itself; and who, if she took the usual oath 
to uphold with her entire authority the freedom and stability 
of the established Catholic Church, could not reasonably be 
expected to comply with her solemnly sworn promise. 

Elizabeth and Cecil were now embarassed ; their artful 
design had prematurely transpired, and fears were entertained 
that it might meet with serious popular opposition, perhaps 
be entirely thwarted, should the queen not be crowned in the 
usual way. At length, the scruples of Oglethorpe were over 
come, and he consented to crown the queen, but only on con 
dition that the entire service should be performed, and that 
she should take the oath in its usual form. She did so, and 
solemnly sealed it by the reception of the holy Sacrament 
under one kind. How she kept her oath or rather how 
recklessly she trampled it under foot almost immediately 
afterwards*" we shall see more fully in the answer to the 
second question.f 

* The coronation took place January 15, 1559; the parliament which 
abolished the religion she had so solemnly sworn to uphold, was opened on 
the 25th of the same month only ten days afterwards. The bishops were 
clearly right in doubting her sincerity. 

f Says Macaulay (Review of Hallam s Constit. History) : 
"Elizabeth clearly discerned the advantages which were to be derived 
from a close connection between the monarchy and the priesthood. At the 
time of her accession, indeed, she evidently meditated a partial reconciliation 
with Rome. And throughout her whole life, she leaned strongly to some of 
the most obnoxious parts of the Catholic system. But her imperious temper, 
her keen sagacity, and her peculiar situation, soon led her to attach herself 
completely to a church which was all her own. On the same principle on 
which she joined it, she attempted to drive all her people within its pale by 
persecution. She supported it by severe penal laws, not because she thought 
conformity to its discipline necessary to salvation, but because it was the 
fastness which arbitrary power was making strong for itself; because she 


II. Did the regularly constituted authorities and organs 
of the English church willingly adopt the change of reli 
gion, and thereby make it true that " the English church 
reformed itself; " or was the change brought about by the 
state in spite of their solemn protest and united opposition ? 

Nothing can be more certain than the truth of the propo 
sition implied in the latter member of the question. The 
popular theory that " the English church reformed itself "- 
is a mere fiction of the imagination, and it has not even the 
shadow of a foundation in the real facts of English history. 
The change of religion in England was introduced and ac 
complished solely by the strong arm of the state, and in 
direct opposition to the known and clearly expressed wishes, 
not only of the entire Catholic episcopate, but of nearly all 
the higher clergy, including the leading members of the two 
great universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was made, 
too, in plain opposition to the faith and will of the great 
mass of the English population, which was still Catholic. 
By what expedients the religious revolution was brought 
about, under such seemingly untoward circumstances, we will 
now attempt briefly to show. 

1. The parliament, which was to accomplish the great 
work, had been previously carefully packed by the arch- 
man ceuvrer, Cecil. To secure a majority in the upper house, 
five new lords of well known Protestant principles were 
created ; while a majority was obtained in the commons by 
the high-handed measure of sending to the sheriffs of the 
counties lists of court-candidates, out of which the members 

expected a more profound obedience from those who saw in her both their 
civil and their ecclesiastical head, than from those who, like the Papists, 
ascribed spiritual authority to the Pope, or from those who, like some of the 
Puritans, ascribed it only to Heaven. To dissent from her establishment 
was to dissent from an institution founded with an express view to the 
maintenance and extension of the royal prerogative." 


to be returned must be selected.* With a parliament thus 
artfully selected, composed of crouching aspirants after court 
favor and of greedy new lords who had their fortunes to 
make out of the remaining spoils of the old Church, Cecil 
entertained no apprehensions of failure in carrying out his 
favorite project. Constituted as it was, the parliament 
clearly did not fairly represent the sentiment of England, and 
its action could be no certain exponent of the opinions, 
religious or otherwise, of the English masses. The members 
were, like Cecil s new magistrates, " meaner in substance and 
younger in years," than their predecessors ; but, for this very 
reason, they were all the better qualified to do the work 
which was expected of them. And they did it accordingly, 
most promptly and most zealously. 

The better, however, to prepare their minds for obedience 
to the royal will, the queen s opening speech, delivered by 
the new lord keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was marked by the 
imperious tone of Henry VIII. ; and it boldly assumed the 
ground of an absolute and all absorbing royal prerogative, 
which could illy brook popular opposition. Such a pretension 
was comparatively unknown in the good old Catholic times, 
and it had become fashionable only since England had con 
sented humbly to lay her religion, and with it the liberties of 
her Catholic Magna Charta, at the foot of the throne.f The 
houses of parliament " were not, however, to suppose, that 
their concurrence was necessary for these purposes the queen 
could have effected them if she had so pleased, of her own 
authority but she rather sought contentation by assent, 
and surety by advice, and was willing to require of her lov- 

* " The court named five candidates for shires, or counties, and three for 
the boroughs." Strype, i, 32. Ibid., p. 257. 

f How very different was the tone of her sister$ the "bloody Mary," who 
had the noble courage to relinquish prerogative and to restore the ancient 
Catholic constitution of England to its pristine freedom and integrity, we 
have already seen in the previous chapter, on the authority 6f Miss Strick 

VOL. n. 15 


ing subjects nothing which they were not contented freely 
and frankly to offer. "* 

2. In the commons, as was already foreseen and carefully 
provided for, the bill to abolish the old and establish the new 
religion, passed without much, at least serious opposition ; in 
the lords, it passed only after a stormy debate. But what is 
more to our present purpose, in the convocation of the clergy, 
it experienced a most vigorous and unanimous, but fruitless 
opposition. This body presented to the house of lords a 
memorial, setting forth their full and unshaken belief in all 
the principal articles of the Catholic faith, with a solemn 
protestation, "that to decide on doctrine, sacraments, and 
discipline belonged, not to any lay assembly, but t > he aw r - 
ful pastors of the Church. Both universities subscribed the 
confession of the convocation, and the bishops unanimously 
seized every opportunity to speak and vote against the 

To neutralize or overcome this opposition, Cecil adopted an 
expedient well worthy of his sagacity. He ordered a public 
dispute on religion between five Catholic bishops and three 
Catholic doctors on the one side, and eight Protestant minis 
ters on the other. The lord keeper Bacon a violent partisan 
of the new gospelers was appointed to act as moderator ; 
and the debates of parliament were suspended that all might 
be able to attend the discussion. The manifestly partial 
regulation was adopted, that on each day of the debate the 
Catholic side should have the opening and the Protestant the 
closing argument : and when, on the second day, the bishops 
objected to this unjust arrangement, and claimed equal pri 
vileges with their adversaries, their request was sternly 
refused by Bacon ; whereupon the bishops refused to go on 
with the discussion, under disadvantages so manifest and 

* The hand of the adroit and wily Cecil is apparent in this speech, which, 
while claiming despotic power, seems to defer to the wishes of the people. 
See Strype, and D Ewes, ii. 

f Wilkins, Concil. iv., 179. Ibid., p. 260. 


glaring. This seems to have been precisely the result con 
templated and desired by Cecil. Two of the most influential 
bishops of Winchester and Lincoln were committed to the 
tower, and the other six disputants on the Catholic side were 
bound over to make their appearance daily, till judgment 
would be pronounced on them.* 

The desired object was now attained: the majority was 
fully assured in the house of lords by the effectual silencing 
of two strong voices ; and it was calculated with confidence, 
that the fear of similar punishment by the rest of the clergy 
would break, if not silence, the determined opposition in the 
convocation. The convocation does not seem to have yielded 
to the menace ; but such of its members as had a vote in 
parliament were utterly powerless to prevent the passage of 
the additional bill in favor of the new book of Common 
Prayer, which was adopted in the house of lords, however, 
only by the meagre majority of three ; nine temporal and 
nine spiritual lords including all the bishops who could be 
in attendance voting against its passage. 

3. The bills passed on the subject of religion, in this first 
parliament under Elizabeth, provided for the repeal of all the 

* They attended daily for more than a month from the 5th of April till 
the 10th of May, 1559 and were then heavily fined. Strype, i, 87. Kec. 
41. Foxe, iii, 822, etc. Ibid. 

Bishop Short is very unfair in his statement of this discussion. He omits 
many of the facts and distorts others. Following a document signed " by 
several of the privy council " republished by the partisan Burnet, he lays all 
the blame for breaking up the discussion on the Catholic bishops. Still he 
admits the fact of the harsh treatment of the disputants and the imprison 
ment of the two Catholic bishops ; "a step," he adds, "which, though it may 
possibly be defended, on the plea of their disorderly (!) conduct, can not but 
appear severe and vexatious." He says the Catholic bishops objected "in 
toto to thus allowing the laity to become judges in ecclesiastical affairs ;" 
which objection was reasonable enough. He concludes : " Thus ended the 
disputation, of which the result was such as might naturally have been ex 
pected, in which all the passions are excited by its publicity, and no room 
left for quiet discussion ; and yet it was not without its use." History of the 
Church of England, p. 120-1, and note. 


laws restoring the Catholic religion enacted under the late 
reign, and for the revival of the acts of Henry VIII. against 
the papal supremacy, as well as of those of Edward VI. in 
favor of the reformed worship. The Book of Common 
Prayer, as amended by the committee of divines already 
referred to, was ordered to be everywhere used under the 
penalties of confiscation of property, of deprivation of office, 
and ultimately of death itself!* All spiritual jurisdiction, 
for the correction of heresies and abuses, was declared to be 
vested in the crown, and it might be delegated " to any per 
son or persons whatever at the pleasure of the sovereign." 
The penalties for asserting the supremacy of the Pope were : 
forfeiture of all real and personal property for the first offense, 
perpetual imprisonment for the second, and the death of a 
traitor for the third ! Finally, all clergymen taking orders or 
having livings, all magistrates and inferior officers paid by 
the government, as well as laymen suing out the livery of 
their lands, or about to do homage to the queen, should, under 
penalty of deprivation, take the oath of supremacy, whereby 
they renounced all foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction whatever 
within the realm, and acknowledged the queen as supreme 
head and governor of the church in England, in all things 
and causes spiritual as well as temporal, f 

4. The creed of the new church, like its worship, had 
undergone various changes, and had been improved by 
various amendments in the previous reigns of Henry and 
Edward. Under Henry, the number of articles to be believed 
under penalty of death was reduced to six ; under Edward, 
these six were all excluded, and forty-two were substituted in 
their place ; under Elizabeth, the matter of doctrine was still 
further reconsidered, and the number of articles was reduced 
to thirty-nine, as they stand to this day. They passed, with 
very little debate, in the convocation of 1563, which during 

* For more on the Book of Common Prayer and the Articles of Religion 
see note A. at the end of this volume, 
f Stat 1, Elizabeth I. Lingard, ibid., vii, 260. 


the previous four years had been duly expurgated and drilled 
into conformity by the government. The convocation was 
still, indeed, through the royal clemency, permitted to as 
semble simultaneously with the parliament ; without whose 
authority and that of the council, however, the clergy could 
accomplish nothing. Thus, in the present instance, the con 
vocation wished also to make provision for the adequate sup 
port of the inferior clergy, as well as to establish a code of 
ecclesiastical discipline ; but they were peremptorily ordered 
to pass over these matters, as not within their province, and 
to confine themselves to the exposition of doctrine. Thus 
again, the convocation labored hard to force these articles on 
the consciences of all, and to make the rejection of them a 
penal offense ; but the council opposed and defeated their 
design, as not then necessary against the Catholics, who were 
already completely at the mercy of the government, and as 
being offensive to the Protestant dissenters whom it was 
thought prudent to conciliate. All officials of the new church 
were, however, compelled to sign them under pain of depri 

5. Such was the sweeping and terrible legislation, by which, 
in a few short days, the religion and the worship which had 
been hallowed by reverent adoption and constant use, with 
but slight interruption, for nearly a thousand years in Eng 
land, were ruthlessly swept away forever! The work of 
destruction was evidently accomplished by laymen, headed 
by a laj-woman, against the solemn protest and united oppo 
sition of the bishops and of the higher clergy of England. 
It was done by persons to whom Christ never certainly dele 
gated any spiritual authority whatsoever, and who were there 
fore evidently incompetent either to set up one church or to 
destroy another, to adopt one set of doctrines and one kind 
of worship, or to abolish another. It was done by men clothed 
with no spiritual authority, but armed with the carnal 

* See for authorities Lingard, ibid. p. 318 seq. 


weapons of civil power alone. Hence, they very appropri 
ately hedged their new church around with civil pains and 
penalties, and made the chief executive in temporals its 
supreme head also in spirituals. It was thus manifestly a 
law and a parliament-church, from its very inception, and it 
could, by no possibility, be regarded in any other light. It 
was a novelty in legislation, before utterly unheard of in all 
Christian times, to declare the supreme spiritual jurisdiction 
and power vested in a woman ; and thus, while rejecting the 
Pope, really setting up a popess ; clad, too, with power far 
more ample than ever Roman Pope claimed, or even thought 
of claiming!* 

6. Of all the bishops, only one Kitchin of Llandaff could 
be prevailed upon to take the oath of supremacy, and he did 
it with reluctance, and only to retain his see. The rest were 
immediately deposed, and many of them imprisoned.! The 

* Of the nature of the headship over the church of England claimed by 
Elizabeth, we will speak more fully a little further on, when we will come 
to treat of the oath of supremacy. It will be seen, that what is here stated 
in the text is not too strong. Bishop Short says as much, in substance, in 
more than one place. Thus, among other instances of high-handed author 
ity, he mentions her having suspended her primate, Grindal archbishop of 
Canterbury, for having dared write her a respectful letter of remonstrance 
on a matter purely ecclesiastical. See his Church History etc., p. 149-seq. 

f This is confirmed by Hallam, a moderately just, but prejudiced Angli 
can writer, as appears particularly from his two elaborate chapters on the 
reign of Elizabeth ; in one of which he speaks of her treatment of Cath 
olics, in the other of that of dissenters. He tells the truth by instalments, 
and with sundry qualifications and awkward interruptions, as an English 
orator often pauses in speaking, to recover his breath and collect his ideas ! 
He tells us that the number of Catholic bishops happened then " not to ex 
ceed sixteen, one of whom was prevailed on to conform ; while the rest, 
refusing the oath of supremacy, were deprived of their bishoprics by the 
court of ecclesiastical High Commission." Constit. History, p. 73. 

He admits (Ibid., p. 72) that all the bishops opposed the new religious 
establishment : 

" These acts did not pass without considerable opposition among the lords ; 
nine temporal peers, besides all the bishops, having protested against the bill 


same may be said of the great body of the higher and more 
learned and pious of the clergy ; such as the deans, preben 
daries, archdeacons, and leading members of the two uni 
versities, who nobly preferred to the sacrifice of their con 
sciences the loss of their places, and, as happened in many 
cases, of their personal liberty. It was only among the lower 
clergy, who either dreaded the hardships of poverty or ex 
pected another speedy change in religion, that the odious oath 
was taken by any considerable number. Still, with every 
effort to induce them to conform, and after repeated injunc 
tions and commissions issued and appointed by the govern 
ment, in order the more effectually to purge out the non- 
juring clergy, the number of vacancies was still so great in 
the parishes, that lay-teachers, mostly mechanics, had to be 
employed to read the new service.* 
This leads us to the third question: 

of Uniformity establishing the Anglican Liturgy, though some pains had 
been taken to soften the passages obnoxious to Catholics." 

Bishop Short confirms all this. He says : 

" During the whole of the debate on this act (of conformity) the strongest 
opposition was shown on the part of the Roman Catholic bishops, who advo 
cated the cause of civil liberty; being naturally adverse to opinions so much 
at variance with what they had lately professed, and which were at the 
same time likely to eject them from their preferments." .... "All the 
bishops, with the exception of one only, Kitchin of Llandaff, refused to do 
so (to take the oath of supremacy,) and were ejected from their sees to the 
number of fourteen." Sup. cit. p. 120-1. 

* Strype, i, 139 etc. Lingard, ibid., p. 265. 

Bishop Short speaks of the deplorable state to which the two universities 
of Oxford and Cambridge were reduced a year after Elizabeth s accession, 
and he quotes for this purpose Jewell and Bullinger, who declare the mem 
bers " without piety, without religion, without a doctor, without any hope 
of literature, etc." (p. 123, note.) The terrible system of wholesale confis 
cation adopted during the reigns of Henry and Edward had done its sad 
work, which Mary could not repair during her short reign, though she 
labored to do so. Of Elizabeth s clergy the same Anglican prelate furnishes 
a very sad account. They seem, in general, to have been men of little 
learning and of less piety. Thus among the queen s injunctions, was one 


III. Were the foundations of the new hierarchy, which 
superseded the old, solidly laid ; and are the claims set up 
by the Anglican bishops to valid orders and lawful jurisdic 
tion even plausibly defensible ? 

This is a vital question for the Anglican church establish 
ment. Its discussion has filled volumes on both sides. We 
can only furnish some of the principal facts, and state some 
of the chief points which have been made, referring our 
readers for fuller information to works wherein the subject is 
discussed in full. 

1. Cardinal Pole, archbishop of Canterbury, died in July 
1558, twenty-two hours after his relative, Queen Mary. This 
was opportune for the new religious establishment, and it 
became a matter of great importance to its interests to fill the 
vacant primatial see with a man who would be the best cal 
culated to promote them. Elizabeth, the royal head of the 
new church, selected for the post Dr. Matthew Parker, who 
had been chaplain to her mother, and her own particular 
friend. But who was to consecrate him, and in what manner? 

forbidding the clergy to marry a woman, "without the consent of the 
master or mistress with whom she was at service, in case she had no 
relatives a proof of the low rank held by the clergy." (P. 121, note.) 
Thus again, the primate Parker wrote to Grindal, bishop of London, "desir 
ing him not to ordain any more mechanics." (P. 124.) Thus again, he 
quotes Gibson, afterwards bishop of London, to show the learning and 
abilities of the clergy in the archdeaconry of Middlesex in 1563 ; from 
whose statement it appears, that out of one hundred and eighteen clergymen, 
only three were learned in Greek and Latin, and eighty-eight were only 
moderately (mediocriter) or very slightly (parum aliquid) learned in Latin 
only; while thirteen knew no Latin at all, and three seem to have teen 
complete know-nothings (indocti) ! Gibson adds : " If the London clergy 
were thus ignorant, what must we imagine the country divines were ? . 
(P. 124 and note.) 

Elsewhere Short quotes from Bullinger s Decads a passage which may aid 
us in accounting for this sad degeneracy of Elizabeth s clergy : " Patrons 
now-a-days search not the universities for a most fit pastor ; but they post 
up and down the country for a most gainful chapman : he that hath the big- 


2. The difficulties in the way were manifold. All the 
Catholic bishops, except Kitchin of Llandaff, had been de 
posed, and it could scarcely be expected that they would con 
sent to consecrate an archbishop who belonged to the party 
which had supplanted them. The law of the 25th Henry 
VIII., which had been revived in the first parliament of 
Elizabeth, required the election of the archbishop to be con 
firmed, and his consecration to be performed by four bishops. 
If four could even be found to perform the ceremony, how 
should they do it ? The Catholic ordinal had been abolished 
in the present, and that of Edward VI., in the last reign ; so 
that there was actually left in existence no legal form what 
ever for the consecration of a bishop. The difficult case was 
referred by the council to six learned theologians and canon 
ists, who decided that in such an emergency the queen, as 
supreme head of the church, had authority to supply all 
deficiencies !* 

3. Accordingly, after having, as it would seem, first ap 
plied in vain to an Irish Catholic archbishop, who was then 

gest purse to pay largely, not he that hath the best gifts to preach learned 
ly." (P. 138.) 

Hallam says (Constit. History, p. 73), on the authority of Burnet and 
Strype : " In the convocation of 1559, the queen appointed a general eccle 
siastical visitation, to compel the observance of the Protestant formularies. 
It appears from their reports, that only about one hundred dignitaries and 
eighty parochial priests resigned their benefices, or were deprived." This 
number was for a single year, the first of Elizabeth ; and still it is, no 
doubt, far below the mark. Bishop Short states the number as one hundred 
and eighty-nine. (P. 122.) The members of the ecclesiastical visitation 
were court emplo3 r ees and partial witnesses, whose interest it clearly was, 
to make out as favorable a statement as possible to the new head of their 
church. Lingard and other historians place the number of the clergy, who 
were deprived or who resigned, much higher. Burnet, quoted by Hallam 
(Ibid., note,) says, that "pensions were reserved for those who quitted their 
benefices on account of religion." If so, and the pensions were not partial, 
and not merely nominal which we greatly suspect it was an act of simple 
justice, not "a very liberal measure," as Hallam says it was. 

* See authorities, Lingard, ibid., p. 263. 


a prisoner for his faith in the tower,* Elizabeth on the 9th of 
September, 1559, issued a commission, with the requisite san 
atory clause, to Tunstal, bishop of Durham, Bourne of Bath 
and Wells, Pool of Peterborough, Kitchin of Llandaff, and 
Barlowe and Scorey, the deprived bishops of Bath and Chi- 
chester under Mary. The four first named Catholic prelates, 
including even Kitchin, refused to act; and the time having 
elapsed, another commission was issued in December follow 
ing to "William Barlowe, John Hodgkius, John Scorey, and 
Miles Coverdale, all reformed bishops, who had been deprived 
under the last reign. It is said, that these four, after having 
first confirmed his election,! proceeded shortly afterwards, 
(December, IT,) to consecrate Parker according to the rite 
prescribed in the repealed ordinal of Edward VI. Parker, 
as archbishop, then confirmed the election of two among 
those nominal prelates who had confirmed his own ; and he 
subsequently proceeded to consecrate all the other newly ap 
pointed bishops. 

Parker is thus, plainly, the fountain of all subsequent epis 
copal ordinations in the Anglican establishment ; and if he 
was not himself validly consecrated, none of the present epis 
copal bishops and clergy all of whom derive their ordination 
from him can claim to possess valid orders. 

4. In regard to the validity of Parker s consecration, three 
principal difficulties were raised at the time by his opponents, 
and they have never been satisfactorily solved even to the 
present day.J 1. It was doubted whether Barlowe, the prin- 

* This fact is expressly stated by Sanders, a contemporary writer, in his 
well known work on the Anglican Schism, to which we may refer more par 
ticularly hereafter. 

f The majority of the chapter of Canterbury had refused to concur in the 
election of Parker. See Lingard, and his authorities. Ibid., p. 262. 

| Besides the difficulties mentioned in the text, there was another very 
embarrassing legal one which was raised, notwithstanding the sanatory 
clause in the commission for the consecration of Parker. We cannot better 
state it than in the words of Dr. Lingard. (Hist. England, note Gr, vol. vii.) 


cipal consecrator, was himself validly consecrated. The 
Catholics at the time challenged their adversaries to produce 
evidence proving the fact of Barlowe s consecration, but they 
seem to have challenged in vain. 

" Neither Archbishop Bramhall, with all his industry ; nor Mason, with 
all his art ; nor Burnet, with all his researches ; nor Weston, with all his 
learning, could ever find out the useful document. So that Stephens, a 
learned Protestant clergyman, makes the following observation upon the cir 
cumstance : It is a wonderful thing by what chance or providence it hap 
pened, that Barlowe s consecration, who was the principal actor in this, 
should nowhere appear, nor any positive proof of it be found, in more than 
fourscore years since it was first questioned, by all the search that could be 
made by so many learned and industrious and curious persons."* 

2. The fact itself of Parker s consecration has been ques 
tioned. It is a very suspicious circumstance, that no con- 

His statement is fully confirmed by Hallam, in his Constit. History, p. 76, and 
by Bishop Short (p. 123, note 2.) 

"A question was afterwards raised, whether the new metropolitan, and 
the prelates confirmed and consecrated by him, were bishops according to 
law. When Home, the new bishop of Winchester, tendered the oath to 
Bonner, the latter refused to admit his authority : he was not a bishop 
recognized by law, because he had been consecrated after an illegal form, and 
his consecrator had been consecrated himself in defiance of the statute of 
the 25th of Henry VIII. The question was argued before the judges of the 
court of Exchequer, who were unwilling, or forbidden to give judgment ; 
and to remedy every defect, it was enacted by the statute of the 8th of Eli 
zabeth, c. 1, that all acts and things previously done by any person in any 
consecration, confirmation, or investing of bishops, in virtue of the queen s 
letters patent or commission, should be judged good and perfect to all in 
tents and purposes ; and that all persons consecrated after the form in the 
ordinal of Edward VI. should be had to have been validly consecrated ; and 
that the same ordinal should be thenceforth observed. Strype, i, 340, 493 ; 
Strype s Parker, 61 ; Statutes of Realm, iv, 484." 

Lingard repudiates the story of the " Nag s Head " consecration of Parker, 
of which "he could find no trace in any author or document of the reign of 
Elizabeth." Ibid. Of this we may have a word to say further on. 

* Great Question. Fletcher s Comparative View, p. 227-8. Dr. Lingard, 
indeed, says that Barlowe was consecrated according to the Catholic pontifi 
cal, but he gives no reference, and furnishes no proof. He also simply states 
the fact of Parker s consecration. 


temporary Protestant historian relates it, and that not even 
Stowe, the intimate friend of Parker, says a word about it in 
his elaborate history, where it would seem the important fact 
should have found place had it really occurred. It is also 
not a little curious, that the Lambeth Register, upon the 
authority of which the fact chiefly, if not entirely rests, 
should not have been discovered or produced for more than 
fifty years afterwards, though the validity, and it would seem, 
even the fact itself of the consecration, were questioned, at 
or near the time, by such able Catholic writers as Harding, 
Stapleton, Allen, Bristow, and Sanders.* 

Those who have maturely examined the question in all its 
bearings have, moreover, found what they believed to con 
stitute strong evidences of forgery, both extrinsic and intrin 
sic, in the Register itself, as discovered or produced for the 
first time by Mason, early in the seventeenth century. During 
the sixteenth century, as we have already seen, so much im- 

* Bishop Short (p. 123) rejects the story of the Nag s Head consecration, 
as follows : 

" The story is, that when the bishops elect met at a tavern which bore 
that sign, and that Oglethorpe (Kitchin ?) refused to consecrate them, Scorey 
laid a bible on each of their heads, and bade them rise up bishops. This 
tale has been refuted as often as brought forward, and bears on its face this 
difficulty : that had this account been known to the enemies of the church 
of England, it is not likely that any delicacy on their part should have 
delayed its publication for so long a period" forty years. 

This argument is merely negative, and it has besides two edges, the 
sharper one of which is turned towards the Anglican champion. If we 
are to reject the account of the Xag s Head consecration, merely on the 
ground that we have no published account of it dating further back than 
forty years after the alleged occurrence, why should we not, a fortiori, reject 
the fact of Parker s consecration, of which no account was published earlier 
than Mason s about fifty -three years after the alleged fact? How account 
for this singular circumstance ? The Catholics were persecuted and could 
not publish their works in England ; not so the Protestants who were in 
power. Strype, whom Short quotes, is no authority, for he merely followed 
Mason. See Archbishop Kenrick on Anglican Ordinations, for more on this 


portance was not attached to episcopal consecration as in the 
following period. The Protestant bishops were then regarded, 
and in fact they regarded themselves, merely as agents and a 
sort of spiritual bailiffs of the crown, upon which they 
depended for the exercise of all spiritual power, if not for the 
very fountain of the power itself. Such was the doctrine of 
Cranmer, and probably of all, or nearly all the leading An 
glican reformers of the first half of the sixteenth century.* 
3. A third, and even stronger objection to the validity of 
the consecration, even supposing it to have really taken place, 
was based upon the form used, which was that prescribed in 
the ordinal adopted in the latter portion of the reign of 
Edward VI. It was said, and with reason, that this form, 
besides being clearly illegal,! was not only incomplete, but 

* In his Life of Knox, McCrie, in answer to the claim set forth by " many 
hierarchical writers of the English church " that ordination by a bishop is 
"absolutely necessary," says : 

" The fathers of the English Keformation were very far from entertaining 
such ridiculous and illiberal sentiments. Knox s call to the ministry was 
never questioned, but his services readily accepted when he afterwards went 
to England. Archbishop Cranmer, in the reign of Edward VI., and all the 
bishops in the beginning of Elizabeth s reign, corresponded with and cheerfully 
owned the foreign reformed divines as brethren and fellow-laborers in the 
ministry of the gospel. In the year 1582, Archbishop Grindal, by a formal 
deed, declared the validity of the orders of Mr. John Morrison, who had 
been ordained by the synod of Lothian, according to the laudable form and 
rite of the church of Scotland (says the instrument) per generalem syno- 
dum sive congregationem illius comitatus juxta laudabilem ecclesise Scotias 
reformats formam ac ritum ad sacros ordines et sacro-sanctum ministerium 
per manuum impositionem admissus et ordinatus. Nos igitur formam ordi- 
natiom s et prgefectionis tuse hujusmodi modo praemisso factam, quantum in 
nos (sic) est et jure possumus, approbantes et ratificantes etc. (Strype s 
Life of Grindal, Appendix, etc.) Whittingham, dean of Durham, was ordained 
in the English church of Geneva, of which Knox was pastor ; and Traverse, 
the opponent of Hooker, was ordained by a presbytery at Antwerp. At 
tempts were made by some high-flyers to invalidate their orders, and induce 
them to submit to re-ordination, but they did not succeed." Life of John 
Knox, p. 42-3, note ; edition, New York, 1813. 

f Hallam fully admits the illegality of the early Anglican consecrations. 


radically defective ; that in its most important part it did not 
indicate the real nature of the office for which the incumbent 
was consecrated ; and that therefore it was wanting in what 
is clearly essential to the validity of the ordination. This ob 
jection is still further strengthened by the well known fact, 
that the form alluded to was afterwards materially modified 
and amended, in this very particular^ by the Anglican 
church itself. But the amendment could not certainly be 
retrospective in its operation, so as to heal the radical defect 

Speaking of Horn s attempt "to drive Bonner to high treason" by compel 
ling him to take the oath of supremacy, and of Bonner s successful resist 
ance he says : 

"Bonner, however, instead of evading the attack, intrepidly denied the 
other (Horn) to be a lawful bishop ; and strange as it may seem, not only 
escaped all further molestation, but had the pleasure of seeing his adversa 
ries reduced to pass an act of parliament, declaring the present bishops to 
have been legally consecrated. This statute, and especially its preamble, 
might lead a hasty reader to suspect, that the celebrated story of an irregu 
lar consecration at the Nag s Head tavern was not wholly undeserving of 
credit. This tale has, however, been satisfactorily refuted ; the only irregu 
larity which gave rise to this statute consisted in the use of an ordinal 
which had not been legally re-established." Constit. History, p. 76. 

He does not tell us, how "it has been satisfactorily refuted ; " he gives us 
no authority whatever, for what must therefore rest on his own mere 
assertion. It is apparent, that there was someting sadly out of joint in 
Parker s consecration, which required for its remedy the healing act of par 
liament ; and that this was something more than a mere legal technicality, 
may be suspected from the fact recorded by Hallam, on the authority of 
Strype, (note, Ibid.,) that when the act was on its passage, "eleven peers 
dissented, all noted Catholics except the earl of Sussex." Why did they 
dissent, if there was nothing but a legal flaw to heal ? 

It is a pity that there is not more satisfactory information contained in 
the documents which have been preserved, in reference to Parker s consecra 
tion. The meagerness and unsatisfactory nature of all proceedings extant 
on this subject, is, of itself, a very suspicious circumstance, and we are left 
to our own conjectures. Have the original documents been mutilated or 
suppressed ? Why, for instance, do not the records of parliament state the 
precise grounds on which those "eleven peers dissented?" This would 
furnish a clue to unravel the whole mystery of Parker s consecration. 


in the consecration of Parker, which defect it seemed, more 
over, virtually to admit.* 

Whatever may be thought of each one of these objections 
taken separately, they are, when considered collectively, well 
calculated to raise at least a reasonable doubt on a subject, 
which should surely admit of no doubt whatsoever ; because 
it is vital to the very existence of the Anglican church estab 
lishment. With so much uncertainty thus lying at its very 
foundations, how can any reflecting man trust in it as the 
work of God? How can any Christian, who values his 
eternal salvation, continue to cling to an establishment, which 
besides being evidently of merely human origin, rests for its 
most essential element the ministry on the most human, 
the most fallible, and the most doubtful basis ? 

Even admitting the validity of Parker s consecration, and 
that of the subsequent Anglican ordinations, it does not at 
all follow, that the Anglican clergy have lawful jurisdiction. 
Jurisdiction emanates from a lawfully constituted govern 
ment, which has power to impart it, and which actually im 
parts it to its duly appointed and accredited agents or minis 
ters. In separating from the Catholic Church, and setting 
up a new and antagonistic church organization, the Anglican 
reformers forfeited all claim to jurisdiction from the Catholic 
Church which they repudiated, and which repudiated them, 
as a schismatic body. Clearly they could not derive their 
jurisdiction from the Catholic Church. Whence, then, did 
they derive it ? From Queen Elizabeth ? But who gave her 

* For an elaborate, learned, and modern examination of the whole ques 
tion, see the work of Archbishop Kenrickof St. Louis, "On Anglican Ordi 
nations," second edition, to be had in any of our Catholic bookstores. See 
also note B. at the end of the present volume. 

In the last London edition of Dr. Lingard s History, revised by himself, 
the author, in a note at the end of the volume, enters at some length into 
the discussion of the form of ordination as prescribed in this earlier ordinal 
of Edward VI., showing its utter deficiency, and proving that his admission 
of the fact of Parker s consecration does not carry with it the belief in its 


the power to impart spiritual jurisdiction? From the parlia 
ment? But who made the British parliament the fountain 
of spiritual power ? From themselves ? But how could they 
give what they had not ? From Christ ? But Christ says : 
"He that heareth not the Church, let him be to you, as a 
heathen and a publican ;" and addressing His first body of 
ministers, " He that hears you, hears me, and he that despises 
you, despises me, and he that despises me, despises Him that 
sent me." Christ evidently made His Church His only 
regular organ of communication with the world, His only 
channel and fountain of jurisdiction for the work of the 
ministry. He never promised spiritual power or jurisdiction 
to any who were separated from and at war with Him, by 
separating from and warring with His spouse the Church. 
He said: "He that gathereth not with me, scattereth." 
Whence then, we repeat, did the Anglican hierarchy derive 
its spiritual jurisdiction? 

We come now to the last question referred to above : 

IV. Finally, were the means employed for establishing 
the new religious order, and for securing conformity with 
the new worship and obedience to the new organization, such 
as are consistent with the spirit of the gospel, and such as 
we would naturally look for in a change for the better ? 

This question has been already in part answered. We 
have shown that it was not the lawfully constituted spiritual 
authorities of the English church, acting in a lawful way 
or in fact in any other way but the temporal power alone 
acting in spite of the spiritual, which forcibly established the 
new church ; and that it was not, moreover, by spiritual pen 
alties, but by the ruder carnal weapons of confiscation, im 
prisonment, and death, that conformity with the new religious 
order was enforced. Mens consciences were then reputed as 
nothing, religious freedom was wholly disregarded, spurned, 
and trampled upon from the very outset of Elizabeth s reign. 


She, as head of the new church, and her parliament, as her 
servile organ, armed with its terrible code of pains and pen 
alties, were paramount both in church and state ; and no 
other authority dared even show itself, much less assert its 
claims to be heard. The reign of brute force, based on the 
consolidated union of church and state, was now at hand; 
and it trampled in the dust all opposition. We supply the 
following additional summary of facts on a very painful sub 
ject, which the pen almost shrinks from describing, and the 
bare contemplation of which causes a shudder, even after the 
lapse of three centuries.* 

* In his Constitutional History of England, where he professedly discus 
ses this whole subject from the legal stand-point, Mr. Hallam fully confirms 
almost every important statement we have made above, with regard to the 
manner in which the Anglican establishment was firmly fixed on the necks 
of the reluctant and down-trodden English people. He furnishes an account 
of the famous acts of supremacy and conformity, passed in the first year of 
Elizabeth, and he says of them, that they " form the basis of that restrictive 
code of laws deemed by some the fundamental bulwark, by others the 
reproach of our constitution ; which pressed so heavily for more than two 
centuries upon the adherents of the Romish (!) Church." (P. 72.) 

From his subsequent remarks, we infer that he himself regards them as 
"a reproach," though his censure is not so strong as it should have been. 
He furnishes (Ibid, note) a copy of the Oath of Supremacy, in which every 
one was required to swear, that " the queen s highness is the only supreme 
governor of this realm, and all other her highness dominions and countries, 
as well in all spiritual and ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal." This 
was really to declare her not only an absolute monarch as she really was 
but a popess, in the fullest meaning of the term. 

The qualifying explanation, made in the injunctions to the ecclesiastical 
visitors appointed in 1559, did not at all mend the matter, so far at least as 
Catholics were concerned. It was intended to soothe not them, but the 
tender consciences of their most bitter enemies, the dissenters. It declared, 
as the meaning of the oath, that "her majesty neither doth, nor ever will 
challenge any other authority, than that which was challenged and lately 
used by the said noble kings of famous (!) memory, King Henry VIII. and 
King Edward VI." This was surely enough to gratify the ambition even of 
Elizabeth. The explanation that the supremacy regarded the "persons either 
ecclesiastical or temporal" of her realm, rather than things, was a mere 
VOL. II. 16 


1. In the second parliament of Elizabeth, held in 1562-3, 
the obligation of taking the oath of supremacy was extended, 

quibble well worthy the tortuous and insincere mind of the queen and of 
the wily Cecil. If all ecclesiastical persons were entirely subject to her 
headship ; and if she could appoint and displace them at will as she really 
did it was surely a real spiritual supremacy in the broadest sense. The 
spiritual jurisdiction of the Pontiff was expressly excluded in the explana 
tion ; which, Hallam admits, rendered it impossible for Catholics to take it. 

Hallam himself furnishes us with some curious examples of the manner 
in which she exercised her spiritual supremacy over the persons of her sub 
jectsbishops included. He says : " Thus Hatton built his house in Hoi- 
born on the bishop of Ely s garden. Cox (the bishop) on making resistance 
to this spoliation received a singular epistle from the queen. This bishop, 
in consequence of such vexations, was desirous of retiring from the see be 
fore his death. After that event, Elizabeth kept it vacant eighteen years." 
He also says, that " Cecil surrounded his mansion house at Burleigh with 
estates once belonging to the see of Peterborough." (Const. Hist., p. 134.) 

In a note he gives the " singular epistle " from the queen to Bishop Cox. 
Miss Strickland also furnishes a copy of the same, which we republish, with 
her introductory remarks: "Dr. Cox did not like his see despoiled, and 
resisted this encroachment, though backed by the queen s private orders. 
This refusal produced the following unique epistle from her maiden 
majesty : 

" You know what you were before I made you what you are now. If you 
do not immediately comply with my request, I will unfrock you, by G d. 
" ELIZABETH. "Queens of England, vi. 234 

Never, since the world began, had Roman Pope issued such a bull as 
this ! 

The Anglican popess had also another habit, happily never indulged in 
by the Roman Pontiffs whom she had supplanted in England. She swore 
worse than her father which is saying a great deal ! Miss Strickland tells 
us as much, in the following graceful satire on a fulsome eulogy of the queen 
delivered or written by the crouching lord Bacon, who had, among other 
things, extolled her piety and the reverence with which she pronounced the 
name of God! ! 

" This observation is evidently urged in contradistinction to Elizabeth s 
well known habit of profane swearing, in which she outdid her father, 
bluff King Hal, from whom she probably acquired that evil propensity. 

" Her favorite expletive was, however, certainly derived from her first 


"1st, t-> the members of the house of commons, to school 
masters, private tutors, and attorneys ; 2d, to all persons who 
had ever held office in the church, or in any ecclesiastical 
court, during the present or the last three reigns, or who 
should openly disapprove of the established worship, or should 
celebrate, or hear others celebrate any private Mass ; that is, 
in one word, to the whole Catholic population of the realm. 5 
The penalties for refusal were those of prsemunire (confisca 
tion of property, imprisonment, etc.) for the first offense, and 
the death of a traitor for the second ! Some exceptions were 
indeed made, but they did not regard the mass of the Catho 
lic population. The Catholic lords were exempted, and those 
included in the first class above named could have the oath 
tendered to them but once. 

The exemption of the lords was secured by the energetic 
resistance which the bill encountered in their house. The 
Viscount Montague asked, in bold and eloquent language : 

"Where was the necessity for such a law ? It was known to all men 
that Catholics had created no disturbance in the realm. They disputed not ; 
they preached not ; they disobeyed not the queen ; they brought in no novelities 
in doctrine or religion. Then, could there be conceived a greater tyranny, than 
to compel a man, under the penalty of death, to swear to that as true, 
which in his conscience he believed to be doubtful ? Now, that the right of 
the queen to ecclesiastical supremacy must appear to many men doubtful, 
was evident from this, that, though enforced by law in England, it was con 
tradicted by the practice and opinion of every other nation, whether reformed 
or unreformed, in Christendom. Let, then, their lordships beware, how they 
placed men under the necessity of forswearing themselves, or of suffering 
death, lest instead of submitting, they should arm in their own defense ; and 

lover, the lord admiral, with whom it was in fearfully familiar use, as those 
who have read the state papers collected by Haynes, and also by Tytler, 
must be aware ; but expressions which startle us, even from the lips of a 
bad man, appear to the last degree revolting when used in common parlance 
by a female, especially a princess whose virtue is still a favorite theme with 
many writers. In illustration of Elizabeth s inconsiderate habit in this 
respect, we give the evidence of a contemporary, who appears neither 
shocked nor surprised at the coarse manners of the maiden monarch." 
Queens of England, vi, 336. 


let not the house in making laws permit itself to be led by the passions and 
rapacity .of those who looked to wax mighty and of power by the confisca 
tion, spoil, and ruin of the houses of noble and ancient men. "* 

2. If this sweeping and barbarous Jaw had been fully 
carried out, it would have drenched the land in Catholic 
blood. That it was not at least immediately and to the full 
est extent was not owing to the clemency, but to the policy 
of Elizabeth and her counselors. It was so ely because it 
was simply impossible to execute such a law against the 
property and lives of the great majority of the nation, 
which was still Catholic. " There are not," exclaimed Sad 
ler, a contemporary "in all this country ten gentlemen that 
do favor and allow of her majesty s proceedings in the cause 
of religion."! Still, the awful penalties hung, by a single 
thread, over the devoted heads of the Catholic population, 
who were thus kept in a state of constant apprehension and 
alarm; and they might fall on and crush them at any mo 
ment ; as they did, in fact, a little later. J 

* Strype, i, 259-273. Lingard, ibid., p. 316-7. 

Hallam gives a more lengthy report of Montague s speech in the lords, 
and he also refers to one delivered in the commons by Mr. Atkinson, quot 
ing Foxe as his authority. In his account of the penal laws passed in this 
parliament, he agrees with Lingard, but omits "schoolmasters, private 
tutors, and attorneys," as well as those " who should celebrate, or hear 
others celebrate, any private Mass " from the list of those on whom the oath 
was made obligatory. This omission seems culpable, as he should have 
given the whole substance of the act, if he chose to refer to it at all. It 
was passed March 3, 1563 not in 1562, as he would seem to indicate in 
the margin. (Constit. History, p. 75.) 

f Sadler, ii, 55, quoted ibid., viii, 46. This was at a somewhat later 
period, during the northern insurrection. Sadler was Elizabeth s envoy in 
the northern counties of England. 

| That the penal acts against Catholics passed during the early years of 
Elizabeth, including that of this parliament, were not a dead letter, is freely 
admitted by Hallam, who gives several examples of their vexatious execu 

"Thus Sir Edward Waldgrave and his lady were sent to the tower in 
1561, for hearing Mass and having a priest in their house. Many others, 


3. After the suppression of the formidable insurrection in 
the North, headed by the earls of Northumberland and 
Westmoreland, late in the year 1509, the queen and her par 
liament waxed still fiercer and fiercer in their thirst for Cath 
olic blood. Proclamation followed proclamation, and penal 
statute followed penal statute, each one stronger and more 
bloody than its predecessor. The insurgents had stated in 
their manifesto, among their reasons for taking up arms, that 
her majesty is surrounded " by divers newe sett-upp nobles, 
who not onlie go aboute to overthrow and put downe the 
ancient nobilitie of the realme, but also have misused the 
queene s majestie s owns personne, and also have by the space 
of twelve yeares nowe paste sett upp and mayntayned a new 
found religion and hercsie contrary to God s worde.* * The in 
surrection was put down by the strong arm ; and it is stated, 

about the same time, were punished for the like offense. Two bishops, one 
of whom I regret to say was Grindal, write to the council in 1562 concern 
ing a priest apprehended in a lady s house, that neither he nor the servant 
would be sworn in answer to articles, saying they could not accuse them 
selves; and after a wise remark on this, saying that papistry is likely to 
end in anabaptistiy, proceed to hint that some think that if this priest 
might be put to some kind of torment, and so driven to confess what hq 
knoweth, he might gain the queen s majesty a gool mass of money by the 
Masses that he hath said ; but this we refer to your lordship s wisdom. " 
(Constit. Hist., p. 74.) 

This last fact speaks volumes for the mercenary heartlessness and wanton 
cruelty of Queen Elizabeth and her bishops. 

He also refutes, by unanswerable evidence, the reckless assertion of the 
court-writer Camden, that Catholics were connived at and scarcely mo 
lested during the first fourteen years of Elizabeth ! 

" But this is not reconcilable to (with ?) many passages in Strype s col 
lections. We find abundance of persons harassed for recusancy, that is, for 
not attending the Protestant church, and driven to insincere promises of con 
formity. Others were dragged before ecclesiastical commissioners for harbor 
ing priests, or for sending money to those who had fled beyond sea." ~ 
(Ibid., p. 77.) 

Of Strype, another court- writer, he says elsewhere : " Honest old Strype, 
who thinks church and state never in the wrong." (P. 89, note.) 

* Ibid., viii, 46. 


that, after it had been crushed, no less than eight hundred 
Catholics in the northern counties perished on the scaffold.* 
4. Then followed the terrible code of persecution, surpassed 
only by the still more dreadful penalties which were to follow 
later in the same reign. Our limits will not permit us to 
furnish an account of all the cruel enactments against Cath 
olics which were passed in the parliament of 1571 ; and we 
must be content with giving a few of the principal. 1. The 
penalties of imprisonment for the first offense, and of prsemu- 
nire for the second, were enacted against all persons, who 
should, by writing or printing, say that any particular per 
son is the heir of the queen, except the same were "the 
natural issue of her body. f 2. Another act made it high 
treason to receive or use any bull or instrument from the 
bishop of Home ; and annexed the penalties of praemunire to 

* Lingard, ibid., p. 5G. The insurgent earls did not agree or unhappily 
stand to their colors, like brave men, but quarrelled, and fled before the 
queen s army. 

f Camden, 241. Digges, 208. Ibid., p. 70. 

Hallam (Ibid., p. 94, note) grows indignant against those who would put 
a sinister construction on this expression employed by the parliament, no 
doubt at the bidding of Elizabeth. He speaks of "papistical libelers," and 
impeaches the candor of even Dr. Lingard, who was "not ashamed to in 
sinuate the same suspicion." Now, Dr. Lingard s only offense consisted in 
quoting, in a note, the very words of Elizabeth s flatterer, Camden, and an 
extract from the letter of Leicester to Walsingham, as given by Digges. 
One would think that such authority was unexceptionable. Lingard does 
not add a single word of comment. Camden says : " Incredibile est quos 
jocos improbi verborum aucupes sibi fecerunt ex clausula ilia, praoter natu- 
ralem ex ipsius corpore sobolem It is incredible what jokes the wicked 
catchers at words made to themselves out of that clause the natural issue 
of her body." Leicester speaks much more broadly, and he surely was a 
competent witness. 

Hallam s explanation is this : " This, probably, was adopted by the queen 
out of prudery, as if the usual term implied the possibility of her having 
unlawful issue." One would think that "prudery" should have induced 
the "virgin queen" to adopt a different phrase altogether, especially as she 
was strongly opposed to marriage, and still was notorious for her intrigues 
with a succession of favorites. 


the crime of aiding and abetting the traitors just named, or 
of introducing or receiving beads, crosses, Agnus Dei s, or 
pictures blessed by the Pope. 3. A third act enjoined for 
feiture of all their property to the queen upon all persons 
who had left England, "either with or without license," un 
less they returned within six months. 4. Finally, another 
act required, under heavy penalties, that all persons, above a 
certain age, should attend the established service.* 

5. By a subsequent statute, passed ten years later, the fine 
for non-attendance at the new service was fixed at twenty 
pounds per month an enormous sum, equal to more than 
twelve hundred dollars of our present money ! In this same 
parliament, it was declared high treason for any one to claim 
or exercise the power of absolving or withdrawing others 
from the established religion, or to be so withdrawn ; which 
penalty was incurred also by their u procurers and counsel 
ors." The penalty for saying Mass was increased to the 
payment of two hundred marks, and one year s imprisonment, 
and that of simply hearing it to the same term of imprison 
ment and one hundred marks fine. Still further, to prevent 
priests being concealed in houses, as tutors or schoolmasters, 
" every person acting in such capacity, without the approba 
tion of the ordinary (Protestant bishop) should be liable to a 
year s imprisonment, and the person who employed him to a 
fine of ten pounds per month."f 

* Statutes of Realm, iv, 528. Ibid., p. 70-1. A clause requiring, besides 
attendance, communion in the new form, was dropped after strong remon 
strance from the lords. 

f Stat. 23 Elizabeth, ch. 1. Ibid., p. 143. 

Hallam replies as follows to the court poet Southey, who had asserted 
that the English church was not fairly chargeable with the persecution of 
Catholics under its "re-founder" Elizabeth : 

" That church and the queen (Elizabeth,) its re-founder, are clear of per 
secution, as regards the Catholics. No church, no sect, no individual even, 
had yet professed the principle of toleration. (Southey s Book of the 
Church, vol. ii, p. 285.) If the second of these sentences is intended as a 
proof of the first, I must say it is little to the purpose. But it is not true 


Finally, in order to execute these barbarous statutes 
with the more expedition and certainty, the queen established 
the famous or rather infamous ecclesiastical court of High 
Commission, before which the Spanish Inquisition itself loses 
its terrors. This High Court of Inquisition was armed with 
the most ample and formidable powers. Its members, with 
Archbishop Parker at their head, were the delegates, and 
represented the dread person, of the queen, "the supreme 
governor in spirituals and temporals* of the Anglican 
church. " They were authorized to inquire, on the oath of 
the person accused, and on the oaths of witnesses, of all 
heretical, erroneous, and dangerous opinions; of absence 
from the established service, and the frequentation of private 
conventicles ; of seditious books and libels against the 
queen, her magistrates and ministers ; and of adulteries, for 
nications, and all other offenses cognizable by the ecclesiasti 
cal law ; and to punish the offenders by spiritual censures, by 
fine, imprisonment, and deprivation.* 

These inquisitors were authorized to employ the rack, and 
they did frequently employ it in a most wanton manner, to 

in this broad way of assertion. Not to mention Sir Thomas More s Eutopia, 
the principle of toleration had been avowed by the chancellor L Hopital, and 
many others in France. I mention him as on the strongest side ; for, in 
fact, the weaker had always professed the general principle, and could 
demand toleration from those of different sentiments on no other plea." 
Constitutional History, p. 79, note. 

Speaking of the intolerant spirit exhibited by the first Anglican archbishop 
of Canterbury, Hallam says : 

"Even Parker, by no means tainted with Puritan bigotry, and who had 
been reckoned moderate in his proceedings towards Catholics, complained 
of what he called the Machiavel government ; that is of the queen s 
(Elizabeth s) lenity in not absolutely rooting them out." Ibid., p. 89. The 
same Anglican dignitary was among the loudest and most ferocious in clam 
oring for the blood of the unhappy Mary, queen of Scots. He wrote to 
Cecil : "If that only (one) desperate person were taken away, as by justice 
soon it might be, the queen s majesty s good subjects would be in better 
hope, and the papists daily expectation vanquished." Ibid., p. 88. 

* Had., p. 72. Rymer, xvi, 291, 564. 


extort confessions from their victims, especially if these were 
supposed to be priests. 

" The Catholic prisoner was hardly lodged in the tower before he was 
placed on the rack ; and if he was supposed to be a priest was interrogated, 
why he had come to England, where he resided, whom he had reconciled, 
what he had learned from the confession of others, and in what places his 
colleagues were concealed."* 

Wo to him, if, in the agony of torture, he let a word slip 
by which he might be himself even indirectly incriminated ; 
wo to his friends and entertainers, if even a hint was dropped 
which might serve as a clue to the officials of this inquisito 
rial court to trace out their abode! Though the rack was 
used more or less throughout Europe in the sixteenth century, 
nowhere was it brought into requisition with as much 
frequency or as wanton barbarity, as in England under Eliza 
beth. Her ingenuity even invented new and exquisite in 
struments of torture.f 

The numerous and well trained officials, or pursuivants, of 
the court of High Commission where authorized and enabled 
to penetrate everywhere in the kingdom, wherever "popery" 
was even suspected to lie concealed, and they were allowed 
by law to enter any house, whether by day or by night, 
wherein they suspected a priest to lie hidden, or the imple 
ments of Catholic worship to be kept ; or wherever a wealthy 
Catholic suspected of recusancy, that is, non-attendance at 
the new worship was supposed to dwell, wherever, con 
sequently, heavy fines could be levied. Like birds of prey, 
they hovered over the residences of the Catholic noblemen 
and gentlemen of property, ready to pounce down upon their 
victims, whenever recusants were to be denounced, or booty 
was to be secured. These merciless minions and their mas 
ters, even up to the queen herself, actually became rich on the 
spoils of recusancy reaped so abundantly in the Court of High 

* Bridgwater, 27, 197, 296, quoted Ibid., p. 145-6. 
f See note C. at the end of this volume, for a fuller account of these in 
struments of torture. 

VOL, TT.--17 


Commission. No Catholic was safe in his house, no matter 
how retired. 

The Catholics were thus impoverished, the Protestants en 
riched by the operation of this cruel law ; the ancient houses 
were brought down, and the new houses sprang up amidst 
their ruins. Scarcely a month passed, that the scaffolds were 
not crimsoned with Catholic blood.* The prisons were kept 
almost continually filled with the recusants ; to such an ex 
tent, indeed, that the counties complained often and bitterly, 
not of the outrageous laws, but of the heavy expense incurred 
for their maintenance ; and the magistrates were subsequently 
authorized to discharge them from prison at discretion. They 
seldom did this, however, so long as any fines were to be 
collected ; but when the poor prisoners could no longer pay, 
they were turned loose on the country, some of them, how 
ever, with their ears bored with a hot iron, others after hav 
ing been publicly whipped.f 

At length, to complete the horror, the number of persons 
thus ruined became so great, that an act was passed, that 
"all recusants, not possessing twenty marks a year, should 
conform within three months after conviction, or abjure the 
realm, under the penalty of felony without benefit of clergy, if 
they were afterwards found at large."J The very atrocity of 
this act rendered its execution impracticable, and the magis 
trates contented themselves with extracting from the poor 
wretches as much money as they could, in the shape of fines 
levied on whole districts, and then allowed them their liberty ! 
During the last fourteen years only of Elizabeth s reign, 
"sixty-one clergymen, forty-seven laymen, and two gentlewo 
men suffered capital punishment for some or other of the spirit 
ual felonies and treasons which had been lately created." Dur- 

* During the three years preceding 1585, no less than twenty-five prom 
inent Catholics had so suffered. Challoner, 60, 163. Ibid., p. 176. 
f Bridgwater, 375 ; Strype, iii, 169. Ibid., p. 297. 
t Statutes of Realm, iv, 844. Ibid. 


ing her entire reign, it is ascertained from contemporary lists, 
that one hundred and twenty-four clergymen suffered the 
cruel death of traitors, of whom one hundred and fourteen 
were secular priests, eight Jesuits, one monk, and one friar. 
" Generally the court dispensed with the examination of wit 
nesses. By artful and ensnaring questions an avowal was 
drawn from the prisoner, that he had been reconciled, or had 
harbored a priest, or had been ordained beyond the sea, or 
that he admitted the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Pope, or 
rejected that of the queen. Any one of these crimes was 
.sufficient to consign him to the scaffold. Life, indeed, was 
always offered, on the condition of conformity to the estab 
lished worship ; but the offer was generally refused ; the refu 
sal was followed by death ; and the butchery, with very few 
exceptions, was performed on the victim while he was yet in 
the perfect possession of his senses."* 

The number of Catholic noblemen and gentlemen who 
were ruined by this iniquitous system of high-handed robbery 
in the name of religion, cannot be estimated ; while probably 
only the day of judgment will reveal the vast number of 
Catholics who lost their health or perished in the crowded 
and infected prisons during the long reigri of Elizabeth. 
They no doubt amounted to thousands, probably to tens of 
thousands.f When we read of the internal prosperity of 
England under Elizabeth, it is to be, and can be understood 

* See Lingard, p. 295, and note for authoritias. 

f As almost every jail in the kingdom was often filled with prisoners, 
many of whom were Catholic recusants, infectious diseases frequently broke 
out from the crowd and foul air. Thus, as we learn from Bridgwater, 
(quoted Ibid., p. 141,) not fewer than twenty Catholics of family and fortune 
perished on one single occasion in the castle of York. A similar fate befell 
the Catholics in Newgate in July, 1580, from the infectious air common to 
the prisons. (Strype, iii, App. 141.) 

Some idea of the number of the recusants who were imprisoned may be 
formed from the fact, that at one of the sessions in Hampshire four hundred, 
and at one of the assises in Lancashire, six hundred were presented. Strype, 
quoted Ibid., 299, note. 


only of the prosperity of the new houses on the ruins of the 
old, and of one portion of England at the expense, and 
through the protracted legal robbery of the other. 

The .greater portion of these barborous executions, as well 
as of the cases of fines and imprisonment, probably occurred, 
indeed, after the papal bull had been issued in 1570, excom 
municating Elizabeth and declaring that she had forfeited the 
crown. But many of them took place long before. The 
laws requiring these cruel punishments were passed as early 
as the beginning of 1563, about seven years before the issuing 
of the bull ; and the germ of this entire code of penal legis 
lation had existed from the very first year of Elizabeth s 
reign. This has been already sufficiently shown on satisfac 
tory evidence. The severe and perhaps impolitic act of the 
Pontiff had the effect of hastening more severe legislation ; 
thus proving highly injurious, instead of beneficial, to the 
English Catholics whom it was no doubt honestly meant to 
serve. Still, from the American stand-point, we cannot view 
the action of the Pope in the same odious light in which it 
has been usually regarded by English monarchists. The blow 
aimed at Elizabeth, whatever else we may think or say of it, 
was certainly a blow aimed at a most grinding tyranny both 
in church and state, and one struck for the rights of an op 
pressed people, the cup of whose wrongs, religious and politi 
cal, was full and running over.* 

Mr. Hallam fully confirms all the more important state 
ments of fact which we have heretofore made. Of the bloody 
statute passed after the suppression of the Northern insurrec 
tion, he says : 

" This statute exposed the Catholic priesthood, and in great measure the 
laity, to the continual risk of martyrdom."f 

Again : 

* Hallam says of this bull : " This is, perhaps, with the exception of that 
issued by Sixtus V. against Henry IV. of France, the latest blast of that 
trumpet which thrilled the hearts of monarchs." Constit. Hist, p. 86. 

f Constitutional History, p. 87. 


"It is worthy to be repeatedly inculcated on the reader, since so false a 
color has been often employed to disguise the ecclesiastical tyranny of this 
reign, that the most clandestine exercise of the Eomish worship was severely 
punished. Thus we read in the life of Whitgift, that on information given, that 
some ladies and gentlemen heard Mass in the house of one Edwards by 
night, in the county of Denbigh, he being then bishop of Worcester and 
vice-president of Wales, was directed to make inquiry into the facts ; and 
finally was instructed to commit Edwards to close prison ; and as for an 
other person implicated, named Morice, if he remained obstinate, he might 
cause some kind of torture to be used upon him ; and the like order they 
prayed him to use with the others. But this is one of many instances, the 
events of every day, forgotten on the morrow, and of which no general his 
torian takes account. Nothing but the minute and patient diligence of such 
a compiler as Strype, who thinks no fact below his regard, could have pre 
served this from oblivion."* 

Speaking of the parliament of 1581, he says : 

"Here an act was passed, which, after repeating the former provisions that 
had made it high treason to reconcile any of her majesty s subjects, or to be 
reconciled to the Church of Rome, imposes a penalty of twenty pounds a 
month on all persons absenting themselves from church, unless they shall 
hear the English service at home : such as could not pay the same within 
three months after judgment, were to be imprisoned until they should con 
form. The queen, by a subsequent act, had the power of seizing two-thirds 
of the party s land, and all his goods, for default of payment. These grievous 
penalties on recusancy, as the willful absence of Catholics from church came 
now to be denominated, were doubtless founded on the extreme difficulty of 
proving an actual celebration of their own rites. f But they established a 

* Constit. History, p. 90-91. The dreadful severity with which the priests 
were hunted down, and the prohibition of all ecclesiastical education in England, 
compelled the founding of foreign colleges to prevent the race of English 
Catholic priests from becoming extinct. That of Douay was established in 
1568 or 1569. Dissolved by Requesens, it was revived at Rheims in 1575, 
and removed back to Douay in 1593. Similar colleges were founded at 
Borne in 1579, Valladolid in 1596, and at Louvain in 1606. Ibid., 
p. 87, note. 

f We have no doubt that filthy lucre, or the desire to rob better men than 
themselves, had much also to do with this atrocious legislation, imposing 
enormous fines on recusants. We have seen from the letter of Archbishop 
Grindal and another bishop to the queen s council, that this very motive was 
urged as likely to prove most weighty with the queen. 


persecution which fell not at all short in principle of that for which the In 
quisition had become so odious. Nor were the statutes merely designed for 
terror s sake, to keep a check over the disaffected, as some would pretend ; 
they were executed in the most sweeping and ^discriminating manner, 
unless perhaps a few families of high rank might enjoy a connivance."* 

He elsewhere freely admits that the rack was constantly 
plied to extort confessions from the accused, and he refers to 
Lingard for an account of the different instruments of torture, 
which the satanic ingenuity of Elizabeth and Cecil had in 
vented for this purpose : 

" The rack seldom stood idle in the tower for all the latter part of Eliza 
beth s reign. To those who remember the annals of their country, that dark 
and gloomy pile affords associations not quite so numerous and recent as the 

Bastile once did, yet enough to excite our hatred and horror Such 

excessive severities, under the pretext of treason, but sustained by very 
little evidence of any other offense than the exercise of the Catholic min 
istry, excited indignation throughout a great part of Europe."f 

The public indignation of Europe swelled to such dimen 
sions, that Cecil, now Lord Burleigh, found it necessary to 
defend himself and the government of his royal mistress. 
Two pamphlets, ascribed to his pen, were accordingly issued, 
in which he openly defended the horrid system of persecu 
tion, as necessary to the peace and security of the kingdom ! 
He boldly advocated the employment of the rack, and main 
tained, in mitigation, that it was used with as much gentle 
ness as the case admitted ! He wrote : 

" The queen s servants, the warders, whose office it is to handle the rack, 
were ever by those that attended the examination, specially charged to use 
it in so charitable a manner as such a thing might be." Well may Hallam 
indignantly exclaim : " Such miserable excuses serve only to mingle con 
tempt with our execration :" and "Those who revere the memory of Lord 
Burleigh must blush for this pitiful apology.J 

Mr. Hallam has the candor to record the well known fact, 
that the great body of the Catholics remained loyal to Eliza 
beth, notwithstanding the fiery ordeal through which her 

* Constit. History, p. 91. f Ibid., p. 93. { Ibid., p. 94-5. 


wanton cruelty caused them to pass; and that the charge 
made by their enemies, with Cecil at their head, that they 
were punished as traitors, and not for conscience sake, was a 
miserable calumny adding insult to injury. He admits, 
moreover, that their noble loyalty availed them nothing with 
the hard-hearted queen, for whom they were willing to lay 
down their lives, and that the penalties against them were 
rather increased than diminished after they had generously 
flocked to her standard to aid in repelling the Spanish Armada. 
He writes : 

" It was then that the Catholics in every country repaired to the standard 
of the lord-lieutenant, imploring that they might not be suspected of barter 
ing the national independence for their religion itself. It was then that the 
venerable Lord Montague brought a troop of horse to the queen at Tilbury, 
commanded by himself, his son, and grand-son. It would have been a sign 
of gratitude, if the laws depriving them of the free exercise of their religion 
had been, if not repealed, yet suffered to sleep, after these proofs of loyalty. 
But the execution of priests, and of other Catholics, became, on the contrary, 
more frequent, and the fines for recusancy were exacted as rigorously as 
before. A statute was passed, restraining popish recusants, a distinctive 
name now first imposed by law, to particular places of residence, and sub 
jecting them to other vexatious provisions. All persons were forbidden by 
proclamation to harbor any of whose conformity they were not assured."* 

* Constit. Hist., p. 101. 

