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Full text of "Life and letters of Thomas Cromwell"






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Ex Libtis W. P. M. KENNEDY 




THOMAS CROMWELL 

FROM A PIOTTJRB Ttt THB BODLKTAN LIBRARY 



LIFE AND LETTERS OF 
THOMAS CROMWELL 

BY 

ROGER BIGELOW MERRIMAN 

A.M. HARV., B.Lnr. Oxox. 



\VITH A PORTRAIT AND FACSIMILE 



VOL. I 

LIFE, LETTERS TO 1535 



OXFORD 

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 

1902 




DEC 2 1940 



HENRY FROWDE, M.A. 

PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 

LONDON, EDINBURGH 

NEW YORK 



PREFACE 

THIS book is an attempt to present the life of 
Thomas Cromwell as a statesman, and to estimate 
his work without religious bias. Though it would 
certainly be difficult to overrate his importance in the 
history of the Church of England, I maintain that 
the motives that inspired his actions were invariably 
political, and that the many ecclesiastical changes 
carried through under his guidance were but incidents 
of his administration, not ends in themselves. Con 
sequently any attempt to judge him from a distinctively 
religious standpoint, whether 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, with 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 which 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 
were either a mere nothing, or else totally subordinate 
to political considerations. 



IV 



PREFACE 



It has been justly said that Cromwell s correspond 
ence is our chief source of information for the period 
immediately following the breach with Rome. To 
transcribe in extenso the letters he received would be 
almost the task of a lifetime ; 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 well 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 which have neither been 
printed nor calendared before. The rules that have 
been observed in transcription will be found in the 
Prefatory Note (vol. i. p. 311). The Calendar refer 
ences to the more important letters received by 
Cromwell, where they bear directly on those he wrote, 
are given in the notes at the end of the second 
volume. 

My warmest thanks are due to Mr. F. York Powell, 
Regius Professor of Modern History in the Univer 
sity of Oxford, who has guided me throughout in 
matter, form, and style ; and to my friend and master 
Mr. A. L. Smith, Fellow of Balliol College, whose 
advice and encouragement have been an inspiration 
from first to last. It is not easy for me to express 
how much I have depended on their suggestions and 
criticism. I am indebted to Mr. Owen Edwards, 
Fellow of Lincoln College, for indispensable help in 
the early stages of my work. The main plan of this 



PREFACE v 

book is in many respects similar to that of his Lothian 
Essay for the year 1887, which I regret that he has 
never published. My grateful acknowledgements are 
also due to Mr. James Gairdner of the Public Record 
Office for information about Cromwell s early life ; to 
Professor Dr. Max Lenz, of the University of Berlin, 
for helpful suggestions in connexion with the Anglo- 
German negotiations in the years 1537-40; and to 
Mr. G. T. Lapsley, of the University of California, for 
similar services in regard to the Pilgrimage 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, William Berington, Esq., 
and Alfred Henry Huth, Esq., in giving me access to 
the manuscripts in their private collections. 

In conclusion, I wish to thank the officials of the 
Public Record Office, British Museum, Heralds Col 
lege of Arms, and Bodleian Library, for facilitating 
my work in every way ; more especially Messrs. 
Hubert Hall, R. H. Brodie, E. Salisbury, and F. B. 
Bickley, who 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. M. 

BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD. 
February, 1902. 



A 

334 

-C3IA5 

IM 






CONTENTS 

VOLUME I 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THE ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE OF THOMAS 

CROMWELL i 

APPENDIX. PASSAGES FROM CHAPUYS, POLE, 
BANDELLO, AND FOXE 17 

II. THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 27 

III. WOLSEY S SERVANT 47 

APPENDIX. THE WILL OF THOMAS CROM 
WELL .... 56 
IV. THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 64 
V. THE CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY OF 

THOMAS CROMWELL . . 77 

VI. IN THE KING S SERVICE 89 

APPENDIX. THE SUPPLICATION OF THE 
COMMONS AGAINST THE ORDINARIES . . 104 

VII. INTERNAL POLICY 112 

VIII. IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS . . 147 

IX. THE MONASTERIES . * 6 5 

X. THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE, 1536 . . .180 

XL CARDINAL POLE 202 

XII. THE FOREIGN POLICY -213 

XIII. THE CATHOLIC REACTION AND THE AL 
LIANCE WITH CLEVES . .242 

APPENDIX. REPORTS OF THE LUTHERAN 
AMBASSADORS TO ENGLAND IN 1539 AND 
1540 .... 



viii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XIV. THE FALL OF THOMAS CROMWELL . .281 

APPENDIX. PASSAGES FROM FOXE: CROM 
WELL S SPEECH AND PRAYER ON THE 

SCAFFOLD 303 

XV. THE WORK OF THOMAS CROMWELL . . 305 

PREFATORY NOTE TO CROMWELL S LETTERS . .311 

CROMWELL S LETTERS : 1523-30 . . 313 

J53 1 - . . 335 

!53 2 . ; . . . 343 

1533 . 352 

v X 534 ... . . 372 

, . . 396 



VOLUME U . 

CROMWELL S LETTERS : 1536 . . . . . i 

i537 ... 50 

1538 . . . . . in 

1539 . . . -. . 166 

1540 244 

AN ITINERARY OF THOMAS CROMWELL, 1523-40 , 279 

A LIST OF THE MINOR PREFERMENTS OF THOMAS 
CROMWELL, AND A DESCRIPTION OF HIS -ARMS 

AND CREST / . . ... . . . . 283 

NOTES TO LETTERS . . . . . . 285 

LIST OF AUTHORITIES . . . . . . 313 

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . 319 

ILLUSTRATIONS 

PORTRAIT OF THOMAS CROMWELL . Frontispiece to vol. i 
FACSIMILE OF A LETTER FROM THOMAS CROMWELL 

TO LORD LlSLE, AUG. 30, 1538 . Frontispiece to vol. ii 



LIFE OF THOMAS CROMWELL 

CHAPTER I 

THE ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE OF THOMAS CROMWELL 

THE manor of Wimbledon comprises the parishes of Wim 
bledon, Putney, Roehampton, Mortlake, and East Sheen, and 
parts of Wandsworth and Barnes l . In West Saxon times it 
was one of the estates of the see of Canterbury, but after 
the Conquest it was seized by Odo, the high-handed Bishop of 
Bayeux: in 1071, however, it was recovered by Lanfranc, and 
with one trifling interruption in the reign of Richard II, it 
remained in the possession of the archbishopric until 1535. 
In that year Cranmer surrendered it to Henry VIII in ex 
change for the priory of St. Rhadegund in Dover, and a little 
later the King granted it to Thomas Cromwell 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 were 
probably lost or destroyed during the Wars of the Roses. 
After 1461, however, they are continuous, with the exception 
of the years 1473 an( ^ J 474- 

An entry in these rolls, written 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 Magazine, Aug. Manor, 15 Edw. IV. These rolls 

1882, vol. ii. p. 57. are now in the possession of Earl 

a Manning and Bray, History Spencer, lord of the manor. They 

and Antiquities of the County of were made accessible to me through 

Surrey, vol. iii. p. 268. the courtesy of his steward, Mr. 

3 Court Rolls of Wimbledon Joseph Plaskitt. 

MERRIMAN. I B 



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 
well, whence did he come, and how did he acquire this double 
name? 

The Cromwell family did not originate in Wimbledon. 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 Nottinghamshire, surrendered his right in Parkersplace, 
Kendalsland and other property there to Master 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 5 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 Norwell 
some time before 1461. There is plenty of evidence in 
the Court Rolls to show that Walter Smyth alias Cromwell 
was the son of John Cromwell, and the entry of 1475 proves 
that they were both in Wimbledon in that year. The family 
in Nottinghamshire from which they sprung was well-known 



The original entry reads : 
Johannes Cromwell films et heres 
^Nilelmi Cromwell nuperde North- 
well in comz /a^ Nottingham re- 
misit totum jus c. in quodam 
messuagio vocattf Parkersplace et 
in quodam tofto et v acris temze 
et in uno tofto cum crofto et vii 
acris terrae dudum nuper vocatis 
Kendalisland et in viii acris terrae 
et dimid/0 jaczntidus in villa et 



campis de North well magz .y/ro 
johanni Porter prebendario pre- 
bende de Northwell voc/<? pre- 
bende de Palishall in eccl^ria 
collegzY bmtae Marine Suthwell et 
successortbus 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 well-off; both John Cromwell s father William and 
his grandfather Ralph were persons of wealth and position 
there 1 . 

Several entries in the Court Rolls indicate that John Crom 
well s wife was the sister of a certain William Smyth, who is 
often mentioned as William Smyth armourer/ and sometimes 
as William Armourer. It seems probable that this William 
Smyth came with John Cromwell to Wimbledon from Nor- 
well, 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 Walter was apprenticed to him 
during his younger days, and so acquired the name Smyth. 

Walter Cromwell grew up as a brewer, smith, and fuller in 
Putney. He had an elder brother named John, who moved 
to Lambeth 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 Wimbledon, and appears to have been a most quarrelsome 
and riotous character. Most of the entries in the Court Rolls 
concerning him are records of small fines incurred for petty 
offences. Forty-eight times between 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 was fined as aforesaid. There is also record 
that he was not seldom drunk. In 1477 a penalty of twenty 
pence was inflicted on him for assaulting and drawing blood 
from William Michell, and he and his father were very often 
brought before the court on the charge of * overburthening 
the public land in Putney with their cattle, and cutting more 
than their share of the furze and thorns there 3 . But in spite 

1 Dods. MSS., vol. xi. pp. 193 a, 2 Cf. Appendix I at the end of 

248 a ; vol. xxxvi. p. 103. Thorold this chapter. 

Rogers, in his Histoiy of Agriculture 3 The following are some of the 

and Prices, vol. iv. p. 3, refers to more common entries concerning 

Ralph Lord Cromwell as one of the Walter Cromwell : 

richest men of the fifteenth century. Presentant quod Gualterus 

B a 



4 THOMAS CROMWELL 

of all these petty misdemeanours, Walter Cromwell appears 
to have been a man of property and influence in Wimbledon, 
and the Court Rolls" in 1480 show that he then possessed two 
virgates of land in Putney parish. To these were added six 
more virgates in 1500 by grant of Archbishop Morton l . 
Walter Cromwell was also made Constable of Putney in 
1495 2 , and his name constantly occurs in the Court Rolls 
as decenarius and juryman 3 . Towards the end of his life, 
however, his character appears to have become 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 V This is the last mention 
of the name of Walter Cromwell 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 

Cromwell est communis braczator 20 May, II Hen. VII : ~Elegerunt 

de here et fregit ass/jam and in officz co;zstabul<2rz z de Putten- 

quod Gualterus Cromwell et . . . hith Gualterum Smyth qui )\irafus 

sunt communes tipellarn seruisie est in eodem offic/0. 

et fregerunt ass/ram ideo ipsi in 3 As by an entry of 20 May, 

imsericordia. vid. (Court Rolls, 19 Hen. VII : Gualterus Smyth et 

17 Nov., 10 Hen. VII ; 17 Oct., 15 ... ibidem jura// presentant ownia 

Hen. VII ; 28 Oct., 17 Hen. VII). b^ne. 

Item presentcmt quod Gualterus 4 The entry in full reads : ( Item 

Smyth alias Crumwell nimis exces- presentant quod. W . . . Crumwell 

s/z/e supount communam pas/z/- alias Smyth false et fraudulent^ 

ram dommi . . . cum avz z s suis ad rasuravit evidence et terrures 

commune nocumentz/wz ideo ipj-e dommi in diverszs parcelh s ad per- 

in mlsericordfa vi d. turbac/o/zem et exheredacz owem 

< Item presentant quod j Gualterus dommi A tenenciuw ejus ut plenius 

(Johannes apparet in eisd<?m. laeo co//so- 

Smyth de Puttenhith succidz/wt lendz/;;z est cum domino et medio 

spinas in communa. pasher^. domi\\\ temporz prefatum est bidell<? seisir^ 

apud Puttenhith. Ideo ip^i in in mam^y dommi om^ia terras et 

rmsericordiz. iiiid. (Court Rolls, tenement sua tenta de domino per 

28 Oct., 17 Hen. VII). copiam, et de exitz* eorum dommi 

L Court Rolls, 20 Edw. IV and respondere (Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 

16 Hen. VII. 6 Hen. VIII ; also Extracts, p. 74). 

1 According to the record of 5 Cal. vi. 696. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 5 

in Putney at the house of an attorney named John Welbeck, 
at the time of her marriage with Walter Cromwell in 1474 1 ; 
but we have no evidence that these assertions are incorrect. 
At least two daughters and one son were born to Walter 
Cromwell. He may have had other children, but as there 
was no registration of births, marriages, or deaths in England 
until 1538, we can only be certain of these three, of whom 
there are mentions in the Court Rolls and in other contem 
porary records. The eldest daughter Katherine, who was 
probably born about the year I477> g re w up and married 
a young Welshman named Morgan Williams 2 , whose family 
had come to Putney from Llanishen in Glamorganshire. The 
Williamses were a very important family in Putney, and John, 
the eldest of them, was a successful lawyer and accountant, 
and steward to Lord Scales, who was then in possession of 
a residence and some land in Putney parish. The youngest 
daughter of Walter Cromwell was named Elizabeth. She 
married a sheep-farmer named Wellyfed, who later joined 
his business to that of his father-in-law 3 . Christopher, the 
son of Elizabeth Cromwell and Wellyfed, grew up and was 
later sent to school with his cousin Gregory, son of his 
mother s brother Thomas 4 . We are now in a position to 
examine the many conflicting statements concerning the son 
of Walter Cromwell, the subject of this essay. 

The traditional sources of information about Thomas Crom 
well s early life are the characteristic but somewhat confusing 
stories of the martyrologist Foxe, 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 written November 21, 1535, and a few scattered 

1 Antiquarian Magazine, vol. ii. concerning Morgan Williams, they 

p. 178. are without value, and for the most 

a Cal. iv. 5772. Cf. also Noble, part have been superseded by docu- 

Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 4-5, 238-241. mentary evidence, discovered at a 

The statements in Noble about the later date. 

