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Full text of "Life and letters of Thomas Cromwell"

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THOMAS CROMWELL 
PRO" A PI0Tt11Ur rN THI!: BODUrAN Ln!RART 



LIFE AND LETTERS OF 
. 
THOMAS CROMWELL 


BY 


ROGER BIGELOW MERRIMAN 


A.:\I. HAHV., B. LrrT. Oxox. 


"
ITH A PORTRAIT AND FACSIMILE 


VOL. I 
I
IFE, LE''f''fERS "fO 1535 


OXFORD 
AT 1."HE CLAREKDO:N PRES
 
1902 



DEC 2 194\) 


HENRY FROWDE, M.A. 
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 
LONDO
, EDINBURGH 
NEW YORK 



PREFACE 


TI-IIS book is an attempt to present the life of 
Thomas Crom,vell as a statesman, and to estimate 
his \york ,,
ithout religious bias. Though it \vould 
certainly be difficult to overrate his importance in the 
history of the Church of England, I maintain that 
the motives that inspired his actions ,vere invariably 
political, and that the many ecclesiastical changes 
carried through under his guidance \vere but incidents 
of his administration, not ends in themselves. Con- 
sequently any attempt to judge him from a distinctively 
religious standpoint, ,vhether Catholic or Protestant, 
can hardly fail, it seems to me, to mislead the student 
and obscure the truth. I cannot agree, on the other 
hand, ,vith those who have represented Cromwell as 
a purely selfish political adventurer, the subservient 
instrument of a wicked master, bent only on his own 
gain. It seems to me as idle to disparage his patriot- 
ism and statesmanship, as it is to try to make him out 
a hero of the Reformation. He merits a place far 
higher than that of most men of his type, a type 
essentially characteristic of the sixteenth century, a 
type of ,vhich the Earl of Warwick in England and 
Maurice of Saxony on the Continent are striking 
examples, a type that profoundly influenced the des- 
tinies of Protestantism, but to which theological issues 
,vere either a mere nothing, or else totally subordinate 
to political considerations. 



IV 


PREFACE 


It has been justly said that Crom,vell's correspond- 
ence is our chief source of information for the period 
immediately follo\ving the breach \vith Rome. To 
transcribe ill extenso the letters he received \vould be 
almost the task of a lifetinle; for they form the bulk 
of the enormous mass of material with which the 
editors of the Calendars of State Papers for the years 
1533-40 have had to deal. But the number of extant 
letters he wrote is, comparatively speaking, extremely 
small; it has therefore been possible to make full 
copies of them in every case, and I trust that the 
many advantages-linguistic as "'
ell as historical- 
that can only be secured by complete, and as far as 
possible accurate transcriptions of the originals, will be 
accepted as sufficient reason for editing this collection 
of documents, twenty-one of ,vhich have neither been 
printed nor calendared before. The rules that have 
been observed in transcription \vill be found in the 
Prefatory Note (vol. i. p. 3 I I). The Calendar refer- 
ences to the more important letters received by 
Cromwell, where they bear directly on those he ,vrote, 
are given in the notes at the end of the second 
volume. 
1\Iy ,varmest thanks are due to l\Ir. F. York Po,veIl, 
Regius Professor of l\10dern History in the U niver- 
sity of Oxford, who has guided me throughout in 
n1atter, form, and style; and to nlY friend and master 
l\Ir. A. L. Smith, Fellow of Balliol College, \vhose 
advice and encouragement have been an inspiration 
from first to last. I t is not easy for me to express 
how nluch I have depended on their suggestions and 
criticism. I am indebted to Mr. Owen Edwards, 
F ello,v of Lincoln College, for indispensable help in 
the early stages of my ,york. The main plan of this 



PREFACE 


v 


book is in n1any respects sin1ilar to that of his Lothian 
Essay for the year 1887, \vhich I regret that he has 
never published. 1\1 y grateful ackno,vledgen1ents are 
also due to 1\lr. J an1es Gairdner of the Public Record 
Office for inforn1ation about Crom,vell's early life.; to 
Professor Dr. 1\Iax Lenz, of the University of Berlin, 
for helpful suggestions in connexion \vith the Anglo- 
Gern1an negotiations in the years 1537-40; and to 
l\Ir. G. T. Lapsley, of the University of California, for 
sin1ilar services in regard to the Pilgrin1age of Grace, 
and the reorganization of the North after the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion. 
I beg to express my appreciation of the kindness of 
the Duke of Rutland, the Marquess of Salisbury, Earl 
Spencer, Lord Calthorpe, \Villiam Berington, Esq., 
and Alfred Henry H uth, Esq., in giving me access to 
the manuscripts in their private collections. 
I n conclusion, I ,vish to thank the officials of the 
Public Record Office, British l\luseum, Heralds' Col- 
lege of Arms, and Bodleian Library, for facilitating 
my \vork in every way; more especially l\Iessrs. 
1-I ubert Hall, R. H. Brodie, E. Salisbury, and F. B. 
Bickley, \vho have repeatedly aided me in my search 
for uncalendared letters and continental documents, 
and in deciphering the most difficult manuscripts I 
have had to consult. 


R. B. 1\1. 


EALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD. 
February, 1902. 


DA 

34- 
.
C)Mt:\ 
. I 



CONTENTS 


VOLU:\IE I 


CHAVTER PAGE 
I. THE AXCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE OF THO:\lAS 
CRO
nYELL . I 
ApPENDIX. P A
:-;AGES FRO:\I CHAPUYS, POLE, 
BAXDELLO, A
D FOXE 17 
II. THE PARLIAl\IE
T OF 1523 27 
III. WOLSEY'S SERVA
T 47 
ApPEKDIX. THE \VILL OF THO
L-\S CRO:\I- 
"ELL . 56 
IV. THE FALL OF THE CARDIXAL 64- 
V. THE CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY OF 
TnO)IAS CRO:\nYELL . 77 
VI. IN THE KING'S SERVICE. 89 
ApPENDIX. THE SUPPLICATION OF THE 
CO
Il\IOXS AGAI
ST THE ORDINARIES. 1 0 4 


VII. 
VI II. 
IX. 
x. 
XI. 
XII. 
ÀIII. 


I
TERNAL POLICY . 


112 


IRELA
D, \V ALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS . 147 
THE l\'10NASTERIES. . 16 5 
THE PILGRI:\IAGE OF GRACE, 1536 . 180 
CARDINAL POLE . 202 
THE FOREIGN POLICY .. 2 J 3 
THE CATHOLIC REACTION AND THE AL- 
LIA1\'CE 'YITH CLEVES . . 24 2 
ApPE
DIX. REPORTS OF THE LUTI-IERAN 
A:\IBASSADORS TO EKGLAXD IX 1539 AND 


154 0 


. 27 2 



Vlll 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 
XI\T. THE FALL OF THOMAS CRO:\I\YELL 
ApPEKDIX. PASSAGES FROl\I FOXE: CROl\I- 
\YELL'S SPEECH AND PRAYER ON THE 
SCAFFOLD . 303 
xv. THE \\TORK OF THOl\IAS CROl\I\VELL . 305 


PAGE 
281 


PREFATORY NOTE TO CRO:\I\VELL'S LETTERS 


CROl\1\VELL'S LETTERS: 15 2 3-3 0 
" , , 153 1 
, , 
, 153 2 
:, 1533 

 , " 1534 
:, " 1535 


3 11 
3 1 3 
. 335 
. 343 
. 35 2 
. 37 2 
. 39 6 


VOLUME U 


CROl\I\VELL'S LETTERS: 153 6 I 
" ,,1537 50 
" ,,153 8 III 
., 
, 1539 166 
" :, 154 0 244 
AN ITINERARY OF THOMAS CROI\I\VELL, 15 2 3-4 0 . 2ï9 
A LIST OF THE IVIINOR PREFERl\IENTS OF THOl\IAS 
CRO
I\VELL, AN'D A DESCRIPTION OF HIS .ARMS 
A
D CREST . 


NOTES TO LETTERS 
LIST OF AUTHORITIES 
IKDEX . 


28 3 
2 8 5 
. 3 1 3 
. 3 1 9 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


PORTRAIT OF TnOl\IAS CROM\YELL . Þì
01ltispiccc to vol. i 
:F'ACSIl\HLE OF A LETTER FROM THO
IAS CROl\1\YELL 
TO LORD LISLE, AUG. 30, 1538 . Fl
01!tisþiccc to yoI. ii 



LIFE OF THOMAS CR011\:VELL 


CHAPTER I 


THE ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE OF THOMAS CROM\VELL 


THE manor of vVimbledon comprises the parishes of Wim- 
bledon, Putney, Rochampton, l\1ortlake, and East Sheen, and 
parts of Wands\vorth and Barnes 1. In West Saxon times it 
\vas one of the estates of the see of Canterbury, but after 
the Conquest it \vas seized by Odo, the high-handed Bishop of 
Bayeux: in 1071, ho\vever, it was recovered by Lanfranc, and 
\vith one trifling interruption in the reign of Richard I I, it 
remained in the possession of the archbishopric until 153.5. 
In that year Cranmer surrendered it to Henry VI II in ex- 
change for the priory of St. Rhadegund in Dover, and a little 
later the King granted it to Thomas Cromwe1l 2 , who was 
born there some fifty years before, the son of a well-to-do 
blacksmith, brewer, and fuller. The early history of the 
manor of Wimbledon is almost unknown, for we do not 
possess its Court Rolls prior to the year 1461: they \vere 
probably lost or destroyed during the Wars of the Roses. 
After 1461, ho\vever, they are continuous, with the exception 
of the years 1473 and 1474. 
An entry in these rolls, \vritten in the year 1475, states that 
'Walter Smyth and his father keep thirty sheep on Putney 
Common, where they have no common 3.' A number of sub- 
sequent mentions of this same Walter Smyth shows that he 


1 Antiquarian l\Iagazine, Aug. 
1882, vol. ii. p. 57. 
2 l\lanning and Bray, History 
and Antiquities of the County of 
Surrey, vol. iii. p. 268. 
B Court Rolls of 


MERRIMAN. I 


Manor, 15 Edw. IV. These rolls 
are now in the possession of Earl 
Spencer, lord of the manor. They 
were made accessible to me through 
the courtesy of his steward, Mr. 
Wimbledon Joseph Plaskitt. 
B 



2 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


was also called Walter Cromwell. The name Walter Crom- 
well occurs more than ninety times in the rolls, and the name 
Walter Smyth at least forty times. That both these names 
stand for the same person is proved by one entry written, 
'Walter Cromwell alias Walter Smyth,' by two written, 
'Walter Smyth alias Cromwell,' and by five written, 'Walter 
Cromwell alias Smyth.' Who then was this Walter Crom- 
,veIl, whence did he come, and how did he acquire this double 
name? 
The Cromwell family did not originate in Winlbledon. An 
entry in the Close Roll of Edward IV states that in the year 
1461 John Cromwell, son of William Cromwell, late of Nor- 
well in N ottinghamshire, surrendered his right in Parkersplace, 
I{endalsland and other property there to lVlaster John Porter, 
prebendary of Palishall 1 . Mr. John Phillips of Putney further 
informs us that nine years before John Cromwell gave up 
his lands in Norwell, he was granted the twenty-one years; lease 
of a fulling-mill and house in Wimbledon by Archbishop 
Kempe, lord of the manor, and had moved there with his 
family 2. It would be interesting to know what Mr. Phillips' 
authority for this statement is: unfortunately he has given no 
reference for it. But whatever the precise date and circum- 
stances of their change of home, there can be little doubt 
that the Cromwells migrated to Wimbledon from N or\vel1 
some time before 1461. There is plenty of evidence in 
the Court Rolls to show that Walter Smyth alias Cromwell 
,vas the son of John Cromwell, and the entry of 1475 proves 
that they were both in Wimbledon in that year. The family 
in N ottinghamshire from which they sprung was well-known 


1 The original entry reads: 
'Johannes Cromwell filius et heres 
Wilel11li Cromwell nuperde North- 
well in comitatu Nottingham re- 
misit totum jus &c. in quodam 
messuagio vocato Parkersplace et 
in quodam tofto et v acris terrae 
et in uno tofto cum crofto et vii 
acris terrae dudum nuper vocatis 
Kendalisland et in viii acris terrae 
et dirnidio jacentibus in villa et 


campis de N orthwell magistro 
J ohanni Porter prebendario pre- 
bende de Northwell vocato pre- 
bende de Palishall in ecclesia 
collegii beatae Mariae SuthweIl et 
successoribus suis) (Dods. MSS. 
in Bibl. Bodl., vol. xxxvi. p. 97, 
I Edw. IV). 
2 Antiquarian Magazine for 
August, 1882, vol. ii. p. 59. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 


3 


and "Tell-off; both John Crom\vell's father William and 
his grandfather Ralph \vere persons of \vealth and position 
there 1. .. 
Several entries in the Court Rolls indicate that John Crom- 
\vell's wife was the sister of a certain vVilliam Smyth, \vho is 
often mentioned as ' vVilliam Smyth armourer,' and sometimes 
as 'William Armourer.' It seems probable that this William 
Smyth carne \vith John Cromwell to Wimbledon from Nor- 
\vell, and the entries in the manorial records show that he 
lived there with his brother-in-law. There is also reason to 
believe that the latter's son vValter was apprenticed to him 
during his younger days, and so acquired the name Smyth. 
\Valter Cromwell grew up as a brewer, smith, and fuller in 
Putney. He had an elder brother named John, who moved 
to Lalnbeth and settled down there to a quiet and prosperous 
life as a brewer, later, according to Chapuys, becoming cook to 
the Archbishop of Canterbury 2. Walter, however, remained 
in \Vill1bledon, and appears to have been a most quarrelsome 
and riotous character. lVlost of the entries in the Court Rolls 
concerning hin1 are records of small fines incurred for petty 
offences. Forty-eight times bet\veen 1475 and 1501 was he 
forced to pay sixpence for breaking the assize of ale. In 
order to prevent the sale of bad beer in those days, 
an ale-taster was appointed to pass, or condemn as unfit, 
all brewing in the parish. Walter Cromwell did not go 
to the ale-taster before he drew and sold his beer, and for 
failing so to do \vas fined as aforesaid. There is also record 
that he was not seldom drunk. In 1477 a penalty of twenty 
pence \vas inflicted on him for assaulting and drawing blood 
from \;Villiam l\1ichell, and he and his father were very often 
brought before the court on the charge of 'overburthening' 
the public land in Putney \vith their cattle, and cutting more 
than their share of the furze and thorns there 3. But in spite 


1 Dads. 1\155., vol. xi. pp. 193 a, 
248 a; vol. xxxvi. p. 103. Thorold 
Rogers, in his History of Agriculture 
and Prices, vol. iv. p. 3, refers to 
Ralph Lord Cromwell as 'one of the 
richest men of the fifteenth century.' 
B Z 


2 Cf. Appendix I at the end of 
this chapter. 
S The following are some of the 
more common entries concerning 
\Valter Cromwell:- 
, Presentant quod Gualterus 



4 


THOM..L\S CROMvVELL 


of all these petty misdemeanours, Walter Cromwell appears 
to have been a man of property and influence in Win1bledon, 
and the Court Rollsw in 1480 show that he then possessed two 
virgates of land in Putney parish. To these \vere added six 
more virgates in 1500 by grant of Archbishop Morton 1. 
Walter Crom\vell \vas also made Constable of Putney in 
1495 2 , and his name constantly occurs in the Court Rolls 
as decenarius and juryman 3. To\vards the end of his life, 
ho\vever, his character appears to have becon1e so bad that 
he forfeited all his position and property in Wimbledon. In 
1514 he 'falsely and fraudulently erased the evidences and 
terrures of the lord,' so that the bedell was commanded 'to 
seize into the lord's hands all his copyholds held of the lord 
and to answer the lord of the issue 4.' This is the last mention 
of the name of Walter Crom\vell in the Wimbledon Manor Rolls. 
Walter Cromwell's wife was the aunt of a man named 
Nicholas Glossop, of Wirksworth in Derbyshire 5. Mr. Phil- 
lips gives no reference for his statements that she was the 
daughter of a yeoman named Glossop, and that she was residing 


Crom well est communis braciator 
de bere et fregit assisam' and 
'quod Gualterus Cromwell et . . . 
sunt COlnllZUnes tipellarii seruisie 
et fregerunt assz"sam ideo ipsi in 
misericordia vi d.' (Court Rolls, 
17 Nov., 10 Hen. VII ; 17 Oct., 15 
Hen. VI I ; 28 Oct., 17 Hen. VI I). 
, I teNl presentant quod Gualterus 
Smyth alias Crumwell nimis exces- 
sive supollunt communam pastu- 
ram domini... cum aviz"s suis ad 
C01JUJUtne nocumentulIZ ideo ipse 
in misericordia vi d. 
' I { GUa1terus 
tem presentant quod J h 
o annes 
Smyth de Puttenhith succidzI11t 
spinas in C011l1llUlla pastura domini 
apud Puttenhith. Ideo ipsi in 
misericordia iiii d.' (Court Rolls, 
28 Oct., 17 Hen. VII). 
1 Court Rolls, 20 Edw. IV and 
16 Hen. VI I. 
2 According to the record of 


20 May, II Hen. VII : 'Elegerllnt 
in officio cOl1stabularii de Putten- 
hith Gualterum Smyth qui juratus 
est in eodem officio.' 
S As by an entry of 20 May, 
19 Hen. VI I : 'Gualterus Smyth et 
. . . ibidem jurati presentant omnia 
bene.' 
4 The entry in full reads: 'Item 
presentant quod W . . . Crumwell 
alias Smyth false et fraudulenter 
rasura vit evidences et terrures 
dmnini in diversis parcellis ad per- 
tl1rbacionem et exheredaciolzem 
domini et tenencÏum ejus ut plenil1s 
apparet in eisdem. Ideo conso- 
lendztllz est cun) d01jzino et media 
temþore prefalum est bidello seisire 
in manus domini omnia terras et 
tenementa sua tenta de domino per 
copiam, et de exitzt eorU1JZ domini 
respondere' (Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 
6 Hen. VIII; also Extracts, p. 74). 
15 Cal. vi. 69 6 . 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 


5 


in Putney at the house of an attorney named John \Velbeck, 
at the time of her n1arriage \vith Walter Cromwell in 1474 1 ; 
but \ve have no evidence that these assertions are incorrect. 
At least two daughters and one son \vere born to \Valter 
Crom\vell. lIe n1ay have had other children, but as there 
\vas no registration of births, marriages, or deaths in England 
until 153H, \ve can only be certain of these three, of whom 
there are mentions in the Court Rolls and in other conten1- 
porary records. The eldest daughter Katherine, ,vho \vas 
probably born about the year 1477, gre\v up and married 
a young Welshlnan named l\lorgan Williams 2, \vhose family 
had con1e to Putney from Llanishen in Glamorganshire. The 
'Villiamses \vere a very Ï1nportant fan1ily in Putney, and John, 
the eldest of them, \vas a successful lawyer and accountant, 
and steward to LOi d Scales, \\'ho \vas then in possession of 
a residence and some land in Putney parish. 1'he youngest 
daughter of \Valter Crom\vell \vas nanled Elizabeth. She 
married a sheep-farmer named \Vellyfed, who later joined 
his business to that of his father-in-law 3. Christopher, the 
son of Elizabeth Crom\vell and Wellyfed, grew up and was 
later sent to school with his cousin Gregory, son of his 
mother's brother Thomas 4. \Ve are now in a position to 
exatnine the many conflicting statements concerning the son 
of \Valter Cromwell, the subject of this essay. 
The traditional sources of information about Thomas Crom- 
,veIl's early life are the characteristic but somewhat confusing 
stories of the martyrologist F oxe, founded to some extent 
upon a novel of the Italian author Bandello, the meagre 
though probably trustworthy accounts contained in Cardinal 
Pole's' Apologia ad Carolum Quintum,' a letter of Chapuys to 
Granvelle \vritten November 21, 1535, and a few scattered 


1 Antiquarian l\lagazine, vol. ii. 
p. 17 8 . 

 Cal. iv. 5772. Cf. also I
 able, 
:tvlemoirs, vol. i. pp. 4-5, 238-241. 
The statements in Noble about the 
Williamses and Cromwells are most 
confusing and contradictory. Ex- 
cept for the - inforn1ation aff0rded 


concerning l\lorgan \Villiams, they 
are without value, and for the most 
part have been superseded by docu- 
mentary evidence, discovered at a 
later date. 
S Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 5 Hen. 
VII, and Cal. iv. 5772. 
4 Cal. iv. 5757. 



6 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


statements in the chroniclers of the period. To these \vere 
added in 1880 and 1882 the results of the researches of 
Mr. John Phillips in the Wimbledon Manor Rolls 1. Mr. 
Phillips has certainly brought to light a large number of 
interesting facts about the ancestry and fami1y of Thomas 
Cromwell: it is the more unfortunate that he should have 
gone so far astray in some of his statements concerning the 
man himself. He is surely correct in assuming Thomas to 
be the son of Walter Cromwell; the evidence afforded by 
the State Papers leaves no doubt of this. He is also right 
in stating that the name Thomas Cromwell does not occur 
in the Court Rolls. But it is more difficult to believe the 
theory which Mr. Phillips has evolved from these data. As he 
finds no entry concerning Thomas Cromwell in the manorial 
records, he seeks for some mention of hirn under another 
appellation, and hits upon that of Thomas Smyth as the most 
likely, owing to the fact that his father \vas called by both 
surnames. He finds Ì\""O entries in the Court Rolls concern- 
ing Thomas Smyth, and assumes that they refer to Thomas 
Cromwell. These entries occur in the records of Feb. 26, 
1504, and of May 20 in the same year. The first states that 
'Richard Williams came to the court and surrendered into 
the hands of the lord two whole virgates of land in (Roe)- 
hampton, one called Purycroft and the other called Willianls, 
to the use of Thomas Smyth, his heirs and assigns'; the 
second, that 'Richard Williams assaulted Thomas [Smyth] 
and beat the same Thomas against the peace of the lord the 
King,' and further that 'Thon1as Smyth canle to the court 
and surrendered into the hands of the lord hvo whole virgates 
of land in Roehampton, one called Purycroft and the other 
called vVilliams, to the use of David Doby, his heirs and 
assigns 2.' Mr. Phillips has made these entries the basis 
1 Antiquary for October, 1880, manU's domini duas integras vir- 
vol. ii. p. 164. Antiquarian Maga- gatas terrae in Hamptone . . . qua- 
zine for August and October, 1882, rum una vocata Purycroft . . . et 
vol. ii. pp. 56 and 178. alia virgata vocata Williams ad 
2 The original entries read as opus Thomae Smyth heredum et 
follows :-- assignatorum, ' (Court Rolls, 26 Feb., 
I. 'Ad hanc curiam venit Ricard- 19 Hen. VII). 
us Williams et sursum redz"dit in 2. ' Ricardus Williams fecit insul
 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 


7 


for an attack on the veracity of many of the best-known 
stories of Bandello and Foxe concerning the early life of OUf 
subject, but his \vhole case hangs on the assumption that 
Thomas Smyth and Thomas Crom\vell were one and the 
same man, and until he can prove this ingenious but some- 
\",hat improbable theory his arguments cannot be supported. 
He discusses at length the two entries in the Court Rolls, 
adducing them as a proof of the falsity of the accounts 
\vhich assert Crom\vell to have been in Italy previous to 
1504, but concluding that the record that Thomas Smyth 
disposed of his lands in Putney in May of that year in- 
dicates that Thomas Crom\vell left England at that time. 
To corroborate this last theory he refers to the story 
of Chapuys that Crom\vell \vas ill-behaved when young, 
and \vas forced after an imprisonment to leave the coun- 
try, and also asserts, in order still further to strengthen 
his case, that 'the Court Rolls contain nothing more 
respecting Thomas Crom\vell than \vhat we have already 
stated 1.' 
It seems very extraordinary that Mr. Phillips should make 
this last statement in view of his readiness to jump at the 
conclusion that Thomas Smyth and Thonlas Cromwell are 
identical. 'Thomas Smyth,' as a very cursory examination 
of the Court Rolls \vill show, is mentioned therein every year 
from 1493 to 1529 (inclusive), except in 1494 and 1516. As 
there is certain evidence that Thomas Cromwell \vas in other 
places during many of the years that Thomas Smyth was in 
\tVilnbledon, it is clear that the two names cannot always 
stand for the same man. The question which now arises 
is this: were there two Thomas Smyths, one of them Thomas 
Cromwell and the other some other member of the Smyth 
family, perhaps a descendant of William Smyth, armourer? 


tum Thomae [Smyth] et eundem 
Thomam verberavit cOlltra paCelJZ 
dOJlZini Regis' . . . 'Ad hane 
curialn venit Thomas Smyth et 
SUrSU1JZ redidi t in manus domini 
duas integras virgatas terrae in 
Rokhamptone . . . quarU1JZ una 


virgata vocata Purycroft et alia 
virgata vocata Williams ad opus 
Davidii Doby hereduJJZ et as- 
signa/orum.' (Court Rolls, 20 l\:1ay, 
19 Hen. VII). 
1 Antiquarian Magazine for Oc- 
tober, 1882, vol. ii. p. 183. 



8 


THOrvIAS CROMWELL 


Or is the Thomas Sn1yth mentioned in the Court Rolls one 
man, and not Thomas Cromwell at all ? 
The second theory seems on the whole more probable than 
the first. There are no contradictory statements about 
Thomas Smyth in the rolls, nor is the name nlentioned twice 
in any of the lists of the Homage or Frank Pledge. More- 
over had there been two Thomas Srnyths, one of \vhon1 \vas 
entitled to the name Cromwell, he would almost certainly 
have been called so, in order to avoid confusion. On the 
other hand, it scarcely seems likely that the son of Walter 
Cromwell should not be mentioned at all in the Court Rolls. 
But this may be partially explained by Chapuys' account 
of his youthful wildness and early imprisonment; it seems 
quite probable that he was a mere boy when he left his home. 
The evidence which we possess certainly seems to strengthen 
the conclusion that there was but one Thomas Smyth: the 
man mentioned in the Court Rolls by that name was probably 
a descendant of William Smyth, armourer 1. Surely none 
of the entries in the manorial records concerning Thomas 
Smyth can be said to prove anything conclusive concerning 
the early life of the subject of this essay. It has been the 
fashion to decry Bandello and F oxe and to disbelieve all 
their stories, because of the undoubted confusion of dates 


1 I t is possible that the Thomas 
Smyth, whose name occurs so fre- 
quently in the Court Rolls, was 
identical with a certain' tryumphant 
trollynge Thomas Smyth,' who, in 
1541, wrote several ballads 'de- 
claring the despyte of a secrete 
sedycyous person,' by name Wil- 
liam Graye, who had composed 
certain verses very derogatory to 
the memory of Thomas Cromwell. 
This Thomas Smyth describes him- 
self as 'servaunt to the Kynges 
royaH Majestye, and clerke of the 
Quenes Graces CounseU, though 
most unworthy'; he had perhaps 
obtained his position through the 
influence of the King's minister. 


He was supported in his tirade 
against Graye by 'the ryght re- 
dolent and rotunde rethorician 
R. Smyth . . . in an Artificiall 
apologie articulerlye answerynge 
to the obstreperous obgannynges 
of one W. G. evometyd to the 
vituperacyon of the tryumphant 
trollynge Thomas Smyth . . . 
to thende that the imprudent 
lector shulde not tytubate or hal- 
lucinate in the labyrinthes of 
. this lucubratiuncle.' 'R. Smyth' 
was probably another member of 
the Smyth-Cromwell tribe. The 
name 'Ricardus Smyth' occurs 
frequently in the Court Rolls (Cal. 
xvi. 423). 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 


9 


, 
which vitiates their testimony. But if no reliance can be 
placed on them, or on Pole, Chapuys, and the chronicles of 
the period, n1ust \ye not confess that our knowledge of the 
early years of our subject's life must reduce itself to an 
interrogation point? Let us guard ourselves against accepting 
\vith iInplicit faith the statements of these authors, but let 
us not cast them aside as utterly ,vorthless. Let us rather 
recognize that they still remain our most trustworthy sources 
of information concerning the early life of Thomas Cromwell, 
and therefore make a careful attempt to glean from their 
very confusing statements the more probable facts con- 
cerning him. 
N one of the different accounts sheds any light upon the 
date of Crom\vell's birth, but it is doubtful if it occurred later 
than 1485, in vie\v of his probable age at the tinle of his 
sojourn abroad. That he had a quarrel \vith his father seems 
very likely: Bandello's statement that he came to Italy, 
'fleeing from his father,' and Chapuys' assertion that he was 
ill-behaved \vhen young, together \vith the many entries in 
the rolls concerning the tempestuous and disorderly conduct 
of \Valter Crom\veIl, all point to the truth of this story I. 
Foxe moreover asserts that Cromwell told Cranmer in later 
years 'what a ruffian he was in his younger days.' Pole 
informs us that he soon became a roving soldier in Italy, 
a statement \vhich is borne out by the tales of Bandello 
and Foxe that he was at the battle on the Garigliano (Dec. 
28- 2 9, 15 0 3), in the service of the :F'rench army 2. The 
\vell-kno\vn story of the Italian novelist about Cromwell and 
Frescobaldo the Florentine merchant, may well have some 
foundation in fact: there are several mentions of Frescobaldo 
in the State Papers of the years 1530-1540, which prove that 
Crom\vell was intimate with an Italian of that name 3. Some 


1 See Appendices I and I I I at 
the end of this chapter. 
2 See Appendices II and IV at 
the end of this chapter. The 
suggestion of Mr. Galton (The 
Character and Times of Thomas 
Cromwell, p. 22) that 'Garigliano' 


may be a mistake for' l\1arignano ' 
is scarcely plausible. The great 
victory of Francis I occurred in 
15 I 5, when there is every reason 
to suppose that Cromwell was in 
England. 
8 Cal. v. 1197; vii. 923. 



10 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


scholars have gone so far as to refuse to believe that Cromwell 
ever went to Italy at all; but this must be the incredulity 
of madness in face of the fact that all our contemporary 
\vitnesses agree that he ,vent there, and of the evidence afforded 
by his wide acquaintance \vith Italians, and by his kno\vledge 
of their language and literature. 
From the date of the tale of Bandello up to 1512, the 
most probable story concerning Cromwell's life is that 
contained in Pole's Apologia. It is there stated that after 
his brief military career he became a merchant, but did not 
remain a merchant long; and that he later attached himself 
as accountant to a Venetian, whom Pole knew very \vell. 
Bandello informs us that Croffi\vell returned to England after 
his stay in Florence; it seems more probable, however, that 
he first went to Antwerp and engaged in trade there; for 
Foxe and Chapuys both agree that he ,vas in Flanders, and 
the former asserts that he was in the service of English 
dealers in the Flemish marts. Another singular but character- 
istic and not improbable story of the martyrologist strengthens 
the theory that Crom\vell was in Antwerp some time after the 
battle on the Garigliano. One Geoffrey Chambers was sent 
to Rome as a representative of the Gild of Our Lady in 
St. Botolph's Church in Boston, to obtain from the Pope 
certain pardons or ind ulgences by which the severe rules 
concerning Lenten observances might be relaxed; and passing 
through Ant\verp he fell in with Crom,vell, whom he persuaded 
to accompany him. The latter entered into the spirit of the 
enterprise; arrived at Rome, he procured some choice sweet- 
meats and jellies, and armed with these lay in wait for the 
Pope on his return from hunting. The delicacies were offered, 
Julius was delighted with them, and granted the desired 
indulgences without delay. Foxe states that this episode 
took place about the year 15101. 


1 The fact that this tale 
concerns itself with Foxe's native 
town of Boston increases the pro- 
bability of its authenticity. It 
was probably this same Geoffrey 
Chambers who in later years was 


so active as Cromwell's agent, 
and as Surveyor-General of the 
King's purchased lands. Cf. Cal. 
xii. (ii), 49 0 , 783, 835, 85 2 , 857, 
and Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. 
p. 168. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 11 


This story seems to indicate that Crom\vell \vent to Italy 
a second tinle. It fits in \veJl \vith Pole's statement that after 
his n1Ïlitary experience he became first a merchant, and then 
a clerk to a Venetian trader. The absence of any trushvorthy 
chronology, ho\vever, prevents us from regarding any of the 
accounts of these different writers as really historical; and 
\vhen at last \ve meet \vith a date on which we can rely, it 
is most tantalizing to find that the evidence ,vhich is afforded 
us in connexion \vith it is of such a nature as to leave us 
almost as much in the dark as before. In a letter 'written in 
June, 153 6 , a certain mercer, by name George Elyot, addresses 
Croffi\vell as follo\vs 1: 'Ryght onourabyll sir my dewty Con- 
sethered as to youre l\Iasterscheppe apertayneth that hyt may 
pIece your l'vlasterscheppe For the love off god to Exceppe 
my Re\vd l\Ianeres in thes behalf of wrytyng vnto you butt 
hyt ys onely to scho,ve yo\vre Masterscheppe my pore mynd 
furste for the onour of god & secondly For the god love & 
tre\v hartt that (I) have ho\vtt vnto you sensse the syngsson 
1\1artt at medelboro\v in anno 1512.' This quotation does 
not prove that Cromwell \vas at the Syngsson Mart at Middel- 
burg in 1512, nor does it shed much light on the position he 
occupied at that time; still the probabilities strongly favour 
the conclusion that he was either a merchant or a clerk to 
a merchant in the Lo\v Countries in 1512: the accounts of 
Foxe and Chapuys agree that he was in the Netherlands in 
his younger days, and the letter of the mercer seems to fix 
the date. We have also reason to believe that he was in 
London soon after this practising as a solicitor. There 
exists in the Record Office a document dated November, 
J 5 12, and endorsed, in a hand \vhich certainly resembles that 
of Crom\vell's later correspondence, , The tytIe of the manour 
\Vhityngham for lYlr. Empson 2.' The endorsement may of 
course be of a very different date from that of the document 
itself; still the evidence \vhich it affords is not utterly value- 
less, especially as another reason for supposing that Cromwell 
returned to England in 15[2, or soon after, is afforded by the 
fact that his marriage must have taken place about this tirne: 


1 Cal. X. 1218. 


2 Cal. i. 3556. 



12 


THOMAS CROMvVELL 


the age of his son Gregory being such tbat it could scarcely 
have occurred much later. The State Papers of 1512 give 
us n10re information, concerning the early life of Thomas 
Crom\vell than those of any other year up to 1523. The 
sum total of the evidence which they afford seems to indicate 
that he \vas in England and in the Netherlands, that he was 
occupied both as a merchant and as a solicitor, and that he 
was married in that year or soon afterwards. 
Cromwell's \vife, to ,vhom Chapuys refers as the daughter 
of a shearman, was Elizabeth Wykys, descended from one of 
an ancient family of esquires, who was gentlen1an-usher to 
Henry VIII. A reference in Crom"fNell's \\'ill of July I Z, 
15 2 9, to one 'Mercye Pryour' as his mother-in-Ia\v 2 has led 
some \vriters to suppose that he married Elizabeth, daughter 
of Sir John Pryor, and widow of Tholnas Willian1s, a Welsh 
gentleman; but a letter to Cromwell from one Harry Wykys 
of Thorpe, near Chertsey, dated November 2, 15 2 3 3, disproves 
this theory, and corroborates the other. The most probable 
explanation of the entry in the will is that Mercy Pryor 
married twice, and that she \vas the mother of Elizabeth 
vVykys by her first husband 4. Cromwell's wife ,vas probably 
a woman of some property. He was exactly the sort of man 
who 'would seek a wife with an eye to the financial advantages 
of the match, and the theory that Elizabeth Wykys was rich 
fits in well with the evidence that her mother was married 
a second time. Moreover Crol11well's property increased so 
fast during his years of service under \\Tolsey, that even his 
notorious accessibility to bribes could not account for it, had 
it not been augmented from some outside source. 
Chapuys goes on to say that for some time after his 
marriage Cromwell kept servants in his house, carrying on the 
business of his father-in-law; a statement corroborated by 
his correspondence, \vhich shows that he plied his trade as 


1 Appendix I to this chapter; 
Antiquary for Oct. 1880, vol. ii. 
p. 164- 
2 Appendix to chapter iii. p. 59. 
3 Cal. iii. 35 02 . 
<! 'Mr. Pryor' and 'Mistress 


Pryor' both had rooms in Crom- 
well's house, at Austin Friars Gate, 
where he lived after the year 
1524. Before that date he resided 
near Fenchurch (Cal. iii. 2624; 
iv. 3197). 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 13 


a cloth and \vool merchant at least as late as 1324. There 
can be little doubt, however, that he continued his business 
as a solicitor at the same titne, for it would be ilnpossible to 
explain his sudden advance in legal pron1inence in the years 
1520 to 1525, if he had ,not had long practice in the la\v 
beforehand. The strange combination of employments in 
,vhich Crom\vell \vas engaged fitted in well \vith the peculiar 
versatility of the man, and brought him into close contact 
,yith diverse sorts of men, in diverse conditions of life. A 
more detailed account of his career during the seven or eight 
years which follo\ved his probable return to England it is 
impossible to give, for bet\veen 1512 and 1520 there occurs an- 
other extraordinary gap in the life of Thomas Croffi\vell. during 
u"hich we do not possess a single trushvorthy contemporary 
record concerning him. In 1520 there is certainly evidence 
that he \vas kno\vl1 to \V olsey, but precisely how or when his 
connexion with the Cardinal began, it is impossible to tell. 
The statement in the Dictionary of National Biography 
that \Volsey appointed Crom'well collector of his revenues 
in 1514 is apparently unfounded 1, and no reference is given 
for the assertion in Singer's Cavendish 2 that the Cardinal 
first met his future servant in France. Another unverified 
story is that Lord Henry Percy, who had been an intimate 
of the Cardinal's household in his early years, borrowed 
money fron1 Cromwell. and conceiving a high opinion of his 
creditor, introduced him to \tV olsey 3; while Mr. Phillips 
informs us that Robert Cromwell (the son of Walter Crorn- 
,veIl's brother John), \vho was vicar of Battersea under the 
Cardinal, gave to his cousin Thomas .the stewardship of the 
archiepiscopal estate of York House, after Wolsey had been 
made archbishop there. Though Mr. Phillips has again 
failed to cite his authority for this last statement, it is but 
fair to say that the probabilities are strongly in its favour: 
the theory that Cromwell o\ved his appointment as Wolsey's 
servant to his cousin Robert seems particularly plausible, as 


1 Mr. Gairdner kindly informs 
me that he was Inisled by a record 
concerning Robert Cromwell (Cal. 
ii. (i) 1369). 


2 Singer's Cavendish, vol. I. 
p. 193 1l. 
S Ellis, Thomas Cromwell, p. 
12. 



14 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the latter \vas certainly well known to the Cardinal. It is 
possible that the origin of the connexion had something to 
do \vith the young 1Ylarquis of Dorset, who later became 
Cromwell's patron. \V olsey had long been acquainted with 
the Marquis; he had been the friend and tutor of his father 
\vhen he \vas principal of Magdalen School, and had been 
given the living of Limington in Somerset by a still older 
member of the family in 15001. The date of the origin of 
Cromwell's connexion with Wolsey must remain as much 
a matter of conjecture as its cause. It seems probable that 
those historians \vho have placed it as far back as 1513 or 
1514 have been at fault, for had Cromwell entered the 
Cardinal's service as early as that there would almost cer- 
tainly have been more entries in the State Papers to show it. 
As it is, we possess only one piece of evidence in contem- 
porary records to sho\v that he was known to Wolsey before 
October, 1520, and that is of such a nature that little reliance 
can be placed on it. On the back of a letter, written in 
August, 1514, by the Abbot of Winchcomb to Wolsey 2, are 
some lines in a hand which bears some resclnblance to Crom- 
weB's, apparently intended as an exercise in penmanship; the 
similarity of the handwritings, however, is not so striking that 
it can be regarded as affording any very conclusive proof: 
moreover as the \vords on the back have no connexion with 
the letter itself, it is quite likely that they were written at 
a much later date. It is safe to say that the lack of infor- 
n1ation on the subject in the State Papers makes it probable 
that if Crolnwell's connexion with Wolsey began much before 
1520, it \vas certainly of very minor importance. 
In the autumn of that year, however, we possess a record 
\vhich leaves little doubt that Cromwell had at least become 
known to the Cardinal. An appeal had been made to the 
Papal Court at Rome against the sentence of the Prerogative 
Court of Canterbury, in a suit between the vicar of Cheshunt 
and the Prioress of the nunnery there. Wolsey, as Papal 
Legate, soon afterwards received a copy of the citation and 


1 Life of \VoIsey, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. lxii. p. 3 2 5. 
2 Cal. i. 5355. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 15 


inhibition C \vith other information by the letters of Thomas 
Cromwell,' making clear the rights and wrongs of the case, 
and the best method of handling it 1. No other mention of 
Cromwell in connexion with the Cardinal occurs until 1523, 
\vhen he drafted a petition to vVolsey in Chancery for a certain 
John Palsgrave 2. But these t\VO records are enough to prove 
that he ,vas kno\\Tn to the Cardinal in the capacity of a soli- 
citor and clerk fron1 a period at least as early as 1520. The 
gap bet\veen that date and 1512 is more difficult to fill. The 
supposition that Cromwell was in \Volsey's service as early 
as 1513 is perhaps the easiest method of disposing of these 
years, but it certainly cannot be regarded as more than 
a theory, unless SOlne ne\v doculnent is found \vhich corro- 
borates it. 
1\lost of the letters addressed to Crom\vell during this 
period from 1520 to 1524 concern themselves with legal 
business, and request his aid as a practised lawyer in some 
suit for the collection of debts or the decision of a title to 
lands 3. In August, 1522, he acted as an 'indifferent person' 
in a dispute behveen Richard Chauffer, alderman of Calais, 
and Lord IVlountjoy. In December, 1523, he served on the 
inquest of wardmote in the ,yard of Bread Street. But it is 
also evident from his correspondence that he had by no 
means lost interest in his business as a cloth merchant and 
,vool-dyer 4. It may have been in this capacity that he first 
became kno\vn to the family of the Marquis of Dorset. The 
'old lady Marques' \vrites to hin1 in August, 1522, as her 
'sonne marquys servaunt,' and desires him to send in haste 
C the trussynn bed of cloth of tysse\\re and the fether bed ,vyth 
the fustyons, and amateras longyng to the same wyth the 
cownterpoynt . . . . tentes pauylyons & hales 5.' There is also 
record that Crom\vell ,vas a great lender of money at high 


1 In the original document (Cal. 
iii. 1026) the name of the Cardinal 
is not expressly mentioned. The 
copy of the citation, however, was 
sent by his chaplain, Clerk, and 
can scarcely have been intended 
for anyone but Wolsey, since 


the case had already reached the 
Papal Court. 
2 Cal. iii. 3 681 . 
3 Cal. iii. 1026, 1940, 1963, 2441, 
3 6 57. 
4 Cal. iii. 2624. 
6 Cal. iii. 2437. 



16 


THOM
t\S CROMWELL 


rates of interest. His friendship and reputation with foreign 
merchants brought him an enormous amount of business, 
and his property increased to a great extent. The training 
he received during and after his journey on the Con- 
tinent ,vas probably the best that he could have had to 
fit hin1 for the difficult life-work that \vas given hin1 to 
perform. The spirit of the Italy of Machiavelli and Caesar 
Borgia stamped itself deeply upon his youthful character. 
It gave him his ideas, his theories. The hard school of adver- 
sity (at first almost a struggle for existence), through which 
he passed during his early years, afforded him the intimate 
knowledge of men and things, the wonderful insight into 
human nature, and the ability to turn every event to the 
advancement of his own purposes, that enabled him at 
a later day to mould the destinies of the English nation. 


'And my experience happily me taught 
Into the secrets of those times to see, 
From whence to England afterward I brought 
Those slights of state deliu'red vnto mee, 
In t'which were then but very few that sought, 
N or did with th'umour of that age agree, 
After did great and fearful things effect, 
Whose secret working few did then suspect.' 
:Michael Drayton. The Legend of Great Cromwell, p. 13. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER I 


I 


PASSAGE FROl\1 A LETTER OF CHAPUYS TO GRANVELLE, 
NOV. 21, 1535 1 


I Me Cremuel . . . est filz dung poure marechal lequel en son 
vivant se tenoit en vng petit villaige pres dici dune lieue et demye 
et est sepulture au cemetiere de lad. parroiche dud. villaige de plus 
pouurement que soient la son onele 2 pere dung syen cousin qui(l)a 
desia fait fort riche estoit cousinier du feu euesque de Conturberi 
led. Cremuel en sa jeunesse fust assez mal condicionner, et apres 
quelque emprisonnement il fut contrainct vuider Ie pays et senpasser 
en flandres et dois la en rome ou et ailleurs en italie il demeura 
quelque temps, estant de retour il se maria a la fiUe dung ton- 
deur de draps, et tint quelque temps en sa maison seruiteurs 
exercent led. art apres il devint solliciteur de causes et par ce 
moyen se feit congnoistre au cardinal de york, lequel congnoissant 
la vigilance et diligence dud. Cremuel et habilite et promptitude 
tant a mal que a bien, il Ie tint on nombre de ses serviteurs, et 
l' employa principalement quant il fut question de ruyner et demoler 
cinq du S six bons monasteres. Venant a descherir led. cardinal 
il ny eust personne que saquittast myeulx enuers led. cardinal que 
luy. Apres Ie decez dud. cardinal maistre valloup a present ambas- 
sadeur en france Ie poursuyuant de injures et menasses Ie plus fort 
du monde, et non voyant autre reffuge ne remede que de recourir 
au roy, il fait tant par prieres et presens quil eust audience dud. roy 
auquel il deust promettre de Ie faire Ie plus riche que oncques fut en 
angleterre, et luy parla si bien et beaul qui Ie retint des lors de son 
conseil, sans autre aduis et ne Ie decouurit led. roy a personne des 
siens deans q uatre moys apres l\'Iaintenant il a empiete de telle sorte 
quil a baille Ie bout a toute la reste (si) ce nest a Ia dame, et Ie tient 


1 The original is in the Vienna 
Archives. This copy was made 
from the official Record Office 
transcript. Cf. Cal. ix. 862, and 


Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. 107. 
2 John Cromwell of Lambeth. 
S sic, read' QU.' 


MERRIMAN. I 


c 



t 


18 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


tout Ie monde.. auoir plus de credit auprez de son maistre, que neust 
oncques Ie cardinal du temps duquel en y auoit questoient en con- 
currence de credit comme maistre Conton 1 et Ie due de suffocq et 
autres, mais maintenant il n'y a personne que face riens que luy, et 
ne sert Ie chancellier synon pour mynistre et organe dud. Cremuel, 
lequel jusques yci na voulu accepter led. office de chancellier, mais 
Ion pense bien tost il se layra persuader de lempoigner. 11 est 
home bien parlant en sa langue et mediocrement en la latyne 
francoyse et italyenne, home de bonne chiere liberal et de ses 
biens et de bonnes et gracieuses parolles, home manifique en trayn 
et batissement . . .' 


II 


PASSAGE FROM CARDINAL POLE'S APOLOGIA AD CAROLUl\'l 
QUINTU M. Pars I. p. 126, c. xxviii. 
'Sic ergo, si tale nomen quaeratur, Cromvellum eum appellant, 
si genus, de nullo quidem ante eum, qui id nomen gereret, audivi. 
Dicunt tamen, viculum esse prope Londinunl, ubi natus erat, & ubi 
pater ejus pannis verrendis victum quaeritabat, sed de hoc parum 
refert. Nunc si conditio quaeratur, sic quidem de eo intellexi, 
aliquem in Italia fuisse gregarium militem, fuisse etiam mercatorem, 
nee tamen longius progressun1 in nlercatura fuisse, quam ut scriba 
esset mercatoris, & libros rationum servaret, optime vero novi ilIum 
mercatorem, qui Venetus erat natione, cui operas suas locabat. 
Tandenl hujus conditionis pertaesus, domum reversus, causidicis se 
imnliscuit, his qui jura Regni profitentur. In quo eo magis se 
proficere sperabat, quod versuti & callidi ingenii sibi conscius esset 
ad defendendum tam iniquum, quam aequum, quod ex externorum 
commercio valde acuerat, cunl nostrorum honlinum ingeniorum 
simplicitatem semper contemneret. Nee tamen in hoc genere valde 
crevit, antequam ad Monasteriorum ruinam perventum est. Quod 
incoepit vivente ad hue Cardinali Eboracense, dum Monasteria quae- 
dam pene a suis deserta, & illorum bona ac praedia in subsidiuln 
pauperum, qui in Gymnasiis literis operam dabant, essent con versa. 
Hic vero notus esse coepit, idque ostendit ad hanc artem solam se 
natum fuisse, ad ruinam & vastationem, id quod crebra aliarunl 
artium mutatio declaravit, in quibus nihil crevit, in hac vero statim 
1 Sir William Compton. See Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xi. 
p. 453. 



BANDELLO'S TALE 


19 


celebris esse coepit, & pluribus notus, ita tamen in illis initiis hujus 
suae artis notus, ut CUll1 Cardinalis, cujus asseda fuit, & ex cujus 
authoritate et in1perio illam suam artem exercebat, ab administratione 
Reipublicae remotus esset, et dignitate privatus, ipse omnium voce, 
qui aliquid de eo intellexerant, ad supplicium posceretur. Hoc 
enin1 affirmare possum, qui Londini turn adfui, & voces audivi, adeo 
etiam ut per civitatem universam rumor circumferretur, eum in 
carcerem fuisse detrusum, & propediem productum iri ad supplicium. 
Nec vero populus ullum spectaculum libentius expectabat, nec il1e 
rumor ex alia re nascebatur, nisi quod omnes eum sciebant omni 
supplicio dignum . . .' 


III 


NOVELLA XXXIV DELLA SECONDA PARTE DE LE NOVELLE 
DEL BANDELLO, Torno quinto, p. 251. 


'Francesco Frescobaldi fa cortesia ad uno straniero, e n' è ben 
rimeritato, essendo colui divenuto Contestabile d'Inghilterra.' 
'Ne la famiglia nobile et antica de i Frescobaldi in Firenze fu, 
non sono molti anni, un Francesco, mercadante molto leale et 
onorevole, il quale, secondo la costuma de la patria, essendo assai 
ricco, trafficava in diversi luoghi e faceva di gran faccende, e quasi 
per l' ordinario dimorava in Ponente, in Inghilterra, e teneva la stanza 
in Londra, ove viveva splendidissimamente et usava cortesia assai; 
non la veggendo sì per nlinuto come molti mercadanti fanno, che la 
contano fin a un picciolo quattrino, come in tendo dire che fa 
Ansaldo Grimaldo Genovese, che tien conto fin d' un minimo foglio 
di carta e d' un palmo di cordella da legar i pacchetti de Ie lettere. 
A vvenne un giorno che essendo Francesco Frescobaldi in Firenze, 
se gli parò dinanzi un povero giovine, e gli domandò elemosina 
per l' an10r di Dio. Veggendolo il Frescobaldo sì mal in arnese 
e che in vi so mostrava aver del gentile, si mosse in pietà, e tanto 
più, quanto che 10 conobbe esser Inglese; onde gli domandò 
di che contrada di Oltramontani fosse. Egli gli rispose che era 
Inglese; e chiedendogli a1cune particolarità, il Frescobaldo, d' Inghil- 
terra, come colui che assai pratico n'era, il giovine molto accomo- 
datamente al tutto sodisfece, dicendogli: 10 mi chiamo Tomaso 
C2 



20 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Cremonello, figliuolo di un povero cimatore di panni, che fuggendo 
da mio padre son venuto in Italia col campo de i Francesi, che 
è 
stato rotto al Garigliano, e stavo con un fante a piedi, portandoli 
dietro la picca. II Frescobaldo la menò in cas a molto domestica- 
mente, e quivi alcun dì se 10 tenne per amor de la nazione Inglese, 
de la Quale egli aveva ricevuti di molti piaceri; 10 trattò umana- 
mente, 10 vestì, e quando volse partirsi per ritornar ne la pat ria, gli 
diede sedici ducati d' oro in oro fiorentini et un buon ronzino. II 
giovine veggendosi esser stato messo in arnese 51 bene, rese al 
Frescobaldo queUe grazie che seppe Ie maggiori, e se n' andò ne 
l' isola a casa.' 


[The next four pages are devoted to a 111 ore or less accurate account 
of Cromwell's life in London, his connexion with Wolsey, and his 
entrance into the King's service. The events narrated in the fol- 
lowing passage may be supposed to have taken place about 1535 
or 1536.] 


. . . 'Dico adunque che in quei dì che il Cremonello era padrone 
e governatore de l' isola, che Francesco Frescobaldo si ritrovava in 
Italia, ove, (orne spesso a mercadanti interviene, avendo patiti molti 
disastri e di gran danni ne Ia perdita de Ie sue mercadanzie, restò 
molto povero; perciò che essendo uomo leale e da bene, pagò tutti 
quelli a cui era debitore, e non puotè ricuperar ciò che da gli altri gli 
era dovuto. Veggendosi egii ridutto a così povero stato, e fatto i suoi 
conti e benissimo calculati, trovò che in Inghilterra aveva crediti per 
più di quindici 111igliaia di ducati; onde si deliberò passar quindi, 
e verler di ricuperar più che gli fosse possibile, e mettersi a viver 
il rinlanente de la sua vita quietan1ente. Cosl con questo pensiero 
passò d' Italia in Francia, e di Francia in Inghilterra, e si fermò in 
Londra, non gli sovvenendo perciò 111ai del beneficio che egii fatto 
già in Firenze aveva al CremoneIlo; cosa veramente degna d' un vero 
Iiberale, che de Ie cortesie che altrui fa, memoria mai non tiene, 
scolpendo in marmo quelle che riceve, per pagarle ogni volta che 
l' occasione se gli offerisce. Attendendo adunque in Londra a 
negoziar i fatti suoi, e carninando un giorno in una contrada, 
avvenne che il Contestabile passava anch' egli per la strada mede- 
sima, venendo a l' incontro del Frescobaldo. Così subito che il 
Contestabile 10 vide e gli ebbe gli occhi fer mati nel viso, si ricordò 
costui certarnente esser quello, dal Quale così gran cortesia aveva in 
Firenze ricevuta, et essendo a cavallo, dismontò, e con meraviglia 



BANDELLO'S TALE 


21 


grandissilTla di quelli che seco erano, chi v'erano pill di cento 
a cavallo de i primi del regno che gli facevano coda, l' abbracciò con 
grande amorevolezza, e quasi lagrimando gli disse : Non sete voi 
Francesco Frescobaldo :Fiorentino? Sì sono, signor mio, rispose 
egli, e vostro umil servidore. Mio servidore, disse il Contestabile, 
non sete già voi nè per tal vi voglio, nla bene per mio grande amico, 
avvisandovi che di voi ho giusta ragione di molto dolernli, perchè 
sapendo voi ciò che io sono e dove era, devevate farmi saper la 
venuta vostra qui; che certamente io averei pagato qualche parte 
del debito che confesso aver con voi. Ora Iodato lddio che an cor 
sono a tempo; voi siate il benissirno venuto. 10 vado ora per affari 
del mio Re, e non posso far più lunga dim ora vosco, e m' averete per 
iscusato; ma fate per ogni modo, che in questa mattina vegnate 
a desinar nleco, e non fate fallo. Così rimontò il Contestabile 
a cavallo e se n'andò in Corte al Re. II Frescobaldo, partito che 
fu il Contestabile, s' andò ricordando che cotestui era quel giovine 
Inglese che egli già in Firenze in casa sua raccolse, e cominciò 
a sperar bene, pensando che il 111ezzo di così grand' uomo molto gli 
giovarebbe a ricuperar i suoi danari. Essendo poi Fora di desinare, 
se n' andò al palazzo del Contestabile, e quivi nel cortile poco attese 
che egli rivenne. II Quale smontato che fu, di nUovo amicabilmente 
riabbracciò il Frescobaldo, e volto a l' arrniraglio, et ad altri prencipi 
e signori che con lui erano venuti a desinare, disse: Signori, non vi 
meravigliate de Ie amorevoli dimostrazioni che io faccio a questo 
gentiluomo Fiorentino, perchè queste sono parte di pagamento 
d'infiniti obblighi che io conosco e confesso di avergli, essendo nel 
grado che sono per mezzo suo, et udite come. A I' ora, a la presenza 
di tutti, tenendo sempre per mane il gentiluomo Fiorentino, narrò 
lore in che modo era capitato a Firenze, e Ie carezze che da lui 
aveva ricevute; e così tenendolo sempre per mano, se ne salirono Ie 
scak, e giunti in sala si misero a tavola. Volle il Contestabile 
che il Frescobaldo gli stesse appresso, e sempre l' accarezzò amore- 
volissimamente. Desinato che si fu e quei signori partiti, volle il 
Contestabile saper la cagione, per la Quale era il Frescobaldo ritor- 
nato a Londra. Narrogli a l' ora tutta la sua disgrazia il Frescobaldo, 
e che non gli essendo rimaso, de la casa in fuori in Firenze et un 
pod ere in contado, quasi niente, se non quei quindeci mila ducati 
che in lnghilterra deveva avere, e forse duo mila in Ispagna, che per 
ricuperargli s' era ne l' Isola trasferito. Or bene sta, disse il Contesta- 
bile. A Ie cose passate, che fatte non sieno, non si può trovar 
rimedio; ben mi posso con voi dolere de gl' infortunii vostri, come 



22 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


con il core faccio; al rimanente si darà tal ordine, che voi ricupera- 
rete tutti i vostri danari che qui devete avere, e non vi si mancherà 
di quello che io potrò, assicurandovi, che la cortesia che m' usate, non 
mi conoscendo altramente, mi vi rende di modo ubbligato che 
sempre sarò vostro, e di me e de Ie mie facultà potrete disporre 
come io proprio, e non 10 facendo, il danno sarà vostro, nè più farò 
offerta alcuna, parendomi che sarebbe superflua. Basti che questo 
vi sia ora per sempre detto. Ma leviamoci et andiamo in camera, 
ove il Contestabile serrato l' uscio, aperse un gran coffano pieno di 
ducati, e pigliandone sedeci gli diede al Frescobaldi, e gli disse: 
Eccovi, amico mio, i sedeci ducati 
he mi donaste al partir di 
Firenze, eccovi gli altri dieci che vi costò il ronzino che per me 
comperaste, et eccovene altri dieci che spendeste in vestirmi. Ma 
perchè essendo voi mercadante, non mi par onesto che i vostri 
danari debbiano esser stati tanto tempo morti, ma s'abbiano gua- 
dagnato, come è il costume vostro, eccovi quattro sacchetti di ducati, 
in ciascuno de i quali so no quattro mila ducati. V oi in ricompensa 
de i vostri ve gli pigliaretc, godendogli per amor mio. II Fresco- 
baldo, ancor che da grandissime ricchezze fosse caduto in gran 
povertà, nondimeno non aveva perduto la sua generosità d' animo, 
e non gli voleva accettare, ringraziandolo tutta via di tanta sua cor- 
tesia; ma a la fine astretto per viva forza dal Contestabile, che gli 
desse tutti i nomi in nota de i suoi debitori; il che Frescobaldo fece 
molto vo]entieri, mettendo il nome dei debitori e la son1ma che gli 
devevano. A vuta questa cedula, chiamò il Cremonello un suo uomo 
di casa, e gli disse: Guarda chi sono costoro, che su questa lista 
sono scritti, e fa che gli ritrovi tutti, siano dove si vogliano in questa 
isola, e farai loro intendere che se fra quindici giorni non hanno 
pagato tutto il lor debito, che io ci porrò la mana con lor dispia- 
cere e danno, e che facciano pensiero, che io sia il creditore. Fece 
l' uomo il comandall1ento del suo padrone molto diligentemente, di 
n1aniera che al termine statui to furano ricuperati circa quindici mila 
ducati. E se il Frescobaldo avesse voluto gl' interessi, che in così 
lungo tempo erano corsi, tutti gli averebbe avuti, fin ad un minimo 
denaio; ma egli si contentò del capitale, nè volse interesse alcuno, 
che di più in più gli acquistò credito e riputazione appresso tutti, 
maSSill1amente sapendosi già da ciascuno de l' isola il favore che egli 
aveva appresso la persona del Contestabile. In questo mezzo, fu di 
continovo esso Frescobaldo commensale del Cremonello, il quale di 
giorno in giorno si sforzava d' onorarlo quanto più poteva. E des ide- 
rando che di conti novo egli rimanesse in Londra, piacendogli molto 



FOXE'S HISTORY 


23 


la pratica sua, gli offerse di prestargli per quattro anni sessanta mila 
ducati, a ciò che mettesse casa e banco in Londra e gli trafficasse, 
senza volerne profitto d' un soldo, promettendogli oItra questo ogni 
favore ne Ie cose de la 111ercadanzia. Ma il Frescobaldo che desiderava 
di ritirarsi a casa, e viver il resto de la sua vita in quiete et 
attender solamente a se stesso, infinitamente 10 ringraziò di tanta 
suprema cortesia, e con buona grazia del Contestabile, rimessi tutti 
i suoi danari in Firenze, a la desiderata patria se ne ritornò, dove 
essendo ritornato assai ricco, si mise a viver una vita quietissima. 
Ma poco tempo visse in quiete, perchè quell' anno istesso che da 
Londra era partito, in Firenze se ne n10rÌ.' 


IV 


. 
PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF LORD CROl\:lWELL AS CON- 
T AINED IN FOXE'S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, vol. ii. 
pp. 4 1 9-434. 


'Thomas Cromwell although born of a simple Parentage and 
House obscure, through the singular excellency of Wisdom and 
dexterity of 'Vit wrought in him by God, coupled with like industry 
of mind, and deserts of life, rose to high preferment and authority; , 


'First as touching his Birth, he was born at Putney or there- 
about, being a Smiths Son, whose Mother married after to a 
sheerman.' 


'As touching the order and manner of his coming up, it would 
be superfluous to discourse what may be said at large: only by 
way of story it may suffice to give a touch of certain particulars 
and so to proceed.' . . . 'Nothing was so hard which with wit and 
industery he could not compass. Neither was his capacity so good 
but his n1emory was as great in retaining whatsoever he had 
attained. \Vhich well appeareth in canning the text of the 
whole new Testament of Erasmus Translation without Book, in 
his journey going and coming from Rome, whereof you shall hear 
anon.' 
'Thus in his growing years, as he shot up in age and ripeness, 
a great delight came in his mind to stray into forreign Countries to 
see the World abroad, and to learn experience, whereby he learned 



24 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


such Tongues and Languages as might better serve for his use 
hereafter.' 
'And thus passing over his youth being at Antwerp, he was 
there retained of the English Merchants to be their Clerk or 
Secretary, or in some such like condition placed pertaining to 
their affairs.' 
'It happened the same time that the Town of Boston thought 
good to send up to Ron1e for renewing of their two pardons, one 
called the great pardon and the other the lesser pardon. \Vhicb 
thing although it should stand then1 in great expences of money 
(for the Popes Merchandise is always dear ware) yet notwithstanding 
such sweetness they had felt thereof, and such gain to come to their 
town by that Romish Merchandise (as all Superstition is commonly 
gainful) that they like good Catho1ick Merchants and the Popes good 
customers, thought to spare for no cost, to have their leases again 
of their pardons renewed, whatsoever they paid for the fine. And 
yet was all this good Religion then, such was the lamentable blindness 
of that tÏ111e.' 
, This then being so determined and decreed an10ng my Country- 
men of Boston to have their pardons needs repaired and renewed from 
Rome, one Geffery Chambers, with another Champion was sent for the 
messengers, with writings and money, no small quantity, well furnished, 
and with all other things appointed necessary for so chargeable and 
costly exploit. vVho coming in his journey to Antwerp, and mis- 
doubting to be too weak for the cOIn passing of such a weighty piece 
of work, conferred and perswaded with T. Croillwel to associat him 
in that legacy, and to assist him in the contriving thereof. Cromwel 
although perceiving the enterprise to be of no small difficulty to 
traverse the Popes Court, for the unreasonable expences amongst 
those greedy Cormorants, yet having some skill of the Italian 
Tongue, and as yet not grounded in the judgen1ent of Religion 
in those his youthful days, was at length obtained and content to 
give the adventure, and so took his journey towards Rome. 
Cromwel loth to spend much time, and more loth to spend his 
money; and again perceiving that the Popes greedy humour 
must needs be served with some present or other (for without 
rewards there is no doing at Rome) began to cast with himself 
what "thing best to devise wherein he might best serve the Popes 
devotion.' 
'At length having knowledge how that the Popes holy tooth 
greatly delighted to new fangled strange delicates and dainty dishes, 



FOXE'S HISTORY 


25 


it came in his mind to prepare certain fine dishes of gelly, after the 
best fashion, nlade after our Countrey manner here in England, which 
to them of Rome was not known nor seen before.' 
'This done, Cromwell observing his time accordingly, as the Pope 
was newly COl1le fronl hunting into his pavillion, he with his com
 
pan ions approached with his English presents brought in with 
a three mans song (as \\e call it) in the English tongue and after 
the English fashion. The Pope suddenly marvelling at the strange- 
ness of the song, and understanding that they were English lnen, and 
that they can1e not enlpty handed, willed thenl to be called in. 
Cron1wel there shewing his obedience, and offering his jolly junkets, 
such as Kings and Princes only, said he, in the Realm of England 
use to feed upon, desired the sanle to be accepted in benevolent part, 
which he and his companions, as poor suters unto his Holiness had 
there brought and presented, as novelties meet for his recreation etc.' 
, Pope Julius, seeing the strangeness of the dishes, commanded by 
and by his Cardinal to take the assay. 'Vho in tasting thereof liked 
it so well, and so likewise the Pope after him, that knowing of them 
what their sutes were, and riquiring them to nlake known the making 
of that meat, he incontinent, without any more adoe, stamped both 
their pardons as well the greater as the lesser: . . . it seemeth 
that Cromwell obtained this Pardon aforesaid about the year of 
our Lord, 1510.' . . . 
[The rest of the story deals for the most part with Cromwell's 
career in the service of the Cardinal and of the King. Historically 
it is almost worthless-nearly every paragraph contains statements 
which the more trustworthy sources prove to be impossible. A 
curious legend of Cromwell's saving the life of the Earl of Bedford 
at Bologna is followed by a lnore plausible account of the latter 
afterward comlnending his preserver to the King. Foxe also states 
that Sir Christopher Hales, a violent papist, but a friend of 
Cromwell's, took an opportunity to say a good word for him to 
Henry after ,V olsey's fall, that the King at last had an interview 
with his future minister in lVestminster Gardens, and was advised by 
him to shake off the yoke of Rome. The latter part of this story 
follows closely the account of Cardinal Pole (see chapter vi. p. 9 2 ). 
Foxe goes on to an exhaustive defence of Cromwell's actions during 
his ministry, especially the suppression of the monasteries and 
the nleasures adopted for the promotion of the new religion. The 
story of the loss of Cranmer's Book Against the Six Articles at the 
bear-baiting on the Thalnes (see chapter xiii. p. 255) and the account 



26 


THOlVIAS CROMWELL 


of Frescobaldo's kindness to Cromwell in Florence are related at 
length. Many other minor incidents of Cromwell's life are also 
recorded: we are told how he stopped a skirmish in Paternoster 
Row, how he prevented a friar from wearing his cowl in the 
streets, how he irnprisoned a ruffian with long hair, and how 
he aided a poor man whose father had once befriended him in 
distress. The story closes with an account of Cromwell's fall, 
sentence and execution, and gives the speech and prayer he is 
supposed to have made on the scaffold. (See Appendix at the 
end of chapter xiv.)] 



CHAPTER II 


THE PARLIAMENT OF 15 2 3 


THE heavy veil that shrouds in mystery the early life of 
Thomas Cromwell is not completely lifted until after he 
becomes counsellor to the King, but even before and during 
his service \vith Wolsey, \ve catch several interesting glimpses 
of him. Especially important is the information we possess 
concerning the part he played in the Parliament of 1523. \TV e 
have no means of kno\\Ting how he obtained a seat there, but 
there are fortunately preserved t\VO documents of undoubted 
authenticity that shed much light on the attitude he assumed 
to\vards the problems which came up for discussion. The first 
is a speech which exists to-day at the Public Record Office in 
the hand of one of CrolTIwell's clerks, and contains a distinct 
and careful enunciation of the policy which the future minister 
actually pursued in after years. The second is a letter from 
Cromwell to a friend, John Creke, in Biscay, in which he 
tells ho\v he 'amongyst other indured a parlyament 1.' This 
epistle is in itself an excellent index to the character and 
political ideals of its author. Cromwell's ill-concealed con- 
tempt for the vague discussions and fruitless arguments of the 
Commons, \vho finally in disgust left off where they began, 
his evident disappointment that the 'right large subsydye' 
had been granted in spite of his disapproval, and his sneering 
statement that this Parliament had failed as signally as its 
predecessors had, to do anything of real practical value to 
I(ing or realnl, but had wasted its time in foolish theorizing 
and useless debate-all are perfectly consistent with the 
characteristics revealed by his later policy and actions. 
In order to understand the speech which Cromwell wrote 
to deliver in this Parliament, a preliminary survey of some of 


1 Letters, I. 



28 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the business that lay before the House may be helpful. The 
period immediately previous to the session of 1523 had been 
occupied by Henry and Wolsey in sending messages to the 
po\verful and traitorous Duke of Bourbon, to obtain from hinl 
a recognition of the King's title to the throne of France. 
The breach bet\veen England and Francis \vas becoming 
\vider every day. Charles V had of course seized the favour- 
able opportunity to ally himself \vith Bourbon and Henry, and 
had as usual succeeded in making the latter do the lion's 
share of the \vork, and pay practically all the bills. Loans 
to the Emperor and to the Duke, and the expense of keeping 
up the defences in the north, where Scotland daily threatened 
to break out into open war, had drained the country's resources 
to their lowest ebb. 
Under these circumstances Henry thought it fit to summon 
a Parliament, the first since December, 15 [5. The policy of 
Wolsey, in regard to the great legislative body of the king- 
dom, had up to this time been very closely followed. He 
had not reached the point which Cromwell at a later day 
was destined to attain; that is, he had not so completely 
obtained the upper hand of the Commons that he could use 
them as a tool to accomplish his will. He rather regarded 
Parliament as a dangerous power to be suppressed at all costs, 
than as a means to attain his own ends. Consequently it 
had not met for nearly eight years. But the present crisis 
was one which called for If more than the ordinary resources of 
the nation; nothing could be accomplished against France 
unless an enormous subsidy was granted; that subsidy could 
only be granted by Parliament, and Wolsey, rather un\villingly, 
was forced to consent to the King's summoning it, relying 
on Henry's great personal popularity, and the peculiarly 
bitter national hatred of France, to make it accomplish for 
him what he could not do for himself 1. 
Sir Thomas More was chosen Speaker, probably because 
of his high favour with Henry, who did not scruple to 
give Parliament broad hints of his pleasure in all matters 
in which he was interested, and though, as Roper says, 


1 On this paragraph cf. Creighton's Wolsey, pp. 128-130. 



1'HE PARLIAMENT OF 15 2 3 


29 


l\Iore was 'very loath to take this room upon him 1,' yet 
the King would not consent to his resignation. And the 
story goes on to tell how Wolsey 'found hilTIself much 
grieved \vith the burgesses of this Parliament, for that nothing 
was so soon done or spoken therein but that it was immediately 
blo\vn abroad in every ale-house 2,' and how, fearing that the 
subsidy bill might not pass, he determined to be present at 
the debate hin1self, and was received, at Sir Thomas More's 
suggestion, 'with all his pomp, with his maces, his pillars, his 
poleaxes, his crosses, his hat, and his great seal too.' But 
Wolsey need not have been so anxious about the passage of 
his bill. Though at first the House would not deign to con- 
sider the subsidy in his presence, alleging that 'there was 
not so much Inoney out of the King's hands in the \vhole 
realm,' it had been out of practice too long to realize its own 
power, and after a great deal of haggling and fruitless 
endeavours by the members to beg off for less than the 
J;8oo,coo at first demanded, Wolsey carried his point 3, and 
by the end of June was able to announce to Henry that there 
was no further hindrance to the proposed invasion of France. 
While. the debate \vas in progress, however, Cromwell was 


1 Roper, Life of More, pp. 34-35. 
2 Ibid. pp. 35-3 8 . 
S On the 29 th of April VV olsey 
entered the House and proposed a 
subsidy' which he thought should 
not fall short of .[800,000, to be 
raised by a tax of four shillings in 
the pound on all men's goods and 
lands.' The principal provisions of 
the Act to which the Commons were 
finally induced to give their consent 
were as follows: for two years 'a 
rate of 5 per cent. was imposed on 
all lands and goods of the value 
of i20 and upwards; 2t per cent. 
on goods between i 20 and i 2 ; 
I i per cent. on goods of 40S., or on 
yearly wages averaging 20S. In the 
third year 5 per cent. on all lands 
of i 50 and upwards; and in the 
fourth and last year, 5 per cent. 


on personal property of .lso and 
upwards. These rates were doubled 
in cases of aliens. The Act was not 
to extend to Ireland, Wales, Calais, 
to the counties of Northumberland, 
Cumberland, or Westmoreland, to 
Chester, to the bishopric of Dur- 
ham, or to Brighton in Sussex.' 
(Cf. Introduction to vol. iii of the 
Calendar, pp. 243,253,270.) Brewer 
informs us that 'it had been com- 
puted that the subsidy granted 
by the Commons would produce 
i800,000,' though he confesses that 
we are ignorant of the data on which 
this estimate was based. Lingard 
does not discuss the amount of the 
subsidy, but lays stress on the fact 
that the Commons asserted their 
righttodebate on the measure alone. 
(Hist. of England, vol. vi. pp. 9 1 -9 2 .) 



30 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


one of the strongest opponents of the Cardinal's scheme. The 
following speech, which he wrote to deliver on this occasion I, 
clearly reveals his attitude on the questions before the House. 
, To recouer agayne by the sworde the Realme of Frallnce, 
belongyng to our most Redowbtid SOllerayne by good and 
iuste tytle, and to chaunge the Sums of monay \vhiche Vie haue 
in sundrey yeres Receyued from thens into the hole and iust 
Reuenues that myght there from yere to yere be Leuyed yf 
we did peasibly enioye the same, who ys here present that 
w01d not gladly dispend not oonly all his goodys but also his 
lyffe yf euery of vs had ten thowsand lyues to help to obtayne 
vnto our most benygne souerayne and his most noble Succession 
besydys the high honour and wyde spredyng of his most 
glorious fame, whiche while this world endured shuld euer be 
had in memory, suche yerely reuenues and \vellyng spryngges 
as 2 treasure as shuld by thyse means contynually be browght 
into this Realme, Whereof[ there were no dowte but that ryght 
haboundant stremys shuld from his most liberall magnyfysence 
be dereuyed into euery parte of this his Realme to the grete 
Inryching and en prosperyng of vs and all suche as hereafter 
showld lyue vnder hys obeysaunce and subieccion. And that 
. 
this high and Magnanyme enterpryse ys at this present by 
our saide Souerayne not only in secret wyse in his high 
cowrage conceyued, but also vttred to his most prudent coun- 
sayll, and at sundrey tymes by his grace and them rypely 
dygested debated ye and fynally concluded as the thyng by 
his most high \vysdome and thens thowgkt not only possible 
but also very apparaunt and lykely, all reasonable do\vtes 
auoyded, we All haue clerely persayued as well by the mowth 
and reporte of my lorde legattes good grace as by the Re- 
capitulacion of the Right worshipfull best Assuryd and discrete 
Speker, in so moche that we haue bene aduertised of the 


1 CaI. iii. 2958. There can be 
no reasonable doubt concerning 
the authorship of this speech. 
Neither Brewer nor Gairdner ques- 
tion it, and Pauli, in an article on 
W o]sey and the Parliament of 1523 
(Historische Zeitschrift for 1889, 


p. 52), says, , Die Rede selbst kann 
schlechterdings keinen anderen 
Urheber haben, und ist späterhin 
bei der Confiscation der Papiere 
Cromwell's in das Staatsarchiv 
gekommen.' 
2 sic, for' of.' 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 15 2 3 


31 


Indentures all reddy passed bytwene our said most noble 
Souerayne and the EU1parours Magesty, conteynyng not 
oonly the nombre of horsemen and Fotemen, estemed 
sufficient for the saide enterpryse, but also the day prefixid 
for the Arryuall beyond the see of the saide Army. Whyche 
thyng sythyns Ollr most Redowbted Souerayne hathe so 
depely myndyd, that for the more effectuall puttyng in 
execucion of the saine, his high enterpryze, he hathe promysed 
in the saide endentures, to goo ouer in his owne noble persone 
Whoo ys here present in this ryght \vorshipfull assemble, or 
any other his subiet Whatsoeuer he be whiche to the vtterest 
of his po\ver wold not payne and endeuer hymself, that this so 
glorious, so profyttable and so \vysshefull an enterpryse myght 
properously be atcheuyd and our souerayne with assuryd 
honollr to Retollrne aga yne after this grete acte well and 
victoryously perfynysshed. But for somoche As yt hathe 
pleased ollr most Redowbtid Souuerayne of his most high 
and haboundant goodnes, to declare vnto vs by the mowthe 
of my saide Lorde Cardinallis grace, not only this his purpose, 
but also the manyfold prouocacions and hainous iniures done 
as\vell to his noble highnes, as to his most dere sister the 
quene Douriere of Fraunce, in \vrongus 1 ,vithholding of her 
Do\vre, and also the grete vexacion of his subiectes by 
robbyng and spoylyng of them, to theire vtter vndoyng, by 
Francoys no\v raynyng there, and on the other side the 
nlanyfold policies and gracious meanes studied by our saide 
most noble Souuerayne, and hys CounsaylI, to establysshe 
a generall peace amongyst all Crysten Prynces and to stay 
the saide Frauncoys yf yt had bene possible by mannys 
industry from his synyster \vayes and disturbyng of all 
Regions abowte hym. Me semyth that his highnes bathe 
heryn Declared vnto vs the grettest loue that euer did noble 
prynce vnto his humble and obeysaunt subiectes, seyng that 
his high wysdome doth not disdayne to c01nmunicate and 
declare vnto vs his waighty entrepases and affayres, in this 
autentyk maner assemblyd by the nlowthe of so notable 
a personage, beseching god of his haboundant goodnes and 
I sic, for' wrongous' or 'wrong.' 



32 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


ynfynyte mercye whiche withdrawyth not his lyght from the 
poore and low estate but vnto humble harttes departyth of his 
grace, that this notable benygnete of our saide Souerayne be 
not amongyst vs all frustrate, but that sum of vs here present 
may say in this weyghty matier the thyng vaylable and 
worthye in his most highe J uggement to be regarded whiche 
by the Mo\vthe and report of the ryght wyse dyscrete and 
excellently lettred speker may be benyng Interpretacion And 
as \ve meane CU11Z vnto his most gracious Erys. Whiche my 
perfyte trust ys that his noble grace wyll not so vtterly regecte, 
but that yt may oons entre into his noble harte byfore the 
tyme come that he shall put hys high entrepryse in execuci01t 
seyng yt ys yet oon hole yere therunto and all thowgh 
I reekyn myselff of all other the most vnworthy to haue in 
the awdience of so many sauge and notable persons, any 
manner saiyngges, especially in this weighty mattier whiche 
makyth me to tremble, for fere, whan I thyncke upon hyt and 
represent vnto my fantasy How the thre gouernours of 
Crystendom, accompanyed with so grete nombre of prynces 
noble men and other their Subgiettes shuld after so manyfold 
prouocacions of dedely hattred encounter togyder with theire 
S\vordys in theire handt's, to trye where the pleasure of god 
shalbe to stryke, and shew his indignacion, Of ,vhiche slawghter, 
most nedis ensue, the moste Lamentable cryes, and sorowfull 
\vryngyng of handys, that hé;tth happened in Cristendome 
many yeres. Neuerthelesse after my symple and yngnorant 
Inaner, I shall humbly beseche yaw all of your benygne 
Supportacion that I may here with your fauours vUer my 
poore mynde whose intent ys nOlle other but to geue vnto 
yO\V, \vhiche be of far more assuryd Wysdom, Lernyng and 
experience then I, occasion to vtter YOllr wyse counsaylles, for 
yn myself I know well ys nought eUes but the intent of good 
wyll,and entier desyre,of the Contenuaunee yn prosperite of my 
most redowtyd souerayne, with the most frutefull conseruacion 
of the polytyk weall of this his noble Realme, and the good 
fertheryng of all the enterprysys and affayres in any wyse 
belollgyng to the same. 
'To speke of peace certeynly as now hit ys no tyme, Albe 



THE P ARI..IAMENT OF 15 2 3 


33 


. hit that I doo in my hart therfore ryght sore lament, but want 
of trowth ys so depely in the Frenche N acion enrotid, and theire 
insaciable apetite to extent theire bondes and to accroche from 
other their Domynyons and possessions to the grete molestyng 
and trowbelyng of all the nacions abowte theym, ys so manyfest 
and notorys to all the word I, \vithoute any regarde hauyng 
ether to godde or J ustyce, that thowgh we Hadde for o1tr 
owne particuler causes no manner quarelles vnto them, yet 
co\vld we not but haue in detestacion their false and fleyghty 
Dealyng Wherwitk other Cristcncd prynces be by them so 
sore molest yd. But now ys hyt soo that our most Drad 
Souerayne ys soo notably prouoked by the nlanyfold Iniuryes 
done as\vell to hymself as to his most derest Syster, and 
sundrey his Subiectes that me thynckyth, there be none, his 
true and faythefull Subiettes, that can refrayne to bere towardcs 
them a worthy haatred and fast inpryntyd groutche, as vnto 
the nacion, \"hiche euer ys on restful, And of suche malicious 
nature that there ys no remedy, but other they most be 
skowrgyd or eUys they \vyll suerly be a skowrge to other, and 
other their possessions must be ruffillcd and dymynysshed or 
ellys they wyll not cesse to Dymynysshe and take a\vay from 
other their possessions, of \vhiche Arogant N acion thowgh we 
haue of our selfes by goddys Ayde and sufferaunce ben the 
Chastners and terryble stronge yet at this present tyme All- 
myghty god ys so benygne vnto vs that we haue no\v a muche 
grete aduauntage to compell them not oonly to syt in rest but 
also gladly to come to Reason seyng that by theyre sayde 
rnysprowde arregancy the 
 Haue in so sundry Wayes prouoked 
the saide Emparours magestye vnto iust hatered and dys- 
pleasure agaynst them \vith \vhome ollr most Redowbted 
Souerayne ys most assurydly confederate and alied, Whose 
high and myghty power ys so great that J oyned vnto o\vers 
they be enverouned on euery syde wyth the nacions, whiche 
by goddes grace shall affiycte them and abate their pryde. 
Whiche thyng the emparo1trs maiesty hath full well for his 
partie shewyd in Recoueryng aga yne of N auerne Where they 
had no smale ouerthrow and also by Wynnyng from theym 


1 sic, for' world.' 


2 sic, for' they.' 


MERRIMAN. I 


D 



34 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the Cytte of Tourney and the hole Countrey Tornasyes 
adiacent therunto, and farthermore to the more sorar encresyng 
of their A1zguysshefull abasshement and shame haue dryuen 
them quyte owte of Ittaly and dispossessed them of the noble 
Dowchye of Millayne, the gettyng and defendyng wherof 
hath bene so marua ylous chargeable vnto theym and also to 
the Cyttyes of Genes with the Terretoryes therunto belongyng. 
And we for our partye haue spoyled and brent Morkesse, 
Destroyed also a grete Contrey vvith sundry villages and 
Townes therin, and to the grete and high honour of our 
soueraigne and his valiaunt nacion, and the grete Lavvde and 
Prayse of the well fortunate and sawge Capetayn, the yerle of 
Surrey, whiche taryed in the Domynyons of the saide 
:Francoyse \v'ith a smale Nombre of men in comparyson by the 
space or vj or vij wekys \vhere all the power of Fraunce durst 
not geue hym battayll whiche sayde valiant Capeteyne, I trust 
by goddes help, shall oUC1
throw and subdue also the Skottes, 
whome the Frenche men haue so custuously intertayned, 
and of so long tyme mayntayned agaynst vs, whiche thingges, 
yf almyghty god of his goodnes, wyll suffre to contynue this 
a while, there ys no dowte but that their hawlte and mys- 
pro\vde Cowrage shall or o\.\Tght long abate, and that we shall 
constrayne theym to be glad to entret for pease as men dryuen 
in to grete and extreme Dyspaÿre, seing their peces whiche 
they haue bene so long in gettyng bene so valiauntly and 
wz'tho\vt any hardynesse in theym to make Resystance 
pullid a\vay from theym, and they dare not trye hyt by the 
sworde, nother with vs, nor with the saide Em parours Su biectes 
for whan soeuer they so doo, they wyn nowght ellys but 
a shamefull overthrow, as we all kno\v, by good experyence. 
But now myght yt be in quest yon \vhyther hyt showld be for 
the more aduaunsyng of our most Rodowtyd Souerayns 
Honour and the Emperours l\1ageste also, and more vayllable 
for the spedy acheuyng of bothe their desiryd purposys other 
to contynew styll thys kynde of \varre ,,-hyche hytherto god 
be thancked hathe so prosperously succedyd or ellys to chaunge 
our warre in to another kynde, more sharper, more violent and 
also more terable, that is to say, \vhere he hathe not bene so 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 15 2 3 


35 


hardy as to mete A meane Armyee, other of o\vers or of the 
Emperours, to conuey now in to hys Realme on eyther of 
our sydys, so grete and myghty a puyssa1tnce as shalbe able 
by goddys ayde, clerely to vanquysshe hym vtterly and to 
subdue hym. 
'To this question I beseche god that sum sauge and well 
experte man here amongyst vs present may say the thyng 
that may be honorable to our most Redowted souerayne and 
proffyttable this to his noble Realn1e, As for myne owne partye 
knowyng my most redowtyd Souerayns high pleasure Whereof 
we haue all by my saide lorde Cardinalles grace bene so clerely 
enfourmed, I am at a poynt suche as dothe become an humble 
and obeysant subiect to be, beyng aduertisid of his Souerayns 
most redo\vtyd pleasure, especially by the mowthe of hys 
most nere and cheffest Counsaylour, declaryd, oonly oon 
thyng there ys whiche puttyth me in no small agonye, me 
tho\vght I harde my lorde Cardynalles grace say that our 
most gracious Souuerayne, more derer vnto any of hys Subiectes 
that hathe any maner zele to our COl1zmen welthe then hys 
owne propre lyfe, indendyth to go ouer in his Royall persone, 
Whyche thyng I pray god for my partie I neuer lyue to see, 
Most hutubly beseching hys haboundant and tendre benygnyte 
of mercy and pardone of this my saiyng, for the humble and 
obeysant loue I ow vnto his noble person, causyth me in this 
case to forget obeysance, and I cannot consent to obey vnto 
this hys pleasure wheryn Iyith the hazardyng of this his 
noble Realme, and apon the \vhiche myght follow (whiche 
god defend) the grettyst Calalnyte and affiation 1 that euer 
happynned ther vnto by cause I am desyrous to be owte of 
all do\\'ttes that I may all my lyfe dayes hereafter be his 
humble and obeisant subiet, and see with the prosperite and 
suretye of his noble parson, his Realme and power subiectes 
to lyue assuryd in tranquylyte and to be reconforttid \vith his 
noble presence, \vhose welthe and prosperyte ys so vrgently 
necessary vnto vs all that I am sure their ys no good Englysshe 
man \vhiche can be mery the day whan he happenyth to thynk 
that his grace myght perchaunce be dystemperid of his helthe 


1 sic, for' affliction.' 
D2 



36 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


so that albe hyt I say for my partie, I stomak as a sory 
Subiect may doo, the high Inïures done by the saide Francoys, 
vnto his most clere souerayne, yet rather then the thyng shuld 
goo so ferre forth I cowld for my partie be contented to forget 
altogyther soo that I may know the parson of my souerayne 
to be yn helthe, and suretye owte of the thowsand Daungiers 
whiche chaunce in ,varr
, and lyue at his high Pleasure and 
assuryd myrth for yf the Frenche men haue establysshed an 
ordenaunce amongyst theym that their kyng in hys owne 
persone shall neuer come in Raungyd Battayll agaynst our 
nacion bycawse of the sundry hazardys that their saide prynces 
haue suffred in their owne parsons, notwithstandyng their 
maruelous pollecy deuysed amongest them for the certayn and 
the establysshid succession of their Crowne, ho\v neidfull ys 
hyt for us consideryng in \vhat case we be to make the 
humblest sewyt that euer did pore Subiectes to theyre Souue- 
rayne, that he wyll for OZt;r sake:r and specially for the tendre 
and Fathyrly loue he beryth to his most clere and oonly 
dowghter upon whose wele and sircumspecte bestowyng next 
his noble parson dependyth all our \velthis somethyng to 
Reffrayne his high magnanyme Courage and for our assuryd 
welthe and quyet and specially of her noble person desyst 
from that Dawngerows entrepryse, And whereas his highnes 
hath the Renoum to be the most faythefull and substauncyall 
prynce, Crystayned yn the trew perfo1trmyng of all his pro- 
myses that hyt may lyke his grace to lay the wyte on vs his 
poore Subiectes thowgh that he breke in that poynt the tenour 
of his Indenture, For yf his highnes wold so farre presse vs by 
our allegence that he \void nedys cary ouer w'ith hym the 
Armay in the same Enclentures expressed, I am suer there 
showld not be oon amongest them all that had any reason in 
his hed but he shuld be more metar to wayle and \vryng hys 
handes than assuryd to fyght, whan he consydered that yf 
otherwyse then well showld fortune to that prescious ] uell 
whiche he had for hys partye, in custody, yt were more 
metar for hyrn to departe in to Turkey than to Retourne 
agayne in to his naturall Contray to hys wyffe and chyldren. 
And now as yt fortunyth naturally where as a man ys fully 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 


37 


perswadyd in any matter as I am tre\vly that our most 
Redo\vtid soueraygne showld in no wyse passe the Sees in his 
o\vne noble person consideryng the thynges aforsaide to fayne 
Reasons tq make for His purpose, soo doo I now Fantasye 
syns I am so extremely desyro\vs that the noble parson yf 1 
my saide Prynce sho\vlde tarry \vithyn H ys Realme that hit 
\vere better to trayne o\vre warre and by lyttyll and lyttyll to 
attempte wery the saide Francoys then at oons to send ouer 
agaynst hym the power Royall of this noble Royalme. 
, In the reasonyng of whiche matter I shall but vtter myne 
ygnoraunce afore Hanyball as our ryght wyse spekar rehersid 
no\v of late,.but syns I am \vadyd thus far vnder your benygne 
supportacion I shall here vtter my pore mynde yf thys grete 
and puysaunt armaye of xxx Thowsand foteme1t and' ten 
'fho\\"sand horsemen sho\vld be c01lueyed in to the part yes of 
beyond see I ymagyn with myself whiche \vayes they myght 
take to noy our enemyes most Consideracion fyrst had vnto 
their owne saufegarde, How they myght suerly be victualled 
and thus I reason yf they shuld so invade Fraunce that they 
myght euer with suretye haue victayles owte of the Arche- 
dukedome, than put I no dowbtes but they showld saufely 
Retourne agayne, for any daungyer that showld come vnto 
theym by their enemyes, for synse they durst not this yere 
last past set vpon the Hardy and va1iaunt Capetayn the 
Yer1e of Surrey notwithstandyng any prouocacions that he 
Cowld by hys experte \vysedome in the Feattes of ,varre 
I magyn to bryng them thervnto ho\v moche more wold they 
be\vare to mete with so howge an Armye whose bruit 
I suppose god beyng indyfferent the poore of Fraunce were 
not hable to susteyne, but by this meanes lyke as our saide 
Armye shuld be in saftye 500 showld the harme whiche they 
showld doo to the Realme of Fraunce be nothyng so moche 
as the harmys whiche we ourselffes showld susteyn in 
sowldyng of so great an army which were hable or iii 
Somers 'were expyred to exha\vste and vtterly consume all 
the Cogne and bolyon withyn this Realme whiche I con- 
iecture can not passe moche aboue a Million For yf all the 


1 sic, for' of' ? 



38 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


vale\v of the hole Realme excede not iiii Millions as my lorde 
Cardinalles grace Declaryth playnly vnto vs all of whiche 
the possessions were estemyd to amount to oone Hole 
Million, me thynkyth that there ys no dowbte but that the 
Cornes, Cattalles our owne COl1zmodeties vtensilles Apparayll 
for man and ,vomen whiche was neuer soo sumptuous and 
also the wares not oonly made of our owne c011zmodetyes 
but also conveyed from the part yes of beyond the see H yther 
,vherof was neuer so grete Haboundaunce Dothe amount at 
the lest vnto other ij Millions This yf we showld take thys 
,yay or euer we showld doo to our enemy any hurt that were 
,vorthy to be regardid we showld be brought in to that case 
that we showld neuer be hable neuer to hurt hym ne none 
other, nor to help our Prynce, nor this his noble Realme 
What aduersyte soeuer shuld fortune to Hap ye and what 
show Id we then Doo, but sit in peace with the highest 
ignomine and Desperat confusion that eue1'" did nacion and 
be constraynyd for the mayntenaunce of c011zmutacion and 
biyng and sellyng amongyst ollrselffes to koyne lether agayne, 
lyke as we oons haue done, whiche as for me I could well 
ynowgh be content with but yf yt showld fortune our most 
Redowtyd Souerayne, yf he wold nyedys go ouer yn hys 
o,vne persone to happyn by any aduerse fortune, whiche 
almyghty god defend to CUOl into the handcs of ollr enemyes, 
how shuld we then be hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they 
,vyll nought for their wynes but golde they wold thynck 
grete skorne, to take lether for OU1' prynce, ye and how moche 
the Inhabitauntes of the saide Archedukedome be desirows to 
haue moche of our monaye for Lytyll of their victuaylis 
\vhiche showld the sonner bryng this inconuenyence to passe, 
,ve haue hadde ryght good experyence aswell whan our 
moste Redowbtid Souerayne last ,vent ouer in His o,vne 
Royall parson as in the last yere, whan my lorde of Surrey 
\vas sent by our saide Souerayne in to those parties \vhose 
Soldyers at their Rettourne made of the raryte and high 
prysed victuales no lytyll complaynt. But yf we nedys wold 
conuaye our armye by their possessions and to make ollr 
\,.ay as short as myght be, to goo the most nere and dyrect 



THE PARLIAlVIENT OF 15 2 3 


39 


,yay to Parrys \vhere vndowbtyd \vere no small spoylle to 
be gotten and in manner the place self not hable in strength 
to kepe vs owte Assone as euer we \vere Departyd owte of 
the Marchys of the saide Archedukedome, we showld then 
clerely persayue \vhatt manner \varre the Frenche men wold 
vse ayenst vs \vhiche neuer wyl1 offer to medyll with ollr 
Arn1ye, but lye yn \vayte yf any of our saide Armye 
happened to straye or stragle abrade or to destroye the 
Conductollrs of our victuayle. And as for victuaylys in our 
waye we shuld be sure none to fynde that other hadde legges 
to convey hyt sylf from vs or eUes by the diligence of the 
paysans myght convaide 1 to the next strong holdys and then 
myght \ve perchaunce (\vhiche god defend) persayue what 
high daunger to leue any strong holdys behynde vs, 
\vhiche the most Saugge and Poletyke Prynce Kyng Henry 
the vijth of gracious memory thowght not best to doo. 
For when he passed the Sees to \vyn the ryght in Fraunce 
he began fyrst to lay Seige to Bolayn, or euer he wold enter 
anye farther in to the land. And O1/r most Redowtyd 
souerayne no\v raynyng beyng in purpose as I harde reportid 
goo as farre as Parres after the occupacion of his sawge 
Counsayle began Fyrst at Tyrouenne and the Emperours 
mageste Imployed A whosoeuer be in Tournay bycawse yt 
was thowght to his high wysedome and hys noble councellers 
euydently dawngerous yf he wold at any tyme hereafter 
passe any farder by that way in to Fraunce, t,o leue suche 
strong hold in the possession of his enemyes behynde hym 
at hys bakke, and soo yf we showld for any dyspleasure 
done vnto vs ammuse our Coscions armye abowte the 
wynnyng of any those holdys, what maruelous Inconueny- 
ences Let of purpose and Importable Charges we showld 
sustayn therbye our most drad souerayne lorde hathe theryn 
to good experyence in the wy-nnyng of Tyrouen which cost 
his highnes more then xx ti suche vngracious Dogholes 
cowld be worthe vnto hym But yf we wold vtterlye Ieue 
this \vaye, and Determyn to Invade N ormandie Bretayn or 
sum other Contraye in the possession of his enemye vpon 


1 sic, for 'be conveyed. t 



40 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the Ryvage of the see and make our preparacions here 
withyn this noble Realme suche as showld be tho\vght 
conuenable for suche an armye Royall Thys thyng passith 
the streche of my pore wyt to speke for oone thing 
I suppose, besides the Inestymable molestacion and charge 
whiche I ymagyn this noble Realme showld sustayne for 
theyr preparacion for ware I can se nothyng but manyfest 
dawngier on euery syde to be towardes the saide Armaye 
not onely at their Arryvall amongest their enemyes at all 
tymes and so long as they shall there tarry Whiche to shevv 
theym their saide enemyes showld have no smale aduauntage, 
and that in sundry wyse, but also how they should surely 
be victayled for thowgh we made here neuer so good 
dylygence to prepare victailes for them in due tYIne yet 
stode bothe we and they in daungier of the wynde in \vhose 
oncerteynte god defend that the Flower, nay in manner the 
hole Chyualry of this noble Realme showld so be hazardid 
for thereby myght Chaunce the most lamentable losse ye 
and without Recouery that euer heretofore to me happenyd 
For thowgh we be indowtyd ryght sore dymynysshed of 
our Treasure, We haue yet a farr gretar want of defensable 
men whiche to any good Englysshe man that ys not 
affeccionat to his owne pryuat lucre but with good harte and 
true zele louyth the Commen wele ys to moche manyfest at 
the yee, and hyt pleasid god of the contrary \Vherby Supposid 
that Almyghty god sent our souerayne his desiryd purpose 
how showld we be Able to possede the large Cuntreye of 
Fraunce whiche haue our owne Realme so meruelous rarely 
storyd of inhabytauntes and hable men, but there paraad- 
venture yt myght be saide vnto me Why puttyst thow so 
many dowttes ayenst this my most redowtyd souerayns 
enterpryse, he beyng so high in courage of maruelous 
wysdome and well tryed experyence in all marciall Cond uttes 
seyng other his progenitours of farre lesse graces w'ith an 
hand full of men in comparyson to his armye haue geuyn 
them soo notable ouerthrowes "fo thys question breuely to 
show my pore mynde Trewly the manyfold victoryes that we 
haue had ayenst theym bryngyth theym in playne dyspayre 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 15 2 3 


41 


to trye hyt anye more \vith vs In raunged battayll and to the 
experyence that they haue of our Condicions bothe in warre 
and pease hathe geuyn the saide Francoys hardynes thus 
haynowsly to prouoke our Souerayne as he doyth for lyke 
as he kno\vyth that in Armys our nacion ys ynvincible so 
kno\vyth he ollr Impacience to Contynew in warre many 
yeres and in especiall in \"'ynter for we desier no\vght elles 
but to trye hyt with ollr handes at ones and that the 
lVlaruelous charge far aboue any other nacion that we most 
nedys cOlltinually be at for victuayles and other necessaryes 
ys so grete that at the length we most nedys 
ery ourself 
as oftyn as \ve be assemblyd to fyght yf We soo togyther 
assemblyd long contynew thowgh none other nacion fyght 
with vs I cowld here also towche what polecye we haue to 
kepe thinges when we haue gottyn theym, but I let that 
passe and wyll now she\v the notable ad uauntages that our 
soucrayns progenito1/rs had ouer that we haue no\v, the 
nlean \varre ayenst Fraunce yn tymes past we had euer 
places surlye to Lond in other of our owne, or of our assured 
confederattes and alies as Gascoyne Gwyen Bretayn and 
sunltyme N ornlandie and at the lest we had Sum assuryd 
freyndes there whiche \vern grete men of power and further- 
nlore their T o\vnes and holdes were nothyng of the meruelous 
strength that they be of at this present but now all thyse 
thynges be chaunged places. We haue none to lond in any 
of the saide Countrays but suche as we may be sure to haue 
allemallner dyspleasure shewyd vnto vs that they dare or 
may doo and as for any frendes VvT e haue that I dare not 
presume to speke in, but as ferre as my pore coniecture 
ledyth me there was neuer nacion more maruaylusly Lynkyd 
togyder then they be anlongyst theymselfes nor more sundry 
prouysyons found how suche A 1 nature hath made of high 
courage beyng borne amongyst them myght be prouyded 
of welthful lyuynges vnder their obeysaunce to consent to 
any Dysturbyng of their C01nmen WeIth thowgh he showld 
for that intent be offeryd a great and notable Treasoure 
But how by 2 Coruptable all the \vorlde wZ"th the meruelows 


1 sic, for ' as.' 


2 sic, for' be,' possibly meaning' very.' 



42 


THOl'vIAS CROMWELL 


sleyghtt's in excessyff gyftes the Empero1trs maiestye bathe 
for his partie had of late ryght euydent experyence, For whyle 
he was here in thise parties occupied abowte the wynnyng 
of Tourney and other his affayres they had corrupted iij or 
iiij of the grettest nobles of Spayne, apon whiche parsonages 
for their euydent ontrewth the Em perours Magestye was 
constraynyd to do Justyce at his Retournyng thyther, 
,vhiche was no small losse onto hym yf they had lyke trew 
subgiettes accordyngly regarded their allegiaunce and that 
is to be meruayled at my lorde of Sheuerys 1 the most 
bounden creature of the sayde Emparours Maieste that euer 
was subiect to his Souuerayne, me tho\vght I harde my lorde 
Cardinalles grace reporte, that he was also by their meruelous 
subtyle pollice and gyftes corrupt, and also yt ys euyde1lt 
that synse the saide Emperours Maiestie Retournyd in to 
Spayne agayne the gouernours of his Archedukedome haue 
grauntyd dyucrs of safecondut vnto merchauntes of the 
Frenche nacion ye and for their Sakys vnto Skottes also, 
whiche ys a maruelous hyndraunce after my pore J ugeme1lt 
to our souueraynes and the saide Empero1trs warres. For 
yf our c011lmodeties had aswell bene kepte from theim as 
their c011Zmodeties be from vs many a thowsand artyfycer 
lyuyng vnder the saide Francoys Domynyon whiche hathe 
none other lyuyng but by workyng of our wollys haue 
bene constrayned to haue made to their kyng lamentable 
sute for peace, as people bro\vght to extreme distresse and 
not wottyng how to lyue. 
'Thus haue I here vttred my pore and symple mynde ryght 
hartylly thanckyng yow all of your benygne Supportacion 
and how that yow haue Wytsaufe to here so pacientlie my 
ignorance Inost humbly beseching the tender benygnyte of 
my most dere and most redO\\ltyd souuerayn \vhiche with- 
drawyth hys mcrcifull yee from Wylfull offenders yf they 
humbly make sute vnto his grace for pardon, that he wyll of 
his haboundaunt goodnes wytsaufe to take me as I meane 
\vhiche am as desyrous that all his most noble entrepases 
should prosperously go forward as any syn1ple creature that 


1 William de Croy, Lord Chievres. 



THE PARLIAIVIENT OF 15 2 3 


43 


eut was borne vnder his obcisauncc thinckyng after my 
Ignorant J ugement that yf yt ,voId please his magnanime 
Courage to conuert Fyrst and chief his hole intent and 
purpose not only to the ouer rOllnyng and subduyng of 
Skotland but also to J oyne the same Realme vnto his, 
Soo that both they and \ve myght lyue vnder oone 
Bessaunce Law and Pollecy for euer. He shold therby 
,,'yn the highest honour that eue1'" dyd any noble p1"'O- 
genitollrs synse thys Iland was fyrst Inhabyt to J oyne 
vnto his noble Realme so populus a Cuntray wherby his 
strength shold be of no small parte ellcresid and of this acte 
should follow the highest abasshement to the sa ide Francoys 
that euer happened to hym or any his p1"'ogenetollrs afore 
hym not oonly for that he Left the saide Skottes his aunciellt 
allies and ,vhich haue for hys and their Sakes p1"'ouokyd 0111' 
nacion so notably heretofore at thys tyme vndefended by 
reason of ollr souerayns naiuye \vhiche he dare not encounter 
,vitI/' nor neuer dare send theim SOCOl/1" so long as he shall 
know the narrow sees substansially to be kept, but also for 
somoche as he shall vnderstand that we haue chaunged ollr 
manner of warre, \vhiche were wont nought else to doo but 
to skore the nacions abowt, but whan he shall persayue that 
by the hygh and pollytyk wysdome our saide most redowtid 
Souerayne they be J oyned vnto vs in oone politik boddye 
\vhat fere shall \ve then stand in to Lose his possessions 
\vithout any hope of Recouere agayne, and thowgh hit be 
a C011lmen sayng that yn Skotland ys nought to wyn but 
strokes, for that I alledge another C01JZmen sayng, who that 
entendyth Fraunce to wyn wit//' Skotland let hym begyn, 
\Vhiche enterpret thus truely hyt ys But a Symplenesse for 
vs to thyncke to kepe possessions in Fraunce, (which) ys 
seuo\vryd from vs by the ocean see, and suffre Skotland 
J oyne( d) vnto vs by nature all in oon Iland, vnto which 
,ve may haue Recourse at all tymes whan \ve ,voIl, whiche 
also to subdue, god beyng indifferent lyeth euer in our hand 
to lyue vnder another pollecy and to Recognyse another 
Prynce send god that our most Redowty Souuerayne (may 
conquer Scotland) \vhiche whan we haue ones J oyned vnto 



44 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


our polecy as a membre by nature dyscendyng apon the 
hole, than shall we therby have the experyence how to 
wyn and kepe other possessions of our most redowtyd 
souerayne of due ryght and enherytaunce belonging to his 
noble Crowne whiche we (have) in the parties of beyond the 
see in whyche entrepryses I beseche god send our most dere 
and most redowtyd souuerayn prosperous Succession and 
fortunat atcheuyng of all this his noble entrepryse.' 
There is no record that this speech was ever delivered; 
even if it was, it certainly had no effect in this unwieldy and 
unpractical session of Parliament. But the accuracy and 
force of the speaker's reasoning were destined to be proved by 
the subsequent course of events. For the student of the 
present day, who is enabled to glance at the whole picture 
from a distance, so that the various facts assume more or less 
their proper proportion and perspective, Crom\vell's \vords on 
this occasion will always remain as one of the strongest proofs 
of his political wisdom and foresight. 
After touching on the subject of the war, and assuring the 
House of his conviction that anyone present would give 
goods and life ten thousand times over to recover France for 
the King (a shrewd beginning, for if Henry was not present 
in person, no one knew better than CrolTIwelI how accurately 
every word spoken in the Parliament would be reported to 
him, and how important it was for one who would gain the 
royal favour to put his loyalty to the Crown first of all), he 
goes on, after a few commonplace remarks about the war's 
being waged with energy, to crave the pardon of the I--Iouse 
for addressing so noble an assembly. This preface is eminently 
characteristic of the speaker. When not perfectly certain 
of his ground, and in the presence of those whom he wished 
to conciliate, none could be a more adroit flatterer than 
he; it was only when he was completely, master of the 
situation (and he had a peculiar gift of discovering just what 
his position was in relation to other people) that he became 
contemptuous, overbearing, and cruel. 
But not even yet had he said enough to prove his loyalty 
to the King. He agrees that war is inevitable, and that the 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 152.1 


45 


question no\v is how it may be most effectually carried on, 
but when he foresees that the King \vill go in person, he is 
greatly distressed. He talks loudly about the danger of 
the King being killed, hints that Henry possessed a courage 
and a self-sacrifice to the interests of England which would 
render him impervious to any argument about personal risk, 
and then launches himself into the heart of his discourse. 
The King is an absolute necessity to the \velfare and progress 
of the State. If the I(ing were removed, the country would 
probably be brought face to face with the horrors of a civil 
war. Crom\vell thus brings his hearers to the first great 
principle of the policy that he \vas destined later to pursue, 
namely, concentration of po\ver in the hands of the Crown, as 
a sine qua 1101l of unity at honle and safety abroad. This 
principle he enforces with many other argun1ents. The 
danger from the hostility of Scotland \vas enormous; let the 
King 'Reffrayne his high magnanyme Courage' and relnain- 
ing at home, so direct the movements of his forces, that 
England and Scotland nlay together move as a unit. France 
has bought off many who may seem to be England's allies 
on the Continent. The consequence of an invasion of France 
,vould be the scattering of the army; it might be cut off in 
an attempt to capture Paris, and England would be left to 
the mercy of its first invader. The country must make sure 
of its o\vn safety, before entering upon a war of aggression. 
He brings up other points to prove his case, and here 
speaks against the proposed subsidy. He saw, as a merchant, 
that the amount proposed was excessive; his fear was that 
all the coin and bullion in the realm would be exhausted by 
three summers of fruitless warring, so that the nation would 
be forced 'to koyne lether agayne,' as it had done once 
before. His appreciation of the importance of sound finance, 
and the evils of a depreciated currency show a kno"\Vledge of 
economic principles far in advance of his time. 'Yf yt showld 
fortune our most Redo\vtyd Souerayne, yf he wold nyedys 
go ouer yn hys owne persone to happyn by any aduerse 
fortune, whiche almyghty god defend to cum into the handes 
of our enemyes,' says Crom\vell, 'hovv shuld we then be 



46 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they wyll nought for their 
wynes but goIde they wold thynck grete skorne, to take lether 
for our prynce. J Cromwell had early learned the lesson that 
money and brains were rapidly becoming far more important 
factors in winning battles, than mere superiority in brute 
strength or numbers. In his ingenious argument against the 
subsidy, he had pleaded the cause of the poor people, on 
\vhom the taxes fell most heavily, and had at the same time 
avoided arousing the opposition of the other party, by his 
adroit flattery at the outset. 
His appreciation of the increased difficulty of waging war 
abroad compared with that in previous ages, because of lack 
of bases of supplies and friendly towns on the Continent, 
which before had been numerous, betokens great foresight 
and knowledge of details. Though he expressly declares, at 
the beginning of his speech, his intention to leave to C sage 
persons' the task of decìding how the war should be carried 
on, he hints that it would be better to playa waiting game 
and weary the French, while things were consolidated at 
home, than to try to conquer France by invasion. His 
attitude about Scotland is repeated with great vigour at the 
close of his speech. F or the King to unify England and 
Scotland would secure him greater honour than his pre- 
decessors had ever attained, and would in the end prove 
a much more telling blow against France, than a direct 
invasion. The question of gaining possessions across the sea 
is of secondary importance: the first thing is to obtain control 
of a country which belongs to the san1e island. 
Thus Cromwell succeeded in clearly enunciating the main 
principles of the policy by which he was so soon to guide the 
affairs of England, while he so flattered King, nobles, and 
people, that he made many friends, and avoided the enmity 
of those opposed to him. The man who could make such 
a speech as this, would not be likely to escape the notice of 
such an astute man as Henry VIII. It was probably within 
the \valls of this Parliament, that Cromwell laid the first stone 
of his future greatness as servant and counsellor of the King. 



CHAPTER III 


WOLSEY'S SERVANT 


AFTER the year 1524, there is no further mention of 
Thomas Cronnvell as the cloth-merchant and wool-dyer. 
He probably realized that his business as a lawyer brought 
him into much n10re prominence as a public man, but his 
term in Parliament doubtless aroused in him a desire for even 
greater things than the life of a successful solicitor. His 
advance in legal prominence, however, is marked by his 
admittance in 1524 as a member of Gray's Inn, and by his 
appointment in the same year as one of the Subsidy Com- 
missioners for the Hundred of Ossulton in Middlesex 1; but 
such petty distinctions fade into the background in the face 
of a rnatter of far more absorbing interest, that is, his rapidly 
growing favour and intimacy with Cardinal Wolsey. 
During the years 1524-5 he \vas actively engaged in the 
Cardinal's service, and received many letters on legal business 
\v hich he transacted for his master 2. Seekers for Wolsey's 
mercy or patronage invariably came to him, as a likely means 
of getting their wishes granted. In several cases requests 
to the Cardinal are addressed directly to the' right worshipful 
Mr. Crom\vell.' I t is evident from the tone of the letters 
which he received, that to obtain his favour \vas the first and 
most important step towards gaining that of his master. He 
was usually spoken of as ' Councillor to my Lord Legate,' and 
was pre-eminent above all the rest of Wolsey's advisers. It 
has been thought by some that the Cardinal employed him 
in connexion with his political schemes, but this is an error. 
Cromwell began modestly, as befitted his lowly birth and 
humble origin, and at this time, at any rate, was employed 


1 Cal. iv. 9 6 9; Doyle's Baronage, 
vol. i. p. 689. 


2 Cal. iv. 294, 388, 979, 13 8 5- 6 , 
1620, 2347- 8 , 2379- 



48 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


merely as an agent, chosen for his wonderful knowledge of 
human nature and his great capacity for business. 
In the beginning of 1525, however, Wolsey felt that he had 
in Cromwell a servant sufficiently capable to be trusted with 
the performance of a work which was nearest the Cardinal's 
heart, namely the destruction of some of the smaller 
monasteries to furnish funds for the building of his college 
at Oxford. So on the 4th of January of that year, he com- 
missioned Sir William Gascoigne, William Burbank, and 
Thomas Crom\vell, to survey the monasteries of Tykford, 
Raveneston, Poghley, Mednlenham, Wallingford, and Fynch- 
ingbroke and their possessions, and on the same day he 
appointed Thomas Cromwell and John Smyth as attorneys 
for the site and circuit of Thoby
 Blakamore, Starlresgate, and 
Tiptree, which had been granted to John Higden, Dean of 
Cardinal's College 1. 
It may seem strange that Wolsey's suppression of the 
smaller religious houses brought him so much unpopularity. 
I t was certainly true that the monasteries had long since 
ceased to observe the strict traditions of religious asceticism, 
,vhich had been the \vatchword of their foundation. Some of 
them had become resorts of the idle and worthless, \vho were 
permitted by supine or indulgent superiors to exchange a life 
of monastic discipline for one of luxury and indolence, if not of 
downright vice. But there were a few, seemingly unimportant 
facts, which outweighed all these charges. In the first place 
the monks were the easiest of landlords. In their practically 
defenceless state, it was surely for their advantage to 
conciliate their fellow men in every way, and to avoid disputes 
at any cost. They consequently suffered themselves to be 
imposed upon by their neighbours and tenants, in preference 
to risking their popularity by asserting themselves. So 
Wolsey's measures, which brought in stricter landlords, in- 
creased rents, and did away with the good old slipshod 
management of so many years' standing, met with ill-concealed 
dislike. The monks, moreover, were the most hospitable of 
people; the poor were never turned away unfed, the traveller 
1 Cal. iv. 989, 99 0 . 