Nothing could soften the steeled heart of Elizabeth. Thus, early in her 
re ign ; n May, 1560 Pope Pius IV., who had succeeded Paul IV., sent 
her a very conciliatory letter by a special nuncio : " but Elizabeth had taken 
her line as to the court of Rome ; the nuncio received a message at Brussels 
that he must not enter the kingdom, etc." (Ibid., p. 75.) According to 
Mackintosh, the Pontiff tried the experiment even a second time. (Hisfony 
of England, p. 316-7.) Miss Strickland relates this circumstance in her 
own graceful way : 

"In May, 1560, the new Pope Pius IV., a prince of the house of Medici, 
made an attempt to win back England through her queen, to the obedience 
of the Roman See, by sending Parpaglia, abbot of St. Saviour, to the queen, 
with letters written in the conciliatory style, and beginning, dear daughter 
in Christ, inviting her to return into the bosom of the Church, and pro 
fessing his readiness to do all things needful for the health of her soul, and 
the firm establishment of her royal dignity, and requesting her to give due 


This is fully confirmed by another candid Protestant writer, 
Agnes Strickland, who says : 

"It is ever to be lamented that Elizabeth stained the glorious year of the 
Armada with a series of cruel persecutions on the score of religion. January 
14th, 1588, a wretched deist, named Francis Wright, alias Kil of Wymond- 
ham, was burned alive, in the castle ditch at Norwich. He was the fourth 
who had suffered, in the same place, within the last five years, for promul 
gating erroneous opinions. The same year, six Catholic priests were hanged, 
drawn, and quartered ; four laymen, who had embraced Protestantism, for 
returning to their old belief; four others, and a gentlewoman of the name of 
Ward, for concealing Catholic priests, besides fifteen of their companions, 
who were arraigned for no other offense than their theological opinions. 
Very heavy and repeated fines were levied on those whom it was not con 
sidered expedient to put to death. The fines of recusants formed a 
considerable item in the crown revenues of that period, and they were, of 
course, hunted out with keen rapacity by an odious swarm of informers, who 

attention to the matters which would be communicated by his dear son 
Vincent Parpaglia. What the papal concessions were, on which this spirit 
ual treaty was to be based, can only be matter f conjecture, for Elizabeth 
declined receiving the nuncio, and the separation became final and com 
plete." Queens of England, vi, 144. She quotes Camden s Annals. 

Thus again, moved with sympathy at the sufferings of the English Cath 
olics, the emperor Ferdinand of Austria, whom Mr. Hallam himself rep 
resents as a most just and liberal prince wrote two letters to Elizabeth, 
begging her to show some indulgence to her Catholic subjects ; "suggesting 
that it might be reasonable to allow them the use of one church in every 
city;" and concluding "with an expression, which might possibly be de 
signed to intimate that his own conduct towards the Protestants in his own 
dominions would be influenced by her concurrence in his request." All in 
vain ; Elizabeth s resolution was taken and she would not swerve from it 
one iota, to save all the Protestants and Catholics in the world. 

"In her answer to Ferdinand, the queen declares that she can not grant 
churches to those who disagree from her religion, being against the laws of 
her parliament, and highly dangerous to the state of her kingdom ; as it 
would sow various opinions in the nation to distract the minds of honest 
men, and would cherish parties and factions that might disturb the present 
tranquillity of the commonwealth." (Constit. History, p. 77.) This, too, 
occurred long before the issuing of the bull of Pope Pius V. upon which 
some Anglican writers pretend to ground all the persecutions of her reign. 
Of course, she had sown no "various opinions to distract the minds of 
honest men!" 


earned a base living by augmenting the miseries of their unfortunate fellow- 

Nero himself raged not more cruelly against the Roman 
Christians of the first century, than did the English Jezabel 
against the English Catholics of the sixteenth ! Of the num 
ber of Catholic martyrs, Hallam writes as follows : 

" The Catholic martyrs under Elizabeth amounted to no inconsiderable 
number. Dodd reckons them at one hundred and ninety-one ; Milner has 
raised the list to two hundred and four.f Fifteen of them, according to him, 
suffered for denying the queen s supremacy, one hundred and twenty-six for 
exercising their ministry, and the rest for being reconciled to the Romish 
Church. Many others died of hardships in prison, and many were deprived 
of their property .J 

Even long before the issuing of the papal bull, and before 
Catholics had given any pretext whatsoever for the persecu 
tion, their priests were .tented down like wolves ; and they 
had to conceal themselves, as best they might, in order to be 
able privately to minister to their flocks, and escape the awful 
penalty of high treason therefor. Referring to the period 
which followed the second parliament of Elizabeth in 1562-3, 
Hallam says : 

" Priests therefore traveled the country in various disguises, to keep alive 
the flame which the practice of outward conformity was likely to extinguish. 
There was not a county throughout England, says a Catholic historian, 
where several of Mary s clergy did not reside, and were commonly called 
the old priests. By stealth, at the dead of night, in private chambers, in 
the secret lurking-places of an ill-peopled country, with all the mystery that 
subdues the imagination, with all the mutual trust that invigorates con 
stancy, these proscribed ecclesiastics celebrated their solemn rites, more 

* Queens of England, vii, 100-101. She quotes Blooinfield s Norwich, 
Stowe, and Lingard. 

f Challoner and others have shown that nearly two hundred priests 
alone were executed during this barbarous reign. Many probably also 
perished of whom no record has been preserved. t Ibid - 

He refers to Dodd s Church History, vol. ii, p. 8. No doubt the num 
ber of those who conformed externally, in order to escape the ruinous fines 
and other penalties, was considerable ; yet not so great probably as Hallam 


impressive in such concealment than if surrounded by all their former 

All honor to the heroic "old priests" of Mary, who thus 
braved death in its most terrible forms in order to discharge 
their duty, and succor their afflicted brethren. Again, are 
we forcibly reminded of the sufferings of the early Christians, 
and of the sacred mysteries performed amidst the solemn 
silence and impressive gloom of the Koman catacombs ! All 
honor to Dr. Allen for the happy thought of establishing for- 

* Dodd s Church History, vol. ii, p. 78. Among the zealous priests who 
were hunted down to death, especially during the latter part of Elizabeth s 
reign, "the most eminent was Campian, formerly a Protestant, but long the 
boast of Douay for his learning and virtues. (Strype s Parker, 373.) This 
man, so justly respected, was put to the rack, and revealed through torture 
the names of some Catholic gentlemen with whom ho had conversed. 
(Strype s Annals, ii, 644.) He appears to have been indicted along with 
several other priests, not on the recent statutes, but on that of 25th Edward 
III., for compassing and imagining the queen s death. Nothing that I have 
read affords the slightest proof of Campian s concern in treasonable practices, 
though his connections, and profession as a Jesuit, render it by no means 
unlikely." (Such is modem historic justice ! No proof is brought, but a 
man is considered to be "not unlikely," to be guilty, merely because he hap 
pens to be a Jesuit !) " If we may confide in the published trial, the prose 
cution was as unfairly conducted, and supported by as slender evidence, as 
any, perhaps, which can be found in our books." (State Trials, i, 1050 ; 
from the Phoenix Britannicus.) Hallam, Constit. History, p. 92. 

Of Edmund Campian, who excited the interest of even the steel-hearted 
Elizabeth, Miss Strickland writes as follows : " Edmund Campian was the 
first great scholar produced by Christ s Church Hospital as a Protestant 
foundation. At thirteen, he pronounced a Latin oration to Queen Mary on 
her accession. He became Master of Arts at Oxford, in 1564, where his 
beautiful Latin address to Queen Elizabeth, when she visited that cit} r , was 
never forgotten. He went to Ireland, to convert the Irish to the doctrines 
of the church of England, and wrote an excellent history of that country. 
Eevolted and disgusted with the horrors exercised in Ireland by the govern 
ment of his royal mistress, he became an ardent proselyte to the Church of 
Rome. He was admitted into the Order of the Jesuits in 1573, returned 
to England as a zealous missionary, arid was executed, August, 1581. 
Queens of England, vi, p. 346, note. 


eign colleges, to keep up the supply of such heroes of the 
cross ! 

We have already had occasion to see, on the authority of 
Hallam, how Hatton, one of Elizabeth s favorites, at the insti 
gation of his mistress, robbed Dr. Cox, Anglican bishop of 
Ely, of his garden ; and how her prime minister Cecil seized 
on certain estates of the bishop of Peterborough. These are 
but specimens of that mania for church spoliation which had 
seized on the hungry minions of the court ever since the days 
of Henry VIII. Not content with the wholesale confiscation 
of Catholic church property, and the general robbery of the 
Catholics, these men robbed the new Anglican bishops, who 
sought, but could not obtain redress from the royal head of 
their church. Says Hallam : 

" The prelates of the English church, while they inflicted so many severi 
ties on others, had not always cause to exult in their own condition. From 
the time when Henry taught his courtiers to revel in the spoil of monaster 
ies, there had been a perpetual appetite for ecclesiastical possessions."* 

Bishop Short, however much he seeks to palliate the atro 
cious persecution of Catholics under Elizabeth, takes no pains 
to conceal his indignation at her rapacity and tyranny. "We 
can make room for only a few extracts. 

" The ravage which was committed by Henry was the wasteful prodigality 
of a tyrant ; . . . under Edward, the monarch was too weak to resist the 
avarice of those who governed ; and Mary rather enriched than robbed the 
establishment ; but Elizabeth laid her hands on all that she could grasp, 
though, for the sake of keeping up appearances, she restored some small 
portion in foundations connected with education."! " The poverty of the 
church, in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, was excessive ; not only 
among the higher clergy, who were exposed to these attacks from the court ; 
but among the lower and laborious individuals who possess no dignified sta 
tion, and have no further worldly prospect than to provide bread for them 
selves and their families."]: 

It is rather amusing to hear the Anglican bishop lamenting 
over the poverty of the church of England, and consoling 

* Dodd s Church History, ii, p. 134. Ibid. 

f History of the Church of England, p. 137. \ Ibid., p. 138. 


himself with the Scriptural declaration, "how hardly shall a 
rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven !"* One is almost 
reminded of another passage of the New Testament : " My 
house is the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of 
thieves." In effect, under Elizabeth, the Anglican church 
was, if not a den of thieves, at least a stock-jobbing estab 
lishment, in which every one grasped whatever he could ; 
the queen and the nobles, however, coming in for the lion s 
share of the sacrilegious spoils. This Bishop Short himself 
substantially admits. 

Speaking of the unjust proceedings against the Catholics, 
he consoles them by stating that they were as well treated as 
others, as there was no justice for any under Elizabeth s 
reign! "The unjust method in which the trials of Koman 
Catholics were conducted is sometimes brought forward as a 
charge against Elizabeth by those who advocate their cause ; 
but it must not be forgotten, that justice was never substan 
tially administered during tliis reign. The influence of the 
powerful was frequently exercised against all right ; and it is 
not to be wondered, if the Koman Catholics in this respect 

were not more fortunate than their Protestant neighbors."! 

" There are some persons so ignorant as to wish for the good 
days of Queen Bess ! " J 

He states that many evils have resulted from the union of 
church and state, so firmly established by Elizabeth: 

" All the power which was exercised in ecclesiastical matters during this 
and the following reigns, was in reality a civil power, and was often exerted 
unfortunately for civil purposes. So that the church frequently formed a 
rallying point in political differences ; and as the spirit of civil liberty by 
degrees emancipated the church from the tyranny to which it had been 
reduced, it left us without effectual ecclesiastical discipline." 

Avarice, indeed, seemed to be the besetting sin of England 
during the sixteenth century; and it appeared to possess a. 
special and almost witching fascination when seasoned with 

* History of the Church of England, p. 127. 

f Ibid., p. 148. | ibid., note. Ibid., p. 127. 


the condiment of sacrilege. It became a real mania ; but 
the malediction of heaven fell heavily on the sacrilegious 
spoilers, and on their children !* The principal actors in this 
great work of English sacrilege Cromwell, Somerset, Cran- 
mer, and Northumberland air perished by violent deaths ; 
while Henry VIII. and Elizabeth both died miserably, and 
Edward was cut off in the first bloom of boyhood. All of 
Henry s children were childless, and with them ceased for 
ever the royal line of him who had sacrificed the faith of 
England to procure a male heir to his throne! Thus are 
God s awful judgments, tardily it may be, but none the less 
surely executed on his enemies, even in this world. " The 
desire of sinners shall perish Desiderium peccatorum per- 

"We conclude our quotations from Hallam with his own 
closing remarks on the reign of Elizabeth, in its relation to 
the treatment of her Catholic subjects. After having referred 
to several grades of persecution, which he ranges in the 
following ascending scale ; of a test of religious conformity 
for holding civil offices, of restraining the free promulgation 
of opinions especially through the press, of prohibiting the 
open exercise of worship, of forbidding all acts of even 
private devotions and all expressions of even private opinion, 
and finally, of enforcing conformity to an established church 
and the abjuration of heterodox tenets by pains and penalties ; 
he adds : 

" The statutes of Elizabeth s reign comprehend every one of these pro 
gressive degrees of restraint and persecution. And it is much to be regretted, 
that any writers worthy of respect should, either through undue prejudice 
against an adverse religion, or through timid acquiescence in whatever has 
been enacted, have offered for this odious code the false pretext of political 
necessity. The necessity, I am persuaded, can never be made out ; the 
statutes were, in many instances, absolutely unjust ; in others, not demanded 
by circumstances ; in almost all, prompted by religious bigotry, by excessive 

* For the terrible retribution which overtook, even in this life, many of 
the church spoilers, according to that honest Protestant Sir Henry Spelman, 
see note D. at the end of the present volume. 


apprehension, or by the arbitrary spirit with which our government was ad 
ministered under Elizabeth."* 

We add to the testimony of Hallam on Elizabeth s perse 
cutions, that of three other Protestant historians : Miss Strick 
land, Macaulay, and Prescott. Miss Strickland testifies as 
follows : 

" It would not only be a painful task, but incompatible with the plan of 
this work, to enter into the details of the persecutions on the score of non 
conformity, which stain the annals of this period of Elizabeth s life and 
reign. Suffice it to say, that the unsparing use of the rack, the gibbet, and 
the quartering knife, failed either to silence the zeal of the Puritans, or to 
deter the seminary priests from performing their perilous missions as teach 
ers of their proscribed doctrines."! 

Says Macaulay: 

"Elizabeth, it is true, often spoke to her parliament in language as 
haughty and imperious as that which the Great Turk would use to his 
divan. She punished with great severity members of the house of com 
mons, who, in her opinion, carried the freedom of debate too far. She 
assumed the power of legislating by means of proclamation. She imprisoned 
her subjects without bringing them to a legal trial. Torture was often em 
ployed, in defiance of the laws of England, for the purpose of extorting 
confessions from those who were shut up in her dungeons. The authority 
of the Star Chamber and the Ecclesiastical Commission was at its highest 
point. Severe restraints were imposed on political and religious discussion. 
The number of presses was at one time limited. No man could print with 
out a license ; and every work had to undergo the scrutiny of the primate 
or the bishop of London. Persons whose writings were displeasing to the 
court were cruelly mutilated like Stubbs, or put to death, like Penry. Non 
conformity was severely punished. The queen prescribed the exact rule of 
religious faith and discipline ; and whoever departed from that rule, either 
to the right or to the left, was in danger of severe penalties."! 

Our own Prescott writes as follows : 

" Her conduct was certainly not controlled by religious principle ; and, 
though the bulwark of the Protestant faith, it might be difficult to say 
w r hether she were at heart most a Protestant or a Catholic. She viewed 

* Constit. History, p. 104. f Queens of England, vi, 346. 

J Eeview of Nares Memoirs of Lord Burghley. His name was written 
both Burghley and Burkigli. $ Ferdinand and Isabella, ii, 202. 


religion in its connection with the state, in other words, with herself; and 
she took measures for enforcing conformity to her own views, not a whit 
less despotic, and scarcely less sanguinary, than those countenanced for con- 
science sake by her more bigoted rival."* 

But we sicken of all these, alas ! too well attested atrocities, 
and we must conclude our remarks on this disagreeable sub 
ject. Need we ask any candid man who has read this brief 
and imperfect summary of facts, resting for their evidence on 
acts of parliament and the statements of accredited historians, 
both Protestant and Catholic, whether the means employed 
to establish the Anglican church were conformable with the 
letter and spirit of the gospel, or whether they were such as 
to indicate a change for the better, or a reformation properly 
so called ? We leave the answer to the calm judgment and 
upright conscience of our readers. We will confidently abide 
by their verdict. 

* This is very unjust to the famous Isabella of Spain, with whom he is 
comparing Elizabeth. In a note, he thus humorously answers one of Eliza 
beth s hypocritical declarations : 

"Queen Elizabeth, indeed, in a declaration to her people, proclaims, We 
know not, nor have any meaning to allow, that any of our subjects should 
be molested, either by examination or inquisition, in any matter of faith, as 
long as they shall profess the Christian faith. (Turner s Elizabeth, vol. ii, 
p. 241, note.) One is reminded of Parson Thwackum s definition in Tom 
Jones, When I mention religion, I mean the Christian religion ; and not 
only the Christian religion, but the Protestant religion ; and not only the 
Protestant religion, but the church of England. It would be difficult to 
say which fared worst, Puritans or Catholics, under this system of tolera 




Relative length of their reigns Their respect for their mothers Their 
religious feelings and conscience Plautus in the church on Sunday 
Their respective relations to the Church Their comparative moral char 
acterTheir disinterestedness and selfishness Hallam on Lingard s 
authorities The one merciful, the other cruel The one liberal in 
government, the other a tyrant Testimony of Miss Strickland and of 
Macaulay Their restoring and crushing English liberty Their foreign 
policyThat of Mary single and honest That of Elizabeth tortuous and 
insincere Her motto, "Divide and conquer" The success of Elizabeth 
the chief element of her popularity But no evidence of the Divine ap 
provalHer ministers compared with those of Mary, and particularly 
Gardiner Their respective persecutions compared Hallam answered 
Macaulay s statement Their deaths Awful death of Elizabeth, the 
real foundress of modern Anglicanism. 

THIS comparison need not detain us long. Mary reigned 
but a little over five years from July, 1553, to November, 
1558 ; Elizabeth over forty-four from November, 1558, to 
March, 1603. Of course, the former had, comparatively, but 
a short time in which to display her character or to work out 
her policy. Still she did enough in those few years, to enable 
us to form an enlightened opinion of her reign ; and to serve, 
at the same time, as the basis of a comparison between her 
and her more fortunate sister. 

1. As we have already intimated, Mary copied more after 
her mother, Elizabeth more after her father. The former 
always looked up with affection and reverence to that vener 
ated and noble mother, whose sufferings and disgrace she had 
shared, whose memory she warmly cherished, and whose 
virtues she sought to imitate ; the latter seldom spoke, or 


seemed even to think, of her mother, but she always loved to 
proclaim herself the daughter of her father. One of the first 
cares of Mary, on ascending the throne, was to have blotted 
out from the statute book the bills divorcing her mother and 
stigmatizing her own birth ; and she could not rest tranquil, 
while even a shadow, which she could remove, rested on the 
fair character of Catharine;* Elizabeth, on the contrary, 
contented herself, in her first parliament, with having herself 
declared the sovereign by hereditary right, and she suffered 
the attainder of her mother, Anne Boleyn, together with the 
bills proclaiming her divorced from Henry, and guilty of 
incest and adultery though declared at the same time never 
to have been validly married to him and herself conse 
quently illegitimate, to remain unrepealed on the statute 
book, to the very hour of her death If What motive could 
have induced her to adopt this strange line of conduct, unless 
she felt heartily ashamed of her mother, and could not bear, 
or did riot think it prudent, to have even her name recalled, 
we are at a loss to understand ; but the fact itself, however 
explained, is little creditable to her feelings as a daughter, or 
to her delicacy and self-respect as a woman. 

2. Mary was deeply religious and scrupulously conscien 
tious; she valued her salvation more than "ten such crowns 
as that of England;" she adhered firmly to her faith in spite 
of obloquy, annoyance, and persecution under her father s, 
and especially under her brother s reign ; J she did this, too, 
when her religious firmness seemed likely to deprive her of 
all hopes of ever ascending the throne; and she never once 
wavered in the faith of her venerated mother, and that of 

* This was done in her first parliament. 

f An act was, indeed, passed in her first parliament restoring Elizabeth 
in blood notwithstanding the attainder of her mother, and inheritable to her 
mother s property ; but the attainder itself was not repealed, nor the act 
declaring her mother s marriage with Henry void from the beginning. Soe 
Statutes, as quoted by Lingard ; vii, 259. 

\ All this we have shown, in the previous chapters. 
VOL. II. 18 


her ancestors, from the first dawn of reason to the last 
moment of her life. Elizabeth, on the contrary, had little 
religion and less conscience ;* her conscience was so elastic 
as to bend with every change of circumstances, arid to induce 
her to conform backwards and forwards according to the 
times and the promptings of her own interest or policy. She 
was of her father s faith during his lifetime ; she adopted 
that of her youthful brother after her father s death; she 
became a zealous Catholic under her sister ; and immediately 
after Mary s death, she became again a zealous Protestant! 
At her coronation, she solemnly swore to maintain the Cath 
olic religion ; within a month thereafter, if not at or even 
before her coronation, she firmly determined to destroy it in 

* Our modern Puritans will be shocked to know that Elizabeth went to 
the theatre on Sunday ; and all true Christians will be grievously scandal 
ized to find, that she had one of the not very moral or even very decent 
pagan plays of Plautus performed in her presence in a Christian Church on 
a Sunday at Cambridge ! Miss Strickland furnishes a lengthy account of 
this scandalous affair, from which we extract the following; we doubt 
much, whether it was ever a practice, as she intimates, in Catholic times or 
countries, to begin the Sunday celebration on Saturday evening : 

" She went to see one of Plautus plays the Aulularia for the hear 
ing and playing of which, at her expense a vast platform was erected in 
King s College church. The performance of a pagan play in a Christian 
church, on the Sunday evening, was no great improvement on the ancient 
moralities and mysteries, which in retrospective review, are so revolting to 
modern taste. Those who glance over the Mysteries must feel displeased 
at finding that sacred subjects could be so absurdly dramatized, yet these 
Mysteries were listened to with reverential awe by a demi-savage people, 
who saw nothing ridiculous or profane in the manner of showing the Crea 
tion, the history of Noah, or of Joseph, the intention being to make them 
comprehensible to the eye, when the untaught ear refused to follow the 
thread of sacred history. But Elizabeth and Cambridge had more knowl 
edge, if not more wisdom, and ought to have banished their pagan play from 
the walls of a Christian temple." Queens of England, iii, 164. She adds, 
in a note : 

" The stage was first erected in King s College Hall, but was not con 
sidered large enough, and therefore taken down, and erected in the church 
by the queen s orders." 


England ; and her entire life was afterwards devoted to car 
rying out this stern and cruel purpose. 

3. Mary willingly and promptly resigned the ambitious 
title and immense patronage of head of the church in Eng 
land, bequeathed to her by her father and brother; Elizabeth 
immediately resumed the title, stretched its prerogatives and 
powers to the very utmost limits, and waxed strong on its 
patronage. Mary, against the advice of her council, restored 
the property of the Church, which her father and brother 
had seized on and annexed to the crown ; Elizabeth, immedi 
ately after her accession, took it all back, and she continued 
to pursue, almost to outdo, the sacrilegious policy of church 
spoliation, which had been inaugurated by Henry and Ed 

4. Mary s moral character w r as so pure and unsullied, that 
not even her most bitter enemies seem ever to have breathed 
a word casting a shadow of taint on her chastity. f On the 
contrary, Elizabeth was notorious for her dissoluteness, which 

* In her very first parliament, two acts were passed : the first re-annex 
ing to the crown the church property restored by Mary ; the second author 
izing the queen, on the vacancy of any bishopric, to seize on the lands be 
longing to it, " with the exception of the chief mansion-house and domain, 
on condition that she gave in return an equivalent in tithes and parsonages 
appropriate." In vain did the new bishops protest against a measure, the 
true drift of which they clearly saw ; it was passed in spite of them. See 
Lingard, vii, 264. 

f The ancient Protestant historians speak strongly in favor of Mary s 
moral character. Camden says of her : " Princeps apud omnes ob mores 
sanctissimos, pietatem in pauperes, liberalitatem in nobiles atque ecclesiasti- 
cos nunquam satis laudata A princess never sufficiently to be praised 
among all, for her most holy morals, her mercy to the poor, and her liberal 
ity to nobles and ecclesiastics." (In apparat., 23.) And Godwin : "Mulier 
sane pia, clemens, moribusque castissimis, et usque quaque laudanda, si reli- 
gionis errorem non spectes A woman truly pious, merciful, and of most 
chaste morals, and every way worthy of praise, if you look not at her reli 
gion." P. 123. Ibid., vii, 243, note. The vile anonymous libels and 
caricatures of her, referred to in a previous chapter, are simply beneath con 


survived her youth, and even her advanced age. Besides 
Dudley, earl of Leicester, her first principal lover, Haiton 
and Raleigh, Oxford and Blount, Simier and Anjou, were 
numbered among her successive favorites. The two courts 
imitated the examples of their respective mistresses. That 
of Mary was decorous and proper ; that of Elizabeth, accord 
ing to Faunt, Walsinghanrs secretary, was, on the contrary, 
a place, "where all enormities were practiced, where sin 
reigned in the highest degree ;"* and where, says Harrington, 
another Protestant contemporary, "the only discontent I 
have, is to live where there is so little godliness and exercise 
of religion, so dissolute manners - and corrupt conversation 
generally, which I find to be worse than when I knew the 
place first." f 

5. Mary has been styled "the bloody;" Elizabeth has been 
viewed as the stern, indeed, and imperious, but not cruel 
woman or tyrannical sovereign. How little either deserves 
the character which the prejudice or partiality of English 
history assigns her, we think we have already sufficiently 

* August 6, 1583. Birch, i, 39. See also MS. life of the duchess of 
Feria, quoted ibid. Hallam, in his Constit. History, (p. 94, note) sneers at 
Dr. Lingard for saying that her court was dissolute, " on the authority of 
one Faunt, an austere Puritan." A sneer is no argument. Faunt was a 
Protestant, and secretary of Walsingham, one of her principal ministers ; 
and he was surely a competent witness. Hallam forgot to mention Harring 
ton and the duchess of Feria, other contemporaries, who say the same 
thing. He admits that Elizabeth " certainly went strange lengths of indeli 
cacy." He adds : " But if she might sacrifice herself to the queen of Cnidus 
and Paphos, she was unmercifully severe to those about her, of both sexes, 
who showed any inclination to that worship, though under the escort of 
Hymen. Miss Aikin, in her well-written and interesting Memoirs of the 
court of Elizabeth, has collected several instances from Harrington and 
Birch." Was it candid in him to mention only Faunt, as Lingard s author 
ity, when he himself refers to Birch and Harrington, both of whom Lingard 
quotes ? 

f August 1, 1582. Birch, i, 25. Ibid., viii, 467, note. Harrington says 
also, that at this court "there was no love but that of the lusty god of gal 
lantry Asmodeus. Nugae aniquae, 161. Ibid. 


shown. In regard to Mary we need add nothing; of Eliza- 
betlrs natural jealousy and wanton cruelty, we will quote the 
following additional specimens, from her life by Miss Strick 
land ; who, in the first of them at least, is fully confirmed by 
Mackintosh and Hallam. Her merciless treatment of Cath 
arine and Mary Gray, sisters of the late unfortunate Lady 
Jane Gray, is in strong contrast with that of Mary, whose 
feelings would naturally have been more strongly enlisted 
against them ; they being sisters of her first rival, and not 
far removed from the line of succession to her throne, which 
their sister had sought to grasp. Yet Mary was merciful, 
Elizabeth relentless. Says Miss Strickland : 

" Elizabeth was obdurate in her resentment to her unfortunate cousin, 
Lady Katharine Gray ; and. disregarding all her pathetic letters for pardon 
and pity, kept her in durance apart from her husband and children, till she 
was released by death, after seven years of doleful captivity. Her real 
crime was being the sister of Lady Jane Gray, which Queen Mary had 
overlooked, but Elizabeth could not ; yet Lady Katharine was a Protestant"* 

Again : 

"Both the meek inoffensive sisters of Lady Jane Gray were thus torn 
from their husbands, and doomed to life-long imprisonment by the inexor 
able queen. Their piteous appeals to her compassion, may be seen in Ellis s 
Royal Letters. Can any one suppose, that she would have scrupled to shed 
the blood of either or both of these broken-hearted victims, if their names 
had been used to excite an insurrection in her metropolis ? " f 

Of her wanton cruelty to Archbishop Heath, our fair 
authoress speaks as follows : 

"A few of the less pleasing traits of Elizabeth s character developed 
themselves this year, among which may be reckoned her unkind treatment 
of the venerable Dr. Heath, the non-juring archbishop of York, and formerly 
lord chancellor. It has been shown that he performed good and loyal 
service for Elizabeth, whose doubtful title was established beyond dispute, 
by his making her first proclamation a solemn act of both houses of parlia 
ment. Subsequently, in 1560, he was ordered into confinement in the 
tower, because he would not acknowledge Elizabeth s supremacy over the 

* Queens of England, vi, 151. She quotes Ellis, Camden, and Mackin 
tosh. See Am. Edit, of Mackintosh, p. 319. f Ibid., p. 175. 


church. He remained there till he was sent into a sort of prison restraint 
at one of the houses belonging to his see in Yorkshire. 

"His mode of imprisonment permitted him to take walks for exercise. 
These rambles could not have been very far, for he was turned of eighty. 
They were regarded with jealousy, and the following order of council ex 
ists, in answer to a letter from Lord Scrope, relative to the examination by 
him to be taken of Nicholas Heath, with whom his lordship is required to 
proceed somewhat sharply withal to the end, that he should declare the 
lull truth why he wandereth abroad ; and if he will not be plain, to use 
some kind of torture to him, so as to be without any great bodily hurt, and 
to advertise his (Lord Scrope s) goings herein. 

" The old man had been on terms of friendship with the queen, had done 
her worthy service, he had been considered an opponent of persecution ; yet 
could Elizabeth, then little turned of thirty, sit in her conclave, and order the 
unfortunate prisoner to be pinched with the torture, to reveal some vague and 
indefinite crime, which, perhaps, only existed in the suspicions of his enemies."* 

6. As we have also seen, Mary, so far as her short reign 
permitted her to carry out her policy, exhibited a disposition 
to restore the legitimate rights of parliament, and the ancient 
Catholic liberties guarantied by the British Constitution ; nor 
could she be induced, like her father and sister, to trample 
them under foot, and to make royal prerogative paramount. 
The very first act of her first parliament was the abolition of 
all the treasons and felonies of Henry VIII. f Not so Elizabeth. 
She again crushed out the constitutional liberties of England, 
and made her own will the law of the land. Nothing can be 
more certain than this fact, singular as it may appear to 
some readers. 

"We have already seen from Macaulay how Elizabeth had 
"assumed the power of legislating by means of proclama 
tion," and with what severity she punished those members of 
her parliaments who dared to express opinions opposed to her 
own. The same writer says : 

" The immediate effect of the Keformation in England was by no means 
favorable to political liberty. The authority which had been exercised by 

* Queens of England, vi, 180. She quotes Council Eegister. 
f Mackintosh, History of England, p. 279, American Edit., Philadelphia, 
1834. See also p. 286, ibid. 


the Popes was transferred almost entire to the king. Two formidable 
powers which had often served to check each other, were united in a single 
despot. If the system on which the founders of the church of England 
acted could have been permanent, the Reformation would have been, in a 
political sense, the greatest curse that ever fell on our country. But that 
system carried within it the seeds of its own death. It was possible to 
transfer the name of head of the church from Clement to Henry ; but it 
was impossible to transfer to the new establishment the veneration which 
the old establishment had inspired. Mankind had not broken one yoke in 
pieces only to put on another. The supremacy of the Bishop of Rome had 
been for ages considered as a fundamental principle of Christianity. It had 
for it every thing that could make a prejudice deep and strong venerable 
antiquity, high authority, general consent. It had been taught in the first 
lessons of the nurse. It was taken for granted in all the exhortations of the 
priest. To remove it was to break innumerable associations, and to give a 
great and perilous shock to the mind- Yet this prejudice, strong as it was, 
could not stand in the great day of che deliverance of the human reason. 
And as it was not to be expected that the public mind, just after freeing it 
self, by an unexampled effort, from a bondage which it had endured for ages, 
would patiently submit to a tyranny which could plead no ancient title. 
Rome had at least prescription on its side. But Protestant intolerance, 
despotism in an upstart sect, infallibility claimed by guides who acknowl 
edged that they had passed the greater part of their lives in error, restraints 
imposed on the liberty of private judgment by rulers who could vindicate 
their own proceedings only by asserting the liberty of private judgment 
these things could not long be borne. Those who had pulled down the 
crucifix could not long continue to persecute for the surplice. It required 
no great sagacity to perceive the inconsistency and dishonesty of men who, 
dissenting from almost all Christendom, would suffer none to dissent from 
themselves ; who demanded freedom of conscience, yet refused to grant it ; 
who execrated persecution, yet persecuted ; who urged reason against the 
authority of one opponent, and authority against the reasons of another. 
Bonner at least acted in accordance with his own principles. Cranmer could 
vindicate himself from the charge of being a heretic, only by arguments 
which made him out to be a murderer."* 

7. Mary s foreign policy was straight-forward, truth-loving, 
and honest; Elizabeth s was tortuous, deceitful, and dis 
honest, whenever and wherever her interest prompted.f 

* Review of Lord Nugent s Memorials of Hampden, Miscellanies. Amer 
ican Edit., p. 153-4. 

f Witness, for instance, her high-handed seizure of the Spanish treasures 


Mary never had one language for foreign governments, and 
another quite contradictory for their disaffected or insurgent 
subjects ; and she was never at peace and war with the same 
nation or kingdom at the same time: the contrary policy 
precisely, was that so constantly pursued by Elizabeth, as to 
be quite characteristic of her government. Throughout her 
long reign, she persisted in playing off this double and un 
principled policy in Scotland, in France, and in the Neth 
erlands, in spite of all remonstrance, of all threats, and of 
actual wars.* Her maxim, or that of her advisers, seems to 
have been, "Divide and conquer;" and though honesty is 
said to be the best policy, and dishonesty the worst, the 
maxim did not appear to hold good in her particular case. 
She both divided and conquered. Her dishonest policy 
proved apparently successful for the time being. She weak 
ened her enemies by divisions sown by the encouragment, 
through her active agents, of disaffection and rebellion in 
their dominions ; and she thus gave temporarily to England 
a commanding influence among the European nations. 

But we must not forget, that if the commercial and naval 
prosperity of England were greatly developed during her 
long reign, the first impulses towards the development were 
given, and the foundations of both were laid in that of Mary ; 
and the shortness of her reign prevented her from fully car 
rying out her great design for the advancement of England ; 
whose temporal and political prospects, supposing that Mary 
would be blessed with an heir, had, in fact, never at any 
previous period been brighter than they became, when her 
escutcheon was blazoned with that of the heir apparent to 
the most powerful dynasty of the sixteenth century. 

8. If Elizabeth was more able and adroit as a politician, 
and more winning in her manners as a woman, Mary was 
more sincere and more honest, even if less popular and less 

going to the Netherlands, when she was nominally at peace with Spain ! 
It was little better than highway robbery or piracy. 

* This we will have occasion to show more fully in the following chapters 


successful. Much of Elizabeth s success in government and in 
foreign negotiation is due to the consummate cunning and 
signal talent of her ministers, who were as able as they were 
unscrupulous, and as untiring as they were skillful. Few of 
the continental politicians of the sixteenth century were a 
match for Cecil and Walsingham ; the former of whom may 
be called the Talleyrand of that century, if the comparison 
do not involve injustice to the character of the more modern 
diplomatist. So long, indeed, as Gardiner lived, Mary was 
not at a loss for an able manager of state affairs ; but Gardi 
ner was already aged, and Gardiner soon left her to less skill 
ful guidance. His state paper, containing the agreement for 
the Spanish marriage, was a master-piece, which Elizabeth 
herself adopted in substance, when she contemplated a for 
eign matrimonial alliance. 

9. Both Mary and Elizabeth persecuted, and both of them 
did so chiefly, if v not wholly, from motives of state policy. 
But there are important differences in the two cases. Mary 
persecuted during less than four years, Elizabeth for more 
than forty-four. Mary s persecution originated in a treason 
able conspiracy, concocted at the instigation of the leaders of 
the reformed party, to exclude her from the throne ; Eliza 
beth s was commenced without any such provocation, in fact, 
without any provocation whatever, on the part of her Catho 
lic subjects. Mary was urged by her counselors to persecute, 
through strong motives of state policy connected with the 
security of her throne ; and she began the persecution reluct 
antly, and only after a delay of more than a year, notwith 
standing reiterated provocations and two rebellions: Elizabeth 
needed no urging on the subject, and she entered at once and 
with seeming alacrity on her bloody work.* Mary perse- 

* Macaulay, in his Eeview of Hallam s Constitutional History, fully con 
firms this statement. He writes : 

" In the first place, the arguments which are urged in favor of Elizabeth 
apply with much greater force tc the case of her sister Mary. The Catho 
lics did not, at the time of Elizabeth s accession, rise in arms to seat a Pre- 
VOL. ir. 19 


cuted a small minority of her subjects, who sought violently 
to upset the ancient order of things both in Church and State, 
and to rob, or continue to rob, both the Church and the an 
cient families of the kingdom, of the property and religious 
rights which had been secured to them, with slight interrup 
tion, by a peacable tenure of nearly a thousand years ; Eliza 
beth persecuted the vast majority of her subjects,* with a 
view to force them to give up those cherished rights, and by fine 
and confiscation to rob many of them of property so long and 
so peacefully held. Mary s persecution was, it may be, more 
sharp and bloody in the same space of time ; Elizabeth s, be 
sides being tenfold longer, was far more inquisitorial, search 
ing, and general. It aimed even more at the liberties and 
property than at the lives of her subjects ; it was as torturing 
to both body and soul, as it was destructive to personal free 
dom and to the rights of property.f It contemplated and 

tender on her throne. But before Mary had given, or could give provocation, 
the most distinguished Protestants attempted to set aside her rights in favor 
of the Lady Jane. That attempt and the subsequent insurrection of Wyat 
furnished at least as good a plea for the burning of Protestants, as the con 
spiracies against Elizabeth furnish for the hanging and embowelling of 
Papists." Miscellan. American Ed., p. 69. 

* Towards the end of Elizabeth s reign, after all her bloody persecutions 
had done their work of destruction, the number of Catholics was estimated 
to be at least equal to that of the Protestants ; while Cardinal Allen, who 
was a good judge, constantly asserted that it was fully two thirds of the 
entire population. 

f Bishop Short, whose testimony will scarcely be impeached, freely ad 
mits the total unsettledness of property during Elizabeth s reign ; and he 
moreover traces it to its right cause, the wholesale system of confiscation 
inaugurated by Henry VIII. He says : 

" The wholesale alienation of church property which had taken place in 
the reign of Henry VIII. had unsettled the minds of the nation with regard 
to all tenures ; might had legally been converted into right, and all men were 
ready to take advantage of the change. The court invaded the wealth of 
the higher clergy ; and they in their turn were often little careful of the in 
terests of their successors, and sometimes raised a revenue by appropriating 
to .themselves the income which was originally granted for the officiating 
incumbent." History of the Church of England, p. 138. 


carried out a wholesale system of confiscation and imprison 
ment. The pestilent and crowded prisons, and the enormous 
fines for recusancy induced more wide-spread torture and 
ruin, than even the sharper pangs of the rack and the " Scav 
enger s daughter," which she kept almost constantly plying ; 
while the horrible butchery for treason was even worse than 
the death by fire at the stake. Both persecutions were lam 
entable enough ; but all candid men must allow that that of 
Elizabeth as far exceeded in atrocity, as it did in duration, 
that of Mary, and that the the former had far less to palliate 
or excuse it than the latter.* 

We must again quote Macaulay :f 

"That which is, as we have said, the great stain on the character of 
Burghley, is also the great stain on the character of Elizabeth. Being her 
self an Adiaphorist, having no scruple about conforming to the Eomish 
Church, when conformity was necessary to her own safety, retaining to the 
last moment of her life a fondness for much of the doctrine and much of 
the ceremonial of that Church, she yet subjected that Church to a persecu 
tion even more odious than the persecution with which her sister had har 
assed the Protestants. We say more odious. For Mary had at least the 
plea of fanaticism. She did nothing for her religion which she was not pre- 

* In answer to Hallam, Waterworth has the following : 
" No woman, says Hallam, was put to death under the penal code, so 
far as I remember ; which of itself distinguishes the persecution from that 
of Mary, and of the house of Austria in Spain and the Netherlands. (Con- 
stit. History.) The fact is, that besides the one mentioned, who suffered in 
1586, Mrs. Ward was hanged, drawn, and quartered, for assisting a Catholic 
priest to escape ; Mrs. Lyne suffered the same punishment in 1601, for the 
same offense ; and Mrs. Wells received sentence of death in 1591, and died 
in prison." The "one mentioned above" was "a lady of good family named 
Cithero. Her crime was relieving and harboring priests ; her death was 
barbarous indeed. The worse than savages stripped her; two sergeants 
parted her hands and bound them to two posts in the ground, and in the 
same manner her feet ; a sharp stone was put under her back ; upon her 
were laid a door and huge weights, which, breaking her ribs, caused them 
to burst through the skin." Lectures on the Keformation, p. 401 and note, 
f Keview of Nare s Memoirs of Lord Burghley ; Miscell., p. 179, Am. Ed. 
Mackintosh announces similar views. History of England, p. 215-6. 
American Edition. 


pared to suffer for it. She had held it firmly under persecution. She folly 
believed it to be essential to salvation. If she burned the bodies of her sub 
jects, it was in order to rescue their souls. Elizabeth had no such pretext. 
In opinion, she was little more than half a Protestant. She had professed, 
when it suited her, to be wholly a Catholic. There is an excuse, a wretched 
excuse, for the massacre of Piedmont and the autos-da-fe of Spain. But 
what can be said in defense of a ruler who is at once indifferent and 
intolerant ? 

" If the great queen, whose memory is still held in just veneration by 
Englishmen, had possessed sufficient virtue and sufficient enlargement of 
mind to adopt those principles which More, wiser in speculation than in ac 
tion, had avowed in the preceding generation, and by which the excellent 
1 Hospital regulated his conduct in her own time, how different would be 
the color of the whole history of the last two hundred and fifty years ! She 
had the happiest opportunity ever vouchsafed to any sovereign, of establish 
ing perfect freedom of conscience throughout her dominions, without danger 
to her government, or scandal to any large party among her subjects. The 
nation, as it was clearly ready to profess either religion, would, beyond all 
doubt, have been ready to tolerate both. Unhappily for her own glory and 
for the public peace, she adopted a policy, from the effects of which the em 
pire is still suffering. The yoke of the Established church was pressed 
down on the people till they would bear it no longer. Then a reaction 
came. Another reaction followed. To the tyranny of the establishment 
succeeded the tumultuous conflict of sects, infuriated by manifold wrongs, 
and drunk with unwonted freedom. To the conflict of sects succeeded 
again the cruel domination of one persecuting church. At length oppression 
put off its most horrible form, and took a milder aspect. The penal laws 
against dissenters were abolished. But exclusions and disabilities still re 
mained. These exclusions and disabilities, after having generated the most 
fearful discontents, after having rendered all government in one part of the 
kingdom impossible, after having brought the state to the very brink of ruin, 
have, in our times, been removed ; but, though removed, have left behind 
them a rankling which may last for many years. It is melancholy to think 
with what ease Elizabeth might have united all the conflicting sects under 
the shelter of the same impartial laws and the same paternal throne ; and 
thus have placed the nation in the same situation, as far as the rights of con 
science are concerned, in which we at length stand, after all the heart-burn 
ings, the persecutions, the conspiracies, the seditions, the revolutions, the 
judicial murders, the civil wars, of ten generations." 

10. The fact that Mary s reign was short, disturbed by 
civil commotions, and clouded with personal illness, while 


that of Elizabeth was long, less troubled by conspiracy, and 
more prosperous, presents no valid argument against the for 
mer nor in favor of the latter. Much less can this circum 
stance be alleged as a divine indication in favor of the new 
religion, which was forcibly introduced by Elizabeth. Tem 
poral prosperity is surely no evidence of divine truth, but 
often the contrary ; else the pagan Romans, prosperous and 
wealthy, would have triumphed through this very argument 
which they were in the habit of constantly alleging 
against the religion of the Christians ; because, as the former 
argued, this religion did not render the material condition 
of the latter more prosperous, but seemingly the reverse. 
Yet the Roman pagans with all their wealth were clearly in 
the wrong, and their victims, the poor, down-trodden, perse 
cuted Christians, were as clearly in the right as all Chris 
tians freely admit. 

The way of truth and virtue is often beset by trials and 
strewn with thorns ; while that of vice is not unfrequently 
rendered attractive by worldly comforts and temporal advan 
tages. With nations, as with individuals, God often rewards 
merely temporal virtues with merely temporal rewards ; while 
He disciplines with tribulations and chastens with the cross 
those favorite ones who look much higher than this world for 
their reward ; and the most terrible punishment which He 
can inflict on a nation, as on an individual, is that which His 
Son referred to, when He said of the pharisees : They have 
received their reward ! 

The "Invincible Armada" w r as but the expression of indig 
nant Europe at the enormous tyranny and oppression with 
which Elizabeth ground down a very large portion of her sub 
jects. God permitted the Armada to be scattered; and Eliz 
abeth was jubilant in her triumph. This result was highly 
gratifying to English patriotism ; it was certainly^no evidence 
that Elizabeth was right in introducing a new religion. 

Finally, their deaths were as unlike as had been their lives. 
Mary died full of patriotic feeling, with the lost Calais graven 


on her heart ; Elizabeth died, selfishly and sullenly refusing 
to the very last moment to name her successor, if she did 
it even then.* Mary s last agony was soothed with the conso 
lations of religion ; Elizabeth positively refused to avail her 
self of the comforts which religion brings to the dying hour ! 
Mary died tranquilly and in hope of a blessed immortality ; 
Elizabeth in sullen agony and moody despair. Says Miss 
Strickland : 

"It is almost a fearful task to trace the passage of the mighty Elizabeth 
through the dark valley of the shadow of death. Many have been dazzled 
with the splendor of her life, but few, even of her most ardent admirers, 
would wish their last end might be like hers." 

Again, quoting Lady Southwell : 

" The queen kept her bed fifteen days, continues Lady Southwell, be 
sides the three days she sat upon a stool ; and one day, when, being pulled 
up by force, she obstinately stood on her feet for fifteen hours. When she 
was near her end, the council sent to her the archbishop of Canterbury and 
other prelates, at the sight of whom she was much offended, cholerickly 
rating them, bidding them be packing, saying she was no atheist, but she 
knew full well they were but hedge-priests. "f 

So passed away from earth the spirit of the great Elizabeth, 
the mighty bulwark and consolidator, if she may not even be 
viewed as the real foundress, of the Anglican church as 
established by law ! 

* That she said any thing definite even then seems rather doubtful. 
Cecil and her other ministers so understood her, or professed to have so un 
derstood her through motives of self-interest or state-policy. At any rate, 
she delayed the important declaration to the very last moment, and even 
then seems to have made it as obscurely as she did it reluctantly. 

For some additional testimony on the Anglican Eeformation from the 
work of the contemporary Sanders on the English Schism, see Note E. at 
the end of this volume. 

f Queens of England, vii, p. 218-223. 




Distinctive characteristic of the Scottish Reformation, compared with that of 
England It works its way from low to high Condition of the Catholic 
Church in Scotland in the sixteenth century Abuse of patronage McCrie s 
statement reviewed Exaggeration The real secret of the degeneracy 
John Knox His motto Compared with Calvin His life sketched The 
fearful struggle Ancient Catholic glories scattered What we propose to 
prove The Scottish Reformation the work of violence Assassination of 
Cardinal Beatoun Previous negotiations with Henry VIII. The Scottish 
proto-martyr Wishart concerned Knox approves the deed His horrible 
"vein of humor" The Scottish nobles seek plunder The "Lords of the 
Congregation" Two Solemn Leagues and Covenants Knox s ideas of 
religious liberty and toleration Conciliation thrown away Burning and 
destructive zeal Reformation at Perth At St. Andrew s And else 
where Horrible destruction and desolation McCrie defends it all, as 
removing the monuments of idolatry The queen regent offers religious 
liberty Her offer spurned Knox s idea of religious liberty Two armies 
in the field Elizabeth of England meddling The queen regent deposed 
Treaty of peace How the Kirk was established by law Mary of 
Scots arrives Her reception and treatment John Knox her relentless 
enemy He clamors for her blood She is imprisoned at Lochleven 
Glance at her subsequent history and death How she was treated in 
Scotland Her first reception Miss Strickland and Mackintosh She is 
hated by Knox Her marriage with Darnley Sermon of Knox Who 
approves of the assassination of Rizzio He flies from Edinburgh Mary 
innocent A cluster of wicked men Murray the worst Mackintosh re 
viewed " The end justifies the means " Forgery Whitaker on Knox and 
Buchanan Moral Character of Knox His death Quotations from Miss 
Strickland confirmatory of the above narrative of facts Mary s reception 
in Edinburgh The "Rebels of the Crafts " Tumult on her first attend 
ance at Mass Her chaplain narrowly escapes death Mary s firmness in 
her faith Knox abhors her music and joyousity Malignant intolerance 
Cruel hard-heartedness of the Scottish nobles Who will not wear 



mourning on the anniversary of the death of Mary s husband Church 
property Greediness of lay Protestant impropriators Knox s "humor 
ous " lament over the destitution of the ministers The queen dancing 
Sermon of Knox thereupon His interview with the queen Another 
interview Still fiercer intolerance Another interview of Knox with the 
queen He opposes her marriage Still another interview Knox s ac 
count He mocks at the queen s tears Signs and wonders against her 
She is blamed for the weather ! Knox calls her a slave of Satan Is ar 
raigned before the Kirk assembly His answer and behaviour Protests 
again against Mary s freedom of conscience Tumult at her marriage 
Mary promises and asks for freedom of conscience Her eloquent 
speech Darnley Horrid plot Butchery. 

THE Reformation in Scotland presents a marked contrast 
with that in England. While the latter worked from high to 
low, the former worked from low to high. The English Ref 
ormation, as we have seen, was an uilkir of state policy and 
of state coercion, from its first inception under Henry VIII. 
to its firm establishment under Elizabeth ; the state was 
throughout its main stay, its very life and soul ; and hence, 
very appropriately, the head of the state was likewise the 
head of the new church. In Scotland, the Reformation 
worked its way up from the people, through the aid of the 
nobles, through political combinations and civil commotions, 
to the foot of the throne itself ; and after having gained the 
supreme civil power, and deposed first the queen regent and 
then the queen herself, it dictated its own terms to the new 
regents and the new sovereign : and thus, by the strong arm, 
it firmly established itself on the ruins of the old religion of 
the country. All this, we believe, will clearly appear from 
the sequel of this chapter. 

During the first half of the sixteenth century, the Catholic 
Church in Scotland seems to have been in a most unhappy 
condition. The same sad causes, which had elsewhere con 
tributed to the relaxation of discipline and the multiplication 
of abuses, had operated here with still greater force. The 
freedom of ecclesiastical elections had been violated, the 
rights of the Sovereign Pontiffs had been wantonly trampled 


upon, and the kings had often arrogated to themselves the 
power to thrust their own creatures into the vacant bishoprics 
and benefices. Thus, King James Y. had provided for 
his illegitimate children by making them abbots and priors 
of Holyrood House, Kelso, Melrose, Coldingham, and St. 
Andrew s.* The lives of men, who were thus intruded by 
the civil power into the high places of the Church, were often 
openly scandalous ; and though the picture drawn by McCrie 
of clerical morals in Scotland at this period is no doubt 
greatly exaggerated by his zeal as a violent partisan of the 
Reformation, yet the statement which the sober truth of his 
tory requires us to make renders it still dark enough. McCrie 
says: "The lives of the clergy, exempted from secular juris 
diction, and corrupted by wealth and idleness, were become 
a scandal on religion, and an outrage on decency ."f 

It was certainly not on account of the clergy being " ex 
empted from secular jurisdiction," but precisely because they 
were not, that their morals degenerated. Had they not been 
wholly dependent for their appointment on the secular power, 
how could the latter have succeeded in thrusting its own crea 
tures into the highest church dignities, and maintaining them 
therein, in spite of the sacred canons of the Church ? But 

* They received the incomes of benefices, committing the duties of their 
charge to others; and though they seldom took orders, they ranked as 
clergymen, and by their vices brought disgrace upon the clerical body. See 
Lingard, History of England, vii, p. 269, note. 

f Life of John Knox, containing illustrations of the history of the Refor 
mation in Scotland, etc. By Thomas McCrie, minister of the gospel, Edin 
burgh : in one volume, 8vo pp. 582. New York, 1813. Page 16. As we 
shall have occasion frequently to refer to this work, in fact to review its 
statements, in the course of the present chapter, we may remark, that he is 
a standard author of the Scottish Kirk, and, at the same time, a man of 
much learning and considerable accuteness, but a thorough partisan, who 
defends Knox and the Kirk throughout ; whose testimony, therefore, when 
stating facts which may be construed as favorable to the Catholic side is 
wholly unexceptionable. We were fortunate in procuring an old American 
edition of this work, which probably truly reflects the original. 


for this usurpation, how, for instance, could scenes like the 
following related by McCrie himself on the authority of 
Buchanan have been enacted ? " During the minority of 
James V., the celebrated Gawin Douglas was recommended 
by the queen to the archbishopric of St. Andrew s ; but John 
Hepburn, prior of the regular canons, opposed the nomination, 
and took the archiepiscopal palace by storm. Douglas after 
wards laid siege to the cathedral of Dunkeld, and carried it, 
more by the thunder of his cannon, than the dread of the 
excommunication which he threatened to fulminate against 
his antagonist."* How else could the state of things de 
scribed by him in the following passage have been even pos 
sible? "Bishops and abbots rivaled the first nobility in 
magnificence and preceded them in honors ; they were privy 
counselors and lords of session, as well as of parliament, and 
had long engrossed the principal offices of state. A vacant 
bishopric or abbacy called forth powerful competitors, who 
contended for it, as for a principality or petty kingdom ; it 
was obtained by similar arts, and not unfrequently taken pos 
session of by the same weapons. Inferior benefices were 
openly put up to sale, or bestowed on the illiterate and un 
worthy minions of courtiers, etc."f 

Such being the open contempt for the canonical freedom 
of election displayed in Scotland during the period in ques 
tion, and such being the flagitious character of the men thus 
sacrilegiously thrust by the hand of the civil power or by 
open violence into the high places of the Church, we can no 
longer wonder at the sad degeneracy of clerical morals ; and 
we are rather surprised that some of the clergy were not even 
worse than they really were. Perhaps, the real secret of the 
matter is unconsciously disclosed by the biographer of Knox 
in the following passage : " Scotland, from her local situation, 
had been less exposed to disturbance from the encroaching 
ambition, vexatious exactions, and fulminating anathemas of 

* McCrie, p. 14, note. f Ibid., p. 14-5. 


the Vatican court (!), than the countries in the immediate 
vicinity of Rome."* This is, no doubt, the key to the moral 
darkness which then partially overspread Scotland. In all 
our readings of mediaeval history, we have been able to find 
few, if any exceptions to the general rule : that nations have 
become corrupt, precisely in proportion to their alienation 
from or opposition to the Holy See. The usual sequel to this 
alienation was precisely that which occurred in Scotland : a 
gradual neglect growing into an open violation of the wise 
provisions of the canon law, which secure freedom of election 
to benefices and bishoprics, and forbid the undue influence 
therein of secular princes. This, we think, has been suffi 
ciently shown in our Introductory Essays to these volumes. 

The vices of the higher Scottish clergy, originating chiefly 
in this fruitful source, greatly facilitated the success of the 
Reformation. The new gospelers had a never failing popular 
theme for invective in the scandalous lives, ostentatious pomp, 
and occasional exactions of the unworthy men who had been 
thus unlawfully foisted into the bishoprics and abbeys. Ridi 
cule of the clergy proved a far more powerful weapon with 
the masses, than sober argument against their religious doc 
trines. " Poetry contributed her powerful aid to the opposers 
of ignorance and superstition (!), and contributed greatly to 
the advancement of the Reformation, in this as well as in 
other countries. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, a favorite 
of James V. and an excellent poet, lashed the vices of the 
clergy, and exposed to ridicule many of the absurdities and 
superstitions of popery (!), in the most popular and poignant 
satires."f Just so. It was by such weapons precisely, but 
more highly polished, that Voltaire succeeded so fatally, two 
and a half centuries later, in striking so deadly a blow at Chris 
tianity itself ! He, too, ridiculed, "in popular and poignant 
satires, the absurdities and superstitions of popery ; " with 

* McCrie, p. 18. f Ibid., p. 27. 


what results, the Christian world has seen and felt with a 
shudder !* 

Before we proceed to state the principal facts in the history 
of the Scottish Reformation, it may be well to furnish a brief 
outline sketch of the life and character of the principal actor 
therein JOHN KNOX. He was the very life and soul of the 
entire movement, which, without his untiring energy, adroit 
management, and coarse, but popular eloquence, might have 
utterly failed of success. It received the impression of his 
own character, and was, in fact, moulded to his own likeness. 

The motto which he wore on his standard "Spare no ar- 
rows"-f is the key to his character, and marks every move 
ment and phase of his restless and imbittered career. He 
" spared no arrows" against his enemies, nor even against his 
own friends, if these were unfortunate enough to provoke his 
wrath. He was a Calvinist of the very straitest sect. An 
intimate friend and disciple of John Calvin, he caught the 
vindictive spirit, while he adopted the predestinarian doc 
trines of his master. Less polished and more coarse than 
Calvin, he possessed even more restless energy of character ; 
and what he wanted in the learning of the latter, he made 
up in greatly superior boldness and effectiveness as a popular 
declaimer. The ignorant masses hung on his lips, and he 
wielded them almost at will. 

John Knox was born in Scotland in 1505. He studied for 
the priesthood in the university of St. Andrew s, under the 
famous professor John Mair or Major, and he was ordained 
priest before the year 1530.J He received the new gospel 
light as early as 1535, but he did not openly profess himself 

* There is scarcely a modern sarcasm, or argument against "popery," 
which Voltaire did not employ, and much better, too, than his imitators in 
more recent times. f McCrie, p. 66. 

| Ibid., p. 12. McCrie proves, in a note, that Knox was really a priest. 
Among other evidence, he alleges a stanza from what he calls a " scurrilous 
poem" printed at the end of Nichol Burne s "Disputation concerning the 

controversit Headdis of Religion " : " That fals apostat priest, Enemie 

to Christ and mannis salvatioun, Your Maister Knox." 


a Protestant until seven years after in 1542.* A few years 
afterwards in 1549 or 1550, in spite of his solemn vows 
taken at the foot of the holy altar, he was solemnly betrothed, 
or married, at Berwick on the Scottish borders, to Miss Mar 
jory Bowes. f A year after the assassination of Cardinal 
Beatoun in 1546 of which we will speak presently he was 
taken prisoner by the French who stormed the castle of St. 
Andrew s, and was carried into France, where he was de 
tained for nearly two years. J After a brief stay in Scotland, 
not coveting the crown of martyrdom, he fled to England, 
where he remained for several years, as traveling missionary 
and chaplain of Edward VI. The Anglican authorities and 
bishops of that period openly fraternized with him, employed 
him in important offices of trust, even consulting with him in 
regard to doctrine and the new Prayer Book ; and this not 
withstanding his undisguised opposition to the doctrine of 

To judge from multiplied examples of the fact, John Knox 
seems to have made it a general rule, to fly whenever danger 
threatened his person. If naturally courageous, he was cer 
tainly boldest where there was least peril. Thus, he fled from 
England in 1554, some months after the accession of Mary. 
Geneva was his more usual place of retreat, while abroad ; 
though he dwelled for a time at Frankfort on the Maine in 
Germany, where, with characteristic restlessness, he warmly 
participated in the schism which had there sprung up between 
the Episcopal and Calvinistic sections of the church recently 
established in that city by the English Protestant refugees. || 

* McCrie, p. 13. 

f Ibid., p. 70, and note, where the testimony of Knox is given. 

I He was liberated in February, 1549. Ibid., p. 59. 

This is fully proved by McCrie, p. 61, seqq.; also in a learned note, p. 
42-3, where he accumulates evidence to show that Archbishops Cranmer 
and G-rindal, and the other " fathers of the English Reformation" fully 
recognized the ordination of Knox and other foreign Calvinistic preachers. 
We have already given this note in our chapter on Elizabeth of England. 

II Ibid., p. 109, seqq. McCrie gives a long account of this singular schism 



After an absence of " nearly two years " on the continent, 
Knox, "in his anxiety to see his wife," returned to Berwick 
in 1555, and then penetrated secretly into Scotland,* where 
he remained for nearly a year, preaching in private houses 
and encouraging his co-religionists not only to relinquish, but 
to pull down the synagogue of Satan by which polite name 
he designated the Catholic Church ; until at length waxing 
bolder and bolder, danger again threatened his person, and 
he again fled to Geneva in July, 1556. He remained here 
for about three years, by his frequent letters encouraging his 
disciples in Scotland; whither he finally returned in 1559, 
when the lords of the congregation were ready to take up 
arms, and all things were reported ripe for setting up and 
establishing the new kirk.f 

Now began in earnest the fearful struggle, which terminated 
in the complete success of the Scottish Reformation, and in 
the building up of the Scottish kirk with the spoils and on 
the ruins of the Catholic Church, to whose ministrations 
Scotland had been indebted for her conversion from pagan 
ism, and for all the consequent blessings of Christian civiliza 
tion which she had enjoyed for ten centuries. All these 
memories of benefits received were now forgotten, and all 
her ancient Catholic glories, in which the patriotic names of 
Wallace and Bruce, together with those of her canonized 
saints, had so gloriously figured, were scattered to the winds, 
or obscured by partial oblivion, in a few short years. 

It is very interesting and useful to inquire how this revo 
lution was accomplished, and in so short a time. Of course, 
different persons will look upon it from different points of 
view, according to their preconceived opinions ; but we think 
that few sober-minded men will deny, that the facts, even as 

and quarrel among the English Protestant refugees ; in which Knox seems 
to have got the worst of it. Dr. Cox, his opponent, remained in posses 
sion of the field, and Knox retired to Geneva. * McCrie, p. 128-9. 

f Ibid., p. 178, seqq. See also Lingard, vii, 270-1. We will see his 
other flights a little further on. 


they are stated or virtually admitted by the learned but 
partial biographer of Knox, all point in one direction : namely, 
to prove that the revolution was commenced and continued 
with the carnal weapons of violence, treachery, and spolia 
tion ; and that it was consummated by openly avowed intol 
erance and downright persecution for conscience sake of all 
opponents of every grade. This we are prepared to show by 
facts, which can not be gainsaid, and which will scarcely be 
even denied by the friends of the Scottish ^Reformation. But 
we must go back to the year 1546, the date of the horrible 
assassination of Cardinal Beatoun. 