Williamses and Crom wells are most 3 Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 5 Hen. 

confusing and contradictory. Ex- VII, and Cal. iv. 5772. 

cept for the information afforded 4 Cal. iv. 5757. 



6 THOMAS CROMWELL 

statements in the chroniclers of the period. To these were 
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 family 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 him under another 
appellation, and hits upon that of Thomas Smyth as the most 
likely, owing to the fact that his father was called by both 
surnames. He finds two 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 Williams, 
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 Thomas Smyth came to the court 
and surrendered into the hands of the lord two whole virgates 
of land in Roehampton, one called Purycroft and the other 
called Williams, to the use of David Doby, his heirs and 
assigns V Mr. Phillips has made these entries the basis 

1 Antiquary for October, 1880, manus dommi duas mtegras 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 

The original entries read as opz/J Thomae Smyth heredz/;;z et 

follows : assignaforum (Court Rolls, 26 Feb., 

i. Ad hanc cuu am venit Riazrd- 19 Hen. VII). 

us Williams et sursft7;z redzWz/ in 2. Ricardus Williams fecit injul- 



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 our 
subject, but his whole case hangs on the assumption that 
Thomas Smyth and Thomas Cromwell were one and the 
same man, and until he can prove this ingenious but some 
what 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 
which assert Cromwell 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 Cromwell left England at that time. 
To corroborate this last theory he refers to the story 
of Chapuys that Cromwell was ill-behaved when young, 
and was 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 Cromwell than what we have already 
stated V 

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 Thomas Cromwell are 
identical. * Thomas Smyth, as a very cursory examination 
of the Court Rolls will show, is mentioned therein every year 
from 1493 to I 5%9 (inclusive), except in 1494 and 1516. As 
there is certain evidence that Thomas Cromwell was in other 
places during many of the years that Thomas Smyth was in 
Wimbledon, 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? 

ttim Thomae [Smyth] et eundem virgata vocata Purycroft et alia 

Thomam verberavit contra, p&cem virgata vocata Williams ad opz^y 

domim Regis . . . * Ad hanc Davidii Doby heredzwz et as- 

curiam venit Thomas Smyth et signatorum (Court Rolls, 20 May, 

suicsutn redidit in mam/j &omim 19 Hen. VII). 

duas i^tegras virgatas terrae in x Antiquarian Magazine for Oo 

Rokhamptone . . . quanm una tober, 1882, vol. ii. p. 183. 



8 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



Or Is the Thomas Smyth 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 mentioned twice 
in any of the lists of the Homage or Frank Pledge. More 
over had there been two Thomas Smyths, one of whom was 
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 Foxe and to disbelieve all 
their stories, because of the undoubted confusion of dates 



1 It 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 
royall Majestye, and clerke of the 
Quenes Graces Counsell, 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, must we 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 
with implicit faith the statements of these authors, but let 
us not cast them aside as utterly worthless. 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. 

None of the different accounts sheds any light upon the 
date of Cromwell s birth, but it is doubtful if it occurred later 
than 1485, in view of his probable age at the time of his 
sojourn abroad. That he had a quarrel with 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 when young, together with the many entries in 
the rolls concerning the tempestuous and disorderly conduct 
of Walter Cromwell, all point to the truth of this story l . 
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 which is borne out by the tales of Bandello 
and Foxe that he was at the battle on the Garigliano (Dec. 
28-39, 1503), in the service of the French army 2 . The 
well-known 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 
Cromwell was intimate with an Italian of that name 3 . Some 

1 See Appendices I and III at maybe a mistake for Marignano 3 
the end of this chapter. is scarcely plausible. The great 

2 See Appendices II and IV at victory of Francis I occurred in 
the end of this chapter. The 1515, when there is every reason 
suggestion of Mr. Galton (The to suppose that Cromwell was in 
Character and Times of Thomas England. 

Cromwell, p. 22) that Garigliano 3 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 
witnesses agree that he went there, and of the evidence afforded 
by his wide acquaintance with Italians, and by his knowledge 
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 well. 
Bandello informs us that Cromwell 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 was 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 Cromwell 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 indulgences by which the severe rules 
concerning Lenten observances might be relaxed ; and passing 
through Antwerp he fell in with Cromwell, 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 1510 l . 

The fact that this tale so active as Cromwell s agent, 

concerns itself with Foxe s native and as Survey or- General of the 

town of Boston increases the pro- King s purchased lands. Cf. Cal. 

bability of its authenticity. It xii. (ii), 490, 783, 835, 852, 857, 

was probably this same Geoffrey and Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. 

Chambers who in later years was p. 168. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 11 

This story seems to indicate that Cromwell went to Italy 
a second time. It fits in well with Pole s statement that after 
his military experience he became first a merchant, and then 
a clerk to a Venetian trader. The absence of any trustworthy 
chronology, however, prevents us from regarding any of the 
accounts of these different writers as really historical ; and 
when at last we meet with a date on which we can rely, it 
is most tantalizing to find that the evidence which is afforded 
us in connexion with it is of such a nature as to leave us 
almost as much in the dark as before. In a letter written in 
June, 1536, a certain mercer, by name George Elyot, addresses 
Cromwell as follows l : Ryght onourabyll sir my dewty Con- 
sethered as to youre Masterscheppe apertayneth that hyt may 
piece your Masterscheppe For the love off god to Exceppe 
my Rewd Maneres in thes behalf of wrytyng vnto you butt 
hyt ys onely to schowe yowre Masterscheppe my pore mynd 
furste for the onour of god & secondly For the god love & 
trew hartt that (I) have howtt vnto you sensse the syngsson 
Martt at medelborow in anno 1512. This quotation does 
not prove that Cromwell was 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 Low 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, 
1512, and endorsed, in a hand which certainly resembles that 
of Cromwell s later correspondence, The tytle of the manour 
Whityngham for Mr. Empson V The endorsement may of 
course be of a very different date from that of the document 
itself ; still the evidence which it affords is not utterly value 
less, especially as another reason for supposing that Cromwell 
returned to England in 1512, or soon after, is afforded by the 
fact that his marriage must have taken place about this time : 

1 Cal. x. 1218. z Cal. i. 3556. 



12 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the age of his son Gregory being such that it could scarcely 
have occurred much later. The State Papers of 1513 give 
us more information . concerning the early life of Thomas 
Cromwell than those of any other year up to 1523. The 
sum total of the evidence which they afford seems to indicate 
that he was 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 wife, to whom Chapuys refers as the daughter 
of a shearman, was Elizabeth Wykys, descended from one of 
an ancient family of esquires, who was gentleman-usher to 
Henry VII 1 . A reference in Cromwell s will of July 12, 
1529, to one Mercye Pryo//r as his mother-in-law 2 has led 
some writers to suppose that he married Elizabeth, daughter 
of Sir John Pryor, and widow of Thomas Williams, a Welsh 
gentleman ; but a letter to Cromwell from one Harry Wykys 
of Thorpe, near Chertsey, dated November 2, 1523 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 was the mother of Elizabeth 
Wykys by her first husband 4 . Cromwell s wife was 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 Cromwell s property increased so 
fast during his years of service under Wolsey, 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, which shows that he plied his trade as 

[ Appendix I to this chapter; Pryor both had rooms in Crom- 

Antiquary for Oct. 1880, vol. ii. well s house, at Austin Friars Gate, 

p. 164. where he lived after the year 

2 Appendix to chapter iii. p. 59. 1524. Before that date he resided 

3 Cal. iii. 3502. near Fenchurch (Cal. iii. 2624 ; 
* Mr. Pryor and Mistress iv. 3197). 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 13 

a cloth and wool merchant at least as late as 1524. There 
can be little doubt, however, that he continued his business 
as a solicitor at the same time, for it would be impossible to 
explain his sudden advance in legal prominence in the years 
1520 to 1525, if he had not had long practice in the law 
beforehand. The strange combination of employments in 
which Cromwell was engaged fitted in well with the peculiar 
versatility of the man, and brought him into close contact 
with diverse sorts of men, in diverse conditions of life. A 
more detailed account of his career during the seven or eight 
years which followed his probable return to England it is 
impossible to give, for between 1512 and 1520 there occurs an 
other extraordinary gap in the life of Thomas Cromwell, during 
which we do not possess a single trustworthy contemporary 
record concerning him. In 1520 there is certainly evidence 
that he was known to Wolsey, 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 Wolsey appointed Cromwell collector of his revenues 
in 1514 is apparently unfounded x , 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 from Cromwell, and conceiving a high opinion of his 
creditor, introduced him to Wolsey 3 ; while Mr. Phillips 
informs us that Robert Cromwell (the son of Walter Crom 
well s brother John), who 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 owed his appointment as Wolsey s 
servant to his cousin Robert seems particularly plausible, as 

1 Mr. Gairdner kindly informs 2 Singer s Cavendish, vol. i. 

me that he was misled by a record p. 193 n. 

concerning Robert Cromwell (Cal. 5 Ellis, Thomas Cromwell, p. 

ii. (i) 1369). 12. 



14 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the latter was certainly well known to the Cardinal. It is 
possible that the origin of the connexion had something to 
do with the young Marquis of Dorset, who later became 
Cromwell s patron. Wolsey had long been acquainted with 
the Marquis ; he had been the friend and tutor of his father 
when he was principal of Magdalen School, and had been 
given the living of Limington in Somerset by a still older 
member of the family in I5QO 1 . 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 who 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 show 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 W T inchcomb to Wolsey 2 , are 
some lines in a hand which bears some resemblance to Crom 
well 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 words 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 
mation on the subject in the State Papers makes it probable 
that if Cromwell s connexion with Wolsey began much before 
1520, it was certainly of very minor importance. 

In the autumn of that year, however, we possess a record 
which 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 

Life of Wolsey, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. Ixii. p. 325. 
2 Cal. i. 5355. 



ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE 15 

inhibition with 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, 
when he drafted a petition to Wolsey in Chancery for a certain 
John Palsgrave 2 . But these two records are enough to prove 
that he was known to the Cardinal in the capacity of a soli 
citor and clerk from a period at least as early as 1520. The 
gap between that date and 1512 is more difficult to fill. The 
supposition that Cromwell was in Wolsey 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 some new document is found which corro 
borates it. 

Most of the letters addressed to Cromwell 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 between Richard Chauffer, alderman of Calais, 
and Lord Mountjoy. In December, 1523, he served on the 
inquest of wardmote in the ward 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 
wool-dyer 4 . It may have been in this capacity that he first 
became known to the family of the Marquis of Dorset. The 
old lady Marques writes to him in August, 1522, as her 
sonne marquys servaunt, and desires him to send in haste 
the trussynn bed of cloth of tyssewe and the fether bed wyth 
the ftistyons, and amateras longyng to the same wyth the 
covvnterpoynt .... tentes pauylyons & hales 5 . There is also 
record that Cromwell was a great lender of money at high 

1 In the original document (Cal. the case had already reached the 

iii. 1026) the name of the Cardinal Papal Court, 

is not expressly mentioned. The 2 Cal. iii. 3681. 

copy of the citation, however, was 3 Cal. iii. 1026, 1940, 1963, 2441, 

sent by his chaplain, Clerk, and 3657. 

can scarcely have been intended 4 Cal. iii. 2624. 

for any one but Wolsey, since 6 Cal. iii. 2437. 



16 THOMAS 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 was probably the best that he could have had to 
fit him for the difficult life-work that was given him 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, 
Nor 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 



PASSAGE FROM A LETTER OF CHAPUYS TO GRANVELLE, 

NOV. 21, 1535 l 

M e 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 oncle 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 le pays et senpasser 
en flandres et dois la en rome ou et ailleurs en italic il demeura 
quelque temps, estant de retour il se maria a la fille dung ton- 
deur de draps, et tint quelque temps en sa maison semiteurs 
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 le tint on nombre de ses serviteurs, et 
Femploya principalement quant il fut question de ruyner et demoler 
cinq du 3 six bons monasteres. Venant a descherir led. cardinal 
il ny eust personne que saquittast myeulx enuers led. cardinal que 
luy. Apres le decez dud. cardinal maistre valloup a present ambas- 
sadeur en france le poursuyuant de injures et menasses le 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 le faire le plus riche que oncques fut en 
angleterre, et luy parla si bien et beaul qui le retint des lors de son 
conseil, sans autre aduis et ne le decouurit led. roy a personne des 
siens deans quatre moys apres Maintenant il a empiete de telle sorte 
quil a bailie le bout a toute la reste (si) ce nest a la dame, et le tient 

1 The original is in the Vienna Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. 107. 

Archives. This copy was made l John Cromwell of Lambeth, 

from the official Record Office 3 sic, read ou. 
transcript. Cf. Cal. ix. 862, and 



MERRIMAN. I 



18 THOMAS CROMWELL 

tout le monde ( auoir plus de credit auprez de son maistre, que neust 
oncques le cardinal du temps duquel en y auoit questoient en con 
currence de credit comme maistre Conton l et le due de suffocq et 
autres, mais maintenant il n y a personne que face riens que luy, et 
ne sert le 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. II 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 CAROLUM 
QUINTUM. 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 Londinum, 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 progressum in mercatura fuisse, quam ut scriba 
esset mercatoris, & libros rationum servaret, optime vero novi ilium 
mercatorem, qui Venetus erat natione, cui operas suas locabat. 
Tandem hujus conditionis pertaesus, domum reversus, causidicis se 
immiscuit, his qui jura Regni profitentur. In quo eo magis se 
proficere sperabat, quod versuti & callidi ingenii sibi conscius esset 
ad defendendum tarn iniquum, quam aequum, quod ex externorum 
commercio valde acuerat, cum nostrorum hominum ingeniorum 
simplicitatem semper contemneret. Nee tamen in hoc genere valde 
crevit, antequam ad Monasteriorum ruinam perventum est. Quod 
incoepit vivente adhuc Cardinali Eboracense, dum Monasteria quae- 
dam pene a suis deserta, & illorum bona ac praedia in subsidium 
pauperum, qui in Gymnasiis literis operam dabant, essent conversa. 
Hie vero notus esse coepit, idque ostendit ad hanc artem solam se 
natum fuisse, ad ruinam & vastationem, id quod crebra aliarum 
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 cum Cardinalis, cujus assecla fuit, & ex cujus 
authoritate et imperio illam suam artem exercebat, ab administratione 
Reipublicae remotus esset, et dignitate privatus, ipse omnium voce, 
qui aliquid de eo intellexerant, ad supplicium posceretur. Hoc 
enim 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. 
Nee vero populus ullum spectaculum libentius expectabat, nee ille 
rumor ex alia re nascebatur, nisi quod omnes eum sciebant omni 
supplicio dignum . . . 