WOLSEY'S SERVANT 


49 


could always find shelter beneath their roof, and this fact, 
coupled with the rooted opposition of the less educated class 
to any sweeping measure of reform adopted apparently 
\vithout reason, while the old system appeared to all intents 
and purposes to work well, eXplained the rest. Wolsey's 
measures to suppress the smaller monasteries, and confiscate 
their possessions to the use of his own colleges, may justly be 
described as universally unpopular 1. 
The first requisites for the acconlplishment of such a design 
as the suppression of the monasteries \vere an intimate know- 
ledge of la\v, especially as related to lands and property, and 
a far-seeing, harsh, and rather unscrupulous nature. These 
qualities Crom\vell possessed in the very highest degree, and 
as he had been eminently successful in carrying on an 
Wolsey's legal business up to this time, and as the Cardinal 
,vas too busy with his foreign policy to give his own attention 
to this favourite scheme, it is no wonder that he chose 
Cromwell to supervise it for him. The work consisted in 
surveying and estimating the value of the property of the 
condemned monasteries, making careful inventories thereof, 
and finally in stripping them of all their transportable riches, 
which usually meant altars, furnishings, bells, and tapestry, 
\vhile their lands and permanent possessions were sold or 
leased on the spot. The transfer of property, settlements 
with tenants, and adjustment of claims were a task of far 
greater intricacy than Wolsey had expected, and Cromwell's 
success in carrying it out was little short of marvellous. He 
was usually present in person at the surrenders and dissolu.. 
tions; \\'hen this was impossible one of his many, and faithful 
agents sent him an exact account of the proceedings in his 
absence. The number of monks and nuns that were suddenly 
turned out upon the world with small and irregularly paid 
pensions was not the least evil feature of the ruthless 
way in which the suppressions were carried on; but it was 
nothing to what was to follow a decade later 2. 
In addition to surveying and confiscating monastic property, 


1 Cf. Preface to volume iv of the Calendar, pp. 368-9- 
2 Cal. iv. 1833-4, 2365, 5117, 5 1 45. 
MERRIMAN. I E 



50 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Cromwell was employed directly in connexion with the 
new buildings at Oxford and Ipswich. He drew up all th
 
necessary deeds for both foundations, and was appointed 
receiver-general of Cardinal's College by Wolsey in 15 2 7. 
He kept account of all the incomes from the suppressed 
houses and all the expenses incident to the building of both 
colleges. He was continually superintending the workmen 
at Oxford and I pswich, and reported their progress to his 
master. The Dean of the college at Ipswich wrote to the 
Cardinal, Sept. 26, 1528, how Cromwell came thither with 
copes, vestments, and plate, and took great pains to see 
all the stuff carried in safely, and to prepare hangings and 
benches for the Hall. Long lists of the manors and 
monasteries, the incomes of which were devoted to the build- 
ing and establishment of the two colleges, are to be seen 
to-day at the Record Office, and attest the gigantic amount 
of labour that he performed 1. 
Cromwell's efficiency in carrying on this work was only 
equalled by his notorious accessibility to bribes and presents 
in the disposal of monastic leases. Adding to this the fact 
that the measure was radically unpopular in itself, and that 
,vhen no bribes were offered, Cromwell and most of Wolsey's 
other agents were harsh and overbearing in the extreme, the 
reader ceases to wonder at the outburst of popular indignation. 
The minute Wolsey's back was turned Cromwell and his 
companion Dr. Alen, a hard and grasping man equally well 
trained in business, proceeded to use the power given into 
their hands to enrich themselves by every possible means, 
some of which were utterly unjustifiable. The monastery 
which could pay a large bribe was often left untouched; 
of those that were suppressed, probably a certain proportion of 
the spoils was never employed at Oxford or I pswich, but 
went straight into the pockets of the suppressors 2. Petitions 
to save farms for poor people, or to get benefices for those 
whose property was gone, were answered by Cromwell favour- 
ably, if granting them meant a substantial reward for him; 


1 CaI. iv. 3461, 4778, 5330; Letters, 6, 8. 
2 Ca1. iv. 3360. 



WOLSEY'S SERVANT 


51 


unfavourably, if the reverse. He became so generally hated 
that in August, 1527, it \yas said that a 'sanctuary man' lay 
in \vait to slay him, and Cardinal Pole, who was then in 
London and knew him ,veIl, informs us that it \vas commonly 
reported that he had been sent to prison, and would be 
punished for his crimes as Wolsey's agent 1. 
But in spite of all this, instead of being removed from his 
important post, Cromwell kept on rising to higher favour and 
n10re importance. In April, 1527, Henry Lacy writes to 
congratulate him on his promotion through Wolsey's favour. 
In IVlay of the same year he is mentioned as a granter of 
annuities. His position brought him a great amount of 
patronage. In 1.528 Richard Bellyssis promises him a good 
gelding, if he will prefer a friend to the position of mint- 
master in Durham. A merchant requests him to get his 
son a promotion from the Cardinal. He received many 
petitions from poor men, ,vho feared they would lose 
house and home through the dissolution of the monastery 
from which they were held. But the noble and great, as 
well as the lowly and humble,' were his correspondents 
and suitors. The Abbot of York writes his heartfelt thanks 
for his kindness in speaking well of him and his monastery 
to Wolsey, and Lord Berners begs for his aid in his dealings 
\vith the Cardinal 2. 
By far the greater portion of Cromwell's correspondence 
during the years 1525-1529 is connected with the suppres- 
sion of the monasteries or the foundation of Wolsey's colleges. 
Reports and receipts of money from his agents who visited 
the religious houses in various parts of the country at his 
orders, or who superintended the works at I pswich and 
Oxford, crowd in upon him with great frequency. Deeds of 
the sale of castles and manors, valuations and inventories 
of the property of various monasteries, are received by him 
in large numbers 3. In these letters we frequently meet with 
the names of William Brabazon and Ralph Sadler, who were 


1 CaI. iv. 3334, and Appendix II at the end of chapter i, p. 19. 
2 CaI. iv. 3079, 3119, 4 2 01, 5169, 53 6 5, 545 6 . 
:5 Cal. iv. 3198, 3475, 3535, 3676, 4 11 7,4 2 75, 457 0 ,4573, 5399, 54 11 . 
E2 



52 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


destined in the near future to become so well kno\vn as his 
agents and commissioners when he entered the King's service. 
Before this period he had made the acquaintance of Stephen 
Vaughan, his friend and correspondent in later years, who 
figured in connexion with Tyndale in the Low Countries. 
Vaughan ,vas certainly known to Cromwell at least as early 
as 15231; and in 1526 was employed by the Cardinal's servant 
in connexion with the college at Oxford. In April, 1527, we 
find Cromwell helping his friend in the recovery of certain 
goods lost on the sea, and in the following year Vaughan 
addresses a cordial letter to his benefactor, reporting various 
things of interest in London, and announcing that he has 
found so strong a chain for the wicket of Cromwell's house 
at Austin Friars Gate, that it will be impossible for anyone 
to enter by force 2. 'A year later he was employed as Crom- 
,ve]l's agent in the Netherlands. 
Though mainly occupied \vith Wolsey's affairs, CromwelI's 
correspondence during the years 1524-1529 shows that he 
still kept up his business as a lawyer independently. William 
Bareth writes in November, 1525, that he trusts he will 
solicit his matter to 1'1r. Rowe, and sends his wife six plovers 
'for to drynke a quart of \vyn witlzalI 3 '; in August, 1526, 
George Monoux, alderman, promises Crom\vell that if his 
'grete matier' is brought to a safe conclusion, he shall have 
twenty marks 4. A' lovyng lettere' from the Aldermen of our 
Lady's Gild in Boston, in Dec. 1528, shows that Cromwell 
still retained the friendship which he probably made years 
before by obtaining for them the indulgences from the Pope 
by the offer of choice sweetmeats. It \vas doubtless through 
him that the Gild gained the privilege of supplying rare and 
delicate fowls for the Cardinal's sumptuous table 5. Cromwell 
also found time to correspond with Miles Coverdale, who ,vas 
then at Cambridge, and who writes with enthusiasm of the 
pleasures of a visit to his friend in London 6. 
I t is probable that the terrible sweating sickness which 


1 Letters, I. 
2 CaI. iv. 2538, 3053, 4 10 7. 
3 CaI. iv. 1768. 


4 CaI. iv. 23 8 7. 
Ii Cal. iv. 5080, 5 1 4 1 . 
6 CaI. iv. 33 88 . 



WOLSEY'S SERVANT 


53 


ravaged England from 1527 to 1528 carried off Cron1well's 
\vife Elizabeth, as there is no further mention of her in his 
later papers and correspondence, except in his \vill of July, 
15 2 9, where she is referred to as his (late Wyff l .' She left him 
one son, Gregory, \vho appears to have been a dull and 
plodding lad, and \vho, after his mother's death, \vas sent with 
his very precocious cousin, Christopher Wellyfed, and several 
other boys, to be put under the care of a tutor at Cambridge, 
John Chekyng by name, whose correspondence with Cromwell 
about the progress of 'his scolers' is very interesting and 
entertaining 2. Chekyng seems at the very outset to have 
been unfavourably impressed with Gregory's talents, declares 
that he has been so badly taught that he could hardly 
conjugate three verbs \vhen committed to his care, and reports 
that he is now studying 'the things most conducive to the 
reading of authors,' and spends the rest of the day in forming 
letters; \vhile Christopher does not require' Inuch stirring up.' 
A little later he sends ,vord that Gregory is getting on well 
in learning under his care, and desires his father to send 
five yards of ' marble frieze,' for his winter' galberdyne J; and 
again, in 1530, he declares that he has been so successful in 
his teaching, that Gregory \yill be 'loadyd with Latyne' 
before he comes home again; but it is evident throughout 
that Chekyng considers every step in advance to have been 
due to the excellence of his o\vn tuition, rather than to the 
aptitude of his pupil. If the tone of Gregory's letters to his 
father be taken as a criterion of the boy's character, he must 
indeed have been stupid and slow beyond belief3. But 
Crom\vell \vas too much occupied \vith his own affairs, to pay 
much attention to the remarks of honest John Chekyng. 
I ndeed there is reason to think that his grasping disposition 
showed itself in small ways to such an extent that he did not 
always pay the very moderate bills that the tutor sent in for 
Gregory's board, lodging, and tuition; but instead taunted 
Chekyng with not having done well \vith his 'folks.' To 
these insults Chekyng replied that he had brought up SIX 


1 Cf. Appendix at the end of this 
chapter, p. 58. 


2 Cal. iv. 4560, 4837, 4916. 
S Cal. iv. 45 61 . 



54 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


M.A.'s and fellows of colleges, and that the least CrolTI\veIl 
could do was to pay for the furniture which his scholars had 
ruined; he then goes on to tell how Christopher' dyd hynge 
a candel in a playt to loyk apone hys boyk and so fell 
ascleype and the can dell fell into the bed strawe' and there 
were burnt the bed, bolster, 'three overleydes and a sparver 1.' 
In spite of his niggardly treatment of John Chekyng, it is 
certain that Cromwell was in very comfortable circumstances 
during his years of service under Wolsey. An inventory of 
his goods at his house at Austin Friars, dated June 26, 1527 2 , 
which exists to-day at the Public Record Office, proves that 
his dwelling \vas furnished handsomely if not luxuriously, 
while a draft of his will, written July 12, 15 2 9 3, indicates that 
his property at that time ,vas by no means inconsiderable. 
It is to this document that ,ve owe the greater part of our 
present information concerning Cromwell's family. It is 
written in the hand of Cromwell's chief clerk, and was altered 
at a later date by Cromwell himself4. The document is for 
the most part self-explanatory, but there are a few interesting 
facts to be especially noted in connexion ,vith it. The 
bequests to Cromwell's daughters' Anne and Grace' and to 
his'litill Doughter Grace' are our only proof that he had 
other children than Gregory; and the fact that both these 
items were crossed out after the year 1529 possibly indicates 
that the daughters died when young. We also learn that 
Cromwell's nephew Richard, the son of Katherine Croffi,vell 
and Morgan Williams, had followed in his uncle's footsteps, 
and was' seruaunt w'Íth my lorde Marques Dorssett' at the 
time that the will was first composed; but he certainly 
received other employment soon afterwards, for the name 


1 Cal. iv. 4433, 5757, 6219. 
2 Cal. iv. 3 1 97. 
S Appendix at the end of this 
chapter. The will is also printed 
in Froude, Appendix to chapter vi. 
The statement in a footnote that 
the names \VilIiams and Williamson 
are used interchangeably is scarcely 
credible. 
4- Cf. footnote I in the Appendix, 


p. 56. The will was originaUy mis- 
dated, owing to an obviously care- 
less error by the clerk, w hjch was 
corrected by him at the time. The 
other corrections, by Cromwel1, are 
written in a different-coloured ink; 
and the handwriting according to 
the Calendar (cf. footnote to vol. iv. 
no. 5772) indicates that they were 
made at a later date. 



WOLSEY'S SERVANT 


55 


of his master ,vas scored through in the will by Croffi\vell 
at a later date, and \ve also know from other sources that 
Richard Willianls entered his uncle's service and was active 
in suppressing the monasteries and in subduing the Pilgrimage 
of Grace, during the year 1536 and afterwards 1. Befor
 this 
date he had changed his name tõ Cromwell, and later became 
great-grandfather to the Protector 2. His mother died before 
1529, for Crotnwell in his will refers to Elizabeth Wellyfed 
as his' onlye Suster.' Cromwell's \vife, as we have already 
seen, had also died before the will was made; her sister 
] Dan married a certain ] ohn Williamson, an old friend of 
Cromwell's, who later figured prominently in the latter's 
service. We also meet \-vith many of the other names 
mentioned in this will, in Cromwell's later correspondence. 
N early all the friends of his earlier days were employed by 
him in one capacity or another as spies, agents, or even minor 
ambassadors to foreign Courts, after he had entered the King's 
servIce. 


1 Cal. xi. 1016; xii. (ii) 646. 
2 Cf. the genealogy in the Antiquary, vol. ii. pp. 164 if. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER III 


THE "VILL OF THOMAS CROMWELL 


R. O. Cal. iv. 5772 (1) 
IN THE NAME OF god Amen The xijth Daye of Iulie in the yere of 
our lorde god Mcccccxxix ti 1 and in the xxjti yere of the Reigne 
of our Souereigne Lorde king Henry the viijth I Thomas Crumwell 
of london gentilman being hole in bodie and in good and parfyte 
memorye Lauded be the holie Trynytee make ordeyn and Declare 
this n1Y present testament conteyning my last will in maner and 
(fourme) Folowing. FURsTE I bequethe my Sowle to the grete 
god of heuen my maker Creatour and Redemer beseching the most 
gloryous virgyn our blessed ladie Saynct Mary the vyrgyn and 
Mother with all the holie companye of heuen to be 11edyatours 
and Intercessours for me to the holie trynytee So that I may be 
able when it shall please Almightie god to call me out of this 
miserable worlde and transitorie lif to inherite the kingdonle of 
heuen amongst the nomber of good christen people. And whan 
so euer I shall departe this present lif, I bequethe my bodie to 
be buryed where it shall please god to ordeyn me to die and to be 
ordered after the discression of myn executours vndernamed And 
for my goodes which our lorde hathe lent me in this W orlde I will 
shalbe ordered and disposed in maner and fourme as hereafter shall 
insue. Furst I gyue and bequethe vnto my Soon Gregory Crumwell 
Syx hundreth threscore Syx poundes thirten shelynges foure pens 2 
of lawfull money of Englonde With the \Vhiche Syx hundreth three- 
score Syx powndes xii}
 foure pens 3 I will myn executours vnder- 
named ymediatlye or assone as they conuenyently may after my 
Decesse shall purchase londes tenementes and hereditamentes to the 
dere yerelye value of xxxiijli vje viijd 4 by the yere aboue all charges 


1 Altered at the time frOln:- 
, MCCCCC xx viijti' by the clerk. All 
the other changes are in Cromwell's 
hand, and were probably made at 
a later date. Cf. footnote in the 


Calendar, vol. iv. pt. iii. p. 2573. 
2 Altered from :-' Foure hun- 
dreth powndes.' 
8 Altered from :-' cccc li .' 
4 Altered from :-' xx li .' 



HIS \VILL. 1529 


57 


and reprysys to thuse of Iny saide Soon Gregorye for terme of his 
lif And after the Decesse of the saide Gregorye to the heyres Males 
of his bodie lawfully to be begotten And for lacke of heires Males 
of the bodie of the saide Gregory lawfully to be begotten to the 
heires generall of his bodie lawfully begotten. And for lacke of 
suche heires to the right heires of me the saide Thomas Crumwell 
in Fee. I will also that yn1edyatly and assone as the saide londes 
tenemelltes and hereditamentes shalbe so purchased after my deth 
as is aforsaide by myn executours that the yerelie proffytes thereof 
shalbe hollie spent and imployed in and aboutes the educacyon and 
fynding honestly of my saide Soon Gregory in vertue good lerning 
and .l\Ianers vntill such tYIne as he shall CU111 to the full age of xxij 
yeres. During 'Vhich tyme I hertely desir and require my saide 
executours to be good vnto my saide Son Gregory and to see he 
do lose no tyme but to se him verteously ordered & brought vp 
according to my trust Item I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon 
Gregorie \Vhen he shall CU11l to his full age of xxiiij yeres Twoo 1 
Hundreth poundes of law full ynglissh money to order then as our 
lorde shan gyue hym grace and discr
ssion Which cc li I will shalbe 
put in suertie to thintent the same may CU1.1l to his handes at his 
saide age of xxiiijti yeres. Item I gyue and bequethe to my saide 
Soon Gregory of such houseold stuf as god hathe lent me Three 2 
of my best Fetherbeddes with thayr bolsters ijo the best S payre of 
blankettes of Fustyan my best Couerlet of Tapistrye and my Quylte 
of yelow Turquye Saten, x payre of my best Shetes foure 4 pillowes 
of downe with iiij paYTe of the best pill owe beres foure 5 of illY best 
table clothes, foure of my best towelles Twoo dosen 6 of my Fynest 
Naptkynnes and ijo dozen of Iny other Naptkynnes, ijo 7 garnyssh 
of my best vessell, iij of my best brasse pottes, iij of nlY best brasse 
pannes, ijo of my best kettilles, ijO of my best Spittes, !vly best ioyned 
bed of Flaunders wourke wÜh the best Syler and tester and other 
thappurtenaunces therto belonging 11 y best presse caruen of Flaunders 
wourke and my best Cupbourde caruen of Flaunders wourk with 
also vj J oyned Stoles of Flaunders wourke and vj of my best 
Cusshyns Item I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon Gregorye 
A Bason with a Lewer parcell gilte my best Salt gilt my best Cup 


1 Altered from :-' one.' 
2 Altered from :-' twoo.' 
S These last six words are altered 
from :-' a Bolster the best.' 


4 Altered frOll1 :-' two.' 
5 Altered from :_' ijO.' 
6 Altered from :-' One Dozen.' 
7 Altered from :-' A.' 



58 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


gilt, Three 1 of my best goblettes gilt three other of n1Y best goblettes 
parcell gylt, Twelue of2 my best Syluer spones, Three of 3 my best 
Drynking ale potes gilt. All the which parcelles of plate and house- 
old stuf I will shalbe savelye kept to thuse of my saide Soonne 
Gregorye till he shall cum to his saide full age of xxijti yeres and all 
the which plate household stuf Naperye and other the premisses 
I will myn executours do put in saufe keping vntill my saide Soon 
shall cum to the saide yeres or age of xxijti. And if he die before the 
age of xxijti 4 Then I will all the saide plate vessell and houseold 
stuf shalbe sold by myn executours And the llloney thereof cum- 
11lyng to be gyuen and equallie Deuyded amongst my poure kynnes- 
folkes. That is to say amongst the children as well of myn owne 
Susters Elizabeth and Katheryn as of my late \Vyffes Suster J ohane 
Wif to John Willyamson, And if it happen that all the children of 
my saide Susters and Suster in law Do dye before the particyon and 
deuysion be made and none of them to be lyuyng Then I will that 
all the sa ide plate vessell and houseold stuf shalbe solde and yeuen 
to other my poure kynnesfolkes then being on lyue and other poure 
and indigent people in Deades .of chary tee for my Sowle my Father 
and Mother their Sowles, and all Christen Sowles 5 Item I gyue and 
bequethe vnto my Suster Elizabeth Wellyfed Wif to Wyllyam Welly- 


1 Altered from :-' iij.' 
2 Altered frOlTI :-' vj of.' 
3 These last two words are altered 
from :-' and.' 
4 Altered from :-' xxiiijti.' 

 Crossed out :-' Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my Doughter Anne one 
hundreth Markes of lawfull money 
of Englond when she shall cum to 
her la wfull age or happen to be 
maryed And xl u towardes her Fynd- 
ing vntill the tyme that she shalbe 
of la wfull age or be maryed. Which 
xlIi I will shalbe Delyuered to my 
Frend John Croke on of the Six 
clerkes of the king his Chauncerie 
to thin tent he may order the same 
and cause the same to be imployed 
in the best wise he can deuyse about 
the vertewous educacyon and bring- 
ing vp of my saide Doughter till 
she shall CUln to her lawfull age or 


maryage. And if it happen my saide 
Doughter to Dye before she cum to 
her saide lawfull age or be maryed 
Then I will that the said c 11arkes 
and so moche of the said xlIi as 
then shalbe vnspent and vnim- 
ployed at the Day of the deth of 
my said Doughter Anne, I will it 
shall remayne to Gregory my Soon 
if he then be on lyue, And if he be 
Dede the same c Markes and also 
so moche of the saide xlI as then 
shalbe vnspent to be departed 
amongst my Sustres children in 
maner and fourme forsaid And if it 
happen my saide Sustres children 
then to be all Dede, Then I will 
the saide c Markes and so moche 
of the saide xlii as then shalbe 
vnspent shalbe deuyded amongst 
my kynsfolkes such as then shalbe 
on lyue.' 



HIS WILL. J529 


59 


fed xl1i 1 iij Goblettes without a Couer 2 a Macer, And A Nutt Item 
I gyue and bequethe to nlY nephew Rycharde 'Vyllyams S Ixvj1i xiijs 
iiijù 4 sterlinges nlY best fi gowne Doblett and Jaquet Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my nepue Christofer 'Vellyfed nlY nephe xlIi 6 my v th 
gowne doblett and Jaquett Item I gyue and bequethe to my nephew 
\\Tyllyatll 'Vellyfed the Yonger xx 1i7 Itenl I gyue and bequethe to my 
nece Alice \Vellyfed to her l\laryage xxIi And if it happen her to 
Dye before nlaryage then I will the saide xxIi shall remayne to her 
brother Christofer And if it happen him to Dye the same xxIi to 
remayne to 'Villyam 'Vellyfed the yonger his brother. And if it 
happen them all to Dye before their la wfull age or maryage, then 
I will that their partes shall relnayne to Gregory nlY Soon. And 
if it happen him to Dye before them then I will all the said partes 
shall remayn to Rychard 'Vyllianls and 'Vater 'Villianls my nephews 8 
And if it happen them to Dye then I will that all the said partes 
shalbe Distributed in Deades of chary tee for my Sowle my Father 
and Mothers Sowles and all christen Sowles. Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my Mother in law Mercye Pryour xlIi of lawfull yng- 
lissh money and her chaum ber with certen houseold stuf, That is 
to saye A Fetherbed, a Bolster ij pilIowes with their beres vj payre 
of Shetes A payre of blankettes, A garnyssh of vessell, ijo pottes, 
ijo pannes, ijo Spyttes with such other of my houseold stuf as shalbe 
thought mete for her by the Discression of myn executours And 
suche as she will reasonablye Desire not being bequethed to other 
vses in this my present testament and last will. Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my said mother in law a lytill Salt of Syluer a Maser, 
vj Siluer Spones and a drinking pot of Syluer And also I charge 
myn executours to be good vnto her duryng her lyffe. Item I gyue 
and bequethe to my brother in law Willy am Wellyfed xxIi my thurde 
gown Jaquet and Doblet. Item I gyue and bequethe to John 
Wyllyamson my brother in law c markes 9 a gown a Doblet and 
a Jaquet, A Fetherbed, A bolster vj payre of Shetes ijo table clothes, 
ijo Dozen Naptkynnes, ijo towelles ijo brasse pottes, ijo brasse pannes, 


1 Altered from :-' xxli I Saye 
Twentye poundes sterling': and 
this is altered from :-' xxxii which 
she oweth me.' 
2 Crossed out :-' and.' 
S Crossed out :-' seruaunt wt"th 
my lorde Marques Dorssett.' 
4: Altered from :-' xl li .' 


fi Altered from :-' Fourth.' 
6 Altered from :-' xx li .' 
7 Altered from :-' xli.' 
8 Altered from :-' shall remayne 
to Anne and Grace my dough- 
terse ' 
9 Altered from :-' xl u ,: and this 
is altered from :-' xx li .' 



60 


THOMAS CROrvIWELL 


a Syluer pott 

 N utte parcell gilt, and to Iohane his wyf xIi]. Item 
I gyue and bequethe to J ohane \VylIyamson their Doughter to her 
maryage xxIi and to euery other of their children vjìi xiijs iiijd 2. 
Item I bequethe to Walter \Vyllyanls my nephue S xxIi Item I gyue 
and bequethe to Rare Sadleyer my seruaunte cc 4 Markes of law full 
ynglissh money my Seconde á gowne J aquet and Doblet and all my 
bokes Item I gyue and bequethe to Hugh \Vhalley my Seruaunt 
vjIi xiijB iiijd. Item I gyue and bequethe to Stephen Vaughan sum- 
tyme nlY seruaunte c markes 6 a gowne J aquet and Doblet. Item 
I gyue and bequethe to Page my Seruaunte otherwise called John 
du Pount vjli xiijs iiijd 7 and also to 1'homas Auerey my seruauntt 
vjli xiijs iiijd 8. Item I gyue and bequethe to John Horwood vjIi xiij8 
iiijd 9 Item that the rest of myn apparell before not gyuen ne be- 
quethed in this nlY testanlent and last will shalbe yeuen and equally 
Departed amongst my Seruauntes after the order and discression 
of myn executours Item I will also that Inyn executours shall take 
the yerely profyttes aboue the charges of my F erme of Canberye 


1 Altered from :-' vjli xiij8 iiijd.' 
2 Altered from :-' iijli vjB viijd.' 
3 Altered frOln :-' Cosyn.' 
4 Altered from :-' c.' 
5 Altered from :-"Best.' 
6 Altered from :-' xli.' 
7 Crossed out :-' Item I gyue 
and bequethe to Elizabeth Gregory 
sumtyme my Seruallnt xxli vj payre 
of Shetes A Fetherbed A payre of 
blankettes A CouerIet ijo table 
dotl1.es, One Dozen N aptkynnes ijO 
brasse pottes, ijo pannes, ijO Spyttes.' 
8 Crossed out :-' I tern I gyue 
and bequethe to John Croke one 
of the vj cIerkes of the Chauncerye 
xli my Second gowne Doblet and 
J aquet. Iteln I gyue and bequethe 
to Roger More Seruaunt of the king 
his bakehouse vjli xiiJ8 iiijd iij yardes 
Saten and to Maudelyn his wyf iijli 
vjB viijd.' 
9 Crossed out :-' Item I gyue 
and bequethe to my litill Doughter 
Grace c Markes of lawfull ynglissh 
money when she shall cum to her 
lawfull age or maryage and also 


xl Ii towardes her exhibucyon and 
Fynding vntill suche tyme (as) she 
shalbe of la wfull age or be maryed 
Which xlli I will shalbe delyuered to 
my brother in law John Willyamson 
to thintent he lnay order and cause 
the same to be ilnployed in and 
aboutesthe vertewous ed ucacyon and 
brynging vp of my saide Doughter 
till she shall cum to her lawfull age 
or Maryage. And if it happen my 
saide Doughter to Dye before she 
CUl1Z to her lawfull age or maryage 
then I will that the saide c markes 
and so moche of the saide xlli as 
then shalbe vnspent and vnimployed 
aboutes the fynding of my saide 
Doughter at the Day of the Deth 
of my saide Daughter shall remayne 
and be Delyuered to Gregory my 
Soon if he then shall happen to be 
on lyue. And if he be Dede then 
the saide c Markes and the saide 
residue of the saide xlii to be eucnlye 
Departed amongst mypoure kynnes- 
folkes, that is to say 1l1Y Susters 
children forsaide.' 



HIS WILL. 1529 


61 


and all other thinges Conteynyd within my sayd lease of Canberye 
in the Cowntye of Middelsex] And with the proffytes thereof2 shall 
yerelie paye vnto my brother in law \Villiam 'Vellffe( d) and Elysa- 
bethe his wyffe myn onlye Suster Twentye powndes duryng thayr lyves 
and the longer of them and after the discease of the sayd \Villiam 
and Elysabeth the proffettes of the sayd Ferme ouer and aboue the 
yerlye Rentt to be kept to the vse of my Son gregorye tyll he CUl1Z 
to the age of xxijti and at the yeres of xxijtn the sayd lease and 
Ferme of Canberye I do gyue and bequethe to my sayd Son gregorye 
to haue the same to hym his executors and assignes 3 and if it 
Fortune the saide Gregorye my Soon to dye before he shall CUl1Z 
to the age of xxij 4 yeres !Vly sayd bruthuren in lawe and syster being 
dede Then I will my Cosyn Rychard Williams shall (haue) the 
Ferme with the appurtenaunces to hym and his executors and as- 
signes and yf it happen my sayd Brother in law nlY Suster 5 my 
Son gregorye and my sayd Cosyn Rycharde to dye before the 
accoumplyshement of this my wyll touchinge the sayd Ferme then 
I wyll myn executors shall Sell the sayd ferme and the moneye 
therof Cummyng to Imploye in dedes of charyte to praye 6 for my 
Sowle and all Christen Sowles. Item I will that myn executours 
shall conducte and hyre a pryest being an honest person of çontynent 
and good lyuyng to Syng for my Sowle by the space of vij 7 yeres 
next after my deth and to gyue him for the same Fortye Syx powndes 
thertene shelinges Foure pens that ys to saye vj1i xiiji1 iiijd yerlye for 
his stypend 8. Item I gyue and bequethe towardes the making of high 
wayes in this Realme where it shalbe thought most necessary 9 xxIi 


1 The last seventeen words are 
altered from :-' Sutton at Hone 
and Temple Dartford in the Countie 
of Kent And shall take the proffyte 
of my F erme of the parsonage of 
Sutton.' 
2 Crossed out :-' cummyng.' 
8 Crossed out :-' in Deades of 
chary tee ouer and aboue the charges 
and reparacions gyue and Distry- 
bute for my Soule quarterly xlS 
amongst poure people vntill my 
Soon Gregorye shall cum
 to the 
age of xxv yeres if he so long do 
Lyue And then my saide Soon 
to haue my said F ermes During 


the yeres conteyned wzïhin my 
leases. ' 
4 Altered from :-' xxv.' 
5 Crossed out :-' and.' 
6 Crossed out :-' nlY saide ex- 
ecutours shaH sell my said Fermes 
to the most proffyte and aduauntage 
And the money thereof growing 
to bestowe in Deades of chary tee 
vppon my poure kynnesfolkes and 
other chary table Deades to pray.' 
7 Altered from :-' iij.' 
8 The last eighteen words are 
altered from :-' iij yeres xxIi.' 
9 Added and crossed out: -' by 
the discression of myn executors.' 



62 


TH011:AS CROMWELL 


to be Disposed by the Discression of myn executours. Item I gyue 
and bequethe to euery of the v orders of Freers within the Cytee 
of London to pray for my Soule xx s 1. Item I gyue and bequethe 
to Ix poure Maydens Maryages xlIi 2 That is to saye xiij8 iiijd S to 
euerye of the saide poure Maydens to be gyuen and Distributed 
by the Discression of myn executours. Item I will that there shalbe 
Delt and yeuen after n1Y decesse an10ngst poure people howseholders 
to pray for my Sowle xxii 4. Item I gyue and bequeth to the poure 
parochians Suche as by n1yn executors shalbe thowght most needffull 
of the paroche 'Vhere god shall ordeyn me to haue my dwelling 
place at the tyme of my Deth xli 5 to be trewlye Distributed amongst 
them by the Discression of myn executours 6 Item I gyue and 
bequethe to the poure prysoners of Newgate Ludgate Kynges benche 
and Marshall See to be equallye Distributed amongst them xli Wylling 
charging an
 desiring myn executours vnderwrytten that they shall 
See this my 'Vill perfourmed in euery poynte according to my trew 
meaning and intente as they will answer to god and discharge their 
consciences. 
7 Iten1 I gyue and bequeth to 'Villiam brabason my seruaunt xxIi 
sterling A gowne A dublett A J aquet and my second gelding. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to John averey yoman of the bottell with 
the kynges highnes vj1i xiijs iiijd, and doublet of Saten. 
Item I bequeth to thurston my Coke vjIi xiijs iiijd. 
Item I gyue and bequethe to William bodye my seruauntt vjIi 
xiijs iiijd. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to Peter mewtes my seruauntt vjIi 
xiijB iiijd. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to R ychard Swyft my seruauntt vjli 
xiij8 iiijd. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to george Wylkynson my seruauntt 
vjIi xiij8 iiijd. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to n1Y Frend Thomas alvard xli and my 
best gelding. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to my frend Thomas Russhe xli. 
Item I gyue and bequeth to my seruauntt John Hynde n1Y horse- 
keper iijIi vj" viijd. 


1 Altered from :-' xiij8 iiijt1. 
2 Altered from :-' xx li .' 
S Altered from :-' vjS viijù.' 
4 Altered from :-' Xli.' 
6 Altered from :-' v U .' 


6 Crossed out :-' I tern I gyue and 
bequethe to my paroche churche 
for my tithes forgotten xx 8 .' 
7 The last eleven bequests are 
added in Cromwell's hand. 



HIS WILL. 1529 


63 


Itel1t I wyll that myn executors shall Saluelye kepe the patentt 
of the l\lanour of Ronlpney to the vse of my Son gregorye and the 
money growing therof tyll he shall Cum to his lawfull Age to be 
yerely Retayned to the vse of my sayd Son and the hole revenew 
therof Cumyng to be trewlye payd vnto hym at suche tyme as he 
shall Cum to the age of xxj yeres. 
The residue of all my goodes catalles and debUes not bequethed 
my Funeralles and buryall perfourmed which I will shalbe Don 
without any erthelye pompe and my Dettes payed, I will shalbe sold 
And the money thereof cummyng to be Distributed in wourkes of 
chary tee and pytee after the good Discression of myn executours 
vndernamed whom I make and Ordeyn Stephyn Vaughan 1 Rafe 
Sadleyer my seruaunttes and John 2 'Vyllyanlson my brother in law. 
Prayeng and Desiring the same myn executours to be good vnto 
my Soon Gregorye 8 and to all other my Frendes poore kynsfolkes 
and Seruaunttes before named in this nlY testament And of this my 
present testament and last \Vill I make Roger More myn Ouerseer 
V nto whom and also to euery of the other myn executours I gyue 
and bequethe vjIi xiij'
 iiijd 
 for their paynes to be taken in the 
execucyon of this my last will and testament OUer and aboue suche 
legacies as herebefore I haue bequethed them in this same my 
testament and last will. In \Vytnes 'Vherof to this my present 
testament and last will I haue sett my hand in euery Iefe conteyned 
in this Boke the day and yere before lymyted 
per me Thomam Crumwell 6 


Endorsed. Thonlas Crumwell a Copy of my Master his Will And 
bookes of debtes owinge to him. 


1 Altered from: -' John Croke 
one of the vj c1erkes of the king 
his Chauncerye.' 
2 The last four words are altered 
from :-' nlY Seruaunt Iohn Smyth 
and John.' 


8 Crossed out :-' and to my litill 
Doughters Anne and Grace.' 

 Added and crossed out :-' ouer 
and aboue thayr legacyes beforsayd.' 
ð Every page, except the last two, 
is also signed by Cromwell. 



CHAPTER IV 


THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 


IN October, 1529, Cardinal Wolsey lost the King's favour, 
and fell into disgrace. He was forced to give up the Great 
Seal, sign an indenture acknowledging that he had incurred 
the guilt of Praemunire, forfeit most of his lands, possessions, 
and offices
 and retire to his seat at Esher 1. His faithful 
biographer, Cavendish, gives a very touching account of the 
Cardinal's surrender of his goods, his removal from the scene 
of his labours, and his enforced living in 'estraunge estate 2.' 
Few fallen ministers have ever been in a more pitiful position. 
To have incurred the ill-\vill of his master, as he had done, 
meant certain ruin in those days; and besides this he had 
turned the people against him by the part he had taken in 
the divorce. Anne Boleyn, whose influence at the Court was 
at its height, detested him for his failure to' bring it about; 
the clergy and common people hated him for attempting it. 
The few friends who retained their fidelity to him in his 
trouble were prevented from showing it by their conscious- 
ness of the royal and popular displeasure. . 
As VV olsey's servant, counsellor, and friend, Cromwell 
naturally felt the keenest anxiety lest he should be involved 
in his master's ruin. It has been already shown that his 
action in suppressing the monasteries had made him very 
generally hated; and now that the prop that had supported 
him in his difficult and unpopular task was gone, he had great 
need to look to himself, if he did not wish to fan with the 
Cardinal. That he was perfectly well informed of the posi- 
tion in which he was placed is proved by a letter which he 
received from his friend Stephen Vaughan, written at Antwerp, 
October 30, 1529, which tells him that he is ß10re hatcd for 


1 CaI. iv. 6017. 


2 Cavendish, pp. 160--6, 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 65 


his master's sake than for anything which he has wrongfully 
done to any man 1. Another letter from his companion in 
'Volsey's service, Sir Thomas Rush, who was employed with 
him at Ips\vich, gave him further warning of the evil reports 
that were circulated about him 2. It is no wonder that he 
\vas seriously alarmed. · 
Modern investigation has made it certain that there is but 
little historical foundation for the touching pictures drawn by 
Cavendish, Shakespeare, and, at a later day, Froude, which 
. represent Cromwell as the faithful servant of his fallen 
master, unselfish, and exclusively devoted to his interests 3. 
There is no reason to think that Cavendish, whose testi- 
mony is most valuable as that of an eye-witness of the 
scenes he describes, wi1fulIy distorted the facts, but it is 
certain that his directness and simplicity often prevented 
him from drawing just conclusions from them, when he had 
to do with ?uch astute men as Wolsey and Crom\vell. By 
comparing his story with the events which followed, we shall 
see that while Cromwell kept up the appearance of spending 
all his time in helping Wolsey in his disgrace, he really was 
occupied in serving his own ends, and in regaining the favour 
he had lost as the Cardinal's agent. Though he carefully 
abstained from doing or saying anything prejudicial to 
Wolsey's cause, for fear of alienating people by laying 
himself open to the accusation of faithlessness to his master, 
he really did nothing to the Cardinal's advantage that did 
not redound, in an infinitely greater degree, to his own profit 
and advancement. Let us follow the letters of Cromwell, 
the narrative of Cavendish, and the records of the Parliament 
of 1529, for our facts, but let us draw our own conclusions 
from them. 
'It chanced me upon All-hallowne day,' says Cavendish, 
'to come into the Great Chamber at Assher in the morning, 
to give mine attendance, where I found Mr. Cromwell leaning 
in the great wind owe with a Primer in his hand, saying our 


1 Cal. iv. 60 3 6 . 2 Cal. iv. 6110. 
S Cavendish, pp. 175 if.; Shakespeare, Henry VIII, iii. 2; Froude, vol. ii. 
pp. 112 ff. 


MERRIMAN. I 


F 



66 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Lady mattens: which had bine a strange sight in him afore. 
-Well, what will you have more? He prayed no more ear- 
nestly, than he distilled teares as fast from his eyes. Whom 
I saluted and bad good-morrowe. And with that I perceived 
his moist chekes, the which he wiped with his napkine. To 
whom I saide, "Why, Mr. Cromwell
 what meaneth this dole? 
Is my lord in any danger that ye doe lament for him? or is 
it for any other losse, that ye have sustained by misfortune?" 
"Nay," quoth he, "it is for my unhappy adventure. For I am 
like to lose all that I have laboured for, all the daies of my 
life, for doing of my master true and diligent service." "Why 
Sir," quoth I, " I trust that you be too wise to do anything 
by my lord's commaundement otherwise than ye might doe, 
whereof you ought to be in doubt or daunger for losse of 
your goods." " Well, well," quoth he, " I cannot tell; but this. 
I see before mine eyes, that everything is as it is taken; and 
this I knowe well, that I am disdained withal for my master's 
sake; and yet I am sure there is no cause, why they should 
do soe. An evill name once gotten will not lightly be put f\ 
away. I never had promotion by my lord to the encrease 
of my living. But this much I .will saye to you, that I will 
this afternoone, when my lord hath dined, ride to London, 
and to the courte, when I will either make or marre, or ever 
I come againe. I will put myself in prease, to see what they 
will be able to lay to my charge." " Mary," quoth I, "then in 
so doing you shall doe wisely, beseeching God to send you 
good lucke, as I would myselfe I." , 
Cromwell performed his promise well. He dined with 
Wolsey on that AU-hallowne Day, and later helped him to 
discharge his servants, causing his chaplains to pay part of 
the yeomen's wages, in. return for the benefices and livings 
which they had received from the Cardinal; setting an 
example himself, with unusual liberality, by a contribution 
of five pounds to this end. He then desired of Wolsey leave 
to go to London, which was granted, and he departed im- 
mediately with Ralph Sadler, his clerk. 
Noone kne\v better than Crom\vell that the best place for 


1 Cavendish, pp. 169, 170. 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 67 


him to C make or marre' the Cardinal's fortunes and his 
own, was in the Parliament \vhich was to meet November 3 
(t\vo days later), and, 'being in London, he devised with 
himself to be one of the burgesses 1.' He sat as a member 
from Taunton, as the records of Parliament attest 2, but there 
are very contradictory reports about the way in which he 
obtained his seat. According to Cavendish' he chaunced to 
meete with one Sir Thomas Rush, knighte, a speciall friend 
of his, \vhose son \vas appointed to be a burgess, of whome 
he obtained his rome, and so put his fete into the parliament 
house.' This may possibly be true, but it is not the whole 
truth, for a letter of November I, from Sadler to Cromwell, 
the genuineness of \vhich it is impossible to doubt, hints at 
a good deal n10re than is to be found in Cavendish's account, 
which n1ust have been made from Cromwell's own story about 
his proceedings 3. This letter reads as follows :- 
, \V ourshipfull Sir it may please you to be aduertised that 
a litle before the receipte of your lettere I cam from the courte 
where I spake witlt Mr. Gage and according to your C01n- 
maundement moved him to speke vnto my lorde of N orffolk 
for the burgeses Rowme of the parlyament on yottr behalf 
And he accordingly so dyd \vithout delay lyke a faythfull 
Frende, wherevppon my saide lorde of Norffolk answered 
the saide 1\1r. Gage that he had spoken with the king his 
highnes and that his highnes was veray well contented ye 
should be a Burges So that ye wolde order yourself in the 
saide Rowme according to suche instructions as the saide 
Duke of N orffolk shall gyue you from the king Aduertesing 
you ferther that the saide Duke in any wise willeth that ye 
do speke with his grace to morow for th[ at] purpose. In 
token \vhereof his grace sent you by mr. Ga[ge] your Ryng 
with the turques, Whiche I do now sende you by this berer. 
As touching mr. Russhe I spake with him also at [the] courte 
if I then had know en your pleasure I could now haue sent 
you answere of the same. Howbeit I will speke with him 
this night god willing and know whether ye shalbe Burges 


1 Cavendish, p. 179. 
S Cal. iv. App. 238. 


2 ParHamentary Papers, vol. lxii. pt. i. p. 37 0 . 


F2 



68 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


of Oxforde or not And if ye be not elect there I will then 
according to your ferther c01Jlmaundement repayre vnto 
Mr. paulet and requiere him to name you to be one of the 
Burgeses of one of my lordes townes of his busshopriche of 
Wynchester accordingly. Sir me thinketh it were good, So 
it may stonde with your pleasure, that ye did repayre hither 
to morowe assone as ye conuenyently Inay for to speke with 
the Duke of N orffolk by whom ye shall knowe the king his 
pleasure how ye shall order yourself in the parliament house 
Assuring you that your Frendes wolde haue you to tary with 
my lorde there as litle as might be for many consideracions 
as Mr. Gage will Shew you \vho moche desireth to speke witlt 
you. the king his grace wilbe to morow at night at yorke 
place. Other newes at the courte I here none but dyuers 
of my lorde his seruauntes as Mr. Aluarde Mr. Sayntclere 
Mr. Forest, Humfrey lisle Mr. Mores & other ben elect and 
sworne the king his seruauntes. Mr. Gifforde & I cam from 
the courte togither but when \ve cam into london he departed 
from me I kno\ve not whither. N ewes I inquiered of him 
but he sayed he knew none other then as I haue wrytten 
you here, which Mr. Gage also she\ved him. Hum blie be- 
seching you, if it be your pleasure, to make spede hither. 
And thus I most hertely beseche our lorde god to sende you 
your hertes Desire and to ind uce and bring all your good 
purposes and affairees to good effecte. From london in 
haste this present all Saynctes Day at iiij of the clocke after 
none by 


Your most humble Seruaunte 
RAFE SADLEYER.' 


From this letter then it seems probable that Cromwell ob- 
tained his seat in the Parliament of 1529 through the influence 
of the Duke of Norfolk. He was keen-sighted enough to see 
that at Wolsey's fall all the royal favour had been transferred 
to this man and to Gardiner. Both of these were Wolsey's 
enemies, and Cromwell, whose name was coupled everywhere 
with that of the Cardinal, saw that to gain influence at 
Court, it was necessary at all costs to do a\vay with their 
hostility, which he must have incurred as Wolsey's agent. 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 69 


Thus Cromwell's first move at the time of his master's dis- 
grace ,vas to take steps to get himself into favour with 
Norfolk. Cavendish's account is explained by the fact that 
Cromwell ,vould not have been very likely to tell \tVolsey 
ho\v he had gone straight over to his bitterest enemy, but 
far more probably sent back to Esher the incomplete tale 
about Rush and his son, \vhich the honest and simple-minded 
biographer probably never suspected for an instant. One 
can hardly doubt that Crom\vell would not have been elected 
to this Parliament had he not secured the consent of the 
Cardinal's \vorst foe. He had thus killed two birds with one 
stone; he had gained his position in the House of Commons 
\vhere his influence would be felt, and he had successfully 
escaped the odium of the chief person at the Court, which 
,,"ould have naturally fallen upon him as \V olsey's servant, 
and turned it into at least a temporary friendship. 
From the contents of the letter above quoted, we may 
also suppose that Cromwell's doings in the Parliament of 
15 2 9 were 'ordered' by the King. The bill of attainder or 
, boke of artikels' against the Cardinal \vas the first business 
that lay before the House. It had passed the Lords and was 
sent down to the Commons, but it was so violent and so false, 
that even Henry and Norfolk relented. It had probably been 
very clearly hinted to the Parliament that the I(ing did not 
,vish it to pass, and royal' hints) at this period of English 
history \vere generally respected and obeyed. Cavendish 
tells us that when Crom\vell had obtained his seat in 
Parliament, and the attainder was brought for\vard, he con- 
sulted with \tv olsey , to know what answer he might make in 
his behalf; insomuch that there was nothing alleadged against 
my lord but that he was ready to make answer thereto,' and 
he inveighed against the bill 'so discreetly and with such 
witty persuasions and depe resons that the same could take 
norie effect,' so that ' at length his honest estimation and earnest 
behaviour in his master's cause gre\ve so in every man's 
opinion, that he was reputed the most faithful servant to his 
master of all other, wherein he was greatly of all men com- 
mended 1.' 


1 Cavendish, pp. 179 ff. 



70 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


This is all doubtless true, but whether or not he was alone 
in the stand he made against the bill is quite another question. 
Henry \vas perfectly satisfied with humbling the Cardinal to 
the extent that he had already done, and did not wish him to 
suffer any more; in fact the opposition, consisting of most of 
the nobles led by Norfolk and Anne Boleyn, were in constant 
fear up to the day of Wolsey's death, lest he should regain 
the King's favour. If Cromwell had gone openly over to the 
other side at this juncture, he would have gained nothing, 
and incurred the odium due to a deserter. He took the only 
generous and right side, but in serving his master he served 
himself far more 1. Wolsey, as we have seen, had made a 
written confession of all his misdeeds as soon as the first 
blow had been struck against him 2. This confession was 
produced by Cromwell, and it gave the proposers of the bill 
of attainder an excuse for. dropping it. Cromwell supplied 
the pretext for abandoning a measure displeasing to the 
King, and consequently impossible to carry through this very 
subservient Parliament; by so doing he gained the praise of 
a saviour of his master in his extremity. 
This was the first step: the second was to win the favour 
of other nobles, while still preserving the appearance of loyal1y 
serving his fallen master. It was scarcely less important 
than the first, and "Yas carried through by Cromwell \vith 
the greatest rapidity and success. His method of accomplish- 
ing it, however simple, was eminently characteristic, and 
merits description. 
It has already been shown how thoroughly Cromwell 
realized the importance of money as a political force. 
Though the traditional reproach of parsimony and stinginess 
so often cast at Henry VII 3 is in great measure unmerited, it 
is undeniable that his careful financial managen1ent and 
accurate audits had served to surround his government 
with an atmosphere of ostensible frugality. Henry VIII, 
on the contrary, delighted in outward splendour and magni-. 
of National Biography, vol. Xill. 
p. 197. 
2 Cal. iv. 6017. 
S Busch, pp. 288, 28 9. 


\ 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 71 


ncence; his Court \vas by far the most brilliant that England 
had ever beheld, and nobody could play his part there who 
\vas not prepared to lavish vast sums upon his outfit. 
But the greater part of the nobles \vere quite unable to do 
this. It had been an important part of the plan of Henry VII 
for establishing a strong kingship to keep all possible rivals 
of the Cro\vn in a state of financial dependence. Many 
items in the State Papers of his son's reign bear witness 
to the complete success of these schemes of impoverishing 
the nobility 1. Only by pawning and selling lands, estates, 
goods and chattels could the nobility obtain sufficient 
sums to make a good appearance at the brilliant Court of 
Henry VIII. 
Such a state of affairs \vas a golden opportunity to a man 
in Crom,,'ell's position and of Crom\vell's talents. T 0 Wolsey, 
\vhose mind had been intent on the larger schemes of his 
foreign policy, the notion of staving off the hatred of the 
influential people about the King by gifts of money, would 
never have occurred. Cromwell hit upon the scheme in a 
n10nlent, as the only sure road to favour at the Court 2. Now 
that '\IV olsey had surrendered himself almost wholly to the 
counsels of his painstaking, watchful, close and wholly un- 
scrupulous adviser, Crom\vell immediately persuaded him to 
grant annuities to the Court favourites. The casual reader 
must not deceive himself into thinking that this was done 
at Wolsey's o\\'n suggestion; the measure was too evidently 
Cromwellian to leave any room to doubt its originator, and 
if any further proof be needed, it is furnished by evidence in 
the Cardinal's papers. In a letter to Cromwell written in 
December, 1529, '\IVolsey says, (Yf the desspleasure of my lady 
Anne be [some Jwhat asswagyd, as I praye God the same 
maye be, then yt shuld [be devised t]hat by sume convenyent 
meane she be further laboryd [for th ]ys ys the only helpe 
and remedy. All possyble meanes [must be used for] at- 
teynyng of hyr favor. . . . . . . . . . I comyt me to yower wyse 
handling 3.' In the same month Cromwell made out the 
1 CaI. iii. 3694, and iv. 6216, 6792. 
2 Cf. Introduction to vol. iv of the Calendar, pp. 549, 55 0 . 
S State Papers, vol. i. p. 351 



72 


THOMAS CROM\;VELL 


draft of a grant by Wolsey to George Boleyn, Knight, 
Viscount Rochford, son and heir apparent of Thomas Earl 
of Wiltshire and Ormond, bestowing on him an annuity of 
;C200 out of the lands of the bishopric of Winchester, and 
a similar gift of ;C 200 out of the abbey lands of St. Albans 1. 
Another letter from Wolsey to Cromwell in January, 1530, 
says that, according to his servant's advice, he has had 
Mr. Norris's fee increased from ;!IOO to ;[200, and would 
like to have Sir John Russell's annuity of ;C20 made 40 or 
50, if Crom,vell thinks it expedient 2. 
It is thùsclear that these and other similar gifts were 
bestowed at Cromwell's advice and suggestion, and that the 
inevitable consequence was that the advantage resulting from 
them accrued to a far greater extent to the Cardinal's agent 
than to the Cardinal himself. Wolsey, in his confinement at 
Esher, was forced to trust himself implicitly to the shre\vd 
and selfish counsellor, who m-oved about among those \vhom 
it was most important for him to propitiate, and soon found 
means to make it appear that Wolsey's favours in rea1ity 
emanated from him. Cromwell's selection of those to whom 
the presents were made seems also to hint that he was 
working in his own interest more than in his master's. He 
must have known that the members of the Boleyn party, to 
whom the greater part of the grants were made, hated 
Wolsey himself too thoroughly 'to permit them to forget 
their grudge for the sake of a few hundred pounds, but the 
sums bestowed were sufficiently large to make the recipients 
of them very friendly to the Cardinal's agent, who to all 
intents and purposes appeared to be the real giver. Hints of 
all this must indeed have reached Wolsey's ears. Though 
throughout all the period of the attainder his gratitude, as 
expressed in his many letters, was, in vie\v of the real facts, 
most unnecessarily effusive 3, he later writes to Cromwell 
that he hears 'he has not done him as good offices as he 
might, in connexion with his colleges and his archbishopric.' 
But Croffi\vell had by this time got everything into his own 


1 Cal. iv. 611 5. 
:; CaI. iv. 6098, 6181, 6204, 6249- 


2 Cal. iv. 6181. 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 73 


hands, so that Wolsey ,vas forced to do exactly as he was 
bidden. \Vhenever the Cardinal undertook anything on his 
o\vn responsibility, \vithout asking his servant's advice, it was 
greatly resented. If Wolsey dared to hint that Cromwell 
was not \vholly devoted to his interests, the latter sent back 
a complaining and half-threatening reply 1. The Cardinal 
was even forced to \vrite a humble apology to his agent 
for sending Edmund Bonner on some mission without his 
advice 2. The less able Wolsey became to help himself, the 
ITIOre harsh and inlperious was his all-powerful counsellor. 
vVith the whole control of his master's interests at the Court 
in his own hands, it ,vas exceedingly simple for a man of 
Cronnvell's peculiar talents to dispose the funds con1mitted to 
his care in such ,vays as tallied best with his own interests, 
\vhile casual onlookers simply regarded him as an honest 
servant of his fallen master; and Wolsey, unable to learn the 
true state of affairs at Court, was kept practically ignorant ,of 
his real designs. Crom\vel1 had thus succeeded in attaining 
a most enviable position, \vhich \vas aptly described in a letter 
which he received from Stephen Vaughan, who took the 
opportunity to congratulate him, and also to warn him against 
over-confidence in the following words :-' A mery semblance 
of ,vether often thrustithe men into the Daungerous sees, not 
thinking to be sodaynly opprest wythe tempest when vnwares 
they be preuented and brought in great ieopardie. The 
vVyndes arn mutable vnsure and will not be caryed in mennys 
handes to blow at a becke. Parell euerywhere followithe 
men, from the birthe to the Dethe, And more thretenethe 
them whiche entreprise Difficult and vrgent matters, then 
those whiche only sekethe easy and light matters ye thoughe 
they have great apparance of vertue, such is thinstabilitie of 
the \vorlde, wher \ve find undique miseriam 3.' 
A final opportunity was given to Crom\vell to ingratiate 
himself with King and nobles when Henry took into his 
hands the revenues of St. Albans and Winchester, and of 
the colleges at Oxford and I pswich. In this, even honest 
Cavendish could see that ' Cromewell perceyved an occasion 


1 Letters, 13. 


2 Cal. Ív. 6 20 3. 


S Cal. iv. 6196. 



74 


TIIO!vIAS CROMWELL 


gi ven him by time to helpe himselfe.' The intricacies of the 
law of the period were such that annuities and fees out of 
the revenues of these colleges, granted by the King, after 
he had seized thein, could only be good while Wolsey was 
living, because the King, having obtained his right to them 
by Wolsey's attainder in the praemunire,' could not retain 
that right after the Cardinal's death 1. Thus, to have the 
grants secure during the lifetimes of the recipients, 'there 
\vas none other shifte but to obtaine my lord's confirmation 
of their patents. Then began every man both noble and 
gentleman who had any patents out of Winchester and St. 
Albans to make suite to l\Ilr. Cromwell to solicit their cause 
to my lorde to get therin his confirmation, and for his paines 
therin bothe worthily to reward him and every man to shewe 
him such pleasures as should be at all times in their small 
powers, whereof they assured him. . . . Now began matters 
to worke to bringe Master Cromwell into estimation in suche 
sorte as was m uche hereafter to his increase of dignity; . . . 
and having the ordering and disposition of the Ian des of these 
colleges he had a great occasion of suitors, besides the con- 
tinual access to the King, by meanes whereof and through 
his witty demeanour he grewe continually into the King's 
fa vour 2.' 
I t is hard to realize how deeply Wolsey felt the seizure of 
his two colleges. They had been the pride and joy of his 
declining years. Instead of working earnestly to avert their 
surrender into the !Zing's hands, as a true servant would 
have done, Cromwell permitted and almost welcomed it, as 
a means to give him a chance to further his o\vn ends, and 
wrote empty, and, it would seem, almost contemptuous letters 
of consolation to the Cardinal, of which that of August I H is 
an excellent example 3. Instead of going to his master in his 
sorrow and disgrace, as Wolsey repeatedly requested him to 
do, he held himself aloof, and under the pretext of looking 
after the Cardinal's interests at Court, contrived for his own 
rise and advancement. It is true that he stood by Wolsey in 


1 Introduction to vol. iv of the Calendar, pp. 5 8 4, 585. 
2 Cavendish, p. 19 8 . 3 Letters, 18. 



TIlE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 75 


the parliamentary crisis in 1529, and that it was largely 
through his efforts that Wolsey obtained his temporary 
pardon in February, 153 0 ; but when, at the last, the Cardinal's 
enemies turned against him a second time and secured his 
complete do\vnfall, there is no record of Cromwell's saying a 
word or doing a thing in his behalf. On N oven1ber 29, 153 0 , 
Wolsey died, shattered and disgraced. 
I t is very unfortunate that there still exist so few of 
Cromwell's letters during the last Ì\vo years of VV olsey's life. 
There are preserved at present 
nl y twelve letters from him 
during this period \ seven of which are addressed to Wolsey. 
In none of them does he give evidence of a sincere desire to 
serve his master at all costs; the dominant note of the greater 
part of them is one of selfish and rather supercilious advice; 
of a morality easy and cheap, because the preacher of it 
evidently felt himself beyond the possibility of its ever being 
applicable in his own case. There is also very little trust- 
worthy information about the means he employed to introduce 
himself to the King, except what has already been mentioned 
in connexion \vith Wolsey's fall. Foxe asserts that Sir 
Christopher Hales, Master of the Rolls, commended him to 
Henry, and further affirms that Sir John Russell said a 
good \vord for him, in return for Cromwell's saving his life at 
Bologna, so that the latter was enabled to have a private 
conversation with the King in \Vestminster Gardens 2. Part 
of this story is obviously false; Crom\vell could not have been 
at Bologna when Sir John Russell was (between 1524 and 
1528), because he \vas occupied in England at that time, as 
his correspondence sho\vs. To judge from this, little reliance 
can be placed on the rest of Foxe's tale; and there are no con- 
temporary documents that bear out his statements. Another 
story, which is perhaps more probable, is that of Chapuys3, 
who states that at Wolsey's death Sir John Wallop attacked 
Cromwell with insults and threats, so that the latter for pro- 
tection procured an audience with Henry, whom he promised 
to make the richest king that ever 
as in England. Henry, 


1 Letters, 9- 20 . 
2 Foxe, vol. ii. pp. 419 ff. 


S See Appendix I at the end of 
chapter i. p. 17. 



76 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


it appears, \vas so struck with this offer, that he immediately 
made Cromwell a member of his Council, but told nobody 
about it for four months. This tale is in many respects 
similar to the account contained in Pole's Apologia: but the 
story of the Cardinal does not mention the quarrel with 
Wallop, and the report of Chapuys does not say a word about 
the plan for the solution of Henry's' grete matier' by \vhich . 
Cromwell, according to Pole, completely fascinated the King. 
All the accounts, however, seem to agree that by some means 
he managed to secure an interview with Henry soon after 
'Volsey's death, at which he clinched everything that he had 
already gained, and obtained the favour of the King by one 
master-stroke. Pole's story of this interview contains informa- 
tion \vhich leads us into the thick of Cromwell's political 
career. Before we proceed to examine it in detail a brief 
chapter must be devoted to a description of the actors and 
past events of the great political drama in which Cromwell 
was to play a part, and to a further analysis of his own 
character and ideals. 



CHAPTER V 


THE CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY OF THOMAS 
CROMWELL 


THE condition of England at the time of Wolsey's death 
was in many ,vays an extraordinary one. At home and 
abroad she had already begun to reap glorious fruits from the 
untiring efforts and masterful policy of the first Tudor. 
United under a po\verful monarchy, which had strengthened 
itself at the expense of every other institution in the realm, 
she rested secure in the enjoyment of internal peace and of 
a high degree of estimation and respect in foreign lands. 
That she had lost nearly all those continental possessions 
which had been the proudest boast of Edward I II and Henry V 
now proved an inestimable advantage. The wise Cardinal 
had made use of England's insular position to such good 
advantage, that she had been able, at least up to the time 
when the political situation had been complicated by the 
question of the divorce, to keep the Emperor and the King of 
France in a state of constant anxiety concerning her real 
attitude, and often to force the two rivals to bid against each 
other for her alliance. In 1521 Henry had dedicated to 
Leo X a treatise which he had written against the heresies of 
Luther, and had been rewarded with the proud title of 
, Defensor Fidei.' Success abroad meant popularity at home, 
at least for the King, whose enthusiasm and \vinning manners 
endeared. him to his subjects, and who usually contrived to 
shift the blame for the unwelcome measures of his government 
on to the shoulders of the Cardinal. As long as the national 
honour was upheld on the Continent without draining too 
deeply the resources of the people at home, the country 
seemed quite willing to trust the King to the full and to allo\v 
him to rule as well as govern. 



78 


THOMAS CROMvVELL 


Such was the bright side of the picture, the side which first 
claims the attention of the casual observer. A more critical 
examination of the state of the country, however, reveals an 
undercurrent of discontent, which was almost lost in the cro,vn- 
ing years of Wolsey's greatness, but which did not fail to 
make itself felt at a later day, when the allegiance of so large 
a part of the people had been alienated by the affair of the 
divorce. The surest proof that Henry and Wolsey were a\vare 
of this latent hostility is afforded by the infrequent assem- 
blings of Parliament. Seldom did the King dare to face the 
representatives of the nation with the demand for a subsidy; 
he preferred to veil his oppressive financial exactions under 
the name of an Amicable Loan. The poverty of the nobles 
was notorious; and the distress of the poor people daily 
increased owing to a succession of bad seasons, thin harvests, 
and a few outbreaks of a devastating plague. Economic and 
agrarian changes contributed to swell the universal discon- 
tent 1. The break-up of the old manorial system, the increase 
of enclosures for pasturage, and the substitution of conver- 
tible husbandry for the old three-field system all served to 
displace labour, and so temporarily to diminish the demand 
for it. Great distress among the agricultural poor was 
necessarily the first result of these changes: unfortunately 
economic science was not sufficiently advanced to enable Inen 
to discern that it ,vas but a passing phase, and that as soon 
as labour had adjusted itself to the new conditions permanent 
advantages to it were bound to ensue. The country-folk con- 
trasted their own wretched condition with the many reports 
which reached them of Henry's sumptuous and luxurious 
Court: small wonder if the government was wrongly blamed 
for a large sha
e of the misery which was inevitably the 
first consequence of sudden and great economic development. 
Finally all malcontents were united in opposition to the 
King's attempts to gain a divorce from his first wife, during 
the closing years of Wolsey's ministry; so that the main.. 
tenance and further strengthening of the powerful monarchy 
established at the accession of the House of Tudor promised 
1 Cf. Ashley, Economic History, vol. ii. pp. 259-304. 



HIS CI-IARACTER AND OPPOH.TUNITY 79 


in the near future to afford a problem of even greater 
difficulty than before. 
To turn for a moment to the situation on the Continent. 
The House of Hapsburg, under Charles V, seemed to have 
attained the acme of its greatness, but its power was not 
by any means as real as it appeared. The Elnperor's in- 
satiable desire for foreign conquest had caused him to neglect 
affairs in Spain and in the Empire, and to overtax his powers 
and drain his resources by continual struggles ,vith his great 
rival the King of France. The bone of contention ,vas 
ostensibly Italy; perhaps a truer cause of the struggles of 
the two sovereigns is to be found in the geographical position 
of the countries over which they ruled. The newly-con- 
solidated realm of France divided the dominions of the 
Emperor into t\VO parts: the dream of Charles ,vas to connect 
them; the object of Franci
 was to forestall him. Northern 
I taly belonged to neither, but it was a rich prize and a fighting- 
ground easily accessible to both the combatants, and so it 
very naturally became the field of war. Soon after the 
Imperial election of 1519 the tide began to set slowly but 
surely against Francis; he ,vas a true soldier, and was not 
a man to submit to any encroachment without a struggle; 
still he fought at a terrible disadvantage, betrayed as he was 
by the Duke of Bourbon, and in 1525 he was forced to 
acknowledge a thorough defeat, at the fatal battle of Pavia 1. 
Although the first idea that occurred to Henry and Wolsey 
after the news of Charles' great victory had reached them was 
a plan for the conquest and subdivision of the kingdom of 
Francis, they soon came to the conclusion that such a scheme 
,vould render the Emperor far too powerful. Charles him- 
self, moreover, had received with little favour the extrava- 
gant proposals for an invasion of France which England 
had sent him as soon as the result of Pavia was known, 
and had consistently refused to allow Henry any share in 
his triumph. The Pope also, who had watched with terror 
the victorious march of the Imperial army, ventured for 
] On this and the succeeding vi. pp. 296-362, and Mignet, vol. ii. 
pages, cf. Creighton's Papacy, vol. pp. 340-358. 



80 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the last time to present himself as the centre of the oppo- 
sition to Charles V, and strove in every way to reconcile 
England and France. The obstinate resistance that the 
Commissioners for the collection of the Amicable Loan had 
encountered in the spring of 1525 was certainly no encourage- 
ment for undertaking a war of aggression, and Henry and 
Wolsey soon determined to abandon all plans of invasion, and 
to pursue the wiser policy of maintaining neutrality between 
the two great continental powers. With this thought in 
mind a treaty of peace was made with Francis in August, 
and after the escape of the French King from captivity in 
January, 1526, the two continental rivals were once more 
placed on an even footing. With this restoration of equality 
Henry was perfectly satisfied, and he took good care to avoid 
committing himself permanently to Francis, by refusing 
openly to join the League of Cognac in the follo\ving spring. 
At this juncture the matter of the divorce began to occupy 
his exclusive attention, and the foreign affairs of the next 
three years \vere left almost entirely in Wolsey's hands. 
Circumstances now drove the Cardinal temporarily to lose 
sight of the policy which he had pursued for the most part 
up to this time-that of strict neutrality-and to attempt to 
convert the peace with France into a permanent alliance. 
And certainly the events of 152ï seemed to give him every 
justification for this new departure. The sack of Rome 
appeared to put Italy at the mercy of the Imperialists, and 
now the difficulties connected with Henry's matrimonial affairs 
pointed to the need of securing a firm aJIy who would aid him 
in persuading the captive Pontiff to consent to the divorce in 
opposition to the wishes of his jailor the Emperor. With aU 
his experience the Cardinal had hardly learned how rapidly the 
diplomatic combinations of Europe could change. The last 
great venture of his foreign policy resulted in disaster: the 
French alliance utterly failed to accomplish what was expected 
of it. At first indeed it seemed that the matrimonial projects 
which formed the basis of it would succeed, but the crafty 
policy of Francis ruined all. His war with the Emperor broke 
out again) as was to be expected, immediately after his release 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 81 


from captivity, but secret negotiations for peace were soon 
set on foot, and finally, in 1529, took shape in the treaty of 
Cambray-the news of which came as a stunning blo\v to 
Wolsey's dearest hopes. The lesson which the Cardinal 
learned at the expense of his office was by no means lost on 
his master. Absorbed in the attempt to obtain a divorce 
from Katherine, Henry possibly had not been able to foresee 
the course of events abroad any better than his minister; 
but ,vhen, in 1529, the news of the treaty of Cambray aroused 
him to a true appreciation of the state of affairs, he at once 
realized how dangerous any permanent alliance \vith either 
Francis or Charles would be, as long as the situation on the 
Continent remained so uncertain. He resolved that. as soon 
as he could rectify the Cardinal's false step, nothing should 
tempt him again to abandon the only safe policy-that of 
strict neutrality between the two great European powers- 
as long as the t\VO rivals remained nearly equal. This point 
has been purposely d\velt upon here as a foreshadowing of 
what was to happen to Cromwell a fe,v years later. Departure 1/ ' 
from the policy of neutrality between France and Spain helped 
to ruin \,tV olsey: a similar blunder in foreign affairs was 
destined to lead his successor to destruction. 
The entire attention of England \vas now turned to the 
absorbing question of the divorce. The history of Wolsey's 
failure to bring about the separation of Henry and Katherine 
of Aragon, doès not belong to the ground covered by this 
essay. Suffice it to say that the Cardinal's ineffectual 
atten1pts to satisfy Henry's chief desire, coupled with the 
obvious error in his foreign policy, sealed his doom and 
gave Cromwell his opportunity. There is little need to dwell 
upon the way in which the attempt to divorce the Queen was 
regarded abroad. Henry ,vas looked upon as the disturber 
of Christian unity, not only by the Emperor, but also by all 
continental Europe 1. Charles, of course, ,vas the obvious 
person to avenge the wrongs of his aunt, but he was far 
too busy just then with his schemes for suppressing the Pro- 
testants in Germany and of checking the advance of the 
1 Cal. iv. 6521, 669 1 . 
G 


MERRIMAN. I 



82 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Turk into the borders of Christendom, seriously to contem- 
plate an invasion of Henry's dominions. It was not the only 
time that England's fortunes were saved by the turn of affairs 
in distant lands. 
It now remains only to say a few words about the chief 
persons at the Court of Henry VIII, preliminary to a descrip- 
tion of Cromwell himself. Foremost among these was of 
course Anne Boleyn. Born probably in 1507 of a good 
English family, a niece of the Earl of Surrey, she had spent 
a good part of her early life in France, as ' one of the French 
queen's women,' and returned to England in the latter part of 
the year 15zI1. At Henry's exceedingly corrupt Court she 
did not want for admirers and suitors, foremost among whon1 
was the King himself, who had formerly been in intimate 
relations with her sister Mary. Henry's passion for her 
is sufficiently attested by a succession of royal grants and 
favours to her father, beginning only two months after her 
arrival in England, and continuing for over three years 2. How 
far Anne was responsible for causing Henry to take steps to 
divorce Katherine, and how far he was moved thereto by 
a conscience that became over-sensitive at suspiciously short 
notice, or by more legitin1ate political considerations, it 
is not our business now to inquire; our best sources of 
information are the grants to her father, above mentioned, 
and a most remarkable series of love-letters 3. Though she 
temporarily had the King at her feet, no woman of Henry's 
Court was really to be less envied. Katherine and Mary, and, 
in consequence, the majority of the people, were her bitter foes; 
. to protect herself against the popular odium, she gathered 
round her a following, known at Court as the Boleyn faction, 
the chief person of which was her uncle, now Duke of Norfolk. 
Norfolk was fifty-seven years old \vhen Cromwell came 
into power. He was a Catholic and against the N e\v Faith. 
He had received in his younger days a thorough military 


1 For the date of the birth of Anne 
Boleyn see Friedmann, chap. i, 
and Note A in the Appendix; 
Round, The Early Life of Anne 
Boleyn; and Gairdner in the 


English Historical Review, vo1. viii. 
p. 58, and vo1. x. p. 104. 
2 Cal. iv. 1431 (8), 6083, 6163. 
S Cal. iv. 4477, 43 8 3, 44 10 , 3325, 
3326, 3218-21. 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 83 


and diplomatic training, and in 1531 \vas characterized 
by the Venetian ambassador, Falieri, as 'prudent, liberal, 
affable, and astute; associating with everybody . . . and 
desirous of greater elevation.' This is a very flattering 
description of this crafty and ambitious statesman. The 
chief traits that characterized him were a cringing sub- 
servience to the \vill of the King, and a bitter hatred 
of any rival to his influence with Henry; a hatred which 
first directed itself against Wolsey, for \vhose downfall he 
laboured incessantly, and later against Crom\vell, whose 
opponent he \vas during the decade of the former's greatness. 
He was the equal of neither of these Ì\vo as a statesman; 
but his utter lack of honour and consistency, and his willing- 
ness to break promises in order to please the King, rendered 
him an invaluable servant of the Crown at a period when one 
startling change follo\yed on the heels of another. He threw 
himself heart and soul into the interests of his niece \vhen 
Hcnry's love for her \vas increasing; and yet \vhen the royal 
passion \vaned, and Anne \vas accused in 1536, he was not 
ashamed to preside at her trial and sentence her to death 1. 
The other important person at the Court was Stephen 
Gardiner, who in 1531 became Bishop of Winchester. Ten 
years Norfolk's junior, he was introduced into political and 
diplomatic life by the Duke, and spent a large part of his early 
life as Wolsey's servant and ambassador. He did not cherish 
any lasting friendship for the Cardinal, however, and he seems 
to have been an adherent of the Boleyn faction at \V olsey's 
fall; we find Anne writing to him when the struggle between 
the two parties was at its hottest, to thank him for his' wylling 
and faythefull mynde 2.' Still he took more or less a middle 
course on the divorce question, and pleaded warmly, though 
vainly, for the restitution of Wolsey's colleges. But when 
the Cardinal's fate was settled he certainly expected that his 
old master's favour with the King \vould be transferred to 
himself, and when he was disappointed in this by Cromwell's 
stepping in, he developed a hatred for him which he never 


1 Cf. the Life of Norfolk in the Dictionary of National Biography, 
vol. xxviii. p. 65. 2 Cal. iv. 5422. 
G.2 



84 


THOMAS CROIVrWELL 


abandoned. He was less active than Norfolk in his opposi- 
tion to Rome, and though he lacked the Duke's subserviency, 
he was fully as able a diplomat. N either of the two men 
could have played the rôle of Crom\vell: the scope of their 
talents was more limited; they were merely exceedingly 
able politicians, but as such they were by no means to be 
despised. When, however, they united to procure their rival's 
ruin it was difficult to resist them 1. 
Thus when at Wolsey's fall Cromwell entered the King's 
service, the situation of England both at home and abroad 
was critical in the extreme. The relations of the government 
\vith Rome were strained, o\ving to Henry's proceedings 
in the divorce; his' grete matier' was unpopular \vith the 
country at large; France and Spain \vere both of them very 
doubtful quantities, and might become friends or foes at 
any moment. At the Court, various factions with different 
aims were disputing for the precedence, and the best course 
to be steered by one who was about to enter the King's service, 
after leaving that of a fallen minister, was not an easy thing 
to decide. Before inquiring into Cromwell's action at this 
crisis, a brief description of the person and of the character of 
the man himself at this time will not be out of place. 
Cromwell was a short, strongly-built man, with a large dull 
face. He was smooth-shaven, with close-cropped hair, and 
had a heavy double chin. His mouth was small and cruel, 
and was surmounted by an extraordinarily long upper lip, 
while a pair of grey eyes, set closely together, moved rest- 
lessly under his light eyebrows. He had an a\vkward, uncouth 
gait which lent itself well to the other peculiarities of his 
personal appearance, and gave one the idea that he was a 
patient, plodding, and, if anything, a rather stupid sort of man. 
But this \vas all merely external. According to Chapuys, 
who knew him well, he possessed the most extraordinary 
mobility of countenance, so that when engaged in an interest- 
ing conversation, his face would suddenly light up, and the 
dull, drudging, commonplace expression give way to a subtle, 


1 Cf. the Life of Gardiner in the Dictionary of National Biography, 
vol. xx. p. 4 19. 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 85 


cunning, and intelligent aspect, quite at variance with his 
ordinary appearance. His conversation at such moments was 
\vitty and entertaining to the last degree, and the Spanish 
am bassador notes that he had the habit of giving a roguish 
oblique glance whenever he made a striking remark. This 
extraordinary power of facial control, according to the cir- 
cumstances in which he ,,,as placed, merely reflects one of 
the dominant characteristics of the man. He obviously had 
remarkable po\ver of quickly adapting himself to his sur- 
roundings. He rarely failed to realize immediately his relation 
to those \vith \vhom he came in contact, and his manner, 
behaviour, and expression varied accordingly. Noone knew 
bettcr ho\v or \vhen to flatter than Thomas Cromwell; on 
the other hand no one could be more harsh and cruel than 
he, when he "Tas in a position to dictate. He had thoroughly 
learned the lesson 


, To beguile the time 
Look like the time.' 
There are many evidences of his good taste and love of 
beautiful things 1. A long and complicated correspondence 
with his friend Stephen Vaughan about an iron chest of very 
curious ,vorkmanship, \vhich he wanted for his house at Austin 
Friars, of such expense that Vaughan \vas almost afraid to 
buy it, is not \vithout interest. There is record of his pur- 
chasing a globe, \vith a set of explanatory notes, and the only 
two' Cronka Cronicarum cum figuris' that could be found in 
all Ant\verp 2. Especially great was his love of Italian things. 
His stay in Italy was of sufficient duration to steep hin1 in the 
spirit of the Renaissance; he read and studied his Machiavelli, 
so that it ,vas a guide to his future political career; \ve can 
\vell imagine him repeating to himself the sentence in chapter 
xviii of The Prince \vhich begins' IVla è necessario questa 
natura saperla bene colorire, ed essere gran simulatore e 
dissimulatore 3,' or the passage in chapter xvii of the same, 
, Deve pertanto un principe non si curare dell' infamia di cru- 
dele per tenere i sudditi suoi uniti ed in fede 4.' He doubtless 
1 Cf. Pauli, Thomas Cromwell, p. 301. 
2 Cal. iv. 4613, 4884, 5034, 6429, 6744. 
3 II Principe, chap. xviii, p. 304. 


t Ibid., chap. xvii, p. 291. 



86 


THOMAS CROIVIWELL 


possessed many of the important Italian books in print at 
that time. In April, 1530, Edmund Bonner writes to him 
to remind him of his promise to lend him the Triumphs 
of Petrarch and the Cortigiano, and to make him a good 
Italian 1. 
Of his social gifts and of his charm as a host there is no 
room to doubt. There are many proofs that he was a most 
magnificent entertainer, and that his personal attraction, when 
he wished to make hitnself agreeable, was such that no one 
could resist it. The letters of Chapuys inform us that even 
the most careful and experienced politicians were often com- 
pletely put off their guard by Cromwell's pleasing presence 
and address; and more than once were induced to say things 
which should not have escaped them. 
But all these manners and externals were simply disguises 
to hide the real inward character of the man. The whole 
essence of Cromwell's personality consists of different mani- 
festations of one fundamental, underlying trait, which may 
perhaps be best expressed by the common phrase 'a strict 
attention to business.' Cromwell worshipped and sought 
after the practical and the useful only, and utterly disregarded 
everything else. The first evidence of this quality has been 
already noticed, as coming in the shape of a contempt for 
the vague generalizations of the Parliament of 1523, \"hich 
beat about the bush for an entire session without ever coming 
to the point 2. Here it assumes a somewhat negative form. 
Another striking instance of it occurs in the conversation 
\vhich Pole relates as having taken place between" himself 
and Cromwell, at Wolsey's house, concerning the proper 
duty of a true servant of a Prince 3. Pole as usual began 
theorizing about the best way to bring honour to one's 
master, when he was rudely interrupted by Cron1well, who 
advised him in few words to forsake the remote learning of 
the schools, and devote himself to reading a new book which 
took a practical view of the case, and which Pole later found 
was the adviser's favourite Prince of Machiavelli. Crotnwell 


1 Cal. Ív. 634 6 . 2 Letters, I. 
S Pole, Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, chap. xxix. 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 87 


at the same time took occasion to tell Pole that the great 
art of the politician was to penetrate through the disguise 
which sovereigns are accustomed to throw over their real 
inclinations, and to devise the most specious expedients by 
which they may gratify their appetites without appearing 
to outrage morality or religion 1. It is not astonishing that 
Pole realized that it was dangerous for him to remain in 

:ngland, when Crom\vell came into power. 
Another more positive and striking way in which this 
characteristic stood forth, was in his utter lack of emotion. 
It was this quality which enabled Crom\vell to tick off in 
his 
emoranda the lives of human beings, as if they were 
items in an account; or to send people to trials, of which 
the verdicts had been determined beforehand, as 'the Abbott 
of Redyng to be Sent Do\vn to be tryed & excecutyd at 
Reding 2: He totally disregarded the justness or morality 
of any action; its utility was for him its nlorality, and created 
its justification. He never struck at his victims in a moment 
of passion, uselessly or capriciously; no personal feeling of 
hatred mingled with his crime. On the other hand, had the 
sacrifice of one of his nearest or dearest friends been necessary 
to the accomplishment of his purposes, he would hardly have 
hesitated a moment. Any means that could bring about 
the ends he sought were ipso facto for him justifiable. 
Whether his desires were attained by fair means or foul, 
mattered little to him: he kept his eyes steadily fixed upon 
the goal; the smoothness or roughness of the road to it was 
of no consequence in his eyes 3. 


1 This account was drawn up 
by Pole in 1538. Canon Dixon 
(H istory of the Church of England, 
vol. i. p. 41) questions the truth of 
the story on the ground that The 
Prince was not published until 
] 532, several years after the re- 
ported conversation took place. The 
book, however, was written in 
1513, as Canon Dixon admits, 
and there is every probability, es- 
pecially ill view of his early ex- 


periences in Italy, that Cromwell 
possessed a manuscript copy. Pole, 
moreover, expressly states that 
Cromwell offered to lend him the 
work, provided he would promise 
to read it. 
2 CaI. xiv. (ii) 399. 
S The chronicler, John Stow, in 
his Survey of London, p. 180, gives 
the following anecdote, which proves 
that Cromwell was no less arbitrary 
as a man than as a minister:- 



88 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Finally, and perhaps most important of all, CromweIl 
never lost anything that might be turned to good account. 
I t has been sho\vn how he not only succeeded in freeing 
himself from any ill-name at Wolsey's fall, but also actually 
used his master's overthrow to further his o,vn ends, and 
make himself known and popular at Court. But this is only 
a slender hint of what was to follow. It was precisely from 
this same practical utilitarian standpoint, that he regarded 
and made use of to his own ends the King's amours, the 
suppression of the monasteries, the Reformation. Catholicism 
and Protestantism passed over his head; he was not touched 
by either of them. fIe simply used them as pieces in the 
great game \vhich he ,vas playing. 
Such was the man who, for the next ten years, \vas to have 
almost the sole guidance of the course of English history. 
As was his purpose \vhen he rode on the afternoon of All 
Hallows Day to London to look after his own interests and 
those of his master, so was his mission as minister and coun- 
sellor of the l{ing, 'to n1ake or to marre.' 


'On the south side and at the 
west end of this church (the Austin 
Friars) many fayre houses are 
builded, namely in Throglnorton 
streete, one very large and spacious, 
builded in the place of olde and small 
Tenementes by Thomas Cromwell 
.. . . This house being finished, and 
hauing some reasonable plot of 
ground left for a Garden, he caused 
the pales of the Gardens adioyning 
to the north parte thereof on a 
sodaine to be taken downe, 22 foot 
to bee measured forth right into the 
north of euery man's ground, a line 
there to bee dra wen, a trench to 
bee cast, a foundation laid, and a 
highe bricke wall to bee builded. 
I'll y father had a Garden there, 


and an house standing close to his 
south pale, this house they lowsed 
from the ground & bare vpon 
Rowlers into my Father's Garden 
22 foot, ere my Father heard thereof: 
no warning was given him, nor any 
other answere when hee spake to 
the surueyers of that worke but 
that their Mayster Sir Thomas 
commaunded them so to doe, no 
man durst go to argue the matter, 
but each man lost his land, and my 
Father payde his whole rent, which 
was vis.. viii d . the yeare, for that 
halfe which was left. Thus much 
of mine o\Vne knowledge haue I 
thought good to note, that the sud- 
daine rising of some men, causeth 
them to forget themselves..' 



CHAPTER VI 


IN THE KIKG'S SERVICE 


THE decade ".hich follo\ved Cromwell's appointment as 
counsellor to Henry VIII, \vitnessed some of the most striking 
changes that have ever taken place in England. The question 
\vhich must obviously occur to every student of the period, is 
\,"hether the King himself, or his ne\v minister, was the real 
cause of the secular and religi ous revolutio n of the years 153 0 
to 1540. The difficulty of the problem is increased by the 
fact that Henry and Crom\vell made every effort to conceal 
their traces; scarcely any information can be gleaned from 
their correspondence. We are therefore forced to draw our 
concI usions for the most part from external evidence and the 
reports of contemporary 'writers. 
It may be justly said that in general the probabilities point 
to Crom\vell as the true originator of the startling changes 
\\'hich occurred soon after his accession to power. The fact 
that the ultimate object of all these changes was the con-, 
centration of po\ver in the hands of the Crown is not in itself, 
of great value in determining the identity of their originator; , 
for the strengthening of the monarchy \vas an end which both t 
King and minister always kept in vie\v: in the methods by 
\vhich this object was attained, however, we have a most 
valuable clue to aid us in the solution of our problem. These 
methods were all intensely Cromwellian: their directness and 
efficiency are essentially and distinctively characteristic of the 
King's new minister. In the contrast between the dawdling 
ineffectiveness of "vVolsey's device for solving the problem of 
the King's divorce, and the summary, revolutionary process 
by \vhich it ,vas finally secured after the Cardinal's fall, lies our 
strongest ground for supposing that it ,vas at Cromwell's 
instance that the decisive step \vas taken. It seems almost 



90 


THOl\tIAS CROMWELL 


impossible that Henry, after having suffered himself to be 
guided so long by Wolsey, in the management of his 'grete 
matier' should have adopted at the Cardinal's death a plan to 
secure his wishes, so thoroughly repugnant to the principles 
of his old adviser, unless the idea had been put into his head 
by another. When the King had once determined to break 
with Rome, it followed as a matter of course that the advice of 
the minister who had suggested the first step, should be adopted 
in devising measures to secure the King in the new position 
which he had assumed. The means employed to attain this 
end-the intimidation of the clergy and the suppression of the 
monasteries, the attacks on the independence of Parliament, 
the ruthless execution of those who opposed the late innova- 
tions-all bear the stamp of the sinister genius of Cromwell 
as unmistakably as the great revolution that rendered them 
necessary. Documentary evidence too comes in to help us 
j here; scarcely an important Act was passed in Parliament 
between the years 1..133 and 1..140, of which there is not some 
previous mention in Cromwell's papers and rnelnoranda. 
Against these reasons it may be urged that none of the foreign 
ambassadors at the English Court mentions Cromwell as an 
important factor in the government until three years after he 
entered the l{ing's service, and that the country in general 
certainly regarded the events of the years 1..13 0 to 1533 as the 
\. \vork of Henry alone; and that these facts are strong testi- 
mony that the King's new minister did not attain any high 
degree of prominence until the crucial period of the struggle 
with Rome had passed. But this paucity of contempprary 
information concerning Cromwell's earlier years in the King's 
service may be better explained in another way. If Henry's 
new minister was the true author of all the revolutionary 
measures of this period, it was certainly most unlikely that he 
should be paraded before the eyes of the people as such; it 
\vas, on the contrary, to his own interest, ånd also to the 
King's, that he should be kept in the background. By per- 
mitting the people to think that Henry ,vas the real originator 
of all the new schemes for establishing the Royal Supremacy 
in Church and State, the suddenness of the transition between 



IN THE I(ING'S SERVICE 


91 


Wolsey's ministry and that of his successor was disguised. 
l\'loreover, had the people known that Cromwell ,vas at the 
bottonl of these changes, \vhich were universally unpopular, 
nothing would have saved him from their revenge. As long 
as the new measures \vere attributed to the King, respect for 
the royal name was enough to prevent a revolt. Cromwell, on 
the contrary, \vho was not even of noble birth, could not have 
struck a blow in his own defence, had the people fastened 
upon him as the cause of the hated innovations. It was 
necessary to keep him concealed until his position was so 
secure that the popular odium could not shake hitn from it. v' 
When, in 1533, the mask was finally thrown off, Chapuys and 
the other foreign ambassadors realized all at once that Crom- 
\vell's sudden burst into pron1Ïnence would have been quite 
impossible, had not the ground been thoroughly prepared for 
it by important services rendered during the first years of his 
Ininistry. 
Such, then, are the general reasons for thinking that 
Crom\vell was the man \vho planned out and carried through 
the various measures which have rendered falnous the period 
of his ministry. In examining separately the different events 
\\-hich took place, \ve shall meet with other evidence which 
points to the same conclusion. Most important is the account 
contained in Pole's Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, which 
describes at length Cromwell's first measure, his plan to secure 
Henry's divorce from Katherine of Aragon; a scheme by 
whi.ch he ,von the confidence of the King and irrevocably 
committed himself and his master to the policy which he 
 
followed to the end of his days. Henry, it seems from Pole's 
story, had become utterly discouraged at the time of Wolsey's 
death concerning the prospect of ever obtaining a separation 
from his first wife. He had vainly attempted to get an 
encouraging reply from the English clergy, and his failure in 
this added to his despondency ; his council, which lacked all 
initiative, could only rejoice that he intended to abandon his 
efforts. At this juncture the Satallae Nuncz"us, as Pole names 
Cromwell, solicited and obtained an audience with the King, 
and proposed a plan by which Henry could free himself from 



92 


TH01\IAS CR01VI\VELL 


Papal restrictions, marry Anne, divorce Katherine, and yet 
ostensibly remain true to the Catholic Faith. 
Crom\vell introduced himself ,vith his usual tact and skill. 
In a few modest and carefully selected sentences he excused 
himself for daring to offer an opinion on a subject of which he 
felt himself to be so very ignorant-but, he continued, his 
loyalty to the King would not permit him to be silent when 
there was the smallest chance of his being able to serve his 
sovereign at this momentous crisis. He was certain, he said, 
that the King's troubles were solely due to the weakness of 
his advisers, who listened to the opinions of the common herd, 
and did not dare to act upon their own responsibility. All 
the \vise and learned were in favour of the divorce; the only 
thing lacking \vas the Papal sanction; was the King to hesitate 
because this could not be obtained? It would be better to 
follow the example of the Lutherans, who had renounced the 
authority of Rome. Let the King, with the consent of Parlia- 
ment, declare hin1self Head of the Church in England, and 
all his difficulties would vanish. England was at present 
a monster with two heads. If the King should take to himself 
the supreme power, religious as well as secular, every in- 
congruity would cease; the clergy \vould immediately realize 
that they 'were responsible to the King and not to the Pope, 
and would forthwith become subservient to the royal wil1. 
Henry lnay have been surprised by the audacity of Cromwel1"s 
scheme, but he ,vas also much pleased, as it promised to 
satisfy all his dearest wishes. The Satallae NUllcz"us received 
his hearty thanks, and was further rewarded by a seat in the 
Privy Council 1. 
Cromwell must have realized from the first, that the adop- 


1 Pole,Apologia ad Carolum Quin- 
turn, chap. xxix, and Lingard, vol. vi. 
p. 233. There is every reason 
to believe in the veracity of this 
report. Pole was in London at 
the time, and knew Cromwell inti- 
mately. He reiterates the truth of 
his tale in the following words:- 
, Hoc possum affirmare nihil in illa 
ord.tione positum alicujus momenti 


quod non vel ab eodem nuncio 
(Cromwell himself) eo narrante in- 
tellexi, vel ab iUis qui ejus consilii 
fllerunt participes.' This interview 
was doubtless the one which Cha- 
puys describes as due to the quarrel 
with Sir J ohn Wallop. According 
to both accounts it ended by Crom- 
well's becon1ing a Privy Councillor. 



IN THE KING'S SERVICE 


93 


tion of his scheme to throw off the Papal authority in England 
,vould encounter the greatest opposition from the clergy, but 
he had already devised a plan by \vhich every objection 
could be silenced and the refractory ecclesiastics overawed. 
H is whole policy in this crisis was based on the knowledge 
that the position of the clergy since Wolsey's fall was com- 
4. 
pletely altered. Jhey were no longer in any sense popular. 
The State Papers of the period contain many lists of the 
grievances of the Commons against them 1. They had re- 
ceived a severe lesson from the Parliament of 1529; they 
were no\v isolated, timid and demoralized. Crom'well \vas the 
first to perceive and. make use of their changed condition. 
A t the same time he realized how completely the House of 
Austria had possessed itself of the Papacy; the failure of 
Wiltshire's embassy to the Emperor in Bologna, in 15302, 
assured him, if he needed any assurance, that the day of 
compromise ,vith the Pope \vas passed, and that no divorce 
would ever come from the Vatican; he sa\v that if a separation 
of Henry and Katherine was to be secured at all, the battle- 
ground on which it \vas to be won was not the Papal Curia at 
Rome, but the Houses of Convocation and Parliament.-' 
So it \vas conveniently discovered that Wolsey's guilt was 
shared by Convocation, the Privy Council and the Lords and 
Commons, and indirectly by the nation itself; as all these 
had recognized the Cardinal in his capacity of legate, and so 
had become, by language of the statute, his 'fautors and 
abettors.' Again conveniently, but also most unreasonably, 
\vhile the laity, who had eagerly availed themselves of the 
Cardinal's jurisdiction, were tacitly passed over, the clergy 
who had been the only ones to make a stand in opposition to 
the legatine authority, \vere included in the Praemunire. So 
in December, 1530, as Holinshed quaintly puts it, 'the kings 
learned councell said plainlie' that the 'whole cleargie of 
England . . . . . . . were all in the premunire 3,' and the 
A ttorney-General ,vas instructed to file a brief against the 
entire body in the Court of King's Bench. The clergy then 


1 As Cal. iv. 6 18 3. 2 Cal. iv. 6111, 6 1 54--5. 
S Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 766. 



94 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


assembled in Convocation, 'and offered the King 100,OCO 
pounds to be their good lord, and also to give them a pardon 
of all offences touching the Praemunire, by act of Parliament.' 
To their surprise and dismay, however, Henry refused the 
bribe, unless, in the preambJe to the grant, a clause were 
introduced making him' to be the Protector and only Supreme 
Head of the Church and clergy of England 1.' The whole 
plot on the part of the King and the Privy Council was con- 
ducted with the greatest possible secrecy, and their real 
motives ,vere probably not guessed at by the world outside. 
Even the astute Chapuys was completely deceived respecting 
the King's actual intention. In his letters of the 23rd and 
31st of January, 1531, he informs the Emperor that' when the 
King has bled the clergy, he will restore to them their liberties, 
and take them back into his favour,' and later declares that 
, the whole thing was done to bring about a union bet\veen 
the clergy and the nobles 2.' It was not until the 14th of 
February, \vhen the entir'e affair had been carried through. 
that the Spanish ambassador really understood what was 
happening, and discovered that it was all something more 
than a striking exhibition of Tudor avarice 3. 
In the meantime a number of Latin manifestoes appeared 
favouring the King's divorce, and inveighing against the 
Papal Supremacy 4. But in spite of all these intimidations, 
the clergy though weak did not intend to surrender without 
a struggle. Weare told that' ille de suprematu regis conce- 
ptus haud bene placuit praelatis et clero, inde eum modificari 
voluerunt. Per tres itaque sessiones cum consiliariis regiis 
(among whom Cromwell doubtless ,vas 11105t prominent) ratio 
in.ïta fuit quomodo regis animum flectere possent ad molliori- 
bus verbis exprimendum articulum ilIum 5.' At first Henry 
announced to the clergy through Rochford that the only 
alteration he would accept would be the insertion of the 


I There were to be in all five 
concessions, the first of which was 
the really important and crucial 
one-' Ecclesiae et cIeri Anglicani, 
cujus protector et supremum caput is 


solus est.' Wilkins, vol. iii. P.725. 
2 Cal. v. 62, 7 0 . 
S Cal. v. 10 5. 
4 Cal. v. 7, 9; vi. 416. 
5 Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 725. 



IN THE KING"S SERVICE 


Ð5 


words' post Deum.' In the end. however, he yielded in this 
point, and consented to an amendment moved by Archbishop 
Warham, so that in its final form the clause read' Ecclesiae 
et cIeri Anglicani, cujus singularem protectorem, unicum et 
supremum dominicum, et quantum per Christi legem licet 
etiam supremunl caput ips ius majestatem recognoscimus! 
Both the Canterbury and York Convocations hastened to 
accept this compromise, and the latter voted an additional 
grant of ;C 18',000. , The only bishop who raised the slightest 
objection to the royal demand was Cuthbert Tunstall, of 
Durham. It is obvious that if the famous' quantum per Christi 
legem licet' \vas really enforced, the victory which the King's 
party had gained was but an empty one: the amendment has 
been characterized as 'a clause by which all practical value 
was taken out of the act 1.' But Henry certainly had no idea 
of permitting a restriction as vague as this seriously to 
interfere \vith his schemes; if the qualification became really 
troublesome he was quite prepared to have it expunged. 
For the moment he had been willing tacitly to acknowledge 
that there was some force in the clause in order to overconle 
the obstinacy of his opponents, but Chapuys ,vas certainly 
not far \vrong in saying that it was' all the same as far as the 
King is concerned as if they had made no reservation, for no 
one will now be so bold as to contest with his 'lord the 
importance of this reservation 2.' The long-deferred pardon 
was at last granted: though when it \vas first sent down from 
the Lords, the Commons discovered that the laity were not 
mentioned and so were still in the Praemunire: a deputation 
from the Lo\ver House, however, waited upon the King and 
expressed their doubts, and though at first Henry treated 
them harshly, he finally succumbed, and the laity were included 
in the pardon 3. 
But the struggle was not yet over. The following year 
witnessed a continuation of the attacks on the independence 
of the clergy. This time, however, Henry and Cromwell had 
determined that the brunt of the battle should be borne by 


1 Friedmann, vol. i. p. 14 2 . 
S Cal. v. 171. 


2 Cal. v. 1 0 5. 



96 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Parliament, which responded to the mandates of the King 
and his minister \vith gratifying celerity. Shortly after the 
opening of the session, in January, 1532, there appeared in 
the Lower House that famous document, ,vhich is usually 
known as the' Supplication of the Commons, against the 
Ordinaries I} The designation is certainly misleading: so 
preponderant was the part played by one of the Commons 
in the preparation of this men10rable petition, that it cannot 
be fairly regarded as the \vork of them all. The nat
re of 
the charges of which the 'Supplication' was composed, its 
phraseology and the hand writings in the various drafts of 
it which are preserved to us to-day 2 leave little doubt that it 
tI was originally devised by the genius of Cromwell. It was in 
fact the first of a number of measures ostensibly emanating 
from Parliament, but in reality prepared by the King's minister 
and forced by him upon the very tractable Lords and 
Commons. The purport of the supplication was, in brief, 
to accuse the clergy of making laws and ordinances without 
the assent of the King or his lay subjects, of demanding 
excessive fees, of dealing corruptly and unfairly, especially 
with cases of heresy, and to request the King to take 
measures for the remedy of these abuses. The Ordinaries, 
to whom the petition was delivered from the King on 
April 12, at once composed a temperate and dignified reply, 
in which the injustice and unreasonableness of the charges 
preferred against them were courteously but plainly pointed 
out 3. Parliament in the meantime had been prorogued for 
three months, but as soon as it had reassembled it \vas forced 
to take up the cudgels again 4. The clergy had stated their 
case so well that Henry, in dread lest the faint-hearted 
Commons should abandon too soon a quarrel into which his 
minister had led theIn, thought it advisable to intervene 
himself in the dispute. A short intervie\v between the King 
and the Speaker was enough to reanimate the drooping 
spirits of the House: Henry \vas even spared the trouble 


1 Hall, p. 7 8 4. 
51 See Appendix at the end of this 
chapter, p. 104. 


S \Vilkins, vol. iii. pp. 748, 75 0 . 
4 Hall, p. 788; Cal. v. 989. 



IN THE KING'S SERVICE 


97 


of a frank avo\val of his attitude in ,vords-a gracious promise 
to be ' indifferent' between the disputants ,vas quite sufficient 
to ensure the continuance of the struggle. The Ordinaries 
,vere not slo\v to discover that their first reply had been 
totally ineffectual, and hastened to compose a second \vhich, 
though maintaining in general the position which had 
originally been assumed, contained a concession that no new 
laws should be published without the royal consent 1. A good 
deal more haggling, however, \vas necessary before the final 
compromise was reached 2. In fact matters moved so slowly 
that the King ,vas obliged to make (or let Cromwell make 
for him) another of his suspiciously timely discoveries to the 
effect that his sovereign rights as Supreme Head \vere not 
clear, because every bishop at his consecration had made an 
oath of allegiance to the Pope. The Commons were asked 
to rectify this, and were about to pass severe censure on the 
bishops, \vhen they were prorogued once more on account of 
the ragings of the plague. Before he let them go, ho\vever, the 
King had probably ascertained that the clergy intended to sub- 
mit. Threatened on all sides, Convocation on the 16th of May 
finally agreed not to pass any more new regulations without 
the King's licence, and to examine and revise, according 
to the royal wishes, the canons already made 3. The most 
important result of the controversy for us to notice is that 
the King, acting (as he evidently did) on the advice of 
Cromwell, had succeeded in reducing Convocation to complete 
subjugation, and in making Parliament pliant to his will, as it 
had never been before. The scheme of controlling the clergy 
is doubly significant, first, as the cause of a great change in 
itself; second, as the first step of the dominant policy of 
the next ten years, for establishing the Royal Supremacy 
in Church and State. fít must not be forgotten however 
that Cromwell's action, in defiance of Papal authority at this 
juncture, arose from no hate of the Romish dogmas nor from 
any love of the new religion. He carried out all his schemes 
solely from political motives; the religious, the emotional side 


1 Cal. v. 1018. 


2 cr. Dixon, vol. i. pp. 74-111. 
S Cal. v. 102 3. 
H 


MERRI:\fAN. I 



98 


THOMAS CROM\tVELL 


left him absolutely untouched; the practical, the politically 
serviceable aspect of the case, alone appealed to him. 
Popular as Henry doubtless was, Crom\vell must have 
realized, when he thus threw himself heart and soul on the 
King's side in the divorce case, that he had staked everything 
on the continuance of the royal favour. The best of the 
clergy ,vere strongly against the cause of Anne Boleyn, and 
there were but few who disagreed with them. The general 
sympathy of the nation for Katherine was greater than 
ever. Chapuys tells us that Henry was urged by the crowd 
in the streets to take back the Queen, and that Anne 
Boleyn was not infrequently publicly insulted 1. The mob, 
and still more the friars, spoke of her openly as a common 
prostitute, who 'ruled the King and beggared spiritualty 
and temporalty also.' A letter of the imperial ambassador 
tells us that the provincial of the Friars Observants at 
Greenwich (better known as Friar Peto) preached before 
the King, and told him that 'the unbounded affection of 
princes and their false counsellors deprived them of their 
knowledge of the truth, and that Henry ,vas endangering his 
crown by his marriage, for great and little \vere murmuring 
at it.' I'he King concealed his vexation as best he could, 
but later ordered one of his chaplains to preach there in his 
presence, and contradict all that Peto had said. At the end 
of this sermon the warden arose, and answering for his 
minister in his absence, dared to say in Henry's presence 
that the royal chaplain had lied. The King was very angry 
and had the ,varde
 and preacher both arrested 2. 1\'10st of 
the Greenwich friars were eager to stand by their brethren, 
but some proved less incorruptible, and gave secret information 
against the steadfast ones. 
The result of all these murmurings among commons and 
friars was that Cromwell was kept very busy in finding out 
and extirpating' sedycyous opynyons' as they were termed. 
In order to clinch the advantages that were to accrue to 
Henry as a result of his newly-assumed ecclesiastical position, 
it was as 
ecessary to discover and either destroy or convert 


1 CaI. v. 1202. 


2 Cal. v. 94 1 . 



IN THE KING'S SERVICE 


99 


the IaYInen opposed to it, as it \vas to keep in submission the 
clergy from \vhose hands it had been snatched. Henry 
could have probably found no abler man in the realm to 
accomplish this purpose than his new minister. Early in 
153 2 Cromwell began to create a system of espionage, the 
most effective that England had ever seen, that in a short 
time \vas to render unsafe the most guarded expression of 
dissent in politics or religion. The success \vhich this 
organized method of reporting treason later obtained, is one 
of the most striking proofs of the relentless energy of its 
originator. But Cromwell's efforts to extirpate sedition, and 
to encourage the ne\v ecclesiastical system, were not confined 
to England alone during these first years of his ministry. 
The years 1531 and 1532 must not be passed over with- 
out some slight reference to his connexion with William 
Tyndale. There was no counsellor about the King, upon 
whom Cromwell could rely as an intelligent and consistent 
ally, to help him carry out his schemes of 'political Pro- 
testantism.' In this dilemma he turned to WilHam Tyndale, 
who was at that time in the Low Countries. The theory 
of 'one King, one law in the realm; no class of men exempt 
from the temporal s\vord, no law except the law of the land' 
advocated in 'The Obedience of a Christian Man,' doubtless 
struck Cromwell, if he read the book. I t was perhaps the 
nearest approach he had yet found in writing to the policy he 
was steadily pursuing; he immediately desired to induce the 
reformer to return to England and to enlist him in the defence 
of his great cause. The fact that Crom\vell was able to 
persuade the King to permit him to atten1pt this is a good 
proof of his influence with Henry. In May, 1530, Tyndale 
had been denounced as a perverter of God's word 1; but so 
great was the change which the ne\v minister's accession to 
power had \vrought in the royal policy, that Henry now 
allowed Cromwell to write to his old friend Stephen Vaughan 
in the Netherlands 2, and commission him to try and discover 
where Tyndale was, and induce him to return to England. 
To this request Vaughan sent a double reply to Henry and 


1 Demaus, p. 257. 


2 Demaus, p. 274. 


H2 



100 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Cromwell, informing them that he had \vritten to the 
reformer (three separate letters to different places, not kno\v- 
ing where he \vas) and had received his answer, in which 
Tyndale said that the news of what had lately happened in 
England made him afraid to go there 1. In a confidential 
postscript to the letter to Croffi\vell, Vaughan writes in most 
glowing terms about the reformer, saying that he was of far 
greater knowledge than the King's Highness took him for, 
as plainly appeared by his \vorks. ' Would God he \vere in 
England.' As usual Vaughan's enthusiasm had run away 
\vith his discretion. He was the exact opposite of Cromwell 
in this respect; he was ever full of emotion and feeling, 
\vhile his master \vas to the last degree practical and 
calculating. 
In spite of his first rebuff, Vaughan persevered in his attempts, 
and on the 25th of rYlarch sent Crom\vell another letter, in 
\vhich he expressed a little more hope of getting Tyndale to 
go to England 2. Three weeks later his efforts received some 
lTIOre substantial reward, for on the 18th of April he wrote to 
Henry 3, that he had at last obtained an interview \vith the 
reformer, and that though the latter still refused to comply 
,vith his request, his words had been such as to arouse the 
enthusiasm of Cromwell's agent more than ever. With this 
letter Vaughan sent to Henry the manuscript of Tyndale's 
new book against Sir Thomas More, called the Answer, 
which the reformer did not wish to put in print till IIenry 
had seen it, because the latter had been displeased at the 
hasty and unlicensed printing of his former \vork, The Practise 
of Prelates. The letter and the book were not destined, 
however, to have the desired effect on the I(ing. The 
Answer was sufficiently plain to indicate that Tyndale's 
religious beliefs were not of the sort that would ever be 
serviceable to Henry; the reformer was altogether too full 
of Protestantism for its own sake, to suit either the King or 


1 Cal. v. 65. Doubtless Vaughan 
referred to the steps taken by 
Bishop Stokesley and others to 
punish those who favoured the new 
religion. I t was at this time that 


Tyndale's brother John had been 
arrested in London for selling New 
Testaments received from abroad. 
2 Cal. v. 153. 
8 Cal. v. 201. 



IN TI-IE KING'S SERVICE 


101 


his counsellor. For once Cromwell had mistaken his man. 
To say that the King \vas thoroughly vexed and annoyed, 
when he had perused Vaughan's letter, and the enclosed 
\vork, is a mild statement of the facts. The original lctter 
\vhich Vaughan wrote is not extant, but there is a copy of it 
in the British Museum \vhich ends most abruptly with the 
\vords 'To declare to your Magyste what In my pore J udge- 
ment I thynke of the man, J asserteyne YOllY grace I haue 
not c01Jzmunyd with A l11an]'; a fact which suggests the 
possibility that the irritable King vented his anger on the un- 
offending sheet of paper, and tore it in two. The letter with 
which Cromwell, at the King's direction, replied to Vaughan, 
is a still surer index to the impression \vhich the latter's report 
had produced on the King. \Vhat \vith the precipitation of 
his etnotional, enthusiastic, and unpractical friend, Crom\vell 
01ust have been placed in a very awk\vard position
 The 
many corrections and interlineations in the draft of the letter 
he wrote in reply to Vaughan, sufficiently rcveal his great 
perplexity and bewildern1ent 2. The subject-matter of the 
letter will speak for itself. The rage of the King is vividly 
described, and Vaughan is repeatedly \varned to abandon the 
reformer: but in spite of everything he continued to attempt 
to persuade Tyndale to return. He had two more fruitless 
intervic\vs with the latter, described in his letters to Henry of 
the 20th of IVlay, and to Cromwell on the 19th of June 3, and 
after that came back to England for the summer. In 
November he returned to the Netherlands, and \vrote again 
to Cromwell warmly on Tyndale's behalf, but not a word did 
he receive in reply 4. In the meantime Henry and Crom\vell 
had dispatched Sir Thomas Elyot to arrest the reformer and 
bring him home 5. Vaughan finally saw the danger he ran in 
advocating the cause of the author of the 'venemous and 
pestiferous workes,' and dared say no more. The rest of his 
letters during these t\VO years do not even once mention him. 
The \vhole Tyndale episode is note\vorthy as the nearest 


1 British l\1useum, Titus B, vol. i. 
p. 67. 
2 Letters, 2 I. 


s Ca1. v. 246, 3 0 3. 
4 Cal. v. 533, 574, 618. 
5 Demaus, p. 3 0 7. 



102 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


approach to a mistake in Cromwell's internal policy. Henry's 
anger probably gave him a clear warning that many more 
such ,vould bring him to certain ruin. He was saved from 
serious consequences in this case, only because he had amply 
atoned for it by his brilliant success in obtaining the submission 
of the clergy. 
Cromwell was also occupied, during these two years, in 
re-establishing Wolsey's foundation at Oxford, under the 
new name of King Henry the Eighth's College. He ,vas 
appointed receiver-general and supervisor of all the lands 
belonging to it; and the adjustment of claims, transfer of 
property, new foundation and charter kept him very busy, 
and gave him an excellent opportunity to display his legal 
talent. He also superintended the building of a new palace 
at Westminster, regulated the wages of the men working on 
the fortifications at Calais, and was also busy with minor 
duties in the King's own household-the care of the royal 
plate and jewels, and even the drawing of patterns for Henry's 
robes of state 1. From the close of the year 1529 until his 
fall, the best index to the various occupations in which he 
\vas engaged is afforded by his famous' remembrances.' These 
consist largely of short and usually incomplete sentences, 
sometimes even single words, jotted down at odd moments 
by Cromwell or his chief clerk, on loose sheets of paper- 
often on the backs of letters and drafts of important docu- 
ments. They are for the most part absolutely disjointed 
and unconnected in matter, form, and handwriting. Sand- 
\viched in between apparently careless phrases which later 
expand into the most drastic of parliamentary enactments, 
we find minute details concerning the wages of labourers, 
the cost of N ew Year's presents at the Court, or even matters 
of a private nature: next to a memorandum for the signing of 
a letter for some Spaniards occur the significant words, 'To 
Remembre the Auncyent Cronycle of magna Carta and how 
libe1'a sit Cam into the Statute 2.' The less important items 
are of course by far the more numerous, especially in the first 


1 Cal. v. 701, 154 8 , 1600, 1728; 
Letters, 3 6 , 39. 


2 British Museum, Titus B, vol. i. 
p. 4 22 . 



IN THE IZING'S SERVICE 


103 



ix years when the l{ing loaded his new minister \vith details 
of the greatest variety and complexity. To\vards the last 
the 'remembrances' are fewer in number, and deal less 
extensively with minor matters; but even up to the very end 
\ve find ample evidence that the King's minister carried in 
his head an amount of detail of a comparatively unimportant 
nature, which \vould have been quite impossible for a man 
like his predecessor. The Cardinal, absorbed in studying the 
great diplomatic combinations of continental Europe, had 
shamefully neglected n1inor affairs at hon1e. Crom\vell, in 
his ten years of power, not only atoned for the errors of 
Wolsey, but also familiarized himself \vith every detail of 
domestic administration to an extent that no King or minister 
had ever done in England before. It would have been 
almost impossible to carry through the tremendous changes 
\vhich had follo\ved the divorce, without the aid of a counsellor 
of the peculiar talents of Thonlas Crom\vell. 
The thread of our narrative no\v becomes so complicated, 
\vhen the new minister is at last fully installed in the King's 
service, that it will be necessary to depart from the chrono- 
logical order of events hitherto followed, and to treat separately 
each phase of Croln\vell's policy, up to the reaction of 1539. 
The Internal and Foreign Administration, Suppression of the 
Monasteries, of the Pilgrimage of Grace, &c., all move on hand 
in hand, and in order to understand their bearing on one 
another, it is only needful to remember that they were all 
the work of one man, and \vere proceeding in general at the 
same time. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VI 


THE SUPPLICATION OF THE COMMONS AGAINST THE 
ORDINARIES 


Four drafts of this petition exist to-day in the Public Record 
Office. One of them is written in a hand which may be recognized in 
the greater part of Cromwell's correspondence of the time, and which 
is probably that of his chief clerk; it is corrected and revised by 
Cromwell himself. Of the other three, one, which is uncorrected 
and probably a final draft, is also written by the clerk-and the other 
two, chiefly in a strange handwriting, are filled with interlineations 
by Cromwell. The following copy was made from the first of these 
drafts (Cal. v, 1016 (4)). The words in brackets are crossed out in 
the original manuscript: the words in italics are inserted between the 
lines. All the corrections are in Cromwell's hand. 


, To the King our Sovereigne Lorde 
In 1110st humble 'Vise Shewen vnto your excellent highnes and 
most prudent wisedom your faithfull louyng and most humble and 
obedient Subiectes The C0111mons in this your presente parlialnent 
assembled That where of late aswell thorough new fantasticall and 
erronyous opynyons growen by occasion of Frantike sedycious and 
ouerthwartly Framed bokes compiled imprynted publisshed and made 
in the englishe tong contrarie and ayenst the veray trew catholique 
and Cristen Faith as also by the {vnreasonable and} extreme {rygour 
vndiscrete} and vncharytable behaueour and dealing of dyuers ordy- 
naries Ther Com1nyssaryes and Substytuttes which haue heretofore 
had and yet have thexamynacion in and vppon the saide errours and 
hereticall opynyons 1110che discorde varyaunce and debate hathe 
rysen and more and more daylie is like to en crease and insue 
emonges the vniuersall sorte of your saide Subiectes aswell spin'tuall 
as temporall either ayenst other in most vncharitable maner to the 
grete inquietacion vexacion and breche of your peax within this your 
most catholik real me. The speciall perticuler greues whereof which 
most principally concerne your saide Commons and lay Subiectes and 
whiche ar (as they vndoubtedlie suppose) the veray chief Founteyns 
occasions and causes that daylie bredeth Fostereth N orissheth and 



BOI(E AYENST THE CLERGY 105 


n1aynteneth the saide sedycions factyons dedelie hatered and most 
vncharitable parte takinges either parte and sorte of your saide 
Subiectes spirituall and temporall ayenst thother hereafter Folowing- 
lye Do ensue. 
Furst where the prelates and spirituall Ordynaries of this your 
most excellent Real1l1e of Englonde and the clergie of the san1e 
haue in their conuocacions heretofore made and caused to be n1ade 
and also daylie do make dyuers and manye Faryolls iflawes consty- 
tuciOllS and ordenauunces without your know lege or most royaH 
assente and without the assent and consent of any your lay Sub- 
iectes vnto the whiche lawes your saide lay Subiectes haue not onelie 
heretofore and daylie be {boundene} constraynyd 10 obbeye aswell in 
their bodies goodes and possessions But also ben compelled daylie 
to incurre into the censures of the same and ben contynuallie put 
to importable charges and expenses ayenst all equytee right and good 
conscience. .A,nd yet your saide humble subiectes ne their predeces- 
sours couide euer be pryuey to the saide lawes N e any of the saide 
lawes haue ben declared vnto them in thinglisshe tong or otherwise 
þubl.ysshed By knowlege whereof they 111ight haue extued the daun- 
giers censures and penaltees of the same 'Vhieh lawes so made your 
saide n10st hU1l1ble and obedyent subiectes vnder the supportacion 
of your 
Iaiestee Suppose to be not onelie to the dynlynucyon and 
derogacion of your imperyall iurisdiction and prerogatif royall But 
also to the grete preiudice inquietacion and damage of all your 
saide Subiectes And also where now of late there hathe ben deuysed 
by the most Reuerende father in god 'Vyllyam Archebusshop of 
Caunterburie that in the Courtes whiche he callith his Courtes of the 
,A.rches and Audience shalbe but onelie Ten proctours at his deputa- 
cion which be sworn to preferre and promote the onelie iurisdiction 
{and preferrement} of the saide Courtes. By reason whereof if any 
of your lay Subiectes shoulde haue any lawfull cause ayenst the Judge 
of the saide Courtes or ayenst any doctollr or proctour of the same 
or any of their Frendes or adherentes they can ne may in any wise 
haue indifferent counsaill. And also all the causes depending in 
any of the saide courtes may by the confederacie of the saide Few 
proctours be in suche wise traeted and delayed as your Subiectes 
suing in the same shalbe put to importable charges costes and 
expenees. And in case that any matiers there being preferred 
shoulde touche Your Crowne Regallie J urisdietion and prerogatif 
royall yet the same shall not be disclosed by any of the saide proc- 
tours for fere of losse of their offices. 'Vherefore your saide most 



106 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


obedient Subiectes vnder the protexion of your maiestee Suppose 
that your highnes should haue the nomynacion of som conuenyent 
nombre of proctours to be alwayes attendaunt in the saide courtes 
of tharches and audience there to be sworne aswell to the preferre- 
11lent of your iurisdiction and prerogatif royall as to thexpedycion 
of all the causes of your Lay Subiectes repay ring and suing to the 
same. 
And vVhere also many of your saide most humble and obedient 
subiectes and specyallie those that be of the pourest sorte within 
this your Realme ben daylie conuented and called before the saide 
spirituall Ordynaries their Commissaries and Substytutes ex officio 
somtynle at the pleasures of the saide Ordynaries and Substytutes 
for 111alice without any cause and sumtyme at the onelie promocyon 
and accusement of their {false} Somoners and apparitours being 
veray light and vndiscrete persons without any lawfull cause of 
accusacion or credible fame proued ayenst them and without any 
presentement in the vysitacion ben inquieted distourbed vexed 
troubeled and put to excessiue and importable charges for them to 
bere and many tymes be suspended and excommunycate for small 
and light causes vppon thonelie certificat of the proctours of the 
aduersaries made vnder a fayned Seale which euery proctour hathe 
in his keping where as the partie suspended and excommunycate 
Inany tymes neuer had any warning and yet when he shalbe absolued 
if it be out of the courte he shalbe compelled to pay to his owne 
proctour xxd and to the proctour which is ayenst him other xxd 
and xxd to the Scribe besides a pryuey rewarde that the Judge 
shall haue to the grete impouerysshing of your saide poure Lay 
Subiectes. 
Also Your saide most humble and obedient subiectes Fynde them 
greued with the grete and excessyue Fees taken in the said spirituall 
courtes and in especiall in the saide Courtes of tharches and audience 
where they take for euery Cytacyon iiB vi rl for euery Inhibycyon 
vj8 viijd, for euerie proxie xvjd for euery certificat xvjd, for euery Libell 
iij
. iiijd., for euery answer to any Lybell iijB iiijd, for euery acte if it 
be but two woordes to the Register iiijd, for euery personall Cytacion 
or decree iijB iiijd. for euery sentence or iudgement to the Judge 
xxvi B . viijd, for euery testimonyall vppon any suche sentence or iudge- 
n1ent xxvj8. viii d for euery significauit xijB. for euery commyssion to 
examyn wytnes xijB Which is thought to be importable to be borne 
by your saide Subiectes and veray necessarie to be refourmep.. 
And Furthermore 'Vhere the saide spyrytuall Ordynaries {many 



BOKE A YENST THE CLERGY 107 


tymes purposedlie to revenge their inwarde greves and displeasures 
and to put their saide lawes in execucion} they Commyssaryes & 
Subst.ytuttes sumtymefor thayr own Pleasures SumlJ'me by the Synister 
procurement of other spirituall persons vse to make out proces 
ayenst dyuers of your saide Subiectes and thereby compell them to 
appere before themselffes to answer at a certen day and place to 
suche articles as by them shalbe of office afore themselffes then 
purposed alld that Secretlye and not Ùl oþþen places and fourthwith 
vppon their apparaunce without cause or any declaracion then 
made or shewed conzmytt and sende them to warde 'Vhere they 
remayne without bayle or mayneprise sumtyme half a yere and 
somtyme a hole yere and nlore or they nlay in any wise knowe 
either the cause of their imprysonenlent or any nanle of their accuser 
and fynallie their grete costes charges and expences therin when all 
is exanlyned and nothing can be proued ayenst them but they 
clerelie Innocente for any Faute or cryme that can be layed vnto 
them in that parte ben set ayen at large without any recompence or 
amendes in that behalf to be towardes them adiudged. 
And also if percase vppon the saide proces and apparaunce any 
partie be vppon the saide matier cause or examynacion brought 
Fourth and named either as partie or wytnes and then vppon the 
proffe and tryall thereof not able to prove and verefie his saide 
accusacion or testymonye ayenst the partie so accused to be trew 
then the person so causeles accused is {clerely} for the more parte 
without any remedie for his charges and wrongful vexacyon to be 
{in that parte} towardes him adiuged and recouered. 
Also vppon thexalllynacion of the saide accusacion if heresie be 
ordynarylie Jayed vnto the charge of the partie so accused then the 
saide ordynaries or their ministres vse to put to thenl suche subtile 
interrogatories concerning the high misteries of Our feith as ar able 
quyckelye to trappe a simple vnlerned or yet a well wytted lay nlan 
without lerning and bryng them by suche sinyster introduction sone 
to his owne confusion And Fourthwith if there chaunce any heresie 
to be by suche subtill polycie by hinl confessed in wourdes and yet 
neuer commytted nor thought in dede, then put they without ferther 
fauour the saide person either to make his purgacion and so thereby 
to lose his honestie and credence for euer orelles as sonl simple sely 
Sowle precyselie stonding to the clere testynlonye of his owne well 
knowen conscience rather then to confesse his innocent trouth to 
abyde {thextreme examynacion of deth by the Fyer} thextremyte Ùl 
that behalf and so is vtterly distroyed. 