1. This barbarous assassination was concocted two years 
before in England by the brutal Henry VIII., who was en 
raged with the cardinal for having foiled him in his attempt 
to get possession of the person of Mary Stuart, the infant 
queen of the Scots. The famous reformed Scottish preacher 
and martyr, George "Wishart the religious teacher of Knox 
came to England the bearer of a proposition from certain 
Scottish lords " to apprehend and slee the cardinal." Henry 
would not directly commit himself, but probably answered, 
as he did a year later to a similar proposal,* that the parties 
had better do the deed and trust to his gratitude for the 

* This proposal was by the earl of Cassilis to Sadler, Henry s Scottish 
ambassador, after the return of the former from a visit to the king in Eng 
land. It was, that he and his friends would engage to assassinate the 
cardinal "for a reward proportioned to their services." Whether the pre 
vious offer from Kirkaldy and John Charteris, of which the Scottish proto- 
martyr George Wishart was the bearer, was likewise a business-transaction 
based on a pecuniary consideration, we are not informed ; but this was 
certainly the case with the one made subsequently by Crighton, laird of 
Brunston, and money seems to have been at the bottom of the entire nego 
tiation with Henry on the subject : though it would appear, that the bluff 
old king and the shrewd Scots could not strike a satisfactory bargain ! Lin- 
gard says, that the bearer of the first proposition was perhaps George 
Wishart, the great Scottish proto-martyr. We have no doubt of it, from 
the remarkable confirmation of the fact furnished by McCrie himself, quoted 


reward.* The "deed" was done on the 29th of May, 1546, 
by assassins who, according to Foxe, " were stirred up by the 
Lord."f The government of Edward VI. approved of it, 
and entered into a regular treaty with the assassins. Two 
months previously, Wishart, w^ho had been the bearer of the 
infamous message to Henry, and who had stirred up riots 
and seditions wherever he preached, had unfortunately fallen 
into the hands of the cardinal, and had been first hanged for 
sedition, and then burned for heresy. J 

What part did Knox and the reformers take in this treach 
erous and bloody deed, with which the Scottish Reformation 
was inaugurated ? The answer is easily given. They openly 
approved of it, if they were not even accessory to it before 
the fact! Knox, to mark his approbation of "the godly 
deed," immediately threw one hundred and forty of his fol 
lowers into the castle of St. Andrew s, to aid the assassins ; 
and they all resolved together to resist the Scottish authorities 
to the last extremity, and to throw themselves on the protec 
tion of England ! Here is what McCrie writes on the sub 

"Writers unfriendly to our reformer have endeavored to fix an accusation 
upon him, respecting the assassination of Cardinal Beatoun. Some have 
ignorantly asserted that he was one of the conspirators. Others better in 
formed have argued that he made himself accessory to the crime, by taking 
shelter among them. With more plausibility, others have appealed to his 
writings, as a proof that he vindicated the deed of the conspirators as laud 
able, or at least innocent." 8 

* Lingard, vii, 12. He quotes Keith and Tytler. McCrie impliedly ad 
mits, that the George Wishart who bore the infamous message to Henry, 
was the famous preacher whom he so much extols. He says that he re 
turned from England in 1544, with the commissioners " who had been sent 
to negotiate a treaty with Henry VIII. of England." P. 32. And such a 

f McCrie, 12. Foxe, 526. The cardinal was assassinated in his own 
bed-chamber. | Ibid. 

5 Ibid., p. 36-7. He enters into an elaborate defense of Knox, chiefly on 
the ground that Beatoun was a persecutor ! 


Knox not only defended the " godly deed," but he spoke of 
it in a tone of levity and even of mockery, which betokened 
great hardness of heart to use the softest expression. His 
biographer, indeed, endeavors to excuse him for this, on the 
ground that he was not able to restrain " his vein of humor;" 
though he admits that " the pleasantry which Knox mingles 
with his narrative of his (Beatoun s) death and burial is un 
seasonable arid unbecoming."* Knox evidently thought that 
this assassination as some of his friends said afterwards of 
his own famous sermon to prove that the Pope was antichrist 
was going at once to the very root of the matter ! f 

2. That the Scottish nobles who joined the Reformation 
were impelled to do so by the hope of plunder, and that they 
were instigated and aided to achieve their ends by the En 
glish government, there can be little doubt. Some of them, 
as we have already seen, had been intruded into the richest 
and most influential benefices of the Church ; others hoped 
to build up their fortunes in a similar way. The former 
joined the reformers in order to secure to themselves and 
their posterity their ill-gotten goods ; the latter with the well- 
grounded hope to better their condition in the new order of 
things which was to arise on the ruins of the old. McCrie 
himself admits this in regard to the later movements of the 
Scottish Reformation, that is, when the struggle really began 
in earnest. Speaking of what occurred about the year 1540, 
he says :{ 

* McCrie, note H., p. 417, in which he tries to answer Hume who had 
written : "It is very horrid, but at the same time somewhat amusing, to con 
sider the joy, alacrity, and pleasure, which that historian (Knox) discovers 
in his narrative of this assassination." A very humorous man surely was 
John Knox ! Almost as humorous as his master, John Calvin, who smiled 
while Servetus was writhing in the flames ! 

f " Sum said, utheris hued the. branches of papistry, bot he (Knox) 
straiketh at the rute." Knox, Historic, etc., p. 70. Apud McCrie, p. 47, 

| Ibid., p. 28. His argument to show that this was not the case at an 
earlier period is very feeble and unsatisfactory. 
VOL. n. 20 


"It has often been alleged, that the desire of sharing in the rich spoils of 
the popish Church, together with the intrigues of the court of England, en 
gaged the Scottish nobles on the side of the Reformation. It is reasonable 
to think that, at a later period, this was so far true."* 

3. While Knox was in Scotland in 1555, the chief among 
the reformers met, on his suggestion, at Mearns, and there 
entered into the first Solemn League and Covenant, by which 
they bound themselves to renounce forever the communion 
of the old Church, and to defend to the last the doctrines of 
the new gospel.f When the " lords of the congregation " 
as the reformed nobles were thenceforth called learned of 
the marriage of their young queen Mary to Francis, dauphin 
of France, they met again, and entered into another covenant 
still more solemn and more stringent in its obligation than 
the first, by which they bound themselves to renounce forever 
" the synagogue of Satan," the Catholic Church and de 
clared themselves sworn enemies to " its abominations and its 
idolatry." This occurred in December, 1557.J What this 
covenant really meant, we shall hereafter see more in detail ; 
when it became known, it was regarded by the Catholic party 
as a declaration of war. 

* Mackintosh, a very prejudiced witness, cautiously admits this, even in 
regard to the Highland chiefs, whom we would suppose least accessible to 
motives so sordid and so foreign to their usually generous and chivalrous 
character : " They (the Highlanders) without difficulty followed the fashion 
of their chiefs, who were themselves partly tempted to assume the name of 
Protestants by the lure of a share in the spoils of the Church, and were 
possibly also influenced by the example of the southern barons, from whom 
the greater part of the Highland chiefs professed to derive their pedigree." 
History of England, p. 323, Amer. Edit. 

f McCrie says that "this seems to have been the first of those religious 
bonds or covenants, by which the confederation of the Protestants in Scot 
land was so frequently ratified." P. 130. He quotes Knox, Historie, p. 92. 

f See Knox, Historie, 98-100, apud Lingard, vii, 272 ; and also McCrie 
in loco. 

The new archbishop of St. Andrew s urged stringent measures against 
the new religionists, and called for the execution of the laws which had 
been revived under the late regency of his brother. Walter Milne, an 


The dowager queen mother had returned from France in 
1551, and she was now regent of the kingdom for her daugh 
ter Mary. Finding the Protestant and Catholic parties 
arrayed against each other in deadly hostility, she interposed 
her authority, and endeavored, but ineffectually, to conciliate 
them. By her direction, the archbishop of St. Andrew s 
convened a council, in which the canons lately made for the 
reformation of abuses were confirmed, and those doctrines of 
the Catholic Church which had been most grievously mis 
represented by the reformers were correctly but temperately 
stated. But conciliation was wholly thrown away upon the 
fiery Knox and his associates. Not only religious toleration, 
but the fullest religious liberty was promised them, over and 
over again ; still they spoke in bitter mockery of the " syren 
song of toleration,"* and by religious liberty they meant the 
right to pull down the Catholic Church, to banish it forever 
from the kingdom, and to establish Calvinism, as the only 
form of religion which should be even tolerated in Scotland ! 
The following facts will place it beyond a reasonable doubt, 
that the Scottish reformers did not want religious liberty, but 
the privilege of religious domination ; that they wanted either 
all or nothing ! 

5. Rejecting all conciliation, and not even waiting for the 
result of the council, the lords of the congregation, led on by 
Knox, established the Reformation at Perth on the llth of 
May, 1559. How they did it, McCrie shall inform us : 

" Knox, who remained at Perth, preached a sermon in which he exposed 
the idolatry of the Mass, and of image- worship. Sermon being ended, the 
audience quietly dismissed ; a few idle persons only loitered in the church : 
when an imprudent priest, wishing either to try the disposition of the 
people, or to show his contempt of the doctrine which had been just 
delivered, uncovered a rich altar piece decorated with images, and prepared 
to celebrate Mass. A boy having uttered some expressions of disapproba 
tion was struck by the priest. He retaliated by throwing a stone at the 
aggressor, which falling on the altar broke one of the images. This operated 

apostate friar, was thereupon seized and executed for heresy. This was as 
unfortunate as it was lamentable. * See McCrie, p. 235. 


like a signal upon the people present, who had taken part with the boy ; and 
in the course of a few minutes the altar, images, and all the ornaments of 
the church were torn down, and trampled under foot. The noise soon col 
lected a mob, who finding no employment in the church, by a sudden and 
irresistible (!) impulse, flew upon the monasteries; nor could they be "re 
strained by the authority of the magistrates and the persuasions of the 
preachers (!), (who assembled as soon as they heard of the riot,) until the 
houses of the grey and black friars, with the costly edifice of the Carthusian 
monks, were laid in ruins. None of the gentlemen or sober part of the 
congregation were concerned in this unpremeditated tumult ; it was wholly 
confined to the baser inhabitants, or (as Knox designs them) the rascall 
multitude. "* 

This was not the first, as it did not prove to be the last, 
of those wonderful exhibitions, by which the Scottish re 
formers signalized their burning zeal. Before the wanton 
riot and destruction of property at Perth, and before Knox 
had returned from Geneva, many such scenes had been en- 
acted.f Now, these acts of violence and sacrilegious destruc 
tion of all that had been held most sacred were of almost 
daily occurrence. "With the gospel in one hand, and the 
firebrand in the other," Knox and his brother preachers 
marched through Scotland, everywhere establishing the Ref 
ormation in the light of burning churches and monasteries, 
with the noble monument:* of art and learning which they 
contained. It will not do for McCrie to attempt to palliate 
the atrocious conduct of the mob at Perth and to excuse 
Knox. Who but he raised the storm, which, it is said* the 
preachers and magistrates could not calm? Who but he 
aroused "the rascall multitude" to do their sacrilegious work? 
Were they not doing his own work, and complying with the 
solemn injunction of the Calvinistic creed still retained in 
the Presbyterian confession of faith by forcibly " removing 
all false worship and all monuments of idolatry?" 

* McCrie, p. 182. 

f The burning and pillage of churches and monasteries is complained of 
in the acts of the Council of Edinburgh, which was dissolved before Knox s 
return to Scotland. See Wilkins, Cone., iv, 208, seqq., apud Lingard, vii, 


According to his biographer, the following is the method 
adopted by Knox and his coadjutors for reforming the Church 
at St. Andrew s, and in other places ; Knox had been dis 
suaded by his friends from preaching in the Cathedral of St. 
Andrew s against the solemn prohibition of the archbishop, 
but he had persisted in his purpose in spite of all advice : 

" This intrepid reply silenced all further remonstrance ; and next day 
Knox appeared in the pulpit and preached to a numerous assembly, without 
meeting with the slightest opposition or interruption. He discoursed on the 
subject of our Saviour s ejecting the profane traffickers from the temple of 
Jerusalem ; from which he took occasion to expose the enormous corruptions 
which had been introduced into the Church under the Papacy, and to point 
out what was incumbent upon Christians, in their different spheres, for re 
moving them. On the three following days, he preached in the same place 
(St. Andrew s); and such was the influence of his doctrine, that the provost, 
baillies, and inhabitants harmoniously agreed to set up the reformed wor 
ship in the town : the church was stripped of images and pictures, and the 
monasteries pulled down. The example of St. Andrew s was quickly fol 
lowed in other parts of the kingdom ; and in the course of a few weeks, at 
Crail, at Cupar, at Lindores, at Stirling, at Linlithgow, and at Edinburgh, 
the houses of the monks were overthrown, and all the instruments, which 
had been employed to foster idolatry and image-worship, were destroyed."* 

6. In thus defacing or wholly destroying churches, and in 
razing to the ground the venerable monastic structures, with 
all their rich contents of paintings, and libraries, and archi 
tectural ornaments, the Scottish reformers did an irreparable 
injury to the country, whose noblest ancient monuments they 
thus left masses of smoking ruins, and to mediaeval art and 
learning, whose invaluable productions they demolished, or 
ruthlessly consigned to the flames. The monasteries were, 
at the same time, the great public libraries of Scotland, as 
they were everywhere also in Europe. And yet, would it 
be believed ? the biographer of Knox, true to the spirit of 
his hero and of early Calvinism, not only defends this hor 
rible Vandalism, but he seems even to rejoice and triumph 

* McCrie, p. 188. He quotes Knox, Historic, and a letter of the reformer 
written from St. Andrew s, June 23, 1559. The demolition began there on 
the 14th of June. 


over the ruins with which Scotland was strewn by Knox and 
his ruthless myrmidons! He says: 

"I will go further, and say that I look upon the destruction of these 
monuments as a piece of good policy, which contributed materially to the 
overthrow of the Roman Catholic religion, and the prevention of its re-es 
tablishment. It was chiefly by the magnificence of temples, and the 
splendid apparatus of its worship, that the Popish Church fascinated the 
senses and imaginations of the people. There could not, therefore, have 
been a more successful method of attacking it than the demolition of these. 
There is more wisdom than many seem to perceive in the maxim, which 
Knox is said to have inculcated, that the best way to keep the rooks from 
returning, was to pull down their nests. "* 

It may have been good "policy" and it was "successful;" 
but was it right? On the same principle, it would be right 
for a robber to slay his victim, lest he should return after 
wards and slay him! Does "the end justify the means?" 
Catholics are falsely charged with adopting this abominable 
maxim ; the early Protestants certainly acted upon it ; and 
McCrie defends their action ! Again he says : 

" Scarcely any thing in the progress of the Scottish Reformation has been 
more frequently or more loudly condemned than the demolition of those 
edifices upon which superstition (!) had lavished all the ornaments of the 
chisel and pencil. To the Roman Catholics, who anathematized all who 
were engaged in this work of inexpiable sacrilege, and represented it as in 
volving the overthrow of all religion, have succeeded another race of writers 
(Protestant), who, although they do not, in general, make high pretensions 
to devotion, have not scrupled at times to borrow the language of their pre 
decessors, and have bewailed the wreck of so many precious monuments, in 
as bitter strains as ever idolater did the loss of his gods. These are the 
warm admirers of Gothic architecture, and other reliques of ancient art ; 
some of whom, if we may judge from their language, would welcome back 
the reign of superstition, with all its ignorance and bigotry, if they could 
recover the objects of their adoration. f 

Among these Protestant writers, he mentions in a note 
Hutchinson, whose energetic language on the subject he 
quotes, as one out of many of a similar kind, though not the 
strongest : "This abbey (Kelso) was demolished 1569, in 

* McCrie, p. 193. t Ibid., p. 190. 


consequence of the enthusiastic Reformation, which in its 
violence was a greater disgrace to religion than all the errors 
it was intended to subvert. Reformation has hitherto always 
appeared in the form of a zealot, full of fanatic fury, with 
violence subduing, but through madness creating almost Ais 
many mischiefs in its oversights, as it overthrows errors in its 
pursuits. Religion has received a greater shock from the 
present struggle to suppress some formularies and save some 
scruples, than it ever did by the growth of superstition."* 

7. The queen regent complained, and most justly, of all these 
sacrilegious outrages, so destructive to the rights of the great 
majority of the nation who were still Catholics. She as 
sembled the nobility, and laid before them the sad state of 
affairs. " To the Catholics she dwelt upon the sacrilegious 
overthrow of those venerable structures which their ancestors 
had dedicated to the service of God. To the Protestants, 
who had not joined those at Perth, she complained of the 
destruction of the royal foundation of the Charter House, 
protested that she had no intention to offer violence to their 
consciences, and promised her protection, provided they as 
sisted her in the punishment of those who had been guilty of 
this violation of public order. Having inflamed the minds 
of all against them, she advanced to Perth with an army, 
threatening to lay waste the town by fire and sword, and to 
inflict the most exemplary vengeance on those who had been 
instrumental in producing the riot."f 

The lords of the congregation armed also on their side, 
and then began, first before the walls of Perth, and subse 
quently in other places, a series of skirmishes, manoeuvrings, 
truces, parleys, reconciliations, and ruptures, the details of 
which are much too long for our limits. J The party of the 
regent again repeatedly promised to the Protestants entire 

* Hutchinson, History of Northumberland, etc., i, 265. Quoted ibid, p.190. 
f McCrie, p. 183. 

$ Those who wish to read a clear and succinct statement of the facts are 
referred to Lingard, vii, 273, seqq. 


freedom of religion, and these as often rejected the offer, 
and demanded that they should have, in addition, the right to 
remove "false worship and the monuments of idolatry." 
What kind of religious liberty Knox demanded at this pre 
cise juncture as well as before and afterwards is apparent 
from a letter which he then addressed to Mrs. Anne Locke : 

"At length they (the regent s party) were content to take assurance for 
eight days, permitting unto us freedom of religion in the mean time. In 
the whilk (which) the abbey of Lindores, a place of black monkes, distant 
from St. Andrew s twelve miles, we reformed: their altars overthrew we, 
their idols, vestments of idolatrie, and mass-books we burnt in their presence, 
and commanded them to cast away their monkish habits."* 

8. The result of the eventful struggle betwen the two 
parties was, that after the lords of the congregation had 
quailed more than once before the " synagogue of Satan," 
and " the uncircumcised Philistines," and had been driven in 
disgrace from Edinburgh, England came to their aid ; while 
the queen regent in her turn received re-inforcements from 
France. Though Elizabeth had entered into a solemn treaty 
of peace with Mary, queen of Scots, who was still in France, 
she did not scruple to aid the Scottish insurgents with both 
encouragement and money. She sent two agents Sadler 
and Croft into Scotland to keep up their hopes of aid from 
England ; and she subsequently despatched an English army 
and fleet to the Scottish borders and to the mouth of the 
Frith. To the remonstrances of the French ambassador, 
Nouailles, Elizabeth "assured him of her determination to 
maintain the peace of Gateau, and as a proof of her sincerity, 
wished that the curse of heaven might light on the head of 
that prince who should be the first to violate it ! "f It must 

* Quoted from McCrie by Lingard, vii, 274, note. The letter was written 
June 23, 1559 ; it is given in full, with this passage, by McCrie from Calder- 
wood s Collection, in the Appendix, p. 544. The passage, however, which 
we have already quoted above, concerning the reforming process at St. Andrew s 
and in its vicinity, contains in substance all that Knox declares in this letter. 

f See Lingard, vii, 284-5, and his authorities. In this peace, which 
settled the affairs of Europe, England and Scotland were included. 


be remembered that the lords of the congregation, urged on 
by Knox, had already deposed the queen regent (Oct. 22, 
1559), and were now in open rebellion. The assistance of 
England gave the superiority to the lords of the congregation, 
and they were thus enabled fully to carry out their purpose 
for establishing the Reformation in Scotland. Mr. McCrie 
tells the final issue of the struggle as follows : 

" The disaster which caused the Protestant army to leave Edinburgh, 
turned out to the advantage of their cause. It obliged the English court to 
abandon the line of cautious policy which they had hitherto pursued. On 
the 27th of February, 1560, they concluded a formal treaty with the lords 
of the congregation ; and in the beginning of April the English army entered 
Scotland. The French troops retired within the fortifications of Leitfy and 
were invested by sea and land ; the queen regent died in the castle of Edin 
burgh during the siege ; and the ambassadors of France were forced to 
agree to a treaty, by which it was provided that the French troops should 
be removed from Scotland, an amnesty granted to all who had been engaged 
in the late resistance to the measures of the regent, their principal grievances 
redressed, and a free parliament called to settle the other affairs of the 

A little further on, he says : 

" The treaty,! which put an end to hostilities, made no settlement respecting 

* McCrie, p. 218. 

f Mackintosh tells us that, among the stipulations of this treaty, one was, 
that "the most Christian king and queen, Francis and Mary, should fulfill 
all they had promised to the Scottish nation, so long as the nobles and peo 
ple of Scotland fulfilled the terms to which they on their parts had agreed." 
(Mackintosh, Ibid., p. 324.) 

The cardinal of Lorraine, the French prime minister, often accused the 
Scots of not having observed their part of the treaty, being instigated to 
break it by the influence of Elizabeth. He said openly to Throckmorton, 
the English minister : " The Scots, I will tell you frankly, perform no part 
of their duties ; the king and the queen have the name of their sovereigns, 
and your mistress (Elizabeth) hath the obedience. They would bring the 
realm to a republic. Though you say your mistress has in all things per 
formed the treaty ; we say the Scots, by her countenance, perform no part 
of the treaty." Mackintosh, Ibid., p. 325. 

The continual intermeddling of Elizabeth in the affairs of Scotland was a 
constant source of annoyance and anguish to poor Mary, after her arrival in 

VOL. TT. 21 


religious differences ; but on that very account it was fatal to popery. The 

power was in the hands of the Protestants The parliament, when it 

met, had little to do but to sanction what the nation had previously 

9. How neatly and how delicately told ! The regent had 
repeatedly offered them not only toleration, but religious 
liberty ; they had spurned her offer with scorn. How the 
nation had been previously led to "adopt" the Reformation, 
we have already seen. And now these men of violence and 
blood, whose principal grievances had been already redressed, 
coolly meet in parliament, without waiting for a legal com 
mission from their sovereign, and having secured a majority 
by previous dextrous management and mano3uvring, establish 
ty law the new religion on the destruction of the old, the 
profession or exercise of which they undertake boldly to pro 
hibit ! They thus proved to all the world that they had not 
been seeking after religious freedom, but rather religious 
domination and ascendency. The proceedings of this famous 
assembly may be summed up as follows : 

"1. An act was passed to abolish the papal jurisdiction in Scotland, and to 
provide punishment for any man who should presume to act under it.f 

the country, which the English queen really ruled much more than she her 
self. Thus, to select one out of many examples of the kind, the English 
envoy " Thorn worth was also instructed to expostulate with Mary on her 
displeasure against the earl of Moray : (more commonly written Murray} ; 
which was answered by a desire that there might be no meddling in the 
internal affairs of Scotland." (Mackintosh, Ibid., p. 335.) 

* McCrie, p. 220. 

f Mackintosh, a very prejudiced and therefore unexceptionable witness, 
says in substance as much, though he was too cautious to enter into details : 
"A statute was passed to abolish the papal authority in Scotland." (P. 325.) 
This parliament was convened on the first of August, 1560. " The session 
began with a debate on the legality of the assembly, which was questioned 
on the account of the absence of any representative of the sovereigns, and 
of any commission from them. The express words of the commission justi 
fied the majority in overruling the objection." (Ibid.) If the sovereigns 
had issued no commission, how could "its express words" justify the ma 
jority ? It would appear that the alleged promise of Monluc, the French 


"2. The administration of baptism after the Catholic rite, and the cele 
bration of Mass in public or in private, were prohibited under the penalty, 
both to the minister who should officiate, and to the persons who should be" 
present, of forfeiture for the first offense, of banishment for the second, and 
of death for the third. 

"3. A confession of faith, framed by Knox and his associates after the 
Geneva model, was approved, and every existing law incompatible with the 
profession of it was repealed. 

"4. Every member of the convention who refused to subscribe to the new 
creed, was instantly expelled : an ingenious device to refuse justice to those 
Catholics, who under the late pacification claimed compensation for their 
losses during the war. After the exclusion, the names of the complainants 
were twice called ; neither they nor their attorneys were present to support 
their claims ; and it was declared that the lordis and nobilitie had don 
thair duetie conform to the articles of the peax (peace). 

"5. The earls of Morton and Glencairn with Secretary Lethington, were 
commissioned to wait on the English queen, and to propose to her, in the 
name of the estates, a marriage with the earl of Arran, son to the presump 
tive heir to the Scottish crown."* 

That this was substantially the action of the parliament of 
1560, is apparent from the proceedings of that convened in 
1567, seven years later, according to McCrie s own account : 

"On the 15th of December, Knox preached at the opening of the parlia 
ment, and exhorted them to begin with the affairs of religion, in which case 
they would find better success in their other business. The parliament 
ratified all the acts which had been passed in 1560, in favor of the Protestant 

ambassador at the treaty, is here referred to ; but it does not appear that 
the sovereigns had ratified this promise, if it was really given. The legality 
of the assembly was often questioned in the sequel. The abolition of the 
papal authority carried with it the utter prohibition of the Catholic religion, 
and the forcible establishment of the Calvinistic Kirk as that of Scotland, to 
the exclusion of all religious liberty on the part of Catholics. Such was the 
freedom of religion which Knox coveted ! 

* Lingard, History of England, vii, p. 294-5. He quotes Keith, 151, 
488 ; Haynes, 356 ; Knox, 239, 254-5 ; Spottiswood, 150 ; and Act. Parl. 
Scot. ii. 525, App. 605. Cecil seems to have been the main intriguer in ar 
ranging the preliminaries of the convention, and especially in suggesting the 
unworthy artifice by which the Catholics were defrauded of their claims. 
He had already prophecied, that " the reparation would be light enough." 


religion, and against popery. New statutes of a similar kind were added. 
It was provided that no prince should be afterwards admitted to the exercise 
of authority in the kingdom, without taking an oath to maintain the Prot 
estant religion ; and that none but Protestants should be admitted to any 
office, not hereditary nor held for life. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction, exer 
cised by the different assemblies of the church was formally ratified, and 
commissioners appointed to define more exactly the causes which properly 
came within the sphere of their judgment."* 

10. This occurred after poor Mary, queen of Scots, had 
been driven from Edinburgh, and while she was detained a 
prisoner at Lochleven. Knox now T clamored for her blood, 
as he had been the chief cause of all her troubles and mis 
fortunes. " Throckmorton, the English ambassador, had a 
conference with him, with the view of mitigating the rigor 
of this judgment; but though he (Knox) acquiesced in the 
resolution adopted by the lords to detain her in prison, he 
retained his sentiment in favor of her trial and execution 
which would certainly have followed ; and after the civil war 
was kindled by her escape, repeatedly said, that he considered 
the nation as suffering for their criminal lenity ."t 

11. Throckmorton s royal mistress the Jezabel of England 
was destined to become the executioner of her unhappy 
cousin of Scotland. How the latter was induced by her forlorn 
condition to seek shelter in England, or was decoyed thither with 
the hope of a hospitable welcome ; how she was then treacher 
ously seized and forced to wear away her gentle heart in prison 
for nineteen long years ; how she was tortured with slanderous 
accusations against her virtue, and haunted with phantoms of 
rebellion devised by her enemies to be laid to her charge, 
of rebellion against her "dear cousin" Elizabeth to whom 
she certainly owed no allegiance whatsoever ; how she was 
at length cruelty executed by order of Elizabeth who had 
previously tried to have her privately assassinated: the 
whole sad history, with all its startling and harrowing inci 
dents, is well known, and need not be here repeated in detail. 

* Life of Knox, p. 319. f Ibid., 318. 


It may be more to our present purpose, to refer to what 
happened previously, in her brief but unhappy career in 

12. From the moment she had first entered Scotland, on 
the express invitation of the Protestant nobles,* she was tor 
tured day and night by the lords of the congregation, insti 
gated thereto by John Knox.f This holy man pursued the 

* McCrie, Ibid., p. 231. She arrived in Scotland on the 19th of August, 
1561. Ibid. 

f Of her singular reception on the first night after her arrival in Scotland, 
Mackintosh says : " In the evening, however, they were annoyed by a multitude 
of 500 or 600 persons, who sung Psalms under the windows an early and offen 
sive badge of their Calvinism playing on sorry rebecks and unstrung fiddles, 
with such neglect of all harmony, that the Parisian connoisseurs thought it 
worth their while to criticize their performance. Next morning, the queen s 
chaplain narrowly escaped with his life from the hands of the fanatical 
rabble, who viewed him with horror as a priest of Baal. Such, said thei 
queen, is the beginning of welcome and allegiance from my subjects ; what 
may be the end, I know not ; but I venture to foretell that it will be very 
bad. " (Hist. England, p. 330.) The poor queen was not mistaken in her 
sad presentiment ! Those religious people were much too holy to have any 
regard to vulgar politeness or common humanity ! 

Mary had applied to Elizabeth for permission to pass through England on 
her way to Scotland, which request Elizabeth rudely refused, addressing her 
refusal to Mary s envoy "in a crowded court, with a loud voice, and in a 
tone of emotion ;" whereupon Mary, taking the English ambassador Throck- 
morton aside, addressed him as follows : 

"My lord ambassador, I know not how far I may be transported by pas 
sion, but I like not to have so many witnesses of my passion, as the queen 
your mistress was content to have when she talked to M. D Oysell (her own 
envoy). There is nothing that doth more grieve me, than that I did so for 
get myself as to desire of the queen a favor that I had no need to ask. You 
know that, both here and elsewhere, I have friends and allies. It will be 
thought strange among all princes and countries, that she should first ani 
mate my subjects against me ; and now that I am a widow, hinder my re 
turn to my own country. I ask her nothing but friendship. I do not 
trouble her state, or practice with her subjects ; yet I know there be in her 
realm that be inclined enough to hear offers. I know also that they be not 
of the same mind as she is, neither in religion nor in other things. Your 
queen says, I am young and lack experience. I confess I am younger than 


youthful, accomplished, and but lately widowed queen, with 
a persistent malignity which seems almost too monstrous to 
be credible. On the first Sunday after her arrival, she had 
preparations made for the celebration of Mass in Holyrood 
house: whereupon violent murmurs were excited, "which 
would have burst into an open tumult, had not the leaders 
interfered, and by their authority repressed the zeal (!) of the 
multitude." Knox seemed to acquiesce in this wish of " the 
leaders " to prevent an open breach of the public peace ; but 
" having exposed the evil of idolatry in his sermon on the fol 
lowing sabbath, he said that one Mess (Mass) was more fear- 
full unto him, than if ten thousand armed enemies wer landed 
in ony parte of the realme, of purpose to suppres the hole 
religioun. "* 

The godly man ! He could claim religious liberty for him 
self, but he had no idea of allowing it to others, even to his 
own youthful queen ! And yet he and his associates were 
the very men who were forever ringing the cry of religious 
liberty and of "popish intolerance" throughout Scotland; 
and who, with this very cry on their lips, destroyed the Cath 
olic churches and monasteries, and after first slandering, sup 
pressed the Catholic worship !f 

she is. During my late lord and husband s time, I was subject to him ; 
and now my uncles, who are counselors of the crown of France, deem it 
unmeet to offer advice on the affairs between England and Scotland. I can 
not proceed in this matter, till I have the counsel of the nobles and states 
of mine own realm, which I cannot have till I come among them. I never 
meant harm to the queen, my sister. I should be loth either to do wrong 
to others, or to suffer so much wrong to myself." Apud Mackintosh, Ibid., 
p. 328. 

The whole heart and soul of Mary of Scots are in this speech. For 
queenly dignity, for delicate but telling satire, and for genuine eloquence 
both of the head and heart, as well as for noble simplicity, it is scarcely sur 
passed by any thing we have ever heard or read. 

* McCrie, p. 234. 

f Even Mackintosh bears evidence to the moderation and justice of Mary s 
government of Scotland during the first years after her arrival. " Notwith- 


13. When poor Mary sent for Knox, after he had coarsely 
attacked from the pulpit her contemplated marriage with 
Darnley, he was unmoved by her tears, and he relentlessly 
mocked at her acute sufferings. If not directly privy to the 
brutal assassination of her faithful secretary, Rizzio, perpe 
trated in her own chamber and before her very eyes, and 
when she was near her confinement,* Knox openly expressed 
his satisfaction at the horrid deed of blood, describing it as 
" an event which contributed to the safety of religion and the 
commonwealth, if not also his approbation of the conduct of 
the conspirators ."f So implacable in his hatred was this 
newly modeled saint, that he persistently refused "to pray 
for her welfare and conversion, representing her as a repro 
bate whose repentance was hopeless, and uttering impreca 
tions against her." Such was the charge formally made 
against him in the General Assembly of the Kirk, which met 
in March, 1571 ; and his accuser promised to sustain it at the 
next Assembly, "if the accused continued his offensive 
speeches, and was then law-byding, and not fugitive accord 
ing to his accustomed manner. "J Knox repelled with scorn 
the last imputation which his whole life had nevertheless 

standing the forebodings of Mary on her arrival, her administration was for 
several years prudent and prosperous. The Presbyterian establishment con 
tinued inviolate, without any inquiry into the irregularities of its origin. 
The revolts against legal authority were overlooked ; and an act of oblivion 
was passed in the parliament of 1564." Hist. England, p. 330. 

* She was in the sixth month of her pregnancy. 

f McCrie, p. 309 and note. In consequence, " it was deemed prudent for 
him to withdraw." Ibid., 310. 

McCrie adds : "It does not appear that he (Knox) returned to Edinburgh, 
or, at least, that he resumed his ministry in it, until the queen was deprived 
of the government." (Ibid., p. 310.) This is another of his flights when 
danger threatened his precious person ! In reply to King James VI., who 
denounced Knox for approving the assassination of Rizzio, "one of the min 
isters said, that the slaughter of David (Ptizzio), so far as it was the work 
of Grod, was allowed by Mr. Knox, and not otherwise. Knox does not, 
however, make this qualification." Ibid., p. 309, note. 
| McCrie, ibid., p. 338. 


proved true but he still persisted in his determination not 
to pray for the queen.* 

14. That Mary was innocent of the horrid charges made 
against her by unscrupulous and treacherous men ; that, like 
a lamb in the midst of wolves, she was the victim of their 
horrible and almost fiendish machinations ; that after having 
first murdered her favorite secretary, and next her husband, 
then forced her into a marriage with the infamous Bothwell, 
they finally forged a correspondence between her and Both- 
well, with a view to ruin her character, and deprive her of 
her throne and of her life : all this has, we think, been con 
clusively demonstrated by many able writers, both Catholic 
and Protestant. This being the case, what are we to think 
of such men as were implicated in those horrid scenes of 
treachery and blood !f If history, at any rate in Christian 
times, any where presents a group of men as thoroughly 
wicked as Ruthven, Lindsay, Buchanan, Morton, Bothwell, 
Maitland, Murray, and Knox, we have nowhere become 

* Hist. England, p. 339. " He (Knox) had learned plainly and boldly to 
call wickedness by its own terms, a fig, a fig, and a spade, a spade. He had 
never called her reprobate, nor said that her repentance was impossible ; but 
he had affirmed that pride and repentance could not long remain in one 
heart. He had prayed that God, for the comfort of his church, would oppose 
his power to her pride, and confound her and her assistants in their impiety : 
this prayer, let them call it imprecation or execration, as they pleased, had 
stricken and would yet strike whoever supported her. To the charge of 
not praying for her, he answered : I am not bound to pray for her in this 
place, for sovereign to me she is not ! and I let them understand, that I am 
not a man of law that has my tongue to sell for silver or favor of the world. " 

f Even after Mary was securely lodged in Elizabeth s English prison, her 
good cousin of England and her envoys were in constant dread of her 
queenly influence. Thus "White, a gentleman of Elizabeth s household, 
warned Cecil against permitting many to have conference with her. For 
besides, said he, that she has a goodly personage, she hath withal an allur 
ing grace, a pretty Scottish speech, and a searching wit, clouded (softened) 
with mildness. " Mackintosh, p. 362. 

A beautiful tribute, coming from an enemy ! Were these the reasons of 
Elizabeth s unquenchable jealousy and undying hatred? 


acquainted with the fact.* There may have been particular 
cases of "total depravity" equaling single ones in this hor- 

* Speaking of Murray and the other Scottish lords who had fled to Eng 
land, Mackintosh says : " These gentlemen, the best of their time, were 
joined by the interest of the Reformation in unnatural union with the worst 
offspring of civil confusion, with Morton, a profligate though able man ; 
with Ruthven, distinguished even then for the brutal energy with which he 
executed wicked designs ; and with the brilliant and inconstant Lethington 
(Maitland) admired by all parties but scarcely trusted by any." (P. 337.) 
He closes his account of Rizzio s assassination, with the following : " To 
complete the narrative of an event sufficient to dishonor a nation, and to 
characterize an age, it may be added that the earl of Morton, lord chancel 
lor of Scotland, commanded the guard who were posted at the entrance of 
the palace to protect the murderers from interruption." (P. 338.) 

This Scottish historian of England labors hard to incriminate poor Mary, 
and to excuse or extenuate the conduct of her enemies and murderers. 
His texture of the facts and circumstances in her life is an ingeniously 
drawn but most unjust lawyer s brief, to make out her enormous guilt, and 
to exonerate the bad men by whom she was surrounded and ruined. Of 
Murray, particularly, he speaks in the highest terms of eulogy. We con 
sider him by far the worst man of them all, even where the wickedness of 
his associates was so gigantic. The half-brother of the unfortunate queen, 
and wielding great influence, he might easily have protected her from out 
rage and danger, and it was plainly his duty to do so, in her forlorn condi 
tion. But, on the contrary, he was ever on the side of her enemies, secretly 
when there was danger, openly when all was safe. He seems to have been 
the master intriguer against her character and her throne, and to have set 
the others on to do the work, keeping himself meantime cautiously out of 
view. Whenever any great deed of treachery or blood was about to be per 
formed, he generally absented himself, but he was sure soon to return, to 
reap the profits of the adventure ! He was almost as bad as Cecil and Eliz 
abeth of England. He met a bloody death from the private vengeance of 
one of the Hamiltons. 

McCrie, too, as was natural, defends Murray against "the cold manner 
in which Mr. Hume has spoken of him," and he is particularly pained "to 
think of the manner in which Dr. Robertson has drawn his character. The 
faint praise which he has bestowed upon him, the doubt which he has 
thrown over his moral qualities, and the unqualified censures which he has 
pronounced upon some parts of his conduct, have, I urn afraid, done more 
injury to the regent s memory, than the exaggerated accounts of his adver 


rible cluster ; but as a whole they stand forth unrivaled in 
fiendish wickedness ! Cecil and Walsingham in England 
may have equaled the Scottish Murray and Maitland in cun 
ning duplicity and in well-planned, treachery; but where 
shall we find the parallels to the others ?* 

saries." Note xx, p. 503-4. Hume and Robertson were right ; and so are 
Miss Strickland, and other Protestant writers, who have had the candor to 
rescue this portion of history from the calumny which had clouded it. 

Instances of Murray s duplicity and treachery abound. Thus, when 
Mary was preparing to leave France for Scotland, " Maitland promised to 
betray to Cecil the plans and motions of Mary and her friends ; and the 
Lord James (Murray), having proceeded to France to assure his sister of 
his attachment and obedience, on his return through England advised Eliza 
beth to intercept her on the sea and to make her a prisoner." (Camden, i, 
83. Keith, 163. Chalmers, from Letters in the State Paper office, ii, 288, 
apud Lingard, vii, 296.) This is fully confirmed by .Agnes Strickland, in 
her interesting details of the whole treacherous affair. (Queens of Scotland, 
vol. hi, chap, vi, p. 167, seqq.) 

* A new light has been thrown on the sad history of Mary by the recent 
publication, in seven octavo volumes, of nearly five hundred new letters and 
state papers regarding her times, collected by the indefatigable industry of a 
Russian nobleman, the Prince Alexander Labanoff de Rostoif. Mr. Donald 
Mac Cleod, in his late highly interesting "Life of Mary, Queen of Scots," 
(1 vol. 12mo, 1857,) has availed himself of these new documents, and has 
fully vindicated the unfortunate queen from all the foul charges made against 
her by certain writers, among whom we regret to mention the great popular 
favorites Charles Dickens and W. M. Thackeray. This same writer has 
done Justice to the character of her accusers, among whom, besides Knox, 
Murray and Buchanan stood forth pre-eminent. For full details, we refer 
our readers to this fresh and vigorous work. 

The indefatigable, excellent, and attractive Protestant authoress, Agnes 
Strickland, has made the exploration of this field, and the vindication of 
Mary a labor of love. Her extensive work on "the Queens of Scotland," 
may, in fact, be said to have exhausted the subject, and to have rendered 
palpable and undeniable both Mary s innocence and the horrible and almost 
fiendish guilt of her accusers ; both that of the Scottish lords of the Con 
gregation who harassed, betrayed, and hunted her down, and that of her 
pitiless cousin Elizabeth, who welcomed her into England with a life-long 
prison and a bloody death. It is well that there is a great day of God s 
judgment, to revise and reverse the judgments of men on earth ! 


15. But towering above all these secretly plotting or boldly 
acting bad men stands forth John Knox, alternately their 
agent and their tool, but never their dupe ; instigating them 
to almost every deed of treachery and blood ; aiding them to 
carry out their wicked designs, by stirring up the lowest pas 
sions of the populace through his rugged but overpowering 
eloquence in the pulpit; and encouraging them with his 
secret applause or open eulogy whenever they had succeeded 
in accomplishing their bloody work ! Thus, as we have seen, 
he approved, even if he did not instigate the assassination of 
Beatoun and of poor Rizzio ; while he certainly was the prime 
mover in all the atrocious acts of cruelty towards the unhappy 
Mary herself. Sometimes, indeed, he rebuked the religious 
indifference, or lashed the vices of the lords of the congrega 
tion, especially when the latter did not choose to be restrained 
by the rigid formalities and outward observances exacted by 
the newly established discipline of the Kirk: but, if they 
attended the kirk regularly and observed the rules of deco 
rum in their public walk ; if they were fiery in their zeal for 
the new religion ; they were held up by him for imitation as 
saints, though their hearts were full of malice, their tongues 
of treachery, and their hands of blood. In the eyes of Knox, 
hatred of the Pope, like the mantle of charity, " covered a 
multitude of sins"; and if a man proved himself a good 
hater, he had already gone far towards attaining to his stand 
ard of Christian perfection. 

16. It could scarcely be expected that a man of Knox s 
principles would be very scrupulous as to the means which 
he deemed necessary for carrying out his cherished ends. 
He seems, in fact, to have acted almost habitually on the 
principle, that " the end justifies the means." He scrupled 
not habitually to misrepresent the doctrines of the Cath 
olic Church and to slander the character of the Catholic 
clergy ; and this, too, when he must have known better, for 
he had full opportunity to be well informed on the subject. 
There is nothing, for instance, more sublimely hypocritical 


than the pious horror with which he was wont to denounce 
the "idolatry of the Mass ;" for he knew well, that whatever 
else there might be that was objectionable in this time-hal 
lowed service of the Church, there could certainly be no 
idolatry; inasmuch as the adoration was plainly paid only to 
Christ the Man-God, believed to be really present on the 
altar. So for, in fact, did he carry his recklessness of truth, 
that he seems to have resorted occasionally even to forgery 
to secure his fixed purpose. Thus, when James Stuart, half- 
brother of Queen Mary afterwards Earl of Murray seemed 
to be tardy in joining the lords of the congregation in 1559, 
he scrupled not to forge a letter to him, in order to hasten his 
movements ! "At least Randall, the English agent, believed 
it a forgery: which Kandall says I geese to savor to 
muche of Knox stile to come from Fraunce, though it will 
serve to good purpose. "* The Englishman was evidently 
not more scrupulous than the Scot ; both seem to have acted 
on the belief that any means were good enough, provided 
they " served to good purpose." Speaking of forgery reminds 
us of the well known and often quoted testimony of the can 
did old Anglican parson Whitaker one of the earliest de 
fenders of Mary of Scots, who in his Vindication of the 
character of this unhappy queen, says : 

" Forgery I blush for the honor of Protestantism while I write seems 
to have been peculiar to the reformed. I look in vain for one of these 
accursed outrages of imposition among the disciples of Popery."* 

The same Protestant writer draws the following not very 
flattering picture of the Scottish reformer, whom he calls " a 
fanatical incendiary, a holy savage, the son of violence and 
barbarism, the religious Sachem of religious Mohawks;" 
while he very aptly designates Knox s contemporary and dear 
friend Buchanan * a serpent, daring calumniator, Levi 
athan of slander, the second of all human forgers, and the 

* Sadler, i, 499, apud Lingard, vii, 280, note. 

* Vindication of Queen Mary, p. 65. 


first of all human slanderers."* It is well known that the 
famous Dr. Johnson was wont to call Knox " the ruffian of 
the Keformation."f He died at Edinburgh on the 24th of 
November, 1572, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. By 
McCrie and other partial writers, his death is painted as that 
of a saint ; by others who were his contemporaries, but were 
opposed to his new creed, it is represented as that of the 
hardened reprobate. 

17. The facts hitherto alleged rest chiefly on the authority 
of McCrie, who in many important particulars is corroborated 
by Mackintosh. In order not to cumber the narrative or in 
terrupt the current of events, we have hitherto abstained 
from making any considerable quotations from the latest and 
probably the most interesting and reliable writer on all that 
is connected with the history of Mary, queen of Scots ; we 
refer to Agnes Strickland. We now proceed to furnish from 
her lately published Lives of the Queens of Scotland such 
quotations as may be deemed most appropriate to illustrate 
this interesting period of Scottish history, and the character 
of Knox and his associate reformers, as well as of the people 
upon whom they brought to bear their powerful influence, 
for good or for evil. It is needless to repeat that Miss Strick 
land is a Protestant, and that she has availed herself with 
singular industry and ability of the ample materials which 
were thrown in her way. Her candor and truthfulness few 

* Quoted by McCrie, p. 380-1 and note. He believes that Whitaker is 
not to be relied on, because he was a Jacobite or warm friend of the 
Stuarts. Buchanan s picture is drawn to the life in the above sketch. 

f In regard to the moral character of Knox widely different opinions have 
been expressed by different writers, according to their respective creeds. 
By McCrie and writers of his class, who openly defend, or at least palliate 
all his actions, no matter how atrocious these often were, he is represented 
as a saint, guiltless of all moral delinquency. By contemporary Catholic 
writers, he is charged with almost every moral turpitude. We propose to 
discuss this question in Note F. at the end of this volume ; in which we 
shall republish McCrie s answer to the accusers of Knox, with our com 
ments thereon. 


impartial men will dispute.* The minuteness of her details, 
and the graphic character of her descriptions throw much 
additional light on what may be called the inner life of the 
Scots, and particularly of John Knox and his colleagues 
during the period in question. 

18. As in Geneva, so in Edinburgh, the early Calvinistic 
reformers enacted a series of most vexatious Blue Laws, under 
the effects of which the people were suffering on the arrival 
of their queen on the 20th of August, 1561. "We will let oui 
authoress tell what occurred in consequence : 

" On her way to the abbey the queen was met by a company of distressed 
supplicants, called the rebels of the crafts of Edinburgh,"! who knelt to 
implore her grace for the misdemeanor of which they had been guilty, by 
raising an insurrectionary tumult on the 21st of July, about a month before 
her majesty s return not against her authority, but to resist the arbitrary 
proceedings of the Kirk, and the provost and bailies of Edinburgh. The 
gloomy spirit of fanaticism had done much to deprive the working classes 
of their sports and pastimes. The May games and the flower-crowned 
queen had been clean banished ; but the more frolicsome portion of the com 
munity, the craftsmen s servants and prentices, clung to the popular panto- 
mine of llobin Hood with unconquerable tenacity. It was to no purpose 
that the annual commemoration of the tameless Southron outlaw was de 
nounced from the pulpit, and rendered contraband by the session. A com 
pany of merry varlets, in the spring of 1561, determined to revive the old 
observance, by dressing up a Robin Hood, and performing the play so called 
in Edinburgh, on his anniversary, which, unfortunately, this year befell on a 
Sunday. This was an offense so serious, that James Kellone, the graceless 
shoemaker who enacted llobin, being arrested, was by the provost, Archi 
bald Douglas of Kilspindie, and the bailies, condemned to be hanged. The 
craftsmen made great solicitation to John Knox and the bailies to get him 
reprieved ; but the reply was : They would do nothing but have him 
hanged. ]: When the time of the poor man s hanging arrived, and the gib 
bet was set up, and the ladder in readiness for his execution, the craftsmen, 
prentices, and servants flew to arms, seized the provost and bailies, and shut 
them up in Alexander Guthrie s writing-booth, dang (tore) down the gibbet, 
and broke it to pieces, then rushed to the Tolbooth, which, being fastened 

* For the satisfaction of the reader who may desire to investigate the 
subject still further, we will exhibit her authorities as we proceed. 

f Knox s History of the Reformation. | Diurnal of Occurrents. 


from within, they brought hammers, burst in and delivered the condemned 
Robin Hood, and not him alone, but all the other prisoners there, in despite 
of magistrates and ministers. 

" One of the bailies, imprisoned in the writing- booth, shot a dag or a horse 
pistol at the insurgents, and grievously wounded a servant of a craftsman, 
whereupon a fierce conflict ensued, which lasted from three in the afternoon 
till eight in the evening, during which time never a man in the town stirred 
to defend their provost and bailies. The insurgents were so far victorious 
that the magistrates, in order to procure their release, were fain to promise 
an amnesty to them, being the only condition on which they would be 
allowed to come out of their booth.* Notwithstanding the amnesty, the 
offenders knew themselves to be in evil case, and took this opportunity of 
suing, in very humble wise, for grace from their bonny liege lady, for their 
daring resistance to a most despotic and barbarous act of civic authority. 
The young queen was probably not sorry to have an opportunity of endear 
ing herself to the operatives of her metropolis, by commemorating her 
return to her realm by an act of mercy, and frankly accorded her grace, on 
which Knox makes this comment : But, because she was sufficiently in 
structed that all they did was done in despite of the religion, they were 
easily pardoned. "f 

19. On the first Sunday after her arrival, the queen had 
the Mass celebrated in her chapel at Holyrood ; whereupon 
those holy men who had been so long clamoring for liberty 
of conscience enacted the following scandalous scene : 

"All things went on peacefully in Holyrood till the 24th of August. On 
that morning, being Sunday, Mary ordered Mass to be said in the Chapel 
Royal ; resolutely claiming for herself, and the Roman Catholic members of 
her household, the same liberty of conscience and freedom of worship which 
she had frankly guarantied to her subjects in general, without reservation 
or exceptions. The hearts of the leaders of the Congregation were wonder 
fully commoved, when they learned that the queen, though she refrained 
from persecuting interference with their mode of worship, meant to go to 
heaven her own way. Patrick, Lord Lindsay, braced on his armor, and, 
rushing into the close at the head of a party of the church militant, brand 
ished his sword, and shouted, The idolater priest shall die the death ! { 
They attacked the queen s almoner as he was proceeding to the chapel, and 
would have slain him, if he had not fled for refuge into the presence of his 

* Diurnal of Occurrents, printed for the Banatyne Club, p. 66. 
f Lives of the Queens of Scotland, iii, 208-9. Edition of Harper and 
Brothers, New York, 1855. f Tytler. 


royal mistress. Mary, greatly offended and distressed at the occurrence, 
exclaimed, This is a fine commencement of what I have to expect. What 
will be the end I know not, but I foresee it must ba very bad. * She wa$ 
resolute in her purpose, nevertheless. Her brother, the Lord James, when 
he visited her in France as the delegate of the lords of the Congregation, 
had engaged that she should enjoy the privilege of worshiping after her own 
fashion, and nothing could shake her determination. She was, to use the 
emphatic words of Lethington respecting her religious opinions, an unper- 
suaded princess. The Lord James, the man whom the godly did most 
reverence, undertook to keep the chapel door, while the queen was engaged 
in her devotions, which included an office of thanksgiving for her preserva 
tion during the perils of her voyage, and her safe arrival in her own realm. 
The conduct of the Lord James, on this occasion, gave great scandal to the 
less liberally disposed of the Congregation. He excused himself by saying, 
what he did was to prevent any Scotchman from entering the chapel. But, 
says Knox, it was and is well known that the door was kept that none 
should have entress to trouble the priest ; f who, after he had performed his 
office, was protected to his chamber by Lord Kobert, the commendator of 
Holyrood, and Lord John of Coldingham, both illegitimate sons of James 
V., and Protestants. And so the godly departed with great grief of heart, 
and that afternoon repaired to the abbey in great companies, and gave plain 
signification that they could not abide that the land which God had by his 
power purged from idolatry should be polluted again. f 

" Mary was ready to sacrifice both crown and life, rather than swerve 
from her principles in time of persecution. Few persons of her tender age 
could have acted, however, with greater courage and moderation, in the dif 
ficult predicament in which she found herself placed, than she did. By the 
advice of her privy council she caused proclamation to be made at the 
market cross, stating that she was most desirous to take order, with the ad 
vice of her Estates, to compose the distractions unhappily existing in her 
realm ; that she intended not to interrupt the form of religion which, at 
her return, she found established in her realm, and that any attempt on the 
.part of others to do so would be punished with death ; and that she, on the 
other hand, commanded her subjects not to molest or trouble any of her 
domestic servants, or any of the persons who accompanied her from France, 
either within her palace or without, or to make any derision or invasion of 
them under the same penalty. No one objected to this proclamation ex 
cept the earl of Arran, who entered a protest against the liberty it afforded 
to the queen s servants to commit idolatry. Bobert Campbell of Kinvean- 
cleugh complained, indeed, that the zeal of men against Popery was strangely 

* Brantonie. -f Knox Hist. Reformation, ii, 271. J Ibid. 


abated since the return of the queen. I have been here now five days, 
observed he, and at the first I heard every man say, Let us hang the priest ! 
but after they had been twice or thrice to the abbey, all that fervency was 
past. I think there be some enchantment whereby men are bewitched. 
And in verray deed/ continues Knox, so it came to pass ; for the queen s 
flattering words upon the ane part ever still crying, Conscience ! Con 
science ! it is a sore thing to constrain the conscience ! and the subtle per 
suasions of her supports on the other part, blinded all men, and put them 
in the opinion she will be content to hear the preachings, and so no doubt 
but she may be won ; and thus of all it was concluded to suffer her for a 
time. * 

20. As was naturally to be expected, Knox strongly ob 
jected to the cheerfulness and "joyousity" of the youthful 
queen. According to his gloomy theology, a smile was almost 

* Knox s History of the Reformation in Scotland, vol. ii, 271. Ibid., 
p. 212-3-4. 

This was not the only time that Mary was cruelly annoyed on account 
of the practice of the ancient worship in her own household. McCrie him 
self tells us, that "during her residence in Stirling, in the month of August, 
the domestics whom she left behind her in Holyrood house celebrated the 
popish (!) worship with greater publicity than had been usual when she 
herself was present ; and at the time when the sacrament of the supper 
was dispensed in Edinburgh, they revived certain superstitious practices (!) 
which had been laid aside by the Catholics since the establishment of the 
Reformation. This boldness offended the Protestants, and some of them 
went down to the palace to mark the inhabitants who repaired to the 
service. Perceiving numbers entering, they burst into the chapel, and 
presenting themselves at the altar, which was prepared for Mass, asked the 
priest how he durst be so malapert as to proceed in that manner, when the 
queen was absent ? " Ibid., p. 284. 

The queen, justly indignant at this outrage, resolved to indict the prin 
cipal participators therein. But Knox wrote an exciting circular letter to 
his co-religionists, " requesting their presence on the day of trial." (Ibid., 
p. 285.) They accordingly assembled in great numbers, and, as a tumult 
uous mob, surrounded the palace while the trial was going on. Knox, of 
course, was acquitted. The heart-broken queen was subsequently very ill. 
See the whole detailed account of the outrage and trial in Miss Strickland s 
Queens of Scotland, vol. iv, p. 12, seqq. She discredits the partial account 
of Knox, which McCrie follows, and also refutes the statement of Randolph, 
the English ambassador. 
VOL. IT. 22 


equivalent to a sin ; and as for certain musical instruments 
which are provocative of mirth, and tended to induce " skip 
ping," they were clearly an abomination before the Lord! 
Says Miss Strickland : 

" Mary entered the council chamber in her regal capacity, but she never 
forgot the delicacy of her sex while there. In the presence of her council/ 
observes Knox, in whose opinion it was impossible for Mary to do right, she 
kept herself very grave ; for, under the deuil (mourning) weed, she could 
play the hypocrite in full perfection. But how soon, continues he, that 
ever her French filloeJcs, fiddlers, and others of that band, gatt the house 
alone, there might be seen skipping not very comely for honest women.* 
Her common talk was, in secret, she saw nothing in Scotland but gravity, 
which repugned altogether to her nature, for she was brought up in joyous- 
ity so termed she her dancing, and other things thereto belonging. "f 

21. Of the fiercely intolerant spirit which the reformers 
had introduced into Scotland, and of the almost fiendish 
malignity with which Knox and his associates pursued the 
accomplished young queen on the ground of her religion, the 
following is one among a hundred instances which might be 
alleged. The holy men of the Kirk seem to have suddenly 
become so enamored of religious liberty as to wish to keep it 
all to themselves, and to allow no one else, not even their 
youthful sovereign, a share in the precious boon ! 

" Scarcely had Queen Mary returned to her metropolis, when the re-elected 
provost Douglas of Kilspindie, and his brethren in office, attempted a most 
despotic and illegal act of persecution against some of their fellow-subjects, 
by issuing a proclamation imperatively enjoining all Papists, whom they 
designated by the offensive appellation of idolaters, and classed with the 
most depraved offenders against the moral law, to depart the town, under 
the penalties of being set on the market cross for six hours, subjected to all 
the insults and indignities which the rabble might think proper to inflict, 
carted round the town, and burned on both cheeks, and for the third offense 
to be punished with death.} 

" If the fair cheeks of the Papist queen blanched not with alarm at the 
pain and disfigurement with which, in common with those of the obstinate 
adherents to her proscribed faith, they were threatened by her barbarous 

* History of the Reformation, vol. ii. f Queens of Scotland, ibid., p. i231. 
\ Town Council Register, 1561. 


provost and bailies, it was haply because they tingled with indignation at 
the insulting manner in which she found herself classed with the vilest of 
criminals. Instead, however, of taking up the matter as a personal griev 
ance, by insisting, like Esther, that she was included in this sweeping 
denunciation against the people of her own denomination, she treated it as 
an infringement of the liberties of the realm, and addressed her royal letter 
to the town council, complaining of this oppressive and illegal edict. She 
must, even had she been a member of the reformed congregation, have done 
the same, as a duty incumbent upon a just ruler of the people committed 
to her charge. Her remonstrance produced no other effect, than a reitera 
tion of the same proclamation, couched, if possible, in grosser and more 
offensive language. Mary responded to this act of contumely by an order 
to the town council to supersede those magistrates by electing others. The 
town council, on this indication of the spirit of her forefathers on the part 
of their youthful sovereign in her teens, yielded obedience to her mandate. 
Mary then issued her royal proclamation, granting permission to all good 
and faithful subjects to repair to or leave Edinburgh, according to their 
pleasure or convenience. And so, says Knox, got the devil freedom 
again, whereas before he durst not have been seen in daylight upon the 
common streets. "* 

22. When Knox bad heard of the premature death of Mary s 
first husband, he had openly expressed bis joy and thankful 
ness to God for the sad occurrence, which he viewed as a 
righteous judgment on "idolatry." His "zeal against pa 
pistry pleads his excuse with the majority of his readers, for 
sentiments arid expressions which, if proceeding from a pa 
pist, would be justly reprobated for coarseness and intolerance." 
The following is Knox s account of the young king s death : 

" For as the said king sat at Mass, he was suddenly stricken with an im- 
posthume in that deaf ear that would never hear the truth of God, and so 
was he carried to ane void house, laid upon a palliasse, unto such time as a 
cannobie was set up unto him, where he lay till the loth day of December, 
(John reckons by old style) in the year of God 1560, when his glory perished, 
and the pride of the stubborn heart evanished in smoke."f The godlie in 
France," pursues Knox, "upon this sudden death, set forth in these verses 
ane admonition to kings." 

The elegant verses to which he alludes refer, with much taste 

* Queens of Scotland, iii, 237-8. Knox, History, etc., p. 293. Arnot s 
Edinburgh. f Queens of Scotland, iii, p. 125. She quotes Knox, ii, 132. 


and delicacy, to the young king being afflicted with " ane rotten 
ear." Yet the object of this ghastly humor of Knox was a mere 
boy, being only sixteen years, ten months, and fifteen days old.* 

It would appear from the following, that his Calvinistic 
co-religionists, even the Scottish nobility who were in imme 
diate attendance on the queen s court, shared in his cruel 
hard-heartedness. Says Miss Strickland : 

" Mary requested her nobles to pay, at least, the trifling tribute of respect 
to her of wearing black on an anniversary attended with such painful recol 
lections to her as the death of Francis; but they churlishly refused to 
accord that conventional mark of sympathy to her grief. She could not 
persuade nor get one lord of her own to wear the deuil for that day/ notes 
Randolph not so much as the earl of Bothwell. We shall have occasion 
to specify other instances of Bothwell s non-compliance with Mary s desire 
for the customs of her Church to be observed in her palace. Immediately 
after the service was over, Mary caused a proclamation to be made at the 
Mercat Cross by a herald, that no man, on pain of his life, should trouble 
or do any injury to the chaplains that were at the Mass : f and this time 
they got off in whole skins. Great exception was taken at her majesty s 
boldness in issuing such a proclamation on her own responsibility, some of 
her subjects considering it a grievous infringement on their liberty to be 
denied the sport of breaking the heads of the said ecclesiastics." J 

23. It would appear, that the greedy Scottish nobles who 
had espoused the cause of the Reformation in order to rob 
the Church, wished to retain all or nearly all the sacrilegious 
spoil in their own hands, and not to allow a fair proportion 
thereof to Knox and his reverend coadjutors in the ministry. 
The queen incurred additional odium with these ministers, in 
consequence of having given her sanction probably she 
could not help it to a measure adopted by the convention, 
which assembled in December, 1561, to settle the vexed 
question of church property. We will let our authoress relate 
the occurrence ; Knox s irrepressible "vein of humor" was 
now turned in another direction : 

"Business of great importance occupied the attention of Queen Mary and 
her cabinet at the close of the year 1561. The convention appointed for the 

* Knox, ii> 132. f Keith 207 - t Queens of Scotland, ibid., p. 250. 


settlement of the church property met, December 15 ; and, after disputes 
which are too lengthy to be recorded here, consented to vest a third of the 
lands belonging to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and incumbents in the 
crown, out of which the queen was to pay the stipends of the Protestant 
ministers.* So little had the maintenance of these been cared for by these 
greedy lay impropriators, the lords of the Congregation, that they were, for 
the most part, in a state of miserable destitution, under the necessity of 
working with their hands for their daily bread, or soliciting the alms of 
those to whom it was their duty to dispense spiritual instruction. Two- 
thirds of the church property, Knox sarcastically observed, had already 
been given to the devil, and the remaining third was by this new arrange 
ment to be divided between God and the devil, and he expected to see the 
devil get two-thirds even of that remnant. f ; The ministers being sustained, 
the queen will not get at the year s end wherewithal to buy her a new pair 
of shoes, said Lethington, with reference to the surplus calculated to remain 
to the crown. The most eminent of the political leaders of the reformed 
party were appointed by the queen to the office of apportioning the stipends 
of the ministers. The paymaster named by her was no other than Wishart, 
laird of Pitarrow, brother of the martyr. Three hundred marks was the 
highest stipend their calculation offered to any minister ; but the average 
quota was one hundred only. Great was the lamentation and bitter the 
disappointment this arrangement created ; but, instead of blaming the 
wholesale plunderers who had applied the lion s share of the spoil to their 
own behoof, they raised an outcry against the queen and the paymaster. To 
the latter this reproachful proverb was applied, The good laird of Pitarrow 
was an earnest professor of Christ ; but the muckle devil receive the comp 
troller, for he and his collectors are become greedy factors. "f 

24. We have already seen how grievously the cheerful 
temperament and gaiety of the youthful queen offended 

* Keith, Tytler, Robertson, Knox. f Queens of Scot, and Knox, ii, 310. 

| Knox, ii, 310. Quoted ibid., p. 256-7. McCrie mentions the same oc 
currence, in very much the same way. He gives the disinterested and 
amusing lament of Knox as follows: "Weall! (exclaimed Knox, when he 
heard of this disgraceful arrangement), if the end of this ordour, pretendit 
to be takin for sustentatioun of the ministers, be happie, my jugement failes 
me. I sie twa pairties freely gevin to the devill, and the third mon be 
devyded betwix God and the devill. Quho wald have thocht, that quhen 
Joseph reulled in Egypt, his brethren sould have travellit for victualles ; 
and have returned with emptie sakes into their families ? happie servands 
of the devill, and miserable servants of Jesus Christ, if efter this lyf thair 
wer no hell and heavin !" Ibid, p. 249-50. 