Ill 



NOVELLA XXXIV BELLA SECONDA PARTE DE LE NOVELLE 
DEL BANDELLO, Tomo quinto, p. 251. 

Francesco Frescobaldi fa cortesia ad uno straniero, e n e 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 1 ordinario dimorava in Ponente, in Inghilterra, e teneva la stanza 
in Londra, ove viveva splendidissimamente et usava cortesia assai ; 
non la veggendo si per minuto come molti mercadanti fanno, che la 
contano fin a un picciolo quattrino, come intendo 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 le lettere. 
Avvenne un giorno che essendo Francesco Frescobaldi in Firenze, 
se gli paro dinanzi un povero giovine, e gli domando elemosina 
per 1 amor di Dio. Veggendolo il Frescobaldo si mal in arnese 
e che in viso mostrava aver del gentile, si mosse in pieta, e tanto 
piu, quanto che lo conobbe esser Inglese; onde gli domando 
di che contrada di Oltramontani fosse. Egli gli rispose che era 
Inglese ; e chiedendogli alcune particolarita, il Frescobaldo, d Inghil 
terra, come colui che assai pratico n era, il giovine molto accomo- 
datamente al tutto sodisfece, dicendogli : lo mi chiamo Tomaso 

C 2, 



20 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Cremonello, figliuolo cli un povero cimatore di panni, che fuggendo 
da mio padre son venuto in Italia col campo de i Francesi, che 
e stato rotto al Garigliano, e stavo con un fante a piedi, portandoli 
dietro la picca. II Frescobaldo la menb in casa molto domestica- 
mente, e quivi alcun di se lo tenne per amor de la nazione Inglese, 
de la quale egli aveva ricevuti di molti piaceri ; lo trattb umana- 
mente, lo vesti, e quando volse partirsi per ritornar ne la patria, gli 
diede sedici ducati d oro in oro fiorentini et un buon ronzino. II 
giovine veggendosi esser stato messo in arnese si bene, rese al 
Frescobaldo quelle grazie che seppe le maggiori, e se n andb ne 
T isola a casa. 



[The next four pages are devoted to a more 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 di che il Cremonello era padrone 
e governatore de 1 isola, che Francesco Frescobaldo si ritrovava in 
Italia, ove, < ome spesso a mercadanti interviene, avendo patiti molti 
disastri e di gran danni ne la perdita de le sue mercadanzie, restb 
molto povero ; percib che essendo uomo leale e da bene, pagb tutti 
quelli a cui era debitore, e non puotb ricuperar cib che da gli altri gli 
era dovuto. Veggendosi egli ridutto a cosi povero stato, e fatto i suoi 
conti e benissimo calculati, trovb che in Inghilterra aveva crediti per 
piu di quindici migliaia di ducati ; onde si deliberb passar quindi, 
e veder di ricuperar piu che gli fosse possibile, e mettersi a viver 
il rimanente de la sua vita quietamente. Cosi con questo pensiero 
passb d Italia in Francia, e di Francia in Inghilterra, e si fermb in 
Londra, non gli sovvenendo percib mai del beneficio che egli fatto 
gia in Firenze aveva al Cremonello ; cosa veramente degna d un vero 
liberale, che de le cortesie che altrui fa, memoria mai non tiene, 
scolpendo in marmo quelle che riceve, per pagarle ogni volta che 
T occasione se gli offerisce. Attendendo adunque in Londra a 
negoziar i fatti suoi, e caminando un giorno in una contrada, 
avvenne che il Contestabile passava anch egli per la strada mede- 
sima, venendo a V incontro del Frescobaldo. Cosi subito che il 
Contestabile lo vide e gli ebbe gli occhi fermati nel viso, si ricordb 
costui certamente esser quello, dal quale cosi gran cortesia aveva in 
Firenze ricevuta, et essendo a cavallo, dismontb, e con meraviglia 



BANDELLO S TALE 21 

grandissima di quelli che seco erano, chi v erano piii di cento 
a cavallo de i primi del regno che gli facevano coda, F abbraccib con 
grande amorevolezza, e quasi lagrimando gli disse : Non sete voi 
Francesco Frescobaldo Fiorentino? Si sono, signer mio, rispose 
egli, e vostro umil servidore. Mio servidore, disse il Contestabile, 
non sete gia voi ne per tal vi voglio, ma bene per mio grande amico, 
avvisandovi che di voi ho giusta ragione di molto dolermi, perche 
sapendo voi cib 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 lodato Iddio che ancor 
sono a tempo ; voi siate il benissimo venuto. Io vado ora per affari 
del mio Re, e non posso far piu lunga dimora vosco, e m averete per 
iscusato ; ma fate per ogni modo, che in questa mattina vegnate 
a desinar meco, e non fate fallo. Cosi rimontb il Contestabile 
a cavallo e se n andb in Corte al Re. II Frescobaldo, partito che 
fu il Contestabile, s ando ricordando che cotestui era quel giovine 
Inglese che egli gia in Firenze in casa sua raccolse, e comincib 
a sperar bene, pensando che il mezzo di cosi grand uomo molto gli 
giovarebbe a ricuperar i suoi danari. Essendo poi 1 ora di desinare, 
se n ando al palazzo del Contestabile, e quivi nel cortile poco attese 
che egli rivenne. II quale smontato che fu, di nuovo amicabilmente 
riabbraccib il Frescobaldo, e volto a F armiraglio, et ad altri prencipi 
e signori che con lui erano venuti a desinare, disse : Signori, non vi 
meravigliate de le amorevoli dimostrazioni che io faccio a questo 
gentiluomo Fiorentino, perche 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 F ora, a la presenza 
di tutti, tenendo sempre per mano il gentiluomo Fiorentino, narrb 
loro in che modo era capitate a Firenze, e le carezze che da lui 
aveva ricevute ; e cosi tenendolo sempre per mano, se ne salirono le 
scale, e giunti in sala si misero a tavola. Voile il Contestabile 
che il Frescobaldo gli stesse appresso, e sempre F accarezzb amore- 
volissimamente. Desinato che si fu e quei signori partiti, voile il 
Contestabile saper la cagione, per la quale era il Frescobaldo ritor- 
nato a Londra. Narrogli a F ora tutta la sua disgrazia il Frescobaldo, 
e che non gli essendo rimaso, de la casa in fuori in Firenze et un 
podere in contado, quasi niente, se non quei quindeci mila ducati 
che in Inghilterra deveva avere, e forse duo mila in Ispagna, che per 
ricuperargli s era ne F Isola trasferito. Or bene sta, disse il Contesta 
bile. A le cose passate, che fatte non sieno, non si pub trovar 
rimedio ; ben mi posso con voi dolere de gF infortunii vostri, come 



22 THOMAS CROMWELL 



con il core faccio ; al rimanente si dara tal ordine, che voi ricupera- 
rete tutti i vostri danari che qui devete avere, e non vi si manchera 
di quello che io potro, assicurandovi, che la cortesia che m usate, non 
mi conoscendo altramente, mi vi rende di modo ubbligato che 
sempre sarb vostro, e di me e de le mie faculta potrete disporre 
come io proprio, e non lo facendo, il danno sara vostro, ne piii faro 
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 1 uscio, aperse un gran coffano pieno di 
ducati, e pigliandone sedeci gli diede al Frescobaldi, e gli disse : 
Eccovi, amico mio, i sedeci ducati che mi donaste al partir di 
Firenze, eccovi gli altri dieci che vi costb il ronzino che per me 
comperaste, et eccovene altri dieci che spendeste in vestirmi. Ma 
perche essendo voi mercadante, non mi par onesto che i vostri 
danari debbiano esser stati tanto tempo morti, ma s abbiano gua- 
dagnato, come e il costume vostro, eccovi quattro sacchetti di ducati, 
in ciascuno de i quali sono quattro mila ducati. Voi in ricompensa 
de i vostri ve gli pigliarete, godendogli per amor mio. II Fresco- 
baldo, ancor che da grandissime ricchezze fosse caduto in gran 
poverta, nondimeno non aveva perduto la sua generosita 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 volentieri, mettendo il nome dei debitori e la somma che gli 
devevano. Avuta questa cedula, chiamo 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 porro la mano con lor dispia- 
cere e danno, e che facciano pensiero, che io sia il creditore. Fece 
T uomo il comandamento del suo padrone molto diligentemente, di 
maniera che al termine statuito furono ricuperati circa quindici mila 
ducati. E se il Frescobaldo avesse voluto gl interessi, che in cosi 
lungo tempo erano corsi, tutti gli averebbe avuti, fin ad un minimo 
denaio ; ma egli si contento del capitale, ne volse interesse alcuno, 
che di piu in piii gli acquisto credito e riputazione appresso tutti, 
massimamente sapendosi gia da ciascuno de 1 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 piu poteva. E deside- 
rando che di continovo egli rimanesse in Londra, piacendogli molto 



FOXE S HISTORY 23 

la pratica sua, gli offerse di prestargli per quattro anni sessanta mila 
ducati, a cio che mettesse casa e banco in Londra e gli trafficasse, 
senza volerne profitto d un soldo, promettendogli oltra questo ogni 
favore ne le cose de la mercadanzia. 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 lo ringrazib di tanta 
suprema cortesia, e con buona grazia del Contestabile, rimessi tutti 
i suoi danari in Firenze, a la desiderata patria se ne ritornb, dove 
essendo ritornato assai ricco, si mise a viver una vita quietissima. 
Ma poco tempo visse in quiete, perche quell anno istesso che da 
Londra era partito, in Firenze se ne mori. 



IV 



. 



PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF LORD CROMWELL AS CON 
TAINED IN FOXE S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, vol. ii. 
pp. 4I9-434- 

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

* * 

1 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 memory was as great in retaining whatsoever he had 
attained. Which 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 Rome for renewing of their two pardons, one 
called the great pardon and the other the lesser pardon. Which 
thing although it should stand them 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 Catholick 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 time. 

* This then being so determined and decreed among 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. Who coming in his journey to Antwerp, and mis 
doubting to be too weak for the compassing of such a weighty piece 
of work, conferred and perswaded with T. Cromwel 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 judgement 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, made 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 come from hunting into his pavillion, he with his com 
panions approached with his English presents brought in with 
a three mans song (as we 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 men, and 
that they came not empty handed, willed them to be called in. 
Cromwel 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 same 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. Who 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 make 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 more plausible account of the latter 
afterward commending 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 Wolsey s fall, that the King at last had an interview 
with his future minister in Westminster 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. 92). 
Foxe goes on to an exhaustive defence of Cromwell s actions during 
his ministry, especially the suppression of the monasteries and 
the measures 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 Thames (see chapter xiii. p. 255) and the account 



26 THOMAS 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 imprisoned 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 1523 

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 with Wolsey, we catch several interesting glimpses 
of him. Especially important is the information we possess 
concerning the part he played in the Parliament of 1523. We 
have no means of knowing how he obtained a seat there, but 
there are fortunately preserved two documents of undoubted 
authenticity that shed much light on the attitude he assumed 
towards 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 Cromwell 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 how he * amongyst other indured a parlyament V 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, who 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 
King or realm, 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 
powerful and traitorous Duke of Bourbon, to obtain from him 
a recognition of the King s title to the throne of France. 
The breach between England and Francis was becoming 
wider every day. Charles V had of course seized the favour 
able opportunity to ally himself with Bourbon and Henry, and 
had as usual succeeded in making the latter do the lion s 
share of the work, 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, 1515. 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 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 unwillingly, 
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. 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 



29 



More 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 himself much 
grieved with the burgesses of this Parliament, for that nothing 
was so soon done or spoken therein but that it was immediately 
blown abroad in every ale-house 2 / and how, fearing that the 
subsidy bill might not pass, he determined to be present at 
the debate himself, 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 money out of the King s hands in the whole 
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 
;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 was in progress, however, Cromwell was 



Roper, Life of More, pp. 34-35. 

Ibid. pp. 35-38. 

3 On the 29th of April Wolsey 
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 20 and upwards ; i\ per cent, 
on goods between 20 and 2 ; 
if per cent on goods of 40^., or on 
yearly wages averaging 20.?. In the 
third year 5 per cent, on all lands 
of ^50 and upwards ; and in the 
fourth and last year, 5 per cent. 



on personal property of ,50 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 
,800,000, 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 
right to debate on the measure alone. 
(Hist, of England, vol. vi. pp. 91-92.) 