108 


THOMAS CR01vlWELL 


And if it fortune the saide partie so accused to denye the saide 
accusacion and so put his aduersarie to proue the {false} sanle 
vntrewlie forged and yn1agened ayenst hin1 then for the 1110re parte 
suche wytnesses as ben brought fourth for the saIne be they but 
ij in nonlbre neuer so sore diffamed of litle trouth or credence 
aduersaries or enemies to the partie yet they shalbe allowed and 
enabeled onlye by Discrecyon of the sayd orde1laryes ther Commyssaryes 
& Substyt2tttes and therevppon sufficient cause to procede to iudge- 
1l1ent to delyuer the partie so accused either to the seculer handes 
{and so to be burned} after abiuracion without remedie and afore 
if he Submytte himself to compell him when best happeneth to nlake 
his purgacion and bere a Fagotte to his extreme shame and vtter 
vndoing. 
In Consideracyon whereof most gracious Souereigne Lorde And 
Forasmoche as there is at this present tyme and by a Few yeres past 
hathe ben outrageous vyolens on thone parte and moche defaulte 
and lacke of pacyent sufferaunce charitee and good will on thother 
parte, A meruelous Disorder of the godlie quyet peax and tran- 
quillyte that this your realIl1e heretofore euer hitherto hathe ben 
in thorough your poletique wisedo111 in most honourable fame and 
catholik feith invyolablye preserued. It may therefore nlost henigne 
Souereigne Jorde lyke your excellent goodnes for the tender and 
vnyuersallye indyfferent zele benigne loue and fauour that your 
highnes berith towarde both the saide parties, the saide articles if 
they shalbe by your 1110st clere and perfite iudgen1ent thought any 
instrunlentes or causes of the saide variaunce and disorder or those 
and all other occasions whatsoeuer accoll1pted by your highnes to 
make towardes the saide factions depelie and weightylie after your 
accusto111ed weyes and maner serched weyed and considered gra- 
ciouslie to prouyde all vyolence on both sides vtterlye and clerelie 
set a parte sonle suche necessarie and behofull remedies as may 
effectuallie reconsile and bryng in perpetuall vnytee your saide 
Subiectes spirituall and ternporall. And for thestablisshing thereof 
to make and ordeyn on both sides suche straite lawes ayenst the 
brekers transgress ours and offendours as shalbe to hevye daungerous 
and weightie for them or any of them to bere suffer and sustcyne. 
Whereunto Your saide COl1l0nS most humblie hertelie and entierlie 
beseche your grace as the onely hed Souereigne lorde protectour and 
Defendour of bothe the saide parties in whom and by whonl the 
onelie and sole redresse reformacion and remedie herein absolutely 
restith and rell1ayneth. By occasion whereof all your saide Comons 



BOKE A YENST THE CLERGY 109 


in their conscience surelye accompt that beside the meruelous 
Feruent 1011e that your highnes shall thereby (gain) and engendre in 
their hartes towardes Your grace Ye shall do the most pryncelie Feate 
and shew the most honourable and charitable president and l\iirrour 
that euer did Souereigne lorde vppon his subiectes and therewithall 
Inerite and deserue of our n1ercyfull lorde eternall blisse 'Vhose 
goodnes graunt your grace in 1110St godlie pryncelie and honourable 
astate long to reigne prosper and contynew as the Souereigne lorde 
ouer all your saide 1110st humble and n10st obedyent Subiectes. 
[Tzl!o blank þages here.] 
And "'here also the said prelatis and ordinaries daily do permytte 
and suffer the parsons vicars Curates parishe prestcs and other 
spirituall parsons hauing Cure of soule within this your Realn1e 
J\1inistring {vnto your said loving subgiettes} to exact and take of your 
humble & obedJ'ozt Suhiectes dYlters Sltmlll)'S of 1l101ley for the Sacra- 
Inentes & sacramentalles of holy churche {as the holy sacrament of 
the Aulter BaptYllle, l\IatrÜnonye Confession, buriall weddyng 
churchinges and suche other} Sumt..J'me de'
Y'Ùlg the saIne without 
they ÞJ:rst be þa)'d the sa)'d Summys of lllOiley {& to take for the 
ministracion of the same of your said Subiectes diuers and certen 
sommes of money allegging the same to be their dueties.} 'Vhiche 
sacramentes and sacramentalles your saide most hun1ble & obedient 
subiectes vnder the protection of your highnes doo suppose & think 
ought to be in most Reuerent charitable & good lie wise freely 
mynystred vnto them at all tymes requisite withoute denyall or {any 
maner S011lnle or} exaccyoll of any Inaner sommes of Illoney {or other 
duetie or contribucion to be asked demaunded or required for the 
same f to be demaltndyd or ask)'d for the same And also where in the 
spirituall courtes of the said Prelatis & ordinaries ben lymyted and 
appoynted for nlany Judges Scribes _\pparitou1"S Sonlollers praysours 
and other nlinistres for the approbacion of testan1entes vVhiche 
coveting somoche theire owne priuate Lucres and satisfaccion of the 
appetites of the said prelates and Ordinaries that when any of your 
said loving subiectes do Repaire to any of the said Courtis for the 
probate of any testamentes they do in suche wise {extorte and} 
make long delays or excessively take of theym so large fees and 
Rewardes for the same as is I01portible for theym to beare directly 
against all Justice lawe equite and goode conscience 
{And also where most gracious soueraigne the Judges Constituted 
and appoynted by the said spirituall Ordinaries in their said Courtes 



110 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


to here and determyne causes there, do in likewise daily take many 
grete and excessive fees and rewardes of your said pore subiectes 
having any cause or Inatier depending before theym as is aforsaid 
And ouer that when any Judgement or sentence by the said Judge 
shalbe yeven before them wille also have grete sommes of money 
for the san1e. So that no thing is or can be obteyned in any of the 
said Courtes withoute money. } 
IVheifor Your said most humble and obedient subiectes do 
therfore vnder your gracious correction and supportacion suppose 
it were veray necessary that the said ordinaries in the deputacion of 
suche Judges shulde be bounde to appoynte and assigne suche 
discrete gravous and honest persons having sufficient Lernyng witte 
discrecion & vnderstonding and also being indewed with such 
spirituall promocions stipend and salarye as they being Judges in 
their said Courtes'myght and may Inynystre to euery parson repairing 
to the same Justice withoute taking any maner fee or Rewarde for 
any maner sentence or Judgement to be yoven before theyn1. 
And also where as diuerse spirituall persons being presented aswell 
by your highnes and by other patrons within this your Realme to 
{ any} dyuers benefices or other spirituall promocion. The såid 
ordinaries and there mynystres do not onely take of theym for theyr 
Letteres of Institucion and Induction many grete and {excessive} 
large S01nn1es of money & Rewardes But also do pact and coue- 
naunte with the same, taking sure bondes for their indempnite to 
aunswer to the said ordinaries the first frutes of the said benefices 
after their Institucion so as they being ones presented or promoted 
as is aforesaid ben by the said ordinaries veray {extremely} vncharyt- 
ablye handled to their no litle hynderaunce & impouerisshement 
whiche your said subgiettes suppose not onely to be against all lawes 
right & good consciens but also to be Symony and contrary to the 
Lawes of god. 
And also where as the said spirituall Ordinaries do daily conferre 
and geve sundry benefices vnto certen yong folkes calling them their 
Nephews or K}:nsfo!kes being in their mynorite and within age not 
apt ne able to Serue the Cure of any suche benefice '\Vherby the said 
ordinaries do kepe and deteyn the frutes & profittes of the sanle 
benefices in their owne handes and therby accumulate to themselffes 
right grete and large sommes of money & yerely profittes to the most 
pernicious ex sample of all your said lay subiectes and so the Cures 
& other promocions youen vnto suche Infantes ben onely {youen 
but} Imþ!oyed to f enriche} thenryching of the said ordinaries & the 



BOKE A YENST THE CLERGY III 


pore sely soules of YOllr people and subiectes whiche shulde be 
taught in the paroches yoven as aforsaid for lak of good curates do 
perisshe withoute doctrine or any good teaching. 
And also where a grete nombre of holy daies whiche nowe at 
this present tyme witlt veray sll1alle Uevocion be solempnised and 
kept thorough oute this yOllr Rcahne vppon the whiche many grete 
abhomynable and execrable vices idle and wanton sportes ben vseù 
and exercised whiche holy daies if it may stond with your gracious 
pleasure and sþecyall sltche as Fall in the heruest myght by YOllr 
maiestie by thadvice of your n10st honourable counseill prelates and 
ordinaries be made fewer in nombre and those that shall herafter 
be ordeyned to stond & contynue myght and may be the n10re 
Devoutely religiously & reuerently obserued to the Laude of 
almyghty god and to thencrease of your high honour & fame.' 
Endd. 'A boke ayenst the clergy for takyng excessyve Fees' 



CHAPTER VII 


INTERNAL POLICY 


FROM the close of the year 1532 until his fall, the entire 
domestic administrd.tion of England was in Cromwell's hands. 
From the moment that he entered the King's service he had 
definitely committed himself to the policy which he was to 
follo\v till the end of his days. His o\vn theories of internal 
government, the traditions of the Tudor monarchy, and the 
situation of the realm at the time of his accession to po\ver, 
combined to convince him that the n1aintenance of an all- 
powerful kingship was indispensable to England's safety; the 
nature of the proposal by which he first won Henry's con- 
fidence was tantamount to an irrevocable declaration of that 
principle, and a promise that it should be the guiding thought 
of his entire administration. The revolt from Rome \vas an 
incident rather than an aim of his policy. He had suggested 
it at first as offering the only possible solution of the immediate 
difficulties of the Cro\vn, and as affording golden opportuni- 
ties for the increase of the povv-er of the monarchy; but as 
soon as the decisive step had been taken, he sa\v that the 
security of his own position had become conditional upon 
the permanence of the ne\v ecclesiastical systetn, which in 
turn could only be ensured if the King, for whose sake it 
had been created, \vas rendered supreme in Church and 
State. Cromwell's very existence had thus become dependent 
on the success of his endeavours to maintain and carry 
further the policy initiated by Henry VII, and to elevate 
the Cro\vn to sovereign power above every other institution 
in the realm. Perhaps no minister has ever had more varied 
problems to confront him, than those \vhich Cromwell had to 
deal \vith during these eight years; and yet his action in 
every case is a logical, intelligent application of the theory 



INTERNAL POLICY 


113 


of internal government, which he believed \vas the only sure 
road to national greatness. With this great principle firmly 
borne in mind, the history of Crom\vell's don1estic adminis- 
tration becomes comparatively simple. 
A further assertion of the Supremacy of the Crown in 
ecclesiastical affairs was necessary, before Crom\vell could 
attempt to strengthen its already predominant position in 
the State. The chief object of the more important measures 
of the years 1533 and 1534 ,vas to utilize the consequences 
of the breach \vith Rome for the benefit of the monarchy, 
and to provide that none of the po\ver of \vhich the Pope 
had been deprived should be permitted to escape the King. 
During the year 1532 Henry had deluded himself with hopes 
that his first attack on the liberties of the English clergy 
might frighten Clement into acquiescence in the pivorce, but 
at last his patience came to an end, and he surrendered 
himself entirely to the guidance of Crom,vell, who had been 
persuaded from the first that nothing further ,vas to be 
obtained from the Pope. In January, 1533, the King was 
secretly married to Anne Boleyn; on the 10th of May 
Cranmer, who had lately been raised to the see of Canterbury, 
opened his archiepiscopal court at Dunstable 1. With a 
promptitude \vhich must have been highly satisfactory to 
Henry after the delays of the previous proceedings at Rome, 
the sentence of divorce was pronounced. There can be little 
doubt that Cromwell gave efficient aid in" hastening the 
verdict 2; but what is far more important, he took effective 
measures, even before it was rendered, to prevent its revo... 
cation. Parliament had been in session during the three 
months previous to the assembling of the court at Dunstable: 
in anticipation of the conling sentence, it had been induced 
to pass an Act 3 to deprive Katherine of the only hope that 
remained to her by forbidding appeals to Rome, and by 
ordaining that the decision of an archiepiscopal court should 
be final, except in cases where the King was concerned, when 
appeal might be made to the Upper House of Convocation. 


1 Cal. vi. 180, 461. 


MERRIMAN. I 


2 Cal. vi. 461, 469, 496, 525, 526, 5 2 7. 
s 24 Hen. VIII, c. 12. 
I 


, 
\ 
, 



114 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


A notable effort was made to conceal the obvious and imme- 
diate purpose of this statute under a shroud of pious and 
patriotic verbiage. The life of the Act, however, was but 
short. Though it had dealt the death blow to the juris- 
diction of the Pope in England, it had not made adequate 
provision for the maintenance of the Supremacy of the Crown; 
so in 1534 the statute of the previous year was superseded by 
a ne\v one \ which' enacted that an appeal might ahvays be 
made from an archbishop's court to the King's Court of 
I Chancery, the decision of \vhich \vas to be final. The abo- 
lition of the Annates (which \vill be considered in another 
place) occurred at the same time. The effect of t
ese t\VO 
measures was to complet
 the work begun in 1530, and to 
sever the last links of the chain which bound the Church of 
England to Rome. V 
In the meantime the famous Act of Succession 2; bastardiz- 
ing the Princess Mary and establishing the offspring of Anne 
Boleyn as la\vful heirs to the throne of England, håd also been 
passed in Parliament, and before the year had closed a ne\v 
statute 3 had formally recognized the King's ecclesiastical 
supremacy for the third time; for Henry was not satisfied 
with the acknowledgements he had wrung from the clergy in 
153 1 and 1532, nor with the express assertion that the King 
was on earth Supreme Head of the Church of England, 
contained in the oath to the new succession, which Cromwell's 
commissioners began to adnlinister throughout the realm in 
the summer of 1534. The last vestige of the independence 
of the English bishops was also removed in the course of this 
memorable year, by certain provisions of the final Act for the 
restraint of Annates 4. It had not been necessary, however, to 


1 25 Hen. VIII, c. 19. 
2 25 Hen. VIII, c. 22. Mendez 
Silva, pp. 14 and IS, asserts that 
Crom well was responsible for the 
passage of this statute. The King's 
minister appeared in Convocation 
and Parliament, and made a speech 
in which he said that his master 
desired that Mary be excluded 
from the succession and Elizabeth 


received in her place, and that he 
was sure that they all loved His 
Majesty so much that they would 
not refuse to do his will. Clergy, 
Lords, and Commons, 'al peligro 
de la conciencia . . . se reduxeron 
facilmente.' 
s 26 Hen. VIII, c. I. 
4 25 Hen. VIII, c. 20. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


115 


introduce any very radical innovation here. The bishops 
\vcre already virtually in the King's hands, for the elections by 
chapters had long been a mere farce, and the royal nominee 
þad been almost invariably chosen. So the Act had aimed at 
a legalization of the status quo-merely adding a few ne\v 
provisions to strengthen the King's hold on the Church. All 
relations with the Pope were of course to cease; the bishops 
,vere to be consecrated by virtue of a royal commission; and 
if the chapter failed to elect \vithin t\velve days, the King 
was empo'wered to fill the vacancy by letters patent. But 
even this does not seem to have been enough to satisfy 
Cromwell. A letter of Chapuys in the early part of 153,) 
informs us that the King's Secretary caIIed some of the 
bishops before the Council to ask them if the King could 
not make and unmake them at pleasure: 'they were obliged 
to say yes, else they should have been deprived of their 
dignities: as the said Cromwell told a person, who reported 
it to me, and said that the Council had been summoned only 
to entrap the bishops 1.' Crom,vell followed this up, later in 
the year, by causing a Prohibitory Letter to be sent out in 
the King's name, forbidding the bishops to visit any monastery 
or to exercise any right of jurisdiction during the visitation of 
the religious houses then in progress 2. It appears that even 
Cromwell, with all his audacity, \vas at a loss to devise a 
means to silence the objections which \vere raised against this 
high-handed measure. He was not ashamed to take a hint 
from the fertile brains of his two blood-hounds, Legh and 
Ap-Rice, who suggested an ingenious argument to crush all 
opposition, the gist of which is contained in the following 
quotation from a letter which they wrote to Cromwell, 
Sept. 24, 15353:- 
'Yf they (the bishops) had any Jurisdiction, they muste 
nedes haue receued (it) either by the la\ve of god or by the 
busshop of Romes Authoritie or eis by the Kinges grace 
permission. Which is no sufficient discharge ageinst the 
statute. 


1 Cat viii. 121. 
2 Cal. ix. 5 1 7. 
's British Museum, Cleop. E. vi. 
I 2 


254; and Strype, Ecclesiastical 
Memorials, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 216. 


. 



116 


THOMAS CROMvVELL 


, Yf they saye by the La\ve of god, Lett theym bring foorth 
scriptur but I thinke theym not so impudent as to saye so. 
'Yf they saye by the busshop of Romes Authoritie. Lett 
theym exercise it still, yf they thinke it mete. 
'Yf they saye by the Kinges permission why be they more 
discontent that the king shuld call agein no\ve to his handes 
that which came from hym to theym, than they wolde haue 
bene yf he had never graunted it theym. And surely they 
are not able to iustifie thexercise of their iurisdiction hetherto. J 
Fortified by such reasoning as this did the Royal Supremacy 
pass into effect. 
Having thus obtained the complete submission of the 
greater lights of the Church, Crom\vell consistently pursued 
his relentless policy with the humbler orders of friars and 
monks. IIis method of dealing with the latter did not differ 
materially from his policy \vith the former, except that it was 
perhaps more sanguinary. Priors La\vrence and Webster, 
two Carthusians who denied the validity of the King's ne\v 
title, \vere examined by Cromwell, and when they stubbornly 
refused to retract their assertions, they were promptly sen- 
tenced and executed 1. Three others, Houghton, Hale, and 
Reynolds, suffered death a little later, and the latter dared to 
tell Cromwell that in spite of the terror he had caused by his 
late proceedings, all good men in the kingdom really held the 
same opinion, that the Headship of the Church was not the 
King's2. But notwithstanding the wide popular dissatisfac- 
tion at the ne\v measures, most malcontents, both lay and 
spiritual, kept their thoughts to themselves. Men were be- 
ginning to discover ho\v dangerous it was to criticize the 
doings of the King and his minister. The elaborate system of 
espionage and the commissions to seek out and punish treason, 
\vhich Cromwell had so laboriously established all over the 
country in 1532, had no\v begun to bear fruit. It was impos- 
sible to tell who the government spies \vere: impossible to 
know when or against whom the next accusation would be 
made. The words which men spoke in the bosom of their 
families or to their most intimate friends and neighbours were 


J Cal. viii. 565, 895. 


2 Cal. viii. 609, 661. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


117 


as likely to be laid to their charge as their utterances in 
public: harmless, obscure and ignorant country folk were 
brought before the magistrates as often as those of higher 
degree. Edmond Brocke, husbandman, eighty years of age, 
of Cro\vle in 'VV orcestershire, \vas "Talking hon1e in the rain 
from Worcester market on the Saturday before St. Thomas' 
Day, in company \vith Margaret Higons. ' Yt ys long of the 
Kyng that this wedre is so troblous or vnstable,' he said, ' and 
I \vene \ve shall nevir haue better wedre \vhillis the Kinge 
}<eigneth, and therefore it makith no mattcr if he were 
knocked or patted on the heed 1.' These facts \vere declared 
on August 12, 1535, before John Russell Esq., ] ustice of the 
Peace, by Richard Fulke, husbandman, and Joan Danyell of 
Cro\vle. Brocke confessed that he had said 'that it was 
a hevy and grevous \vether and that there \vas neuyr good 
\vedringes sithins the King began this busines,' but what he 
meant by' busines' he could not tell: as to the rest of his 
,vords, he said, he \vas mad or drunk if he spoke them-more 
than this he ,vould not ans\ver. William Ferrall, of East- 
bourne in Sussex, deposed before Sir John Gage on August 14, 
1536, that Sir William Hoo, vicar of Eastbourne, and suffragan 
of the diocese of Chichester, \valking \vith him in the -church- 
yard, said that 'they that rule about the King make hitn 
great bankettes and geve him swete wynes and make hinl 
dronke,' and that then 'they bring him byllis and he puttyth 
his sign to them whereby they doo what they \vill and no 
man may Correcte them 2.' l\largaret Chanseler, of Senklers 
Bradfeld in Suffolk, spinster, "Tas forced to confess before 
Sir Robert Drury in February, 1535, that, when drunk and 
under the influence of an evil spirit, she had said, in pre- 
sence of Edmond Tyllet and Anthony Harward, 'that the 
quenes grace had one child by our souereigne lorde the 
Kynge, \vhich the seid (child) \vas ded borne, & she prayed 
god that she myght neuer haue other; also that the quenes 
grace was a noughtty hoore & that the I<'yngcs grace ought 
not to mary within his realme.' Tyllet and Harward, when 
summoned, made the matter sOlnewhat \vorse. They declared 


1 CaI. ix. 74. 


2 Cal. xi. 300 (2). 



118 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


that the spinster had called the Queen' a goggyll yed hoore,' 
and that she had added 'God save queen Katteryn for 
she was ryghtuous queen, & that she trusted to see her 
queen Ageyn & that she should warrant the same 1.' All 
the magistrates before whom these depositions were laid, 
received ample instructions from Cromwell how to deal with 
every case; if the accusation was very heavy, the offender was 
usually sent up to the minister himself, to answer for his 
misdeeds at head quarters. The punishments in these cases 
\vere very severe: there are almost no records of the penalties 
inflicted on those against whom the depositions were brought, 
but there is reason to believe that comparatively slight nlis- 
demeanours were not seldom rewarded \vith death. 
But of all the devices' For the putting the Kynges subiectes 
and other in more terroure,' as Cromwell once expressed it 2, 
the most ruthless remains to be mentioned. The execution 
of the Carthusians had had its effect, but Cromwell was per- 
suaded that more blood would have to be spilled before his 
victory could be considered complete. As was usual with 
him, he laid the axe at the root of the tree, and chose as his 
victims the noblest and foremost in the land. The opinions 
of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More were \vell known to 
be opposed to the Royal Supremacy, and as such they carried 
enormous weight. Cromwell must have seen that it would 
be impossible to establish the King in his new position with 
any security, until these two men were either converted or 
destroyed. So, never once swerving from his purpose, nor 
letting the rank and position of these distinguished men 
change or deter him, he set about the business of 'making 
or marring,' with his usual directness and method. If he 
knew More and Fisher at all well, he must have been reason- 
ably certain that he could never alter their convictions, so it 
became necessary for him to look for some adequate pretext 
for getting rid of them. Such a pretext soon presented 
itself. 
In July, 1533, occurs the first mention of serious disturbance 
due to the visions and prophecies of Elizabeth Barton, better 


1 CaI. viii. 19 6 . 


2 Letters, 1 0 7. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


119 


known as the Nun of Kent 1. Her reputation for holiness 
and for divine inspiration \vas so high throughout the land, 
that her mad follies \vere everywhere regarded with almost 
superstitious reverence. Crom\vell, at the King's command, 
caused her to be examined by Cranmer, but apparently did 
not succeed in eliciting the information he desired, for the in- 
vestigation was continued by other interrogators \vho were 
less leniently disposed than the Archbishop 2. The Nun was 
finally obliged to confess that' she never Hadd Vision in all 
her Lyff, but all that ever she said was fayned of her 
owne ymagynacion, only to satisfie the Myndeis of theym 
Whiche Resorted vnto her, and to obtayn \"orldly prayse 3.' 
She and her accomplices \vere forced to read their public 
confessions on a scaffold erected at Paul's Cross, \vhile 
a sermon was preached in denunciation of the fraud. In the 
following spring she was condemned to death in Parliament, 
and in April she was executed \vith some of her accomplices 
at Tyburn 4. 
But the destruction of the Nun was only of secondary 
importance for Crom,,"ell's plans; he was mainly looking for 
some mesh in which he could entrap others of whom he was 
in much more fear than Elizabeth Barton. Every effort 
appears to have been made to elicit from her a confession of 
communication with the divorced Queen, but without success. 
More and Fisher, however, were not destined to escape so 
easily. Because the Bishop of Rochester, after several inter- 
views with the unhappy woman, had not reported to Henry 
her disloyal prophecies (which the Nun had already made in 
presence of the King himself), it \vas taken as a sign of 
treason and neglect of duty to the sovereign. The long letter 
which Cromwell wrote to Fisher in February, 1534, gives 
a detailed account of the numerous and unfounded charges 
against him 5. This letter impresses the reader as having 
been written pro forl1la only. Cromwell must have realized 
that he could never hope to overcome two men who were so 


1 Ca1. vi. 835. 2 Letters, 52; Cal. vi. 9 6 7, 1445. 
3 British Museum, Harl. 
lSS. 6, 148 f, 40 a. 
4 Cal. vii. 54 (3 1 ), 5 22 . :) Letters, 68. 



120 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


much his intellectual superiors as More and Fisher, in an 
argument. He therefore carefully avoided having any con- 
versation with them, and wrote to them only in order to have 
some slight outward justification for his arbitrary action. 
Fisher sent pathetic letters to the King and the Lords, when 
Cromwell refused to accept his excuses or listen to his argu- 
ments, but in vain. His name \vas included in the Act of 
attainder of Elizabeth Barton and her accomplices which was 
passed in March, 1534, but his life was spared until the King 
could find a more valid pretext for actually destroying him 1. 
The accusations in the case of Sir Thomas More were even 
more groundless than in Fisher's. The only charges that 
could be proved against him ,vere an unimportant interview 
with the Nun herself, a letter which he confessed to have 
\vritten to her, warning her to leave political subjects entirely 
alone, and an insignificant conversation about her with a 
certain father Resbye, Friar Observant of Canterbury 2. So 
much was made of these slight accusations, however, that 
More was forced to write a long letter of excuse to Cromwell. 
His explanations about the Nun and about his attitude on 
the Papal Supremacy appear to have been satisfactory; 
\vhen he ,vas examined by Cromwell and Audeley, all the in- 
ventiveness of his accusers seemed to be used to no purpose. 
'As the King did not find,' says Chapuys, 'as it seems 
he hoped, an occasion for doing him more harm, he has 
taken away his salary 3.' But this unfortunately was not 
destined to be the end of the affair; if the King was not 
determined on the ex-Chancellor's destruction, his Privy 
Councillor was; but Cromwell was forced to bide his time 
and wait for a better opportunity, so that further proceedings 
\vere stayed until the following April. 
In the meantime the new Act of Succession had been 
passed in Parliament, and the oath of aHegiance which it 
required was promptly tendered to l\1ore and Fisher, \vho 
finally consented to swear to the statute itself but not the 
preamble 4. They were un\villing to give their reasons for 


1 Cf. Lewis, chap. xxxii. 
2 Cal. vii. 287. 


3 Cal. vii. 29 6 . 
· CaI. vii. 499, and Letters, 71. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


]21 


rejecting the latter, but Crannler cannot have been far wrong 
when he wrote to Croln\vell that the cause of their refusal 
to accept it lay in its attacks on the authority of the Pope and 
the validity of the King's first marriage 1. The Archbishop, 
ever on the side of humanity, urged the I(ing's minister to 
accept the compromise which More and Fisher offered, but in 
vain. The ex-Chancellor and the aged bishop were con1- 
miUed to the Tower, which they never quitted again. For 
more than a year they remained there subjected to every 
sort of indignity, until on l\tlay 5, 1535, they were sum- 
nloned by the King, and told that unless they swore to the 
Act of Succession and the Royal Supremacy, they \vould be 
treated no better than the Carthusian monks who had lately 
been executed 2. They \vere allowed six \veeks for reflection, 
but they replied that they would not change their opinion in 
six hundred years, if they lived so long. So strong was the 
popular feeling however, that it is doubtful if Henry would 
have dared to execute Fisher, simply because he said that 
'the King, our sovereign Lord, is not Supreme Head of the 
Church of England'; but \vhen it was announced that the 
Pope, at a consistory held May 20, had created him a Cardinal, 
the King was so enraged that he threw all caution to the 
winds. He declared in his fury that 'he \vould give Fisher 
another hat, and send his head to Rome for the Cardinal's hat 
afterwards,' and ordered both his prisoners to swear to his 
ecclesiastical headship before St. John's Day, or suffer punish- 
ment as traitors 3. Cromwell had endeavoured from the 
beginning to keep up the appearance of being reluctant to 
punish the aged bishop and his noble companion, and there is 
record that when he heard of the latter's first refusal to 
abandon his beliefs, ' he sware a great oath 4.' But in spite of 
this there is every reason to think that he ,vas the true cause 
of the ex-Chancellor's death. It is not likely that Henry 
\vould have consented to the execution of a man whom he 


1 Strype, Cranmer, vol. i. p. 39; 
vol. ii. p. 693. 
2 Cal. viii. 666. 
S Cal. viii. 742, 876. Cf. also 


Lewis, chaps. xxxiv, xxxv, and 
XXXVI. 
4 Cal. vii. 575. 



122 


THOl\IAS CROMWELL 


had formerly loved and respected as much as More, unless his 
counsellor had poisoned his heart against him. Moreover, 
the mentions of l\'Iore and Fisher in Crom\vell's 'remem- 
brances' are so frequent and of such a character, as to leave 
little doubt that he had determined to ruin them from the 
first. They both suffered death by beheading in the summer 
of 1535 I. It was a terrible evidence of the ruthlessness of 
the for\vard policy to which Henry had no\v committed 
himself by the advice of his new minister. The most brilliant 
and cultivated Englishlnan of the time had been brought to 
the block to bear testimony to the King's relentless anger; the 
gentleness and humility of the oldest prelate in the realm had 
not shielded him from Henry's \vrath and the swift, passion- 
less blo\v of his all-po\verful agent. Terror had mastered the 
country, and nlen wondered what the end would be 2. 
But though Cromwell's truculent measures had gained the 
day in England, they excited the anger and horror of 
continental Europe. Sentence of excommunication had been 
passed on Henry in the summer of 1534; public opinion 
would not have permitted the Pope longer to postpone the 
final blow, even if he had wished to do so. It now became 
more than ever necessary to defend the position of the King, 
and Cromwell was busily occupied in filling the pulpit at 
Paul's Cross with preachers who were willing and able to 
expound the word of God to Henry's profit and advantage 3. 
In this he was greatly helped by Bishop Rowland Lee of 
Coventry and Lichfield, who later played such an important 
part in connexion with the subjugation of Wales, In seeking 
means to defend the Royal Supremacy Cromwell's knowledge 
of the law stood him in good stead. In a letter written in 
the year 1538, Sir Thomas Denys tells how Cromwell three 
years earlier had advised him to 'rede in a boke called 
Bratton 4 nott vnwrittyn this cccc yeres where he doth call the 


1 Lewis, chap. xxxvii; Roper, 
55. 
2 'Obraua CromueI, estas, y otras 
atrocidades Iibremente, dando á 
entender ser conueniencia del 
Principe, para Ia estabilidad de 


su Corona, sujecion, y terror en 
105 vassallos.' :Mendez Silva, p. 
13. 
s Letters, 197. 
4: Henry de Bracton's De Legi- 
bus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


123 


Kinges Grace Vicarius Christi, . . . . wherfor,' he continues, 
( I do rekyn a papiste and a traitollr to be one thing 1.' But 
the most drastic of the measures which Cromwell adopted to 
strengthen the power of the Crown ,vas the famous Act 
about Proclamations, which he was able to force the Lords 
and Commons to pass in 1539. By this statute, all Proclama- 
tions made by the King and Council V\rere given the force 
of Acts passed in Parliament, save \vhen they touched- the 
subject's lives, lands, goods, or liberties, or infringed the estab- 
lished laws; and these exceptions \vere expressly declared 
inapplicable to those who should disobey proclamations con- 
cerning heresy. Cromwell had planned for the passage of this 
statute from a period at least as early as ] 535. A letter 2 
\vhich he \vrote to Norfolk in July of that year affords us 
interesting information concerning the origin of the n1casure. 
In a controversy about the best means of preventing the 
export of coin from the realm, the Chief Justice had delivered 
the opinion that (For the avoyding of any suche daungers . . . 
proclamacyons and polyces so deuysyd by the King & his 
cownsayll for any such purpose sholde be of as good effect as 
Any law made by parlyament or otherwyse 3.' The Chief 


1 Cal. xiii. (i) 120. 
2 Letters, 1 0 7. 
s The fol1owing passage frOln a 
letter which Gardiner wrote to the 
Protector Somerset in the reign of 
Edward VI gives a slightly dif- 
ferent account of the origin of the 
Act about ProéIamations :- 
'Vvhether the King ma y com- 
mand against the Common Law 
or an Act of Parliament there is 
never a Judge, or other man in the 
realm, ought to know more by ex- 
perience of that the La wyers have 
said, than I . . . being of the Coun- 
cil, when many Proclamations were 
devised against the Carriers out of 
Com; when it came to punishing 
the Offenders the Judges would 
answer, it might not be by the Laws, 
because the Act of Parliament gave 


liberty, Wheat being under a price: 
wherupon at the last followed the 
Act of Proclamations, in the passing 
whereof were many large words.' 
I t will b
 noticed that this ac- 
count of the origin of the Act is 
in many ways similar to that con- 
tained in Cromwell's letter: the 
chief difference being that accord- 
ing to the latter the measure was 
adopted to prevent the export of 
coin, while Gardiner informs us that 
the statute was devised to prevent 
the export of corn. It is possible 
that the Bishop of \\Tinchester, 
writing so many years later, had 
forgotten the exact circumstances, 
and was really referring to the 
same incident as that described 
by Cromwell. Burnet has printed 
Gardiner's letter in full (Collection 



124 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Justice probably came to this decision at a hint from Cromwell ; 
in any case the latter saw that the good work which had been 
already begun could not be considered complete until the 
opinion expressed had been given legal form. F rom this time 
on\vard there occur in his' remembrances J frequent mentions 
of an Act to be passed in Parliament to this effect, but the 
measure proposed was so radical, that with all his energy and 
unscrupulousness, it was four years before he was able to carry 
it through 1. 


of Records and Original Papers, 
&c., part ii, book i, no. 14), but 
he does not seem to have made 
use of the information it contains; 
for in another part of his work 
(part i, book iii, p. 423) he asserts 
that the Act about Proclmnations 
was the result of the great excep- 
tions made to the legality of the 
King's proceedings in the articles 
about religion and other injunctions 
published by his authority, which 
were complained of as contrary to 
law. Hallam (vol. i. p. 35 n.) ap- 
parentlyagrees with Burnet in this 
last statement, and ignores the 
evidence supplied by the letter of 
the Bishop of \Vinchester. I t is 
probable that both writers have 
gone astray in this matter. The 
opposition aroused by the King's 
ecclesiastical proclamations may 
have hastened the passage of the 
Act, but they can scarcely be re- 
garded as its origin in the face of 
the testimony of Cromwell and 
Gardiner. Burnet and Hallam were 
perhaps led to ascribe the source 
of the statute to religious matters, 
by the fact that the Act was passed 
almost simultaneously with the Six 
Articles, and by the special pro- 
vision which it contained concern- 
ing heretics. 
1 Canon Dixon (History of the 


Church of England, vol. ii. p. 12 9) 
sees in the Act about Proclamations 
'a timid attempt to draw the pre- 
rogative within the limits of regular 
legislation,' and seeks to show that 
its true intent was to curtail, while 
legalizing, a power which the Crown 
had exercised hitherto iIIegaIIy and 
without any restraint. I t is doubt- 
less true that the King had issued 
proclamations before, and had en- 
forced obedience to them, without 
the sanction of law; and it is 
equally certain that the intent of 
this Act (like that of so many 
others which Cromwell devised) 
was to legalize a privilege of which 
the Crown had already made use. 
But it is more difficult to agree 
with the reasoning by which Canon 
Dixon attempts to s
ow that the true 
purpose of this process of legaliza- 
tion was to restrict and not to con- 
firm the power of the King. It is 
pretty certain thatthe practical value 
of these limitations was in reality 
far less than at first appeared; for, 
as HaHam and Burnet justly re- 
mark, the ÏInmediate effect of them 
was to confer great power on the 
judges, upon whom the duty of 
interpreting the statute devolved; 
and tbe judges-mere puppets in 
the hands of Henry and Cromwell 
-were sure to render every verdict 



INTERNAL POLICY 


1 ')- 
,..::> 


I t is scarcely necessary to state that a legislative body 
,vhich could be forced to consent to such a statute as this 
retained in practice but few traces of that independence of 
the Cro\vn \vhich it theoretically possessed. The passage 
of the Act about Proclamations marks the culmination of a 
process begun long before Crom\vell came into power, but 
only perfected at the close of his ministry, by \vhich the I 
subserviency of Parliament to the royal will ,vas secured. 
But though the system did 110t reach its highest development 
until 1539, the earlier years of Cromwell's administration 
sho\v such an advance over that of his predecessor in this 
particular, that \ve are justified in regarding the entire period 
of his ministry as the golden age of Tudor despotism. From 
the time that the Commons permitted the King and his 
counsellor to force on them the petition against the clergy 
in 1532, it is scarcely too much to say that the sole function 
of Parliament \vas to register the decrees which emanated 
from the royal council chalnber. 
Of course in order to render Parliament as ' tractable' as 
it ,vas, it became necessary for Cromwell to regulate the 
choice of members for the King's profit, and the success of 
his endeavours in this direction is little short of marvellous. 
Royal interference in elections was certainly not unknown 


in favour of the Crown. The ex- 
ceptions in the Act about Procla- 
mations may well be compared to 
the Quantum, per Christi lege1n 
licet, which had been tacked on 
to the recognition of the King's 
Supremacy. Both were concessions 
granted merely as a sop to the 
popular feeling: both were so 
guarded that they could easily 
be rendered nugatory. Finally, 
the fact that Cromwell himself 
was so active in assisting the 
passage of this statute should be 
a conclusive proof that its real aim 
was not to legalize and limit, but 
to legalize and confirm the power 
of the Crown. The straightforward 
verdicts of H Ulne and Hallam on 


the true significance of the Act are 
certainly correct: 'The prerogative 
could not soar to the heights it 
aimed at, till thus imped by the per- 
fidious hand of Parliament.' The 
fact that the statute was repealed in 
the first year of Edward VI simply 
proves that it was so unpopular 
that it was impossible to renew it, 
when the strong hand of Henry VI I I 
had been removed. Cf. Hume, vol. 
iii. pp. 255, 256; Hallan1, vol. i. 
p. 35; and Blackstone, vol. i. p. 269. 
There is a curious passage in Beo- 
wulf (11. 67-73), in which the King 
rules as he wills, saving his sub- 
jects' lives and heritages, that is 
in striking congruence with this 
Act. 



126 


THOM
S CROMWELL 


before his time, but it had not attained the proportions which 
it was destined to assume under Cromwell, and it was often 
strongly resented by the people. It was only with 'much 
difficulty,' that Henry VII, in the year 1506, succeeded in 
forcing the citizens of London to abandon the right to elect 
their own sheriff, 'which had been granted them by the charter 
of Henry 11, and to accept the royal nominee to that office 2. 
But thirty years later, the Cro\vn had carried its encroach- 
ment on the popular liberties so far that it seemed to be 
usually regarded as a matter of course that a royal nomina- 
tion should take the place of a fäir election. If any protest 
was raised against Henry's palpable infringement of ancient 
," rights-and this was very rarely the case-the King and 
his minister affected to regard the complaint with a ..,
ort 
of indignant amazement. Let lIS examine the details -bf an 
election in Canterbury, which took place when Cromwell was 
at the height of his power. Writs had been issued for the 
choice of two members to Parliament from that city in early 
May, 153 6 . Between eight and nine in the morning of the 
eleventh of that month, the sheriff, John Hobbys, caused the 
commonalty of Canterbury to assemble in the accustomed 
place, where John Starky and Christopher Levyns were duly 
elected burgesses. After the voters had dispersed, about 
noon-time) John Alcok, the mayor of Canterbury, came to 
Sheriff Hobbys in great perplexity, with a letter from 
Cromwell and Audeley, which desired, on the King's behalf. 
that Robert Derknall and John Bryges ' shulde fulfill the seid 


1 Stubbs, Const. Hist., vol. i. 
p. 439. 
2 'William Copingar, Thomas 
Johnson, Sherifes. These Sherifes 
being on the morrow after Michael- 
mas day by the Maior and Alder- 
men presented before the Éarons 
of the Exchequer, only William 
Copingar was admitted and sworne, 
but Thomas Johnson they woulde 
not admitte tin they knew far- 
ther of the Kings pleasure. The 
x of October a commandment was 
brought from the King to the Lord 


Maior that he should cause an elec- 
tion to bee made for a new Sheriffe, 
at which day, came into the Guild 
Hall Mayster Edmond Dudley the 
Kings President, and there shewed 
the King's letters, that his com- 
lTIOns shoulde name for the Kings 
pleasure, William Fitz \Villiam, to 
bee Sheriffe for the peace ensuing, 
which with lTIuch difficulty at length 
was granted, which William Fitz 
\Villiam kept his feast the Six- 
teenth day of October.' Stow's 
Chronicle, p. 879. 



INTERNAL }JOLICY 


127 


romes.' On the follo\ving morning the sheriff directed a humble 
letter to Crom\vell 1, stating the facts, and begging that the 
election of Starky and Levyns Inight be allo\ved to stand, as 
the King's \vishes \vere not known until too late; 'if your seid 
lettere had come to me byfore the seid eleccion: he pleaded, 
C I \volde haue done the best that had been in my po\vr to 
(have) Accomplished our Souereigne lord the Kinges pleasure 
and yours in the premysses.' But the King's minister gave 
no heed to the representations of John Hobbys: the fact that 
an election had already been held did not trouble him in the 
least: the !(ing's \vill \\'as to be accomplished at all costs. 
On May 18 he addressed a significant letter to the l\Iayor 
and Burgesses of Canterbury, \vhich was quite sufficient 
to induce the recipients to nullify their former proceedings. 
The phraseology of the letter is note\vorthy: the King's 
minister did not discuss the fact that his first message had 
arrived too late. He simply reminded the burgesses that the 
King's pleasure had been signified to them, and that they 
C the same litle or nothynge regardynge but rather COlltemn- 
Yllg' had elected their o\vn candidates, according to their 
, owne \vylles and myndes cOlltrarie to the kinges plesure and 
comandenlent in that behalfe.' This of course \vas a thing 
wher'eat the King did' not a lytell marvell,' and the burgesses 
were admonished' nOÌ\vythstondynge the seyd eleccion' to 
C procede to a new and electe thosse other, accordyng to the 
tenure of the former letteres': they ",'ere also desired to notify 
Crom\vell at once C if any persone ",'yll obstynatly gaynsay 
the same,' so that the King's minister might deal with the 
refractory burgess according to his master's pleasure. T",'o 
days later l\Iayor Alcok replied with the follo",'ing dutiful 
letter. 'In humble Wise certefie you that the xx th Day 
of this p1 Þ esent monyth of Maye at vi of the Clok in the 
mornyng I John Alcok mayre of Cauntebury receyved your 
lettere Dyrected to me the seid mayre Sheryf and Comynaltie 
of the seid Citie sygnyfying to vs therby the kynges plesure 
and cOl1zmaundement is that Robert Darknall and John 
Bryges shoulde be burgesses of the P arlyament for thesame 


1 Cal. x. 85 2 . 



128 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Citie of Cauntebury by Vertue wherof accordyng to' our bounde 
Dutye immedyatly vppon the syght of your seid lettere and 
contentes thereof perceyved caused the Comynaltye of the 
seid Citie to Assemble in the Court Hall ther wher appered 
the nombre of Fower score and xvii persones Citizens and 
lnhabitauntes of theseid Citie And accordyng to the Kynges 
plesure and C011lmaundement frely \vith one voyce and \vith- 
out any contradiccon haue elected and chosen the fore-seid 
Robert Darkenall and John Bryges to be burgesses of the 
parlyament for thesame Citie \vhich shalbe duly certefied by 
Indenture vnder the seales of the seid Citizens and Inhaby- 
tauntes by the grace of the blyssyd Trynyte Who preserue 
you . . .1.' Such was the calm way in which parliamentary 
suffrage rights were made of no effect and the l{ing's pleasure 
enforced. It is important to notice in this connexion ho\v 
careful Henry and Cromwell were to cloak their most un- 
warrantable proceedings by the preservation of ostensible 
V constitutionalism. N ever was the now farcical form of a fair 
election abandoned; never did the King fail outwardly to 
observe those legal restrictions by which the Crown was 
supposedly fettered, and the liberties of the nation theoreti- 
cally preserved. The autocracy which Cromwell had done 
so much to establish was carried on '\\"ithin and upon the 
already existing constitution,' and the public protest was thus 
in great measure disarmed. 
It is no wonder that the invaluable services \vhich Cromwell 
rendered to the Cro\\"n were re\\"arded by an almost exclusive 


1 The letter of Cromwell to the 
Mayor and Burgesses of Canter- 
bury (Letters, 148) is now in the 
British Museum; it was put into 
my hands by the kindness of 
Mr. Brodie of the Public Record 
Office. I t was overlooked at the 
time of the compilation of the tenth 
volume of the Calendar, and escaped 
the search of Froude and Fried- 
mann, both of whom discuss the 
details of this election at some 
length. I ts discovery throws Inuch 


fresh light on the history of one of 
the most famous cases of arbitrary 
interference in the choice of mem- 
bers to Parliament that has come 
down to us from Tudor times. 
The reply of the Mayor (Cal. x. 
929) is comparatively well known. 
Froude has printed it in full (vol. iii. 
p. 347), but has misread the name 
of one of the burgesses, which is 
, Darkenall' or 'Derknall,' not 
, Sacknell.' 



INTERNAL POLICY 


129 


enjoyment of the royal confidence, \vhich enabled him soon 
to do almost \vhat he pleased \vith his t\VO great rivals 
Norfolk and Gardiner. At first he had cautiously held him- 
self aloof from these men. but no\v that he had outstripped 
then1 in the King's favour, his bearing to\vards them altered 
accordingly. It is a very significant fact that in his ten years 
of service, he never left the J{ing for any considerable length 
of time, but often contrived to get Norfolk and Gardiner sent 
away-the one to cope ,vith internal troubles, the other to act 
as ambassador to France. Cromwell succeeded in harassing 
them both \vhile they \vere at Court, and in making them 
abandon every pretence to consistency. Chapuys, in a letter 
of December 9, 1533, tells us that Norfolk, hitherto the most 
pronounced of Catholics, uttered C a thousand blasphemies' 
against the Pope, even more shocking than those of the King, 
calling him' an unhappy ,vhoreson, a Iiår, and a ,vicked man; 
and that it should cost him (Norfolk) ,vife and children. . . . . 
and all that he possessed, or that he would be revenged on him. 
He has a good deal changed his tune, for it ,vas he . . . . \vho 
favoured most the authority of the Pope; but he must act in 
this way not to lose his remaining influence, \vhich apparently 
does not extend much further than Cronnvell \vishes; for which 
reason, I understand, he is wonderfully sick of the Court 1.' 
In the spring of 1535 the Duke was forced to surrender 
entirely, and retire to his estate at Kenninghall. Gardiner 
had to abandon the Secretaryship in 1534 in Crom\vell's 
favour. The ne\v minister tantalized him in much the same 
way as he did Norfolk, and doubtless increased the enmity 
of the Bishop of Winchester, \vhich he had first incurred 
at the time of Wolsey's fall, and \vhich five years later 
"'as to be such an important factor in effecting his own 
destruction. 
Crom\vell was perhaps the only man at the Court who, .in 
the early days of his ministry, had the least suspicion that 
Anne Boleyn might sometime lose the royal favour. He 
was able to comprehend the J{ing's love for her better than 
anyone else, and to discern that when the royal passion had 
1 Cal. vi. 15 10 . 
K 


MERRI
U.N. I 



130 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


been satisfied, Henry's affection for his second wife ,,,ould 
be a thing of the past. The King's chagrin that Anne had 
not brought him a male child, and the rage awakened by her 
subsequent miscarriage could not have escaped him. From 
thenceforth he must have become convinced that her ruin \vas 
ultimately certain, and he began to throw out hints that he 
no longer wished to be reckoned among her adherents. In 
April, 1,136, it was notorious that there was a marked cool- 
ness between them, and a ßlonth later a very unexpected 
turn in foreign affairs brought matters to a head and forced 
hilTI to take active measures against her, in order to save his 
own reputation with the King 1. There is reason to think 
that he \vas the prime mover in the plot which led to her 
arrest. He certainly worked against her at her trial, and was 
present at her execution; in fact he took every possible step 
to forestall all chances of being included in her fall. His 
sudden abandonment of one whom a few years before he had 
done so much to support, should be enough to confute those 
,vho have seen in his previous devotion to the cause of 
Anne Boleyn an evidence that he favoured the Reformed 
faith. Anne was certainly a professed Protestant; she 
possessed the English Bible and read it; but it "vas only 
because her Protestantism was temporarily useful to Crom\\,'ell's 
designs. \\,.hich were to obtain for his master a divorce from 
Katherine, that he identified himself with her party during 
the first years of his ministry. When the divorce had been 
secured, and Henry had been declared Supreme Head of the 
Church of England; when the love \\"hich Anne had once 
enjoyed had been transferred to Jane Seymour, and 
Crom\vell saw that to favour the cause of the unhappy 
Queen in opposition to the King might mean ruin and 
disgrace, he deserted her at once. 
N or can the fact that Crom\vell's name figures prominently 
in connexion with the publication of the Ten Articles of 
1536 be justly urged as a reason for ascribing to him any 
real devotion to the cause of Protestantism. N ow that the 


1 Cal. x. 351, 601, 1069, and 
footnote to page 232. Cf. also 


Froude, The Divorce of Catherine 
of Aragon, pp. 413-5. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


131 


severance from Rome \vas complete. the King and his minister 
saw that a definition of the faith of the Church of England 
had become necessary, in order that the unity of the ne\v 
ecclesiastical system might be preserved. The Ten Articles 
of 1536 were adopted to make good this deficiency. Circum- 
stances had rendered them inevitable, and the fact that 
Cromwell presented them to Convocation, and signed them 
first of all the members proves nothing, except perhaps the 
importance of his ecclesiastical office. The Ten Articles 
declared the Bible and the three Creeds to be the only Rule 
of Faith: Penance, Baptism. and the Eucharist \vere kept as 
sacraments: the veneration of saints, soliciting of their inter- 
cession, use of images, and the usual ceremonies in the service, 
though still held to be highly profitable, and as such \,'orthy 
to be retained, were pronounced in themselves powerless to 
justify the soul I. But though the main aim of these Articles 
\vas doubtless to preserve the integrity of the Church of 
England at home, the time and circumstances under \vhich 
they were published seem to indicate that they were also 
intended to serve a purpose abroad. We shall hear of then1 
in this connexion in another chapter. 
Cromwell's zeal for the publication of.the Bible in English. 
and also his injunctions to the clergy 2, must in the same way 
be attributed to political rather than to religious motives. 
He saw what a powerful \\"eapon the Bible had become in 
the hands of the German Reformers, and soon succeeded 
in forcing Convocation, on December 19, 1534, to present 
a petition to the King for the suppression of treasonable 
books in the vulgar tongue, and for, a translation of the 
Scriptures into English 3. Less than two years later 
Cromwell's efforts were rewarded by the appearance of an 
edition of the Scriptures patched together' out of Douche 4 
and Latyn' by his friend Miles Coverdale. There seems 
to have been a very general impression current that aU 
passages which might have been interpreted in favour of 
Katherine, had purposely been rendered in the opposite 


1 Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 8 I 7. 
2 Letters, r 59, 266, 273. 


S Cal. vii. 1555. 
4 , High Dutch' not' Low Dutch: 
K2 



132 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


sense 1. !3 ut this version was soon destined to be superseded. 
The following year \vitnessed the appearance of the edition 
which is usually kno\vn as Matthew's Bible, and \vhich con- 
sisted of a combination of the translations of Tyndale and 
Coverdale. It received the official sanction of Crom\vell and 
Cranmer, but its life was almost as short as that of its 
predecessor. In the autumn of 1537 Grafton and Whit- 
church, two London printers \vhose names had been con- 
nected with the previous editions, received a licence from 
the King to publish a ne"r version of the Bible at Paris, 
where the facilities for carrying on their trade were better 
than in England 2. At first the work seems to have pro- 
gressed \vith great success, and in September, 1538, the King's 
minister, in anticipation of its speedy completion, issued 
injunctions that a copy of it should be placed in every church 
at the cost of the parson and the parishioners, and that no 
one was to be discouraged from reading it: he advised, 
however, that 'the explication of obscure places' be referred 
C to men of higher iugement in scripture 3.' But Cromwell 
,vas a little premature with his injunctions. An unforeseen 
event occurred, which made the immediate publication of 
the new edition impossible. The Royal Inquisition had 
"apparently got \vind of the doings of Grafton and Whitchurch 
at Paris, and just as the task was approaching completion, 
they and all their subordinates, and the French printer at 
whose house the work was being carried on, \vere suddenly 
cited to appear before the Inquisitor-General for the realm 
of France 4. The Englishmen made haste to escape, \vithout 
even waiting to collect the implements of their trade or the 
Bibles that had already been printed. Cromwell, on hearing 
of the disaster, went with a piteous tale to the French 
ambassador, telling him that he himself had contributed 600 
marks to\vards the publication of the Bible in Paris, and 
. begging him to ask his master to permit the \vork to be 
continued there, or at least to allow the copies already 


1. Cal. x. 352, 69 8 ; xiv. (i) 186(v). 
2 Cat. xii (ii), Appendix 35, and xii. (ii) 593. 
s Letters, 273. 4 Cal. xiii. (ii) 1085. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


133 


finished to be sent to England safely, and not to suffer the 
Inquisition to confiscate them. But Francis replied that 
good things might be printed in England as well as in 
France, but that bad things should never be permitted to 
be printed in Paris, and he further refused to deliver up the 
copies already completed. He was unable, ho\vever, to 
prevent the final accomplishment of the \vork in London 
in 1539 1. The ne\v version, commonly known as the Great 
Bible, \vas the last authorized translation completed in the 
reign of Henry VIII, but apparently great efforts had to be 
made to prevent the publication of unlicensed editions. It 
\vas not long before a royal commission ,vas issued to 
Cromwell, commanding him, in order to avoid diversity of 
translations, to see that no man printed any English Bible 
during the next five years except persons deputed by 
himself2. 
Perhaps the strongest point of Croffi\vell's domestic aù- 
ministration \vas his financial policy. He never forgot the 
promise he had made on entering the King's service to make 
Henry 'the richest king that ever was in England,' for he 
,vas shre\\"d enough to see that a full treasury was the first 
essential to the attainment of the larger aim of his policy, 
the establishment of a royal despotism. He skilfully con- 
trived that many of the measures of the earlier years of his 
ministry, primarily intended to cut the bonds which held 
England to Rome, should also serve to increase the wealth 
of the Crown. The most noteworthy and successful of these 
measures was the abolition of the Annates. There can be 
little doubt that it \vas through Croffi\vell's agency that 
a supplication was addressed to the King early in the year 
15323 urging him to arrest the payment of First Fruits to the 
Papacy: 'bokes of annates' and remembrances concerning 


1 Cal. xiii. (ii) 1163; xiv. (i) 37, 
371. Dixon, vol. ii. p. 77, and 
Eadie, vol. i. p. 360. 
2 Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 659. 
3 \Vilkins, vol. iii. p. 760. It is 
not clear whether this petition was 
put forth in the name of Convo- 


cation or of Parliament. But the 
question is of minor importance: . 
it is safe to say that neither body 
originated the Supplication, but that 
it was forced upon the Commons 
or the clergy by the King or his 
minister. 



134 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


them are to be found in large numbers among the minister's 
letters and papers 1, and the petition by \vhich the measure to 
abolish the First Fruits was initiated was a method especially 
characteristic of him, reminding us in many respects of the 
way in which the independence of the clergy had been 
attacked but a short time before. But the King was very 
cautious in granting the request, which had thus been laid 
before him. He had not yet given up all hope of a peaceful 
solution of his difficulty with the Pope, and was not yet 
prepared, as Cromwell was, openly to defy the Holy See. 
So at first he determined to try the effect of a threat. The 
immediate result of Cromwell's efforts was the passage in 
Parliament of an Act 2 which abolished Annates, but preserved 
to the Holy See certain payments on bulls obtained for 
the election of bishops: the ratification of this statute by the 
Crown, however, was expressly withheld, and the Act conse- 
quently remained inoperative. while a post was sent to Rome 
'to frighten the Pope about the Annates 3.' But this plan 
failed: Clement refused to be terrorized into submission; 
the King became convinced that a complete break was 
inevitable, and, in July, 1533, the Act 'vas ratified and declared 
in force by letters patent 4. The following year saw the 
passage of another statute, which abolished all the payments 
preserved by the exceptions to the Act of 1532 5, and a little 
later Parliament completed the work ,vhich Cromwell had 
forced it to undertake by annexing the Annates to the 
Crown 6. Supplementary to these statutes was the Act 
concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations 7, by which the 
Pope \vas deprived of all contributions that had not already 
been arrested by the Acts about Annates. The use to which 
the rescued funds ,,,ere put is aptly described by a significant 
, remembrance' of Cromwell's to the effect that 'thenhabit- 
auntes and peple of this realme shall pay yerely vnto the 


1 Cal. vi. 299 (ix. x), 1381. In 
one place occurs the significant 
item 'To Remembre to make a 
byll for the parlyament touching 
the augmentacyon of the Annattes.' 
British Museum, Titus B. i. 421. 


2 23 Hen. VI II, c. 20. 
3 Cal. v. 879. 
4 Cal. vi. 793. 
5 25 Hen. VI II, c. 20. 
6 26 Hen. VIII, c. 3. 
7 25 Hen. VIII, c. 
I. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


135 


kyng for ever, in lieu or stede of sInoke pence, \vhiche they 
\vere wont to pay to the busshop of rome, for eucry hed or 
house a certayne small thyng for and to\vardes the defense 
of thys Realme, whichc may be rmployed in makyng of 
forteresses throughout the Rcalnle 1.' ..Another significant 
paragraph, from a letter of Chapuys to Charles V, of Dec. 
19, 1534, reads as follows: 'The King, besides the 30,000 
pounds \vhich he ne\vly obtained from the clergy, and an 
ordinary fifteenth from the laity, \vhich \\'as granted hitn 
last year, and which may amount to 2H,000 pounds, has just 
imposed a tax by authority of Parliament, of the twentieth 
penny of all the goods of his subjects, and that foreigners 
shall pay double, which \vill anlount to a great sum. These 
are devices of Crom\vell, who boasts that he will make his 
master more \vealthy than all the other princes of Christen- 
dom: and he does not consider that by this means he 
alienates the hearts of the subjects, \vho are enraged and in 
despair, but they are so oppressed and cast down, that 
without foreign assistance it is no use their conlplaining, 
and it will not be Cromwell's fault, if they are not oppressed 
further 2.' 
The King's minister also appears to have been much 
occupied \vith the coinage. He was constantly present at 
'assayes' of gold and silver, and further took active steps to 
stamp out the counterfeiters, of whom there appear to have 
been a great number 3. He caused a proclamation to be 
issued' for the false and clipped Coyne going in this Realme 
with a greate punyshment to euery person that is founde with 
any false or counterfeit moneye.' The systematic debase- 
ment of the currency that disgraced the reign of Henry VIII 
had begun under Wolsey, but appears to have ceased 
entirely during Cromwell's n1inistry: it began again after 
Crom\vell's death, assuming far greater proportions than 
before, and continued till the end 4. That the King did not 
need to resort to such costly methods of replenishing his 


1 Cal. ix. 7 2 5 (1). 2 Cal. vii. 1554. 
S Cal. vii. 1304; ix. 144, 183; x. Ilio; xii. (ii), lIS I. 
4 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 535-7. 



136 


TI-iOlVIAS CROMvVELL 


treasury while Croffi,vell ,vas in power, bears eloquent testi- 
mony to the wisdom and success of his minister's finance. 
The latter's efforts to prevent the' conveying of coyne out 
of the realme" sho\vs that he saw the importance of securing 
plenty of good coin for English trade, and that he did not want 
to create an artificial cheapness. The statutes of Henry VII 
forbidding the export of precious metals had been renewed 
by his son in an Act passed in 151 I, but this law had 
run out in 1523, and fron1 that time onward there was no 
legal hindrance to the practice, though the statutes enacted 
previous to Tudor times were still considered in force 1. 
The result ,vas that the earlier laws began to be transgressed, 
and Cron1welI, in devising methods to prevent further in- 
fringements of them, hit upon the expedient of a royal 
proclamation, as \ve have already had occasion to notice. 
Another 1110st important measure passed during Cromwell's 
ministry, ,vas the so-called Statute of Uses 2. It was at the 
same time a legal and a financial reform. In order to evade 
the common law, which prohibited testamentary disposition 
of landed property and rendered it strictly subject to primo- 
geniture, the custom had long been prevalent that the o\vncr 
should name before or at his death certain persons to whose 
, use' his lands should be held. These persons became to all 
intents and purposes the true devisees; for though the trustee, 
or 'feoffee to uses,' alone was recognized by the common law, 
the beneficiary or 'cestui que use' soon began to receive 
strong support through the equitable jurisdiction of the 
Chancellor, and so ,vas often able actually to enforce claims 
which originally had rested merely on moral obligation. This 
was the usual method of circumventing the laws of the realm, 
in order to make provision by ,viII for younger children. In 
this particular it was perhaps legitimate, but at the same 
time it opened the way to a great number of abuses, which 
are stated at length in the preamble to the statute just 
mentioned. The chief of these were the extraordinary com- 


1 Schanz, vol. i. p. 5. 18 . 
2 27 Hen. VIII, c. 10. Cf. also 
on this and the following pages 


Dig by, pp. 267-80, and Reeves, 
vol. iii. pp. 275-89. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


137 


plication of titles to land, which resulted from the secret 
methods of devising it, and the loss to the King and the 
great lords of the feudal dues on successions, wardships, and 
marriages. T\vo ineffectual attelnpts had been made to re- 
medy these evils in the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII 1, 
and at Cromwell's accession to po\ver the subject \vas 
brought up again. There is reason to think that the Statute 
of Uses \vas under consideration as early as 1531, and the 
main principle of it bears a close resemblance to the n1easure 
devised in the reign of Richard I I I. A mention of it occurs 
in Cromwell's' remembrances' of the year 1535
, but it \vas 
not finally passed until 1536, probably 011 account of the 
popular opposition, \vhich, according to Chapuys, was very 
pronounced. The upshot of the statute was, that all right 
to the estate was taken froln the grantee to uses and vested 
in the beneficiary, and the distinction between legal and 
beneficial ownership was thus entirely destroyed. The 
ostensible tenant \vas made in every case the legal tenant; 
those entitled to the use of land became the actual 
holders of it. The Act further was intended to abolish the 
right to create further uses in the future: the po\ver of 
disposing of interests in land by \vill was thus removed, and 
the King was restored to the enjoyment of his ancient 
feudal dues. 
Beyond the casual mention in his 'remembrances 3' there 
is no precise record of Crom\vell's connexion \vith this im- 
portant nleasure. It is \vorthy of note, however, that the 
attainments needed to plan and draft such a statute \,\'ere 
precisely those \vhich Crom\vell possessed in the very highest 
degree-intimate knowledge of the la\v, and great shrewd- 
ness in finance. The bold and effective way in which the 
measure struck at the root of the evil, and caused the 
extra-legal practice 'which had gro\vn up to become its o\vn 
ruin, is very characteristic of him. Furthermore, Cromwell 
was certainly believed to be the originator of the measure 
by the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, which \vas partially 


) I Rich. III, c. I; 4 Hen. VII, 
c. 17. 


2 Cal. viii. 89 2 . 
S Cal. viii. 892; ix. 725. 



138 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


caused by it, and as such his death was demanded. It 
therefore seenlS highly probable that it \vas he \vho devised 
this scheme in order to deal the death blow to a very annoying 
practice of. evading the law, and to enrich the royal treasury. 
The statute, however, \vas not entirely successful in attaining 
the ends at which it aimed, for by a strained interpretation 
of the letter of the Act, the courts managed to evade the spirit 
of it, so that it failed to do a\vay with the old distinction 
between beneficial and legal ownership, which it had been 
intended to destroy. In addition to this, the popular outburst 
of indignation aroused by the Statute of Uses ,vas so strong 
that a few months before Cromwell's death he saw the actual 
right of at least partial testamentary disposition of landed 
property obtained by the people. The Act concerning the 
\villing of land by testament \ passed in the spring of 1540, 
gave to every tenant in fee simple the right to bequeath 
at his pleasure all lands which he held by socage tenure, and 
two-thirds of the lands which he held by knight-service. The 
force of usage 'was such that when the King and Cromwell 
attempted to abolish a practice, which had rendered the 
\villing of land possible under another name, the actual right 
to bequeath landed property without circumventing the law 
\vas wrested from them. 
The King was glad to entrust his capable adviser with the 
preservation of that advantageous commercial position which 
had been won for England through the masterful policy 
of Henry VII. Crom\vell's varied experience in foreign 
markets and his intimate knowledge of a11 the details of the 
wool-trade, which was by far the most important element 
of English commerce, had taught him in his earlier years 
many lessons of which the whole nation was to reap the 
benefit. In general his administration witnessed but few 
departures from the highly successful commercial policy 
inaugurated by the first Tudor. His aim was rather to 
strengthen the advantages already gained, and to increase 
the security of English commerce and industry against the 
con1petition of continental rivals, than to atten1pt any radical 


1 3 2 Hen. VIII, C. I. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


13!> 


innovations. The monopoly of the trade in the Mediterranean 
\vhich Venice had enjoyed in Lancastrian times, had been 
a serious menace to the interests of the English ll1crchants; 
but the Italian wars had no\v almost totally deprived the 
Republic of that prominent political position which she had 
occupied at the beginning of the century, and with the loss 
of her national greatness her commercial supremacy fell. 
The ancient privileges which had been granted to Venetian 
merchants and galleys previous to Tudor times, had been 
exchanged for a set of stringent enactments, which dealt 
a heavy blow to her trade and shipping during the reign 
of Henry VII. Crom\vell follo\ved the saine policy, and 
further seized the favourable opportunity afforded by Venice's 
decline to foster the interests of English merchants in other 
parts of the lVlediterranean 1. With the to\vns of the 
Hanseatic League the case was slightly different. The 
extensive privileges the merchants of the North German 
cities had enjoyed in earlier times, had raised them to such 
a comnlanding position that the gro\vth of Eng1ish con1- 
merce in the north was rendered \vell-nigh inlPossible. 
Henry VII's aim had been to overthro\v the supremacy of the 
Hanseatic League, by a gradual \vithdrawal of the concessions 
\vhich it had wrung from his predecessors. The early part 
of his son's reign had witnessed a continuation of this wise 
policy, but during Cromwell's ministry an alliance \vhich the 
threatening situation on the Continent had led England to 
conclude with Lübeck, necessitated a temporary cessation 
of the process of curtailing the privileges of the Hanse 
merchants 2. But the loud outcries of the people against the 
destructive competition of the Germans \vere sufficient to 
prevent Crom\vell from making any permanent stand in their 
favour. Political necessity alone had induced him to postpone 
the complete \vithdrawal of their privileges: he knew that 
the tendency of the times was irresistibly against the 
Hanseatic towns, and he ,vas perhaps the more \\7illing 
to grant them a few temporary concessions in that he realized 
that nothing could ever raise them again to the position of 


1 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 159, 160. 


2 Cf. Schanz, vol. i. pp. 224-7. 



140 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


dangerous rivals to English trade. His foresight was justified 
by the event; the process \vhich Henry VII had begun was 
completed by the fall of the Steelyard in the reign of 
Elizabeth. A more difficult problem was presented by the 
Netherlands. England and the Low Countries were com- 
mercially indispensable to each other; the English wool- 
market in Flanders was the centre of the mercantile interests 
of both nations. The merchants of the Netherlands, however, 
had contrived to get the better of their English neighbour.s 
until the accession of the house of Tudor; but the concessions 
which resulted frOITI the temporary removals of the English 
\vool-mart from Antwerp to Calais by Henry VII, and the 
enormously advantageous commercial treaty ,vhich that King 
,vas able to \vring from the Archduke Philip when fortune 
had thrown the latter into his hands in 1506, had completely 
altered the situation to England's profit 1. The efforts of 
Henry VIII and \Volsey had been directed towards preserving 
the provisions of the agreel11ent of 1506, the validity of which 
the Netherlanders were of course unwilling to acknowledge. 
Croillwell went further than this; his administration witnessed 
not only the maintenance and increase of all the advantages 
which his predecessor had secured, but also the discussion 
of a plan for attaining complete commercial independence of 
the Low Countries, by bringing home the English wool-mart 
to London 2. This scheme- ,vas not carried through, owing to 
the unwillingness of the King to offend the Emperor; but the 
news of the proposals for it was soon kno\vn in the N ether- 
lands, and was not without its effect there. The merchants 
of the Low Countries were greatly alarmed lest they should 
lose the English trade, and instead of opposing every move 
\vhich their rivals made, now began to grant them all possible 
concessions. The Emperor's dread of alienating Henry also 
contributed to force them to adopt a n10re conciliatory attitude 
than ever before, and it Inay be justly said that at the close 
of Cromwell's administration the mercantile relations of 
England and the Netherlands were so regulated as to secure 
every advantage for the former. Cromwell's whole cOInmercial 


J Dusch, vol. i. p. 149. 


2 Schanz, vol. i. P
). 76-86, 107-8. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


141 


po1icy was strongly influenced by his desire to increase 
and improve English shipping, especially at the last, \vhen 
an invasion \vas threatened from the Continent I. His 
, remembrances' are filIed \vith items for appropriations for 
building and rigging vessels of various kinds, and for nlaking 
and improving harbours 2. lIe did his utmost to clear the 
Channel of pirates, and was diligent in \vriting letters to 
demand restitution of goods taken from English merchants at 
sea 3. In 1540 he caused an Act to be passed for the 
, maintenance of the navy 4': one of its provisions restricted 
the privileges conferred on all foreign merchants by a pro- 
clamation in the previous year I) to those who transported 
their wares in English ships. 
Throughout Cromwell's 'remembrances' occur countless 
minor items dealing \vith miscellaneous questions of internal 
reform. Memoranda for the building and improvement of 
roads and higl1\vays, for bettering the state of the coast 
defences, and for the regulation of the rates of wages, are 
especially numerous. In I5.jH he aided Norfolk in suppressing 
a sort of strike among the Wisbech shoemakers, who had 
agreed to stop work unless their wages \vere raised froln 
lSd. to IF-d. per dozen boots sewed 6. It is perhaps un- 
necessary to state that this strike was regarded as a revolt 
against authority, and that the masters gained an easy victory 
over the men. Among Cromwell's injunctions to the clergy 
in 1538 is an order to keep parish registers of births, marriages, 
and deaths 7. Apparently this measure \vas intensely un- 
popular, especially in the south-west of England, \vhere 
people seem to have got the notion that' SOlne charges more 
than hath been in time past shall grow to them by this 
occasion of registering of these things 8.' Precisely what the 
immediate object of the injunction \vas it is difficult to say, 


1 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 37 2 -4. 
2 Cal. xiv. (i) 399, ó55. 
s Letters, 74, 190, 213. 
4 3 2 Hen. V III, c. 14. 
li This proclamation, issued Feb. 
26, 1539, decreed that for seven 
years 'straungers shall paye like 


custome and subsidy as the kinges 
subiects.' British Museum, Titus B. 
i. 572. 
6 CaI. xiii. (ii) 57, 84, 91. 
7 Letters, 273. 
8 Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83- 



142 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


though there is little reason to think that the fears it aroused 
among the people of Corn wall and Devonshire were realized. 
It has been grudgingly applauded by one writer, and 
characterized as 'an inadequate atten1pt to supply the loss 
of the registers of various kinds which had been kept by 
the monks 1'; but its inadequacy, however great, might well 
pass unmentioned, in the face of the many benefits which 
later resulted from it. However unpopular the measure may 
have been at the time, its author certainly deserves the thanks 
of posterity for preserving a vast amount of valuable informa- 
tion which would otherwise have been lost. 
A few words remain to be added concerning Cromwell'& 
zeal for the advancen1ent of learning. As his political schemes 
had caused him incidentally to take sides with the Reforma- 
tion, his object was to strengthen those \vho favoured the 
new religion and opposed Rome. Education is necessary to 
reform; and Cromwell did not intend to leave to ignorant 
men the task of carrying on the \vork he had begun. He 
therefore took steps to see that the opportunities for learning 
\vere improved. Among the injunctions which he issued to 
the clergy in 1536 2, is a clause providing for an increased 
number of exhibitions at the schools and the Universities, 
, to thintent that lerned men maye hereafter spring the more.' 
His dealings with Oxford and Cambridge do not seem to 
have been very important, although in June, 1535, he was 
appointed Chancellor of the latter in place of Fisher. He 
appears to have been much occupied in suppressing the 
various quarrels that constantly took place behveen the 
students and the townspeople, and the letters which he wrote 
to the Magistrates of Cambridge deal for the most part with 
this problem 3. In October, 1535, the King appointed him 
Visitor to the University, and at the same time promulgated 
nine injunctions in which he directed the Chancellor, Masters 
and Scholars of Cambridge to abandon the' frivolous questions 
and obscure glosses' of the school men, to read and teach the 
Scriptures, and to swear to the Royal Supremacy and the new 


1 Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83. 
2 Letters, I 59. 


s Letters, 106, 116, 124, 129, 186, 
206. 



INTERNAL POLICY 


143 


Succession 1. Henry's minister, as usual, was the instrument 
employed to see that the injunctions were enforced. Of 
Crom\vell's relations to Oxford still less remains to be said. 
There are letters from hin1 concerning the admission of a 
President of Magdalen in 1535 2, and the election of a Master 
of Balliol in 1539. The latter appears to have been a most 
disreputable character, and Cromwell's assertion that he \vas 
chosen without' any parcyalyte or corrupt yon ' was certainly 
false 3. A very interesting but comparatively well-known 
report from the pen of Dr. Layton gives us a vivid picture 
of the state of the University in 1535, and tells of the founda- 
tion of several new lectures at the various colleges 4. 
As a reward for his success in the management of dOlnestic 
affairs, the King conferred on him the many dignities and 
titles which, in 1536, marked the height of his power. He 
had been raised to the offices of Privy Councillor, Master of 
the J e\vels, Clerk of the Hanaper, and Master of the King's 
\Vards in J 531 and 1532. The Chancellorship of the ]
x- 
chequer had followed in 1533. He became Principal Secre- 
tary to the King in 1534, Master of the Rolls in the same 
year, Vicar-general and Visitor-general of the Monasteries in 
January, J 535, Lord Privy Seal, Vicegerent of the King in 
Spirituals 5 in July, J 536. He \vas also created Baron Crom- 
1 Cooper, vol. i. pp. 374, 375. In Cootes, fornlerly of Magdalen. He 
the Calendar, ix. 615, these in- was Proctor in 1529. Davis, Balliol 
junctions are apparently attributed College, pp. 82-86; Wood, Fasti 
to Cromwell. But Cooper expressly Oxonienses, pt. i. p. 86. 
states that the King promulgated 4 Cal. ix. 35 0 . 
them, while Strype (Ecclesiastical 5 On the Commissions to CrOln- 
:Memorials, vol. i. (i) p. 322, and well as Vicar-general and Vice- 
vol. i. (ii) pp. 218, 219) seems to gerent cf. Burnet, vol. i. pp. 292-3 
think that they were drawn up by 1l., 342-3 11.; CoHier, vol. ii. 
Legh and Ap Rice, though he p. 104; Gutch, vol. ii. p. 192; Her- 
admits that they were issued in the bert, p. 202; Dixon, vol. i. pp. 244- 
King's name. It seems very im- 247; Child, Church and State, 
probable then that Cromwell wrote pp. 7 8 , 79. I t is probable that the 
them, and I have not placed them last writer has confounded the two 
among the letters. commissions: certainly there is 
2 Letters, 104, and \\ïlson, 1\lag- little reason to think that the title 
dalen College, p. 80. of Vicar-general was granted later 
s Letters, 325, 326. The name than that of Vicegerent. 
of the Master was George Cotes or 



144 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


well of Okeham in the same month, and Knight of the Garter 
in August, 1537. During the last seven years of his ministry 
he \vas granted no less than nineteen minor offices, through 
\vhich his income must have been very greatly increased I. Just 
prior to the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace, Cromwell's 
position was almost ,that of a despot. He was supreme in 
Convocation, Privy Còuncil, and Parliament; he enjoyed para- 
nlount authority in the direction of internal affairs, and next 
to the King was by far the most important tnan in the realm. 
A letter of Chapuys in the summer of 1536 2, soon after 
Anne Boleyn's execution, tells us that it was even rumoured 
that Crom\vell might marry the Princess 1\'lary, but the Im- 
perial ambassador hitnself was too shrewd to be misled by such 
an improbable report 3 . Had Crom\vell seriously entertained the 
idea of a union with the daughter of the divorced Queen, he 
\vould scarcely have permitted himself to be made use of by the 
King as an instrument for breaking down her resolution: he 
could scarcely have written her such a brutal letter as that of 
J ulle 10, 15364. But the inequality in rank is certainly in 
itself sufficient proof of the absurdity of the proposition. 
Crom\vell was about the last man in the world to become 


1 See vol. ii. p. 28 3. 
2 Cal. xi. 41. 
3 An event which took place in 
July, 1536, may possibly have been 
the source of this rumour. It ap- 
pears that Cromwell had a gold 
ring made, with the figures of the 
Queen, King, and Princess carved 
on it, and the following Latin in- 
scription :- 
, Obedientia unitatem parit, 
Unitas animi quietem et con- 
stantiam ; 
Constans vero animi quies the- 
saurus inestimabilis. 
Respexit humilitatem 
Qui in Fi]io nobis rdiquit 
Perfectum humilitatis exemplar. 
Factus est obediens Patrie 
Et ipsa etian1 natura parenti bus 
Et patrie obediendum docuit.' 


This ring he intended to bestow on 
the Princess Mary, but apparently 
the King got wind of the plan and 
put a stop' to it, taking the ring 
away from his minister, on the plea 
that he desired to have the honour 
of presenting it to his daughter 
himself. The episode should have 
been sufficient to show that even if 
Cromwell had any idea of marrying 
the Princess, the King's opposition 
to the plan would prove insur- 
mountable. The inscription on the 
ring, moreover, surely indicates that 
the gift was intended rather as a 
reminder to the Princess of her duty 
towards her father, than as a preli- 
minary to a matrimonial proposal. 
Cat xi. 148. 
4 Letters, 15 0 . 



INTERNAL POLICY 


145 


reckless with success; he never for a mOlnent forgot his lo\v 
birth, and the imprisonment of the brother of his rival the 
Duke of Norfolk for presuming to wed the King's niece was 
a warning of the danger of such a proceeding, which could 
not have been lost on hinI I. I f such a proposition were put 
forward at all, and we cannot believe that it ,vas, it could 
only have been as a pretext to prevent the Princess from 
leaving the realm and joining \vith her cousin the Emperor 
in an attempt to dethrone the King. 
Crom\vell was certainly shrewd enough to see that he 
could never hope to marry into a reigning house himself, 
but he was none the less anxious that his son Gregory 
should \ved such a wife as \vould enable him to found a noble 
family. In ..J\.pril, ]533, Gregory had been taken from Cam- 
bridge, and sent to live with his father's friend Dr. Rowland 
Lee, with \vhom he appears to have spent a summer in hunt- 
ing 2. In 1535 he came out into public life, and in 1539 
he was sUlnmoned to Parliament as a peer of the realnl. 
T,,'o years earlier he had been able to contract an advantageous 
tnarriage with the ,vido\v of Sir Anthony U ghtred, sister 
of Jane Seymour 3. This fortunate match must be attributed 
to his father's influence, for Gregory seems to have been 
entirely \vithout ambition, and such an idea would never 
have entered his mind; his father, on the contrary, was pre- 
cisely the nlan to think of it. The nunlber of grants either 
1l1ade jointly to Cromwell and his son, or providing for the 
succession of the latter at his father's death., corroborates 
the theory that the King's great minister 'wished Gregory 
to be the heir of all his possessions and emoluments as far 
as might be, and desired to raise his family to a permanent 
position among the English nobility. 
Of coursè Cromwell \vas obliged in large measure to abandon 
his private business after he definitely entered the King's ser- 
vice, but his new position brought him far greater riches 
than he could possibly have amassed in his old occupations. 
The various inventories of his goods indicate great wealth 


1 CaI. xi. 147. 
2 Cal. vi. 913, 981, 1011, IOI
 


11 Cal. xii. (ii) 4 2 3. 
f As Cal. viii. 57 1 . 


IU..RRIMAN. 1 


L 



146 


TH01iAS CROMWELL 


and prosperity. He gave costly N ew Year's presents at the 
Court, and o\
lned several houses, all of them magnificently 
furnished 1. After October, 1534, ,vhen he ,vas made Master of 
the Rolls, his correspondence sho\vs him to have been con- 
stantly in residence at the Rolls House, where he held his 
Court. W rhing in 1535, the Prioress of Little Marlowe 
complained that so great ,vas the crowd of his visitors there. 
that it was impossible to gain access to him 2. 


] Cal. ix. 478, 862; xiv. (i) 5. 


2 Cal. viii. 108. 



CI-IAPTER VIII 


IRELAND, 'YALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 


THOUGH Cromwell was so busily occupied in England 
itself, he was far from neglecting the adjoining countries. 
The subjugation of Ireland, the pacification of Scotland, and 
the reform of \Vales and Calais, played a very important part 
in his political programme. He plainly saw that the English 
King's position could not be regarded as secure ,vhile these 
countries remained in the state in which they were at \V olsey's 
fall, and he determined as soon as possible to deal with then1 
in such a way that they should cease to be a menace to the 
English Crown in the future. 
When he entered the King's service he probably found 
little difficulty in persuading Henry that, in order firmly to 
establish his supremacy, he must take Ireland in hand as he 
had never done before. Throughout Wolsey's administration 
the tranquillity of the country had been continually disturbed 
by the feuds of two rival Anglo-Norman families, the Fitz- 
geralds under the Earl of Kildare, and the Butlers under the 
Earl of Ormond. To repress these quarrels the Cardinal had 
taken the office of Lord Deputy from the young Earl of Kil- 
dare, and created the Earl of Surrey Lord Lieutenant. After 
a year's hard service in Ireland, ho,vever, Surrey ,vas recalled 
at his o\vn request, and the Deputyship devolved on Sir 
Piers Butler. He in turn was forced to resign his office to 
his rival Kildare, who passed it on to Sir William Skeffington 
of Leicestershire, just at the time of Wolsey's fall I. 
The affairs of Ireland had naturally been thrown into con- 
fusion by these numerous changes, and Cromwell became 
convinced that subjugation by the s\vord was' absolutely 
essential, before any attempt could be made to govern the 
1 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 12 4-5 2 . 
L2 



148 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


country, or to draw revenues from it. This policy brought 
him into collision with his rival Norfolk, but he seems to 
have succeeded in convincing the King of the superiority 
of his plan to that of the Duke, whose idea had been to 
conciliate the Irish chieftains, and to pacify rather than 
subjugate the country 1. 
During his first t\VO years in the King's service, Crom\vell 
'''''as so busy in establishing the Royal Supremacy, that he 
could not pay much attention to Irish affairs. The three 
years of Skeffington's administration, moreover, appear to 
have been fairly quiet. In 1532, however, a change came. 
The Earl of Kildare, by craftily misrepresenting Skeffington's 
doings at the English Court, secured the latter's recall, and 
obtained for himself the post of Lord Deputy for the third 
time 2. On regaining the coveted office, how.ever, he returned 
to Ireland, and instead of following out the King's instructions, 
proceeded to stir up his adherents into open rebellion, and 
neglected the English at Dublin. Unmindful of his 'hole 
duetie to the Kingis Highnes,' he used the royal authority 
deputed to him, 'as a cloke or habyte to cover his crueie 
persecutions, mynding utterly to extynguyshe the fame and 
honor of any other noble man ,vithin that lande 3.' It is 
possible that he thus served Henry's and Cromwell's ultimate 
purpose of subjugation better than he knew, as he certainly 
weakened the power of many of the wildest dans, who hated 
the English rule as much as his. But his use to the Crown 
in this direction, if it amounted to anything, was only tem- 
porary, and things became ripe for his dismissal. Continual 
complaints of him reached the I<:'ing and Crom\\Tell. Dublin 
\vas almost the only place in the country, which remained 
perfectly loyal to England. The neighbouring tribes \vere so 
hostile, that the citizens were hard put to it for food, and its 
inhabitants almost perished from starvation. John Deythyke, 
a priest, wrote sarcastically to a friend in the autumn of 1533, 
that although it was the custom to refrain from meat on 
Wednesdays as \vell as Fridays, provisions \vere so scarce 


1 Cal. vii. 114 1 . 2 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 15 2 -5. 
S State Papers, vol. ii. p. 167. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 14!> 


that people had become more devout still, and abstained 
also on Sundays, lVlondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. ' This 
is a very sore abstenaunce . . . the country is so quiett th
t 
they dare nott ryde one myle owte of the towne, to by 
any maner of vytteyles; and they make there complaynt to 
the Deputie and the \vynde hath blo\vell hym soo in the erys 
that he can nott here them. But yt is a comon sayinge 
"\vhoo is so defe as he that lyst not to here 1." J Things 
went on from bad to \vorse, and finally John Alen, l'rlaster 
of the Rolls in Ireland, was sent over by the Council there to 
report Kildare's doings at the English Court, and further 
to submit to the King a set of articles for the reformation 
of the abuses \vhich had become prevalent in the country 2. 
Alen finally succeeded in procuring Kildare's recall; and the 
Deputy arrived in London in April, 1534, having left his 
eldest son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, in his place. Efforts \vere 
made to induce the young man to come to England also; and 
\vhen he persistently refused to put himself into the King's 
hands, his father \vas arrested and sent to the Tower. These 
vigorous measures, according to Chapuys, \vere due to Cron1- 
\veIl; they were the beginnings of his policy of subjugation 3. 
The arrest of Kildare, coupled with a premature report of 
his death, set half Ireland aflame, and his son, making up 
a slight quarrel he had had \vith his kinsmen the Desmonds 
threw off his allegiance. All the English \vere ordered out 
of the Geraldines' land before a certain day. The Archbishop 
of Dublin attempted to flee the country, but encountering 
a stonn, \vas driven back on the Irish coast, fell into young 
Thomas' hands, and was murdered with most of his follo\ving 4. 
A formidable revolt against the royal authority was evidently 
pending. Henry and Crom\vell \vere seriously alarmed, and 
the extraordinary popularity of the rebellion among the people 
in England, who, as Chapuys said, thought it ' a very good be- 
ginning to remedy matters at home,' greatly increased their 
fears 5. ,Cromwell had to bear the brunt of all the blame, 


1 State Papers, vol. ii. p. 180. 
2 Cal. vi. 15 86 . 
I Cal. vii. 957, IJ4I. 


4 Cal. vii. 10 57. 
5 Cal. vii. 1<>95. 



150 


TI-IOIVIAS CROMWELL 


and the Duke of Norfolk seized the opportunity to speak 
ill of his successful rival. According to Chapuys, the Duke 
had 'left the Court to be a\\;ay when the affairs of Ireland 
were discussed, and this out of disdain that the King 
despised his advice, and at the suggestion of Cromwell and 
Skeffington had ill-treated the earl of Kildare
 and ruined the 
:lffairs of Ireland. On this subject the Duke and Crom- 
well had reproached each other with many things. . . which 
shows the ill-will they have borne each other a long time, 
however much they have dissembled it 1.' But Norfolk's 
efforts to undermine the influence of his rival were as yet un- 
availing. The time for pacific measures had now passed; 
I-I enry would have been only too glad to grant !(ildare peace 
on any terms, but the latter refused every offer. Skeffington, 
\vho \vas Cromwell's friend, \vas sent over again as Deputy to 
quell the rebellion. After many delays he crossed on the 
14th of October, \vith troops which the King had secretly 
raised for him 2. 
Meantime the rebels had gained a decisive victory, and 
were just outside the walls of Dublin. Piteous entreaties 
from the inhabitants, begging him to cotne to the relief of 
the beleaguered city, reached Skeffington, and after some 
delay he advanced. His arrival made the rebels retreat, 
but instead of pursuing them vigorously, and striking a telling 
blow, he remained at Dublin, and wasted time in trying to 
get a sentence of excon1munication passed against the mur- 
derers of Archbishop Alen 3. But in spite of the Deputy's 
dallying inefficiency, the superiority of Cromwell's policy to 
Norfolk's ,vas destined to be made evident by succeeding 
events. A ne\v complication in Irish affairs arose when 
young Kildare, taking advantage of Skeffington's inactivity, 
sent an embassy to the Emperor, promising to hold Ireland 
as a fief of the Holy See, on condition that he would offer 
him protection against the English schismatics 4. An ambas- 
sador, Dominick Power by name, was sent by Charles to 
Ireland and Scotland, but Henry soon discovered it, and 


1 Cal. vii. 1141. 
2 Cal. vii. 1193, 1257, 1366, 1389. 


S Cal. vii. 14 18 . 
t Bagwell, voL Î. p. 172. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 151 
, 


complained 1; Charles was not quite ready as yet to do 
anything active. in aid of the rebels, and so the affair came 
to nothing. Meantime, at the request of Cromwell, Skeffing- 
ton was induced to shake off his apathy, leave Dublin and 
Drogheda, and move after the rebels 2. The Lord Privy 
Seal's boast that the young Kildare would soon be a prisoner 
in the To\ver, \vas not as empty as Chapuys thought. May- 
nooth Castle, a rebel stronghold, \vas besieged and taken 3 ; 
rnany rebels \vere executed, others fell away from Kildare, 
the young Earl finally surrendered, and was sent a prisoner 
to London. T\vo years later he was hanged with five uncles 
at Tyburn 4. vVith his surrender other chieftains came to 
ternls; many districts became comparatively quiet, and by 
the end of 1535 Ireland seemed further on the road to 
tranquillity than she had been for some time. This ,,'as 
a significant triumph for Croffi\vell's policy over that of 
Norfolk, and did much to increase his influence \vith the 
King. On the last day of December, 1535, Skeffington 
died, and Lord Leonard Grey was made Deputy in his 
place 5. 
Before Cromwell could hope to derive much benefit from 
Ireland, it was necessary to establish some sort of government 
in the country, as well as to subjugate it. To this intent, 
Lord Grey summoned a Parliament, which met at Dublin in 
the spring of 15366. Its first act 'vas to pass a bill securing 
the succession of Anne Boleyn's issue: the report of this 
came to Crom\vell in London in June, t\VO \veeks after Anne's 
execution 7. He must have been some\vhat puzzled, when he 
heard the ne\vs; events were moving so rapidly, that even an 
'ordered' Parlialnent could not keep pace with them. He 
finally wrote back that in case the act for the succession was 
not' passed thoroughly' they were to 'staye the same tyl 
further knowleage of his graces pleasure 8.' It was too late, 
ho\vever, to do this; but when the report came that Anne had 


1 CaL vii. 1297; viii. 140. 
2 Cat vii. 1573, and Bagwell, vo1. i. p. 173. 
t Bagwell, vol. i. p. 180. . 
8 Cal. x. 822. 
8 Letters, 179. 


S Cal. viii. 448. 
6 Cal. x. 15 n. 
7 CaL x. 897, 937. 



152 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


been executed, and that Jane Seymour had become Queen, the 
Parliament was ready enough at once to rescind the old statute, 
and pass a new one in favour of the issue of Henry's third 
wife. Later there were enacted a series of measures to loosen 
the bonds that held the Irish Church to Rome \ and George 
Browne, Provincial of the Austin 
"riars, who had already 
made himself useful in forcing the oath of succession on his 
brethren in the south of England, was nominated in 1535, 
by Crom\vell's influence, to succeed Alen as Archbishop of 
Dublin. The Deputy meantime carried on the subjuga- 
tion steadily and consistently in the wilder portions of the 
country. 
Everything in Ireland ,vas no\v proceeding to the complete 
satisfaction of Henry and Cromwell, except the finances. 
Few could equal Cromwell's ideal, or satisfy Henry's avarice 
in this respect. Ireland had never paid its expenses before; 
and it was largely in the hope of deriving revenue from 
a land which had hitherto been only 
 burden, that the King 
and his minister had undertaken to subjugate it. A letter 
from Henry to the Deputy and Council in 1537 blames then1 
for taking excessive fees, thinking only of private gain, and 
not taking care of the royal income 2. To remedy this 
Crom,vell appointed and sent over Commissioners, ,vho were 
ordered to try to reduce expenses and increase revenue, and, 
to this end, to inquire into the conduct of every royal officer 
in Ireland, learn all the particulars of the local government, 
and cut do\vn the retinue of the Deputy and Treasurer to 
34 0 men 3. In the list of Commissioners occurs the name of 
William Brabazon (Cromwell's old friend and fellow servant 
under Wolsey), who later attained a very important posi- 
tion in Irish affairs. The extant letters of Cromwell to 
the Commissioners deal for the most part \vith the adjustment 
of petty land claims. The most interesting of them is the 
one concerning the policy to be pursued towards 'that 
tray tor Bryan Oconor 4.' 
There are significant depositions against some of these Coro- 
1 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 196, 197. 
2 Cal. xii. (i) 503. 8 Cal. xii. (ii) 382. 
4 Letters, 198-205, 207, 208, 211, 212, 214, 215, 232. 



IRELAND, \VALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 153 


missioners \vho dared to murmur at Cromwell's notorious 
accessibility to bribes, \vhich seems to have been more notice- 
able in his dealings \vith Ireland than any\vhere else. He 
appears to have received enormous sums from the rich 
and powerful family of the Butlers, kinslnen of Anne Boleyn 
and of the Duke of Norfolk, in return for a promise to 
protect their castles from the search of the royal agents. 
There ,vas a great deal of discontent among the Com- 
missioners on account of his rapacity, and though they openly 
flattered him, they continually spoke ill of him behind his 
back. ' l\Iy Lorde Pryvee Seale hathe ,vrought to his awne 
confusion and dethe,' said one, 'and of late tyme was veray 
nere the same, and escapid veray narrowly . . . noo lorde or 
gentiln1an in EngIande berith love or favor to my Lorde 
Pryvee Seale by cause he is soo great a taker of money, for 
he \yoll speke, soIicite, or doo for 1100 nlan, but all for money. 
. . . I ,voId not be in his case for all that ever he hathe, 
for the IZing beknaveth him twice a ,veke, and sometyme 
knocke him well aboute the pate; and yet ,vhen he hathe 
bene \vell pomeld about the hedde, and shaken up, as it 
were a dogge, he will come out into the great chambre, 
shaking of the bushe \vith as merya countenaunce as thoughe 
he mought rule all the roste 1.' We may well believe that 
Henry was \villing that Crom\vell should make some private 
gains, provided he brought money to the royal treasury 
as well. 
The subjugation of the country, however, had not yet been 
thoroughly accomplished. Though 1537 \vas comparatively 
quiet, the following year \vitnessed a fresh outbreak. Taking 
advantage of the precarious condition of England's foreign 
affairs at the time, young Gerald, brother of the late Earl 
of Kildare, and heir to his po\ver, stirred up various chief- 
tains, and baffled all the attempts of the Deputy to lure him 
into the King's hands. Letters for aid were written to the 
Pope and to Cardinal Pole, and were sent by a certain monk, 
as the safest means of transmitting them to their destination 2. 
The monk sailed from Scotland in a French ship, which \vas 


1 State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 551, 55 2 . 


2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 999. 



154 


THOMAS CRO
1:"VELL 


blown ashore on the English coast at South Shields; the 
messenger \vas captured, and the letter intercepted 1. In 
September, 1539, there were several skirmishes between the 
various forces of the rebels and the Deputy; but the latter 
was generally victorious, and another crisis was tided over 2. 
Young Gerald \vas forced to flee into Brittany, and the rebels 
were left \vithout a leader. The Deputy, Lord Grey, appears 
to have become very unpopular during his term of service, 
however, and in the spring of 1540 he was recalled \ on the 
accusations of violence to the King's Council, extortion, 
injustice, and maintaining the King's' enemies. Affairs \vere 
in a bad state after he left; Scotch intrigues, even an invasion 
of the country by James, were rumoured 4" and Sir William 
Brereton, who temporarily filled Grey's place, had a very hard 
time. Grey was finally condemned and executed a year 
after Cromwell's fall, and Sir Anthony St. Leger, 'the dis- 
creet," who had been the Chief of Commissioners of 1537, was 
sent over as Deputy in 154 1 5. 
It may be said that froD? 1534 until his fall, Cromwell 
\vas the virtual ruler of Ireland. His significant triumph 
over Norfolk and his policy of pacification, mark the beginning 
of his influence. From that time on,vard the King left to him 
the entire direction of Irish affairs; he appointed the officers, 
regulated the revenues, and in short managed everything con- 
nected with the country until 1540. From the instruétions 
which the Commissioners received in 1537, \ve gather that 
the main object of the Cro\vn was to get a revenue from 
Ireland, and the plan which Cromwell pursued in order to 
attain this end is noteworthy, in that it differed so entirely 
from his policy in all the rest of England's dependencies. 
Realizing that the country was worse than useless to the 
I(ing, while it remained in the state in which it ,vas when 
he came into power, he saw that it ,vas so wild and dis- 
organized, that subjugation by force would be possible and 
profitable, if attempted vigorously, and in time. He there- 


1 Letters, 297, 298. 
2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 137. 
3 Cal. xv. 44 I. 


4 State Papers, vol. v. p. 178. 
IS Bagwell, vol. i. p. 249. . 



IRELAND, W AI..ES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 155 


fore pursued a most aggressive policy, which in Scotland, for 
instance, where the conditions were so different, he would 
never have dared to adopt. 
In \Vales he \vas confronted \vith a problem of a very 
different nature. What \vas needed there was thorough legal 
reform. The country \vas not large enough to render an 
insurrection there very formidable, but the \vild and la\v- 
less state of the \Velsh l\larches, \vhich afforded hiding-places 
for criminals of all kinds, was a source of n1uch evil. One 
Thomas Philips wrote to Crom\vell in May, 15321, that the 
\vhole country \vas in great decay, and that the King's repre- 
sentatives there took fines for felony and murder, and used 
the money for their o\vn purposes; he begged that such 
a council might soon be established in Wales, that the best 
officer should 'quake,' if found in fault. The Bishop of 
l
xeter, \vho \vas President of the Marches, was an inefficient 
ruler and took no pains to remedy the existing evils. The 
crimes of making and uttering counterfeit money seem to 
have been extremely common 2. Cromwell saw that it \vas 
high time measures \\Tere taken to rectify this lawlessness, 
and his' remembrances' are full of items for the reform of 
\"'1 ales. He replaced the Bishop of Exeter by his own friend 
l'{owland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, who in his 
younger days had served \vith him under Wolsey 3. Lee's 
energetic and business-like methods rendered him a fit man 
for the place, and he set about reorganizing and reforming 
\Vales in earnest. I t was probably at his instance that 
CroIn,vell devised several Acts, passed in the ParliaInent of 
J 534, to establish justice and maintain order 4. As the King's 
\vrit did not run in Wales, it \vas next to impossible to get 
a case fairly heard there; so Royal Commissioners \vere sent 
thither, with authority to punish crimes and felonies (which 
\vere to be tried in the next English court), and to establish 
Justices of the Peace. Chapuys, in a letter written in 
December, 1535, describes the distress of the vVelsh at 


1 Cal. v. 99 1 . 
2 Ruding, vol. i. p. 308; Cal. vii. 
122 5. 


S Cal. vi. 94 6 ; vii. 1026 (28). 
t 26 Hen. VIII, c. 4, c. 6, c. II, 
c. 12. 



156 


THOlVIAS CROMvVELL 


these n1easures as incredible, saying that Parliament 'has 
just taken away their native laws, customs, and privileges, 
which is the very thing they can endure least patiently 1.' He 
further states that the Welsh \vere violently in favour of the 
cause of Katherine and Mary, and longed for an opportunity 
to declare themselves. A rising \vas probably prevented by 
the fact that the King himself \vas of \Velsh descent. 
Cron1\vell \vas exceedingly active in his endeavours to stamp 
out all sedition of this sort, and \vas ably seconded by Lee, 
who, when the clergy in 1535 \vere required to preach in 
favour of the Royal Suprelnacy, and against the power of the 
Pope, declared himself ready to ride into his diocese in his 
o\vn person and carry out the decree, though, as he confessed, 
he had never before been in a pulpit 2. But Lee adopted 
other measures to extirpate sedition, far more vigorous than 
preaching in favour of the Royal Supremacy; he never 
failed to enforce his words by deeds. He hung and beheaded 
offenders and criminals right and left, and sent full reports 
of his doings to Crom\vell, who must have rejoiced to 
find an agent whose energy corresponded so closely to his 
own 3. 
But in spite of Lee's good-\viIl, the state of Wales 'was not 
satisfactory, until Crom\vell's great statute of 1535 was passed 4. 
By this Act, Wales was formally declared to be incorporated 
with England, to be entitled to the same privileges, and to be 
subject to the same laws. The Marches were declared to 
be in disorder, and were annexed or divided into shires. 
The King was further empovvered by the Act to erect courts 
in Wales every five years. These fundamental reforms laid 
the basis for an entirely ne\v method of administration of 
justice there, and the country henceforth ceased to cause 
anxiety to its prince. 
In striking contrast to Cromwell's vigorous policy in Ireland 
and Wales, was his conciliatory attitude towards Scotland. 
The strength and proximity of this country, and the ,veak 
defences of the northern marches of England, were a con- 


] Cal. vii. 1554. 

 Cal. viii. 839. 


3 Cal. viii. 133, 195, 240, 5 0 9, 915, 10 5 8 . 
" 27 Hen. V I II, c. 26. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 157 


stant source of alarm, ,vhich was rather increased than 
diminished by Henry's strained relations ,vith those continental 
po\vers \vho ,,-ere on the best of terms with ] anles. It \vas 
obvious that in case of a foreign invasion of England froln 
the Continent, the enmity of Scotland ,vould be the only thing 
lacking, to render disaster certain. It is also not improbable 
that an attack from the north \vould have been \velcomed 
by some of Henry's more disaffected subjects. In his speech 
in the Parliament of 1523 Cron1\vell had advocated a policy 
of unification \vith Scotland: from this principle he never 
departed, but he sa\v that it ,vas no\v 110 time to gain his 
ends by force. He therefore adopted a pacificatory attitude 
to\vards Scotland at the opening of his ministry, and con- 
sistently followed it until the end. He began by persuading 
his master to make every effort to strengthen the rather 
precarious truce which, owing to French mediation, had been 
concluded bet\veen the Commissioners of the t\vo countries 
upon the Borders, Oct. I, 1533 1 . Anxious to sho\v all pos- 
sible courtesy to the Scottish delegates who \vere finally sent 
to London to open negotiations, the J{ing prepared for them 
a house, \vhich had been occupied by the Grand IVlaster of 
:France, and, contrary to his custom with most ambassadors, 
supplied it \vith choice \vines and provisions 2. The Scots 
were not slow to realize the strength of their position, and 
in proportion as Henry's desire to conclude a permanent 
peace increased, their movements grew more and more de- 
liberate. After long delays, \vhich exasperated the King 
greatly, an alliance \vas finally made, to continue during the 
joint lives of the two sovereigns, and one year longer. During 
the t\VO following years Henry continued his pacific policy 
by making] ames a Knight of the Garter, and by sending an 
enlbassy to induce him to abandon the Pope. The latter 
plan \vas doubtless a suggestion of Cromwell's; a mention 
of the alnbassadors Barlo\vand Howard occurs in his' remenl- 
brances,' and Barlow later \vrote him continual reports of 
his progress. The mission \vas unsuccessful in attaining its 


1 Cal. vi. 119 6 . Cf. also Burne Brown, vol. i. p. 381. 
2 Cal. vii. 29 6 . 



158 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


purpose; but there were no signs that ] ames' leaning to 
Rome would render him an active enemy of England 1. 
The year 1537 brought ,vith it ne,v developments of Scottish 
policy. James had gone abroad to marry Madeleine of Valois, 
an alliance highly displeasing to Henry, after all his efforts 
to counteract his nephew's tendency to lean upon the good- 
,vill of Francis. The King proceeded to express his vexa... 
tion in an emphatic manner, and, contrary to the advice of 
his Council, refused to permit James to return to Scotland 
from f'rance through England 2. James' n1arriage and Henry's 
outspoken ,vrath stultified all Cromwell's efforts to bring 
about a cordial personal feeling and a lasting peace between 
the two sovereigns. The Scots' King was forced to travel 
by sea; but events took place on the voyage ,vhich filled 
Henry with suspicion. Twelve Englishmen boarded the 
Scottish ship ,vhen it touched at Scarborough for provisions, 
,velcomed ] ames, and promised their aid if he invaded Eng- 
land. This episode ,vas repeated at another town further 
north, and it ,vas even reported that the Scottish King had 
boasted, that if he lived a year longer, 'he ,vould himself 
break a spear on one Englishman's breast 3.' Such incidents 
must have been unpleasant, coming as they did just after 
a serious northern revolt had ,vith difficulty been quelled, 
and while the Borders ,vere still in a ,vild and lawless state. 
But any thoughts James may have entertained of an in- 
vasion ,vcre interrupted by the sudden death of his young 
French Queen. Henry perhaps had hoped that his nephe\v 
would come to him ,vith offers of peace and a petition for 
the hand of the Princess Mary, but, if so, he ,vas rudely 
disappointed. In October it was announced that] ames ,vas 
engaged to marry a second French ,vife, Mary of Guise 4 ; 
and though Henry, at that time a ,vido,ver, made every effort 
to prevent the match by putting himself forward as a rival 
to his nephe,v, his proposals ,vere courteously set aside 5. 


1 Cal. ix. 178, 730; x. 75, 227, 
482,863,944, and Pinkerton, vol. ii. 
pp. 3 2 7-8. 

 Cal. xii. (i) 39 8 , 399. 


S Cal. xii. (i) 1286. 
4 Cal. xii. (ii) 82 9. 
ð Cal. xii. (ii) 1201. 



IRELAND, \VALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 159 


That the King of France should have distinctly preferred 
a Scottish to an English alliance \vhen the choice lay open, 
stung Henry to the quick; but he was quite a\vare that he 
could not afford just then to quarrel \vith Francis or James, 
and he l11ay have regretted that he had not taken his mini- 
ster's advice to conciliate the latter. The history of Henry's 
relations with his nephew from this time until Crom\veIl's 
falI, yields ample proof of the complete triumph of the 
English minister's pacificatory policy. Attempts made in the 
past to stir up Border jealousies \vere completely abandoned, 
and England seemed almost suspiciously desirous to show every 
courtesy to her troubleson1e northern neighbour. A letter 
of Crom\veIl to Sir Thomas Wharton 1, deputy Warden of 
the \Vest Marches, directs him to hand over to the Scottish 
officers an arrant traitor \vho had made his escape to England, 
even if the Scots failed to 'doo the sernblable.' Actions as 
gracious as this \vere a ne\v thing on the Borders: the usual 
policy in the past had been for each nation to give shelter 
to the outlaws \vho had fled to it from the other. The news 
that David Beton, Abbot of Arbroath, had been raised by 
the Pope to the cardinalate and ,vas working at the Scottish 
Court in the interests of Rome, made Henry still more anxious 
to preserve friendship \vith his nephe\v, and to preclude all 
chances of his being induced to join a continental league 
against England 2. So in January, 1540, we find him sending 
l
alph Sadler, Cromwell's old friend, to James, to counteract, 
if possible, the effect of the visit of Beton 3. By the capture 
of certain letters in a Scottish ship which had been \vrecked 
on the Northumbrian coast, Henry had been furnished with 
the means of misrepresenting the objects of the Cardinal 
at his nephew's Court. Sadler \vas instructed to hint that 
Beton \vas plotting to usurp all the authority of the King 
of Scotland, and to advise] ames to be on his guard. The 
ambassador was further directed to conciliate the Scottish 
King by a present of six geldings, to assure him of Henry's 
friendship, and to suggest that James augment his revenue 


I Letters, 33 0 . 


2 Cf. Pinkerton, vol. ii. pp. 35 2 -3. 
8 Cal. xv. 13 6 . 



160 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


by suppressing the monasteries in his kingdom as his uncle 
had done in England. Finally Sadler \vas to represent to 
the Scots' IZing the advantages of an alliance with England 
over one with France, and to request him to ponder on the 
desirability of eradicating the ancient enmity of the two 
peoples, especially in view of the fact that he might some 
day bÏ1nself succeed to his uncle's crown. The result of the 
mission taken as a whole was satisfactory. Though James 
refused to accede to any of Henry's more definite requests, 
and \vould not listen to any proposals to abolish the old 
religion or to suppress the olonasteries, he still assured Sadler 
that no alliance he made on the Continent \vould lead him 
to break with England, and further enlarged on the benefits 
that would result from a meeting with his uncle, though he 
puzzled the envoy by suggesting that Francis should also be 
present 1. The mission of Sadler marks the last stage of 
the relations of England and Scotland during Crom\vell's 
ministry; and the fact that war between the two countries 
broke out so soon after his fall, furnishes a final reason for 
bclieving that it \vas by the able and unceasing efforts of 
the Privy Councillor that an open rupture \vas so long 
averted. 
Lastly, a few words remain to be said on the subject of the 
government of Calais. If the name of that town \vere graven 
on the heart of Mary Tudor at her death, from the grief 
\vhich its loss during her reign caused her, it must have been 
also graven upon the minds of her father and his minister, 
from the trouble its maintenance gave thetn during the last 
seven years of the latter's po\ver. In March, 1533, Arthur 
Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, was nominated successor to that 
learned soldier, Lord Berners, as Deputy there, and took the 
oaths at the town, on the loth of June 2. The choice was 
certainly unfortunate, and Lisle's unfitness for his new position 
was destined soon to be made evident. He seems to have 
been a man completely lacking in the qualities necessary 
for a good ruler of such a place as Calais was in those 


1 Ca1. xv. 248. Cf. also Hume 
Brown, vol. i. pp. 388-9. 


2 CaI. vi. 300 (21), 619, and 
Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 452. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 161 


days: he possessed small discrimination in judging ,vhat things 
he could deal with by his own authority, and what things 
it was necessary to report to head quarters. Hence there are 
many mild rebukes among Crom,vell's letters to him 1. in 
some of which he chides him for bothering the King about 
such a trivial thing as a private quarrel bet\veen t\VO minor 
officials in Calais, while in others he 'mervayles not a lite!' 
that he should be so neg1igent as not to make imn1ediate 
report of sacrilegious preaching. Calais ,vas by no means 
an easy post to manage; Henry and Cron1\vell kept its 
officers and garrison exceedingly short of money; the soldiers 
,vrangled and mutinied, and religious conferences amongst 
the townspeople sometimes took most violent forms, and not 
seldom resulted in dangerous riots. Placed as a sort of spy 
on the movements of Francis and the Emperor, in a town, 
the government of which on a small s
ale presented all the 
difficulties of that of a great kingdon1, the Deputy \\raS in 
a position ,vhich demanded resources greater than his own. 
The first part of Lisle's administration seems to have been 
comparatively uneventful. Cromwell. always keenly alive to 
the necessity of having the country in an adequate state of 
defence, at once caused him to repair all breaches in the 
ramparts, a task which Lisle set about without competent 
men or supplies; and the immediate result of his ill-judged 
attempts to lay a new foundation for one of his walls was the 
fall of the small part of the old fortification \vhich \vas yet 
standing 2. Lisle was of course continually busied in pre- 
venting his neighbours, French and Flemish, from meddling 
\vith the King's Pale, especially throughout the year 1536, when 
the war between Francis and the Emperor broke out afresh 3. 
He tried to keep the town well victualled and in good defence, 
and was zealous to do as he \vas bidden by Crom\\Tell, though 
seldom successful, for he lacked ability. After 1537 he was 
confronted with a new and more difficult problem. 
In the spring of 153 8 , Cranmer heard that there were seven 
or eight persons in Calais, who manifestly denied Christ. 


1 Cf. Letters, 86, 260. 


2 Cal. x. 54 1 . 


8 CaI. xi. 18 3. 
MERRIMAN. I M 



162 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


His Commissary there, John Butler, asserted that this report 
was false, but in a later epistle advised the Archbishop that 
there were three papists in the town, ,vho slandered those 
who applied themselves to God's word; the letter went on to 
suggest that Crom,vell be requested to write to Lisle to have 
them punished 1. The minister, however, had heard of the 
existence of 'certayn Sacramentaryes ' or deniers of transub-, 
stantiation there, before this report arrived, and had written 
the Deputy a severe reproof for not informing him about 
them 2. The state of foreign affairs at that moment ,vas such 
as to render it indispensable for the King to preserve the 
appearance of being zealous for orthodoxy, and he had called 
on his efficient minister to aid him in his attempts to extirpate 
heretical doctrines. The rebuke ,vhich the latter had ad- 
ministered to the Deputy seems in this case to have been 
undeserved, for Lisle, who apparently ,vas more on the ,vatch 
than usual this time, had certainly sent home information 
about the Sacramentaries before he received Cromwell's 
epistle: the two letters perhaps crossed on the way. That 
of the Deputy reported the arrival in Calais of a young 
English priest, lately come from Germany, who had uttered 
opinions about the Eucharist which the King would not 
tolerate, and ,vhich had shocked the good people of Calais 
beyond measure. This young priest can have been none 
other than Adam Damplip, originally a strong pa
ist, who 
(according to Foxe) had been chaplain to Fisher, and at the 
Cardinal's execution had left England and travelled in France, 
Germany, and Italy. His sojourn in foreign lands must have 
altered his opinions completely, for when he came to Calais 
his doctrines were so 'advanced' and heretical, that as a result 
of a warning of Cromwell's, in his letter to Lisle of May 14 3 , 
a decree was made out by the Council of the town that Butler, 
, , 
the Commissary ,vho had given Damplip licence to preach, 
would be held responsible for any false opinions that the 
priest expressed 4. . 
Determined as he was to extirpate unlawful and treasonable 


] Cal. xiii. (i) 81 3, 934. 
2 Letters, 260. 


3 Letters, 26 3. 
f Cal. xiii. (i) 121 9. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 163 


doctrines both at home and abroad, Cromwell was too much 
absorbed in the maintenance of his foreign policy, and the 
prevention of the pressing dangers which threatened the 
country from \vithout, to pay much attention to Damplip at 
Calais during the latter part of 1538 and 1539. He was far 
more anxious to have the to\\'O well victualled and defended, 
in case of a sudden attack from France or Spain. Damplip 
himself, ho\'\-"ever, had gone over to England to ans\,\-per to the 
charges brought against him before Cranmer 1. The result of 
the examination seems to have been very favourable to him, 
and the Archbishop, in a letter to Croffi\vell about it, supported 
the position which the priest had taken up in only denying 
Transubstantiation \vhile admitting the Real Presence'l. 
But the accusations from Calais against the Sacramen- 
taries did not cease. Lisle and the Council, now thoroughly 
roused, kept sending in depositions against Damplip, until 
Cromwell, in May, 1539, rebuked them for uncharitable 
behaviour, saying that the affair \vas being made too 
much of, and that the King was busy about other things 3. 
Exhortations to 'charyte and myld handeling' were n'ot 
Cromwell's usual style; and in this case at least they were 
superseded within ten days by instructions of a very different 
nature. The cause of the sudden change is doubtless to be 
found in the debate on the Six Articles, just then at its 
height. Cromwell saw the trend things were taking, and 
understood that as the doctrine of Transubstantiation was 
evidently about to be confirmed at home, it would be ex- 
tremely dangerous for him to urge leniency towards those 
who opposed it at Calais. He consequently sent another letter 
to Lisle 4, in which he retreated from his former position, and 
ordered the Commissary and the parish priest of Our Lady 
Church to be sent in custody to EngJand. The subsequent 
appearance of these men before the Privy Council seems to 
have resulted in their acquittal, and a public recantation in 
the Market Place at Caiais was deemed sufficient to prevent 
a recurrence to the heresy. The recall of Lord Lisle in the 


1 Cal. xiii. (i) 1446, 14 6 4. 
2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 97. 


s Letters, 312. 
f Letters, 3 1 4. 


M2 



164 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


spring of 1540 was probably less due to his inefficiency in 
handling the affair of the Så.cramentaries, than to the many 
proofs he had given of general incompetence. He ,vas com- 
mitted to the Tower, where he remained a close prisoner till 
January, 1542, when a message was sent to him that he ,vas 
pardoned and restored to favour. The story is that his joy 
at hearing this news was so great, that he died of excitement 
that same night 1. 
That Calais was not lost to England under the incompetent 
management of Lisle (whose actions from first to last were too 
much influenced by the ,vhims of a foolish wife), was solely 
due to the guidance ,vhich he received from Cromwell. The 
brilliant success of the great minister's administration in 
England ,vas fully equalled by the ,visdom and skill of his 
dealings with her immediate neighbours and dependencies. 
In every case the dominant principle of his policy had been 
the same; the completion of the ,york begun by Henry VII 
-the elevation of the Crown to absolute power on the ruins 
of every other institution \vhich had ever been its rival. In 
attaining this end, which (as ,ve n1ust not forget) was one that 
commended itself to most patriotic Englishmen of the time, 
Cromwell had been confronted by a multitude of problems of 
great difficulty and infinite diversity: he handled them all with 
uniform success; and the monarchy, under his guidance, passed 
safe through one of the gravest crises in the history of the 
realm, finally to emerge triumphant, absolute, suprelne in 
Church and State. 


1 See Life of Arthur Lord Lisle in the Dictionary of National Biography, 
vol. xlv. p. 400. 



CI-IAPTER IX 


T II E 
1 0 N A S T E R I E S 


THE suppression of the English monasteries, though in one 
sense but a single branch of Crom\\Tell's internal administra- 
tion, still deserves to be considered in a separate chapter. 
Of all the changes that folIo\ved the breach with Rome, none 
bears as plainly as this the stamp of Crom\vellian origin. 
The sinister genius of the King's minister particularly fitted 
him for this task of destruction, and his title of 1Ilal/eus- 
1Honachorlt11l is thoroughly well deserved. Cromwell's intent 
in suppressing the monasteries \vas obviously, like that of 
all the rest of his internal administration, the strengthening 
of the Cro\vn: how far his measures \vere successful in 
accomplishing \vhat ,vas expected of them must be deter- 
mined not only from their immediate effects, but also from 
the developments \vhich later resulted from them. 
It has been pointed out in an earlier chapter that the state 
of the lesser monasteries ""as far fronl satisfactory in Crom- 
\vell's time; but that in spite of this, when Wolsey's agents 
suppressed a few of them in order to convert their revenues 
to the use of the Cardinal's cherished colleges, a loud cry 
of indignation \vas immediately raised among the rural 
population. During his first fe\v years in Wolsey's service 
Cromwell had acquired sufficient experience to master at least 
the elementary principles of monastic confiscation, but before 
he had gone half as far as he had probably intended, his 
master's attainder and his own consequent change of life had 
temporarily interrupted the work. We have seen that as soon 
as the King had arbitrarily assumed the Headship of the 
Church of England, Cromwell immediately cast about for 
means to secure him in his ne\v position. To this end he had 



166 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


weakened the bishops and also the lesser clergy; the dissolu- 
tion of the monasteries immediately presented itself to him as 
a consistent method of following up these measures. It all 
tended in the same direction of severing England's connexion 
with Rome and of establishing the Royal Supremacy. The 
schenle of suppressing the monasteries also promised great 
things from a financial point of view; Cromwell could have 
hit upon no better plan than this to aid him to fulfil his 
promise to make Henry C the richest King that ever was in 
Christendom.' If the idea of dissolving the religious houses 
in order to increase the ,vealth of the Cro,vn, had occurred to 
Henry during Wolsey's administration, he would hardly have 
dared to carry it out while there was any chance of avoiding 
a breach with the Pope; but now the course of events had 
converted the only objection to the plan into an argument in 
its favour. There was certainly nothing in the conscience of 
the King or of his minister to deter them from such a step, 
when so much advantage both political and financial promised 
to result from it. 
In January, 1535, two documents appeared-the first, a 
royal commission to Thomas Cromwell authorizing him as 
the King's Vicar-general to undertake a general visitation 
of churches, monasteries, and clergy, and to depute others 
to act as his agents; the second consisting of a series 'of 
formal inquiries to be made concerning the state of the 
religious houses, and royal injunctions for their reform. The 
latter is written in a strange hand, copiously interlined and 
corrected by that of the King's minister 1. The decrees ,vere 
quickly put in operation. By the month of August in the 
same year Crom\vell's two agents, Legh and Ap-Rice, were 
hard at ,york among the Wiltshire monasteries, and sent in 
their reports to their master full of ludicrously pathetic 
lamentations, \vhen unable to trump up any plausible charges 
against the monks 2. Doctor Richard Layton, ,vho had come 
under Cromwell's notice at the time of the trials of More 
and Fisher, sent him a request for employment on the same 
mission, and eventually got permission to go to Gloucester- 


1 Cal. viii. 75, 76. 


2 Ca1. ix. 139. 


. 



THE l\10NASTERIES 


167 


shire 1. He had made a preliminary visitation at Bath and 
Farley, and while there had aroused the jealousy and hatred 
of Legh, who wrote to Cromwell complaining that he was 
not sufficiently severe, and urging the necessity of uniformity 
of action 2. A great many grumbling letters of this kind 
were sent to Cromwell by his visitors. Layton and Ap-Rice 
were not slow to revenge themselves on Legh by reporting 
to the Vicar-general the pride, arrogance, 'sumptul1s vsage, 
and roughe fasshyon ' of their hated colleague 3. 
The bad character of Cromwell's agents, and the devices 
to which they were forced to have recourse in order to extort 
from the monks the information they desired, furnish ample 
proof of the unfairness of nlany of the reports \vhich they made. 
The' Commissioners found means,' as it has been significantly 
stated, 'to make divers nlonasteries obnoxious '.' Cromwell 
had taken special pains that the efforts of his agents should 
not be hindered by any external interference: it was to this 
end that he had issued the Prohibitory Letter to the bishops 
in the month of September 5. Legh, Layton, and Ap-Rice 
were left a perfectly clear field, and devoted themselves to 
examining into the monastic discipline, and to inducing 
discontented monks to accuse their fellows. The arrogant 
Legh was especially efficient in this particular, as is shown 
by the letters Cromwell received from the monasteries he 
had visited. One monk wrote to the Vicar-general that 
the inmates of his house cared nothing for true religion, but 
came to mattins 'as dronck as myss and [played1 sume at 
cardes, sume at dyyss 6 '-and finally imparted the significant 
piece of information that Cromwell's visitors had ordered 


1 Cal. viii. 822, 1127. The King 
and Cromwell were both absent on 
a tour in the west and south of 
England from the end of July until 
the beginning of October, 1535. 
Chapuys states that the object of 
this trip was to win the affection 
of the people on the Borders of 
Wales, and to enjoy the excellent 
hunting which that region afforded. 
It is probable that Henry and 


Cromwell were also desirous per- 
sonally to inform themselves con- 
cerning the reI:gious houses in the 
south and west counties, before 
permitting their agents to com- 
plete the visitation. Cal. ix. 58. 

 Cal. ix. 138. 
S Cal. ix. 621, 622. 
4 Herbert, p. 186. 
IS See ante, chap. vii, p. 115. 
6 Wright, p. 133. A tag of verse. 