Knox. When, in spite of him, she ventured to dance occa 
sionally in her own palace, which was for her a species of 
prison beset by the prying spies of the Kirk, Knox kept no 
longer any bounds in his public denunciation of her from the 
pulpit. The following is a specimen of one of his pulpit 
tirades, and of the spirit which he exhibited in his subsequent 
interview with the queen : 

"Mary completed her twentieth year in the beginning of December, 1563, 
and although she had attained that mature age, she continued to enjoy the 
exercise of dancing, a pastime to which her Scottish blood and her French 
education naturally disposed her. Unfortunately there were ill-natured spies 
and busy-bodies in her household, who were wont to report her sayings and 
doings to her formidable adversary, Knox, in a manner calculated to increase 
the prejudice with which his zeal against Popery taught him to regard her. 
Here is convincing evidence, from his own pen, of the manner in which he 
was irritated by those base tattlers : The queen returned to Edinburgh, 
and then began dancing to grow hot, for her friends began to triumph hi 
France. The certainty thereof came to the ears of John Knox, for there 
were some that showed to him from time to time the estate of things, and, 
among others, he was assured that the queen had danced excessively till 
after midnight, because that she had received letters that persecution was 
began again in France, and that her uncles were beginning to stir their 
tails. * Thus the young queen could not enjoy the recreation of a ball in 
her own palace without its being reported to Knox that she danced out of 
malignant glee, to celebrate a Protestant discomfiture in France. He was 
provoked to preach a sermon inveighing sore against the queen s dancing, 
and little exercise of herself in virtue and godliness. ! Mischief- making 
tongues there were in that court, to the full as actively employed in carrying 
aggravated and aggravating versions of Knox s sermon to the queen, as there 
had been in abusing his credulity with those absurd misrepresentations of 
the motives of her dancing which had excited his wrath. The result was, 
that Mary the next day summoned him into her presence, to answer for the 
disrespect with which he had spoken of her in his pulpit,| She received 
him, however, not in the council-room, surrounded by the stern formalities 
of offended majesty, with threats of racks and dungeons, as did her royal 
sister of England her contumacious preachers under similar provocations, but 
in her own bed-chamber, among her ladies, and in the presence of several 

* Knox, History of the Reformation, ii, 331. 

f Randolph to Cecil, December, 15, 1562 State Paper Office MS. ** 

I Knox, History of the Reformation, ii, 331. 


of his intimate friends and congregational brethren, the earls of Moray and 
Morton, and Lord Lethington, her Protestant ministers, and addressed a 
personal remonstrance to him on the impropriety of which he had been 
guilty in travailing to bring her into the hatred and contempt of her people 
adding, that he had exceeded the bounds of his text. If she had not 
used the mildest language, John Knox would have been too happy to have 
quoted her own words in recording the story, we may rest assured. But 
Mary, whose desire was conciliation, reasoned with him gently and offered 
him an opportunity of explanation in the presence of his friends as well as 
his accusers. Whereupon the said Master John Knox favored her majesty 
with an extempore abridgment of his sermon. Now, although in his revised 
edition, it contained insinuated comparisons of herself to the daughter of 
Herodias and Herod both, with stern censure against princes who spent 
their time among fiddlers and flatterers, in flinging rather than hearing or 
reading God s word, Mary prudently took none of these reproaches to 
herself. She listened with imperturbable placidity, and appeared not to 
consider herself in the slightest degree referred to, in cases which her own 
conscience told her were irrelevant to her conduct and character."* 

25. Notwithstanding the coarse rudeness of Knox, the 
queen still sought to win him by kindness ; and in order to 
prevent his fiercely inveighing against her in public, she con 
descended to beg him to become her monitor in private, 
whenever he might have any thing to find fault with in her 
conduct. Knox refused the office, so gently and so delicately 
offered. The interview on the subject is thus graphically 
described by Miss Strickland : 

" It is not often that feminine gentleness is resisted by man, or queenly 
condescension rudely repulsed by a subject ; but Knox was a woman-hater 
by nature, and a defier of female authority from principle ; instead, there 
fore, of obeying the meekly expressed desire of his youthful sovereign, to 
become her private monitor a privilege few Christian ministers would have 
rejected he told her, first, that her uncles were enemies to God and his 
son Jesus Christ ; and as to herself, if she pleased to frequent the public 
sermons, she need not doubt of hearing both what he liked and misliked in 
her and others. Or if it would please her to appoint any day and hour in 
which it would please her to hear him explain the doctrines taught publicly 
in the churches, he would gladly wait upon her. But, f added he, to wait 
upon your chamber door or elsewhere, and then to have no further liberty 
but to whisper my mind in your grace s ear, or to tell you what others think 

* Queens of Scotland, ibid ; and Knox, Hist, ii, 301, seqq. f Ibid., p. 334 


or speak of you, neither will my conscience nor the vocation whereto God 
hath called me suffer it. For, albeit at your grace s commandment I am 
here now, yet can not I tell what other men shall judge of me, that at this 
time of day I am absent from my book, and waiting upon the court. You 
will not (can not) always be at your book. was Mary s brief rejoinder to 
this burst of spiritual pride, and so turned away. Knox departed with a 
reasonable merry countenance, whereat some Papists exclaimed, as if sur 
prised, He is not effrayed ! Why should the pleasing face of a gentle 
woman effray me ? * he with unwonted gallantry replied ; I have looked to 
the faces of many angry men, and have not been effrayed beyond measure. "f 

26. Nothing could mitigate, much less quench the fierce 
intolerance of Knox and the Kirk. Here is another specimen : 

"Fresh troubles and mortifications beset Mary in April, 1563, in conse 
quence of the attempts of her Roman Catholic subjects to celebrate their 
Easter festival. Triumphantly as the Reformation had been established in 
Scotland, a third at least of the people remained obstinate in their attach 
ment to the ancient faith. It had not, therefore, been considered desirable 
by the queen s Protestant cabinet to inflict the penalty of death denounced 
in the proclamations issued in her name against those who assisted at the 
Mass. The brethren of the Congregation, offended at this moderation, de 
termined to take the law into their own hands, and having apprehended 
several priests in the west country, declared their intention of inflicting 
upon them the vengeance appointed by God s law against idolaters, without 
regard either to the queen or her council. ! The queen stormed at such 
freedom of speaking, says Knox, but she could not amend it. Her 
authority being too weak to interfere with the liberty of persecution, Mary 
condescended to try the powers of her persuasive eloquence on John Knox, 
whom, on the 13th of April, she required to come to her at Lochleven, 
where she then was. She travailed with him earnestly two hours before 
her supper, that he would be the instrument to persuade the people, and 
principally the gentlemen of the west, not to proceed to extremities with 
their fellow-subjects for the exercise of their religion. He replied with an 
exhortation for her to punish malefactors, adding, that if she thought to 
delude the laws enacted for that object, he feared that some would let the 
Papists understand that without punishment they should not be suffered to 
offend God s majesty so manifestly. Will ye allow that they shall take 
my sword in their hand ? asked Mary. Knox cited, in reply, the facts of 
Samuel slaying Agag, and Elijah Jezebel s false prophets and the priests of 

* Queens of Scotland, iii ; and Knox, History of the Reformation, ii, 334. 
f Ibid., p. 304. j Ibid., p. 371. 


Baal, to justify the sanguinary proceedings in contemplation. At this per 
version of Scripture history into a warrant for cruelty and oppression Mary 
left him in disgust, and passed to her supper, while he related the particu 
lars of the conversation to her premier, the earl of Moray.* 

"Unsatisfactory as the conference had proved to the queen, she neverthe 
less sent Walter Melville and another messenger, before sunrise next 
morning, to summon Knox to meet her at the hawking, west of Kinross. 
Who of the youthful peers of Scotland did not envy the stern theologian 
that assignation for a private interview with their beautiful sovereign, in 
some secluded glen among the western Lomonds ? Assuredly the noblest 
among the princely bachelors who contended for her hand would have 
rejoiced to have changed places with Master John Knox on that occasion. 
Mary came to the trysting place, without a trace of the displeasure she had 
manifested, at their parting on the preceding evening, clouding the serenity 
of her features. Perhaps she had said her Paternoster to good purpose 
when she retired to rest, slept sweetly, and forgotten her wrath ; her spirits 
might be renovated, too, and her circulation improved by riding among the 
mountains, with her followers, in the fresh morning air. Master John Knox, 
who never gives her credit for one good feeling, insinuates that her amiable 
deportment proceeded either from reflection or deep dissimulation. Even 
by his account, she conducted herself most graciously, made no allusion to 
any cause of dispute between them ; took no offense at dry rejoinders and 
retorts uncourteous, but triea her utmost to conciliate his good- will ; lost 
labor, alas ! toward one who despised her sex and disallowed her authority."! 

27. When the queen received advantageous offers of mar 
riage from various Catholic courts of Europe, Knox and his 
co-religionists took the alarm, apprehending danger to the 
ascendency of the Kirk, or rather fearing that such an alliance 
might deprive them of the luxury of persecuting all who 
ventured to dissent from the new church establishment. Knox 
on this occasion employed all his eloquence to induce the 
lords of the Congregation to take effectual steps to prevent 
any such matrimonial alliance : 

" And now, my lords, said he, to put an end to all, I hear of the 
queen s marriage. Duckies (dukes), brethren to emperors and kings, strive 
all for the best game ; but this, my lord, will I say, note the day and bear 
witness, after whensoever the nobility of Scotland, professing the Lord 
Jesus, consents that ane infidel and all Papists are infidels shall be head 

* Knox, History, ii, 372-3. f Queens of Scotland, ibid., p. 317, seqq. 
VOL. ii. 23 


of your sovereign, ye do so far as in ye lieth to banish Christ Jesus from this 
realm. Ye bring God s vengeance upon the country, a plague upon your 
selves, and perchance ye shall do small comfort to your sovereign. * These 
words and his manner of speaking, John tells us, were deemed intolerable ; 
Papists and Protestants were both offended, yea his most familiars disdained 
him for that speaking. An exaggerated version of his sermon was instantly 
reported to her majesty, in terms calculated to offend and irritate her to 
the utmost ; and, in spite of her repeated experience of the folly of entering 
into personal discussion with him, she rashly inflicted upon herself the 
mortification of giving him ocular demonstration of the vexation it was in 
his power to inflict upon her. Lord Ochiltree and divers of the faithful bore 
him company to the abbey, when he proceeded thither after dinner, in obe 
dience to her majesty s summons ; but none entered her cabinet with him 
but John Erskine of Dun. The queen, in a vehement fume, writes Knox, 
began to cry out that never prince was handled as she was. I have, said 
she, borne with you in all your rigorous manner of speaking, both against 
myself and against my uncles ; yea, I have sought your favor by all pos 
sible means. I offered unto you presence and audience whensoever it pleased 
you to admonish me, and yet I can not get quit of you ; I avow to God I 
shall be once revenged. And with these words," continues our historian, 
"scarcely could Marnock, her secret chalmer boy, get napkins to hold her 
eyes dry for the tears ; and the owling, besides womanly weeping, stayed 
her speech. No exaggeration, of course, is contained in this delicate picture 
of feminine emotion, except, perhaps, in the excessive requisition to the page 
for napery to staunch the floods of tears which overflowed Mary s bright 
eyes on this occasion. One moderately sized handkerchief and that a lady 
always has at hand might have sufficed to wipe away all she shed on this 
occasion, one would -imagine, even if she really wept as her adversary tells 
us, for naught, and behaved as like a petulant spoiled child as he describes. 

"Mary might have had somewhat to say in her defense, if she had enjoyed 
the opportunity of telling her own story. Thus it is, Madam, your grace 
and I have been at diverse controversies, observed Knox, into the which I 
never perceived your grace to be offended at me. f And this is bearing 
positive testimony to the patience she had shown on former occasions, under 
circumstances of no slight provocation. But when it shall please God, 
continued he, to deliver you from that bondage of darkness and error in the 
which you have been nourished, for the lack of true doctrine, your majesty 
will find the liberty of my tongue nothing offensive. Without the preach 
ing-place, Madam, I think few have occasion to be offended at me ; and 
there, Madam, I am not master of myself, but maun oboy Him who com- 

* History of the Reformation in Scotland, ii, 386-7. f Ibid., p. 387. 


mands me to speak plain, and to flatter no flesh upon the face of the earth. 
But what have you to do with my marriage ? asked the queen. In 
stead of answering to the point, Knox told her, that God had not sent him 
to await upon the courts of princesses, nor upon the chambers of ladies, but 
to preach the evangel of Jesus Christ to such as pleased to hear it ; and that 
it had two parts repentance and faith ; and that, in preaching repentance, 
it was necessary to tell people of their faults ; and as her nobility were, for 
the most part, too affectionate to her to regard their duty to God and their 
country to do so, it was necessary that he should speak as he had done. 
Mary reiterated her question, What have you to do with my marriage ? 
haughtily adding, Or what are you within this commonwealth ? And now 
she got her answer in plain words. A subject barn within the same, 
Madam, said he, and albeit I neither be earl, lord, nor baron within it, yet 
has God made me (how abject that ever I be in your eyes) a profitable 
member within the same. Yea, Madam, to me it appertains no less to fore 
warn of such things as may hurt it, if I foresee them, than it does to any 
of the nobility ; for both my vocation and conscience crave plainness of me, 
and therefore, Madam, to yourself I say that which I speak in public place. 
Whensoever that the nobility of this realm shall consent that ye be subject 
to an unfaithful husband,* they do as much as in them lieth to renounce 
Christ, to banish his truth from them and to betray the freedom of this 
realm, and perchance shall, in the end, do small comfort to yourself. 

"At these words, continues Knox, awling was heard, and tears might 
have been seen in greater abundance than the matter required. John Er- 
skine of Dun, a man of meek and gentle spirit, stood beside, and entreated 
what he could to mitigate her anger, and gave unto her many pleasing 
words of her beauty, of her excellence, and how all the princes of Europe 
would be glad to seek her favor. f From this it is apparent that the manly 
heart of that good Christian gentleman was moved by the distress of his 
sovereign lady, who scarcely could have lifted up her voice and wept aloud, 
and shed such abundance of tears as to choke her utterance, without some 
great cause of provocation, of which John Erskine showed his disapproval, 
evidently by the kindly manner in which he interposed to soothe and com 
fort her. Knox stood, however, unmoved, till the queen became somewhat 
more composed or, to use his own words, while that the queen gave place 
to her inordinate passion. Some reproach had been addressed to him, 
either by her majesty, or more probably, as her emotion prevented her from 
speaking, by his friend Erskine, as appears from his considering it necessary 
to defend himself from the imputation of having taken pleasure in causing 

* Knox here clearly means a Roman Catholic, which her next spouse, 
Darnley, was. f Knox, History of the Reformation. 


her tears. Madam, said he, in God s presence I speak. I never delighted 
in the weeping of any of God s Creatures ; yea, I can scarcely well abide 
the tears of my own boys whom my own hand corrects, much less can I re 
joice in your majesty s weeping. But seeing that I have offered unto you 
no just occasion to be offended, but have spoken the truth as my vocation 
craves of me, I maun rather sustain, albiet unworthy, your majesty s tears, 
rather than I dare hurt my conscience or betray my commonwealth through 
my silence. "* 

28. The position of Mary became daily more and more 
embarrassing. The constant intrigues of Elizabeth to stir up 
disaffection or civil commotions in Scotland ; the treachery of 
her own counselors, and especially of her own illegitimate 
half-brother, the earl of Murray ; the thunderings from the 
pulpit of John Knox and the other ministers against her 
"idolatry:" all these things, together with the affair of her 
marriage and the future settlement of her kingdom, weighed 
heavily on her mind and heart, and the continued solicitude 
and anguish they induced often plunged her into serious ill 
ness, so that her health and even her life was more than once 
endangered. In spite of the solicitations of Catherine, the 
queen dowager of France, she wisely decided not to embroil 
herself nor her kingdom in the rising quarrel between Eng 
land and France. Still nothing could satisfy the discontented 
men of the Kirk, to whom her very existence seemed to cause 
intense pain. Knox even blamed her for the changes of the 
weather, in which his zeal or fanaticism discovered manifest 
signs of God s displeasure at her persistent " idolatry !" Says 
Miss Strickland : 

" Her sympathies were probably with France ; but she conformed her ac 
tions to the wishes of her subjects.! It was, however, impossible for her 
ever to do right in the eyes of the party whom she intended to please by 
this line of policy. Not only her most innocent actions, but things over 
which no mortal ever possessed the slightest control such as the state of 
the weather, and the appearance of meteorological phenomena were ingen- 

* Queens of Scotland Ibid. Knox, Hist, of the Kef., p. 327, seqq. 
| Keith. Tytler. State Paper MSS. of the year 1564: Scotch Corres 


iously turned to her reproach, as well as alleged marvels which never did 
occur. The philosophic reader of the present age of practical science can 
scarcely fail of being amused at the following record of the superstition, the 
ignorance, and prejudice of the sixteenth century, and the manner in which 
the passions of the uneducated were inflamed against Queen Mary by her 
eloquent adversary, John Knox : 

" God from heaven, he says, and upon the face of the earth, gave decla 
ration that he was offended at the iniquity that was committed, even within 
this realm ; for upon the 20th day of January there fell wet in great abund 
ance, which in the falling freisit (froze) so vehemently that the earth was 
but one sheet of ice. The fowls, both great and small, freisit, and might 
not flee. Many died ; and some were taken and laid beside the fire, that 
their feathers might resolve.* And in that same month, the sea stood still, 
as was clearly observed, and neither ebbed nor flowed in the space of twenty- 
four hours. In the month of February, the 15th and 18th days thereof, were 
seen in the firmament battles arrayed, spears and other weapons, as it had 
been the joining of two armies. These things were not only observed, but 
also spoken and constantly affirmed by men of judgment and credit. But 
the queen and our court made merry, and there was banqueting and ban 
queting. The queen would banquet all the lords ; and that was done upon 
policy, to remove the suspicion of her displeasure against them, because 
they would not, at her devotion, damn John Knox. To remove, we say, 
that jealousy, she made the banquet to the whole lords, whereat she would 
have the duke amongst the rest. It behoved them to banquet her again ; 
and so did the banqueting continue till Eastren s Eve, and after. But the 
puir ministers were mockit, and reputed as monsters ; and the guard and 
the officers of the kitchen were so griping, that the ministers stipends could 
not be paid. "f 

29. Knox was more than once taken to task in the Assembly 
of the Kirk for his virulent abuse of the queen from the 
pulpit. In such cases, he took little pains to soften, much 
less to retract his harsh language of denunciation. Here is a 
case in point : 

"At the Assembly of the church, which took place June 25th 1564, 
Lethington, who continued a nominal adherent of the Congregation, remon 
strated with Knox, for calling the queen from the pulpit a slave of Satan, 
and affirming that God s vengeance hung over the realm on account of her 
impiety in continuing to practice the rites of her own religion. The loyal 
part of the Assembly declared that such violence of language could never 

* Hist. Reformation, vol. ii, p. 417. f Ibid., quoted ibid., iv, p. 35-6. 


profit ; and the Master of Maxwell, who was a sincere reformed Christian, 
said in plain words, If I were in the queen s majesty s place, I would not 
suffer such things as I hear. Knox defended himself from the implied 
charge of intolerance in these words : The most vehement, and, as ye 
speak, excessive manner of prayer I use in public is this : Lord, if thy 
pleasure be, purge the heart of the queen s majesty from the venom of idol 
atry, and deliver her from the bondage of Satan, in the which she hath been 
brought up, and yet remains, for lack of true doctrine, etc. * Lethington 
asked him where he found the example of such prayer as that? Knox 
replied in the words, They will be done, in the Lord s prayer a strange 
perversion of the divine spirit of that most pure and perfect form of prayer. 
Lethington told him he was raising doubts of the queen s conversion. 
Not I, my Lord, replied Knox, but her own obstinate rebellion. Wherein 
rebels she against God ? asked Lethington. In every action of her life, 
retorted Knox, but in these two heads especially that she will not hear 
the preaching of the blessed evangel of Jesus Christ ; and, secondly, that 
she maintains that idol, the Mass. She thinks not that rebellion, but good 
religion, replied Lethington. 

" This was the simple fact as regarded Mary s unpopular and impolitic 
adhesion to the faith in which she had, unfortunately (!) for herself, been 
educated ; and that she did so against her worldly interests ought not to be 
imputed to her as a crime. Why say ye that she refuses admonition ? 
asked Lethington; she will gladly hear any man. When will she be 
seen to give her presence to the public preachings ? asked Knox. I think 
never, replied Lethington, as long as she is thus entreated. A lengthened 
disputation followed, on the question whether the queen should be still per 
mitted to enjoy the liberty of her private worship, against which Knox 
strenuously protested. The Assembly, being much divided in opinion, desired 
to refer the decision to Calvin ; but as Knox objected to that manner of set 
tling the dispute, the Assembly broke up unresolved."! 

30. On the queen s marriage with Darnley, instead of popular 
acclamations, a tumult ensued, which lasted the whole night. 
This was evidently caused by the virulent invectives of Knox 
against her marriage with a Catholic prince, as Darnley pro 
fessed to be ; though, in his case, there appears to have been 
little of religion beyond the mere profession. The morning 
after this popular commotion, she felt compelled to convene 
the burgesses and magistrates of the city, and she addressed 

* See the whole in Knox, History Reformation, vol. ii, p. 428. 

f Queens of Scotland ; iv, 50-1 Knox, Hist. Reformation, vol. ii, p. 461. 


them in a strain of eloquence which appears, for the time at 
least, to have soothed even their fierce intolerance. She 
frankly promised to others what she boldly demanded for her 
self freedom of conscience. Says Miss Strickland : 

" Instead of the acclamations usual on such occasions, a tumult took place, 
which lasted all night ; and the royal bride found herself under the neces 
sity, at an early hour the next morning, of summoning the principal bur 
gesses and magistrates into her presence, to inquire the cause of the riot. 
She exhibited no signs of anger, but wisely endeavored to soothe the irrita 
tion which she suspected to arise from the natural apprehensions excited by 
her marriage with a Roman Catholic prince. She took that opportunity of 
repeating to them her reply to the. demands which had been made to her by 
her Protestant subjects, and this she did in the mildest and most persuasive 
words she could devise. I cannot, said she, comply with your desire that 
I should abandon the Mass, having been brought up in the Catholic faith, 
which I esteem to be a thing so holy and pleasing in the sight of God that 
I could not leave it without great scruples of conscience ; nor ought, my con 
science to be forced in such matter, any more than yours. I therefore en 
treat you, as you have full liberty for the exercise of your religion, to be 
content with that, and allow me the same privilege. And again, as you 
have full security for your lives and properties without any vexation from 
me, why should you not grant me the like ? As for the other things you 
demand of me, they are not in my power to accord, but must be submitted 
to the decision of the Estates of Scotland, which I propose shortly to con 
vene. In the mean time, you may be assured I will be advised on whatever 
is requisite for your weal, and that of my realm ; and, as far as in me lies, I 
will strive to do whatever appears for the best. With this assurance they 
all declared themselves satisfied, and the tumult was appeased. So true it 
is that a soft answer turneth away wrath."* 

31. Darnley had a much easier and a much more pliant 
conscience than his noble consort. To conciliate Knox and 
the Kirkers, he went to the kirk-preaching the Sunday fol 
lowing the marriage ; and he there heard what he richly 
deserved to hear a fierce and coarse personal invective 
against himself from the implacable reformer ! The incident 
is somewhat amusing, w r hile it is eminently characteristic of 
Knox : 

* Queens of Scotland ; iv, 155-6. 



"Darnley, who, like his father, and probably acting by his advice, occa 
sionally made his Popish principles bend to his political interests, and was 
minded to play the popular, went in state on the following Sunday, August 
19, to the High Kirk of Edinburgh to hear John Knox preach, a throne 
having been erected on purpose for his accommodation. Knox could not 
resist the opportunity of making a most offensive personal attack on his 
majesty in the face of the whole congregation, coupled with still coarser and 
more insulting language of the queen taken for his text these words from 
the six-and-twentieth chapter of Isaiah : Lord, our God, other lords than 
Thou have ruled over us. By way of illustrating this portion of Scripture, 
Knox took occasion to speak of the government of wicked princes, who for 
the sins of the people, are sent as tyrants and scourges to plague them. * 
Among other things, he said that God set in that room, for the offenses and 
sins of the people, boys and women, and some other words which appeared 
bitter in the king s ears, as that God justly punished Ahab and his poster 
ity, because he would not take order with that harlot Jezabel. Darnley 
must have been less than man to hear such expressions applied to his queen 
and wife without indignation. The length of the sermon, which detained 
him an hour and more longer than the time appointed aggravated his dis 
pleasure, and so commoved him that he would not dine ; and being troubled 
with great fury, he past in the afternoon to the hawking." f 

32. As we have already shown, the chief enemy of Mary 
and the arch-intriguer against her peace in Scotland was her 
own "dear cousin" Elizabeth of England. J The "virgin 

* Knox, Hist. Ref., vol. ii, p. 497. f Queens of Scotland, Ibid., p. 163-4. 

| Though Elizabeth had a personal feeling of hostility against Knox, yet 
she not unfrequently used him, as a fit instrument for carrying out her in 
trigues against Mary in Scotland. Says Miss Strickland, speaking of the 
cause of Elizabeth s repugnance to Knox : 

" The reformed party in Scotland were in her pay, and subservient to her 
will, although her dislike to John Knox was unconquerable, having been 
provoked by his abuse of the English Liturgy, in the first place, and ~in the 
second, by his work, entitled, First Blast of the Trumpet against the 
Monstrous Regiment (meaning the government) of Women. It is true 
that this fulmination was published during her sister s reign, and was more 
especially aimed against the queen-regent of Scotland, and her daughter, the 
youthful sovereign of that realm, but Elizabeth considered, that the honor 
of the whole sex was touched in his book, and that all female monarchs 
were insulted and aggrieved by it. It was in vain, that he endeavored, by 
personal flattery to herself, to excuse his attack upon the folly and incapacity 
of womankind in general. He assured her, that she was an exception to 


queen" pursued her with a malignity, which if we had not 
positive evidence to prove its human source, we should be in 
clined to ascribe to a satanical origin. Among numerous 
instances of this atrocious plotting, we present the following ; 
and if the plot herein referred to and triumphantly proved 
by Miss Strickland can be paralleled, for cold-blooded 
treachery and baseness, in all previous history, we are not 
aware of the fact. It will be seen that the infamous plot 
was hatched not long after the northern insurrection, while 
poor Mary was a close prisoner in England, and that the 
state paper on which the evidence of it rests is in Cecil s own 

" The Scotch had sold her (Elizabeth s) fugitive rebel, the earl of North 
umberland, into her hands, that she might execute her vengeance upon him ; 
and Elizabeth, in return, proposed, not to sell, but to resign their injured 
sovereign into the cruel hands of Morton and the regent Marr, to be dealt 
with in the way of justice words which were tantamount to Cromwell s 
private memorandum to send such and such persons to London, to be tried 
and executed. There was, indeed, to be the mockery of a trial ; but then 
the children or near kinsfolk of Morton and Marr were to be put into the 
hands of the English queen, as hostages, that, trial or not, the execution of 
Mary was to take place within four hours after she was given up to their 
tender mercies. 

" The details of this iniquitous pact, are clearly and succinctly related by 
Mr. Tytler. and the actual documents may be seen in the State Paper office. 
The instructions for Killigrew, to whom the arrangement of the great, 
matter, as it was significantly termed by the diplomatic accomplices, was 
committed, are in Buiieigh s own hand.* The monuments of history afford 
not a more disgraceful document ; nor has the light of truth ever unveiled a 

the sweeping rule he had laid down, that her whole life had been a miracle, 
which proved, that she had been chosen by God, that the office which was 
unlawful to other women, was lawful to her, and that he was ready to obey* 
her authority ; but the queen was nauseated with the insincerity of adula 
tion from such a quarter, and notwithstanding the persuasions of Cecil and 
Throckmorton. refused to permit him to set a foot in England on any pre 
tense." Queens of England, vi, 146. She quotes Strype, Tytler, and Lin- 

* MS. State Papers in September, October, November, December, 1572, 
and in 1573 


blacker mass of evidence, than the correspondence between Killigrew and 
Burleigh and Leicester, during the negotiation Mary had however, ceased 
to be an object of alarm to the rebel lords ; and even her deadly foe, Mor 
ton, the wily accomplice in Darnley s murder, would not undertake the 
office of the queen of England s hangman without a fee. Why should he 
and the regent Marr sell their souls for nought ? They demanded money 
of the parsimonious Elizabeth a yearly stipend withal, no less than the 
amount of the sum it cost her majesty for the safe-keeping of her royal 
prisoner. The dark treaty was negotiated in the sick-chamber of the guilty 
Morton, with the ardent approbation of the dying Knox ; and, after nearly 
six weeks demur, the regent Marr gave consent, but was immediately 
stricken with a mortal illness, and died at the end of twenty-four hours. 
Morton insisted on higher terms, and, more than that, an advantageous 
treaty and the present of three thousand English troops, under the com 
mand of the earls of Huntington, Essex, and Bedford, to assist at the ex 
ecution, otherwise he would not undertake it."* 

Finally, the poor victim of persecution and tyranny, after 
lingering for nineteen years in an English prison, to which 
she was driven by the relentless persecution and unmanly 
intrigues of John Knox and his religious colleagues in Scot 
land, was put to death in a manner so very barbarous, that 
the recital excites a shudder of horror in every generous 
heart, even after the lapse of nearly three centuries. Our 
limits will not permit us to go into the details. A careful 
modern writer sums up the tragedy in the following brief 
sentences : 

" That one leading cause of her condemnation and death was her religion, 
is undeniable. Evidence has already been adduced, implicating an arch 
bishop of the new church, f Camden acknowledges this to have been one 
of the prevailing motives in the council, (p. 485) ; and the same cause was 
assigned by Lord Buckhurst, who had been deputed to announce to her her 
doom. What an insight into the character of the men who brought about 
the Reformation at this period, does Mary s history present. Leicester re 
commended that the queen of Scots should be despatched by poison ; and 
finding Walsingham demur, sent a divine to convince him of its Christian 

* Queens of England, vi, 283. She quotes Ty tier s Scotland, State 
Paper MSS., etc. 

f Archbishop Parker of Canterbury. See Hallam s Constitutional His 
tory, in loco, where the same fact is stated. 


lawfulness. (Camd. p. 485.) It appears, that Elizabeth really wished to be 
relieved from killing her victim by her sign manual and warrant ; but she 
sought relief in the alternative of secret assassination. She caused the two 
secretaries, Walsingham and Davison, to write to Paulet and Drury, to send 
them on the subject of privately despatching their prisoner. The two jail 
ors, from integrity or prudence, rejected the suggestion. Mackintosh, iii, 
p. 322. The frantic bigotry of the times is also horribly exhibited, in the 
conduct of the Protestant dean of Peterborough to the queen when on the 
scaffold. He preached, threatened, denounced eternal death, pursued her 
round the scaifold ; a monster, the very incarnation of that fiendish fana 
ticism which, as much as policy, had pursued her to the death. The earl 
of Kent observing that she prayed with a crucifix in her hand, exclaimed, 
Madam, you had better leave such popish trumperies, and bear him in your 
heart. She replied, I can not hold in rny hand the representation of his 
sufferings, but I must at the same time bear him in my heart. When her 
head was severed from her body So perish all her enemies, subjoined 
the dean of Peterborough, to the usual words of the executioner ; So 
perish all the enemies of the gospel, replied the fanatical earl of Kent. 
This scene is a miniature picture of the glorious Reformation."* 

* Waterworth, Lectures on the Keformation, p. 401-2, note. 
0^7" For more on the subject of Mary s innocence of the charges brought 
against her, see Note Gr. at the end of the present volume. 




Ireland a noble exception England labors in vain to destroy her faith 
Ireland compared with England, Scotland, France, Bavaria, and Austria 
Progressive cruelty of English government Successive steps taken to 
reform Ireland Under Henry VIII. Under Edward VI. Attempts to 
thrust the new service on Ireland Its failure Heylin s testimony 
Glaring inconsistency Elizabeth trying to reform Ireland Extracts from 
McGee The terrible contests under Elizabeth s reign The O Neill The 
revolt of Desmond And of Tyrone Wholesale confiscation Confisca 
tion of Ulster, Munster, and Connaught The Deputy Mountjoy Miss 
Strickland s testimony McGee on martyred Irish bishops The English 
Jezabel The system of colonization Rather one of extermination 
Elizabeth s land partnership with Essex The English penal laws en 
forced in Ireland Another more formidable code established Its details 
furnished by Bancroft A horrible picture Other Protestant opinion and 
testimony North American Review Sidney Smith and Junius Ire 
land faithful to the last The result summed up Intolerance nobly 
rebuked Conclusion. 

AMONG the nations of Europe in which the attempt was 
made to introduce the Reformation in the sixteenth century, 
Ireland stands forth a brilliant exception to what may be 
regarded as the ordinary course of events elsewhere under 
similar circumstances. She was probably much more sorely 
tempted, and for a much longer time, than any other Euro 
pean country ; but she remained firm and unshaken in her 
loyalty to the venerable Church of her fathers, while several 
other nations under much less grievous pressure, fell away 
either partially or wholly from the ancient faith. 

In England, as we have already shown, the government 
forced the "Reformation on a reluctant clergy and people ; in 
Scotland, the people, after having been lashed into fury by 



the mad invectives of the preachers, marched tumultuously 
to Holyrood house, and forced the Reformation on the 
reluctant government: and in both cases the Reformation, 
introduced and sustained by such means, fully succeeded. 
Not so in Ireland. The English government sought to 
thrust the Reformation on the Irish people by horrible penal 
enactments, and by systematic spoliation and violence for 
centuries, but it utterly failed to accomplish its purpose. 

While the church of England was established by system 
atic terrorism and violence, and, as if mindful of its state 
origin, has ever since, with the instinct of self-preservation, 
been wholly subservient to the government which first 
awakened it into life; while "the fiery cross" of Calvin, 
which John Knox carried amidst tumult and bloodshed over 
the hills and valleys of Scotland, was upheld by the violence 
and sacrilege which originally reared it: Ireland, to her 
eternal honor be it said, stood firm as the rock amid perils 
and sufferings, in comparison with which those of the English 
and Scottish Catholics, though protracted and grievous 
enough, counted almost as nothing. France, Austria, and 
Bavaria, indeed, stood firm also ; but it must be remembered, 
that in all these countries, the weight of the government was 
thrown into the scale of Catholicity and against rising Prot 
estantism: whereas in Ireland every thing was brought to 
bear, and continued to be arrayed for centuries, against the 
fidelity of the peaple, who had no protection but in the vigor 
of their faith, and in the shield which heaven interposed 
between their weakness and the enormous power of their 
tormentors. Deprived of all human resources and succor, 
the Irish Catholics nevertheless triumphed, and the Reforma 
tion in Ireland proved an utter and signal failure. 

From an early period, Ireland was looked upon by Eng 
land, not so much as an integral portion of the British em 
pire, as a conquered province to be kept down by force, and 
to be plundered at will by its foreign rulers. Each successive 
English dynasty sought to outstrip its predecessor in measures 


of severity against Ireland. The Tudors surpassed the Plan- 
tagenets in cruelty, and the Stuarts if possible the Tudors ; 
while Cromwell, bearing aloft his bloody banner, far surpassed 
them all, and, under the mask of religion, pushed his cruel 
ties to the very climax of atrocity. At the head of his 
ferocious troopers who were all saints as well as soldiers 
this Tioly man, carried out Calvin s doctrine of the eternal 
and immutable "decree," by ruthlessly sacking the houses 
and towns, desecrating and destroying the churches, and 
butchering and burning the persons of the Irish people, in 
cluding men, women, and children !* He imagined that this 
was the most effectual, as it certainly was the most thorough 
method, for " removing the monuments of idolatry." What 
right had those senseless Irish "Papists" to taint, with their 
idolatrous breath, the air breathed by men so holy as Crom 
well s godly troopers ! Still, even Cromwell could not suc 
ceed in shaking the fidelity of Ireland. He might possibly, 
annihilate her people, he could destroy their faith in no other 

The history of the wrongs and persecutions of Ireland for 
conscience sake is too well known, and its facts are too 
generally admitted on all hands, to require any very lengthy 
exposition. Besides, the details are so very sad, that we do 
not willingly dwell upon them. Hence our sketch shall be 
rapid, embracing only the principal points in the successive 
attempts to thrust the Keformation on Ireland.f 

From first to last, the English government employed force 
and violence to induce the Irish clergy and people to accept 
the various phases of the Reformation, as these successively 
appeared in England ; and from first to last, the Irish clergy 

* At Drogheda, for instance, the terror-stricken people, chiefly women 
and children, were burnt up in the church to which they had fled for shelter ! 

f Those who may wish to see a fuller account are referred to the late ex 
cellent publication of Thomas D Arcy McGee, entitled : A History of the 
Attempts to establish the Protestant Reformation in Ireland, etc. Boston. 
Donahoe, 1853. We shall occasionally refer to this work in the sequel. 


and the people in a body resisted, and finally triumphed in 
their determined opposition. This is the cardinal fact run 
ning through the entire history of the efforts made by England 
to bring about the success of the Reformation in Ireland. 

1. Henry VIII. determined to force the royal supremacy 
and his new religious system on Ireland. But it is certain that 

" His innovations in religion were viewed with equal abhorrence by the in 
digenous Irish, and the descendants of the English colonists ;" that the par 
liament which abolished the jurisdiction of the Pope was not the true rep 
resentative of Irish opinion, but the mere echo of English feelings, a miser 
able body of mere creatures of the English court, which "one day con 
firmed the marriage of the king with Anne Boleyn, and the next, in con 
sequence of the arrival of a courier, declared it to have been invalid from 
the beginning ;" that it was impossible to enforce among the Irish people 
this parliamentary enactment ; and that "the two races combined in defense 
of their common faith," causing " repeated insurrections."* 

" A parliament was summoned by Lord Gray, who had succeeded Skef- 
fington ; and, to elude the opposition of the clergy, their proctors, who had 
hitherto voted in the Irish parliaments, were by a declaratory act pro 
nounced to be nothing more than assistants, whose advice might be received, 
but whose assent was not required. The statutes which were now passed 
were copied from the proceedings in England. The papal authority was 
abolished ; Henry was declared head of the Irish church ; and the first 
fruits of all ecclesiastical livings were given to the king."f 

Of all the Irish Catholic bishops, only one. and he a mere 
creature of Henry, who had been appointed on account of 
his mean subserviency to the policy of Henry s vicar general 
Cromwell, J gave his vote for the change of religion. This was 
Brown of Dublin, and he was a royal tool, more than a true 
Catholic bishop. The other bishops, in a body, with Cromer, 
archbishop of Armagh at their head, unanimously resisted 
the innovation ; which was so very odious to the Irish people 

* See Lingard, History of England ; vi, 323, seqq., for the authorities. 

f Irish Statutes, 28 Henry VIII. 12. Lingard, vi, 325-6. { Ibid. 

He was an Englishman, and he had ingratiated himself with Henry 
and Cromwell by the ready and ardent zeal with which he sought to pro 
mote the cause of the divorce. He was appointed in 1535. See McGee, 
sup. cit. p. 37 , 


that they boldly took the field under Fitzgerald in defense of 
the ancient faith.* 

In 1541, Henry succeeded by dextrous management in 
having himself declared king of Ireland ; and he very soon 
afterwards began that system of confiscation which was to be 
followed up by his successors, until little remained to be con 
fiscated, whether in church or state. " Confiscation and Prot 
estantism were born at a birth in the fertile mind of the 
newly elected king of Ireland." Archbishop Brown of Dub 
lin and four others were appointed as commissioners of in 
spection and examination, and armed men attended them 
from church to church, hewing down the crucifix with their 
swords, and defacing the monuments of the dead. " There 
was not," says a contemporary annalist, " a holy cross, nor an 
image of Mary, nor other celebrated image in Ireland," with 
in the reach of the reformers or near their fortresses, " that 
they did not burn." Say the Four Masters in their Annals : 
" They also made archbishops and subbishops for themselves ; 
and although great was the persecution of the Roman em 
perors against the Church, it is not probable that so great a 
persecution as this ever came from Rome hither. So- that it 
is impossible to tell or narrate its description, unless it should 
be told by him who saw it." 

It were tedious to go into the details of that wholesale 
system of sacrilege and confiscation which the eighth Henry 
inaugurated in Ireland ; besides that the subject will recur in 
the sequel. We may, however, here mention, that during 
this and the following reigns nearly six hundred Irish mon 
asteries were confiscated ; to say nothing of churches violated 

* McGee, sup. cit. p. 37. Fitzgerald was apprehended and imprisoned, 
but his place was taken by the O Neill, who was, however, defeated by Gray 
at Bellahoe. The father of Fitzgerald had been perfidiously committed to 
the London tower and beheaded, after having voluntarily surrendered on 
the promise of pardon ; and along with him were beheaded his five uncles, 
who had been treacherously seized at a banquet by this same lord lieuten 
ant Gray ! Ibid. 

VOL. H. 24 


and seized on for the new worship, and of shrines and sanc 
tuaries sacrilegiously pillaged and destroyed. That the first 
attempt to introduce the Reformation into Ireland was a work 
of mere brute force, which was wholly unsuccessful, is ap 
parent from the fact attested by Agard, an official of the 
English government, in a letter to the vicar general Crom 
well : " Except the archbishop of Dublin, only Lord Butler, 
the master of the rolls, Mr. Treasurer, and one or two more 
of small reputations, none may abide the hearing of it (the 
king s supremacy), spiritual, as they call them, or temporal."* 

Such being the undoubted facts of history, as they stand 
recorded on the Irish Statute book and on the pages of con 
temporaneous historians, we might well marvel at the coolness 
with which the Anglican writer Palmer relates the transac 
tion, if we were not persuaded that a plain statement of the 
facts, as they really occurred, would have proved utterly fatal 
to his favorite theory, that the English and even the Irish 
Church reformed itself ! He says :f " Henry VIII. caused the 
papal jurisdiction to be abolished in 1537 by the parliament 
(Irish). The bishops and clergy generally assented, and 
several reforms took place during this and the next reign." 

2. When the new book of Common Prayer was adopted by 
statute as the law of the land under Edward VI., in the 
parliament of 1552, it was done with the provision that it 
should be introduced by force, in place of the Mass, into 
every diocese of the kingdom, including those of Ireland. 
The great majority of the Irish people could not, indeed, un 
derstand English, and Cranmer and his brother reformers had 
been perpetually inveighing against what they designated 
the absurdity of having the service in an unknown tongue. 
But men who were determined to carry their point at all 

* The authorities for the quotations in this and the preceding paragraph, 
may be seen in McGee s work, sup. cit. p. 39, seqq. In his Monasticon, 
Archdall "gives an incomplete list of five hundred and sixty-three Irish 
houses confiscated." Ibid., p. 44, note. 

f Compendious Ecclesiastical History, p. 167. 


hazards, were not to be stopped in their headlong course by 
any inconsistency, no matter how glaring. They had trans 
lated the service into French for the benefit of their subjects 
of Jersey and Guernsey; but they meant to do nothing of 
the kind for the Irish, whose language they hated and sought 
to abolish. Referring to this remarkable inconsistency of the 
Anglican reformers, the Protestant historian Heylin employs 
the following strong language he is speaking of what oc 
curred in the subsequent reign of Elizabeth : 

"There also passed an act for the uniformity of common prayer, etc., with 
the permission for saying the same in Latine, in such church or place, where 
the minister had not the knowledge of the English tongue. But for trans 
lating it into Irish (as afterwards into Welsh in the fifth year of this queen) 
there was no care taken, either in this parliament, or in any following. For 
want whereof, as also by not having the Scriptures in their native language, 
most of the natural Irish have retained hitherto their old barbarous 
customes, or pertinaciously adhere to the corruptions of the Church of Eome. 
The people are required by that statute, under several penalties, to frequent 
their churches, and to be present at the reading of the English Liturgy, 
which they understand no more than they do the Mass. By which means 
the Irish were not only kept in continual ignorance as to the doctrines and 
devotions of the church of England, but we have furnished the papists with 
an excellent argument against ourselves, for having the divine service cele 
brated in such a language as the people do not understand.* 

Was this attempt to thrust the new fangled Anglican 
service on the Irish people successful ? 

" By Brown, the archbishop of Dublin, and four of his brethren, the order 
was cheerfully obeyed ; Dowdal, archbishop of Armagh, and the other pre 
lates rejected it with scorn. The consequence was, that the ancient service 
was generally maintained ; the new was adopted in those places only where 
an armed force compelled its introduction. The lords of the council, to 
punish the disobedience of Dowdal, took from him the title of primate of 
all Ireland, and transferred it to his more obsequious brother the archbishop 
of Dublin."f 

* Quoted by Waterworth, Historical Lectures on the Reformation, p. 
352-3, note. 

f Lingard. History of England, vii, 90. He quotes Leland, lib. iii. c. 8. 
Archbishop Dowdal left the country, but he was re-instated under Mary. 
The instruction to the lord deputy to have the service translated into Irish, 


Thus was the new service introduced, or rather attempted 
to be introduced into Ireland. The new bishops whom Cran- 
mer sent over were Englishmen, and they were " providently 
accompanied by six hundred horse and four hundred foot, 
under Sir Edward Bellingham." But one of all the original 
Catholic bishops of Ireland, Myler Magrath archbishop of 
Cashel, was found to stain his soul with the awful guilt of 
apostasy from the faith of his fathers ; and so great was the 
indignation of his people thereat, that they rose in a tumult 
and compelled him to leave Cashel and fly into England. 
The new bishops were able to ofticiate only in those places in 
which they could be escorted and guarded by English soldiers, 
who amused themselves during intervals of leisure in pillaging 
the neighboring churches and sanctuaries.* Thus, to give 
one specimen, they plundered the famous shrine of St. Kiaran 
at Clonmacnoise : 

" They took the large bells out of the steeple, and left neither large nor 
small bell, image, altar, book, gem, nor even glass in a window in the walls 
of the church, that they did not carry with them ; and that truly was a 
lamentable deed to plunder the city of St. Kiaran, the patron saint." f 

3. Under Mary, the old service was re-established amidst 
the general rejoicings of the Irish people, including even the 
obsequious courtiers of the English pale ; though during the 
two previous reigns these men had dared breathe only the 
language of servile compliance with the biddings of the En 
glish court, which had lately become apparently the only 
fountain of divine inspiration ! But subsequently, the same 
lord deputy Sussex, who had with seeming alacrity restored 
the Catholic worship under Mary, called another parliament 
to abolish it under Elizabeth, and to re-instate in its place the 
second edition, revised and amended, of the new Anglican 
service. What else soever the English monarchs may have 

until the natives could learn English, was never complied with, and it 
remained, as it was probably intended, a dead letter. 

* For more details, see McGee, sup. cit, p. 47, seqq. 

f Annals of the Four Masters, ibid., p. 49, note. 


had to complain of in Ireland, they surely had no reason to 
blame the tardiness of their officials, whether lay or clerical, 
who dwelt under the shadowing protection of the Dublin 
castle ; for these and their dependents of the English pale 
were certainly compliant enough. But, fortunately, the great 
body of the Irish clergy and people were not to be changed 
backwards and forwards so easily. 

In this new Irish parliament, the second of Elizabeth, 

" It was enacted that the Irish should be reformed after the model of the 
English church : but both the nobility and the people abhorred the change ; 
and the new statutes were carried into execution in those places only where 
they could be enforced at the point of the bayonet."* 

4. The opposition was not confined to mere words ; it exhib 
ited itself in bold deeds. For now commenced, in earnest, 
that memorable struggle between Irish right and English 
might, between the Irish champions of civil and religious 
freedom and the English hosts sustaining a most glaring op 
pression, w T hich continued with little intermission until the 
close of Elizabeth s long reign, and which cast a dark shadow 
on the sorrowful days which preceded her melancholy death.f 
English might finally conquered Irish right ; and Ireland, by 
the permission of an inscrutable Providence, was left a 
desert ; but in the midst of this desert, there still bloomed, 

* Lingard, History of England, vii, 125-6. Irish Statutes, 2 Elizabeth, 
1, 2, 3. Such being the indisputable facts of history, we can scarcely have 
patience with such men as Palmer, who coolly writes as follows : "When 
Elizabeth succeeded, the former laws were revived, the papal power again 
rejected, and the royal supremacy and the English ritual again introduced. 
These regulations were approved by seventeen out of nineteen Irish bishops 
in the parliament of 1560, and by the rest of the bishops and clergy who 
took the oath of supremacy, and remained in the possession of their bene 
fices. The people also generally acquiesced, and continued to attend on 
divine service for several years." Sup. cit. p. 167. 

f What most troubled Elizabeth during her last hours, was the thought 
of Ireland and of the failure of Essex, her last deputy there, together with 
that of her own waning popularity on account of the execution of her 


by the side of the shamrock, the perennial tree of that blessed 
faith which St. Patrick had planted and watered with his 

5. We can not go into the details of this melancholy con 
test. Suffice it to say, that Shane O Neill, the heir of Tyrone, 
first stood up valiantly for his rights, and proclaimed himself 
the champion of the ancient faith. His impetuous nature, or 
the goadings of the English, drove him into rebellion, to 
secure his rightful heritage, for which he had pleaded in vain 
at the court of Elizabeth : but his army was defeated by the 
more disciplined English troops ; and having in his affliction 
sought refuge among the Scots of Ulster, he was basely 
assassinated by them, at the instigation of Piers, an English 
officer in the pay of the deputy. t His lands and those of his 
numerous adherents, comprising one half of Ulster, were 
declared confiscated to the crown ; and by an act of parlia 
ment the name and dignity of the O Neill were declared 
abolished forever.J 

6. The rebellion of the O Neill was the signal for the 
breaking out of insurrections all over Ireland. The local 

* As had been the case under Edward, so now under Elizabeth a batch 
of new parliamentary bishops was appointed ; who, however, now as then, 
were not able to enter their sees or exercise their functions outside the 
boundaries of the English pale, unless they were escorted by English 
troops ! The Irish chieftains who headed the various insurrections stood 
forth the champions of the old and legitimate Catholic bishops and clergy, 
whom the government sought to oust. Thus the new hierarchy was able 
to gain a foothold nowhere, except at the point of the bayonet For the 
names of Elizabeth s bishops, and details of their curious proceedings, see 
McG-ee, p. 57, seqq. 

f Mr. McGee says that " the deputy employed Piers, a spy, to assassinate 
him. Under pretense of peace, the assassin met him at McDonnell s of An 
trim, procured a quarrel, stabbed him, and brought his head, pickled in a 
pipkin, to Dublin castle. For this service Piers had a thousand marks 
from the queen." P. 57-8. We follow the statement of Lingard. 

| See Lingard, ibid. He quotes Camden, Rymer, and the Irish Statutes, 
2 Elizabeth. 


chieftains, both of the English and the Irish pale, successively 
raised the banner of revolt ; but as, unhappily, they did not 
act in concert, and were more impetuous than well-disci 
plined, they were subdued in detail. The usual sequel to 
every suppression of rebellion was a wholesale confiscation 
of the property of the refractory chieftain and of his adherents ; 
and before the end of Elizabeth s reign perhaps half the lands 
of Ireland had been already declared forfeited to the crown ! 
After the suppression of the revolt of Desmond in 1586 
he was attainted by parliament, and all the lands of his earl 
dom, comprising nearly six hundred thousand acres, were 
confiscated, nominally for the benefit of the crown, really for 
that of Elizabeth s courtiers.* 

The rebellion as it was called of the gallant Tyrone, 
was probably the most formidable of all those which occurred 
under her disastrous reign. It continued, with various vicis 
situdes of failure and success, for ten years, from 1593 until 
the queen s death in 1603 ; and it was then terminated only 
by a treacherous accommodation. f Throughout the whole 
period of the terrible struggle, Tyrone had pleaded in vain 
for religious toleration for himself and his co-religionists; 
which shows that liberty of conscience was a main element 
in the contest.J 

* See Lingard, Ibid., p. 349. 

f Ibid., p. 383. This accommodation, which promised pardon to Tyrone 
and his followers, and a partial restoration of his lands, was hastily entered 
into by the deputy Mount] oy, after he had secretly learned what was as 
yet unknown to Tyrone that the queen was dying. Tyrone had previously 
in 1599 agreed to an armistice with Essex, who promised to intercede 
in his behalf with Elizabeth, not only for his pardon, but that his demand 
of religious toleration might be granted. (Ibid., p. 355.) Elizabeth was so 
much displeased with this equitable action of her former favorite, that it was 
one chief reason of his subsequent execution. 

| It is a remarkable fact, that the only two Irish lord deputies under 
Elizabeth, who showed any disposition to conciliate the Irish people, to deal 
impartially with the native Irish and those of the pale, and to do any thing 
like even handed justice in their administration Perrot and Essex both 


7. Of Elizabeth s treatment of Ireland, especially under the 
administration of her favorite deputy Mountjoy, the candid 
and excellent English Protestant lady, Agnes Strickland, 
writes as follows : 

" Ireland, says Naunton, cost her more vexation than any thing else. 
The expense of it pinched her ; the ill success of her officers wearied her, 
and in that service she grew hard to please. The barbarity with which she 
caused that country to be devastated is unprecedented, excepting in the 
extermination of the Caribs by the Spaniards. Henry VIII. had given him 
self little concern with the state of religion in Ireland ; it remained virtually 
a Catholic country ; the monasteries and their inhabitants were not uprooted, 
as in England ; and the whole country persistently acknowledged the su 
premacy of the Pope, through all the Tudor reigns, till Elizabeth ascended 
the throne 

"Ireland, which had acknowledged the English monarchs as suzerains, or 
lords paramount over their petty kings and chiefs, for several centuries, had 
scarcely allowed them as kings of Ireland for a score of years, now flamed 
out into rebellion against the English lord-deputy ; and this functionary, by 
the queen s orders, governed despotically, by mere orders of council, and 
endeavored to dispense with the Irish parliament. The taxes were forth 
with cessed at the will of the lord deputy. The earl of Desmond, the head 
of the Fitzgeralds, and possessed at that time of an estate of six hundred 
thousand acres, aided by Lord Baltinglas, head of the Eustaces, whose family 
had for four generations filled the office of lords-treasurer or lords-deputy, 
and were ever closely allied with the Greraldines, resisted the payment of 
this illegal tax, and required that a parliament might be called, as usual, to 
fix the demands on the subject ; for which measure, these gallant precursors 
of Hampden were forthwith immured in a tower of Dublin castle. They 
sent messengers to Elizabeth, to complain of the conduct of her lord deputy ; 
for which presumption, as she called it, she transferred them to the more 
alarming prison of the Tower of London 

"The lord deputy Mountjoy (the Irish say by the advice of Spencer, the 
poet), the commander of the English forces, commenced that horrid war of 
extermination which the natives call the Hag s Wars. The houses and 
standing corn of the wretched natives were burnt, and the cattle killed, 
wherever the English came, which starved the people into temporary sub- 
suffered the death of traitors at her hands ! The case of Perrot is particu 
larly striking in this respect, as it was his punishment of the guilty within 
the English pale which first excited the royal anger that resulted in his ac 
cusation and death as a traitor. 


mission. When some of the horrors of the case were represented to the 
queen, and she found the state to which the sister Island was reduced, she 
was heard to exclaim, that she found she had sent wolves, not shepherds, 
to govern Ireland, for they had left nothing but ashes and carcasses for her 
to reign over. "* 

8. That the desire of forcibly suppressing the Catholic 
religion in Ireland was one of the principal motives, which 
instigated the atrocities that marked the civil wars of this 
reign, is sufficiently apparent from the whole tenor of the 
facts. We content ourselves with the following extracted 
summary, which will also serve to show "how the Church 
reformed itself" in Ireland : 

" While the war against the Desmonds was raging in the South, under 
pretense of suppressing rebellion, no one could help seeing that in reality it 
was directed against the Catholic religion. If any had doubted the real objects, 
events which quickly followed Elizabeth s victory soon convinced them. 
Dermid O Hurley, archbishop of Cashel, being taken by the victors, was brought 
to Dublin in 1582. Here the Protestant primate Loftus besieged him in 
vain for nearly a year to deny the Pope s supremacy, and acknowledge the 
queen s. Finding him of unshaken faith, he was brought out for martyrdom 
on Stephen s Green, adjoining the city ; there he was tied to a tree, his 
boots filled with combustibles, and his limbs stripped and smeared with oil 
and alcohol. Alternately they lighted and quenched the flame which en 
veloped him, prolonging his torture through four successive days. Still re 
maining firm, before dawn of the fifth day they finally consumed his last 
remains of life, and left his calcined bones among the ashes at the foot of his 
stake. The relics, gathered in secret by some pious friends, were hidden 
away in the half-ruined church of St. Kevin, near that outlet of Dublin 
called Kevinsport. In Desmond s town of Kilmallock were then taken 
Patrick O Hely, bishop of Mayo, Father Cornelius, a Franciscan, and some 
others. To extort from them confessions of the new faith, their thighs were 
broken with hammers, and their arms crushed by levers. They died with 
out yielding, and the instruments of their torture were buried with them in 
the Franciscan Convent of Askeaton. The Most Reverend Richard Creagh, 
primate of all Ireland, was the next victim. Failing to convict him in Ire 
land of the imputed crime of violating a young woman, who herself exposed 
the calumny, and suffered for so doing, they brought him to London, where 
he is said to have died of poison on the 14th of October, 1585. "t 

* Queens of England, vi, p. 353-4. For lengthy details of Mountjoy s 
atrocities, see McGee, sup. cit, p. 71, seqq. f McG-ee, sup. cit, p. 64. 

VOL. n. 25 


9. The results of all these desolating wars were most disas 
trous. Ireland was made a desert; her fields lay unculti 
vated, and her people were starving. The attempt to force 
upon them a new religion, unheard of until it had been con 
ceived in the brain of the corrupt tyrant Henry and of his 
still more mischievous and more wicked daughter Elizabeth, 
was now bearing its legitimate fruits. The new liturgy might, 
indeed, be read, wherever there were English bayonets enough 
to enforce the reading; but the people would not listen to it, 
and at the rate at which extermination was now progressing, 
there would soon be likely to remain few if any people, to 
hear it read, even on compulsion ! The poet Spenser was in 
Ireland at the close of Desmond s " rebellion," and he draws 
the following sad picture of the general popular misery by 
which its suppression was followed :* 

" Out of every corner of the woods and glynns they (the Catholic people) 
came creeping forth on their hands, for their legs could not bear them ; they 
spake like ghosts crying out of their graves ; they did eat dead carrions ; 
happy were they who could find them. In a short space there was none 
almost left, and a most populous and plentiful country was suddenly void of 
man and beast, "f 

10. What was now to be done for Ireland ? How were 
her fertile but now desolate lands to be again cultivated, and 
her famine-stricken and perishing people to be relieved, or 

* In his Eeport on the State of Ireland, p. 165, quoted by Lester (Protes 
tant) in his Condition and State of England, in 2 vols., New York, 1843 
vol. ii, p. 92. 

f In the distribution of the confiscated lands in Munster among her cour 
tiers, after the suppression of Desmond s rebellion, this same Edmund 
Spenser the poet received over three thousand acres ; but the man who re 
ceived the largest share bore the very appropriate name of Butcher. To 
Francis Butcher and Hugh Wirth were assigned no less than twenty-four 
thousand acres ! See the list apud McGee, p. 63. 

This was called the confiscation of Munster, which occurred, together 
with that of about one half of Ulster, during Elizabeth s reign. It was 
followed by that of the rest of Ulster, under her successor James I,, and by 
that of Connaught under Charles I. The instigator of this last was the 
despotic Stafford. Thus almost all Ireland was successively confiscated ! 


rather replaced ? The remedy was well worthy the wicked 
heart of the English Jezabel, and, like all her other remedies 
for the ills of Ireland, it was even worse than the disease 
itself. The wholesale confiscation was followed by a whole 
sale system of colonization, as it was called. It would have 
been much more appropriately designated a system of or 
ganized extermination. It consisted in parceling out among 
her greedy favorites the confiscated lands, on condition that 
they would colonize them with English tenants, so as to have 
one family for every two hundred and forty acres.* This 
furnishes the key of that thoroughly wicked policy which 
Elizabeth inaugurated, which the Stuarts and Cromwell more 
fully carried out, and which has resulted in evils so wide 
spread, so terrible, and so protracted for Ireland.f 

The idea, at least in its practical bearings and develop 
ment, seems to have originated with the secretary Sir Thomas 
Smith, shortly after the suppression of Shane O Neill s "re 
bellion," in 1569.J But though the experiment was made in 
1572, by an ample grant of the confiscated lands to the bas 
tard son of the projector, it appears to have failed, chiefly 
on account of the stern opposition of the native proprietors, 

* This is probably the origin of that phrase, now become fashionable in 
certain quarters in this free country : "No Irish need apply." 

f The result of the system was, that fully three-fourths some say seven- 
eighths of the landed property in Ireland passed into the hands of the in 
significant Protestant minority, who lorded it over their Irish tenants with 
a rod of iron, and who have continued to do so to a great extent even down 
to the present day. The Irish landlord system 4s probably the most oppres 
sive of all those that exist in the civilized world, hardly excepting even that of 
Russia. The recent commission for encumbered estates has considerably 
modified the above result, but the evil still remains. 

| Others suppose that to Elizabeth herself belongs the merit of having 
originated this atrocious scheme of wholesale spoliation ; and that she encour 
aged her officers and soldiers to put down the rebellion, with the prospect of 
having abundant lands distributed amongst them in case of success. At any 
rate, it was well worthy her heartless character, and she fully acted on the 
plan, whoever was its originator. 


who very naturally objected to being thus summarily ousted 
from their ancient possessions. It was subsequently tried 
again, on a much larger scale, by Elizabeth s favorite, Walter 
Devereux, earl of Essex, with whom she had entered into a 
regular business partnership. The contract between Essex 
and his mistress provided, " that each should furnish an equal 
share of the expense, and that the colony should be equally 
divided between them, so soon as it had been planted with 
two thousand settlers." But the natives again very properly 
objected ; Essex was thwarted by the lord deputy who dis 
puted his powers ; he was not sustained by his royal partner 
in the concern ; and the result was, that, after ruining him 
self by the preliminary expenses necessary for so brilliant a 
speculation, he utterly failed to establish his colony.* A 
third experiment was tried on a still more extensive scale, 
after the confiscation of Desmond s estates ; and this time it 
partially succeeded, the natives being now sufficiently humbled 
and famine-stricken to consent, in considerable numbers, 
" rather than abandon the place of their birth, to hold of for 
eigners the lands which had descended to them from their 

11. "While attempts were thus successively made to thrust 
the new religion on Ireland by force, the English penal sta 
tutes against non-conformists were, as a matter of course, ex 
tended to the sister kingdom.J The Irish parliaments of 
those days, as we have already seen, were generally composed 
of the merest creatures of the English court, none others be 
ing permitted to hold a seat therein, at least to have a voice 
in controlling the deliberations. The Irish parliament thus be 
came a mere echo of the English. Under such atrocious ty 
rants as Henry and Elizabeth, it could scarcely have been 

* See Lingard, viii, 127-8, for all the details, with the authorities. 

f Ibid., p. 350. 

| Ireland, previously regarded by England as a province, was declared to 
have risen to the dignity of a kingdom under Henry VIII., who, as we have 
seen, was chosen king. 


any thing else ; as these rulers had succeeded in reducing to 
the most abject servitude even those sturdy parliaments of 
England, which in the good old Catholic days of Magna 
Charta had made the English monarchs tremble on their 
thrones. But now all had changed ; the blessed Reformation 
had emancipated the English people from "popish" thralldom, 
and given to them instead the priceless boon of abject and 
crouching political slavery! Of course, the Irish Catholics 
could not expect any immunity from the operation of the mer 
ciless code of pains and penalties, with which the right of 
private judgment the boasted heir-loom of the Reformation 
was so amply guarded and protected in the sister kingdom ! 
And they neither expected nor received it, however much 
they might have desired the boon of exemption. The penal 
laws of England were enforced in Ireland, whenever and 
wherever it was possible to secure their execution. 