30 THOMAS CROMWELL 

one of the strongest opponents of the Cardinal s scheme. The 
following speech, which he wrote to deliver on this occasion l , 
clearly reveals his attitude on the questions before the House. 
To recou^r agayne by the sworde the Realme of Fraunce, 
belongyng to vur most Redowbtid Souerayne by good and 
iuste tytle, and to chaunge the Sums of monay whiche we 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 
wold 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 wellyng spryngg^y 
as 2 treasure as shuld by thyse means contynually be browght 
into this Realme, Whereoff there were no dowte but that ryght 
haboundant stremys shuld from his most liberall magnyfysence 
be dereuyed into eu^ry parte of this his Realme to the grete 
Inryching and enprosperyng 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 
otir 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 wysdome and thens thowg/2/ not only possible 
but also very apparaunt and lykely, ail reasonable dowtes 
auoyded, we All haue clerely persayued as well by the mowth 
and reporte of my lorde legattey good grace as by the Re- 
capitulacion of the Right w^rshipfull best Assuryd and discrete 
Speker, in so moche that we haue ben^ adu^rtised of the 

1 Cal. iii. 2958. There can be p. 52), says, Die Rede selbst kann 

no reasonable doubt concerning schlechterdings keinen anderen 

the authorship of this speech. Urheber haben, und ist spaterhin 

Neither Brewer nor Gairdner ques- bei der Confiscation der Papiere 

tion it, and Pauli, in an article on Cromwell s in das Staatsarchiv 

Wolsey and the Parliament of 1523 gekommen. 
(Historische Zeitschrift for 1889, 2 sic, for of. 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1543 31 

Indentures all reddy passed bytwene our said most noble 
Souerayne and the Emparoz/rs Magesty, conteynyng not 
oonly the nombre of horseme;/ and Fotemen, estemed 
sufficient for the saide enterpryse, but also the day pr^fixid 
for the Arryuall beyond the see of the saide Army. Whyche 
thyng sythyns our most Redowbted Souerayne hathe so 
depely myndyd, that for the more effectuall puttyng in 
execucion of the same, his high enterpryze, he hathe promysed 
in the saide endentures, to goo ou^r in his owne noble p^rsone 
Whoo ys here present in this ryght \w?rshipfull assemble, or 
any other his subiet Whatsoeuer he be whiche to the vtterest 
of his power wold not payne and endeu^r hymself, that this so 
glorious, so profyttable and so wysshefull an enterpryse myght 
properously be atcheuyd and our souerayne wz t/2 assuryd 
honour to Retoz/me agayne after this grete acte well and 
victoryously p^rfynysshed. But for somoche As yt hathe 
pleased oz/r 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 pr^uocacions and hainous iniures done 
aswell to his noble highnes, as to his most dere sister the 
qtiene Douriere of Fraunce, in wrongus l w/t/zholding of her 
Dowre, and also the grete vexacion of his subiecter by 
robbyng and spoylyng of them, to theire vtter vndoyng, by 
Francoys now raynyng there, and on the other side the 
manyfold policies and gracious meanes studied by o>ur saide 
most noble Souuerayne, and hys Counsayll, to establysshe 
a generall peace amongyst all Crysten Prynces and to stay 
the saide Frauncoys yf yt had bene possible by ma^nys 
industry from his synyster wayes and disturbyng of all 
Regions abowte hym. Me semyth that his highnes hathe 
heryn Declared vnto vs the grettest loue that euer did noble 
prynce vnto his humble and obeysaunt subiect^, seyng that 
his high wysdome doth not disdayne to communicate and 
declare vnto vs his waighty entrepases and affayres, in this 
autentyk man^r assemblyd by the mowthe of so notable 
a parsonage, beseching god of his haboundant goodnes and 

1 sic, for wrongous or wrong. 5 



32 THOMAS CROMWELL 

ynfynyte mercye whiche wzt/^drawyth not his lyght from the 
poore and low estate but vnto humble harttey 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 Juggement to be regarded whiche 
by the Mowthe and report of the ryght wyse dyscrete and 
excellently lettred speker may be benyng Interpretacion And 
as we meane cum 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 execution 
seyng yt ys yet oon hole yere therunto and all thowgh 
I reckyn myselff of all other the most vnworthy to haue in 
the awdience of so many sauge and notable persons, any 
manner saiyngg^y, 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 wit/i so grete nombr^ of prync^r 
noble men and other their Subgietter shuld after so manyfold 
pr0uocacions of dedely hattred encounter togyder with theire 
Swordys in theire hand^j, to trye where the pleasure of god 
shalbe to stryke, and shew his indignacion, Of whiche slawghter, 
most nedis ensue, the moste Lamentable cryes, and sorowfull 
wryngyng of handys, that hath happened in Cristendome 
many yeres. Neu^rthelesse after my symple and yngnorant 
man^r, I shall humbly beseche yow all of your benygne 
Supportacion that I may here with your fauours vtter my 
poore mynde whose intent ys none other but to geue vnto 
yow, whiche be of far more assuryd Wysdom, Lernyng and 
experience then I, occasion to vtter jour wyse counsaylW, for 
yn myself I know well ys nought ell^r but the intent of good 
wyll, and entier desyre, of the Contenuaunce yn prosperite of my 
most redowtyd souerayne, with the most frutefull con.seru3.cion 
of the polytyk weall of this his noble Realme, and the good 
fertheryng of all the enterprysys and affayres in any wyse 
belongyng to the same. 

To speke of peace certeynly as now hit ys no tyme, Albe 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 33 

ta 

hit that I doo in my hart therfore ryght sore lament, but want 
of trowth ys so depely in the Frenche Nacion 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 *, wzt//oute any regarde hauyng 
ether to godde or Justyce, that thowgh we Hadde for our 
owne ptfrticuler causes no manner quarell&j 1 vnto them, yet 
cowld we not but haue in detestacion their false and fleyghty 
Dealyng Wherwzt/J other Cristened prync^ be by them so 
sore molestyd. But now ys hyt soo that our most Drad 
Souerayne ys soo notably prouoked by the manyfold Iniuryes 
done aswell to hymself as to his most derest Syster, and 
sundrey his Subiect^ that me thynckyth, there be none, his 
true and faythefull Subiettey, that can refrayne to bere towards 
them a worthy haatred and fast inpryntyd groutche, as vnto 
the nacion, whiche euer ys onrestful, And of suche malicious 
nature that there ys no remedy, but other they most be 
skowrgyd or ellys they wyll suerly be a skowrge to other, and 
other their possessions must be ruffilled and dymynysshed or 
ellys they wyll not cesse to Dymynysshe and take away from 
other their possessions, of whiche Arogant Nacion thowgh we 
haue of our selves by goddys Ayde and sufferance ben the 
Chastners and terryble stronge yet at this present tyme All- 
myghty god ys so benygne vnto vs that we haue now a muche 
grete aduauntage to compell them not oonly to syt in rest but 
also gladly to com^ to Reason seyng that by theyre sayde 
mysprowde arregancy the * Haue in. so sundry Wayes prouoked 
the saide Emparoz/rs magestye vnto iust hatered and dys- 
pleasure agaynst them with whome our most Redowbted 
Souerayne ys most assurydly confederate and alied, Whose 
high and myghty power ys so great that Joyned vnto owers 
they be enverouned on eu^ry syde wyth the nacions, whiche 
by goddes grace shall afflycte them and abate their pryde. 
Whiche thyng the emparo//rs maiesty hath full well for his 
partie shewyd in Recoueryng agayne of Nauerne Where they 
had no smale ou^rthrow and also by Wynnyng from theym 

1 sic, for < world. z sic, for they. 



MERR1MAN. I 



34 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the Cytte of To^ney and the hole Countrey Tornasyes 
adiacent therunto, and farthermore to the more sorar encresyng 
of their A^guysshefull 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 bem? so maruaylous chargeable vnto theym and also to 
the Cyttyes of Genes wit/i the Terretoryes therunto belongyng. 
And we for our partye haue spoyled and brent Morkesse, 
Destroyed also a grete Contrey wM sundry village and 
Townes therin, and to the grete and high honour of our 
soueraigne and his valiaunt nacion, and the grete Lawde and 
Prayse of the well fortunate and sawge Capetayn, the yerle of 
Surrey, whiche taryed in the Domynyons of the saide 
Francoyse wzt// a smale N ombre of men in comparyson by the 
space or vj or vij wekys where all the power of Fraunce durst 
not geue hym battayll whiche sayde valiant Capeteyne, I trust 
by goddes help, shall ou<?rthrow and subdue also the Skottes, 
whome the Frenche men haue so custuously intertayned, 
and of so long tyme mayntayned agaynst vs, whiche thingg^j, 
yf almyghty god of his goodnes, wyll suffre to contynue this 
a while, there ys no dowte but that their hawlte and mys- 
prowde Cowrage shall or owght long abate, and that we shall 
constrayne theym to be glad to entret for pease as men dryuen 
in to grete and extreme Dyspayre, seing their pec^r whiche 
they haue bene so long in gettyng bene so valiauntly and 
wzt//owt any hardynesse in theym to make Resystance 
pullid away from theym, and they dare not trye hyt by the 
sworde, nother with vs, nor wM the saide Emparo&rs Subiectey 
for whan soeuer they so doo, they wyn nowght ellys but 
a shamefull overthrow, as we all know, by good experyence. 
But now myght yt be in questyon whyther hyt showld be for 
the more aduaunsyng of our most Rodowtyd Souerayns 
Honour and the Emperoz/rs Mageste also, and more vayllable 
for the spedy acheuyng of bothe their desiryd purposys other 
to contynew styll thys kynde of warre whyche 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, where he hathe not bene so 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 35 

hardy as to mete A meane Armyee, other of owers or of the 
Emperors, to conuey now in to hys Realme on eyther of 
our sydys, so grete and myghty a puyss^/mce 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 Realme, As for myne owne partye 
knowyng my most redowtyd Souerayns high pleasure Whereof 
we haue all by my saide lorde Cardinality grace ben so clerely 
enfoz/rmed, I am at a poynt suche as dothe become an humble 
and obeysant subiect to be, beyng adu^rtisid of his Souerayns 
most redowtyd pleasure, especially by the mowthe of hys 
most nere and cheffest Counsayloz/r, declaryd, oonly oon 
thyng there ys whiche puttyth me in no small agonye, me 
thowght I harde my lorde Cardynall^r grace say that our 
most gracious Souuerayne, more derer vnto any of hys Subiecter 
that hathe any maner zele to our cowmen 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 humbly beseching hys haboundant and tendre benygnyte 
of m^rcy and p^rdone 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 lyith the hazardyng of this his 
noble Realme, and apon the whiche myght follow (whiche 
god defend) the grettyst Calamyte and afflation 1 that euer 
happynned ther vnto by cause I am desyrous to be owte of 
all dowttey that I may all my lyfe dayes hereafter be his 
humble and obeisant subiet, and see wz t/z the prosperite and 
suretye of his noble parson, his Realme and power subiect^ 
to lyue assuryd in tranquylyte and to be reconforttid wM his 
noble presence, whose welthe and prosperyte ys so vrgently 
necessary vnto vs all that I am sure their ys no good Englysshe 
man whiche can be mery the day whan he happenyth to thynk 
that his grace myght perchatmce be dystempmd of his helthe 

1 sic, for affliction. 
D 2, 



36 THOMAS CROMWELL 

so that albe hyt I say for my partie, I stomak as a sory 
Subiect may doo, the high Iniures done by the saide Francoys, 
vnto his most dere 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 warre, and lyue at his high Pleasure and 
assuryd myrth for yf the Frenche men haue establysshed an 
ordena^nce amongyst theym that their kyng in hys owne 
p^rsone shall neu^r com^ in Raungyd Battayll agay^st our 
nacion bycawse of the sundry hazardys that their saide prync^r 
haue suffred in their owne parsons, notwzt^standyng their 
maruelous pollecy deuysed amongest them for the certayn and 
the establysshid succession of their Crowne, how neidfull ys 
hyt for us consideryng in what case we be to make the 
humblest sewyt that euer did pore Subjects to theyre Souue- 
rayne, that he wyll for our sak^y and specially for the tendre 
and Fathyrly loue he beryth to his most dere and oonly 
dovvghter upon whose wele and sircumspecte bestowyng next 
his noble parson dependyth all our welthis som^thyng to 
RefTrayne 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 Reno^m to be the most faythefull and substauncyall 
prynce, Crystayned yn the trew perfourmyng of all his pro- 
myses that hyt may lyke his grace to lay the wyte on vs his 
poore Subiecto 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 wold nedys cary ouer with hym the 
Armay in the same Endentures 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 wryng hys 
handes than assuryd to fyght, whan he consydered that yf 
otherwyse then well showld fortune to that prescious Juell 
whiche he had for hys partye, in custody, yt were more 
metar for hyrn to departe in to Turkey than to Reto&rne 
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 

p^rswadyd in any matter as I am trewly that our most 
Redowtid soueraygne showld in no wyse passe the Sees in his 
owne noble person consideryng the ihynges aforsaide to fayne 
Reasons to make for His purpose, soo doo I now Fantasye 
syns I am so extremely desyrows that the noble parson yf l 
my saide Prynce showlde tarry withyn Hys Realme that hit 
were better to trayne owre 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 
now of late, but syns I am wadyd thus far vnder your benygne 
supportacion I shall here vtter my pore mynde yf thys grete 
and puysaunt armaye of xxx Thowsand foteme^ and ten 
Thowsand horsemen showld be co^ueyed in to the partyes of 
beyond see I ymagyn wzt& myself whiche wayes 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 eu^r wM suretye haue victayles owte of the Arche- 
dukedome, than put I no dowbter but they showld saufely 
Retowrne agayne, for any daungyer that showld com^ vnto 
theym by their enemyes, for synse they durst not this yere 
last past set vpon the Hardy and valiaunt Capetayn the 
Yerle of Surrey notwzt^standyng any prouocacions that he 
Cowld by hys exp^rte wysedome in the Feattey of warre 
Imagyn to bryng them thervnto how moche more wold they 
beware to mete wz t^ 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 soo showld the harme whiche they 
showld doo to the Realme of Fraunce be nothyng so moche 
as the harmys whiche we oz/rselffer showld susteyn in 
sowldyng of so great an army which were hable or iii 
Somers were expyred to exhawste and vtterly consume all 
the Cogne and bolyon wzt//yn this Realme whiche I con- 
iecture can not passe moche aboue a Million For yf all the 