168 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


him to write these opinions to head quarters. Another, John 
Placett by name, sent cringing letters to the Vicegerent, 
begging that his zeal in advancing the new doctrines and in 
reporting those who opposed them, might be rewarded by 
official exemption from rising at midnight and from observing 
the customary fasts 1. Epistles of this sort form the bulk of 
Cromwell's correspondence during the years 1535 and 153 6 . 
The chief reason why the Vicar-general did not protest 
against this flood of defamatory information, which through 
the efficiency of the zealous Legh continually poured in upon 
him, lay probably in the fact that along with these reports 
there came also letters of a somewhat different nature which 
afforded him excellent opportunities for private gain. 'I sub- 
mytt myselfe,' wrote the Abbot of Rewley, 'fulle and holle 
to your nlastershipp, as all my refuge, helpe, and socor is yn 
yow, glad of my voluntarye mynde to be bounde in obligacion 
of one hunderd powndes to be payed to your mastershipp, so 
that our house may be savyd 2.' We may "veIl believe that 
this proposal did not fall on deaf ears. Though we do not 
possess the reply of Cromwell in this particular case, the 
Jetters which he sent to the Priors of St. Faith's and of 
. Coxford in the same year, indicate that he was as willing to 
accept bribes from the heads of monasteries as from any 
one else 3. 
Less crafty but scarcely less efficient than the untiring 
Legh was his brutal colleague Layton. The Sussex monas- 
teries \vhich he visited in October, 1535, were so unfortunate 


1 Cal. ix. 32 I, 322. 
2 Wright, p. 73. 
3 Letters, 16 3, 180. Cf. also Gas- 
quet, English Monasteries, vol. i. 
pp. 413, 421. Cromwell also took 
good care that some of the sup- 
pressed houses also should fall to his 
portion. He' appropriated to his 
own share the rich Priory of Lewes 
in Sussex (including its cell of Mel- 
ton-Mowbray in Leicestershire), the 
Priory of lViichelham in the saIne 
county, that of Modenham in Kent, 
of St. Osythe in Essex, Alceter in 


Warwickshire, Yannouth in N or- 
folk, and Laund in Leicestershire. 
Sir Richard Cromwell, his nephew, 
and great-grandfather of Oliver, 
received Ramsey Abbey, Hinchin- 
brooke Nunnery, Sawtry Abbey, 
St. Neot's Priory, and a house of 
Austin canons in H untingdonshire, 
with Neath Abbey in Glamorgan- 
shire, and St. Helen's Nunnery in 
London.' Blunt, vol. i. p. 377. See 
also note 4 at the bottom of the 
same page. 



THE 1\10NASTERIES 


169 


as to incur his particular displeasure. 1-1 e does not appear 
to have troubled himself, like Legh, \vith devising means 
to make the monks accuse one another: he reported every- 
thing to head quarters on his own responsibility, and \vrote 
to Crom\vell how at one place he found the abbot the 
'varaste hayne betle and buserde and the aranttes chorle' 
he ever sa\v, while at another he swore that his n1aster \vould 
scarcely believe 'quanta sit spurcities.' He concluded with 
two philosophic reflections that 'sacerdotes 0111neS non creati 
ex natura angelica, sed humana,' and 'that the blake 
sort of dyvelisshe monkes . . . be paste amendment 1.' He 
possibly bore a personal grudge against these southern 
houses; at least this seems a likely explanation of the fact 
that later investigation showed them to be no \vorse than 
ordinary, and especially popular ,vith thcir neighbours 2. 
Layton, however, found willing listeners to his accusations 
in the King and Crom\vell, and a commission \vas sent 
down to confiscate the property of the monasteries of 
Dover, Langdon, and Folkestone, and to take the surrender 
of these houses into the King's hands. I t was the first 
step of the great devastation which was to ensue during the 
following four years. 
The next scene of the visitors' operations was in thct 
northern counties. Early in 1535 Layton had taken occasion 
to inform Cromwell that he and Legh were particularly 
competent to carryon the work there. 'Ther ys nother 
monasterie, sene, priorie, nor any other religiouse howse in 
the north,' he wrote, 'but other doctor Lee or I have familier 
acqwayntance \vithin x or xii mylles of hit. . .. We knowe 
and have experiens bothe of the fassion off the contre and 
the rudenes of the pepull . . . ther is matter sufficient to 
detecte and opyn all coloryde sanctitie, all supersticiouse 
rewlles of pretensyde religion, and other abusys detestable 
of all sorttes 3.' Cromwell certainly had no reason to be 
dissatisfied with the results ,vhich his agents had already 
accomplished, and doubtless welcomed their. zeal to continue 
their labours in a new field. With most astounding rapidity 


1 CaI. ix. 509, 63 2 . 


2 Cal. ix. 82 9. 


S Wright, p. 15 6 . 



170 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the visitation was carried through: all the houses in the north 
had been reported on by the end of February. There \vas 
certainly an object in having the work completed so quickly, 
for Parliament had already met, and was prepared to take 
action on the 'comperta' or catalogue of offences sent in by 
Cromwell's agents. The extraordinary hurry in which the 
latter part of their task was accomplished, and the suspicious 
uniformity of the offences reported, furnish a last and most 
cogent reason for doubting the truth of the statements of 
the visitors. There must of course have been some im- 
morality in the monasteries: the abbots and heads of houses 
were elected by the n10nks themselves, who were sure to 
have an eye to their own ease, and would tend to choose 
those whose discipline was lax. But it must be a prejudiced 
person indeed who will accept \vord for \vord the catalogues 
of the religious persons reported guilty of the lowest and most 
degrading forms of vice, which Legh and Layton seemed to 
delight in sending to their master. Parliament, however, was 
too completely in Crom\vell's hands fairly to judge of the 
character of the visitors, or of the circumstances under 
\vhich they drew up their 'comperta,' and the report was 
strong and clear; so it was not long before the first Act for 
the dissolution of the smaller monasteries was passed. The 
statute declared that 'all Relygeous Houses of Monkes 
Chanons and Nonnes, whiche may not dyspend Manors, 
Landes, Tenementes, & Heredytamentes above the clere 
yerly Value of ij C li. are geven to the Kinges Highnes, his 
heires and successours for ever 1.' ....t\nother Act was passed 
at the same time establishing a Court of Augmentations of 
the King's revenue 2. Power was given to this court to 
collect the spoils, lands, and buildings of the suppressed 
abbeys, and dispose of them in the "vay most profitable to 
the Cro"vn. It consisted of a chancellor, treasurer, solicitor, 
and thirty subordinates. The chief persons in it were friends 
and hirelings of Cromwell's. In April commissions were 
sent to the principal men in every county 3, authorizing them 
to inquire further into the state of each house, to make 


27 Hen. VIII, c. 28. 


2 27 Hen. VI II, c. 61. 


S Cal. x. 119 1 . 



TI-IE MONASTERIES 


171 


inventories and estimates of their property, and to ascertain 
the nunlber of monks \vho desired 'capacities' for entering 
secular life, and the number who intended to remove to some 
other religious house. I t is significant that the reports of 
these men, concerning the character and morality of the 
inmates, are uniformly of a more favourable description than 
those of Layton and Legh. 
The process of the surrender inlmediately followed the 
first visit of the Commissioners. 1'hey sent in their report 
to the Court of Augmentations, ,vhich then issued its final 
orders for the dissolution of the house, and its conversion 
to the King's use. A C receiver' was appointed to plunder 
the church, and sell the lead, beIIs, &c. An interesting 
letter, from an agent of Crom\vell's to his master, sheds some 
light on the usual methods of these officials. ' \Ve ar 
pluckyng down an hygher vaute,' writes the receiver, ' borne 
up by fower thicke and grose pillars xiiij fote fro syde to 
syde, abowt in circumference xlv fote . . . \ve bro\vght 
from London xvij persons, 3 carpentars, 2 smythes, 2 plum- 
mars, and on that kepith the fornace. Euery of these 
attendith to hys own office: x of them hewed the ,valles 
abowte, amonge the whych ther were 3 carpentars: thiese 
made proctes to undersette wher the other cutte away, 
thother brake and cutte the waules 1.' Coupled with reports 
like this, came curiously confused accounts of the saleable 
articles of the house, which had been disposed of: such as 
Item ij brasse pottes sold to Edward Scudamor. iiij8 
Ite1n a vestment and ij tynakles of old prest 
velvet sold to J ohan Savage baylyf 
I tC11t ij pannes 
Item a cope of tawny damaske 
Item a image of Seynt Katerine sold to Lee 
Item sold to John Webbe the tymber .\vorke 
of the hyegh quyer, and a auter of alablaster 
in the body of the churche . 


xiijS 


....d 
111J 
vi d 
xijd 
vjd 


ix 8 Viijd2. 


It will be noticed that the sums for which these articles were 


1 \Vright, pp. 180-1. 


2 \Vright, pp. 2 6 7-9. 



1 ..," 
I
 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


sold, were very small. It is said that not more than ;CIOO,OOO 
were obtained from the sale of the jewels, plate, lead, 
bells, and other valuables, which were seized in the first 
suppression of the monasteries. The annual incomes of the 
three hundred and seventy-six houses which were suppressed, 
however, probably amounted to about ;632,000, a sum 
which was quite sufficient to render the measure a successful 
one from a financial point of vie\v. 
In spite of the Act of Parliament, which declared that the 
monks were either to be pensioned, or else moved to some 
other religious house, there is no doubt that great misery 
and wretchedness invariably accompanied the dissolutions. 
Chapuys ",'rites: 'It is a lamentable thing to see a legion of 
monks and nuns, \vho have been chased from their monasteries, 
wandering miserably hither and thither, seeking means to live, 
and several honest men have told me, that what with monks, 
nuns, and persons dependent on the monasteries suppressed, 
there were over 20,000, who knew not ho\v to live 1.' The Act 
for the protection of the exiled inmates cannot have been at 
all strictly enforced, and there were certainly many monks, to 
\vhom no homes or means of living were assigned. Sir 
Henry Ellis has printed a document, concerning the dissolu- 
tion of some of the monasteries, which \vas \vritten in 159J 
by one whose father and uncle ",'itnessed the scenes he 
describes. It tells how' it would have made an heart of flint 
to have melted and wept to have seen the breaking up 
of the House, and their sorrowful departing; and the sudden 
spoil that fell the same day of their departure from the 
House. And every person had everything good cheap; 
except the poor Monks, Friars, and Nuns, that had no money 
to bestow of any thing.' The people entered the church, 'and 
took what they found, and filched it away. . . . . It would have 
pitied any heart to see what tearing up of the lead there was, 
and plucking up of boards, and throwing down of the sparres ; 
. . .. and the tombs in the Church (were) all broken, . . . . . and all 
things of price either spoiled, carped away, or defaced to the 
uttermost 2.' N or is this tendency of the people of the neigh- 


1 Cal. xi. 4 2 . 


2 Ellis,3 r d Series, vol. iii. pp. 33, 34. 



THE MONASTERIES 


173 


bourhood to plunder in the least to be wondered at. They 
knew that as the monasteries were to be pulled do\vn they 
would lose all the old charities, easy rents, and other advantages 
to \vhich they had so long been accustomed, and they naturally 
wished to make good the loss. Cromwell probably did not 
object to this ruthless waste as much as one would expect, 
for he saw that if he attempted to stop it, the feeling against 
the suppression \vould be so strong, that it would be impossible 
to continue it. As it was, the famous rebellion of the 
Pilgrimage of Grace, \vhich broke out in the northern counties, 
just as the first houses were being suppressed, gave him 
a terrible \varning of the general unpopularity of the change. 
The insurrection, however, was soon quelled, and Cromwell's 
genius \vas able to turn it to his own advantage, and make it 
the pretext for carrying out the scheme which had probably 
been part of his original plan, namely the suppression of all 
the monasteries; a step .which, \vithout some valid excuse, he 
would have hardly dared to take. 
In 1537 the visitors began to go to the larger monasteries, 
and intimidate their inmates into surrender, mainly by threaten- 
ing them with punishment for complicity in the rebellion 
which had just been put down. An excellent example of the 
way in which this was done, is given by the story of the 
suppression of the two large Cistercian abbeys in Lancashire, 
\Vhalley and Furness 1. John Pasleu, Abbot of Whalley, 
had been executed in March, 1537, by the Earl of Sussex 
for his treason in taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. 
The Earl was commended for this action by the King, who 
further desired him with' good dexteritie' to' laye unto the 
charges of all the nlonkes there their grevous offences, . . . . . 
and thenvith assaye their myndes, whither they woll conforme 
themse]fes gladly for the redubbing of their former trespaces 
to goo to other houses of their cote . . . or rather take 
capacities and soo receyve seculer habite 2.' The Abbot of 
Furness was doubtless threatened with death if he refused to 
surrender his house, for a month after the execution of his 
brother at Whalley, he signed a document, by virtue of \vhich 


1 CaI. xii. (i) 632, 668. 


2 State Papers, vol. i. p. 540. 



174 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


he handed over to the King his abbey, and all its lands and 
possessions, 'knawyng the mysorder and evyIl liff both unto 
God and our prynce of the bredren of the said monasterie I.' 
Another method of intimidation was to threaten punish- 
ment for superstition and image worship. Against the latter 
Henry's minister was particularly zealous. Some of the 
images were very valuable, and could be sold for a high price. 
Two of the most extraordinary of the venerated relics found 
in the' defacement' of the monasteries have become famous 
to posterity, under the names of the Rood of Grace, and the 
Blood of Hailes. The former was a wonder-working crucifix, 
held in great veneration at Boxley Abbey, which Geoffrey 
Chambers 2, an agent of Cronlwell's, found full of 'certen 
ingy
es and olde wyer wyth olde roton stykkes in the backe 
of the same, that d yd cause the eyes of the same to move and 
stere in the hede thereof lyke unto a lyvelye thyng 3.' It 
was seized and exhibited, first in Kent, and then in London, 
and the (abusion thereof dyvulged.' The Blood of Hailes 
was a phial of liquid, which a tradition of three centuries 
asserted to have been the blood of the Saviour 4. The head 
of the monastery brought it to Cromwell in great perplexity, 
swearing that he was willing to suffer the most shameful 
death, if the phial had been meddled with in his day. A 
commission, appointed to inquire into it, took the liquid out 
of the phial, and found it to be a thick, red, sticky substance. 
They then gave it back to the abbot, to keep until he heard 
t
e King's pleasure concerning it. Meantime Bishop Hilsey 
had preached a sermon in denunciation of the fraud, in which 
he asserted that a former abbot had told his paramour that the 
phial contained only drake's blood; but he ,vas later compelled 
to take back this last statement,as a result of the Commissioners' 
inquiry. What ultimately became of the Blood of Hailes has 
remained a mystery, but it is noteworthy that Cromwell was 
so annoyed, at having unearthed a relic which proved value- 


I Wright, p. 153. 
2 This was perhaps the man 
whom Cromwell years before had 
helped to obtain from the Pope the 
indulgence for the Boston Gild. 


3 Ellis, 3 rd Series, vol. iii. p. 
168. 

 Introduction to vol. xiii. of the 
Calendar, pp. 8-14; Wordsworth's 
. Cromwell, pp. 346-7 nn. 



TIlE l\IONA5TERIE5 


175 


less from a financial point of view, that when the' bluddy 
abbot,' as Latimer called him, came to consult hin1 about it, 
he "ras forced to pay ,{I40, his best mitre, cross, and 
'another thyng or two,' to make good the amount which 
Cromwell had expected to obtain from the relic. The icono- 
clastic zeal of the Vicar-general varied in proportion to the 
value of the image 1. 
The first Act of dissolution had only given to the l{ing 
the monasteries of which the annual income was less than 
,{ 200. But now that Cromwell, on the plea of com- 
plicity in the late rebellion, had contrived to bring in all the 
larger religious houses, so that a general suppression had in 
fact begun, a fresh Act was needed to legalize his proceedings. 
50 in the spring of 1539, a new statute was passed for the 
dissolution of all monasteries and abbeys 2. But long before 
this the main part of the \vork had been accomplished. When 
the monks refused to be terrorized into submission, attainder 
and death invariably followed. It is but justice to Cromwell's 
agents to say, however, that their methods of intimidation 
were so highly effectual that attainder was the exception, 
and surrender the rule. The Commissioners may well have 
been surprised that any of the abbots dared to stand out 
against them. 
From 1537 to the end of 1539, the story of the suppres- 
sion of the monasteries is simply a catalogue of houses 
surrendered or confiscated, on more or less unjust pretexts. 
50 rapidly and thoroughly did Cromwell and his Com- 
missioners accomplish the work, that by the end of Decem- 
ber no monastery in the country had been left untouched, 
except Westminster Abbey, and a few other larger houses. 
The climax of cruelty and injustice \vas reached in the 
executions of the Abbots of Glastonbury and Reading. 
Cromwell's famous remembrance concerning the latter \vas 
literally obeyed. There was no pretence of a fair hearing of 
his case. He was sent down' to be tryed and excecutyd,' as 
Cromwell had ordered it 3. The punishment of the Abbot of 
1. Wriothesley's Chronicle, vol. i. pp. 76, 90. Cal. xiii. (i) 347; xiii. (ii) 
186, 709-10. 
2 31 Hen. VIII, c. 13. S Cal. xiv. (ii) 399. 


. 



176 


THOMAS CRO]VIWELI
 


Glastonbury was, if possible, even more unjust. Though 
weak and broken \vith age and illness, he was arrested and 
sent up to the Tower, simply on the charge of having in his 
monastery a book against the King's divorce, divers pardons 
and bulls, and a printed life of Becket I. It is stated that on 
exalnination Cromwell discovered that he had lent money to 
the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, but it mattered little 
whether this serious charge was proved or not. His execution 
was determined on long beforehand, and his rich and ancient 
abbey was plundered immediately after his arrest. His 
fate was sealed long before his mock trial at Wells took 
place; the verdict of the '\vorshypfull jury' was of course 
'guilty,' and he was executed two days later on Glastonbury 
Tor 2. 
Hand in hand with the suppression of the monasteries 
came the fall of the various houses of the friars. This had 
probably been a part of Crom,,'ell's scheme froln the very 
first; it \vill be remembered that several houses suffered in 
the early part of his ministry, as a penalty for permitting 
their inmates to preach against the King's divorce. A sort 
of preliminary visitation had been carried on in 1534, at 
Cromwell's command, by his agents Browne and Hilsey 3 : but 
a far more energetic person was found in Richard Ingworth, 
Bishop of Dover, who, on the 6th of February, 1538, was 
commissioned by the Vicar-general to carryon a second 
investigation, in which he was to visit all the houses of the 
various orders of friars in England, to examine into and cor- 
rect abuses, and to expel and punish the guilty inmates 4. As 
he refers to the King's Vicegerent, as his' synguler helper for 
XII yeres past 5,' there is reason to think that he had been an 
intÏInate of Cromwell's before the latter had entered the royal 
service: it is possible that they had worked together in the sup- 
pression of the monasteries which furnished funds for Wolsey's 
colleges. A greater traveller than Ingworth could scarcely 


1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 206. 
2 CaI. xiv. (ii) 530, 531. Cf. 
also Gasquet, The Last Abbot of 
Glastonbury, chaps. vi and vii. 
S Cal. vii. 5 8 7 (18). 


4 Cat xiii. (i) 225. 
5 Cal. xiii. (iD 1021. Cf. also 
the Introduction to vol. xiii of the 
Calendar, p. 23. 



THE 110NASTERIES 


177 


have been found in those days. The number of houses he 
visited during the first six Inonths of 1538 is perfectly amazing, 
but with all his energy, Richard of Dover was far less efficient 
than his terrible master. When he hesitatingly wrote to 
Cromwell to ask whether he should meddle with the White 
Friars of Winchester, he received a smart rebuke for his 
doubts, and ,vas told that though he had changed his friar's 
habit, he had not changed his friar's heart 1. The Vicar- 
general found it necessary to give him a coadjutor, and chose 
a singularly apt man for his purpose in Dr. John London, 
"vVarden of N e\v College, Oxford, who received a special com- 
mission with the mayor and two others to 'loke vpon' the 
friars of that town 2. The friars gave the Conlmissioners 
more trouble than the monks. They seemed to have secret 
\vays of learning ,vhen the visitors ,vere going to arrive, and 
either carefully hid, or else sold an their valuables beforehand, 
a fact which affords the most probablc explanation of the 
amount of poverty reported by the visitors. Still the houses 
fell without ceasing; if not by voluntary surrender, by com- 
pulsion. N or did the visitors hesitate in the case of nunneries, 
to resort to the most shameful devices to elicit a surrender. 
London's conduct was so disgraceful, that Crom\vell was 
obliged to recognize the justice of the complaints of the 
Abbess of Godstow against him, and' steye his procedinges 3.' 
'Doctor Londone,' ,vrote the abbess to the Vicar-general,' ,vhiche 
. . . was ageynste my promotyon and hathe ever sence borne me 
greate malys and grudge like nlY mortall enmye, is sodenlie 
cUlnmyd unto me withe a greate rowte \vith him, and here 
dothe threten me and my susters, sayeng that he hathe the 
kynges commyssyon to suppres the house spyte of my tethe 4 .' 
It appears that London himself \vrote to Cromwell the day 
after to beg him to favour the abbess and her sisters 5. Did 
he perhaps feel that he had gone too far, or are \ve to 
infer that his usual methods were even more brutal than 
this? 


1 vVright, pp. 195, 197. 
2 Cal. xiii. (i) 1335. 
S Cal. xiii. (ii) 758, 91 I. 



 \Vright, p. 230. 
5 Cal. xiii. (ii) 7 6 7. 


MERRIMAN. I 


N 



178 


TIIO
IAS CROl\IWELL 


And thus the work \vas finished. Within five years of the 
time that the first visitation of the monasteries had begun. 
a conlplete devastation of all the religious houses had been 
accomplished, and a torrent of ,.vealth had been poured in 
upon the Crown, 'such,' says Hallam, 'as has seldom been 
equalled in any country, by the confiscations follo\ving a 
subdued rebellion 1.' The suppression which included the 
larger houses was evidently a far greater financial success 
than the first. A new device for gaining revenue had been 
invented, and put in operation during the last few years. It 
consisted in inlposing a fine on every place in which a religious 
house had existed, 'for the toleracyon and contynuaunce of 
the monastery ther 2 '; an ingenious device, ,vhich yielded 
a most substantial income. ' 1'he King had then in his hand,' 
says Burnet, 'the greatest opportunity of nlaking royal and 
noble foundations that ever King of England had. But 
,vhether out of policy, to give a general content to the gentry 
by selling to them at lo,v rates, or out of easiness to his 
courtiers, or out of an unmeasu red lavishness of expense, it 
came far short of what he had given out he would do. . . . 
He designed to convert L 18,000 into a revenue for eighteen 
bishoprics and cathedrals. But of these he only erected six.. . . 
Great sun1S were indeed laid out on building and fortifying 
Inany ports in the Channel, and other parts of England 3.' 
Lacking any evidence from the sources on the subject 
of the use to \vhich the revenues from the suppression of tht.:> 
monasteries \vere put, one must judge from this passage, and 
from subsequent events. An Act giving Henry the power 
to erect bishoprics by letters patent, ,vas passed in Parlialnent, 
May 23, 1539 4 . It was by the authority of this statute, that 
the King founded the six ne\v bishops' sees above mentioned, 
and also converted some of the old houses, such as Beverley, 
Ripon, and Manchester, into collegiate churches. But the 
passage in Burnet also hints at other Jnethods of employing 
the money gained from the suppression of the monasteries, 
which it seems likely that CrolnwelI suggested. The use 


1 Hallam, vo1. i. p. 76. 
2 Cat xiii. (ii) 457 (3). 


S Burnet, vol. i. p. 43 I. 
f 3 1 Hen. VIII, c. 9. 



THE l\IONASTERIES 


179 


of the funds to strengthen the coast defences along the 
Channel \vas always one of his favourite schemes; it is 
probable that he found no difficulty in persuading the King 
how necessary such a precaution ,vas, in view of the danger 
of foreign invasion, \vhich threatened England at the close of 
1539. But the plan of selling the lands of the confiscated 
houses to the nobles at lo\v prices, is even more Cromwellian. 
It immediately relninds the reader of the course which 
Wolsey, ten years before, had pursued at his servant's advice, 
when he bought off the popular hatred by grants out of his 
own lands and revenues. Crom\vell plainly saw that after the 
suppression, steps must be taken to ensure the permanence 
of the reform he had effected. By judicious grants he turned 
aside the hatred of some of the rural gentry, who were at first 
opposed to the destruction of the monasteries, and thus, 
by rendering the work popular at home, he secured himself 
and it from the attacks of Catholic potentates abroad. But 
his action at this juncture had another more subtle and more 
important result. For by the grants which he made to the 
rural gentry, he laid the basis for the foundation of a territorial 
aristocracy, destined at a later day to wrest from the Crown 
the power which he had wrung from the older nobility, lay 
and clerical. This after-effect of Crom\vell's policy, which \vas 
in direct opposition to the aims of his government, did not take 
place till long after his fall. It was rendered possible solely 
by the movement of events over which he had no control, 
and he could have scarcely anticipated it. But it is only 
fair to mention it here, in order that we may be able to look 
on the suppression of the monasteries and its after-effects as 
a connected \vhole. If we do this, the cruelty and treachery 
of Cromwell and his agents in gaining their ends will not 
make us blind to the fact, that in the end the destruction of 
the religious houses in England certainly accomplished 
other and better results than those it was originalJy intended 
to com pass. 


N2 



CHAPTER X 


THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE. 1536 


-:, 


\VHEN Cromwell entered the King's service, it was inevitable 
that the policy he adopted should force him to abandon all 
hope of popularity with the people at large, as soon as 
his real position became generally kno\vn. The efforts 
Henry and his minister made to conceal the identity of the 
true author of the sweeping changes of the years 1530-34, 
bear testimony to the fact that they \vere both perfectly well 
a\vare of the opposition the new measures must arouse in the 
minds of those who \vere outside the Court circle and 
consequently could not see the reason of them. For a long 
time these efforts were cro\vned with success. We have seen 
that it was not until the year 1535 that those who \vere in 
close proximity to the King discovered what a power Cromwell 
had become in Church and State. It was even longer before 
the coun try people began to realize the true state of affairs. 
News of the extraordinary revolution in ecclesiastical matters, 
of the King's divorce and second marriage, of the packed 
Parliaments, and of the ruthless execution of so-called heretics, 
slowly spread among the rural population. The changes were 
certainly unwelcome, but they \vere universally thought to be 
the work of the King alone, and traditional English respect 
for royalty \vas sufficient to check any serious outbreak. The 
common people contented themselves with vague murmurings 
and disloyal speeches which were soon suppressed through 
the efficiency of Cromwell's agents; and by the opening of the 
year 1535 the King and his minister began to hope that the 
crisis had been tided over. 
But they were destined to be disappointed. At the very 
moment when he began to think himself secure in his almost 
exclusive enjoyment of his master's favour, Cromwell took a 
measure which \-vas destined to conduce directly to the formid- 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 181 


able rising that nearly hurled hin1 from his hard-\von place. 
The moment the Vicar-general sent out his agents to visit the 
nlonasteries, the Englishman of the country began to realize 
that the puzzling changes, of \vhich he had hitherto under- 
stood so little, \vere going to have an important and also a 
disagreeable effect on his own life. Up to this time he had 
been un\\rilling actively to express his dissatisfaction at the 
ne\v measures, because they had seemed but remotely 
connected ,,-ith his o\\yn fortunes: but now there came an 
evidence to the contrary \vhich he did not fail to appreciate. 
The arnlY of outcast monks and nuns, from \vhom in old days 
he had been accustomed to receive every sort of kindness, 
now passed his door, begging for food and shelter. The spoil 
\vhich he had perhaps filched from the monastery suppressed 
near by, had not been sufficient to repay him for the injury 
to the inmates whom he had been taught to love and respect. 
His griefs are vividly described in the folIo,,'ing verses of a 
song written for the Yorkshire rebels in the autumn of 153 6 : 


I. 
Crist crucifyd 
for thy woundes wide 
vs commons guyde 
which pilgrames be 
thrughe godes grace 
for to purchache 
olde weith & peax 
of the spiritualtie. 
2. 
Gret godes fame 
doith church proclame 
now to be lame 
and fast in boundes 
robbyd spoled & shorne 
from cateH & corne 
and dene furth borne 
of howsez & Ian des. 


for clere it is 
the decay of this 
how the pore shall mys 
no tong can tell. 


4. 
for ther they hade 
boith ale & breyde 
at tyme of nede 
and succur grete 
in aIle distresse 
and hevynes 


* * * * 


and wel intrete. 


3. 
alacke alacke 
for the church sake 
pore comons wake 
& no merveJI 


s. 
In troubil & care 
where that we were 
in maner all bere 
of Ollr substance 
we founde good bate 
at churche men gate 
without checkmate 
or vary aun ce 1. 


1 Cal. xi. 786 (3). 



182 


T
IOMAS CROMWELL 


Such were the complaints which arose among the country 
folk as a result of the suppression of the monasteries. And 
just at the moment that this intensely unpopular measure 
began to be carried out in earnest, and largely as a result 
of it, the veil which had hitherto prevented the people from 
recognizing the true author of the hated innovations was torn 
a\vay, and a pretext was offered for a revolt, which had it 
been directed against the King, would have been no better 
than treason. The people fastened on CrolTI\veIl as the author 
of all their troubles; and the thought that a man whom they 
knew to be lo,v-born, of no better or more noble origin than 
themselves, had been able to cause them such misery, \vas 
enough to kindle a sn10uldcring fire of discontent into 
a brilliant blaze. A crusade against Cromwell, they argued, 
could not be regarded as a revolt against the royal authority. 
They had no complaint against the King, or even against any 
of the nobles, but they were determined to rid themselves 
at one blow' of the plebeian minister \vhom they thoroughly 
detested and whom they had no cause to respect: with the 
destruction of Cromwell and his agents, they were certain 
that the good old days \vould return. The last verse of their 
war..song contained a frank avowal of their object: 


, Crim 1 crame 2 & riche S 
wit/t thre III 4 and the liche 5 
as sum men teache 
god theym amend 
And that aske may 
without delay 
llere make A stay 
and well to end 6.' 


The reasons ,vhy the rising against the authority of Crom- 
well, known to posterity by the suggestive name of the Pil- 
grimage of Grace, was organized, and set afoot in the northern 
counties, are not far to seek. In the first place devotion to 
the Old Faith, and to the cause of Queen Katherine, was 
far stronger in the north than in the south of England. 


1 Cromwell. 2 Cranmer. S Richard Riche. 
f The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Legh, and Dr. Layton. 
ð The Bishop of Lichfield. 6 CaI. xi. 786 (3). 



THE PILGRIlVIAGE OF GRACE 183 


A comparison of the C comperta ' of the northern and southern 
monasteries, or of the details of the different vbitations, 
\vill easily convince the reader of this discrepancy. In the south 
occur constant complaints by the monks that their superiors 
failed to observe the canons of religious asceticism; and 
on the other hand, whenever an abbot refused to acknowledge 
the Royal Supremacy, his subordinates were always sure 
to report him to head quarters, in the hope of gaining favour 
\vith the King or Cromwell!. The letters of Dr. Legh from 
the south of England contain frequent reports of 'to\vardness' 
among the inmates, and \villingness to adopt the N e\v :F'aith 2. 
In the north one finds none of this. The reports concerning 
the monasteries there are of a very different sort: imnlorality 
and unnatural crimes are the principal charges against the 
inmates 3. There is scarcely a record of apostasy; scarcely 
a case of mutual accusation among the monks. The abbots 
and their subordinates almost invariably supported each other, 
and thcir loyalty to the Old Faith and their hatred of those 
,vho tried to disestablish it, gave the Commissioners a far 
harder task in the north than in the south. There is also 
reason to think that Crolnwell's spy system operated less 
perfectl y there, partly o\ving to this spirit of conservatism 
and love of the old usages permeating every sort and 
condition of life, and partly o\ving to the great spaces of wild, 
uninhabited land. 
This is only the religious side. But there were other almost 
equally valid reasons for the localization of the revolt in the 
north. The south \vas thickly populated, and to a certain extent 
commercial; the north sparsely populated, and for the most 
part pastoral and agricultural. Crom\\gell had done everything 
that he could to facilitate trade, and his efforts in this direction 
had been rewarded by comparative popularity in the com- 
mercial counties. The discontent in the agricultural north, 
however, was most pronounced. The Statute of Uses had 
not been in all cases correct! y interpreted. I t 'vas said that 
the King made such laws that \vhen a man died his wife and 


1 Cal. ix. 314, 321, 3 22 . 
S Cal. x. 3 6 4. 


2 Cal. LX. 694. 


, 



184 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


children had to go a-begging 1. Lastly, the proximity of the 
Scottish Borders, which were in a continual state of disorder, 
offered great encouragement for undertaking a rebellion in 
the north. Croffi\vell \vas constantly occupied with the 
suppression of minor disturbances there 2, o\ving to the very 
lax administration of the Courts and Wardens of the three 
Marches, while across the T,veed an attitude of more or less 
active h03tility to the English government was always 
maintained. There \vas every probability that a revolt in the 
northern counties of the realm \vould receive substantial aid 
from Scotland. 
But though the Pilgrimage of Grace was 10cal1y restricted 
to the northern counties, it embraced all classes, animated 
by the most varied interests 3. The objects of the insurgents 
,vere secular and religious, their mottoes conservative and 
progressive. On their banners were borne the emble
 of 
the five wounds of Christ, a chalice and a host, a plough, and 
a horn. The first of these symbols indicated that the 
insurrection had been undertaken for the defence of the 
faith; the second was to remind the commons of the spoils 
of the Church. The plough was to encourage the husband- 
men, and 'the horn was in token of Horncastle': for the 
banner ',vas brought among the rebels by the comn10ns of 
Horncastle 4.' The watchwords of the rebels were of the 
very most diverse nature. Some of them cried out for the 
restoration of the suppressed monasteries; others for the re- 
newal of guarantees against exorbitant taxation, for renledies 
for the agrarian discontent, or for legal permission to leave 
land by will to daughters and younger sons. All of them 
united in demanding the destruction of Cromwell, whom the 
people regarded as the cause of all their woes 5. The leaders 
and participants in the revolt were not of anyone rank or 
station in life; the popular and aristocratic elements were 
almost equally mixed. It is no wonder that a rising, 


1 Cal.xi. 705, 780 (2); xii. (i) 70; 
xiii. (ii) 307. 
2 Letters, 10 5. 

 Cal. xii. (i) 138, 786, 900. Cf. 


also A, L. Smith in Social England, 
vol. iii. pp. 21 ff. 
4 Cal. xii. (i) 70 (13). 
I) Cal. xii. (i) 1 6 3. 



THE PILGRI1\'IAGE OF GRACE 183 


supported by men of such various classes, which aimed at 
the extirpation of abuses of so many different sorts, and 
which yet \vas united by the feeling that all these abuses 
were due to one man alone, \vas regarded as 'the daungerest 
insurrection that haith ben seen 1.' 
On September 29, 153 6 , when the Con1missioners for the 
suppression of the monasteries can1e to Hcxham in Northum- 
berland, they ,vere rudely surprised by finding the house 
there fortified, and prepared to defend itself to the last. 
The Commissioners left the to,vn and reported the affair to 
the I{ing. \vho ordered them to assemble all the forces they 
could muster, and if the monastery did not yield, to treat 
the n10nks like arrant traitors 2. But scarcely was this danger 
past \vhen ne\vs came that the Commissioners for levying the 
lay subsidy, the collection of which \vas superintended by 
Crom,vell, had met with a similar experience at Caistor in 
Lincolnshire. It seems they had feared some disturbance 
at their arrival, and had invited several country gentlemen 
to join them in case of any danger. A large force had 
meantime assembled to resist the payment of the subsidy. 
The country gentlemen 'vere pursued, taken, arid forced to 
,vrite to Lord Hussey at Sleaford, to summon him to join 
the rebel commons, unless he \vished to be treated as an 
enemy, and also to send to the King to seek a general 
pardon 3. Hussey promptly reported the state of affairs to 
Cromwell, and though he put a bold face on the matter in 
presence of the rebels, it is evident that he ,vas seriously 
alarmed 4. The King meantime himself received the letter 
the captured gentlemen had been forced to send him, caused 
the bearers of it to reveal the names of the ringleaders, and 
\vrote to the Con1missioners for levying the subsidy, express- 
ing his distress at the' vnnatural vnkyndness ' of his subjects, 
and marvelling' that he that is \vorth xx Ii sholde rebell for 
the payment of x s 5.' But this sort of letter of mild surprise, 
with \vhich Henry had sometimes successfully warded off 


1 Cal. xi. 5 8 5. 
8 CaI. xi. 533-4, 536-9, 552-3, 5 6 7- 8 . 
f CaI. xi. 547. 


2 CaI. xi. 5 0 4, 544. 


5 Cal. xi. 5 6 9. 



186 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


pressing danger, did not prove to be sufficient in this case. 
He was relieved from any apprehension on his own account; 
the rebels had expressly denied any desire to be disloyal to 
the King: they only ,vished that the Church of England 
should have its old privileges, 'without any exaction,' that 
the suppressed houses of religion be restored, and that they 
should not be taxed, except for defence of the realm in time 
of war. Again and again did they repeat their demands for 
the surrender or banishment of Crom\veIl, Audley, Cranmer, 
Riche, and others of the Privy Council. That the King did 
not throw over his ministers in their hour of need, surely 
shows that Henry ,vas con1mitted to them and to their policy, 
and believed in it. 
The situation ,vas certainly alarming. It was very fortunate 
that at the time of the outbreak the position of the King was 
otherwise so strong, and England's foreign affairs in such 
good condition, that every effort could be centred on the 
suppression of the revolt. The insurgents evidently meant 
business. Sir Christopher Ascugh, gentleman usher to the 
King, wrote to Cromwell, October 6, 'The rebels ar in nombre 
of men of armys ,veIl harnesyd x or xii m spars and bo\vs; & 
xxx m other sum harnesyd and sum not harnesyd . ... .. and 
all the contrey Rysys holly as they goo before them. . . . . . . 
1\1:eIlessent your seruaunt they have hanged & Baytyd Bello\ve 
to deth wyth Dogges wyth a bull skyn vpon his bake wyth 
many Regorous wordes agaynst your lordeshepp 1.' Letters 
,,'ere sent to the principal men in the county, asking them to 
use all their efforts to check the revolt, and the King later 
declared his intention to take the field himself2. Cromwell's 
nephew Richard 3 got all the arrows and implements of war 
out of the Tower, and dispatched a number of men to 
Lincolnshire, among them sixty or eighty masons and 
carpenters, who \vere at work on his uncle's house. Cromwell 
himself was in great fear. The Imperial ambassador informs 
us 4 that the \vhole blame for the insurrection \vas laid 


1 Cal. xi. 5 6 7. 
2 Cal. xi. 579- 80. 
S The son of l\1organ 'Yilliams 


and Katherine Cromwell. cr. chap. 
iii. pp. 54-5. 
4 Cal. xi. 5ï 6 . 



THE PILGRIl\1AGE OF GRACE 187 


on him. Norfolk \vas recalled to the Court, whence he 
had been banished at Cromwell's suggestion, and the Duke 
arrived at London, happy as he had never been before in the 
thought that the first step to\vards the ruin of his rival had 
been taken. But in this he was doomed to disappointment, 
for Cromwell retained his ascendancy; the King, according 
to Chapuys, had been very reluctant to send for the Duke, 
and \vhen the latter \-vas dispatched again to raise men and 
prevent the spreading of the revolt, he was overtaken by 
a most 'discomfortable' message from the Court, ordering 
him to send his son in his place \vhile he hitnself retnained at 
home 1. Crom\vell had not only succeeded in getting him 
a\vay from the Court, but had also prevented his having 
a hand in the suppression of the rebellion. The Lord Privy 
Seal himself was content with maintaining his position at 
the :King's side. It \vould have been sheer madness for him 
to have marched against the rebels in person. If the Lincoln- 
shire men could have murdered him, they probably \vould 
have been induced to return quietly to their homes. Nor 
did Crom\vell even dare to give orders at arm's length, or 
in any \vay to undertake the management of the royal forces. 
He kept himself consistently in the background; almost all 
our information concerning the rebellion is contained in 
the correspondence of the King \vith Norfolk and Suffolk. The 
few letters which Crom\vell did \vrite in connexion with the 
Pilgrimage of Grace are quite unimportant 2. They consist 
for the most part of messages of profuse and almost hysterical 
thanks to the leaders of the King's party for their loyal 
service. It \\'as not until the revolt had been thoroughly 
suppressed that Cronnvell ventured again to assume the 
general direction of public affairs. 
Meantime the Duke of Suffolk and the Earl of Shrewsbury 
had been sent against the rebels, who were waiting in Lincoln- 
shire for the King's ans\ver to their first letter. Richard 
Crom\vell had found great difficulty in conveying to the 
scene the arms and artillery he had got out of the T ow'er, 
because the people were at first un\villing to furnish the 


1 Cal. xi. 601-2. 


2 Letters, 165, 167, 16 9. 



188 


THOMAS CROlvIWELL 


requisite number of horses, o\ving to sympathy \vith the 
insurgents, if one may believe the report of Chapuys' nephew 1. 
Finally, however, he succeeded in overtaking the Duke of 
Suffolk, who was marching with an army against the rebels 
from the south, at Stamford on October 10. The Earl of 
Shrewsbury, according to the King's orders, ,vas advancing 
at the same time from Nottingham. Caught between t\yO 
armies supplied \vith the ordnance \vhich the insurgents so 
much dreaded, the Lincolnshire men, further frightened by 
a proclamation from the Earl of Shre\vsbury transmitted to 
them by one Thomas Miller, Lancaster Herald, began to lose 
heart and finally consented to surrender, on condition that 
they should receive assurance of merciful treatment. The 
IZing ,vas pleased, ordered the rebels to deliver up their 
arms, and commanded Shrewsbury and Suffolk to examine 
the country gentlemen 'who had aided them, and report to 
him 2. He further wrote an ans\ver to the insurgents) calling 
them the 'rude commons of one shire, and that one of the 
most brute and beestelie of the hole realme 3,J expatiating on 
the trouble he had given himself in their defence, and assuring 
them that they had no grounds to com plain of any of the 
new measures, either secular or religious. He was just 
thinking that the \\
orst part of the danger was over, when 
suddenly ne\vs came from Lord Darcy, who \vas the chief 
person in the north, that all Yorkshire had risen in a 
similar \vay 4. 
The news of this outbreak was even more disquieting than 
that of the first. Besides being much further from London, 
where the King's armies could only reach them with great 
difficulty, the Yorkshire rebels were nearer the Ia\vless and 
hostile Scottish borders. They had from the very first been 
in sympathy \vith their neighbours in the south, and had 
communicated ,vith them by means of beacons burned on 
the banks of the Humber 5. The same motives had prompted 
them to rise in arms. They elected as captain a young 


] CaI. xi. 714. 
2 Cal. xi. 674, 694,706,715,717. 
8 State Papers, vol. i. p. 463. 


· CaI. xi. 61 I. 
lí Cal. xi. 563, 622. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 189 


barrister named Aske, \vho issued a proclamation for all men 
to assemble on Skip\vorth 1\100r, and take oath to be faithful 
to the King's issue and noble blood, to preserve the Church 
from spoil, and be true to the common\vealth-a clever 
euphemisnl for detnanding the death of Cronnvell and his 
adherents. The Y orkshiremen had gone about their revolt 
\vith far more method and system than the Lincolnshire 
rebels. The latter had been easily conquered, mainly because 
they lacked a head; but the Y orkshiremen promised to 
give far more trouble. They made musters by scrolls and 
bills nailed to the door of every church in the county, and 
proclaimed that anyone ,,,ho refused to take their oaths 
and rise with them should be put to death, \vhether he 
\vas lord or peasant. It \vas even rumoured that they in- 
tended to send an embassy to Flanders, to ask for aid in 
money and armed men, and to petition the Pope for abso- 
lution for all offences committed in the course of their holy 
pilgrimage 1. 
The King replied at once to Darcy's letter, commanding 
him to arrest all seditious persons, and promising so to treat 
the originators of the revolt in Lincolnshire that all York 
should soon learn that they had got their deserts 2. Darcy 
v
,'rote to the Lord Mayor of York, ,yarning him to be 
prepared to resist the insurgents, ,vhile he himself proceeded 
to Pomfret Castle to hold it against the rebels, and there 
a\vaited further instructions from the King 3 . He succeeded 
in maintaining his position at Pomfret for only ten days 
1 
ho,vever, for on October 20 he surrendered the to\vn to 
- tn.e rebel army under the leadership of Aske, and together 
\vith the Archbishop of York, who had sought refuge there, 
s,vore to take part \vith the insurgents 4. At his trial in the 
following year he pleaded that he \vas unable to hold out 
any longer because the provisions had run short, and further 
stated that he had been compelled to side with the rebels 
under pain of death. He also alleged as an excuse for his 
conduct that he thought that if he got in touch ,vith the 


1 Cal. xii. (i) 163, 259, 1080. 
2 Cal. xi. 61 I. 


3 Cal. xi. 6 2 7. 
t CaI. xii. (i) 900, 944. 



190 


THOlVIAS CROMWELL 


insurgents, he could the more easily induce them to lay 
do,vn their arms. How loyal he really was to the King 
must remain a matter of conjecture, but there is strong 
reason to think that he had much sympathy with the 
revolt 1. 
For a time the rebels seemed to carryall before them. 
Shrewsbury had been ordered to go to Yorkshire and engage 
the insurgents there, no\v that Lincolnshire was regarded as 
safe. Meantime Thomas Miller, Lancaster Herald, who had 
been so successful in obtaining the submission of the Lincoln- 
shire men, was sent by the King from Scrooby, on October 
2 I, to read a royal proclatnation to the rebels at Pomfret, 
upbraiding them for their conduct, but promising them pardon 
on condition that they should immediately disperse. When 
he arrived at his destination the to\vn had been surrendered. 
Aske, although he treated the royal envoy \vith all due 
, respect, entirely refused to let him read his proclamation in 
public, and sent him away with t\VO cro\vns and his errand 
unaccomplished 2. 
Meantime the Duke of Norfolk, \vho two weeks before had 
returned sadly to Kenninghall with all his hopes of regaining 
the royal favour blighted, had been hurried to and fro in the 
south of England by a continued stream of conflicting orders 
from Cromwell and the King, until he finally heard of the 
disturbances in Yorkshire from Shrewsbury 3. He imme- 
diately turned his steps with a small company of men towards 
Doncaster, in the hope of regaining the King's favour by 
a prompt suppression of the new outbreak. So anxious was 
he to recommend himself to Henry, that he spent ;[1,500\ 
of his own in paying the wages of the King's soldiers; and 
when this was not sufficient, and Henry refused to advance 
any money, he asked for a loan to meet the expenses, and 
took the responsibility for its payment upon himself 4. N or- 
folk's whole proceeding in this crisis was eminently character- 
istic. He never hesitated to spend lTIOney or to tel11ies, if he 
thought that by so doing there was any possibility of gaining 


I Cal. xii. (i) 853, 1087. 
2 Cat xi. 826. 


S Cal. xi. 626, 671, 758. 
" Cal. xi. 793, 800. 



THE IJILGH.Il\IAGE OF GRACE 191 


the royal favour. l-Ie assured the I<'ing that, in treating with 
rebels, he would pay no respect to what others might call his 
'honour distayned,' for he considered it perfectly permissible 
to break promises in order to serve the Crown 1. Henry, it 
would seem, did not take Norfolk's treacherous proposals to 
sacrifice his own honour in the royal service in as good part 
as the Duke had hoped, and \vrote back hinting that if N 01'- 
folk made promises to the rebels that he could not keep, he 
must make them on his own r"esponsibility, and take great 
care that the I<.ing's name remained unsullieù. 
When the Duke arrived in the rebel country he issued 
a proclanlation to the insurgents, comnlanding them in proud 
and haughty terms to subn1it, and promising to be an inter- 
cessor for them with the King. This was on October 27. 
But the very next day he \vrote to Henry that he had been 
forced to declare to the insurgents the royal pardon, in order 
to 'sparple' them, and get them to return to their homes 2. 
It is evident that in the meantime a meeting must have taken 
place bet\veen the Duke and the rebels, in which the latter 
succeeded in convincing their enemy that they, and not he, 
were in the position to dictate terms. A general truce was 
arranged, and Lord Darcy was ordered to cease to molest 
the insurgents 3. The dread with which Norfolk a waited his 
first intervie\v with the King is vividly described in the letter 
in which he announced to the Council his prospective return 
to the Court. 'I come,' \vrote the Duke, 'with my hert nere 
bresten . . . . inforced to appoynt with the rebelles . . . . and 
fearing how his maieste shall take the dispeachyng of our 
bande 4.' 
Norfolk finally arrived at Windsor \vith two emissaries 
from the insurgents, who were to report their grievances 
and receive the King's ans\ver. Henry was just composing 
his reply when news came that Aske had attempted to stir 
up the rebels in the other northern counties. Norfolk wrote 
to Darcy that the I<'ing suspected him of treachery in deliver- 
ing up Pomfret to Aske, and advised him to do his best to 


1 CaJ. xi. E64. 
2 Cal. xi. 887, 902. 


S Cal. xi. 90 1 . 
4 Cal. xi. 9 0 9. 



192 


THOl\IAS CROMWELL 


C extinct the ill bruit,' by taking the rebel leader dead or 
alive 1. Meantime the King detained Ellerker and Bowes, 
the hvo rebel envoys, as hostages, while Darcy attempted 
to allay any fears of a third outbreak. The King in fact 
was so seriously alarmed at the danger in the north, that 
he dreaded that his letter to the Lincolnshire men in early 
October might not prove sufficient to prevent their joining 
a ne\v revolt, if such occurred. So seeing their 'maner, im- 
plieng a great repentance,' and contrasting it with the rebel- 
lious attitude of the Y orkshiremen, he sent them on the 14th 
of November a full pardon 2. lVleantime the report of the 
probability of a fresh insurrection passed by, and Ellerker 
and Bowes returned \vith the King's answer, with which 
Henry had taken much trouble, and had endeavoured to 
disguise the fact that he was really suing for peace, by pro- 
mising to pardon those \vho were truly penitent. A conference 
for discussion of terms was arranged to assemble at Doncaster 
on the 5th of December, in \vhich Lords Scrope, Latimer, 
Lumley, Darcy, and others were to represent the rebels, and 
Norfolk, Suffolk, Shre\vsbury, Rutland, and their subordinates 
the King 3. 
Henry laid his plans carefully in preparation for this 
meeting. He instructed Shrewsbury to do his utmost to 
prevail upon Aske and Darcy to betray the rebels, upon 
promise of a free pardon for themselves. He also ordered 
the Duke of Suffolk to hold himself in readiness with a large 
force in case of another outbreak 4. There was probably far 
less danger that the truce \vould be broken by the rebels 
than by the King; but the former certainly had no intention 
of returning to their homes \vithout at least an assurance of 
a general amnesty. Henry soon realized that they were in 
earnest, and reluctantly instructed Suffolk, in a second letter, 
to yield to their demands for a free pardon and a Parliament 
as a last resort, if all other expedients to induce them to 
disperse should fai1 5 . The conference at Doncaster lasted 


1 Cat xi. 995. 
2 CaI. xi. 1061. 
3 Cal. xi. 957, 995, 1115, 1206. 


4 Cal. xi. 1224, 122 5. 
(j Cal. xi. 1236. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 193 


four days, but in the end the rebels were successful in gaining 
their \vishes, and the desired pardon was proclaimed on the 
9th of December 1. Henry had never before been forced to 
acknowledge such a complete check at the hands of his 
subjects, and the sensations of the proud King must have been 
as disagreeable as they \vere novel. Still it \\?as impossible 
for him to give vent to his rage until he had once more 
obtained the upper hand. 
So he wrote to Aske requesting an interview with him in 
London. The tone of the letter is noteworthy. Though 
evidently beaten, Henry spoke as if he \vere master of the 
situation, and began by stating that he had learned that 
Aske \vas sorry for his offences in the late rebellion. The 
King also did his utmost to stop any rumours on the Con- 
tinent \vhich might give the impression that the rebels had 
come off victorious. He instructed Crom\vell to write a full 
account of the revolt to Gardiner and Wallop at the French 
Court, ordering them to tell all people that though at first 
the insurgents 'made peticion to haue obteyned certain 
articles,. . . . in thende they went from all and remytted all 
to the kinges highnes pleasure only in moost humble and re- 
uerent sorte desiring their pardon, with the greatest repentance 
that could be deuised 2.' But Henry was a little premature 
with his boasts that peace had been concluded on terms so 
favourable to himself. Aske indeed came up to London, 
had \vhat certainly appeared to be a most successful interview 
with the King, and returned to the North, January 5, 1537, 
to confirm the royal pardon, and to promise that all reason- 
able petitions should be heard by Parliament 3. But the other 
rebels did not seem by any means as sure of Henry's good faith. 
Aske wrote to the King a letter containing six 'marvilus 
congectures' of the people, among which were the dread 
with which they regarded the fortifying of strongholds, and 
their distrust that Crom\vell and his adherents were as high 
in favour as ever 4. Henry of course paid no attention to 
these complaints, with the result that many of the insurgents, 


. 


1 Cal. xi. 12 76. 
2 Letters, 174. 


3 Cal. xii. (i) 44. 
4 Cal. xii. (i) 67. 


MERRIMAN. I 


o 



194 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


who 'saw plainly,' as the Court historian writes, 'that the 
King did constantly follow the reformation of the abominable 
Church. . . incontinently renewed the old practice of rebelling 
again 1.' A plan was evolved by Sir Francis Bigod and a 
certain John Hallam, to attack and take both Hull and Scar- 
borough: the \vhole country was ready to rise again, and they 
anticipated an easy victory 2. But the success of this last out- 
break was very short-lived. The attempt \vhich Hallam made 
against Hull failed, owing to the fact that the plot had been 
reported to the mayor there, and Hallam himself was cap- 
tured 3. At Scarborough Bigod was scarcely more fortunate. 
He had succeeded in calling out the people of the East Riding, 
and had harangued them; 'Y e are deceaued by a colour of 
a pardon;' he said, 'for it is called a pardon that ye haue, and 
it is none But a proclamacion.' The commons responded to 
his words ,vith a great shout, and he marched off with a large 
following to repair his comrade's disaster at Hull, leaving 
the son of Lord Lumley with a handful of men to attack 
Scarborough 4. But Lunl1ey deserted his post, abandoning 
the command to two subordinates, who attempted to lay siege 
to the castle of Scarborough in the absence of its keeper, Sir 
Ralph Evers; the latter, however, soon returned, and they 
gave up the enterprise, only to be captured and imprisoned. 
Bigod's second attenlpt on Hull had meantime also failed, 
and Bigod himself fled 5. 
Meantime the Duke of Norfolk had returned into the 
north, no longer as a peace commissioner, but as a messenger 
of death and destruction 6. Now that the tide of affairs had 
turned and the rebels were weakened, the King thought it at 
last safe to inflict the long-deferred punishment on the leaders 
of the revolt. It is true that Norfolk was accompanied by a 
few persons, who together with certain gentlemen in the north 
were to compose a council to aid him in carrying out a general 
pacification: this arrangement, however, was obviously ten1- 
porary, and it was soon to be replaced by a more stable form 


.. 


1 Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. S 3. 
2 Cal. xii. (i) 201, 370. 
S Cal. xii. (i) 104. 


4 Cal. xii. (i) 3 6 9. 
(j Cal. xii. (i) 234, 369 (p. 166). 
6 Cal. xii. (i) 86, 98. 



THE PILGRIlVIAGE OF GRACE 195 


of government. The true tnission of the Duke \vas to do 
'dreadful execution.' Before a permanent reorganization of 
the north could be attenlpted, it was absolutely essential 
that the chief rebels should be dealt \vith in such a ,yay 
as would deter others from attempting a fresh insurrec- 
tion. The situation demanded severity, and there can be 
no doubt that the inclination of the King tallied closely 
with the dictates of political expediency. Norfolk justified 
to the full the confidence that Henry reposed in his 
ruthlessness. He reported that he thought that so great 
a number had never before been put to death at one time, 
and confessed that had he proceeded by jury, not one in five 
would have suffered 1. All the rebel leaders ,vere taken and 
sent up to London, and by the end of July, 1537, Aske, 
Darcy, Hussey, Bigod, and many others had been condemned 
to death as traitors. Darcy at his mock trial had dared to 
tell Cronnvell: 'It is tho\v that art the verey originall and 
chif causer of all thies rebellyon and myschif. . . and dust 
ernestly travell to bring vs to owr end and to strik of our 
heddes and I trust that... thought tho\v woldest procure 
all the nobell mens heddes \vithin the Realme to be striken 
of, yet shall ther one hedde remayn that shall strike of thy 
hede 2 .' But the Lord Privy Seal was still in too secure 
a position to be harmed by any such ,vords as these. lIe 
seemed in higher favour than ever. If Norfolk had enter- 
tained the notion that he had begun to supplant his rival 
in the royal favour, when the King chose him rather than 
Cromwell to carry out the 'dreadful execution,' he ,vas 
again doomed to disappointment. The reason why the 
King had not been willing to employ his favourite instru- 
ment of destruction in this case, It!. y for the most part in 
the fact that he needed his aid in a far more important 
task, to which Norfolk's proceedings were merely 
a necessary preliminary. For the moment had now arrived 
for the long-contemplated reform of the government of the 
north, a matter in which the Duke vainly attempted to 
give advice. His proffered counsel was consistently rejected: 


1 Cal. xii. (i) 49 8 . 


2 Cal. xii. (i) 97 6 . 


02 



196 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


in dealing with this problem the King preferred to consult 
Crom\vell. 
The Border Counties of England had never been governed 
like the rest of the kingdom 1. The institution of the three 
Scottish Marches, which at first included the greater part of 
Northumberland and Cumberland, took its rise as early as 
the Iniddle of the thirteenth century. Each of these three 
Marches was placed in charge of a Warden, who, aided by 
a special court, exercised general authority, judicial, military, 
and administrative, according to his commission. There 
appears also at a very early date a kind of informal confer- 
ence or Council of the Marches, composed of the ordinary 
March authorities, sitting in conjunction with local magnates. 
When the war with Scotland broke out at the end of the 
thirteenth century, the King attempted through the Privy 
Council to increase his personal influence in the north. He 
did not disturb the existing organization however. By special 
commissions he strengthened the power of the Wardens, and 
later gave the government of the lVlarches a definite head in 
an officer called the Lieutenant of the North, who represented 
the King's interest, and derived his authority from the Cro\vn 
and Council and not from Parliament. The Border Counties 
were thus placed under a special jurisdiction and outside the 
ordinary administration of the kingdom. The tendency of 
the Privy Council to mingle in the affairs of the north in- 
creased during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and (as 
a result of the strained relations between England and Scot- 
land in the early part of the reign of Henry VIII) reached 
its culmination under Wolsey. The Lieutenant's control had 
meantime been extended southward into Yorkshire. 
It may perhaps seem -strange that the Tudors, with their 
special genius for centralization and conciliar government, had 
not yet succeeded in rendering the condition of the north 
more satisfactory, when its administration lay so completely 
in their own hands. But the ever-threatening danger of a 


1 On this and the succeeding 
pages, cf. G. T. Lapsley, 'The 
Problem of the North,' in the Ame- 


rican Historical Review for April, 
1900, pp. 44 0 - 66 . 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 197 


raid from the Scots, coupled with the bitter feuds of the local 
baronage, tended so far to disorganize the region that the 
problem of the north had remained unsolved. The attem pt 
of VV olsey to reform the government of the Border Counties 
had consisted in a thorough rehabilitation of the old Council 
of the Marches. He replaced the ill-defined, loosely-con- 
structed body \vhich had hitherto done service by a secret, 
permanent organization, composed principally of northern 
gentlemen, but still entirely dependent on the Privy Council. 
His reluctance to grant the local organ a sufficient degree of 
autonomy was the cause of the failure of his plan. The 
renovated Council of the lVlarches \vas forced to confess itself 
incompetent to deal \vith even the simplest problems \vhich 
presented themselves for solution, and the old unsatisfactory 
state of affairs continued \vith little change, until after the 
Pilgrimage of Grace. 
The problem of the reorganization of the north was no\v 
vigorously attacked by Henry and Cromwell during the 
absence of Norfolk. The question which presented itself 
after the suppression of the revolt was whether it would 
be better to create an entirely new form of government 
for the north, or to reconstruct, readapt, and strengthen the 
old. The principle of control by a permanent local council, 
first definitely established by Wolsey, was essentially charac- 
teris
ic of the Tudor policy, and Henry and Cromwell saw 
no reason to depart from it. I t had been one of the chief 
sources of the strength of their rule, that though they never 
shrank from any change, however radical, which the demands 
of a royal despotism in Church and State rendered necessary, 
they carefully avoided any gratuitous innovations which they 
knew would be unwelcome to the people at large. An 
entirely fresh organization of the north would have been 
exceedingly unpopular, especially in that most conservative 
portion of England: it was far less obnoxious, and equally 
effective, to infuse new life into the old régime, by granting 
the Council of the Marches a sufficient degree of independence, 
and above all by changing its composition. The problem 
was in many respects similar to that with which Cromwell 



198 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


had been confronted in connexion with the election of bishops. 
No radical innovation was needed in either case; the status 
quo, when fortified by official sanction, was perfectly satis- 
factory, save for a few trifling readaptations. It was on this 
basis accordingly, that Henry and Cromwell resolved to re- 
construct the government of the Border Counties. The old 
forms were retained though under different names. The 
jurisdiction of the Council of the North (merely a ne\v version 
of the old Council of the Marches) was extended so as to 
include the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, West- 
moreland, York, and Durham. It was given wider cOlnpetence 
in general administration, and its judicial authority in certain 
cases was so strengthened as to exclude that of the ordinary 
courts in the districts in which it exercised its functions 1. 
Far more interesting for our purpose than the jurisdiction 
of the newly-organized Council, is its composition, especially 
as revealing the identity of its originator. It seems that the 
new body was largely composed of men of low birth, a certain 
indication that Crom\vell's was the guiding hand in its 
organization 2. The '. base-born knave' at whose feet England 
lay had succeeded in proving to the King, that he and others 
of humble origin had as much power and willingness to serve 
the Crown as any nobleman in the 1and. Moreover the 
personal character of many of the members of the new 
Council \vas not above reproach, and though this fact does 
not seem to have disturbed the King, a bitter protest was 
evoked from Cromwell's rival, the Duke of Norfolk, who, 
from his isolated position in the north, had watched with 
increasing impatience the success of the Lord Privy Seal 
in maintaining his influence at Court, and in organizing a 
body obviously intended to supplant the temporary council 
composed in the previous January. Norfolk's anxiety to 
recommend himself to the King had alone induced him 
to take upon himself the task of punishing the revolt; no,v 
that he discovered that with all his subserviency Cromwell 
had again stepped into the place which he had coveted for 
himself, his enthusiasm for executing rebels gave place to 
1 CaI. xii. (i) 595. 2 CaI. xii. (ii) 914. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 199 


petitions to be permitted to return to Court. But Cromwell 
was strong enough to keep him in the north till Septeluber, 
and the Duke was forced to content himself \vith writing 
letters to the King and Council, to complain of the new 
arrangements for the government of the Borders \vhich had 
been made in his absence 1. He and Cromwell came into 
collision here, just as they had done before over Irish affairs: 
each had his own idea as to the best method of government 
in both cases, and the antagonism of the two n1en was the 
sharper in that each knew that his favour with the King 
depended on the success of his plan of administration. The 
Duke from the very first \vas convinced that 'the wylde 
peple of all the Marches wolde not be kept in order vnles 
one of good estimacion and nobilitie have the ordering 
therof,' \vhile Cromwell and the Council asserted that the 
King had already been ill served on the Borders' by the 
reason of controversy & variaunce depending between the 
great men that ly upon the same'; but, they continued, ' if 
it shal please his Majesty to appoynt the meanest man. . . 
to rule & govern in that place; is not his Graces aucthoritie 
sufficient to cause al n1en to serve his Grace under him with- 
out respect of the very estate of the personage? 2' The 
dispute on this point began in early February, when Norfolk 
wrote to protest against certain names in a list of officers 
for the north which the Privy Council had sent him. 
'More arraunt theves and murderers be not in no Realme,' 
asserted the Duke, 'then they haue of Long tyme been 
and yet ar . . . and the same shall not only cause Light 
persounes to saye and beleve that the Kinges Highnes 
is fayne to Hire with Fees the moost malefactors (in 
order) to syt in rest, but also not to Loke vppon theire 
most detestable offences 3.' An animated correspondence 
on this topic continued for several months, the dispute 
finally centering about the Presidency of the ne\v Council 
and the Wardenships of the three Marches; Norfolk insisted 
that only noblemen were fitted to hold these offices 4. In 
1 CaI. xii. (i) 318, 3 1 9, 3 21 , S Cal. xii. (i) 3 1 9. 
594, 65 1 . 
 Cal. xii. (i) 651, 667, 9 16 , 
2 Cal. xii. (i) 594, 636. 9 1 9. - 



200 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


May the discussion was finally closed by the King, who had 
steadily supported the position adopted by Cromwell and 
the Council. Henry now took the matter into his own hands, 
and sent a peremptory letter to the Duke. ' We doo accept 
in good parte,' wrote the King, 'the declaracion of your 
opinion for the Marches. N euertheles we doubt not but you 
woll both conforme your owne mynde to fynde out the good 
order whiche we haue therin determyned and cause other by 
your good Ineane to perceyve the same F or surely we woll 
not be bounde of a necessitie to be serued there with lordes, 
But we wolbe serued with such men what degre soeuer they 
be of as we shall appointe to the same 1.' The Presidency 
of the Council was finally conferred on Cuthbert Tunstall, 
Bishop of Durham. The death of the Earl of N orthumber- 
land in June, 1537, served as a convenient pretext for the 
suppression of the Lord Wardenship of the East and Middle 
Marches, which that nobleman had previously enjoyed; and 
the Earl of Cumberland, who had hitherto held a similar 
office on the West Marches, was not permitted long to retain 
it. Three Deputy Wardens, Sir William Evers, Sir John 
Witherington, and Sir Thomas Wharton, were appointed in 
their places by the King and Cromwell 2; the three March 
Courts were revived, and exercised concurrent jurisdiction 
with the new Còuncil 3 , which was also composed as Henry 
and his minister had originally planned it 2. In every point 
the advice of Cromwell had been taken in preference to that 
of Norfolk, and when the Duke finally obtained leave to 
return to Court in September, it must have been with the 
feeling that he had again suffered defeat at the hands of his 
plebeian rival. The rebellion, which eleven months before 
had threatened to hurl Cromwell from his place, had been 
completely quelled, and the country had been again reduced 
to internal quiet. The danger while it lasted had indeed 
been pressing, but so firmly had Cromwell been established 
as the King's chief minister by the events of the years 1530 
to 1536, that the storm passed over him and left him scath- 


1 Cal. xii. (i) 1118. 2 CaI. xii. (ii) 254, 914. 
S Cf. Gneist, pp. 5 1 3-4. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 201 


less. The failure of the Pilgrimage of Grace and the process 
of reconstruction which followed it, bore \vitness to the 
thoroughness with which he had carried out his main aim 
in internal government, and to the security of the position 
to which he had elevated himself by his temporary success 
in establishing a royal despotism. 



CHAPTER XI 


CARDINAL POLE 


THE story of the life of Reginald Pole and of the destruc- 
tion of his illustrious family will always be inseparably bound 
up \vith the history of Thomas Crom\vell. It affords the 
most striking example of the unscrupulous policy of the 
King's minister towards those who stood in the way of 
the royal despotism in Church and State. It forms moreover 
a valuable connecting link between the internal and foreign 
administration of the time, as it concerns itself \vith nearly 
all the great problems which Cromwell had to face. 
To turn for a moment to the earlier history of Pole; he 
was born in March, 1500, the fourth son of Sir Richard Pole, 
and his wife Margaret, Countess of Salisbury 1. In his youth 
Henry had helped him for\vard in his education, paying 
t\velve pounds for his maintenance at school, and later obtain- 
ing for him a pension from the Prior of St. Frideswide's, 
while he was an undergraduate at Magdalen College 2. Sub- 
sequently, by the royal munificence Pole was enabled to go 
to Italy, where he worked with the foremost scholars of the 
time 3. He returned to England in 1527 and there received 
many marks of distinction, but wishing to continue his studies, 
he soon removed to Paris. Henry was particularly anxious 
that the University there should pronounce in favour of the 
divorce, and with some difficulty induced Pole to carryon 
negotiations with it to that intent. When the University 
finally came to the decision that the King desired, Pole 
received a hearty letter of commendation and was subse- 
quently induced to return to England 4. 


1 Phillips, Pole, p. 3. Cf. also 
the genealogy at the beginning of 
the book. 


! Cal. i. 4190. 
S Cal. iii. p. 1544. 

 CaI. iv. 6252. 



CARDINAL POLE 


203 


Henry nO'w urged him openly to support the divorce, and 
offered him as an inducement the archbishopric of York, 
\\rhich had been left vacant at Wolsey's death, but in vain. 
Pole firmly refused to approve of the King's ne\v measures, 
saying that to do so would be inconsistent \vith his prin- 
ciples 1. A little later he witnessed the concessions wrung 
from the clergy concerning the Royal Supremacy, and \vas 
not slow to perceive that it was by Cromwell's agency that 
the entire ecclesiastical system of the country had been 
overthrown. He called to mind the conversation he had 
held years before \vith the' Satanae N uncius,' when the latter 
had dared to uphold the superiority of Machiavelli's doctrines 
to the scholastic learning, and soon became convinced that 
England \vas not a safe place for a man of his ideas, while 
such a person as Cromwell was in power. He accordingly 
requested leave to continue his study of theology abroad, and 
obtained Henry's consent 2. 
He settled down at Padua, and there lived the quiet life 
of a scholar until 1535, \vhen the King determined to find 
out .about him. He sought information concerning Pole and 
his beliefs from one Thomas Starkey, \vho had long been 
an intimate of the future Cardinal. In answer to the King's 
inquiries Starkey sent back an imaginary dialogue bet\veen 
Pole and his companion Lupset, in which the former \vas 
represented as opposed on principle to a royal despotism, 
but still personally faithful to Henry VIII. The King, ho\v- 
ever, \vas not contented with this vague and half-contradictory 
reply, and caused Starkey to write again to Pole and ask 
him honestly to express his views about the divorce and the 
Royal Supremacy 3. To this Pole responded in May, 153 6 , 
with a letter enclosing his famous treatise, 'De U nitate 
Ecclesiae,' which he sent by his faithful servant Michael 
Throgmorton 4. This work fulfilled all too perfectly Henry's 
request for a candid opinion; so plain were its expressions 
of disapproval, that even Starkey himself felt obliged to write 
to the King to say ho\v much he had been shocked by its 


1 Poli E pistolae, i. 25 1 -62. 
2 Cal. v. 737. 


S Cal. viii. 2 1 7-9. 
f Cal. x. 974-5. 



204 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


violence 1. Henry dissembled his anger, and sent Throg- 
morton back to Pole with a message urging him to come 
home in order that he might talk with him more fully. The 
King took good care to make Throgmorton himself promise 
to return in any case 2. Coupled with the King's message 
came a letter of reproof from Pole's mother, which had 
evidently been written at Henry's con1mand 3. This letter 
aroused Pole's suspicions and he refused to return, alleging 
as his excuse the fact that the King enforced with 'sore 
severitie' a law by which any man who would not consent 
to his supremacy was declared a traitor. It appears from 
Pole's reply that Cromwell had also written to him, 'to styrr 
hym the more vehemently.' If the letter of the King's 
minister was half as savage and threatening as those which 
he later wrote, it is no wonder that Pole was alarmed. 
On the 22nd of December, 1536, Pole much against his will 
was created Cardinal at Rome, and two months later was 
appointed Papal legate to England 4. It appears that in spite 
of the Ten Articles the Pope had not yet given up all hope 
of re-establishing his power in Henry's dominions, and had 
determined to make use of Pole as the most likely means of 
accomplishing this end. The news of the latter's new dignity 
and of the Papal intentions against England was received with 
dread at the King's Court. I t was remembered that as far 
back as 15 1 2 a prophecy had been made to the effect, 'that 
one with a Red Cap brought up from low degree to high 
estate should rule all the land under the King, . . . . and after- 
wards procure the King to take another wife, divorce his lawful 
wife, Queen Catherina, and involve the land in misery' ; and 
that further 'that divorce should lead to the utter fall of the 
said Red Cap. . . and after much misery the land should 
by another Red Cap be reconciled, or else brought to 
utter destruction 5.' We are told that Crom\vell knew this 
prophecy well, and that he often discussed it, and sought to 
learn whether the last part of it should some day come to 
pass, as he had seen the first fulfilled in his own time. Had 


1 Cal. xi. 156. 
3 CaI. xi. 93. 


2 Ca1. xi. 229. 



 Cal. xi. 1353; xii. (i) 779. 
5 CaI. xiv. (i) 186. 



CARDINAL POLE 


205 


Pole been able to arrive in England promptly, so that he 
could have taken advantage of the disturbance caused by 
Bigod's rebellion, it is possible that Cromwell's fears might 
have been realized before his death, and that a reconciliation 
\vith Rome might have taken place in 1537 instead of in 
1554. But the bull of legation \vas unaccountably delayed 
till the 31st of March 1. Meantime the northern revolt had 
been crushed, Francis and Charles were still at war, and 
Pole's chance had gone. By this time Henry had doubtless 
perceived that the ne\v-made Cardinal could never be induced 
to support his cause, but would certainly oppose it as long as 
he lived. As reconciliation seemed impossible, the King 
turned his thoughts to arrest or execution. The foreign affairs 
of England at that juncture \vere in such a favourable con- 
dition that Henry felt strong enough to dictate both to the 
Emperor and to the King of France. Informed by the latter 
(\vho \vas just then in terror of losing England's friendship 
because of his \var with Charles) that Pole ,vas coming 
through France \vith money to help the northern rebels, 
Henry was bold enough to demand in ans\ver that he should 
not be received as a legate, and also that he should be 
extradited as a traitor; he also wrote to Gardiner at Paris to 
keep 'good espyall' on his movements 2. A letter from 
Sir Thomas Palmer, a somewhat quarrelsome knight at Calais, 
would seem to indicate that a plot to apprehend or assassinate 
Pole had been set on foot as early as the spring of 1537, and 
Cromwell in a letter to Gardiner of May 18 further discusses 
the matter 3. Pole, however, had been advised of these 
treacherous schemes, and had escaped first to Cambray and 
later to the palace of the Cardinal of Liège, where he remained, 
grieved and mortified at the failure of his mission, but per- 
fectly safe from Cromwell's assassins 4. Returning thence to 
Rome at the Pope's command, he reported the unsuccessful 
result of his journey in October. 
Meantime in January, 1537, Michael Throgmorton had 


1 Cal. xii. (i) 779. 
2 Cal. xii. (i) 6 2 5, 939. 
S Cal. xii. (i) 1219; Letters, 187. 


f Life of Pole, Dictionary of 
National Biography, vol. xlvi. 
p. 3 8 . 



206 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


fulfilled his promise and returned to England 1. If Henry 
bad once thought that Pole's servant would put his loyalty 
to the Crown before his faithfulness to his master 2, he must 
have been convinced of his mistake by this time; but 
Throgmorton was saved from punishment for the present by 
Henry's temporary failure to subdue the Pilgrimage of Grace, 
and anxiety lest fresh hostility should be aroused abroad ; and 
was soon sent back to carry to his master a final warning 
to desist fronl attacking the Royal Supremacy 3. From this 
errand Throgmorton did not return; it would have been the 
act of a madman to do so, considering the way in which 
events were moving. Instead, he wrote two long and con- 
ciliatory letters to Cromwell, one from Rome on February 15, 
the other from Liège on August 20 4 . In the first he 
attempted to appease the anger of the King, which had 
been aroused by Pole's acceptance of the Cardinalate. In the 
second he insisted that Pole had always done his utmost for 
the advancement of the King's honour and good name, except 
in matters which concerned the unity of the Church. Further- 
more he pointed out that though Henry had treated him as 
a rebel and put a price upon his head, the Cardinal had shown 
great forbearance in not leaving his book against the King 
in the hands of the Pope, who would infallibly have published 
it, and in refusing the exercise of certain censures which had 
been prepared against Henry in Rome. Throgmorton added, 
moreover, that the Pope had just called Pole back to Italy to 
take part in the General Council appointed for the following 
November, at ,vhich it was inevitable that strong measures 
\vould be taken against England. He assured Cromwell that 
if the King desired to avoid this danger it would be indispens- 
able for him to become reconciled to Pole, on whose attitude 
at the Council so much depended. Throgmorton appears to 
have supplemented this letter with a verbal suggestion that 
a conference should be arranged between the ICing's chaplain 
Dr. Wilson and the Cardinal, before the latter's departure for 
1 Cal. xii. (i) 34, 249. the King. Cf. Letters, 218. 
2 There is reason to think that S Cal. xii. (i) 249, 296, 313. 
Throgmorton had promised to be 4 Cal. xii. (i) 429; xii. (ii) 
a spy on Pole's InO\'elnents for 552. 



CAI{DINAL POLE 


207 


Rome, in the hope that some final agreement might be reached. 
He promised to use his o\vn efforts to induce Pole to do his 
part, and seized the opportunity to excuse himself for not 
returning to England, by observing in this connexion that he 
could best further the King's interests by tarrying with his 
master. At first the plan \vhich Throgmorton proposed 
seems to have found acceptance with Henry. A favourable 
reply was drawn up by Cromwell, and Dr. Wilson and hi
 
companion, Dr. Nicholas Heath, received instructions prepara- 
tory to a conference with Pole 1. But though Henry, 
discouraged as he \vas by his failures to kill or capture the 
Cardinal, appears to have been momentarily persuaded that 
Throgmorton's suggestion was feasible, his minister from the 
first was strongly opposed to it. The first draft of the reply 
to the letter of Pole's servant bears every evidence of having 
been written under compulsion, and Crom\vell must have 
succeeded, before it \vas actually sent, in persuading the King 
that a mission which was to meet the Cardinal on his own 
ground could only result in failure, and that the sole 
thing to do was openly to menace Pole and his fan1ily with 
assassination. Such at least seems the most probable 
explanation of the fact that Wilson and Heath never started 
on their errand, and of the singularly abusive and malevo- 
lent letter with which Cromwell finally replied to that 
of Throgmorton 2. The last hope of reconciliation with the 
Cardinal had vanished; not he alone, but also his aged 
mother and brother in England, had been threatened with 
destruction. Another obstacle to Henry's despotism was 
to be annihilated, as every attcm pt to surmount it had 
failed. 
Pole mean\vhile remained in Italy, assured of his personal 
safety but grieved to the heart that his mother and brother 
were still in England, \vhere the King could take vengeance 
on thelll for his own alleged treason. In August, 1538, his 
brother, Sir Geoffrey Pole. was arrested and placed in the 
Tower, \vhere he was examined on the charge of having had 
treacherous correspondence \vith his brother Reginald, and 


1 Letters, 216-7. 


2 Letters, 2 I 8. 



208 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


having interfered with the King's endeavours to arrest him 1.. 
His replies to the questions put to him implicated many 
others, and before the close of the year the heads of the 
powerful families of Montague, Courtenay, Delawarr, and 
Nevill had been arrested and sent to the Tower 2. There is 
reason to believe that the confessions of Sir Geoffrey Pole 
were extorted from him by threats of torture, to serve as an 
excuse for the arrest of these noblemen, and a letter of 
Castillon to Montmorency asserts that their destruction had 
been decided on long before, on account of their connexion 
with the Y orkist dynasty 3. Cromwell's activity in procuring 
matter for the various indictments is sufficiently attested by 
an enormous number of notes of evidence and memoranda for 
prosecution in the hand of his chief clerk. The apparent 
difficulty which he had in trumping up any plausible charges 
against his victims, would seem to '. show that no adequate 
proof of any really disloyal intent could be found. Indeed, 
in order to have any sort of excuse for the arrests of the 
Marquis and Marchioness of Exeter, Cromwell had to exhume 
a long forgotten episode, and accuse the latter of having 
ridden in disguise three years before to confer with the Holy 
Maid; while it was remembered that the Marquis had been 
put in the Tower in 1531 on the charge of assembling the 
commons of Cornwall for an insurrection, with intent to 
depose the King. An unfortunate remark of Courtenay's 
that 'Knavys rule about the K yng,' and that he hoped 'to 
gyue them a buffet oone day,' was brought up against him as 
a treasonable sentence; it certainly could not have been 
pleasing to Cromwell, who was doubtless the arch-' knave' 
referred to 4. But it is very unlikely that any of the un- 


1 Cal. xiii. (ii) 232 (p. 9 1 ). 
2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 695,770,771. 
S Cal. xiii. (ii) 804,805,954-60. 
4 Cal. xiii. (ii) 802, 979 (7). It is 
said that Cromwell, in the course 
of these prosecutions, contrived to 
deprive the victims of all chance 
of escape by inquiring of the judges 
whether, if a man were condemned 


to death for treason in Parliament 
without a hearing, the attainder 
could ever be disputed. He finally 
succeeded in obtaining the reluc- 
tant but correct reply that 'an at- 
tainder in Parlian1ent, whether or 
not the party had been heard in his 
own defence, could never be reversed 
in a court of law.' Cf. Hallam, 



CARDINAL POLE 


209 


fortunate noblemen had been guilty of crimes which could 
fairly be interpreted as treason. The French ambassador had 
hit upon the real secret of their offences when he remarked 
that they all .were adherents of the White Rose 1. In fact the 
whole plot against Pole may in one sense be regarded as 
preparatory to a final attack on the Y orkist nobles, \vhose 
position had never been secure since the accession of the 
House of Tudor. Rlo\v after blo\v had been struck against 
them by Henry VIII and his father, but still some vestige of 
them seemed always to remain, to threaten the King's position 
and endanger his succession. There can be no doubt that 
Cromwell, \vhose action in the case \vas certainly influenced 
more than usual by personal animosity, found little difficulty 
in persuading the King that the existence of Courtenay \vas 
a serious menace to the security of the reigning dynasty, on 
account of the claim that he had to the throne as grandson of 
Edward IV. At any rate, Henry seemed resolved on a \vhole- 
sale destruction of all nobles who could possibly be regarded 
as rivals of the Crown, and the relationship of most of his 
victims to the family of the persecuted Cardinal afforded him 
a pretext of \vhich he did not fail to take advantage. Exeter, 
Montague, and Nevill were beheaded in December, on To\ver 
Hill, \vhile Sir Geoffrey Pole, who had been tried and con- 
demned \vith them, was spared, mainly, as Cromwell frankly 
told Castillon at the end of December, because the King 
expected to get something more out of him 2. He was 
ultimately pardoned, but passed the rest of his life in musing, 
'going about,' says a contemporary writer, 'like one terror- 
stricken all his days 3.' 
The Marchioness of Exeter and the Countess of Salisbury 
were meantime held prisoners in the Tower. On lVlay 12, 


vol. i. pp. 29-30. Coke, Fourth In- whereupon that erroneous and vul- 
stitute, p. 38, adds, 'The party gar opinion amongst our historians 
against whom this was intended grew, that he died by the same law 
was never called in question, but which he himself had made.' 
the first man after the said reso- 1 Cal. xiii. (ii) 753. 
lution, that was so attainted, and 2 Cat xiii. (ii) 986, 116 3. 
never called to answer, was the said S Wriothesley's Chronicle, vol. i. 
Earl of Essex (Thomas Cromwell): P.92. 
MERRIMAN. 1 P 



210 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


1539, 'the moste tractable parlalnent' that Henry ever had 
passed a sweeping bill of attainder, to legalize the wanton 
massacres of the preceding year and to destroy the victims 
who still renlained 1. The lVlarchioness of Exeter \vas sub- 
sequently pardoned, but the Countess .dragged on a miserable 
existence in prison for more than t\vo years after her attainder. 
The only evidence of her treason was a cloth which had been 
found in her house, embroidered on one .side with the ar01S 
of England and on the other with the five wounds of Christ, 
the emblem carried by the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace. 
Still execution was delayed, and it was not until the spring 
of 1541, alnlost a year after the death of Crom"well, that an 
insurrection in Yorkshire under Sir John Nevill sealed her fate, 
and she \vas barbarously beheaded by a clumsy executioner 
on l\tlay 28 2 . 
Ivleantime the Cardinal at Rome, po\verless as he was to 
prevent the ruin of his family, \vas contriving in some way 
to humble the arrogant King and the ruthless minister who 
had caused him so much woe. The Pope sa\v that \vhat 
Henry dreaded most of all was a coalition of Francis and 
Charles, and as there was a good prospect of this event at the 
close of 1538, he sent Pole to' each of these t\yO sovereigns 
to urge them to agree to stop all trade with England and lay 
the foundation for a continental league against her. Pole 
gladly accepted the task, and careless of his o\vn safety, 
though he knew that his path \vould be full of Henry's hired 
assassins, he set out for Spain and reached the Elnperor's 
Court at Toledo in safety in February, 1539. When the 
King heard of his arrival there, he \vrote to Charles in very 
nluch the same \vay that he had addressed Francis t\VO years 
before, accusing Pole as a traitor, and demanding his 
extradition as such, or at least insisting that Charles should 
not grant him an audience 3. But unfortunately Henry was 
n.pw no longer in a position to dictate, and the Emperor, 
realizing this, saw no reason to accede to his request, and 
answered, as Cromwell later \vrote to Wriothesley, that if 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 867, c. 15. 2 CaI. xvi. 868. 
3 Cal. xiv. (i) 279-280. 



CARDINAL POLE 


211 


Pole C were his ov:ne trayto1tr, C01J2myng from that holy 
father' he could not refuse him audience 1. But in spite 
of all this, the Cardinal's mission was a failure. Charles for 
the present was content with the slight rebuke that he had 
given Henry for his bullying ways; cautious as ever, he did 
not propose to put himself in a position from which he could 
not retreat until he was sure of his ground, and intimated 
to the legate that the Pope had made a great mistake in 
publishing censures \vhich he could not enforce. Pole could 
not obtain his consent to the Papal proposals and left Toledo 
much discouraged 2. He ,vas also exceedingly suspicious 
of some design of Sir Thomas Wyatt's to cause his assassina- 
tion, and mentioned it in a later letter to Cardinal Contarini :
. 
That his fears were not entirely groundless is shown by 
a cipher letter from Wyatt to Cromwell containing many 
passages pregnant \vith hidden n1eaning which can only be 
explained if such a design is premised 4. Pole soon betook 
himself to his friend Sadolet at Carpentras, whence he sent 
a messenger to Francis on the same errand as that on which 
he himself had gone to Charles. The French King's reply was 
as unsatisfactory as the Emperor's had been, and in 1540 the 
Cardinal returned to Rome with his mission unaccomplished, 
and deriving only small consolation from the thought that he 
had been successful in baffling the attempts of Henry's and 
Cromwell's assassins. 
The story of Pole's life between 1535 and 1540 is the 
thread which binds together the foreign and dOlnestic, secular 
and religious history of Cromwell's administration. The 
Cardinal's attempts to make the King renounce his title 
of Supreme Head and the other insignia of the despotism 
to \vhich Cromwell had raised him at home were an absolute 
failure, and were punished with the shockingly unjust and 
cruel destruction of his family. Still his efforts to thwart 
the main aim of the foreign policy of the time, namely the 
separation of the interests of France and Spain, though not 
directly successful, were instrumental in bringing about the 


] Letters, 301. 

 Cal. xiv. (i) 603. 


s Ca1. xiv. (ii) 2 I 2. 
, Cal. xiv. (i) 560. 


P 2 



212 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


fall of his arch-enemy Cromwell. For the endeavours of 
the Cardinal were one of a number of things which combined 
to persuade the minister that the catastrophe which seemed 
imminent throughout the year 1539 could not be averted 
without external aid, and thus to induce him to take a step 
on his own responsibility \vhich soon led him into disastrous 
conflict \vith the King. 



CHAPTER XII 


THE FOREIGN POLICY 


DURING the ten years of Crom\vell's ministry, the relations 
of England \vith the great continental po\vers presented 
a problem fully as difficult as that afforded by the course of 
events at home. Crom\\'ell's efforts to cope \vith the dangers 
which threatened England from \vithout \vcre far less success- 
ful than his internal administration: in the latter he never 
failed to render invaluable service to the Cro\vn, \vhile in the 
former he made the mistake which finally lost him the royal 
favour and brought him to the block. As the results of the 
minister's external policy thus led directly to his fall, we may 
no\v return to the chronological order of events, \vhich was 
abandoned \vhile the various phases of his home government 
\vere under consideration. 
Crom\vell had entered the J{ing's service in 1530 with 
training and talents which rendered him far more competent 
to undertake the domestic administration of the country than 
to guide its foreign affairs. His acquaintance \vith different 
trades, his legal ability, and his experience in the suppression 
of the smaller mona
teries for Wolsey's purposes were of 
inestimable value to him throughout his ministry in dealing 
\"ith problems at home. But in the management of affairs 
abroad he \vas still very inexperienced. He had borne no part 
in the great schemes of external policy which had occupied the 
Cardinal, and though his speech in the Parliament of 1523 
sho\\Ted a very just appreciation of the situation of England 
abroad, he had had no opportunity to put his ideas into 
practice. Thus at the outset we find him cautiously remaining 
in the background and a\vaiting the development of the 
King's foreign policy. In this he was \vise, for at Wolsey's 
fall Henry had resolved to take the external administration 



214 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


of England into his own hands. We have seen that the 
Cardinal's failure had taught him the danger of concluding 
any definite alliance with either France or Spain, vvhile the 
two great continental rivals remained at war. He had learned 
that England's best security lay in maintaining a position 
of neutrality between Charles and Francis, and in balancing 
one against the other, while all disputes betwéen them \vere 
encouraged under cover of offers of mediation. It was along 
these lines that Henry had determined to guide the foreign 
affairs of England, as soon as order could be brought out 
of the chaos caused by the divorce. Ho\v correct his decision 
was is proved by the utter collapse of the Imperial alliance 
of 1543, the only really permanent departure from the policy 
of neutrality which Henry ever made after the death of 
\V olsey. A complete change of the political horizon led him 
into it, only to be left in the lurch by the Emperor at the 
peace of Crêpy 1 in the same way that he had been abandoned 
before by Francis at the treaty of Cambray. But during the 
life of Crom,vell the King made no such blunder as this. 
Though he son1etimes wavered, he never definitely renounced 
the policy of neutrality, although his minister, who sometimes 
doubted its efficacy, made several efforts to induce him to 

abandon it. There can be no doubt that, fronl the very first, 
Cromwell over-estimated the danger of a foreign invasion and 
failed to appreciate the real strength of England's isolated 
position: he was deceived by constant menaces \vhich never 
really bore fruit. A more intimate acquaintance with the 
practical and calculating nature of Charles V \\rould certainly 
have convinced the King's minister that however n1uch the 
Emperor threatened, he would never actually embark on 
the some\vhat remote project of a crusade against England, 
until a great many affairs in his own scattered dominions on 
" the Continent had first been settled to his satisfaction. But 
\Cromwell's inexperience in the management of foreign affairs 
'
linded him to this important fact: and his over-eagerness to 
seek means for England's defence proved his ultimate ruin. 
After successfully co-operating \vith Henry for seven years on 


1 Cf. Robertson, vol. ii. p. 135. 



TI-IE FOREIGN POLICY 


215 


the basis of maintaining strict neutrality behveen France and 
Spain, and of encouraging all disputes bet\veen them, he 
abandoned the wise policy of his master in favour of an 
alliance in Germany which, in one form or another, had been 
under consideration on several occasions before, but which 
had been abandoned every time as unnecessary. This ne\v 
alliance turned out disastrously. At the mOlllent of its 
completion, the situation on the Continent \vhich had called 
it into existence suddenly changed; it \vas thro\vn over, 
together \vith the minister \vho had originated it. Such 
is the outline of the history of England's foreign affairs 
from 1530 till Crom\vell's fall. \Ve can no\v take up the very 
complicated story in detail. 
Although I-Ienry ardently desired at once to put in practice 
the policy of neutrality \vhich he had learned from Wolsey's 
failure, the affair of the divorce had thrown everything into 
such confusion that an immediate application of the new 
principle was impossible. In fact it was not until the 
beginning of the year 1536 that the King was able to assume 
the position he desired in his relations with France and Spain. 
The alliance with France \vhich \Volsey had bequeathed to 
Henry was so close that the King saw that he must at least 
partially withdraw frol11 it, before he could hope to come 
to such terms with the Enlperor as would enable him to act 
the part of a neutral and benevolent mediator between the 
foreign po\vers. But at this juncture the King's anxiety 
to obtain a legal justification for his second marriage \vas 
paramount in his mind. In fact it almost seems to have 
blinded him temporarily to the policy that he doubtless 
intended ultimately to pursue. His energies were all bent 
towards securing the aid of Francis in his' grete matier'; 
and for the mOll1ent he postponed his policy of conciliating 
the Emperor, who was of course at that time in league with 
the Pope. Each pair of allies had interviews and counter- 
intervie\vs, but with very diff
rent results. \Vhile Henry and 
Francis were at first most cordial, Clement counted Charles' 
proffered friendship as of slight weight, against the prospect 
of losing the support of the t\VO most powerful kings of 



216 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Christendom, and of being forced to submit to the summoning 
of the General Council by which the Emperor proposed to 
rectify the abuses which had crept into the Holy Church]. 
The visit at Bologna of Francis' ambassadors, Cardinals 
Tournon and Grammont, undid all that Charles' threats had 
accomplished 2, and Clement, although he feebly menaced 
I-Ienry \vith excommunication in case he proceeded with his 
second marriage 3, refused to accede to the Emperor's \vishes 
that he should take more active measures against England. 
Meantime Henry had endeavoured to come to an under- 
standing ,vith the See of Rome concerning the hearing of his 
case before a Council, in the hope that by giving the Pope 
fair \vords, he might still obtain a favourable decision 4. The 
King's confidence in the ultimate success of his efforts was 
so high at the opening of the year 1533, that he dared to give 
it expression by increasingly harsh treatment of Katherine. 
She \vas moved further a\vay from the Court than ever 
before, and hardly a day passed without seeing her subjected 
to some ne\v indignity. Every effort \vhich her friends made 
on her behalf seemed unavailing. As petitions to Henry 
himself \vere unanswered, Chapuys in despair turned to 
Cromwell, whom he had by this time recognized as the man 
who managed all the l{.ing's affairs 5. But Cromwell succeeded 
in evading the demands of the Imperial ambassador also; in 
fact he displayed such ability in 'bekn4ving' Chapuys that 
Henry always employed him in future to answer the perfectly 
justifiable complaints of the Spanish representative. Cromwell 
delayed the interview which the ambassador had requested 
until he had had time to consult with the King 6: and \vhen 
he finally met Chapuys, he spent much time in applauding 
all the efforts that had been made to maintain friendly 


1 Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77. 
2 Cal. vi. 64, 92. 
3 Cal. v. 1545. 
4 Cal. vi. no. 
5 Cal. vi. 4 6 5. 
6 Cal. vi. 508. Cromwell often 
begged to be excused from a pro- 
mised interview on the plea of 


illness. Cf. Cal. vii. 959. Though it 
is certain that he suffered at times 
from violent attacks of ague, it is 
doubtful if it was always his ilI- 
health which prevented him from 
fulfilling his engagements to the 
Imperial ambassador. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


211 


relations bctween Spain and England. But when urged to do 
his best to protect the Queen and Princess from the ignominies 
to which they were subjected, Cromwell's replies were evasive, 
if not absolutely untruthful. Chapuys was so exasperated at 
the cool way in ,vhich his claims to justice had been set aside, 
that he took occasion to hint that Charles and Francis might 
some day join forces against England, to 'which Cromwell 
assented, but showed no great joy thereat. J The threat, 
however, had no lasting effect. The treatment of the Queen 
,vent on from bad to ,vorse, and two n10nths latcr the same 
conversation took place all over again, \vith the same 
unsatisfactory result 1. As long as Cromwell consented to 
obey his n1aster's commands implicitly, and to devote hitnself 
solely to finding means to carry out the plans which the 
I{ing's riper experience told him \vere feasible, without trying 
to take the lead himself, the t,vo were an almost invincible 
cOlnbination. 
But the time was soon to come when Chapuys' prophecy 
of a coalition of France and Spain seemed more likely to be 
fulfilled. Henry's impatience to conclude his matrimonial 
troubles finally led him to throw caution to the winds. He 
had, as \ve have already seen, postponed the application of 
his \vise policy of neutrality in the hope of obtaining aid from 
France. But the French King did not move quickly enough 
to suit him, and in the summer of 1533 he committed such 
a breach of diplomatic courtesy that he completely alienated 
his' nere and dere brother.' He had overtaxed his friendship 
with the King of France by requiring him to support every 
move he n1ade, and to threaten the Pope, if his Holiness 
refused to do the san1e. Francis only partially acceded to 
Henry's ,vi shes. Meantime all hope of obtaining the divorce 
from Rome had been abandoned o\ving to Cromwell's advice; 
the affair was tried in England, and Anne Boleyn was 
publicly proclaimed Queen. A provisional sentence of ex- 
communication ,vas passed on Henry in July, giving him 
till Septen1ber to decide whether he ,vould take Katherine 
back or not. A few months before, Francis and Henry had 


1 Ca1. vi. 918; viii. 263,327, 355, 948; ix. 594. 



218 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


together endeavoured to win over the Pope against the 
Emperor: now that the bull of excommunication had come, 
Francis continued his good offices by offering to mediate 
for Henry with the Holy See. Henry, ho\vever, blusteringly 
assured him that he ,vas not in need of any mediation-he 
hQped that Francis would not trouble himself 1. But the 
latter \vould not take the hint that England's policy to,vards 
the See of Rome had changed from conciliation to open 
hostility, and invited Clement to meet him at Marseilles, to 
see if he could not bring about an agreement. The .Pope, 
who needed Francis' aid in the furtherance of his o\vn plans 
for the prevention of the dreaded Council, readily accepted 
the opportunity \vhich had been offered 2. Henry was of 
course unable to prevent an intervie\v between the two 
potentates, but he attempted to throw cold water on the 
\vhole affair by sending an embassy to Clement \vhil
 the 
latter was the guest of the King of France, to announce to 
his Holiness that he intended to appeal against his sentence 
to the very General Council \vhich the Pope was attempting 
to forestall. The chief result of this extraordinary proceeding 
,vas simply to deprive the King of the only ally that he had. 
Francis ,vas naturally exceedingly angry, and flatly refused 
to fight Henry's battles for him any more 3. Such ,vas the 
reward reaped from the alliance \vhich vVolsey six years 
before had been at such pains to bring about, in the hope of 
obtaining much-needed support in the matter of the divorce 4 ! 
So far it certainly seemed as if Henry's foreign policy, 


1 Ca1. vi. 614, 64 1 . 
2 Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77. 
8 Cal. vi. 1426, 14 2 7. 
4 Mr. Friedmann (Anne Boleyn, 
vol. i. pp. 225, 250 ff.) believes that 
this break with France was due to 
the influence of Cromwell, who had 
urged the King to strike out an 
independent policy as regards the 
Pope. M. Bapst (Deux Gentils- 
hommes, pp. 97, 113), on the other 
hand, thinks that the King's n1inister 
originally favoured the French alli- 
ance, and adhered to it until 1535. 


N either writer produces any very 
conclusive evidence in support of 
his theory: but 1\1.r. Friedmann's 
view is certainly, on the face of it, 
the more plausible. It may be too 
much to say that it was by Crom- 
well's advice that Francis was in- 
sulted at Marseilles. but it is certain 
that the King's n1inister evinced 
a decided preference for an Imperial 
alliance long before the year 1535. 
Cf. Froude, The Divorce of Cathe- 
rine of Aragon, p. 308. 



.. 


TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


219 


instead of gaining him his desired position as neutral and 
pretended mediator bet\veen France and Spain, had only 
served to alienate both. As his cruel treatment of Katherine 
and Mary had not improved his position with Charles, he 
had to cast about for other allies to counterbalance the effect 
of his tiff \vith Francis. It is at this juncture that Cromwell 
first steps into prominence in connexion with foreign affairs. 
There can be little doubt that the negotiations \vith the 
Lutheran princes, 'which began in July, 1533, 'were planned by 
him. It is of course natural to look to the man, whose 
nalne six years later becan1e inseparably associated ,vith a 
German alliance, as the originator of the scheme; in addition 
to this there is docun1entary evidence. A letter which 
Chapuys wrote to the Emperor, July 30, 1533, informs us that 
t\vo of Cron1well's men (one of whom later turned out to be 
his trusty Stephen Vaughan) had been sent to Germany pre- 
sumably 'to embroil' all they could 1; and on August 3, 
a letter reporting the progress of the ambassadors ,vas \vritten 
by them to Crom,vell from Antwerp 2. Vaughan and his 
companion, a certain Christopher 1V10nt: arrived in Nürnberg 
on the 22nd, whence they sent hOIne minute accounts of the 
state of religion in Gerrriany ; the one observing, with apparent 
regret, that the country was not nearly as disturbed as had 
been thought, while the other assured Cromwell that he had 
never seen a land ,vhose towns were so n1uch divided 3. Some 
time in the autumn Crom\vell sent a reply to Mont, praising 
his diligence, and urging him above all things to discover the 
state of feeling in Germany tnwards the King of England 
and the Emperor 4. The envoy appears to have returned 
from his preliminary tour of investigation before the close of 
the year, for in January, 1534, he was sent back again to 
Germany, this time accompanied by Nicholas Heath, with 
instructions to convey to the Lutheran princes the sym- 
pathy of the King of England, as being also an enemy of 
the Pope, and to express his willingness to unite with them 
for the extirpation of false doctrines 5. England's overtures, 


1 Cal. vi. 918. 2 Cal. vi. 934. 
· Letters, 64. 


S Cal. vi. 10 39-4 0 . 
5 Cat vii. 21. 



..:
 


220 


THOMAS CROM\;VELL 


however, were not received with as much enthusiasm as 
Henry perhaps had expected, and nothing definite resulted 
from the mission of Heath and Mont for a long time. The 
Germans probably had serious misgivings about the genuine- 
ness of Henry's Protestantism, and their suspicions of his 
sincerity ,vere confirmed by a new developn1ent of England's 
foreign policy in the same year. 
As one of the consequences of an un\varrantable act of 
piracy near the English coast in the autumn of 1533, Henry 
had been able to get hold of a prominent young man of 
the violently Protestant town of Lübeck, by name Mark 
Meyer. At London he was treated with the greatest courtesy 
by the King and Cromwell, and returned to his native city 
invested with the honour of knighthood 1. Such bounty was 
seldom showered on anybody by Henry VIII without some 
ulterior purpose, and Meyer's case \vas no exception to the 
general rule. I t soon transpired that proposals had been 
made for a close alliance between England and Lübeck 2. 
Ever since the peace of Stralsund in 1370, the cities of the 
I-Ianseatic League had claimed a decisive voice in the affairs 
of the neighbouring realm of Denmark 3: the death of the 
king of that country in April, 1533, had left the throne vacant, 
and Lübeck was at this Inoment bent on obtaining the dis- 
posal of it. Henry signified his willingness to aid the 
Lübeckers in this enterprise, on condition that they would 
promise that if they were successful they would be guided by 
him in the final bestowal of the Danish cro\vn. In May, 
1534, the Lübeckers sent an embassy to England 4, and the 
proposals of the previous year were accepted. 
The new alliance had a very important bearing on the 
1arger issues of Henry's foreign policy. The social and 
political revolution which had been in progress in LÜbeck 
since 1530 had placed the power in the hands of a party 
whose anti-papal tendencies \vere fully as violent as those of 
the Wittenberg theologians, and \vhose conscientious scruples 
\vere of less weight, when thro,vn into the scales of political 


1 Cal. vi. 15 10 . 
2 B. M. Nero B. iii, 1 0 5. 


3 Schäfer, p. 5 12 . 
4 Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 539. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


221 


expediency 1. The treaty concluded \vith England contained 
certain doctrinal statements \vhich lay suspiciously close 
to the needs of Henry's imlnediate position 2, and the 
King must have been at least temporarily convinced that 
he had obtained a valuable ally against the See of Ron1e. 
The treaty with Lübeck ",'as also a very distinct move against 
the Elnperor, for an Imperial candidate had been proposed 
for the vacant throne of Denmark, and by supporting- the 
Lübeckers Henry necessarily opposed Charles. But the ne\v 
alliance failed to accomplish \vhat was expected of it: in 
fact it actually ,vorked to England's disadvantage. Before 
its conclusion, George \v'" ullen\vever, the demagogue whom 
the recent upheaval had rendered temporarily supreme in 
Lübeck, had offered to support the claims of the Lutheran 
Duke of Holstein to the Danish throne; but 'when Holstein, 
unwilling to gain his ends by force, prudently refused the 
proffered aid, the friendship of the Lübeckers was converted 
into bitter enmity. They soon invaded his lands, but were 
repulsed and besieged in turn in their own city: a peace 
of a most extraordinary nature finally resulted, by \vhich an 
agreement \vas reached in regard to the affairs of Holstein, 
though both parties reserved the right of continuing the \var 
for the disposal of the crown of Denlnark. That country 
in the meantime, seeing that its sole chance of safety lay 
in obtaining a strong and capable leader, elected the Duke 
of Holstein to the vacant throne, under the title of Christian I II 
-a severe blow to the pretensions of the Lübeckers, who 
were now robbed of their best excuse for interference in 
Danish affairs, nalnely their professed desire to introduce 
pure religion there 3. Lübeck, however, had now gone too 
far to draw back, and prepared to attack the new King in 


1 Waitz, vol. i. p. 83. 
2 One of the provisions of the 
proposed agreement was: 'Ducere 
uxorem fratris mortui sine liberis est 
jure divino et naturali prohibitum. 
Contra prohibitiones divinas inva- 
lida ac prorsus nulla est Romani 
pontific is vel cujuscumque alterius 


dispensatio.' Entwurf eines Ver- 
trags zwischen König He;nrich 
und Lübeck; Sommer, 1534. Tran- 
scribed from the original in the 
Archives at Weimar; Waitz, vol. 
ii. pp. 319-25. 
S Ranke, vol. iii. pp. 406-425. 



222 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


connexion with England. I-Ienry must have been much 
annoyed at the complication into which his new alliance had 
led him-it seemed doubly foolish, in view of his attempts to 
conciliate the German Protestants, that he should get himself 
entangled with the enemies of those whom he wished to 
make his friends. But though the King was advised by 
Dr. Barnes, the English ambassador at Hamburg, to drop 
Lübeck and conciliate Christian 1, he was as usual too proud 
to acknowledge that he had made a mistake. He soon 
reaped the reward of his obstinacy, as the Lübeckers, in their 
new attempt to overthro,v Christian, \vere again completely 
defeated. Henry had aided them \vith the services of two 
skilled engineers, and the Danish I{ing sent an embassy to 
demand an explanation of his conduct 2. Christian's. envoy 
was treated with scant courtesy by the King and Cromwell, 
the latter vainly attempting to conceal his Inaster's anxiety 
by several preposterous lies 3. But still the King ,vas un- 
willing to consent to a complete reversal of his Lübeck 
policy, and finally sent the ambassador home with an answer 
which Chapuys characterizes as 'obscure and anlbiguous.' 
Several subsequent victories of Christian, in which certain 
English ships which had been sent to aid the Lübeckers were 
captured, were sufficient however to convince Henry that he 
had unduly despised the power of the new Danish King; 
and though his relations with Lübeck continued to be 
friendly, he carefully abstained from any further active 
measures on her behalf. But he had already done enough at 
least temporarily to alienate his Lutheran friends, who were 
shocked at the way in which the King of England attached 
himself to people whose religious principles were as extreme 
as those of the Lübeckers, and who had dared to attack one 
of their own number. 
Thus each of the two alliances with which Henry had 
sought to fortify hin1self against France and Spain had 
rendered the other worthless. The I{ing probably bitterly 
regretted that his matrimonial difficulties had led him to stray 
so far from the policy which he originally intended to pursue. 


1 CaJ. vii. 97 0 . 


2 Cal. viii. 72, 3 2 7. 


S Cal. viii. 556, 1178. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


223 


Had he been able to secure his desired position as neutral 
and pretended mediator bet\veen France and Spain, he could 
have relied on this eminently advantageous situation alone to 
secure safety for England abroad, without troubling himself 
about any outsidë alliance. But to attain this position \vas 
impossible, as \ve have seen, until he became reconciled to 
Charles, and reconciliation with Charles \vas out of the 
question as long as Katherine remained subjected to. such 
indignity. Here lay the key to the \vhole situation. The 
treatment of the divorced Queen was the sole hindrance to 
a cordial relation between Spain and England, and con- 

equently to the final application of the policy \vhich Henry 
so ardently desired. But there could be no hope of an 
alleviation of her sufferings, for the King and Cromwell were 
by this tin1e irrevocably committed to a brutal attitude 
to\vards J{athcrine and her daughter by the course of events 
since the first trial of the divorce. The inference was obvious. 
As long as Katherine lived, a reconciliation with Charles, with 
all its attendant benefits, was impossible: her death alone could 
pave the way for it. That these thoughts had already taken 
shape at least in Cromwell's mind is proved by a hint which 
the King's minister dropped in Chapuys' presence in August, 
1534, to the effect that the death of the Queen and Princess 
would remove all occasion for a quarrel between their masters J. 
But the autumn of 1534 saw several events which served to 
encourage the King and his minister, and seemed temporarily 
to postpone the necessity of con1ing to terms with the 
Emperor. The first of these events \vas the death of the 
Pope in September, an occurrence which, according to 
Chapuys, caused Henry and CromweH such joy that the 
latter was 'unable to refrain fron1 saying several times in 
public that this great devil was dead, and it seemed as if he 
was very sorry that he could find no worse name for him 
than devil 2.' Francis moreover, solely on account of his very 
strained relations with Charles, had slowly begun to recover 
from the effects of Henry's discourtesy at Marseilles, and had 
made fresh efforts to come to terms with England again; 


1 Cal. vii. 10 95. 


2 Ca1. vii. 12 57. 


If 



224 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


while Henry, unwilling as yet to proceed to extremities in 
order to gain the friendship of Charles, welcomed the prospect 
of a renewal of amity with France. But the satisfaction 
which the King derived from the attitude of Francis was 
rudely dispelled in a few months. Several interviews which 
had been arranged between the two sovereigns had failed, for 
various reasons, to take place, but the Emperor meantÏ1ne 
had not been idle. Imbued with the idea of vindicating the 
rights of the Princess Mary by some decisive stroke, he had 
actually sent the Count of Nassau to the French Court to 
suggest that Francis should ask Henry to give her to the 
Duke of Angoulên1e 1. Francis considered the Emperor's 
plan worth a trial, and in October sent over an embassy under 
Admiral de Brion to propose it to the King of England. 
Henry had little idea of the unpleasant surprise that was in 
store for him, and made great preparations for the reception 
of the Frenchmen, and Crom,vell sent for a number of beautiful 
young ladies to come to the Court to entertain them 2. There 
seems to be son1e doubt whether de Brion first proposed that 
Mary should be given to the Duke of Angoulême or to the 
Dauphin 3, but both suggestions were equally disagreeable to 
Henry. An acceptance of either proposal would of course 
involve retracting his declaration that l\tlary was illegitimate, 
and annulling his hard-earned invalidation of his first marriage, 
and yet he dared not insult Francis a second time. His first 
reply, according to Chapuys) ,vas that he \vould agree to give 
Mary to Angoulême if both would make a solemn renuncia- 
tion of all c1aims that they could bring forward to the English 
throne 4. But the Spanish ambassador seemed to think that 
this proposal \vould not prove satisfactory, and we gather 
from the official report of Henry's answer that the suggestion 
was dropped. Instead, however, the King finally replied that 
if Francis could obtain from the new Pope a decision that the 
sentence of Clement \vas void, he might be induced to renounce 
his claim to the French throne in exchange for certain lands 


1 CaI. vii. 1060, and Baumgarten, 
vol. iii. pp. 145- 6 . 
2 Cal. vii. 1437. 


S CaI. vii. 1483, 1554. 
4 Cal. vii. 1554. 


",. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 


225 


and titles in the Netherlands, and further hinted that it might 
be possible to arrange a match between Elizabeth and the 
Duke of Angoulême 1. But this proposal amounted to little 
more than a diplomatic refusal of Francis' request. De Brion 
went away disappointed, and forgetting his usual caution, and 
the fact that England was still in a stronger position than 
France, determined to avenge himself for the failure of his 
mission by parading before the eyes of Cromwell and his 
master the probability of the dreaded alliance of France and 
Spain, in much the same \vay that Chapuys had done in the 
previous year. When Cromwell appeared in the great hall 
to make the farewell present, the.Adlniral disengaged himself 
from the crowd, and came to the Imperial ambassador with 
the greatest civility, expressing his regret at not having seen 
the Princess Mary, 'the principal gem of the kingdom,' and 
finally declaring that if he and Chapuys could only bring their 
masters to accord, all would go well 
. 
In spite of Cromwell's boasting, we may "'
el1 believe that 
de Brion had succeeded in making Henry feel very uncomfort- 
able. The inferences which the King must have drawn from 
the conduct of the ambassador at his departure were further 
confirmed by the ominous silence from France which follo\ved 
the Admiral's return. But Francis himself was in too pre- 
carious a position to afford to throw a\vay any chances, so 
after a couple of months' delay, he pocketed his pride and sent 
over another embassy under Palamedes Gontier, Treasurer of 
Brittany, to continue negotiations on the basis of a marriage 
between Elizabeth and the Duke of Angoulême. Henry was all 
the more annoyed that Francis should take him at his word, 
and entertain seriously the somewhat chimerical proposal 
with which he had dismissed de Brion; and the mission of 
Gontier failed as signally as its predecessor had done, in 
coming to any definite conclusion 3. But Henry had chosen 
a very poor moment to administer this final rebuff; for the 
Emperor had departed on an expedition against Tunis, and 
thus left Francis a comparatively free hand on the Continent. 
The advantage of position had hitherto lain with England, 


1 Cal. vii. 14 8 3. 


MERRIMAN, I 


2 CaI. vii. 15 0 7. 
Q 


S Cal. viii. 174, 557. 



226 


THOIVIAS CROMWELL 


but the absence of Charles totally altered the aspect of affairs. 
The French King felt himself once more master of the situa- 
tion, and was not slow to inform Henry that he did not 
propose to be dallied with any longer. The reconquest of 
Milan was at this moment his heart's desire; to accomplish it 
he needed English aid. So he commissioned the Bailly of 
Troyes to convey to Henry a Papal brief \vhich had been 
sent to the French Court, and which required all Christian 
princes to cease to hold intercourse \vith the heretical King 
of England; he further instructed his ambassador to n1ake it 
clear that the sole consideration which would induce the King 
of France to disregard the brief, would be a liberal contribu- 
tion of English gold, whenever he sa \v fit to make \var on the 
Emperor. This announcement, \vhich was practically an 
ultimatum, took Henry completely by surprise: angry words 
passed between him and the French envoy, but there was no 
use disguising the fact that Francis had the upper hand 1. 
'The King finally sent Gardiner to Paris to answer the French 
claims; the instructions which the ambassador received reveal 
a much more conciliatory attitude than Henry had yet adopted 
towards France 2. The gravity of the situation was further 
confirmed by the seizure and detention at Bordeaux of several 
English ships, for the recovery of which Cromwell kept writing 
urgent letters to the Bishop of Winchester 3. It was at this 
juncture that the King and his minister made a feeble effort 
to reap some reward from the mission of Heath and Mont to 
the Lutherans in the preceding year. Attempts were made 
to bring the reformer Melancthon to England, or at least to 
prevent his going to Francis, ,vho had sent for him in order 
to obtain the support of his follovvers against Charles 4. The 
latter effort was superfluous; the former failed. Melancthon 
had no intention of going to France, but the King and 
Cromwell could not persuade him to come to England either. 
Henry's agent, Dr. Barnes, however, informed the Lutherans 
that the I{ing would not refuse to' join in an alliance with 
them for the defence of the Gospel, provided they would 


1 Cal. ix. 148, 205, 594, 595. 
2 Cal. ix. 443. 


s Letters, 126, 128, 135. 
4 Letters, 113. 



THE FOREIGN POLl CY 


227 


support him against the Pope, and he promised them that 
another anlbassador, the Bishop of Hereford, would come and 
talk further \vith them 1. At the close of the year the envoy 
\vas received in Germany. Long negotiations followed, at 
first with some hope of success. A request by the English 
ambassador that the Germans \vould unite \vith his master in 
a refusal to recognize a General Council convoked by the 
Pope, was favourably received; and the plenipotentiaries of 
the Lutherans drew up a response in which they expressed 
themselves as entirely in accord with Henry in regard to the 
See of Rome, and offered the King of England the proud 
title of Defender and Protector of their league. As long as 
the Bishop of Hereford restricted himself to theological dis- 
cussion and abuse of the Pope all went \veIl, but when he 
made the more practical demand for aid to his master in . 
money and ships in case of an invasion, the Germans drew 
back: they were not prepared to go as far as this until a more 
complete agreement had been reached in matters of religion. 
Trouble arose also over the question of the King's divorce: 
the Lutherans acknowledged that marriage with a brother's 
\vidow \vas \vrong, but they refused to admit, if such a union 
had taken place, that it was right to break it 2. The news of 
the executions of More and Fisher, moreover, had caused 
great consternation in Germany, where every effort was being 
made to introduce the new doctrines without bloodshed; and 
the Bishop of Hereford \vas finally sent away empty-handed, 
the negotiations having resulted in a failure \vhich plainly 
foreshado\ved the events of 153H and 1539. Taken as a whole, 
the year 1535 had simply been occupied in playing over again 
the game of 1534. Twice had the French alliance been 
tested, and it had failed. Twice had Henry and Crom\vell 
sought security in a league with the Lutherans-without 
success. Two proofs had been afforded that a reconciliation 
\vith Charles was the surest road to England's safety; and 
this time the alternative of a closer alliance with France, 
which, in 1534, had offered the King and his minister 


1 Cal. ix. 390, 1016. Reformatorum, vol.ii.pp. 1028ff.; iii. 
2 Cal. x. 771. Cf. also Corpus pp. 4 6 -5 0 . 
Q2 



228 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


a temporary escape from an ultimately inevitable conclusion, 
was out of the question. But a reconciliation with the 
Emperor, as we have already seen, was impossible during the 
lifetime of Katherine. 
Under these circumstances then, we can s
arcely wonder 
that the Imperial ambassador reported to his master that the 
death of the Queen, which occurred on January 7, J 536, was 
due to foul play 1. Chapuys also possessed other evidence, 
which tended to strengthen him in this conclusion. He had 
not forgotten the sinister hint which Cromwell had let fall 
in his presence in August, 1534; and he had apparently 
discovered that in November, 1535, the King had plainly told 
his most trusted counsellors that he must be rid of the Queen 
.and Princess at the next Parlialnent 2. Nor did Henry's 
unseemly conduct when he received the news of the death 
of his first wife escape the notice of the Imperial ambassador. 
Chapuys wrote to Charles how the King clothed himself in 
yellow from head to foot, and spent the day in mirth and 
revelry. 'God be praised,' had Henry exclaimed, 'that we 
are free from all suspicion of war 3.' The ambassador also 
dwelt at length on the suspicious secrecy and almost indecent 
haste with which the body of the Queen was opened, 
em balmed, and enclosed in lead; on the very significant 
testimony extracted from the chandler of the house who 
did the work, and on the statements of the doctor and of 
the Queen's confessor. The verdict of the best modern 
medìcal authorities on the post-mortem examination as 
reported by the chandler strongly favours the conclusion 
that Katherine was not poisoned 4, but died of a disease 
called melanotic sarcoma, or, more popularly, cancer of the 
heart: the testimony of a sixteenth-century artisan, however, 
is but a P90r basis for a modern scientific investigation. If 
the Queen was murdered, there is every reason to think that 
Cromwell was chiefly responsible for the crime. To a man 
1 Cal. x. 59. · Cf. Dr. Norman Moore, on the 
2 Cal. ix. 776, and Friedmann, Death of Katherine of Aragon, in 
vo1. ii. pp. 169-73. the AthenaeUlTI for Jan. 31 and 
Cal. x. 141. Cf. also Fried- Feb. 28, 1885. 
mann, vol. ii. p. 176. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


229 


of his character and training such a step would have been far 
less repugnant than to Henry, had he once a sured himself 
that it was indispensable to his purposes. He had had 
sufficient experience of the Italy of Alexander VI and 
Caesar Borgia to render him quite callous to the ordinary 
sentiments of humanity in such matters. He had never fully 
realized the innate strength of England's isolated position; 
he "vas always alarmed by the danger of foreign invasion far 
more than his n1aster, and consequently was more ready to 
adopt desperate measures to avert it. It does not seem 
likely that the more experienced Henry would have originated 
the plan of murdering his wife, until the crisis in foreign 
affairs had become far more acute. Though he fully com- 
prehended the many advantages of a closer alliance with 
Charles, he must have been reasonably certain that he had 
little cause to fear a direct attack in the immediate future, 
especially as the death of the Duke of Milan in the end of 
October had opened glorious possibilities for a renewal of the 
quarrel between Francis and Charles. Of course it is mere 
folly to suppose that Cromwell would have attempted to 
murder the Queen without the King's full consent. It is 
more than probable however that-if poison it was-it was 
he who put the idea into Henry's mind, and took the 
responsibility for its execution upon himself. 
In any event the death of Katherine, whether due to 
natural causes or 'advancé sinistrement' as Chapuys ex- 
pressed it, was the means by which Henry was at last 
enabled to attain the position in foreign affairs that he had 
aimed at since the fall of Wolsey, and to put in practice 
a policy which, combined with a fortunate turn of events . 
abroad, was destined, for two years, to lead to the most 
glorious results. It removed the chief cause of jealousy 
between England and the Emperor 1, and enabled Henry to 
point out to Francis, who as we have seen had of late been 
taking a very haughty tone with him, that the situation of 
the two countries had again been reversed, and that France 
was no longer in a position to dictate. This task Cromwell 


1 Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 40-1. 