12. But besides the penal code of England, another one 
much more galling and atrocious in its provisions was fastened 
upon Ireland. Its details are so very ferocious and horrible, 
as almost to stagger belief ; yet there they are, in all their 
hideousness, glaring at us from the pages of the English 
and Irish statute books ! No one can dispute them ; and 
the fact that most of them have been since repealed 
though not all is indeed a relief for the present, but no in 
demnity for the past. They are a sequel to the earlier penal 
enactments already referred to, and they surpass even these 
in atrocity. They belong to the history of the attempted 
Reformation in Ireland, which would be wholly incomplete, 
in fact scarcely intelligible, without them. We might fill a 
volume, were we to enter into minute details in regard to 
this atrocious system of legislation. We must content our 
selves with the following summary, which we believe to be 
entirely accurate, and to contain most of its enactments. We 
are indebted for it to our excellent American historian Ban 
croft. We will be pardoned the length of the extract, on ac 
count of the interest of the matter, and the unimpeachable 


character of the witness, who furnishes his authorities as he 

"In addition to this, an act of the English parliament rehearsed the dan 
gers to be apprehended from the presence of popish recusants in the Irish 
parliament, and required of every member the new oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy and the declaration against transubstantiation. But not only 
were Eoman Catholics excluded from seats in both branches of the legisla 
ture ; a series of enactments, the fruit of relentless perseverance, gradually 
excluded papists from having any votes in the election of members to serve 
in parliament. 

" The Catholic Irish, being disfranchised, one enactment pursued them 
after another, till they suffered under a universal, unmitigated, indispensable, 
exceptionless disqualification. In the courts of law, they could not gain a 
place on the bench, nor act as a barrister, or attorney, or solicitor, nor be 
employed even as a hired clerk, nor sit on a grand jury, nor serve as a sheriff 
or a justice of the peace, nor hold even the lowest civil office of trust and 
profit, nor have any privilege in a town corporate, nor be a freeman of such 
corporation, nor vote at a vestry. If papists would trade and work, they 
must do it, even in their native towns, as aliens. They were expressly for 
bidden to take more than two apprentices in whatever employment, except 
in the linen manufacture only. A Catholic might not marry a Protestant 
the priest who should celebrate such a marriage was to be hanged ; nor be 

* Bancroft s History of the United States, vol. v, p. 66, seqq. It will be 
seen that many of these laws were enacted at a comparatively recent period. 

Edmund Burke in his Fragment of a Tract on the Popery Laws, and in 
his other writings, furnishes substantially the same facts, but in a more ex 
tended form and in a more technical style. He views the Irish penal code 
from the stand-point of the lawyer, rather than from that of the historian. 
See Burke s Works, American Edit, in three volumes, 8vo, vol. ii, p. 402, seqq. 

In, his Constitutional History of England, Hallam treats at considerable 
length the various penal enactments against Ireland, which were passed in 
the successive English reigns from Elizabeth to the Georges. He fully con 
firms the statements of Bancroft and Burke. It is a remarkable fact, that 
probably the worst portion of the Irish penal code was enacted after the 
revolution in 1688. Under William of Orange and his successors, Ireland 
was scourged with greater ferocity than she had been under the Tudors or 
the Stuarts. With the cry of liberty forever on their lips, the whigs, who 
had expelled James II, because he sought to establish religious liberty in 
England, practiced themselves the most atrocious tyranny over Ireland. 
Hallam gives the odious details. 


a guardian to any child, nor educate his own child, if the mother declared 
herself a Protestant ; or even if his own child, however young, should pro 
fess to be a Protestant. None but those who conformed to the established 
church were admitted to study at the universities, nor could degrees be ob 
tained but by those who had taken all the tests, oaths, and declarations. 

" No Protestant in Ireland might instruct a papist. Papists could not 
supply their want by academies and schools of their own ; for a Catholic to 
teach, even in a private family or as usher to a Protestant, was a felony, 
punishable by imprisonment, exile, or death. Thus papists were excluded 
from all opportunity of education at home, except by stealth and in violation 
of law. It might be thought that schools abroad were open to them ; but, 
by a statute of King William, to be educated in any foreign Catholic school 
was an unalterable and perpetual outlawry. The child sent abroad for edu 
cation, no matter of how tender an age, or himself how innocent, could 
never after sue in law or equity, or be guardian, executor, or administrator, 
or receive any legacy or deed of gift ; he forfeited all his goods and chattels, 
and forfeited for his life all his lands. Whoever sent him abroad, or main 
tained him there, or assisted him with money or otherwise, incurred the 
same liabilities and penalties. The crown divided the forfeiture with the 
informer ; and when a person was proved to have sent abroad a bill of ex 
change or money, on him rested the burden of proving that the remittance 
was innocent, and he must do so be fore justices without the benefit of a jury. 

" The Irish Catholics were not only deprived of their liberties, but even 
of the opportunity of worship, except by connivance. Their clergy, taken 
from the humbler classes of the people, could not be taught at home nor be 
sent for education beyond seas, nor be recruited by learned ecclesiastics from 
abroad. Such priests as were permitted to reside in Ireland were required 
to be registered, and were kept like prisoners at large within prescribed 
limits. All papists exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction, all monks, friars, 
and regular priests, and all priests not then actually in parishes and to be 
registered, were banished from Ireland under pain of transportation, and, on 
a return, of being hanged, drawn and quartered.* Avarice was stimulated 
to apprehend them by the promise of a reward ; he that should harbor or 
conceal them was to be stripped of all his property. 

"When the registered priests were dead, the law, which was made per 
petual, applied to every popish priest. By the laws of William and of Anne, 
St. Patrick, in Ireland, in the eighteenth crntury, would have been a felon. 
Any two justices of the peace might call before them any Catholic, and 
make inquisition as to when he heard Mass, who were present, and what 
Catholic schoolmaster or priest he knew of; and the penalty for refusal to 

* This law was probably meant to show Protestant love of religious liberty ! 


answer was a fine or a year s imprisonment. The Catholic priest, abjuring 
his religion, received a pension of thirty, and afterwards of forty pounds. 
And in spite of these laws, there were, it is said, four thousand Catholic 
clergymen in Ireland ; and the Catholic worship gained upon the Protestant, 
so attractive is sincerity when ennobled by persecution, even though the 
laws did not presume a papist to exist there, and did not allow them to 
breathe but by the connivance of the government ! 

" The Catholic Irish had been plundered of six-sevenths of the land by 
iniquitous confiscations ; every acre of the remaining seventh was grudged 
them by the Protestants. No non-conforming Catholic could buy land, or 
receive it by descent, devise, or settlement ; or lend money on it, as the 
security ; or hold an interest in it through a Protestant trustee ; or take a 
lease of ground for more than thirty-one years. If, under such a lease, he 
brought his farm to produce more than one-third beyond the rent, the first 
Protestant discoverer might sue for the lease before known Protestants, 
making the defendant answer all interrogatories on oath ; so that the Catho 
lic farmer dared not drain his fields, nor inclose them, nor build solid houses 
on them. If in any way he improved their productiveness, his lease was 
forfeited. It was his interest rather to deteriorate the country, lest envy 
should prompt some one to turn him out of doors. In all these cases the 
forfeitures were in favor of Protestants. Even if a Catholic owned a horse 
worth more than five pounds, any Protestant might take it away.* Nor 
was natural affection or parental authority respected. 

" The son of a Catholic landholder, however dissolute or however young, 
if he would but join the English church, could revolt against his father, and 
turn his father s estate in fee simple into a tenancy for life, becoming himself 
the owner, and annulling every agreement made by the father, even before 
his son s conversion. 

" The dominion of the child over the property of the Popish parent was 
universal. The Catholic father could not in any degree disinherit his apos 
tatizing son ; but the child, in declaring himself a Protestant, might com 
pel his father to confess upon oath the value of his substance, real and per 
sonal, on which the Protestant court might out of it award the son imme 
diate maintenance, and after the father s death, any establishment it pleased. 
A new bill might at any time be brought by one or all of the children, for 
a further discovery. If the parent, by his industry, improved his property, 
the son might compel a new account of the value of the estate, in order to 
a new disposition. The father had no security against the persecution of 
his children, but by abandoning all acquisition or improvement."! 

* This was a striking illustration of the command : " Thou shalt not steal ! " 
t For every statement above given, he quotes the acts of the several par- 


13. This atrocious penal legislation was mainly based on the 
hatred of the Catholic religion, and the wish to eradicate it 
from the minds and hearts of the Irish people. Its entire tenor 
and drift clearly establish this fact. And now we may ask with 
confidence of any impartial we do not say Christian but man, 
what is to be thought of a religious Reformation attempted 
to be enforced by such means as these ? "What are we to think 
of the sincerity of the men, who, while boasting that they 
were shedding abroad the blessed light of religious liberty, 
adopted such a code as this to induce religious conformity ?* 

liaments which passed these odious laws; besides Burke on the Penal 
Laws, and other authorities. These we have omitted in order not to cum 
ber our pages. Moreover any one of our readers who wishes to pursue the 
investigation may easily procure and consult Bancroft. In another place 
Bancroft adds : 

" The inhabitants of Ireland were four parts in five, certainly more than 
two parts in there, Roman Catholics. ... In settling the government, En 
gland intrusted it exclusively to those of the English Colony, who were 
members of its own church ; so that the little minority ruled the island. 
To facilitate this, new boroughs were created ; and wretched tenants, where 
not disfranchised, were so coerced in their votes at elections, that two-thirds 
of the Irish house of commons were the nominees of the large Protestant 
proprietors of the land." Bancroft s History, vi, 66. 

* In an elaborate article on Ireland, published in the Metropolitan Record 
for March 12, 1859, we find the following condensed epitome of the Irish 
penal laws ; which from the foregoing more extended account will be found 
to be, in the main, accurate. We republish it in a note, for the benefit of 
those who may wish to see the principal of these atrocious laws at a single 


If a Catholic schoolmaster, taught any person, Protestant or Catholic, 
any species of literature or science, such teacher was, for the crime of teach 
ing, punishable by banishment ; and if he returned from banishment he was 
subject to be hanged as a felon. 

If a Catholic, whether a child or adult, attended in Ireland a school 
kept by a Catholic, or was privately instructed by a Catholic, such person, 
although a child in its early infancy, incurred a forfeiture of all its property, 
present or future. 

If a Catholic child, however young, was sent to any foreign country for 


There can evidently be but one opinion among all reason 
able and honest men, in regard both to the Reformation itself 

education, such infant incurred a similar penalty that is, a forfeiture of all 
right to property present or prospective. 

If any person in Ireland made remittance of any money or goods for the 
maintenance of any Irish child educated in a foreign country, such person 
incurred similar forfeiture. 

" With respect to the Catholic church, which had shed so much lustre on 
the land, the reforming civilizers enacted : 

To teach the Catholic religion is declared a felony, punished by trans 

To be a Catholic, monk, or friar, punishable by banishment, and to re 
turn from the banishment an act of high treason, to be punished by death. 

1 To exercise the functions of a Catholic bishop or archbishop, in Ireland, 
a transportable offense, and to return from banishment, as such, an act of 
high treason, punished by being hanged and afterwards quartered by the 

" Domestic happiness, family union, and fraternal love would, it was 
thought, by Ireland s English rulers, be promoted by a code such as this : 

If a Catholic wife declared herself a Prostcstant, she was immediately 
entitled to a separate maintenance and the custody of all the children. 

If the eldest son of a Catholic, no matter of what age, became a Protest 
ant, he at once made his father a tenant for life of his own estate, and such 
son became absolute master of such estate. 

If any other child, younger than the eldest son, declared itself a Prot 
estant, it at once became free from all control of the parent. 

" Thus the wife, the heir at law, and all the other children, were, by stat 
ute law, openly encouraged to rebel against the husband and father, and vio 
late every principle of a Christian life. 



"After an acquaintance of about five hundred years, the English govern 
ment thought that her military, naval, and civil service, both in Ireland and 
abroad, could be best promoted by legislation, such as the following : 

Catholics were declared incapable of holding any commission in the 
army or navy, or serving even as private soldiers, unless they abjured that 

Catholics were universally excluded from all offices under the state, and 
deprived of the right of voting at any election. 

Catholics were excluded from Parliament. 


and the means adopted to enforce it upon an unwilling and 
resisting population in Ireland. This opinion necessarily 
grows out of the facts themselves, contrasting as they do so 
glaringly with the professions of the men who unblushingly 
enacted those bloody laws. 

14. It is not to be denied that, in England s treatment of 
Ireland, there was another element of bitterness infused into 
the cup of religious intolerance ; we refer to that which re 
sulted from difference of race. This feeling, indeed, long 
preceded the sixteenth century ; but it was very greatly in 
creased by the subsequent attempt to enforce the new religion 
in Ireland. If the Irish were scourged with rods before, they 
were scourged with scorpions after the Reformation so 
called. An able American writer of the day places this 
matter in so clear a light, and confirms his views with so 
many apposite Protestant authorities, that we can not prob 
ably do better than to furnish some extracts from his well- 
written paper.* 

Speaking of a statute passed under Henry VIIL, he says : 

"In the twenty-eighth year of Henry VIIL, a law was passed restraining 
the Irish from having themselves shorn or shaven above the ears, and from 
wearing coulins (long locks) on their heads, or hair on their upper lips, and 
prescribing for them a particular kind of rude dress, so that they should not 
presume under heavy penalties to dress like the English."f 

Of what took place after the Reformation, he writes as fol 
lows : 

"After the Eeformation, it did not require so much effort to keep the in- 

If any Catholic purchased for money an estate in land, any Protestant 
may take it from him without paying a farthing of the purchase money. 

"Edmund Burke, speaking of the code, said : It was a machine of wise 
and elaborate contrivance, and as well fitted for the oppression, impoverish 
ment, and degradation of a people, and the debasement in them of human 
nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man. " 

* In the North American Keview, for January, 1858, art. Ireland. Past 
and Present. 

f The writer quotes Walker s Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards, 
p. 134. 


digenous and the English inhabitants of Ireland in mutual enmity. Sectarian 
animosity now proved a most useful auxiliary to British rule ; for the 
hatred of race had already grown too feeble. Hitherto the English inhab 
itants of Ireland had been taught to hate the natives as an antagonistic, in 
ferior race ; noAV they were taught to hate them as believers in a false creed. 
The title wild Irish was not sufficiently repulsive, till reinforced by the 
still more obnoxious stigma attached to the term Papist. This was ac 
cordingly adopted ; and among the first fruits of the Keformation for Ireland 
was a new set of penal laws against the Irish Papists. In reference to 
these laws Secretary Hutchinson wrote, in his Account of Ireland, in 

" The Papists incur penalties for foreign education, yet are not allowed 
education at home : they can not be physicians, lawyers, soldiers. If they 
become traders and mechanics, they scarcely enjoy the rights of citizens. 
If farmers, they shall not improve, being discouraged by short limitation of 
tenure ; and yet there is complaint of the dullness and laziness of a people 
whose spirit is restrained from exertion, and whose industry has no reward 
to excite it. 

" It was made a capital offense for the Irish to have schools or schoolmas- 
masters. If a schoolmaster was convicted of having taught, or attempted 
to teach any Irish person, young or old, the punishment for the first offense 
was transportation ; and if he ever returned from penal servitude, and re 
peated the crime, the penalty was death ! Yet the people thus treated were 
abused for not being intelligent and enlightened ! Irish commerce was also 
placed under severe restrictions. "* 

Burke was right in calling such a code "a horrible and im 
pious system of servitude."! 

15. With such feelings, followed by such legislation on the 
part of England, we do not at all wonder that gifted Prot- 

* North American Review, for January, 1858, art. Ireland, Past and 
Present. The writer quotes De Rebus Hibernicis, vol. ii, p. 366-71, and 
adds : " General Desgriny, who acconipagnied Lauzun to Ireland in 1670, 
wrote to the French minister of war, as follows : La politique des Anglois 
a ete de tenir ces peuples cy comme des esclaves, et si bas, qu il ne leur 
etoit permis d apprendre a lire et a ecrire The policy of the English has 
been to keep these people here like slaves, and so low that it is not permitted 
to them to learn to read and write. " This was no doubt by way of con 
clusively proving to the world the wonderful efficacy of Protestantism in 
emancipating the human mind from the degrading ignorance and thralldom 
of popery ! f Quoted ibid. 


estant Irishmen, like Burke, Swift, Grattan, Curran, and 
Goldsmith, should have lashed English oppression, and 
pleaded earnestly and eloquently the cause of oppressed Ire 
land ; or that this feeling of just indignation should have 
extended to generous minded English Protestants themselves ; 
to such men, for instance, as Sydney Smith and the caustic 
writer of the Junius Letters. The former, in his famous 
Plimley Letters, clearly, eloquently, and wittily exhibited the 
atrocious injustice of England towards Ireland, and urged, 
not in vain, the necessity of an at least partial redress of her 
grievances, through the passage of the Catholic emancipation 
bill ; while the latter broke forth into the following character 
istic strain of indignant invective, in his celebrated Letter to 
the King :* 

" The people of Ireland have been uniformly plundered and oppressed. 
In return they give you every day fresh marks of their resentment. They 
despise the miserable governor you have sent them, because he is a creature 
of Lord Bute ; nor is it from any natural confusion in their ideas that they 
are so ready to confound the original of a king with the disgraceful repre 
sentation of him." 

16. Of the subsequent history and sufferings of Ireland 
under the penal laws ; of her impatience under the galling 
yoke of the English Protestant ascendency, and her repeated 
efforts to free herself from its terrible pressure ; of its having 
been still more firmly riveted on her neck at each successive 
failure of insurrection ; of her partially successful struggles 
to stand erect, and to prosper temporally, in spite of all these 
long continued and terrible obstacles ; and of the circum 
stances under which the grasp of oppression was finally 
somewhat relaxed by the action of the British parliament, 
reluctantly and at the eleventh hour sweeping away some of 
the more odious features of the terrible penal code under 
which she had groaned for centuries : of these and of other 
things our present scope does not allow, nor indeed require 
us to treat. Suffice it to refer to the general result, which 

* North American Review, for January, 1858, sup. cit. 


may be summed up in two words : that in the political rela 
tion, the national spirit of Ireland has never been entirely 
broken, and in the religious one, her faith has never been im 
paired. After all the violent and protracted efforts of En 
gland to pervert her from the ancient religion, seven-eighths 
of her children still cling to it with undying love. 

Faithful Catholic Ireland might be deprived of all else of 
lands, of personal comforts, of political liberty ; but the hand 
of the spoiler and oppressor could never tear from her heart 
the jewel of faith, which she prized far above all earthly 
considerations. They might, and they did destroy her mon 
asteries and seize upon her churches ; they might, and they 
did despoil her of all her church property, and impose upon 
her people the odious tithe-tax to support the clergy of a new 
fangled church which she abhorred in her very soul ; they 
might, and they did slander her faith and endeavor to ruin 
her character by systematic denunciation of her alleged de 
moralization ;* they might, and they did banish her priests 
and schoolmasters and hunt them down, if they dared return, 
like so many wild beasts ; they might, and they did commit 
these and a thousand other indignities too tedious and too 
horrible to dwell on ; they never could seduce her from her 
allegiance to " the faith once delivered to the saints !" To 
this she clung in life and in death, and she loved it the more 
dearly, precisely in proportion to the amount of privation and 
suffering her children were made to endure on its account. 

Never, perhaps, in the history of mankind, has so wither 
ing a rebuke been administered to all powerful and bitterly 
intolerant tyranny, as that which the unshaken constancy of 

* It has generally been stated by English Protestant writers, with a view 
to present an unfavorable impression of the influence of Catholicity on the Irish 
people, that crime has always been much more rife in Ireland than in Eng 
land The subject is ably discussed in a late number of the Dublin Review; 
and the result is by no means disparaging to Ireland, or flattering to Eng 
land. See also Joseph Kay s (Protestant) Report to the University of Cam 
bridge, on the present utterly degraded moral condition of the masses of 
the English and Welsh population. 


Ireland has administered to Protestant England. The only 
parallel to it, with which we are acquainted, is that presented 
by the heroic attitude of the early Christians towards per 
secuting pagan Rome, during three centuries of patient mar 
tyrdom, and of brilliant victory in the midst of the excruciat 
ing tortures of death. 

We conclude this Chapter with the following eloquent pas 
sage from the pen of an American Protestant writer :* 

"Ireland still has an existence as a nation. She has her universities and 
her literature. She is still the Emerald Isle of the ocean. An air of 
romance and chivalry is around her. The traditionary tales that live in her 
literature invest her history with heroic beauty. But she has no need of 
these. Keal heroes, the O Neills, the O Briens, and the Emmetts, will be 
remembered as long as self-denying patriotism and unconquerable valor are 
honored among men. In every department of literature she still takes her 
place. Where is the wreath her shamrock does not adorn ? Where the 
muse that has not visited her hills ? Her harp has ever kindled the soul of 
the warrior, and soothed the sorrows of the broken-hearted. It has sounded 
every strain that can move the human heart to greatness, or to love. What 
ever vices may stain her people, they are free from the crime of voluntary 
servitude. The Irishman is the man last to be subdued. Possessing an 
elasticity of character that will rise under the heaviest oppression, he wants 
only a favorable opportunity and a single spark to set him in a blaze." 

* Lester, Condition and Fate of England, sup. cit. ii, 73-4. 

0^? For more on the church of England, as established by law, and as 
firmly riveted on the necks of the people by the CORONATION OATH of the 
kings and queens of England and Ireland, see Note H. at the end of this 




Interest which attaches to the subject Prescott s Philip II. His prejudices 
glanced at The Netherlands in the sixteenth century Their highly 
prosperous condition in commerce and manufactures The new doctrines 
penetrate into the Netherlands Policy of the emperor Charles V. His 
edicts He does not establish the Inquisition His repressive policy fails 
The Netherlands continue to flourish Accession of Philip II. Yiew 
of the religious condition of Europe in the middle of the sixteenth cen 
tury The " fiery cross " of the Reformation It everywhere brings about 
a union of church and state Results in civil commotions Which 
weaken the cause of liberty Guizot s testimony Character of Philip II. 
The hereditary Spanish feeling beautifully portrayed by Prescott 
Sublime sternness of Philip We have no mission to defend him Much 
less Alva Philip s war with the Pope Prescott s position reviewed 
Church not responsible for Philip s policy Case of Caranza Philip defies 
the Council of Trent His opposition to the Pope in matters trenching on 
the spiritual order Nomination of bishops The Pope and despotism 
Good qualities in Philip s character The Catholic liberties of the Neth- 
erlanders The struggle begins Catholics and Protestants at first com 
bine against Philip The war-cry Vivent Us Oueux ! Matters precipitated 
by violence Horrible excesses committed by the Protestant party fully 
related by Prescott The Iconoclasts and church spoilers The preachers 
take the field And stir up the people to violence Churches and convents 
sacked Awful riot at Antwerp The Cathedral plundered The " two 
thieves " presiding over the work Its beautiful ornaments in ruins The 
sacrilegious fury spreads over all Flanders Four hundred churches de 
molished or sacked in Flanders alone Awful desolation Irreparable 
injury to the fine arts What the "beggars" really meant and wanted 
Their idea of religious liberty Reaction Tumults stopped And an 
insurrection quelled Impression made by these outrages on Philip 
Duke of Alva the embodiment of his stern resolve Execution of the 
Catholic Counts Egmont and Hoorne, and of Montigny William of 
Orange prudently flies Menzel s account Two inferences drawn 
Glance at the subsequent events of the struggle Queen Elizabeth med- 


dling Treasures of Alva seized by her A general gloom in consequence 
of the troops being quartered on the people And of the imposition of 
new taxes by Alva A calm before a storm The struggle begins in 
earnest. Privateers scour the British channel Alva recalled and Re- 
quesens appointed Elizabeth coquetting with the insurgents Requesens 
succeeded by Don John of Austria The Spanish soldiery break through 
all restraint, and sack Antwerp General indignation The Pacification 
of Ghent Approved by Don John in the Perpetual Edict Discontent 
of Orange The Spanish troops dismissed and recalled The war recom 
mences The Netherlands become the battle ground of Europe The 
Catholic provinces compelled to separate from the Protestant Outrages 
on their churches and themselves committed by Casimir, the ally of Or 
ange An army of Lutheran Huns Alexander Farnese Brilliant in the 
cabinet as in the field Renews the Perpetual Edict And attaches the 
Catholic Provinces to his government Philip issues his ban against 
Orange Who replies with a declaration of independence He is assassi 
nated Atrocities committed against the Catholics Menzel and Motley 
Dutch Catholics exterminated Horrid excesses "Better Turks than 
Papists" Lutherans do not sympathize with their Dutch brethrenThe 
Catholic religion suppressed Diplomacy of Orange His character The 
butcher Sonoy His horrible barbarities Orange screens him from pun- 
nishment Yan der Marck, his predecessor in the butchery He slays 
more than Alva Testimony of Kerroux The subsequent history of the 
Dutch Republic Final result of the struggle Gomarists and Arminians 
King James I. of England intermeddling Synod of Dort Grotius 
persecuted The patriot Barnavelt beheaded Many Protestants banished 
Recapitulation Four conclusions reached Religious liberty, as under 
stood by the Dutch Calvinists And as exhibited in their acts. 

PUBLIC attention to the history of the Netherlands in the 
sixteenth century has been lately awakened in this country, 
by the publication of what has proved to be the last work of 
our great historian Prescott, who, alas ! lived not to complete 
his task. Many of the most graphic and interesting scenes 
of his " History of the Reign of Philip the Second "* are laid 
in the Netherlands ; while the very nature of the combat 
which raged there is such, as to appeal strongly to our feel 
ings both as patriots as religionists. 

* The work is in three volumes 8vo, published by Philips, Sampson, and 
Company, Boston, in 1855 and 1858. 
VOL. H.-26 


As we shall frequently have occasion to quote this work in 
the course of the present chapter, it may be well for the 
reader to bear in mind, that Prescott, though a man of 
enlarged mind and generous principles, does not always rise 
superior to the religious prejudices almost inseparable from a 
New England education, so far at least as the Catholic Church 
is concerned. He occasionally grievously misrepresents our 
religious principles and practices, and in things, too, which 
are so very simple and obvious, and so generally known, that 
a much worse-informed man should have felt ashamed of 
making mistakes in regard to them. Thus, he seriously re 
produces, as an unquestioned Catholic principle, the absurd 
and abominable maxim which has been already refuted a 
thousand times; "No faith to be kept with heretics!"* 
Again, he gravely imputes to Catholics the absurd idolatry of 
"adoring images !"f Finally for we need not multiply ex 
amples he absurdly enough confounds the years of indul 
gence with years of remission " of the pains of purgatory ."J 

In the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Netherlands 
embraced all the countries bordering on the lower Rhine, and 
comprehended seventeen provinces, which occupied the whole 
of the territory now included in the kingdoms of Holland and 
Belgium ; besides Luxemburg, and what was formerly called 
French Flanders, comprising the two provinces of Artois 
and Hainault since annexed to France. These provinces 
were at that time probably in a more flourishing condition 
than almost any other portion of Europe. They teemed with 
the products of agricultural and mechanical industry. Man- 

* Prescott, Hist. Philip II., ii, 49. Of the sainted Pontiff Pius V. he says, 
that he "doubtless held to the orthodox maxim of no faith to be kept 
with heretics. " 

f Ibid., p. 55. The priests deposited the image in the chapel .... "to re 
ceive there during the coming week the adoration of the faithful." 

| Ibid., iii, 311. "The legate, after preaching a discourse, granted all 
present a full remission of the pains of purgatory for two hundred years." 
Protestants should read our catechism at least, if nothing more ! 


ufactories were everywhere in successful operation ; and 
Bruges, Liege, and Valenciennes were then, what Manchester, 
Birmingham, and Leeds now are. Commerce also flourished ; 
every sea was whitened with the sails of the adventurous 
Netherlanders, whose soil was too confined for their industry 
and enterprise. "Their fleets were to be found on every sea. 
In the Euxine and in the Mediterranean they were rivals of 
the Venetians and the Genoese, and they contended with the 
English, and even with the Spaniards, for superiority on the 
narrow seas and the great ocean."* 

Antwerp was then the great commercial and banking cap 
ital of Europe. Merchants from all nations, even from Turkey, 
flocked thither for purposes of commerce. The city had one 
hundred thousand inhabitants, while London had only one 
hundred and fifty thousand at the same time. " Antwerp, in 
short, became the banking-house of Europe; and^ capitalists, 
the Rothschilds of their day, whose dealings were with sov 
ereign princes, fixed their abode in Antwerp, which was to 
the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century w r hat London 
is in the nineteenth, the great heart of commercial circula 
tion."! In manufactures particularly, the Flemings long 
preceded the English ; for in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, the great woollen factories were located at Bruges 
and other Flemish towns, and the Flemings, who emigrated 
at that early period to England, laid the foundations of the 
present great English manufactories. J 

This flourishing condition of commerce and manufactures 
necessarily brought into the Netherlands strangers from Ger 
many and other adjoining countries, into which the doctrines 
of the "new gospel" had already penetrated. The immi 
grants brought with them their newly conceived religious 
notions ; and the infection was still further spread in these 
provinces through the custom which had prevailed, of send 
ing the Flemish youth to the colleges of Germany and 

* Prescott, Philip II., i, 369-370. f Ibid., p. 371. J Ibid., p. 369." 


Geneva for the purpose of receiving a higher education. The 
result was that the new doctrines were introduced exten 
sively into the country, at an early period of the sixteenth 

The emperor Charles V., himself a native of the Nether 
lands, then held the sovereignty. He was specially attached 
to his countrymen, who warmly reciprocated the feeling. He 
rightly viewed the Netherlands as the most choice portion of 
his vast domains, and he spared no pains to develop the 
industry, and to stimulate the commerce of his dear Flem 
ings. At this period of his career, particularly, he was a 
very worldly-minded prince, and he was generally prompted 
more by political than by religious motives. It was chiefly 
in the light of sound political policy, that he viewed the rise 
of the new doctrines among this people with distrust and un 
easiness ; and that he accordingly determined to adopt at 
once measures of severity, to check or prevent the further 
spread of the new opinions, which had already obtained a 
strong foothold in French Flanders, as well as in the more 
northern provinces. 

Valenciennes, the capital of Hainault, was a favorite re 
sort of the French Huguenots, whenever they desired to 
escape the difficulties in which their habitual turbulence 
involved them in their own country. "Thus the seeds of the 
Keformation, whether in the Lutheran or in the Calvinistic 
form, were scattered wide over the land, and took root in a 
congenial soil. The phlegmatic temperament of the northern 
provinces, particularly, disposed them to receive a religion 
which addressed itself so exclusively to the reason ; while 
they were less open to the influences of Catholicism, which, 
with its gorgeous accessories, appealing to the passions (!), is 
better suited to the lively sensibilities and kindling imagina 
tions of the South."* 

Charles V., dreading "this innovation no less in a temporal 

* Prescott, Philipp II., i, 374. 


than in a religious point of view." resolved to adopt a severe 
policy of repression. From March, 1520, to September, 1550, 
he issued edict after edict against the professors and preachers 
of the new gospel, until the whole number of such edicts 
reached eleven.* The frequent renewal of the edicts proved 
how very feebly they were executed, or rather that they 
were scarcely executed at all ; as Prescott himself freely ad- 
mits.f The odious name of inquisition was given by the 
indignant Flemings, both Protestant and Catholic, to the 
tribunal established by the emperor for the checking of the 
growing heresy ; though Prescott himself proves that it was 
totally different from the odious Spanish Inquisition, and 
that the severities to which it gave rise were very greatly ex 
aggerated. J The measures adopted were in themselves, in 
deed, arbitrary enough ; but not being enforced, they proved 
entirely ineffectual towards arresting the progress of the new 
opinions. During the last year of his reign, Charles V. con 
fessed with regret " the total failure of his endeavors to stay 
the progress of heresy in the Netherlands."^ His edicts were 
intended more to frighten, than really to coerce by actual 
punishment the propagators of the new gospel. 

At any rate, in spite of them, the Netherlands continued 
to flourish under the administration of Charles. "His edicts 
in the name of religion were, indeed, written in blood. But 

* Prescott, Ibid., i, p. 375 ; yet p. 381, he says that these edicts were re 
newed nine times. f Ibid., p. 381. 

| Ibid., p. 379-380. Some violent partisan historians have asserted, that 
no less than fifty thousand persons perished in the Netherlands for conscience 
sake under the reign of Charles V. ! " This monstrous statement," says our 
historian, "has been repeated by one historian after another, with apparently 
as little distrust as examination. It affords one among many examples of 
the facility with which men adopt the most startling results, when conveyed 
in the form of numerical estimates. There is something which strikes the 
imagination in a numerical estimate, which settles a question so summarily, 
in a form so precise and so portable. Yet whoever has had occasion to 
make researches into the past that land of uncertainty will agree that 
there is nothing less entitled to confidence." { Ibid., p. 383. 


the frequency of their repetition shows, as already remarked, 
the imperfect manner in which they were executed. This 
was still further proved by the prosperous condition of the 
people, the flourishing aspect of the various branches of in 
dustry, and the great enterprises to facilitate commercial in 
tercourse and foster the activity of the country. At the close 
of Charles reign, or rather at the commencement of his suc 
cessor s, in 1560, was completed the great canal extending 
from Antwerp to Brussels, the construction of which had con 
sumed thirty years, and one million eight hundred thousand 

On the accession of Philip II. , the Keformation had already 
made considerable progress in the Netherlands, while in more 
than a third of Europe it had boasted of having achieved 
triumphs which seemed to augur the coming downfall of the 
old Church. Prescott thus graphically describes the reli 
gious attitude of Europe at this period : 

" The middle of the sixteenth century presented one of those crises, which 
have occurred at long intervals in the history of Europe, when the course of 
events has had a permanent influence on the destiny of nations. Scarcely 
forty years had elapsed since Luther had thrown down the gauntlet to the 
Vatican, by publicly burning the Papal bull at Wittenberg. Since that 
time his doctrines had been received in Denmark and Sweden. In England, 
after a vacillation for three reigns, Protestantism, in the peculiar form which 
it still wears, was become the established religion of the state. The fiery 
crossf had gone over the hills and valleys of Scotland, and thousands and 
tens of thousands had gathered to hear the word of life from the lips of Knox. 
The doctrines of Luther were spread over the northern parts of Germany, 
and freedom of worship was finally guarantied there by the treaty of Passau. 
The Low Countries were the debatable land, on which the various sects of 
reformers, the Lutheran, the Calvinist, the English Protestant, contended 
for mastery with the established Church. Calvinism was embraced by some 
of the cantons of Switzerland, and at Geneva its apostle had fixed his head 
quarters. His doctrines were widely circulated through France, till the 

* Prescott, Philip II., i, p. 474-5. 

f As we have already seen, it was surely "fiery" enough, though it was 
scarcely the "cross," unless, perhaps, in the sense of the corresponding ad 
jective ! 


divided nation was prepared to plunge into that worst of all wars, in which 
the hand of brother is raised against brother. The cry of reform had passed 
even over the Alps, and was heard under the walls of the Vatican. It had 
crossed the Pyrenees. The king of Navarre declared himself a Protestant ; 
and the spirit of the Information had insinuated itself secretly into Spain, 
and had taken hold, as we have seen, of the middle and southern provinces 
of the kingdom."* 

Wheresoever the Reformation had penetrated, and had up 
lifted its "fiery cross," popular tumults and riots, resulting 
often in protracted civil wars, had everywhere marked its 
progress, and blood shed by brother armed against brother, 
in fratricidal strife, had everywhere stained the soil of Europe. 
Its career might have been traced by the dismantled or burning 
churches, the ruined monasteries, and the smoking libraries, 
which it usually left behind it, the dismal trophies of its 
victory over the old religion. It had unsettled society, and 
it threatened the change or destruction of existing dynasties. 
No government any longer rested on a secure foundation; 
what was strong to-day, might be tottering to its fall on to 
morrow. And the new political order which was to rise on 
the ruins of the old, how flattering soever to popular liberty 
were its promises, did not really result, at least in the 
vast majority of cases, in any greater extension of popular 

The political tendency was rather, on the contrary, in the 
opposite direction. To strengthen their party, the reformers 
almost everywhere threw themselves, body and soul, into the 
arms, or rather under the feet of the new kings and princes 
who had acquired riches by the spoliation of the old Church, 
and had obtained increased political consequence and power 
by the protection of the new gospelers. This protection 
generally consisted in that utter enslavement of religion, 
which so often results from the union of church and state, 
and which is almost always a necessary result whenever the 
spiritual as well as the temporal power is lodged in the same 

* Prescott, Ibid., i, p. 469, 470. 


hands.* This was invariably the case wherever the Kefor- 
mation triumphed in Europe !f As the learned Guizot 
himself a son of the Huguenots and a Calvinist, so far as he 
has any religious opinions tersely observes: "The emanci 
pation of the human mind (through the Eeformation !) and 
absolute monarchy triumphed at the same moment over 
Europe in general."J 

There can be but little doubt, for instance, that the assump 
tion of absolute power by Philip II. himself, was owing to 
the progress of the Reformation, and the apprehensions which 
its turbulence everywhere generated in the public mind. The 
Spanish cortes, so remarkable for their independent spirit 
and their resistance to tyranny in the good old Catholic times, 
would scarcely have so readily laid down their beloved and 
time-honored privileges or Fueros at the foot of his throne, 
had they not been led to believe that the arm of the executive 
should be strengthened, on account of the unsettled condition 
of Europe in the sixteenth century. They feared that unless 
strong measures of prevention against the entrance of the 
new doctrines were adopted in Spain, it would become, like 

* We know of but one exception to this remark ; and this is in the case 
of the mild sway which the Roman Pontiffs have held over their small 
territory for more than a thousand years. The chief fault of the papal 
government is, that it is generally too lenient and paternal. This is so well 
understood, that a mere handful of fiery revolutionists, stimulated by foreign 
influence, and encouraged by the hope of impunity or pardon, can there so 
easily succeed in stirring up civil commotions ; as the events of the last ten 
years strikingly prove. The lenity of the Pontiff is abused by the wicked. 

f It was the case in England, Ireland, Germany, as we think we have 
already sufficiently shown, and it was so afterwards in the Netherlands them 
selves, as we shall see. Nor can Switzerland and Scotland, where the new 
gospelers boasted most of their freedom, be pleaded as exceptions to the 
general rule. As we have already proved, the freedom which the Swiss 
and Scottish Protestants claimed, was that to persecute and crush out all 
religious opponents by the aid of the secular arm, to which they were them 
selves wholly subservient. 

| Lectures on Civilization, etc., lect. xiii, p. 300, American edition, in one 
volume 12mo. 


many other European countries, a prey to internal dissensions ; 
in the midst of which the monarchy, towards which they 
cherished feelings of filial reverence and veneration, might 
be weakened, if not destroyed. Accordingly, we find that 
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while other 
European governments declined in power, because distracted 
and divided by civil wars originating in religious dissensions, 
Spain, united under one strong government and professing 
but one religion, became the greatest power in the civilized 

It can scarcely be thought that so sagacious a prince as 
Philip II. was not fully aware of this obvious political tend 
ency of the Reformation; and it could hardly be expected 
that a sovereign so stern and despotic in his disposition would 
look with unconcern upon the inroads which the new gospelers 
were making into his wide-spread dominions. He was the 
most powerful monarch of his time, and, unlike his father, 
he was a Spaniard, with all the hereditary feelings of his 
race, both religious and political, strong in his bosom. 

" The Romish (!) faith may be said to have entered into the being of the 
Spaniard. It was not merely cherished as a form of religion, but as a prin 
ciple of honor. It was part of the national history. For eight centuries 
the Spaniard had been fighting at home the battles of the Church. Nearly 
every inch of soil in his own country was won by arms from the infidel. 
His wars, as I have often had occasion to remark, were all wars of religion. 
He carried the same spirit across the waters. There he was still fighting 
the infidel. His life was one long crusade. How could this champion of 
the Church (Philip II.) desert her in her utmost need?"* 

Kegardless of the lesson taught him by the utter failure of 
his father to repress by strong measures the growth of the 
new doctrines in the Netherlands, Philip II. decided at once 
to become the determined and uncompromising opponent of 
the Reformation, and even to stake his crown on the result. 
He came to this resolution, as much at least from political as 
from religious motives ; the two sets of motives seem, in fact, 

* Prescott, Philip II.. i, 472. 
VOL. ii. 27 


to have been blended into one in his mind. Accordingly, he 
revived the edicts of his father for the suppression and pun 
ishment of heresy, and for the re-establishment of the inqui 
sition ; and he ordered that henceforth those laws, which had 
been so long inoperative, should be strictly executed.* When 
his Flemish subjects subsequently rose up in arms in conse 
quence of this severity, he, w r hile consenting that the inquisi 
tion should be abolished in the Netherlands, and that their 
other chief grievances should be redressed, disclosed his stern 
sentiments as follows according to our historian: "He de 
precated force, as that would involve the ruin of the country. 
Still, (if after his concessions they would not submit) he 
would march in person, without regard to his own peril, and 
employ force, though it should cost the ruin of the provinces, 
but he would bring his vassals to submission. For he would 
sooner lose a hundred lives, and every rood of empire, than 
reign a lord over heretics." f 

Again, when the emperor Maximilian ventured to expostu 
late with him on the horrid cruelties perpetrated in the 
Netherlands by his lieutenant, the stern duke of Alva, he 
furnished the probable key to his entire policy in the reply 
he made to his imperial relative : " What I have done has 
been for the repose of the provinces, and for the defense of 
the Catholic faith. If I had respected justice less, I should 
have dispatched the whole business in a single day. No one 
acquainted with the state of affairs will find reason to censure 

* Prescott tells us that he revived the Edicts as nearly as possible in the 
language of his father, and that the inquisition which he re-established was 
that tribunal which Charles had established, not the dreaded Spanish Inqui 
sition, the terrible phantom of which so long haunted the minds and imagi 
nations of the Netherlander : " Notwithstanding the name of "inquisitors," 
the new establishment bore faint resemblance to the dread tribunal of the 
Spanish Inquisition with which it has been often confounded." Vol. i, p. 377. 

f Prescott, Philip II., vol. ii, p. 49. Prescott labors to prove, that Philip 
was not sincere in making these concessions, but only granted them as a 
temporary expedient. 


my severity. Nor would I do otherwise than I have done, 
though I should risk the sovereignty of the Netherlands no, 
though the world should fall in ruins around me !"* 

We certainly have no mission to defend the stern policy of 
Philip II., much less the barbarous atrocities of Alva. But 
it would not be fair or just, to hold the Church responsible 
for the harsh despotism or cruel measures of Catholic sover 
eigns, even though these should set themselves up as her 
chosen champions, and should proffer their aid for the extir 
pation of heresy. Philip II., though a strong Catholic, and 
though he occasionally consulted with the Pontiffs, neverthe 
less seems to have followed the advice of the latter, only when 
it tallied with his own humor, or forwarded his own interests. 
His political ambition often carried it over his religious ortho 
doxy. He was an obedient child of the Church, only, or 
chiefly, when obedience comported with his inclinations, or 
seemed likely to promote his stern and despotic policy. His 
very first war was declared and waged with fierceness against 
the Pope.f In this, he seems to have inherited the spirit of 

* Prescott, Philip II., vol. ii, p. 235. There was a touch of the sublime in 
this stern attitude. Prescott gives us, as usual, the original Spanish of 
the dispatch, which he remarks is almost a literal version from Horace s 
"justum et tenacem :" 

" Si fractus illabatur orbis : 

Impavidum ferient ruinae." 

f See a full account of it in Prcscott s first volume. He thinks that the 
Pontiff was the aggressor, and that the war was forced on Philip. The 
facts and authorities, however, which he alleges, scarcely prove this. Speak 
ing of Philip, he says : "From his position, Philip stood at the head of the 
Eoman Catholic princes. He was in temporal matters what the Pope was 
in spiritual. In the existing state of Christendom, he had the same interest 
as the Pope in putting down that spirit of religious reform which had begun 
to show itself, in public or in private, in every corner of Europe. He was 
the natural ally of the Pope. He understood this well, and would have 
acted on it. Yet, strange to say, his very first war, after his accession, was 
with the Pope himself. It was a war not of Philip s seeking." Vol. i, p. 146. 

Now, it appears from the facts, even as alleged by Prescott himself, that 
Pope Paul IV. formerly Caraffa, not a Venitian, as Mackintosh mistakes 


his father, who had not only gone to war with the Pope, but 
had sent a body of fierce Lutherans under the command of 
the reckless Constable De Bourbon, to storm Rome, to des 
poil and sack it worse than it had ever been sacked by Goth 
or Vandal, and to scatter its religious and classic glories to 
the winds. Nay more, he had seized on the venerable person 
of the Pontiff himself, and held him a close prisoner, until he 
was compelled by political motives to release him ! 

Still less is the Church fairly responsible for the alleged 
horrors of the Spanish Inquisition under Philip II. in Spain, 

(in his History of England), but a Neapolitan really wished to have the 
Spaniards driven from Naples, and entered into an alliance with France for 
this purpose ; but that Alva, Philip s lieutenant in Naples, actually began 
hostilities. Ibid., p. 166. The desire of the Pontiff to have the Spaniards 
driven out of Italy, where they clearly had little or rather no right to hold 
sway, was natural enough. Foreigners to the Italian soil, whether Spaniards, 
French, or Austrians, have always been the bane of Italy ; and the Pontiffs, 
as the oldest and most influential of the ItaHan princes, were naturally op 
posed to all this foreign domination ; and they had struggled against it for 
centuries. Paul IV., though a very austere and holy man, as Prescott does 
not deny, was still an Italian prince, of the fiery Neapolitan temperament 
somewhat Vesuvian; and it is barely possible, that he may have spoken 
words to indicate a strong wish not " sworn " as Prescott says " to drive 
the barbarians from Italy." Alva s manifesto, before beginning the war, was 
a piece of dignified bravado and sham ; and his procedure after capturing the 
Papal towns putting up a scutcheon " with a placard announcing that he 
held it only for the college (of cardinals), until the election of a new Pon 
tiff" was evidently a political manoeuver for "exciting feelings of distrust be 
tween the Pope and the cardinals." (See Ibid., p. 168.) Philip had previously 
threatened to have a general council convened, in order to have the Pontiff 
deposed, and a new one, more pliant to his stern policy, elected. All honor, 
say we, as Americans, to the aged, yet "fiery," but certainly patriotic Caraffa, 
(he was over eighty), for seeking to drive the "barbarians " out of Italy ; whether 
these were Spaniards, French, or Germans ! All honor to him, especially, 
for daring openly to brave the mighty Philip II., the most powerful sover 
eign of Europe. The warfare, as it was conducted, was almost all on one 
side. Alva s veterans overran the Papal territory with little or very slight 
opposition. It was the war of a giant with a feeble old man, whose soul 
was, however, much greater than that of his adversary. 


or for the stern purpose which was attributed to him, of in 
troducing this dread tribunal into the Netherlands.* How 
little the imperious monarch really cared for the opposition 
of the Pope, or even for that of the whole Catholic Church, 
was rendered quite apparent to the world in the memorable 
case of Caranza, archbishop of Toledo and primate of Spain. 
On the 22d of August, 1559, this venerable man was dragged 
from his bed, at the hour of midnight, by the emissaries of 
the Inquisition, who conducted him to the prisons of the ter 
rible tribunal at Yalladolid. There he was kept in close con 
finement for two years, under the suspicion of heresy. At 
first, he was afraid to appeal to the Pope, with whom Philip 
had been so lately at war ; and this apprehension continued 
even after he had learned the news of the death of Paul IV., 
Philip s late antagonist.! So little safety was there in Spain, 
at this particular epoch, even for the highest dignitaries of 
the Church, and even for men who, like Caranza, had before 
stood highest in the royal confidence, if the mere imputa 
tion of heresy happened to be fastened on them by the officials 
of the Inquisition ! Says Prescott : 

" At length the Council of Trent (then in session) sharing in the indigna 
tion of the rest of Christendom, called on Philip to interfere in his behalf, 
and to remove the cause to another tribunal. But the king gave little heed 
to the remonstrance, which the inquisitors treated as a presumptuous inter 
ference (!) with their authority."! 

* Philip, during the early part of his reign in 1561 after having first 
sought and obtained the sanction of the Pontiff, carried out his measure "in 
itself a good one, and demanded by the situation of the country " of ad 
ding thirteen new bishoprics to the four previously existing in the Nether 
lands. The change was, however, regarded with suspicion, "as part of a 
great scheme for introducing the Spanish Inquisition into the Netherlands." 
" However erroneous these conclusions," Prescott continues, " there is little 
reason to doubt they were encouraged by those who knew their fallacy." 
Vol. i, p. 4S)6-7. There were politicians, it would seem, in those days 
very similar to our own. 

f This Pontiff died on the 18th of August, 1559, four days before the 
arrest of Caranza. { Prescott, Philip II., vol. i, p. 441. 


And it was only after a rigid confinement of seven years, 
and after Pope St. Pius V. himself a Dominican like Ca- 
ranza bad " menaced both king and inquisitor with excom 
munication," that the prisoner was at length released and sent 
under a guard to Rome 1* 

Though an obedient son of the Church, when it suited hia 
purpose, Philip made no scruple of warring with the Pope, 
even in matters which seemed clearly to belong to the sphere 
of the papal prerogative. In Spain, as well as in his Italian 
dominions,! he claimed and exercised the right of nominating 
to the vacant bishoprics and benefices in spite of the papal 
protest. He evidently wished to keep the bishops and clergy 
wholly subservient to himself; and thus, without encroaching 
precisely on the domain of faith or denying the Primacy of 
the Holy See, to rule supreme both in Church and State. 

" There was no more effectual way to secure his favor, than to show a 
steady resistance to the usurpations (!) of Home. It was owing, in part at 
least, to the refusal of Quiroga, the bishop of Cuenca, to publish a papal 
bull without the royal assent, that he was raised to the highest dignity in 
the kingdom, as archbishop of Toledo. Philip chose to have a suitable 
acknowledgment from the person on whom he bestowed a favor ; and once 
when an ecclesiastic, whom he had made a bishop, went to take possession 
of his see without first expressing his gratitude, the king sent for him back, 
to remind him of his duty. Such an acknowledgment was in the nature 
of an homage rendered to his master on his preferment. Thus gratitude 
for the past and hopes for the future were the strong ties which bound 
every prelate to his sovereign. In a difference with the Koman See, the 
Castilian churchman was sure to be found on the side of his sovereign, 
rather than on that of the Pontiff. In his own troubles, in like manner, it 
was to the king, and not to the Pope, that he was to turn for relief. The 
king, on the other hand, when pressed by those embarrassments with which 

* Philip yielded with great reluctance ; while the grand inquisitor Val- 
dez, " loth to lose his prey, would have defied the power of Rome, as he 
had done that of the Council of Trent." Prescott, Philip II., vol. i, p. 442. 

f He held the duchy of Milan in the north, as well as the kingdom of 
Naples and Sicily in the south. His claim to nominate to vacant benefices 
in his Italian possessions was strongly but vainly resisted by Pope St. Pius V., 
who seems to have yielded only for fear of greater evils. Ibid., vol. iii, 
page 445. 


he was too often surrounded, looked for aid to the clergy, who for the most 
part rendered it cheerfully and in liberal measure. Nowhere were the 
clergy so heavily burdened as in Spain. It was computed that at least one- 
third of their revenues was given to the king. Thus completely were the 
different orders, both spiritual and temporal, throughout the monarchy, 
under the control of the sovereign."* 

This is another remarkable instance of a great truth, which 
strikes us in all modern history ; that royal encroachment on 
the liberty of the Church is usually accompanied with or fol 
lowed by the weakening, if not the destruction of political 
freedom, which generally marches hand in hand with its 
twin-sister, religious liberty. The most despotic monarchs of 
Europe were those precisely, who resisted most persistently 
and successfully the authority of the Popes and of the Church. 
Philip II. was a man of far more steady morals and of much 
better principles than Henry VIIL, but if he was not so 
ruthless a tyrant as his English brother, it was mainly be 
cause he did not so fully enslave the Church of God, and 
because he still retained, along with the belief in the Primacy 
of the Pope, some wholesome apprehension of the dread 
thunders of the Yatican.f 

And yet this is the man, who is constantly held up to our 
view by a certain class of modern popular historians, as the 
fittest representative of the Catholic principle, and as the 
Church s chosen champion in the sixteenth century! And 
the Church which he enslaved, and the Popes with whom he 

* Prescott, Philip II., vol. iii, pp. 446-7. In thus usurping the right to 
control the nominations to Church dignities, Philip did but follow the example 
set him by his father, Charles V., of whom Prescott writes: "Thus in 
time the sovereign claimed the right of nominating all the higher clergy." 
Ibid., vol. i, page 365. 

f We do not wish to bs understood, as here instituting a comparison 
between these two sovereigns in any thing else except in their absolutism. 
Both as a man and a sovereign, and particularly in his moral character, 
Philip was a saint when compared with the English monster ; viewing the 
former even in the unfavorable light in which our great American historian 
presents him. 


warred, are still to be held responsible for his despotic, if not 
cruel administration ! This is historic justice, after the modern 
Protestant type ! 

We confess that we have never entertained any partiality 
for the political character of Philip II.* We loathe despotism 
wherever we find it, whether the despot be Catholic or Prot 
estant. And in the long contest between the Netherlands 
and the Spanish monarch, our sympathies have always been 
enlisted in favor of the former. Philip had succeeded in 
destroying all political liberty in Spain ; he signally failed 
in the attempt to destroy it in the Netherlands. The sturdy 
and prosperous burghers, who inhabited the wealthy provinces 
composing this portion of his dominions, could illy brook the 
violation of those ancient liberties, which had come down to 
them unimpaired from the good old Catholic middle ages ; a 
period when people were fortunately not yet sufficiently 
enlightened, to relish the more modern luxury of absolute 
monarchies upheld by vast standing armies! 

Each province of the Netherlands had its own special 
franchises and its own local deliberative assemblies; while 

* With all his despotism, Philip had some great and noble qualities. 
He was grand in his views, sober in victory, and imperturbable in misfor 
tune. When intelligence of the miscarriage and almost total loss of the 
Invincible Armada reached him, he changed not a muscle nor twitched a 
nerve, but calmly thanked God that he was able with his resources to equip 
another ! He seems to have generally acted, with stern tenacity, on what 
he believed to be principle. As the consort of Mary of England, he appears 
to have complied faithfully with the stipulations of the treaty drawn up by 
Gardiner for securing English independence. Throughout his life, in fact, 
he seems to have been habitually governed by conscience. As monarchs 
went, in his days, he was probably more than ordinarily moral and religious 
in his conduct and deportment. The most poignant grief of his heart was 
no doubt the imbecility or raging insanity of his son and presumptive heir, 
Don Carlos ; but there is no satisfactory evidence that he had any, at least 
direct agency in the early death of Carlos. He was naturally reserved and 
stern, but it docs not appear that he was wantonly cruel. His enemies 
generally exaggerated or fabricated his faults, and concealed his virtues ; 
thus deepening the shades and striking out the lights of his portrait. 


the whole confederation was controlled by a general congress, 
called that of the States General. Centralization of power, 
with merely nominal and down-trodden parliaments, were 
hitherto happily almost unknown to them. Throughout the 
reign of their beloved Charles V., they had struggled steadily 
for, and had substantially maintained their original rights. 
The contest waxed fiercer still under his successor, Philip II.; 
until it finally broke out into actual rebellion, and resulted, 
after many vicissitudes, in a part of the provinces throwing 
off entirely the Spanish yoke, and securing their independence 
from all foreign control. And but for the truculent fanaticism 
of the Protestant party, the whole of the country would have 
become independent of Spain. This we shall show in the sequel. 
During the earlier period of this memorable struggle the 
Catholics took as active a part against Philip, as did the 
Protestants. The Catholic nobles stood shoulder to shoulder 
in the contest with those who were suspected to be favorable 
to the new opinions, or were open advocates of them; and 
the former heartily joined with the latter in protesting against 
the execution of the renewed edicts against the new religion 
ists, as well as against the re-establishment of the Flemish 
inquisition. In the general objects of the successive popular 
movements, designated respectively as the Compromise and 
the Confederacy, they heartily sympathized with their non- 
Catholic brethren ; though they did not go to the extremes 
into which Brederode and the more radical leaders of the 
movement were precipitated, nor did they choose to join 
in the maddening popular shout of this faction "YIVENT 

* " Long live the beggars ! " Prescott gives us nn interesting account 
of the origin of this celebrated party-cry (vol. ii, p. 12, soqq.). It arose from 
the circumstance, that when Margaret of Parma, the regent of the Nether 
lands, expressed her apprehensions at the meeting of the Confederates, Bar- 
laimont, her prime minister, re-assured her, and declared that no danger was 
to be apprehended, as "they w r ere nothing but le.yyars." This remark \vas 
overheard, and hence what was meant as a reproach was taken up by the 
leaders as a stirring motto for rallying the multitude. 


If their patriotic feelings in favor of what they considered 
the national cause were subsequently greatly cooled down, it 
was owing to the horrible excesses in which the radical section 
of the Protestant party indulged; even after the excellent 
and able regent Margaret of Parma had already favorably 
received the petition for redress of grievances which the 
Confederates had presented, and after she had promised to 
use her influence with her royal brother to have all their 
reasonable demands granted.* Whether there was hope or 
not, that Philip would finally acquiesce in the earnestly ex 
pressed wishes of the regent, they should surely have had a 
little patience and awaited his decision. But they did not 
choose to wait. They temporarily injured their own cause 
by precipitating matters, and by a course of disgraceful vio 
lence, the particulars of which we shall be pardoned for 
borrowing, at some length, from our American .historian, who 
furnishes the details with his usual graphic elegance. f It 
will be seen that he tells the whole story of the rise and 
early progress of the Reformation in the Netherlands, with 
its various agencies, its violence, and its popular tumults : 

"While Philip was thus tardily coming to concessions, which even th in 
were not sincere,! an important crisis had arrived in the affairs of the Neth 
erlands. In the earlier stages of the troubles, all orders, the nobles, the com 
mons, even the regent, had united in the desire to obtain the removal of 
certain abuses, especially the inquisition and edicts. But this movement, in 
which the Catholic joined with the Protestant, had far less reference to the 
interests of religion than to the personal rights of the individual. Under 
the protection thus afforded, however, the Keformation struck deep root in 
the soil. It flourished still more under the favor shown to it by the confed 
erates, who, as we have seen, did not scruple to guaranty security of religious 
worship to some of the sectaries who demanded it. 

" But the element which contributed most to the success of the new re 
ligion was the public preachings. These in the Netherlands were what the 
Jacobin clubs were in France, or the secret societies in Germany and Italy, 

* By a curious mistake, Alzog in his Church History calls Margaret the 
sister of Charles V. (p. 585, sup. cit.) She was his natural daughter by a 
noble Flemish mother, and was therefore the half-sister of Philip II. 

f Prescott, Philip II., vol. ii, p. 52, seqq. J So he thinks. 


an obvious means for bringing together such as were pledged to a common 
hostility to existing institutions, and thus affording them an opportunity for 
consulting on their grievances, and for concerting the best means of redress. 
The direct object of these meetings, it is true, was to listen to the teachings 
of the minister. But that functionary, far from confining himself to spiritual 
exercises, usually wandered to more exciting themes, as the corruptions of 
the Church and the condition of the land. He rarely failed to descant on 
the forlorn circumstances of himself and his flock, condemned thus stealthily 
to herd together like a band of outlaws, with ropes, as it were, about their 
necks, and to seek out some solitary spot in which to glorify the Lord, while 
their enemies, in all the pride of a dominant religion, could offer up their 
devotions openly and without fear, in magnificent temples. 

" The preacher inveighed bitterly against the richly beneficed clergy of the 
rival Church, whose lives of pampered ease too often furnished an indifferent 
commentary on the doctrines they inculcated. His wrath was kindled by 
the pompous ceremonial of the Church of Home, so dazzling and attractive 
to its votaries, but which the reformer sourly contrasted with the naked sim 
plicity of the Protestant services. Of all abominations, however, the greatest 
in his eyes was the worship (!) of images, which he compared to the idolatry 
that in ancient times had so often brought down the vengeance of Jehovah 
on the nations of Palestine ; and he called on his hearers, not merely to re 
move idolatry from their hearts, but the idols from their sight. It was not 
wonderful that, thus stimulated by their spiritual leaders, the people should 
be prepared for scenes similar to those enacted by the reformers in France 
and Scotland ; or that Margaret, aware of the popular feeling, should have 
predicted such an outbreak. At length it came, and on a scale and with 
a degree of violence not surpassed either by the Huguenots or the disciples 
of Knox. 

" On the fourteenth of August, the day before the festival of the Assump 
tion of the Virgin, a mob some three hundred in number, armed with clubs, 
axes, and other implements of destruction, broke into the churches around 
St. Omer, in the province of Flanders, overturned the images, defaced the 
ornaments, and in a short time demolished whatever had any value or 
beauty in the buildings. Growing bolder from the impunity which attended 
their movements, they next proceeded to Ypres, and had the audacity to 
break into the cathedral, and deal with it in the same ruthless manner. 
Strengthened by the accession of other miscreants from the various towns, 
they proceeded along the banks of the Lys, and fell upon the churches of 
Menin, Comines, and other places on its borders. The excitement now 
spread over the country. Everywhere the populace was in arms. Churches, 
chapels, and convents were involved in indiscriminate ruin. The storm, after 
sweeping over Flanders, and desolating the flourishing cities of Valenciennes 


and Tournay, descended on Brabant. Antwerp, the great commercial capi~ 
tal of the country, was its first mark. 

" The usual population of the town happened to be swelled at this time by 
the influx of strangers from the neighboring country, who had come up to 
celebrate the great festival of the Assumption of the Virgin. Fortunately, 
the Prince of Orange was in the place, and by his presence prevented any 
molestation to the procession, except what arose from the occasional groans 
and hisses of the more zealous spectators among the Protestants. The 
priests, however, on their return, had the discretion to deposit the image in 
the chapel, instead of the conspicuous station usually assigned to it in the 
cathedral, to receive there during the coming week the adoration (!) of the 

" On the following day, unluckily, the prince was recalled to Brussels. In 
the evening some boys, who had found their way into the church, called out 
to the Virgin, demanding why little Mary had gone so early to her nest, 
and whether she were afraid to show her face in public (!!). This was fol 
lowed by one of the party mounting into the pulpit, and there mimicking 
the tones and gestures of the Catholic preacher. An honest waterman who 
was present, a zealous son of the Church, scandalized by this insult to his 
religion, sprang into the pulpit, and endeavored to dislodge the usurper. 
The lad resisted. His comrades came to his rescue : and a struggle ensued, 
which ended in both parties being expelled from the building by the officers. 
This scandalous proceeding, it may be thought, should have put the magis 
trates of the city on their guard, and warned them to take some measures 
of defense for the cathedral. But the admonition was not heeded. 

"On the following day, a considerable number of the reformed party 
entered the building, and were allowed to continue there after vespers, when 
the rest of the congregation had withdrawn. Left in possession, their first 
act was to break forth into one of tjhe Psalms of David. The sound of their 
own voices seemed to rouse them to fury. Before the chant had died away, 
they rushed forward, as by a common impulse, broke open the doors of the 
chapel, and dragged forth the image of the Virgin. Some called on her to 
cry Vivent Us Oueux ! while others tore off her embroidered robes, and 
rolled the dumb idol in the dust, amidst the shouts of the spectators. 

" This was the signal for havoc. The rioters dispersed in all directions 
on the work of destruction. Nothing escaped their rage. High above the 
great altar was an image of the Saviour, curiously carved in wood, and 
placed between the effigies of the two thieves crucified with him. The mob 
contrived to get a rope round the neck of the statue of Christ, and dragged 
it to the ground. They then fell upon it with hatchets and hammers, 
and it was soon broken into a hundred fragments. The two thieves, it 
was remarked, were spared, as if to preside over the work of rapine 


below I (An admirable satire, this, on the destructive zeal of these new 
gospelers !) 