1 V,for of? 



38 THOMAS CROMWELL 

valew of the hole Realme excede not iiii Millions as my lorde 
Cardinally 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, Cattails our owne Co;;zmodeties vtensllles Apparayll 
for man and women whiche was neuer soo sumptuous and 
also the wares not oonly made of our owne co//zmodetyes 
but also conveyed from the partyes of beyond the see Hyther 
wherof was neu^r so grete Haboundaunce Dothe amount at 
the lest vnto other ij Millions This yf we showld take thys 
way or eu^r we showld doo to our enemy any hurt that were 
worthy to be regardid we showld be brought in to that case 
that we showld neu^r be hable neuer to hurt hym ne none 
other, nor to help our Prynce, nor this his noble Realme 
What adu^rsyte soeu^r shuld fortune to Hap ye and what 
showld we then Doo, but sit in peace with the highest 
ignomine and Desperat confusion that eu^r did nacion and 
be constraynyd for the maynten^z/nce of cowmutacion and 
biyng and sellyng amongyst o^rselffes 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 ou^r yn hys 
owne p<?rsone to happyn by any adu^rse fortune, whiche 
almyghty god defend to cum into the hanctay of our enemyes, 
how shuld we then be hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they 
wyll nought for their wynes but golde they wold thynck 
grete skorne, to take lether for our prynce, ye and how moche 
the Inhabitaunter of the saide Archedukedome be desirows to 
haue moche of our monaye for Lytyll of their victuaylis 
whiche showld the sonner bryng this inconuenyence to passe, 
we haue hadde ryght good experyence aswell whan our 
moste Redowbtid Souerayne last went ouer in His owne 
Royall parson as in the last yere, whan my lorde of Surrey 
was sent by our saide Souerayne in to those parties whose 
Soldyers at their Rettoz/rne 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 our 
way as short as myght be, to goo the most nere and dyrect 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 39 

way to Parrys where vndowbtyd were no small spoylle to 
be gotten and in manner the place self not hable in strength 
to kepe vs owte Assone as euer we were Departyd owte of 
the Marchys of the saide Archedukedome, we showld then 
clerely p^rsayue whatt manner warre the Frenche men wold 
vse ayenst vs whiche neu^r wyll offer to medyll wz t/z our 
Armye, but lye yn wayte yf any of our saide Armye 
happened to straye or stragle abrode or to destroye the 
Conductors 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 elles by the diligence of the 
paysans myght convaide l to the next strong holdys and then 
myght we perchatmce (whiche god defend) p^rsayue what 
high daunger to leue any strong holdys behynde vs, 
whiche the most Saugge and Poletyke Pry nee Kyng Henry 
the vij th of gracious memory thowght not best to doo. 
For when he passed the Sees to wyn the ryght in Fraunce 
he began fyrst to lay Seige to Bolayn, or euer he wold enter 
anye farther in to the land. And o>ur most Redowtyd 
souerayne now 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 Empero^rs 
mageste Imployed A whosoeu^r be in Toz/rnay 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, to 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 Charge we showld 
sustayn therbye our most drad souerayne lorde hathe theryn 
to good experyence in the wynnyng of Tyrouen which cost 
his highnes more then xx tj suche vngracious Dogholes 
cowld be worthe vnto hym But yf we wold vtterlye leue 
this waye, and Determyn to Invade Normandie Bretayn or 
sum other Contraye in the possession of his enemye vpon 

1 sic, for be conveyed. 



40 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the Ryvage of the see and make our preparations here 
wzt/zyn this noble Realme suche as showld be thowght 
conuenable for suche an armye Royall Thys thyng passith 
the streche of my pore wyt to speke for oone thing 
I suppose, beside the Inestymable molestacion and charge 
whiche I ymagyn this noble Realme showld sustayne for 
theyr preparation for ware I can se nothyng but manyfest 
dawngier on euery syde to be towards the saide Armaye 
not onely at their Arryvall amongest their enemyes at all 
tymes and so long as they shall there tarry Whiche to shew 
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 tyme yet 
stode bothe we and they in daungier of the wynde in whose 
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 wz t^out 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 wzt^ good harte and 
true zele louyth the Commen wele ys to moche manyfest at 
the yee, and hyt pleasid god of the contrary Wherby 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 inhabytaunter and hable men, but there paraad- 
venture yt myght be saide vnto me Why puttyst thow so 
many dowtter ayenst this my most redowtyd souerayns 
enterpryse, he beyng so high in courage of maruelous 
wysdome and well tryed experyence in all marcia.ll Cond utter 
seyng other his progenitoz/rs of farre lesse graces with an 
handfull of men in comparyson to his armye haue geuyn 
them soo notable ou^rthrowes To 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 1533 41 

to trye hyt anye more wzt/z 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 knowyth that in Armys oiir nacion ys ynvincible so 
knowyth he our Impacience to Contynew in warre many 
yeres and in especiall in wynter for we desier nowght elles 
but to trye hyt w/t/z our handes at ones and that the 
Maruelous charge far aboue any other nacion that we most 
nedys continually be at for victuayles and other necessaryes 
ys so grete that at the length we most nedys wery owrself 
as oftyn as we be assemblyd to fyght yf We soo togyther 
assemblyd long contynew thowgh none other nacion fyght 
wz t^ vs I cowld here also towche what polecye we haue to 
kepe things when we haue gottyn theym, but I let that 
passe and wyll now shew the notable adu^/ntag^ that our 
sou^rayns progenitoz/rs had ouer that we haue now, the 
mean warre ayenst Fraunce yn tymes past we had euer 
plac^- surlye to Lond in other of our owne, or of our assured 
confederate and alies as Gascoyne Gwyen Bretayn and 
sumtyme Normandie and at the lest we had Sum assuryd 
freynd^ there whiche wern grete men of power and further 
more their Townes and holdes were nothyng of the m^ruelous 
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 
allema^n^r dyspleasure shewyd vnto vs that they dare or 
may doo and as for any frend^j W T e haue that I dare not 
presume to speke in, but as ferre as my pore conjecture 
ledyth me there was neuer nacion more maruaylusly Lynkyd 
togyder then they be amongyst theymselfoy nor more sundry 
prouysyons found how suche A x 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 Cowmen Welth thowgh he showld 
for that intent be ofTeryd a great and notable Treasoure 
But how by 2 Coruptable all the worlde w/t/z the mmielows 

1 sic, for as. 2 sic, for be, possibly meaning very. 



42 THOMAS CROMWELL 



in excessyff gyftes the Emperoz/rs maiestye hathe 
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 Emperoz/rs Magestye was 
constraynyd to do Justyce at his Retoz/rnyng thyther, 
whiche was no small losse onto hym yf they had lyke trew 
subgiettey accordyngly regarded their allegiaunce and that 
is to be m^ruayled at my lorde of Sheuerys 1 the most 
bounden creature of the sayde Emparoz/rs Maieste that eu^r 
was subiect to his Souuerayne, me thowght I harde my lorde 
Cardinal!^ grace reporte, that he was also by their m^uelous 
subtyle pollice and gyfies corrupt, and also yt ys euydent 
that synse the saide Emperoz/rs Maiestie Retoz/rnyd in to 
Spayne agayne the gouernours of his Archedukedome haue 
grauntyd dyuers of safecondut vnto merchauntes of the 
Frenche nacion ye and for their Sakys vnto Skotter also, 
whiche ys a maruelous hyndraunce after my pore Jugeme;/t 
to our souueraynes and the saide Emperows warres. For 
yf our cowmodeties had aswell ben^ kepte from theim as 
their cowmodeties 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 
ben constrayned to haue made to their kyng lamentable 
sute for peace, as people browght 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 most humbly beseching the tender benygnyte of 
my most dere and most redowtyd souuerayn whiche wz t//- 
drawyth hys m^rcifull 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 
whiche am as desyrous that all his most noble entrepases 
should prosperously go forward as any symple creature that 

1 William de Croy, Lord Chievres. 



THE PARLIAMENT OF 1523 43 

eiur was borne vnder his obeisaunce thinckyng after my 
Ignorant Jugement that yi yt wold please his magnanime 
Courage to conuert Fyrst and chief his hole intent and 
purpose not only to the ouer ro;myng and subduyng of 
Skotland but also to Joyne the same Realme vnto his, 
Soo that both they and we myght lyue vnder oone 
Bessaunce Law and Pollecy for euer. He shold therby 
wyn the highest honour that euer dyd any noble pro 
genitors synse thys Hand was fyrst Inhabyt to Joyne 
vnto his noble Realme so populus a Cuntray wherby his 
strength shold be of no small parte e^cresid and of this acte 
should follow the highest abasshement to the saide Francoys 
that euer happened to hym or any his pr^geneto^rs afore 
hym not oonly for that he Left the saide Skottey his auncie^t 
allies and which haue for hys and their Sak^j pr^uokyd our 
nacion so notably heretofore at thys tyme vndefended by 
reason of our souerayns naiuye whiche he dare not encounter 
with nor neuer dare send theim socottr 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 our 
manner of warre, whiche were wont nought else to doo but 
to skore the nacions abowt, but whan he shall p^rsayue that 
by the hygh and pollytyk wysdome our saide most redowtid 
Souerayne they be Joyned vnto vs in oone politik boddye 
what fere shall we then stand in to Lose his possessions 
wzt^out any hope of Recou^re agayne, and thowgh hit be 
a commen sayng that yn Skotland ys nought to wyn but 
strokes, for that I alledge another cowmen sayng, who that 
entendyth Fraunce to wyn wzt/z Skotland let hym begyn, 
Whiche enterpret thus truely hyt ys But a Symplenesse for 
vs to thyncke to kepe possessions in Fraunce, (which) ys 
seuowryd from vs by the ocean see, and suffre Skotland 
Joyne(d) vnto vs by nature all in oon Hand, vnto which 
we may haue Recourse at all tymes whan we woll, whiche 
also to subdue, god beyng indifferent lyeth euer in our hand 
to lyue vnder a nother pollecy and to Recognyse another 
Pry nee send god that o>ur most Redowty Souuerayne (may 
conquer Scotland) whiche whan we haue ones Joyned vnto 



44 THOMAS CROMWELL 

our polecy as a membra 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, Cromwell s words 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 any one 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 Cromwell 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 House 
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 1523 45 

question now is how it may be most effectually carried on, 
but when he foresees that the King will 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 welfare and progress 
of the State. If the King were removed, the country would 
probably be brought face to face with the horrors of a civil 
war. Cromwell thus brings his hearers to the first great 
principle of the policy that he was destined later to pursue, 
namely, concentration of power in the hands of the Crown, as 
a sine qua non of unity at home and safety abroad. This 
principle he enforces with many other arguments. The 
danger from the hostility of Scotland was enormous ; let the 
King Reffrayne his high magnanyme Courage and remain 
ing at home, so direct the movements of his forces, that 
England and Scotland may 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 
would 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 own 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 knowledge of 
economic principles far in advance of his time. Yf yt showld 
fortune vur most Redowtyd Souerayne, yf he wold nyedys 
go ouer yn hys owne p^rsone to happyn by any adu^rse 
fortune, whiche almyghty god defend to cum into the hand^ 
of our enemyes/ says Cromwell, * how shuld we then be 



46 THOMAS CROMWELL 

hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they wyll nought for their 
wynes but golde they wold thynck grete skorne,to take lether 
for Gur prynce. 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 
whom 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 sage 
persons the task of deciding how the war should be carried 
on, he hints that it would be better to play a 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. For 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 same 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 walls 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 Cromwell as the cloth-merchant and wool-dyer. 
He probably realized that his business as a lawyer brought 
him into much more 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 matter of far more absorbing interest, that is, his rapidly 
growing favour and intimacy with Cardinal Wolsey. 

During the years 1524-5 he was actively engaged in the 
Cardinal s service, and received many letters on legal business 
which 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. Cromwell. It is evident from the tone of the letters 
which he received, that to obtain his favour was 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. 969 ; Doyle s Baronage, 2 Cal. iv. 294, 388, 979, 1385-6, 
vol. i. p. 689. 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 Cromwell, to survey the monasteries of Tykford, 
Raveneston, Poghley, Medmenham, 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, Stariesgate, 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. 
It was certainly true that the monasteries had long since 
ceased to observe the strict traditions of religious asceticism, 
which had been the watchword of their foundation. Some of 
them had become resorts of the idle and worthless, who 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, 990. 



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 
without 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 accomplishment of such a design 
as the suppression of the monasteries were an intimate know 
ledge of law, especially as related to lands and property, and 
a far-seeing, harsh, and rather unscrupulous nature. These 
qualities Cromwell possessed in the very highest degree, and 
as he had been eminently successful in carrying on all 
Wolsey s legal business up to this time, and as the Cardinal 
was 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, 
while 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 ; when 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, 5145. 



MERRIMAN. I 



50 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Cromwell was employed directly in connexion with the 
new buildings at Oxford and Ipswich. He drew up all the 
necessary deeds for both foundations, and was appointed 
receiver-general of CardinaFs College by Wolsey in 1537. 
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 Ipswich, 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 
when 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 Ipswich, 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 Cal. iv. 3461, 4778, 5330; Letters, 6, 8. 

2 Cal. iv. 3360. 



WOLSEY S SERVANT 51 

unfavourably, if the reverse. He became so generally hated 
that in August, 1527, it was said that a sanctuary man lay 
in wait to slay him, and Cardinal Pole, who was then in 
London and knew him well, informs us that it was 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 
more importance. In April, 1527, Henry Lacy writes to 
congratulate him on his promotion through Wolsey s favour. 
In May of the same year he is mentioned as a granter of 
annuities. His position brought him a great amount of 
patronage. In 1528 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, who 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 
with 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 Ipswich 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 Cal. iv. 3334, and Appendix II at the end of chapter i, p. 19. 

2 Cal. iv. 3079, 3119, 4201, 5169, 5365, 5456. 

8 Cal. iv. 3198, 3475, 3535, 3676, 411?, 4275, 457, 4573, 5399> 54H. 

E 2 



52 THOMAS CROMWELL 

destined in the near future to become so well known 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 was certainly known to Cromwell at least as early 
as 1523*; 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 any one 
to enter by force 2 . A year later he was employed as Crom 
well s agent in the Netherlands. 