 


230 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


performed for him three days after the Queen's death, with 
his usual directness and efficiency. The King's minister 
wrote to Gardiner and Wallop on January 8, indicating that 
the death of Katherine had removed 'the onelie matier of 
the vnkyndenes' between his master and the Emperor, and 
instructing the ambassadors in their' conferences and pro- 
cedynges \vitk the frensh kyng and his .counsaile' to keep 
themselves 'the more aloof and be the more Froyt and colde 
in relentyng to any their ouertures or requestes 1.' A com- 
parison of this letter with one which Cromwell had written 
to the Bishop of Winchester two months earlier 2 reveals 
a very striking change of tone, which nothing else than the 
death of Katherine could have rendered possible. 
The l(ing's secretary was no less pron1pt in pointing out to 
the Imperial ambassador the bearing of the decease of the 
divorced Queen on England's relations ,vith Spain. He ,vas 
not ashatned to remark to one of Chapuys' n1en that the 
Emperor had the greatest cause to be thankful for the death 
of Katherine, \vhich in his judgement \vas the very best 
thing that could have happened for the preservation of the 
amity between Henry and Charles, as it completely removed 
the sole cause of jealousy between them 3. The Emperor 
was too hard-headed a politician not to see the force of 
Cron1welI's words. We cannot doubt that he was exceedingly 
angry at the death of his aunt, which he certainly believed 
was due to foul play; but his situation was such that revenge 
VI'as impossible, and with characteristic calmness and self- 
control he determined to conceal his resentment and conciliate 
Henry. It was doubtless \vith his full sanction that Chapuys 
welcomed all Cromwell's proposals, which looked towards 
a more cordial relation between England and Spain. Mean- 
time Francis had not been slow to take the hint \vhich 
Gardiner, at Cromwell's command, had given him, and ,vas 
again using every effort to regain Henry's favour. The 
breach between the hvo continental sovereigns was, to the 
King's intense joy, becoming \vider every day, \vith the result 
that each was making frantic attempts to outbid the other for 


1 Letters, 13 6 . 


2 Letters, 126. 


S Cal. x. I4I. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


231 


England's friendship. I--Ienry's position \vas for the moment 
almost ideal. All he needed to do was to keep the t\vo 
rivals just evenly balanced. But precisely at this critical 
juncture, Crom\vell for the first tin1e in his ministry made 
a move without the l(ing's leave, which, had it not been 
instantly forestalled, \vould have con1pletely upset the 
beautiful equilibrium which Henry had laboured so hard to 
establish. 'fhe King had doubtless ordered him to be cordial 
to Chapuys, in order to counterbalance the effects of the 
\varmth of Francis; but he had not the least idea of entering 
into any definite agreen1ent, which might lose him his precious 
position of neutrality. But Cron1\vell did not see this. He 
exceeded his instructions, was voluble in his disparagen1ent of 
the French in Chapuys' presence, and finally brought matters 
to such a point that he went \vith Chapuys to the King to 
propose an Imperial alliance 1. It was the most open avowal 
he had yet made of a leaning to\vards Spain, that he had 
dou btless cherished for a long tÏtne. Born among the 
comn1on people, Cromwell's early life had been spent in 
that atmosphere of bitter hatred of France, which for genera- 
tions had been one of the most predominant characteristics 
of the lower classes in England. In the first half of the 
sixteenth century, hatred of France meant friendship with 
Spain, and from the first years of the reign of Henry VIII one 
encounters at every turn evidences of the devotion of the 
common people to the Imperial cause. Wolsey's policy of 
peace with France had won hitn almost as many enemies 
among the lo\ver classes as his reputation as originator of 
oppressive financial measures. CromweIl had determined 
not to make the same mistake that his predecessor had, but 
he was foolish enough to err on the opposite side. During 
the year 1535 he had given hints that he was no friend of 
France 2. His rudeness to the French ambassadors on more 
than one occasion had convinced Chapuys that he favoured 
the Emperor, but as yet he had not gone far enough to bring 
himself into collision with the King. But this time he had 
forgotten his previous caution, and his rashness resulted In 


1 Cal. x. 35 I. 


2 Cal. viii. 948, 1018. 



232 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


his first serious quarrel with his master. Henry may well have 
been furious that his minister's recklessness had threatened 
to destroy the whole fabric of a policy which he had been at 
such pains to put in operation. The Imperial ambassador 
gives us an amusing account of a scene which ensued in the 
Privy Chamber when he came with Cromwell to propose an 
alliance between England and Spain. After Chapuys had 
propounded the terms of a possible treaty, Henry called 
Cromwell and Audeley to him and retired to another part of 
the room. 'They talked together,' writes Chapuys, who kept 
a vigilant eye upon the gestures of the King and those with him. 
'There seemed to be some dispute and considerable anger, as 
I thought, between the King and Cromwell; and after a 
considerable time Cromwell grumbling left the conference 
in the window where the King was, excusing himself that 
he \vas so very thirsty that he was quite exhausted, as he 
really was with pure vexation, and sat down upon a coffer 
out of sight of the King, where he sent for something to 
drink.' Henry soon came to Chapuys, and after being as 
rude as possible, reproaching the Emperor with past in- 
gratitude, and asserting that Milan rightfuJIy belonged to the 
French, 'Yaived the point at issue entirely, and was with 
difficulty persuaded to look over the treaties at a later time. 
t At this slender and provoking answer,' writes Chapuys, 
'I left the Court, and went to wait on Cromwell,' whose 
regret was so great 'that he was hardly able to speak for 
sorrow, and had never been more mortified in his life, than 
with the said reply].' 


1 CaI. x. 699. Mr. Friedmann 
points out that this quarrel of Henry 
and Cromwell about the Spanish 
alliance was intimately connected 
with the fate of Anne Boleyn. The 
Emperor, too cautious to express 
any indignation at the news of his 
aunt's death, was still planning for 
the safety and, if possible, the suc- 
cession of his cousin the Princess 
Mary. On hearing from Chapuys 


of the possibility of a renewal of 
cordial relations with England, he 
wrote back on March 28, 1536, 
a most diplomatic reply, in which 
he pointed out that it would be 
certainly for the interest of the 
Princess that Anne Boleyn should 
continue to be Henry's wife; for 
should the King marry again, he 
might have male issue, which would 
succeed to the prejudice of Mary: 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 


233 


Ample justification was soon afforded for Henry's strict 
adherence to the policy of neutrality, for events on the Con- 
tinent had moved rapidly forward, and Charles and Francis 
were at last at open war. By restraining Cromwell from 
making the mistake of cementing an alliance with the Emperor, 
and by guarding himself against a too close intimacy with 
Francis, the King had succeeded in placing England in such 
a position that the two great continental po\vers were forced 
to grovel at her feet. From the beginning of 1536 until the 
autumn of 1537, when the truce between France and Flanders 
(forerunner of the peace of Nice in the summer of 1538) was 
concluded, the history of the foreign policy of England is as 
simple as it is glorious and triumphant. Henry, constantly 
pretending to be desirous of arbitrating between France and 
Spain, 'for the peax and weale of Christendome,' as he 
elegantly put it, was in reality solely occupied with the 
endeavour to embroil them the more. Alternately encourag- 
ing and repelling advances from both sovereigns, by judiciously 
proposing and then ret.reating from alliances with each of 
them, he succeeded admirably in keeping Charles and Francis 
in a constant state of anxiety, as regarded his true position. 
Cromwell's letters tell the story of the time very clearly. ' An 
answer soo general that it cloth neither refuse their alliance, 
ne moche encorage them, to C01tCeyue that they maye without 
difficuItie obteyn their desire J was the reply which the 


there was, on the other hand, little 
probability that Anne would bear 
Henry another child, and the 
Emperor knew well that in the eyes 
of the nation his cousin's right was 
far superior to that of Elizabeth. 
So, by a very extraordinary turn of 
affairs, the interests of Charles and 
of Anne had at least temporarily be- 
come identical. Cromwell probably 
had not perceived that this was the 
true state of affairs when he had 
his conversation with Chapuys; but 
the failure of his attempts to bring 
about a Spanish alliance must have 


opened his eyes to the fact that he 
had been working in the interests 
of one whose ruin had been certainly 
resolved on by this time. 'H e took 
to his bed out of pure sorrow' for 
a few days as we are told; and 
when he returned to the Court, it 
was to labour with all his might for 
the ruin of Anne, which he saw was 
necessary to save his own credit 
with the King. Friedmann, Anne 
Boleyn, chapter xvi; Cal. x. 575, 
700; also W. H. Dixon, History 
of Two Queens, vol. iv. pp. 262, 
26'3. 



234 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


English ambassadors \vere ordered to give at the French and 
Spanish Courts 1. So secure did Henry feel himself abroad 
that he dared to issue a manifesto in contempt of the General 
Council 2, which the Pope had summoned to meet at IVlantua, 
and to publish the Ten Articles of 1536, which, while primarily 
intended to serve another purpose, were politically useful as 
a formal refusal to respect it. It \vas very fortunate for England 
that her affairs abroad were so prosperous at this juncture, as 
the end of 1536 and the beginning of 1537 vvere full of anxiety 
at home, owing to the outbreak of the rebellion in the North. 
This happy state of affairs however was not destined to 
endure, for Francis and Charles soon tired of their strife, and 
in the autumn of 1537 there \vere signs of a reconciliation. 
Francis, moreover, had strengthened his position by a league 
\vith the Turk, and began to feel powerful enough to make 
a move without Henry's leave. The first intin1ation of this 
unpleasant fact came to Henry in the shape of a refusal of 
a matrimonial offer. The death of Queen Jane had left him 
free to marry again, and so gave him an excellent opportunity 
once n10re to mix in continental affairs, 'which he did not 
permit to escape him. Cromwell wrote a letter for him to 
Lord William Howard and Gardiner, artfully instructing them 
to feel the \vay for a possible alliance with 11me. de Longue- 
ville, who had just been affianced to James of Scotland. It 
was too much of a favour to ask 'Francis to put aside the 
claims of a sovereign who had always been his true friend, to 
make way for those of the more powerful but perfidious King 
of England, and Henry's offers were, after some negotiations, 
politely but firmly declined, to the latter's intense chagrin 3. 
An almost equally ominous note of warning came from Spain 
at the same time. Sir John Dudley, ambassador to announce 
the death of the Queen at the Spanish Court, had expressed 
to the Emperor the King's sorrow that his repeated offers of 
mediation with France had been set aside, \vhereupon Charles 
turned on him, and informed him that negotiations \vith 
France were already set on foot, though he relieved Henry's 
anxiety a little by assuring him that no actual treaty should 


1 Letters, 17 0 . 


2 Cal. xii. (i) 1310. 


3 Cal. xii. Oi) 1201. 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


235 


be n1ade \vithout the King of England's being included as 
a 'premier contrahent,' a promise \vhich Crom'well was con- 
tinually harping upon a year later, when the situation had 
entirely changed 1. 
Thus the year ] 53 X opened rather darkly for England. 
The dread \vith which Henry \vatched the increasing signs 
of good-feeling between Charles and Francis led hin1 into 
ridiculous and undignified action. As soon as it \vas settled 
that Mary of Guise was to become James' wife, Henry literally 
scoured the continent of Europe in search of an alliance for 
himself or his daughters, \vhich would strengthen his position 
and avert the impending crisis. A son1e,vhat confusing set 
of double instructions from Crom\vell to his friend Philip 
Hoby, instructing hirn to negotiate for possible marriages 
with the younger sister of James' wife, \vith the daughter 
of the Duke of Lorraine, and also \vith the Duchess of 
Milan, and to obtain their portraits, is not 'without interest 
as revealing Henry's state of mind 2. The first two of these 
unions, if accomplished, would of course have rendered him 
safe from France; the other \vould have put him on friendly 
terms with Spain; but none of them \vas destined to succeed. 
The King even went so far as to permit Sir Francis Brian, 
his agent at the French Court, to suggest that various suitable 
ladies should be brought to Calais for his inspection, that he 
might be sure that he made no mistake. Henry's proceedings 
evoked such ridicule and derision in continental Europe, 
that Castillon, the French ambassador, contrived to convey 
to him the general feeling with such directness and force 
that he actually dre,v a blush from the King himself:>. 
Finding that his endeavours to obtain a suitable \vife 
for himself were abortive, Henry looked about for an 
advantageous marriage for his daughter Mary. By altern- 
ately holding out to the En1peror a prospect of a match 
for her with the Infant of Portugal, and pretending to accept 
a proposition of the French representative, Castillon, that she 


1 CaI. xii. (ii) 1053, 128 5. 
2 Letters, 243. Cf. also Preface to vol. xiii. pt. i. of the Calendar, pp. 37-8. 
3 Cal. xiii. (i) 1355, 1405, 1451, 1496; xiii. (ii) 77, 232, 2ï7. 



236 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


should marry the Duke of Orleans, he contrived to lay the 
basis for a continental quarrel. But his success in this scheme 
was' very short-lived. The only person that he could 
deceive at all was Castillon. It seems that Cromwell, who 
again at this crisis took the opportunity to sho\v his decided 
leaning towards Spain, had openly disapproved of the pro- 
posed French alliance, and when Castillon complained of this, 
Henry turned fiercely upon his minister and reprimanded 
him, saying that he was a good manager, but not fit to inter- 
Ineddle in the affairs of kings, and finally Norfolk was sent 
for. Cromwell's' great Spanish passion,' as Castillon called 
it, had got him into trouble again, and the French ambassador 
,vas delighted, thinking that he had at last obtained the upper 
hand. But Castillon's delusions were rudely dispelled three 
weeks later, when he learned that the King and Council were 
resolved 'to withdraw from the French match,' on account of 
offers which the Emperor had made, and when Francis wrote 
that the King's proceedings only proved that he was jealous 
of the negotiations for peace 1. It is needless to state that 
neither of the proposed unions ever took place, and I-Ienry's 
frantic endeavours to frustrate the steadily increasing a'lnity of 
France and Spain were entirely unavailing. 
Matrimonial agitations being found useless to serve his 
purpose, Henry had recourse to other n1ethods to stir up 
suspicions between Charles and Francis, and to prevent the 
dreaded peace. Whatever malicious tale-bearing and false 
representations could accomplish was used to the full by the 
King and his minister. Cromwell ,vrote to Sir Thomas Wyatt 
at the Spanish Court, directing him to 'declare how the 
frenche men show themselfes so ernest to put al in the kinges 
hand that they offer vpon any significacion that themperour 
woll n1ake . . . . . . . . . to condescende to the same,' and 
telling how the French ambassador had promised that Henry 
'shuld for the French kinges parte haue the hole and entier 
manyeng of the Peax betwen him and Themperor 2 .' If Henry 
could not obtain the 'hole and entier manyeng of the Peax,' 
he did his best to convince Charles and Francis separately 


1 Ca1. xiii. (i) 995, 1147, 1355. 


2 Letters, 244. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 


237 


that his own friendship ,vas more valuable to each of them 
than that of the other. Furthermore he took pains to assure 
each one of the two rivals apart, that the other prized England's 
amity so much that great concessions would be necessary to 
regain it. 
But in spite of all Henry's efforts to avert it, the news of 
the truce bet\\reen Charles and Francis and of their subsequent 
interview at Aigues Mortes reached England in July, J 53 8 1. 
Still so confident was the King in the wisdom of his original 
policy of strengthening England solely by attempts to embroil 
these hvo powerful sovereigns under cover of offers of mediation, 
that he refused definitely to abandon it, in spite of the threaten- 
ing outlook on the Continent. He remembered that the 
situation there had often changed before, and saw that it 
\vould probably do so again. He encouraged himself with 
hopes that in spite of the failure of his attempts to contract 
a marriage in France, he might still gain the hand of the 
Duchess of Milan, and with the reflection that the inroads 
of the Turk into the Emperor's dominions would be a serious 
hindrance to any direct attack upon England. He was un- 
willing to seek security in an outside alliance, for fear of 
imperilling his hard-won position as a neutral between France 
and Spain. He wished still to rely solely on judicious inter- 
ference in the affairs of Charles and Francis for England's 
safety. 
But with Cromwell the case was very different. The 
closing months of the year 1538 were the turning-point in 
his career, for they saw him take a step which was destined 
to bring him into collision with the King, and later to lead 
him to his death. The original difference of opinion between 
King and minister, which first came to the fore in the quarrel 
of 1536, now broke forth again under a slightly altered form, 
which it was destined to maintain till the end. At first we 
sa\v that Crom\vell vented his distrust of the policy of 
neutrality in favouring a definite alliance with Spain. The 
changed situation on the Continent rendered a league with 
Charles impossible now, so that the only refuge that renlained 
1 CaI. xiii. (i) 14 8 6. 



238 


THOM..L\S CROMWELL. 


for England, if the policy which had been so successful in J536 
and 1537 really broke down, was to court an alliance with 
some power outside the two great continental rivals. And 
Cromwell, inexperienced, and overestimating the danger of 
foreign invasion, certainly believed that Henry's efforts to 
maintain his old position between France and Spain were 
now doomed to inevitable failure. He did not see, as the 
King did, that the friendship of Charles and Francis was 
but temporary, and that the old quarrels were ultimately 
certain to break forth afresh. He looked the situation as it 
was squarely in the face, abandoned once and for all the 
policy of seeking safety by playing on the mutual jealousies of 
Charles and Francis; he frankly recognized the probability 
of v:ar, and deliberately courted an outside league for England's 
defence. As he had always considered the friendship of the 
Emperor more valuable than that of _Francis, so he considered 
his enmity, 'which he now regarded as inevitable, as more to 
be feared. Consequently, in looking about for an alliance to 
fortify England, he sought one which could be most effectively 
directed against Charles. 
It will be remembered that in order to guard against the 
danger of a possible coalition of the Emperor and the King 
of France in 1533 and 1534, some proposals had been made 
for a league with the Protestant princes of Germany; but that 
owing to theological differences, the Lübeck affair, and the 
death of Katherine and its results, the scheme had 
been abandoned as useless. As long as the interests of 
France and Spain were separated, the value of the Gennan 
alliance as a defensive measure \vas of course lost, and England 
thought no more of it. But now that the news of the inter- 
view of Aigues Mortes had persuaded Cromwell that mere 
meddling in the affairs of France and Spain was not sufficient 
to prevent a coalition against England, he turned to his 
forsaken friends in Germany once more. Cromwell must 
have had great difficulty in bringing Henry to sanction 
a move to seek friendship with the Lutherans, but so hopeless 
did the King's efforts to prevent a cordial relation between 
Charles and Francis appear, that he was at last induced to 



TIlE FOREIGN POLICY 


239 


con
cnt to the experiment, though, as wc shan soon sec, his 
acquiescence was only temporary. The opportunity for an 
alliance \vith the Germans ,vas in many respects most favour- 
able. The proclamation \vhich Henry had put forth to show his 
contempt of the Papal authority to convoke a General Council, 
coupled ,vith the Ten Articles of [531), had called forth the 
most hearty approbation of the Lutheran princes. An elaborate 
set of instructions in the hand of one of the King's secretaries 
directed Christopher 1\lont to go to the Germans again, and tell 
them how nearly Henry's theological vie\\.s coincided with their 
own, and to request thenl to send representatives to discuss 
with him points of faith 1. l'he fact that the proposals for the 
German alliance ostensibly emanated from the King, is no 
sign that Cromwell was not the real originator of it. An 
invitation to send ambassadors could scarcely proceed from 
any other source than the Cro\\'n, so that the evidence 
afforded by the authorship of the instructions to Mont is of 
small \\Teight; ,vhereas the course of events in 1539 and 1540 
]eaves little doubt that the guiding hand throughout ,vas that 
of the King's minister. Henry's nalne really appeared as 
little as possible in connexion with the Lutheran alliance 
from first to last, and only in the most formal manner. 
Cromwell's was the moving spirit in it throughout, and Henry 
really never cordially supported him, but regarded the 
measure in the light of a disagreeable necessity, teo1porarily 
forced upon him by the apparent failure of his own plans. 
But the outside ,\Todd of course knew nothing of the 
difference of opinion between King and minister, and had no 
suspicion that the foundations were being laid here for the 
quarrel \vhich was later to bring Cromwell to disaster. The 
Lutherans were greatly flattered by the proposals that had 
been made to them, and in l\1ay an embassy, headed by 
Franz Burckhard, Vice-Chancellor of Saxony, arrived in 
England. But in spite of all the trouble that had been 
taken, the plans of the King's nlinister \vere not destined 
to bear fruit, for the only result of the Lutheran embassy 
was procrastination \vhich seemed little better than failure. 


1 Ca1. xiii. (i) 3 6 7. 



240 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Theological differences were the ostensible reason for inability , 
to conclude an agreement, but not the real one. The 
Protestantism of the Lutherans differed from that of Henry 
and Cromwell in much the same way as that of Tyndale, 
years before: they cared for their theology for its own sake, 
and not, like Henry, as a means to an end, as a stepping-stone 
to political greatness. A theological entente, however, would 
have been possible, had Cromwell and Henry united to bring it 
about; but they did not. The true reason for the failure to 
conclude an agreement was the obstinacy of the King, which 
asserted itself at the very moment that his minister hac;l hoped 
to gain his complete consent to the proposed alliance. In 
the midst of the negotiations with the Lutherans, Henry's 
faith in his old policy had been suddenly revived by 
the news that the extensive preparations of the E
peror, 
which he at first had feared were to be aimed at England, 
were in reality directed against the Turk 1: the King was at 
least persuaded that he had no cause to fear an attack in the 
immediate future. Gardiner in Paris, moreover, had been 
steadily working to defeat the plans of Cromwell 2, and at the 
crucial moment his efforts appear to have borne fruit. The 
King refused to commit himself any further to the policy to 
which he had given his temporary sanction, but which, if 
definitely adopted, would have seriously hampered his own 
schemes. The most that Cromwell could do was to persuade 
the King to keep up the appearance of amity, and not to cut 
himself off from all chances of returning to his Lutheran 
friends at a later date. So the envoys were sent home in 
October, with a letter to the Elector of Saxony, telling him 
that his representatives had given assurance of such sound 
erudition and Christian piety, as would certainly lead to the 
best results; but as the matter of the negotiations concerned 
the glory of Christ and the discipline of religion, it required 
much more mature deliberation, and that a second embassy 
\vould have to be sent over before matters could be concluded 3. 
For Cromwell, the dismissal of the Lutherans amounted to 


1 Baumgarten, vol. iii. pp. 343 ff. 2 Burnet, vol. i. pp. 3 16 ,4 0 9, 435. 
. 3 Cal. xiii. (ii) 165, 298, 497. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 


241 


a second rebuke from the King, for meddling in foreign 
affairs; but this titue the minister did not humbly accept the 
rebuff as he had done before, but continued to oppose his 
schemes to those of his n1aster. 
Thus at the close of the year 1538, England \vas trembling 
at the prospect of a coalition of France and Spain against her. 
The outlook \vas certainly alarming, and demanded united 
action at home. But at this very moment the King and his 
minister could not agree on the best method of averting the 
peril which was threatening. Each adopted his o\vn way 
of meeting it, and the history of the year 1539 is the story of 
the varying success of the two methods when brought into 
conflict. We shall see that fortune twice inclined to favour 
Cromwell, only to desert him, after he had become so hope- 
lessly committed to the policy 'which he had adopted in face 
of the opposition of the King, that there ,vas no dra\\ring back, 
and he paid the penalty for his rashness with his life. 


MERRIMAK I 


R 



CHAPTER XIII 


THE CATHOLIC REACTION AND THE ALLIANCE 
'\VITH CLEVES 


THE first few months of thc nc\v year brought no improve- 
mcnt in the state of England's foreign affairs. Having 
postponed the Lutheran alliance which Crom\vell had so 
strongly advocated in the end of ] 538, for fear of losing his 
position of neutrality between France and Spain, Henry was 
driven back on his own policy of seeking safety for England 
in direct negotiations with Charles and Francis. Matrimonial 
agitations had failed-malicious tale-bearing had not borne 
fruit, so the King took the more straightforward course of 
making direct complaints that he was spoken of with too 
little respect in foreign parts. He sent grumbling letters 
to his neighbours, accusing them of permitting evil reports to 
be circulated about him. He caused the President of the 
Council of the North to request James of Scotland to suppress 
and punish the authors of several 'spyttfull ballades,' which 
had been published about the wrongfully usurped authority 
of the King of England, and also ,"vrote to Wyatt in Spain, 
commanding him to protest against the malicious and un- 
reasonable lies of the 'barking prechers ther' who slandered 
him behind his back 1. But these petty remonstrances had no 
effect in diminishing the gro\ving cordiality of Francis and 
Charles, or their hatred of England: in fact the two continental 
sovereigns seemed better friends than ever. On January J 2, 
representatives of both monarchs met at Toledo and concluded 
an agreement not to make any new alliances, either political 
or matrimonial, with the King of England, without each 
other's consent 2. The news of this treaty was a deathblow 
to Henry's hopes; and the King was reluctantly forced to 


1 Ca1. xiv. (i) 92, 147. 


2 Cal. xiv. (i) 62. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


24.3 


admit that his minister's scheme of a German alliance offered 
better chances of safety for England than any other. So he 
again gave his consent to a renewal of negotiations for an 
outside league, though, as \ve shall soon see, it was on a basis 
somewhat different from that of the previous ones. 
Disappointed by the King's refusal definitely to accept the 
alliance for which he had laboured so hard, Cromwell had 
meantime been amusing himself ,vith a very feeble plan for 
gaining friends against the Pope, the chimerical nature of 
which was quite at variance \vith the direct and practical 
character of most of his schemes. He had proposed a league 
of England \"ith the Dukes of Ferrara, Mantua, and U rbino 
against his Holiness, who had just challenged the title of 
the latter to the dukedom of Camerino. An interesting 
set of instructions to Cromwell's friend Edmund Harvell at 
Venke tells the story of this negotiation very vividly 1. But 
the princes of northern Italy \vere too \veak and the scheme 
itself was too remote and far-fetched to promise any real 
advantage, and Cromwell doubtless lost all interest in it as 
soon as the King again consented to approach the Germans. 
The fact that three months had been suffered to elapse since 
the return of the envoys in 1538, without an acceptance of 
the King's invitation to send other representatives to discuss 
theological points, simply proves that Henry's treatment of 
the first embassy had not been such as to encourage the 
Lutherans to persevere 2. But no\v that the King had again 
veered round to Cromwell's policy, he 'mervayled not a litel' 
at the slowness of the Germans, and sent Christopher Mont 
over to the Court of the Elector of Saxony on January 25 
to discover the feelings of John Frederic and the Land- 
grave of Hesse, the leaders of the Schmalkaldic League, 
towards the Emperor, to inquire further into their attitude on 
the tenets about which they had so fruitlessly disputed with 


1 Letters, 286. 
2 John Lambert, moreover, had 
been tried and burnt, for denying 
the Real Presence, in November, 
1538. The doctrines of the Luther- 
ans in this matter were probably 
RZ 


almost identical with those of the 
King at this time, but the Germans 
certainly disapproved of the violence 
of Henry's measures for enforcing 
them. 




!44 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


the English bishops in the preceding summer, and finally to 
learn ,vhether the Duke of Cleves and his son were of the 
'old popisshe fasshyon' or no 1. Appended to these very 
non-committal injunctions are certain others from Crom\vell 
himself of quite a different nature 2.. Completely dodging the 
theological issue, which he wisely left entirely in the King's 
hands, Cromwell took up the question of the German alliance 
from a new and far more practical side, the matrimonial. He 
instructed Mont to suggest to the Vice-Chancellor Burckhard 
the possibility of two marriages; one bet\veen the young 
Duke of Cleves and the Princess Mary, and the other between 
Anne, the elder of the t\VO unmarried daughters of the old 
Duke, and the King himself3. It appears that Cromwell had 
already discussed the feasibility of the first of these hvo 
Inatches with the Vice-Chancellor, \vhen the latter had been 
in England in the previous sumn1er, and John Frederic had 
subsequently written to the King's minister that the plan met 
,vith his entire approval. The proposal for Henry's marriage, 
on the contrary, \vas no\v brought fonvard for the first time. 
\Ve shall soon see why it ,vas that Mont was sent to the 
Elector of Saxony, rather than to the Duke of Cleves himself, 
to feel the \vay for these two alliances. 
In order to understand the precise bearing on the foreign 
affairs of England of the t\VO marriages which Cromwell 
proposed, and of the political league ,vhich would naturally 
go with them, we must make a slight digression here and 
examine the very peculiar position in which the Duke of 
Cleves found himself at this juncture. Various political 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 10 3. 
2 Letters, 28 7. 
3 Throughout the negotIatIOns 
for the Cleves marriages Cromwell 
Inade desperate efforts to assert 
the dignity of the King, which he 
could not help feeling was a little 
10wered by approaching vassals of 
the Emperor with matrimonial 
offers. Mont was especially di- 
rected to confer with Burckhard 
about the sister of the Duke of 


Cleves, 'not as demaunding her, 
but as geving them a prick to stirr 
them to offre her, as the noblest 
and highest honour that could come 
into that noble house of Cleves, if 
they could bring it to passe.' Of 
course nothing could induce the 
mighty King of England to demean 
himself by asking any favours of 
the petty princes of Germany; it 
was their place, not his, to be the 
suitor. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


245 


considerations, above all an increasing jealousy of the po\ver 
of the House of Saxony, had led the Emperor Maximilian 
in 1496 to declare l'daria, the only child of the Duke of 
J uliers and Berg, to be the la\vful heiress of these two 
provinces; a step which \vas in direct contravention of a 
grant which l\1aximilian, at his election as King of the 
Romans, had made to Frederic the vVise of the reversion of 
J uliers and Berg in case of failure of male heirs in the ducal 
line there. This grant \vas definitely revoked in various 
documents of the years 15 08 and 15 0 9; and Duke John of 
Cleves, who in the meantime had nlarried the heiress l\Iaria 
of J uliers and Berg, \vas permitted to unite these three rich 
provinces in his o\vn hand, and to establish a strong po\ver 
on the Lower Rhine which prevented undue preponderance 
of the House of vVettin, and furnished a useful support for 
the Hapsburgs in the \vestern part of the Empire 1. The 
peace-loving Duke John lived and died in friendship with 
l\'Iaximilian and his grandson, although his desire to see 
a reform in the Church had prevented his definite acceptance 
of the Inlperial invitation to join a Catholic League against 
the Schmalkaldner in 1537. Instead he devoted himself to 
strengthening his po\ver in his own possessions by a series 
of \vise and prudent measures, through \vhich he \velded the 
three component parts of his dominions into one 2. But 
during the last year of his life (which ended on February 6, 
1539, \vhile 1\10nt \vas on his \vay to the Saxon Court) 
affairs took a turn which was destined to bring his son and 
heir vVilliam into direct conflict \vith the Empire. In June, 
153 8 , the warlike Duke Charles of Geld erland, \vhose posses- 
sions lay next to the province of Cleves on the north, died 
leaving no children. His life had been spent in a struggle 
against the pretensions to his hereditary dominions brought 
fonvard by the Emperor as heir of Charles the Bold, and 
in order to prevent the substantiation of the Imperial claims 
at his death he had planned to leave his lands to the King 


1 Cf. Ulmann, vol. i. pp. 579,580; 
Ranke, vol. i. pp. 226- 9. 
2 Life of Duke John of Cleves 


in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bio- 
graphie, vol. xiv. p. 214. 



246 


THOIVIAS CROM\tVELL 


of France 1. This schen1e however had encountered strong 
opposition from the estates of Gelderland, who regarded 
'with little favour a proposal so threatening to their com- 
paratively independent position, and Duke Charles \vas 
finally forced, much against his will, to designate young 
\Villiam of Cleves as his successor. The latter, though by 
nature weak and irresolute, was not in a position to refuse 
the chance which fortune had thrown in his way: he accepted 
the proffered inheritance, and the death of his father soon 
after left him in full possession of the four rich provinces 2. 
The result was that he immediately became involved in 
a serious quarrel \vith the Emperor, who realizing hovv 
dangerous a rival to his own power had been created by the 
events just recounted, reasserted his claims to Gelderland 
even more strongly than before. In looking for allies against 
Charles, Duke \Villiam naturally turned to the Elector of 
Saxony, whose rights to J uliers and Berg, once rudely 
revoked by Maximilian, had not been forgotten, but who 
seen1S to have preserved sufficiently friendly relations \vith 
the family in favour of \vhich his claims had been set aside, 
to rnarry Sibylla, one of the sisters of the Duke 3. Comn10n 
enmity to Charles V now drew them very close together, and 
at the Imperial Court it was actually thought that Cleves had 
been formallyadlnitted to the Schmalkaldic League 4. This 
however \vas a mistake. Though Duke William \vas certainly 
110t opposed to the Lutheran doctrines, he had not as yet made 
open confession of the Protestant faith; and for that reason the 
Elector and the Landgrave had steadily refused to make a 
political alliance \vith him 5. Still he was on very intimate 


1 Ranke, vol. iv. p. 128; Heid- 
rich, 1, 2. 
2 Heidrich, 21. 
s Heidrich, 4. 
4 Ranke, vol. iv. p. 12 9. 
5 Heidrich, 34, 35. Driven by 
political necessity, \\' iHiam in 1543 
finally took the decisive step, 
d.nd declared himself ready to in- 
troduce the new religion into his 
dominions, in the hope of gaining 


aid fron1 his brother-in-law against 
the Emperor. But the offer came 
too late. The political situation had 
changed once more, and the over- 
. cautious Elector now definitely and 
unconditionally refused the aid 
which he had before made de- 
pendent on \Villiam's acceptance 
of Lutheranism. The lands of the 
Duke were invaded by the Imperial 
forces, and \Yill iau1 was forced, atthe 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


247 


terms with John Frederic, \vho had promised, \vhen he wedded 
Sibylla of Cleves, to advance money for the marriage of her 
sisters, and thus had a certain right to be consulted \vhen 
husbands were to be chosen for them. Henry was doubtless 
\vell alvare of all this, and it \vas consequently at the Saxon 
Court that Mont was instructed to obtain information about 
the Duke of Cleves, and if possible to pave the way for the two 
n1atrinlonial alliances from \vhich Crom\vell hoped so n1uch. 
Having completed this preliminary survey of the position 
of the Duke of Cleves, "FC are enabled to nlake some interest- 
ing observations on the instructions to the English ambassador. 
I t is very significant that the inquiries \vhich Mont was 
ordered to make concerning the religious tendencies of Duke 
\Villiam were concerned only \vith his attitude towards the 
Pope. Of course the King could not consistently ally himself 
with firm adherents of the Holy See after the events of the 
past ten years; but it is. also of the utmost importance to 
notice that he apparently preferred a league with powers 
which he knew had not definitely committed themselves to 
the N e\v Faith to an alliance with the Schmalkaldner. Else 
\vhy did he rather seek to unite \vith Cleves than \\"ith 
Saxony? Both \vere politically valuable, as enemies of the 
Emperor; the only difference was that Cleves was not as 
yet avowedly Protestant, and Saxony \vas. It is possible 
that the idea which bore fruit five months later in the Six 
Articles had already taken shape in Henry's mind; at least 
it seems certain that he ,vas determined to keep a perfectly 
free hand in religious affairs, so as not to be hampered in 
his political relations with France and Spain. Thus when 


treaty of Venlo, Sept. 7, 1543, to re- 
nounce all claims to Gelderland and 
Zutphen, to return to the Church of 
.Rome, and to permit no religious 
innovations in J uliers and Berg. 
Subsequently, however, encouraged 
by the milder attitude of the Emperor 
Ferdinand towards the Reformers, 
he devoted himself with partial 
success to an attempt to effect a 
sort of compromise between the 


two faiths in his own possessions, 
and to estab1ish there a purified 
and enlightened Catholic Church, 
, Erasmian' in its tendencies, and 
in many respects approach:ng very 
closely to the tenets of the Augs- 
burg Confession. Cf. Heidrich, 
91-4, and the Life of \Yilliam of 
Cleves in the Allgen1cine Deutsche 
Biographie, vol. xliii. pp. 107-13. 



248 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Crom\vell at last succeeded in persuading him reluctantly to 
return to a German alliance, it \vas really only half a victory 
for the minister. There was this great difference between 
the league with the Lutherans which Cromwell had proposed 
and which never succeeded, and the Cleves alliance \vhich was 
no\v sought. The one would have been necessarily both 
political and religious (for we have seen that the Lutherans 
had always refused to join with England until a satisfactory 
theological agreement could be made), while the other was 
solely political. It was simply another expression of the old 
disagreement betvveen Henry and Cromwell. The King, 
ahvays looking for a chance of reconciliation with Charles 
and Francis, refused to enter an alliance the religious con- 
ditions of which would greatly enhance the difficulty of 
a return to his favourite scheme. He was only induced to 
enter a purely political league, \vhich he doubtless felt he 
could thro\v over at any moment if he wished to do so ; an 
agreement both political and religious he might have found 
it more difficult to escape from. Crom\vell on the other 
hand, having definitely given up all ideas of direct negotiations 
with France and Spain, wished to plunge headlong into the 
Lutheran alliance, caring little what he was committed to 
provided he gained solid support. But, as we have seen, the 
King would not agree to this, and the alliance \vith Cleves 
can -thus only be regarded as a compromise between the 
royal and Crom\vellian policies, \vhich the King could abandon 
whenever affairs in France and Spain took a more favourable 
turn. Later events in the same year furnish further proofs of 
this most Ï1n portan t fact. 
Furthermore the King had contrived that the responsibility 
for the proposed league with Cleves should fall almost 
entirely on his minister's shoulders, in order that he hinlself 
might the more easily renounce it if occasion served. The 
fact that the ne\v alliance, if accomplished, would from its 
very nature commit him to far less than the Lutheran league 
\vhich he had put off in 1538, was not enough for Henry; he 
must needs have other safeguards, and determined to make 
Crom\vell his scapegoat. All the practical and important 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


249 


parts of the instructions to Mont \vere given by the King's 
minister. The conciliatory expressions \vith \yhich Henry 
had directed the ambassador to sound the Elector of Saxony 
and the Landgrave of Hesse on the question of theology 
\vere merely empty \vords, as is proved by the utter failure 
of an atten1pted agreement four months later. Their sole 
object 'vas to induce John Frederic more favourably to 
receive the practical proposals \vhich followed. But the 
King purposely left to Crom\vell the task of framing the 
vital part of the message, and it is evident that he gave his 
consent to the proposals it contained only in the most 
guarded and non-committal manner. vVe are merely told 
that as regards the match proposed for the Princess Mary, 
Cromwell perceived' the kinges hieghnes . . . by his graces 
countenaunce and exterior Visage . . . to be of good 1n- 
clinacz"on 1.' On the more vital question of the King's attitude 
concerning his own marriage, the instructions of Crom\vell to 
1\lont give us even vaguer information. The fact was that 
the King \vas \villing definitely to bind Cromwell, but not 
himself, to a plan which he had resolved to abandon the 
moment that any favourable alteration should take place in his 
relations \vith France and Spain. From the day that 1\iont 
departed on his mission, the fate of the alliance with Cleves 
and the fate of Thomas Crom\vell \vere joined together be- 
yond the possibility of separation. 
We unfortunately do not possess the letter in which Mont 
and his companion, a certain Thomas Paynell, reported their 
first reception at the Saxon Court, but the reply of Cromwell 
on March 10 gives us considerable information about the 
success of the ambassadors 2. John Frederic had apparently 
welcomed the prospect of the t\VO marriages by which Henry 
proposed to bind himself to Cleves, and had promised, through 
Burckhard, to do his best to bring them about. Cromwell's 
letter goes on to direct Mont to follow up the advantage 
already gained by telling bad stories about Charles, and to 
'inculcate and persuade vnto the said duke and landisgrave 
the moment & importance of that grudge, which the111perour 


J Letters, 28 7. 


2 Letters, 295. 



2;)0 


THOIVIAS CROMWELL 


doth beire, for the Bishop of Romes pleasure.. against them 
and other of the avangelik sorte, which they may nowe easely 
perceive by that he worketh and goeth aboute.' At the same 
time, another ernbassy, headed by a certain Dr. Nicholas 
\V otton, ,vas sent to Cleves to obtain confirmation of the 
promises of Burckhard, and further to carryon negotiations 
for a supply of gunners and artillerymen to be furnished to 
Henry in case he should need them; and finally to signify the 
King's willingness to make an offensive and defensive league 
\"ith Duke William 1. The latter was at first less eager to 
accept the alliance which England offered than his brother- 
in-law was to promote it: he \vanted to postpone a definite 
ans\ver in the hope that he might yet come to a peaceful 
solution of his difficulty with the Emperor 2. But as this 
prospect daily grew more and more remote, he became 
correspondingly \villing to entertain Henry's proposals, and 
the outlook for the accomplishment of the practical part of 
Cromwell's plan seemed very favourable. The comparatively 
unimportant overtures for theological reconciliation with the 
Elector and the Landgrave were apparently at first received 
\vith less enthusiasm by the Lutherans, who had already had 
some experience of the King's vacillating policy and evidently 
thought it a little suspicious that Henry had suddenly become 
so very urgent. \Ve have seen that the King's proposals for 
a religious agreement were chiefly intended as a blind to 
cover the more practical matrirnonial proposals \vhich had 
follo\ved, but Cromwell evidently thought it worth \vhile to 
keep up the deception as a precaution. A second letter from 
the King's minister directs Mont and Paynell to continue to 
urge on the Elector and Landgrave the importance of theo- 
logical unity, and to 'conduce to haue them somw[hat 
reproved for] ouersight & slakenes, in shewing [so little] 
gratuite, and by that for to pryk thE em to] redubb the same 
and give you more f[ avourable] allswer.' 
And at first Cromwell's eagerness for the alliance with 
C]eves seemed to have every justification, for Henry's policy 
in other parts of Europe appeared to have failed even more 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 4 8 9. 


2 Heidrich, 3 2 . 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


251 


completely than before. Onlinous letters \"ere received from 
\Vriothesley, the ambassador in the Netherlands, who did not 
hesitate to express his fear that ,var would soon come and that 
his retreat to England would be cut off 1 . At the same tinle 
Chapuys received orders to return to the Court of the Queen 
R,egent, and Crom\vell consequently instructed Wriothesley 
to demand leave to depart 2. The exchange was finally 
effected, but that there was deep distrust on both sides is proved 
by Crom\vell's orders for the detention of Chapuys at Calais, 
until the safety of\Vriothesley was assured, and by the instruc- 
tions of the Queen Regent to the Provost of Mons to follo\v 
the English ambassador to Gravelines 3. But fortunately these 
precautions \vere unnecessary; no open act of hostility took 
place, and the crisis seemed at least temporarily tided over 
by the arrival of the Dean of Cambray in London to replace 
Chapuys, and by the reception of Stephen Vaughan at 
Brussels in Wriothesley's stead 4. But the attitude of France 
,vas more disquieting. On February 5 Castillon was recalled, 
and though he made a vague promise at his departure that 
another should be sent in his place, the anxiety at the Court 
\vas but little relieved thereby. The most that Crom\vell 
could do, was to take care that the French ambassador should 
carry back to his master full accounts of the excellence of 
England's defences, and her readiness for \var. So he took 
l1im, as he later \vrote to the King, to his armoury, sho\ving 
him a 'store of harneys and wepens . . . . . . . the \vhiche he 
semed to esteme moche,' and telling hinI that there \vere 
twenty more armouries in the realnl as ,veIl or better equipped; 
'wherat he ,voundred and sayd that he thought your grace 
the prince best furnished thereof in Christendom 5.' 
But though Crom\vell may have exaggerated the security 
of England's fortifications, his 
vords to Castillon were by 
no means enlpty. Though the King and his minister may 
have had differences of opinion in regard to the conduct of 
foreign affairs, in the internal management of the kingdom 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 433, 440. 
3 Letters, 297; and Cal. xiv. (i) 5 8 4. 

 Letters, 288. 


2 Letters, 29 1 , 3 0 1. 
4 CaI. xiv. (i) 570. 



').....') 
.....0..... 


THOMAS CROlVI\VELL 


they \vere, as ahvays, united. Here Henry suffered himself 
to be guided at all points by Crom\\Tell. And at no time 
is the masterfulness of the latter's domestic administration 
better exhibited, than by his action at home the moment 
the first rumours of an invasion reached England. Countless 
memoranda, lists of men fit for military service, arms, ammu- 
nition, provisions, and other necessaries of ,varfare, all in his 
hand, or in that of one of his clerks, attest his industry and 
ability in preparing the country to repel the dreaded invasion. 
All reports of the state of the coast defences at various places 
\vere sent to him. General musters \vere ordered through- 
out the realm; every precaution \vas taken to fortify an 
vulnerable points. Beacons \vere placed upon all the hills, 
and no detail that could add to the strength and efficiency 
of the defences \vas left out 1. 
But just at this very moment, \vh
n everything seemed to 
point to an open rupture ,vith Charles and Francis, when the 
schemes which Crom\vell had opposed to those of the I{ing 
seemed to have every justification, an event occurred which 
totally changed the aspect of affairs, and restored Henry's 
badly shaken confidence in his o\vn ability to stave off the 
threatened crisis without the aid of outside alliances or an 
appeal to arn1S. This event \vas the arrival in England on 
l\'Iarch 28 of a ne\v French ambassador, Charles de IVlarillac, 
who had come to replace Castillon. So long a time had 
elapsed since the departure of the latter that Henry had 
probably given up all hope of the fulfilment of the vague 
prospects that had been held out that a successor might be 
appointed. But the unexpected appearance of Marillac at 
once revived the King's drooping spirits. The letters in 
\vhich the ambassador reported his reception at the English 
Court to Francis and Montmorency give us a vivid picture of 
the universal joy with \vhich this apparent reassurance of 
friendship \vith France was hailed 2. Henry was delighted, 
and his satisfaction \vas increased \vhen l\tlarillac, at his 
master's command, followed up the advantage already gained 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 398-400, 529, S64, 615, 652-5. 
2 Cal. xiv. (i) 669-70. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


253 


by rene\ved assertions of the cordiality of France. The \vhole 
Court seetned 'to \vear a new aspect and to be quite de- 
lighted 1.' Had Henry seen the letter of instructions \vhich 
!\Iarillac received from the French Court, he \yould have 
realized that Francis \vas only endeavouring 'to keep him 
in good humour '2,' \vhile making a little more certain of his 
o".n relations \vith Charles; and he might have been less 
encouraged. But l\larillac's cordiality seems to have put him 
off his guard, and he \vas led, in his exultation, to \velcome 
the apparent friendship of Francis in \vays which very nearly 
resulted in the permanent stultification of all the laborious 
efforts of Crom\vell to n1aintain an1icable relations in Germany. 
The events \vhich took place in England in the three months 
follo\,.ing the arrival of the French ambassador furnish ample 
proof of this ne\v departure in the royal policy. 
On April 28 Parliament had met, its assembling being 
indispensable to carrying on the' I(inges busynes.' Cromwell 
had practically appointed every member, in order that Henry 
might have a 'tractable' House. His usual methods of ' order- 
ing'the elections of members have already been described; 
suffice it to say that in this case he had completely outdone 
himself; the Parlian1ent of 1539 \vas undoubtedly his master- 
piece 3. It \vill be remembered that it \vas in this session 
that he first succeeded in forcing the Lords and Cornmons to 
sanction the statute by which royal proclamations were given 
the force of laws. Crom\vell's' remembrance' for other Acts to 
be passed in the Parliament of 1539 is also noteworthy. It 
makes casual mention of the attainders of Exeter, Salisbury, 
and Pole, of plans for the fortification of the coast, and then 
designates the scheme out of \vhich the Six Articles were 
later evolved as ' A devise in the parliament for the vnitie in 
religion 4.' It is very improbable that Cromwell had any 
really accurate information concerning the King's real inten- 
tions in connexion \vith this last item. Henry had purposely 
concealed them under a very non-committal statement. 
Doubtless the I(ing had long cherished the idea of making 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 9 08 . 
2 Cal. xiv. (i) 804. 


S CaI. xiv. (i) 5 20 , 573. 
4 CaI. xiv. (i) 655. 



234 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


use of a declaration that in matters of doctrine England 
still adhered to the Old Faith, to facilitate a reconciliation 
with Charles and Francis; for such a statement wou1d re- 
lTIOVe the main prete
t of the Emperor and the French King 
for an attack on him, nan1ely that they were undertaking 
a crusade to suppress heresy. But so hopeless had been 
the outlook in the early part of the year, that Henry had 
not had the courage to try this experiment. He \vas 
rather led to shun all moves which would imperil his friendly 
relations with Germany, so that he had scrupulously a voided 
any direct statement which could lead to the belief that a 
Catholic reaction was possible. But the assurances of Marillac 
had revived all his enthusiasm for his old policy. He now 
abandoned all caution, and promptly proceeded to disclose 
his real ideas in regard to the 'vnitie in religion.' When 
Cromwell discovered the true state of affairs he must ha'"e 
been dismayed; he probably already felt how deeply he had 
become involved in the German alliance, and saw that the 
new trend which things had taken boded no good to him. 
H is position was no\v a very uncomfortable one, and the 
fact that a committee of bishops under his superintendence 
was utterly unable to cope \vith the difficulties of the ne\v]y 
presented religious probletn, is very significant. Henry \vas 
not to be balked however. He quick]y took the matter 
out of the hands of the inconlpetent bishops, and placed it 
before the Lords; finally, to make assurance doubly sure, 
he came to them in person, 'and confounded them all with 
Goddes Lerning 1.' Henry's theology was of course as un- 
impeachable as it was confounding, and his energy was re- 
warded before the middle of June by the definite passage 
in Parliament of the Statute of the Six Articles. The 
doctrine of Transubstantiation was confirmed, communion in 
both kinds was pronounced unnecessary, the marriage of priests 
was forbidden, all vows of chastity were to be strict]y 
observed, and private masses and auricular confession were 
adjudged meet and expedient 2. 
In spite of the radically Catholic nature of the doctrines 


1 Burnet, vol. iv. p. 499. 


2 3 1 Hen. VIII, c. 14. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


255 


proclailned in this Act, ho\vever, Henry took good care that 
there should be no Jnistake about his attitude towards the 
Pope. He ,vas committed to hostility to the See of Rome 
beyond the possibility of escape, and he knew it. Though 
political expediency, internal and foreign, had led him to 
proclaim the catholicity of the Church of England in nlatters 
of doctrine, no consideration \vhatever could induce him to 
make the least concession to the Papacy. In fact he took 
measures to sho\v, simultaneously with the passage of the 
Six Articles, that his contempt of the See of Rome was 
stronger than ever. Marillac wrote that on June 15 there 
\vas played on the river in the King's presence 'a game of 
poor grace, much less invention, of two galleys, one carrying 
the I(ing's arms, the other the Pope's, with several Cardinals' 
hats (so he ,vas told, for he \vould have deemed it contrary to 
duty to be a spectator). 111 The galleys fought a long time, and 
ultimately those of the King were victorious, and thre\v the 
Pope and Cardinals and their arnlS into the water, to sho\v 
people that this King will entirely confound and abolish the 
power of the Holy Father 1.' Demonstrations like this were 
of course mainly intended to impress people at home. Let 
us now examine the effect of the Six Articles abroad, first In 
Germany, and then in France and Spain. 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 1137. The mar- 
tyrologist F oxe tells an amusing 
and characteristic story of Crom- 
well's saving Cranmer from punish- 
111cnt for a book which he had 
written against the Six Articles. 
There a!)pears to have been a bear- 
baiting on the Thames before the 
King, which Mr. Ralph Morice, 
Cranmer's secretary, was watching 
from a small boat: and the secre- 
tary, it seems, had the Arch- 
bishop's book in his girdle for safe- 
keeping. The bear broke loose 
from the dogs and upset the wherry 
in which Morice was; in the tUlnult 
which ensued he lost the precious 
book. It was subsequently picked 


up by the 'bearward,' who per- 
ceiving what it was, and being him- 
self a violent papist, gave it to a 
priest of his religion, who told the 
bearward that whosoever wrote it 
would be hanged if the King should 
see it. The bear ward endeavoured 
to give it to some influential Catholic 
at the Court, utterly refusing to listen 
to Morice's entreaties that he should 
return it to Cranmer. At this junc- 
ture Cromwell appeared upon the 
scene, and so ' shaked up the bear- 
ward for his over-much malapert- 
ness' that the latter was glad to 
return the book to the secretary, and 
so escape without further punish- 
ment. F oxe, vol. ii. p. 428. 



256 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


The rather large hopes of a religious agreement which 
Henry had held out to the leaders of the Schmalkaldic 
League early in the year, merely as a bait to induce them 
to favour the political alliance with Cleves, had finally, owing 
to Crom\vell's representations, been accepted in all seriousness 
by John Frederic of Saxony and Philip of Hesse. They 
soon sent over another embassy under the leadership of 
Burckhard and Ludwig von Baumbach, a councillor of the 
Landgrave, which arrived in London on April 23. Henry 
\vas not yet quite sure of his ground with Marillac, and 
had not fully decided \vhat note should be struck in the 
'devise in the parliament for the vnitie in religion,' so at 
first he received the Germans cordially 1. On April 29 
they were granted an audience, in \vhich Henry, though he 
carefully avoided committing himself to any definite promises 
of an alliance, spoke in the warmest _ tern1s of the Elector and 
I...andgrave, cautioned the Lutherans against the treachery of 
the Emperor, and boasted long and loud because of the recent 
collapse of an expedition against England which, according 
to Wriothesley's report, had been preparing in Flanders since 
the previous }-i"cbruary 2. A subsequent interview of the am- 
bassadors with Cromwell and other members of the Privy 
Council \vas equally satisfactory, and Burckhard and Baum- 
bach were convinced that their tnission \vould ultimately be 
crowned \vith success. Had they understood the meaning of 
the many excuses \vhich were offered for the failure to 
begin definite negotiations at once, the opening of Parliament 
and the difficulty of gaining access to the King, they 
might have been less encouraged. Henry merely \vished to 
detain them until he had made perfectly sure that they could 
be of 110 more use to him. His relations \vith France were 
improving every day, but he had not yet made sure of 
the state of affairs in the dominions of the Emperor. On 
February 24, at Frankfort, the Electors of Brandenburg and 
the Palatinate had opened negotiations with the Imperial 
plenipotentiary, the Archbishop of Lund, in the hope of 
mediating bet\veen Charles and the princes of the Schmal- 


1 Appendix I at the end of this chapter. 


2 Cal. xiv. (i) 208, 440. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


257 


kaldic League 1; Henry had determined to learn the result 
of this meeting before giving the ambassadors a definite 
answer. The ne\vs of the truce concluded between the Em- 
pcror and the Lutherans on the 19th of April was finally 
announced in London to\vards the middle of Mar: it at once 
decided the I(ing to send the envoys home empty-handed 
again, for it was obviously useless to continue negotiations 
for an alliance, \vhich was primarily to havc been directed 
against the very po\ver \vith \vhich the Schmalkaldner had 
just made a teln porary peace. So lTIuch had Henry been 
encouraged by the favourable signs of the past fc\v \veeks, 
that he \\.ould probably have succeeded in finding an excuse 
for dismissing Burckhard and Baumbach, even if the result 
of the negotiations between the Emperor and the Schmal- 
kaldner had been reversed; as it \vas he was spared the 
trouble of exercising much ingenuity, for, most unfortunately 
for the ambassadors, one of the clauses in the Frankfort 
agreement contained a provision which in itself \vas quite 
sufficient to stultify all their efforts. In the seventh article 
of their treaty \vith the Emperor, the Schmalkaldner had 
agreed not to admit any ne\v members into their league 
during the period of the truce. There is every reason to 
think that this provision \vas especially directed against the 
English negotiations, for both Brandenburg and the Count 
Palatine had ahvays looked \vith disfavour on the attempts 
of Saxony and Hesse to gain the alliance of Henry, and 
doubtless availed themselves of this opportunity to persuade 
the Schmalkalclner to put an end to them. In any case the 
King lost no time in acting upon the intelligence he had 
received, and at once complained to Burckhard and Baum- 
bach, whose excuses and explanations were of no avail. 
\Vearisome disputes and attempts at a compromise ensued: 
the question of reciprocity was discussed at length; the 
envoys insisting that England \vas sure to derive quite as 
much benefit fronl the proposed alliance as the Lutherans, 
the I(ing and his ministers in turn demanding concessions 
\\.hich they knew that the ambassadors were not authorized 
1 Bezold, p. 686. 
S 


MERRIM^
. I 



258 


THOlVlAS CROl\i\VELL 


to grant. So reluctant were the latter to return without 
having accomplished anything however, that it was only 
with the utmost difficulty that Henry finally succeeded in 
getting rid of them. To a blunt request that they depart 
the envoys only replied with continued petitions for a more 
favourable answer to their demands: finally, with pleasing 
frankness, they begged that His Majesty would let himself 
be guided by the truth alone in directing the religious con- 
troversies then in progress in Parliament. Henry made no 
effort to conceal from Burckhard and Baumbach the anger 
which this ill-timed and incautious request aroused in him, 
for he probably realized that his best chance of hastening the 
departure of the Lutherans lay in involving himself in some 
sort of an altercation with them. We are not surprised to 
read that both parties immediately became engaged in a 
violent discussion concerning the celibacy of the clergy-in 
the midst of \vhich the ambassadors apparently beat a some- 
what precipitate retreat: they seem at last to have had the 
wit to realize that they had to do with a theologian, with 
whom it was extremely dangerous to disagree. A fruitless 
interview with Cromwell followed, and on May 31 the envoys 
finally departed 1. In the meantin1e the Elector and the 
Landgrave had continued to show touching but unwarranted 
confidence in the sincerity of Henry's professions, and had 
remained in utter ignorance of the true state of affairs in 
England. Their hopes of a speedy settlement of religious 
differences had doubtless received considerable encourage- 
ment through the efforts of Dr. Barnes, \vho had been ear- 
nestly labouring to remove the disagreeable impression which 
Henry had made on Christian III by his blundering Lübeck 
policy in 1534. Barnes had been sent to Hamburg for this 
purpose early in the year. He was himself an ardent Pro- 
testant who never once suspected the possibility of a Catholic 
reaction in England; and as his zeal more than supplied the 
lack of diplomatic skill, his efforts seem to have met with 
great success 2. The King of Denmark \vas now in close 


1 cr. Appendix I at the end of this 
chapter. 


2 Cal. xiv. (i) 441, 44 2 , 955- 
95 8 . 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


259 


alliance with John Frederic, and Barnes \vas soon enabled 
to persuade them to arrange to send a joint embassy to the 
King of England to treat of the political league \vhich \vas 
to follo\v a theological agreement 1. But at this juncture 
Burckhard and Baumbach returned \vith a very discouraging 
report, \vhich obtained full confirmation by the ne\vs which 
arrived a \veek later, that the Six Articles had actually been 
passed 2. The enthusiasm of the Lutherans was of course 
considerably dampened, and they \vrote to Henry that if 
a league was to be treated of at all, he \vould have to be the 
one to send ambassadors; they could not themselves venture 
to visit England bécause of the nlachinations against the 
Evangelical cause there 3. Even in Clcves, where Henry anù 
Cromwell had sought an alliance of a purely political nature, 
unhampered by religious restrictions, the ne\vs of the passage 
of the Six Articles created profound distrust, and we may 
well believe that John Frederic discouraged his brother-in- 
la\v fron1 continuing negotiations with England, after the 
proof of Henry's perfidy that he had just received. We are 
not surprised to find that the matrimonial projects which 
formed the basis of the alliance \vith Cleves came to a com- 
plete standstill during the month of July. The proposals for 
a match between Duke William and the Princess Mary had 
apparently never been very popular: they \vere now definitely 
abandoned and never revived. To the other plan, for a mar- 
riage of Henry and the Duchess Anne, an unexpected objection 
had arisen. It appears that ever since 1527 a plan for a 
marriage between the King's intended bride and the son of 
Duke Anthony of Lorraine had been under discussion. For 
twelve years the form of continuing the negotiations for this 
union had been kept up on both sides, with the idea of bring- 
ing pressure on the Emperor, though all hope of an actual 
completion of the Inatch must have been abandoned long 
before this time. But no\v that the union \vith England 
seemed less desirable, the Duke of Cleves of course made the 
most of the opportunity of evading the requests of Henry 
that was afforded by the Lorraine affair. The claims" of 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 12 73. 


2 Cal. xiv. (i) 1 2 78. 
S 2 


S CaJ. xiv. (ii) 59. 




!60 


THOIVIAS CROM\VELL 


Duke Anthony and his son would have to be satisfied, he 
said, before his sister could be offered to Henry 1. 
Altogether it looked as if the German alliance ,vould be 
abandoned, and Croffi"relI, \vho of all people ,vas most deeply 
involved in it, must have been roused to a sense of his danger. 
Rut the threatened reversal of his policy was destined to be 
postponed once more. For it soon appeared that the exulta- 
tion of the King at the apparent success of his own plans was 
premature. We have seen that it was largely in the hope of 
conciliating Francis and Charles by removing their main pretext 
for an attack on England that Henry had caused the Six 
Articles to be passed. But the Act did not accomplish what 
was expected of it. The courtesy of Marillac had given Henry 
a very exaggerated idea of the cordiality of France. He did 
not see that Francis was merely dallying with him, and had 
no idea of a permanent friendship, The fact that Charles 
had refused to listen to the proposals of Cardinal Pole had 
also been regarded as a good omen 2. But \vhen it appeared 
that dread of the Turks
 who had advanced up the Adriatic, 
,vas the sole cause of the Emperor's apparent un\villingness 
to offend England, and it was rumoured that there ,vas ill1me- 
diate prospect of another intervie\v beh;veen him and :Francis, 
Henry discovered his mistake 3. All the fair hopes he had 
entertained of preventing the dreaded coalition against Eng- 
land were apparently blasted. The doctrinal statement from 
which he had expected so much had proved but a feeble 
weapon with which to arrest the current of continental politics. 
!-Ie could consider himself fortunate if the Six Articles and 
his own personal rudeness to the German ambassadors had 
not been sufficient to preclude all hope of a return to the 
alliance, \vhich a few months before he had abandoned as 
useless, but which no\v seemed to offer the one chance for 
England's safety. Once more the policy of Cromwell seemed 
justified, and Henry was forced to acknowledge it. 
Fortunately for England, the situation, alarming as it was, 
had even more terrors for the Duke of Cleves than for Henry. 


1 Cal. xiv. (i) 920; Heidrich, 
pp. 17, 18. 


2 Cal. xiv. (i) 603. 
S Cal. xiv. (ii) 218, 3 00 , 545. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 


261 


Charles' refusal to ratify the treaty of Frankfort had once 
more blighted the hopes of a peaceful solution of the diffi- 
culties in Germany 1; in l\Iay the outbreak of a serious 
rebellion in Ghent made it in1perative for the Emperor to 
appear in person in the N eth
rlands, and in early August 
Francis sent him an invitation to pass through France on 
his way to the Lo\v Countries. The prospect that Charles, 
in close alliance \vith his former rival, would soon be brought 
within striking distance of Gelderland, ,vas by no n1eans 
agreeable to Duke V\!illiam. It \vas fairly obvious that 
Charles would bend his energies to punishing the Duke of 
Cleves for his conten1pt of the Imperial authority, before 
attempting to chastise the King of England for the general 
,veal of Christendon1. The Duke of Cleves \vas n1uch more 
practical than his brother-in-Ia\v: like Henry he never let 
religious considerations or conscientious scruples weigh against 
the dictates of political expediency. As soon as the news of 
the Emperor's invitation from Francis \vas confirmed, Duke 
\Villiam's doubts concerning the pre-contract of his sister 
Anne and the son of the Duke of Lorraine \vere cleared up 
with gratifying celerity. He probably had some difficulty 
in obtaining the consent of the more scrupulous John Frederic 
to a renc\val of the negotiations \vith England, but his urgency 
was such that he triumphed over every obstacle. A mes- 
senger from Burckhard to Cromwell in the end of August 
was followed in early Septen1ber by four ambassadors from 
Cleves and Saxony who were authorized to con
lude the 
match 2. The King must have been greatly relieved at the 
arrival of the envoys. Since l\lay 3 he had heard nothing 
from his friends in Cleves except for the famous description 
of his intended bride, \vhich his ambassador Wotton had sent 
him, for lack of other news. Anne appears to have been of 
very 'lowly and gentle conditions. . . . . She occupieth her 
time most \vith the needle, \vherwithall she. . .. She canne 
reede and wryte her [own tongue but of] Frenche Latyn or 
other langaige she [knows no ]ne, nor yet she canne not synge 
nor pleye.. . . . enye instrument, for they take it heere in 


Bezold, p. 686. 


2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 63, 127, Iz8. 




62 


THOl\IAS CROMvVELL 


Germanye for a rebuke and an occasion of Iightenesse, that 
great ladyes shuld be lernyd or have enye knowledge of 
musike. . . . your Graces servant Hanze Albein hathe taken 
theffigies of my lady Anne and the ladye Amelye and hath 
expressyd theyr imaiges verye lyvelye \' In the end it proved 
unfortunate for Crom\\Tell that this letter, and the portrait 
,vhich Holbein made 2 were not sufficient to turn the King 
against her, \vithout the need of further confirmation. But 
even if Wotton's description had been far less flattering, it 
is doubtful if he could have persuaded Henry to abandon 
the Cleves marriage at this crisis. The King \vas now as 
reckless in accepting the alliance as he had been a f e\v 
months before in refusing it. He perhaps forgot that 
though his zeal for the national welfare had never been 
hampered by religion or conscience, he had not yet put his 
patriotism to the more practical test of a sacrifice of matri- 
Inonial bliss. So the preliminaries of the match \vere hurried 
through with a speed quite as remarkable as the delays in the 
previous negotiations \vith the Lutherans. The ambassadors 
departed on October 6 to return to Cleves and conduct Anne 
to Calais, where a noble company assembled to welcome her, 
Gregory Cromwell being among the number 3. Such were 
the delays of travelling in those times (Wotton wrote to 
Crom\vell that the lady's party could only make five miles 
a day 4) that Anne of Cleves did not arrive at Calais until 
December I I, and there she \vaited till the 27th, for 'weather 
sufficiently favourable for her crossing 5. 
Having landed, she proceeded to Canterbury, where 


1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 33. l\Iinute in- 
quiries and sometimes indelicately 
full replies concerning the appear- 
ance and bearing of intended brides 
seem to have been authorized by 
all Tudor traditions. The report 
of Wotton is but meagre in detai]s 
when compared to that of the 
ambassadors of Henry VI I con- 
cerning Joanna of Naples, whon1 
the English King had once thought 
of marr}'ing in 1505. Anne of 


Cleves was certainly considered 
beautiful in Germany. Sleidan, 
vol. ii. p. ISO, refers to her as 'ele- 
ganti forma virginem.' 
2 Now in the Louvre. 
S Cal. xiv. (ii) 664. Cf. also the 
Chronicle of Calais, pp. 167-179. 
In the latter, Gregory Cromwell's 
name is erroneously written' George 
Crombwell.' 
4 Cal. xiv. (ii) 634, 677. 
5 Cal. xv. 14. 



TIlE CATHOLIC U.EACTION 


263 


Cranmer \velcomed her with due pomp and ceremony. He 
had received from Crom\\-ell fifty sovereigns to be presented 
to her on her arrival, and pron1ised to do his best to induce 
the to\;vnspeople to give her fifty angels more 1. From Can- 
terbury Anne journeyed on to Sittingbourne and Rochester, 
\vhere she was received on December 31 by the Duke of 
Norfolk, with a great company of nobles 2. When Henry 
heard of her arrival there he determined to visit her in 
disguise, and, accon1panied by eight persons of his Privy 
Chamber, he rode do\vn to Rochester on N ew Year's Day and 
saw for the first time his intended bride 3. It is unfortunate 
that \ve possess no trustv.'orthy information concerning the 
impression which Anne n1ade on lIenry at this first meeting. 
A letter which Crom\vell \vrote to the King, six months later, 
from the Tower states that when Henry, on his return from 
Rochester, was asked how he liked the Queen, he had 
answered' hevelye And not plesantlye " nothing so well as She 
,,;as spokyn of",' and had added that had he known as much 
as he then knew 'she shold not haue Commen within this 
Realn1e 4.' It will be seen in a later chapter, however, that 
Cromwell \vrote this letter under circumstances \vhich rendered 
it very inlprobable that he told the exact truth: there is 
every reason to think that he greatly exaggerated the aversion 
which Henry first conceived for Anne of Cleves. In any case 
if Henry felt any such disgust as Crom\vell described, he 
succeeded admirably in dissembling his feelings. Two days 
after the meeting at Rochester, he rode in state to meet his 
bride at Greenwich, and on January 6 he n1arried her. ' The 
sonday after,' Hall adds, 'there were kepte solempne J ustes, 
. . . . . on \vhiche daie she ,vas appareiled after the Englishe 
fassion, with a Frenche whode, \vhiche so set furth her beautie 
and good visage, that euery creature reioysed to behold her 6. J 


1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 753. 
2 Cal. xv. 14. 
sHall, pp. 83 2 fr. 
" Letters, 349-50. 
5 Hall, p. 837. It appears that 
the fashion changed in England at 
the time of the arrival of Anne. In 


telling of her wedding, the Chronicle 
of the Grey Friars of London (p. 43) 
informs us that 'thene beganne 
aIle the gentyl WOlnen of Yngland 
to were Frenche whooddes with 
bellementtes of golde.' 



264 


THOl\iAS CROMWELL 


It is important to notice that even in this hour of national 
peril, Henry did. not make any overtures to the Elector of 
Saxony or the Landgrave of Hesse. Not even the imme- 
diate prospect of war with France and Spain could induce 
him to go as far as this and to bind himself by ties religious 
as ,yell as political. Even Cromwell had by this time dis- 
covered the uselessness of endeavouring to persuade the 
I{ing to return to an alliance of which he had never really 
approved; more than this, he at last seemed to realize, that 
as advocate of a policy which his master had definitely aban- 
doned, he ran great danger of losing his influence if not his 
life. It was rather late for hinl to attempt to break away 
from a plan with \vhich his nan1e had become identified; 
but he saw that he must purchase safety at the cost of 
consistency, and he took care in future to discourage all 
efforts of the Lutherans to come to an agreement. The 
reception accorded to an embassy which the firm but per- 
sistent Schmalkaldner sent to England in January 1540, and 
the words \vhich Cromwell spoke to the ambassador on that 
occasion give us a very clear insight into the attitude of the 
King's minister 1. It ,vas the last attempt which the I.Jutherans 
made to treat with England during Cromwell's ministry, and 
its failure marks the end of the negotiations which had begun 
with the mission of Vaughan and 1\'1ont in 1533. Philip of 
Hesse had sent his councillor, Lud,vig von Baumbach, to 
Henry's Court once more, with instructions to express to the 
King his sorrow at the passage of the Six Articles
 and his 
hope that they would not lead to any action contrary to the 
word of God and the truth of the Gospels. The Landgrave 
also trusted that the King would not suffer the negotiations 
with the Lutherans to drop, but the ambassador ,vas to make 
it clear that a political alliance would be conditional, as 
always, on religious agreen1ent 2. 
Baumbach arrived early in January and imn1ediately betook 
himself to Cromwell
 ,vhom he evidently considered the best 
friend the Lutherans had at the English Court. But this 


1 Cf. Appendix II at the end of 2 Lenz, vol. i. pp. 4 0 9 -10, 4:0- 
this chapter. 21. 



TIlE CATHOLIC REACTION 


2C5 


time he met with a cold reception 1. The minister kept 
asking him if he had power to conclude a political alliance 
-a perfectly safc question, for no one kne\v better than 
Crom\vell that the Lutherans \voltld insist on doctrinal re- 
conciliation in the first place. Baumbach tried to give an 
evasive answcr, but ,vas soon sUffilnoned to I--Ienry, who 
repeated his minister's demand \vith still greater directness. 
The ambassador could only reply that he must consult \\'ith 
Burckhard, who having returned ,vith ...\nne of Cleves to 
England, ,vas still in London. On January 12 the two 
Lutherans had a conversation with CrolTI\vcll, in which the 
latter defined his position ,vith absolute clearness. He told 
the ambassadors that the King desired a political alliance 
\\-ith them, but that this must come first; the religious 
question could be settled later. raumbach and Burckhard 
answered that this was inlpossible; nothing could be done 
until a theological agreen1ent had been concluded. At this 
Cromwell could contain himself no longer. \Vith almost 
pathetic frankness he turned to the Lutherans and told them 
that he plainly sa,v \vhat they \vanted in regard to religion; 
but, as the world stood then, that he must hold to the san1e 
belief as his master, even if it cost him his life 2. Such was 
the faith of the Ulan who six months latcr \,'as brought to 


1 C f. Appendix I I at the end of 
this chapter. 
2 The truth of Baumbach' 5 state- 
n1ents is confirmed by Sech.endorff, 
who obtained his information from 
the report of Burckhard on this 
saIne interview. Speaking ofCrom- 
well Seckendorff says :- 
, Lutheranum fuisse Burnetus pro 
certo habet, nec dissentiunt Saxoni- 
corum Legatorum de eo relationes. 
Ex iisdem tamen et historiarum 
documentis constat, hominem fuisse 
non saltelll solida doctrina minime 
imbutum sed eius ingenii ut Regis 
favorem omnibus rebus anteponeret. 
Ultima sane Burcardi ex Anglia 
relatione de I I Jan. scripta . . . 


diserte dicitur, illum de re1igione 
ita disseruisse ut se cum Evan- 
gelicis in Germania consent ire non 
negaret, necessarium tamen sibi 
esse diceret ut Regis voluntati sese 
conformaret, etiam cum vitae suac 
periculo, id quod eventus paulo 
post comprobavit. Non est itaque, 
ut hunc pro martyre Evangelicae 
religionis habeamus, et ipse in loco 
supplicii morí se professus est in 
religione Catholica. Hoc, etsi ex 
D. Burneti sententia de Romana 
minime intellexerit, indicat tamen 
animum infirmum et aequivoca- 
tiones sectantem.' Seckendorff, s. 
lxxviii, p. 261; liber iii, sect. 21. 



2C6 


THOl\IAS CROMW:ELL 


the block on the charge of counter-working the King in 
Inatters of religion I There is little need to d,vell on the 
rest of Baumbach's stay in England. He had another inter- 
view with Henry, who, angered at the firmness of the 
Lutherans on the religious question, now took occasion to 
throw conten1pt on their usefulness as political allies. He 
told some preposterous lies to Baumbach, informing him 
that he had heard nothing of the danger of the coalition of 
Charles and Francis of which the envoy talked so much, 
although he had faithful ambassadors at both Courts. Even 
if he \vere attacked, he said, he was fully able to defend him- 
self, o\ving to England's insular position and strong navy, 
,vhich \yas well manned by his own subjects. German 
soldiers, on the contrary, would be of little use to him as 
sailors, for they would certainly be always seasick. After 
making a fe,\' counter-proposals- \vhich he knew would never 
be accepted, he dismissed Baumbach ,vith a polite but non- 
committal message to the Landgrave, and Cromwell, who 
bade the envoy fare\vell on January 21, followed suit. But 
though the minister had used this last mission of the Luthe- 
rans mainly as an opportunity to break away from the policy 
which he had hitherto advocated, but which he now realized 
the danger of being connected with, his efforts to save himself 
\vere too late. Vl e shall see in the next chapter that the 
events of the previous years had so thoroughly identified him 
\vith the Lutheran alliance in the minds of the people, that his 
enell1ies were enabled to make use of his supposed adherence 
to it, as a pretext for conspiring his ruin. 
The Lutherans did not send another embassy to England 
for a long time. Negotiations were not resumed until 
nlore than four years later, when the situation had entirely 
changed, and even then they failed as signally as before. 
But though Henry had thus dealt the death blow to the 
hopes of the Schmalkaldner, he did not suffer the year 1539 
to close \vithout attempting to form an alliance of a very 
different sort \vith another prince of the Empire. As soon as 
he had heard of the failure of the plan for the marriage of the 
Princess Mary and the Duke of Cleves, Henry began to look 



TI-IE CA TI-IOLIC REACTION 


261 


about for another German husband for his daughter. It \vas 
doubtless \vith the royal authority that Christopher Mont had 
l
t fall a casual hint in conversation \vith a certain N ürnberg 
I11erchant named Gundelfynger, that Henry would gladly see 
l\Iary \veddcd to a prince of the Empire. The nlerchant 
responded by proposing Duke Philip of Bavaria as a suitable 
candidate for her hand. This prince \vas a member of the 
Palatinate branch of the \Vittelsbach family! and a nephc\v of 
the Elector Louis. He had been a faithful servant of the 
Emperor and his brother Ferdinand in the first outbreaks of 
the religious strife after the formation of the Schmalkaldic 
League, and had been severe!y wounded in a brave attempt 
to oppose the Hessian lanzkncchts at the battle of Laufen 1. 
In spite of the fact that he belonged to a notoriously \vavering 
family, he appears to have been a firm adherent of the Old 
Faith, at least at the time of which \ve are speaking. But on 
the other hand he \,ras certainly loyal to every tradition of 
'Vittelsbach impecuniosity. He had sacrificed all his property 
in the Emperor's ser\
ice, and Charles had characteristically 
refused to make good his losses, and had also insulted him 
by opposing his suit for the hand of the Duchess of lYIilan. 
A financially successful marriage seemed to offer Philip the 
only chance of recovering his lost fortunes, and it was at this 
juncture that the possibility of a match \vith the daughter of 
the rich King of England \vas opened to him. The proposal 
of Gundelfynger seems to have met with Henry's approval, 
and he soon significd to Philip his desire that the latter 
should visit him in England. The Duke jumped at the 
chance to conclude a marriage \vhich promised so many 
pecuniary advantages, and his anger at the ingratitude of 
Charles certainly did not make him any less anxious to listen 
to Henry's proposals. He arrived in London on December 8 2, 
and at first the negotiations for the match proceeded \vith 
unexpected rapidity. Against t\VO points on \vhich Henry 
insisted, however, Phi1ip raised strong objections 3: the first 
1 Von Freyberg, vol. iv. p. 264. 2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 657. 
Cf. also Life of Philip of Bavaria S Life of Philip of Bavaria in the 
in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bio- Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 
graphic, vol. xxvi. pp. 16 ff. vol. xxvi. p. 18. 



2C8 


THOMAS CROlVlvVELL 


was that he should take l\lary as a bastard, , incapable by the 
laws and statutes of the realm of claiming any succession or 
title by right of inheritance.' The second \vas the King's 
refusal to except the name of the Pope from the list of those 
against \vhom the financial and political agreement which 
\vas to accompany the marriage was to be concluded: Philip, 
as a faithful Catho1ic, was apparently at first un.willing to 
enter a league \vhich might bring him into conflict with the 
See of ROlne. But the firmness of the I(ing, coupled \vith 
the great financial profits which the match promised to 
!->hilip, finally triumphed over the religious scruples of the 
\Vittelsbacher, and on January 24 he signed a treaty in vvhich 
he accepted the marriage and the com pact under the con- 
ditions on \vhich Henry insisted: the agreement, however, 
was not to be considered binding unless Philip could get it 
ratified by his relatives in Germany before'VVhitsuntide, 1540. 
He left England, January 27, for this purpose, but his atten1pts 
were unsuccessful, and the proposal came to nothing. It was 
taken up a second time at a later date, and again abandoned. 
But though the scheme finally fell through there are a few 
interest.ing things to be noticed in connexion with the nego- 
tiations for it, which serve to make clear the trend things 
were taking at the time of Philip's visit in London. 
The whole affair was carried 011 so secretly, and we have 
so little documentary evidence, that it is very difficult to 
form any certain conclusions concerning this attempted 
compact. The name of Cromwell figures prominently in con- 
nexion with it; we find Duke Philip consulting with the 
n1inister at his house, and visiting the Princess Mary in his 
company 1; but it is pretty obvious that all the negotiations 
were conducted throughout with the full approval of the I(ing, 
and not, as was the case with the Lutheran affair, partially in 
opposition to the royal wishes. F or the schen1e was radically 
different from the proposed Lutheran alliance which had 
failed, and not exactly similar to the union with Cleves \vhich 
had just been cOlnpleted. It ,vas far more cautious and non- 
committal than either of theIn, and it was for this reason that 


1 CaI. xiv. (ii) 7 19; xv. ï6. 



TI--IE C1-\ TI-IOLIC REACTION 


269 


I Ienry liked it. In the first place, Philip \vas a Catholic, so 
that an agreelnent \-vith hirn involved no contradiction to the 
doctrines proclaimed in the Six Articles. In the second 
place, he ,vas ostensibly a close ally of the Emperor's and 
a member of the Imperial Order of the Golden Fleece 1, 
though, as \ve have seen, the ingratitude of Charles after his 
services in Gern1any must necessarily have tcnded to make 
their relations less cordial. Henry \vas doubtless accurately 
informed of all this. and sa\v in an agreement ,vith a member 
of this powerful though vacillating \Vittelsbach family, an 
opportunity to gain valuable aid in case he \verc really 
attacked, without ostensibly committing hinlself to a policy 
which would at any time prevent a return to cordial rela- 
tions ,,,ith France and Spain. In the next chapter \ve shall 
see that it ,"as precisely during Philip's visit at the English 
Court that Hcnry's hopes of staving off the dreaded coalition 
of Charles and Francis against hin1 \vere once more revived 
in a most unexpected ,,-ay. The tenns of the agreement 
which he attempted to conclude ,vith the Duke Inay thus be 
regarded as the first intimation of the complete reversal of 
England's foreign policy \vhich \vas \vitnessed by the first 
six months of the year 1540. Accordin
 to the draft of a 
treaty drawn up in England to be presented to Philip for his 
approval, the Duke \vas to send to the King's assistance the 
number of - horse and foot if Henry ,vas attacked by any 
prince or private person, and was further to aid the King if 
he made war for the recovery of any right of \vhich he was 
defrauded 2. Vle unfortunately do not possess the original 
copy of the treaty signed on January 24, but in an account 
of Philip's life by his brother Ottheinrich, it appears that the 
final agreement \vas that the Duke should furnish the King 
with T ,coo horsemen and 4,000 foot-soldiers against everyone 
except the Roman Empire 3. The exception of the C Roman 
Empire,' which was probably introduced at Philip's request, 
1 Cal. xv. 177. menigklich, ausgenommen wider 
2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 733, 737. das Römisch Reich, 1000 wohl ge- 
S The words, as given in the riste Pferdt U nd 4000 wohl geriste 
]ife by Ottheinrich, are: 'Herzog fuesknecht zufiehren.' Von Frey- 
Philipp solI dem khönig wider berg, vol. iv. p. 266. 




70 


THOMAS CROlVIWELL 


was a provision of so vague a nature that it could not bind 
either party very strictly; it certainly could not have applied 
to a coalition of Charles and Francis, \vhich was all that Henry 
\vanted, and it had the additional advantage that it made it 
appear that the compact was not especially directed against 
the Emperor, and so could not be resented by hiln. On the 
subject of the Pope and the illegitimacy of Mary, the King, as 
\ve have seen, had remained firm: to yield to Philip on these 
two points would simply have been to stultify all the work of 
the previous ten years, a step \vhich Henry, even in the 
gravest peril, was not prepared to take. But the other terms 
of the agreement were precisely to his taste. The ne\v treaty 
could be very useful if the crisis came, and yet it was so 
arranged that with his well-kno\vn ability for quibbling, the 
I{ing could easily throw it over, if his hopes of a change for 
the better in his relations \vith France and Spain \vere actually 
fulfilled. It thus stands out in sharp contrast to the Lutheran 
alliance which Cron1well had advocated, and which, if it had 
been accomplished, \vould have irrevocably committed England 
to permanent hostility to Charles. The terms of the treaty 
with Philip \vere cautious, carefully guarded, and strictly non- 
committal; the Lutheran alliance, had it been carried through, 
\vould have been rash, definite, and irrevocable. The contrast 
between the two schemes is the contrast bet\veen the policies 
of Henry and Cromwell. Though the treaty \vith Philip was 
never ratified and the agreement which it proposed \vas thus 
never destined to succeed, the fact that so many efforts were 
made to accomplish it at the very moment that the negotia. 
tions with the Lutherans, of \vhich Cromwell had been the 
chief supporter, ","ere finally abandoned, is very significant in 
revealing the relative positions of King and Ininister at the 
opening of the year 1540. 
Briefly to revie\v the state of affairs at this critical juncture. 
The dread of an attack by the joint forces of France and 
Spain, which had hung over England for more than a year, 
seemed to call for a defensive league with some outside 
power. But even in this hour of national peril the King 
did not forget the lesson that he had learned at Wolsey's 



TIlE CATHOLIC RE.t\CTION 


2'11 


fall: he remembered that the situation on the Continent had 
often changed before and was likely to do so again, and 
therefore in his search for a foreign alliance he took the 
greatest pains to keep his hand free. Croln\vell, on the con- 
trary, \vas no\v too far advanced in the policy he had foIIo\vcd 
since the sumlner of 153 8 to be able to retreat from it, though 
the warning conveyed by the reaction of June, 1539 had 
certainly opened his eyes to the dangers of the course he 
pursued. But it \vas in vain that he attempted to persuade 
his master to sanction an alliance with the Lutherans. Henry 
refused to consent to any move \vhich \vould bind him 
as permanently as this. Instead the I{ing directed his 
efforts to\vards concluding an agrecment of a very different 
nature \vith Duke Philip of Bavaria, but his deolands \vere so 
great that this scheme also failed, o\ving to the un\viHingness 
of the other members of the vVittelsbach family to ratify the 
trc3.ty. The only alliance \vhich did materialize \vas that 
with Cleves. It \vas a sort of compromise between the 
Lutheran and the Bavarian plans; it committed England less 
definitely than the one, though more so than the other. But 
the responsibility for it had been made to rest entirely on 
Crom\vell's shoulders, and the Inini:.;ter must have realized 
that his safety depended on its success. vVhile it \vas under 
negotiation, the danger from France and Spain seemed so 
threatening that the policy of Crom\vell was apparently justi- 
fied. Almost at the n10ment of its completion, however, 
events took place which totally changed the aspect of affairs, 
called for the abandonment of the alliance \vith Cleves, and 
led to the ruin of the man whose fortunes were identified with 
it. vVhat these events were \vill be seen in the succeeding 
chapter. 



APPENDIX TO CI-IAPTER XIII 


I 


THE REPORT OF THE LUTHERAN AMBASSADORS TO 
ENGLAND IN APRIL AND :MAY, 1539, ENTITLED 


c SU11lmarie bericht vnd verzeichnisz der gepfloge1Z handelunge in 
Engelant anno dOJ1lz'ni 1539 1.' 
Nachden1 die gesanten desz churf. zu Saxsen etc vnd lantgrauen 
7U Hessen ynser g. vnd g. hern rethte den viij tag aprHisz zu Franck- 
fort abgeraist sint sic den 23 deszselbigen n10natz zu Londoll 
ank011llUen vnd nachdem die koni'glirhe Inayestät dazumal nicht 
dess orczt sondern auff eynem schloisz Riczmunt genant nicht fast 
verne yon Lunden gewest haben sie sich nichtsz destowinger bieln 
hern Crumello, koniglichen n1ayestät zu engelant obersten vnd ge- 
heymbsten raidt anczaigen lassen. Als hat derselbige ob er wol 
etwas die cziet myt schwachait beladen solchsz koniglichen Inayestät 
yon stonden an zu erkennen geben hat auch den gesanten VOtl 
wegen koniglichelZ In ayes tät eyne herberge vorordent vnd inen 
koniglichen Inayestät forderliche zukunff vormelden lassen mit 
anczaigungetl dasz sie koniglichen mayestät gancz wilckummen weren 
vnd dasz die konigliche 111ayestät auff den nesten sontag wilcher der 
25 aprilisz gewest cler gesantell werbullge genedicklich zu horen 
erpottick. Esz ist auch der kOlllg myt den 26 aprilisz obgen1eltz 
n10natz gegcll LondOll in iren pallast zu \VestmOtlster komen und 
n3.chden1 cyn parlan1e1lt beschriben gewest wilchesz auff dell 
28 aprilisz angefangen hat sich die kOlligliche mayestät desz 
vorczoigksz halhen entschuldigell lassen vnd den 29 tag aprilisz 
der gesanten werbu71ge anzuhoren bestYlltmet wie dan geschehen. 
Vnd hat die konzgliche Inayestät denselbigen tag der gesanten wer- 
bunge gehort die sie vonuoge irer entpfanen instrucion gethan. 
AIsz hat sich die konigliche mayestät genedicklichen darauff vornem- 
men lassen mit f. 2 dangsagungen gegen den churf. zu Saxsen vnd 
lantgrauen zu Hessen rnit dem anhangk dasz ire luayes/ät hern 
1 Transcribed from the original document in the Archives at Marburg. 
2 StC, for 'freundlichen.' 



BURCKHARD'S REPORT 


273 


CrumeUo vnd eczlich anderen vnd vornemmisten vnd geheilnsten 
ir n1aiestät rethte befeIich thon wolten mit den gesanten von eyner 
erlichen trostlichen vorstellnisse zu handeln haben sich auch hoich 
gegen vnsere g.g. hern erpotten vnd von der franckfordissen fridsz- 
handellungen allerlii gefragk auch v.g.h. von Gulich vnd Geidern 
gedacht, vnd in latinisser vnd franczosser sprach sich mit den 
gesanten in gespreche ingelassen darauff die gesanten siner Inaieslät 
allenthalben nach gelegenheit nottorfftigen bericht gethan. Es hat 
k01ligliche ll1aiestät in sondernhait erinnerullge gethan dasz sich 
obgenlelte vnsere g.g. hern ll1it gutell worten nicht wolten vorfUereJl 
lassen clan sine maieslät wuste dasz man allerley wider ir ch. vnd 
f. g. vnd der vorsten vorwanten vorhette allein dasz inell bys anhere 
an forteil gemangeldt, darauff sie dan tag vnrl nacht traichten vnd 
bedorfften vlissigesz auffsehensz etc. 
Es were auch gewisz dasz man sine maiestät hette mit den schiffen 
in Selant vberfallen wollen aber Got lobp sine nlaÍfstät hette ire prach- 
ticke vornOlnmen vnd weren durch gute frunde vorwarnnet worden 
batten sich auch aIszo zut gegenwerc gestellet vnd die vorsehullge 
in irer mayestät kon(ig)rich thon lassen dasL sic vor innen vner- 
schrocken weren vnd wolte gerne dasz sic sich etwasz tetIichesz 
vnderstanden dan sic alszo entpfanen wurde1l dasz sic den schimp 
gerucht solte haben etc. Item es hat sine k01zigliche maiestät angec- 
zaigk dasz sie gewisz kunschafft hette wie dasz der kayser drielnal- 
hundert thusent gulden iczt oistern vorschienen in Duczlant etliche 
krigsvolck donlit anzunemmen vorordent darumb solte n1a1l nicht 
zu viI vortruen vnd die dinge in guter achtunge haben vnd nachdel1t 
here Crumello duezumall etwasz schwach gewest hat die konigliche 
maiestät begerdt eyne kleynne cziet gedult zu tragen dan s. maiestät 
wolten die saiche szo mogelich zu fordern beuelen vnd sindt alszo 
daszlllal die gesante1l von koniglicher mayestät abgeschaiden. 
Den andern tag desz monacz maij sindt die gesanten in hern 
Crummello hausz zu London erfordert do dan konigliche nlayestät 
rethte alsz nemmelich die bayde herczogen N orfoick vnd Soyffoick 
desz richsz engelant cantzeller der oberste ammerall her Crumellus 
vnd der bisschoff von Dernl TU1lstallius genant Wilche erstlichen 
desz mandatetsz halben allerley disputacionesz inngefort darauff 
innen vorlegunge vnd bericht darmit sie dozumall zufrieden gewest 
von den gesanten geschehen vnd zum andern haben sie sich mit 
den gesanten der condicion halben vnd wilcher gestaldt die con- 
federacion auffzurichten auch wasz konigliche mayestät vor gegen- 
hulff zu gewarten vntteredet denen die gesanten inhalcz irer in- 
MERRIMAN. I T 



274 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


strucion nach der lenge bericht vnd anczaigunge vorgewant dasz 
dan die rethte mit flissz angehort vnd der ding allenthalben 
koniglicher mayestät zu berichten auff sich genno111men vnd ist ge- 
betten die saichen so viI mogelich zu fordern domit kein vorczoigk 
erfolge. 
Nach disser vnderredunge vnd handelunge haben sich die dinge 
etliche tage vorczugen ausz vrsach dasz koniglicher mayestät rethte 
obgemelt teglich insz par1ament haben sin mossen vnd auff den 
xvi tag maij sindt koniglicher mayestät rethte vnrl die gesanten yn 
koniglicher mayestät pallast zu sent J ocop beim hern Cru1nmello 
zum andern male bie eynnander gewest, vnd haben die konnigliche 
rethte angeczaigk wie dasz der koniglichen mayestät vor gewissz 
ausz Franckrich vnd Flandern geschriben dasz der churf. zu Saxsen 
vnd lantgraue zu Hessen sampt irer chf. vnrl f. g. relionszvorwantell 
sich in der gepflogen fridez handellunge zu Franckfort vorpflicht 
forder in cziet desz anstansz nimancz in buntnissz zu nemmen wi1chsz 
der k01liglichen mayestät fast befromdlich vnd besçhwer1ich (wird) 
vnd darauff bericht begerdt etc. AIsz haben die gesantten vormoge 
irer bieinstrucion dissesz puncktsz halben vnd sonderlichen auch 
auff dasz schriben szo inen vom churf. (zu) Saxsen irem g. h. desz 
fordern tagesz zukommen war den bericht vorgewant dasz die 
kon(ig)lichen rethte daran guten genugen gehaipt vnd sich erpotten 
der koniglichen mayestät so1chsz zunI forderlichesten zu vormeldcn 
auch die saichen irsz vormogensz zu fordern helffen vnd darbie esz 
daszmalsz blieben vnd haben die gesanten angehalten domit sie nicht 
lenger auffgehalten mochten werden. 
Den xviij tag maij sindt die koniklichen rethte vnd die gsanten 
zum dritten male in obgernelten koniglicher 111ayestät pallast zu sent 
J ocop zusamen kome71 vnd haben die kongissen rethte nach lenge 
erczelet dasz sie koniglicher mayestät alle handelunge mit vlisz 
bericht gethan esz wusten sich auch konigliche mayestät der gesanten 
werbunge selbst zu erinnern weren auch geneigk sich in eyn erlich 
glichmessig vnd trostlich vorstentnissz mit iren hern sampt dersel- 
bigen relionszvorwanten irem vorigen erbitten nach inzulassen 
aber die konigliche mayestät kont nicht befinden dasz sulchesz vor- 
stentnisz der gegen hulff halben deren sich die chur vnd fursten 
sampt iren relionszvorwantten erbiten theten die glichait oder reci- 
procu1n mit sich breichte derhalben were der k01liglichell mayestät 
genedigesz begeren ob die gesanten nach ferner befelich hetten der 
gegenhulff oder reciproci halhen dasz sie sich desz wolten vnbe- 
schwerdt vornemmen lassen. 



BURCKHARD'S REPORT 


2ï5 


Item die konigliche mayestät vormyrck das7 dasz mandat sere enge 
vnd restringirt were wi1chsz auch allerlij nachdencken hette bie siner 
k01ligliche1l mayestät vnd ob die gesanten vmb ferner befe1ich vnd 
volkommener mandat schriben wolten. 
Darauff ist den konigissen rethten geantwortt dasz esz die chur 
vnd fursten dar aichten die kOlligliche mayestät alsz eyn vortrefflicher 
berun1pter richer konig wurde esz in solchen erlichen cristlichen 
saichen wider desz ron1issen bisschoff prachticke vnd tiranni an 
eyner tapffern summa geldesz zur defension nicht n1angeln lassen 
ob sich auch ire ch. vnd f. g. der gegellhulff halben nichtsz sonder- 
lichesz erbiten tedten vnd aber nichtsz desto winger hetten sich ire 
ch. vnd f.g. vornemnlen lassen siner kOlliglichell nlayestät im fall der 
nottorfft do solchsz sine kOlligliche nlayeslät begeren warde eczliche 
thusent zu fuessz vnd etliche hundert zu rosz elc zu zu schicken 
wilchsz kriegszvolck ire ch. vnd f. g. anne tappern vnkosten nicht 
wordell vorgadern vnd auff eynn monsterplacz bringen lassen 111ogell. 
V nd don1it sulchsz do dannen forder s. mayestät zugeschickt wurde 
vnrl inl fall dasz esz die konigliche mayestät darvor aichte das7. 
so1chsz gegeJl der summa geldesz szo die konigliche nlayestät erlegen 
solte nicht szo gancz glich ader reciprocum were szo hetten doch sine 
konigliche rnayestät zu bedencken dasz esz siner k07ziglichen rnayestät 
selbst zum besten gereichte allesz waisz ire k01ligliche mayestät den 
chur. vnd f. sampt irell vorwanten gucz erczaigkt dan der romisz 
bisschoff vbete sine prachtike nicht winger wider sine kOlligliche 
mayestät dan ire ch. vnrl f. g. vnd ier ch. vnd f. g. mitvorwanten vnd 
do innen etwasz widerwertigsz wilchsz der almechtige wenden wolt 
begegen solte worde darnach s. konigliche nlayestät solchsz auch zu 
gewarten haben etc. Desz mandacz halben ist inne1l die anczeige 
geschehen rlasz sie desz puncksz zufriedell gewest vnrl die ding 
koniglicher mayestät zu berichten auff sich genommen alsz ist 
deszmaIsz nicht witter gehandelt vnd auff den 26 tag nlaij haben 
die konigliche mayestät die gesanten wiedervmb erfordern lassen vnd 
innen selbst angeczeigt desz 1 sie allenthalben vornommen wasz sich 
vor handelunge czuissen siner maiestät rethten vnd den gesanten 
zugetragen vnrl wiewole sine rnaiestät gancz geneigk sich in buntnisse 
mit den churf. zu Saxsen vnd lantgrauen zu Hessen sampt iren 
relionszvorwanten ainzulassen szo vornlirck doch ire konigliche 
maiestät dasz die vorgeschlagene condicion der gegenhulff nieht der. 
gestaldt reciproce were wie sich ire kOlllgliche mayestät vorsehen 
hetten vnd esz auch billich in confederacio1l sin solt dan sein
 
1 sic, for ' dasz.' 
T2 



276 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


konigliche mayestät begert eyn rumelich erlich vnrl baidersicz 
trostlich vorstentnisse vnd confederacion myt iren chur vnd f. g. vnd 
iren relionsz vonvanten auffzurichten vnrl diewil die gesanten keinell 
wittern oder fernern befelich hetten dan wie sie hie zuvor angeczeig[ t] 
szo muste esz seine konzgliche nlaiestät dasz nlalsz auch darbie 
wenden lassen vnd wusten witer darauff mit inell nicht zu handeln, 
sondern wolten inen hienlit genedicklich wiedervmb erlaubt haben. 
Auch wolte sine konlgliche maiestät iren chur vnd f. g. schrifflich ire 
gemut anczaigen vnd do sie iren chur und f. g. sunsten fruntlichen 
willen erczaigen konte woIten ire koniglÙ:he rnayestät al1eczeit wiIlig 
befonden werden wie sie sich auch in glichnisse herwider vorsehen 
theten. AIsz haben die gesanten irer koniglichen mayestät hinwider 
angeczaigk dasz sie sich von wegal irer g. vnrl genedigen hern nicht 
vorsehen hetten seine konlgliche rnayestät worde sie nicht gancz vor- 
gebelich abschaiden lassen wiI ire mayestät wU1b disse schickunge 
hei iren g. vnd genedigen hern ansuchu7zg auch trostlich erbitunge 
gethan esz worden sich auch ire chur vnd f. g. vile winger soIchsz 
abschaidsz vorsehen vnd were disse kegenhulff nicht szo geringe wie 
sie ire konigliche mayestät achten etc Aber wie denn szo musten sie 
esz darbie wenden lassen vnd wolten ire g. vnd genedige hern aller 
handelunge ZUlli vnderthenigsten vnd truelichesten wilsz Got zu irer 
widerkulupfft berichten vnd worden sich demnach ire ch. vnd f. g. 
gegen seiner koniglichen mayestät irer nottorfft nach zu halten vnd zu 
vornemmell lassen wissen vnd nachden1 vil reden gewest dasz die 
konigliche mayestät etczliche artikel der relion im parlament handeln 
lassen aIsz nemmelich von dem hoichwurdigen sacrament desz liebesz 
vnd bludez unsersz hern Cristi item von der prister ehe haben die 
gesanten gebetten seine konigliche mayestät alsz die die warhait 
liebte wolte in dissen groswichtigen saichen aIleyne die warhait 
ford ern vnd hanthahen etc Darauff dan die k07zigliche mayestät in 
eyne hefftige disputacion desz artikelsz die pristerehe belangend nlit 
den gesanten komen die seiner rnayestät nottorfftigen bericht vnd 
anczaige gethan vnd darnach iren abschaidt von irer mayestät 
genommen etc. V nd nachdem k01l1gliche rnayestät schrifften an 
hoichgemelte vnsere g. vnd g. hern vorfertiget vnd den gesanten 
durch hern Crummello zugesteldt haben sie gebetten sich zu 
berichten wesz doch kOllÍgliche rnayestät maynunge sie der con- 
federacion halben vnd wesz seine konigliche nlayestät vor condicion 
ader gegenhulff oder reciprocum begerte darauff der here Crurn- 
n1ellus angeczaigt dasz die konigliche mayestät eyne tapffere sunzma 
geldesz zu erlegen willig aber der gestalt dasz solche geldt bayden 



BAUIVIBACH
S E1IBASSY 


277 


teilen alsz sey"er koniglichell mayestät vnd vnsern g. vnd g. hern vnrl 
iren relionszvorwantell zuglich zurn besten kome vnd wikhsz tail 
eher angriffen < wurde) dasz daszselbige solche geldt zu gebrauchen 
haben solte etc. Vnd do iren ch. vnd f. g. sulchesz annemlich 
< wäre) woste eher 1 dasz die kOlligliche maiestät an eyner tapffern 
summa geldesz niederzulegell nicht erwindell lassen etc. AIsz haben 
die gesantell diewil sie dissesz artickelsz halben zu handeln ader zu 
schlissen keinen befelich gehaipt sich erbotten daszselbige iren chur. 
vnd f. g. zu irer widerkunfft mit gotlicher hulff vnderthenichlichell 
auch zu berichte1l vnd alszo irn abschaidt den leczten tag maij 
genommen anno \'t supra. 


Franciscus Burchart 
vicecanczler 
Sll bscr iþsit. 
Ludowic1ls de Baumbach 
S1l bscriþsit. 
Elldd. 'Relation Ludwigs von Baumbach vnd 
lgr. Frantz Burg- 
hardi von wegen der sendung in Engellandt.' 


II 


ACCOUKT BY LUD'VIG VO
 BAU11BACH OF HIS JOURNEY 
TO ENGLAND. DECEMBER, 1539 TO JANUARY, 154 02 . 


Auff donstag nach triu11l regunz byn ich myt gottesz holf[ zu 
London ankomen vnd mich bye clem Hern Crumello ansagen 
Lassen hat er mich auff den freitag nlorgen frue alszo balde gefordert 
vnd holen Lassen vnd mich allerleii gefraugk wie esz im thuczenlant 
stehe vnd ab ich nicht n1acht ader befelich habe dasz buntnisz myt 
ko. mayestät zu schlissen etc. 
Dar auff ich geantwort ich habe eyn credencz an die ko. mayeslät 
vnd eyne werbunge im geheym vnd vortruen syner mayestät anzu- 
sagen vnd derhalp dem h. crumello gebetten myr forderlich zu sin 
dasz ich auff dasz erst szo mogelich von siner mayestät gehort moge 
werden. 
Dar auff der H. Crumellus geantwort er werde esz der ko. mayestät 
zu forderlichesten ken grunewicz zu wyssen thon vnd vorsehe sich 


1 sic, for' er.' 
2 Transcribed from the original dOCU1nent in the Archives at 11arburg. 



278 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


ir mayestät werde mich zu [orderlichesten horen diewil ir mayestät 
Inich kennen. 
Auff den sonnobent byn ich von Cristoffel mont beschick vnd 
bericht die ko. mayestät habe befolen ich solt auff den sonntag 
n10rgen [rue zu ix vren zu grunewicz sin do wolle ir mayestät mich 
ghoren vnd ir mayestät sie mynner ankonfft wole zufrieden. 
Die ko. mayestät hat mich auff den sontag durch den hern 
Crumellum in' s. mayestät innerst gemach fordern vnd fueren Lassen 
vor der messen da habe ich nach dem die ko. mayestät die credencz 
erbrochen vnd vorlesen allesz waisz myr befolen ist gewest nach der 
lenge myt besten flissze erczalet vnd bericht dar auff ir mayestät 
n1yt flisse gehort vnd alle wort zweygefraugk vnd alsz balde ich 
auszgeredt Hat s. mayestät geantwort ich habe lange desz ko vom 
franckrichsz gemudt gesport vnd VOrn01Jllnen vnd er wolde eyne 
botschaffe sich der dinge zu erkonnen thon vnd Inich gefraugk ab 
ich solchsz auch lieden moge sonst wolle s. mayestät niemancz 
nicht melden dar auff ich s. n1ayestät geantwort dasz moge ich wole 
lieden szo verne niemancz genent von wem s. n1ayestät disze dinge 
vorstande1Z vnd mich gefraugk ab ich keine befelich habe die buntnisz 
myt s. mayestät zu schlyssen habe ich geantwort nein sondern s. 
mayestät zu raiden dasz sich ir mayestät irsz gelnucz entlichen vor- 
nemmen Lasse vnd zum [orderlichesten die bontnisz schlisse ehe esz 
zu kriege k011lme dar auff ir mayestät gesag m. h. habe im geschriben 
ich solde eyne zcitlangk bie s. mayestät blieben dar auff ich geantwort 
desz habe ich von m. g. h. keynen befelich. 
Dar nach ir mayestät alIerleii gemeine rede gehaipt vnd alsz balde 
in die kirchen gangen vnd alsz balde ir mayestät in ire kapellen 
komen vnd mich gesehen haben ir mayestät myr gewinckt vnd 
angesprochen vor alIen heren vnd gsaugk er habe mynem g. g. hern 
geschriben vnd sie haben im keyne antwort dar auff ggeben, vnd 
alsz witter gefraugk ab ich keynen befelich habe witter myt s. 
lliayestät der buntnisz halber zu reden dar auff ich geantwort von 
den1 schriben habe ich keine wi sse der bontnisz halber wolle ich 
111ich eyn kleinsz bedenckell vnd mych myt dem Sexsissen vice 
canczelIer vnderreden vnd sine n1ayestät beantworten. 
Auff den dienstag darnach hat der II. Crumellus den vice canczeler 
vnd mich gefordert vnd alIerleii myt vnsz bayden geredt vnd gesaugk 
s. h. der konnig sie geneigk sich myt vnsren h. zu vorbinden vnrl 
darnach von der relionsz saichen zu reden angefangen dar auff myr 1 
baide der vice canczeller auff latin vnd ich auff franczossiscz 
1 sic, for' wyr.' 



BAU!\'IBACH'S El\iB.A.SSY 


27'D 


geantwort esz were gotelichen vnrl erlichen dasz s. mayestät sich zu 
vor vnd ehe die pontnisz geschlossen myt vnsren g. h. desz gottlichen 
worcz vorgliche dar nach worde got genade vorliehen dasz aIle saichen 
gudt wOrdetl dar auff der. h. Crumellus gesaugkt er siehe vnser 
nlaynu1zge den glauben betreffen aber wie die weldt iczt stehet wesz 
sich sin her der kOllnig halte desz wolle er sich auch haltell vnd solte 
er darumb sterben er rade aber dasz die pontnisz beschlossen vnd 
dar nach von bayderseicz gelarten zusamen kon1en lasze vnd sich 
der schrifft vnd gotlichesz worcz vorglichen lasse wilehe teil dan 
recht behalt dasz dem dan dasz ander teile folge vnd szo wyr n1yt 
s. h. dem ko. der saichen halber zu redell kemen szo wolt er vnSL; 
geraiden haben dasz wyr sidick vnd nicht zu hart nlyt s. mayestät 
reden WOlte1l etc. da 111yt s. 111ayestät nicht zue vngenaden vnd 
vngedulden erregt werde. 
Dar nach von stonde an ist der H. crumellus zu dem k01znige 
gangen vnd alsz balde mich allein ZUl1l konnige zU k0111en gefordert 
vnd hat s. mayestät angefangen vnd gesaugk die dinge die ich 
s. mayestät erczaldt habe nemen s. mayestät wonder dasz dasz 
vorhanden sin solte vnd solte im szo lange vorschwigen blieben sin 
in ansehunge dasz er syne am11lasatten an bay den orten habe, zu dem 
szo konnen sie sich in ile szo starck nicht rusten er koncz in ile 
erfaren vnd szo sie den kreigk myt ime anfahen szo sollen sie 
entpfanen werden dan s. konrich sie nicht eyn lant wie die lande in 
thuczlant clan esz sie myt wasser vmbeth011lme beflossen vnrl konnt 
niemancz zu im komen dan zu schiff. 
Da habe ich die sachen der mass
n n1yt ploichehausern vnrl 
polwercken auch myt schiffen bestaldt vnd vor wart dasz sie 
entpfanen sollen werden szo habe ich gudte schuczen vnd habe 
die von London hart bie n1yr vnd sonsten eyne stedt ist myr zu 
nennen vorgessen da kan ich in ile eyn czemelich volek auffbringen 
auch szo habe ich die vorretter gemeinklichen rich ten vnd die 
koppe abschlagen Lassen dasz n1yr nien1ancz lichlich eynen auffrure 
wirdt anrichten dasz n1agestu dyne/It hern sagen aber ich bedanck 
mich kegen dinen h. wie gehort vnd ich vorstehe die sache nicht 
anderst clan dasz er die saichen trueliche vnd gudt myt rnyr 
ma ynt. 
V nd szo vile den kOllnig von dennemarck betrifft da habe ich 
nicht myt zu schaff en ich waiss auch kein bontnisz myt im zu 
machen dan er hat den alten konig nach gefangen dasz isst wieder 
den pfalzgrauen vnd rnyt < welchem) byn ich in willensz eyn 
fruntschaffe eynsz hiracz zu machen etc. 



280 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


Auch szo dynen myr die lanczknecht nicht dan alsz balde sie 
auff dasz mere komen szo werden sie krancg vnd sint desz mersz nicht 
gewont wie myne Iuede sint aber dasz wil ich raden dasz dyne hern 
der chur f. zu saxsen myn brueder der herzoig von klefa vnd gelderln 
vnd die andern fursten in der bontnisz sampt hanburgk vnd bren1en 
vnd nicht vile vberlendisse stedt eyn erlichs bontnisz in allen 
gemeynen sachen beschlossen, were von den selbigen vberzogen 
worde dasz in1 die andern al1e holffen mo
ten vnd eynsz sachen 
aIler andern sachen sin most szo wiI ich pfalcz auch dar zu bringen 
dasz sie vnsersz teilsz sin sollen. 
Dan die Vberlendisse stedt haben sich nit witter dan wasz die 
relion betrifft keigen eubere hern vorbonden vnd ab der kaiser eyn 
ander vrsach zu eubern h. suchen (werde) szo worden sie in keinen 
biestandt thon. gedenck an mich vnd due magest dym h. solchesz 
wolle sagen dar auff ich s. mayestät geantwort ich habe die vorschri- 
bunge der bontnisz wie weidt sie sich streckt nicht gelesen der halp 
ich s. mayestät keynen bericht dar von thon konde dar auff ir 
mayestät gesaugk esz ist gudt vnd genugk darvonn geredt vnd n1yr 
die hant gebotten vnd n1yn abschaidt ggeben vnd der bontnisz nach 
111alsz wie vor begerdt dar auff ich siner mayestät geantwort Ich wone 
die dinge mYJlem g. f. vnd h. szo verne mich got gesunt frist zu 
myner wieder ankonff n1yt flissz berichten vnd zwifel nicht vnd 
zwifel nicht 1 s. f. g. Werde?l sich gancz frundelich a]sz siner mayestät 
frundt vnd der s. mayestät ere vnrl gucz gunne von vor wisslichen 
vornemn1en Lassen vnd byn do myt von s. lnayestät abgeschaiden. 
Auff dinstag nach sebastians vnrl fabianes hat l11yr der H. 
crumellus myne abschaidt der massen ggeben dasz ill1 s. h. der 
konnig befolen myr an zu sage?l mynem g. h. sonderlichen dangk zu 
sagen vnd sien ir lnayestät myneJJl g. h. ll1yt aHem fruntlichen willen 
auch aIlesz dasz zu thon dasz mY?lem h. zu eren vnd guttem kome zu 
willefaren hoich geneigk vnd ir. ll1ayestät habe die saichen nicht 
anderst dan truelichen von myr vorstanden vnd ir. mayestät sie myr 
vor myne person myt allen genaden geneigk dar auff gancz mynen 
abschaidt genommen. geschechen auff die tage wie ob stehet anno 
etc. xl in vrkunt myne hant 


D 
Luodewig von baumbach 
zu bynsfort sst. 
Endd. I Relation Ludove. von baumbachs aus Engelland vff d. 
gesheene verwarnung.' 


1 sic. 



CHAPTER XIV 


THE FALL OF THO
fAS CROM'VELL 


WHILE Henry and CromweH had been occupicd in negotia- 
tions \vith various German princes. the Emperor and the 
French King had not been idle. Every day seemed to bring 
some fresh confirmation of the unwelcome news that the t\\'o 
rnonarchs \vere again on the most friendly terms. By the 
Dliddle of December the anxiety of England reached the 
highest pitch, for the report came that :Francis and Charles 
had actually met at Loches, and that their first interview had 
been marked by every demonstration of cordiality 1. The 
French King accon1panied the Emperor on his journey north- 
ward, and on N e\v Year's Day they entered Paris together 
amid great rejoicing. For eight days the Louvre sa\v a suc- 
cession of balls, fêtes, and jousts. It is said that Jean 
Cousin was ordered to make a bust of the Emperor 2. 
But if the meeting of Charles and Francis and their 
apparently perfect amity were the cause of profound alarm 
in England, the proximity of the two rivals furnished at the 
same time an admirable opportunity for a last attempt to stir 
up jealousy between them. The King, ,vho as \ve have seen 
had never even in his most anxious moments abandoned the 
hope of fomenting discord between the t\vo soverèigns, was 
not the man to permit this chance to escape him. Sir 
Thomas Wyatt, who had been recalled from Spain a short 
time before, was now sent back to Paris to co-operate ,vith 
Bonner, the ambassador to France, in the endeavour to make 
use of the situation for Henry's purposes 3. His instructions 
to express the King's joy at the prospect of a renewal of 
amity bet\veen Francis and Charles \vere of course merely 
1 CaL xiv. (ii) 717. 
2 :Martin, vol. viii. p. 260. Cf. also Guiffrey, pp. 276-318. 
:I Cal. xiv. (ii) 5 2 4. 



282 


THO
iAS CROMWELL 


a blind to cover his real intentions. It was not long before 
the character of the latter was made plainly evident. Wyatt 
\vrote a full account of his proceedings to Henry on January 7, 
154 01 . In his letter he did not say whether he paid any 
attention to the written instructions \vhich the King had 
previously given hitn or not, but reported his endeavours 
to obtain the arrest of one Brancetour, an Englishman in 
the Emperor's train, 'whorn the Act of Attainder of 1539 had 
condemned. From Wyatt's account, however, it appears that 
the actual taking of Brancetour ,vas a matter of secondary 
importance, cOInpared to the possibility it opened of stirring 
up a quarrel between Francis and Charles. The two am- 
bassadors had \vaited upon the French I(ing, and had readily 
obtained his consent to the arrest. Brancetour was taken, 
but insisted that he acknowledged no master except the 
Emperor, and "vas consequently not amenable to English 
law. He applied to Charles, who of course refused to give 
his servant up; the matter was again brought before the 
French King, who, being far more anxious to secure the good 
\vill of the Emperor than that of Henry, gave orders for the 
prisoner's release. At first it seemed as if the efforts of the 
bvo ambassadors had merely resulted in drawing Charles and 
Francis closer together. Chagrined at the failure of his 
efforts, Bonner had made matters worse by rudely remon- 
strating \vith the French King for permitting Brancetour to 
he restored to liberty. The chief result of this proceeding 
\vas that the English ambassador became so generally hated 
at the French Court on account of his bluntness and dis- 
courtesy, that Henry felt obliged to recall him in favour of 
Sir John Wallop 2. 
With the ground cleared by the retirement of his unpopular 
colleague, Sir Thomas Wyatt was able to display to far 
greater advantage that wealth of tact and diplomatic talent, 
which had rendered him such an invaluable servant to Henry 


1 Cal. xv. 3 8 . 
2 Cal. xv. 186. Bonner and 
Wyatt moreover were on very bad 
terms at this time, owing to mutual 
jealousy. It would have been im- 


possible for Henry to carry his 
intrigues very far, as long as the 
two rivals remained together at the 
French Court. Cf. Nott's Wyatt, 
vol. ii. pp. 44-52. 



HIS FALL 


283 


at the Emperor's Court. He immediately sa\v that it ,vas 
useless to blame Francis, as Bonner had done, for an act 
nrhich the situation had forced upon hinl, and he forbore to 
mention the affair of Brancetour again in the presence of the 
French l{ing. Instead he addressed himself to Charles, and 
in the most careful and guarded phrases insinuated that the 
f:mperor had shown ingratitude to Henry, in obtaining the 
Englishman's release 1. vVyatt's action throughout was 
characterized by an external courtesy quite as renlarkable 
as the previous rudeness of Bonner, and his efforts \vere 
finally rewarded in a manner which exceeded the King's 
highest expectations. He had caught the Ernperor off his 
guard, and the first result of his representations was to cause 
the usually imperturbable Charles completely to lose his 
temper. The Emperor in his vexation let several \vords 
escape him, of which Wyatt ,vas pronlpt to take advantage. 
\Vhen reproached ,vith ingratitude, Charles had turned 
sharply on the ambassador \vith a fe\v angry words, which 
implied that it was impossible for him to be 'ingrate J to 
Henry, on account of the superiority of his own Imperial 
rank. The Emperor confessed that' the inferyour' might be 
, ingrate to the greter,' though the term was 'skant sufferable 
bytwene lyke 2,' but hinted that an accusation of ingratitude 
from the petty King of England against himself, the acknow- 
ledged head of Christendom, ,vas entirely out of place. All 
this was reported at the English Court in early February. 
The use \vhich Henry made of the infonnation is remarkable. 
As a result of Wyatt's communications, the Duke of Norfolk 
\vas sent with a special message to Francis 3. He \vas ordered 
to quote all the conversation bet\veen Charles and Wyatt, 
but so to distort the meaning of the Emperor's angry words 
as to make it appear that Charles \vas using Francis' friend- 
ship merely as a stepping-stone to an ulterior purpose, and 
perhaps to a plan for the domination of Europe. Charles' 
unfortunate sHp about superiors and inferiors lent itself well 
to such an interpretation. On February 15 the Duke arrived 


1 Cal. xv. 161. 2 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 241. 
3 Cal. xv. 145, 202. 



284 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


at the French Court, of which Charles had already taken 
leave, and was immediately received by Francis 1. From 
Norfolk's own report it is evident that he had at last 
succeeded in creating serious distrust of the Emperor in 
the mind of the French King, and he reported to Henry 
that by Francis' countenance he 'dyd conjecte He was not 
content with thEmperours wordes 2.' 
Of course the intrigues of Norfolk and \Vyatt \vere only 
one of a number of things which contributed to cause the 
quarrel between Charles and Francis to break out afresh. 
The ground had been pretty well prepared for it by a series 
of petty but annoying occurrences, \\Thich had taken place 
during the Emperor's visit 3, and the efforts of the English 
ambassadors were substantially aided by Charles' flat refusal 
to fulfil his promises to Francis about the Lo\v Countries 
and Milan, after the subjugation of the revolt in Ghent had 
once more left him a free hand. But the part which England 
played in accelerating the rupture was in itself by no means 
inconsiderable, and it is of the most vital importance for 
our purposes here, to notice that the name of Cromwell 
scarcely appears once in connexion ,vith it. It is true that 
after Norfolk had succeeded in driving in the first wedge 
which started the breach between Charles and Francis, the 
King's minister wrote two letters to Wallop 4, directing him 
to follow up the advantage already gained, but they were 
evidently dictated by Henry, and seem to have been a 
necessity forced upon Cromwell by the action of his rival. 
The fact ,vas that Cromwell's identification with the German 
alliance had cut him off from bearing a hand in any other 
part of the foreign policy, and that his place as a negotiator 
with France and Spain had been usurped by his bitterest 
enemy, the Duke of Norfolk. The latter's success at the 
French Court had proved that the policy to which the King 
had always pinned his faith, in opposition to Cromwell's 
advocacy of an outside alliance, had not lost all its efficacy, 
and the rapidly widening breach between Charles and Francis 


1 CaJ. xv. 222. 
2 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 257. 


S Cf. Gaillard, vol. iii. pp. 77, 78. 
4 Letters, 338, 340. 