" Their fury now turned against the other statues, which were quickly 
overthrown from their pedestals. The paintings that lined the walls of the 
cathedral were cut into shreds. Many of these were the choicest specimens 
of Flemish art, even then, in its dawn, giving promise of the glorious day, 
which was to shed a luster over the land. 

" But the pride of the cathedral, and of Antwerp, was the great organ, 
renowned throughout the Netherlands, not more for its dimensions than its 
perfect workmanship. With their ladders the rioters scaled the lofty fabric, 
and with their implements soon converted it, like all else they laid their 
hands on, into a heap of rubbish. 

"The ruin was now universal. Nothing beautiful, nothing holy, was 
spared. The altars and there were no less than seventy in the vast edi 
fice W ere overthrown one after another ; their richly-embroidered coverings 
rudely rent away ; their gold and silver vessels appropriated by the plunder 
ers. The sacramental bread was trodden under foot ; the wine was quaffed 
by the miscreants, in golden chalices, to the health of one another, or of the 
Grueux ; and the holy oil was profanely used to anoint their shoes and san 
dals. The sculptured tracery on the walls, the costly offerings that enriched 
the shrines, the screens of gilded bronze, the delicately carved wood-work 
of the pulpit, the marble and alabaster ornaments, all went down under the 
fierce blows of the Iconoclasts. The pavement was strewed with the ruined 
splendors of a church, which in size and magnificence was perhaps second 
only to St. Peter s among the churches of Christendom. 

" As the light of day faded, the assailants supplied its place with such 
light as they could obtain from the candles which they snatched from the 
altars. It was midnight before the work of destruction was completed. 
Thus toiling in darkness, feebly dispelled by tapers, the rays of which could 
scarcely penetrate the vaulted distances of the cathedral, it is a curious 
circumstance if true that no one was injured by the heavy masses of tim 
ber, stone, and metal that were everywhere falling around them. The whole 
number engaged in this work is said not to have exceeded a hundred men, 
women, and boys women of the lowest description, dressed in men s attire. 

"When their task was completed, they sallied forth in a body from the 
doors of the cathedral, some singing the Psalms of David, others roaring 
out the fanatical war-cry of ViVENT LES GUEUX ! Flushed with success 
and joined on the way by stragglers like themselves, they burst open the 
doors of one church after another ; and by the time morning broke, the 
principal temples in the city had been dealt with in the same ruthless man 
ner as the cathedral. 

" No attempt all this time was made to stop these proceedings, on the 


part of magistrates or citizens. As they beheld from their windows the 
bodies of armed men hurrying to and fro by the gleam of their torches, and 
listened to the sounds of violence in the distance, they seem to have been 
struck with a panic. The Catholics remained within doors, fearing a general 
rising of the Protestants. The Protestants feared to move abroad, lest they 1 
should be confounded with the rioters. Some imagined their own turn 
might come next, and appeared in arms at the entrance of their houses, 
prepared to defend them against the enemy. 

" When gorged with the plunder of the city, the insurgents poured out at 
the gates, and fell with the same violence on the churches, convents, and 
other religious edifices in the suburbs. For three days these dismal scenes 
continued, without resistance on the part of the inhabitants. Amidst the 
ruin in the cathedral, the mob had alone spared the royal arms and the 
escutcheons of the Knights of the Golden Fleece, emblazoned on the walls. 
Calling this to mind, they now returned into the city to complete the work. 
But some of the knights, who were at Antwerp, collected a handful of their 
followers, and, with a few of the citizens, forced their way into the cathe 
dral, arrested ten or twelve of the rioters, and easily dispersed the remainder ; 
while a gallows erected on an eminence admonished the offenders of the 
fate that awaited them. The facility with which the disorders were repressed 
by a few resolute men naturally suggests the inference, that many of the 
citizens had too much sympathy with the authors of the outrages to care to 
check them, still less to bring the culprits to punishment. An orthodox 
chronicler of the time vents his indignation against a people who were so 
much more ready to stand by their hearths than by their altars. 

11 The fate of Antwerp had its effect on the country. The flames of 
fanaticism, burning fiercer than ever, quickly spread over the northern, as 
they had done over the western provinces. In Holland, Utrecht, Friesland, 
everywhere, in short, with a few exceptions on the southern borders, 
mobs rose against the churches. In some places, as Rotterdam, Dort, Haar 
lem, the magistrates were wary enough to avert the storm by delivering up 
the images, or at least by removing them from the buildings. It was rare 
that any attempt was made at resistance. Yet on one or two occasions this 
so far succeeded that a handful of troops sufficed to rout the Iconoclasts. 
At Auchyn, four hundred of the rabble were left dead on the field. But thp 
soldiers had no relish for their duty, and on other occasions, when called on 
to perform it, refused to bear arms against their countrymen. The leaven 
of heresy was too widely spread among the people. 

" Thus the work of plunder and devastation went on vigorously through 
out the land. Cathedral and chapel, monastery and nunnery, religious 
houses of every description, even hospitals, were delivered up to the tender 
mercies of the reformers. The monks fled, leaving behind them treasures 


of manuscripts and well-stored cellars, which latter the invaders soon 
emptied of their contents, while they consigned the former to the flames. 
The terrified nuns, escaping half naked, at dead of night, from, their con 
vents, were too happy to find a retreat among their friends and kinsmen in 
the city. Neither monk nor nun ventured to go abroad in the conventual 
garb. Priests might sometimes be seen hurrying away with some relic or 
sacred treasure under their robes, which they were eager to save from the 
spoilers. In the general sack not even the abode of the dead was respected ; 
and the sepulchres of the counts of Flanders were violated, and laid open to 
the public gaze. 

" The deeds of violence perpetrated by the Iconoclasts were accompanied 
by such indignities as might express their contempt for the ancient faith. 
They snatched the wafer, says an eye-witness, from the altar, and put it 
into the mouth of a parrot. Some huddled the images of the saints to 
gether, and set them on fire, or covered them with bits of armor, and, 
shouting Vivent les Gueux, tilted rudely against them. Some put on the 
vestments stolen from the churches, and ran about the streets with them in 
mockery. Some basted the books with butter, that they might burn the 
more briskly. By the scholar, this last enormity will not be held light 
among their transgressions. It answered their purpose, to judge by the 
number of volumes that were consumed. Among the rest, the great library 
of Vicogne, one of the noblest collections in the Netherlands, perished in 
the flames kindled by these fanatics. 

"The amount of injury inflicted during this dismal period it is not possible 
to estimate. Four hundred churches were sacked by the insurgents in 
Flanders alone. The damage to the Cathedral of Antwerp, including its 
precious contents, was said to amount to not less than four hundred thou 
sand ducats. The loss occasioned by the plunder of gold and silver plate 
might be computed. The structures so cruelly defaced might be repaired 
by the skill of the architect. But who can estimate the irreparable loss 
occasioned by the destruction of manuscripts, statuary, and paintings ? It 
is a melancholy fact, that the earliest efforts of the reformers were every 
where directed against those monuments of genius, which had been created 
and cherished by the generous patronage of Catholicism. But if the first 
step of the Reformation was on the ruins of art, it can not be denied that a 
compensation has been found in the good which it has done by breaking the 
fetters of the intellect, and opening a free range in those domains of science 
to which all access had been hitherto denied (!). 

" The wide extent of the devastation was not more remarkable than the 
time in which it was accomplished. The whole work occupied less than a 
fortnight. It seemed as if the destroying angel had passed over the land, 
and at a blow had consigned its noblest edifices to ruin ! The method and 


discipline, if I may so say, in the movements of the Iconoclasts, were as 
extraordinary as their celerity. They would seem to have been directed 
by some other hands than those which meet the eye. The quantity of 
gold and silver plate purloined from the churches and convents was immense. 
Though doubtless sometimes appropriated by individuals, it seems not 
unfrequently to have been gathered in a heap, and delivered to the minister, 
who, either of himself, or by direction of the consistory, caused it to be 
melted down, and distributed among the most needy of the sectaries. We 
may sympathize with the indignation of a Catholic writer of the time, who 
exclaims, that in this way the poor churchmen were made to pay for the 
scourges with which they had been beaten." 

This account of the sacrilegious enormities perpetrated by 
the first champions of the Reformation in the Netherlands is 
so very graphic and complete, that we could not consent to 
its abridgment. The immediate and natural result of all this 
sacrilegious violence was, to alienate the Catholic nobles from 
the Confederation, to cool down the zeal of William of Orange 
himself, as well as that of his associate Protestant princes, 
and to produce a general reaction in favor of the regent, and 
even of Philip, whose tardy concessions had been thus cruelly 
requited. While horrible sacrilege was thus running riot 
throughout the Netherlands under the mask of religion, and 
while all social and civil order was thus openly threatened 
with destruction by an anarchy growing out of the fiercest 
religious fanaticism, it was obviously no suitable time to dis 
cuss the nice questions of civil and religious rights. The 
nobles, both Catholic and Protestant, rallied at once to the 
standard of the regent ; and not only were the religious tu 
mults stopped, and the leading rioters arrested and punished, 
but a formidable insurrection which soon afterwards broke out 
was successfully quelled. 

The arm of the executive was thus strengthened by the 
fanatical excesses committed under the alleged auspices of 
Margaret s opponents ; the edicts were renewed ; and the 
favorable solution of the great political difficulty in the Neth 
erlands seemed now further off than ever. People could now 
see, at a glance, what was the real aim of the new gospelers, 


and what was the real meaning they attached to the magic 
cry "VrvENT LES GUEUX!" and to that religious freedom 
concerning which they declaimed with so much impassioned 
eloquence. The "beggars" wished to ruin every thing that 
had been previously held dear, both in Church and State ; and 
the religious freedom so loudly claimed consisted, in reality, 
in the liberty to insult the religion, demolish the churches, 
and trample down the sacred rights of better men than them 
selves ! It was precisely the same species of liberty, which 
John Knox claimed in Scotland, and the Huguenots in 

On the stern mind of Philip the intelligence of these hor 
rible excesses produced an impression, which may be readily 
imagined. He had tried tardily indeed, and insincerely if 
you will the way of concession, and he now saw to what 
concessions were likely to lead. Pie did not work himself 
into a passion he never did* but he quietly, yet sternly 
resolved to act. His whole action may be stated in one short 
but terrible word ALVA! Margaret of Parma was super 
seded in the regency, and Alva appointed, with a strong vet 
eran force to sustain him in the government. And if any 
thing can excuse or palliate the horrible atrocities committed 
by this man, it would be the still more horrible atrocities 
which had been previously perpetrated by those whom he 
came to put down and to punish with the strong arm. And 
it is this view of the case as one of retributive justice which 
Philip no doubt took, when he replied to the expostulations 
of the emperor Maximilian in the decided language which we 
have already quoted. 

But there was one atrocity committed by Alva, and fully 
sanctioned, if not expressly commanded by Philip, which no 
consideration can ever excuse or even palliate in the slightest 

* Prescott is inclined to discredit the statement, that when the news 
reached him, he exclaimed : " It shall cost them dear ; by the soul of my 
father I swear it, it shall cost them dear ! " Ibid., vol. ii, p. 80. 
VOL. ii. 29 


degree ; and which, at the same time, goes further, perhaps, 
towards explaining the real nature and the true motives of 
Philip s stern policy, than any thing else in the entire history 
of this memorable struggle in the Netherlands. We refer to 
the judicial murder of the brilliant, the noble, the chivalric 
Catholic Count Egmont, and of the two noble Catholic broth 
ers of the honored family of Montmorency, Counts Hoorne 
and Montigny. The two former, the very first Catholic 
nobles of the Netherlands, were executed at Brussels under 
Alva ; while Montigny, who had been sent by Margaret on 
an important embassy to Spain, was there detained for sev 
eral years by Philip, and was finally secretly executed by or 
der of the implacable monarch, on his hearing of the outbreak 
of the religious fanatics.* 

It is a remarkable fact, that the only nobles of the Nether 
lands who were executed at this time of fearful reaction in 
popular feeling, and of still more fearful retribution on the 
part of the government, should have been zealous and devoted 
Catholics. William of Orange and his brother Louis would 
probably have shared the same fate, had they coveted the 
crown of political martyrdom. But William wisely judged, 
that vulgar discretion was far better, at least safer, than heroic 
but unprofitable valor. Accordingly, the " Silent One," to 
gether with his brother, fled at the first apprehension of dan 
ger, thus leaving his noble Catholic associates to bear the 
brunt of the king s indignation, and that of his lieutenant who 
was approaching. This was prudent, it was certainly not 
very generous or even creditable conduct. The modern 
Protestant historian of Germany Wolfgang Menzel tells 
us the incident of the flight of Orange in the following words : 

"He vainly warned his friends of the danger they incurred. The Counts 
Egmont and Hoorne remained incredulous, and William, unable to persuade 
the States to make a resolute opposition, before the mask was openly dropped 

* A full and highly interesting account of these executions is furnished 
by Prescott, who throws a new and somewhat romantic light over the hith 
erto mysterious fate of Montigny. Vol. ii. 


by the king, resolved to secure his safety by flight. On taking leave of Eg- 
mont he said, I fear you will be the first over whose corpse the Spaniards 
will march ! Some of the nobles mockingly calling after him, as he turned 
away, Adieu, Prince Lackland ! he rejoined, Adieu, headless Sirs ! "* 

These facts clearly establish two things : First, that the 
Catholics of the Netherlands were fully as much opposed to 
the encroachments of Philip on Flemish rights and franchises 
as were the Protestants, and that, in the first stage of the 
struggle at least, the Catholic nobility and influential men 
suffered fully as much for the cause of national liberty, if not 
even much more, than their brethren who favored the new 
gospel ; and second, that the contest was regarded by Philip 
in a political, fully as much at least as in a religious light. 
He could never pardon Egmont and Hoorne the crime of hav 
ing contended so stoutly for the ancient Catholic liberties of 
the Netherlands, against his attempt to destroy them. Hence 
their tragical death, as traitors to the country that is, to him 

Neither our limits nor our purpose in this chapter permit 
or demand, that we should enter into lengthy details in re 
gard to the great subsequent struggle for independence in the 
Netherlands. This struggle began in earnest soon after the 
bloody career of Alva, and it continued, with occasional inter 
ruptions, for about forty years. We can merely glance at 
some of the principal events in the contest, and we will then 
close with some general remarks on its religious aspect and 

1. As we have elsewhere stated, Elizabeth of England, in 
time of profound peace with Philip II., seized on the Spanish 
ships which were bearing treasure and supplies to Alva in 
the Netherlands. This was of a piece with her usual tortuous 

* History of Germany, ii, 291. Bonn s Edition, sup. cit. 

f So far as the Netherlands are concerned, Prescott s history terminates 
with Alva s administration. This is deeply to be regretted, as the world 
would have been much interested in an account, from his graphic pen, of one 
among the most important struggles for independence in the annals of history. 


and dishonest policy ; and as the end cannot justify the 
means, it was really but little better than highway robbery, 
or rather piracy. Its immediate result was not merely em 
barrassing to Alva, but highly injurious and oppressive to the 
Flemings themselves. The troops naturally murmured at 
not receiving their pay, and Alva felt constrained to quarter 
them on the people, who were thus compelled not only to 
bear the burden of supporting the Spanish soldiers, but also 
to endure their rudeness and insults. General popular dis 
content necessarily ensued ; which was still further aggrava 
ted by the arbitrary imposition of new taxes by Alva, without 
obtaining the previous consent of the States General. A sullen 
humor seized upon all classes, Catholic no less than Protest 
ant ; the shops were closed in the principal cities and towns ; 
and the Netherlands were shrouded in the darkness, and 
hushed in the silence of the tomb ! It was an ominous calm, 
preceding a dreadful storm. 

Meantime privateers, fitted out by the Flemish malcontents, 
cruised in the British channel against Spanish ships, armed 
with commissions from the prince of Orange. The count La 
Marque directed their operations from his headquarters at 
Dover in England, though Elizabeth was still a friend of 
Philip ! She subsequently, however, " on the remonstrance 
of Philip, or in connivance with La Marque, ordered this 
officer to quit her dominions."* In 1572, the privateers made 
a descent on the Belgian Island of Horn, and surprised the 
fortress of Brille ; on the battlements of which the standard 
of Flemish independence was unfurled. The inhabitants of 
Flushing shortly afterwards expelled the Spanish garrison, 
and sought and obtained aid from the French Huguenots and 
from the English government. The former sent them a large 
body of troops, the latter ten thousand pounds in money; 
which seasonable succor was soon followed by a large body 
of English volunteers, with a goodly supply of ammunition 

* Lingard History of England, vol. viii, p. 107. He quotes Murdin, 210. 


and cannon. Many of the neighboring towns, under this en 
couragement, soon threw off the Spanish yoke ; and the war 
of independence was now fairly begun.* 

2. Alva was recalled in 1573, and he was succeeded by 
Requesens, Commendator of Castile, and a veteran diplomat 
ist. The new governor, after having first checked the insur 
gents, entered upon a new line of policy, widely different from 
that which had been pursued by his cruel predecessor. He 
sought to conciliate the malcontents, and he secured the 
kindly offices of Elizabeth to accomplish this purpose. But 
it was too late. The war had commenced, and Orange would 
heed neither the advice nor the remonstrances real or feigned 
of the English queen ; so long at least as the civil war con 
tinued to rage in France, and he could nourish a reasonable 
hope of obtaining succor from the French Huguenots. After 
his hope of aid from this quarter had become faint from the 
untoward course of events in France, he sought to conciliate 
Elizabeth, and even promised to confer upon her the protec 
torship of Holland and Zealand ; an offer which, after suitable 
deliberation, she deemed it impolitic to accept. On the other 
hand, in a communication to the Dutch deputies, she promised 
them her good offices, to reconcile them with their offended 

3. Requesens died in 1576, and he was succeeded, in the 
following year, by the brilliant Don John of Austria, the 
hero of Lepanto, and natural son of Philip s father. In the 
interval between the death of Requesens and the arrival of 
Don John, great events occurred in the Netherlands. The 
badly paid and discontented Spanish army broke through all 
bounds of discipline, and sacked Antwerp. Whereupon all 
classes of the outraged people determined to adopt at once 
effectual measures to provide for their own safety. Catholics 
and Protestants combined as one man in the common cause. 

* Lingard, Ibid., vol. viii, p. 107. 

f Camden, Murdin, and Lodge, apud Lingard, viii, 110. 


" Representatives from the clergy, nobility, cities, arid districts 
of all the Catholic provinces, but Luxemburg, met the depu 
ties of the two Protestant states of Holland and Zealand ; and 
a confederacy, called the Pacification of Ghent, was formed, 
by which, without renouncing their allegiance to Philip, they 
bound themselves to expel all foreign soldiers, to preserve the 
public peace, to aid each other against every opponent, and 
to restore to its pristine vigor the constitution enjoyed by 
their fathers."* 

Don John, with the full approbation of Philip, subsequently 
ratified the Pacification, and dismissed the Spanish soldiery. 
But the prince of Orange was not satisfied with this ratifica 
tion, which was known by the name of " the Perpetual Edict : " 
it clashed with the dream of ambition which " the Silent One" 
had long indulged, of being called to rule as sovereign over 
an independent people. In consequence of this and of other 
symptoms of disaffection, the governor recalled his troops, 
and the war recommenced. 

4. The contest now increased in dimensions and swelled in 
importance, and the soil of the Netherlands became, what it 
has frequently been since, the battle-ground of Europe. 
Hitherto the struggle had been mainly political, and Catho 
lics and Protestants had cheerfully united in the cause of 
national freedom against Spanish oppression. The Catholics 
were still vastly in the majority ; and, as we have seen, fif 
teen Catholic and only two Protestant provinces were repre 
sented at the meeting which ratified the Pacification of Ghent. 
Now the lines between the two religious denominations were 
to be drawn, and Catholicity and Protestantism were to strug 
gle for the mastery. Elizabeth, though she still wore the mask 
of friendship to Spain, secretly promised a large loan and an 
army of six thousand troops to the insurgents. The duke of 
Anjou, though a Catholic, brought to the aid of the States an 

* Camden, Murdin, and Lodge, apud Lingard, Ibid., vol. viii, p. 110. Du 
Mont, v, 279. 


army of ten thousand men, under the promise that, if success 
ful, he would be permitted to carve out for himself an inde 
pendent state in French Flanders. He, however, failed to 
accomplish any thing, and his army was soon disbanded. 

But the most formidable auxiliary of the prince of Orange 
was Casimir, brother of the elector Palatine. He crossed the 
Khine with twelve thousand German troops, mostly Luther 
ans, who marched, like an army of Huns, over the Catholic 
provinces, striking terror into the hearts of the inhabitants, 
filling the country with desolation and carnage, and leaving 
burning churches, ruined altars, and wailing widows and 
orphans in the track of their barbarous invasion.* The native 
Protestants united heartily with this ruthless foreign soldiery 
in discharging what their ministers had taught them was their 
sacred duty putting down u popish" idolatry, and thereby 
securing to themselves the precious boon of religious liberty t 
By the side of the barbarities committed against the Catholics 
at this time and during subsequent periods of the great strug 
gle, those of Alva himself, which were committed with rare 
impartiality upon Catholics and Protestants alike, are almost 
forgotten, or they are at least fairly counterpoised. This we 
hope to establish by incontestable evidence, a little further on* 

5. John of Austria died in 1578, and he was succeeded by 
the great Alexander Farnese, son of Margaret of Parma, the 
first regent of the Netherlands under Philip. He was as able 
in the cabinet as he was brilliant in the field. He adroitly 
availed himself of the loud complaints of the outraged Catho 
lic provinces, and solemnly renewed the Perpetual Edict 
approving the Pacification of Ghent, in May, 1579. This, it 
will be remembered, secured to them full religious liberty, 
together with the preservation of the ancient constitution of 
the States ; while the foreign troops were to be replaced by 
a native army. The "Walloon or French provinces gladly 

* These ruthless soldiers were in the pay of England, and this was the 
manner in which Elizabeth served her good brother of Spain ! See Lmgard, 
Ibid., viii, p. 113. 


accepted the boon, and became thenceforth firmly attached to 
Spain. Meantime William of Orange now detached the north 
ern from the southern provinces, through a meeting of the 
States convened at TJtretcht.* 

6. The war still went on with but slight interruption. 
In 1580, under the able leadership of Farnese, the fortunes 
of Philip were once more in the ascendant, and the latter pub 
lished his famous ban against William of Orange, denouncing 
him as a traitor, and offering a large reward for his head, of 
for the possession of his person. Orange replied by openly re 
nouncing his allegiance, and inducing the Northern States 
to issue a formal declaration of independence. Four years 
later he was assassinated at Delft by Girard, a Burgundian 
adventurer, who was impelled to the atrocious deed by the 
hope of the promised reward, as well as by a certain fanati 
cism of royalty, which caused him, even amidst the most 
excruciating tortures of the rack, to glory in having thus sum 
marily executed one whom he deemed a traitor, f 

7. We will here pause in our rapid narrative, in order to 
make good our assertion that the atrocities committed against 
the Catholics during this memorable contest fully equaled, if 
they did not greatly overbalance the cruelties of Alva per 
petrated, as we have already shown, upon Catholics as well 
as Protestants. We will for this purpose allege in evidence 
the testimony of two Protestant historians, the one German, 
the other American ; both of whom are bitterly opposed to 
the Catholic Church, and take little pains to conceal their 
prejudice. We refer to Menzel and Motley. J Their testi- 

* Du Mont, p. 322, 350. Lingard, ibid., p. 114-5. 

f Philip seems to have shed some tears over the man who had sacrificed 
his life in his service. Lingard, ibid., p. 125. 

| In his late work, " The Rise of the Dutch Republic." As an historian, 
though not wanting in industry and research, Motley is immeasurably 
behind Prescott. He is a partisan of the most decided character. He 
writes, it would seem, more to sustain a favorite thesis than to vindicate the 
sober truth of history. His readers have very little opportunity to see the 


mony will scarcely be impeached; the less so, as it appears 
to be given only incidentally, and with apparent reluctance. 
We begin with the German historian. Speaking of the rise 
of the Dutch Republic, after the relief of Ley den in 1575, 
Menzel says: 

" Holland was henceforth free. William was elected stadtholder by the 
people, but still in the name of their obnoxious monarch ; and the Calvin- 
istic tenets and form of worship were re-established, to the exclusion of those 
of the Catholics and Lutherans. As early as 1574, the reformed preachers 
had, in the midst of danger, opened their first church assembly at Dordrecht. 
The cruelties practiced by the Catholics were equaled by those inflicted on the 
opposing party by the reformers. William of Orange endeavored to repress 
these excesses, threw William Van der Mark, his lawless rival, into prison, 
where he shortly afterwards died, it is said, by poison,* and occupied the 
wild soldiery, during the short peace that ensued, in the re-erection of the 
dikes torn down in defense of Leyden. The most horrid atrocities were, 
nevertheless, perpetrated by Sonoi, by whom the few Catholics remaining in 
Holland were exterminated^ A. D. 1577. A violent commotion also took 
place in Utrecht, but ceased on the death of the last of her archbishops, 
Frederick Schenck (cup-bearer} Van Tautemburg, A. D. 1580." \ 

After mentioning the defeat of the Dutch army under 
Mathias and Orange at Gemblours in 1578, by the bravery 
and skill of Alexander Farnese, Menzel adds : 

other side, though every one knows that most historical questions have two 
aspects, which the professed historian should give, or at least refer to. With 
Prescott prejudice is the exception; with Motley it is the rule. The works 
of the latter may have an ephemeral reputation ; those of the former are 
probably destined to immortality in our literature. 

* Who had him poisoned ? Was it owing to his cruelties against the 
Catholics, or to the fact of his being William s "rival," that he was im 
prisoned and poisoned ? We strongly suspect that the latter was the real 

f The infamous Sonoi or Sonoy was a far more cruel and a much worse 
man than Alva; the atrocities of the Spaniard pale before those of the 
Dutchman. The number of Catholics "exterminated" in Holland by Sonoi 
was not small, but immense, for the Protestants had opened their "first 
church assembly" but three years before; unless, indeed, Van der Mark, 
the predecessor of Sonoi, had already well-nigh completed the cruel butchery, 
leaving only a gleaning of the bloody harvest to his successor. 

| History of Germany, sup. cit., vol. ii, p. 296. 
VOL. n. 20 


" This misfortune again bred dissension and disunion among the Dutch ; 
Mathias lost courage, and endeavored by his promises to induce the Catho 
lics to abandon the Spaniards, whilst the citizens of Ghent, with increased 
insolence, again attacked monasteries and churches, committed crucifixes and 
pictures of the saints to the flames, and burnt six Minorites (Catholic friars) 
accused of favoring the enemy alive." Again : " The return of the Catholic 
priests to Ghent was a signal for a fresh popular outbreak, and the treaty so 
lately concluded was infringed."* 

Vain were all the efforts of William of Orange to tame 
the ferocity of the Protestants at Ghent, Bruges, and other 
cities of the southern provinces ; they claimed it as their in 
defeasible right, and as one of the essential elements of 
religious liberty according to the new gospel light, to murder 
Catholic priests on sight, to destroy churches and monas 
teries, and forcibly to put down Catholic worship. Of course, 
this persistent cruelty and persecution compelled the Catholics 
to throw themselves, against their inclination, under the pro 
tection of Farnese, Philip s governor, under whose govern 
ment they could hope to enjoy the boon of life and of 
religious freedom. But for this ferocious bigotry of the 
Protestant faction, William might, in all probability, have 
accomplished his darling object of seeing all the thrifty 
provinces of the Netherlands again united in stern opposition 
to Spanish despotism. 

To show the spirit which animated the Dutch during the 
struggle, we may remark, on Menzel s authority, that Wil 
liam s sailors or, as they were called, Water Geuses or 
Gueux\ wore on their broad-brimmed hats a half moon 
with the inscription: Liever Turcx dan Pausch Better 
Turkish than Popish !"J 

The Lutheran Protestants of Germany were not, it would 

* History of Germany, sup. cit, vol. ii, p. 299. 

f " Water-Beggars " corresponding with the Gueux on land ; the Dutch 
seemed specially fond of the name. 

| Ibid., p. 296. The acts of these men and of those whom they served 
were often accordingly more Turkish than Christian. 


seem, very enthusiastic in their sympathy with their Calvin- 
istic brethren in Holland. Says Menzel: 

" The rest of Germany beheld the great struggle in the Netherlands with 
almost supine indifference. The destruction of the Calvinistic Dutch was 
not unwillingly beheld by the Lutherans. The demand for assistance 
addressed (A. D. 1570) by the Dutch to the diet at Worms received for 
reply, that Spam justly punished them as rebels against the principle, 
cujus EEGIO, EJUS BELiGio The religion belongs to him who owns the 
territory. "* 

What kind of religious liberty the reformers of the Neth 
erlands really sought after, is apparent from the entire reli- 
gioso-political struggle which resulted in the establishment of 
the Dutch republic. Whenever and wherever the new gos- 
pelers were able to gain the ascendency, even partially and 
for a time only, they invariably established Calvinism as the 
law of the land, and suppressed, first by violence, and then 
by legislation, the ancient worship. 

Thus, according to Motley, in April, 1575, even before the 
declaration of independence, "certain articles of union be 
tween Holland and Zealand were proposed, and six commis 
sioners appointed to draw up an ordinance for the govern 
ment of the two provinces. This ordinance was accepted in 
general assembly of both. It was in twenty articles." The 
prince of Orange was invited to assume the government in 
the king s name, as count of Holland, and he was invested 
by the Estates with ample powers for this purpose. Among 
the twenty articles of the confederated provinces one provided 
that " he was to protect the exercise of the Evangelical Re 
formed religion, and to suppress tlie exercise of the Roman 
Religion, without permitting, however, that search should be 
made into the creed of any person. "f With the exercise of 
the "Roman Religion" suppressed by law, the last clause was 
evidently of no benefit whatever to Catholics, and it was at 

* History of Germany, sup. cit., vol. ii, p. 308. 

f Motley, Eise of the Dutch Republic, in three volumes, 8vo, Harper and 
Brothers, New York, 1859. Vol. iii, p. 19-20. 


best a mere idle form, strongly tinctured with hypocrisy. So 
also was the amended clause, cunningly introduced by Or 
ange on accepting the office of governor, in which he sub 
stituted for the "Koman Religion" "the Religion at variance 
with the gospel ; " which practically meant the same thing, 
and was so understood.* 

Thus again, he tells us, that in 1581 " Edicts were pub 
lished in Antwerp, in Utrecht, and in different cities of Hol 
land, suspending the exercise of the Roman worship. . . . 
They were excited to these stringent measures by the noisy 
zeal of certain Dominican monks in Brussels, whose extra 
vagant discourses were daily inflaming the passions of the 
Catholics to a dangerous degree. The authorities of the city 
accordingly thought it necessary to suspend, by proclamation, 
the public exercise of the ancient religion, assigning as their 
principal reason for this prohibition, the shocking jug 
glery (!) by which simple-minded people were constantly 
deceived ."f 

It is rare, indeed, that persecutors do not find some motive 
for their atrocious proceedings. In the present case, gross 
insult and glaring calumny were wantonly superadded to the 
violation of the most sacred rights, which the Catholics had 
inherited unchallenged from their forefathers for nearly a 
thousand years. The pretext that the " prince of Orange 
lamented the intolerant spirit thus showing itself,"J is all a 
mere sham. If his lamentation was sincere, why did he not 
use his all powerful influence with his co-religionists to pre 
vent these systematic outbreaks of intolerant fanaticism? 
"Why did he confine his pretended opposition to mere idle 
words, which savored more strongly of hypocritical cant than 
of honest intent ? We are in the habit of judging of men 
more by their acts than by their words. 

Estimated by this unerring standard, we fear that the 
prince of Orange will not appear to have been so much the 

* Motley, Ibid., iii,p. 20. f Ibid, p. 503-4. \ Ibid. 


immaculate hero and noble champion of civil and religious 
liberty, as Motley delights to paint him. His "Rise of 
the Dutch Republic" is, in fact, little more than an expanded 
biography and an elaborate eulogy of Orange ; though he 
says, " this history is not the eulogy of Orange, although in 
describing his character it is difficult to avoid the monotony 
of panegyric."* Where he can not praise his hero without 
qualification, he takes special pains to excuse his conduct or 
his motives, even when the former is disgraceful and the lat 
ter are transparent. Thus, he excuses, as a pardonable strata 
gem of war, the conduct of this prince in suborning John de 
Castillo, private secretary of Philip II., to send him copies of 
the most secret letters of the Spanish monarch !f Thus again, 
he openly defends the atrocious conduct of Orange in marry 
ing Charlotte of Bourbon, an ex-nun and ex-abbess of Jouarrs, 
while his lawful wife, Anne of Saxony, was still living !J 

Orange was, in many respects, a great man, and he has in 
the main our sympathies in his protracted struggle for the 
independence of his country of Spanish domination. But 
that he was a man of tortuous policy, and of little moral or 
religious principle, we believe can be established by the acts 
of his life. As to his religion, it was moulded to the political 
exigencies of his situation. If he finally became a zealous 
Calvinist, it seems to have been, because the Dutch had 
embraced that particular form of the new gospel, and he 
could not hope to rule them without professing their religious 
opinions, which brooked no dissent. Bentivoglio paints his 
religious character in very few but graphic words : " He ap- 

* Motley, Ibid., p. 623. f Ibid. 

| Ibid., p. 21, seqq. The unfortunate Anne of Saxony was imprisoned 
for two years in the electoral palace of Saxony, " in a chamber where the 
windows were walled up and a small grating let into the upper part of the 
door. Through this wicket came her food, as well as the words of the holy 
man appointed to preach daily for her edification." (Ibid.) This "holy 
man" was a good Protestant minister ! No wonder she died a raving man 
iac, two years after Orange had repudiated her ! 


pears to .change his religion according to the fluctuations of 
interest. From a child he was a Lutheran in Germany. 
Having passed into Flanders he exhibited himself as a Cath 
olic. At the beginning of the insurrection he declared him 
self a favorer of the new sects, without becoming an open 
professor of any ; until at length he thought it best to follow 
that of the Calvinists, as being the one most opposed to the 
Catholic religion sustained by the king of Spain."* 

Motley furnishes us an account of some of the barbar 
ous atrocities, perpetrated in 1575, against the Catholics of 
North Holland by the Protestant governor, Diedrich Sonoy.f 
But, as usual, he seeks to exonerate the prince of Orange, 
who, he says condemned these cruelties, and could not be 
"omnipresent." But when some of the remaining victims 
of Sonoy s barbarity were released by the Pacification of 
Ghent, and thereupon instituted legal proceedings against 
the monster, why did they fail to secure justice ? Let our 
American historian give us the reason of this strange denial 
of justice. " The process languished, however, and was finally 
abandoned, for the powerful governor had rendered such 
eminent services in the cause of liberty, that it was thought 
unwise to push him to extremity ."J We will furnish an 
extract showing in what these unpunished cruelties consisted : 

" Sonoy, to his eternal shame, was disposed to prove that human ingenuity 
to inflict torture had not been exhausted in the chambers of the blood coun 
cil (of Alva), for it was to be shown that reformers were capable of giving 
a lesson even to inquisitors in this diabolical science. Kopp, a man advanced 
in years, was tortured during a whole day. On the following morning he 
was again brought to the rack, but the old man was too weak to endure all 
the agonies which his tormentors had provided for him. Hardly had he 
been placed upon the bed of torture than he calmly expired, to the great 

* Gruerra di Fiandra, p. 11, 1. ii, 276, quoted by Motley, iii, 624, note. 
He endeavors to show that the prince s changes of religion were not prompted 
by interest, but his reasoning will convince no one who is not predeter 
mined to regard Orange as a hero and a saint. 

f Motley, Ibid., iii, 28, seqq. J Ibid., p. 32. 


indignation of the tribunal. The devil has broken his neck and carried 
him off to hell, cried they ferociously. Nevertheless that shall not prevent 
him from being hung and quartered. This decree of impotent vengeance 
was accordingly executed. The son of Kopp, however, banning Koppezoon, 
was a man in the full vigor of his years. He bore with perfect fortitude a 
series of incredible tortures, after which, with his body singed from head to 
heel, and his feet almost entirely flayed, he was left for six weeks to crawl 
about his dungeon on his knees. He was then brought back to the torture- 
room, and again stretched upon the rack, while a large earthen vessel, made 
for the purpose, was placed upon his naked body. A number of rats* were 
introduced under this cover, and hot coals were heaped upon the vessel, till 
the rats, rendered furious by the heat, gnawed into the very bowels of the 
victim, in their agony to escape. The holes thus torn in his bleeding 
flesh were filled with red-hot coals. He was afterwards subjected to other 
tortures too foul to relate ; nor was it till he had endured all this agony, 
with a fortitude which seemed supernatural, that he was at last discovered 
to be human. Scorched, bitten, dislocated in every joint, sleepless, starving, 
perishing with thirst, he was at last crushed into a false confession by a 
promise of absolute forgiveness. He admitted every thing brought to his 
charge, confessing a catalogue of contemplated burnings and beacon-firings 
of which he had never dreamed, and avowing himself in league with other 
desperate Papists still more dangerous than himself. 

" Notwithstanding the promises of pardon, Nanning was then condemned 
to death. The sentence ordained that his heart should be torn from his 
living bosom and thrown in his face, after which his head was to be taken 
off and exposed on the church steeple of his native village. His body was 
then to be cut in four, and a quarter fastened upon different towers of the 
city of Alkmaar ; for it was that city, recently so famous for its heroic resist 
ance to the Spanish army, which was now sullied by all this cold-blooded 
atrocity. When led to execution, the victim recanted indignantly the con 
fession forced from him by weakness of body, and exonerated the persons 
whom he had falsely accused. A certain clergyman (Calvinist) named 
Jurian Epeszoon, endeavored by loud praying to drown his voice, that the 
people might not rise with indignation ; and the dying prisoner with his 
last breath solemnly summoned this unworthy pastor of Christ to meet him 
within three days before the judgment-seat of God. It is a remarkable and 
authentic fact, that the clergyman thus summoned went home pensively 
from the place of execution, sickened immediately, and died upon the ap 
pointed day."f 


"The rats were sent by the governor himself." Motley, Ibid, p. 30, 

t Ibid, iii, 30-1. 


Such were the cruelties perpetrated in the name of religion 
and liberty, by a monster whom Orange screened from punish 
ment. Another one of his captains, the chief of the Sea- 
Beggars or Gueux de Mer, William Yan der Marck,* if not 
more cruel than Sonoy, made even more victims. It is esti 
mated that in a single year, 1572, this inhuman monster 
u killed with unheard of tortures more peaceable citizens and 
Catholic priests, than the duke of Alva had executed of 
rebels in the whole course of his administration."-)- He was 
towards the Catholics of Holland what the ferocious French 
Huguenot chieftain, D Adrets, was towards the unfortunate 
Catholics of France, who fell into his hands during the civil 
wars of that kingdom. 

Another Protestant historian, Kerroux, in his abridged His 
tory of Holland, takes a very different view from that pre 
sented by Motley in regard to the responsibility of these 
barbarous atrocities. Speaking of the blood council estab 
lished by Sonoy, he candidly says : 

" It is vain to seek for motives to excuse the proceedings of this horrible 
board of commissioners, which have left an eternal stain on the Dutch 
name ; and though Sonoy, the principal author of these bloody tragedies, 
was a stranger, yet the nation which dared not oppose him or punish him 
for their commission, will never free itself from the reproach of barbarism 
with which it voluntarily covered itself in the face of all Europe. It is 
pretended that whatever was then done was only to take away forever from 
the Catholics all pretext and desire of introducing a change into the govern 
ment. It was an atrocious means, which no reason of state could ever jus 
tify ; no more than it can excuse the unheard of cruelties perpetrated against 
people who were entirely innocent of the crimes of which they were accused, 

* By the French writers his name is written De la March, or De la Marque, 
He commanded one among the first, if not the very first fleet of privateers, 
which sailed under letters of Marque, in modern times. Is the term derived 
from his name ? If so, it had a very ignoble origin. 

f See Feller s Historical Dictionary, article Ferdinand de Toledo. Van 
der Marck died afterwards from the bite of a mad dog ; " an end not inap 
propriate to a man of so rabid a disposition." Motley ; ibid., ii, 475. Men- 
zel, as we have seen above, says that he died, "it is said of poison" in prison. 
At any rate, he died a horrible death. 


the frightful details of which we can not read without a shudder of horror, 
and without feeling emotions of indignation and hatred."* 

8. The struggle at length closed in 1609, with a twelve years 
amnesty between the parties, which practically resulted in a 
permanent peace; thus securing the independence of the 
United Provinces. So far as religion is concerned, the result 
was only a very partial triumph for Protestantism, which, 
after all its boasting and all its violence, did not succeed in 
finally winning over to the banner of its republic probably 
more than one-half if even half of the original provinces 
of the Netherlands, and not half the population. Even at 
the present day, considerably more than two-thirds of the 
population comprised within the original limits of the country 
still remain Catholic. Nearly half the population of the seven 
northern provinces themselves, now constituting the kingdom 
of Holland, is Catholic ; wiiile almost all the inhabitants of 
the remaining ten original provinces have always remained 
firm in their adherence to the ancient faith. 

And now, if we should be asked to point out, on the map 
of Europe, the most thrifty and flourishing population, we 
would instantly designate the kingdom of Belgium, and the 
neighboring Catholic territory which belonged to the original 
seventeen provinces of the Netherlands. There is more gen 
eral thrift, and more widely diffused comfort among all classes 
of the population, and there is consequently less suffering 
among the masses ; and we will add, there is much more real 
popular liberty there, than in any other kingdom in Europe. 
Catholic Belgium is generally admitted to be now in a far 
more flourishing condition than its immediate neighbor, Prot 
estant Holland. The Belgians still cling tenaciously to the 
ancient Catholic liberties of the old Netherland Confedera 
tion, of which Flanders was the center and very heart; while 
Holland has, more than once, resigned these liberties in favor 
of absolute monarchy. 

* Abrege de 1 Histoire d Hollande par Kerroux ; a Leyden, 1778, vol. ii, 
p. 350. Quoted by Feller, loco citato. 


"We conclude the present chapter with the following gen 
eral remarks on the entire struggle and its results, viewed 
more particularly from the religious stand-point. 

1. During the greater and more important portion of the 
contest for independence, the Catholics cordially united and 
co-operated with the Protestant party; and the first and 
noblest victims, and the only victims of the highest rank, 
immolated on the shrine of national freedom, were the very 
brightest flowers of Catholic nobility and Catholic chivalry. 
This we have seen. 

2. So far as Religion was concerned, the Catholic party 
generally stood on the defensive, while the other party as 
sumed the aggressive. The Catholics stood up for their 
churches and their altars, which had been in their peaceable 
possession for nearly a thousand years ; while the new gos- 
pelers sought to oust them by violence, and to suppress what 
they slanderously and insolently called idolatry, by destroy 
ing churches and altars, or, by appropriating them to their 
own use, after having first purified them by pillage and fire. 
This too we have already sufficiently shown. 

3. The atrocities, taking into account even those of the 
cruel Alva who raged against Catholics as well as Protestants, 
were, at the most moderate calculation, very nearly balanced ; 
or if there was any difference, it was certainly in favor of the 
Catholic party. This also we think will be freely admitted 
by all who have read the facts stated most of them on Prot 
estant authority in the foregoing sketch. 

4. The result of the struggle was, that wheresoever the 
Protestant party gained the power, the Catholics were imme 
diately robbed of their churches and church property, and 
were themselves generally persecuted by the intolerant ma 
jority. Those who raised such a cry about religious liberty, 
while they were in the minority, had no sooner gained the 
ascendency, than they clearly proved by their acts, what kind 
of religious liberty they were aiming to secure. In Holland 
they established Calvinism, as the compulsory religion of the 


government, and they waged a terrible war of persecution 
against all dissenters, not merely Catholic but Protestant 
also! All who are even slightly acquainted with the relig 
ious history of Holland, since the close of the sixteenth cen 
tury, know this to have been the case. All readers of history 
have learned the stirring incidents in the fearful contest be 
tween the Gomarists and the Arminians,* and know how 
very bitterly the former persecuted the latter, because, exer 
cising their conceded right of private judgment, these could 
not see the doctrine of predestination in the same strong Cal- 
vinistic light as their more clear-sighted Protestant brethren. 
The Protestant Arminians were put down, and were not only 
strongly denounced, but condemned to the most severe pun 
ishment, by the famous Calvinistic Synod of Dort or Dor 
drechtheld in 1619. This was a sort of general council of 
Calvinism, which has never yet been known to tolerate dis 
senters from its own rigid creed whether these were Protest 
ants or Catholics whersoever and whensoever it has had the 
power to crush out opposition by the strong arm.f This synod 
was attended by delegates from the Calvinistic churches of Ge 
neva, the Palatinate, and Scotland, besides two Anglican bish 
ops sent out by James I., " the English Solomon and Defender 
of the Faith !"J The assembled ministers condemned the 
leading Arminians including such men as Grotius, Yorstius, 
Hagerbets, and Barneveldt and not merely their doctrines but 
their persons. Grotius and Hagerbets were sentenced to im 
prisonment for life; and "seven hundred families of Armin- 

* The latter, named after the distinguished Protestant theologian Armin- 
ius, were also called the Remonstrants ; while those of the other religious 
faction were called anti-Remonstrants. 

f This was fully established, on incontestable Protestant evidence, in the 
Oral Discussion between Hughes and Breckinridge, which see. 

| James took a singular part in the synod. He sided with the Gomar 
ists, and even made orthodoxy a test of his political amity with the States ! 
His two bishops must have been sadly embarrassed in an assembly, which 
denounced prelacy to the full as strongly as it did Arminianism. 


ians were driven into exile and reduced to beggary."* Gro- 
tius luckily escaped ; but not so Barneveldt, one of the princi 
pal patriots and heroes of the war of independence, and the 
reputed leader of the Arminians. He was arrested shortly 
after the council by order of his rival Maurice, prince of 
Orange, who aspired to the sovereignty of the Netherlands ; 
and after a secret trial, in which he was no doubt falsely ac 
cused of treachery to his country by favoring Spanish domi 
nation during the late war, he was beheaded ! 

Such was religious liberty, as it was understood in that 
portion of the Netherlands in which Protestantism gained 
the ascendency !f 

* See Lingard, History of England, ix, 131. 

t See Brandt, (Protestant) History of the Eeformation in Holland. He 
is often quoted by Prescott and Lingard. He gives a detailed account of 
the terrible persecution of their brother Protestants by the Calvinists of 




The whole history of the French Keformation told in two sentences Origin 
of the Huguenots Calvin the founder and father of French Protestantism 
Leopold Ranke s History of the French Civil Wars reviewed in this 
chapter Lefevre d Estaples the first forerunner of Reformation A 
Humanist, like Erasmus Ranke s portraiture of him Ranke an intense 
Protestant William Bric,onnet, bishop of Meaux The University of the 
Sorbonne The delegation for examining matters of faith Francis I. 
His volatile character encourages the Humanists and the reformers The 
Anabaptists in Paris The state policy of Francis tortuous and unprinci 
pled His sister, Queen Margaret of Navarre, an open friend of the new 
gospelers Her poetry and writings The Concordat And the grievous 
abuses which grew out of its perversion by the court Court patronage, 
the real source of the evil Ranke s testimony Remarks on the great 
question of Investitures Henry II., Francis II. , and Henry III. The 
queen regent Catherine de Medicis Henry of Navarre Calvin intriguing 
from Geneva And Elizabeth from England The contest fairly begins 
Plots, intrigues, and threatened insurrections Tortuous and unprincipled 
policy of Catherine Conspiracy of Amboise Account of Lingard and 
Ranke Calvin s agency examined Elizabeth at the bottom of it 
Throckmorton s interview with Antoine de Bourbon Ranke s statement 
examined Confirmation of Lingard s statement by Morley, in his Life of 
"Palissy the Potter" Lingard s authorities Ranke substantially con 
firms Lingard and Morley The conspiracy defeated by Guise, and the 
Huguenot leaders executed Elizabeth s double policy Singular declara 
tion of peace! Warlike attitude of Conde The more the Huguenots 
gain, the more they ask Their liberty secured, but they wish to crush 
that of others Who began the war ? Affair at Vassy Ranke on the 
duke of Guise The civil war breaks out Elizabeth aids the Huguenots, 
who deliver up to her Havre and Dieppe First campaign Battle of 
Dreux The two commanding generals taken prisoners Guise and Co- 
ligny Siege of Orleans Assassination of the duke of Guise, brought 



about by Coligny Sudden pacification Elizabeth foiled The pacifica 
tion broken by the Huguenots Attempt to seize the king at Monceaux 
Its failure The English ambassador implicated Treaty of Bayonne a 
fabrication Lingard, Hallam, Ranke, and Mackintosh alleged Second 
civil war The third one Third general pacification Marriage concluded 
between the king of Navarre, and the sister of Charles IX. of France 
Massacre of St. Bartholomew Lingard s account And Ranke s Dis 
patches of the papal nuncio at Paris settle the question of premeditation 
Number of victims Religion had nothing to do with the massacre 
The Pope The Catholic bishops and clergy Previous atrocities commit 
ted by Huguenots The Miclielade The ferocious Baron d Adrets His 
barbarities against Catholics Events succeeding the massacre The Hu 
guenots seize Rochelle Renewed pacifications And new civil wars 
The Huguenot Confederacy And the Catholic League Assassination of 
Henry III. And accession of Henry IV. He becomes a Catholic on the 
advice of the Huguenots ! Publishes the Edict of Nantes Its revocation 
by Louis XIV. Motives for the revocation Did it impair the prosperity 
of France ? Number of Huguenot exiles Testimony of the duke of 
Burgundy and of Caveirac Atrocities on both sides Those of Hugue 
nots began at an early period Dr. Maitland The Wool-comber Leclerc 
Recapitulation The French Reformation and the French Revolution. 

THE whole history of the Reformation in France may be 
related in two sentences : The Calvinists sought by intrigue 
and by force of arms to gain the ascendency and to establish 
their new religion on the ruins of the old ; but after a long 
struggle they signally failed, and France was preserved to the 
Church. Long and terrible was the contest between the 
turbulent Protestant minority and the determined Catholic 
majority, to settle the momentous question which should 
finally control the destinies of France ; for nearly a hundred 
years civil war, rendered still fiercer by the infusion of the 
element of religious zeal and fanaticism, raged with but brief 
intervals of pacification throughout the country, which it dis 
tracted and rendered desolate. Finally, the Catholics, meeting 
intrigue with intrigue and repelling force by force, remained 
in the ascendant, and the Protestant party, once so aspiring, 
dwindled down into an insignificant fraction of the popula 
tion. This is the whole story briefly summed up; as we 


think will be sufficiently proved by the facts contained in the 
present chapter. 

The Calvinists of France were called Huguenots, probably 
from the name taken by their brethren in Switzerland and 
Geneva, when these banded together by oath against the duke 
of Savoy and the Swiss Catholics, and were thence called 
Eidgenossen or bound together by oath a name which the 
French changed into Eguenots or Egnots, and later into 
Huguenots.* The name itself thus marked the Genevan 
origin of the sect. Calvin, himself a Frenchman and a ref 
ugee in Switzerland, may be justly regarded as the founder 
and father of the French Huguenots. From his home at 
Geneva, he sent out his missionaries into France, eagerly 
watched their progress, encouraged them by frequent letters, 
directed and controlled their movements ; in a word, his rest 
less activity and over-shadowing influence was felt every 
where ; and he continued to be the very life and soul of 
French Calvinism till his death, in May, 1563. This is freely 
admitted by Ranke,f who, however, says that Calvin did not 
encourage violence, but rather recommended prudent and 
forbearing zeal. This may have been, and probably was the 
case during the earlier period of the movement, when 
caution was the best policy, and violence would have wholly 
defeated the purpose of the shrewd and calculating reform 
er ; it certainly was not the policy recommended and adopted 
after the middle of the sixteenth century, when the new re 
ligionists had already become sufficiently powerful to enter the 
lists with their adversaries, through political intrigues in the 

* See Lingard, History of England, vii, 308, note, and other historians 
passim. Other origins of the name are given, but this seems the most 

f Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth 
Centuries ; a History of France chiefly during that period. By Leopold 
Eanke, translated by M. A. Garvey. One vol., 12mo, New York, Harper 
and Brothers, 1853. The title is a misnomer, so far as the seventeenth cen 
tury is concerned, the present volume embracing only the sixteenth. 


cabinet or open force in the field. This we shall see in the 
proper place. 

According to Ranke, Master Jacob Lefevre d Estaples 
"may be regarded as the patriarch of the Reformation in 
France."* He had studied in Italy, and he belonged to the 
same school as Erasmus, being like him a Humanist. With 
this literary sect, an elegantly turned Latin or Greek sentence, 
or a refined classical witticism, was regarded as vastly prefer 
able to an orthodox definition or a sober declaration of faith 
clad in homely language ; and the special objects of their 
aversion were the barbarous Latin and the severe dialectic 
method adopted by the Schoolmen. The recent revival of the 
ancient Latin and Greek learning in Italy had originated this 
new school, and given prominence and influence to its leading 
spirits. The weapon which the Catholic Church had disin 
terred from the rubbish of ages, and which she had burnished 
in her own armory, was thus eagerly seized upon by her ad 
versaries, and turned against her own bosom. Even such of 
the men of the new learning as did not openly abandon her 
fold and join the ranks of her opponents, often inflicted on 
her more extensive injury than those who were her declared 
enemies. By the freedom of their writings, and by their 
covert or open sneers at her religious observances, couched in 
epigrammatic periods and elegant language, they paved the 
way for bolder spirits who halted not half-way, but openly 
threw off her yoke, and set up a new religion for themselves. 
Such a forerunner of the Reformation was Erasmus, the 
philosopher of Rotterdam, and such also, we suppose, was 
Lefevre of France. Neither seems to have formally aban 
doned the Church. Says Ranke : 

" Lefevre was a man of insignificant, almost despicable appearance ; but 
the extent and solidity of his acquirements, his moral probity, and the mild 
ness and gentleness which breathed throughout his whole being, invested him 
with a higher dignity. When he looked around upon the world, it appeared 
to him, both near and far, to be covered with the deep gloom of supersti- 

* Ranke, Civil Wars in France, etc., p. 132. 



tion(!), but that with the study of the original records of the faith, there 
was associated a hope of reformation, which he told his most trusted pupils 
they would live to witness. He himself proceeded in his course with a cir 
cumspection, amounting almost to hesitancy. He could not wean himself 
from the practice of kneeling before the figures of the saints, and sought for 
arguments to defend the doctrine of purgatory : in the province of learning 
alone had he courage ; there in a critical dispute, he ventured first to re 
nounce a tradition of the Latin Church in favor of the opinions of the 

Greek ; even in the most advanced age which man is permitted to 

attain, he commenced a translation of the Bible, which forms the basis of 
the French version of the Scriptures ; when he wrote it, he had already 
passed his eightieth year."* 

According to our historian, William Briconnet, bishop of 
Meaux in France, was an old friend of Lefevre, whom he wil 
lingly entertained in his episcopal palace, together with Farel, 
Roussel, and Aranda, Lefevre s favorite disciples. These men 
of the new opinions succeeded in stirring up the bishop to 
disembarrass himself of the regular parish priests and of " the 
chattering monks," and to engage instead of them their own 
services in the sacred ministry. This violent displacement 
of the old and intrusion of the new pastors created, of course, 
a great commotion among the people, and caused an appeal 
to be made to the higher ecclesiastical courts. The new opin 
ions thus broached at Meaux, together with the new pastoral 
arrangements growing out of them, were referred to the ad 
judication of the celebrated Parisian university of the Sor 
bonne, which had already condemned the errors of Luther, 
and had stood forth for more than two centuries as one of the 
most unflinching champions of Catholic orthodoxy. A spe 
cial committee, or delegation for matters of faith, was soon 
appointed by the Sorbonne, to examine and report on the new 

" This delegation continued, with many renewals, for more than half a 
century, and oifered to Protestantism an opposition little less important than 

* Kanke, Civil Wars, etc. It will be seen that Ranke is a thorough Prot 
estant, which renders his testimony to facts favorable to the Church the 
more unexceptionable ; a circumstance we beg the reader to bear in mind, 
as we shall have frequent occasion to quote him in this chapter. 
VOL. ii. 30 


that of the Papacy at Rome itself. Their efficiency was owing to the fact 
that heresy was regarded as a civil crime ; and that the parliament which 
exercised the criminal jurisdiction, held the judgment of the Sorbonne, in 
relation to heretics and heretical books, as decisive and final. Lefevre, al 
ready suspected on account of the Greekish tendency of his opinions, was 
now in addition looked upon as a Lutheran. He retired to Meaux, in order 
to escape being treated as a heretic ; but there his activity and that of his 
disciples was not to be endured. The monks, who complained of the 
bishop, found attention to their complaints in the parliament. The Sorbonne 
condemned some of the articles, as connected with the innovation which had 
been adopted there, and demanded their recall. The society of the reform 
ers could not long withstand their united power it was totally broken up 
and dispersed. The bishop now bethought himself, that it was time for him 
in some measure to re-establish his reputation as a faithful Catholic, and for 
the rest he took shelter in his mystic obscurity."* 

Notwithstanding this temporary check, the time and cir 
cumstances were very propitious for the diffusion of the new 
opinions in France. During thirty-two years in the first half 
of the sixteenth century from 1515 to 1547 the French 
throne was occupied by the gay and brilliant Francis I. ; a 
man who blended but little religious or moral principle with 
that dash of mediaeval chivalry which distinguished his char 
acter. A zealous patron of learning, he favored the Human 
ists, and at first cared but little whether their religious senti 
ments were orthodox or not. He "loved neither the parlia 
ment nor the Sorbonne, with which he had a fierce dispute 
on account of his Concordat. The monks, however, he liked 
least of all, and had long entertained a project of founding a 
philosophical institution, and placing at its head Erasmus, 
the most distinguished opponent of their method of thinking 
and their manner of teaching."! He accordingly took the 
men of the new opinions under his special protection ; and it 

* Rankc, Civil Wars, etc., p. 135. The bishop of Meaux, who was a 
Humanist and a great encourager of learning, was probably surprised into 
an encouragement of the new religious opinions; but when he saw their 
tendency, he retraced his steps, and continued a faithful Catholic prelate to 
his death. flbid> 


was only after these had grown bold enough to attack the 
warmly cherished Catholic doctrine of the real presence in 
holy Eucharist, and to affiliate secretly with the Anabaptists, 
who had recently sprung up in Paris itself, and who aimed 
at nothing less than the total subversion of the existing order 
of things both in Church and State, that his eyes were at 
length opened, and he abandoned the new gospelers to the 
fate which awaited them in accordance with existing laws.* 

The state policy of Francis I. was tortuous and unprinci 
pled. He scrupled not at the employment of almost any 
means which were deemed most efficacious for securing his 
ends. He inaugurated that mischievovs French policy 
which has been kept up to a greater or less extent to the 
present day of forming alliances with the German Protest 
ants, and even with the grand Turk himself, against Catholic 
sovereigns, whenever it was likely that a temporary advan 
tage would be thereby secured. He would probably have had 
little scruple to enter into a league, offensive and defensive, 
with the arch-enemy himself, if he had thought it would serve 
him in his life-long struggle with his great rival, Charles Y.l 
This reckless policy of the French court did more to promote 
the Reformation in Germany and elsewhere, than almost any 
other single cause with which we are acquainted. 

His sister, Queen Margaret of Navarre, was a still more un 
disguised friend and patroness of the men of the new doctrines. 
When these were compelled to abandon Paris and Meaux, 
she gave them shelter and protection in her own court; 
and under her auspices, the new gospel was rapidly propa 
gated throughout the territory of Beam. The queen was not 
only a patroness of the Humanists, but she was herself 
an authoress. She wrote poems of mystic import, and com 
posed a work in prose, published only after her death, which 
seems to have been much more elegant in diction than chaste 
in language or sentiment.| Such as she was, her influence 

* See Eanke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 137-8. 

f Her poetry was in the style of that of Zinzendorff and other modern 


was thrown entirely into the scale of the Reformation ; 
though it does not appear that she formally abandoned the 
communion of the Church. 

The abuses, which had unfortunately crept into the church of 
France at this period, afforded a fertile theme for denunciation 
to the new gospelers. JSTo doubt these abuses are greatly 
exaggerated by Ranke, and they were still more so by the 
fiery preachers who clamored for reform. Still they were 
grievous enough, though the Church and the Papacy were 
certainly not fairly responsible for them. They grew out of 
the Concordat, which Francis had wrung from the reluctant 
Pontiff, and which the court abused for its own vile political 
purposes. The Sorbonne protested against this treaty with 
the Pope, and we do not at all wonder at the opposition and 
indignation which all good Catholics so boldly expressed, on 
occasion of the enormous abuses which grew out of it, if the 
following picture of them drawn by Ranke be correct ; as we 
fear it is at least substantially : 

" The Concordat which placed the presentation of the ecclesiastical bene 
fices so entirely in the hands of the king, produced the most ruinous and 
corrupt effects. The king rewarded with them services rendered in his own 
house, and in court or in war, and gave them to the younger children of the 
nobility as means of living ; many persons received them in the name of 
their children ; an Italian is mentioned who drew from the property of the 
Church an annual income of ten thousand ducats in the name of his little 
son, and after his death his right passed to his wife. All, however, did not 
think it necessary to inscribe in another name the benefices which they re 
ceived ; there were soldiers who possessed rich abbacies in their own name, 
and at the same time were leading their companies of foot. Many, too, who 
were totally unqualified undertook themselves the administration of the 
offices they had obtained. Men who yesterday were engaged in mercantile 
affairs, or who were courtiers or soldiers, were seen to-day in the episcopal 
state and ornaments, or officiating as abbots. Personal merit, a good moral 
reputation, even mere scholarship, were not required or looked for ; all de 
pended upon the relation in which men stood to the court. What was to 

German mystics, hurtful to few, because well-nigh unintelligible. Her prose 
the Heptameron, or seven days is probably as gross as even the Decam 
eron of Boccaccio ! Ranke very discreetly says nothing of this last production. 


be said, when even the mistress of the king, the duchess of Valentinois, had 
in her hands the distribution of the ecclesiastical benefices."* 

This presents another striking evidence, out of the hundreds 
which ecclesiastical history exhibits to our view, to establish 
the important fact, that most of the abuses which have at 
various times afflicted the Church have grown out of the 
usurpations of the temporal power, which, in spite of the Koman 
Pontiffs, persisted in thrusting its own creatures into the higher 
ecclesiastical dignities. And yet, it is fashionable among 
our modern historians to blame the Church and the Popes 
for evils which these not only did not sanction, but against 
which they protested with all their might ! The proper and 
only effectual remedy for the abuses complained of would have 
been, to lay the axe at the root of this poisonous tree of royal 
patronage or rather usurpation and stoutly to uphold the 
Pontiffs in the exercise of their legitimate and undoubted pre 
rogative, to appoint suitable persons to the principal and more 
responsible offices of the Church. But this would not have 
suited the policy of those fawning worshipers at the foot of 
the throne, who, in their blind hatred of the Papacy and their 
abject servility to the temporal power, seemed practically to 
have adopted the principle, that the king can never do wrong 
and the Pope can never do right, Since the Popes have be 
come comparatively free and untrammelled in the nomina 
tions of bishops, the Church has had few scandals of this kind 
to deplore, and the great body of the Catholic clergy all over 
the world have been generally irreproachable in their morals^ 
This fact alone speaks whole volumes. 