Though mainly occupied with Wolsey s affairs, Cromwell 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 Mr. Rowe, and sends his wife six plovers 
e for to drynke a quart of wyn wzt/zall 3 ; in August, 1526, 
George Monoux, alderman, promises Cromwell that if his 
* grete matier is brought to a safe conclusion, he shall have 
twenty marks 4 . A * lovyng letters 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 was 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 was 
then at Cambridge, and who writes with enthusiasm of the 
pleasures of a visit to his friend in London 6 . 

It is probable that the terrible sweating sickness which 

1 Letters, I. 4 Cal. iv. 2387. 

2 Cal. iv. 2538, 3053, 4107. E Cal. iv. 5080, 5141. 

3 Cal. iv. 1768. " 6 Cal. iv. 3388. " 



WOLSEY S SERVANT 53 

ravaged England from 1527 to 1528 carried off Cromwell s 
wife Elizabeth, as there is no further mention of her in his 
later papers and correspondence, except in his will of July, 
1529, where she is referred to as his c late Wyff V She left him 
one son, Gregory, who appears to have been a dull and 
plodding lad, and who, after his mother s death, was sent with 
his very precocious cousin, Christopher Welly fed, 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 when 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 ; while Christopher does not require much stirring up. 
A little later he sends word 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 ; and 
again, in 1530, he declares that he has been so successful in 
his teaching, that Gregory will 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 own 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 belief 3 . But 
Cromwell was too much occupied with his own affairs, to pay 
much attention to the remarks of honest John Chekyng. 
Indeed 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 with his folks. To 
these insults Chekyng replied that he had brought up six 

1 Cf. Appendix at the end of this 2 Cal. iv. 4560, 4837, 4916. 
chapter, p. 58. 3 Cal. iv. 4561. 



54 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



M.A. s and fellows of colleges, and that the least Cromwell 
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 candell fell into the bed strawe and there 
were burnt the bed, bolster, * three overleydes and a sparver V 
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 was furnished handsomely if not luxuriously, 
while a draft of his will, written July 12, 1539 3 , indicates that 
his property at that time was by no means inconsiderable. 
It is to this document that we 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 himself 4 . The document is for 
the most part self-explanatory, but there are a few interesting 
facts to be especially noted in connexion with it. The 
bequests to Cromwell s daughters * Anne and Grace and to 
his Mitill 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 Cromwell 
and Morgan Williams, had followed in his uncle s footsteps, 
and was seruaunt with my lorde Marques Dorssett at the 
time that the will was first composed ; but he certainly 
received other employment soon afterwards, for the name 



Cal. iv. 4433, 5757, 6219. 

2 Cal. iv. 3197. 

3 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 Williams and Williamson 
are used interchangeably is scarcely 
credible. 

4 Cf. footnote I in the Appendix, 



p. 56. The will was originally mis 
dated, owing to an obviously care 
less error by the clerk, whjch was 
corrected by him at the time. The 
other corrections, by Cromwell, 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 was scored through in the will by Cromwell 
at a later date, and we also know from other sources that 
Richard Williams 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 . Before this 
date he had changed his name to Cromwell, and later became 
great-grandfather to the Protector 2 . His mother died before 
1529, for Cromwell in his will refers to Elizabeth Wellyfed 
as his onlye Suster. Cromwell s wife, as we have already 
seen, had also died before the will was made ; her sister 
Joan married a certain John Williamson, an old friend of 
Cromwell s, who later figured prominently in the latter s 
service. We also meet with many of the other names 
mentioned in this will, in Cromwell s later correspondence. 
Nearly 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 ff. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER III 

THE WILL OF THOMAS CROMWELL 

R. O. Cal. iv. 5772 (i) 

IN THE NAME OF god Amen The xij th Daye of lulie in the yere of 
our lorde god Mcccccxxix* 1 1 and in the xxjti yere of the Reigne 
of our Souereigne Lorde king Henry the viij th 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 my present testament conteyning my last will in maner and 
(fourme) Folowing. FURSTE I bequethe my Sowle to the grete 
god of heuen my maker Creator?* and Redemer beseching the most 
gloryous virgyn our blessed ladie Saynct Mary the vyrgyn and 
Mother m tfr all the holie companye of heuen to be Medyatours 
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 kingdome 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 goodly which our lorde hathe lent me in this Worlde 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 pounds thirten shelynges foure pens 2 
of lawfull money of Englonde With the Whiche Syx hundreth three 
score Syx powndes xiij s foure pens 3 I will myn executours vnder 
named ymediatlye or assone as they conuenyently may after my 
Decesse shall purchase londes tenements and hereditaments to the 
clere yerelye value of xxxiij 1 * vj s viij d 4 by the yere aboue all charges 

1 Altered at the time from :- Calendar, vol. iv. pt. iii. p. 2573. 
* MCCCCC xx viij* 1 by the clerk. All 2 Altered from: Foure hun- 

the other changes are in Cromwell s dreth pownd^r. 
hand, and were probably made at 8 Altered from: ccccV 
a later date. Cf. footnote in the 4 Altered from : xx 11 . 



HIS WILL. 1529 57 

and reprysys to thuse of my 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 ymedyatly and assone as the saide lond^r 
tenements and hereditaments shalbe so purchased after my deth 
as is aforsaide by myn executours that the yerelie proffytef thereof 
shalbe hollie spent and imployed in and aboutes the educacyon and 
fynding honestly of my saide Soon Gregory in vertue good lerning 
and Maners vntill such tyme as he shall cum to the full age of xxij 
yeres. During Which 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 When he shall cum to his full age of xxiiij yeres Twoo l 
Hundreth pounds of lawfull ynglissh money to order then as our 
lorde shall gyue hym grace and discression Which cc ij I will shalbe 
put in suertie to thintent the same may cum to his handdf at his 
saide age of xxiiij fci 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 w/ /A thayr bolsters ij the best 3 payre of 
blanket^ of Fustyan my best Couerlet of Tapistrye and my Quylte 
of yelow Turquye Saten, x payre of my best Sheter foure 4 pillowes 
of downe w/V/fc iiij payre of the best pillowe beres foure 5 of my best 
table clothes, foure of my best towelkr Twoo dosen 6 of my Fynest 
Naptkynnes and ij dozen of my other Naptkynnes, ij 7 garnyssh 
of my best vessell, iij of my best brasse potto, iij of my best brasse 
pannes, ij of my best kettilks, ij of my best Spitto, My best ioyned 
bed of Flaunders woz/rke wz M the best Syler and tester and other 
thappurtenaunces therto belonging My best presse caruen of Flaunders 
Mvourke and my best Cupbourde caruen of Flaunders wourk with 
also vj Joyned Stoles of Flaunders wo^rke and vj of my best 
Cusshyns Item I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon Gregorye 
A Bason vrith a Lewer parcell gilte my best Salt gilt my best Cup 



1 Altered from : one. 4 Altered from : two. 

2 Altered from : * twoo. 6 Altered from : ij. 

3 These last six words are altered 6 Altered from : One Dozen. 
from : a Bolster the best. 7 Altered from : * A. 



58 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



gilt, Three l of my best goblettes gilt three other of my best goblettes 
parcell gylt, Twelue of 2 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 pmnisses 
I will myn executors do put in saufe keping vntill my saide Soon 
shall cum to the saide yeres or age of xxij fci . 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 money thereof cum- 
wyng 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 Wyffes Suster Johane 
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 saide plate vessell and houseold stuf shalbe solde and yeuen 
to other my poure kynnesfolk^ then being on lyue and other poure 
and indigent people in Deades of charytee 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. 3 

2 Altered from : * vj of. 

3 These last two words are altered 
from : * and. 

4 Altered from : xxiiij 1 *. 

6 Crossed out : c Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my Doughter Anne one 
hundreth Markes of lawfull money 
of Englond when she shall cum to 
her lawfull age or happen to be 
maryed And xl 11 towards her Fynd- 
ing vntill the tyme that she shalbe 
of lawfull age or be maryed. Which 
xl 1 * I will shalbe Delyuered to my 
Frend John Croke on of the Six 
clerks of the king his Ch^imcerie 
to thintent 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 cum 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 Marker 
and so moche of the said xl 11 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 Mark^ and also 
so moche of the saide xl 1 as then 
shalbe vnspent to be departed 
amongst my Sustres children in 
ma.uer and fourme forsaid And if it 
happen my saide Sustres children 
then to be all Dede, Then I will 
the saide c Mark^ and so moche 
of the saide xl 11 as then shalbe 
vnspent shalbe deuyded amongst 
my kynsfolk^y such as then shalbe 
on lyue. 



HIS WILL. 1529 59 

fed xpi 1 iij Goblette* without a Cou^r 2 a Macer, And A Nutt Item 
I gyue and bequethe to my nephew Rycharde Wyllyams 8 Ixvj 11 xiij 8 
iiij d 4 sterlings my best B gowne Doblett and Jaquet lie m I gyue and 
bequethe to my nepue C^m/ofer Wellyfed my nephe xl li6 my v tb - 
gowne doblett and Jaquett Item I gyue and bequethe to my nephew 
Wyllyam Wellyfed the Yonger xx 11 7 Item I gyue and bequethe to my 
nece Alice Wellyfed to her Maryage xx 1 * And if it happen her to 
Dye before maryage then I will the saide xx 11 shall remayne to her 
brother Chrtstofer And if it happen him to Dye the same xx 11 to 
remayne to Willyam Wellyfed the yonger his brother. And if it 
happen them all to Dye before their lawfull age or maryage, then 
I will that their parte-f shall remayne to Gregory my Soon. And 
if it happen him to Dye before them then I will all the said paries 
shall remayn to Rychard Wyll/Vzms and Water Willzams my nephews 8 
And if it happen them to Dye then I will that all the said partes 
shalbe Distributed in Deader of charytee for my Sowle my Father 
and Mothers Sowles and all christen Sowles. Item I gyue and 
bequethe to my Mother in law Mercye Pryour xl 11 of lawfull yng- 
lissh money and her chaumber with certen houseold stuf, That is 
to saye A Fetherbed, a Bolster ij pillowes with their beres vj payre 
of Shete.? A payre of blankettes, A garnyssh of vessell, ij potter, 
ij pannes, ij Spytte5 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 Willyaw Wellyfed xx 11 my thurde 
gown Jaquet and Doblet. Item I gyue and bequethe to John 
Wyllyamson my brother in law c markes* a gown a Doblet and 
a Jaquet, A Fetherbed, A bolster vj payre of Shetes ij table clothes, 
ij Dozen Naptkynnes, ij towellw ij brasse potter, ij brasse pannes, 

1 Altered from : * xx u I Saye 5 Altered from : * Fourth. 
Twentye pounds sterling : and 6 Altered from : xx 11 . 
this is altered from : * xxx li which 7 Altered from : x h . 

she oweth me. 8 Altered from : shall remayne 

2 Crossed out : and. to Anne and Grace my dough- 

3 Crossed out: seruaunt with ters. 

my lorde Marques Dorssett. 9 Altered from: xl 11 : and this 

4 Altered from : xl 11 . is altered from : xx 11 . 



60 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



a Syluer pott A Nutte parcell gilt, and to Iohan<? his wyf x 15 J . Item 
I gyue and bequethe to Johane Wyllyamson their Doughter to her 
maryage xx ]i and to eu^ry other of their children vj u xiij 8 iiij d2 . 
Item I bequethe to Walter Wyllyams my nephue 3 xx 1 * Item I gyue 
and bequethe to Rafe Sadleyer my seruaunte cc 4 Marker of lawfull 
ynglissh money my Seconde 5 gowne Jaquet and Doblet and all my 
bok^y Item I gyue and bequethe to Hugh Whalley my Seruaunt 
vj ]i xiij 8 iiij d . Item I gyue and bequethe to Stephen Vaughan sum- 
tyme my seruaunte c markes 6 a gowne Jaquet and Doblet. Item 
I gyue and bequethe to Page my Seru^zmte otherwise called John 
du Fount vj 1 * xiij 3 iiijd 7 and also to Thomas Auerey my seruauntt 
vj 11 xiij 8 iiij d 8. Item I gyue and bequethe to John Horwood vj ]i xiij 8 
iiijd 9 Item that the rest of myn apparell before not gyuen ne be- 
quethed in this my testament and last will shalbe yeuen and equally 
Departed amongst my Seruauntes after the order and discression 
of myn executours Item I will also that myn executours shall take 
the yerely profytte.y aboue the charges of my Ferme of Canberye 



8 



VJ" XIIJ 

; * iij 11 vj 8 
: * Cosyn. 



: c. 



1 Altered from 

2 Altered from 

3 Altered from 

4 Altered from 

6 Altered from : Best. 

6 Altered from : x 11 . 

7 Crossed out : Item I gyue 
and bequethe to Elizabeth Gregory 
sumtyme my Seru<2nt xx 11 vj payre 
of Shetej A Fetherbed A payre of 
blankette.? A Couerlet ij table 
clothes, One Dozen Naptkynnes ij 
brasse potter, ij pannes, ij Spytte-y. 

! Crossed out : Item I gyue 
and bequethe to John Croke one 
of the vj clerkly of the Chtfuncerye 
x li my Second gowne Doblet and 
Jaquet. Item I gyue and bequethe 
to Roger More Seruaunt of the king 
his bakehouse vj u xiij 8 iiij d iij yard^j 
Saten and to Maudelyn his wyf iij 11 
vj 8 viij d . 

9 Crossed out : Item I gyue 
and bequethe to my litill Doughter 
Grace c Marker of lawfull ynglissh 
money when she shall cum to her 
lawfull age or maryage and also 



xl 11 towards her exhibucyon and 
Fynding vntill suche tyme {as} she 
shalbe of lawfull age or be maryed 
Which xl 11 1 will shalbe delyueredto 
my brother in law John Willyamson 
to thintent he may order and cause 
the same to be imployed in and 
aboutej the vertewous educacyon 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 
cum to her lawfull age or maryage 
then I will that the saide c markes 
and so moche of the saide xl 11 as 
then shalbe vnspent and vnimployed 
aboutej the fynding of my saide 
Doughter at the Day of the Deth 
of my saide Doughter 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 Market and the saide 
residue of the saide xl u to be euenlye 
Departed amongst my pourekynnes- 
folkes, that is to say my Susters 
children forsaide. 