HIS }i
ALL 


285 


showed that the league \vith Cleves ,vas not indispensable 
for England's safety. More than this, it no\v looked as if 
the treaty with Duke \tVilliam, far from being an advantage, 
\vould become a positive burden. Cromwell had sought the 
alliance in the hope of gaining valuable aid in case England 
was attacked: it had not occurred to him that some day the 
positions might be reversed, and that England might be 
expected to give aid. rather than to receive it. The fact that 
Charles, instead of planning an invasion of England with 
Francis, had gone straight from Paris to the Low Countries 1 
and did not disguise his intention of regaining Gelderland, 
rendered this disagreeable turn of affairs distinctly probable. 
\V orst of all, the King's disgust for Anne of Cleves had 
increased so rapidly, that it \vas useless to attempt to conceal 
it. Henry might pardon a political blunder alone, but when 
combined with a matrimonial misfortune, it \vas more difficult 
to forgive. Everything seemed to unite to call for a reversal 
of the Cromwellian policy. The King's minister had aban- 
doned as hopeless a scheme \vhich his rival had been able 
to sho\v ,vas still feasible; he had sought a cure before he 
,vas certain that prevention was impossible: the cure he had 
prescribed, besides being unnecessary, had actually proved 
dangerous, and lastly, the matrimonial alliance which formed 
the basis of it had turned out a complete failure. 
It was certainly the most favourable opportunity that had 
yet presented itself for Crom\vell's enemies to compass his 
ruin, and Norfolk and Gardiner, the most inveterate of his 
foes, \vere not slo\v to realize it. The latter, ever since 
his recall from France in 1538, had used every effort to 
undermine the influence of the man who had stepped into 
the place which he had coveted for himself at Wolsey's fall. 
In alliance with Norfolk, who returned from his errand to 
the French King in March, 1540, he now succeeded in gather.. 
ing to himself all the influential persons at the English Court 
who desired the downfall of their plebeian rival. It did 
not take very long to discover that Henry was ready to 
abandon Crolnwell, and as soon as his enemies were certain 
J Bradford, pp. 5 I 5 fr. 



286 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


of this fact, they saw that all that was necessary for the 
accomplishment of their designs was to devise a pretext for 
the minister's destruction, more plausible than an accusation 
of advocating a useless alliance and an unfortunate marriage. 
So faithfully had Crom\vell served the King's interests, how- 
ever, that at first it seemed almost impossible to find such 
a pretext, but the astute G
rdiner was soon able to discover 
the one \veak spot in his rival's armOUf. It is hardly 
necessary to state what this was. The only occasions on 
\vhich Henry and Crom\vell had been brought into collision 
were disputes over questions of foreign policy, and the 
Bishop of Winchester saw that the minister's reputation as 
advocate of an alliance with the Lutherans in opposition 
to the !(ing's wishes, furnished the basis for a charge of 
supporting their religious principles in defiance of the 
doctrines proclaimed in the Six' Articles. No accusation 
against Crom\vell could have been more unjust than this. 
We have seen that the minister himself had abandoned the 
Lutherans by this time; nloreover even in the days when 
he had urged an alliance with them, he had never made the 
least concession to their religious tendencies. We call to 
mind at once the significant words that he had spoken to 
Baumbach in the previous January, when he had declared 
that his theological beliefs \vere identical with those of the 
King. Cromwell's religion had always been dictated by 
political expediency; he certainly had no sympathy for 
Protestant theology in itself, or indeed for theology of any 
kind which did not lead to practical results. But un- 
fortunately the mass of the people were totally unable to 
see this fact, and he was commonly looked upon as the 
greatest friend and helper that the Protestants had. As 
opposition to the Pope had given him his political greatness, 
the Reformers had flocked to him for protection when the 
Six Articles were passed, and their trust in him was further 
strengthened by the inferences which they drew from his 
foreign policy. The Bishop of Winchester was perfectly weIl 
a\vare of the actual state of affairs, and also of the gross 
misconception of Croln\vell's true theological position which 



HIS 1:; ALL 


287 


existed in the minds of the people. If he could only catch 
his rival in some definite act \vhich would justify a distinct 
accusation of opposing the I(ing in matters of religion, he 
saw that the ground \vas already well prepared for the 
success of his plot. The opportunity \vhich he sought ,vas 
soon to present itself. 
It \vill be remembered that in the early part of the year 
1539 Henry had sent Dr. Barnes to Germany to conciliate 
the King of Denmark and the Elector of Saxony. At the 
news of the passage of the Six Articles, which of course 
stultified all his efforts, Barnes had corne back to England, 
profoundly disgusted at the l{ing's vacillating policy. Henry 
felt so certain of his ground at the time of his ambassador's 
return, that in spite of the requests of Crom\vell, he con- 
temptuously refused to grant him a hearing 1. The King's 
minister was either unable or un\villing to take the hint, \vhich 
his master had given him, that Barnes was no longer in 
favour. and he ,vas rash enough to attempt to console the 
envoy for the ill-success of his n1ission, by promoting him 
to the prebend of Lanbedye 2. Cromwell had thus played 
into his enemy's hand by an action \vhich lent itself to the 
precise interpretation which Gardiner was seeking. It was 
now an easy matter to hold the minister responsible for any 
rash act which his protégé might commit, and Barnes, who 
was one of the very extreme Lutherans, did not take long 
to fulfil the hopes which the Bishop of 'Vinchester had 
entertained of his recklessness. He was foolish enough to 
take violent exception to a sermon which Gardiner had 
preached at Paul's Cross, in \vhich the latter had denounced 
certain Protestant doctrines. Preaching in the san1e pulpit 
two weeks later on the same text, Barnes denied all that 
Gardiner had said, insulted him openly, and finally threw 
do\vn his glove to the people, as a defiance against the 
Bishop 3. Barnes had doubtless presumed on Crom\vell's 
protection to support him in this tirade, for it seems that the 
year before, when his position had been much stronger, 
the King's minister had successfully defended his friend 


1 Ca1. xiv. (ii) 4 00 . 


2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 688. 


S Cal. xv. 306. 



288 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


against a charge of heresy by Gardiner, and had actually 
been able to remove the latter from the Privy Council in 
revenge for his attack on the Lutheran 1. But this time 
Barnes had gone too far, and Cromwell, whose influence was 
by no means \vhat it had been, was unable to save him again. 
The Bishop of Winchester complained to the King, who \vas 
scandalized, and ordered Barnes to be examined before him; 
the Lutheran ''''as utterly \vorsted in a theological discussion; 
he \vas forced to recant and beg Gardiner's pardon. This he 
did with such ill grace and so many contradictions that he 
was arrested and placed in the Tower with the others who 
had supported him. 
All this happened in the last \veek of March. It was 
perfectly obvious to those who had any real kno\vledge of 
the trend things \\rere taking, that Gardiner had made his 
complaint far more \vith the idea of harming Cromwell, than 
of injuring Barnes himself, and the fact that the minister had 
not been able to rescue his friend a second time led many 
to predict his speedy downfall 2. But Cromvvell managed to 
stave off the ultimately inevitable catastrophe for two months 
more, and to maintain his ascendancy until the end of May. 
He certainly had no delusions as to the gravity of the 
situation in which he found himself, and he fully realized that 
his best chance of safety lay in making a humble acknow- 
ledgement of his error in favouring the Lutheran preacher. 
Though there is no actual record that he apologized to the 
Bishop of Winchester, there is every internal evidence of it. 
That at least a temporary reconciliation took place between 
him and Gardiner is proved by a letter of Sir J ohn Wallop 
\vhich informs us that on March 30 the Bishop of Winchester 
dined at London with the Lord Privy Seal, and that they 
'were more than iiij houres and opened theyre hartes and so 
concluded that and therbe truthe or honesty in them not only 
all displeasures be forgotton, but also in thayre hertes be 
now perfight intier frendes 3.' It would have been hardly 
possible to bring about even a temporary truce between these 
two men without an apology on one side or the other, and 


1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 75 0 (p. 279). 


2 Cal. xv. 4 8 6. 


S Cal. xv. 429. 



HIS F.l\LL 


289 


it is not likely that Gardiner, backed as he was by the King. 
would have been the one to n1ake it. In order to maintain 
his very precarious position, CrOffi\VelI had been forced to 
arovel before a man , whon1 two years before he could have 
b J 
ordered about to his heart's content. 
But it had been one of the greatest secrets of Crom,vell's 
success that he had never been too proud to take any step. 
however humiliating, which he deemed necessary for his 
profit or safety. Nevertheless it is doubtful if his apology to 
the Rishop of vVinchester, unaided by any outside occurrence. 
,vould have been sufficient to prevent his immediate over- 
throw. The month of April, however, saw t\VO events, one 
at home and the other abroad, which further raised his hopes 
and encouraged him to renewed efforts to regain his influence. 
The first of these was the assemblage of Parliament, an 
occasion on which Cromwell had ahvays been able to make 
himself particularly useful to the King. He \vas not slo\v 
to realize the opportunity that \vas offered him, and he 
laboured \vith all his might for the passage of the measures 
which he knew his master desired. He made an opening 
speech in the House of Lords, in \vhich he said that the King 
wished concord above all things and desired to suppress all 
dissension concerning religious doctrines: and he emphasized 
his words by providing for the appointment of a commission 
to correct all abuses and enforce respect for the Scriptures 1. 
What was accomplished in this direct endeavour to extirpate 
heresy is less important than a move of a more practical 
nature, which bears every evidence of being planned by 
Cromwell. The ancient military and religious order of the 
Knights of St. John of J erl1salem ,vas the sole remaining 
stronghold of monasticism in England that had been suffered 
to escape the onslaught of the ICing's minister. To complete 
the work of destruction which he had begun their downfall 
was essential, and an Act to abolish them and confiscate their 
property finally passed both Houses after a prolonged 
debate 2. A complicated Taxation Bill, which ,vas carried 
through at the same time, seemed also to bear the stamp 


1 Lords' Journal, vol. i. p. 129. 
MERRIMAN. I U 


2 3 2 Hen. VIII, c. 24. 



290 


THOMAS CROM\tVELL 


of Cromwellian genius. Such services to the Cro\vn had not 
been suffered to go llnrewarded, for on April 18 those who 
bad prophesied the ruin of the King's minister were amazed 
by his being created Earl of Essex and Great Chamberlain 
of England 1. The French ambassador, who only seven days 
before had reported to Francis that Crom,vell was tottering to 
his fall, now confessed that the new-made Earl 'was in as 
much credit \vith the King as ever he \vas, from \vhich he was 
near being shaken by the Bishop of Winchester and others.' 
The other event which gave Cromwell a nlomentary ray of 
hope was the arrival of a piece of news from France, which 
at first looked like a vindication of his foreign policy as 
against that of the King. Early in April it was rumoured 
in London that the French were fortifying Ardres, and the 
King's minister wrote a letter to Wallop on the t\velfth 
instructing him to demand an explanation from Francis 2, 
who (according to the ambassador's report) replied that 
'He knewe not but that He myght aswell buyld there or 
fortefye uppon his borders as the Kinges Highnes dothe at 
Callais, Guysnes, and other his fortresses 3.' These words, 
though spoken 'very gently and nothing in collour,' appear 
to have caused profound anxiety at the English Court, and 
Henry's faith in the success of his plans of fomenting discord 
between Charles and Francis received a rude shock. Every- 
thing which tended to justify the alliance with Cleves 
as a defensive measure was of course \velcome ne\vs to 
Cromwell, ,vho privately must have been as much encouraged 
by the messages from France as others were dismayed by 
them. But the satisfaction which he derived from the 
report of the fortifications at Ardres was only of short 
duration. There were no further hostile developments for 
the present, and an announcement was soon received from 
the N etherIands which offered reasons for the abandonment 
of the alliance \vith Cleves far more cogent than those 
\vhich the news from France furnished for its continu- 
ance. It was reported that the Emperor, immediately after 


1 Cal. xv. 540, 541. 2 Cal. xv. 543. 
S State Papers, vol. viii. p. 3 2 3. 



HIS FALL 


291 


the subjugation of the revolt of Ghent, had repeated his 
demands for the cession of Gelderland 1 by Duke Willian1, 
and there seelned every probability that in case of refusal 
he would enforce them by the sword. The bearing of this 
move on the alliance of England with Cleves has been 
already indicated. We have seen that when Charles first 
turned his steps from Paris to the Low Countries, Cromwell 
probably realized for the first time that the league on which 
he had based all his hopes might actually \vork to England's 
disadvantage, and that Cleves might be the sale gainer from 
it. The nc\vs from the N etherIands was virtually a confirma- 
tion of the minister's gravest fears. The prospect that he 
would soon be called upon to defend an ally \vhom he had 
expected to defend him, and for whom he had no real regard, 
must have been intolerable to Henry, and the state of his 
relations to Anne of Cleves at the time tended of course 
to increase rather than to diminish his vexation. Add to this 
the fact that tidings of a somewhat disquieting nature kept 
coming in fron1 Scotland and Ireland, the blame for which 
could easily be made to fall on Cromwell, and one can well 
believe that any gains the King's minister may have made in 
the Parliament \vhich had met in April were more than 
counterbalanced by the losses he had sustained in the course 
of affairs abroad. Norfolk and Gardiner probably siezed this 
favourable opportunity to weave further plots against their 
hated rival, and to devise fresh measures to poison the King's 
ear against him 2. But even had the enmity of these men 
been turned into friendship, Crom\\Tell's political blunders had 
got him into a position from \vhich nothing could extricate 
him. He had incurred the enmity of a master who never 
forgave, and his ultimate ruin could only be a question of 
tin1e. 
The events of the month of May \vere but foreshadowings 
of the end. On the ninth the King summoned Cromwell 


1 Heidrich, p. 43. House. Katherine Howard was 
2 Soames, vol. ii. p. 4 08 , informs among the company assembled on 
us that' in order to fan the rising this occasion, and she then achieved 
flame Gardiner invited the King the conquest of her amorous SQve- 
to an entertainment at Winchester reign's heart.' 
U 2 



292 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


to a council, at which the definite abandonment of the 
minister's policy must have been openly discussed 1. Records 
of the conference are not preserved to us, but the result of it 
was that two days later Cromwell was forced much against 
his \vill to \vrite a letter to Pate, the ne\v ambassador to 
the Emperor, directing him to take steps to conciliate Charles 
and hinting that the alliance \\
ith Cleves might be thro\vn 
over at any moment 2. The latter part of the month brought 
with it further confirmation of the minister's impending fate. 
Duke William had sent ambassadors to the English Court, 
to ask the advice of his powerful ally in regard t
 the answer 
he should give to the Emperor's demands for the cession of 
Gelderland. Henry treated the envoys with marked coldness, 
and replied to their requests in the most non-committal 
manner: he could do nothing for the Duke of Cleves, he said, 
until he had more explicit information concerning the rights 
and wrongs of the case 3. The ground on which Cromwell's 
feet rested was being cut away on all sides, and yet Marillac, 
in a letter of the first of June, seemed to think that the arrest 
of Dr. Wilson for having 'Popish leanings' was an indication 
that the minister and his few remaining adherents still retained 
some influence. He acknowledged, ho\vever, that things 
changed so rapidly that no person could tell what was going 
to happen, only he was certain that one party or the other 
must presently succumb 4. 
The catastrophe came like a thunderbolt, less than t\VO 
weeks after Marillac had written this letter. An entry in the 
Journal of the House of Lords on June 10 reads: 'Rodie 
Vicegerens Regius... . Comes Essex in hora pomeridiana 
per Dominum Cancellariunl et alios Dominos in Arcano 
Domini N ostri Regis Consilio, ex Palatio Regio Domini 
Regis West111. hora tertia pomeridiana super Accusationem 
Crinlinis lese Majestatis missus est in Arcem LOllduzens. 5 ' 
This bald statement is confirmed by letters from Marillac to 
Francis and Montmorency at the time G, but a much more 


1 Cal. xv. 65 8 . 
2 Letters, 345. 
S CaI. xv. 735. 


4, Cal. xv. 736, 737. 
li Lords' Journal, vol. Í. p. 143. 
6 Cal. xv. 766, 767. 



I-IIS FALL 


293 


striking account of the arrest is contained in another letter 
from the French anlbassador to the Constable, written two 
weeks later. It telIs us that' as soon as the Captain of the 
Guard declared his charge to nlake him prisoner, Cromwell 
in a rage cast his bonnet on the ground, saying to the Duke 
of Norfolk and others of the Privy Council assembled there, 
that this was the re\vard of his services, and that he appealed 
to their consciences as to whether he was a traitor: but since 
he was treated thus he renounced all pardon, as he had never 
thought to have offended, and only asked the I
ing not to 
make hinl languish long. Thereupon some said he ,vas 
a traitor, others that he should be judged according to the 
la\vs he had made, \vhich \vere so sanguinary that often words 
spoken inadvertently \vith good intention had been constituted 
high treason. The Duke of Norfolk, having reproached him 
with some" villennyes JJ done by him, snatched off the order of 
St. George, \vhich he bore on his neck, and the Admiral, to 
sho\v himself as great an enemy in adversity as he had been 
thought a friend in prosperity, untied the Garter. Then by 
a door which opens upon the water, he was put in a boat and 
taken to the Tower, without the people of this town suspect- 
ing it, until they sa\v all the King's archers under IVlr. Cheyney 
at the door of the suspected prisoner's house, where they 
made an inventory of his goods which were not of such 
value as people thought, although too much for a "com- 
paignon de telle estoffe." The money was ;[7,000, equal to 
2R,ooo crs" and the silver plate, including crosses, chalices, 
and other spoils of the Church, might be as nluch more. 
These moveables \vere before night taken to the J(ing's 
treasury, a sign that they will not be restored 1.' 
On the day of the arrest, a royal messenger was sent to the 
French ambassador, to tell him that he must not be aillazed 
at what had happened, for though common ignorant people 
spoke of it 'variously,' the King said that he was deter- 
mined that Marillac should kno\v the truth. Henry stated 
that while he was trying 'by all possible means to lead 
back religion to the \vay of truth, Cromwell, as attached to the 


1 Cal. xv. 804, and Kaulek, pp. 193, 194. 



294 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


German Lutherans, had always favoured the doctors who 
preached such erroneous opinions, and hindered those who 
preached the contrary, and that recently warned by SOlne of 
his principal servants to reflect that he was \vorking against 
the intention of the King and of the Acts of Parliament, he 
had betrayed himself and said he hoped to suppress the old 
preachers and have only the new, adding that the affair would 
soon be brought to such a pass that the King with all his 
power could not prevent it, but rather his own party would 
be so strong that he would make the King descend to the 
new doctrines even if he had to take arms against him 1.' 
From this and from another letter written by the council to 
Wallop at the same time 2 it appears that the King had been 
able to devise no more plausible pretext for the destruction of 
his nlinister than that .which had been suggested by the 
Bishop of Winchester, a pretext ,vhich as we have seen was 
false and unjust in every respect, but convenient in many 
. ways, especially as it was sure to win the approval of the lnass 
of the people, who looked upon Cromwell as a true Protestant 
and hated him as such, not being able to see that it was 
solely owing to political motives, that he had been connected 
with the Reformers 3. But the fact that the charge on which 


1 Cal. xv. 766, and Kaulek, p. 
189. 
2 This letter stated that Cron1- 
well being put in great trust by 
the King in matters of religion 
had ' not only of his sensual 
appetite, wrought dene contrary to 
this His Graces most godly entent, 
secretly and indirectly advauncing 
thone of thextremes and leaving the 
Ineane indifferent true and vertuous 
waye, which His !vlajestie sought 
and soo entierly desired; but also 
hathe shewed himself soo fervently 
bent to the mayntenaunce of that 
his oultrage, that he hath not 
spared most prively, most traitor- 
ously, to divise howe to contynue 
the same and plainly in termes to 
saye, as it hathe been justified to 


his face by good wittenes, that, if 
the King and all his Realme wold 
turne and vary from his opinions, 
he wold fight in the feld in his 
oune persanne, with his sworde in 
his hande against Him and all 
other; adding that if he lyved a 
yere or two, he trusted to bring 
thinges to that franle, that it shuld 
not lye in the Kinges power to 
resist or let it, if He wold; bynding 
his wordes with such othes, and 
making suche gesture and demon- 
stration with his arn1es, that it 
might wel appere that he had no 
lesse fyxed in his harte, thenne 
was uttered with his mouth.' State 
Papers, vol. viii. pp. 349, 35 0 . 
8 Henry, however, used every 
means in his power to support the 



HIS FALL 


295 


he was convicted \vas totally unjustifiable does not in any 
way imply that Cronlwell was \vrongly condemned. There 
were other perfectly valid reasons for his punishment, which, 
however, it v.
as quite itllpossible to bring forward against him, 
simply because the King had shared his guilt. If the number 
of innocent persons, whom the minister's influence had brought 
to the block, be not a sufficient warrant for his conviction and 
execution, it would be difficult to find a character in English 
history \vho merited the death penalty. But all these crimes 
could not be laid to his charge because the King had 
supported him in them, and he was arrested instead on the 
false accusation of opposition to the master to whose service 
he had devoted his life. 
Cranmer was the only man who dared to say a word to the 
King on Cromwell's behalf. He wrote a pathetic Jetter to 
Henry the day after the arrest, expressing his wonder and 
distress that one \vhom he had deemed so good and so faithful, 
should be accused of treason, but in vain 1. The fallen 
1l1inister was not even permitted a trial in which he could be 
heard in his own defence. That terrible engine of extra- 
legal destruction, the attainder, by which so many of his o\vn 
enemies had been annihilated, was used as a s\vifter and surer 
means to bring him to the block. The Act of Parliament 
\vhich attainted hin1 \vas read in the House of Lords just one 
week after his arrest 2: it simply enumerated various acts and 
speeches \vhich had been laid to his charge, as indicating that 
he had plotted to make hirrlself more powerful than the King 
in matters both religious and political, and stated that he had 
thus incurred the charge of high treason, for which he \vas 
condemned to die. He was to suffer as a heretic or a traitor 
at the King's pleasure, and forfeit all property held since 


main accusation, with other charges 
of a different nature, which if pos- 
sible were even n10re unjustifiable. 
The King was not ashamed to 
write to \Vallop in France to try 
and get confirmation of the old 
rumour (circulated on the Continent 
bya certain Portuguese ambassador 


two years before, and probably as 
a result of the letters of Chapuys) 
that Cromwell had intended to 
marry the Princess Mary and to 
make himself King. Cal. xv. 79 2 , 
801, 842. 
1 Cat xv. 77 0 . 
2 Lords' Journal, \"01. i. p. 145. 



296 


THOlVIAS CROM\tVELL 


l\tIarch 31, 1538. That Cromwell was deprived of all titles 
and prerogatives on the day of his arrest, and was 
called only 'Thomas Cromwell, shearman,' and that his 
servants were forbidden to wear his livery, led 1Ylarillac to 
think that he would not be beheaded, as befitted a lord. 
but would be 'dragged up as an ignoble person, and 
afterwards hanged and quartered 1.' This impression was 
current two weeks later, for Norfolk told IVlarillac on July 6, 
that Cromwell's end would be 'the nlost ignominious in use 
in the country 2.' It \vas not until the day of his execution 
that' grace was made to him upon the method of his death,' 
and beheading \vas substituted for a more painful and igno- 
minious penalty 3. For though his arrest had been imme- 
diately followed by his attainder, execution was delayed for 
six weeks more, in order that the King nlight make use of him 
for a last time, to gain an end which Cromwell had successfully 
secured for him once before, namely a divorce from a hated 
Queen. · 
From the day of his arrest, his execution had been a fore- 
gone conclusion; there was no chance of ultimate salvation 
for the fallen minister. But as a drowning nlan clutches at 
a straw to save himself from death, so Cromwell, at Henry's 
request, wrote a letter, which he must have known \vould 
be useless, to say what he could on his own beha1f4. 
The letter speaks for itself: its denials of the charges are not 
as frequent as the acknowledgernents of guilt and pleas for 
mercy, but it produced no effect on the angry King. What 
the injudicious words spoken before Throgmorton and Riche 
were, it is impossible to tell; they were probably simply 
sentences into which a treasonable intent 'was read as into 
, 
those mentioned in the attainder; the' secrete matier' which 
Cromwell was accused of revealing without leave may well 
have been a project of Henry's to get rid of Anne, which for 
many reasons it was expedient for him to keep secret, until he 
was certain that he could free himself by one blow from the 
marriage which by this time had become intolerable to him. 


] CaI. xv. 804. 


2 Cal. xv. 847. 
4 Letters, 34 8 . 


a CaI. xv. 9 26 . 



IllS FALL 


297 


1
o this purpose all the King's energies were no\\' bent, and 
conscious that his fallen minister had known more of his 
relations with Anne than any other, he sent hinl in the end 
of June a list of questions on the subject, couched in 
such judicious language, that if Crom\vell gave the replies he 
confidently looked for, they would supply cogent reasons for 
his divorce I. I-Ic \vas sure, he said, that no\v that Cromwell 
was condemned to die, he would tell the truth and not dan111 
his soul also, by bearing false \vitness at the last
. 'Vhether 
Henry's assull1ption here \vas correct or not, it is impossible 
to tell. Crom\\yell kne\v of course that his chance of pardon 
was almost nothing, but he was not so foolish as to thro\v it 
away absolutely; he also knew that the King's heart's desire 
\\'as a divorce from Anne, and he sa\v that his only hope lay 
in aiding Henry to his Utl110st to free himself [ronl her. Nor 
was Crom\vell the sort of man to \vhom dying with a lie on 
his lips \vou]d mean very much; his \vhole interest \yas 
absorbed in the endeavour to make the most of the one very 
faint chance of escape that was offered to him. lIenee it is 
possible that the testimony he bore in this case may not have 
been strictly true. He appears to have \vritten two letters in 
ans\ver to the King's interrogatories; one of them is in the 
library of the Marquis of Salisbury at Hatfield House; the 
other, badly mutilated, in the British l\1useum 3. Both of 
them are filled 'with abject pleas for n1ercy, and one of thel11, 
which ,vas carried to the King by Cronlwell's faithful Ralph 
Sadler, moved Henry so much, that it is said that he com- 
manded it to be read to him thrice 4. The two letters tell the 
same story in slightly different \-vords: they give a full account 
of everything that Crom\vell had seen of Henry's relation to 
Anne. since they first met at Rochester. T'hey dilate on the 


1 Cal. xv. 822. 
2 Cal. xv. 82 5. 
3 Letters, 349, 350. 
4 Foxe, vol. ii. p. 433. If this 
story be true, the interest which the 
King evinced in Cronlwcll's letter 
is to be exp1ained rather by his 
anxiety concerning his divorce, 


than by his sympathy for his fallen 
n1inister. Certain1y there is no 
reason to think the closing scene 
of the' Life and Death of Thomas 
Lord Cromwell,' in which a reprieve 
is brought frOln the King by Ralph 
Sadler after CrOlnwell's head had 
fallen, has any foundation in fact. 




98 


THOMAS CROIVIWELL 


King's disgust at the first sight of the' great Flanders mare/ 
tell how he endeavoured to put off the wedding, alleging as 
his excuse the previous engagement of Anne and the Duke of 
Lorraine's son, and finally quote a conversation of Henry and 
Cromwell, the day after the marriage, in which the I{ing 
appears to have informed his minister that consumn1ation had 
not follo\ved. The truth of this last staten1ent is apparently 
corroborated by a letter \vhich Anne sent to her brother 
a few days later 1. Experience of the very unscrupulous 
methods of Henry VIII, especially when matrimonial issues 
were at stake, leads the reader, however, at least to recognize 
the possibility that Anne may have written this letter under 
compulsion and the threat of death if she refused. The testi- 
mony with which the King had armed himself for the struggle 
he anticipated over gaining a divorce from his fourth wife, 
was thus all of it obtained under circulnstances that certainly 
cast grave suspicions on its veracity; and the modern 
student may well be excused for refusing to accept it with 
that pleasingly implicit faith which the Convocations and 
Parliaments of this period almost invariably placed in the 
statements of the sovereign 2. 
Certainly there was little cause for Henry to doubt his own 
ability to wrest a decision of the nullity of his marriage from 
clergy, Lords, and Commons. Ten years of Cromwell's 
masterfulness had been enough to convince them of the 
absolute futility of opposing the King in any matter on 
which he had set his heart. The evidence wrung from 
the fallen rninister almost under the shadow of the scaffold, 
and the confirmatory letter elicited from Anne, coupled 
with a 'breve trew and parfaict declaracion' from the King 
himself3, \vere quite sufficient to cause Convocation after 


1 Cal. xv. 89 8 . 
2 It is somewhat significant to 
note that in this case Henry 
had practically acknowledged facts 
considered by the canonists as 
, sufficient proof' of consummation 
in the case of Arthur and Katherine, 
and that the King had been glad to 


accept as such at the time of the 
trial of his first divorce. This is 
merely one of those suspiciously 
convenient changes of opinion one 
encounters so often in dealing with 
the personal history of Henry VIII. 
Cf. Burnet, vol. i. pp. 16 3-4. 
S Cal. xv. 8 2 5. 



HIS FALL 


299 


three days of debate finally to agree on the judgement that 
the union \vas unlawful, and to send their decision to Par- 
lian1ent on ] uly 12. An Act to proclaim the nlarriage null 
and void fronl the beginning 'vas hurried through the l-Iouscs 
with all possible speed, and on the 14th it \vas passed 1. From 
that time on\vard the 'lady Anne \vas treated as a sister by 
the King'; she was suffered to live in retirement, adequate 
lands and money \vere apportioned to her, and she remained 
in England, contented and happy that execution had not been 
substituted for divorce
. The Duke of Cleves \vas naturally 
enraged at the treahncnt of his sister, and resolutely refused 
to ackno\vledge that she had been honourably dealt with; but 
he kne\v that he \vas too weak to avenge the insult, and 
coldly promised that the nullification of the 111arriage \vould 
not cause him to (departe from his devotion leage and 
anlytie' \vith the ICing of England 3. 
The story of Cromwell's arrest, followed by the report of 
the divorce of Anne of Cleves, \vas also immediately com- 
municated to France and Spain, Francis appears to have 
received the news of the first with unfeigned joy, and was 
not slow to signify to IIenry his satisfaction at the unex- 
pected turn of affairs 4. He wrote again to the King a little 
later, asserting that Cromwell had adjusted a dispute over 
some prizes taken by the ships of the governor of Picardy, 
the Sieur de Rochepot, in such a way that he had derived per- 
sonal gain from the transaction; this complaint was sent to 
CrOlll\Vell in the T o,ver, and drew from hinl the reply con- 
tained in the last existing letter which he wrote 5. Francis' 
enthusiasm at the ruin of a minister \vhom he had such reason 
to hate, seen1S to have been some\vhat diminished when he 
learned that Anne's marriage had been dissolved, as he naturally 
sa\v that this step \vould immediately put England and Spain 
on a better footing. An interesting account of the ambassador 
Carne's breaking the ne\vs to Francis, is given in a letter of 


1 Lords' Journal, pp. 154, 155. 
2 Cal. xv. 899, 901, 953. Part of 
Anne's income was derived from 
the manor of Canbery, previously 
owned by Cromwell, and at his 


attainder confiscated to the use of 
the Crown. Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 7 13. 

 State Pa?ers, vol. viii. p. 4 2 I. 
-I Cal. xv. 765, 792,794, 841. 
5 Letters, 35 I. 



300 


THOlVIl\S CROM\V:ELL 


\Vallop's to Henry of July 10. Francis, as it appears, : fett 
a gret sighte,' as if reflecting on the vacillating methods of his 
'nere and dere brother,' but finally assented that Henry's 

 owne conscience shuld be judge therein 1.' The French 
King, though he greatly rejoiced in Crom,vell's fall, was 
evidently somewhat taken aback by the first result of the 
consummation of his hopes. Charles showed none of the 
same out\vard enthusiasm, when Pate dec1ared to him the news 
of Cromwell's arrest; he did not even send a message, but 
left the ambassador in a later letter to the King to supple- 
ment his silence with his own approval. His replies to the 
news of the divorce of Anne were likewise calm, but he cer- 
tainly was Inuch relieved by what he had heard 2. The 
common opinion which the sudden reversal of Crom\vell's 
policy had caused on the Continent seems to have been, as 
Pate wrote to Norfolk on July 3 I, that Henry had 'lost the 
hartes of the Electors of thEmpire' but had 'contravailed 
thEmprour or the Frenche King in there places 3.' 
On ] uly 27 the Parliament closed, having finished the 
work that the King had mapped out for it. Since Crom- 
well's arrest it had practically undone all that his foreign 
policy of the t\VO past years had acconlplished, by nullifying 
the marriage of Henry and Anne. The rest of its proceed- 
ings are unilnportant, except perhaps the attainder of Barnes. 
Garret, and Jerome, the Lutheran preachers, who were 
convicted of heresy and sentenced to die at the stake 4. 
With the divorce from Anne secured, and those \vhom the 
minister had favoured at hOl11e conden1ned, there was now no 
longer any impediment to the cOlnpletion of the final act of 
the tragedy, and on July 28 'Thon1as Cromwell, shearman,' 
, 
\vas led forth to execution. In a letter to Francis, Marillac 
simply mentions the fact of his death õ, but a more complete 
account of the end of the great minister is fortunately pre- 
served to us in the chronicles of Holinshed and Hall, and the 
history of F oxe 6. 


1 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 39 2 . 
2 Cal. xv. 794, 811. 
:I State Papers, vol. viii. p. 4 12 . 
· Cal. xv. 498, p. 2] 7. 


5 Cal. xv. 9 26 . 
6 Holinshed, p. 8 1 7; Hall, p. 839; 
Foxe, p. 433. 



HIS FALL 


301 


From the stories of all these chroniclers it appears that 
Cromwell on the scaffold made an address to the people, 
declaring the faith in which he died. That his speech 
vas 
printed and publicly circulated is attested by Pole; and the 
fact that Holinshed, Hall, and Foxe give it in almost exactly 
the same \vords corroborates the truth of the Cardinal's 
statement. Pole, however, goes on to say that though at first 
he accepted the printed speech as a true version of Cromwell's 
words, he later learned from trustworthy persons that \vhat 
Crom,vell had actually said \vas something very different r. 
The words of the speech certainly have the appearance of 
being composed beforehand and forced upon Cromwell's 
dying lips. He confessed that he had done \vrong, asked 
forgiveness of his King, and finally asc;erted that he died in 
the Catholic Faith, not doubting in any article of his faith, 
'no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church 2.' This 
last statement \vas certainly untrue; nor would it have been 
in any way less false, if Cromwell had said that he died a true 
Protestant 3. IIis religious beliefs were, as far as can be dis- 
covered, absolutely nothing when disconnected from practical 
ends, and he probably made his last speech at the King's 
command, either to save himself from a IDore shameful death 
than beheading, or else, as is quite probable, to avert the ruin 
of his son Gregory, \vho he perhaps feared would fall with 
him. On this point, however, he need not have had any 
apprehension; Gregory Cromwell, perhaps on account of 
his fortunate marriage with the aunt of Prince Edward
 
appeared to be in as high favour as ever 4, and the title of 
Baron Cromwell, which his father forfeited at his attainder, 
was regranted to the young man by patent, Dec. 18, 154 05 . 


1 Cal. xvi. 4 0 . 
2 Cf. Appendix at the end of this 
chapter. 
3 Cf. Collier, vol. ii. p. 18 I. 
, I readily grant Cromwell was no 
Papist at his Death. But then, it 
is pretty plain he was no Protestant 
neither.' 
4 Cal. xv. 94 0 . 


5 Cal. xvi. 379 (34). Gregory 
Cromwell died in 1557, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son Henry. 
The latter's grandson Thomas, 
fourth Baron Cromwell, was created 
Earl Ardglass in tbe Irish peer- 
age, April 15, 1645. The earldom 
of Ardglass expired in 1687, and 
the barony of Cromwell became 



302 


THOMAS C!{OMWELL 


Besides this speech, which has given historians so much 
trouble, Hall makes mention of the fact that Cromwell' made 
his praier, which \vas long, but not so long as both Godly 
and learned 1.' This prayer is given in full in Foxe, and, as 
it reads there, it certainly justifies the use of the epithets that 
Hall applied to it 2. Whether Foxe's words were Cromwell's 
words, or whether Cromwell's words were his own, and not 
those of the King \vhich were given him to speak, is however 
entirely another matter. I t is unfortunate that we have 
no more credible authority than the martyrologist on this 
point. Cromwell's prayer, as he gives it, ,vas certainly 
that of a man ,vho humbly acknowledged his faults, and threw 
himself solely on the mercy of God; but the words which he 
spoke are suspiciously devout, for those of a man to 'whom 
religion mattered so little. 
(And thus,' says Foxe, (his J;>rayer made, after he had 
godly and lovingly exhorted them that \vere about him on 
the Scaffold, he quietly comn1Ïtted his Soul into the hands 
of God, and so patiently suffered the stroke of the Ax, by 
a ragged and butcherly Miser, \vhich very ungodly performed 
his Office 3.' 


dormant in 1709. Life of Thomas 
Cromwell, in the Dictionary of 
National Biography,vol. xiii. p. 202. 
I Hall, p. 839. 
2 Cf. Appendix at the end of this 
chapter. 
S Foxe, vol. ii. p. 434. Cf. Mendes 
Silva, pp. 34, 35: (Acabadas de 
pronunciar estas palabras, se di- 


spuso a morir, pidiendo al verdugo, 
llamado Gurrea, para no sentir di- 
lataàa pena, Ie cortasse la cabeça 
de vn golpe. Tendiose, pues sobre 
el madero, y recibiòle terrible, mu- 
liendo aquel que nU7Zca deuiera 
nacer, por quien Inglaterra desde 
entonces se abrasa en infernal 
incendio de heregias.' 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XIV 


PASSAGES FRO
1 FOXE'S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 
VoL ii. p. 433. 


, l\ true Christian confession of the L. Cromwel at his death.' 
, I anl conle hither to die, and not to purge my self, as sOlne think 
peradventure that I will. For if I should so do, I were a very 
wretch and a l\liser. I am by the Law condenlned to die, and thank 
my Lord God, that hath appointed nle this death for Inine Offence. 
For sithence the tin1e that I have had years of discretion, I have 
lived a sinner, and offended my Lord God, for the which I ask hinI 
heartily forgiveness. And it is not unknown to nlany of you, that 
I have been a great Traveller in this "r orId, and being but of a base 
degree, was called to high estate, and sit hence the tinle I canle 
thereunto I have offended nlY Prince, for the which I ask hinI 
heartily forgiveness, and beseech you all to pray to God with me, 
that he will forgive me. And now I pray you that be here, to bear 
me record, I die in the Catholick Faith, not doubting in any Article 
of nlY Faith, no nor doubting in any Sacrmnent of the Church. 

iany have slandered nle and reported that I have been a bearer 
of such as have maintained evil Opinions, which is untrue. But 
I confess, that like as God by his holy Spirit doth instruct us in 
the Truth, so the Devil is ready to seduce us, and I have been 
seduced; but bear nle witness that I die in the Catholick Faith of 
the holy Church; and I heartily desire you to pray for the Kings 
Grace, that he 111ay long live with you in health and prosperity; 
and that after hiln his Son Prince Edward that goodly Impe may 
long Reign over you. And once again I desire you to pray for 
me, that so long as life relnaineth in this flesh, I waver nothing in my 
Faith. ' 


'The Prayer of the Lord Crolnwel at his Death.' 
, 0 Lord Jesus, which art the only health of all men living, and 
the everlasting life of them which die in thee; I wretched sinner 
do submit my self wholly unto thy Inost blessed will, and bein; 
sure that the thing cannot Perish which is comnlÏtted unto thy 



304 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


Inercy, wil.lingly now I leave this frail and wicked flesh, in sure hope 
that thou wilt in better wise restore it to me again at the last day in 
the resurrection of the just. I beseech thee most merciful Lord 
Jesus Christ, that thou wilt by thy grace make strong nlY Soul against 
all temptations, and defend nle with the Buckler of thy Inercy against 
all the assaults of the Devil. I see and knowledge that there is in 
lllY self no hope of Salvation, but all nlY confidence, hope and trust 
is in thy nlost nlerciful goodness. I have no merits nor good works 
which I may alledge before thee. Of sins and evil works (alas) 
I see a great heap; but yet through thy mercy I trust to be in the 
nunlber of them to WhOlTI thou wilt not impute their sins; but wilt 
take and accept 111e for righteous and just, and to be the Ì11heritor 
of everlasting life. Thou Inerciful Lord wert born for nlY sake, thou 
didst suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake; thou didst teach, 
pray, and fast for nlY sake; all thy holy Actions and Works thou 
wroughtest for my sake; thou sufferedst most grievous Pains and 
Torments for my sake; finally, thou gavest thy Inost precious Body 
and thy Blood to he shed on the Cross for my sake. Now nlost 
merciful Saviour, let all these things profit llle, which hast given 
thy self also for me. Let thy Blood cleanse and wash away the 
spots and fulness of my sins. Let thy righteousness hide and cover 
my unrighteousness. Let the merit of thy Passion and blood 
shedding be satisfaction for nlY sins. Give me, Lord, thy grace, 
that the Faith of my salvation in thy Blood waver not in Ine, but 
may ever be firm and constant. That the hope of thy nlercy and 
life everlasting never decay in me, that love wax not cold in me. 
Finally, that the weakness of my flesh be not overconle with the fear 
of death. Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up 
the eyes of 111Y Body, yet the eyes of my Soul may still behold and 
look upon thee, and when death hath taken away the use of my 
Tongue, yet my heart may cry and say unto thee, Lord into thy 
hands I comnlend my Soul, Lord Jesus receive nly spirit, Anlen.' 



CHAPTER XV 


THE 'YORK OF THO
IAS CRO
l\VELL 


IT is inevitable that there should be the \videst divergence 
of opinion concerning every great figure in Reformation his- 
tory, and it is idle to atten1pt to form an estimate of the 
character and \vork of Thomas Crom\vell that \vill satisfy 
those who take different vie\vs of the great struggle during 
\\"hich his life was lived. But Catholics and Protestants must 
agree on the fundamental and permanent nature of the changes 
,,"hich he \vrought: \vhether his work \vas good or bad, no one 
can deny his success in fulfilling his life's aim as declared 
to Cavendish on the All Hallo\\'s Day \vhen he rode forth to 
London 'to make or to marre.' He \vas the first chief 
minister that England had ever had, \vho ,vas base-born and 
yet not a cleric. He stood completely outside the great 
religious movement of his time, and only made use of it to 
further his o\vn political ends. He came at a time \vhen 
things \vere in an unsettled state and ready for a change: 
his personality, emotionless, practical, stern, impressed itself 
on every phase of the national life. It \vas not alone in 
Parliament, Convocation, or Privy Council that he reigned 
supreme; on every department of the government service 
the stamp of his individual genius remains indelibly fixed. 
The permanence of his work \vas largely due to the ,yay in 
,vhich he clinched every refornl ,vhich he introduced. He 
follo\ved up the separation from Rome by attacking in turn 
the bishops, clergy, and friars, and by suppressing the n10nas- 
teries. He obtained the support of the King in almost every 
measure ,vhich he invented, and then forced Parliament formally 
to legalize it. His action was in no case ineffective; the im- i \ 
mediate result of it ,vas almost always the attainment of the I 
goal at which he aimed. 
J.1ERRI!li.'
. I X 


., 



306 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


To the student of the present day, ho\vever, \vho is enabled 
to survey the decade of Croffiv;ell's rule after a lapse of more 
than three and a half centuries, the immediate effects of his 
measures fade into the background and lose their importance, 
in the face of later and far greater developments. The latter 
\vere not ahvays the results Crom\vell \vished to attain; in 
n1any cases they \vere ends which, if he could have foreseen, 
Crom\vell \vould have been the last person to promote. 
They came years later, indirectly, as it were, and were rendered 
possible only by the lapse of tinle, the influence of other 
statesmen, and the growth and progress of civil and religious 
liberty, but none the less were they due to the impulse of 
Thomas Cromwell. By following out the effect of a fe\v of 
the more important steps of his policy, it will not be difficult 
to see what some of these later developments \vere. 
Let us take in the first place his action in rejecting the 
authority of the See of Rome. Croffi\vell advised the IZing 
to shake off his allegiance to the Pope, solely because he sa\:v 
that a divorce from Katherine of Aragon could never be ob- 
tained from Clement VII, as long as the latter was in the 
power of Charles V. His aim \vas to please the King by 
enabling him to divorce Katherine, so that he might marry 
Anne Boleyn; he realized that his desire could not be accom- 
plished while the country remained true to the Old Faith; he 
cut the bonds that held England to Rome, and gained what 
Henry wished. The direct result, the only thing he cared about, 
was accomplished; but far more important than that, it \-vas 
by Cromwell's means that Protestantism gained. a footing in 
England, which even the Six Articles and the tèrrible perse- 
cution under Mary could not shake. To guard against the 
return of the Papal po\ver, and the annulling of the divorce, 
Cromwell attacked and subdued the clergy, and negotiated 
\vith the Protestants on the Continent. His immediate object 
\vas solely political safety; the ultimate result \-vas the loosen- 
ing of some of the strongest bonds of Romanism, and the 
opening of the road for the incoming of the new religion. 
Thus out of moves first made to attain and ensure a question- 
able end, gre\v consequences so great and so far-reaching 



HIS \VORK 


307 


that it is only \yith difficulty that one can trace their 
ongln. 
The same renlark \vill be found to hold true of the 
results of the suppression of the monasteries 1. 1'he main 
object of the I(ing's Vicegerent in destroying them \vas 
undoubtedly to fill the royal treasury \vith the spoils of the 
Church, and to clinch the advantages gained by the separa- 
tion from Rome. Rut the later result of his measures \vas 
actually to undo much of the \vork \yhich they \vere first 
intended to perform. For though they had \veakened reli- 
gious opposition to the Crown, they strengthened the secular 
element in its later struggle against the royal autocracy which 
Cromwell had laboured to establish. We have seen that the 
lands of the suppressed houses had been either given a\vay, 
or else sold at exceedingly lo\v prices to the impoverished 
nobles by Cromwell's advice, in order to \vard off the oppo- 
sition aroused by their destruction. This measure certainly 
attained its immediate purpose, but it also laid the foundation 
for the growth of an extremely po\\rerful territorial aristocracy, 
that later on \vas to use its influence to oppose the royal pre- 
rogative and pave the \vay for modern constitutionalism. 
\Vhile Crom\vell, in his attacks on the older nobility, thought 
that he was removing the last impediments to absolute 
monarchy, he really, by enriching and strengthening this ne\v 
aristocracy, \vas rearing an infinitely more potent enemy to 
the kingship for \vhich he had sacrificed everything. It is \vell 
known that such families as the Russells, Seymours, and 
Cavendishes, \vho later figured most pronlinently in opposition 
to the Cro\vn, o\ved their po\ver to gifts out of the revenues of 
the suppressed monasteries. The smaller gentry also claimed 
a share in the general advancement to \vealth and prosperity 
among the landed proprietors, and a sudden burst of political 
activity in the Lords and Commons bore \vitness to the fact 
that the Houses had once more asserted their right to govern. 
This brings us to Cromwell's relations \vith Parliament. It 
is here that we find the most striking instance of the con- 
tradiction bet\veen the immediate and the pennanent effects 
1 Cf. for this and the following pages, Green, vol. ii. pp. 197-202. 



308 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


of the changes he \vrought. \Ve have seen ho\v his attitude 
to\\'ards Parliament differed from that of his predecessor. 
We have seen ho\v Wolsey had looked upon the national 
assembly as a great force ,vhich continually hampered his 
schemes, so that his dislike of it led him to summon it as 
infrequently as possible, and only \vhen it ,vas absolutely 
necessary. We have seen ho\v Crom\vell was destined to go 
one step further, and ho\v by packed elections, fraud, and 
violence, he succeeded in converting it into an utterly 
subservient instrument of the royal ,vill. It was no\v 
no longer a power to be feared, but one to be relied on; 
a firm ally that consistently obeyed the slightest hint of 
the \vishes of the Crown. Consequently instead of rarely 
assembling as under Wolsey, it \vas being constantly sum- 
moned, as a necessary means to accomplish the designs of 
Henry and his minister. vVhile the latter lived, everything 
\vorked exactly as he had intended, and the Parliament re- 
mained 'tractable.' But \vhen after his death the idea of 
autocracy had passed a\vay, atld England had begun to 
recover from the terror Crom,vell's n1inistry had inspired, 
Parliament suddenly realized that it had a po\ver of its own. 
Its frequent assemblings \\'hich of course had helped the 
Crown, as long as under Cromwell the Houses had re- 
mained subservient, now began to ,york just the other way, 
and aided it in shaking off the fetters that bound it to the 
King. It had been Cromwell's plan that it should keep up the 
forms of constitutional liberty , as a sort of sop to the popular 
feeling, while in reality all its legislative vigour was lost. N o\V 
that the pressure of his hand was removed, the animating spirit 
revived, and finding all the old traditionary customs still intact 
began to infuse itself into Lords and Commons. The earlier 
independence of the Houses returned and increased, so that 
the final result of the ,york of Crom\vell \vas on the one hand 
to thwart all efforts to compass the omnipotence of the 
Crown, and on the other to lay the basis for a constitutional 
government. 
H ad the English character been one that could per- 
manently suffer any form of tyranny or absolute monarchy; 



HIS \VORK 


309 


had the ends the great minister aimed at been such that \yhen 
the temporary madness and terror inspired by his o\vn per- 
sona1ity had passed by, they could have aroused one spark 
of enthusiasm in the English heart, Crom\vell's \vould have 
been the grandest figure in his country's history. But it 
\\
as not destined to be so. The national drift \vas through- 
out bitterly opposed to him and to the ideas for \vhich he 
stood, so that much of his policy \vas reversed in the years 
that follo\ved his death. There can be, it seems to me, no 
doubt that Crom\vell \vas perfectly sincere in his attempt to 
establish an all-po\verful kingship under the forms of ostensible 
constitutionalism. He did it not from selfish motives, but 
because he believed it to be the only sure road to national 
greatness. The crimes that marred his career cannot be 
excused, but may be palliated by this consideration, and by 
his dauntless courage in resolutely destroying the Curial control 
of the English courts and English Church; on this side of his 
\vork he "vas the true successor of WycHf, the true predecessor 
of his own great kinsman. Cromwell lived in an age when 
a \vave of monarchical enthusiasm s\vept over the entire \vest 
of Europe: a belief in the absolute po\ver of kings \vas the 
most salient characteristic of the political atmosphere of his 
day. He \vas essentially a man of his time in his faults and 
in his virtues, and could scarcely have anticipated modern con- 
stitutionalism. Thus his policy perished \vith him, but his 
\vork remained and \vas permitted by change and reaction 
finally to attain results far more glorious and lasting than 
he had hoped for. The despotism of the Tudors fell \vith 
their dynasty, the liberties of the nation survived. 



LETTERS OF THOl\IAS CROM\VELL 


PREFATORY NOTE 


HERE follo\v a complete collection of the letters of Tholnas 
Crom\vell arranged as nearly as possible in chronological 
order, an itinerary, and a list of his minor preferments. The 
letters have been copied from the original manuscripts, save 
in a fe\v cases duly noted, \vhen transcripts have been made 
from the official copies at the Public Record Office, from 
Strype and Ribier, or from the collections of Sir Henry Ellis. 
The spelling follo\vs the original, all contractions are extended 
but italicized: the original punctuation, paragraphing, and 
use of capitals are preserved. 
But (I) I have disregarded' unintelligent' or faulty marks 
of contraction, occurring in ,vords in which no letter is omitted. 
(2) I have not italicized uncontracted letters inserted above 
the line. For example: the name 'Thomas' is almost 
always written' Thomas' in the original: I have transcribed it 
, Thomas' and not 'Thomas.' On the other hand, the word 
, your' is usually ,vritten 'yor' in the manuscript: in this case 
I have taken the superior' r ' as a contracted form of I ur,' and 
so have transcribed it 'your.' (3) In the originals the same 
script form is used for' I' and' J' ; I have follo\ved the modern 
use. (4) The bracket [ ] signifies that the words or letters 
enclosed ,vould have been in the manuscript had it not been 
injured. The bracket ( ) signifies that the ,vord or ,vords 
enclosed have been inserted by me to complete the sense. 
The parenthesis ( ) signifies that the enclosure is bracketed 
in the original. (5) Sentences and ,vords crossed out or 
underlined in the manuscript have been set below, except 
when evident mistakes of the \vriter. The letters' c. 0.' signify 



312 


PREFATORY NOTE 


that the passage against which they are \vritten was crossed 
out or underlined in the original. 
In dating letters, I have follo\ved the modern use, and have 
taken the first of January and not the twenty-fifth of 11arch 
as the beginning of the year. I have used the bracket ( ) 
in the headings to indicate that the name or date enclosed has 
not been given in the letter itself, but has been found from 
external or internal evidence. Letters which bear no indica- 
tion of the day and month in \vhich they \vere \vritten are 
placed at the end of the year to \vhich they apparently belong. 
The abbreviations 'R. 0.' and 'B. M.' refer to the Public 
Record Office and British Museum respective1y throughout 
the collection. 



LETTERS 


1. CROM\VELL TO JOHN CREKE. 
R. O. Cal. iii. 3249. Aug. 17 (1523). 
A letter of friendship, containing an account of the proceedings of the 
Parliament of 1523, in which CrOlnwell sat. .News concerning 
Creke's friends in England. 
Maister Creke as hertelye as I can I cOl1lmende me and 
in the same \vise thanke yO\V [for your] gentill and louyng 
letteres to me at sundrye tymys Sent and \vher as I ac- 
cordinglye haue not in lyke wise remembrid and rescribid 
it hath bene for that I haue not hade anything to \vryt of 
to your aduauncement. vVhom I assure yO\V yf it were in 
nlY lytyll po\ver I coulde be well contcntyd to prcfcrre as 
ferre as anyone man lyuyng. But at this present I being 
at Sunl layser entending to remembre and also remunerate 
the oide acquayntaunccs and to rene\v 0111" not forgoten 
Sundrye c0111munycacions Supposing ye desyre to know the 
ne\ves curraunt in thes pal'tyes for it is said that ne\ves 
refresshith the spy[ rit] of lyffe, wherfor ye shall vnderstonde 
that by long tyme I anlongist other haue Indured a parlya- 
ment which contenwid by the space of xvij hole wekes wher 
we cOllzffiunyd of \varre pease Stryffe contencyon debatte 
murmure grudge Riches pouerte penurye trowth faishode 
J ustyce equyte discayte opprescyon Magnanymyte actyuyte 
force attempraunce Treason murder Felonye consyli . . . 
and also how a C01JlmUne "veIth myght be ediffyed and a[lso] 
contenewid \vithin ollr Realme. Ho\vbeyt in conclusyon \ve 
haue d[ one] as our predecessors haue been wont to doo that 
ys to say, as well as we myght and lefte \vher we begann. 
ye shall also vnderstond the Duke of Suthffolke Furnysshyd 
with a gret armye goyth ouer in all good lye hast [whit ]her 
I kno\v not, \vhen I kno\v I shall aduertyse YO\v. Whe haue 
in our parlyament grauntyd vnto the Kinges highnes a right 
large Subsydye, the lyke wherof was neuer grauntyd in this 
realnle. all your frcndes to my knowlage be in good helth 
and specially thay that ye wott of: ye kno\v what I lneane. 
I thinke it best to wryt in parables becausE e] I am In dowt. 
Maister Vawhan Fareth \vell and so cloth Maister l\1unkcaste[r]. 
lrIERRU,f.-\N. 1 Y 



314 


LETTERS OF 


[ 15 2 3 


IVlaister W oodaIl is merye wz.thowt a wyffe and con-zmendyth 
hym to yow: and so ys also N ycholas longmede which hath 
payd William WiIfforde. And thus as well f[ are] ye as 
I woolde do my Self At london the xvij daye of August by 
your Frende to all his possible power 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To his [esp ]ecial and entyrelye belouyd Frende 
John Creke be this youyn Bylbowe in Biscaye. 


2. CROMWELL TO ELIZABETH HIS WIFE. 
Ellis' Letters, 2nd Sere ii. 125; Cal. iv, App. 57. Nov. 29 (15 2 5). 
Sends her a doe. Desires that Richard Swift resort to him at Begham 
or Tonbridge. Asks for news. 
Elyzabeth I commend me unto you and have sente you 
by this berer a fatt doo, the one half whereof I pray you may 
be delyvered unto my gossyp mastres Smyth, and with the 
rest to use your pleasure. And further yf Richard Swifte 
be cum home or fortune to cum shortly, I will that he resorte 
to me at Begham or Tonbridge with all dylygence. Such 
ne\vs as ye have in those part yes I pray you sende me parte 
by this berer. At Begham the xxix th day of November. 
And farther I pray you sende me \vord in wryting who hathe 
resorted unto you syns my departuer from you to speke 
with me. 


Per your husbend 
THOl\IAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To my \vell beloved \vyf Elyzabeth Crumwell 
agenst the Freyers Augustines in London be this given. 


3. (CROM\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 955 (3). (15 2 4 or 1525.) 
Desires that the lands of John Fleming, who has broken covenant with 
Cromwell, be put in execution. 
Syr in my most herty manner I c01Jzmend me vnto yow 
aduertesing yow that after knowlege hade of your departure 
In to the north part yes \vas veray sorye that n1Y chaunce was 
not so happye to haue spokyn with yow befor wheruppon 
I was constrayned for the Singuler trust and conffydence 
which by long contenuaunce hath Succedyd & ben approuyd 



15 2 4 or 5] 


TI-IOMAS CROM\tVELL 


315 


In yO\V to\vardes your Frendes and louers to \vryt vnto yow 1 
Syr So hyt is that one John Flemyng of Crofton in the 
Countye of Yourke in the moneth of may last passid Solde 
vnto Robert Bolt Ccrtayn landcs T enementtes & heredyta- 
menttes to the Clere yer1ye valew of N yntene poundes and 
xvi d. of good and lawffull 1110naye of Ingland to myne vse 
to the Sum of ccclxxxjIi vj8 viijd wheroff the sayd John 
Flemyng resayuyd In partyc of payment one hundereth 
fortye eight powndes nyne shelinges & Syx pence and the rest 
of the sayd SUln \vhich amountyth vnto ccxxxijIi xvij8 ii d \vas 
put in the Saffe custodye and keping of your Frend Maister 
Butrye ther to ren1ayn vntyll Suche tyme the sayd John 
Flemyng sholde haue performyd all his couenaunttes according 
vnto a payre of Indentures For the \vhich SU1l/mys of 
Monaye and for the non performaunce of the sayd Coue- 
naunttes the sayd John Flemyng standyth bounden to the 
saÿd l{obert Bolt In a statute of the Staple of Westminster 
in one thousand markes payable in the Fest of Saynt Ber- 
tholon1ew the appostill last past the date wherof is the xx th 
daye. of Maii in the xv th yere of our souerayng lord kyng 
henrye the viii th , and forasmoche as the said Flemyng hath 
brokyn Couenauntt \vith me In euerye poynt I am Com- 
pellyd to ta1.e the execucyon vppon my statute \vhich by this 
bringer I haue sent vnto yaw desyring and her[ tely] praying 
yow that ye \vill be so Frendlye vnto me yf it be possyble 
beffore YOllr retorn hether\vardes to make Suche Instaunce vnto 
the Shereffe of Yorkeshyre that the sayd execucyon may be 
taken 2 and that all suche landes as the sayd John Flemyng 
hathe within Y orkshyre maye be put in execucyon and 
extendyd befor YOllr retorne owte of Y ourkshyre and that 
the wryt of execucyon may be retollrnyd and what so euer 
charge shalbe For the Furnysshyng of the same I promyse 
yow and bynde me by this my let/ere to Satysfye and Ferther 
to reC01llpenCe YOllr paynys in suche \vyse I trust that ye 
shalbe content yd. Syr I hertelye desyre and praye yow to 
haue me excusyd that I sholde be so bolde to requere yaw 
to take Suche payn for me howbeit the experyence which 
I haue in your good and gentyll approuyd humanyte makyth 
me the more bolde with yow hauyng no do\\.bt but that ye 
will accept & take vppon yow as moche payne For YOUy 
Frend as any man lyuyng Ferther Syr ye shall vnderstonde 


1 c. o. trustyng entyerlye In yow within my lytyll power 
that ye will witsaffe as I may euer 2 c. o. before your Retorn to 
herafter ow vnto yow my Symple London 
seruyce or any pleasure that shalbe 
Y2 



316 


LETTERS OF 


[I5 2 i 


On the dorse 
A fragment of a document containing indentures and agreements con- 
cerning the manor of Kexby. 
The manor of I(exby- 
her after shall Inswe the abredgment of certayn Indentures 
evydence charters dedes esc[ riptes ] and Mynumentes con- 
cernyng the mannOllr of Kexbye with the appertenallces within 
the Countye of Yorke Delyuery[d] . . by Iohn Aleyn Cytizen 
and Altherman of London to the handes of Sundrye Right 
worsshypfful and discret persons Councellottrs vnto the most 
reue[ rent] Father in god Thomas lorde Cardenall legate de 
Iatere archbusshop of Y ourke pry . . . and chaunceler of 
Inglonde to the vse of the sayd most Reuerend Father in god 
the dattes of the whiche Indentures evydences charters dedes 
escriptes & Mynimenttes consernyng the sayd Mannour \vith 
parte of the effectes conteynyd [in] the same mor playnlye 
herafter shall a ppere 
4. (CROM\VELL) TO LADY (DORSET). 
R. O. CaI. iv. 3053 (ii). April (1527). 
Reports a letter received from 'n1Y lorde t and addressed to her lady- 
ship, and encloses the copy of another from' my lord George.' 
Pleasyth it your good ladyship my specyall dewtes fyrst 
remembred that as vppon Wensdaye being the XVijth daye of 
Aprell I resayuyd from my lorde a lettere directyd vnto your 
good ladyship with also all his honourable aduenture In to 
Scotland 1 theffect wherof YOllr ladyship shall resayue in 
your letteres Ferther I resayuyd the same daye a lettere from 
my lord George the tenollr and Copye wherof I haue sent 
yow herin Inclosyd IVladame as ye shall Thinke by your good 
and vertuese discresyon it may please to aduertyse my good 
lord which I thinke shalbe well takyn when he shall parsayue 
that ye doo and shall contenually studye for the aduansment 
of his honeur. 


5. (CROM\VELL) TO (VISCOUNT ROCHFORD). 
R. O. CaI. iv. 3741. (December, 1527.) 
Legal information and advice concerning a suit in which Cromwell has 
been retained as counsel by the wife of Sir Robert Clerc, the sister 
of Rochford. 
. Pleasyth it your good lordship to be aducrtysed ho\ve that 
It hath pleasyd my Iadye your suster \vyff to Sir Roberte 
Clere Knyght to requyre and desyre me to be of counsayll 
1 c. o. I am ascertaynyd that your ladyship shall resayue 



15 2 7 ] 


THOl'/fAS CROMvVELL 


317 


,vith the sayd Sir Robert her husbande in a certayn 1 Matyer 
in varyaunce betwene the lady Fcneux late the wyff of sir 
John F eneux Knyght cheffe J ustyce 2 desseasyd of and For 
the deffcnce of a \vrytt of extent of late passyd out of the 
Kynges hygh courte of the Chauncery dyrected vnto the 
Sheryff of N orffolke and Suffolke as\vell for the extendyng of 
the landcs of the sayd sir Robcrte \vt"thin the sayd count yes 
as alsoo For the puttyng in execution the bodye of the sayd 
sir l{obert Clere for the satysfactyon and payment of Foure 
hundreth poundes supposyd to be due to the sayd late cheff 
Justice disceasyd And For asmoche as by the reporte of my 
sayd lady yoltr suster and alsoo by the syght of certayn 
Indentures of Couenallnttes & deffaunttes nlade as\vell byt'.Vene 
sir John Paston I(nyght disceasyd and the sayd Sir Roberte 
Clere as alsoo byt\vene the sayd late cheff Justice and the 
sayd sir Robert yt maye appere that the sayd Statute of the 
Staple of cccc li was made and delyucred to none other intente 
but onlye For the perfformaunce of certayn couenaltntes of 
Maryage For the assuraunce and onlye aduaunsement of 
a J oynter to be made to one Elyzabeth late the wyff off one 
William Clere disceasyd S01lne and heyre at that tyme to the 
sayd sÙ' Robcrte \vhiche Elyzabeth ys nowe \vydo\ve and was 
lately the \vyffe of the sayd late lorde Feneux cheff Justice 
all \vhiche couenauntes of Maryage the sayd sir Robert Clere 
hathe ahvays as I anl Infornlyd bene redye and yet ys to per- 
fourme nOÌ\yithstandyng 3 that the sayd Sir John Paston in 
hys lyffe nor sir William Paston nowe lyuyng sonne and heyre 
of the sayd sir John \volde ne \vyll not accordyng to suche 
couenauntes 4 as the (same) be boundyn vnto paye vnto the 
sayd sir Roberte Clere cc li Resydue of foure hundreth Markes 
for the sayd 5 assuraunce of the sayd Couenaunttes of Maryage 6 
yet de we and vnpayd the none paynlent wherof ys A greate 
Inatyer and it were gret pytye and also ayenst bothe reson 
& Conscyens that the sayd sir Roberte. shulde haue his landcs 
extendyd and be c01npellyd to paye the sayd S0111me of foure 
hundreth poundcs consyderyng the sayd bounde was made 
but for the pcrformaunce of the couenauntes of 11aryage 
\vhiche 7 the sayd Syr Robert \vas and ys f{,edye to performe 


1 c. o. case 
2 c. o. vnto the kynges highnes 
of hys benche 
s c. o. yff yt soo bad ben 
4 c. o. as was bytwene the sayd 
sir John and the sayd sir Roberte 
payd 
5 c. o. aduaunsement 
6 c. o. one to the sayd sir Roberte 


Clere in full contentacion & pay- 
Ð1ent of cccc l\larkes whiche cc li ys 
yet vnpayd 
7 c. o. was and shulde hane ben 
accomplyshyd in euery poynte 
yff the sa yd sir John Paston had 
accordyng to hys couena1tntes payd 
the sommes of money whiche he 
was bonde to paye by hys Inden- 




18 


LETTERS OF 


[15 2 7 


and good Reason it were that the Couenaunttes on the partie 
of the sayd Sir John Paston also sholde be performyd and 
the sayd cc 1i payde. Neuertheles the sayd Syr Robert Clere 
ys vtterlye without Remedye by course of the C01JimOn lawe 1 
to defende the execucyon of the sayd wryttes of extent so 
that the sayd cccc Ii shalbe recoueryd of hys landes and bodye 
onles yt may please yottr good lordeshyp to moue my lorde 
hys grace in Conscyens to graunt a wryt of Iniullctyon 2 to 
be dyrectyd (to) the sayd lady Elyzabeth Feneux Com- 
mandyng her by the same no ferther to prosecute thexecucion 
of the sayd "Tyttes of extent vppon the sayd statute of cccc H . 
And alsoo ayenst the sayd S'ir Roberte as my sayde lordes 
grace may gyue c01Jzmaundement 3 that no ,vryttcs of liberata 
goo out of the sayd courte of Chauncerye vntyll suche tyme 
(as) the hole matyer tochyng the premysses may dulye and 
accordyng to conscyence be harde and examyned And your 
lordshype thus doing shall do the thing in my poore opynyon 
which shall (stand) \vith reason and good Conscyens as 
knowyth the holye Trynyte whom I most hertelye beseche 
to preserue your lordshyp in long lyffe good helth and moche 
honour 


6. CROM\VELL TO WOLSEY. 


R. O. Cal. iv. 4135. April 2, 1528. 
Reports his proceedings in connexion with the monastery of \Yal1ingford. 
Description of the progress of the Cardinal's colleges. Desires the 
benefice of St. Florence for Mr. Birton. 


Please it your grace to be aduertised how that I according 
to your 1110st gracyous c01nmaundement haue repayred vnto 
the late monasterye of Wallingforde Where I founde aswell 
all the ornamenttes of the churche as all other ymplementtes 
of houseolde clerely conueyed awaye and nothing remayning. 
Sauyng only the euydences Which I sorted and conueyed vnto 
your colledge at Oxforde And the same delyvered vnto your 
Dean there. And afterwaràes Mr. Croke and I surueyed 
amended and refourmed aswell the letteres patentes graunted 
by the king his highn<;s vnto your grace as also your gyftes 
and graunttes 111ade vnto your said colledge in suche wise 
I trust that no defaulte or ..omyssyon at this tyme is lefte 
vnrefourmed. 


ture for the aduauncement of hys 
sayd doughter. Neuertheles yt may 
please your lordeshypp to knowe 
the sayd sir Roberte Clerc 
1 c. o. but that the sayd foure 


11 undreth poundes shalbe Recouered 
of hys landes 
2 c. o. to Inyoine 
s c. o. in the courte of Chaun.. 
cery 



15 28 ] 


TIIOMAS CROMWELL 


319 


I haue also founde offyces aswell of the saide late n10nas- 
tcrye of \Vallingforde and of all the londcs and tenemcnttcs 
belonging to the same \\Tl"thin the Counties of Oxforde and 
Rerk as also of suche on1yssions as were olnytted within the 
saide counties belonging to Frcdiswidcs and Lytlemore. And 
no\\r I do repayre into the Counties of Buck and Bedforde 
for offyces to be founde there aswell of suche londcs as apper- 
teyne to the saide late monastcrye of \Vallingforde as also to 
the late monasterye of Praye besides saincte Albons. 
The buyldingcs of your noble colledge most prosperouslye 
and magnyfycently dothe arryse in suche \vise that to euery 
Inannes iudgement the lyke thereof was neuer sene ne 
ymagened hauing consideracyon to the largeness beautec 
sumptuous Curyous and lTIOst substauncyall buylding of the 
sam e. 
Your chapell within the saide colledge most deuoutcly and 
vertuously ordered And the mynistres \vithin the same not 
onely dyligent in the seruyce of god but also the seruice 
daylie doon wit/tin the same so deuoute solempne and full 
of Armonye that in myne opynyon it hathe fewe peres. 
There is a benefyce voyde within the dyoccs of saincte 
dauyes in \;Vales \vhich is of your gracyous gyfte by meane 
of the chauncelorship of Englonde. Yf it filay please your 
grace to gyue the same to 11r. Byrton he shoulde be the 
n10re able to do your grace seruycc. The name of the saide 
bcnefyce is called sayncte Florence. I assure your grace the 
saide Mr. Byrton is a right honest man And by somme reporte 
right well lerned and shall do your grace good seruyce. 
My besyness accomplisshed I shall according to my duetie 
repayre vnto your grace. 110st humblye beseching the holie 
trynytee contynuallye to preserue the prosperous astate of the 
same in long lif and good helth. At Oxforde the Secondc 
day of Aprel!. 


Your most humble seruaunt 
THOMAS CRUM\VELL. 


Add. To my 1 . . . 
E1Zdd. :rvlr Cromewel ii da Aprzlis 1528 


7. CRO
nYELL TO THO:MAS ARONDELL. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 4441. June 30 (15 28 ). 
Requests hin1 to send information concerning Wolsey's wishes about 
various matters in connexion with the Colleges at I pswich and Oxford. 
Right woorshipfull sir in my right hartie maner I commende 
me vnto youe, Aduertising the same, that I have receyued my 



320 


LETTERS OF 


[15 28 


lorde his gracious Ietteres, wherin his grace commaundethe to 
be diligent in thexpedicion of suche busynes as Do concerne 
the perfeccion of his colledge in Gypswiche, whiche I do 
intende (god willing) to put in execucion withe all spede, 
howbeit certeyne thinges arn first to be knowen of my saide 
lorde his gracious pleasure, or euer the same can be perfected 
accordingly. Wherof one is, that it may please his grace to 
name the person that shalbe his Dean of his saide Colledge, 
And also to send to me ayen the Bille assigned of the licence 
graunted to his grace by the kyng his highnes to erect the 
saide colledge in Gipsvviche, so that the signet and pryuye 
Seale may be made out vpon the same, And that we maye 
examyn the boke of erection \vhich no\ve must passe by my 
lorde his grace with the same bille signed in euery poynt. 
His gracious pleasure must also be knowen whether that (the 
Dean of his saide saide 1 colledge being Decessed, or by any 
other mean Deptyued or amoued from the saide Deanrie) his 
grace then wille that thellection of a ne\v Dean shalbe ernonges 
them of the colledge or whether his grace will remytt the 
same to be ordred by his Statuttes by hym to be made 
accordingly. It maye please youe also to moue his grace 
\vhether he wille absolutelie haue a guyfte made to his 
colledge in Oxforde of the late Monasterie of Wallyngforde 
the parsonage of Rudbye, and suche other londes as his grace 
hathe purchased of sir Antonye and sir Roberte U ghtred 
in the Counties of Yorke and L vncoln, or that he \vill haue 
the san1e Monastori and other .the pren1isses geuyn VpOll 
condicion to his saide Colledge in Oxforde, to thyntent that 
they shall make a lyke guyfte of the londes apperteynyng to 
the late Monastoris of Snape, Dodneshe, W yke and Horkisley 
to his saide colledge in Gipswiche, whiche condicion in myn 
opynyon shulde well serue for all casualties, and cOlnpelle 
them of the colledge in Oxforde to make a guyfte of the 
same accordingly. One speciall thing ther is that ye must 
moue his grace in which is, that he maye not in any ,vise 
procede to therrection of his sa ide colledge in Gipswiche, 
before the xxj. daye of J ulye next comyng, for asmuche as 
thoffices in the Chauncerie shall not expire, vnto the full 
accomplishment of iij Monethes vntill the saide xxj Daye, nor 
his grace cannot haue the Syte and circuyte of the late 
lVlonastori of Saynct Peter suppressed, vpon the \vhiche the 
saide colledge muste be erected by thordres of the lawe of 
thie londe before the saide xxi Daye. His gracious pleasure 
knowen in the premisses I trust by thassistence of my lorde 


1 sic. 



15 28 ] 


THOl'/IAS CI<.O
IWELL 


321 


chief Baron vnto ,vhome I ,ville resorte from tyme to tyme for 
his good counsaile to perfollrme fulfille and accomplisshe 
euery thing according to his said gracious pleasure, in suche 
\vise that he shall thenvithe be right ,yell contented. Hartely 
Desiring youe to moue his grace for the signature of the 
lettere for the poore n1an of Arragosco \vho lyeth here to his 
great and importunate costes and charges in maner to his 
vtter vndoyng, And also for the signature of one other lettere 
in F renche Directed to the goucrnours of the T o\vne of Depe 
for the Delyuerie of certeyn Englisshe mennys goodes beyng 
marchaunttes of London of late taken vpon the See by men 
of ,varr of the saide toune of I)iepe. It maye also please 
youe to she,v my lorde his grace this lettere and that I Inaye 
haue answer of his gracious pleasure withe all spede, \vhiche 
shalbe a great furtheraunce to his busynes. The mynute of 
his erexion is all redye Dra\ven and shalbe perfected vpon 
his answer And thus 01/1'" lorde prcserue youe At London 
the xxx Da ye of ] une. 


At your c01l1maundement 
TIIO
lAS CRU:!\l\VELL. 
Add. To the fight \voorshipfull maister Thon1as ArondeU 
be this youen. 
Elldd. From 1\lr. Crom\vell the xxx day of J unii about 
the perfectinge of the Cardynalls ij Colleges of Oxford and 
I ps\vich. 


8. CROM:\VELL TO WOLSEY. 
R. O. CaI. iv. 4697. (Sept. 3, 1528.) 
Details concerning the colIeges at Oxford and I pswich, and the revenues 
from tbe lands and monasteries appropriated for their use. 
Please it your grace to haue in remembraunce your 
Fynours of Duresme ,vhose contynuaunce here is not onely 
to their greate cost and losse of tyme but also to the greate 
hinderaunce of your \verkes ther, and also they be veray poore, 
your gracious pleasure therfore wold be knowen \vhether 
they shall resorte to your presence, or howe otherwise YOllr 
grace ,vill they shalbe ordred 
I haue according to your moste gracious c01Jlmaundement 
sent herein inclosed the clere yerely valeurs of all suche 
londes as ye haue purchased in the Counties of Yorke and 
Buckingham, and also the clere yerely value of the late 
n10nasterie of \Vallingforde 
If it may stonde ,,,ith your pleasure to appoynte in whose 
name YOllr grace intendithe to dedicate your colledge in 



322 


LETTERS OF 


[1528 


Gipswiche, and by \\That name the maister and fell owes shalbe 
called, the lycence of erexion, the Ie/teres patenttes, pryuate 
Seales and other thinges necessarie for the same myght be 
put in a redynes so that no tyme shulde be loste 
I haue caused suche billes as be allredie signed to passe the 
pryuy signet and pryuate Seale, and shall nowe put to wryting 
the Ietteres patenttes for the brode Seale, so that after the 
iii monethes expired your grace may geue the londes con- 
teyned within the same according to youre moste gracious 
pleasure. It shalbe well done that YOllr grace haue in remem- 
braunce thappropriacion of the benefices to your colledge in 
Oxford, and that an ende maye be takyn withe all ordynaries 
which I thinke is not yet done 
I haue spoken with maister Babington nowe lorde of 
Kylmayne for the exchaunge to be made bitvvene your 
colledge in Oxforde and his religion for Saundforde, It 
ma y therfore please your grace that your pleasure maybe 
knowen \vhether this vacacion your counsaile shall farther 
C011zmune \vithe hym and other whiche haue auctoritie in that 
behalf, or not, \vhiche in myn opynyon shulde be well done, 
and will sett your purpose in a great forwardnes 
It may also please your grace that these instruccions herein 
inclosed may be sent to maister Holgill for thordering of 
hymself in taking possession lyueraye and season at Rudby, 
whiche Instruccions were deuysed by the Judges, and it shalbe 
necessarie that he haue them withe spede. . 
Your gracious pleasure kno\ven touching the premisses 
I shall most humblie indeuoir myself according to my duetie 
to accomplisshe your most gracious c011tmaunden1ent, As 
knowithe the holly trynytie vnto whome I shall daily during 
my lyfe praye for the prosperous conseruacion of your good 
grace 


Your most humble servaunt 
THOMAS CRUM'VELL. 


Add. To my lorde his grace. 
Elldd. From Mr Crom\vell touching rudby 


Instruccions for Maister Willyam Holgill for possession 
lyueraye and season to be taken in the parsonage of 
Rudby in Clevelonde 
First to cause my lorde Conyers to serche his euydence 
to\vching thaduowson of the patronage of Rudby, and to 
se whether it be aduowson appendaunte, that is to saye, 
apperteyning to a manor or to an Acre of londe, or that it be 



15 2 9] 


THONIAS CROMWELL 


323 


aduowson in grosse, that is to saye, aduo\vsonage onely 
appending to no manor ne yet to none Acre of londe, And 
to receyue the saide Euydence of the saide lorde Conyers 
concernyng the said aduowson 
Itm to kno\ve \vhether the saide aduowson be intailed, and 
whether it be in tailed to theires males, or to theires generall, 
and to receyue the deades of Intaile, or Fynes if any suche be, 
of the saide lorde Conyers 
I tm that thattourneis named in the deade of Feoffement 
made to the saide vVillyam Holgill and other, do enter into 
thacre of londe named in the saide deade of Feoffen1cnt, and 
delyuer season by a turfe, to the saide maister Holgill, and 
also to del yuer possession and season by the ryng of the 
churche dore 
Itm after possession, Iyucraye and season taken in the saide 
Acre of londe, and by the ryng of the churche doore as is 
aforsaide, that then the saide Attourneis do enter into the 
saide parsonage and also to delyuer possession lyueraye, and 
season in the parsonage vnto the saide maister Holgill, and 
that the deade of Feoffement be redd in all three 1 places, 
and to take at the leste xxx or xl witnesses, calling therto 
asmany yonge children as ye may 


9. CRO
l\VELL TO GARDIXER. 


R. O. Cal. iv. 5186. Jan. 18 (1529). 


Has been unable to repair to the Cardinal, on account of the press of work 
in connexion with his colleges. Description of the damage done by 
the overflowing of the Thames. 


\tv orshipfull Sir, after most hartie comendacyons it may 
please you to aduertise Iny lorde his grace that the cause 
\\Thy I do not repayre thither at this present ys for that 
I haue certen bokes to be don and accomplisshed concerning 
his colledge in Gips\vich That is to say a deade of gyfte 
from his grace to his saide colledge of the late monasteryes 
of Felixstowe Rumburgh and Bromehill The King his 
letteres patentes of assent to the Suppression of the same late 
monastelyes, The King his Ie/teres patentes of assent to the pope 
his bull of exempcyon of the saide colledge The King his 
Ie/teres patentes of lycence for thimproplyacion of the benefyces 
belongyng to the sa ide late monasteryes A deade of gyft 
from the Duke of N orff. to my lord his grace of the saide 
late monasterye of F elixstowe A relesse from the prior 


1 sic, for ' these.' 



324 


LETTERS OF 


[15 2 9 


and conuent of Rochester of all theyr right tytle and 
patronage of in or to the same late pryory of Felixstowe 
A relesse fro1l1 the abbot and conuent of Saynct Maryes in 
Yorke of all their right and tytle in or to the late pryory of 
Rumburgh A rei esse from my lorde of Oxforde of all his 
right and tytle in the late pryory of Bromehill And a 
relesse from the Frenssh quene and the duke of Suffolk of 
all theyr right and tytle in the manours of Sayes courte and 
Byckeling and in the late pryorye of Snape. All which 
bokes be not yet in a redynes ne parfyted vnto my n1ynde 
Intending assone as the sanle shalbe fynysshed and made 
parfyte, \vhiche I trust shalbe to morow at nyght or wenesday 
by none at the F erthest to repayre vnto my lorde his grace, 
vppon his gracyous pleasure kno,ven for thinsealing of the 
same accordingly. It may also please you to aduertise 
my lorde his grace that Sythen his repayree to Rychmond 
I have ben at Lyesnes Where I saw one of the most 
pyteous and greuous sightes that ever I saw which to me 
before the Sight of the same was incredyble concernyng the 
breche out of the Than1yse into the marsshes of Lyesnes which 
be all ouerflowen and dro,vned And that at the last chaunge 
the tyde ,vas so high that there happened a new breche which 
hathe fordone asmoche worke there as will cost ccc Ii the 
new making of the saIne In so moche that if my being 
there had not ben to haue incouraged the workemen and 
labourers I assure you all the labour and money that 
bathe ben ther spent heretofore had ben clerely lost and 
cast a,vay. And the workelnen and labourers wolde haue 
departed and left all at chaunce whiche shoulde haue ben 
the gretest yuell that euer happened to the countrey ther. 
N evertheles I witll thaduyse of suche \vyse men as ben in the 
countrey there haue set suche dyrectyon in the same that 
I trust all shalbe ,veIl and the workes there ended with good 
spede god willing. For the furnyture and accomplisshment 
whereof there is a new assesse nlade and my lorde his 
colledge for theyr parte ben assessed at ccxx Ii which money 
of necessyte must be had out of hande Prayeng you so 
to so]ycyte my lordes grace that the same money may be 
had incontynent Assuring you that his grace shall do as 
nlerytoryous a deade in the delyue1"'ing of the saide money 
for his colledge at this tyme as though he gaue so moche 
money for goddes sake Considering the grete hurte myschief 
losses and inconuenyences that is lyke to insue to the countrey 
there and to the King his streme and also the hurte that may 
insue to his colledge in the losse of suche grounde and land 
as they haue there \Vhereunto for the quantytee thereof ys 



J5 2 9J 


TIIO:\IAS CH.OM\VELL 


325 


none lyke to the same in that countrey ne fc\v in any other 
countrey. Yf the saide breche be not shortly amended and 
spedely prouyded for I assure you suche inconuenyenccs may 
insue that yt were to grete pytee. And to thintent that ye 
may be the more assured of the trewth in the prt'mysses 
I haue sent you a lettere here inclosed \vhich I receyucd 
from one of the maisters of the said workes YlTIedyatly after 
the \vrytyng of this Iettre Intending to repayre vnto Lyesnes, 
,vith all spede for the redrcsse and fortheraunce of the pre- 
misses aSlTIoche as in me shalbe possible. Hertely beseching 
you to procure that I lnay haue answer of my lordcs pleasure 
in euery thing concerning thc contentcs forsaid by this berer 
nlY seruaunte. And thus our lorde p1"'eserue your long lyf 
At London the xviii day of Januarye. 
Yours most bounden 


THO:\IAS CRUM\VELL. 


Add. To the right \vorshipfull l\laister docto/tr Gardyner 
be this yeuen 'v it It spede. 
E lldd. Letters frOln 1\'1. CruJJ1\\rel of the xviij daie of 
J anuarij 


10. (CRO:\l\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 5757 (iit July (15 2 9). 


Has written in favour of the chapJain. Requests the recipient to desire 
his wife to take the daughter of Cromwell's sister, and bring her up.. 
Promises to recompense him and his wife. 


. . . c . . . ert as hertelye as I can I cOlllmende nle vnto 
you and mervayle gretlye that ye haue made no better spede 
for YOllr chaplayn In \vhos Fauours I haue wry ten vnto 
11r. Chaunceler of vVynchester trustyng that he \vylbe good 
maister vnto hym For my sake I \vooldbe veray lothe that ye 
sholde mysse your purpose Syr I praye you be so good 
vnto me as to lett me send my systers daughter vnto the 
Jentyhvoman YOllr wyff and that ye \vyll on my behalf desyre 
her to take her and to bryng her vpp for the which her 
goodnes yf she \vylbe content so to doo I shold rekyn my self 
moste bounden both to you and here and besydes the pay- 
ment For her borde I wy II so content your wyffe as I trust she 
shalbe woll pleasyd that I may kno\v your answer herin I 
hertelye praye yO\V and thus hartelye Fare ye well. 
At london the daye of July. 



326 


LETTERS OF 


[15 2 9 


11. CR01IWELL TO MR. CLAYBROOK. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 5812. (July, 15 2 9.) 
Desires him to seek out all registers, and the bulls of the Cardinal"s 
legation, so that the same may be shown to the King's attorney. 
Maister Cleybroke this to aduertise yaw as ever ye intend 
to doo my lord pleasure or seruyce that ye \vith all dylygens 
seke owt the register of Maister T onneys and also all other 
registers with also the bullys of my lordes legacye to thentent 
the sanle may be shewyd this nyght to the Kynges attorney 
for suche Causes as I declaryd vnto yow at my last spekyng 
with yow of answer by thys berer I praye yow that I may 
haue kno\vlege and fare ye wall. 
Your F rend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 


12. CROM\VELL TO \VILLIAM BRABAZON. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 6099. Dec. 19 (15 2 9). 
Desires him to ride with l\1r. Copeland to the north, and assist him with 
advice in his affairs there. 


Willyam Brabazon I comende me vnto you And wolde if 
ye be at conuenyent leysour that ye do Ryde with Maister 
Cowplonde this berer into the North partes and to assiste hinl 
with your counsaill in suche matiers as he hathe there to do 
according to suche instruxions as I haue dra\ven and delyuered 
to the sanle Mr. Cowplande Not doubting but he will con- 
sider your paynes accordinglye And thus fare ye well. At 
London the xix tb day of December. 
Your louyng maister 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 


13. SUMMARIES OF CRO
fWELL'S LETTERS. 
MSS. Jesus ColI. in BibI. Bodl. Oxon. c. 74, pp. 262 if.; Cal. iv. 6076. 
( I 530. ) 
Various items concerning the relations of Cromwell and Wolsey after the 
latter fell into disgrace. Cf. Letters, 18, 19. 
'Crumwell to the Cardinal, July 12, (1530). 
'As touching the processe against your Grace out of the 
Exchequer and all other nlatters and suites brought against 



153 0 ] 


THOl\IAS CROl\l\VELL 


327 


yow I haue pleaded YOUy pardon, which is allowed in all the 
King's Courtes and by the same your Grace discharged of all 
manner Causes at the Ks suite. 
Cromwell tells the Card 1 this solliciting his Cause hath 
bin very chargeable to him and he cannot susteine it any 
Longer without other Respect then he hath had hertofore. 
I am 1000 1. \vorse than I \vas \vhen YOllr troubles began. 
As touching YOltr Colleges, the King is detern1Ïned to 
dissolve them, and that ne\v offices shall be found of all the 
Lands belonging to them newly to intitle his Highnes which 
be all ready dra\vne for this purpose. But \"hether his Highnes, 
after the dissolution of them meane to revive them againe 
and founde the1/l in his o\vne name, I know not. Wherefore 
I entreat your Grace to be content, and let YOllY Prince 
execute his pleasure.' 
C Cromwell to the Cardinal, 1\lay 17,153 0 . 
, That the King hath received his Letters and is very sorry 
that he is in such necessity, yet that for Releefc his Ma ty hath 
differed it till he speak wz'th his Counsail. The D. of Norfolk 
promiseth you his best ayd but he \villeth you for the present 
to be content and not much to molest the King (concerning 
payment of YOllr Debts etc) for, as he supposeth, the time is 
not meet for it. His Grace (i. e. the ICing) shewed me how 
it is come to his kno\vlege that your Grace should hdue 
certein \vords of him and other Noblemen vnto my L d of 
Norfolk since the time of your adversityes \vhich \vords 
should sound to make sedition behvixt him and my Lord of 
N orfol k. 
Mr. Page received YOllr Letters directed vnto my Lady Anne, 
and delivered the same. there is yet no answer. she gaue 
kind words, but \vill not promise to speake to the K. for you. 
Certein Doctors of both the V niversityes are here for the 
suppression of the Lutheran opinions. The Kings Hnes hath 
caused the sayd doctors at divers times to assemble, and hath 
com11l0ned with them. The faine is that Luther is departed 
this Life. I would he had never bin borne.' . 


, Crom\vel writes to Card 1 "VV olsey, August, (1530). 
, Intreating him to haue patience etc. that there shall be some 
offices sent into York and N ottinghamsh. to be found of YOllr 
Lands, belonging to your ArchBishoprick. This will be very 
displeasant to you, but it is best to suffer it. for if they 
should not be found you could not ho\vld your Bishoprick 
quiet, notwithstanding your pardon: for your Restitution 
made by YOllr Pardon is cleerly V oyd, for that the King did 



328 


LETTERS OF 


[153 0 


restitute your Grace before He was intitled by matter of 
Record. When these offices shall be found, your pardon 
shall be good and stand in parfait effect. 
He tells him that his modest behaviour and humility hath 
gayned him the Love and good report of the Country \vhere 
he now Lives and allso in the Court, yet his Enemyes 
depraue all. Sir, some there be that do allege that your 
Grace doth keep too great a Howse and family and that you 
are continually a-Building-for the Love of God therefore 
haue a respect and refraine etc.' 
'Crum\vell writes to the Cardinal, Octob( er, 1530). 
, I am informed your Grace hath in me some diffidence as 
if I did dissemble wz'th you or procure anything contrary to 
your profit and honour I much muse that your Grace should 
so think or report it secretly considering the paines I haue 
taken etc. Wherfor I beseech you to speak without faining 
if you haue such conceit, that I may cleere myself. I reckoned 
that your Grace would hane written plainly vnto me of such 
thing, rather than secretly to haue misreported me etc. But 
I shall beare your Grace no Lesse good will etc. Let God 
judge between Vs. Trewly YOllY Grace in some things over- 
shooteth your self; there is reg[ ard] to be given what things 
ye vtter and to \vhom etc.' 
, I find by these Lettres that Cramwel kept certein scholers 
in Cambrige, for he entreats the Card l . to preferre the1Jl to 
Benefices w/zz'ch should fall in his ArchBishoprick.' 1 


14. (CRO
I\VELL) TO (\VOLSEV). 
R. O. Cal. iv. 6368. l'vlay 5 (1530). 
Information concerning the progress of the Cardinal's affairs at Court. 
Advises him to comply with the King's requests. 
After my fight hartie C011Zmendacions to your grace accord- 
ing to your desire specified in YOllr Letteres of answer to the 
request made vnto youe by the Kinges maiestie for the 
Treasourership of York I haue so solicited the matier bothe 
to his hieghnes and to doctour Leighton that bothe be content 
that your gift shall stande so as your grace do accomplishe 
the tenouy of his hieghnes Letteres nowe eftsones directed vnto 
youe, whiche myn advise and counsail is that youe shall in 
any wise ensue, and that your chauncelouy shall do the sembla- 


1 This last sentence was added 
by the seventeenth-century scholar 
by whom the foregoing passages 


were transcribed, and who calls 
himself 'ThOlnas Masters, ColI. 
Nov.' 



153 0 ] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


329 


ble in another request made by his Maiestie vnto him wz.thout 
staye tract or further stycking. And in any thing elles wherin 
I maye do vnto your grace stede or pleasure I shalbe as glad 
to doo thoffice of a frende as you shalbe to require the same of 
me. Thus moost hartcly Fare youe well. From 51. James 
besides WestmÙlsle1
 the v th of Maye. 


15. CRO!\I\VELL TO WOLSEY. 
R. O. CaI. iv. 643 1 . June 3 (1530). 
Promises to send a fun answer to his letters by Ralph Sadler. Recom- 
mends the bearer. 
Please it your grace to be aduertised that I haue receyued 
}pour le/teres by Thomas Rawlyns and haue perceyued the 
contentes thereof and will make answer to the same parti- 
culerly by my seruaunt Rafe Sadleyr, who our lorde willing 
shalbe \v'ith your grace ".z"th all spede. Your grace I assure 
you is moche bounde to the gentilman this berer for his good 
reporte in eucry place \vho I assure your grace hathe not lefte 
in euery presence to say of you as by lykelohod ye haue 
gyuen him cause. I assure your grace he and such other 
haue don your grace n10che good, it shalbe in myn opynion 
therefore right \vell don to give him thankes accordingly, 
for by my faith he is right worthye. And thus the holie 
trynitee preserue your grace in long lyf good helth and moche 
honour. At london the iii rd daye of June. 
Your most humble seruaunt 
THO
IAS CRU
lWELL. 
Add. my lorde CardinalI(s) grace. 


16. (CROMWELL) TO (WOLSEY). 
B. M. Cotto App. L. 7; Cal. iv. 6482. June 30 (1530). 
Fragment of a letter, in answer to several minor requests of the Cardinal. 
Various details. 
. . . as to send your grace any quayles it ys not possybyll 
For ther ys non that will Carye them as For Sedes I wyll 
Send yO\V by the next maister Stubbis Sayth he will prouyde 
baudekyn for your grace I am sorye for hym he ys Swed in 
a primineri by burges which was ons eUect presydent of 
Maudlen Colledge I thinke it wyll cost hym money or he 
get owt \ my lord chaunselour hath promysyd that Masteres 
1 c. o. For our lordys loue what 
MERRIMAN. I Z 



330 


LETTERS OF 


[153 0 


lacye shall bere the Costes of them that shall bryng vp John 
lawrans and Robert Turner. I beseche your grace to be so 
good lorde as to send me A gelding and I trust shortlye after 
to se your grace by the assistens of our lorde whom I most 
hertelye beseche to preserue your grace in long lyffe good 
helth and moche honour at london the last daye of June 


17. CROM:'VELL TO WOLSEY. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 6530. July 24 (153 0 ). 
In favour of his kinsman Dr. Carbot; requests Wolsey to take him into 
his household and service. 


After my most humble Recommendacions with my dailie 
seruice and contynuall praier May it pleas your grace to call 
to your good and most graceous remembraunce how that 
I being with your grace in your gallerie at the Chartrehouse 
at Shene most humblie supplied 1 vnto the same for the 
acceptacz'on of this berer Mr. doctour Carbot my kynslnan 
vnto your seruice At which tyme it pleased your grace 
beninglie to graunt me to accept hym promising both vnto 
him and me that ye wolde be his good and graceous Lorde vpon 
the which he hath tarried here in these parties Contynuallye 
to his great cost Supposing that I sholde haue repared with 
him vnto your grace by meane wherof he thought the better 
to be esteemed But forasmoch as he now perceyueth that for 
dyuers causes I maye not he hath desired me to write vnto 
your grace in his fauours Most humblie and effectuaIlye 
beseching your grace to receyue him into your house and 
seruice Whome I trust your grace shall finde apte mete 
discrete dilligent and honest And suchon that Willing1ie 
Louinglie and obedientlie shall and wilbe gladdc to serue your 
grace in any thing that your pleaser shalbe to commaunde 
him Trusting fermlie that bye experience ye shall right well 
lyke him Eftsones most humblie and effectuallie beseching 
your grace to be his good and graceous Lorde for my sake 
and at this my poure and most humble sute and contem- 
placion to take him withowt reiection And thus the holie 
trenitie preserue your grace in long Iyf and good helth. At 
Londe( n) the xxiiii th daye of July. 
Your Inost humble seruaunt and bedysman 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 


Add. my lordes grace 
1 sic, for' applied.' 



153 0 ] 


THOMAS CROi\IWELL 


331 


18. (CROl\I\VELL) TO \VOLSEY. 
R. O. Cal. iv. 657I. August 18 (1530). 
Information concerning the progress of the.Cardinal's affairs at Court and 
elsewhere. Begs him to cease building for a time, in order that his 
enemies may have no chance to accuse him of extravagance. News 
frOIn England and the Continent. Cf. Letter 13. 
Please it your grace to be aducrtised 1 that after the Receipt 
of YOllr Ietteres dated at Southwell on saynt Laurence Day 
I perceyued ho\v that your grace remayned in som displeasure 
and anxietie of nlynde for that I by my letteres had before 
certefied you of the fynding certen offices concerning your 
busshopriche of Yorke The Fynding whereof as I perceyue 
by your Ietteres ye do suppose should be moche to YOIIY 
dishonour & detriment For the which intent that your grace 
may put yourself in repose & quietacz"on of mynde I haue 
sent vnto you this berer \vho shall at length declare vnto you 
besides the demonstracion of the copies of suche offices as be 
dra\ven for that purpose that the Fynding of the said offices 
savyng onelie that in the preamble of the same there is 
touched the conuiction of your grace in the premunire which 
all the \vourld alredie knoweth shalbe for yottr good onelie 
proffit and availe And yet YOllr pardon and restitucion stand 
in good & perfite effecte So that your grace shal haue no 
nede nether to be in fere of losse of. any your spirituall or 
temporall goodes or to be troubeled for the same ne also to be 
put to any new Sute in the obteyning of any other pardon or 
restitucion. And if in case your said pardon and restitucion 
were in any parte insufficient I assure your grace I know that 
the kinges highnes wold it should be made as good as by any 
counsaill it could be Devised And doubt ye not but his 
highnes is your gracyous and benigne Souereigne lorde and 
wold in no \vise that ye should be greued nlolested or 
troubeled. Wherfore it may please you.r grace to quiet 
yourself and to take the fynding of these offices pacientlie 
and vppon the retourne of the sanle there shalbe such orders 
taken that YOllr grace shall not be interrupted in the receyuing 
of YOllr reuenues ne otherwise be molested in any maner case 
for any ne\v sute As touching your colI edges the offices shalbe 
founde houbeit the Deane and suche other as haue sued to 
the kinges highnes haue had veray good answer wherof 
I think they baue certefied your grace or this tyme. As 
touching the m 1 markes of the reuenues of Wynchester 
I doubt not but it shalbe obteyned at the audite And 


1 c. o. that perceyuing by 
Z2 



332 


LETTERS 01 i 


[r53 0 


concerning Batyrsey it may please your grace that such 
thinges as ye hane sent me the copies of may be sent hither 
vnder seale for they woll trust no scrowes and also that 
Serche nlay be made for Busshop Bothes will concerning the 
same. Strang
?issh continually cryeth and maketh exclama- 
cz'on in the courte of you insomoch that the lordes of the 
counsaill haue determyned to wryte vnto you in that behalf 
\void to our Iorde your grace were rid of that nlan. As 
concerning the prebends of Witwang doubt ye not but in that 
all thing is and shalbe ordered to your good contentacion. 
Sir I assure your grace that ye be moch bounde to Ollr lorde 
god that in suche "rise hath suffered you so to behaue and 
order yourself in thes parties to atteyne the good myndes 
and hertes of the people 1 there the reporte vvhereof in the 
courte and ellesvvhere in these parties is & hathe ben 2 to the 
aquyryng & augmentyng the good oppynyons of many 
persons to\vardes your grace beseching your grace therfore 
to contynue 3 in the same after Suche a Sorte and Fashyon 
as ye may daylye increase not onlye in the Fauours of the 
pepull ther but also here and elleswhere to the pleasure of 
god & the prynce And notwithstonding your good vertuous 
and charitable demeaning and vsing YOttrself 4 in thes parties 
ys not by your enemies 5 interpretyd after the best Fashyon 
yet always Folow and perseuer ye attemperatelye in suche 
thinges as your woorldlye affeccyons Sett apart Shall serue 
to stand best with the pleasure of god and the kyng Sir som 
ther be that cloth alledge in that yottr grace doth kepe to 
grete a house & famylie and that ye are contynually buylding 
for the loue of god therefore I eftesones as I often tymys haue 
done most hertelye beseche your grace to haue respecte to 
euery thing and consyderyng the tyme to refrangne your Self 
for a Season from all manner byldingges more than mere 
necessite requireth which I assure YOttr grace 6 shall sease and 
putto Sylence Sam persons that moche spekyth of the same. 
For the geldinges which your grace Dyd send me I do most 
humblie & hertelie thank you beseching your grace to gyue 
Further Credens to this berer, who shall declare vnto your 
grace other thingcs not wryttyn 7 I do Relys your grace 


1 c. o. in the hole cuntrey 
! c. o. your grete good 
3 c. o. after sllch sorte by your 
approuued high wisedom as ye lose 
not the wele & bcnefite of the same 
fur 

 c. o. there I assure your grace 
you haue 


5 c. o. which do & will not let 
to interprete all your doings not in 
the best parte Alledging that your 
onelie desire 
6 c. o. shalbe grete good vnto 
yourself 
7 c. o. Fynallie beseching al. 
mightie god to preserue your grace 



J53 0 ] 


THO:\IAS CRO:ÑI\VELL 


333 


right happye that ye be no\v at libertye to serue god and 
to lern to experyment how ye shall banyshe and exyle the 
vayn desyrys of this vnstabyll \varld, \vhich vndo\vtydlye 
clothe nothing eIles but allure euery person therin And 
specyally such as our lorde hath most ende\vyd \vith his 
gyftes to desyre 1 the affeccyons of theyr myncl to be 
satysfyed In Finding and Sekyng \vherof most persons 
besyd the gret trauaylles and afflyccyons that men Suffer 
day lye bene dryuyn to extreme Repentance and Serching for 
plesure and Felycyte Fynd nothing but So tro\vbyll Sorow 
anxyete and aduersyte Wherfor in myn oppynyon your grace 
being as ye ar I suppose ye \voolde not be as ye \verre to 
wyn a hundreth tymys as moche as ye were possessyd off 
the Busshop of Bayonne ys daylye lokyd For and my lord of 
\VyItshyre ys CU1Jlmyn home the Saying here is that the 
emperoure hathe good obbedyence of his Subiectes in all 
thing sauyng that they wyll not discent from the lutheran 
sekt it ys also sayd that emprour doth mak lTIUsters for 
a gret army to be preparyd agenst the turke to passe into 
H ungarye for the recouerey of that Regyon And that the 
seconde Son of the emperour ys departyd this present lyffe 
the news here ys that the Germayns wyll medlye haue 
a gencrall Consaylle for the reformacyon of many thinges 
the Florentynys doth stylI contenew and defende the power of 
the pope and it ys Supposyd that they shall vynce by meane 
that ther ys a gret pestylence Fallen amongst them being in 
the Felde of the popis partye ther ys also a gret Carystye 
in Italye of all manner of grayn in so moche A quarter of 
whet ys worth generallye Fortye shelyngges. they loke daylye 
for an ambassadour from the pope who at the Ferthest \vilbe 
here wz'tlt xiij dayes the kynges highnes is this nyght at 
amptell and ther wyll Contene\v this xiiij dayes. it may 
please your grace to pardon me that I do not repayre vnto 
yow at this tyme for vndowtydlye it ys not possyble as 
this berer shall Ferther Declare vnto your grace our lord 
kno\vyth my \vyll and mynde. and I trust verelye that your 
grace doth perffytlye think that I \voolde be glade to see yO\V 
and vnfaynydlye I \voolde haue sene your grace long er this 
yf I hadde not bene lettyd by Importune busynes wherfor 
I eftsones most humblye besech YOU1'" grace of pardon and 
though I am not \\'itll yow in person yet be ye assured I am 
and duryng my lyff shalbe \vitlz. your grace in hert spyryt 


in long lif & good helth with the 
full accomplisshment of your hertes 
desire From london the xviii day 


of August 
1 c. o. and enter into blynde to 
satysfye 



334 


LETTERS OF 


[153 0 


prayer & seruyce to the vttrest of my poore and symple 
power as knowyth our lorde whom I most hertelye besech 
to preserue your grace in long Iyff good helth with thincreace 
of your hertys desyre. at london the xviijth daye of August. 
I beseche your grace to depeche this berer whom I mygh( t) 
evyll haue forbern at this tyme but onlye that I persayuyd by 
your Ietteres that ye moche desyryd to be put in quyetacyon 
and that besyd myself I Coulde not send any that Coulde 
certefye your grace of the effectes of such thinges as ye desyrc 
to be answeryd in But onlye he eftsonys beseching your 
grace spedlye to send hym home for my busynes ys such that 
I cannot lake h Yln. 
E 1ldd. my lorde Cardenall. 


19. (CROM'VELL) TO (WOLSEY). 
B. M. Cotto App. L. 81; CaI. iv. 6699. Oct. 21 (1530). 
Begs the Cardinal's favour for Doctor Carbot, Nicholas Gifford, and 
Cromwell's scholars at Cambridge. News of the Emperor's move- 
ments. Information concerning the Praeillunire. Cf. Letter 13. 
. . . eyen three monethis in Chaunserye, ho\vbeit your grace 
shalbe so prouydyd for that ye shalbe O\vt of all dowttes for 
all the kynges offycers in the meane Season. I most humblye 
beseche your grace to be good lorde vnto my poore kynsman 
Doctour Karbott and let hym haue SU112 lyty 11 offyce vnder 
your grace. I do\vt not thoughe he be Sum\vhat Symple in 
Aparence yet he shall discharge hymself yf ye put hym in 
trust and A lityll auctoryte. I bes
che your grace [a ]Iso to be 
good lorde vnto your Seruaunt N ycholas Gyfforde . . . \vhen 
Anything shall happen to Fall which may do (him) good to 
Remembre hym for my sake your grace shall [fin lde hym in 
myn oppynyon thoughe he be yong and [some]what wyldl 1 , 
on disspossyd bothe to trewthe [hone ]ste and hardynes, and 
he (is one) that wyll loue yow [with] all his harte. yf any 
thing FalIe I beseche YOllr grace [to re Jrnembre my scolers 
in Cambryge and bothe they [and I shaJll pray to our lord 
Jhesu Crist to preserue [you] in long Iyff good helth wz'th 
Increase of [honour. Th ]emperour wyl be at Colayn In the 
:F'easte of . . . withowt Faylle the Parlyment ys prorogyd 
[yntil the] vi dafe of January. The prelattcs shalno
 appere 
[In the] premunlre. Ther ys Another way deuysyd In [place 
thereof] as your grace shall Ferther know. the prynces of 
[Almayne] Can ne wyllnot Agree to emperowr and[I bese]che 
the holy trynyte preserue your grace. . . [in] quyetnes and 
1 C. O. a you[th] 



153 1 ] 


THOIVIAS CROMWELL 


335 


Contentacyon I beseche YOUy. . . for this lettere. . . W rytyn 
for lake of . . . [in] hast the xxi of octobre 


20. CRO
I\VELL TO MR. BOROUGH. 
R. O. CaI. iv. 6800 (i). (Dec. 1530.) 
Desires to know if Borough wishes to buy a friend's horse, which certain 
Frenchmen are anxious to purchase. 
Mr. Borough in my most hartie ,vise I c011lmende me vnto 
you And so yt ys that my frende Mr. S01nnler may at this 
tyme sell his horse right well and proffutablye but foras- 
moche as he before this hath promised you that ye shall 
refuse hiln before any other he hathe desyred me to know 
YOUy mynde So that yf ye will not medell he may do his 
best. for there be certeyn Frensshe men which moche 
desyreth to haue the saide horse Wherefore I hartely pray 
you that I may know YOUy mynde by this berer in \vrytyng 
what ye will do And this 1 hartely fare ye well At London 
this present Saterdaye. 
Assurydlye your frende. 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the right \vorshipfull Mr. Henry Borough be this 
yeuen. 


21. (CROM'VELL) TO STEPHEN VAUGHAN. 
B. M. Calba B. x, 338; CaI. v. 248. (May, 1531.) 
An account of the reception of \Villian1 Tyndale's book, The Answer, by 
Henry VIII, and of his anger at the opinions it advanced. Cromwell 
urges Vaughan to cease advocating Tyndale's cause, and to request 
Frith to abandon him 2. 
Stephen VaÜghan I COl1zmende me vnto you And haue 
receyued your Ietteres dated at Andwerpe the xviii th day 
of A prell with also that parte of Tyndalles boke Sewed and 
inclosed in lether which ye with your letteres directed to the 
kinges highnes After the recept whereof I dyd repayre vnto 
the courte and there presented the same vnto his royall 
Inaiestee who after the receþt thereof made me ans\ver for 
that tyme that his highnes at oportun Ieysouy wolde vysite 
ouersee and rede the contentes aswell of you[ r] Ietteres as also 
the saide boke And at my next repayre thither it pleased his 
1 sic, for 'thus.' cisely. Words enclosed thus {...} 
2 The number of erasures and are inserted above the line in the 
corrections in this letter is such that original. \V ords printed in italics 
the use of an additional bracket is are crossed out. 
necessary, in order to render it pre- 



336 


LETTERS OF 


[153 1 


hicrhnes to call for file declaring vnto me aswell the contentes 
of b your Ietteres as also moche of the matier conteyned in the 
saide boke of Tyndalles. And albeit that I might well 
perceyue that his maiestee was right \vell pleased and right 
acceptablie considered your diligence and paynE es] taken 
in the wryting and sending of the saide Loke as also in the 
perswading and exhorting of Tyndall to repayre int[ 0] this 
realme 'Ùl the accomplisshe111ent of his higk pleasure a?ld 
C01Jla2t11de1nent yet I 1uight cOl1:iecture by tIle ferther declaracYOIl 
of his high pleasure IV hick sayed Vllto 1ne that by your 'If/rytÙlg 
it 1nallyfestlie appered how moche {yet his highnes nothyng 
Iyked the sayd boke being fyllyd with Scedycyous Slaunderous 
lyes and Fantastycall oppynyon( s) Shewing therin nether 
Iernyng nor trewthe and ferther COl1zmunyng with his grace 
I mygh( t) well coniect that he though( t) that ye bare moche} 
affection and zele ye bere towardes the saide Tyndall whom 
in his maners 1110destie and SY11lplyc)'tee {& kno\vlage in 
woordlye thinges} ye vndoubtedlie {in your Ietteres} do 
moche 1nore allowe and c01Jlmende then Ilis {whos} workes 
be'Ùzg so replete 'Lvith lyes a1ld 1JlOst {the11 tIle warke of hit Self 
is able to deserue} {being replete with so} abhomynable 
Sclaunders {& Iyes} Imagened and {onlye} fayned to infecte 
and 'Ùltoxicate {as Zl se111ythe} the peopull 1nay to Ùldyfferellt 
Judgement declarethe him,for tIle which )/our falt02lrs Supposed 
to be born to the saide TY1ldall (who ass1tredNe shewetll hùnselj 
in 1Jlyn OPY1lY01Z rather to be replete with vellY1110ltS ellvye 
rallcour and l1zalice thell with allY good lernÙlg vertue knowlage 
or discression) hathe put the kz'nges hzghlles Ùl s2tSpectyolZ 
of you considering {dothe declare hym bothe to lake grace 
vertue lernyng discrecyon and all other good qualytes 
[n]othing [e]Ues pretending in all his workes but [to] seduce 
[and d Jyssayve} that ye should {ye} in such wise {by your 
Ietteres} lene vnto and fauour the evz11 doctrYlle of so peruerse 
aud 11lalyC)/ous a person and so 1110cke prayse hi11t {prayse 
Setforth and avaunse hym} {bothe to lake lern}'1lg} {to be 
envyous and to lake lernyng gra[ ce]} {vertue a1zd all good 
discrec)'on} 'If./ho 1lothÙzg {'lvhz'che nothing elles} {pretendyth 1 } 
goetk about or pretelldetlt but I 011elie to Seduce deceyue and 
disquiet the peoPle and C01ne1lweltlt of thz"s reablle vVhose 
{Repayre the/ller ys to be estuJ1d} Clt1n1J1Yllg into E1lgl01zde the 
killges hzghlles call right well forbere and {and sowe sedycyon 
among the peopull of this realme. The kinges highnes 
therfor} hathe c011tmaunded me expressely to 'lV1'J'te Vlllo YOll 
{to aduertyse you that is plesure ys} that ye should desiste 


1 These words doubtless ought to have been crossed out in the !VIS. 



153 1 ] 


THO:\IL\S CROl'vIWELL 


337 


and Ieve any ferther to persuade or attempte hÙIl thereullto 
{the sayd tyndalle to ConI into this realtne} alledging that 
his lI/aieste so eU)Idclltlie {he} perceyuing the malycyous 
perverse vncharytable {and Indurate} mynde and disposicyolt 
of the saide lYlldall z's rather vcray glad that he is out of his 
ReabJle thell/ {70)'01ls to ha1ll' his reablle dcslJ'tllte} . . . {of 
the sayd TyndaIIe ys in maner witllowt hope of reconsylyacyon 
in hym and ys veray Joyous to haue his Realme destytute 
of Such a person for hys highnes right prudentlye consyderyth} 
if he were present by all lykelohod he wold shortelie (which 
god defend e) do as moche as in him were to infecte and 
corrup[t] the hole realme {'iuhich 110'lV ys so Illdurate} to the 
grete inquietacyon and hurte of the c0111menwclth of the 
same. Wherfore {Stephen} I hertelie pray you that fro1Jz- 
hellsfourth in all your doinges al/d procedinges and wryting 
to the kinges highnes ye do iustely tre\vlie and vnfaynedlie 
shew your self to be 1/0 Fautour VI/to the saide {without 
dyssymulacyon Shew your self his tre\v louyng and obedyent 
Subiect beryng no manner Fanollr loue or affeccyon to the 
sayd} Tyndale ne to his wourkes in any maner of wise but 
rather vtterlie to contempne and abhorre the same assuring 
you that {in so} doing the c011trary ye shaIl not oneli[ e ] 
cause the kingts highnes royall l\laieste whose higl111CS 
goodnes at this tyme is so benignelie and gracyouslie mynded 
towardes you e as by YOllr good dJ , ligellce al/d industrie to b[e] 
'i'sed to seruc his high1/es and extewÙlg alld a'l'oydÙzg [to] 
favour and allo'UJ the saide T;'lldall' his errOll)'01lS workes and 
oþYllyons) )'e are like shortl'lie to atteYlle (3 So to þrouyde for 
you So to aduisl' you So to Sett you forwardes as all your 
louers & frendes shall haue gret consolacyon ill YOlt of the 
same [b]oth 'luelth hOllestie and þr011l0c)'01/ at his gracyolls 
halldes to the singulcr ioy pleasure and c01nforte of all )'our 
FreJldes) and by the contrarie to {doing ye shall} acquire the 
indignacyon of god and displeasure of your Souereigne lorde 
and by the sanIe c01l1/,ell {cause} YOllr good Frendes \vhich 
haue ben euer glad prone and redie to aduaunce {bryng} you 
't'nto the {into his gracyous} favours of your pr)Illce to lamente 
and sorow that their sute in that behalf should {be frustrate 
and} not {to} take effecte according to their good intent and 


1 Here occur the following words 
underlined, not crossed out: 'that 
[he] should retourne into the same 
there to manyfest his errours and 
sedycyous opynyons, which (being 
out of the Realme by his most vn- 
chary table venemous and pestilent 


bokes craftie and false persuasions) 
he hathe partelie don all redie' 
51 ( ...) underlined, not crossed 
out. 
S (...) this passage is put in the 
margin. 



338 


LETTERS OF 


[153 1 


purpose, hauing therefore firme trust that for the {fièare ye 
haue Í1l god obedyens to your soueraJ'1Z lord} Ioue ye owe to 
YOllr self 11le and other your Frendes ye wilbe will beware 
fro11'1 he1Zsfourth {and estew} to enter into any sltch opynyons 
-[ or to the prayse of any such þerson} whereby any sclaunder 
dishonestie or daungier {or Susspycyon} might insue towardes 
you \vhereof I promyse you I wold be as sorie as your good 
{natural} father. 
As touching Frith mencyoned in your saide Ietteres the 
kinges highnes heryng tell of his towardenes in good Ietteres 
and lernyng doth Regl.-ete a1ld {moche} lament that he should 
in such wise as he doth Set fourth Shew and applye his 
lerning and doctrine in the semynacyon and so\ving such euill 
seedes of dampnable and detestable heresies mayntening 
bolstring and aduauncyng the venemous and pestyferous 
\\rollrkes erronyous and sedycyous opynyons of the saide 
Tyndale and other Wherein his highnes as {lyke} a most 
yertuous and benigne pr[ince] and gouernour hauing charge 
C011111tytted vnto hi11'1 of his people and Subiectes {&} being 
{ veraye} sorie to here tell that any of the same should 
in suche wise Ronne hedling and digresse from th[ e] lawes 
and preceþtes {a1ld holsom doctryns} of almightie god {alld 
holye Fathers} {and most holsom} into suche da1nþnable {and 
most holsom doctryne of holye Fathers into suche dampnable} 
heresies and sedycyous opynyons and being euer inclyned 
willi[ ng] and gretelie desirous to forse and prouyde for the 
same {& moche desyryng the reconsylyacyon of the sayd 
Fryth} and also fermelie trusting that the said Frith {he} be 
not so far as yet inrouted in the evill doctryne of the saide 
Tind[ all] {& oder} but that by the grace of god louyng 
charitable and frend[lie] exhortacions and aduertisementes 
of good people he may be re'l'oked and called agayne to the 
ryght way wylleth {hath therefore} a1'1d desiretlt you {\vyllyd} 
{and Com111aundyd} {me to wryte vnto yow that ye} accordyng 
to his trust and expectacyon { will} with your frendelie 
persuasions admonycyons and holsome exhortacions to 
counsaill and aduyse the said Fryth if ye may conuenientlie 
speke with the same to lev[ e] his wilfull opynyons and like 
a good Christien to retourne V1ZtO our Saueour Chri'ste and 
also into his natif cuntrey So that by his procedÙlges as he 
begY1uletlt there be no 1n[ore] [se ]dycyous infections alld heresies 
sowed a11101'lgst the kÙ.zges þeoþll/l {wher he assurydly shall 
Fynde the kynges highnes most me1'-cyffull and benygnlye 
vppon his conversyon disposyd towardes hYl1Z to accept hym 
to his grace & mercye} Wherefore eftesoones I hertelie 
pray you and {exhort you} for the loue of god do not onelie 



153 1 ] 


TIIOMAS CROlVIWELL 


339 


('xhortt YO? vtterlie to forsake leve and withdraw your affect yon 
from the saide Tyndale and all his secte but also as moch as 
ye can poletiquelie and charytablie to allure all {the said 

""'ryth and other} suche persons as bcn {being in thes part yes 
\vhich in any wyse ye shall know or suppose to be} Fautours 
and assistentes to the same from all their erronyous myndes 
and opynyons. In which doing ye shall not onelie highlie 
nlerite of {in} Almightie god but also deserue high thankes of 
the kinges royall maiestee who will not forgett your deuoyrs 
and labours in that behalf So that his maiestee may {evy- 
dentlye} pcrceyue that ye effectuaUie {do} intende the same. 
And as touching YOllr diligent aduertisement vnto the 
kinges highnes of the nombre of Shippcs arryued with corne 
and grayn in those parties he hathe c011zmaunded me on his 
behalf to gyue vnto you condigne thankes for the same And 
being moche desirous to kno\v and atteyne the trewth of that 
tuatier his grace hathe c011lmaunded me to \vryte vnto you 
that by all good dexteritee polycie and meanes ye should 
indeuoyr yourself to atteyne to the knowlege of the Maisters, 
seruauntes owners or other that made sale of the saide grayn 
brought thither to thin tent that by thexamynacyon of som 
his highnes might haue know lege of the rest and that ye shall 
'with all diligence aduertise h[is] highnes of their names, and 
in likewise of such other newes concerning themperours 
affayreses the discending of the turke into Germanye the 
preparacyons a yenst him the gifte of money in the lo\v 
countreys to themperoltr the abyding of thetnperour in the 
low parties the agremen[t] bytwen him and the prynces of 
Germanye as ye sha[ll] here by merchauntes or other\vise 
most certeynlie to acertey[ n] his grace by your ietteres 
with as moch dyligence as ye can. Prayeng you therefore 
substauncyallie and circumspect[lye] to indeuour yourself 
to serue the kinges highnes herein effectuallie So that your 
towardenes good mynde duet[ie] of allegiaunce and seruice 
towardes his royaIl maiest[ie] may be apparaunt and notoryous 
vnto the same. Which I doubt not shalbe to your singuler 
proffite and ad l1auncement. 