Francis I. died March 1, 1547, and he was succeeded by 
his son Henry II., whose wife was the famous Catherine de 
Medicis. Henry took a decided stand in favor of the old 
Church, and he was throughout his reign a determined op 
ponent of the new doctrines, which, however, still continued 

* Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 158-9. He quotes Soranzo. This Concordat 
was probably the successor of the Pragmatic Sanction, which was if possible, 
even still worse. 


silently to advance, especially in the southern and western 
portions of the kingdom. Calvin from Geneva became much 
alarmed ; when suddenly his sorrow was turned into joy, by 
the sudden death of the king from an accident at a tourna 
ment, on the 26th of July, 1559: 

" The Protestants recognized in this event the almost visible judgment of 
God, though as far as they were concerned, they could not expect that its 
consequences would be favorable to them. The successor of Henry, Fran 
cis II., who was still a boy, gave his entire power into the hands of a man 
whom they regarded as their fiercest adversary the cardinal of Lorraine, 
of the house of Guise."* 

The cardinal, however, did not long hold his responsible 
position. Francis II. died suddenly at the close of the fol 
lowing year.f Then came the period of intrigue, of turbu 
lence, and of civil commotions, which marked the real, if not 
always nominal regency of Catherine, the queen mother, 
under the reigns of her two remaining sons Charles IX. and 
Henry III. The cardinal of Lorraine soon found that Cathe 
rine would not brook his overshadowing influence ; and the 
reformers, who had been busily intriguing against him at 
court, soon had the satisfaction to believe, or to hope, that 
they had achieved a triumph. Says Ranke : 

" But the cardinal had miscalculated still more upon the queen mother. 
She longed for the moment when the domination of the Guises should come 
to an end ; it was barely tolerable, only because it was in accordance with 
the wishes of Francis II., and therefore not to be avoided. She intended to 
show the Guises that the public hatred excited by the last reign was 
directed, not against her, but against themselves. When all was lost, said 
Beza, behold the Lord our God aroused himself. An alteration followed 
in the aspect of affairs, not suddenly but by degrees, and on that account 
the more decided. The idea of Calvin prevailed over that of the cardinal"! 

Catherine now appeared before the council, "leading by 
the hand the eldest of her surviving sons, upon whom the 
succession to the throne had devolved ; this was Charles IX., 
who was then in his eleventh vear. . . . The council resolved 

* Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 167. f Dec. 5th, 1560. J Ibid, p. 187. 


that the opinion of the first prince of the blood, the king of 
Navarre, ought to be heard in all matters. This was exactly 
what Calvin had wished for, and what he had contemplated 
as the result of a great demonstration, but which now came 
to pass spontaneously."* 

The king of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV., was looked 
up to as the natural leader and protector of the Huguenots, 
which leadership he had inherited with the royal blood from 
his mother Queen Margaret. No wonder Calvin was rejoiced ; 
but the course of subsequent events did not come up to his 
confident expectations. Many and intricate were the plots 
and counterplots, the conspiracies and civil commotions, 
which followed ; persistent and violent were the efforts of the 
Huguenot chieftains to control the supreme power of the 
kingdom. For this purpose they resorted without scruple to 
treasonable intrigues and alliances with Elizabeth of England ; 
and they gladly accepted the aid in men and money which 
she sent them, to enable them to come off victorious in their 
struggle against the sovereign and government of their own 
country. In the end, however, they were completely foiled, 
and the Catholic party remained in the ascendant. They 
inflicted desperate wounds on France ; they could not suc 
ceed, even with the aid of England and the sympathy and 
subsequent assistance of their brethren in Germany, in dis 
membering it, in destroying its nationality, or even in per 
manently revolutionizing its government. 

During the continuance of these contests, the queen mother 
Catherine pursued a tortuous and unprincipled policy. She 
coquetted alternately with the leaders of both parties, now 
favoring the king of Navarre and his associates Conde and 
Coligny, now upholding the cause of the Guises who were 
the principal Catholic champions. Her policy seems to have 
been, to play off the two parties against each other, in order 
thereby to strengthen her own influence and to retain the 
supreme power in her own hands. 

* Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 188. 


Our limits will not permit us to go into lengthy details in 
regard to the exciting transactions which marked this period 
of French history. We will furnish instead the terse, succint, 
impartial, and accurate account of them given by the great his 
torian of England, Dr. Lingard, together with his authorities ; 
remarking as we proceed on any substantial discrepancies 
which may be found between his statements, and those of 
Ranke and of other historians favorable to the Huguenots.* 

1. The first movement in the politico-religious drama, 
which was destined to drench the French soil in the blood of 
its citizens, was made by the Huguenots as early as 1559, 
during the reign of Francis II. It is known in history as the 
conspiracy of Amboise. It was a treasonable attempt of the 
Huguenot leaders to seize on the government, under the pretense 
of resisting the usurpation of the Guises. It was probably con 
cocted at Geneva under the eye of Calvin ; it was certainly 
instigated by Elizabeth of England. Says Lingard : 

" The principal inducement of Elizabeth to intermeddle with French af 
fairs was her knowledge of the projects cherished by the factions in France. 
Scarcely was the corpse of Henry II. laid in the grave, when Cecil under 
took to excite in that country dissensions, similar to those which he had 
fomented in Scotland, by arming the princes of the blood, and the reform 
ers, against their new monarch, Francis II. By his instructions, Throck- 
morton solicited a private interview with Antoine de Bourbon, the titular 
king of Navarre, who was known to favor the reformed doctrines. They 
met in the town of St. Denis at the hour of midnight. The ambassador, in 
general terms, stated to the king the esteem of the queen for his. virtues, 
her wish to form an alliance with him for the honor of God and the advance 
ment of true religion, and her hope that, by mutually assisting each other, 
they might prevent their enemies from taking any advantage against God, 
or his cause (!), or either of themselves as his ministers (!). Though Antoine 
understood the object of this hypocritical cant, he answered with caution : 
that he should be happy to have so illustrious an ally in so sacred a cause, 
but that for greater security he would correspond directly with the queen 

* Lingard goes straight to the point, and in one page he furnishes more 
facts, much better related and far better put together, than Ranke does in 
five. Ranke is somewhat of a transcendental philosopher, and he must 
needs give us his often tedious reflections as he proceeds with his story. 


herself. * In a few days the young king intrusted to the duke of Guise and 
the cardinal of Lorraine, the uncles of his queen, the chief offices in the 
government. The ambition of the princes of the blood was disappointed ; 
and Antoine, king of Navarre, and Louis, prince of Conde, Bourbons of the 
house of Vendome, formed an association with Coligny, admiral of France, 
d Andelot, colonel of the French infantry, and the cardinal of Chatillon, 
three nephews of the Constable Montmorency. Together they could com 
mand the services of about three thousand men of family, and of the whole 
body of reformers in France, to whom they had long been known as friends 
and protectors. 

1 It was to inform the queen of their views and resources, that Throck- 
inorton had come to England ; and he was followed by Eenaudie, a gentle 
man of Perigord, the devoted partisan of the prince of Conde, who, to save 
the lives of the chiefs in the event of failure, had accepted the dangerous 
post of appearing at first as the leader of the insurgents. That adventurer 
soon returned, the bearer from Elizabeth of wishes for their success, and 
promises of support ; Calvin from Geneva sent emissaries and letters to his 
disciples in France ; men were secretly levied among the professors of the 
new doctrines in every province ; and a day was appointed when they 
should rendezvous in the vicinity of the court, surprise the king and queen, 
the cardinal and the duke of Guise, and place the government in the hands 
of the princes of the blood."f 

Ranke admits the fact of the conspiracy, and also that the 
subject was discussed by Renaudie and the other Huguenot 
exiles at Geneva :J but he affects to believe that considerable 
obscurity rests upon the nature of the plot itself, and the pur 
poses of the conspirators, and he denies that Calvin concurred 
in the movement. Yet he admits that Renaudie, on hia 
return from Geneva, assured his followers, that, "according 
to the judgment of the German theologians and jurists, the 
undertaking was perfectly lawful." It is probable that Cal- 

* Forbes, i, 174, 212. 

f Lingard, History of England, vii, 287-8. 

" In the council held at La Ferte it was deliberated whether they should 
entirely rid themselves of the royal family and the Guises ; but the majority 
decided that assassination would throw too much discredit on the party, and 
rouse all France against them. Capefigue, ii, 107. He quotes Brulart s 
Journal. Vie de Coligny, 20. De Thou, i, xxiv. Matthieu, i, iv, p. 213. 
Le Labourer, i, 512." 

J Eanke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 175, seqq. $ Ibid., p. 176. 

VOL. n. 31 


Tin s opposition was an after-thought when the conspiracy 
had failed, or that he played as usual a double game. The 
Huguenots would scarcely have ventured on so important a 
step without his advice. It is well known, that they consulted 
him on all important occasions, and that they generally fol 
lowed his counsel. He was, in fact, their real prime minister, 
in opposition to the one who conducted the French govern 
ment at home. 

As Ranke asserts roundly, that " he (Calvin) and his fol 
lowers (in France) might have wished for peace," but " their 
antagonists (the French Catholics) needed, demanded, and 
"began the war ;"* the origin and objects of this conspiracy of 
Amboise, which took place more than two years before the 
actual breaking out of the Civil Wars in France, assume an 
historical importance which would not otherwise attach to 
them. Chance has thrown in our way an interesting and 
unexceptionable testimony upon this subject, which we will 
be pardoned for republishing in full. It is interesting, be 
cause it contains a graphic picture, drawn by a friendly hand, 
of the principal Huguenot leaders ; and unexceptionable, be 
cause furnished by a warm advocate of the Huguenot cause 
and movements. We refer to Morley s account, in his Life 
of Palissy, the Potter. 

" Whoever might head the great party of malcontents created by what 
was called the usurpation of power by the House of Guise, the men to whom 
the Huguenots looked up as their own chiefs were the three brothers Coligny, 
D Andelot, and Chatillon. Of Coligny and D Andelot we have already 
spoken. Admiral Coligny was a man stubborn, taciturn and inflexible of 
purpose ; D Andelot was not less steadfast and intrepid and only a few de 
grees less sombre and reserved. Both, says Brantome, being so formed by 
nature that they moved with difficulty, and on their faces never any sudden 
change of countenance betrayed their thoughts. Very useful to them there 
fore was the alliance of their brother, who possessed by nature a more pli 
able surface to his character, and had increased its elasticity by education. 
This brother Cardinal de Chatillon, bishop of Beauvais, had a mild, engaging 

Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 207. 


way, and so much tact in addressing those with whom he had to deal that 
he knew how to avoid all those disagreeable collisions of opinion, which, 
would have checked the course of his more hard-minded associates. When 
negotiation was required, therefore, Chatillon with his insinuating, courtly 
habits proved a most efficient helper to his party. 

"At La Ferte, on the frontier of Picardy, the malcontents assembled at a 
chateau belonging to the prince of Conde who was a Bourbon, brother to 
Anthony, king of Navarre. The prince of Conde was a man given to ease 
and pleasure, who did not keep one mistress the less for having adopted the 
reformed opinions in religion. At this meeting, Coligny showed that there 
were in France two millions of reformers capable of bearing arms. It was 
resolved to strike a great and final blow at the dominant Guise faction. 
Troops were to be levied secretly throughout France, captains were to be 
appointed over them, and they were to be brought quietly from all parts to 
concentrate at Blois, for there the king would rusticate in the succeeding 
spring and endeavor to recruit his feeble health. The exact service to be 
done by them and their precise destination were to be kept secret from the 
troops ; but Calvinists were to be levied, on the understanding that they 
were to strike a sure blow for the freedom of their religion, political malcon 
tents were to be told that they were to secure the triumph of their party. 
The real intention was to break out suddenly at Blois with overwhelming 
force, to decoy the Guises the king s uncles and his chosen though obnoxious 
ministers out of the royal presence, to imprison them, and institute against 
them public prosecution. The princes of the blood and the ancient officials, 
with Montmorency of course at their head, were thus to be placed, where 
they believed they had a right to be, at the head of state affairs, and the 
party of the Guises would be most effectually crippled. 

" This plot which is called the conspiracy of Amboise, was kept duly se 
cret by its first promoters. None of them would venture to commit him 
self by assuming the post of leader in an enterprise which, even when seen 
through the mists of faction in those days of enterprise, could not have appeared 
very noble to an honest man. An ostensible leader was required, also, who 
should be notoriously bold and able, while at the same time he was not 
provided with a set of principles too inconveniently definite. Captains and 
soldiers were to be tempted out of many regions of opinion, and a leader 
was required who should be distasteful to none. 

" The required chief was found in a reckless roving soldier named Re- 
naudie, a man sprung from a good house in Perigord. Renaudie received a 
detailed plan of the whole enterprise, in which provisions had been made 
beforehand for a long series of contingencies. He was instructed to say, that, 
when the time should be ripe, the prince of Conde would assume the lead 
of the movement, to which the people were invited. The name of the queen 


mother was by some unfairly used as a consenting party to the enterprise, 
and she, it was said, would never have sanctioned treason. 

"Finally, to prop all sinking consciences, theologians and juriconsults, 
chosen judiciously, were requested to supply, and did supply, attestations 
that no law human or divine would be violated by the proposed move in the 
game of politics."* 

2. The results of the conspiracy are stated by the English 
historian as follows, and the statement is substantially con 
firmed by Ranke : 

" In a few days the conspiracy in France burst forth, but was defeated at 
Amboise by the vigilance and rigor of the duke of Guise. Conde and Co- 
ligny, to escape suspicion, fought against their own party ; Renaudie per 
ished in the conflict, and most of the other leaders were taken and executed. 
At this intelligence, Elizabeth began to waver ; and her hesitation was kept 
alive by the arrival of Montluc, the French ambassador ; but Throckmorton 
urged her not to forfeit the golden opportunity offered by the prospect of a 
civil war in France ; and the lords of the council solicited permission to 
commence hostilities on the following grounds : because it was just to repel 
danger, honorable to relieve the oppressed, necessary to prevent the union 
of Scotland with France, and profitable to risk a small sum for the attain 
ment of that, which afterwards must cost a greater price.f The day after 
the presentation of this memorial appeared a most extraordinary state paper, 
entitled a declaration of peace, but intended as a justification of war. It 
made a distinction between the French king and queen, and their ministers. 
The former were the friends of Elizabeth, who strictly forbade any injury to 
be offered to their subjects ; the latter were her enemies ; and to defeat 
their ambitious views, she had taken up arms, and would not lay them down 
till she had expelled every French soldier from the realm of Scotland. "| 

" Palissy, the Potter, by Henry Morley " ; in two volumes, 12mo. 
Boston. Ticknor, Heed & Fields, 1853. Vol. i, p. 268, seqq. Palissy 
was one of the most zealous among the early Huguenot saints, and Morley 
is the willing defender of the Huguenot movements. The work is found 
in the select and extensive private library of Very Rev. E. S. Collins of Cin 
cinnati, to whom we have been more than once indebted for valuable refer 
ences and information. 

f Forbes , vol. i. p. 390, 396. 

t Lingard, History of England, vii, p. 289, 290. Haynes , vol. i, p. 268. 

" It is a poor revenge " said the cardinal of Lorraine to Throckmorton "that 
hath been used of late by your proclamation in England against my brother 
and me ; but we take it that it is not the queen s doing, but the persuasion 


3. Here then we have, on the most unexceptionable author 
ity, a solution of the important question who instigated, and 
who really began the civil wars in France. Kanke himself 
admits, that the Huguenots employed the arm of the flesh by 
allying themselves with a political faction, and that their 
haughty bearing and open menaces contributed greatly to 
kindle the flames of civil war ; and it is not a little remark 
able that the passage occurs immediately before that in which 
he asserts that the Catholic party " needed, demanded, and 
~began the war ! " He says : 

" The essence of the matter is misapprehended by those who attribute the 
success of the Protestant movement to the political faction, though it is un 
deniable, that the former had formed a union with the latter, and was en 
couraged by it, and wore, so to speak, its colors. This was seen in the 
support which the prince of Conde, the most distinguished leader of the re 
formers, received at this time (before the outbreak of hostilities) in the cap 
ital. The citizens were disarmed, because a tumultuary outbreak was appre 
hended. The prince was surrounded with armed troops of his co-religionists, 
who accompanied him through the streets (of Paris) in rank and file, as he 
went to a preaching or returned from one. It was computed that there were 
twenty thousand Huguenots in the city, and it was feared that, in union 
with them, he would endeavor, by a sudden coup de main, to make himself 
master of it, and that the same would be attempted in other cities also. In 
all probability he did not think of such a scheme, yet the jealousy of his 
antagonists was so powerfully excited, that it was believed and asserted that 
religious zeal and political antipathy had united themselves for a common 

When the Catholics were disarmed, while the Protestants 
were armed and paraded the streets in a menacing attitude, 
there was certainly some ground for the jealousy which was 
aroused. And be it remembered, that at this very time the 
religious rights and liberties of the Huguenots had been sol- 

of three or foure about her ; and, as I trust to see shortlye that she will be 
better advised, so we hope that ere it be long, she will put her hand to 
punysh them for giving her such advice." Forbes, i, 423. " The original 
of the proclamation is in Cecil s hand writing." Lingard, Ibid. 
* Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 206. 


emnly guarantied by the government, so that they had no 
just cause for complaint or hostility.* 

In general, it may be remarked, that the Huguenots as 
sumed the most hostile attitude precisely at the time when 
their demands had been most fully granted by the dominant 
majority ! Every successive pacification, which healed up 
for a time the nine or ten civil wars which they successively 
stirred up in France, was almost sure to be followed by an 
increase of haughtiness in the bearing of the Huguenot fac 
tion. The more they received, the more they claimed. The 
fact is, that, like their brother Calvinists elsewhere, they 
understood by religious liberty the right of seizing on or des 
troying Catholic churches, "removing the monuments of 
idolatry," and ruling supreme both in Church and State ! JSTo 
one can carefully read the history of France, as written by 
men of all shades of religious opinion, without coming to this 

"Writers favorable to the Huguenots usually ascribe the 
actual breaking out of hostilities to the affair at Yassy, which 
occurred on the first of March, 1562, and in which about sixty 
of the Huguenots were slain in an affray by the followers of the 
duke of Guise. But those who maintain this position entirely 
forget the previous conspiracy of Amboise, as well as the men 
acing attitude of Conde in Paris, to omit several other similar 
circumstances. They forget also that, in this particular affray, 
the accidental collision between the two parties was provoked 
by the Huguenots themselves. Kanke himself tells us, that 
the duke of Guise, passing through the town, wished to speak 
with some of his own subjects who were assembled with the 
Huguenots in a religious meeting ; but that, as he declared 
in his letter on the subject, his application was received by 
the enraged religionists with a volley of stones ; whereupon 
the deplorable affray and loss of life ensued.f 

* This is admitted on all hands. 

f Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 211, and note. In the text, he gives a dif- 


The duke of Guise was an impulsive, but a generous and 
chivalric man, not disposed to wanton cruelty. " In himself 
this gallant soldier was not disposed to deeds of violence. He 
is represented as rather of a quiet and even phlegmatic temper 
ament ; he was praised for the mildness he exhibited towards 
conquered enemies, and for the self-control with which he sought 
to rectify any injustice that might have been committed; and 
was thought to know, in a superior degree, the duties of man 
to man, and what became them."* 

4. The first civil war broke out in 1562. Its principal 
causes and incidents are accurately and summarily unfolded 
in the following extract, the length of which will be pardoned 
on account of its interest : 

" The failure of the attempt to surprise the court at Amboise had broken 
their projects ; and the origin of the conspiracy was clearly traced to the 
king of Navarre and his brother the prince of Conde. An unexpected event 
not only preserved these princes from punishment, but revived and invigor 
ated their hopes. Francis II. died, and the queen mother Catherine of Me- 
dicis, being appointed regent during the minority of her son Charles IX., 
sought their aid to neutralize the ascendency of the house of Guise. The 
prince of Condc was released from prison, and admitted to the council ; his 
brother, the king of Navarre, obtained the office of lieutenant-general of the 
kingdom. The queen s next object was to pacify, if she could not unite, 
the two great religious parties which divided the population of France. In 
this she was ably seconded by the chancellor de 1 Hospital ; and the edict 

ferent, but obviously inconsistent and self-refuting statement ; in the note, 
he refers to the letter of Guise. Lingard says : 

" The French reformed writers generally ascribe the war to an affray, 
commonly called by them the Massacre of Vassy, in which about sixty men 
were slain by the followers of the duke of Guise. But 1st, there is every 
reason to believe that this affray was accidental, and provoked by the reli 
gionists themselves. See La Popelin, vol. iv. p. 283 ; and the declaration 
of the duke on his death-bed, preserved by Brantome, who was present, 
both at Vassy and at his death. 2d. The affray happened on March 1st ; 
yet the Calvinists at Xismes began to arm on the 19th of February, at the 
sound of the drum. They were in the field and defeated De Flassans on 
March 6th. See Menard, Histoire de Nismes, iv. Preuves, vi." Lingard, 
vol. vii, p. 310, note. 

* Ranke. Civil Wars, etc., p. 210. 


of January, 1562, both suspended the execution of all penal laws on the 
score of religion, and granted to the Calvinists ample liberty for the exercise 
of their worship. But the minds of men were too fiercely exasperated by 
mutual injuries to listen to the voice of moderation. Nothing less than the 
extirpation of what they termed idolatry could satisfy the fanatics among 
the reformers : and by the zealots of the opposite party the smallest conces 
sion to the new religionists was deemed an apostasy from the faith of their 
fathers. It was impossible to prevent these factions from coming into colli 
sion in different places : riots, pillage, and bloodshed were generally the con 
sequence ; and the leaders on both sides began to prepare for the great con 
flict which they foresaw, by associations within, and confederacies without, 
the realm. 

" On the one hand Conde, Coligny, and d Andelot, encouraged by the ad 
vice of the English ambassador Throckmorton, who continually urged them 
to draw the sword against their opponents,* claimed pecuniary aid of Eliza 
beth, and dispatched envoys to levy reisters and lansquenets among their 
fellow religionists in Germany : On the other, Montmorency, the duke of 
Guise, and the Marshall St. Andre entered into a solemn compact to support 
the ancient creed by the extirpation of the new doctrines ; solicited for that 
purpose the co-operation of the king of Spain ; and sought to draw to their 
party the Lutheran princes of Germany. At first the queen regent more 
apprehensive of the ambition of the duke of Guise than of that of the prince 
of Conde, had offered to the latter the support of the royal authority ; but 
the king of Navarre had been gained over to the Catholic cause. Cath 
erine and her son were conducted by him from Fontainbleau to Paris; 
and from that hour they made common cause with those among whom 
fortune rather than inclination had thrown them. In a short time the 
flames of war burst out in every province in France. If the lieutenant- 
general secured Paris for the king, the prince of Conde fortified Orleans for 
the insurgents. Each party displayed that ferocious spirit, that thirst for 
vengeance, which distinguishes civil and religious warfare : one deed of un 
justifiable severity was requited by another ; and the most inhuman atroci- 

* " Throckmorton informs us, in one of his letters, that the duke charged 
him to his face with being the author of all the troubles ; and therefore 
required him to help to bring them out of trouble, as he had helped to 
bring them into it. In his answer the ambassador did not venture to deny 

the charge. Forbes ii, 255-257 Nos divisions, lesquelles Trockmorton 

avoit fomentees et entretenues longuement par la continuelle frequentation 

et intelligence qu il avoit avec 1 admiral et ceux cle son parti il fit 

entrer sa maitresse en cette partie, dont elle m a souvent dit depuis, qu elle 
s estoit repentie, mais trop tard. Castelnau, Mem. xliv, 50." 


ties were daily perpetrated by men, who professed to serve under the ban 
ners of religion, and for the honor of the Almighty. 

" Though the Calvinists were formidable by their union and enthusiasm, 
they did not form more than one hundredth part of the population of France. 
Still the prince cherished strong hopes of success. He relied on the resour 
ces of his own courage, on the aid of the German and Scottish Protestants, 
and on the promises of Throckmorton. His envoys, the Vidame of Chartres, 
and De la Haye, stole over to England, visited Cecil in the darkness of the 
night, and solicited from the queen a reinforcement of ten thousand men, 
with a loan of three hundred thousand crowns."* 

The Huguenot envoys succeeded. A formal treaty was 
negotiated with Elizabeth, in which she bound herself to send 
men and money to aid her brave allies in their struggle for 
the mastery in France ; and these agreed to deliver up to her 
the two French harbors of Havre and Dieppe, the former of 
which, the key of the French kingdom, she was to retain as a 
pledge for the restoration of Calais. This treasonable meas 
ure aroused general indignation throughout France against 
the Huguenot leaders, and especially the prince of Conde, 
who had been the principal actor in the infamous negotiation. 
All eyes were turned to the duke of Guise, and he was called 
on to save the country from foreign invasion in alliance with 
domestic treason. "The duke of Guise had expelled the En 
glish from the last strong-hold (Calais) which they possessed 
in France ; his opponent (Conde) had recalled them into the 
realm, and given them two sea-ports in place of the one which 
they had lost."f 

The result was a general burst of patriotic enthusiasm. 
Nobles and people flocked with eagerness to the royal stand 
ard ; Rouen, the chief strong-hold of the Huguenots, was be- 
seiged and taken by assault; two hundred Englishmen who 
had hastened to its relief perished in the breach ; and in an 
important battle fought at Dreux, the Huguenot forces were 
routed, and Conde himself was made prisoner ; though, as an 
offset, the Constable Montmorency, and the gallant commander 

* Lingard, History of England, vii, 308, seqq. J Ibid., vii, 312. 


in chief of the Catholic army, fell into the hands of the insur 
gents. The supreme command now devolved on the duke of 
Guise on the one side, and on Coligny on the other; the two 
most decided and intractable leaders and representatives of 
the contending parties. Coligny retired to Orleans which 
was strongly fortified, and Guise immediately laid seige to 
that city. Meantime Normandy was ravaged by the German 
mercenaries, whom the Huguenots had brought into France to 
aid them in fighting against their own government. 

"While the admiral (Coligny) gave the plunder of Normandy to his Ger 
man auxiliaries, the royalists formed the siege of Orleans, the great bulwark 
of their opponents. Its fall was confidently anticipated, when Poltrot, a 
deserter from the Huguenot army, and in pay of the admiral, assassinated 
the duke of Guise.* The death of that nobleman was followed by a sudden 
and unexpected revolution. Conde aspired to the high station in the gov 
ernment to which he was entitled as first prince of the blood ; and the 
Catholics feared that the English, with the aid of Coligny, might make im 
portant conquests in Normandy. The leaders on both sides, anxious for an 
accommodation, met, were reconciled, and subscribed a treaty of peace, by 
which the French religionists promised their services to the king, as true 
and loyal subjects, and obtained in return an amnesty for the past, and the 
public exercise of their religion for the future, in one town of every bailiwic 
in the kingdom, f with the exception of the good city of Paris. This pacifi 
cation was eagerly accepted by the gentlemen, the followers of Conde : it 
was loudly reprobated by d Andelot, the ministers, and the more fanatic of 
the party."| 

The tide of war now turned, and Elizabeth of England had 
to pay dearly for her unworthy duplicity. The English under 

* " The two apologies of Coligny prove, that if he did not instigate the 
assassin, he knew of, and connived at, the intended assassination. See 
Pettitot s Collection, xxxiii, 281." 

f " Forbes, 339, 350-359. Castelnau, 233-240, 245." 

I Lingard, Hist. England, vii, 320-1. Of Coligny s complicity in the base 
assassination of the duke of Guise Ranke says : " Coligny guarded himself 
from giving the fanatic any encouragement ; but, on the other hand, he did 
not prevent him, considering it sufficient that he had warned the duke of a 
similar attempt formerly." He adds : " Even in the churches (Calvinistic) 
the act was spoken of as a righteous judgment of God." P. 219. 


the earl of Warwick were driven ignominiously from Havre, 
and Throckmorton, her officiating minister in France was 
thrown into prison ; and even after his subsequent release, he 
was never more allowed to show himself at the French 

5. The Pacification which had thus secured the blessing of 
peace to the hostile parties in France was not of long dura 
tion. The Huguenots, under the leadership of Conde, broke 
it by a base and unprovoked attempt, in time of peace, to 
seize upon the French king and court at Monceaux, near 
Meaux. Luckily, the treacherous attempt was defeated by 
the timely discovery of the plot : " the king escaped with diffi 
culty to Paris in the midst of a body of Swiss infantry, who, 
marching in a square, repulsed every charge of the Huguenot 
cavalry. The English ambassador Norris had been deeply 
implicated in the arrangement of this atrocious, and in reality 
unprovoked attempt : but though the queen (Elizabeth), as a 
sovereign, condemned the outrage, Cecil required BTorris to 
comfort the insurgents, and exhort them to persevere."* 

This occurred in September, 1567 ; and the pretext for the 
outrage was, that, as Conde affected to believe, a compact had 
been entered into more than two years previously,! at the 
Conference of Bayonne, between the French and Spanish 
courts, by which the Protestants of France were to be de 
prived of their religious liberties. That it was a mere pre 
text, encouraged by the intrigues of the prince of Orange and 
of the English ambassador, and deriving force from the recent 
arrival in the Netherlands of the duke of Alva, appears now 
to be generally admitted. The Conference of Bayonne, held 
in June, 1565, turns out to have been nothing more than a 
family meeting between Catherine, the queen mother, and 
her daughter Isabella, the consort of Philip II. of Spain ; 
and the full account of it, with all the papers, furnished by 

* Lingard, History England, vol viii, p. 61. He quotes Cabala, Davila, 
and Castelnau. t In June, 1565. Ranke, Ibid., p. 226. 


the researches of Yon Eaumer, filling more than a hundred 
pages of printed matter, renders it certain that no such com 
pact as that alleged by the Huguenot conspirators was ever even 
in contemplation.* Even Ranke, though he pretends that some 
such overtures were made by the duke of Alva, freely admits 
that both Catherine and her son Charles IX. rejected them 
with a decision approaching to contempt, and that "both par 
ties separated from each other with coolness."f 

Thus, by the fault of the Huguenots alone, civil war broke 
out for the second time in the heart of France. The insur 
gents under Conde besieged the king in Paris ; but they were 
defeated at St. Denis by the Constable Montmorency, who 
however lost his life in the engagement. In the spring of 
1568, another pacification was concluded ; and the Hugue 
nots availed themselves of it to fly to the succor of the prince 
of Orange, who was sorely pressed by the veteran troops of 
Alva in the Netherlands. Notwithstanding this timely suc- 

* For the documents, see Lingard, History of England, viii, p. 60, note. 

t Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 227. 

In his Constitutional History of England (p. 87, note ; Amer. Edit), Hal- 
lam says : I do not give any credit whatever to this league, as printed in 
Strype, (i, 502,), which seems to have been fabricated by some of the queen s 
(Elizabeth s) emissaries." This is a terrible thrust at the fabrication and 
forgery, which seern to have been systematically pursued by Cecil and the 
other servants of this queen, no doubt with her connivance or countenance ! 
Hallam goes on to say, that there had been, " not perhaps a treaty, but a 
verbal agreement between France and Spain at Bayonne some time before." 
But for this statement he gives no evidence whatever ; and the testimony 
of Ranke proves that this too was a fabrication, so far at least as France is 
made a party to it. Sir James Mackintosh is more credulous than Hallam 
and Ranke, but Mackintosh is very strongly prejudiced. 

When, a little later, the French and Spanish ambassadors openly charged 
Elizabeth with aiding the insurgents in France and the Netherlands, "some 
times she had recourse to evasions, sometimes she justified her conduct by 
fairly alleging the supposed league for the extirpation of Protestantism. But 
when she was called upon for proof of the existence of such league, she 
could produce only conjecture and report." Lingard, Ibid., viii, 64, note. He 
quotes numerous dispatches of Fenelon, the French ambassador. 


cor, Orange was, however, defeated and his army dis 

6. Now ensued the third civil and religious war in France. 
"The princes of Orange and Conde had constantly acted in 
concert; and the former had no sooner retreated from Bel 
gium, than the flames of war burst out for the third time in 
the heart of France."* This was in the summer of 1568. 
Two decisive battles followed, in both of which the Hugue 
nots were defeated. At Jarnac their great leader Conde fell ; 
and at Montcontour, their chief hope Coligny was totally de 
feated by the duke of Anjou ; while another leader, D Ande- 
lot, brother of Coligny, died of an infectious fever. 

Such were the events of the years 1568 and 1569. In 
1570, a general edict of pacification was published ; and as 
all parties were now heartily tired of these perpetual civil 
wars, there seemed to be a reasonable hope that this peace 
would be permanent. 

Though the preceding details are somewhat lengthy, we 
have deemed them necessary for the proper understanding of 
the great tragedy of the St. Bartholomew massacre in 1572, 
to which we now come. 

7. In. order still further to cement the bonds of peace, a 
marriage was concluded, after this third pacification, between 
the king s sister and the king of Navarre, who was by far 
the most influential, though not always the most active and effi 
cient of the Huguenot leaders. Coligny and the rest of the 
Huguenot chiefs came to Paris to assist at the auspicious wed 
ding, which was forever to banish civil commotion from 
France. There is not a doubt, as Ranke himself freely ad 
mits, that the king Charles IX. was entirely sincere, both in 
the love of peace which animated him in bringing about the 
marriage, and in his friendly intentions in inviting the Hugue 
not chieftains to be present at the ceremony. There is as 
little doubt, that the deplorable and detestable massacre which 

* Lingard Ibid., viii, p. 63. 


ensued was the result of no premeditated design on his part; 
that it occurred solely from the unforeseen circumstances 
which arose in Paris after the chiefs had been already for 
many days in the city ; and that even then, it was mainly 
owing to the unprincipled machinations of the queen mother, 
who was as unscrupulous as she was adroit in the manage 
ment of aifairs. We will first give the account of the mas 
sacre, as furnished by Dr. Lingard, and as triumphantly 
defended by him against the strictures of the Edinburgh He- 
view ; then we will show wherein Ranke differs from him in 
the statement of the facts ; and finally we will add some reflec 
tions of our own. Our readers may be, perhaps, surprised 
to find the English and German historians agreeing in all 
material points. 

" The young king of Navarre was the nominal, the Admiral Coligny the 
real leader of the Huguenots. He ruled among them as an independent 
sovereign ; and, what chiefly alarmed his opponents, seemed to obtain grad 
ually the ascendency over the mind of Charles. He had come to Paris to 
assist at the marriage of the king of Navarre, and was wounded in two 
places by an assassin, as he passed through the streets. The public voice 
attributed the attempt to the duke of Guise, in revenge of the murder of his 
father at the siege of Orleans ; it had proceeded, in reality (and was so sus 
pected by Coligny himself), from Catherine, the queen mother. The wounds 
were not dangerous ; but the Huguenot chieftains crowded to his hotel ; 
their threats of vengeance terrified the queen ; and in a secret council the 
king was persuaded to anticipate the bloody and traitorous designs attributed 
to the friends of the admiral. The next morning, by the royal order, the 
hotel was forced : Coligny and his principal counselors perished ; the popu 
lace joined in the work of blood ; and every Huguenot, or suspected Hugue 
not, who fell in their way, was murdered. Several days elapsed before order 
was finally restored in the capital : in the provinces the governors, though 
instructed to prevent similar excesses, had not always the power or the will 
to check the fury of the people, and the massacre of Paris was imitated in 
several towns, principally those in which the passions of the inhabitants 
were inflamed by the recollection of the barbarities exercised amongst them 
by the Huguenots during the late wars. 

"This bloody tragedy had been planned and executed in Paris with so 
much expedition, that its authors had not determined on what ground to 
justify or palliate their conduct. In the letters written the same evening 


to the governors of the provinces, and to the ambassadors of foreign courts, 
it was attributed to the ancient quarrel and insatiate hatred which existed 
between the princes of Lorraine and the house of Coligny.* But as the duke 
of Guise refused to take the infamy on himself, the king was obliged to ac 
knowledge in parliament, that he had signed the order for the death of the 
admiral, and sent in consequence to his ambassadors new and more detailed 
instructions. In a long audience, La Motte Fenelon assured Elizabeth that 
Charles had conceived no idea of such an event before the preceding eve 
ning ; when he learned, with alarm and astonishment, that the confidential 
advisers of the admiral had formed a plan to revenge the attempt made on 
his life, by surprising the Louvre, making prisoners of the king and the royal 
family, and putting to death the duke of Guise, and the leaders of the Cath 
olics ; that the plot was revealed to one of the council, whose conscience re 
volted from such a crime ; that his deposition was confirmed in the mind of 
the king, by the violent and undutiful expressions uttered by Coligny in the 
royal presence ; that, having but the interval of a few hours to deliberate, he 
had hastily given permission to the duke of Guise and his friends to execute 
justice on his and their enemies ; and that if, from the excited passions of 
the populace, some innocent persons had perished with the guilty, it had 
been done contrary to his intentions, and had given him the most heartfelt 
sorrow. The insinuating eloquence of Fenelon made an impression on the 
mind of Elizabeth : she ordered her ambassador to thank Charles for the 
communication ; trusted that he would be able to satisfy the world of the 
uprightness of his intentions ; and recommended to his protection the persons 
and worship of the French Protestants. To the last point Catherine 
shrewdly replied, that her son could not follow a better example than that 
of his good sister the queen of England ; that, like her, he would force no 
man s conscience ; but, like her, he would prohibit in his dominions the ex 
ercise of every other worship besides that whiclj he practised himselff 

The "violent and undutiful expressions uttered by Coligny 
in the royal presence," to which the French ambassador re 
ferred, are probably those which Ranke furnishes, and which 
are highly important as having been the immediate occasion 
of the attempt on the part of Catherine to have him secretly 
assassinated. Coligny attended regularly the king s council; 
and, in fact, much to the chagrin of Catherine, he seemed to 
have obtained almost unlimited influence over her weak- 
minded son. In concert with the prince of Orange, Coligny 

* Digges, 264 f Lingard, Hist. England, viii, 96, seqq. Digges, 244-246. 


earnestly urged the council to declare war against Spain, 
towards which the French court was then hostile. The queen 
mother and the duke of Anjou, the king s brother, warmly 
opposed the project as imprudent and impolitic, and they 
finally defeated it ; whereupon Coligny was enraged, and ex 
claimed: "Madame, the king now withdraws from a war 
which promises him advantages; God forbid, that another 
should break out, from which he may not be able to with 
draw ! " His words were taken as implying a threat of a 
new civil and religious war in France.* 

As we have said, Kanke agrees with Lingard in all sub 
stantial points. He admits, that if the attempt on Coligny s 
life had been successful, the whole aifair would probably have 
ended then and there : 

" The majority of those who were near the event have asserted, that if 
the admiral had been killed on this occasion, the queen would have been 
satisfied with the one victim ; but he had escaped, and was now for the 
first time in a position to become truly formidable. The Huguenots crowded 
around him with redoubled zeal, and demanded justice : their requisitions 
sounded like threats proceeding from a confident knowledge of their power. 
The general suspicion soon fixed upon the most important and real origi 
nator of the deed. Certain expressions came to her ears one evening at sup 
per ; they were probably exaggerated, but at any rate they gave her grounds 
for apprehension on her own account. The consideration of the personal 
and general danger, incurred by the deed already perpetrated, excited her 
still further to the designs of blood and violence which had lain latent in her 
mind. The Huguenots were in her hands ; it was only necessary for her to 
will it, and they were all destroyed. It has always been the general opin 
ion, that Catherine de Medicis had for years been preparing every thing for 
this catastrophe ; that all her apparent favors to the Huguenots, all her 
treaties and conclusions of peace, were simply so many guileful pretexts in 
order to win their confidence, that she might then deliver them over to de 
struction. Against this supposition, however, it was observed long ago, that 

* Ranke, Civil Wars, etc., p. 268. Ranke supposes that Coligny referred to a 
new war about to break out in Flanders, " which, in one way or other, might have 
implicated France ; " but the supposition is too unfounded, if not absurd to 
merit serious attention. No doubt Catherine was right in her interpretation 
of the fierce admiral s threatening language. 


a stratagem laid so long beforehand was contrary to the nature of French 
modes of proceeding, and is, in itself, nearly impossible. We have ourselves 
seen, as we have proceeded, many circumstances which render it extremely 

That the massacre was wholly unpremeditated seems to 
be now fully settled, since the publication by Mackintosh of 
the secret dispatches of Salviati, the Papal nuncio to the 
French court, f While substantially admitting all this, as we 
have seen, Ranke still thinks that Catherine had previously 
contemplated the design upon the admiral, " as a possibility ;" 
that is, that she had an old score of injuries to settle with him, 
and, in inviting him to the nuptials, vaguely contemplated 
as "possible" the contingency of her having an opportunity 
to wreak her vengeance on him.J This really amounts to 
nothing in the way of premeditation, and the alleging of a 
conjecture so very vague is unworthy a grave historian. 
Though Catherine certainly had received many grievous in 
juries from Coligny and his partisans, the German historian 
does not prove, or even venture to assert, that she conceived 
any definite purpose beforehand to be avenged on him on 
occasion of the nuptials, which is the very point in contro 

Another discrepancy consists in the statement by Ranke, 
that " oral orders were carried from town to town with the 
swiftness of the wind, authorizing the rage of fanaticism 
everywhere." This he does not prove, while he admits imme- 

* Ranke, Civil Wars etc., p. 269, 270. 

f See note E. appended to Lingard s eighth volume, where the testimony 
is given in full. It is regarded as conclusive. 

\ See Ranke, Civil wars etc., p. 273. After saying that Charles was un 
doubtedly sincere, he adds : " Catherine was different, That she had from 
the beginning a design against the admiral, connected with the invitation to 
the nuptials, is in the highest degree probable, yet the design was contem 
plated rather as a possibility, and expressed rather as a justification." This 
theory, besides being wholly unsustained by evidence, is scarcely consistent 
with his previous statement of the facts ; all of which may be, on the other 
hand, satisfactorily explained without it, and even better explained. 
VOL. II. 32 


diately afterwards, that " from time to time the flame broke 
out afresh, even after orders were issued to restrain it."* Ac 
cording to what we believe to be the most reliable accounts, 
these orders restraining the massacre were issued immedi 
ately ; and the partial massacres which took place in other 
towns were caused, in spite of them, by popular excitement 
and the memory of old wrongs received from the Hugue- 

Ranke estimates the number of the victims at twenty 
thousand. This is no doubt a grievous exaggeration. There 
is nothing more fallacious than the attempt to estimate in such 
cases in round numbers. " The reformed martyrologist (Foxe) 
adopted a measure for ascertaining the real number, which 
may enable us to form a probable conjecture. He procured 
from the ministers in the different towns where the massacres 
had taken place lists of the persons who had suffered, or were 
supposed to have suffered. He published the result in 1582 ; 
and the reader will be .surprised to learn, that in all France 
he could discover the names of no more than seven hundred 

* Ranke, Civil Wars etc., p. 278. 

f The excellent Miss Strickland, while taking the erroneous view that the 
massacre was prompted by religious fanaticism, admits that the murderous 
spirit of intolerance in England, especially that which clamored for the 
blood of Mary of Scots, was equally great and detestable. She writes : 

" Not more atrocious, however, was the ruthless fanaticism, which prompted 
the butcher-work by which the day of St. Bartholomew was forever ren 
dered a watchword of reproach against Catholics, than the murderous spirit 
of cruelty and injustice which led the professors of the reformed faith to 
clamor for the blood of the captive Mary Stuart as a victim to the manes of 
the slaughtered Protestants. Sandys, bishop of London, in a letter to Bur- 
leigh, inclosed a paper of measures, which he deemed expedient for the good 
of the realm, and the security of his royal mistress at that crisis, beginning 
with this startling article, Forthwith to cut off the Scottish queen s head. 
Burleigh endeavored to prevail on Elizabeth to follow this sanguinary coun 
sel, telling her that it was the only means of preventing her own deposi 
tion and ^murder. It is easy at all times to persuade hatred that revenge 
is an act of justice." Queens of England, vol. vi, p. 282. She quotes 
Ellis Royal Letters, 2d series, vol. iii, p. 25. 


and eighty-six persons. Perhaps, if we double this number, 
we shall not be far from the real amount."* 

It is quite certain, that religion had little, if any thing 
whatever, to do with the massacre.f The queen mother had 
favored the Huguenot leaders, perhaps fully as much as she 
had the Catholic. As we have seen, her tortuous state policy 
inclined her to throw her influence alternately in the scale 
of Guise and of Conde, accordingly as each of these lead 
ers successively gained the ascendency, and threatened her 
own paramount control of the king and the government. 
At this particular period, the policy of the French court was 
moreover specially directed against Philip of Spain, and it 
strongly favored the cause of the prince of Orange and of 
the Dutch insurgents. Since the days of Francis I., the French 
government had repeatedly formed alliances with the German 
Protestants against their Catholic emperor ; and if its policy 
was guided by religion at all which it seldom was it would 
appear from its acts that it favored the Protestant almost as 
often and as much as it did the Catholic party. Hence all 
the clamor about the massacre having originated in religious 
excitement and intolerance is not only without any solid 
foundation in the facts of history, but against all verisimilitude. 

The Catholic bishops and clergy did whatever was in their 
power to restrain popular violence during this period of ter 
rible popular excitement ;{ and it is not even pretended, that 

* Lingard, Note to vol. viii. Such a partisan as Foxe would scarcely 
have made the number less than it was. 

f Thuanus testifies, that on the day of the massacre the king issued an 
edict, in which he declared that what had been done had been ordered by 
himself, not through hatred of religion, but to provide for his own safety : 
"non religionis odio, sed ut nefariae Colinii et sociorum conjurationi obviam 
iret." Quoted by Milner, Letter iv, to a Prebendary. 

J Thus, according to Maimbourg, quoted by Milner, Henuyer, a Domi 
nican, bishop of Lisieux, nobly sheltered his Protestant " flock," saying : " It 
is the duty of the good shepherd to lay down his life for his sheep, not to 
let them be slaughtered before his face. These are my sheep, though they 
bave gone astray ; and I am resolved to run all hazards in protecting them." 


they had any agency whatever in bringing about the massa 
cre. If the Pope ordered a Te Deum to be sung at Rome on 
first learning the intelligence, it was only because he had 
received such a version of the affair as led him to believe, 
that the Huguenots were only anticipated in their bloody de 
signs by the vigilance of the French court, which by its 
prompt measures of severity was thus saved from utter de 
struction. Such a version of the tragedy was, in fact, imme 
diately sent out to all the foreign courts ; and the antecedents 
of Coligny and his party rendered the story not at all improb 
able. It was only at a later period, that the true facts of 
the case came to light.* 

Though nothing could greatly palliate, much less justify 
this atrocious massacre, yet there are obvious circumstances 
connected with it which should not be lost sight of by those 
who wish to form a correct and impartial judgment. There 
had been great provocations from the other side. Three times 
had the Huguenots risen in arms against their sovereign and 
his government, and they had fought his armies in four 
pitched battles ; in all of which they had been indeed de 
feated, but not without great effusion of blood on both sides. f 
They had treacherously delivered up to the inveterate and 
hereditary enemy of France two of her principal sea-ports, 
which were the keys of the kingdom. They had basely as 
sassinated the noble duke of Guise, who was very dear to 
the French people, from the fact of his having nobly driven 
the English from Calais, their last foothold in France. 

Twice had they attempted, by base treachery, to seize upon 

* The learned Pagi, in his Life of Gregory XIII, the then reigning Pon 
tiff, informs us that, on the representation of the French ambassador, he 
viewed the deed as a necessary act of self-defense of the French court against 
the machinations of Coligny, and therefore ordered the thanksgiving, not for 
the massacre, but for the preservation of the royal family : " Actis publice 
Deo gratiis de periculo a Colinii conjuratione evitato." Brev. Gest. Rom. 
Pont, vi, 729 apud Milner, loco citato. 

t The battles of Dreux, St. Denis, Jarnac, and Moncontour. 


and make prisoners of the French king and court, that thus 
they might be able to grasp the sovereign power of the state, 
and wield it for their own purposes.* They had, when tempo 
rarily in power, disarmed the inhabitants of Paris, and in a 
menacing attitude paraded the streets fully armed, under 
their leader Conde ; and this too in time of profound peace. 
They had, in the civil wars, butchered priests, desecrated 
churches, invaded monasteries, and slaughtered unarmed 
Catholics by thousands, in the various towns which they had 
taken by assault, or where they happened for the time 
to be in power. Five years before in 1567 they had, on 
St. Michael s day, committed a horrible massacre on the 
Catholic people of Nismes.f 

As Davila writes, "upon the death of Francis II., when 
liberty of conscience was granted them, besides burning down 
churches and monasteries, they had massacred people in the 
very streets of Paris." "Heylin relates, that in the time of 
a profound peace, these same people taking offense at the pro 
cession of Corpus Christi performed in the city of Pamiers, 
fell upon the whole clergy who composed it and murdered 
them ; and that they afterwards committed the same outrages 
at Montauban, Rodez, Valence," and other places.J 

* Once at Amboise, and again at Monceaux near Meaux. 

f This terrible massacre was called the Michelade, from the fact of its 
having occurred at Michaelmas. Though it is studiously lost sight of by 
Prosestant writers, it may be viewed as a fair off-set to the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew. Though this was the greatest outbreak of the Huguenots 
against the Catholics of Nismes, it was not the only one ; for another mas 
sacre of a similar kind occurred in this city two years later 1569. See 
Lingard s Vindication, in answer to the Edinburgh Review ; vol. viii of his 
History of England, American Edition. 

To show the desperate ferocity of the Huguenots, we will mention an 
other curious instance. In the third civil war which they stirred up in 
France in 1568, Briquemaut, the principal Huguenot chief, was in the habit 
of wearing a necklace composed of the ears of assassinated priests ! ! See 
Alzog, Hist. Church, etc., p. 583. 

| Hist. Presb. 1. ii, quoted by Milner, sup. cit, to whom we are also in 
debted for the testimony of Davila. 


They had committed all these and many other cruel atroci 
ties ; and though these bloody crimes do not certainly excuse 
the lawless massacre in which some of their leaders fell, yet 
they considerably palliated its enormity, so far at least as to 
prove, that the Huguenots were not the only sufferers, much 
less the innocent victims of an unprovoked persecution, as 
their partial friends sometimes chose to represent them.* 

As one out of many examples of the ferocity with which 
the Huguenots raged against the Catholics, during the civil 
wars preceding the massacre of St. Bartholomew, we will 
here present a brief sketch of the barbarities perpetrated by 
one of their most active military chieftains, the famous or 

* The injury which the violence of the Huguenots in France did to learn 
ing is incalculable ; and it is the more to be regretted, as the loss is irre 
trievable. We condense the following facts on this subject from Maitland s 
learned work on the Dark Ages : (p. 231, seqq., London Edition.) 

Martene, in his " Literary Journey " in quest of ancient manuscripts, had 
occasion almost everywhere to lament the wanton destruction of the most 
valuable of them in the French monasteries by the illiterate and fanatical 
Huguenots, who, in the sixteenth century, overran and sacked a great portion 
of France with a destructive fury unequaled since the invasion of the bar 
barians in the fifth and sixth centuries. At the monastery of St. Theodore, 
near Vienne, the monks willingly communicated to the literary traveler 
" what the fury of the heretics had left to them of ancient monuments ; for 
those impious men in 1562 had burned all the charts." I. Voyage Liter- 
aire, 252, apud Maitland, p. 231. At Tarbes, the same sad spectacle was 
presented, " the cathedral church and all the titles having been burnt by the 
Calvinists who throughout the whole of Beam and Bigorre had left mourn 
ful marks of their fury." Ibid. In the still more ancient abbey of St. John 
at Thouars " the ravages made by the Calvinists during the past century 
have dissipated the greater part of the (literary) monuments." Ibid. The 
same scene of desolation met the view of the antiquary at Grimberg, Dilig- 
hem, and other places. Of the desolation at the monastery of Ferte near 
Meaux, the learned Ruinart speaks as follows : " We hoped perhaps to find 
there something in the archives, .... but we were answered that the charts 
of the monastery had been entirely burned by the Calvinists." Ibid., p. 232. 

Mabillon, the famous Benedictine, bears similar testimony in regard to 
the manuscripts of the monastery of Fleury, where the fury of heresy had 
left but a small remnant of the vast collection of ancient books. Ibid. 


rather infamous Baron D Adrets. He joined their ranks in 
the first civil war of 1562, out of hatred to the duke of Guise 
who had offended him. His career was signalized by the 
celerity and success of his movements, but still more by the 
horrid sufferings which he inflicted upon the Catholic party. 
He took successively Valence, Vienne, Grenoble, and Lyons ; 
and he everywhere raged, like a wild beast, against con 
quered foes. He burned, sacked, and slaughtered, with a fe 
rocity which excited the disgust of even his own more humane 
officers. His very appearance was so ferocious, as to strike 
terror into the most stout-hearted. After having taken the 
strong fortresses of Mornas and Montbrison, it was his favorite 
amusement after dinner, to see his Catholic prisoners leap 
from the battlements into the surrounding moats, where their 
bodies were received on the upraised pikes of his soldiers ! 
" He was, in regard to the Catholics, what Nero had been in 
regard to the early Christians. He sought out and invented 
the most novel punishments, which he took pleasure in seeing 
inflicted on those who fell into his hands. This monster, 
wishing to make his children as cruel as himself, forced them 
to bathe in the blood of the Catholics, whom he had butchered ; 
and these barbarities met with the approbation of the chief of 
the party ! The Admiral Coligny said, that it was necessary 
to employ him, as a furious lion, and that his services over 
balanced his insolence." "He died February 2, 1585, 

abhorred by the Catholics, and despised by the Huguenots 

"We may as well insert here, as elsewhere, what Maitland, 
whom we have already quoted, further says and proves con 
cerning the destructive spirit of the French Huguenots. It 
will be seen that their National Synod officially indorsed this 
Vandal-like spirit exhibited in the wanton destruction of 
valuable ancient manuscripts. 

* Feller, Histor. Diet., who quotes two French lives of D Adrets ; one by 
Allard, Grenoble, 1675, the other by C. J. Martin, published in 1803. 


" It seems worth while to add two instances, one English and the other 
French, of the destruction of MSS. by those who were their guardians, and 
who seem to have been influenced by religious (if one ought not rather to 
say party) feeling. It is the more necessary, because it is hard to conceive 
of such things ; and the circumstances of the latter case in particular lead 
one to apprehend that the matter was not the act of a stupid fanatical indi 
vidual, but a practice encouraged by those who had it in their power to do, 
and certainly did, much mischief; and that not only openly, but by private 
means, less easily detected. 

" Henry Wharton, in the preface to his Anglia Sacra, after stating the 
impossibility of rivaling works of a similar nature which had been published 
respecting France and Italy, owing to the destruction of manuscripts at the 
suppression of monasteries etc., says : that he had met with a case in which 
a bishop, avowedly with the design of getting rid of Popery, had burned all 
the registers and documents belonging to his see.* He does not name him ; 
and, without inquiring who he was, we will charitably hope that he acted 
in stupid sincerity, and was the only English prelate that ever did such a 
thing, or anything like it. 

" But there is a French story, more surprising and pregnant, and form 
ing a valuable commentary on many sad passages in Martene s Literary 
Tour, which might otherwise be thought to bear marks of prejudice against 
the Protestant party. But this fact coming as it does from themselves, is 
beyond suspicion ; and it is briefly as follows : At the 

Quatrieme Synode National des Eglises Reformees de France, tenu a 
Lion le iii Aout, 1563, 1 an III. du regne de Charles IX. Roi de France, 
Monsieur Pierre Viret, alors ministre de 1 Eglise de Lion, elu pour modera- 
teur et pour secretaire among the Faits particuliers which were discussed 
and decided, No. xlvii, is thus stated ; Un Abbe parvenu a la connois- 
sance de 1 Evangile aiant abatu les Holes, brule ses Titres, pourveu aux 
besoinsde ses moines, sans qu il aitperrnis depuis six ans qu il se soit chante 
Messe dans son Abbaye, ne fait aucun exercice du service de 1 Eglise Ro- 
maine, mais au contraire s est toujours montre fidele, et a porte les armes 
pour maintenir VEvangile. On demande s il doit e"tre recu a la Gene? 
Reponse. Oui. "f 

* Comperi enim Episcopum quendam ante centum et quod excurrit annos 
avitse superstitionis delendse praetextu, omnia ecclesise suae monumenta et 
Registra igni tradidisse," Vol. i, p. 10. 

f Aymon, Synod. National. Tom. i, p. 45." At the fourth National 
Synod of the Reformed Churches of France, held at Lyons, the 10th of Au 
gust, 1563, in the third year of the reign of Charles IX., king of France, 
Monsieur Peter Viret, then minister of the church of Lyons having been 
elected moderator and secretary ; among the particular facts or 


" We cannot here indulge any such charitable hope as that which I sug 
gested in the preceding case ; for the point which seizes our attention is not 
the act of the individual, but the approbation of the National Synod. The 
matter is quaintly entered in the index, and in plainer terms than those in 
which it was submitted to the assembled divines. 

" Abbe rec,u a la Gene pour avoir brule ses Tetres, abatu les Images de 
1 Eglise de son couvent, et portc les armes pour maintenir les predicateurs 
Refarmees, p. 45."* 

8. Our summary of facts connected with the remaining his 
tory of the Huguenots must be necessarily very brief. After the 
massacre, these religionists took shelter in the town of Ro- 
chelle, which they strongly fortified and held successfully 
against the besieging royal army under the duke of Anjou. 
From this important sea-port they kept up a constant communi 
cation with England. The duke of Anjou having been after 
wards chosen king of Poland, a new edict of Pacification was 
published in 15T3, which held out the promise of a general 
peace : but the prospect was soon blighted by the plots and 
counterplots of the contending factions. Charles IX., whose 
health had been long declining, died of consumption on the 
30th of May, 1574, after having appointed his mother regent 
of the kingdom. 

His death was the signal for renewed civil commotions. 
The Huguenots and a portion of the Catholic leaders wished 
to place the duke of Alencon on the throne; while the queen 
regent was firm in maintaining the right of the elder brother, 
now king of Poland. She succeeded in her purpose, and the 
new king took the name of Henry III. Alencon. with the 

which were discussed and decided, "No. xlvii, is thus stated : An abbot 
having come to the knowledge of the gospel, having broken down the idols, 
burnt his titles (the MSS. registers of the monastery), and provided for his 
monks without having permitted Mass to be sung in his abbey for six years, 
performed no act of service of the Roman Church, but on the contrary has 
always shown himself faithful, and has borne arms to maintain the gospel. It 
is asked whether he should be admitted to the Supper ? Answer : Yes." 

* " Abbot received to the Supper, for having burnt his registers, broken the 
images in the church of his convent, and borne arms to sustain the re 
formed preachers." 
VOL. II. 33 


king of Navarre now joined the malcontents, and the flames 
of civil war were again lighted up all over France. 

Meantime two great confederacies were organized. The 
Huguenots bound themselves together by the most solemn 
engagements, and established a council of state at Millaud, 
which was vested with the most ample power "to appoint 
counselors, to determine the quota of men and money to be 
raised in each district, and to act as an independent authority 
in the heart of France." Having failed to secure the assist 
ance of England, the malcontents shortly afterwards agreed 
to another Pacification in which their principal rights were 
satisfactorily secured ; and the king of Navarre and Alencon 
returned to their allegiance. 

Like all previous ones, this Pacification was short-lived. 
The establishment of a sort of independent government in 
France by the Huguenots, through their confederacy of Mil- 
laud, naturally led to counter combinations. A great Cath 
olic league was formed, which pervaded almost all the 
provinces, and in which the subscribers pledged themselves 
" to maintain the ascendency of the ancient faith, and to pro 
tect, at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, the Catholic 
worship, the clergy, and the churches, against the hostile 
attempts of their enemies."* The new king placed himself 
at the head of the Catholic league. Another religious war 
ensued, followed by the usual short-lived Pacification ; and 
the Protestants " ultimately recovered the chief of the conces 
sions which had been revoked."f 

9. Things went on in this troubled state, until Henry III. 
was assassinated by a fanatic, in 1589. Then the civil war 
recommenced ; and it ended with firmly settling on the throne 
the darling of the Huguenots, the king of Navarre, who took 

* Lingard, Hist. England, viii, p. 104-5. The instrument is found in 
Daniel s History of France, xi, 62. Its principal clauses prove that the Cath 
olic majority sought to defend their altars and clergy from the violence of 
the Huguenots, who were so ardently in love with religious liberty as to seek 
to have it all to themselves, and to allow none to their neighbors ! f Ibid. 


the name of Henry IV., and who has been honored with the 
name of the Great. Henry on his accession became a Cath 
olic ; and, strange as it may appear, he was urged to take 
this step by his own leading Huguenot partisans, who repre 
sented to him, that he might have more influence and serve 
their cause better as a Catholic than as a Protestant ! 

" All the constituted authorities of the kingdom were Catholic, the excep 
tions being so few as to make no essential difference. And was not the 
Catholic Church, after all, in reference to doctrine, order, and usage, the 
same ancient Church which it had ever been ? No one could deny the cor 
ruption of morals and the abuses of discipline which prevailed among the 
clergy ; these, however, it was not for the Huguenots to reform, but for him, 
the king, the temporal head of the Church. Perhaps God had raised him 
up to re-establish the general unity once more ; but before he could inter 
fere with the Church, he must again stand forth as the eldest son of the 

10. Once firmly seated on the throne, Henry IV. published 
in favor of his former co-religionists the famous Edict of 
Nantes. This was in 1598; the same year in which occurred 
the death of Philip II. of Spain, who had so earnestly op 
posed his accession to the French throne. The Edict not 
only guarantied to the Huguenots the fullest religious liberty, 
but it gave them, moreover, extensive civil and religious pri 
vileges, and even recognized them as a distinct organization 
and power in the state. The subsequent revocation of this 
Edict nearly a hundred years later, in 1685, by another 
French monarch, Louis XIV., who has also been dignified 
with the name of Great has given rise to a torrent of abuse 
and invective against the intolerance of the Catholic Church 
on the part of certain partisan writers, who imagine that the 
Church is responsible for whatever Catholic sovereigns may 
chance to do, even if their action should be against her own 
spirit and her own interests. Without defending the justice, or 

* Ranke, Civil Wai s etc., sup. cit, p. 473. It was precisely this " inter 
ference with the Church " by its " eldest son " which had produced all the 
evils and abuses in France ; as we have already shown on the authority of 
Ranke himself! 


even the policy of the revocation, we will here state a few 
facts bearing on it, which, together with those already referred 
to, may tend to modify in a considerable degree the harsh 
judgment formed by some in regard to this subject. 

11. Henry IV., like his predecessor, fell by the dagger of 
an assassin, in 1610 ; and he was succeeded by Louis XIII., 
who reigned until 1643, with the great Cardinal Kichelieu as 
his prime minister. Immediately after the death of their 
great protector, the Huguenots again grew restive and tur 
bulent, and not long afterwards they broke out into open war 
against their own government. From 1617 to 1629, they 
stirred up no less than three additional civil wars in France ; 
which, like the previous ones, were generally ended with a 
Pacification guarantying to them all their privileges. At 
each new outbreak, they, of course, as a pretext for taking up 
arms, charged that the Catholics had violated their legal 
rights secured to them by the Edict; while, on the other 
hand, the Catholic party maintained, that, in almost every 
instance, they had been the first to break the conditions under 
which the privileges of the Edict were accorded. 