HIS WILL. 1529 



61 



and all other things Conteynyd vtithm my sayd lease of Canberye 
in the Cowntye of Middelsex 1 And with the proffytej thereof 2 shall 
yerelie paye vnto my brother in law Will/am Wellffe(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 WilbVzm 
and Elysabeth the proffetter of the sayd Ferme ouer and aboue the 
yerlye Rentt to be kept to the vse of my Son gregorye tyll he Cum 
to the age of xxijt-i and at the yeres of xxij^ 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 cum 
to the age of xxij 4 yeres My sayd bruthure^ in lawe and syster being 
dede Then I will my Cosyn Rychard Willmms shall (haue) the 
Ferme with the appurtenance to hym and his executors and as 
signes and yf it happen my sayd Brother in law my Suster 5 my 
Son gregorye and my sayd Cosyn Rycharde to dye before the 
accoumplyshement of this my wyll touching^ the sayd Ferme then 
I wyll myn executors shall Sell the sayd ferme and the moneye 
therof Cummyng to Imploye in dedif 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 contynent 
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 pownd^r 
thertene sheling&y Foure pens that ys to saye vj^ xiij* iiij d yerlye for 
his stypend 8 . Item I gyue and bequethe towards the making of high 
wayes in this Realme where it shalbe thought most necessary 9 xx 11 



1 The last seventeen words are 
altered from : Sutton at Hone 
and Temple Dartford in the Countie 
of Kent And shall take the pr<?ffyte 
of my Ferme of the parsonage of 
Sutton/ 

Crossed out : cuwmyng. 
! Crossed out : * in Dead<?j of 
charytee ouer and aboue the charges 
and reparac/ons gyue and Distry- 
bute for my Soule quarterly xl 3 
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 Fermes During 



the yeres conteyned -wit km my 
leases. 

4 Altered from: xxv. 

5 Crossed out : and. 

6 Crossed out : my saide ex 
ecutours shall sell my said Fermes 
to the most proffyte and aduawntage 
And the money thereof growing 
to bestowe in Deader of charytee 
vppon my poure kynnesfolk^ and 
other charytable Dead^ to pray. 

7 Altered from : iij. 

8 The last eighteen words are 
altered from : iij yeres xx b . 

9 Added and crossed out : * by 
the discression of myn executors. 



62 THOMAS CROMWELL 

to be Disposed by the Discression of myn executours. Item I gyue 
and bequethe to Query of the v orders of Freers w/Min the Cytee 
of London to pray for my Soule xx s 1 . Item I gyue and bequethe 
to Ix poure Maydens Maryages xl li2 That is to saye xiij 8 iiijd 3 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 my decesse amongst poure people howseholders 
to pray for my Sowle xx 1 * 4 . Item I gyue and bequeth to the poure 
parochians Suche as by myn executors shalbe thowght most needffull 
of the paroche Where god shall ordeyn me to haue my dwelling 
place at the tyme of my Deth x 11 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 x u Wylling 
charging and desiring myn executours vnderwrytten that they shall 
See this my Will p^Hburmed in euery poynte according to my trew 
meaning and intente as they will answer to god and discharge their 
consciences. 

7 Item I gyue and bequeth to Will/^m brabason my seruaunt XX H 
sterling A gowne A dublett A Jaquet and my second gelding. 

Item I gyue and bequeth to John averey yoman of the bottell with 
the kynges highnes vj 11 xiij 8 iiij d , and doublet of Saten. 

Item I bequeth to thurston my Coke vj 1 * xiij s iiijd. 

Item I gyue and bequethe to William bodye my seruauntt vj 1 * 
xiij 9 iiij d . 

Item I gyue and bequeth to Peter mewtes my seruauntt vj lj 
xiij 8 iiij d . 

Item I gyue and bequeth to Rychard Swyft my seruauntt vj 1 * 
xiij 8 iiij d . 

Item I gyue and bequeth to george Wylkynson my seruauntt 
vj 11 xiij 8 iiijd. 

Item I gyue and bequeth to my Frend Thomas alvard x 11 and my 
best gelding. 

Item I gyue and bequeth to my frend Thomas Russhe x 1 *. 

Item I gyue and bequeth to my seruauntt John Hynde my horse- 
keper iij 1 * vj 9 viij d . 

1 Altered from : xiij 8 iiij* 1 . 6 Crossed out: * Item I gyue and 

2 Altered from : * xx li . bequethe to my paroche churche 
s Altered from : vj 8 viij d . for my tithes forgotten xx 3 . 

4 Altered from : * x 11 . 7 The last eleven bequests are 

6 Altered from : v 11 . added in Cromwell s hand. 



HIS WILL. 1529 63 

Item I wyll that myn executors shall Saluelye kepe the patentt 
of the M&nour of Rompney 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 goodly catalkj and debttw not bequethed 
my Funeralk.r and buryall p^rfourmed which I will shalbe Don 
w/Mout any erthelye pompe and my Dettes payed, I will shalbe sold 
And the money thereof cuwmyng to be Distributed in vtourkes of 
charytee and pytee after the good Discression of myn executours 
vndernamed whom I make and Ordeyn Stephyn Vaughan ] Rafe 
Sadleyer my seruaunttes and John 2 Wyllyamson my brother in law. 
Prayeng and Desiring the same myn executours to be good vnto 
my Soon Gregorye 3 and to all other my Frend^r poore kynsfolkw 
and Seruaunttes before named in this my testament And of this my 
present testament and last Will I make Roger More myn Ouerseer 
Vnto whom and also to Query of the other myn executours I gyue 
and bequethe vj 11 xiij s iiij d4 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 Wytnes Wherof to this my present 
testament and last will I haue sett my hand in Query lefe conteyned 
in this Boke the day and yere before lymyted 

per me Thomam Crumwell 5 

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

1 Altered from: John Croke 3 Crossed out: and to my litill 
one of the vj clerkly of the king Doughters Anne and Grace. 

his Chrtuncerye. 4 Added and crossed out : ouer 

2 The last four words are altered and aboue thayr legacyes beforsayd. 
from : my Seruaunt lohn Smyth 5 Every page, except the last two, 
and John. 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-will 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 1 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 Wolsey 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 fall 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 more hated for 

1 Cal. 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 l . Another letter from his companion in 
Wolsey s service, Sir Thomas Rush, who was employed with 
him at Ipswich, gave him further warning of the evil reports 
that were circulated about him 2 . It is no wonder that he 
was 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, wilfully 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 such astute men as Wolsey and Cromwell. 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, 1 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 windowe with a Primer in his hand, saying our 

1 Cal. iv. 6036. 2 Cal. iv. 6110. 

5 Cavendish, pp. 175 ff. ; 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 
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 V 

Cromwell performed his promise well. He dined with 
Wolsey on that All-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. 

No one knew better than Cromwell that the best place for 



Cavendish, pp. 169, 170. 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 67 

him to make or marre the Cardinal s fortunes and his 
own, was in the Parliament which was to meet November 3 
(two days later), and, being in London, he devised with 
himself to be one of the burgesses V 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, whose son was 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 which it is impossible to doubt, hints at 
a good deal more than is to be found in Cavendish s account, 
which must have been made from Cromwell s own story about 
his proceedings 3 . This letter reads as follows : 

Woz/rshipfull S/r it may please you to be adu^rtised that 
a litle before the receipte of yoz/r \ettere I cam from the courte 
where I spake wit/i Mr. Gage and according to your com- 
maundement moved him to speke vnto my lorde of NorfTolk 
for the burgeses Rowme of the parlyament on your behalf 
And he accordingly so dyd wzt^out delay lyke a faythfull 
Frende, wherevppon my saide lorde of Norffolk answered 
the saide Mr. Gage that he had spoken wz t 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 NornW shall gyue you from the king Adu^rtesing 
you ferther that the saide Duke in any wise willeth that ye 
do speke vritfo his grace to morow for th[at] purpose. In 
token whereof his grace sent you by mr. Ga[ge] your Ryng 
wz t// 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 knowen your pleasure I could now haue sent 
you answere of the same. Howbeit I will speke wit/i him 
this night god willing and know whether ye shalbe Burges 

1 Cavendish, p. 179. 2 Parliamentary Papers, vol. Ixii. pt. i. p. 37- 

1 Cal. iv. App. 238. 



68 THOMAS CROMWELL 

of Oxforde or not And if ye be not elect there I will then 
according to your ferther cowmaundement 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 wit/t your pleasure, that ye did repayre hither 
to morowe assone as ye conuenyently may for to speke with 
the Duke of NorfiW 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 consideraczbns 
as Mr. Gage will Shew you who moche desireth to speke wzt^ 
you. the king his grace wilbe to morow at night at yorke 
place. Other newes at the courte I here none but dyu^s 
of my lorde his seruaimtes 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 we cam into london he departed 
from me I knowe not whither. Newes I inquiered of him 
but he sayed he knew none other then as I haue wrytten 
you here, which Mr. Gage also shewed him. Humblie 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 hertey Desire and to induce and bring all your good 
purposes and affairees to good effecte. From london in 
haste this present all Saynctey 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 away 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 was to take steps to get himself into favour with 
Norfolk. Cavendish s account is explained by the fact that 
Cromwell would not have been very likely to tell Wolsey 
how 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, which the honest and simple-minded 
biographer probably never suspected for an instant. One 
can hardly doubt that Cromwell would not have been elected 
to this Parliament had he not secured the consent of the 
Cardinal s worst foe. He had thus killed two birds with one 
stone ; he had gained his position in the House of Commons 
where his influence would be felt, and he had successfully 
escaped the odium of the chief person at the Court, which 
would have naturally fallen upon him as Wolsey 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 
1529 were ordered by the King. The bill of attainder or 
boke of artikels against the Cardinal was 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 King did not 
wish it to pass, and royal * hints at this period of English 
history were generally respected and obeyed. Cavendish 
tells us that when Cromwell had obtained his seat in 
Parliament, and the attainder was brought forward, he con 
sulted with Wolsey 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 
none effect, so that at length his honest estimation and earnest 
behaviour in his master s cause grewe 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 V 

1 Cavendish, pp. I79ff. 



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 was 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 loyally 
serving his fallen master. It was scarcely less important 
than the first, and was carried through by Cromwell with 
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 management 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- . 

1 Cal. iv. 6098, 6203, 6249. Cf. of National Biography, vol. xiii. 

also Dixon, vol. i. pp. 48-9 n. p. 197. 

Stubbs Lectures, p. 315, and the 5 Cal. iv. 6017. 

ife of Cromwell in the Dictionary 3 Busch, pp. 288, 289. 



LIBRARY r 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 71 

ficence ; his Court was by far the most brilliant that England 
had ever beheld, and nobody could play his part there who 
was not prepared to lavish vast sums upon his outfit. 
But the greater part of the nobles were 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 Crown 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 l . 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 was a golden opportunity to a man 
in Cromwell s position and of Cromwell s talents. To Wolsey, 
whose 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 
moment, as the only sure road to favour at the Court 2 . Now 
that Wolsey had surrendered himself almost wholly to the 
counsels of his painstaking, watchful, close and wholly un 
scrupulous adviser, Cromwell 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 own 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, Wolsey says, Yf the desspleasure of my lady 
Anne be [somejwhat 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 Cal. iii. 3694, and iv. 6216, 6792. 

2 Cf. Introduction to vol. iv of the Calendar, pp. 549, 550. 
1 State Papers, vol. i. p. 35 1 



72 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 
300 out of the lands of the bishopric of Winchester, and 
a similar gift of 2,00 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 100 to 200, and would 
like to have Sir John Russell s annuity of 20 made 40 or 
50, if Cromwell thinks it expedient 2 . 

It is thus clear 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 shrewd 
and selfish counsellor, who moved about among those whom 
it was most important for him to propitiate, and soon found 
means to make it appear that Wolsey s favours in reality 
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 view 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 Cromwell had by this time got everything into his own 

1 Cal. iv. 6115. 2 Cal. iv. 6181. 

5 Cal. iv. 6098, 6181, 6204, 6249. 



THE FALL OF THE CARDINAL 73 

hands, so that Wolsey was forced to do exactly as he was 

bidden. Whenever the Cardinal undertook anything on his 

own responsibility, without asking his servant s advice, it was 

greatly resented. If Wolsey dared to hint that Cromwell 

was not wholly devoted to his interests, the latter sent back 

a complaining and half-threatening reply 1 . The Cardinal 

was even forced to write 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 

more harsh and imperious was his all-powerful counsellor. 

With the whole control of his master s interests at the Court 

in his own hands, it was exceedingly simple for a man of 

Cromwell s peculiar talents to dispose the funds committed to 

his care in such ways as tallied best with his own interests, 

while 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. Cromwell had thus succeeded in attaining 

a most enviable position, which was 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 wether often thrustithe men into the Daungerous sees, not 

thinking to be sodaynly opprest wythe tempest when vn.wa.res 

they be preuented and brought in great ieop^rdie. The 

Wyndes arn mutable vnsure and will not be caryed in mennys 

\\andes 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 worlde, wher we find undique miseriam V 

A final opportunity was given to Cromwell 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 Ipswich. In this, even honest 
Cavendish could see that Cromewell perceyved an occasion 

1 Letters, 13. 2 Cal. iv. 6203. s Cal. iv. 6196. 



74 THOMAS CROMWELL 

given 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 them, 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 
was 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 Mr. 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 muche hereafter to his increase of dignity; . . . 
and having the ordering and disposition of the landes 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 
favour 2 . 

It 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 King 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 own ends, and 
wrote empty, and, it would seem, almost contemptuous letters 
of consolation to the Cardinal, of which that of August 18 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. 584, 585. 

2 Cavendish, p. 198. 3 Letters, 18. 



THE 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, 1530 ; but when, at the last, the Cardinal s 
enemies turned against him a second time and secured his 
complete downfall, there is no record of Cromwell s saying a 
word or doing a thing in his behalf. On November 29, 1530, 
Wolsey died, shattered and disgraced. 