22. (CRO
IWELL) TO MR. STRETE. 
R. o. CaI. v. 277. (May, 1531.) 
Encloses a comn1ission to survey the lands of the bishopric of Coventry 
and Lichfield, and to receive the rents for the King, and orders to 
cease collecting rents in Chester. Cf. Letter 43. 
Mr. Strete after most hertie cOllzmendacions these shalbe to 
aduertise you that by the berers hereof ye shall receyue the 



340 


LETTERS OF 


[153 1 


kinges comission and warraunte yeuyng you auctoryte to 
Suruey the londes of the bisshopriche of Couentre and Lich- 
feld and to receyue the rentes and profites of the same to the 
kinges vse. And also ye shall receyue his gracious letteres 
directed to the Eschetor of the Countie palentyne of Chester 
vppon the sight whereof I doubte not but he will not onelie 
Surcease to medle any Ferther with the receipt of any rentes 
there but also in case he haue receyued any, will repay the 
same vnto YQur handes accordinglie. Not do\vbting but ye 
will diligentlie effectuallie and trewly put in execucion the 
teanOllr and effecte of your saide C01Jlmyssion in suche wise 
as shalbe most for your honestie & to the Kinges most profite 
and aduauntage. And for your paynes and diligence alredy 
taken and susteyned aboute his affayres there his highnes 
hathe c01nmaunded me to yeve vnto you his most hertie 
thankes. And trustith that ye will so indeuour your self in the 
receipt of the said rentes and reuenues as before the feaste of 
the N atyuyte of Saynt John Baptist next ye \vill bryng or 
send vp the hole half-yeres rent or the most parte of the san1e 
and that ye will have good awayte and regarde to his haukes 
in the Cauke there wherein ye shall do and admynister vnto 
his highnes right good and acceptable seruyce. 
And as touching the Catell at the pryorie of Calliche the 
kinges gracious pleasure is that ye shall suffer the berers 
hereof named Fyndern and Curson to haue the preferrement 
in the byeng of the same vppon suche reasonable prises as 
they may conuenyently Iyve on taking of them sam money in 
hande and such sufficient bonde and suertie for the residue as 
the king may be tre\vly ans\\Tered of the same. And so Fare 
ye well &c. 


Your mastership. 


23. CROl\lWELL TO (GARDINER). 
B. 11. Vesp. F. xiii, f. 154; Cal. v. 302. June 18 (1531). 
Requests him to examine and correct the enclosed' Mynewte' before 
presenting it to the King. Excuses himself for not coming in person. 
Right honerable after due rec01nmendacions n1ay it please 
the same to be aduertysed that I haue sent herein Inclosed 
the l\Iyne\vte \vith your Instruccions Beseching you to Survey 
the same and if ye shall fyude any erroure to order and 
correcte hit according to your wysd01nme and goodnes 
or euer ye shall presente the sight thereof vnto the Kingt's 
highnes which ons donne and his highe pleasure kno\vne 
I shall \vith dylygence cause it to be engrossed and sent I \\Told 



153 1 ] 


TI-IOMAS CROMWELL 


341 


myself haue cOl1lmyn therewz.th if other of the Kinges Busines 
had not Lettid me, Beseching you to make myne excuse and 
to depeche this Berar And this the holy trenyte preserue you 
in Long lief & good helth \vitk thencrease of muche honour 
at London this xviij day of June. 
Yours most bounden 
THOMAS CRUM\VELL. 


24. (CROl\l\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. v. 458 (i). Oct. I (153 I). 
Requests, on the King's behalf, the preferment of Thomas Berycr, 
warden of the Grey Friars of Blois, to be warden of the Grey Friars 
of Paris. 
Right worshypffull after most hertye c01l1mendacyons this 
shalbe to aduertyse you that the kinges plesure ys that ye on 
his gracyous behalf shall effectuallye move the Frenche kynge 
for 1 the prefferment of on Frere Thomas Beryer \vhich ys 
now gardyen of the grey f"'reers of Bloyse so that he at the 
c01ltemplacyon of his highnes Inay be now elect to be gardyen 
of the grey Freers in parys for assurydlye his highnes desyrethe 
moche the aduauncement of the sayd Freer and \\'0011 that 
ye in most effectuous \vyse do solycyt the same vnto (the) 
}4'renche kinges 2 requyryng the same on the his 3 graces bchalf 
to move the generall of the sayd relygyon now being at parys 
in the effectuall prefferment of the aboue sayde Freer and that 
ye Fayle not therof the kynges highnes requirythe yow. His 
Highnes also wall that ye shall moue the gret maister in that 
behalf For I assure you his maiestye moche tenderyth the 
aduauncement & prefferment of this Freer and thus hertelye 
Fare ye \veIl. 


At london the Fyrst daye of octobre. 


25. (CROMWELL) TO MR. HERON. 
R. O. Cal. v. 458 (ii). Oct. 3 (1531). 
Advises him to permit the bearer, Richard Johnson, to retain the farm 
granted him by Heron's parents, as Heron's interest in it comes (rmn 
the King. 
Maister Heron in my right 4 hertye wyse I c01nmende ( me) 
vnto youe and so it is that this berer whos name is Rychard 
Johnson hathe Supplyed 5 vnto the kynges highnes alledgyng 


1 c. o. on the behalf of 
2 c. o. highnes 


3 sic. 


4, c. o. most 
6 sÙ:, for' applied.' 



342 


LETTERS OF 


[153 1 


that he being possessyd of a certayn Ferme being parcell of 
the mannour of Highe Hall I of the dymyse and graunte 
aswell of your Father as also of 2 your mother late disceasyd 
whose sowlys our lord pardon O\vt of the which as he affer- 
myth ye wooll expel hym Syr my aduyse shalbe that ye 
according to J ustyce do Suffr the sayd Johnson to occupye 
his Ferme, consyderyng that your Interest In the same Cum- 
myth of the kynges graunt for assurydlye his grace wyll 
thinke straunge yf ye sholde expell his seruaunt hauyng a 
lawfful grante aswell of your Father as mother 3 as he affer- 
Inyth. Wherffor methinkyth ye shall do well to let hym 
occupye his Ferme withowt your Interrupcyon, he paying For 
the same as to right appartaynyth For I woolde ye sholde not 
be notyd extreme in your proceedinges and specyallye agaynst 
your Felowes the Kynges seruaunttes and thus hertelye Fare 
ye well at london the thyrde da ye of Octobre 


26. (CROM'VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. v. 458 (ii). (Oct. 1531.) 
Advises him not to receive any of the King's 'courser men' in bis 
monastery. 
My lord aftr right hertye rec01nmendacyons this shalbe to 
Certiffye yow of the receipt of your lettere and being veray 
Sorye of molestacyon doo aduyse yow not to suffr anye of the 
kynges Courser men to lye wz'th yow. For your monasterye 
vndowtydlye ys moche to small to Resayue the kinges 
Coursers. 


27. (CROM\;VELL) TO (SIR RALPH ELLERCAR). 
R. O. Cal. v. 671. (1531.) 
Thanks him for advice concerning a. bargain that Cromwell is about to 
make for the manor of Belthrop in Yorkshire. 
W oorshipfull Sir in my most hertye manner I c01nmend 
me vnto yow and In the same wise thanke yow for your 
good and kynd chere made vnto my seruaunt which that 
of late was with yow 4 my Sayd Seruaunt Informyd yo\V how. 


1 c. o. which he helde For terme 
of yeres of his highnes and hauyng 
good and Suffycyent graunt In the 
same 
2 c. o. my ladye 
s c. o. and hauing no Just Cause 
so to do 
( c. o. and as concernyng the 


bargayn betwene me and John 
Ardren of and for the n1anOZJr of 
Belthrop witlt the apportenaunces 
which, as I am Informyd ye wel' in 
mynde to haue bought Sir I woold 
I hadde bene made preuey to your 
n1ynd at whych tyme 



153 2 ] 


TI-IOMAS CROM\VELL 


343 


that I hadde concludyd a bargayn with John Ardren of and 
For the IVlano1/.r of Belthrop and ye then aduysyd my said 
Seruaunt to Aducrtyse me Substancyallye to loke vppon the 
sayd bargayn which aduertysment hath Sumwhat put me in 
dowt wherfor Syr I hertelye desyre and also pray yow that 
yff ye know anye manner do\vt ambygwyte or Any acte done 
by the sayd John Ardren or anye other Wherby I myght 
Sustayn Any manner displeasure danger or losse concernyng 
the sayd rvlanno1tY or the purchasing of the same that I may 
be certeffye( d) by this berer in evere poynt concernyng the 
same as my specyall trust is in yow and ye so doing shall 
bynd me 


The letter c1lds abruptly here, the bottollt of the sheet beillg 
cut off. ,. 


On the dorse is the draft of part of a letter from the King concerning an 
intended invasion from Scotland by the Duke of Albany, aided by 
the King of France. 


28. (CR011\YELL) TO (GARDINER). 
R. O. Cal. v. 7 2 3. (J an. 1532.) 
Sends news of the first reading of the Bill of Annates in the Lords. Has 
asked for money for Gardiner from the King, who grieves at Gardiner's 
absence. 


My lorde after myn humble and most hertie reC01Jzmen- 
dacions these shalbe to aduertise your lordeship how that 
I haue receyued your gentill lettere to me delyuered by 
thandes of Mr. Wrythesley And \vhereas I do perceyue 
by my kynnesman this berer that ye moche desire to here 
ne\\"es from hens I assure you that here be non but such as 
vndoubtedlie by a multytude of your Frendes (\vhich are 
Farre lTIOre secret and nerer the knowlege of the same then 
I aIn) be to your lordeship all redie related and knowen but 
yet to aduertise of som parte that I know, as thys day \vas 
Redd in the higher house a bill touching the Annates of 
busshopriches for what ende or effecte it \vill succede suerlie 
I know not. And as yesterday because I knew your lorde- 
ship not to be Furnisshed of all thinges necessarie for your 
being there I moued the Kinges highnes aswell for money 
to be defrayed in and aboutes the furnyture of your purpose 
and affayres as also for your Retourne hither sayeng that 
vppon myn owne coniecture your lordeship was wery of 



344 


LETTERS OF 


[ 153 2 


being there whereunto his highness answered me that you 
\vere not so wery of your being there but he was as sorie 
Sayeng 
y these \vordes expresselie. (His absence is the lac
e 
of my nght hand for I am now so moche pestred wztlz 
busynes and haue nobodie to rydde ne depeche the same) 
So that your lordeship may well know that your absence is 
not to you so moche paynefull and greuous as your presence 
here should be pleasaunt and comfortable to the Kinges 
highnes and all other your poure Frendcs beseching therefore 
your lordeship to Fynde som meanes on your parte as 
moche as in you is that your Retourne hither may be 
shortelie \vhich is long loked and wisshed for As our lorde 
knoweth etc. 
Endd. A mynute of my nIr.'s lettre. 


29. (CROM\VELL) TO HENRY VIII. 
R. o. Cal. v. 1055. (May, 153 2 .) 
Has had the news from Ratisbon translated into English. The English 
ambassadors are going to meet those of the Emperor at Dunkirk. 
May hit please your most royall magestye to be aduer- 
tysyd that of suche news as hathe Cum from Ratyspone 
I haue causyd the same to be translatyd owt of Italyon into 
Inglysshe and according to your high c01nma'wndment to me 
youyn yesterdaye haue Inclosyd them in this my let/ere, 
\vherby your highnes shall and may woll persayue of what 
Importaunce they be of. I haue also resayuyd a let/ere 
from Stephyn Vawhan which ys of no gret weight but that 
he wrytythe that your gracyous ambasadours do now repayre 
to the emperours ambassadours to Dunkyrke affermyng them 
to be Suffycyentlye Furnysshyd to ans\ver all thinges layd by 
the cOlltrarye parte and nothing dowtyth but that they shall 
haue veray gud Successe in all your gracyous affayres and 
thys our lord J esu Crist preserue and continew the most 
Royall estate of your most Ryoyall magestye in long lyffe 
& good helthe 


30. (CROM'VELL) TO HENRY VIII. 
R. o. Cal. v. 1092. June 13 (1532). 
Sends the book that the Friar Carmelite brought him. Cannot yet inform 
the King of the conclusion of Ap Howell's matter. News from 
Rome that the Turk is to invade Italy with a great army. 
Pleasythit your most Royall mageste to be aduertysyd 
how the Freer carmeIyte bro\vght vnto me this mornyng a 



153 2 ] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


345 


boke \viIIing me on yoltr gracyous bchalf \vith all spede to send 
the same vnto your highnes. Which I haue done accord- 
inglye I cannot yet certeffye your grace touching the Con- 
clusyon of J amys Gyrffyth ap HowelJes matyer for asmoche 
as yet I haue not spokyn with nlayster Thesaurer of yout 
most honorable ho\vshold who vndowtydly this daye \vilbe 
at Westm. Strange ne\vs haue arrYl1yd here aswell from 
Rome as Venyse of the turkes Repayre vnto and towardes 
Italye wz'th a mcrvelous puisauntt Arn1ye what shalbe the 
Successe thereof our lorde knoweth it ys Suppossyd that gret 
afflyccyon \viII Inse\v not onelye to the pope & the See of 
Ronle but also to the emprour and his conffederattes wherfor 
it may please the holye trynytie in whos Inffinyte goodnes 
power & \vy B I{estyth the the 1 order and traunq uylyte of all 
thinges to bryng peax good oppynyon and quyetacyoll 
amongyst Cristen pryncys and euer conserue preserue & kepe 
YOllr highnes in long lyff good hclthe \\'itlt quyetacyon of 
yoltr most vertuous most noble and nlost chary table mynde 
At london the xiii tb of June 


31. (CROlVI\VELL) TO THE MAYOR OF IIAVERFORD WEST. 
R. O. CaI. v. 1106. June 19, 1532. 
Notifies him that Sir William \V olff is discharged of his appearance before 
the council. 


Master Maier I hartely recommende me vnto you And 
where for Certaine causes ye toke bounde of Sir William 
Wolff clerke somtyme chapplaine vnto Rice app Griff. Esquier 
disceased and of other suert[ies] \vith him by recognisaunce 
that the saide Sir \Villiam shoulde k[ epe] his personall 
apparaunce here in the Sterre chamber before the kinges 
most honourable counsaiell there for certayne causes to him 
to be obiecte on the kinges behaulf in this present T erme as 
in the Condicion of the same Recognisaunce is comprisid. 
I doo you to vnderstonde that the saide Sir William Wolff 
is clearly dischargyd of his saide apparaunce byfore the saide 
counsaill wherefore I praie you to cause the saide Recog- 
nisaunce withe the condicion [ to be] made frustrate and 
Void. And thus Jhu kepe you \vriten the xix tb daie of June 
at London in the xxiiii yere of the Reigne of oure Soueraien 
Lorde the Kinge Henry the Eight. 
Add. · To Maister maier of Harfford Weste this be 
deliuered. 


MERRI:\IAN. I 


1 sic. 
Aa 



346 


LETTERS OF 


[ 153 2 


32. < CROMWELL) TO l\'lR. RO\VLAND. 
R. O. Cal. v. 1185 (i). July 19 (153 2 ). 


The King desires hiu1 to pay the bearer ,[5, to the use of the dean 
and canons of his college at Oxford, for the annual portion of his 
parsonage of Garsington, due to the late suppressed lTIOnastery of 
Wallingford. 
Maister Ro\vland after my herty commendacions this 
shalbe to aduertyse you that hitt is the kinges graces 
pleissuire and c01nn1aundeme1lt that ye shall paye i111mediately 
after the sight off theis ll1Y letters to the handt's off Maister 
Herry Williams beyrrer heiroff Fyve powndcs off good and 
Jawfull money off Englonde to the behoiffe' off the deanne 
and Canons off his graces Colledge in oxford now latcly 
erected. The whiche saide SU111me off Fyve powndes was 
deue to haue byn payed by yo\V att the Feiste off sayntte 
M ichcll tharchangell laste paste For thannuall porci01t goyng 
owtt off your parsonage off Garsinto1t vnto the late sup- 
pressed priore off Wallingford. And theis my lctters shalbe 
vnto yow a sufficiellt warrauntt & acquyttaunce For the 
payment off the Forsaide Fyve powndes. Faill you nott thys 
to doo as ye tendre the kinges pleissuire and thus Faire ye 
well. In haist From london the xix th d
tye off July. 


33. (CROl\I\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. v. 1184. July 19 (1532). 


Recommends Robert Hogan, the King's chief cook. 


Right \vorshipfull after moost hartie Rec01nnlendacions 
thiese shalbe to aduertise you that nlY louynge felowe and 
freende Robert Hogan Maister Coke to our soueraigne 
Lorde the IZinges grace hathe obteyned lycence of his grace 
to repaire into your parties for suche his Affaires and busynes 
as he hath there to do. Whom I harte1ie desire you to 
entreteigne and accepte in makinge and showinge vnta hrm 
suche freendlie and louynge Chere and other pleasures for 
Iny sake, as ye wolde to me, yf I were there with you 
presente And in so doynge ye shall mynystre unto me a right 
singler good pleasure, not to be forgoten in tYlne c01nmynge 
in suche your Requestes and Affayres as ye shall haue here 
to do by the grace of god who euer kcpe you. Att London 
the xix th Daie of July. 



153 2 ] 


TI-IOMAS CROMWELl
 


347 


34-. (CROM\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. v. 1185 (ii). July 20 (1532). 
Requests him to grant the farm of lVr yxberye in Oxfordshire to John 
,^Yelsborne, one of the gentlemen of the King's privy chal11ber. 
1\1 y lorde after most hertye rcc01Jlmcndacyons this shaIbe 
to desyre and hertelye praye (you) to be so good at my 
poore Instaunce and request to graunte the Fernle of 
lVIyxberye vnto Iny veraye Frend and Felow 1\1r. ] ohn 
Welsborne one of the gentylmen of the Kynges preueye 
chaumbre in doing wherof besydes the good wyIl ye shall 
obteyn of hym ye shalbynde me to (do) yow suche poore 
pleasures as shall lye in my lytyll power as knowyth our 
lorde ,vho eUt'r preserue YOllr lordship wrytyn at londcn the 
xx th daye of ] uly 


35. (CROl\f\VELL) TO THE LORD (CHIEF JUSTICE 
FITZ-]AMES). 
R. O. Cal. v. 1340. Sept. 24 (1532). 
The King has directed his letters for the election to the abbacy of Bruton 
in Somersetshire of that person whom Lord Lisle and Fitz-}ames 
have recommended. Fitz-James may postpone the election for the 
trial of the King's title if he sees fit. 
IVI y lorde after most hertie c01llmendact"ons these shalbe to 
aduertise your lordeship how that I haue receyued your 
Ietteres and according to the contents of the same moued 
the Kinges highnes concerning thelection of the Abbote of 
Bruton And like as I wrote vnto your lordeship in my last 
Ietteres that ye should stay the saide election vntill the 
Kinges title nlight be tryed So his high pleasure is that 
ye shall do if ye see good matier to bere it. N euertheles 
his highnes at the sute of my lorde Lisle Supposing that he 
and you do both sue for the aduauncement of one person to 
be A bbot of Bruton forsaid as my lorde pIa ynl ye afferm yd 
to his grace hathe theruppon directed his gracious let teres 
for that purpose whiche notwithstanding his high pleasure 
is yf ye se cause that ye shall stay thelection vppon the 
tryall of his title, as is aforsaide And in case your lordeship 
will haue that person promoted for whom he hathe written 
his grace is therewith right well contented So that his highnes 
may (haue) me remembryd Sumwhat,lyke as your lordeshyp 
wrot vnto me in your last whyche he onelye Ren1yttythe to 
your wisedom and discrecyon for his highnes perfectlye 
trustith that ye will substauncyallie loke thervnto, who woold 
Aa2 



348 


LETTERS OF 


[153 2 


as Fayne that ye were well neyhboryd as ye woold yourself. 
my lord in this and all other that shall lye in my Lytill power 
I shall allwayes do as I hane promysyd and thus most hertelye 
Fare ye \vell at london the xxiiii th daye off Septembre 


36. (CROMWELL) TO HENRY VIII. 
R. O. Cal. v. 1298. (September, 153 2 .) 
Reports the Inaking of patterns for the King's collar, and the accounts of 
the King's jewels. Edmund Knightley has been committed to the 
Fleet for contempt of the King and his laws. 
Please it your highnes to be aduertised that according to 
your gracious c01ntnaundement I haue caused patrons to be 
dra\ven after yottr graces Deuyse albeit I hane wylIyd your 
goldsmyth not to procede to the making of any thing In 
perffeccyon vntill your gracious pleasure shalbe Ferther 
knowen for the which purpose both he and I shall repayre 
vnto your highnes on Saterday night or Sondaye in the 
morning and to the Intent your grace may detennyn your 
pleasure I haue Sent by this berer the patron of your Coller 
of balasys and Dyamondes drawn according to your graces 
fyrst deuyse touching a certen matier in varyaunce betwixt 
thexecutours of Sir 1 William Spencer disceasyd and 2 my 
ladye spencer whereas informacion was made vnto your 
highnes that grete Spoyle of the goodes of the saide Sir 1 
William Spencer was made by the saide executours and 
how that the executours wold haue put owt my ladye late 
the wyff of the sayd William from the execucyon of the 
testament the matier hath ben harde here before my lorde 
the keper pf your grete seale Sir Willyallz Poulet and. me 3. 
And as it appereth by thexamynacion as well of the executors 
as by Edtnond Knyghtley and Rychard his brother the hole 
spoyle and eloyning 4 of the sayd goods & plate was made 
onely by the sayd Edmond Knyghtley his brother Rychard 
and the sayd ladye spencer thayr suster notwithstanding that 
ther was Agrement made betwene the executors and the 
ladye spencer that she sholde entyr into bargayn with your 
highnes and also into the execucyon of the testament with 
them as an executrix which vndowtydly she hadde done yf 
Edmond Knyghtle halide not bene Which Edmonde Knightley 


1 c. o. Thomas 
2 c. o. Mr, Edmonde Knightley 
3 c. o. with other of your graces 
counsaill 
4 c. o. as hathe ben had & made 
of the saide goo des and also such 


offences as haue ben commytted 
in that behalf haue ben onelie 
done and executed by the saide 
Edmonde Knightley his Syster and 
suche other of that parte and none 
otherwise 



J53 2 ] 


THOMAS CROlVI\VELL 


3-49 


hathe not onelie trauayled astnoche as in him is to sett pyke 
betwcne the sayd ladye and the executors and to ùefeate 
YOllr grace of YOllr title to the heire of the saide Spencer 
but also J usteffyed the same beror my sayd lorde keper of 
the gret Seale \vher on the other partye it was openlyc 
prouyd that yOllr grace hade good tytyll and all his 
allegacyon vntre\v yet neuertheles for the reducing of the 
san1e his vntrew purpose to effecte and to the Intent to 
slaunder YOllr gracys tytill and others he hathe caused to be 
Illade certen prodamacions in YOllr Count yes of \Varwyke 
leycester & Northampton in dyuers of YOllr highnes To\vns 
there to the high contempte of your grace and your lawes 
For it hathe not ben seen nor herd that any Subiecte wit/Ún 
this Realme sholde presume to make proclamacion within this 
YOllr realme but onelie in YOllr graces Name Wherefore for 
his offences and other contcnlptes ayenst yOllr highnes in that 
behalf my lorde the keper of YOllr grcte (seal) takyng that 
matyer to be a greuous offens ayenst your Crown & Imperyall 
magestye hathe c01Jlmyttcd the sayd Edmond Knyghtley to 
YOllr pryson of the Flete where he now remayneth vntyll 
your high plesure shalbe F eIther knowen in that behalf. As 
touching the Cup of golde & Corporas Case I sent your 
highnes woorde by Thomas Alvard the treuthe whereof this 
berer Stevyn Vawhan can Informe YOllr grace who hathe 
made perfytte bokes aswell of the sayd Cuppe & Corporas 
Case as also of all other YOIlY highnes J e\velles now being in 
the handes of Cornelys to be orderyd according to your 
graces plesure and thys the holye trynyte preserue your n10st 
royall estate of yottr most excellent magestye 


37. (CROM\\'ELL) TO THE ABBOT OF ST. ED:\1UNDS 
BURY. 
R. o. Cal. v. 1573. Nov. 24 (1532). 
Desires the farm of Harlowberry, in Essex, near Honysdon. \Vill do an 
he can for the Inonastery. 
My lorde after n1Y hartie maner I cOffi11lende me vnto you. 
Aduertising you that for dyuerse consideracions I am verray 
desirouse To haue some house in essex nere vnto Honysdon. 
And forasmoche as your parsonage of I-Iarlowebery shall 
shortly be in your Handes and Letting, By Reason that the 
lease whiche Malery and his Wyff hathe is nowe all moost 
expired, I shall desire and instantly pray you to lett your 
said Fanne of Harlowebury vnto me by lease for terme of Ix 
yeres for the same stokke Rent and Ferme that haithe byn 



350 


LETTERS OF 


[ 153 2 


of OIde tyme accustumyd paid and perceyuyd for the same. 
In doing whereof ye shall bynde me to do you and that your 
nlonastary suche pleasure as may Iy in my Lytell power, in 
tyme to cotn. And what shalbe your towarde mynde herin 
I pray you to Aduertise me in wrytyng by this berer my 
servaunt. And as for the yeres that malery and his wyff haithe 
yitt to com ye shall vnderstaund that I haue Agred wzth 
theym for his lease Thus fare ye hartely well fronl Eltham, 
the xxiiii day of N ouembre. 
Add. To my Lord Thabbot of Seynt Edmoundes Bury 
geve this. 


38. (CROM'VELL) TO (THE EARL OF NORTHU!\IBERLAND). 
R. 0.; not in Cal. (Dec. 1532.) 
Congratulates him on the success of his last raid against the Scots, and 
assures him of the King's favour. Urges him to keep on his guard 
against a surprise. 
After myn humble comtnendacions please it your lordeship 
to be aduertised that I haue receyued your Ietteres the con- 
tentes wherof I haue right well perceyued And touching your 
prosperous fortune and victorie in your last rode agenst your 
enemyes Shewing therby your valiaunt courage glad hert 
and mynde to serue the Kinges highnes and annoye his 
enemyes, I assure your Iordeship there is no man lyuyng 
gladder to here thereof then I am your poure Frende, 
Wisshing to god that your Iordeship did knowe and here 
as I do ho\v louynglie and acceptablie the Kinges highnes 
doth Regarde and take the same. which vndoubtedlie 
wold double the hardynes and courage of any man lyuyng 
to do his grace seruice. And because it is to be thought that 
after this rode YOllr enemyes the scottes will invente & studie 
to be reuenged to your like annoyance or more if they can, 
my poure aduise shalbe that by aU the wayes meanes and 
polycies ye can, your lordeship do circumspectlie and witll 
vigilant eye make such espialles and watches and so in most 
poletique and warlyke Facion will forsee studye and prepare 
as in no wise by Y01U- saide enemyes ye be preuented But 
rather that your lordeship as ye aIredy haue began will so 
contynue endeuouring your self to greue and annoye YOllr 
enemyes by doing of such valiant actes and exployttes to 
thincrease of your high merite and worthie praise So as the 
Fame renowne and noble victorie which your lordeship hathe 
no\v won and obteyned be in no ,vise hurte blemisshed or 
,defaced by any acte or exployte to be don hereafter for 



153 2 ] 


THOMAS CROIVIWELL 


351 


lacke of good forsight or preuencyon Thus I am bolde to 
gyue your lordeship my poure frendely aduise beseching the 
53-me to excuse my boldenes and to thinke I do it one lie for 
that I bere unto YOlfr lordeship my hcrtic good mynde and 
will And no Ulan more gladder then I to here tell of any 
thing \vhich should sounde to your lordeshippes good Fanlc 
and honollr, the increase and auglnentacion ,vhereof I doubt 
not but your lordeship will contynew to procure with no lesse 
diligent propcnce glad hert and mynde to serue the king 
in his affairees there then as yc hane begon to the vtter grief 
displeasure and annoyaunce of YOlir enemyes \vherein I 
beseche our lorde to sende you as prosperous fortune and 
good successe as your noble and valyaunt herte could \visshc 
or desire At london etc 
Etldd. mynute of a Jet/ere 


39. (CROM\VELL) TO THE ABBOT OF BURY. 
R. o. Cal. v. 1719. (1532.) 
Regrets to hear that he has detained several workmen in his district, in 
spite of the King's need of them in London. Urges him to send 
then1 up at once. 
lVI y lorde after all de\v recolllmendacyons this shalbe to 
aduertise YOllr lordshyp how that I and other hauyng charge 
aswell of the Iz'ynges Buldinges at his Towre of london as 
also at \Vestm. haue bene for lakke of masons Carpenters and 
other ,,'oorkmen compellyd to sende in to all the plases of this 
Rcalme For prouysyon of the same by the kinges cOl1lmyssyon 
and albeit that the kinges rnesenger by the auctoryte of his 
COl1zmyssyon hathe repayryd into dyuers part yes of Suffolke 
ther to execute the same and also to Burrye Saynt Ednlondes 
and therabowtt For to haue taken and prestyd masons f"or the 
accomplyshmentof the kynges sayd woorkes yc lytel1 Regarding 
the kynges auctoryte and C0111myssyon have stayed dyuers 
masons and woorkmen abowte yow wherof I do moche mer- 
vayle my lorde I woolde be loth and also veraye sorye the 
the 1 kynges highnes sholde be Informyd of your demeanure in 
that behalf For I dowt not though peraduenture his highnes 
woolde esteme yow to be Abbot of his Monasterye of Burye, 
yet he woolde not forget that he ys your kyng and souerayng 
lorde, \vho percase might thinke sum vnkyndenes and also pre- 
sumpcyon in yow so to handell hym or his auctoryte wit/tin 
his owne Realme Wherffor my lorde I thinke it shalbe well 
done in aduoyding Further busynes to sende vpp those masons 
and not to Contend with your prynce ne \vith his auctoryte 
1 sic. 



332 


LETTERS OF 


[153 2 


I beseche your lordshyp to pardon my playne wrytyng For 
assurydl ye I woolde be vera y lothe that the kinges highnes 
sholde haue Anye occasyon to thinke anye vnkyndnes or dis- 
obedyence in yow and thus the holye trynyte preserue your 
lordshyp in long lyffe and good helthe 


40. (CROMWELL) TO (THE BISHOP OF ELY). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 312. April 6 (1533). 
The King desires his presence at the next session of the Council, if his 
health win permit. Recommends the bearer Mr. Jones. 
My specyall good lord after my most humble recol1zmenda- 
cyons <it) may please the same to be aduertysyd how that 
the kynges highnes hathe COl1zmaundyd me to gyue yow 
knowlage that yf ye may by any possyble meanys your helth 
and lyffe preseruyd Repayre hether this next terme yt sholde 
be moche to his gracyous contentacyon and Comfort to haue 
your presens and Cow1Zsayle in his affayres and his grace 
do\vtyth not but ye wyll yf it be possyble for yow to trauayle 
accomplyshe aU thing that maye be to the Satysfaccyon 
of his pleasure. I assure your lordshyp his grace hathe not 
a Fe\v tymes Ia,mentyd in the presens of your frendes not 
onlye YOUy absens but also your Infyrmyte wherfor his grace 
hathe bene veraye Sorye. And my lord bycause this berer 
1'vlaister Jonys dothe now repayre vnto your lordshyp for your 
Fauours and goodnes to hym so shewyd towardes his preffer- 
ment vnto \vhom yt may please you at my poore Sute & 
medyacyon to be specyall good lorde Assuryng your Iorde- 
ship that he ys a perffect honest gentylman and such one as 
ye shall neuer Repent the thing that ye shall doo For hym as 
knowyth the holye trynyte who euer preserue your lordshyp 
in long Iyffe and good helthe At londen the vi th daye of 
Aprell. 


41. (CRO
IWELL) TO (LORD SCROPE). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 383. April 25 (1533). 
The King has received his letters, and is glad that he will let him have 
the manor of Pyssow in H ertfordsh ire. The King will give him 
good lands in exchange. 
My specyall goode Iorde after aU dew Recol1zmendacyons 
this shalbe to aduertyse the same that the kyngys highnes 
fight thankffullye dyd accept your Ietteres to hym dyrected 
& delyuered by mr. chasye and his grace ys merveylouslye 
well contentyd that your Iordshyp wooll let his grace haue 



1.133] 


TIIOl\IAS CROMWELL 


353 


your manozer & parke of PySSO\V in exchaunge. Wherfor his 
Magestie hathe C01nn1aundyd me to lnserchc for landt's for your 
R.ecompens which I shall dao \vith all conuenycnt spede and 
as to the rede howsys \vith the other thinges mouyù to me by 
this berer your se1
uaunt I \vyll vndowtydlye doo my best so 
that your lordeshyp by the next shalbe certeffyed of the kynges 
Full and determynate pleasure in all thinges as knowethe our 
Iorde who eurt" preserue your lordshyp in long lyffe & good 
helthe at london the xxv th dare of Aprel!. 


42. (CROl\1\VELL) TO (TIlE DUKE OF SUFFOLK). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 415. April (1533). 
The King is pleased with his willing-ness to surrender his patent of Earl 
:Marshal, which has been granted to the Duke of Norfolk. Suffolk 
is to have the Justiceship of the Forests on this side of the Trent for 
life, in exchange. Advises him to come to COUl
t at once. 
After my most humble Rec01Jlmendacions it maye please 
your grace to Vnderstande that the Kinges highnes hath been 
assuredlie aduertised ho,,'e that your grace is contente to 
surrendre your patente of the office of Therle Marshall into 
his handt's Whervpon his Magestie hath graunted the same 
vnto my lorde of N orffolk his grace \Vhose Auncestors of longe 
tyme hadd thesame vntill no\ve of late. And his highnes is 
contente that your grace in the le\ve and place therof shall 
haue his letteres patentcs of the J usticeshipp of his Forestes on 
thisside Trcnte for terme of your lyfe. Assurynge your 
grace his highnes doth not onlie repute moche honour in your 
grace for that ye soo kyndlie \vill departe with the saide office 
of marshalshipp vnto my saide lorde of N orffolk but also his 
magestie supposeth and pcrfectlie percevith that your grace 
hath moche more estimacion and zele to N orisshe kyndenes 
and love bytwene. my saide lorde of N orffolk and you then ye 
haue to thatt or any other office \vhiche vndubtelie is highlie 
to his gracious contentacion to see and perceiue so grate and 
honorhable personages his subiectes so Iovynglie and Frendlie 
the on to love thother, \Vherfore as he that always rekonith 
hYlnselfe [bou]nden vnto your grace and beyng also ver[ ayly] 
J oyouse to persayve howe pleasauntlie the kinges hjghnes 
taketh in gude parte and repute your honorhable and moost 
gentill demeanoltrs in this and all other your procedynges 
thought I couide no lesse doo then to aduertise you 
therof to thintente that ye knowynge thesame myght and 
may determyn your self therafter. And amongest other 
thinges as I can perceyue it shulde not be vnthankfullie taken 
towardes the kinges highnes and your grace yf it were your 



354 


LETTERS OF 


[1533 


ease and pleasure to repayre to the Courte with Resonable 
spede consyderyng that shortlye my lorde of Norfolke de- 
partyth towardes his gret J orney in Ambassade. Beseching 
your grace to pardon my bolde & Rude \vryting ,vhiche I am 
IDovyd vnto For the poore good wylI I b[ ear] [your] 
grace as kno,vyth the holye trynyte ,vho preserue your grace 
in longue lyffe good helth with thincrease of tnoche honour 
at London the daye of Aprel!. 


43. (CROM"VELL) TO MR. STRETE. 
R. o. Cal. vi. 645. June 14 (1533). 
Recommends various persons to receive the land, cattle, and corn of the 
late priory of Calwich in Staffordshire. Gives directions for the 
administration of Strete's office. Cf. Letter 22. 
Maister Strete as hertelye as I Can I c011lmend me vnto 
yow and wher as by my last Ietteres I ,vrott vnto yO\V in the 
Fauors of Curson and Fyndern to be prefferryd vnto the CateH 
and Corn of late belongyng to the pryorye of Colwyche and 
Sythyn that tyme I \vrotte vnto yow on the behalf of 
11r. longford for his prefferment vnto the demaynes of the 
sayd late pryorye so hit ys that no\v the sayd maister long- 
ford by his Father in law Mr. Fyzherbert moche desyryth to 
haue the Tythys and also suche Corn as at this tyme ys Sown 
vppon the demaynes of the sayd late pryorye for this yere whych 
tythe and Corn Sown vppon the denlaynes I require yow 
that he may haffe at suche prysys as ye shall thinke convenyent 
and in such wyse as the kynges highnes may be Substaun- 
cyallye answeryd of the proffyttes growing of the same without 
any Fauour to be born to anye othrc partye and \vher as 
I wrott in myn other letter that Curson and Fyndern shold haue 
the preffermentt of the CateH and Corn I dyd not wrytt for 
anye Corne growing on the grownde ne yet for any tythys 
which in no wyse ye shall Suffer them to haue but to order hyt 
as ys afforsayd most to the kynges proffytte & aduauntagc. 
I well persayue ,vho grauntyth suchemen an Inche they wyll 
take an ell. I an1 Infformyd they avauntc them selfs to haue 
Commyssyons and graunttes of the kyng which ys vntrew 
I praye yew aduyse thenl to vse no suche Facyons. Syr the 
kynges highncs trustyth that ye VJith all spede will bryng up 
the half yeres Ft::rme and Rcnttes of the Busshopryche which 
I praye yO\V may be here before his gracyous departyng in 
progresse. and as to the Chanon off Colwyche ye may trans- 
late hym vnto Sum good howse of that relygyon being nere 
vnto yow and to gyue hym sumthing after your discrecyoll 
suche as may stand \vith the kynges honour and also to his 



1533] 


THOMAS CROl\1\VELL 


355 


honest Contentacyon and thus trustyng in your approuyd 
wysdom and experyence COl1ln1ytt all the premysses vnto your 
discrecyon trustyng euer that ye wyll haue respect to your 
dew[tie] and charge and also that I may haue short answer 
of thcs and other my Ietteres and so Fare ye well at london 
the xiiii th daye of June 


44. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. CaI. vi. 706. June 26 (1533). 
Desires him to admit Bartholomew Peters as surgeon of Calais. 'Vill do 
his best to obtain Lisle's requests for the town. 
My lorde after my right hcrtie rcc011l111endacions these 
shalbe to aduertise r y]our lordeship that where it hathe 
pleased the kingcs highnes to gyve and [g]raunte to Bartholo- 
mew Petres the rowme of Surgeon in his grace. . . ,vz"thin the 
towne of Calays, as by a bill signed for that purpose. . . ye 
shall receyue of the saide Bartholome\v more playneJie shall. . . 
[a ]ppere I shall therefore requyre YOllr lordeship that insuing 
the teanOllr purport and effccte of the kinges saide grauntc 
ye do see the saide Bartholome\v admytted into the saide 
rowme when tyme shaH requyre accordingly. And concerning 
suche nlatiers as ye latelic haue written in for the townc of 
Calays, I do not ne shall not cesse to do my best to reduce 
and bryng the saIne to suche good passe and effecte as shalbe 
thought most requysite and expedient. I trust to your good 
contentacion. And so our lorde preserue YOllr lordeship in 
long lif and good helth with thincrease of honour. At London 
the xxvi day of June 


Your lordsh yppis assuryd 
THO
IAS C[ RUMWELL] 
I wrytt to YOltr lordeshyp For this berer by the Kinges 
expresse C01nmandmentt. 
Add. To the right honourable and his singuler good 
lorde my Lorde Lisle deputie to the Kingcs highnes of his 
town and marches of Cala ys be this youen. 


45. CROMWELL TO (THOMAS BEESTON). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 776. (June-July, 1533.) 
Ordering him to repair to the Emperor's Court and deliver the King's 
letters to Dr. Hawkins there. with directions to turn theln over to the 
Emperor. He is to return with the Emperor's answer. 
First the kinges highnes pleasure is that ye hauing receyued 
your packet of letteres and instructions directed vnto Mr. 



356 


LETTERS OF 


[ I 533 


doctour Hawkyns, shall ymediatelie put yourself in aredynes 
to departe towardes the parties of beioynde the See, inserch- 
ing by your polycie the nerest wayes to suche place where 
it shall happen the Emperour to lye. 
I tm when ye shall repayre to themproltrs Courte ym- 
mediatly to delyuer the saide packet vnto the saide Mr. Haw- 
kyns witll hertie gretinges and salutacions from the kinges 
highnes aduertesing him ferther that the kinges pleasure is 
that when tyme shall Requyre, he shall not onelie intymate 
declare and communycate the effectes of suche letteres and in- 
structions conteyned in the saide packet, witll- themprour, 
alwayes insuing the teanour purpose and meanyng of the 
same, But also after his accustomed wisedom dexterite and 
good polycie shall indeuour himself so to propone handle and 
set fourth all thinges as he by his good discression shall se 
tyme place and occasion So as the same may take effecte 
according to the Kinges high trust and expectacion in that 
behalf. 
I tm that after declaracion of the p1"cmisses and C011Zm uny- 
cacion had at length witlz themperour in the same, the saide 
Mr. Haukyns shall then if he so thinke good, devise determyne 
and conclude with you for your depeche and retOltrne hither 
with Ietteres and instructions purporting suche answeres ar- 
ticles and allegacions as by thempcrollr shalbe answered 
leyed and obiected to those thinges ,vhich the saide Mr. Haw- 
kyns shall intymate and declare as is aforsaide on the kynges 
behalf, which being done and accomplisshed the kyngt's 
gracious pleasure is that ye shall make all conuenyent haste 
spede and diligence to repayre hither to his grace with the 
same accordingly. 


1"HOMAS CR Ul\I\VELL. 


Elldd. mynute. 


4.6. (CROM\VELL) TO (THE IVIERCHA:NT TAILORS). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 698. (June, 1533.) 
Requests them to continue and increase the annuity granted to Nicholas 
Glossop, servant of the late Archbishop \Varham. 
Right wellbeloued Frendes I recomend n1e hartly vnto yowe 
And where I am enfourmed that at the request of my late 
lorde of Caunterbury, whose sowle god pardon, ye graunted 
to his seruaunt Nicholas Glossop, an olde Auncient of youre 
Felisship of mt'rchaunt l'aillours a certeyn Annuytie of 
xxvi s. viii d. toward the Sustentacion of his lyvyng for terme 
of his N aturalllife. Wherof by his report, he hath be( n) \vell 



1533] 


THOMAS CROMWELl.. 


357 


and truly Ans\\"ered of a long tyme. Ho\ve be it no\ye upon 
the deceas of his said maister, as it ys said, that ye entende 
to \vithdrawe From hym youre saide Rcnyuolcnce and 
graunte, which shulde be to his great Discon1fort and 
Hyndraunce. And forasmoche as I bere good l\lynde and 
Favour towardes hym And it \vere more charitie rather to 
Augemente his lyving than to dymynysshe it or withdrawe 
the same, specially nowe in his great Age, whan he hath most 
nede of help and Socoure. I hertly desire yowe that for Il1Y 
sake yc wille not only contynue the paYlnent of the said 
Annuytie to hym for terme of his life according to your said 
graunte, But also of youre larger Benyvolence and charitie 
to encreas the same xiii s. iiii d. more by yere. Wherby in 
ruyne opynyon, ye shall not only do the thyng \vhiche may 
be right Ineritorious to yo\ve, but also right honorable for 
youre said Felisship, and to me right great pleasure. and 
for the same doing He may hereafter do yowe pleasure And 
I shalbe glad to doo yowe pleasure or any good that I can 
for your Felowship at aIle tymes As knoweth god who 
preserue yowe. And Further I desire 'yo\ve of your good 
Answere in this behalf the morowe Folowing YOllr next 
Courte Day by yowe to be holden at your halle 
Entld. A Ie/Ire for Nicholas glossop. 


47. CROM\YELL TO MR. THOMAS ALEN. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 79 1 . July 9 (1533). 


For failing to pay his debts to Cromwell, dud to give sureties for the 
money his brother owes the King, Alen has forfeited 1000 marks to 
the Crown. Requests an answer by the bearer. 


Maister Alen after right hertie conzmendacions these shalbe 
to aduertise you that long or this tyme I loked to haue harde 
from you and trusted not onelie to haue had and receyued 
from you now at Midsomer last passed my H undreth pounde.ç 
which of gentilnes I lent you but also sufficient bondes and 
suertie for your brother tharchebisshop of Duntlyn concern- 
ing the payment of vii c 1 markes which he oweth to the kinges 
highnes according to suche bonde as you and other witlt you 
stonde bounde in for the complement of the same. For lacke 
and defaulte whereof ye haue forfaited to the kinges highnes 
the Sonzme of one thousande markes which me thinketh ye 
ought substaunciallye to loke vppon for the king is no person 


1 . 
1. e. 7co. 



358 


LETTERS OF 


[153.3 


to be deluded nor mocked 'with all. And considering that 
for your sake I so gentillie departed with my money me 
semeth that reason and good honestie requireth ye should 
se me payed ayen. prayeng you that I may be aduertised by 
this berer what ye mean and intende to do in the premisses. 
And so hertelie Fare ye well. At London the ix th day 
of Julie. 


Your louyng Frend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To his louyng Frende Mr. Thomas Alen be this 
yeuen at Raylcgh. 


48. CROMWELL AND AUDELEY TO HAWKINS AND 
RANDALL, BAILIFFS OF WEY
iOUTH. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 858. July 18, 1533. 


Warrant for the delivery into the nearest prison of six nlen taken in the 
ship Trinity, of Hull. The goods and the ship are to be delivereà 
to William Gonson. 


'V\Tellbelouyd we grete you ,vel1, and Where as William 
Gonson of london hathe shewed vnto vs an Indenture datyd 
the viii th daye of June last, n1ade betwene Edward Waters 
and you specyfyeng the deliuerauns of a Ship namyd the 
Trinite of I-I ull and lxiiii I-Ioggyshedes of gascon wyne with 
dyuers other thinges therin conteynyd to your Handes. We 
certefye yow that the Kyng his pleasure is that ye shall 
incontynent deliuer or cause to be deliuered all thinges 
contcanyd in the said Indentures to the said William Gonson 
or his assignes. and as towching the sixe prysoners taken in 
the said Ship and lykcwyse deliueryd into your kepyng that 
ye deliuer theiJll into the next pryson to you, ther to be' 
surely kepte till the kinges pleasure be to you Further 
knowne whcche dcliueraunce of Ship and goodes & 
prysoncrs shall be vnto you a sufficyent dyscharge at all 
tymes herafter Wry ton at London the xviii daye of July 
the xxv th yere of the Rcigne of our soueraigne lorde kyng 
Harry the viii tb . 
THOMAS AUDELEY Kt. chauncelour 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To our Welbelouyd William Hawkyns and Willian1 
Randall Baylyffcs of the towne of \Vaymowthe. 



1533] 


TIIOMAS CROM\VELL 


359 


49. CROMWELL TO SIR ANTHONY FITZIIERBERT AND 
WALTER LUKE. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 872. July 19 (1533). 
Requires him to delay the trial of a case which may be prejudicial to 
Cromwell, as the jury has been packed, and will be likely to give an 
unjust verdict. 
After nlY right hertie c01nmendacions Forasmoche as there 
is a N isiprius passed out to be tried before you at the next 
assises to be holden at Lyncoln concerning the tryall of the 
title of Anthony Stydolffe who is my \varde Which Nisiprius 
is secretIie sued out and passed \vithout my knowlege so as 
pf'rcase the same tnay be moche preiudiciall vnto me in that 
thing whereunto I haue good iust and Iawfull title as ye shall 
apperceyue by suche deades and \vritinges as Iny Frend this 
berer shall she\v vnto you, I therefore considering your 
worshippes and good indifferencies, trusting that ye will du 
me none iniustice in this behalf Do most hertelie require and 
pray you to staye the tryall of the saide Nisipril1s, V ntill ye 
shall haue Ferther knowlege of the matier, the rather for 
that I am crediblie infourmed that the enquest is alredie so 
parciallie impaneled that vndoubtedlie it is thought they \vilJ 
passe directlie ayenst the trowth. I
ftesones therefore most 
hertelie requyring you to provyde and forsee 111yn indempnyte 
in this parte, .A.nd for the good acquytall of YOllr gentilnes 
to be shewed vnto n1e herein if there be any thing "7herein 
my poure po\vers can extende to do yO\V pleasure I shall not 
Faile godd willing to accompIisshe the same to the vtterest 
of my lytiU power. And so most hertelie Fare ye well. At 
London the xix th day of Julie. 
It Inay please you to gyve firme credence vnto this berer 
in such thinges as he shall declare vnto you on my behalf 
Y 01tr assuryd Freend 
THOMAS CRUlYIWELL. 
Add. To the right \vorshipfull Mr. Anthony Fitzherberte 
knight one of the kinges iustices of his comen benche and 
to lVlr. Walter Luke esquier and to either of them. 


50. (CROMWELL) TO MR. IvluSTIAM. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 878 (ii). July 19 (1533). 
Desires him to permit the bearer to enjoy a lease of the farm of Brokesley. 
Master Mustiam I hartely c01i2mende me vnto you. And 
in the san1e wise beseching you at this my poure contemplacion 



360 


LETTERS OF 


[1533 


and request to be good master and Frende vnto . . . berar 
hereof, in letting hytn to opteyne, and peacably to occupie 
and enyoye the hole effect of a lease of the ferme or parsonage 
of Brokesley, in the paroche of Detford in the Countie of 
J{ent to hym demysed by one Mr. Oty\vell of WestmÙzster 
diseased without any your further let grief or disturbauns. 
V ntill suche tyme as ye shall kno\ve further of my will and 
pleasure, and inso doyng ye shall mynyster vnto me right 
singuler pleasure. And this hartely fare ye well At London 
this xix day of July 


51. < CRO
I\VELL) TO MR. MUSTIAM. 
R. o. Cal. vi. 878 (ii). July 20 ( 1533). 
The bearer complains that Mustiam intends unjustly to take the tithe 
corn of Brokesley from him. Advises Mustiam not to do this. 
Maister Mvstyam I hertclye c01Jzmende me vnto yow 
aduertysing the same that the poore man berer herof hathe 
shewyd me that ye do Intend to do hym \vrong in takyng 
From hym the tythe Corn of Brokleye, other wyse wyse 1 
Called west green wyche \vhervnto I thinke ye haue no tytyH 
nor Interest, wherfor I shall aduyse yow to stay to doo any 
thing in the same vntyll suche tyme as ye shall be hable 
honestlye to to 1 Claynle therin and thus Fare ye \vell at 
london this xx th daye of July 


52. Cl{OMWELL TO HENRY VIII. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 887. July 23 (1533). 
Reports the exalnination of certain Friars Obsftrvants, who have been 
taken by CrOlnwell's spies. Two of them would certainly confess 
nluch if examined by torture. Desires instructions how to proceed. 
Has inquired of Cranmer about the lllen, as the King desired. 
Please it your highnes to be aduertised that vppon Inyn 
arryuayle at London I receyued certen Ie/teres out of the 
North directed vnto your grace from the larde Dacre. Which 
I haue sent to your maiestee herein closed wit/z also certen 
Ietteres and N ewes sent vnto me from my Lorde Deputie 
of Calays. And touching the Freres obseruantes that were 
witlt the prynces do\vagier, being subtillie conueyed from thens 
were first espied at Ware by suche espialles as I leyed for 
that purpose, and hauyng good a\vayte leyed vppon them 
were from thens dogged to London, and there (notwith- 
stonding n1any wyles and cauteles by them invented to 
escape) \vere taken and deteyned till my cummyng home. So 
] sic. 



1533] 


THOMAS CROM\rVELL 


361 


as vppon my arryuay Ie here I called them before me and 
vppon examynacion of them coulde gather nothing of anye 
momente or grete importaunce, but entring into ferther 
c01l1munycacio1t founde the one of them a veray sedycious 
person, and so commytted them vnto \varde where they now 
do remayne till your gracious pleasure knowen. Y n1medy- 
atelie aftenvardcs repayred vnto me the warden of the grey 
Freres of Grenewich \.vho semeth veray desirous to haue the 
punycyon of the saide two :Freres, being named Hugh Pa yoe 
and Cornelius, and made grete intercession vnto me to hane 
them delyucrcd vnto him, Shewing unto me ferther that the 
mynyster and generall COll/myssarie of this prouynce of 
Englonde had made out certeyne c01l1maunden1entcs vnto 
the said Freers \villing them by vertue of obedience to 
repayre vnto him to Rychemont to thintent they wold 
haue the correction of them accordinglie. Which C011Z- 
maundementes being conteyned in certen mynutes of paper 
I haue sent to your grace herein closed. It semeth assuredlie 
that the saide mynyster is a right honest and discrete person 
and Fayne \volde haue prevented and taken the saide Freers 
if he had coulde by any meanes, Beseching your grace tha[t] 
I may kno\ve your gracious pleasure Whether I shall kepe 
and de[t Jeyne them in warde and bring them 'with me at my 
repayree to the courte, or \Vhether your grace will haue them 
sent Yl1zmedyatelie to any other place or \vhat other direction 
to be taken therein as shall and may stonde \vitlt your high 
pleasure. It is vndoubted that they haue intended and wolde 
confesse sum grete matier if they n1ight be examyned as they 
ought to be that is to sey by pa ynes, for I perceyue the saide 
Hugh Payne to be a subtile Felo\ve and moche gyuen to 
sedycyon. 
I haue also eftesones sent vnto my lorde of Caunterbury 
according to your gracious c01Jlmaundement touching the 
dissymuled holynes and supersticious denleanures of the 
I pocryte N unne} And haue declared your gracious pleasure 
vnto the Staple \vhom in maner I do Fynde agreable 
to all thinges according to your graces demaunde sauyng 
onelie they as yet requyre lenger dayes for the payment 
of the some of x m 1 pounds by them now graunted, and 
also fermely requyre that your highnes will graunt them 
their house for a reasonable SOlllme of money yerelie, \vhich 
I do stycke with them in. and as to morowe they \vill gyve 
me a resolute answer in the hole. 
And thus I shall daylie pray vnto almightie god for the 


MERRIM.-\N. 11 


1 . 
1. e. 10,000. 
nb 



362 


LETTERS OF 


[1533 


prosperous conseruacion of your royall maiestee in long lif 
and good helth felyciouslie to indure. at London the xxiii day 
of Julie. Your highnes most humble subiectte and scruaunt 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the kinges royall maiestee. 


53. (CROJ\IWELL) TO AUDELEY. 
R. O. CaI. vi. 894. July 26 (1533). 
Desires hÌ1n to permit the annuity of [,20 which has just been granted to 
Stephen Vaughan to bear date from a year ago this summer, as there 
was already [,20 due to Vaughan for one year's service. 
Right honourable syr after rnyne hartie commendacz"ons. 
So it is that the kinges hieghnes hathe lately graunted V nto 
a seruant of his named Stephen Vaughan a certeyne annuytie 
of xx Ii by yere to be paide from the faste of the natyuytie of 
saynt John Baptiste now last passed Vnto the whiche 
Stephen by cause there is o\vyng by the kynges hieghnes 
xx Ii for one yeres seruyce ended at Mydsomer now laste 
paste, therefore is it that by cause he hathe no waise to 
demaunde it of maister Tuke by patent or other sufficient 
warrant frotn his hieghnes. he hathe desyred me who vn- 
doubtidly do know that his pleasure is that he shulde be 
payde the sayde xx Ii. to Requyre yow that when his annuytie 
commythe to the greate seale your pleasure maye be to suffer 
it to bere date from Mydsomer Was a yere and that he maye 
by force therofbe payde the yere now passed. And doubte ye 
not thus to do. for the kinges pleasure is he shulde be paide the 
xx Ii due for the yere passed. And I shall alwayse warrant 
yaw to be sufficiently discharged and to be blameles for so 
doyng. The saide Stephen had obteyned the kinges warrant for 
the same, oneles his highnes had no\v sent hym into Germany 
for thexpedicion of certeyn his affayres there. And thus the 
holy trynytie preserue your lordeship in long lyfe goode heal the 
and much honour. from London the xxvi daye of Julye. 
Add. To the right honourable Sir Thomas Audley knyght 
lord chancellour. 


54. (CROMWELL) TO THE ABBOT OF WOBURN. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 778. (July, 1533.) 
Requests him not to maltreat the Abbot of Vawdy in Lincolnshire; has 
heard he intends to depose him. Desires him to cause Davys Edward, 
the monk of Vawdy, to anlend his ways. 
lVly lord after my duetie renle11lbred, soo it is that I am 
credibly en formed how that ye beryng inwarde grudge & 



1533] 


THO
1AS CROM\VELL 


3(;3 


dispIesure to my weIbeioued Frend thAbbot ofVa\vdy entendc 
studie & goo aboutcs by sinistre meanes to depose hyme frOln 
his abbacye for the pronlocion therunto of oon of your awne 
monkes being the ceIlerer of your house. My lord I pray you 
vse your selffe vnto my saide frende as accordc.:th to your 
religion, For I knowe certainly that he is a good religious man, 
And that his house wiche was in gret debt at the tyme of his 
promocion, is nowe by his good policie reduced to good 
& welthy state and condicion aswell in catoll as in corne 
furnisshed \vitk other requisites & necessaries. Wherfor n1Y 
lord my trust ys that ye v:ol circu11lspectly loke therupon 
baring your good & Iawfull fauour unto hyrne, like as good 
chari tie requireth. And the rather at my disire & request 
ascertaynyng you that I haue at this tyme \vriten my sem- 
blable Ietteres in the fauour of my said frend vnto thabbot 
of fountayns not doubtyng but that he at my requisicion wol 
lovingly vse and intrcate my said frend in all his busuynes. 
And wher as ye haue witlt you a monk of the said house 
of Vawdy oon Dauys Edward Clerke, wiche ye knowe \vell 
haith gretely mysordred hymselff. I trust that ye woll 
instructe hyme soo fruteffully that he shall not nede to be 
further reconsiled to amend his 1 yvynge Wherby ye shall 
doo averay good & charitable dede as knoeth god \vho kepe 
yow 
Add. To thabbot of Woborn 
E lldd. a lettere for the abbot of W oborne 


55. CROM'VELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1064. Sept. I < 1 533). 
The King is displeased at Lisle's desire for new arrangements for 'the 
restraynyng of Corne.' Lisle should not take every man's or his 
own wife's advice concerning things pertaining to his office. 
After my right harty reco1Junendation vnto your good 
lordship This shalbe to aducrtise the same that I have 
resceyved your Ietteres \vherein ye and the Mayer of Calays 
do desire to have newe provisions concernyng the restraynyng 
of Corne otherwise then hathe byn vsyd yn tymes past. 
I ensure yottr lordship the kinges highnes is not a Iitle 
displeased withe that your desire, but supposith your besynes 
to be veray small that will in any wise ymportune his highnes 
withe any soche matiers Sayeng that before this tyme the 
Towne and marches of Calays hathe ben \vell maynteynyd 
and prospered without any soche newe devises. And I assure 
your lordship as your frynd to my power that I have great 
Bb2 



364 


LETTERS OF 


[1533 


mervayll that ye will so sone enclyne to euery manllYs devise 
and. . . . specially in matiers of small ympor[t] . . . ye and 
. . . reportyd . . . nite me on . . . causes as me semythe . . . 
nothyng. . . ne gentiIwymen, for although my lady be right 
honourable and wise yet yn soche causes as longithe to 
your auctoritie her advise and discresion can litle prevayle. 
Wher[ore I pray your lordship to consider the same, and 
to ymportune the kinges highnes with none other matiers 
then of necessite ye ought to do. And thus the blessed 
Trynyte preserue you. At london the first day of 
September. 


Your lordshyppis assuryd 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 


Add. To my veray good lord my lord Vicount Lisley the 
kinges deputie at Calays be thus youen. 


56. CROlvrwELL TO THE FRENCH AJ\IBASSADOR. 


Huth Library; Cal. vi. 1128. Sept. IS (1533). 


Reports the arrival of Danish and Norwegian ambassadors at the Court 
of the Queen Regent of the Netherlands to conclude an alliance. 


Monsieur lambassadfuy Le Roy mon maistre a este aduerty 
par son agent estant en Flandres. Que puisnagueres les 
ambassadeurs de Danemarche Norwege & Holst au nom du 
conseil et Royaulnle de Danemarche, sont arriuez a la court 
de la Royne douagiere de hungierye regene deflandres auec 
Ie nombre de xxxii personnes ou enuiron et C01Jtme son dit 
agent peult entendre avecques plain et suffisant pouuoir et 
auctorite A conclure et affcrmer vne bonne allyance et paix 
auecques l'empereur et tous ses pais & dominions tant defen- 
siue que offensiue, Aussy autant qu'il peult entendre Ladite 
Rayne & son conseil sont determynez a traiter et conclure 
auecques lesdits ambassadeurs auecques telle condition que 
quiconques sera eleu Roy par dela (1' election duquel est 
encore prolongee & differee pour l'espace dung an) II J urera 
ratifiera & confermera ladite allyance & Traycte de Paix. 
Desquelles choses Ie Roy man dit Maistre ma c01nmande vous 
aduertir affin que en c01Zuenient diligence vous en vuelles 
rescripre au Roy Tres chrcstien vostre maistre et Ladviser 
quil seroit bon de penser sur cest affaire et essayer sil Luy 
SeITI ble expedient a estoupper leurs propoz et aultremellt y 
pourveoir ainsi quil Luy semblera conuenable. A tant Mon- 
sieur Lambassadeur apres mestre affectueusement Reco1Jz- 



1533] 


THOl\lAS CRO:\lWELL 


365 


mande a VOllS je prie nostre seigneur quil vous ait en sa 
tressaincte & digne garde. Escript a Stepney Ie xv jour de 
Septem bre 


V ostre en tier et parfaict amy 
THOMAS CRUl\IWELL. 


Add. a monS2eur Lambassadeur du Roy Treschrestien 
a Londres 
E ndd. de l\l r . Craumeuelle 


57. CRO
I'VELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. CaI. vi: 1141. Sept. 21 (1533). 


Requests him to permit the executors of Robert Baynham freely to 
administer his testament, notwithstanding his former letters to the 
contrary. 


Aftre my right harty Commendacions to your lordshipp 
Whereas heretofore I addressed my Ie/teres vnto your lordshipp 
at the sute of my seruaunt Bartholomew Bayneham concernyng 
the steye of such goodes as lately apperteyned to his Father 
Robert Baynam of Calaish vntil suche tyme as ye harde 
Further of my mynde in that behaulf. These shalbe most 
hertely to desyer and praye youe the rather at the contem- 
placion hereof to suffre thexecutours of his sayd Father Robert 
Baynam to execute and mynistre according to the meanyng 
of the TestaInent and last ,vyll of his sayd Father in as ample 
,vise as heretofore they haue doon my sayd former letteres 
notwithstanding. And bcing enformed of your goodnes and 
also of my lades of late shewed vnto my sayd seruaunt 
partely as I take yt for my sake I thanke you most hertely 
for the same and though my lady for her parte might haue 
been better before yet I requyre you bothe for my sake ye 
nowe to contynewe the goodnes ,vhich youe doo presently 
extende Vnto him. vVherein ye shall admynystre Vnto me 
Veray acceptable pleasure And thus Fare you hertely well 
From Stepney the xxi th day of Septcmbre 
Your lordshi ppis a
suryd 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To my Veraygood lorde my lorde the Viconte Lisle 
Deputie of the kinges Towne of Calaysh and Marches of 
the same. 



366 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1533 


58. CR01fWELL TO RICHARD AND WILLIAM HAYBOURNE. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 133 2 . Oct. 24 (1533). 
The Lord Chancellor and Cromwell will sit on the dispute between them 
and Elizabeth Colcoke the Friday after All Hallowday. 
I c011Zmend me vnto you. Aduertising you that it is fully 
determynyd betwixt my lord Chaunceler and me that we will 
sitt vpon the mater in variaunce betwixt Elizabeth Colcoke 
\vidowe and you the Friday after Alhallow day. Wherfore 
I requyre you in any wise to be here the day before that 
ye may be redy for that purpose and that ye in no wise faill 
so to do. vpon your peryll. And thus fare ye well. At 
1ondon tþe xxiiii th day of October. 
Your Freend 
THOMAS CRU11WELL. 
Add. To my fryndes Richard Haybourne and William 
Haybourne be this youen. 


59. (CROM'VELL) TO THE ABBOTS OF FOUNTAINS AND 
BYLAND. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1408. Nov. 8 (1533). 
Is surprised that they have not yet elected a new Abbot of Rievaulx as 
the King wished. Advises them to delay no longer. 
After my full hertie maner I recommende me vnto you. 
And where as it hathe pleased the kinges highnes to directe 
his moste gracious letteres vnto you nowe at this presente 
tyme for the eleccion of a newe Abbote of Ryvaulx wherein 
his grace hathe bene aduertised ye haue not heretofore inde- 
vored youreselfes to thaccomplishemente of the same according 
to his said letteres and c011lmaundemente (whereof I mervaile 
not a little) that ye \vold incurre his high displeasure for the 
none executing of the same. therefore I hertely requyre you 
and neuerthelesse doo advise you in exchewing of further 
Inconvenyences and displeasures that maye thereby ensue 
(all affeccions sette aparte) ye doo accomplishe the said 
eleccion according to the ten our and purporte of his moste 
gracious letteres directyd vnto you and to the Convente of the 
same monastary in that behalf. And thereby ye shall not 
oonly deserue the kinges moste gracious thankes, but alsoo 
haue me to doo for you in all your good causes the beste I can. 
As knowethe our Lorde who kepe you. Written at London 
the viii th daye of Nouembre. 
Add. To the right honourable in god my Lorde Abbote 
of Funtaunce and Bylande and to either of theym. 



J533] 


THOl\IAS CROM\VELL 


367 


80. CROl\f\VELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1413. Nov. 11 (1533). 
Has heard of the trouble that has arisen owing to the blow the knight 
porter has given to a' lewde Felowe.' Thinks that there is no cause 
why the knight porter should be molested for his action. 
lYly lorde after my right hertie commendacions I haue 
receyued your lordeshippcs letteres And haue pcrccyucd by 
the same what contencion is arrysen there by meanes of 
a lewde Felowe for a stroke yeven vnto hitn by Sir Cristofer 
Garnysshe the knight porter, Which matier hath ben debated 
here by the kinges counsaile who pcrceyuing the saide stroke 
,vas yeven but onelie for correction and for none entente to 
breke any la\v statute or ordenaunce of that towne of Calays, 
do thinke the same but a veray light matier to make any suche 
busynes of and no cause why the saide Sir Cristo fer should 
be put to any molestacion for the same. Wherefore your 
lordeship may let it passe and ,vey it as it is And so Ollr 
lorde preserue your lordeship in long lif and helth with moche 
honour At London the xi day of Nouember. 
[I] do also hertelie thanke your lordsship for your grete 
chere made to my seruaunte [\Vill]yam Johnson and to this 
gentilman straungier for \vhom I do wryte vnto your lordeship 
at this tyme by myn other letteres. And for all other your 
lordshippes gentilnes I do most hertelie thanke you trusting 
if I lyue to requyte the same if I can. 
Y O1/r lordshyppis assuryd Freend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the right honourable and his singuler good 
lorde the lorde vicount Lisle deputie to the kinges highnes 
of his to\vne and marcheis of Calays. 
E 1ldd. M. Cromwell the xi th of nove111br 


61. CRO:\IWELL TO THE ABBOT OF NETLEY. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1502. Dec. 6 (1533). 
Desires him to grant his friend John Cooke a new lease for sixty years of 
Roydon farm near Southampton, as it lies by the sea and is con- 
venient for Cooke in his office of the Admiralty there. 
In my right hartie maner I c0111mende me vnto your good 
lordship. And where as my frynd John Cooke the kinges graces 
seruaunt berer herof hath and holdeth a Ferme of yours 
callid Roydon by lesse wherof the yeres in the same be 
almost expyred And forasmoche as your said ferme lieth 



368 


LETTERS OF 


[1533 


nygh the see syde necessaryly for my saide frynd to serue the 
kinges highnes in his office of the admyraltie in those parties 
I hartely desyre you at the contemplacion of thies my Ietteres 
that ye will graunte vnto the saide John Coke a newe lesse 
of the saide ferme vnder your Conventuall Seale for terme of 
Ix yeres paying vnto you and your Successours the accus- 
turnable rent therof. And for your towardnes herin I shalbe 
glad to requyte the same to your good contentacion And 
farther I perceyve by the reporte of the same Cooke that ye 
have she\ved vnto hym and other that hathe byn wit/t hym to 
do the kinges highnes seruice at the See muche J entylnes and 
liberalitie, for the whiche ye have deserved the kinges right 
harty thankes. And therfore I for my parte hartylye thanke 
you And of your conformable mynde herin I pray you to 
aduertise me in wrytyng by this berer. And thus fare ye 
hartylye welle. At london the vi th day of December. 
Your lordshyppis F reend. 
THOMAS CRUl\1WELL. 
Add. To the reuerend father in god the Abbot of letley 1 
be this youen. 


62. CROMWELL TO (THE OFFICERS OF THE CUSTOMS). 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1625 (iii). (1533.) 
The King wishes Robert Bonvell, merchant of Paris, to come to England 
with certain jewels, of which he desires a special account to be kept, 
for the payment of the duty. 
In my Right harty manner I C011zmend me vnto you 
Aduertis[ing] the Same that the kinges pleasure is that 
Robert Bonvell merchaunt of parys sholde Repayre into this 
Royalme Towardes his highnes \vz'tlt certeyn J uelles wherfore 
his speciall COl1lmaundment is that ye seing the san1e J ewe lIes 
do make Therof a Specyall note by byUes lndentyd betwyxt 
you and the Seid merchaunt mensyonyng euery parcell therof 
and what the Custom therof maye Amounte vnto, not chargyng 
hym For any Custom or other Charge due vnto his highnes 
For the same for hys graces pleasure ys that if he do sell any 
within this Royalm that he shall therfore paye Custom as 
Reason is and for that he Cannot Sell here to carry A waye 
with hym A gayne wit/zoute payeng therfore any CustOIll or 
other dutes Wherfore I requyre you takyng Surety in case 
he do make Sale to paye the Custonl accordyngly That ye do 
permytt & Suffer the same merchaunt ,v'ith the Same 
1 s ie, see Notes. 



1533] 


TH011AS CROl\l\VELL 


369 


J ucllcs to discharge And vnlade the Same Accordyng to the 
Effectcs hereof 
The coppy of Mr. CrumwelIcs lettere Sygned wzlth] hys hand. 


63. DRAFTS OF PORTIONS OF CROl\1\VELL'S LETTERS. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1625 (i). (1533.) 
Thanks the recipient for sending news. Has presented his letters to the 
Duke of Norfolk as he desired. 
After most hertye Salutacyons this shalbe (to) thanke yow 
of your exceding louyng kyndnes she\vyd in the dylygent 
wryting to me of your ne\vse and according to yottr request 
I presentyd YOllr lcttcres vnto my lorde of Norffolkes grace 
,vho I assure yow ys singuler good lorde vnto yo"v and 
wher ye \vryt in your Fyrst Ie/teres . . . 

Iemorandum concerning the resignation of the chantry of Barking 
Church, in Essex. 
Md that maister Kendall Chauntrye preeste of the Chauntrye 
Foundyd in Barkyng Churche may optayne my lorde of 
londons Fauour (in) the resignacyon of the sayd Chauntrye 
vnto Sir vVilliam Cowplaunde my freind. 
End of a letter, urging care and perseverance in reporting important 
matters, and promising favour. 
. . . thus Fare ye hertelye ,yell trusting that ye \vill perseuere 
as ye haue begonn I meane so Freindlye and secretlye as thes 
thingcs that shaH passe behvene vs may be proffytable to vs 
bothe so that your \vryting matyers of grauytie &; Importaunce 
\vherin maye be persayued good \vill myxyd \vz"th \visdom and 
trowthe I then 1 may haue Corage as an entyre frende 2 to 
prosecute For your forderaunce & aduauncement with recu- 
peracyon of that \vhich I am sure ye most desyre which as 
I shall See opportunyte I will not undowtydlye forget and 
ons agayn Fare \vell 
 daylye Iokyng For answer 


64. (CROl\I\YELL) TO CHRISTOPHER MONT. 
R. O. Cal. vi. 1374. (1533.) 
Encloses two letters frOlD the King to the Dukes of Bavaria and Land- 
grave of Hesse, with copies. Urges Mont to discover the state of 
feeling in the Empire. Sends a bill of exchange for 1,3 0 . 
Felowe Cristofer I c011lmende me vnto you And albeit 
sythen your departure ye haue not receyued any Ie/teres or 
instructions from the kingcs maiestee concerning the execucion 
1 c. o. be the bolder, must nedes 2 c. o. the more boldlye 
be compellyd S c. o. praying 



370 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1533 


of suche his gracious affayrees as his highnes inc01nn1ended 
to you at your departure Yet thinke ye not that your indus- 
trie labour travayle and diligence V sed aswell in the setting 
fourth of his graces busynes, Whereof ye were sufficiently 
instructed at your saide departure as also in your diligent 
\vrytyng often and Frequent aduertisementes is put in any 
oblyuyon or forgotten But for the same his maiestee hathe 
commaunded me to gyve vnto you his graces right hertie 
thankes. And in this packet ye shall receyue two Letteres 
addressed from the kinges maiestee vnto the Dukes of Bauarie 
and the Landegraue van Hesse, which his highnes willeth you 
to delyuer accordingly. the copies of whiche letteres (to 
th'intent ye shalbe the more rype to ans\ver if any thing 
shalbe obiected to you by the saide prynce) I haue sent you 
hereinclosed. Not doubting in your dexterytee good polycie 
and wisedom to propone and set fourth the effectes of the 
same, as shall apperteyne. And forasmoche as here hathe 
ben the Secretarye of the duke of Bauarie \vho is named 
Mr. Hubertus Thomas by whom the kinges highnes hathe 
knowen and perceyued moche of the mynde and intent of the 
same Duke, ye shall not moche nede to travayle or enbusie 
yourself to procure answer other then of their owne mocyons 
they shall declare vnto you, But contynuallie indeauour 
your self with all diligent Circumspection to explore enserche 
and kno\ve the state of the hole countrey of Germany and of 
their myndes intentes and inclynacions towardes the kinges 
highnes and this realme. And that also ye do by all the 
good meanes and polycies that ye can explore and enserche 
to knowe the myndes and intentes of the prynces of Germany 
and of the Germaynes how they be inclyned as\\rell towardes 
themperoltr as the king of Romaynes. Being contynuallie 
vigilant and diligent in wryting to the kynges maiestee of 
all thinges and occurrauntes then according to his gracious 
trust and expectacion And because I walde not haue you 
to lacke money ye shall receyue herewith a bill of exchaunge 
for the some of xxx li. 
Endd. A copy of a lettere to Cristofer Mount. 


65. (CRO!\I\VELL) TO HENRY VIII. 
R. o. Cal. vi. 13 6 9. (1533.) 
Sends news about the Nun, and proposes to apprehend two friars who 
have come into the realm with mischievous intent. Sends a receipt 
for 24,000 cr., the residue of the Emperor's debt, for the King to sign. 
Pleasythit your l{oyall magestye to be aduertysyd how 
that reparyng hornwardes oone of my lorde chauncelers 



J 533] 


TI-IOMAS CROMWELL 


371 


scruGunttes met \vith me and delyuerid me your warraunttes 
Signyd \vith the hande of the prynces dowager \vhich warrauntt 
I do send to your grace herin Inclosyd \vhat YOllr plesure 
shalbe to haue done therin being ons kno\vn I shall right 
gladlye acco1J'lplyshe I haue also Sythyn my repayre to 
london spokyn \vith Freer La\vraunce who hathe Sethens his 
Repayre to london herde dyuers thinges touching the holye 
mayde which he \vyll declare to your hygnes and to non other 
and he She\vyth me also that that 1 therbe ijO strange Freers of 
the order of obseruanttes latelye repayryd into this Realme 
,vhich ijO Freers haue exploryd here For all suche bokes 
centencys and determynacyons as hathe passyd touching 
your hygnes l\latrymonye, \vhich they Intend \vith other 
pryvey practysys to Convey \vith them, to Freer Peto\v who as 
I am Credyblye Informyd Sent them into this YOllr Realnle 2 
the sayd ijO Freers as I am acertaynyd haue browght with 
them pryuy letteres to dyuers and now bene gone to the 
sayd 3 dowager. in my poore oppynyon it shalbe right ,veIl done 
that thaye might be sent For by Some trustye person ho\vbeit 
yt \vere best that theye Fyrste sholde be sufferyd to speke 
"ritlt her and suche other of hers as \voolde peraduenture 
delyuer to them anything wherby theyr Ferther practysys 
myght be persayuyd and so thayr Cankeryd Intenttes myght 
be therbye d yscyfferyd. I am also Infformyd that there ys 
A merchant of london whiche dothe practyse with them in 
thes premysses I shall goo veray nere to haue knowlage 
therein yf it be tre\v he ys \vorthye to Suffer to make other 
beware in tyme he ys of good Substaunce. I wooll thys daye 
goo abo\vt to know the tro\vthe, thes thinges woold be met 
with all in tyme and the sonner the better. I trust your 
highnes wyll by this berer aduertyse me in wrytyng what 
shalbe your plesure touching as well the sayd Falls Freers 
as also to\vching of the sayd dowager's warranttes. I haue 
also Sent to your grace one acquytance to be assigned for 
the xxiiijti thousande Crowns dew to your highnes for the 
resede\v of the empero\vrs dett and also A warrant to your 
chanceler For the Sealyng of the same which warrantt and 
acquytaunce it may please your magestye to assigne and to 
send the same by this berer to the Intent Robert Fowler may 
be depechyd. The rest of the acquytaunces for your ordynarye 
pencyon and Sale ben allredye Signed and Sealyd. and this 
the Hollye trynyte to whom I shall contenewallye praye to 
preserue your highnes in long lyf[ and most prosperous helthc 


1 sz"c. 
2 c. o. I trust to get owt the Roote of his practyse 
s c. o. prynces 



3,'2 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


and send the same the vyctorye with honour over all your 
Enemyes. 
Endd. ij mynutes of my Masters letters with my lord 
chancelours. 


66. CROM\VELL TO (CRANMER). 
B. :M. Harl. MSS. 6148, f. 81; Cal. vii. 19. Jan. S (1534). 


The King desires Cranmer to send to him Mr. Heath, whom his highness 
wishes to employ as ambassador to the German princes. 


By master Crumwell 
After my moste humble c01nmendacions yt may please 
your grace to be aduertised that the kynges highnes hath 
comanded me to write vnto your grace Requiryng the same 
with all conveniente celeritie to send vp hither Mr. heth, 
v:home for his Lerning, good gravitie and circu1nspect[i]on 
the kynges highnes entendeth to send into the parties of 
Garmany in Ambassade to treate ther with the princes of 
Germany, as well in the kynges great cause of Matrymony As 
in other causes perteynyng to the Weith of this Realme And 
forasmoche as your grace knoweth the grounde, veray iustnes, 
and equitie of the kynges said cause, his Highnes requereth 
you to instructe the said Mr Hethe in the same as he may be 
Ryppe and perfite in the kno\ylege of the holle circumstaunces 
of the same And that for lake of inst[r Juction when tyme shall 
com to propone the matier it Appere not hym to be vnperfaite 
and remysse to do suche seruice V1ZtO the kynges l\1:aiestie in 
that behalf as shalbe to his gracious truste and expectacion 
which his highnes nothyng at all doubtith. Ho\vbeit your 
graces aduertisement and good instruction arrected vnto the 
said Maister H eth shall vndoubtedly Inake hym more rype 
and perfite in the premisses to do that thing that may be 
nloche to your honour, his prayse and merite As knoweth our 
Lorde, who send your grace Long Lyf and good helth at 
London the v. daye of January. 
The kynges highnes also intendeth to practise certeyn 
thynges in the said parties of Germany, concernyng the 
Auctoryte of the Bisshop of Rome. 
Your gracys Bedisman 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



1534] 


TI-IOl\IAS CROl\IWELL 


3i3 


67. (CR01\I\VELL) TO HENRY VIII. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 73. January (1534). 
Reports the passage in the Commons of the Act forbidding any Inan to 
keep more than 2000 sheep, and requiring every farmer to put one- 
eighth of his land in tillage. If the Bill passes the Lords also it will 
be the most beneficial thing done ' sythyn Brewtyse tyme.' 
Pleasythyt yOllr most }{oyall Mågeste to be aduertysyd 
ho\v that according to YOllr most highe pleasure and C01Jl- 
maundemellt I haue made scrche for suche patenttes and 
grauntys as your highnes and also the most Famous kyng 
rour father \vhos So\vle our lorde pardon haue grauntyd 
vnto sir Rychard \Veston knyght your vndertesawrer of 
your exchequer and the sanle haue sent to your highnes herin 
closyd yt may also please your most Royall l\1ageste to 
knowe how that yesterdaye ther passyd your C01JlmOnS a byll 
that no person \vithin this your Realme shall herafter kepe 
and N oryshe aboue the N ombre of twoo thousand shepe and 
also that the eight parte of euerye mans lande being a Fer- 
n10ur shall for euer herafter be put in tyllage yerlye which 
byll yf by the gret wysdom vertuew goodnes and zerale 1 
that YOllr highnes beryth to\vardes this your Realme might 
haue good Successe and take good effect Amongyst your lordcs 
aboue I doo Coniecture and Suppose in my pore Symple and 
vn\vorthye Judgement that your highnes shall do the most 
noble proffyttable and n10st benefycyall thing that euer was 
done to the COl1tmone \velthe of this your Realme and shall 
therby Increase suche welthe in the same amongyst the gret 
N ombre & multytude for your Illost louyng and obedye[ nt] 
Subiectys as neuer was Seane in this Realme Sythen Brewtyse 
tyme most humblye prostrate at the Fete of YOllr Magnify- 
cence beseche your highnes to pardon my boldnes (in) this 
\vrytyng to YOllr grace \vhich onlye procedythe for the trowthe 
de-wtye allegaunce and loue I doo bere to YOllr mageste and 
the COl1lmon weith of this your Realme as our lorde kno\vyth 
vnto \vhom I shall as I am most bounden Incessantlye praye 
for the contene\vans & prosperous conseruacyon of YOllr most 
excellent most Royall and Imperyall estate long to Indure 
ß8. (CROMWELL) TO (FISHER). 
B. M. Cleop. E. iv, f. 101; Cal. vii. 238. (Feb. 1534.) 
Reproves him at length for his communications with the N un of Kent, 
and replies to seven reasons given by Fisher for not reporting her 
revelations to the King. Advises hin1 to lay aside excuses, and beg 
the King' s mercy. 
My lorde in my right hertie wise I c01nmende me to YOllr 
lordship doing you to vnderstand that I haue receyued your 

L' .s 
1
 
 0 
ú 0 
..... (" 

 LIBRARY, h; 
'r" C) 

'\ /'): 



374 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


Ietteres dated at Rochester the xviijth of this moneth. In 
whiche ye declare what craft and cunnyng ye haue to persuade 
and to set a good countenaUllce vpon an yl mater. Drawing 
som scriptures to your purpose whiche wel weyed acording 
to the places whereof they be taken. n1ake not so muche for 
your purpose as ye allege thaÏ1n for. And where in the first 
lefe of your letters ye write that ye doubt nothing neither 
before god, nor befor the worlde if nede shal that require: 
so to declare yourself. whatsoeuer hath been said of you. 
that ye haue not deserued suche hevy wordes or terrible 
thretes as hath been sent from me vnto you by your 
brother 1. 
How ye can declare your self affore god and the world 
when nede shal require I can not tell, but I think verely that 
your declaration made by thes letteres is far insufficient to 
prove that ye haue deserued no hevy wordes in this behalf 
and to sey playnly I sent you no hevy wordes but wordcs 
of great c01nfort wylling your brother to shewe you ho\v 
benigne and merciful the prince was. And that I thoug[ht] 
it expedient for you to write vnto his highnes and to recognise 
your offence and desire his pardon, whiche his grace wold not 
denye you now in your aige and sikkenes. Whiche my 
counsel I wold ye had folo\ved, rather than to haue writen 
thes letteres to me excusing your self as thoughe there \vere 
no maner of defaute in you. But my lord if it were in an 
other mannys caas than your owne and out of the mater 
\vhiche ye fauor I doubt not but that ye wold think him that 
shuld haue doen as ye have doen non only worthy hevy 
\Vordes but also hevy dedys. For where ye labor to excuse 
your self of your hering believing and c01zceling of the nU11nys 
fals and faynid reuelations, and of your manyfold sending of 
your chapley[ n] vnto her, by a certeY1t intent whiche ye 
pretende yourself to haue had, to knowe by c0111monyng 
wit/t her or by sending your chapellaine to her, whether her 
reuelations were of god or no. alleging diuerse scriptures. that 
ye were bound to prove thaim, and not to reiecte thaim affore 
they \vere proued My Lord whether ye haue vsed a due 
meane to trie her and her reuelations, or no. It apper..eth by 
the processe of your owne letteres. For where ye write that ye 
had conceyuid a greate opinion of the holines of the woman 
for many considerations rehersed in your letteres cOlJlprised in 
vi articles, whereof the first is grownde Vp01Z the brute and 
fame of her, the secunde vpon her entreng into religion after 
her traunses and disfiguration, the third vpon rehersall that 
1 c. o. a marginal comment as follows: I began to marke the notable 
poinctes of his letteres 



] 534] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


375 


her gostly father being lerned and religious shuld testifie that 
she ,vas a maide of greate holines. The fourth vpon the 
report that diuerse other vertuose prestes n1e1l of good lernyng 
and reputation, shuld so testifie of her, with whiche gostly 
father and preestes ye never spake as ye confesse in YOllr 
letters. The fyveth vpon the prayse of my late lord of 
Canterbury, which shewed you (as ye ,vrite) that she had 
many greate visions the sixt vpon this saing of the prophete 
Amos, N 011 faciet d01JlÍnlls deus VCrbU1Jl, nisi reuelauerit 
secretunt SUU1n ad seruos suos prophetas by whiche COIl- 
siderations ye \vere induced to the desire to kno\v the very 
certente of this mater, \vhether the reuelatiotls ,vhiche ,vere 
pretended to be shewed to her from god were true reuelations 
or 110tt? yottr lordship in al the sellgle 1 of yOllr Ie/teres she\ve 
not that ye made no ferther trial vpo[ n] the trueth of her and 
her reuelation, but only in C011lmonyng 'with her and sending 
YOllr chapellaine to her, \vitll Idle questions as of the thre 
mary magdalens. by \vhiche YOllr c011Zmony[ ng] and sending, 
ye tried out nothing of her falshed, nouther (as it is credibly 
supposed) entended to do, as ye myght haue doen many 
,\-eyes more easely than witll c01nmonyng with her or sending 
to her; for litel credens was to be gyven to her affirmyng her 
owne fayned reuelations to be froln god. 
For if credence shuld be gyven to euery suche le,vd person 
as ,voId affirme himself to haue reuelations from god what 
redyer wey were there to subuert al C0111mon \ve[l]thes and 
good orders in the worlde. 
Verily my lord if ye had entended to trie out the trueth of 
her and of her reuelations ye wold haue taken an other wey 
with you, first ye wold not haue been contented with the 
vayne voyces of the peple making brutes of her traunses 
& disfiguration But like a wise discrete and circumspect 
prelate ye shuld haue examined (as other haue) suche sad 
and credible persons as were present att her traunses & 
disfigurationes, not one or two, but a good nU1nber by whoes 
testimony ye shuld haue proued whether the brutes of her 
traunces and disfigurations were true or not And like\vise 
ye shuld haue tried by ,vhat craft and persuasion she was 
made a religious ,voman. And if ye had been so desirous as 
ye pretende to enquire out the trueth or falshed of this woman 
and of her reuelations, it is to be supposed ye wold haue 
spoken with her good religious and ,vel lerned gostly father 
(as ye cal him) or this tyme: and also with the vertuose, and 
wel lerned preestes (as they were estemed) of whoes reaportes 


1 slc. 



376 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


ye ,vere informed by thaim ,vhiche herd thaim speke 1 ye 
,,,old also haue been mynded to se the booke of her revelations 
whiche was offerd you. of whiche ye myght haue had more 
trial of her and of her reuelations, than a hundred C0111muni- 
cations w'Íth her, or of as many sendings of your chapellen 
vnto her. As for the late lord of Cauntreburys seying vnto 
you that she had many greate visions, it ought to move you 
never a deale to gyve credence vnto her or her reuelations, 
F or the said lord knew no more certente of her or of her 
reuelations than ye dyd by her owne reaport. And as 
towching the saing of Amos the prophete, I thinke veryly 
the same moved you but a litell to herkyn vnto her, for sythe 
the consu111mation and thende of thold testament and sythens 
the passion of Christ god hathe doen many greate and notable 
thinges in the ,vorl [ d]e, whereof he shewed no thing to his 
prophetes that hath C011lmen to the kno\vlege of IT1en. IVI y 
lord all thes thinges moved you not to gyve credence vnto 
her, but only the very mater whereupon she made her fals 
proficyes to whiche mater ye were so affected (as ye be noted 
to be on al maters whiche ye enter ons into) that nothing 
could com amysse that made for that purpose 
And here I appelle your conscience and instantly desire 
you to aunswer. Whether if she had shewed you as many 
reuelationsf or the confirmation of the kinges graces marriage 
whiche he now enjoyeth as she did to the contrary, ye wold 
haue gyven as muche credence to her as ye haue doen, and 
wold haue let the trial of her and of her reuelations to ouer- 
passe thes many yeres, where ye dwelt not from her but 
xx mylys, in the same shire, where her traunses and dis- 
figuringes and prophecyes in her traunses were surmised and 
countrefeyd. And if percaas ye wol sey (as it (is) not 
vnlike but ye wol sey mynded as ye were \\'ont to be) that 
the maters be not like, for the Law of god in your opinion 
standeth \\Tl:th the one and not w'Íth thother. Suerly my lord 
I suppose this had been no greate cause more to reiect the 
one than thother for ye know by histories of the bible that 
god may by his reuelation dispense with his o\vne Law, as 
with the 2 Israelites spoyling the egiptians and vl'Íth Jacob to 
haue iiij wifes, and suche other 3. 
Think you my lord that any indifferent man considering 
the qualite of the mater and YOU1' affeccion, and also the 
negligent passing over of suche lawful trialles as ye myght 


1 c. o. with whom ye never spake 
as in your lettres rye say] 
2 c. o. Egiptians 
3 c. o. And suerly my lord what 


soeuer ye sey or write for yourself, 
the begynning of your letters for 
your. . . g 



1534] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


377 


haue had of the said nunne and her reuelations, is so dull, 
that can not perceyue and discerne
 that you C01Jlmonyng 
and often sending to the said nUll was rather to here and 
know more of her reuelations, than to trie out the trueth or 
falshed of thes same And in this behalf I suppose it \vol be 
hard for you to purge yourself bifore god or the worle, but 
that ye haue been in greate defaut hering beleuyng and COII- 
celing suche thinges as tended to the destruction of the prince 
Arid that her rcuelations \vere bent and purposed to that 
ende . it hathe been duely proued, affore as greate assembly 
and cou1/sel of the lordes of this realme as hath been seen 
many yeres heretofore out of a parliamcnt. And \vhat the 
said lordes demed thaim worthy to suffer, \vhiche had beleued 
and cOllceled thees fals reuelations be more terrible than any 
thretes spoken by me to your brother 
And where ye go abought to defende that ye be not to be 
blamed for conceling her reuelations cOllcernyng the kinges 
grace, bicause ye thought it not necessary to reherse thaim 
to his highnes. for vij causes folo\ving in your letteres affore 
I she\ve you my mynde cOJlcernyng thccs causes, I suppose 
that albeit ye percaas thought it not necessary to be she\ved 
to the prince by you. yet that your thinking shal not be 
your triall, but the Law must diffine whether ye owghted to 
vUer it or not. 
And as to the first of said vii causes. Albeit 1 she told 
youe that she had shewed her reuelations COllcernyng the 
kingcs grace to the king herself, yet her seyng or others dis- 
charged not you but that ye \vere bound by YOllr fidel ite to 
shewe to the kinges grace . that thing \vhiche semed to COll- 
cerne his grace and his reigne so nyghly . for how kne\v you 
that she 2 shewed thes reuelations to the kinges grace but by her 
owne seyng, to whiche ye shuld haue gyven no suche credence 
as to forebere the utterance of so greate maters cOllcernyng 
a kinges \veIth And \vhy shuld you so sinisterly iudge the 
prince that if ye had shewed thees same vnto him, he wold 
haue thought that ye had brought that tale vnto him more 
for the strenghing and confirmation of your opinion then for 
any othcr thing else Veryly my lord \vhat so euer your 
iudgeme1Zt bee . I se dayly suche benignite and excellent 
humanite in his grace that I doubt not but his highnes . wold 
haue accepted it in good part if ye had shewed the same reuela- 
tions vnto him as ye were bounden to do by your fidelite. 
To the secunde cause. Albeit she shewed you not that 
any prince or other te1nporal lord shuld put the kingcs grace 


1 c. o. it was told or els 



 c. o. or any other 


MERRIMAN. I 


Cc 



378 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


in dainger of his crowne yet there were ,veyes Inoughe, by 
whiche her said reuelations myght haue put the kinges grace 
in dainger, as the foresaid counsel of lordes . haue substan- 
cially and duely considered And therefor Albeit she she\ved 
you not the nleanes whereby the daynger shuld ensue to the 
kingcs [grace] yet . ye \vere neverthelesse bounden to shewc 
him of the dainger. 
To the third. Think you my lord, that if any person wold 
com vnto you and shewe youe that the kinges destruction 
\vere conspired against a certen tyme, and wold ferther shewe 
you, that he were sent from his maister to she\ve the same to 
the king and wol sey ferther vnto [you] that he wold go 
streyct to the king, were it not yet your d uety to certifie the 
kinges grace of the relation, but also to inquire whether the said 
person had doen his foresaid messaige or no, yes verely. And 
so were ye bound, thoughe the nU1zne shewed youe, it was her 
messaige from god to be declared by her to the kinges grace. 
To the iiii th here ye translate the temporal duety that ye 
owe to yoltr prince, to the spiritual duety of suche as be 
bounde to declare the worde of god to the peple, and to shewe 
vnto them the perill and punissheillent of syn in an other 
\vorlde, the concelemeut whereof perteyneth to the iudgement 
of god, but the conceleme1zt of this mater perteyneth to other 
iudges of this realme. 
1'0 the v th ther could no blame be arrested to you if ye had 
shewed the nUllnys reuelations to the kinges grace, albeit 
they were afterward found fals for no nlan owght to be blaIned 
doing his duety And if a man \vold shewe you secretly that 
there were a greate mischief entended . against the prince, 
were ye to be blamed if ye shewed him of it, albeit it were 
a fayned tale, and the said nlischief were never Imagined. 
1'0 the sixt . c01lcernyng an Imagination of master Pacy. 
It was knowen that he was beside hinlself, and therefore they 
were not blamed that made no report thereof, but it was not 
lik in this caas For ye toke not this nunne for a mad WOlnan, 
for if ye had ye wold not haue gyven vnto her so greate 
credence as ye d yd. 
To the final and vii th cause where ye lay 1 vnto the charge 
of our soueraine, that he hath vnkyndly entreacted you. with 
grevous \vordcs and terrible letters for she\ving his grace 
tro\vthe in his greate mater, whereby ye \vere disc01nforted to 
shewe vnto him the nU1znys reuelations. I beleue that I know 
the kinges goodnes and natural gentilnes so well, that his 
grace wold not so vnkyndly handle you, as you vnkyndly 
write of him, onles ye gave him other causes than be ex- 
1 c. o. muche 



J 534 ] 


THOrvIAS CROMWELL 


379 


pressed in YOllY letters. And \vhat so euer the kinges grace 
hath sayed or \vritel1 vnto you heretofore, yet that notwitll- 
stonden, yc were neverthelesse bounden to vUer to him thees 
pel nicious reuclations. 
Finally Where ye desire for the passion of christ that ye 
be no more quykkened in this mater for if ye be put to that 
straite ye \vyl not lose yOllr soule, but ye \vyl speke as yOllY 
c01lscience ledeth you v,lz.th many moo wordes of greate 
curraige. My lord if ye had taken n1y counsel sent vnto 
you by YOllr brother and folowed the same, submitting 
YOllrself by yOllr letters to the kinges grace for YOllr offenses 
in this behalf, I \voId haue trusted that ye shuld never be 
quykkened in this mater more. But no\v \vhere ye take 
vpon you to defellde the hole mater as ye \vere in no default. 
I cannot so far promise you 1. And suerly my lord if the 
mater C011l to triaIl: your o\vne confession in thes Ietteres 
besides the wittnes whiche be against you wolbe sufficient to 
C01ldenlne you Wherefor my lord I wol cftsones aduise you 
that laying apart al suche excuses as ye haue alleged in 
YOllr letters whiche in mY'l opinion be of smal effect as 
I haue declared ye beseche the kinges grace by your letters 
to be your graciou[ s] lord, and to remitte vnto you YOllr 
negligence ouersight and offence c01nmitted against his his 2 
highnes in this behalf And I dare vndertake that his highenes 
shal benignely accepte you into his gracious fauor, al maters 
of displeasire past affore this tyme forgoten and forgyven. 
3 As to\vching the speking of your conscience, it is thought 
that ye haue \vriten and haue spoken as muche as ye can. 
and . many thinges (as som right probably beleaue) against 
your o\vne C01lscience. And men report that at the Last 
conuocation ye spake many thinges \vhiche ye could not wet 
defende. And therefor it is not greatly fcrede what ye can 
sey or \vrite in that mate1". howsoeuer ye be quykkened or 
strayted And if ye had taken etc. 
69. (CROM\VELL) TO (THE SHERIFF OF YORKSHIRE). 
R. O. Cat vii. 383- Mar. 28 (1534). 
In order to prevent any infringement of the King's rights in the lands of 
Sir John Dunham, lately deceased, the council considers it expedient 
that those persons who dwell near the lands should be impanelled to 
inquire for the King. 
Maister Sheryff I c011lmend me vnto yow and being 
Infformyd of the dethe of syr Jhon Dunham Knyghte 
1 c. o. albeit I wol speke for 
2 sic. 
S The last paragraph is written along the margin. 
CC2 



380 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


whyche in his lyffe hclde of the kinges grace certayne landes 
and tenementes in the County of Yorke In Capite. And by 
cause that the kynges righte shall not be hydde ne cloked 
I t is therfor considered by the kynges most honorable 
counsell that suche persons who hath the most knowlege 
sufficient of freeholde and dwellys next vnto the Landes of 
the saied syr John Donhan1 be impanelled to inquyre for 
the kynges grace the namys of whom herein enclosyd I do 
send yow who are extemyd and reputed to be men of good 
worship and conscience as I am credably enformed Aduer- 
tysyng yow that vpon a precept to yow dyrected by the 
kynges exchetour ye do retourne a suffycient Inquest of 
the same persons to inquyre for the kynges grace of the 
tenure of the saied landes. And in your so doyng ye shall 
do the kinges grace a righte acceptable seruyce to his 
contentatyon And so fare ye well from London the xxviii ti 
daye of march. 
E ndd. mynute of a Iettere. 


70. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 
B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 348; -CaI. vii. 535. Apr. 24 (1534). 
Requests for a friend the advowson of the parsonage of St. John's of SlÌer- 
borne, in Hampshire, the yearly value of which is 10 or 1 I pounds. 
My Lord in my right hertie wise I c011zmende me to you. 
And as I haue been, and wolbe glad and redy, to do you 
suche pleasire as I myght or may. so I desire you to graunt 
vnto me to the behoue of a dere frende of myne. the 
aduocation of the parsonaige of S. Jhons of [Shire Jborne in 
hampshire being of your gift. whiche is of the yerely value 
of x or xj1i and not aboue (as I am informed) by the gyft 
whereof ye shal shewe vnto me a right acceptable pleasire. 
,vhiche I wol not forgete when I may in rec011zpense thereof. 
do the thing that may be to your c01ltentation. And of 
your beniuolent mynd in this behalf, I desire you not only 
to certifie me by your next writing but also to direct YOllY 
letters to your vicar generall and to the priour and conuent 
of your churche. for thexpeditiol1 thereof to be made in due 
forme, and to be deliuered vnto llle with suche spede as 
shall pleace you to C011zmaunde thaim. the xxiiijth day of 
Aprile. 


Your lordshi ppis assuryd freei1zd 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To my verey loving Lord my lord of wynchester. 
Edd. the xxiiij of Aprzl Mr. Secretary 



1534] 


THOIVIAS CROl\1:WELL 


381 


71. (CROM\YELL) TO (CRANl\fER). 
R. O. Cal. vii. 500. (Apr.] 534.) 
The King considers it expedient that 1Iore and Fisher be compelled to 
swear to the preamble of the Act of Succession as well as to the Act 
itself: otherwise it might be taken as a confirmation of the authority 
of the Bishop of Rome. 
l\Iy Lorde after myne humble cOl1zmendacions it may 
please your grace to be aduertesed that I haue receyued 
your Ietteres and shewed the same to the kinges highnes who 
perceyuing YOllr mynde and opynyon is that it were good 
that the bisshop of Rochester and l\Ir. More should be sworn 
to the acte of the kinges succession and not to the preamble 
of the same, thinketh that if their othe should be so taken it 
\vere an occasion to all men to refuse the hole or at the lest 
the lyke. For in case they be s\vorn to the succession and not 
to the preamble it is to be thought that it might be taken 
not onelie as a confirmacion of the Bisshop of Rome his 
auctoryte but also as a reprobacion of the kinges second mariage 
\vherefore to thintent that no such thinges should be brought 
into the heddes of the people by the ensample of the saide 
Bisshop of Rochester and Mr. More the kinges highnes in 
no wise willeth but that they shalbe sworn aswell to the 
preamble as to the acte of Succession 1 in no maner of wyse 
Wherfore his grace specyallye trustyth that ye wyll in no 
\vyse Suppose attempt or move hym to the Contrarye For 
as hys grace Suppossyth that that maner of S\veryng yf yt 
sholde be sufferyd myght be an vtter destruccyon to his hole 
Cause and Also to the effecte of the law made For the same 
Elldd. 1llynute. 


72. CROl\I\VELL TO THE PRIOR AND CONVENT 
OF WENLOCK. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 593. May I (1534). 
Desires them to grant to Thomas Lowley the lease of Okinbold farm, in 
Shropshire, at the rent which his father paid. 
In myn harty maner I c0111mende me unto youe And 
\vheras ye haue no\ve in your handes and disposicion again, 
the ferme of Oxin bold belonging to that Monastery. These 
shalbe to desire and hartely pray youe, for my sake to graunte 
a sufficient lease therof to my Freende Thomas Lowleye 


1 c. o. For the conducing whereof 
to effecte the kinges highnes hath 
specyall trust and expectacion in 


your graces approved wisedom 
and dexteryte and thus the holie 
trynyte . . . 



382 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


seruaunt to Mr. Norreys vnder your convent seale for the 
terme of xl yeres yelding and payeng vnto yO\V suche rent for 
the same, as his father \vhiche was fermo1tr therof hertofore 
paid vnto your monaster)' at that tyme that he had it in ferme. 
Desiring you in noo wise to alienate it to any man but only to 
this tyl ye shal knowe further, in case ye shal not condescende 
to this my request, and to aduertise me by your Letteres witlt 
spede of yOttr proceding in this Behaulf And thus Fare you 
hartely \-vell From Stepnaye the first daye of Maye 
Your Freend THOMAS CRUM'VELL. 
Add. To my loving freendes the prior and Convent of 
the Monastery of Wenlok. 


73. CROrvlWELL TO DR. SA
1PSON. 
R. o. Cal. vii. 655. May 13 (1534). 
Requires him to appoint a bishop to 'execute' at the Court, as the Bishop 
of Chester is unable to be present. 
Mr. Deane, after my right hertie c011Zmendacions Foras- 
moche as my lorde of Chester is not onelie destitute of Myter 
Crosier and other thinges necessarie but also shall to morowe be 
enbusied and occupied aboutes other the kinges affaires I shall 
therefore hertelie requyre you to appoynte som other Bisshop 
to execute to morowe before the kinges highnes at the Courte, 
till my saide Lorde of Chester shall be better Furnysshed as 
appertyneth Wherein ye shall do him moche pleasure. And 
so Fare ye well. At Stepney the xiii day of Maye. 
Your assuryd Freend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the right worshipfull Mr. Doctour Sampson dean 
of the kinges chappell be this youen. 


74. CROM'VELL TO THE SENATE AND CONSULS 
OF LÜBECK 1. 
B. M. Vito B. xxi, f. 107; Cal. vii. 707. May 24, 1534. 
On behalf of William Gilbank, whose ship was captured near Sandwich 
and taken to Lübeck, with goods worth 53 pounds sterling. 
{Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angliae, et Franciae, fidei 
defensor, ac DOl1zinus Hiber[ niae] . . . Consulibus, et} Senator- 
I This letter was evidently first in brackets {. . .} are scored through 
written by the King, and later in the original. 
altered by Cromwell. The passages 



1534] 


THOMAS CROl\1WELL 


383 


{ibus}es Ciuitatis Lubicensis etc. Amici{s} nostri{s} Carts- 
simi {s} {salute1n} plurima11l Salutl'l1t et C01JImen . . . 
Nupcr apud {nos} . . . humiliter conq(uestus est] . .. s, ac 
fidelis {noster potentissirni nostri Regis} eius subditus Willel- 
mus gylbanke quod quurn superioribus mensibus nauis quae- 
dam cui Hugo ship. . . [prae )erat, ex harmy\ve Zelandiac vico 
hoc {nostrum} inclytun1 Regnum uersus nauigatura soluerat, 
ac varij generis merccs ad u[ alorem] . . . quinquaginta triu11t 
librar1l11l sterlingorurn in ea onerasset, con1mercij gratia 
huc aduecturus, accidit, ut dicta nauis iam . . . [n Jauiga- 
tionis cursu {et nostrun1} in eiusdem serellissimi DOl1zilli 
nostr[i) Regis portu1Jl SandwiccllSel1t fcrme ingressa, a ves/ra 
CIas.se quae belli praetextu, quod aducrsus hollandos . . . bat, 
per hoc {nostrum} mare excurrebat capta
 et una cum dicti 
{nostri subditi} \VilJelmi bonis, ac nlerdbus in ciuitate1l1 istanl 
vestranl . . . abducta fuit; erit longe quidem praeter veterC1Jl 
nlutuanlque {nostram} amicitiam CUOl Sercnissima hac Regia 
l\1aiestate, et ingenti {eiusden1 subditi nostri \Villelmi eius sub- 
di[ti]} prcfati sui subditi detrimento, id q[ u ]od quum inscijs 
vobis a vestrae classis praefectis {commissum fuerit, volui:- 
mus} eadem Regia Maiestas c01JtmissU1Jl fuisse plane creclat, 
iussit ut suo n01Jtinc nostris his litleris hanc causam vobis 
impresentia commendaremus: Vos igitur quos pro intimis 
an1ici[s] habet impense rogat, ut pro vest[roJ erga iustas quas- 
que causas studio, pro mutuaque {nostra} secum coniunctione, 
vestra authoritate efficere velitis quod praedicta bona sic 
ablat[ a] eidem {nostro subdito} Willclmo uel eius procuratori 
in integrum restitua1ztur, id quod {ut nobis} ut [e ]idem 
Regie lVlaieslati maxime gratum, et iustitiae consentane[ urn ] 
erit, ita {nos} ipsam ad parem beneuolentiam erga subditos 
vestros, data occasione, exhibendam propensior ardentiorque 
{ efficiem[ ur]} reddetur. Et bene valete. Ex Regia nostra 
Richeolondiae Die xxiiij Maij MDXXXIIII. 
De nobis vero possunt yes/rates 01nnes in iustis suis hic 
occurrentibus negocijs apud han[ c] Regia1n Maieslatem omne 
humanitatis officiu111 sibi polliceri quod suo loco et tenzpore 
cumulate praestabim[ u ]s 


Vester bonus amicus 


THOl\1:AS CR UM'VELL 


Add. Magllzjicis D011linis Consulibus, et Senatoribus Ciui.. 
tatis Lubicen.ris etc. Amicis nostris Carissimis. 



384 


LETTERS OF 


[ 153+ 


75. CROMWELL TO MR. SAPCOTTES. 
R. o. Cal. vii. 79 0 . June 4 (1534). 


Desires him to repair to London as soon as possible, as he is executor 
of Edw. Watson, deceased, who was in danger to the King. 


Mr. Sapcottes I C01.1zmende me vnto you. And For as 
moche as ye were executour and admynistratour of the goodes 
of Edwarde Watson decessed who was in daungier to the 
kinges highnes, I shall therefore aduertise and require you 
that vppon the sight of these nlY Ietteres for that matier ,vitll 
other thinges that I haue to sey vnto you ye do put your self 
in a redynes to repayre vnto me wl1h all conuenie1Zt ceIe!yte. 
And at your commyng ye shall knowe Ferther of the klnges 
pleasure. So Fare ye well From my house at Canbery the 
iiii th day of June 


Your Freend 


THOMAS CRU
IWELL. 
Add. To his louing frend Mr. Henry Sapcottes be this 
youen at Lyncoln. 


76. CRO
I\VELL TO THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY. 


Ellis Letters, 2nd Sere ii. 135; Cal. vii. 973. July 13 (1534). 
Thanks him for his zeal in apprehending a hermit, who has been 
examined, and is to be tried by the justices of assize, and punished 
according to the law. 


After my right herty commendacions to your Lordship, 
I have by this bearer your servaunt, bailly of Chesterfeld, 
receyved your Lettres and the byll therin enclosed concernyng 
th' Ermyte, the whiche being by me examyned, ans\vered that 
he could not tell whither he spake ever the same trayterouse 
words or not. I have caused an Inditement to be drawen 
therupon whiche your Lordeship shal receyve herwith; and 
also I have thought convenient to retorn the said Hernlite unto 
you agayn, there befor the] ustices of Assise to be tryed and 
to th'exemple of all other to be Pllnyshed according to right 
and the King's lawes. I thank evermor your Lordeship for 
your gooq zele, diligence, and dexterate in repressing and 
apprehending suche perniciouse and detestable felons: and 
therof shal I not faile to make true raport to his Highnes who 
I am assure shal tak the sam in most thankfull part. Thus 



1534] 


TIIOlVIAS CROM\VELL 


385 


I beseche our holy Creator to sende you prosperite and long 
Iiffe. From Cheleshith this xiijth of July. 
Your lordshippis assuryd 
THO:\IAS CRUM'VELL. 
Add. To my very good Lord Thede of Shrewesbury 
Lorde Stuarde to the Kings l\1a tie . 


77. (CROl\l\VELL) TO-. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 990. July 20 (1534). 
Orders him. to arrest four murderers from Yorkshire, who first fled into 
Scotland, but have now returned to Durham, where they ride about 
at their pleasure. 
In my Right harty mancr I cOllzmend me vnto you and 
,vhere as I am enfourmed that one pcrcyvall wormc, wylliam 
Corneforthe John bygott and wyllz'am dobson lately C011t- 
mytted a detestable mourdour in the Countye of Yorke and 
beyng Indyttyd therof thei ther vpon flede into Scottlond 
where as tllei ther Remayned as yt ys thought tyll now of late, 
that thei lyttyll dreadyng god nor the lawes of this H.ealme 
arne com me into the byschopryche of Durham \vher as thei 
doo Ryde in all places therof at ther pleasures to the greate 
boldnes and pcryllous example of an other suche [ev ]yU dys- 
posed personnes. And therfor my mynd ys that ye \vt"th 
dylygence do attach or cause the said persons to be Attachyd, 
And them to deteyne in pryson vntyll such tyme as thei 
schalbe by the order of the lawes acquyted or other\vyse 
dyscharged as ye wyll auns\vere to the kynges highnes at 
YOllY peryll. Wretyn at my house in london the xx th day of 
July. 
78. (CROM\YELL) TO THE ABBOT OF (ST. AUSTIN'S 
IN CANTERBURY). 
R. O. Cal. vii. 1007. July 25 (1533 1 ). 
Requests him to settle his differences with the bearer, whose father could 
have had many offices of the abbot and his predecessor. As the 
bearer has his brothers and sisters to support, the abbot ought to do 
as much for him as he would have done for his father. 
My Lorde Abbot I recol1zmende me vnto you etc. and 
\vhere as George Goldwyn the brynger hereof hathe byn 
A continuall sutOllY vnto nle A great tyme to haue A Warde 
made betwene you and hym 2 I shall hertelye desire & prayè 
you vppon the sight hereof to take some reasonable ,vaye 
1 sic, see Notes. 
2 c. o. \V hich hath byn a great charge to the parties wherfore 



386 


LETTERS OF 


[1534 


with hym so that I be no longer molestyd by hym and his 
c01ztynuall Sute and whereas his Father myght haue had 1 of 
yottr lordshyp & your predecessour dyuers offers who alwayes 
refused them yet neuerthcles me thinkyth your lordshyp now 
can no lesse doo then to graunte hym so moche in con- 
sciens 2 as ye woolde have yovyn his Father I-ior he ys moche 3 
chargyd witlt the dettes of his Father as he affirmyth ånd also 
,vitlt the Fyndyng of his Brethern and sisterne 4. Whereffor 
in myn oppynyon it shalbe well doon that ye take an ende 
\vzllt hynl Yow know his Father dyed in pryson at your Sute 
and thus c011Zmyttyng this matyer to god & your Conscyens 
& thanking yow For my ha,vke & bydde yow hertelye Fare 
\yell at london the xxv ti daye of July 
Elldd. mynute of a Iettere. 


79. CROM\VELL TO LORD COBHAl\i. 
B. M. Harl. MSS. 283, f. 203; Cal. vii. App. 33. July 3 0 (1534). 
Directions about the administration of 'the farm of the parsonage.' 
Promises to attend to the monks of which Cobham speaks, if he will 
send them up. 
I commend me vnto your good lordship yn my right harty 
ß1aner, Aduertisyng you that I have receyvyd your Ietteres and 
the Inventory accordyng to your wrytyng. And touchyng 
the ferme of the parsonage I desire your lordship to cause the 
corne and other dutyes to be getherd together, and as for the 
rent I will order your lordship therin at our metyng. And 
your Monkes of \vhome ye write if ye send theym hither 
I wil be contentyd to C01nmon witlt theym and to do 
therin as the case shall requyre. I pray your lordshyp to 
have me c01nmendyd vnto my good lady in my right harty 
maner and so to geve hir thankes for the foule that she hathe 
sent vnto me. And thus our lord have you yn his kepyng. At 
Stepenhey the xxx th day of Julye. 
Your lordshi ppis assuryd 
THOMAS CRUMWELL 
Add. To my very good lord my lord Cobham this be 
del yueryd. 


1 c. o. and good 
! c. o. to consider the said offers 
vnto his sone 
3 c. o. he is greatly charged with 
his Fathers Dettes & also with his 
" c. o. whiclt ys a great charge 
vnto hym w herfore my Lorde in dis- 


chargyng of your consciens I pray 
you at my Desire to yeve vnto hYIll 
a Clio whiche youe toke of his Father 
And ferder to yeve vnto hym some 
other Rewarde hereafter as you 
shaH thynke in consciens mete for 
hym 



1534] 


THOl\IAS CROM\VELL 


387 


80. CROl\I\VELL TO THE MAYORS AND OFFICERS OF 
SOUTIIA1\IPTON, PORTSi\IOUTII, 
\ND POOLE. 
R. O. Ca1. vii. 1132. Sept. 4 (1534). 


Asks assistance for two men who are going into those parts on the King's 
business. 


I conlmend me vnto you. (and) Aduertise you that the 
kinges highnes at this tyme dothe send George 'VVhelpelcy 
and John Brawne about certayne besynes geven vnto theym 
in charge to be done in those parties, \VZ"tll soche spede and 
diligence as they convenyently may requyryng you and euery 
of you to permytt and suffer the same George and John to 
execute and do in eucry thyng, as the kynges grace hath 
c011lmaundyd theym \vithout any your ympedymentes let or 
interupcion in and about the same. And in case any ill 
disposed persone or pC1'sones will disobey or gaynsay the 
same, I farther requyre you yn the kynges behalf to assiste 
ayde and counsaill theym in and about thexecucion of 
their purpose. As ye will advoyde the kinges high dis- 
pleasure. And thus fare ye well. At london the iiii th day 
of September. 


Your Freend THOI\IAS CRUl\I\VELL. 


Add. To the l\Iayres Sheriffes and Bayliffes Custumers 
Comptrollers and Sercholtrs within the townes and portes of 
Suthampton Portesmouthe and Pole and eucry of theym and 
the Crekes belongyng to theym and euery of theym this be 
youen. 
Entid. 1\1y mre. lettere for George WheIpeIey 


81. CROl\lvVELL TO SIR ROGER REYNOLDS, ROBERT \VOLF, 
AND JOHN KYTCH. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 1134. Sept. 6 (1534). 


The King desires them to repair to Cromwell to answer to the charges 
made against them. 


I comend me vnto you And these shalbe to aduertise you 
that the kinges pleasure is that ye ymmediately vppon the 
sight of these my letteres shall repayre hither to answer vnto 
suche thinges as then shalbe leyed and obiected to you on 
the king our saide souereigne lordes behalf. Fayle ye not 
thus to do as ye will avoyde ferther perill and inconuenyence. 



388 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1534 


So Fare ye \vell From my house at Canbery the vi th day of 
Septembre. 


THOMAS CRUM\VELL. 
Add. To Sir Roger Reynoldes priest Master of the Hos- 
pitaJ1 of Saynt Johns in Huntingdon Robert Wolf Baylif 
there and John Kytche and to euery of then1 be this youen. 


82. CROM\VELL TO LORD LISLE AND LORD EDMUND 
HOWARD. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 1179. Sept. 21, 1534. 
The King, hearing that the searchers of Calais are remiss, and permit 
things to be conveyed out of the realm contrary to law, has appointed 
Nicholas Caldwell and John Gough to aid them. 
In my right herty maner I c0111mende me vnto YOllY good 
Lordshippes. So it is that the Kinges Highenes is certaynly 
informyd that dyuers and many thinges arne dayly conveyd 
ouit of this realme into the part yes of beyond the sees con- 
trary to the statutes and provisions in suche casse ordeinyd 
and provided. and for as muche as the serchours in the towne 
and Marchys of Calais arne remysse and negligent in thexa.. 
mynacion of their offices his highenes therfor well considering 
the same, and also perceyving that his trusty servauntes 
Nicholas Caldwall and John Gowghe byn men of good cir- 
cumspiccion meate to make serche and fynde owt the 
ame, 
hathe ordenyd and constitutyd them J oyntly and severallie to 
be attendant and vigilant abouit the serching of the same 
\'\"ithin the saide toune and marchys and the havon Longing 
to the same for this tyme. Wherfor aduertesing your Lord- 
shippes of the kinges plesuy therin I requyre you in the 
kinges behalff to assist and ayde the same Nicholas & John 
and eyther of them in execucyon of this the kinges plesur 
and c011zmaundement as often and as the casse shall requyre 
as the kinges trust is in you. and thus the blyssed trinitie 
preserue YOllr good Lordshippes at Candbery the xxi of 
Septembre 


thus subscribyd 
Y OUY Lordshippes assuryd Frynd 
THOMAS CROM\VELL. 
The superscripciOll. To the right honourable and my Veray 
good Lordes my Lord Lyssle depute of Calas and my Lorde 
Edmonde Howard Comptroller ther and to eyther of them be 
th is yeven 
El1dd. Copia of Mr. Cromwelles Lettere for the serche to 
John Gowghe and N. caldewall 22 Septembre. 1534. 