Caveirac, who has made diligent and ample researches on 
the subject, and has published them to the world, proves that 
no less than two hundred decrees were issued by various suc 
ceeding French governments, with a view to curb the ever 
encroaching spirit of the Huguenots, whose demands seemed 
to grow with the amount of concessions made them.* They 
greatly exaggerated their claims to importance and to influ 
ence in the government, which they wished to control for 
their own purposes, though they were so very small a minority 
of the French population. They seem to have aimed, in fact, 
at little less than becoming an imperium in imperio a dis 
tinct and independent government in the heart of the French 
monarchy. They sought to secure this species of independ 
ence, particularly during the bloody civil war which termi- 

* Quoted by Fredet Modern History ; note 0. 


nated in the capture of their great strong-hold Kochelle, 
which was accomplished by the genius of Richelieu. They 
were then, as previously, in open league with England, and 
English troops with an English navy came openly to their 
assistance.* After the fall of Rochelle in 1629, their power 
was broken, and their organization greatly weakened. Still 
the old spirit of disaffection and turbulence remained. Their 
sympathies continued to be evidently more English and Ger 
man than French ; and they still kept up their intrigues with 
foreign Protestants, with a view to subvert the constitution 
of their country, and thereby to regain their long coveted 
ascendency. Under all these circumstances, we do not so 
much wonder at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, as at 
the fact of its having continued so long in existence. The 
chief reason for the delay was, probably, the distracted and 
enfeebled condition of the kingdom in consequence of the 
numerous civil wars : but when the French monarchy be 
came again strong under the long and able administration of 
Louis XIV., the hesitancy ceased, and by the severe measure 
of revoking the Edict, the "grande monarque" thought to 
unite and consolidate his government, by depriving the mal 
contents of the power to provoke new civil wars.f 

It is, we believe, quite a mistake to suppose that the ma 
terial prosperity of France was impaired by the revocation of 
the Edict. On the contrary, France had never been so 
united, so powerful, and so prosperous at any previous period 
of her history, as she became at this precise time, and as she 

* This fleet ascended the Loire, and landed troops in the interior of France. 

f By the edict of revocation, such Huguenot ministers as refused to abjure 
within two months, were ordered to leave France ; but the great body of 
the Protestants were allowed, and even encouraged to remain and enjoy 
their property and rights under the protection of the law, " without being 
troubled and vexed on account of their religion." Orders were, moreover, 
promptly issued to check the violence with which the Huguenots were 
treated in some places ; and in a special letter to the Intendants of the pro 
vinces, the king strongly urged moderation and mildness. See Ibid. 


continued to be long afterwards. By it she was delivered from 
the blighting curse of continual civil commotions and wars, 
which had distracted her government, and rendered her 
beautiful soil desolate for more than a hundred years. The 
number of the Huguenots who followed their ministers into 
exile has been greatly exaggerated. Hume flippantly sets it 
down as exceeding half a million ; while other Protestant 
writers reduce it to two hundred thousand. The duke of 
Burgundy, the favorite disciple of Fenelon, after careful 
research, estimates it at sixty-eight thousand ; a less number 
than had probably fallen in a single one of the nine or ten 
civil wars which the Huguenots had provoked. The Calvin- 
ists of greater substance and influence, in general, remained 
in France. The duke of Burgundy presents the following 
view of the whole subject : 

" I do not speak of the calamities produced by the new doctrines in Ger 
many, England, Scotland, Ireland, etc. I speak of France. Kor shall I 
enumerate one by one the evils of which it was the theatre, and which are 
recorded in so many authentic documents : the secret assemblies ; the 
leagues formed with foreign enemies ; the attempts against the government ; 
the seditious threats, open revolts, conspiracies, and bloody wars ; the 
plundering and sacking of towns ; the deliberate massacres and atrocious 
sacrileges : suffice it to say, that from Francis I. to Louis XIV., during 
seven successive reigns, all these evils an 1 many others, with more or less 
violence, desolated the French monarchy. This is a point of history, which, 
although it may be variously related, can neither be denied nor called in 
question ; and it is from this capital point that we should start in the poli 
tical examination of this grand affair."* 

12. No doubt, many atrocities were committed on both 

* Memoires, etc., quoted ibid. Some have asserted, that Louis XIY. had 
no right to recall the Edict issued by his predecessor. The great Protestant 
jurist Grotius took a different view of this question. His words are : "ISTo- 
rint illi qui reformatorum sibi imponunt vocabulum, non esse ilia foedera, 
sed regum edicta, ob publicam facta utilitatem, et revocatilia, si aliud regi- 
bus publica utilitas suaserit." Rivet. Apol. Discussio, p. 29. Quoted ibid. 
"Let those who take to themselves the name of REFORMED know, that 
these are not compacts, but edicts issued for the public good, and revocable, 
if the public utility induce kings to revoke them." 


sides by the contending parties, during the protracted civil 
wars of France stirred up and kept alive by religious en 
thusiasm or fanaticism. But it is manifestly unfair to sup 
pose that the Huguenots were always the injured and per 
secuted party, because they were in the minority. This is 
apparent from the facts already stated. For one St. Barthol 
omew massacre, we have from five to ten on the other side, 
which if not so public or atrocious, nevertheless betray the 
same blood-thirsty and intolerant spirit. It is stated, for in 
stance, that in the province of Dauphine alone, the Hugue 
nots burnt nine hundred towns and villages !* 

Nor should it be forgotten, that throughout the contest the 
Catholic party stood on the defensive, and aimed to maintain 
the ancient and long established order of things ; while their 
opponents sought by violence to introduce new institutions 
on the ruins of the old, both in Church and State, f They 

* Those who wish to see a full account of all these odious transactions, 
with the documents at length, are referred to Caveirac, Dissertation sur le St. 
Barthelemi ; Daniel, Histoire de France ad an. 1572, and passim, quoted by 
Fredet, ibid., note P.; and to Lingard s note to vol. viii of the American 
edition of his History. Both sides of the discussion on the St. Bartholo 
mew massacre are presented with reasonable fairness in the London Penny 

f Wherever the Huguenots succeeded in gaining a foothold in France, 
they immediately set about the work of pulling down or desecrating the 
Catholic churches and monasteries, or at least in greatly disturbing the 
Catholic worship. That this was the case at a later period, is generally 
understood, and will scarcely be denied. But that it was so from the very 
beginning of the French Reformation, may not be so generally known. We 
will here present a curious instance of this ardent zeal for " removing the 
monuments of idolatry," from that most veracious historian of the Protest 
ant Reformation D Aubigne. The incidents referred to occurred as early 
as 1523 : the first having taken place at Meaux, of which city Bric.onnet, 
a refuted friend of the new gospelers was bishop ; the second at Metz. The 
account is also a pretty fair specimen of the bold hypocrisy and contempt 
ible cant with which this romantic historian is wont to regale his readers : 

" The wool-comber Leclerc began to visit from house to house, confirming 
the disciples. But not stopping short at these ordinary cares, he would 
fain have seen the edifice of popery overthrown, and France, from the 


signally failed in accomplishing this purpose ; and no im 
partial man, who calmly reviews the whole series of trans- 

midst of these ruins, turning with a cry of joy towards the gospel. His 
unguarded zeal may remind us of that of Hottinger at Zurich, and of Carl- 
stadt at Wittenberg. He wrote a proclamation against the antichrist of 
Home, announcing that the Lord was about to destroy him by the breath of 
his mouth. He then boldly posted his placards on the gates of the cath 
edral. Presently all was in confusion around that ancient edifice. The 
faithful were amazed ; the priests exasperated. What ! a fellow whose em 
ployment is wool-combing dares measure himself with the Pope ! The 
Franciscans were outrageous, and demanded that this once at least a terrible 
example should be made. Leclerc was thrown into prison." 

Leclerc left the uncongenial city of Meaux, where his luminous parts were 
not duly appreciated, even by the bishop Bri Bonnet ; and we next hear of 
him at Metz, where his zeal broke forth into the following extraordinary 
proceeding, as related by D Aubigne : 

" Thus Metz was about to become a focus of light, when the imprudent 
zeal of Leclere suddenly arrested this slow but sure progress, and aroused a 
storm that threatened utter ruin to the rising church. The common people 
of Metz continued walking in their old superstitions, and Leclerc s heart 
was vexed at -seeing this great city plunged in idolatry. One of their 
great festivals was approaching. About a league from the city stood a 
chapel containing images of the Virgin and of the most celebrated saints of 
the country, and whither all the inhabitants of Metz were in the habit of 
making a pilgrimage on a certain day in the year, to worship the images and 
to obtain the pardon of their sins. The eve of the festival had arrived : 
Leclerc s pious and courageous soul was violently agitated. Has not God 
said : Thou shalt not bow down to their gods ; but thou shalt utterly 
overthrow them, and quite break down their images ? Leclerc thought 
that this command was addressed to him, and without consulting either 
Chatelaine, Esch, or any of those who he might have suspected would have 
dissuaded him, quitted the city in the evening, just as night was coming on, 
and approached the chapel. There he pondered while sitting silently before 
the statues. He still had it in his power to withdraw : but .... to-mor 
row, in a few hours, the whole city that should worship God alone, will be 
kneeling down before these blocks of wood and stone. A struggle ensued 
in the wool-comber s bosom, like that which we trace in so many Christians 
of the primitive ages of the Church. What matters it to him that what he 
sees are the images of saints, and not of heathen gods and goddesses ?" 

Leclerc was certainly a Christian of a very primitive stamp ! His ignor 
ance was equaled only by his presumption and self-conceit : he would have 


actions, can either be surprised at, or can even greatly regret 
their failure. All the glories of France were closely bound 
up with the interests of the Catholic religion. 

In conclusion, we venture the opinion, that the French re 
volution of the last century was the final result of the un- 
settledness of faith caused by the protracted wars of religion, 
and of "that atheism" which, according to Kanke,* "was 
springing up amid the confusion of religious strife," as early 
as the close of the sixteenth century. Voltaire succeeded 
Calvin ; both were Frenchmen, and both were animated with 
the same undying hatred of the Catholic Church! Says 
Macaulay : 

" The only event of modern times which can be properly compared with 
the Reformation, is the French revolution ; or, to speak more accurately, 
that great revolution of political feeling which took place in almost every 
part of the civilized world during the eighteenth century, and which ob 
tained in France its most terrible and signal triumph. Each of these mem 
orable events may be described as a rising up of human reason against a 
caste. The one was a struggle of the laity against the clergy for intellect 
ual liberty (!) ; the other was a struggle of the people against the privileged 
orders for political liberty." f 

torn down the images which God ordered to be placed in the temple of 
Solomon ! Here is the latest outbreak of his zeal : 

"Leclerc arose, approached the images, took them down and broke them 
in pieces, indignantly scattering their fragments before the altar. He doubted 
not that the Spirit of the Lord had excited him to this action, and Theodore 
Beza thought the same. After this, Leclerc returned to Metz, which he en 
tered at daybreak, unnoticed save by a few persons as he was entering the 
gates." History of the Reformation, pp. 458, 463. Am. Edit, 1 vol. 8vo. 
New York, 1851. * Civil Wars, etc., p. 473. 

f Review of Nares Memoirs of Lord Burghley, Miscell., p. 173. 





Eeformation in Sweden the work of the crown Grustaf Wasa its author 

Conversion and civilization of Sweden Its bishoprics And early sanc 
tity Upsala the metropolis Union of Calmar Sweden reluctant to 

submit The Stures administrators Contests and a compromise The 

families of Sture and Trolle The feud between them Archbishop Trolle 
deposed by the diet Bishop of Linkoping The Pope excommunicates 
all who were concerned The tyrant Christian II. The " Blood Bath" of 
Stockholm Bishop of Linkoping escapes Gustaf Wasa, the deliverer of 
Sweden His treachery in breaking his parole His remarkable adven 
tures in Northern Sweden His eloquent address from a tomb-stone 

Popular enthusiasm The army of independence The Catholic bishops 

Wasa intriguing with them and with the nobles Employs force when 
persuasion fails His army of foreign mercenaries He appoints new 
bishops, and re-organises the diet He is elected king Decides to rob 

the Church Turns reformer The two brothers Olaus and Lawrence 

Beginning the work of sacrilege Wasa deposes and appoints bishops 

The Anabaptists The archbishop of Upsala The peasants and the Chap 
ter of Upsala Manoeuvring of Wasa to bend or oust the archbishop 

He deposes him and expels him from Sweden The exile and death of 
the archbishop Two bishops mocked and put to death The foreign troops 
furnish the key to Wasa s position Diet of Westeras The Catholic Reli 
gion abolished And Wasa declared supreme in church and state Diet 

of Orebro completes the work of destruction Lament of the people 

Exile and death of Bishop Brask An extraordinary pastoral visitation 

Watching and preying Wholesale confiscation New archbishop conse 
crated Rebellions Sacrilege and taxation Confiscation of church bells 

The Dalmen How disaffection was put down The priests beheaded 

How the popular grievances were redressed Confirmatory testimony of 
Geijer Wasa and Henry VIII. compared Avarice of Wasa His hard 
swearing How he was rebuked by the two brothers And how he pun- 


ished them The curse of sacrilege Family of Wasa His death Im 
morality of Sweden Testimony of Bayard Taylor Conclusion. 

THE history of the Keformation in Sweden does not present 
any great exception to the general laws which governed the 
movement elsewhere; with this difference, however, that in 
Sweden it was, as in England, wholly and exclusively the 
work of the crown. Gustaf Wasa,* the liberator of Sweden 
from the Danish yoke, and the founder of the Swedish moo 
archy in modern times, was the main spring, and the very 
life and soul of the Swedish Keformation, which moved at 
his bidding, and was moulded entirely to his will. He began 
the work by cunning intrigue and under false pretenses, and 
he ended it with general spoliation of the Church, and open 
violence to the consciences of his people. After having shaken 
off the Danish yoke, he became, chiefly through the means of 
the Keformation, supreme both in church and state; and 
though the semblance of the ancient Catholic diets of the 
kingdom was still kept up, yet the different orders of the 
state had but little real power, and every thing was forced to 
bend to his own iron will. In Sweden, as much probably as 
anywhere else, the Keformation resulted from the working 
of the three great concupiscences, mentioned by the inspired 
apostle as controlling the world. All this we expect to estab 
lish by unexceptionable Protestant authority.! 

* We preserve the old Swedish spelling as given by the historian of 
Sweden Fryxell, infra cit. The name is more usually written Oustavus 


f We shall rely chiefly on the authority of the " History of Sweden, 
translated from the original of Anders Fryxell, by Mary Hqwitt ; " in two 
vols., 12mo, London, 1844 ; for a copy of which we are indebted to the very 
Kev. E. T. Collins V. G-. of Cincinnati. The author is a Swede and a Lu 
theran, with strong religious prejudices in favor of the Eeformation ; yet 
withal he is candid enough not wholly to conceal or grossly to misstate the 
principal facts. We mention this circumstance, that our readers may be 
the better able to appreciate his testimony, and to draw the line of distinc 
tion between his opinions and his facts, in the passages which we shall have 
occasion to quote. 



The early history of Sweden is involved in no little ob 
scurity. The Swedish peninsula was a part of that ancient 
Scandinavia, which in the fifth and following centuries of 
the Christian era, poured its teeming hordes of barbarians 
over the more inviting provinces of Southern Europe. Like 
all the other Germanic and Northern tribes, its people were 
indebted for Christianity and for all consequent civilization 
to the Catholic Church and to the Roman Pontiffs. St. 
Anskarius, a monk of Corbie in "Westphalia, may be said to 
have been the first apostle of Sweden, though he was not 
able to extend his labors far into the interior of the country. 
In the eleventh century, David, Stephen, and Adelward, 
Anglo-Saxon monks, under a regular commission from the 
Sovereign Pontiff, carried the -light of the gospel into Sweden. 
Of these Adelward was appointed the first bishop of Skara. 
They were followed, in the twelfth century, by St. Henry, 
the martyr-bishop of Upsala, who was also the apostle of the 
neighboring Finlanders ; and by Nicholas Breakspear after 
wards Pope Adrian IV. who converted the Norwegians. 
Eric, the sainted Swedish king, contributed much, by his 
holy example and royal influence, towards diffusing through 
out his kingdom and firmly establishing Christianity, for 
which he fell a willing martyr, while assisting at the holy 
sacrifice of the Mass in the Cathedral of Upsala. 

This ancient city had been the principal seat of pagan 
superstition in Scandinavia, The idols of Odin,* Thor, and 
Prey were there enshrined and worshiped by their devotees, 
who flocked thither from all the neighboring countries of the 
North. These were removed by the Christian missionaries, 
and the cross was reared in triumph on the site of the statue 
of Odin. Thenceforth Upsala became the centre of the Chris 
tian Religion in Sweden ; and under Stephen, its sixth pre 
late, it was raised by the Sovereign Pontiff to the dignity of 

* Or Wodin. As is well known, the names of our days, Wednesday, 
Thursday, and Friday, are derived from these three Scandinavian deities, 
Wodin, Thor, and Frey. 


an archiepiscopal see, having under it six suffragan bishop 
rics : Linkoping, Stregnes, Westerns, Skara, Yexio, and Abo 
in Finland.* 

At a period when society was struggling into form, and 
when might and right were often convertible terms, these 
seven sees became the conservative centres of the new order 
and civilization ; and the bishops by the general consent and 
through the liberality of pious princes became influential 
and powerful members of the body politic. In the course of 
time they were made princes, and they had their strong 
castles and retainers, viewed as necessary elements of that 
feudal system, which originating in the fastnesses of the 
North, lingered there longer than anywhere else in Europe. 

The northern states continued in a state of perpetual agi 
tation and civil feuds until near the close of the fourteenth 
century, when the genius of Margaret, called the Semiramis 
of the North, united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Swe 
den, and Norway into one under her own powerful sceptre. 
This Union was accomplished by the treaty of Calmar, in 
1397. It was not, however, destined to be of long continu 
ance. The successors of Margaret had little of her talents or 
skill in government, and the powerful confederacy was soon 

* Originally there were as many as nine bishoprics in Sweden alone, 
besides that of Finland ; exhibiting the vigor of the early Swedish faith. 
In the course of time, however, three of them were suppressed as unneces 
sary. The early Swedish church numbers twenty-three canonized saints ; 
one of whom was a king, St. Eric, and ten were bishops. Among the 
holy women who adorned Sweden with their virtues were St. Mechtildes, 
who flourished in the thirteenth, and St. Brigit or Birgit, who flourished in 
the fourteenth century. St. Brigit caused her pious and learned secretary 
Mathias to translate the Scriptures into Swedish in the year 1352. This 
translation is still extant, a monument of Catholic zeal for the diffusion of 
the Scriptures in the middle ages, and a signal rebuke to heretical calumny 
in modern times. See for these and other interesting facts, the work of the 
learned Dr. Theiner published some years ago, in Home, entitled : On the 
Efforts made by the Holy See in the last three centuries, to bring back the 
people of the North to the Unity of the Catholic Church." See also a Re 
view of this work in the Universite Catholique, vol. x. 


frittered away by disunion and intestine wars. Norway, 
because weaker, continued longer in the Union, as a depend 
ency of Denmark, than did Sweden, which had always re 
garded the Union with a suspicious eye. From its very date, 
there had been two antagonistic parties in Sweden ; the one 
favoring the connection, the other opposing it, and standing 
up for Swedish independence. From and during the last 
quarter of the fifteenth century, Sweden was virtually inde 
pendent of Denmark, having her own governors, under the 
modest name of administrators. Of these, the most distin 
guished belonged to the ancient and illustrious Swedish 
family of Sture ; of whom three, Sten Sture the Elder, 
Swante Sture, and Sten Sture the Younger, successively held 
the reins of government, almost down to the end of the first 
quarter of the sixteenth century, when our history of the 
Reformation opens. 

Unfortunately for the cause of Catholicity in Sweden, the 
Catholic bishops at this period belonged to the party which 
favored the Union of Calmar. Whether it was from the 
general conservative spirit of the Catholic Church, based on 
a respect for the obligation voluntarily assumed by Sweden 
in the solemn treaty stipulations there made, or from the fact 
that many of the bishops were of Danish families, and had 
been invested with their episcopal dignity by the Danish 
crown, or from both causes combined, the Swedish prelatea 
were generally favorable to Denmark ; arid their influence in 
the diets, combined with that of many among the leading 
nobles imbued with similar feelings, possessed great weight 
in controlling the course of events. This was particularly- 
unfortunate, at a time when Sweden was on the eve of cast 
ing off the yoke of the Danish tyrant Christian II., and as 
serting her own independence. 

The struggle was precipitated by the death of the admin 
istrator Swante Sture, which occurred suddenly in 1512. 
His followers concealed his death, and wrote to the governors 
of the different castles in his name, instructing them to hold 


their fortresses in the name of his son,* Sten Stare the 
Younger. The bishops and the older nobles opposed the 
appointment attempted to be thus irregularly and clandes 
tinely made. The feeling more or less general was, that the 
Stures had held the administratorship long enough, and that 
they should now allow it to pass into the hands of the 
Trolles, or of some other noble family. After much agitation, 
and many animated discussions in successive diets, the affair 
was finally compromised by the election of the younger Sture, 
on condition that Gustaf Trolle, the son of Erick Trolle his 
competitor, should be chosen archbishop of Upsala. Trolle 
was then in Rome, and the Pontiff ratified the compromise, 
accepting at the same time the willingly proffered resignation 
of Jacob Ulfson the aged archbishop, who retired to the quiet 
of private life. The new archbishop arrived in Sweden in 
1515, and he was solemnly installed in his cathedral by the 
retiring incumbent. 

As we have already intimated, the families of the Stolles 
and the Stures were rivals, and were at the head of the two 
political factions which had long agitated Sweden. The feud 
was not calmed, but it rather became embittered by the com 
promise. Both parties probably went too far, as is generally 
the case in such contests ; but, if we may believe our Luther 
an historian of Sweden, Trolle was haughty and unyielding, 
while Sture, the administrator, sought to remove the agitation 
by conciliation. But the facts, even as stated by himself, 
clearly prove, that if the latter began by the way of concilia 
tion, he ended by that of open violence. He declared war 
against the refractory archbishop, and had him apprehended 
and arraigned as a traitor before a diet at Stockholm, where 
he was deposed and degraded from his office. The arch 
bishop protested against the competency of the court, com 
posed of nobles and bishops, which sat to try him ; and he 

* The usually accurate writer of the article in the Dublin Review, for 
September 1845, reviewing Fryxell s History of Sweden, calls him the 
nephew of Swante. He was his son, as Fryxell states, ii, 5. 


appealed to the judgment of the Sovereign Pontiff. But 
his appeal was not heeded. " He was obliged with a solemn 
oath to resign his archbishopric, and was confined in Wester- 
as Cloister, whence he was further obliged to write to the 
chapter of Upsala to confirm his abdication, and beg them to 
choose a new archbishop : at last he received permission to 
go home to his father s estate Ekholm, and remain there."* 
His castle of Stake was demolished, and he subsequently 
escaped with difficulty to Denmark. 

That the entire proceeding, even with the mitigating cir 
cumstances alleged in its defense, was one of violence and 
against all law and precedent, is sufficiently apparent. The 
bishops, the only competent judges of the case besides the 
Pope, did not sign the decree of the states of their own free 
will, but rather under compulsion. This was the case at least 
with the most distinguished among them all, Hans Brask, 
bishop of Linkoping, who, " when he was to place the great 
wax seal by his name, unremarked, slipped a little paper un 
der it, on which he had written these words : This I do by 
compulsion. 1 "f That political considerations were at the 
bottom of the whole movement, is even more certain. The 
Pontiff afterwards excommunicated all who had taken part 
in the violent deposition of the archbishop; but that he 
sought, at the same time, to promote peace in the kingdom, 
and to prevent the bishops from interfering in the political 
administration, is apparent from his previous answer to 
Sture, who had complained of the refractory conduct of the 
archbishop. " The Pope replied, by warning Trolle and the 
whole Swedish clergy, not to set themselves up contrary to 
temporal government, but with humility attend to their own 
duties. However, Gustaf Trolle heeded neither Pope nor 
administrator ."J If this be true, the archbishop was certainly 
so far in the wrong ; but clearly neither the Pope nor the 
Church was fairly responsible for what ensued. 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 15. f Ibid. J Ibid., p. 11. 


The plot now thickened. Availing himself of the dissen 
sions in Sweden, the Danish king Christian, or Chris tiern II. 
came over on the ice with a powerful army, in the winter of 
1520-1, and by overwhelming force bore down all opposition. 
Sten Sture, the administrator, perished in the conflict ; and 
after eight months siege, Stockholm opened its gates to the 
conqueror, who was now prepared effectually to enforce the 
Union of Calmar. But Christian was a bloody tyrant, and 
instead of endeavoring to heal dissension by conciliation, he 
established a reign of terror such as Sweden had never before 
witnessed. In November, 1521, he was solemnly crowned, 
and his Swedish reign was inaugurated by a bloody tragedy, 
in which the principal nobles and several of the bishops, 
who had been invited to the coronation banquet, were 
treacherously butchered. This butchery is called by the 
Swedish historians "the Blood Bath." Hans Brask, the 
bishop of Linkoping, saved his life, only by exhibiting the 
paper concealed under his seal to the paper deposing the 
archbishop of Upsala. 

This treacherous and inhuman massacre, while it rendered 
the Swedish church desolate, carried sorrow into the families 
of the principal Swedish nobles, many of which had to la 
ment the bloody death of their heads. As the people re 
turned to their homes from the sanguinary banquet and 
carried the sad tidings to their distant homes, a general gloom 
with a universal panic overspread the land. The Danish 
ascendency was thus secured amidst ominous silence and wide 
spread desolation ; but the quiet preceded a storm, which 
was soon to sweep away the Danish power from Sweden for 
ever. A deliverer was at .hand, and he was GUSTAF WASA, 
belonging to one of the oldest families of Sweden. 

Our present scope does not require or allow us to enter into 
the interesting details of the Swedish war of independence ; 
which, so far as it was a war of freedom against tyranny, has 
our most hearty sympathy. Our business with Gustaf Wasa 
is not so much with his political relations to his country as 
VOL. IT. 34 


its deliverer from the Danish yoke, as with his subsequent 
assumption of the right to change its religion, to sever it from 
its time-hallowed communion with the holy Catholic Church, 
and to make himself its supreme head in spirituals as well as 
in temporals. Had he not overstepped the limits of his own 
proper sphere of action, and laid sacrilegious hands on the 
sanctuary of God, his character might perhaps pass the ordeal 
of historical scrutiny, not indeed as unstained with crime, 
but at least as not much worse than that of his contempora 
ries. But when he set himself up as a religious reformer, 
and availed himself of the power which his position gave him 
to despoil and enslave the Church, and to make it the mere 
creature of his own royal will, we have a right to inquire 
into his antecedents, into the motives which prompted his 
action, and into the manner in which he accomplished his 

Taken off by treachery as we are told by Fryxell to 
Denmark among other hostages in 1518, he was imprisoned 
by Christian 1L, who however shortly afterwards released 
him at the instance of his relative, Sir Erick Baner, who 
stood surety to the king for his safe keeping, in the sum of 
six-thousand rix-thalers.* By his kind friend and surety, 
Gustaf was taken over to Kallo, 

" Where he was well received, and enjoyed much freedom. I will not 
cause you to be strictly guarded, said Sir Erick, neither will I put you 
in confinement. You shall eat at my table, and go where you please ; 
only faithfully promise me not to make your escape, nor journey anywhere 
unknown to me. To this Gustaf bound himself both by writing and word 
of mouth, and thus gained liberty to go where he pleased within six miles 
of Kallo. In the beginning he was always accompanied by a guardian ; but 
gradually gaining more and more of his relation s confidence, he was at last 
left entirely to himself."* 

How did Wasa repay this confidence ? We grieve to state, 
that he began his public career by an act of treachery to his 

* About $3,000, equal to about $36,000 of our present money. 
f Fryxell, History of Sweden, vol. ii, p. 62. 


friend and relative, wholly inexcusable under any circum 
stances. He broke his solemnly plighted parole, and in the 
summer of 1519, he secretly fled through Holstein to the free 
city of Lubeck. His surety followed him, and earnestly 
pleaded with him to return, and not leave him to bear the 
brunt of the king s resentment, besides being moreover com 
pelled to pay the heavy penalty to which he was bound as 
his surety. Gustaf would listen to neither entreaties nor 
threats, and he put off his confiding relative with the vague 
promise of repaying the money when able, on his return to 

In Lubeck, Gustaf Wasa "first became acquainted with 
the new doctrines which Luther at that time began preaching 
in Germany, all of which proved greatly to the advantage of 
his country when he became sovereign."* As we shall soon 
see, the "new doctrines" proved much more -advantageous to 
himself than " to his country." 

After remaining for eight months at Lubeck, Wasa returned 
secretly to Sweden in 1520, at the very time that Christian s 
army was marching to its conquest. Narrowly escaping with 
his life from the South of Sweden, he fled to the fastnesses 
of the North, where he passed through a series of adventures, 
and made a number of thrilling hair-breadth escapes, which 
strongly remind us of the adventures of Charles Stuart in 
the Scottish highlands, so graphically painted by Chambers.f 
Distrust and treachery seem to have met him at almost every 
step. The Danish officials everywhere dogged his footsteps ; 
and flying from place to place, and knowing not whom to 
trust amid the general panic, he was often tempted to give 
up the cause of independence as hopeless. 

At length he found himself on Christmas day at Mora, a 
populous village on the northern borders of lake Siljan, and 
he accompanied the people to the solemn High Mass. At the 

* Fryxell, ibid., p. 63. 

f In his " Kebellion in Scotland " one of the most thrillingly interest 
ing books in the English language. 


close of the service, he mounted upon a tomb-stone in the 
adjoining cemetery, and delivered an impassioned patriotic 
harangue to the assembled multitude. Young, athletic, and 
eloquent, his words made a deep impression on the popular 
mind. Aroused to enthusiasm, the people ran to the steeple 
and rang the church bells, the usual tocsin for great emerg 
encies of alarm and danger. The numbers of the brave and 
patriotic peasantry rapidly increased ; and there, on a Christ 
mas day, after a soul-stirring appeal from a Catholic tomb 
stone, with the ringing of the venerable Catholic church 
bells, Swedish patriotism was re-awakened, and the nucleus 
was formed of that rude but energetic and conquering army, 
which rolled on in its swelling numbers and growing enthusi 
asm from North to South, until it bore down all opposition, 
crushed the armies of the Dane, and delivered Sweden for 
ever from a foreign yoke ! 

As yet, none of the bishops had declared for Wasa. One 
reason for this was, that most of them had been butch 
ered with the nobles at the terrible Blood Bath of Stock 
holm ; and another was, that the deposed archbishop Trolle 
had already returned, and together with another noble had 
been intrusted by the Danish crown with the administration 
of the kingdom. Gustaf Wasa determined to gain over to 
his cause the most learned and influential member of the 
episcopal body, Hans Brask of Linkoping, of whom we have 
already spoken. He succeeded in this purpose ; and at the 
diet of Wadstena, after coquetting with the assembled repre 
sentatives and pleading that he was unworthy of so high an 
office, he was finally prevailed on to accept the post of chief 
executive, under the modest title of administrator. He was 
as adroit a politician in the cabinet, as he was an able general 
in the field. Aiming steadily at the supreme power, he 
moved on towards his object steadily but cautiously, always 
alleging his own unworthiness, and frequently threatening, 
when thwarted, to abandon the government altogether and 
leave the ungrateful Swedes to their fate. 


Yet when such coquettish cajolery failed of its effect, he 
had no scruple whatever to resort to force, and to carry out 
his measures by open violence. He had brought into the 
country a strong body of foreign mercenaries, chiefly German 
Lutherans ; and he did not hesitate to avail himself of this 
powerful engine of oppression, whenever persuasion failed 
with the refractory nobles and people, who had inherited a 
strong prejudice in favor of liberty from their Catholic ances 
tors. All this we shall soon see, especially when we shall 
have occasion to show how the Reformation was introduced 
into Sweden. Meantime the seige of Stockholm, which was 
still held by the Danish garrison, went slowly on. Gustaf 
might probably have taken the city at once ; but it did not 
suit his purpose to be in a hurry. He wished to accustom 
the people to his sway, and to prove to them how necessary 
he was to their safety. He desired also to have time to pre 
pare the w^ay for more effectually carrying out his subsequent 
designs. To be able to succeed in this ulterior purpose, it 
was necessary to reorganize the elements of the old Swedish 
diets, which without a thorough remodeling would probably 
have presented a sturdy resistance to his darling scheme of 
becoming an absolute king. Circumstances favored him. 
The members of the diets had been greatly diminished : the 
Blood Bath of Stockholm had already done its work with the 
bishops and nobles. As our Lutheran historian himself tells us : 

" Scarcely was there a bishop or a senator in the country till very lately, 
that is, till the autumn of 1522, when new bishops had been appointed by 
Gustaf, viz. Master Knut in Upsala to replace Gustaf Trolle ; Magnus 
Sommar in Strangnas, after Beldenack ; Harold Stromfelt in Skara, in the 
room of Didrik Slaghok ; and Peter Sunnanwader in Westeras to replace 
Otto Swinhufwud lately dead ; who all became famous in the history of 
Gustaf s reign. The senate was also furnished with new members in the 
diet held at Strangnas."* 

In this diet of Strangnas, thus fully reorganized and filled 
with his own particular friends, Gustaf Wasa was chosen king 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, vol. ii, p. 111. 


of Sweden in June, 1523. His newly created bishops were 
among the loudest in demanding his election, which was 
warmly seconded by the people whose idol he had now be 
come. Gustaf as usual, played off the arts of a consummate 
diplomat. " He was already weary of the labors he had 
undergone, and they could choose from the old knights who 
were present." None of these daring to think of accepting 
the dignity, for fear of his head, Gustaf was at length pre 
vailed upon reluctantly to accept the royal crown, after the 
urgent entreaty of the Papal legate, John Magnus, whom he 
afterwards had appointed archbishop of Upsala.* 

Having now secured his object, there was no longer any 
valid reason for delaying the taking of Stockholm ; the gates 
of which were accordingly freely opened to him on the 21st 
of June of the same year, a few days after his election. He 
made his entry in great state, and immediately repaired to 
the " High Church," where he prostrated himself in thanks 
giving before altars which he was so soon, and which he even 
then probably intended, to subvert ! But the wary monarch 
had not yet sufficiently moulded the popular mind, and es 
pecially the character of the episcopal body, to his mind ; 
and he accordingly delayed his coronation, until entire sub 
serviency could be obtained, and he would be required to 
take no inconvenient oaths. f 

Being now firmly seated on the throne, Wasa, who had 
long cast a covetous eye on the possessions of the Church, 
soon began seriously to devise ways and means for accom 
plishing his settled purpose, which was to enrich himself by 
seizing on the rich property that had been accumulated by 
the generous piety of ages towards the support of the clergy 
and the poor, and the splendor of divine worship. He could 
not hope to succeed in carrying out this sacrilegious design, 
without first shaking the deeply seated reverence of his people 
for the ancient Religion and for the persons of their chief 

* See the whole scene, which is an exceedingly rich one, in Fryxell, 
History of Sweden, vol. ii, p. Ill, seqq. f Ibid 


pastors ; and he accordingly determined first gradually to 
undermine the foundations of the stately fabric which it was 
his darling object entirely to subvert. If he could once in 
fect the popular mind with the new opinions, and degrade 
the episcopal character in the eyes of the people, he need 
entertain no reasonable doubt of ultimate success. He 
determined to labor for this double object, as a necessary 
preliminary to the thorough work of spoliation which he had 
in view. 

As we have already seen, he had been himself infected at 
Lubeck with the taint of the new gospel ; but as yet, while 
all Sweden was Catholic, he had not dared avow his partial 
ity for Lutheranism, and he still passed himself off as a zeal 
ous Catholic. To begin the work of undermining, he now 
cordially received at court and loaded with honors the two 
brothers Olaus and Lawrence, sons of Peter, a rich smith in 
Orebro ; who having begun their education in the Carmelite 
convent of their native town, had been sent by their wealthy 
parents to Germany to complete their education. They had 
become the zealous disciples of Luther in "Wittenberg, and 
they now returned to Sweden brim full of the new gospel. 
They arrived in 1521, just in time to attend the funeral of 
their father ; but they had become suddenly much wiser than 
their mother, and they openly thwarted her purpose of hav 
ing their deceased parent buried, according to his dying re 
quest, by the Carmelites, or of allowing these pious monks, 
with whom they had received their own early education, to 
celebrate Masses for the repose of his soul, as he had also 
provided in his will. The tears of the weeping mother were 
unheeded, and the Carmelites were rudely driven off from 
the funeral cortege. These wise sons tauntingly asked their 
sorrow-stricken mother : " If she understood the Mass in 
Latin, or what she thought of it. She answered : I do not 
understand it ; but while I listen to it, I pray God that he 
will accept their prayers which I doubt not He will. "* A 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 118. 


simple, but eloquent answer, which would have moved any 
one but two such rude and heartless boys, who were evi 
dently totally unworthy of such a mother. 

The brothers were very unlike one another. Both dis 
ciples of Luther, one resembled his master in volubility and 
coarseness, while the other was more like the gentler Melanc- 

" Olaus the elder was bold, lively to an excess, perhaps bordering on vio 
lence ; active, determined, learned, capable of defending his principles by his 
pen, still more so by his speech. Lawrence the younger was milder, though 
not less zealous, a less eloquent speaker but a greater author, and more 
learned than his brother ; neither was to be moved from what he considered 
right. They were promoted by Luther in 1518 to the grade of magister 
(master), Olaus being twenty-one, and Lawrence nineteen years old. The 
elder had accompanied Luther on a tour of inspection through the churches 
and schools of north Germany, by which he profited much. Such were the 
men with whose assistance Gustaf Wasa introduced the Lutheran reform 
into Sweden."* 

The insincerity of Wasa, and the cunning and unprincipled 
manner in which he conducted the work of gradually under 
mining the faith of Sweden, are unfolded in the following 
passage of the candid Lutheran historian : 

" The dauntless Olaus Petri had presented himself at the diet held at 
Strangnas in 1523, and sought to expose the errors of popery before the 
states. It caused much excitement, and reached the king s ears, who called 
for Olaus and his patron, the venerable and learned Laurentius Andre ae. 
They must now explain their sentiments before him, and it was impossible 
for him not to approve what agreed so well with his own convictions and 
advantage; but he did not express himself openly yet for some time, 
fearing by gaining the name of a heretic to draw on himself the detestation 
of priests and people ; he therefore appeared to take no part in these relig 
ious quarrels, but protected the new doctrines secretly, and, for their further 
dissemination, placed Lawrence as doctor of theology at Upsala, Olaus as 
preacher in the High Church of Stockholm, and Laurentius Andreae he 
nominated his own private secretary. Thus these three, each in his own 
province, were enabled to labor in the cause of truth (error ?)"f 

Each of these men discharged the office assigned him with 
* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 117-8. f Ibid., 119. 


a zeal worthy a better cause. In the High Church of Stock 
holm a pulpit was built for Olaus " shaped like a basket, from 
which he with bold words and youthful zeal, set forth the 
errors and deceits (!) of popery ;" while his milder and more 
learned brother duly indoctrinated with the new heresy the 
numerous candidates for the sacred ministry who frequented 
the ancient university of Upsala. No wonder the Catholic 
bishops, and others who had the interests of the ancient faith 
at heart, took the alarm. Bishop Brask earnestly besought 
the king not to countenance the new teachers, lest he should 
lose the good name of a Christian prince ; but the king in his 
answer assumed the lofty tone of an impartial protector of all 
his subjects alike, without regard to their religious opinions. 
How little he was sincere in this, the sequel clearly proved ; 
but even at the time he deceived no one. Says Frvxell : 

" In spite of this assumed impartiality, Brask was not slow to perceive the 
king s leaning towards the Lutherans ; but he neither could, nor dared un 
dertake any thing further."* 

Having thus set his instruments to work, Wasa next took 
one step forward in his great scheme of robbing the Church. 
At the diet of Stragnas, in 1523, he called upon the estates 
to pay his large body of foreign mercenaries, who were now 
lying idle, and were clamoring for the remainder of their 
wages. Wasa proposed that the clergy should make up the 
deficit out of their revenues, but the clergy naturally objected 
to a tax which was unusual, and which, they foresaw, was 
but the beginning of a system of wholesale spoliation. Here 
upon the king wrote a letter to Brask, "full of severity and 
threats ;" and the prudent prelate at length yielded, probably 
to avert greater evils.f 

His next step in advance was, to depose an obnoxious 
bishop, and to have a new archbishop appointed for Upsala. 
He did both with a high hand. Among the new bishops 
whom he had caused to be named, one was accused of sowing 
dissaftection ; this was Peter Sunnanwader of "Westeras. The 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 121. f Ibid,. 122. 

VOL. ii. 35 


king, accompanied by some senators immediately rode to 
Westeras, summoned before him the trembling chapter of the 
cathedral, ordered them to depose Peter at once, and to nom 
inate in his stead Petrus Magni. The canons hesitated, but 
the king peremptorily commanded them to decide, and they 
tremblingly obeyed. He then rode straight back to Stock 
holm, and ordered before him the canons of Upsala, whom 
he directed to nominate a new archbishop in place of Knut 
whom he had already deposed. " He was obeyed, and the 
choice fell on John Magnus, the papal legate, whom the king 
had proposed to them."* 

The Church in Sweden had found a master, who lorded 
it over her bishops with a military despotism, before entirely 
unheard of in the spiritual domain. All were stricken with 
consternation at these high-handed measures ; but the end 
was not yet. 

In 1524, Wasa left Sweden, to hold a conference with the 
Danish King Frederick at Malmo, on subjects connected with 
the mutual relations of the two kingdoms. During his ab 
sence important events occurred. Urged on by the zealous 
Bishop Brask, the new archbishop of Upsala summoned be 
fore his chapter the two brothers Olaus and Lawrence, and as 
they proved obstinate in their adherence to the new gospel, 
he excommunicated them. Brask cordially co-operated with 
the metropolitan, and not only denounced the new doctrines 
in his diocese, but established a press whence he caused to be 
issued a number of publications against the errors of Luther, 
which he disseminated through the country.f 

Meantime, the violent appeals of Olaus were producing 
their legitimate fruits at Stockholm. The cry of gospel-lib 
erty raised by him was taken up by some Anabaptists who 
had lately arrived from Germany ; and a popular commotion 
ensued, which threatened to destroy all social order and to in 
troduce universal anarchy ; in a word to make of Stockholm 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 122-3. f Ibid., p. 138. 


what the Anabaptists were then making of Leyden and other 

" They pretended to be impelled by the Spirit ; they shouted and screamed, 
and finally succeeded in exciting the lower orders to uproar. A disgraceful 
tumult followed : shoe-makers, tanners, and others, often the most ignorant 
and vicious of their class, also imagined, or wanted to make others imagine, 
that they too were impelled by the Holy Ghost. These new apostles pre 
sented themselves in the churches ; but no one could recognize the doctrines 
of Christianity in the anger and violence with which they preached. The 
people, stirred by their discourses, wildly stormed both churches and con 
vents, tore down their images and ornaments, and dragged them about in 
the mud of the streets. Olaus and his colleagues hastened out and sought 
to quiet the uproar ; but the excited and raging multitude heeded not their 
words. The more sensible part of the community looked on these excesses 
with horror ; and began to fear for the liberty of conscience in matters of 

religion which had lately been introduced in the country But the 

peasants who happened to be in town were most wrathful ; they hurried 
with horror out of Stockholm as a Gomorrah of iniquity, describing to the 
other peasants with bitterness and detestation what they had witnessed, and 
in their ignorance laying the whole blame on the doctrines of Luther. Up 
land seemed on the point of insurrection ; the peasants threatened that they 
would march to Stockholm, and clear the town and country of Lutherans 
and heretics."! 

The peasants were not far wrong in laying the blame on 
the doctrines of Luther; there was, on the contrary, an irre 
sistible logic in the "ignorance" with which they reasoned. 
For if every man had a clear right to judge for himself in 
religious matters, why had not the shoe-makers and tanners 
as valid a right as any others ? In what was their right to 
preach inferior to that of Olaus and the other self-constituted 
apostles of the new gospel ? 

On his return, the king was filled with consternation at the 
popular tumults, which threatened the stability of his newly 
established throne. He arrested and threw into prison the 
Anabaptist leaders, whom he afterwards sent out of the 
country, with the significant threat, " that it should cost them 
their lives if they ventured ever again to set foot on Swedish 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 139. 


ground." Olaus and his Lutheran colleagues were also se 
verely rebuked by him for their too great indulgence towards 
men, who after all did but follow out the principle of private 
judgment which those new apostles had so boastingly pro 
mulgated. To still the popular tempest, Wasa came down 
from his throne and associated with the people, having a gra 
cious smile and a bow for -the lowest: he stopped them in 
the streets, asked concerning their complaints, played the part 
of Absalom when the latter was meditating treachery against 
the throne of his father.* Wasa certainly knew well how to 
act his part, both in comedy and in tragedy ; but especially 
in the latter. 

The end was now fast approaching. At Christmas, 1524, 
Wasa visited Upsala to sound the dispositions of the new 
archbishop, whom he had lately caused to be appointed in so 
summary a manner. He soon found, however, to his sorrow 
that John Magnus, though a timid and courtly man, was not 
likely to become his ready and compliant instrument. He 
would do every thing to oblige the king, except to sacrifice 
his conscience, by abandoning the faith " once delivered to the 
saints."f Upon discovering this unpleasant truth, the king 
put in requisition all his arts to seduce the archbishop, or to 

* The Lutheran historian calls this acting of Wasa, making his Ericks- 
gata. Fryxell, Ibid., ii, p. 140. 

f Of the archbishop s character Fryxell says : 

"The lately elected archbishop John Magnus was a learned man of a 
mild and gentle disposition. He loved his country much, and its deliverer 
not less, for whose high qualities he entertained the greatest veneration, 
though mixed with fear and some ill will when he discovered that the king 
was laboring to overthrow the old Religion. Brask incessantly incited him, 
as the chief prelate of Sweden, to set a bound to the royal encroachments, 
but the archbishop could never bring himself openly to venture on so haz 
ardous an attempt, and was obliged for his cowardice to endure many a 
sharp reproof from the bolder bishop. It was not that John Magnus ap 
proved of the king s proceedings ; he was devoted to the Eoman Catholic 
Religion in heart and soul, and tried to counteract them as much as his ti 
midity permitted." Ibid., p. 144. 


degrade him in popular estimation ; or, if all else failed, to 
drive him from his see. His first manosuvre was to have a 
public disputation on religion held in his presence at Upsala ; 
his constant companion and theologian, the violent Glaus 
taking the Luthern side, and Peter Galle, a learned theologian, 
the Catholic. The discussion being held under the eye of the 
terrible king was scarcely free, and it terminated, as such 
wordy contests generally do, in nothing. The disputants 
"grew louder and more violent; and the king then ordered 
them to finish, and caused the chief points which had been 
discussed to be committed to paper." We may easily imagine 
how full, fair, and impartial was the report of the discussion, 
made and circulated under such auspices ; but it had precisely 
the effect it was meant to produce, to weaken the hold 
which the ancient faith had on the minds and hearts of the 

Determined, if possible, to bend the archbishop to his will, 
Wasa went again to Upsala in May, 1526.f He was accom 
panied by a retinue of two hundred splendidly accoutred 
horsemen. Halting upon one of the mounds of old Upsala, 
he addressed the assembled multitudes in an harangue teem 
ing with coarse invectives against the clergy, and especially 
the monks. He evidently coveted their wealth, and the 
simple-minded people discovered it at a glance. 

"But the peasants began to shout out and to cry that they might be per 
mitted to keep their monks, since they were willing to support them : they 
had heard that they were to be robbed of the Latin Mass and their old 
faith ; that the secretary Master Lars was certainly the cause of all this ; 
they therefore wanted to get him out of the town and punish him. Gustaf 
smiled, and asked them if they knew Master Lars? They answered: 
no, not we ; but if we had him here with us on the common, we should 
presently make better acquaintance. "J 

* See Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 141. 

f He had previously summoned the archbishop before him at Stockholm, 
and administered to him a sharp and unmerited rebuke on his supposed love 
of pomp ! The timid prelate was like a lamb before the wolf ! See an ac 
count of the curious interview, Ibid., p. 145. f Ibid., p. 146. 


This secretary of Wasa was Lars Andersson,* who com 
bined the unprincipled cunning of the English Cranmer with 
the crouching servility of the English vicar general Crom 
well. No wonder the people cordially disliked him, and 
sought to make his nearer acquaintance on the common ! 

The royal reformer next presented himself in new Upsala, 
where " to make sport of the archbishop," he publicly placed 
a garland on his head constituting him May-King ! He next 
passed a rude insult on the venerable prelate at a public 
banquet : 

"At the end of the repast, the archbishop with a full cup in his hand 
turned towards the king, and said : Our grace drinks to your grace. Gus- 
taf answered : l Thy grace and our grace cannot find room under the same 
roof ; to which the archbishop had nothing to answer, but the company 
burst into a loud laugh." f 

The king next visited the archepiscopal chapter, and came 
at once and bluntly to the point, to which all this cunning 
manoeuvring was evidently tending. He asked the canons 
to tell him the origin of their privileges : 

" Peter Galle stood up, and answered (more cautiously than wisely) in the 
name of his companions : That the holy Church had received her privile 
ges from Christian emperors, kings, and princes : goods and lands had, on 
the other hand, been presented to churches and convents by pious souls, 
which gifts had afterwards been confirmed by kings and princes, so that 
they should remain inalienable and ever the same. But, observed the 
king, have not kings and princes the right to recall such privileges, for 
which they find no ground in Scripture, but which have been extorted by 
denunciations of purgatory and more of the sort, which can never be proved 
by holy writ ? Peter Galle not replying, the king turned to the archbishop 
begging him to answer, but neither did he speak."| 

They no doubt thought it a bootless task to contend with 
the royal ruffian, whose purpose was already fixed, as they 
but too plainly perceived. 

The sequel is so well told by the Lutheran historian, that 
we can not do better than transcribe his words : 

* Called by Fryxell Laurentius Andreas his name in the Latinized 
form. f Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 147 f Ibid. 


" King Gustaf perceived but too well, that so far from having a, friend in 
the archbishop, he was, on the contrary, counteracted by him, as much as so 
weak and timid a man could venture to do. He called for him, therefore, 
and declared to him that he would never recognize him as archbishop ; he 
might therefore look after some other employment, and leave the country, 
for he was never more to return to Upsula. John, not daring to resist such 
a positive order, sailed away as soon as he had collected his most precious 

effects He remained long in Poland, in the hope of being recalled and 

reinstated in his office, but never took part in the many conspiracies which 
were set on foot against G-ustaf by fugitive Swedes ; on the contrary, he 
sought in many instances to further his and Sweden s weal to the best of his 
ability ; but all the time urged the king, according to his own heart s convic 
tion, to re-embrace the Eoman Catholic faith. When he found his efforts 
vain, he set out for Home, seeking help, but finding none. He died at last 
in poverty in a hospital of that city in 1544."* 

Thus died the last Catholic archbishop of Upsula ; a holy 
man worthy of better times and of a happier lot. We are 
reminded of the lamb pleading in vain for mercy before the 
hungry wolf, whenever we consider his meek relations with 
the tyrannical Wasa.f 

But the degradation of the episcopal body was not yet com 
plete. The two recently deposed prelates, Knut and Sunnan- 
wader, were now brought up for trial before the temporal 
lords, the king himself appearing as their principal accuser, 
and charging them with having been engaged in stirring up 
the recent revolt in Dalgarna. Whether they were guilty or 
not, we have no means of ascertaining, nor, with such an ac 
cuser and under such circumstances, did their guilt or inno- 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 149. 

f The writer on the Swedish Reformation in the Dublin Eeview scarcely 
does justice to the rude despotism of Wasa, in saying that, to get rid of him, 
he sent the archbishop "as it were on a special embassy to the Polish court," 
with the promise " that his dispatches should be forwarded to him at Dant- 
zic." Wasa seems to have adopted no such expedient of politeness, but 
rudely expelled him from the kingdom. Fryxell indeed tells us that the 
archbishop alleged something of the kind after his departure, which, con 
sidering hi < sincere and truthful character, is scarcely credible ; unless, 
indeed, the amiable prelate wished by this expedient to excuse the king. 


cence matter much with the judges. They were, of course, 
found guilty of treason, and condemned to death. 

"The two seditionaries (?) were forced to make a degrading entry into 
Stockholm, riding backwards on poor half-starved horses, dressed in ragged 
palls, Master Knut wearing a bark mitre on his head, Peter Sunnanwader a 
crown of straw, and a wooden sword by his side. Crowds of people in dis 
guise followed them, mocking and teasing the unfortunates. The procession 
passed through some of the principal streets of the town, and stopped at 
last on the great square, where they were led to the whipping-post, and 
made to drink with the executioner, hooted at and derided by the mob all 
the while. Shortly after this ungenerous treatment, they were both con 
ducted to the place of execution, beheaded and impaled : Peter Sunnanwader 
in Upsala, 18th Feb., 1527, and Master Knut three days later in Stockholm. 
The fame of these proceedings spread, like wild-fire, through the kingdom. 
Gustaf had ordered the ignominious procession through Stockholm, to de 
crease the reverence of the people for their bishops ; but it was interpreted 
as an ungenerous victor s mockery over the vanquished ; and the execution 
itself excited yet greater displeasure. Such an attempt against such men 
was extraordinary, nay unheard of. The priests represented the criminals 
as the fallen defenders of the clerical freedom ; the friends of the Stures as 
innocent victims of their devotion to that family ; and the Roman Catholics 
as martyrs to the true faith, sacrificed by the hand of a heretic and godless 
king ; in which sentiments the clergy sought to maintain the people to the 
utmost of their power. It was related that strange signs were seen in the 
sky at Sunnanwader s execution ; and a failure of the crops, which happened 

the same year, was accounted as a punishment of heaven It was no 

wonder if the discontent became general, and the misguided (!) people ex 
pressed both displeasure and hatred against the sovereign they had once so 
much loved."* 

All this was a part of the settled programme in the cun 
ningly devised drama of the Swedish Reformation. As to 
the discontent and murmurs of the people, Wasa heeded 
them not, so long as he had his well trained and powerful 
body of foreign troops at his back. With such aid he had 
no doubt of being able fully to sustain himself, and to crush 
out all opposition, if necessary in the blood of his own peo 
ple. These foreign mercenaries were, in fact, the real key of 
his position. He played them off on all occasions, whether to ca- 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 154-5. 


jole his people, and especially the clergy, out of their money, or 
to threaten them into servile compliance with his will. Thus, 
"At the meeting held at Wadstena in 1521, it was determined that the 
foreign cavalry should be quartered in the cloisters ; at the meeting of Stock 
holm (12th Jan., 1525), that the tithes of that year should be employed to 
pay off the foreign soldiery. The priests opposed it, but the king clearly 
proved that these expenses were necessary, and the nobility, citizens, and 
peasants, glad at not having to pay themselves, were well satisfied that the 
priests should do it. This bait, Qustaf often employed, to get the whole of 
the people on his side against the prelates of Rome."* 

It is not to be denied that Wasa was an adroit, as he cer 
tainly was a most unprincipled tactician. He had so man 
aged every thing, that the plot was now ripe for execution, 
and the day was at hand for the total subversion of the Cath 
olic Eeligion in the kingdom. Among all the prelates, there 
remained only the venerable Brask of Linkoping from whom 
he dreaded any serious opposition to his favorite design ; and 
him he had no doubt of being able to control. Accordingly, 
in the midsummer of 1527, a diet was convened at Westeras. 
The haughty and tyrannical course adopted by the king had 
already inspired such alarm among the bishops and clergy, 
that " even proud Bishop Brask wrote to Ture Jonsson Roos 
6 that he would rather be dead than fall under his grace s 
(king Gustaf s) displeasure. "f No wonder, then, that 

" The Roman Catholics anticipated little gain from this diet. It was with 
the utmost repugnance that Bishop Brask saw that their faith was to be 
discussed before the people ; . . . . and that this was to be done in the pres 
ence of the king was a circumstance still more alarming to him ; for though 
a bold and wise man, Brask had, like the rest, experienced how Gustaf by 
his look, his voice, his words and gestures, had such an influence over the 
minds of the people that none dared or were able to speak in his presence, 
much less to resist his will."| 

Under such circumstances, the proposed discussion of Re 
ligion before the diet was little better than a solemn farce and 
a hollow mockery ; for with the overweening influence and 
overbearing manner of a king now openly favoring the Luther- 

* Fryxell,Ibid.,p. 142. f Ibid, p. 123. | Ibid., p. 156. 


ans, little fairness and still less freedom could be expected in 
the debate. Still more to humble the bishops, Wasa more 
over passed an open insult on the whole episcopal body, by 
assigning them, contrary to immemorial usage, the second 
place at the grand banquet given to the members before the 
opening of the diet. 

" The prelates, who had hitherto sat above the senators, saw themselves 
with rage thus removed lower ; however, none ventured to expose himself 
to the king s anger ; they were silent and obliged to make the best of the 
places assigned them."* 

" The following day they assembled in the cathedral at the summons of 
Brask, and the doors being shut, that no stranger might glide in amongst 
them to betray their counsel, the question was proposed how they were to 
conduct themselves now, when by so many previous events, and lastly by 
the disgrace which had been put upon them at the royal banquet, it was 
clear to perceive that the king had serious intentions on their property, 
power, and privileges. To this the bishops of Strangnas and Westeras (re 
cent nominees of Wasa) answered, that they were well satisfied, poor or 
rich, how the king would have them, for had they little to receive, they had 
likewise little to bestow. This complying speech highly incensed Bishop 
Brask. Ye are madmen, he exclaimed, if ye permit such a thing ! If 
King Gustaf will take from us, let him do it by force, not with our own free 
will and consent ; in that manner we retain our right to complain before our 
Holy Father in Rome. Let each one take good heed how he abandoned the 
Pope. Many kings and princes have taken the same in hand, as this one is 
now doing ; but they have all been scorched by the thunder-bolts of papal 
excommunication ; and the persecuted clergy have got what was theirs 
quietly back again. But should we fall from Rome, which is our sheet- 
anchor and defense, we fall into fire and thorns on every side. The Holy 
Father will excommunicate us, and the king here at home will count us 
little better than slaves ; so that we may not venture to speak a word for 
the freedom and rights of the Church."f 

The timid were reassured by this zealous appeal, and they 
all entered into a solemn written agreement and pledge to 
resist the new doctrines to the end; "but such was their 
dread of the king, that they buried the parchment under a 
stone in the floor of the church ; and it was not till fifteen 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 156-7. f Ibid., p. 157-8. 


years afterwards that it was sought for, and and again saw 
the light."* 

At length the deed was done, and the act was passed 
which despoiled the churches of their property, severed Swe 
den from Catholicity, and made the king supreme head of 
the Swedish church in spirituals as well as in temporals. 
The most important articles of this celebrated act of Westerns 
were as follows : 

"1. That the superfluous riches and revenues of the bishops, the 
churches, and convents should be applied to the use of the kingdom and the 
crown. 2. What property before the time of Charles VIII. (about the year 
1445) had been bestowed upon churches and convents should return to the 
crown. 3. What since the time of Charles VIII. had been given to churches 
and convents, sold, or pledged, should be resumed or redeemed by those 
who could prove themselves to be the nearest heirs of the same. 4. The 
pure word of God (!) should be preached in all churches of the kingdom ; 
and in a separate determination, called Westerns Ordinantia, it was fixed 
that bishops, deans, etc., should be nominated by the king without the ad 
vice of the Pope ; that the king should depose unqualified clergymen ; that 
priests in worldly affairs should appear before temporal tribunals ; that 
mulcts (fines) should fall to the king and not to the bishops ; that the inher 
itance of priests should fall to their nearest relatives, instead of to the bish 
ops ; that the Bible should be read in schools, etc."f 

We cannot, and need not give a more detailed account than 
the above of the tortuous manoeuvring by which Wasa thus 
brought all the orders of the kingdom to his feet, and had 
himself made virtually an absolute despot, with a standing 
army of foreign mercenaries to enforce obedience to his will. 
Suffice it to say, that the diet of Westerns was not a free as 
sembly ; that the king came to it with his hungry Lutheran 
soldiery at his back to overawe the deliberations ; that when 
on the very first day, both the bishops led by Brask, and the 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, p. 157-8. 

f Ibid., p. 166-7. The writer in the Dublin Review makes an important 
mistake in omitting the second clause given above, or rather combining it 
with the third, in such a way as to limit the confiscation of church property 
to that which had been acquired since the reign of Charles VIII. 


nobles led by the venerable Ture Jonsson Roos the oldest of 
their number, sternly opposed the wholesale spoliation of the 
Church and the sweeping innovations in religion, Wasa ab 
ruptly left the hall, and declared that he would no longer be 
king over so ungrateful a people, worked himself apparently 
into a towering rage, and called on the estates to refund him 
all the money he had advanced for the defense of the coun 
try ; that for three days he surlily kept his own apartments, 
resisted entreaty after entreaty from the diet that he would 
still vouchsafe to retain the crown : and that finally, only on 
the fourth day, when both bishops and nobles had become 
sufficiently humbled, and when the peasants, no doubt at the 
king s instigation, were openly clamoring for their blood in 
case they held out any longer, he consented to appear again 
before the diet, and, surrounded by his guards, promised to 
continue to act as their king, but only on condition of their 
passing all the acts he required, to make him supreme in 
church and state. 

The humbled estates, amidst the violent clamor of the peas 
ants, now voted every thing at once, with outstretched hands 
and with seeming alacrity. Some of the newly created bish 
ops, his own creatures, had already abandoned the cause of 
their brethren, to whom they had so solemnly plighted their 
faith at the memorable meeting in the cathedral ; the vener 
able Brask hung his head in sorrow and humilation, and si 
lently submitted to an outrage upon all rights human and 
divine, which he had striven in vain to prevent. The bish 
ops were compelled by force to give up their castles, along 
with their property ; and when Wasa had thus obtained all 
he wanted, he abruptly dismissed the diet. Says Fryxell : 

" The diet of Westeras did not last very long ; scarce eight days passed 
ere it was closed ; but never at any diet has more been executed ; never 
have any resolutions brought about a more complete change. The whole 
tremendous power of popery (!) in all its members was crushed. Deprived 
of their riches, their privileges, their great consideration, they (the clergy) 
were open to the continued and often unjust exactions of the crown and the 
nobility, to the attacks of the Lutheran priests, and left without power to 


protect themselves from the encroachments of enemies on every side. The 
crown of Sweden, which before had been utterly impoverished and unable 
to pay half its expenses, became rich at once ; the king formerly, in most 
respects, compelled to act according to the will of the bishops and clergy 
(and the people) now acquired a much wider (more despotic) rule ; the 
peasants felt a great alleviation in their taxes ; but the nobility gained the 
most : for countless estates were redeemed or resumed (robbed) from churches 
and convents. Gustaf, himself descended from the chiefest and wealthiest 
families, did not in this respect curtail aught from his own privileges (!), but 
received large property which has since been known by the name of the 
Gustavian entail. It often happened afterwards, that the nobles appropri 
ated by force fields and possessions of the church, etc."* 

Gustaf, indeed, rebuked their rapacity ; but they were only 
acting in accordance with his spirit, if not copying his ex 

This passage accounts satisfactorily for the whole affair, 
singularly enough called the Reformation in Sweden ! Its 
chief effect, as well as its great aim, was to enrich the king 
and the nobles at the expense of the Church, which it sacri 
legiously despoiled and ruthlessly enslaved. The work of 
destruction begun at Westeras was completed in the suc 
ceeding diet of Orebro, held in the beginning of 1529, the 
same year that the Lutherans issued their famous protest at 
the diet of Spires in Germany. At the diet of Orebro the 
venerable sacrifice of the Mass was abolished, and the new 
fangled service composed by Olaus was substituted in its 
place. General discontent followed this vital innovation in 
worship. The older Catholic priests, who had not yet been 

"Lamented that the good old times were passed, and wished that they 
were lying deep enough under the soil, that they might not be forced to 
witness the evil and mischief which were spreading over the world. A great 
body of the common people joined with these, particularly women and old 
people, crying and lamenting over these novelties, and the boldness of their 
impious sovereign."! 

These poor people lamented in vain ; their " impious sov- 

* Fryxell, History of Sweden, ii, 168-9. f Ibid., 179. 


ereign" had a heart as hard as the coin he loved so well. 
They were soon left " like sheep without a shepherd ;" such 
of their faithful pastors as could not be compelled to conform 
to the new order of things were deprived of their places, 
were driven into exile, or were made to eke out their living 
in their old age as best they might, or else to starve ; while 
the people themselves were forced into conformity at the 
points of those formidable foreign bayonets which the royal 
reformer knew so well how to employ, in order the more ef 
fectually to establish the precious right of private judgment 
in matters of religion ! The venerable Bishop Brask was 
forced to leave Sweden, and to bury his sorrows in a foreign 
land, where his gray hairs went down in affliction to the 

"In Dantzic he met the deposed archbishop John Magnus, and both 
labored there a while on the conversion of Gustaf from the Lutheran faith. 
When John Magnus removed to Italy, Brask remained some time in the 
Olivet cloister near Dantzic ; and his last years were passed further in the 
interior of Poland in a monastery called Landan. Like John, he never bore 
any part in any of the conspiracies which were carried on against Gustaf; 
but he wrote frequently to his friends in Sweden, exhorting them faithfully 
and earnestly to remain true to the faith of their fathers, the doctrines of 
the old Catholic Church. Faithful himself to these doctrines, for which he 
had sacrificed all, he ended his days in the above mentioned monastery, 
A. D. 1538."f 

Having now become supreme head of the Swedish church