J534] 


THOl'/IAS CROM\VELL 


389 


83. CRO:\l\YELL TO (TIlE LORDS OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL). 
R. O. (:M usemn) Cal. vii. 1271. Oct. 17 (1534). 
Asks them to give audience to the bearer, who can tell them much about 
the evil-disposed person apprehended on Sunday last. Advises that 
the said person be not put to death till he has made full confession. 
1\1 y lordes after my most affcctuouse reco1Jln1cndacion, 
This present berer my lord of Y orkes seruaunt is arryvcd 
no\ve to me \vith letteres bothe to me and to the kinges 
highnes. I haue remitted hrm furtlnvith to deliver his 
maiestes lettcres. And because he can fully Instructe YOllr 
lordships and cnfol/rme you of many thinges I pray you to 
heare hym fauourably and to geve hym full audience for ye 
shal here of hym sundry notable thinges and specially ayenst 
hym that \vas apprehended on Sondaye last whom I tak to 
be an veray evill disposed pC1"sone and the which if he be 
examyned according to the said berers relation ye shal knowe 
thinges gretely to be marked & noted Therfot" I besechc 
you to have this mater recommended And that the said 
person so apprehended be not put to deth tyll we may knowe 
the hoole and profound bothom of his cancred hert. I pray 
you to sende to me aduertissemellt ho\Ve ye shal fynde hym 
and knowlege of the veray mater And also of any suchc 
thinges As I can do here, anyexpcdishon for the furtheraullce 
of any the kinges maters For I shal spaer no diligence. 
Thus OllY blessf'd creatOl/r have you in his tuition & kcping 
From the Rooles this xvii th of Octobre. 
Y ollr lordshippis assuryd Freend 
TnOMAS CRUMWELL. 


84. CROl\I\VELL TO LORD LISLE. 


R. O. Cal. vii. 1328. Oct. 29, 1534. 
Requests bin1 to examine and reform the 'anoysaunces' made by Sir 
Robert \Vingfield in the l'vlarches of Calais. 
In my right harty maner I conlmend me vnto YOllY good 
lordship. And \vher as of late the kinges highnes hathe 
directed his C01Jlmyssion vnto your lordship and other for 
pullyng do\\'ne and reformacion of certayne anoysaunces made 
and done by Sir Robart Wyngfeld within the Marches of 
Calays, the kinges pleasure is that ye and thother C01Jlmys- 
sioners shall circumspectly viewe and ouersee the same. And 
that that of necessite ought to be refourmyd for the welthe 



390 


LETTERS OF 


strengthe and c011zmodite of the sayd Towne and marches 
accordyng as it was thought at my last beyng ther to be 
amendyng, and the resydue that (neither) damagithe ne 
hurtithe the same Towne to stand still as ye see reasonable 
cause after your discresion. and as ye shall seme good. And 
thus the blessed Trenyte preserue YOllr lordship At london 
the xxix day of October. 
Your lordshyppis assuryd Freend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 


Add. To the honourable and my veray good Lorde my 
lord Vicount Lisle the kynges Depute of Calais be this 
youen. 
Elldd. Maister Cromwell the xxix th of Octobre 15.34. 


85. CRO
I'VELL TO AUDELEY. 


B. M. Vesp. F. xiii, 105 b; Cal. vii. 1415. Nov. II (1534). 
Desires him to send back by the bearer a true copy of the proclamation, 
which is to be printed by Bartlett the printer to-night. 


Aftre my right harty c011Zmendacions to your lordship 
F orasmoche as it shalbe very necessary to haue some copies 
of the proclamacion also printed this night to thintent the 
same maye be sent into sundry parties w'ith the bokes, of 
answer, These shalbe to desire and pray your Lordship to 
sende me by this berer a true copie of the same, and I shal 
sende for bartelet the printer, and first swere him, and thenne 
cause him to entende this night to the printing of the copies 
therof accordingly. And thus most hartely Fare you we!. 
From the Rulles the xi tb of N ouembre 
I require your lordship to cause the proclamacions to be 
writen and sealed with suche expedicion as you may take the 
payne to be here with them tomorowe by tenne of the clock 
where my lord of Norffolk and I ,vitlz others wil tary dyner 
tyl your cU1nmyng. 


Your lordshippis assuryd 
THOMAS CRUMvVELL. 
Add. To my very good Lord my Lord ChauncellollY 
delyuer this \vith spede. 
Elldd. m r . Lord my m1". to my lord Chauncellour, etc. 



1534] 


THOMAS CR01'vlWELL 


391 


86. CROl\I\\'ELL TO LORD LISLE. 


R. O. CaI. vii. 1438. Nov. 17 (1534). 


A letter of gentle reproof for failing to discharge his office, as his duty to 
the King denlands. Points out that his 'excess of living' has 
brought him into contelnpt. 


My very good lorde aftre my right harty c011zmendacions 
I am no\\' enforced to write my mynde plainly vnto youe as to 
him the prcseruation of whose honour I desire Bothe for the 
discharge of my dueuty to the kingcs highnes, and for the 
declaration of myn hartye good will whiche I bere vnto you, 
and therfor I require you my lorde to take it in good parte. 
First I trust you consider what a charge you haue there vnder 
the kingcs Maicstie and I \voold youe should remember Both 
\vhat besemeth a man to doo being in that place, and that the 
same conteineth in it no state of inheritaunce, ne terme for 
lief But vppon the good Behauiour of the personne having it. 
N o\ve if you shuld waye the thing and the nature of it indif- 
ferently, Wold you thinke it mete that a man shuld haue that 
charge, which \vold Bring himself to suche necessitie that he 
shuld be constrayned to put all thinges to sale, that be C011l- 
mytted vppon spcciall trust to his discreation, neglecting of 
thone parte the kinges highnes honour to be preserued in 
the satisfaction of his graunttcs, of thother parte as it \vere 
contempnyng all frieendeship in giving place to a litle Lucre. 
Surely rny lorde suche a gouernou1" as you Be shuld not 
Bynde himself at any manes request to performe that shall 
not pcrcase lye in him, ne by any his excesse in living make 
himself soo nedye. that whenne the present thing shuld happen, 
he shuld be forced to haue more estimacion of money thenne 
regarde to the tayle it Bringeth with it. If I were not 
determyned to contynue your lordships assured Freende 
I wold not worke this plainly \vith you, neither thinke that 
I doo it vppon any affection, for I \vold (do) that I may\vil 
honestly. oon man I haue often tymes recolllmended that 
is the Survey01lr whom the Kinges l\laieste woold haue serued 
of foure Olen according to his graunte and Late c01Jlmaunde- 
ment tl1ade for the same. But yet I write not this so moche 
for him alone as for others and chiefly for yourself, and after 
for the poore tnan that is berer herof who hathe your Bonde. 
Whiche your hon01lr shalbe to performe and accomplishe, and 
Bothe myn aduise and desire shal concurre with the same, lest 
it might be taken yvel where per-case you did it vppon an 
honest grounde. Finally my lorde I renlayne your harty 
Freende, and desire you to expresse your Freendeship again 



392 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1534 


towardcs Ine in your honourable procedinges, and the helping 
of such as the kingcs Maieste wold shuld be there preferred, 
amonges the Whiche the Surveyr is not the last, and yet 
I ,voId he shuld haue nothing onles his seruice deserue it. 
Thus most hartely Fare you wel From the N ete the xvii th of 
N ouembr 


Your lordshippis assuryd 
THOMAS CRUM'VELL. 
Add. To my very good Lorde the Viscounte Lisle Deputie 
(of) the kinges towne and the Marches of Calays. 
Elldd. by Lisle. Tochyng the gyft of romys 


87. CROM'VELL TO LADY LISLE. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 1448. Nov. 20 (1534). 
Denies the report that he is displeased with her. If she continues to act 
as she has, she will always find him a firm friend. 
In my right harty maner I cOlll1nend me vn to your good 
ladiship. And wheras I am infourmyd that reaport hathe 
been Inade vnto you that I shuld be displeasid wZ"th YOtty 
ladiship . Where of trouthe I knowe no cause wherfore 
I shuld so be, Wherfore I pray you geve no soche credence 
ne beleffe to any persone, for your good ladiship vsyng your 
se1fe in all causes none othenvise then I here that ye do, and 
as I doubte not that ye will here after contyne\ve, shall fynd 
me as redy to do you any pleasure, that may lye in me to do 
as any frynd that ye have. And thus the blessed Trenyte 
preserue your good ladiship. At london the xx th day of 
November. 


Your louyng Freend 
THOlYIAS C R UM'VELL. 
Add. To the right honourable and my very good lady 
my lady lisle be this youen. 


88. (CROM'VELL) TO (I-IENRY VIII). 
R. o. Cal.vii. 16 1 3. (1534.) 
Reports that l\1r. Southwell is content to sell the manor beside East 
Yafford, in Yorkshire, and will show it to the King's surveyor. 
Pleasythit your highnes to be adue1'"tysyd how that Sythyn 
my repayre to london I haue 1 spokyn with Mr. Sowthwell 
to whom I haue declaryd your most gracyous pleasure 
1 c. o. Surveyed and I Fynd I haue 



1534-] 


A 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


393 


touching the purchasing of his Mannouy besydes est yafford 
\vho most humblye Submyttyth hym vnto the plesure of 
your magestye and ys right well content that your grace 
appoyntyng 1 Suche persons to Yew the sayd mann01ír as 
shall (stand) \vith your highe pleasure he \vylI gyue his 
attendaunce to she\v vnto them the same to thentent your 
highnes may be trewlye certeffyed vppon the yew of the 
Comodytes belongyng to the same. and that ons known, 
W'Ítll your most gracyous plesure, Further conclusyon to be 
takyn & Such as to your highnes shall Seme most mete. 
\Vherfor and it might please your grace that I myght know 
YOUy plesure \vho your highnes woolde appoynt to Survey 
the sayd Manouy I woolde then accordyngly 2 cause In- 
struccyons to be in Redynes For the sanle::S. 


89. (CROM\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. CaI. vii. 1614. (1534.) 


Desires him to give Mr. Alen a lease of the farm of Canewood and Cane- 
field, in Essex, without delay, and trusts he has made no promise 
which will prevent him from doing this. 


My Lorde after my right hertie reco11lmendacions where 
as I haue wrytten to you in the fauours of my veraye Frend 
1\lr. Alen for his preferrement to the F erme of Canewod and 
Canefeldes And halling receyued your answer thereunto 
whereby I do perceyve your desire is to haue respite of 
your consent and graunntes in that behalf till yottr c01nmyng 
to London alledging that in the meantyme ye will do your 
possible to call agayn a former promise by you thereof made 
to a nother person, My lorde I trust ye haue made no such 
promise which in case ye haue, yet I doubt not ye will so 
compase it that my purpose be not Disapoynted by that 
meane. And therefore my lorde Forasmoche as I do so 
ernestly meane and intende the satisfaccz'on of my saide 
Frend in that pa11:e, I shall eftesones most hertelie requyre 
you indelayedlie to confourme your self to thaccomplissh- 
mellt thereof, and all excuses set a parte, to make him out 
a lease of the said F erme according to my former request, 
Which be ye assured in Few wordes I shall intend so to 
requyte as ye shall haue no cause to thinke the same 
bestowid vppon an ingrate person 


1 c. o. Indifferent 2 c. o. to procede 
:3 c. o. yt Inay also pIe 
MERRIMAN. I D d 



394 


LETTERS OF 


[ ] 534 


90. (CROM'VELL) TO --. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 161 5. (1534.) 


On behalf of Thomas Miller, an English subject, whose goods have been 
wrongly detained by James Sinclair, governor of the north of Scot- 
land, and who cannot get redress. 


After my right hertie c011tmendacions it may Iyke you to 
undrestonde that \vhere A Shyp called the Andrewe aper- 
teynyng to one Thomas Miller beyng a Subiect to my most 
dreade soueraigne Lorde Kyng and maister by chaunce of 
tempest or other mysfortune was ronne Aground in the north 
parties of the Realme of Scotland. And yet neuerthelesse 
the most parte of aIle the goodes and merchandises in the 
said Shypp amountyng to the value of cclx Ii. sterling as 
I am enformed were there and then (saved) by the diligens 
and labours of the seruauntes of the said Thomas they beyng 
taken owt and by them savely kepte to their saide maisters 
vse by the space of viii or ix dayes. Vnto suche tyme 
as one James Seyntcler governer and ruler in the said North 
parties of Scotland vndre the K ynges grace your maister 
without any reasonable cause toke awaye the said goodes and 
merchandises from the Servants of the said Thomas and so 
the same euer sens hathe kept and deteyned agaynst good 
equitie and consciens. And for as moche as at your last 
beyng in Englond ye gent illy promised me that if I wrote 
vnto you for relief or necessitie of any the Subiectes of 
Englande in cases or Justice, ye wolde the rather at my pore 
contemplacion put youre good endevor to accomplysshe my 
request. At whiche tyme also of your said beyng in England 
thys case was then by me and other the kyng my Maisters 
Counsayle mocioned, and declared vnto you, Whereapon ye 
promised vs that yf the partie damaged repayred to your 
parties for Justice after your comyng home that then he 
shold be restored as to reason, right, and conscience shold 
apperteyne. And thys notwithstondyng albeit the said 
Thomas Miller by the late maister of the said Shipp hath 
made humble sutes for Justice and Restitucion of hys said 
gooddes and merchandises to hys greate costes and charges 
yet neuerthelesse he hath hitherto had nor can get any 
redresse. Wherefore at the desyre of the said Thomas I at 
thys tyme am bold to \vryght vnto you, right hartely desiryng 
you that at the repaire of the said Thomas or eny of hys 
servants to you with these my letteres that he Inay by your 
good favors and meanes so reasonably be ordered in thys 
case as he shall haue no cause reasonable to compleyn for 



1534] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


395 


lak of Justice, by \vhiche doyngt's I shaH accompt my self 
bounden to reaquite your gentilnes with semblable pleasures 
for Any Frend or Neyghbour of yours. 
Elldd. A Copie of a lettere writen into' Scotland in the 
favour of one Thomas n1iller of london 


91. CROl\IWELL TO -. 
R. O. CaI. vii. 1616. (1534.) 
Desires him to restore the lands which he has wrongfully taken (ron1 
Reginald \Villiams in the West Country. 
After my right hertie conlmendacions Forasmoche as 
I haue bene sued vnto and requyred by my Freendes to 
adresse thiese my Ie/teres vnto you in the fauour of one 
Reignolde \Villiams from whom as I am crediblie infourmed 
ye do deteyne and \vitholde certeyne londes in the weste 
cuntrey contrary to all right and good equitie albeit the 
saide Reignalde Williams as manifestly appereth by his 
euydences is nexte heire vnto the same londes I shall 
therfoJ;e hertely desyre you the rather at this my requeste 
and contemplacion that without any further molestation or 
truble in the lawe ye will calle togither your Freendes and 
after c01Jlmunication had in the mattier to conclude a Finall 
ende therin accordinge to equitie and c011sciens so that the 
saide Reignolde receyue no iniurye nor \vronge at your 
hande 1, but also bynde me to shewe you Iyke pleasures 
accordinglie. thus Fare ye well. At my howse of 
Stepneth 


92. (CROM\VELL) TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. 
R. O. Cal. vii. 618. ( 1 534.) 
The King is displeased at hearing of the ill-treatment of the inhabitants 
of the town by the authorities of the University, and desires that 
amends be made. 
I comend me vnto yO\V Aduertysing the same that wher 
the kinges hyghnes is crediblie infourmed of your abusions 
vsurpacyons & vngentill demean our vsed towardes the kingt's 
highnes his subiectes & inhabitauntes of that his towne of 
Oxforthe & subberbes of the same I can not but mervaile 
that ye being men of Lerning & in whom shoulde remayne 
both wisedom & discressyon wille in suche wise demeane your 
1 c. o. And in thus doynge ye shall not oonlie do a thinge proffitable 
and right meritorious for your sowle 
Dd2 



396 


LETTERS OF 


[ I 534 


self1 not onelie in making of lawes & ordynaunces Amongst 
your self to their hindrance hurt and preiudice but also 
contrary to the kinges lawes whiche aperethe in you to haue 
proceded of nothing but mere malice Wherfor intending to 
conduce & Allecte yow to som good conformyte & quyetnes 
the kinges hyghnes therfore hathe c01nmandyd me to. advise 
yaw not onlie to restore all such persons as you haue dis- 
comoned permitting them to do & occupie as they did before, 
without mayntening or suffering any scaler or seruauntes 
to occupie \vith in the toune or suburbe of the same as a bur- 
gesse there dothe except he or they do agree there fore with 
the sayd burgesses But also that in no 'wise ye do vexe 
trouble or inquyete any of the saide inhabitauntes by suspen- 
sion exc01?1munycacio1Z discomonning banysshement or other- 
wise, vsing suche discression that all varyaunces may ceasse & 
be stayed amongst yaw so as all malice and evill will being 
contempned & expulsed from yaw, good amyte peax & quyet- 
nes may take place accordynglie. And duobt ye not or it be 
long the Kinges Counsaile by his gracious c011zmaundement 
will & haue detennyned to set suche an ende & redresse 
amongst yow as god willing shall be an establisshing of a 
pe1--petuall peax good vnyte & accorde amongst yaw for euer 
fayell ye not this to do as yow wyll answre vnto the kynges 
highnes & advoyde the daungzer of his indingnacion & high 
displessur And so Fare ye well 
Add. To the Chauncelour and comissarie with other the 
heddes & membres of the vnyversite of Oxforde be this youen 
Endd. A copye of a lettere to Oxforth 


93. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. CaI. viii. 187. Feb. 8 (1535). 
The King has written to Lisle to give Ralph Hare the next vacant 
position at 8d. a day. Advises Lisle to follow t
e King's orders. 
In my most harty wise I c011zmend me vnto yonr good 
lordship. And persayvyng that the kinges highnes hathe 
not only geven vnto Raufe Hare by sufficient writyng vnder 
the privey seale, the roume of eight pence sterling by the 
day whiche shall first and' next fall voyde within that the 
towne of Calays, but hathe also writen vnto you his Ietteres 
vnder hys signet ,confermyng thesame and mencionyng therby 
his pleasure and expresse c01Jzmaundment in that behalfe, 
these shalbe therfore as yottr lordshippes assured frynde to 
1 c. o. to their hindrance hurte & preiudice 



1535] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


397 


my po\ver to advise you to folo\ve the kyngt's c01Jzmaunde- 
n1cnt therin for the satisfaction of his pleasure in that be- 
halfe. \Vherby ye shall not only descrue the Kynges right 
harty and condigne thankes but also admynyster and do vnto 
me and other of his fryndes whiche dothe write vnto you also 
in his favour, great pleasure and gratuyte, the whiche god 
\villyng shalbe on my part in semblable wise recompensed. 
And thus the blessed Trenyte preserue your good lordship. 
At the RoUes the viii th day of February. 
Y oltr lordshippis Freend assuryd 
THOl\IAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the right honourable and my synguler good lord 
the vicount lisle the kynges depute at Calays. 
Endd. Mr. Secretoryes lettere 
Mr. Sekretarye the viii th of Febrewary conscrning raff Hare. 


94. . CROl\I'VELL TO THE PRIOR OF DUDLEY. 


R. O. Cal. viii. 191. Feb. 10 (I535). 
The King desires the Prior personally to repair to Cromwell at once. 
I C01Jzmende me vnto youe. Lating youe wit that for cer- 
tain causes the particularities wherof ye shal knowe herafter 
The kinges pleasure and c01Jzmaundement is ye shal Ime- 
diatly vppon the sight herof all delayes and excuses set- 
aparte personally repaire vnto me \vheresoeuer it shall chaunce 
me to be without faylIing as ye wil answer to his grace at 
your extreme perillo From the Rulles the x th of Februarye. 
Your Freend THOl\IAS CRUl\IWELL 
Add. To my Freende the prior of Dudleye yeve this with 
spede. 


95. CROl\I'VELL TO THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF 
LONDON. 
R. O. Cal. viii. 221. Feb. 15 (I535). 
Desires for Robert Baxter, a clerk of the Common Bench, the next 
vacancy in the clerkships of their court. 


In my ryght harty wise I commend me vnto you & to euery 
of you And albeit I am many wise importune & bold apon 
you for my selff & my frendes When cause & occasion hath 



398 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


so requyred. This shalbe to aduertise you that Robert 
Backster one of the Clarkes writers witlt John Joyner the 
kynges Preignetory of his graces comen bench at West- 
11lÙzster is very desyrous to be one of the Clarkes of your 
Courte & hath made instant peticion to me that by myne 
intercession to be made vnto youe in his fauour he myght the 
rather & more effectuelly opteyne the same. And were as 
I am acerteynyd that the Rowmes of your foure Clarkes are 
now furnyshyd & non of theym voide. Wherefore I hertely 
desyre & pray you at the contemplacion of these my letters 
and for my sake wylbe content to graunt vnto the said Robert 
the next vacacion of one of the iiii Clarkes of that your courte 
And I dare will undertake for hym that he shall at all tymes 
(yf he lyue to optayne the same) vse and behaue hymself like 
an honest officer. And for your goodnes herein to be shewed 
vnto hym (for my sake) ye shalbe well assured to fynd me as 
redy semably to requyte you of suche gratuite & pleasure as 
shall lye in me to shew vnto you. And thus fare ye well 
from the Rollys the xv day of february. 
Add. To my veray good Lorde the Mayour of the Citie 
of London and to his worshypfull Brethern thaldermen of the 
same & to euery of theym. 
E1ldd. From Mr. Crumwelle. 


96. CRO:\f\VELL TO HENRY BURTON. 


R. o. Cal. viii. 239. Feb. 19 < 1535}. 
The King is informed that Burton has disturbed Lady Carew in her 
possession of a free chapel and ground, granted her by the King. 
Desires him to cease troubling her. 


In my hartie maner I cOl1zmende me vnto you, Aduertising 
the same that Whereas cOlnplaint hath nowe lately been made 
vnto the Kinges Maiestie on the behalf of my Ladye Carewe 
howe that you haue made a wrong full and riotouse entree into 
a certayn free chapell and a litle close grounde abowt the 
same whiche chapell and grounde his hieghnes hath geven and 
graunted vnto her by his graces Ietteres patentes during her 
lief, the remayndre thereof to Fraunceys Carewe her sonne, 
and to the heyres masles of his bodye begoten, So that it 
seameth his maiestie hath the Reversion of the fee simple in 
him, his heyres and suCCeSS01t1
S. His Hieghnes willed me to 
signifie vnto you by these my Ietteres his graces pleasour and 
c01nmaundeme1lt is that you do not onely permitte, and suffre 
the saied Ladye Carewe to enioye peaxably the possession 



1535] 


THOMAS CROM\VELL 


399 


of the premisses, and to restore suche thinges as you haue 
\vrongfully taken owt of the chapell and grounde aforsaied, 
but also to cease your suete c01Jlmenced againste her at the 
C01Jlmen lawe vnto such tyme as both YOU1
 titles maye be 
further examined and tryed by lerned and indifferent Coun- 
saill, Not failing hereof as you tendere His Hieghnes pleasour, 
Thus fare you hertely well. From London the xix th daic of 
Februarye. 


Your louyng Freend 
THOl\IAS CR Ul\l"
ELL. 
Add. To my Loving freende Henry Burton. 
Endd. In the bahalf of the Ladye Carewe & her sonne 
F raunceys. 


97. CROl\IWELL TO THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY. 


Heralds' ColI. of Arms, Shrewsb. MSS. A, f. 57; CaI. viii. 247. 
Feb. 20 (1535). 


Sends him a letter from the King. As for the farm of which the Earl 
wrote, Cronlwell has discovered that his servant is not an:\ious to 
leave it, and he is unwilling to urge him. 


After my right harty c01Jlmendacions to your good lord- 
shippe with semblable thankes for YOllr Lctteres Lately 
addressed Vnto me The same shall here\vitlt receyue the 
Kinges highnes Le ttres of answer to suche credence as yow 
c0111mytted to my Freende Maister Buttes to be declared V nto 
him. And albeit his Maiestie hathe not resolutely answered 
to the particular pointes of your credence aforsaid yet your 
lordshippe maye be assured at your cU11Zmyng vppe to re- 
ceyve suche answer in eueryof the same as shalbe to your 
contentacion. And vndoubtedly his grace wool be as gladde 
to see Y01l1
 lordshippe as any man I suppose in his realme. 
Suche is his entier love and fauour towardes yo\ve. Whiche 
I am as gladde to pe1"ceyve and see as Y01l1
 self could desire 
the same. Touching the ferme \vherof your lordshippe wrote 
vnto me I haue been in hande with n1Y seruaunt and like as 
I wold be lothe to constrayne him if I might otherwise chuse 
to forgoo it Soo I perceyve he woll not leave it onles it shalbe 
for advoyding of my displeasure, and again the man dothe 
me soo good seruice that witll equitie I canne presse him no 
further therin thenne I haue doon. N euertheles if your 
lordshippe woll haue me eftsones to travail in it I shall doo 
asmoche more therin as your self shall at your cU1nmyng 



400 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


thinke mete for me. And thus moost hartely Fare yow well. 
From the RuBes the xx th of February 
Your lordshippis assuryd 
THOMAS CRUM\VELL. 
Add. To my veray good Lorde Thede of Shrewisbury 
lord Steward of the Kinges H oushold. 


98. CROMWELL TO ADMIRAL CHABOT, SIEUR DE 
BRION 1. 


Bibl. Nat. de Paris, Fonds Moreau, 737, page 83; CaI. viii. 337. 
(Mar.) 4, 1535. 
The report of the Treasurer of Brittany will assure him how desirous the 
King is to remain in friendship with the King of France. Urges de 
Brion to do all he can to strengthen and increase the amity. 
MONSEIGNEUR, 
J'ay receu les lettres qu'il vous a pleu m'escrire ensemble 
entendu vostre response, et charge de Mr. Ie Trésorier Pala- 
médes, laquelle, selon sa très bonne manière de faire, et au 
très grand contentement du Roy, mon maistre, il a sceu très- 
bien dire et déclarer, et pourtant que par la response qu'i1 
emporte, vous pourrez clairement cognoistre Ia bonne con- 
stance et continuation d'amitié et vnion, en quoy Ie Roy mon 
dit maistre en tend persister à tout iamais tant Iuy que sa 
postérité, sans aucunement varier, ains faire tout ce que avec 
son honneur et condescentement Iuy sera possible, au desir du 
Roy, son bon frère: pourtant aussy, que Ie diet Trésorier vous 
sçaura faire ample rapport de toutes choses ; 
Monseigneur, après VOliS avoir tr'ès affectueusement prié que 
veuilliés persuader, et si rnestier est, inculquer à Ia ma té du 
Roy V e Maistre, la grandeur de leur amitié, et bonne intention 
de la dicte response et qu'il ne veuille presser ne desyrer Ie 
Roy de chose pourquoy 1'0n pense avoir suspicion ou con- 
îecture qu'en l'amitié d'entr'eux y entre aucun respect de 
lucre ou proffit particulier: car ce n'est pas assez, comme 
vous sçavez trop mieux, que leur amitié so it cogneue et prinse 
pour ferme et establie par entr'eux et leurs amys, qui est 
à leur grand confort et encouragement: Mais aussy est très 
expédient de l'entretenir et conduire en sorte que leurs 
Ennemis et malveillans n'ayant cause d'y pouvoir penser, ne 
suspecter aucune interruption, qui sera à leur très grand 
esbahissement Confusion et desconfort: et ce faisant, comme 


1 From the official Record Office transcript. 



1535] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


401 


bien gist en vous, Ie bien et plaisir, qui à tout Ie monde en 
adviendra, ne se sçavoir assez estimer, sans vous rescrire pour 
Ie présent plus au long, m' estre de très bon cæur recommandé 
à V e Seigneurie et offert tout ce en quoi vous sçauray faire 
honneur et plaisir J e supplie nostre benoist Créateur, que, 
à vous Monseigneur, il veuille donner sa saincte et digne 
garde. 


Signé, V ostre à commandement 
THOMAS CR.A1\I'VELL. 


Escript à Londres, 
Ie iv iour de May 1. 
] 534. 
Add. A Monseigneur 
Ivlonseigneur l'Admiral de France. 


99. CR01\I\VELL TO LORD LISLE. 
R. O. CaI. viii. 419. 1\1ar. 21 (1535). 
The King marvels at his delay in granting Thomas AppoweIl a position 
as soldier at Calais. Desires Lisle to give him the next vacant 
place. 
After my right hartyc01Jlmendacionsvnto your good lordship, 
thiese shalbe for asmoche as the kinges highnes before this tyme 
in consideracion of the good and acceptable scruice done vnto 
his sayd highnes by his faythefull subgec[t] Thomas AppowelI. 
Hathe geven and graunted vnto hym the roume of a Souldiour 
of the retyne\ve at Calays whiche first or next shuld fall and 
be voyde with the wages of viii d. a da[y] as by the kinges 
graunt therof made vnder his signet beryng date the second 
day of May in the xxiii th yere of his reigne and other his 
speciall letteres sithens directed vnto you for that purpose 
it dothe more playnly appere. And that notwithstanding, 
hitherto. he hathe not been preferred to any suche roume, 
as he say the wherat considering the kinges sayd graunt and 
Ietteres seuerally made for that purpose his highnes dothe 
not a litle marvaill. \Vherfore I requyre and pray you for 
asmoche as thesayd Thomas hathe done good se1
uice, and is 
right mete for that roume. And the rather for my sake 
and at the contemplacion of these my letteres, to graunt vnto 
hym the next rounle that shalbe voyde w,ith thesayd wages, 
she\ving vnto hym your Iordshippes favour in that behalf. 


1 The date' l\lay t is obviously a 
mistake; it should be 'March.' The 
dates of the embassy of Gontier and 
the itinerary of the King n1ake it 


quite certain that the letter was 
written March 4, 1535, which, of 
course, was 1534 o. S. Cf. Cal. viii. 
p. 133 n. 



402 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


Wherby besides that ye shall do a very good dede, ye shall 
admynyster and do vnto me right thankfull pleasu[ re] the 
whiche god willyng I \vill in semblable ,vise requite. thus the 
blessed Trenyte preserue you. At the rolIes the xxi day 
of Marche. 


Your lordshippis assuryd 
THOJ\IAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To my veray good lord the vicount lisle the Kinges 
depute at Calays. 
100. CROM\VELL TO SIR GREGORY DA CASALE. 
R. O. Cal. viii. 523. April 10, 1535. 
The King is glad to hear that the Bishop of Rome begins to appreciate 
the justice of his cause. Urges that every effort be made to prevail 
upon the Pope to give formal sentence in favour of the divorce. 
l\Iagnijice DOl1zine Gregori salutem et commendacione1n 
Complures post vestru1n hinc discessum, et uariis temporibus 
datas a vobis litteras accepi, quarum recensiores sub die xx 
februarii Romae scriptae sunt, quicquid uero de occurentiis 
istis publicis, ac priuatis Regiae Maiestatis rebus in dictis 
litteris unq uam significabatur sigillatim, ac diligenter id ipsi 
semper exposui, gratumque et acceptum habet sedulul1z istud 
vestrum scribendi officium,nec ego antea vestris lit/eris respondi, 
quod putaui, praeter istoru1Jz succeSSUU1n cognitione1iz (quae 
sui nouitate grata semper est) non esse admodum multa, 
quibus particularius foret respondendum: Nunc autem 
Regia Maiestas quum vestras turn ad se, turn ad me 
litteras pressius, accuratiusquc perlegisset, illud inter coetera, 
mente adnotauit, Pontificem vobisCU11t loqui uoluisse, sum- 
ma11lque praesetulisse Regiae Maiestati gratificandi propen- 
sionem, et ob earn causam, duos accersisse ex hetruria iure- 
consultos cum prirnis eruditos, quorum doctrinae sanoque 
iudicio potissimum fidat, eorumque sententias, et opiniones 
pro Regiae Maiestatis causa stare, et eiusmodi esse vestris vos 
litteris affirmatis ut pontifex ex officio debeat praesens matri- 
monium, etiam si de ualiditate dispensationis a Iulio factae 
constaret, approbare, Coeterum causa1?Z hanc, ut ueritatis 
fundamento totam innitentem, et si Regia Maiestas cum Deo 
satis firmatarn habeat, et omni ex parte stabilitarn, in hunc 
tamen sensum litteras vest1
as interpretatur, Pontificem scilicet 
de eius rectitudine et aequitate cum sua Regia Maiestate 
qua1n optin1e sentire, Proinde si amicum ac syncerum istud 
pectus erga Serenissimum D01nÙzufil meum Regem (quod vos 
scribitis) re uera habet, quin pot ius, ut bonum quenque virum 
ab omni prorsus odio, et affectu liberum, et immunem in primis 



1535] 


THOl\IAS CROMWELL 


403 


decet, si ueritati ex anima fauet, eius certe sunt partes, ut 
suam hanc erga lnuictissimum Dominum meum Regem in 
causa omnium iustissima bene affectam uoluntatem, suo etiam 
publico testin10nio, et approbatione vniuersi orbi reddat per- 
qua1n manifestam, suaqlle sponte, innataque animi probitate 
et solius ueritatis propagandae studio, nulla Regiae Maiestatis 
intercessione expectata, ad id adducatur, ut nullius metu, seu 
respectu a uero rectoque deflectens de prioris matrimonii 
inuaIiditate, praesentisqut' firmitate, et robore ingenue pro- 
nunciet, quem ad modum doctissimis ill is viris, quos huius 
rei causa ab eo accersitos, istic adesse scribitis, maxime probari 
significatis, efficiet certe Pontifex rem suo munere, et officio 
dignam, Sere1lissimo D01nino mea Regi, qui suae causae 
iustitiam tot uigiliis, sumptibus ac laboribus diu quaesitam, 
et iam pridem cum Deo compertam habet, uehemel1ter gratam, 
sibique in primis, et pontificatui suo longe utiliorem, qua1n 
nunc demonstratione sit opus, Vos autem si hac in re nullo 
Regiae Maiestatis expectato mandato, nulloqlle suo iussu (non 
enim firmiora suae causae qua1ll nunc habet adiumenta 
aliunde sperat) quicqllid profeceritis, ac Pontificem vestra 
dexteritate ex vobis ad id quod scribitis adduxeritis, eiusdem 
Regiae lVlaiestatis expectationi quae n01l vana, aut victa 
officia, nee infructuosos rerum euentus de vt'stris actionibus 
sibi pollicetur, procul dubio respondebitis, et haec a Pontifice 
beneuolentia et gratia ex officio proueniens eo n01Jzine gratior, 
et acceptior erit, quod ueritatis ratio, deique respect us, sanaqllc 
conscientia ad hoc eum mortaliU11l nemine procurante, nunc 
conlmouerit. Et bene valete. Londini Die x Aprilis M. D. xxxv. 
Vester bonus amicus 
THOl\IAS CRUl\l'VELL. 
Add. Mag1zzflco Equiti, Ð01Jzino Gregorio Casalio etc.. 
An1ico carissimo. 


101. (CROl\IWELL) TO (SIR GREGORY DA CASALE). 
R. O. CaI. vii. 268 1 . (April 10,1535.) 
Draft in English of the preceding. 
After my right (hearty) c01nmendacions, Sithen your depar- 
ture I haue receyued sundry of Y01l1
 Ietteres whereof the last 
bere date at Rome the xx day of Februarie. And ,vhatsoeuer 
ye haue signefied vnto me by your saide Ietteres aswell of the 
publique occurrantes there as of the Kinges highnes pryuate 
1 This letter is obviously misplaced in the Calendar. 



404 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


affairees I haue aIiwayes intymated and declared the same to 
the kinges maiestie who right thankefully and acceptablie 
taketh and estemeth your diligence in wryting And now 
having pervsed and redde both your letteres addressed to his 
maieste and also to me his highnes hathe speciallie noted in 
the same amongst other that the bisshop of Rome speking 
with you she,ved himself veray propice and desirous to 
gratefie his saide highnes And that he had sent for out of 
Ethrurie twoo Lawyers being singulerly well lerned in whose 
doctrine and good iudgement he hathe grete trust and con- 
fidence Whose sentences and opynyons do stonde hollie with. 
the kinges highnes cause Affirmyng (as ye \vryte) that the 
saide Bisshop of Rome of his duetie and office ought to 
approbate and confyrme this present matrymonie albeit it 
depended vppon the validi te of the dispensacion made by 
Julius. So as N otwithstonding that the kinges maiestie having 
his saide cause sufficientlie diffyned and being hitnself in that 
behalf resolutely determyned and grounded as vppon the 
foundacion of veryte and trowth hathe discharged his con... 
science therein (like a good vertuous and catholique prynce) 
afore god and the worlde Yet his maieste dothe in suche 
sence interpretate your letteres that (as appereth by the same) 
the saide bisshop of Rome begynneth now somwhat to sauour 
and fele the iustnes and equyte of the saide cause and 
partelie to stande with the Kinges maiestie in the same. 
Wherefore if the saide bisshop of Rome do in dede bere so 
frendelie and syncere good m ynde and will towardes the 
kinges highnes (as ye do wryte) or rather if he love the tre\vth 
as it bec011lmeth euery good man to do setting aparte all 
hatred and affection it is his parte to shew the same now to 
the vnyuersall worlde in this most iust and rightcious cause 
by his owne publique testymonye and approbacion. And of 
his owne free will and without any sute or intercession of the 
kinges rnaiestie onelie adhering to the trewth and neglecting 
all other respectes to pronounce the invalidite of the first 
matrimony and the validite of the seconde according to the 
sentences iudgementes and diffynytions of the saide ii o lerned 
men which as ye wryte the saide bisshop of Rome called and 
sent for vnto him for that purpose which if the saide Bisshop 
of Ron1e will, surely he shall do (a) thing wourthie his office 
and rnerite of god and the worlde and to the kinges highnes 
veray thankefull and acceptable pleasure, and also to him 
self and his see moche more profite and good then now 
nedeth to expresse. And you for your parte if in this 
matier as of Y01t1
 self ye can any thing profite or prevai1e 
by your good poIicie and dexteryte towardes the conducyng 



1535] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


405 


of the saide Bisshop of Rome to that conformyte (as ye wryte 
in YOllr saide letteres) ye shall then vndoubtedlie ans,ver to the 
kinges highnes expectacion And the same proceding of 
the beneuolence of the saide Bisshop of Rome and the zele 
that he hathe to the due execucion of his office and duetie 
shalbe the more grate and acceptable a grete dell to the 
I(inges hig-hnes and the hole \vourlde, seeing that the mere 
veryte and the respecte that he hath to god and his owne 
conscience shall move him thereunto without any lllortall 
mannes procurement 
E lldd. A Mynute of certeyn Ietteres responsyve to on at 
Rome 
A mynute of a Let/ere to intymate to the Pope the Kingcs 
desyre to haue him condiscend to the dyvorce & to allowe 
t
 second rnaryage. 


102. (CROM'VELL) TO MR. RICHE. 
R. O. Cal. viii. 563. Apr. 20 (1535). 
Requests him to use his influence to induce Mr. Sinclair to cease suing 
Edward Campion, clerk of the peace in Essex. 
After my m[ ost] hertie maner I c01nmendc me vnto you, 
and evyn so I pray you at this my request and contemplacion 
to be good Maister and frende vnto Edwarde Campion clerke 
of the peax within the shere of Essex of and in all suche his 
busynes to\vching the same his office and to be ameane for 
hym in the same unto Mr Sayntclere hym to desire to putt 
the said calnpion to no further vexacions and sutes for the 
said office as he hath heretofore done. In doyng whereof you 
shaH admynister vnto me right singuler pleasure, which god 
\villing . I shall not for get semblable to requyte as shall lye 
in my litill po\ver. And this hertelye fare ye well. At 
london this xx th day of Aprill 
Add. To my lovyng frende Master Riche. 
E lldd. ]VI ynute of lettere. 


103. CROM'VELL TO THE PRIOR OF TRE'VARDRETH. 
B. M. Add. MSS. 6,416, f. 8; Cal. viii. 743. May 21 (1535). 
The King is informed that the town of F owey is in a bad state, because 
the Prior, who has the liberties of the town in his hands, administers 
it so badly. Desires hinl to amend his ways. 
IVlr priour as vnaccquanted I haue me c01Jlmended vnto you, 
and \vhereas it is comen vnto the kinges highnes knowledge 
that the Towne of Fowey is sore decayed and thoccasion 



406 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


therof partlie is that in the saide Towne is no order of 
Justice bicause the liberties concerninge the same graunted 
by the kinges highnes and his noble progenitours to your 
predecessours and by theime vnto the inhabitauntes of the 
saide Towne remayne in your handes and kepinge So that 
betwene you no maner good order equitie nor iustice is exe- 
cuted and vsed within the saide Towne. Wherfore I require 
you to condiscende and agree witlt the inhabitauntes of the 
saide Towne so that you hauynge your reasonable approued 
duties, they may haue theire liberties to be vsed and extended 
amongeste theime ,vithin the saide Towne to thincrease of 
good order wit/tin the same. And as ye shall agre therin to 
certifie me in writinge by Thomas Treffry berer herof. For 
his highnes thinketh that the saide porte of Fowey oweth to 
be his and to be holden of hime so that his grace entendeth 
from hensforth to haue it as well prouided for with goòd 
gouernaunce and of defence for vtter enemyes as other his 
townes and portes be within those parties. Wherunto ye 
for your partie before this tyme haue had litle or no re- 
garde neyther to the good order rule and defence therof ne 
yet to the good rule and gouernaunce of yourself your 
monasterie and religion as ye be bounçle wherfore his highnes 
thinketh that ye be veray vnworthey to haue rule of any 
towne that cannot well rule yourself. And that I may haue 
aunswer as is afforesaide by this berer what ye intend to do 
I require you to thintente I maye certifie his highnes therof 
And thus fare ye well. At london the xxi th daie of Maie 
Your Freend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the priour of trewardreth in Cornewall be this 
youen. 


104. (CROMWELL) TO DR. LONDON AND MR. CLAYMOND. 
R. o. Cal. viii. 790. May (1535). 
Desires them to request the fellows of Magdalen to admit Thomas 
Marshall as president of the college, on the resignation of the 
present president, who has already signified his willingness to give 
up his position. 
In my right harty maner I c011Zmende me vnto you. And 
where the Presedent of Mawdelyn College, as well by his 
seuerallietteres as by mouthe (of his mere motion) at sundry 
tymes, myche c011zmending the qualities of my Lord and frende 
master Thomas Marshal[l] graunted vnto me, that he wulde 



1535] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


4.07 


be contented to resigne that his Rowme to the same master 
Marshall, alledging that he was a man very apte & mete for 
the same, promysing further and nothing doubting, but in that 
behalf be bothe coulde & \volde fynde the meanes to obteyne 
the goode \villes & myndes of the felowes of the said College. 
Neuertheles nowe of Late (to me no litle mervaile) the sa ide 
presedent \vhen I desired hym to accomplishe his saide pro- 
messe, alledged for his excuse that the goode willes of the 
saide felowes couide not in that behalf be opteyned. \Vherfore 
I hartely desire and pray you effectually in my name to 
solicite & entreate the saide felowes as by YOllr \vysdomes ye 
shall thinke most conuenient that they for my sake & at 
this my desire \vilbe contented to con forme theym selves vpon 
the resignation of the said presedent to the admission of the 
saide master lVlarshall, or eUes that contrary Wyse att the Leaste 
I may kno\ve by your \vriting in who me the mater sticketh. 
In doing \vherof ye shall not only deserue bothe Laude & 
prayse in the furderaunce of the saide n1aster Marshall, whose 
aduauncement I hartely desire, but also I wille not faile 
to ren1embre yottr kyndnes in that I may doo you pleasure. 
And thus hartely fare ye well, from London the - daye 
of lVlay. 
E 1/dd. The Copie of alettere Sent to Mr. doctor London 
& l\lr. ClaYlTIond. 


105. CROl\I\VELL TO THE EARL OF CUMBERLAND. 
B. !vI. Add.1\.lSS. 12,097, f. I; Cal. viii. 893. June 18 (1535). 
Requests him to discover and apprehend certain evil-disposed and riotous 
persons, who have unlawfully assembled in the county where the 
Earl lives. 


. 


After my right harty recol1zmendacion vnto yottr good 
lordship, thiese shalbe taduertise the same that the kinges 
highnes hathe been aduertised that diuerse riotous and ill- 
disposid persones of the parties wher ye inhabite, or within 
your offices and roumes (as it is sayd) hathe lately vnlawfully 
assembled theymselfes together to no litle nombre in riotous 
maner to S011lme lewde and vnthriftie intent and purpose. 
Wherfor his highnes myndyng the quietenes of his subiectes, 
and good rule and order to be maynteynyd and kepte within 
this realme Willithe and cOl1lmaundithe you and other of the 
Justices of his peax, furthewith after the receyt herof to make 
inquisicion and serche, who and what nombre of the sayd 
persones hathe so assembled theymselfe, and for what cause 
intent and purpose they hathe so done And that ye also 



408 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


enquire who bathe beene the Capitall and cheffe doers in that 
partye
 and further that ye cause theym to be apprehended 
and taken and sent hither w'ith all convenyent spede together 
w'ith all that ye shall fynd and knowe concernyng the pre- 
mysses, and suche other offenders as ye shall not think good 
to be sent vp that your lordship cause theym to be put vnder 
sufficient suretyes for their good aberyng accordyng to his 
lawes, prayeng your lordship to aduertise me of that ye shall 
do in the premysses by the berer herof wz'th all convenyent 
spede. And thus the blessid Trenyte preserue you At the 
roBes the xviii th day of June. 
Your lordshyppis Freend 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the right honourable and my veray good lord 
the ErIe of Cumberland be this you en. 


106. CRO
I'VELL AND AUDLEY TO THE MAYOR AND 
COMMONALTY OF CAMBRIDGE. 
Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, i. 371; Cal. viii. 10 3 6 . July 14 (1535). 
Desires them to take measures to avoid any trouble with the members of 
the University at the approaching Stourbridge Fair. 
After our hertye commendacions, wher variaunce debate 
and strif bath long depended betweene the Vycechauncellor 
of the U niversite of Cambridge and the scolers of the same of 
· the one partie, and you and the cominaltye of the towne of 
Cambridge on the (other) party, concernyng both your iuris- 
diccions and liberties. And albeit we, wyth others of the 
king's counsaile by his graces commaundment, entended to 
have pacyfyed the sayd variaunce or this tyme; yet never- 
thelesse, for that we have had no convenient leasure for the 
same, the said variaunce as yet remaynith undetermyned. 
And forasmuche as Sturbridge fair is nowe nere at hand 
at whiche tyme it is thought verey like that variaunce 
and breche of the kings peax may happen betwixt you, bi 
reason of suche iurisdiccions as ether of you pretende to 
exercise in the same faire, if remedye were not provided for 
the same, we therfore, calling to rememberaunce that for the 
conservacion of the Kings peax an order was takyn the last 
yere at Lambeheth, before the 1nost Reverend father in god 
the archebysshop of Canterbury and other the Kings Coun- 
saile, what ether of you shuld exercise in the said faire without 
i1Jterrupcion of other, till the variaunce betweene you were 
fully determyned, Do nowe therfore advertise you that the 


. 



1535] 


THOMAS CROMWELL 


409 


Kings pleasure is that as \vell ye for your parts, as the said 
Vicechancellour and scolers for their parts, shall firmely for 
this faire tyme to cume this yere, observe and kepe the same 
order in every poynt \vithout violacion therof: Signifying unto 
you that \ve have \vritten our letteres to the said Vycechaun- 
cel10ur and scolers for the same cause, Putting you out of 
doubt that by the due keping of the said order, ye shall take 
no preiudice of eny your lawfullliberties that of right ye ought 
to have, uppon examynacyon and fyuall determynacyon of 
ether your titles, To the proceeding in the finall order wherof, 
\ve will \\"ith all diligence (god \villing) put our effectuall 
endevor this next terme, as the kings pleasure is we shuld do, 
requiring you to take pacyens in the meane season. And 
thus almyghtye Jhu have you in keping. \V rytten at London 
the xiiij1h daye of July. .. 
Your frends, 
TH01IAS A UDELEY Knt. Chauncell. 
THOl\I s . CR UM'VELL. 
Add. To the Maier and comynaltie of the Towne of 
Cambridg be this yeven. 


107. (CR011'VELL) TO THE (DUKE OF NORFOLK). 
B. M. Titus B. i, 318; Cal. viii. 104 2 . July 15 (1535). 
Sends a royal proclamation against conveying coin out of the realm, and 
a copy of the statute of 5 Richard I I to the same effect. The 
council gave its opinion that the King's proclamation in this case 
should have the same force as a statute. 


May hit please YOllY grace to be Aduertysyd that I haue 
resayuyd YOllr Ietteres 1 persayuyng by the Contenttes therof 
that the Kynges highnes dothe nloche mcrveyle that I haue 
not aducrtysyde yOllY grace \vhat order my lord chauncelor 
and others of his Counccyll hath 2 takyn Concernyng the 
conveyaunce of Coyne owt of the realme. Syr according 
to your gracyous C01Jlmaundement vppon tewysdaye last 
Mr. Attorney and I bothe dyd Intyn1ate & declare the 
Kingcs pleasure vnto my larde Chauncelor who lmmedyatlye 
Sent For My lorde cheffe Justyce of the kyngcs benche the 
cheffe J ustyce of the Coulmon place the cheffe Barron and 
Mr. Fytzeherberd Mr. Attorney Mr. Solysytor and I being 
p1'csent and the Case by my sayd lord Chauncelor openyd 
dyuers oppynyons ther were, but Fynally it \vas Condudyd 
1 c. o. this nyght at xii of the Cloke 
2 c. o. done and what order ys 
!>IERRI:\IAN. lEe 



410 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


that all the statuttes sholde be Inserchyd to See whether ther 
\vere anye Statute or lawe able to serue for the purpose and 
yf ther were it \vas thought good, that yf it sholde happen 
any accydent to be wherby ther myght Be any occasyon 
that the money sholde be conveyed O\vt of the realme that 
then proc1amacyoll sholde be made gro,vndyd vppon the 
sayd Statute adding therunto poletyklye certayn thinges For 
the putting the Kynges Subiectes and other in more terroure 
ande Feare vppon which deuyse serche \vas made and a 
goode estatute F ounde which was made in the Fyfte yere 
of Kyng Rychard the seconde the Copye wheroff translatyd 1 
into Inglyshe I do sende vnto YOUy grace dra,vne in manner 
of A proclan1acyon by the aduyse of the Kynges lernyd 
Counsayle. But Amongyst all other thinges I mouyd vnto 
my sa yd lorde chauncelor my lorde cheffe J ustyce and other 
that yf in Case ther were no la\v nor statute made alredye 
for any suche purpose what myght the Kyngcs hignes by the 
aduyse of his Counsaylle doo to withstande so greate a 
daunger lyke as your grace alledgyd at my beyog with you 
to the which yt was answeryd by my lorde cheffe J ustyce 
that the Kynges hyghnes by the aduyse of his Cownsayll 
myght make proclamacyons and vsc all other polecyes at his 
pleasure as well in this Case as in Anye other lyke For the 
avoyding of any suche daungers and that the sayd pro- 
clamacyons and polyces so deuysyd by the" King & his 
cownsayll for any such purpose sholde be of as good effect 
as Any la\v made by parlyament or othenvyse which OPpYll)IOn 
I assure your grace I was veray gladde to here 2 \vheruppon 3 
the sayd statute 4 was drawen in to a (copy) in forme as 
(a) proclamacyon I do no,;y sende the same to your grace 4: 
and thus the holye trynyte preserue your grace in long 
lyff good (health) with the Increase of moche honor at london 
the xv th day of July. 


108. CROM\VELL TO SIR JOHN RUSSELL, ROGER WYNTER, 
JOHN PAKYNGTON AND JOHN VAMP AGE. 
Library of William Berington, Esq., of Little l\:Ialvern Court. Not in Cal. 
July 18 (1535). 
Desires them to examine the complaint of Robert Symonds, of Pershore, 
in ,V orcestershire, and see that justice is done if possible. 
I C01.1zmende me vnto you in my right hertie maner And 
by the tenure [of these letters] whiche I sende vnto you 


1 c. o. drawne 
2 c. o. Serche was made and 
3 c. o. the Copye of this 


4. c. o. to then tent the Kynges 
gracyous pleasure may be known 
drawen according to the sayd 



1535] 


THOl\IAS CROl\I\VELI.. 


411 


hcrin closid ye may pcrceue the complaynt of Robert 
Symondcs of pcrshor in the countie of ,vorcester wherfof 
I hartely desire and pray you groundly to consider and 
pounder the contentcs of the same and callyng the parties 
before you ye be soche ,vaies and meanes as ye can best 
devise examyne the hole circunlstaunce therof and sett 
a fynall ende therin if ye can And if through the obstinacie 
of either of the said parties ye cannot convenyently so do 
then my further desire is that ye \vryte vnto me the truthe 
and playnes of the mater ,vit/I the circumstaunces therof to 
thintent I may theril1 cause sonle meanes to be founde as 
the [case] rightfully shall require ,vherby ye shall do a very 
good and meritorious dede. And thus fare ye hartely ,vell 
at London the xviijth day of July 
Your Frende 
TnO:\IAS CRUl\l\VELL. 
Add. To my louyng frendes Sir John Russell Knyght 
Roger \Vynter John Pakyngton and John Valnpage Esquyres 
or to thre or two of them. 


109. CRO
nVELL (AND AUDELEY) TO SIR JOlIN RUSSELL, 
JOHN PACKIXGTON, AND JOlIN RUSSELL, ESQUIRE. 
Library of \Villiam Berington, Esq., of Little !\-Ialvern Court. Not in CaI. 
July 20 (1535). 
Desires them to survey the possessions of the clergy in the Shire of 
\V orcester according to the King's comlnission, and to send an 
account of their value to London. 


After our right hartye c01nmendacyons where the Kynges 
C0111myssion ,vas dyrectyd vnto you & other for the surveyng 
and taxacion of the clere yerely values of all the possessions 
of the c1ergie in the Shire of Worceter accordyng to a boke 
of Instruccyons assigned wlth the hand of the Kynges highnes 
annexed vnto the said C01.11missyon ,ve signyfie vnto you that 
the Kynges pleasure ys that ye callyng your fello\ves J oyned 
\\y'ith you in C01JZn1yssion shan wit/t all possible dylygens 
accomplysshe theffectes therof And to sende to vs to london 
all the bakes taken by you of the vieu & value of the said 
possessions by one or two suche of your fell owes whiche were 
Audytours of the same before the xijth day of Septembre 
next c01Jzmyng. Not faylyng this to do at your perillo And as 


estatute made in the sayd Fyfte yere afforsayd and that was all that was 
of Kyng Richarde the second as ys done in that matyere by 
Ee2 



412 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


ye entende to advaunce the Kynges pleasure in this behalf. 
And thus fare you \vell. At london the xx th day of J ulye 
THOl\IAS A UDELEY K. Chauncello1tY 
THOl\IAS CRUl\I\VELL. 
Add. To their loving freendes Sir John Russell the yonger 
Knight John pakington Esquicr and John Russell Esquier 
and to euery of theym be this yoven. 
E ,zdd. Wigorn. 


110. CROl\I'VELL TO BONNER. 
Library of Lord Calthorpe. Not in Cal. July 23 (1535).4 
, Begs hin1 to make speed in his journey. Bonner's commission is ready, 
and Mr. Gostwick will deliver to him the Duke of Holstein's letter. 
Mr. Boner I c011lmende me vnto you. Signefieng vnto 
the same that the Kynges pleasure is ye witlt your college 
shall with all spede and possible haste set your selffes forward 
to,vardes thaccomplisshement of your iourney, and cause 
your Ship also to be rigged and made redy so as ye haue 
no cause of Delaye. Your c011Zmission I vnderstonde ye 
haue alredy made and sealed, and touching the Duke of 
Holstes let/ere if ye hane not yet receyued it Mr. gostwike 
shall delyuer it you or to Cauendish according1ie. Prayeng 
you ones agayne to make all thacceleracion and hast 
forwardes that ye can possiblie as ye intende to please the 
Kinges highnes. And so Fare ye well. At Wynchcombc 
the xxiii day of Julie 


Y Ollr Frcend THOMAS 
CR Ul\1\VELL. 
Maister Boner the Ringes highnes nothing dowtyth in your 
\vysedom polyce and discrecyoll But that ye wooll V se YOllY 
Self according to his trust and expectacyoll. 
Add. To his louing [rende Doctour Boner be this youcn 
\v ith sped e. 


111. CROl\l\YELL TO lVIR. RICHE. 
R. O. Ca1. viii. 113 0 . Juiy 29 (1535). 
Desires him to express to the Duke of Suffolk the King's displeasure at 
the 'decay' of certain places, which the Duke affirms he has repaired. 
Urges him to request the Duke to part with certain reversions which 
are desired by the King. 
After my right hertic c011lmendacions these shalbe to 
aduertise you that the kingcs highnes hauyng receyued YOUY 
letteres hathe youcn n1e in c011lmaundement to make you 



1535] 


TIIOMAS CR01IWELL 


413 


ans\ver as here insueth. First touching suche leases as it is 
supposed shoulde be made by the Duke of Suffolke, the 
kinges highnes seyeth that he kno\veth not that the saide 
l)uke or his officers haue made any lease syns the C0111- 
Inunycacion had betwixt thenl of this bargayn, but his highnes 
is certenly infourmed that the saide Duke or his officers haue 
offered to lnake fourth certen leases syns the tyme of the 
saide c01Jlmunycacion had. Whereof his maieste can not but 
Inervaile and for the same conceyueth som ingratitude and 
vnkyndenes in the said Duke if it can so be proved. Secondely 
touching the Decay of E\velme and Donyngton the kinges 
highnes answered that what soeucr the saide Duke hathe 
spent vppon them, it may \vell appere in what decay they 
stonde, and \vho soeucr shall vie\v them shall facilly perceyue 
that grete somes of lnoney will not sufficientlie repaire them 
as his highnes himself \vith his eye hath vewed the saide 
Ewelme at his graces late being there. And for Donyngton 
the house is not onelie in decay but also the keper of the 
same Mr. Fetyplace hath both consumed and distroyed the 
Dere and game there and also \vasted the \voodes in such wise 
as it is thought he hathe not onelie forfaited his patent but 
also right ill deserucd to haue eyther fee or thanke for any 
good service he hathe don there. And semblablie the kinges 
highnes hauing ben at Hokenorton whiche his grace lyketh 
veray \vell can not perceyue ne also his Surueyours sent 
thither can not see how that xv C li should be employed 
there as it is affirmed by the saide Duke, so as it is not vnlike 
but that the saide Duke hathe ben deceyued by his officers. 
And \vhatsoeucr hath ben spent there, yet will it requyre no 
small S01nmes of nloney to repare and buy Ide it after the 
kinges mynde and pleasure whiche \vilbe chargeable to his 
highnes. And touching the game of the red Dere at 
Hokenorton aforsaide, his maiestie Doubtith not but that the 
saide Duke \vill iustefie his couuenaunte and agrement wit/t 
the keper for the keping of lxxx red dere there accordinglie. 
Thirdely concerning the reuersions of the lady Gordon and 
J ohn Verney the kinges highnes perceyuing the conformyte 
of the saide Duke in that behalf and also YOUy travaile and 
diligence In the same gyueth vnto him and you both therefore 
his graces hertie and condigne thankes. Trusting that like as 
his highnes hathe heretofore mynystered grete benefites and 
c01Jlffiodytees vnto the saide Duke, who hathe atteyned this 
degree honour and astate that he now is in by the meanes 
and onely aduauncement of the kinges saide highnes. So the 
saide Duke wilbe contented to departe 'lvitlt the saide reuersions 
frankely and frely to his highnes of his mere lyberalite to 



414 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


extende towardes him, and to permytte his maiestee to haue 
the saide reuersions within his bargayn alredy made as his 
grace thought he had had,onely trusting to his graces bountie 
and goodnes for the recompence of the san1e. Wherein the 
kinges pleasure is ye shalbe playne with the saide Duke, 
vttering and declaring vnto him the good opynyon which the 
kinges highnes hathe conceyved in his conformyte to\vardes 
all his gracious requestes and affairees, and ho\v he of all men 
is thereunto bounde if he do \vell consider the manyfold 
benefites that he hath receyued at the kinges hande. Wherefore 
ye may counsaile him not to gyue any cause or occasion in 
this behalf to the kynges highnes to conceyve any Jalousie or 
mistrust in him but that rather he \vill she\v herein his frankenes 
and liberall herte towardes his maiestie without stycking w,z"tlz 
his grace in so sn1all a matiere And so doing let him be 
assured that like as the kinges highnes heretofore for lesse 
cause youen on the saide Dukes parte, hathe aduaunced him 
to this honour and astate that he now is at, So shall his 
maiestee the rather now be Dryven to consider the frankenes 
and gentill liberalite of the saide Duke in this behalf if he 
frankely do com forwardcs 'with the same. And Fynally 
I pray you on my behalf to say somwhat to the saide Duke 
in this matier alledging vnto him that as I am, alwayes haue 
been, and euer wilbe his graces poure frende so I requere him 
not to stycke with the kingcs highnes in this matier, and pray 
his grace not to doubte but that the kinges highncs wilbe as 
good lorde to him in recompence of the saide reuersions as if 
his highnes Did now parte and couuellaunte witlz him for the 
same aforehand. Wherein eftesones I pray you shew him on 
my behalf that Iny poure and frendelie aduise is that his grace 
shall liberally \vryte to the kinges highnes in this matier so as 
his highnes may thereby pcrceyue the saide Dukes gentill 
herte and naturall zele towardes his Inaieste aswell in this 
as in all other thinges. Which be ye assured in myn opynyon 
shalbe more beneficyall vnto the saide Duke then x tymcs 
so moche lande as the saide reuersions Do amount vnto. 
Requering you so to shew his grace fro me as from hÏ1n that 
wold be as glad of his graces weith and prosp
ryte as anyone 
of his poure frendes. So knoweth our lorde who send you 
well to fare. From the Monastery of Tewkesbury the xxix ti 
Day of Julie. 


Your Freend 
THOMAS CRUl\IWELL. 
Add. To his louyng Frende Mr. Ryche Solycytouy to the 
kinges highnes be this youen. 



1535] 


TI-I01\IAS CRO:YI\VELL 


415 


112. CRO
I'VELL TO THE EARL OF RUTLAND. 


Belvoir Castle r\ISs. Not in Cal. Aug. 9 (1535). 


Desires him to examine a certain warden and his friars, and report the 
result of his investigation to the King. Requests hin1 to apprehend 
Friar John Colsell, and detain him till further notice. 
lVly Iorde after my right hertie c01Jzmendacions these shalbc 
to aduertise your lordship that having receyued your lc/tcres 
and declared the effectes of the same to the kinges highnes, 
\vho for your dyligent aducrtisement of suche thinges as do 
touche his nlaiestie and for YOllr good \vill shewed to\vardes 
the correction of suche transgressones gyueth vnto you his 
graccs hertic and condigne thankcs, F orasmoche as the kinges 
highnes is aducrtesed that the \varden of those Freres \vhich 
haue spoken those sedicious \vordes, is a right honest person 
and that it may be that he is accused by such light persons 
as percase can not iustefie the same, the kingcs highnes there- 
fore requyreth your lordeship to call before you the saide 
warden and all other his Freers and to take som payne 
thoroughlie and exactely to here Debate and examyne the 
matier \vl1h them and their accusers, so as the tre\vth and the 
hole circumstaunccs of the matier may trewlie and substaun- 
cyallie appere in suche \,Tisc as eucry Inan may haue his 
meritcs and desertcs according to good iustice. And of yOUy 
lordeshippes procedingcs in that behalf and \vhat matier ye 
shall Fynde vppon the saide examynacion it may please your 
lordeship to signefie the same witlt the circumstaunces to the 
kingcs high1les or his counsaile, vppon the \vhich aduertisement 
your lordship shall kno\ve ferther of the kinges pleasure. 
Touching the other Frere named Frere John CoIselI vsing the 
decitful arte of magike and astronomye, the kinges pleasure 
is that ye shall cause him to be taken and apprehended and 
deteyn him in \varde vntill ye shall haue other knowlege and 
aducrtisement of the kingcs pleasure in that behalf, and thus 
the holie trynytie prcserue your lordeship in long lif and helth 
with thin crease of honour At Barklay hoornes the ix th day of 
August. 


Your lordeshyppes assuryd 
THOMAS CRUl\IWELL. 


Add. To the right honourable my lorde the ErIe of Rut- 
lande be this yeuen. 



416 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


113. (CRO
1WELL) TO (WALLOP). 
R. 0. 1 CaI. ix. 157. August 23 (1535). 
Instructs hin1 to justify to Francis the King's doings, especially the 
executions of More and Fisher, and to request Francis to support 
Henry in all his actions against the Pope. The King is desirous that 
Melancthon should come to England. 
Sir after my most hertie reco1Jzmendacions these shalbe to 
aduertise you that the xvii th Day of this Moneth I receyucd 
from you a packet of letteres \vhich indelayedlie I delyuered 
vnto the kinges highnes and conferred \vitlt his grace theffecte s 
both of your lettcres and all others \vithin the saide packet 
being directed as\vell to his highnes as to me. And after his 
highnes had with me pervsed the hole contentes thoroughlie 
of your saide Ietteres, pcrceyuing not onelie the lykelyhod of the 
not repairee into Fraunce of Philip Melanchton, but also your 
c011Z11uuÛcacions had witl!' the frensh king vppon your De- 
maunde made of the kinges highnes pencions with also your 
Discrete ans\vers and replicacions made in that behalf, for the 
which his maiestee gyueth vnto you his hertie and condigne 
thankes, Ye shall vnderstonde that his highnes c01Jlmaundid 
me to make you answer in this \vise folo\ving First as touching 
the kynges money his highnes dowtith not but seeing bothe 
the Frensh king and also the grete Maister haue p1"'omised 
you it shalbe depechid ye \\Till as the case shall requyre not 
cease to call vppon them till it be Depeched And ferther 
considering that the saide frensh king vppon YOUy saide 
Demaunde of \he saide pensions so sodaynelye fell into C01/l- 
munycacion with you aswell of his frendeship and humanyte 
shewed to the kynges highnes, alledging that he at all tymes 
hathe answered for the kynges highnes specyaI1y being last at 
Marcelles witlt Pope Clement w'ith other thinges as in your 
sa ide Ietteres appereth, as also concernyng the execuciollS 
lately done here within this real me, The kinges highnes not 
a litle mervaileth thereat, and thinketh it good that as of 
yourself ye take som occasion at conuenyent tyme and opor- 
tunyte to renovate the saide C01lZmunycacyon both \vz"th the 
Frensh kyng or at the least with the grete Maister, sayeng 
vnto them, that where the saide Frensh kyng alledgeth that 
he hath at all tymes ans\vered for the kynges highnes in his 
cause and specyally to the saide Pope Clement at Marcellcs 
affirmyng his p1"'ocedynges to be iust and vpright concernyng 
the Matrymony as ye do \vryte, in that albeit the kynges 
highnes procedinges in all his affairees within this realmc 
being of such equyte and iustnes of themself as they be, nedcth 
1 A copy of this letter is also to be found in Longleat House. 



1535] 


THOf\IAS CROl\1vVELL 


417 


not any defence or assistence ayenst Pope Clement or any 
other foreyn po\ve1', having goddes \vorde and lawes onelie 
sufficient to defende him Yet in that that 1 the said frensh kyng 
hathe as he sayeth ans\vc1'ed at all tymes on the kinges parte, 
he hathe done nothing but the parte of a brother in iustefieng 
and verefycng the trc\vth, and so contynuyng shall Do as 
aperteyneth to a prynce of honour \vhich the kingcs highnes 
doubtith not he hath and \vill do onely in respecte to the 
,.c1'yte and trewth besides the amyte betwixt them both iustlye 
1'cquyring the samc. And concerning thexccucions Done 
\vithin this realme ye shall sey to the saide Frensh I(yng that 
the same were not so mervelous extreme as hc alledgeth, for 
touching 1\11'. 1\Iore and the Bisshop' of Rochester with suche 
others as were cxecuted here, their treasons conspiracies and 
practises secretely practiscd as\vcll \vithin the realme as with- 
out to move and styrre discension and to sowe sedycyon 
\vithin the realme, intending thercby not onclye the distruc- 
tion of the kyng but also the hole subucrsion of his highncs 
realme being explaned and declared and so manyfestly proved 
afore them that they could not avoyde nor Denye it and they 
thereof openly detected and lawfully convicted adiudged and 
condempned of high treason by the Due order of the lawes of 
this realme, it shall and may well appere to all the worlde that 
they having such malice roted in their hertes ayenst their 
prynce and Soutreigne and the totall Distruction of the 
C0111men \veale of this realme, were \vell wOl"thie if they had 
had a thousande lyves to hane suffered x tymes a more terrible 
Deth and execucion then any of them Did suffer. And touching 
suche \vordes as the saide frensh kyng spake vnto you con- 
cernyng how Mr. More dyed and what he saied to his 
doughter going to his iudgement and also what exhortacions 
he shoulde gyue vnto the kynges subiectes to be tre\v and 
obedient to his grace (assuring you that there was no such 
thing) \vhereof the gret IVlaster promysed you a Double at 
length. In that the kingcs pleasure is that ye shall not onelie 
procure the saide double and sende it hither but also sey vnto 
the saide frensh king that the kynges highnes can not other- 
\vise take it but veraye vnkyndely that the saide frensh king 
or any of his counsaile at whose handes he hathe so moche 
meryted and to whon1 he hathe mynystered so many grete 
benefites pleasures and c011lffiodytees shoulde so lightly gyue 
eare faith and credence to any such vayne brutes and fleeng 
tales Not hauyng first knowlege or aducrtisement from the 
kinges highnes here and his counsaile of the veryte and 
trcwth, Affirming it to be the office of a frende hering any 
1 sic. 



418 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


suche tales of so noble a prynce rather to haue cotnpressed 
the bruters thereof to sylence or at the leest not permytted 
them to haue dyvulged the same vntill such tyme as the 
kinges maiestee being so dere a frende had ben aduertesed 
thereof and the trewth know en before he shoulde so lightly 
beleve or allege any suche reporte \vhich ingrate and vnkynde 
Demeanure of the saide frensh king vsed in this behalf 
argueth playneleye not to remayn in his brest such integryte 
of herte and syncere amyte towardes the kinges highnes and 
his procedinges as his highnes alwayes heretofore hathe 
expected and loked for. Which thing Ye may propone and 
all edge vnto the saide frensh king and the grete Maister or to 
one of them \vitlt suche modestie and sobrenes as ye thinke 
they maye perceyue that the kinges highnes hathe good and 
iust cause in this parte somwhat to take their light credence 
vnkyndelye. And where as the saide frensh king sayeth 
that touching such lawes as the kinges highnes hathe made 
he \vill not medle withall alledging it not to be mete that one 
prynce should desire a nother to chaunge his lawes sayeng that 
his be to olde to be chaunged, to that ye shall sey that such 
la \ves as the kingc s highnes hathe made here be not made 
without substauncyall groundes by grete and mature aduise 
counsaile and deliberacion of the hole polycie of this realme 
and are indede no new lawes but of grete antiquyte and many 
yeres passed \vere made and executed within this realme as 
now they be renovate and renewed onlye in respecte to the 
comen weale of the same. And it is not a litle to his highnes 
mcrvaile that the saide frensh kyng euer wolde counsaile or 
aduyse him if in case hereafter any suche like offenders should 
happen to be in this realme that he should rather banyssh 
them then in suche \vise execute them And specyallie con- 
sidering that the saide frensh king himself in C011lmonyng 
\vith you at that tyme not onely confessed thextreme exe- 
cucyons and grete Bruyllie of late don in his realme But 
also that he now intendeth to withdraw the same and to 
revoke and to call home agayn such as be out of his realme 
the kingcs highnes therefore the more straungely taketh his 
saide aduise and counsaile Supposing it to be neyther thoffice 
of a frende nor of a brother that he wold Detcrmyn himself to 
call home into his realme agayn his subiectcs being out of the 
same for speking ayenst the Bisshop of Ronles vsurped auc- 
toryte, and counsaile the kynges highnes to banysshe his 
tray tours into strauoge partes \vhere they myght haue good 
occasion tyme place and oportunyte to \vorke their feates of 
treason and conspiracie the better aga ynst the kinges highnes 
and this his realme. In which parte ye shall somwhat 



1535] 


THOl\IAS CRO!\IJ:WELL 


419 


engreve the nlatier after such sorte as it 11lay well appere to 
the saide frensh king that not onelie the kinges highnes might 
take those his counsailes and cOllzmunycacions both straungely 
and vnkyndely thinking the same not to procede of mere 
anlyte and frendship, but also vsing such polycie and austeryte 
in proponyng the same with the saide frensh king and the 
grete Maister taking such tyn1e and oportunyte as may best 
serue for the sanle, as they may well pcrceyue the kinges 
highnes procedingcs here \vithin this realme both concerning 
thc saide execucyons and all other thinges to be onely groundid 
vppon iustice and the equyte ('If his la\ves \vhich be no ne,v 
la\ves but auncyent lawes maòe and cstablisshed of nlany 
yeres passcd within thi
 realme and no\v renovate and renewcd 
as is aforesaide for the better order \\-'calc and suretie of the 
san1e. And ye may ferther say that if thc frcnsh king and 
his counsaile \\-'ell consyder as they ought to do that it \vere 
rooch better to aduaunce the punysshment of traitours and 
rebelles for their offences then to ponysshe such as do spekc 
ayenst the vsurped auctoryte of the bisshop of Rome who 
Daylie goth about to supprcsse and subduc kynges and prynces 
and thcir auctorytee gyuen to them by goddes ,vorde. All 
\vhich matiers the kynges pleasure is that ye shall take tymc 
and occasion as ye talkyng agayn ,vz'th the frensh king or the 
grete l\Iaister may declare your mynde as before is prescribed 
vnto you. Adding thereunto such nlatier ,\'ith such reasons 
after your accustomed dexteryte & d iscression as ye shall 
thinke most expedyent and to serve best for the kingcs 
purpose, Defence of his procedinges and thc profe of the frensh 
kinges ingratitude she\ved in this behalf. Not Doubting in 
your wisedom good industrie and discrete circumspection for 
thordering and ,\yell handeling of the same accordinglye. 
And touching Melanchton 1 considering there is no lyke- 
lihod of his repayree into Fraunce as I haue well perceyued 
by YOllr letteres, the kynges highnes therfore hath appoyntid 
Cristofer l\lount indelaiedlie to take his iourney ,vhere Me- 
lanchton is and if he come to prevente l\lounsieur de Langie 
in suche wise as the saide IVlelancton his repayre into Fraunce 
may be stayed and dyuertid into England Not doubting but 
the same shall take effect accordynglie. And as to Mr. Heynes 
the kynges pleasure is that he shall go to Parys there to 2 
Ierne and dissiphre the opynyons of the lernid men and theír 
inclynacions and affections aswell to\vardes the kynges highnes 
procedinges as to the bisshop of Rome his vsurped power and 
auctoryte, after such sorte as the kinges saide highnes hathe 


1 c. o. &c. the kynges high 


2 c. o. reside and demoure 



420 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


now wrytten to him by his gracious Ietteres addressed both to 
him and the saide Cristofer Mount 1. Dyrecting them what 
they shall do in all thinges comytted to their charge at this 
tyme As I doubt not they \vill put thereunto their dcvoires 
for the accomplisshn1ent of the kinges pleasure as aper- 
teyneth. And thus makyng an ende prayeng you to vse 
your discression in the proponing of the premisses to the 
Frensh king and the grete Master or the one or both of them 
vsing the same as a Medecyn and after suche sorte that as nere 
as ye can it be not rooch displeasauntly taken Aduertesing 
the kinges highnes from tyme to tyme of the successes thereof 
and of all other occurauntes as the case shall requyre, I shall 
for this tyme bid you most hertelie Fare well &c. Thorne- 
bery the xxiij day of August. 
E 1ldd. Fraunce 


114. (CROJ\I\VELL) TO NICHOLAS OLDISWORTHY. 
R. O. Cal. ix. 241 (i). Sept. 1 (1535). 
Desires him to give up all the possessions of the bishopric of Hereford to 
such persons as the Bishop-elect shall appoint. 
In my harty \vise I cOllzmend Ine vnto you. Aduertising the- 
same that for certayne causes the kinges highnes specially 
movyng, his graces pleasure is that ye shall surcease any 
farther to yntermcdle \vz"th the possessions and landcs be- 
longyng to the Busshopriche of Hereford but that ye suffer 
suche as the Busshop elect shall appoynt to haue the doyng 
of the sanle. And that ye farther suffer the officers appoynted 
by thesayd Busshop to resceyve aswell the next rent due at 
the Fest of thannullciacion of ollr lady last past as all other 
rentes due sithe that tyme. And that ye fayll not thus to do 
as the kinges trust is in you . thus fare ye \-veIl. At Bromham 
the first day of Septe:nber. 
for Nicholas Oldis\vorthye. 


115. (CRO:\I\VELL) TO (THE ABBESS OF WILTON). 
R. O. Cal. ix. 271. Sept. 4 (1535). 
Desires her to act kindly towards his friend \Villiam Nevill in the matter 
of the lands belonging to her lTIOnastery. Nevil} does not wish to sue 
her though he has good cause so to do. 
Madame, after my right harty rec01nmendations vnto you, 
thiese shalbe like as here tofore I have writen vnto you, to 


) c. o. whereby 



1535] 


TIIOl\IAS CROl\IWELL 


421 


desire you to be good lady and frynd to my lovyng frynd 
,\'illiam N evell about the Ferme of Chalke and do such 
rcparacions as belongithe vnto the same according to your 
graunt therof made and that ye will suffer hrm to have and 
enioy such copy holdes as he of right shuld have and holde of 
your Manollr of Seluky belongyng to that your l\lonastery, as 
by sufficient \vrityng and copies therof it dothe more at large 
appere, in suche wise as he may have 110 cause farther to 
complayne oucr you therfore. I cannot persayve any reason 
iust cause or meanes wherby 1 ye mayor shuld deny hym the- 
same. he hathe been, and yet is all \vayes redy to paye his 
rent and do that which ought or shuld 2 apperteyne vnto hym 
to do in th:Ü behalf according to his \vrytyng therefore. 
\Vhich ye refuse and \vill not suffer hym to do 3. I persayve 
the honestie of the man to be suche, that he is veray lothe to 
vexe or sewe you by the order of the C01JlmOn la\ve or other- 
\vise 4, although he hathe good cause even so to do, \vhiche 
if he \vold he may do right well to YOllr inquietacion for 
thadvoydyng [wher Jof I desire you the rather at the contem- 
placion of thiese my Ietteres and for 5 YOllr o\vne quietenes and 
case to graunt hym his right yn the premysses 6. Wherby be- 
sides that ye shall she\ve and declare your self to be one that 
\vill do no pcrsone \'"ronge, and kepe yourselfe in quyetenes 
and rest, ye shall admynester and do vnto me therby right 
thankfull pleasure. The whiche I \vill not forgete semblably 
to requyte. And thus fare ye hartely \vell. At W olfall the 
fourthe day of September. 


116. CRo:\nYELL TO TIlE l\1A YOR AXD CO:\I:\lONAL TV OF 
CA
lBRIDCE. 
Cooper's Annals, i. 372; Cal. ix. 278. Sept. 5 (1535). 
As Chancellor of the University desires that all differences between the 
town and the scholars Inay cease. Requests the J\layor to permit 
the University to continue in the enjoyn1ent of its priviJeges. 
After my moost harty commendacions, Understanding that 
the body of that the U niversitie of Cambridge hath elected 
and chosen nlC to be their hed and Chauncelor, and that there 
is question at this tyme behvene you touching the exposition 
and qualifieng of the Decre Inade the last yeer by the kings 


1 c. o. ye can haue to 
2 c. o. shall 
3 c. o. wherfore and for asmoche 
as 
4 c. o. whiche if he wold he may 


right well do and 
5 c. o. n1Y sake 
6 c. o. in suche wise as he may 
haue no cause eftesones to com- 
playne one you for this matier 



422 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


counsail, for an order to be had ,vithout contencion betwenc 
youe and the U niversitee in Sturberige fa yr, \vhiche decre ye 
have already commaundement for this yere to observe and 
kepe, contending on your part nothing to be comprehended 
under the name of Vitaill, but that \vhiche shuld be presently 
spent in the said faiier, and calling Salmon in barrel, musterde 
sede, fishe, and sl1che other, with an exempcon from the terme 
of vitaill by the name of merchandise, denyeing in like maner 
the said U niversitie to appoint two of their body to ioyne 
,vith t\vo of youe in the serche of 111erchandises there, sayeing 
ther shal non other serche this yere for their parte, but those 
that being of their congregacion the last yere were thenne 
appointed for that purpose, whiche be no\ve departed from 
them and ioyned to youe in the libertie and freedom of the 
towne. Bicause ye knowe that I have been ever desirous to 
establish a quiet order betwene youe, and that with as moche 
favour towards your parte as I might with indifferency and 
justice, And that I doubt not but that ye \vill at tHY con- 
templacon remembre the preservacion of the Kings pea x, 
and use suche a temperaunce in YOllr procedings, as with the 
saufgards thereof I 111ay have cause to rest in your love and 
kindness to\vards me, Being again for myn o\vne parte, moche 
desirous no\ve at the entree to the said Chauncelorship (which 
office with the kings contentacion and pleasure I accepted 
not so moch upon any respecte as to be the rather a meane 
to set a quietnes behvene youe) to have al contencions and 
controversies ceasse on eyther side, tyl direction and final 
order may be taken therein, In the \vhiche I assure youe 
I shal with such celeritee and indifferency travyll, as ye shall 
not perceyve me a partie, but a personage holly bent \vithout 
al respects to the advancement of the common ,veal; I have 
thought good to addresse my let teres unto youe and by the 
same to desire and praye youe, al vayne and frivolous qualifi- 
cacons set aparte, to permyt and suffer the said U niversitie 
for this yere, according to the mynde and entent of the said 
decre, to use and exersise their privileages in the things 
specified, and also to use at their libertie the comen prison 
of the Tolbothe as they have doon and as by their charters 
they clayme to doo, soo as their procede on your part no 
cause of breache of the peax, ,,-herin ye shal serve the king 
as appertayneth, and administer unto me suche thankfull 
pleasure as I shall be gladde to deserve and requite towards 
youe, in like maner 1110st hartely desiring and eftsones praye.. 
ing youe, touching their Civile courte to be kept in the fayr 
or any other thing that may com in to question, so to use 
yourself as I may perceyve you remembre YOllr dueties 



1535] 


1'IiOl\IAS CROl\I\VELIJ 


423 


towards the king in the keping of his pcax, and shc\,"c your- 
sclves gladde to doo unto nle gratitude and pleasure. And 
thus fare youe hartely ,vel. From \Vhofall the fifte day oÍ 
September. 


,\:T our lovying frcend, 
TnoM s CRU:JnYELL. 
Add. To my loving Frcnds the JYlayre and his Brethern 
of the to\vne of Canlbridge, and to every of then1. 


117. CRO
I\\'ELL TO CIIArUYS t. 


Vienna Archives; Cal. ix. 326. Sept. 10 (1535). 
Reports the joy of the Kin
 at hearin
 of the success of the Emperor in 
storming Tunis. Hopes on his return to give Chapuys satisfaction 
in his request to visit the Princess :\Iary. Cf. Letter 1:2 I. 
1\Iagnifice atque observande Don1ine orator pluriulam 
salutem et commendationem. Quem admodunl D. vestra, 
felices et christiano cui que principi speratos cesaree ma tis 
successus non grauatur crebris suis littcris Serenissimo domino 
meo regi significare ita sepe antea ab eius regia mate conceptalll 
toto pectore letitiam, suis nunc reccntioribus litteris eadem 
vcstra D. ingeminauit et quam pulcherrimc adauxit. Ex 
lectione namque turn cesaree ma ti8 turn domini de granuell 
litterarum, que toti christiano orbi saluberrimam diuinitusque 
concessam Tunisii expugnationem describebant tam solido 
gaudio inuictissimus dominus meus rex affectus est, ut si sue 
ipsi mati gloriosa hec obuenisset victoria, n1aiori neutiquam 
affici potuisset nec alium vllum quam qui a deo nunc concessus 
est, tam sancte a cesare susccpte expeditionis euentu sibi 
vnquam pollicebatur. IIanc igitur victoriam omni quidem 
dignam laude, cesaree mati iterum atque iterum gratulatur 
salutaremque rei publice christiane precatur, cui sic ex cordc 
fauet, vt si vIla vnquam occasione, vIlane sua opera, quicquam 
addi poterit, experietur cesarea ma tns me nihil de Serenissimi 
domini mea regis in se affectu, amicoque animo meis antea 
Iitteris vestre D. frustra, aut parum sincere totiens affirmasse. 
Ad id vero quod in suarum litterarum calee vestra D. addic1it, 
vt scilicet, quantum intelligo, bona regia IVla tis venia, sibi liceat 
illic Dominam mariam inuisere iuxta regia pollicita impense 
rogo D. vestram, vt istud suum desiderium velit in meum re- 
ditum defferre, tuncque futurum spero quod tutn hac in re, turn 
aliis omnibus presenti meo sermone vestre do is expectationi 


1 From the-official Record Office transcript. 



424 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


plurimum satisfiet siue feliciter valeat. Ex aula regia apud 
\V olfal die x. septem bris. 


v. D. 


Ex animo amicissim us 
THO
IAS CRUMUELL. 
Add. Magnifico atque observando domino Eustachio 
Chapuysio Cesare ma tis oratorio 


118. (CR01I\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. CaI. ix. 470. Sept. 29 (1535). 
The King desires him to pay half the last year's rent of the bishopric of 
\Vorcester to the Bishop, and the ren1ainder to IV1. Gostwick for the 
King. 
1 I c011lmend me vn.to you. Aducrtisyng thesame, that the 
kynges pleasure and co"zmaunden1ent is, that ye with con- 
venyent spede after the receyt herof, shall content and pay 
vnto my lorde the Busshop of Wissetour the halfe yeres rent 
of the hole Busshopriche due this last yere, and the rest 
to retayne yn YOllY o\vne handcs to the kynges vse Wherfore 
I require you furthewith so to do ,vithout any delay, as the 
kynges trust and expectacion is yn you. Thus fare ye hartely 
\vell. At Wynchester the xxix day of September. 
Postscript. 
I Coulmend me vnto yO\V aduertysing the same that the 
kyngcs highnes pleasure is that of the holle yeres Rent de\v 
to his highnes and levyable at this Fest of Saynt Mychell 
of the yssews reuenews and proffecttcs of the Busshoprych 
of Worcester ye shall Content and paye or Cause to be 
Contentyd (and) payde vnto my lorde the Busshop of 
W oorcester the hole half yeres proffyttl's evynlye to be 
dcuydyd and the residew For the Fyrst hallffe yere to 
be payd to the handcs of Maister goshvyke to the kyngcs 
vse and this ys exprcsslye the kyngcs plesure and so Fare ye 
v
'ell at Wynchester 
lID. CROM\YELL TO THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD. 
R. O. Cal. ix. 485 (i). Sept. 30 (1535). 
Desires her to restore 11r. Tirrell to the possessions from which she has 
wrongfully expelled him. The King wishes to have justice done in 
that cause. 
In my most harty maner I c01l1mend me vnto your good 
ladishippe. And \vher as ther hathe of long tyme depended 
I c. o. In Iny right harty wise 



1533] 


TI-IOl\IAS CROM\VELL 


425 


bet\vene you and this berer Maister Tirrell certayne con- 
traul'rsies, aswell concernyng his clayme to the parke and 
Bailliswikc of Camps, as a certayne copie Holde vVhiche he 
bought in the same Towne, from all the ,vhiche ye haue 
expulsed hym, I shall most hartely desire and pray you at the 
especiall contemplacion herof, to restore hym agayne to 
thesame. Whiche request I make not only vnto you bycause 
I thinke ye haue vpon displeasures conceyved agaynst hym, 
parcase in some part by the mysvsyng of hymselfe to\vardes 
you, done vnto hym, in his expulsion from the same park 
Bailli wike and copie hold and your detyne\ve therof all 
togither ,vronge and Iniurye, but because it should be 
dishonourable to you, to haue the same in open Court of 
Audience tried agaynst you, and likewise displeasaunt to be, 
that \vay disapoynted of YOllr \vill and pleasure, \vhiche as 
I no\ve frendly and frankly write vnto you, bicause that 
I \vold be glad, ye shuld without constraynt do as shall 
apperteyne to your honour, and iustice. So I am enforced 
to aduertise you, as YOllr poore frende, that the kinges highnes 
like a prynce of honollr is mynded to haue iustice procede 
,vithout respect in that cause, Eftesones therfore requyryng 
your good ladiship the rather for my sake without any 
cxtremyte to be good lady vnto hym, \vho I dare affirme wilbe 
glad to do vnto you during his liffe that seruice and pleasure 
that shall lye in his !itle power. As kno\veth god who send 
your good ladiship long liffe and \vell to fare. From 
\Vynchester the last day of September. 
Your ladyshyppis assuryd 
TnO:\lAS CR UM'VELL. 
Add. To the right honourable and my good lady my 
Lady Anne Countes of Oxford by this youen. 
E1Zdd. A let/ere directed from my master to the Lady 
Anne Countes of Oxford. 


120. CROßnVELL TO (ÐAVYE MORGAN KE
lYS). 
R. O. Cal.ix. 486. Sept. 3 0 (1535). 
Requests him to allow John Crede to retain possession of certain lands 
in Cromwell's manor of Rumney in l\'10nn10uth to which he has a deed, 
until reasonable cause can be shown for his ejection. 
Datu111 per Copia1Jz 
I Commend me to yaw. And for Asmoche As I haue 
seene the Deed made (to) John Crede for certeyn Landes 
in my mannoltr of Rompney ca1led the Splottes And other 
)tERRIM.'I.N. IFf 



426 


LETTERS OI
 


[ J 535 


Londes there. Which I take to be a goode Deade. And 
that N otwz'thstanding the said Crede Saithe that ye entend 
to putt hynl From the Same. Wherefore I Requyre you to 
permytt And Suffre hym to holde And kepe the possession 
thereof According to the tennolty of his Deade V ntill Suche 
tyme as Apon youre Aduertisement thereof I maie kno\ve 
A Reasonable Cause. Whie he shuld be putt from the same. 
Att W ynchester the Laste daie of September. 
Your Loving maister 
THOMAS CRU1I'VELL. 


121. CRO:L\IV\TELL TO CHAPUYS 1. 


Vienna Archives; Cal. ix. 484. Sept. 30, 1535. 
Reports the King's joy at the news of the Emperor's success at Tunis. 
Desires Chapuys to postpone a little longer his visit to the Princess 
Mary. cr. Letter 117. 
Magnifice et observande domine orator plurimam salutem 
et con1mendationeln. Litteras quas vestra D. antea ad nle 
dedit grato hilarique semper animo accepi, non mediocremque 
animi letitiam ob id presertim semper attulerunt, quod cesarce 
ma tis successus vt sperandum et christiano reipublice saluti- 
feros, vberrime nunciabant; recentiores vero iste eo nomine 
gratiores aeceptioresque extitere quod succinte atque distincte 
totius expeditionis rerum, temporum atque locorum serienl 
et euentum ab ipso initio in hune vsque diem sic deseribunt 
et ob ipsos oculos ponunt vt eas legendo rebus gestis prope 
modum mihi videar interfuisse, tantaque Serenissimus dominus 
meus rex animi attentione de hiis me referentem audiebat 
vt fraternum eius erga cesaream ma tem affectum et propensum 
quoddam erga publieam quietem studium quam facile fuerit 
agnovisse. Ad id porro quod per ministrum suum vestra 
dominatio mecum agit et de quo statuendo iniectis com- 
perendinationibus se protrahi suspieatur, non possum pro 
mutue nostre eoniunctionis sinceriorisque amici tie vinculo, 
eam non summopere rogare, et pro innata sua prudentia et 
animi equitate, boni consulere velit, quicquid in hoc Domina- 
tionis vestre desiderio deffertur quum nihil interim omittatur 
quod ex Serenissimi domini mei regis honore et dignitate, 
simulque illustrissime domine marie securiori salubriorique 
educatione esse posse videatur, quum maiori cure nemini sit 
quam ipsi Serenissimo patri, qui regie sue humanitatis nimis 
1 From the official Record Office transcript. 



1535] 


THO
IAS CROlVl\VELL 


427 


essct oblitus nisi carissimam filiam paterno complecteretur 
affcctu et aliorum vigilantia sibi in mentem redigi expectaret, 
quod salubritati, atque solatia filie esse posset. Itaque quam 
possunl ex animo dominationem vestram obsecro, vt suum 
istud illustrissin1am dominam n1ariam inuisendi desiderium 
ab amico pectore potius quam vIla necessitate profectum in 
aliud con1nlodius tempus defferre non grauetur, et enim vt fieri 
facile potest de huius illustrissime domine neglecta valctudine 
falso aliquid ad vos deferri, ita a dominatione vestra peto, vt 
affirmanti mihi velit certam habere fidem nihil scilicet cure 
studii, atque diligentic omitti quod ad illustrissime donline 
Marie conseruationem expedire posse vidcatur. Pestis deinde 
sic londini, locisque vicinioribus seuit, vt inofficiosus videri 
posset, quicunque illinc veniens dominam mariam in aere 
aliquc tcmperie agcntem, quam saluberrima, officii gratia 
nunc temporis vellet inuisere. Non grauetur itaque donlinatio 
vestra hoc nlcum responsunl benigne amiceque, vt solet 
interpretari nilque a me prospiciet pretermissum, quod ex 
huius regie ma tis dignitate, Cesaris honore et domine marie 
conseruatione esse potuerit. Sed de hiis in proximum con- 
gressuln colloquemur vberius, et felix valeat vestra dominatio 
cui ex animi sententia, optima queque eucnire prccor . wintonie 
die vltimo scptenlbris 1535. 
E. v. D. 


Ex cordc amicus 
TnO:\IAS CR U
IUELL. 
Add. Magnifico Domino Eustachio Chapuysio Cesaree 
ma tis oratori plurimurn observando. 


122. CRO
I\VELL TO SIR GREGORY D.:\. CASALE. 
R. O. CaI. ix. 240. Sept. 1535. 
Explains, for the Pope's benefit, the reasons for the executions of More and 
Fisher, and describes thenl as nlen proved guilty of high treason 
\Yonders at the Pope's indignation at their just sentence. 
IVlagllijice D01JZine Gregori plurimanl salutem et com- 
rnendaciolle1Jl. Ouae turn ex ferraria turn ex bononia vcstris 
lettcris nuper ad-me scripsistis, sigillatim omnia (ut Inei est 
officii) Serenissimae Regiae Maiestati significaui, in quibus, 
ut multa erant, publicarum rerum cognitionis gratia lectu non 
iniucunda, et vcstri cum DOl1zino Parisiensi habiti sermones 
ipsi probantur, ita non satis demirari potuit, Episcopi Roffenszs 
et Tholnae 
1ori nlortem, pontificis, illiusque curiae animul1z 
adeo grauiter offendisse, ut ex hac re conceptam indignationem 
tf2 



428 


LETTERS OF 


[ I 535 


haud facile possint concoquere, licetqul? lnuictissimae Regiae 
Maiestati mortalium nemini, praeterquc Deo (cum quo actiones, 
consiliaque sua habet qualll maxi me coniuncta)ulla sit factorum 
suorlun reddenda ratio, ne tamen maleuoloru1Jl calumniis, ac 
ueritatis obscuratione, Regium suum nomen istic traducatur, 
quid ea in re actu11t fuerit succincte ad vos perscribam: Post- 
qua1Jt igitur Regia Maicstas bene fauente, ac promouente Deo, 
causam suam publicam eruditissimor1l11t, probatissimorU1Jlque 
totius christianitatis virorul1z, qui nullis passionibus, seu 
affectibus essent obnoxii, consensu, et authoritate tandem 
terminasset, et ad ipsam ueritatem olnni ex parte firmasset J 
coeperunt isti boni viri, quibus res praeter expectationel1Z 
ceciderat, et spes moliendi noua (ut iam animo agitarant) 
praecisa fuerat, in alias cogitationes, syncere parum, ani mum 
intendere, quumq1tc optimus Rex ex uigilantissimi principis 
officio (quod a Deo acceptum sustinet in terris) sui Regni 
quieti, et com modo prospicere, hominumquc rnores multa iam 
parte collapsos in melius corrigere conaretur, istud etiam 
publicum bonun1, quoad fieri per eos potuit, simulatae integri- 
tatis praetextu adnissi 1 sunt, sed nullo cum fructu impedire J 
atque praeuertere, huius eorum sceleris indicia Rex habebat 
perqua1JZ manifesta, sed ut val1a semper floccifecit, et nihili 
habuit, sperans aliquando futurum quod hac sua indulgentia, 
hos viros (quos ut non penitus cognitos nonnunqlla1n antea 
in precio habuisset) ad aliquam frugem, ac mentis sanitatem 
reuocaret, At ipsi, quibus genuina ambitio, sui ipsius amor 
et sapientia quaedam singularis diuersum persuaserat,optimi 
principis benignitate, ac rnansuetudine pertinaciter sunt abusi, 
et ubi publicum Regni concilium (quod parliamenttl11t uocant) 
pro Regni quiete stabilienda, ut ad certa tempora haberetur, 
indictum foret, ceperunt undecunque sollicita cum sedulitate 
clanculu11z exquirere, qua de re tractari, quidquc in hoc 
parIiamcJlto, ut expediens rei publicae agi oporteret, quicquid 
uero alioru11l delatu ex re praeterita rerum usu, uel coniectura 
usque collegissent id statim communibus consiliis trutinabant, 
omnia secus interpretalltes, que Regni quies ac utilitas ex- 
poscebat, eo quidem argumentorU11t et rationum apparatu, ut 
rudi plebeculae non rnulto cum labore potuisset imponi, 
quumqut' ex conscientia parum sana, Regis animum sibi 
offensum suspicarentur, ueriti ne parum commode, audacterquc, 
quod tacite animo moliebantur, tractare possent, ex hiis non... 
nullos delegerunt, quos audaculos aut linguae uelocitate 
promptiores, aut sui studiosos existimarunt cum his anti.. 
qui oris amicitiae occasione ageballt falniliaribusqllc colIoquiis 
excipiebant, ac si quos morbo animi laborantes suae opinion is 
1 sic. 



153j] 


THOl\IAS CROMWELL 


429 


reperissent, in hortl1TI sinum ianl antea conceptU1Jl pectore 
uenenum euomebant, suae erga claementissinlum Regem fidei, 
et obseruantiae, atqllc in ipsam patriam charitatis prorsus 
obliti, Haec dum in uuIgus haberentur passimque sparsa 
promiscue essent, haud somnulenter solertissimus princeps 
perscrutari coepit, quibus fundamelltis tam impia coniuratio 
niteretur, quibusqu(' enutriretur authoribus, luce clarius per- 
spexit, ab hiis integerrimis iuris tantam iniquitatem deriuari, 
quam redarguebant non obscuri testes, ultro, citroq1te missa 
chyrographa, ipsorumquc oris confessio, haec et alia que multa 
iustissimu1Jl principem adegerullt, ut hos rebellcs, ac degeneres 
subditos, in patriam ingratos, communi bono aduersos, publicae 
pacis turbatores, tunlultuosos, impios, seditiososque viros in 
uincula carceresqllc coniecerit, nec id praetermittere poterat, 
nisi patefacta iniquitate, sui officii consul to immemor permittere 
uoluisset, huius sceleris contagionem publica cum pernicie in 
qlla1Jl multos transferri. Carceribus autem nlancipati tracta- 
bantur humanius, atquc mitius qual1l par fuisset, pro corum 
demeritis, per Regem illis licebat proximOrU1Jl colloquio, et con- 
suetudine frui, ij fuerant illis appositi, praescriptique ministri, 
quos a uinclis immunes antea fidos charosq1te habeballt, id cibi 
genus eaqllc condimc1lta, et uestitus ei concedebantur, quae 
eorum habitudini, ac tuendae sanitati, ipsi consanguinei, nepo- 
tes atqllc affines. et amici iudicabant esse magis accommoda, 
CoeterU1Jl tanta Regis mansuetudine, fides, obserua1ltia, ueritas, 
amorque recti apud rebelles istos, proditoresq1tc homines usquc 
adeo exoleuit, ut constanter iniqui esse maluerint, qua1JZ sui 
sceleris poenitentiaRegis bonitatematqllc claementiam experiri, 
et eninl postqua11l certae leges, statuta, atqllc decreta, re prius 
multa deliberatione in omnellt partem discussa, publica parlia- 
mellti authoritate, assensu atquc consensu condita prae- 
scriptaqllt' fuere, et ab omnibus nullo discrimine, repugna1lte 
nullo, ut sancta necessaria toti Regno utilia. et cum uera 
christi religione potissimu1Jl consentientia admissa, atque re- 
cepta sunt, soli isti repugnabant, suae impietatis praesidium 
semper aliqnod fortuitum sibi ex tempore pollicentes, non- 
nunqual1l omissa rerum humanaru1Jt cogitatione se totos 
diuinarU11l contemplationi egregie simulabant addictos, interim 
studia, uigi1ias
 cogitatusque, suos omnes utcunque carceribus 
obnoxii eo intendebant, ut quibuscunque possent [allaciis, 
praestigiosisquc argumentis tam sanctas Regni leges, tantaque 
authoritate firmitas ac rectissitne stabilitas, soli ipsi perni- 
ciosissimae seditionis principes in commune malum eluderent, 
refellerent, atq1tc turbarellt, huius autem tam impiae, perfidae 
ac iniquae affectae uoluntatis extant manifestissima indicia 
extant chyrographa ipsa eorum manu carbonibus, et creta (si 



430 


LETTERS OF 


[ 1535 


quando deerat atrame1ltum) depicta, ultra, citroque clam ab 
ipsis destinata, neque ipsi ibant inficias complures mutua 
acceptas missasque litteras, fuisse in ignem coniectas ut 
taciturn, tutumque suae iniquitatis seruatorem, aliud nihil 
hiis litteris conscriptum erat, qua1Jl quod ad publicam sedi- 
tionem potissimul1l spectaret, sustinere diutius non potuit 
mitissimus Rex istorum culpam tam atrocem, legumque 
examini publico foro et aperto iudicio illos commisit, Laesae 
Maiestatis, ac rebellionis rei reperti sunt, atque damnati, 
supplicium de eis sumptum est longe quiden1 mitius qua1n 
leges, ae iudicia praeseribebant aut eorum culpa exegisset, 
ex quorU11t exemplo ad sanitatem, ad fidem qua1Jl multi 
rediere: Quicunque sana defecatoquc est iudido non obscure 
huie perspicere potest quod praecipitanter pontifex, et curia 
Romana ullam ex hac re animi offensionem conceperit, per 
Regiam Maiestatem non stat, quo minus pontifex in suos 
Cardinales Episcopos eosque omnes, in quos ius ullum sibi 
uendieat, iure suo utatur, non eorum causam suam aestin1at, 
nee offenditur, si pontifex, aut quiuis alius christianus princeps 
ullum de male meritis subditis aut rebellibus supplidum 
exigat: Iterum igitur, atque iterum miratur, pontificem ex 
hac re tantum indignationis anin10 concepisse, sed hane 
indignationem, quam tantopere exacerbare uidetur curia, tunc 
depositam iri putat, quum desierint maleuoli suggerere quae 
falsa sUl1t, quumquc mentiendi uia fuerit illis praeclusa, quibus 
quum nil aeque graue, atquc molestul1l sit, qua11l quod suorU11L 
consiliorU11l tam strenua fundamenta deiecta fuerint, id operae 
precium non exiguum esse ducullt, ut hoc uelamine suas 
technas callide contegallt priuatamquc offensionem, si quae 
sit, pontificis eausam faciant. Non grauetur itaque pontifex, 
si 
egia Maiestas suo Regniquc sui iure, si quando expedit, 
uicissim utatur: Haec itaque omnia turn pontifici, tum 
coeteris omnibus, qui ex hOfla1t rebelliu11l suscepto supplicio 
quicquid offensionis concoeperint sedulo enarrabitis, ut quam 
ex falsa auditione animi molestiam imbiberu1lt, hane uera 
audiendo, multa mentis tranquillitate quandoquc deponant, 
nihilquc omittetis, in eorum qua superius eommenloraui 
enarratione, etenim Regiae Maiestati gratissimu1Jz erit, ne 
ipsa ueritas, ut se habet, maleuoloru1Jz calumniis obscuretur, 
quia si tantum increbuerit mend ax paucorum delatio, ut 
nullus hac in re amplius apud illos sit locus ueritati relictus, 
falsas eorUl1l calumnias quantul1l cum Deo poterit Regia 
Maiestas sustinebit, quae sic Regni sui statun1, resquc omnes 
undequaquc firmitas, stabilitasque habet, sic suorum fidem, 
pectora, et obseruantiam compertam tenet, ut iniuriam 001nem, 
si qua alicunde inferatur, queat non multo cum labore cleo 



J 535] 


TIIOl\IAS CROl\I\VELL 


431 


bene iuuantc, refellere et propulsare. Et bene valete. Ex 
...-\ula Regia apud Brumham Die Septembris :MDXXXV. 
Vestcr bonus amicus 
THOl\IAS CR UM\VELL. 
Add. Magnifico Equiti, DOl1lino Gregorio Casalio etc. 


123. (CROi\I\VELL) TO -. 
R. O. Cal. ix. 241 (ii). (Sept. 1535.) 
The King thanks the recipient for his letter, and for the articles of the 
charge he has given to the inquests, and desires him to act further 
according to his discretion. 
After right harty cOllzmendacion, ye shall vnderstand that 
I have resceyved YOllr lct/cre of the xxvi th day of August witk 
the articles of the charge that ye haue geven to thenquestes 
ther the whiche lettere and articles I have at large shewed 
and declared vnto the kingcs highnes \vho 1 consideryng your 
payne and travaill takyn therin right ,veIl allo\vithe and 
acceptithe your good procedyngcs and doynges in that 
behalfe, yevyng vnto you therfore right harty thankes, 
rcquyryng 2 the same farther like as ye have alredy begonne 
So to procede therin \vithe suche acceleracion and spede as ye 
convenyently may do, accordyng to thexpectacion and trust 
that his highnes hathe in you. And touchyng the enq uestes 
that ye have charged for that purpose all though they be the 
kinges scruauntes and s\vorne for that purpose, yet for asmoche 
as many of theym in some poyntcs perchaunce may be 
offend ours \vill therfore concey 11 and not fynd the truthe in 
eucry poynt. Wherfore the kinges pleasure is that ye well 
consideryng the same may order and devise eucry thyng after 
your discresion, and as ye shall se cause besides theffect of 
the verdictes of thesame enquestes. 
124. CROl\I\VELL TO THE lYrA VOR, BAILIFFS, AND 
BURGESSES OF CAMBRIDGE. 
Cooper's Annals, i. 373; Cal. ix. 615. Oct. 15 (1535). 
As the King has approved his election as Chancellor of the University, he 
desires them to appear at the two yearly leets held by the University, 
and not to deny to the University the use of the King's prison called 
the Tolbooth. 
In my right harty maner I comnlende me unto youe. And 
,vhereas it hath pleased the kings highnes, uppon an election 
passed by the universitie of Cambridge wherin they chose me 
to be their hedde and Chaunceler, to condescende that I shuld 
accepte and take the same, to the intent that all matiers 
1 c. o. for your 2 c. o. you even 



432 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


depending betweene you and them, in contencon and variaunce, 
might b
 rather by my meane and mediacon be finished, and 
soo determyned, as eyther parte myght enjoye such privileages 
as shuld be thought conveniente for them, with the advaunce- 
ment of justice, the quiet and tranquillitie of the common 
weale, Wherin I purpose \vith suche dexteritie to travayl, as 
YOll shall have good cause to think that all respects and 
affecttions laide aparte, I only mynd that \vhich appertayneth 
to the office of a faithfull counsailor. Ye shall understande, 
that forasmoche as I am credibly advertised, that notwith- 
standing the said universitie hath hertefor had not only the 
serche of vitail and the correccon of waightes and. measures 
there, and may by the kings Charters (as they doo and of long 
tyme have doon) kepe two letes in the yerc, to be furnyshed 
with the townesnlen, for the punishment and amerciament 
of suche as shuld be founde offenders in that behaulf, but also 
the use of the kings prisonne there called the T olbothe, for 
the punyshment of all such other offences, as they may by 
their said Charters correct and punish, the rather of perverse 
mynd than othenvise, doo from tyme to tyme, when the 
said letes be summoned, as \vel make slender appearance in 
the same, ne being theer charged, present and amerce the 
offenders, as by virtue of your othe you be boundc; wherby 
the good order to be observed therin is utterly confounded, to 
the great detryment of the publique \veale of the hole towne, 
with the inquietacon of the kings subgiectts abiding within 
the same, As utterly deny them the use of the said prisonne; 
I have thought good, by these my lettres, to desire and praye 
youe, and nevertheles on the kings behaulf for the better 
preservacion of his graces peax, to commaunde youe, not 
only to mak your due appearance in the said letes, and their 
to enquire, present, and amerce the offenders, as hath been 
accustomed, but also bothe to permytt and suffer thenl to 
have the correction of \vaightes and measures, and the use of 
the said prisonne at their liberties, as they have had, \vithout 
your denyal or interrupcon to the contrary, untyl suche tyme 
as the kings highnes shal take finall order and direction in 
all things depending in variaunce or question betweene youe, 
whiche his Majestic wil not fayle to do \vith al speede and 
celeritie. And thus fare youe hartely \vell. From Stepnay, 
the 15th daye of Octobre. 


Your lovyng [reend, 
THOl\IAS CR Ul\l'VELL. 
Add. To my hartcly beloved Freendes the Mayre, Bailieffs, 
and Burgesses, of the towne of Cambridge, and to every of them. 



153.3] 


'TI-IOl\!AS CROlVI\VELL 


433 


123. (CRO
nYELL) TO J OI-IN GOST\YICK. 
B. 1\1. Titus B. iv, ff. 114-5; CaJ. ix. 647. Oct. 20, 1535. 
Finds that Gostwick is charged with the smn of ,[16,032 16s. 8d. due to 
the King frOl11 divers persons, for conveying com out of the realm. 
Desires him to collect as much of it as he can. 


IV1r Gost\vyck. Where ye stande Charged in the Bookes 
of Specialties Betwene you & me made at your furst entrie 
into your Office subscribed \vl:tlz our handes for the Receipt 
of Sixtene Thousande thirty & t\vo poundes sixtene shil- 
lingcs and eight pence, due vnto the l{inges Maiestie by 
diucrse & sundry pcrsonnes, for the Conveyaunce of Corne 
& other thinges out of this Realme contrary to the Kinges 
La\ves, as appereth by the condicions of their obligacions, 
fcmaynyng in your Custodye, And forasmuche as I do vnder- 
stande and perfitely knowe that a grete parte of the said 
SU1llme of xvi m1 xxxii Ii xvi s viii d ys vnlevyable, desperat 
& cannot be had nor recoucred by reason that certain of the 
saide personnes haue certificaths, S01Jlme other fallen in vtter 
decay, by occasion of the grete losses & hynderaunccs that 
they haue susteyned as \vell by See, as Lande, And S01Jlme of 
theinl dedde, f{. not kno\ving of \vhome to be auns,vered 
\Vhereby I haue Considered the same to be mattier of Con- 
science, not intending nor mynding t.o charge you further 
than shall stande with the sanle, nor \vitlt nomore sume or 
sU1lzmes than hath or herafter shall C011lme vnto your handes 
Have therfore thought it good, aswell for your Discharge, and 
myne, As also for the spedy Recoueryng and Receipt of the 
Rest of the Money due by the saide specialties, this to devise 
& wryte, By the same in the Kingcs Maiesties name Auc- 
torizing you, to call all the said parties before you, w'ith all 
seleritie & spede, And by your discrescion, so to vse them, 
That the kinges highnes may be aunswered of the money, 
that by your saide discrescion shalbe thought of verey right 
& Conscience sufficient. Further in the kinges name Auc- 
torizing you by vertue herof, to take newe composicions of 
suche as hath not thcir money in arredynesse. And also by 
the same to deliuer all suche specialties vnto the parties or 
ther deputies, as shalbe proved of fight either to haue Cer- 
tificate or other sufficient Discharge. And this Subscribed \vith 
my hande shalbe vnto you your heires executours & deputies 
sufficient Discharge at all tymes hereafter, for your so doing. 
Wrytten the xx ti day of Octobre the xxvii ti yere of the Reigne 
of our Soucraigne Lorde king Henry the eight. 
Elldd. A minute of a lettre to :ß.l r Gostwyke, to\vching 



434 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


a ne\ve ordre and composicion to be taken with certayn 
persons standing chardged in grete S01JlmeS of monaye vnto 
the kingcs lVIaiestie \vhiche be vnleviable and desperate by 
reason the parties by casualtes be brought to greate poucrtie 


126. CROj\I\VELL TO GARDIKER. 
B. 1\'1. Add. l'vISS. 25,114, f. 110; Cat ix.848. Nov. 19 (1535). 


Urges hiln to work diligently in France for the delivery of the ships at 
Bordeaux. Sends a dozen of Gardiner's orations and a dozen of 
those of the Dean of the Chapel Royal also, for hitn to distribute 
according to his discretion. 
My veray good lorde aftre my moost harty C011lnlendacions 
by maister brian \vhom the kinges highnes at this tyme 
sendeth vnto his good brother the frenche king sufficiently 
instructed to certain purposes, as by his instructions \vherunto 
ye shalbe participant and make him again the semblable to 
yours, ye shal perceyve, ye shai receyve his highnes letteres, 
touching matiers of importaunce, \vhiche as his grace doubteth 
not but ye \vil setfurth ,vith suche dexteritie as shal best 
conduce his desire to effecte 500 his pleasure is ye shat \vitlt 
suche stomak and courage travail w'ith the frenche king and 
his counsail in that pointe touching the delyueraye of the 
shippes as ye maye not onely obteyne the same but also 
declare and she\ve ther\vitlt ho\ve ingrately his highnes is 
handeled therin specially being at this tYlne 500 secrete and 
freendly treatie betwene him and his good brother as there is 
for matiers of soo high consequence, amongcs \vhiche thingcs 
also his grace desireth youe to relnembre the declaracion 
of the french king of thartic1es sent by Melancton, luthers 
epistle in the same, \vl:th thother circullzstances conteyned 
in the copies lately sent vnto you. Ye shall also receyve 
herwith a dosen of your orations and another dosen of the 
deanes, \v hiche the kinges pleasure is ye shall by thad uise of 
]\tIre brian and Tvlaister Wallop destribute to suche pcrsounes 
there as amongcs youe ye shal think convenient. In \vhiche 
treatie to be had concernyng the shippes ye may not forget 
to inculce what J oye the subgiettes here conceyved for his 
recouerye in the procession, and howe they bee again sithens 
stayed vppon this staye of the shippes whiche hath indede 500 
contrary a countenaunce to our doinges as it is no l11crvayl 
thoughe they be abasshed at it. And this rnatier the kinges 
highnes woll haue you chiefly prosecute, leving to Sir John 
Wallop only the sute for the moneye, bicause the prolnyse 
therof was made vnto him. And thus I pray god sende your 



1535] 


TI-IOl\lAS CROM\VELL 


435 


lordshipp \vell to fare. From the Rulles the xix th daye of 
N ouembre 


Y ollr lordshippis assuryd 
TnOl\IAS CRUl\1\VELL. 
Add. To my veray good lorde my lorde of Winchestre 
the kinges highncs Ambassador at this tyme \vitlt the french 
king. 
E Ildd. From the Roulles the xix th of N ovembre. IVIr. 
Secretary 


127. CROl\1\VELL TO GARDINER AND \VALLOP. 
B. ::\1. Add. 1\155. 25,114, f. 23 2 ; Cal. ix. App. 8. Dec. 7 (1535). 
Desires them to discover the real inclination of the French King, and to 
ascertain whether they ha\"e any secret plans on foot. Gives a list of 
the sums of money due to the King. 
Aftre my moost harty c01Jlmendacz"ons \vitlt like thankcs 
for your gentle Ietteres and aduertisementes of the Occurrantcs 
there, ye shal at this tyme receyve the kinges highnes Ietteres 
answering to yours of the xxviii th of N ouembre The contentes 
\vherof as his highnes doubtcth not but ye wil duely consider 
and accomplishe tempering neuertheles the san1e in suche 
sorte, as your \visedomes shall think maye best serue to 
thentertaynement of thamytie bet\vene his grace and the 
frenche king, and the conducing oí his graces desire to effecte. 
Soo his highnes specially desireth youe to endeuour YOllrselfes 
by all the meanes ye canne possibly deuise and excogitate 
to explore serche and kno\ve the veray inclynacion of the 
frenche king and whither the frenchemen haue any pryvie 
practises in hande, and of the lightly\vod of the successes of 
the same \vith suche other occurrantes as shall chaunce to 
C011lme to your kno\vleage to aduertise his highnes, as I shal 
for my parte desire youe to doo to me the semblable as the 
tyme and hast of your dispeches \vil give you leave. The 
treatie belli offensiui ratified at An1yans I sende vnto youe 
herwith, ..L\nd as c01Zcernyng thacconlpt of the money due to 
the kinges highnes First there is due to his grace 11\1 11 cro\vnes 
lent to the duke of Bavier for the whiche the frenche king 
standeth bounde by obligacion. Item IM ll crownes lent at 
his request for the assistence of the duke of Wittenberge, for 
the whiche they haue non acquietance, but \vere bounde by 
promyse to repaye it in cace there ensued no good successe 


1 . 
1. e. 50,000. 



436 


LETTERS OF 


[1535 


of themployment of the same whiche condition and con- 
venaltnt is without question determyned. 
Item there is due vnto his grace the hole pencion and salt 
moneye for the last yere ended at N ouembre. 
And wheras the kinges highnes in these his letteres nowe 
sent vnto youe hathe cOl1zmaunded youe Mr. wallop to presse 
thempcrours, Ambassadolt1'" for your declaration to the denyal 
of thouertures, like as I writing by his graces cOl1zmaundement 
vsed the same terme, for declaracion of yourself, to thintent ye 
shal not thinke that anything is further ment therby thenne 
to haue youe vse that worde to him to ex torte \vhat ye canne 
in that matier, his highnes cOl11maunded me in this sorte to 
expounde the same vnto youe. And thus moost hartely fare 
youe well. From Richemont the vii th of decembre. 
The kinges highnes specially desireth youe to ren1e1Jzbre his 
cOllzmandement touching the delyuerance of the shippes 
Y 0111" assuryd F reend 
THO:\IAS CRuJ\nvELL. 
...4dd. To myn assured frendcs l\'Iy lorde of \Vinchestre 
and sir John \Vallop knight the kingcs Ambassadours in 
fraunce. 
Eudd. From Richemonde the vii th of decembre. Mr. 
Secretary. 


128. CRO:\I\VELL TO GARDINER. 
B. 1\1. Add.1\ISS. 25,114, f. 234; Cal. ix. App. 9. Dec. 7 (1535). 
Has been unable to obtain a copy of the treaty which he promised to 
send, and thought it better to postpone sending it than to delay the 
bearer. The King desires hhl1 to labour for the delivery of the ships. 
Aftre my 11100st harty C01Jln1endacions to your lordshippe 
Thise shalbe to aduertise youe that Albeit in lnyn other letteres 
writen ioyntly to youe and Maister Wallop I haue signified 
that ye shuld by this berer receyve the treaty belli offensiui 
,vhiche ye \vrote for, yet having here suche busines that 
I could (not) departe to london to cause the same to be 
copied, I thought it more expedient to differre the sending of 
it vntil ,ve shal dispeche another currour vnto youe, thenne to 
demore your seruaunt here tyl I might hane goon to london 
for that purpose. And \vheras your said scruaunt hath de- 
clared vnto me YOlll'" credence concernyng your necessitie of 
money, I shall not fayle by the next rnessanger to take 
suche direction \v'ith youe for the satisfaction of your desire 
in that parte as ye shall haue cause to be contented. The 
kingcs highnes desireth youe to labour effectually (for) the 



1535] 


TI-IOlVIAS CROlVI\tVELL 


437 


delyucrance of the shippes at Burdeulx according to suche 
instructions as ye haue in that behaulf. And thus moost 
hartely Fare youe ,veIl. From Richemonte the vii th daye of 
Decembre in hast 


Your lordshippis assuryd Freend 
THOMAS CRUl\I\YELL. 
Add. To my veray good lordc my lorde of vVynchestre 
the kingt's Ambassadour in fraunce. 
Elldd. From Richemonde the vii th of decembrc. l\'[r. 
Secretary. 


129. CROM\VELL TO THE M.A YOR, ALDER
lEN A:KD 
BAILIFFS OF CA::\IERIDGE. 
Cooper's Annals, i. 377; CaI. ix. 977. Dec. IS < 1535). 
l\Iarvels that they have not complied with his requests that the University 
be permitted to use the Tolbooth, and desires them to delay no 
longer. \Yill see that justice is done in all respects. 
In my right harty maner I comcnde me unto youe. Lating 
you wit that I cannot a little nlarvayle to understand that 
not\vithstanding my sundrey lettres hertofor addressed unto 
youe, tuching the permission of the use of the Tolboth, the 
furniture of the Universitie leates, the advoyding of ne\ve 
practises