It is very unfortunate that there still exist so few of 
Cromwell s letters during the last two years of Wolsey s life. 
There are preserved at present only 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 with 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 word 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 Westminster Gardens 2 . Part 
of this story is obviously false ; Cromwell could not have been 
at Bologna when Sir John Russell was (between 1524 and 
1528), because he was occupied in England at that time, as 
his correspondence shows. 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 Chapuys 3 , 
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 was in England. Henry, 

1 Letters, 9-20. 3 See Appendix I at the end of 

2 Foxe, vol. ii. pp. 419 ff. chapter i. p. 17. 



76 THOMAS CROMWELL 

it appears, was 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 which 
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 
Wolsey 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 which 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 ways 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 powerful 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 III 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 winning 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 allow 
him to rule as well as govern. 



78 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 crown 
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 aware 
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 men 
to discern that it was 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 share 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 CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 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 Emperor 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 with his great 
rival the King of France. The bone of contention was 
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 two parts : the dream of Charles was to connect 
them ; the object of Francis was to forestall him. Northern 
Italy 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 was 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 l . 

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 
would 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 

1 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 following spring. 
At this juncture the matter of the divorce began to occupy 
his exclusive attention, and the foreign affairs of the next 
three years were 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 1527 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 ally 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 all 
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 blow 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 when, 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 with 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 two rivals remained nearly equal. This point 
has been purposely dwelt upon here as a foreshadowing of 
what was to happen to Cromwell a few years later. Departure f 
from the policy of neutrality between France and Spain helped n 
to ruin Wolsey: a similar blunder in foreign affairs was {( 
destined to lead his successor to destruction. 

The entire attention of England was 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, does not belong to the ground covered by this 
essay. Suffice it to say that the Cardinal s ineffectual 
attempts 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 was looked upon as the disturber 
of Christian unity, not only by the Emperor, but also by all 
continental Europe 1 . Charles, of course, was 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, 6691. 

MERRIMAN. I G 



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 1521 l . At Henry s exceedingly corrupt Court she 
did not want for admirers and suitors, foremost among whom 
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 legitimate 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 when Cromwell came 
into power. He was a Catholic and against the New Faith. 
He had received in his younger days a thorough military 

1 For the date of the birth of Anne English Historical Review, vol. viii. 

Boleyn see Friedmann, chap, i, p. 58, and vol. x. p. 104. 
and Note A in the Appendix; 2 Cal. iv. 1431 (8), 6083,6163. 
Round, The Early Life of Anne 3 Cal. iv. 4477, 4383, 4410, 3325, 

Boleyn; and Gairdner in the 3326,3218-21. 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 83 

and diplomatic training, and in 1531 was 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 will of the King, and a bitter hatred 
of any rival to his influence with Henry ; a hatred which 
first directed itself against Wolsey, for whose downfall he 
laboured incessantly, and later against Cromwell, whose 
opponent he was during the decade of the former s greatness. 
He was the equal of neither of these two 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 followed on the heels of another. He threw 
himself heart and soul into the interests of his niece when 
Henry s love for her was increasing ; and yet when the royal 
passion waned, and Anne was accused in 1536, he was not 
ashamed to preside at her trial and sentence her to death l . 

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 Wolsey 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 V 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 would 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 CROMWELL 

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. Neither of the two men 
could have played the role of Cromwell : 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 l . 

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 
with Rome were strained, owing to Henry s proceedings 
in the divorce ; his * grete matier was unpopular with the 
country at large ; France and Spain were 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 awkward, 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 was 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. 419. 



HIS CHARACTER AND OPPORTUNITY 85 

cunning, and intelligent aspect, quite at variance with his 
ordinary appearance. His conversation at such moments was 
witty and entertaining to the last degree, and the Spanish 
ambassador 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 was placed, merely reflects one of 
the dominant characteristics of the man. He obviously had 
remarkable power of quickly adapting himself to his sur 
roundings. He rarely failed to realize immediately his relation 
to those with whom he came in contact, and his manner, 
behaviour, and expression varied accordingly. No one knew 
better how or when to flatter than Thomas Cromwell ; on 
the other hand no one could be more harsh and cruel than 
he, when he was 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 workmanship, which he wanted for his house at Austin 
Friars, of such expense that Vaughan was almost afraid to 
buy it, is not without interest. There is record of his pur 
chasing a globe, with a set of explanatory notes, and the only 
two Cronica Cronicarum cum figuris that could be found in 
all Antwerp 2 . Especially great was his love of Italian things. 
His stay in Italy was of sufficient duration to steep him in the 
spirit of the Renaissance ; he read and studied his Machiavelli, 
so that it was a guide to his future political career ; we can 
well imagine him repeating to himself the sentence in chapter 
xviii of The Prince which begins Ma e 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 V He doubtless 

1 Cf. Pauli, Thomas Cromwell, p. 301. 
1 Cal. iv. 4613, 4884, 5034, 6429, 6744. 
3 II Principe, chap, xviii, p. 304. * Ibid., chap, xvii, p. 291. 



86 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 l . 

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 himself 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, which 
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 
which 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 Cromwell, 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. Cromwell 

1 Cal. iv. 6346. ! Letters, I. 

1 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 *. It is not astonishing that 
Pole realized that it was dangerous for him to remain in 
England, when Cromwell 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 Cromwell to tick off in 
his memoranda 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 Down to be tryed & excecutyd at 
Reding V He totally disregarded the justness or morality 
of any action ; its utility was for him its morality, 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 
(History 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 
1532, 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 in 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 Cal. xiv. (ii) 399. 

3 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, Cromwell 
never lost anything that might be turned to good account. 
It has been shown 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 own 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. He simply used them as pieces in the 
great game which he was playing. 

Such was the man who, for the next ten years, was to have 
almost the sole guidance of the course of English history. 
As was his purpose when 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 King, to make or to marre. 



1 On the south side and at the 
west end of this church (the Austin 
Friars) many fayre houses are 
builded, namely in Throgmorton 
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 drawen, a trench to 
bee cast, a foundation laid, and a 
highe bricke wall to bee builded. 
My 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 vi s . viii d . the yeare, for that 
halfe which was left. Thus much 
of mine owne knowledge haue I 
thought good to note, that the sud- 
daine rising of some men, causeth 
them to forget themselves. 



CHAPTER VI 

IN THE KING S SERVICE 

THE decade which followed Cromwell s appointment as 
counsellor to Henry VIII, witnessed some of the most striking 
changes that have ever taken place in England. The question 
which must obviously occur to every student of the period, is 
whether the King himself, or his new minister, was the real 
cause of the secular and religious revolution of the years 1530 
to 154- The difficulty of the problem is increased by the 
fact that Henry and Cromwell made every effort to conceal 
their traces ; scarcely any information can be gleaned from 
their correspondence. We are therefore forced to draw our 
conclusions 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 Cromwell as the true originator of the startling changes 
which occurred soon after his accession to power. The fact 
that the ultimate object of all these changes was the con- ( 
centration of power 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 was an end which both 
King and minister always kept in view : in the methods by 
which 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 Wolsey s device for solving the problem of 
the King s divorce, and the summary, revolutionary process 
by which it was finally secured after the Cardinal s fall, lies our 
strongest ground for supposing that it was at Cromwell s 
instance that the decisive step was taken. It seems almost 



90 THOMAS 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 
here ; scarcely an important Act was passed in Parliament 
between the years 1533 and 1540, of which there is not some 
previous mention in Cromwell s papers and memoranda. 
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 King s service, and that the country in general 
certainly regarded the events of the years 1530 to 1533 as the 
work 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 contemporary 
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 
was, on the contrary, to his own interest, and also to the 
King s, that he should be kept in the background. By per 
mitting the people to think that Henry was 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 KING S SERVICE 91 

Wolsey s ministry and that of his successor was disguised. 
Moreover, had the people known that Cromwell was at the 
bottom of these changes, which were universally unpopular, 
nothing would have saved him from their revenge. As long 
as the new measures were attributed to the King, respect for 
the royal name was enough to prevent a revolt. Cromwell, on 
the contrary, who 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 him from it. 
When, in 1533, the mask was finally thrown off, Chapuys and 
the other foreign ambassadors realized all at once that Crom 
well s sudden burst into prominence would have been quite 
impossible, had not the ground been thoroughly prepared for 
it by important services rendered during the first years of his 
ministry. 

Such, then, are the general reasons for thinking that 
Cromwell was the man who planned out and carried through 
the various measures which have rendered famous the period 
of his ministry. In examining separately the different events 
which took place, we 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 
which he won 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 Satanae Nuncius, as Pole names 
Cromwell, solicited and obtained an audience with the King, 
and proposed a plan by which Henry could free himself from 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



Papal restrictions, marry Anne, divorce Katherine, and yet 
ostensibly remain true to the Catholic Faith. 

Cromwell introduced himself with 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 wise and learned were in favour of the divorce ; the only 
thing lacking was 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 himself 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 would immediately realize 
that they were responsible to the King and not to the Pope, 
and would forthwith become subservient to the royal will. 
Henry may have been surprised by the audacity of Cromwell s 
scheme, but he was also much pleased, as it promised to 
satisfy all his dearest wishes. The Satanae Nuncius received 
his hearty thanks, and was further rewarded by a seat in the 
Privy Council l . 

Cromwell must have realized from the first, that the adop- 



1 Pole, Apologia ad Carolum Quin- 
tum, 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 ilia 
oratione positum alicujus momenti 



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



IN THE KING S SERVICE 93 

tion of his scheme to throw off the Papal authority in England 
would encounter the greatest opposition from the clergy, but 
he had already devised a plan by which every objection 
could be silenced and the refractory ecclesiastics overawed. 
His whole policy in this crisis was based on the knowledge 
that the position of the clergy since Wolsey s fall was com 
pletely altered. They 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 now isolated, timid and demoralized. Cromwell was the 
first to perceive and make use of their changed condition. 
At 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 1530 2 , 
assured him, if he needed any assurance, that the day of 
compromise with the Pope was passed, and that no divorce 
would ever come from the Vatican ; he saw that if a separation 
of Henry and Katherine was to be secured at all, the battle 
ground on which it was to be won was not the Papal Curia at 
Rome, but the Houses of Convocation and Parliament. 

So it was 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, 
while 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, were 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 

Attorney-General was instructed to file a brief against the 
entire body in the Court of King s Bench. The clergy then 

1 As Cal. iv. 6183. 2 Cal. iv. 6111, 6154-5- 

3 Holinshed s Chronicle, p. 766. 



94 THOMAS CROMWELL 

assembled in Convocation, and offered the King ioo,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 preamble to the grant, a clause were 
introduced making him to be the Protector and only Supreme 
Head of the Church and clergy of England V 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 were 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 
3ist 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 between 
the clergy and the nobles V It was not until the i4th of 
February, when the entire 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. We are told that * ille de suprematu regis conce- 
ptus haud bene placuit praelatis et clero, inde eum modificari 
voluerunt. Per tres itaqtie sessiones cum consiliariis regiis 
(among whom Cromwell doubtless was most prominent) ratio 
inita fuit quomodo regis animum flectere possent ad molliori- 
bus verbis exprimendum articulum ilium V At first Henry 
announced to the clergy through Rochford that the only 
alteration he would accept would be the insertion of the 



1 There were to be in all five solus est/ Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 725. 

concessions, the first of which was 2 Cal. v. 62, 70. 

the really important and crucial Cal. v. 105. 

one Ecclesiae et cleri Anglicani, 4 Cal. v. 7, 9; vi. 416. 

cuj us protector et supremum caput is 5 Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 725. 



IN THE KING S SERVICE 95 

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 cleri Anglicani, cujus singularem protectorem, unicum et 
supremum dominicum, et quantum per Christi legem licet 
etiam supremum caput ipsius majestatem recognoscimus. 
Both the Canterbury and York Convocations hastened to 
accept this compromise, and the latter voted an additional 
grant of 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 was 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 V But Henry certainly had no idea 
of permitting a restriction as vague as this seriously to 
interfere with 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 overcome 
the obstinacy of his opponents, but Chapuys was certainly 
not far wrong 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 was 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 Lower 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. 142. 2 Cal. v. 105. 

3 Cal. v. 171. 



98 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Parliament, which responded to the mandates of the King 
and his minister with gratifying celerity. Shortly after the 
opening of the session, in January, 1532, there appeared in 
the Lower House that famous document, which is usually 
known as the Supplication of the Commons against the 
Ordinaries V The designation is certainly misleading : so 
preponderant was the part played by one of the Commons 
in the preparation of this memorable petition, that it cannot 
be fairly regarded as the work of them all. The nature of 
the charges of which the c Supplication was composed, its 
phraseology and the handwritings in the various drafts of 
it which are preserved to us to-day 2 leave little doubt that it 
V 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 was 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 them, thought it advisable to intervene 
himself in the dispute. A short interview between the King 
and the Speaker was enough to reanimate the drooping 
spirits of the House : Henry was even spared the trouble 

1 Hall, p. 784. Wilkins, vol. iii. pp. 748, 750. 

8 See Appendix at the end of this 4 Hall, p. 788 ; Cal. v. 989. 
chapter, p. 104. 



IN THE KING S SERVICE 97 

of a frank avowal of his attitude in words a gracious promise 
to be indifferent between the disputants was quite sufficient 
to ensure the continuance of the struggle. The Ordinaries 
were not slow to discover that their first reply had been 
totally ineffectual, and hastened to compose a second which, 
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, was necessary before the final 
compromise was reached 2 . In fact matters moved so slowly 
that the King was 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 were 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, when they were prorogued once more on account of 
the ragings of the plague. Before he let them go, however, the 
King had probably ascertained that the clergy intended to sub 
mit. Threatened on all sides, Convocation on the i6th 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. It 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 Cf. Dixon, vol. i. pp. 74-111. 

8 Cal. v. 1023. 



MERRIMAN. I 



98 THOMAS CROMWELL 

left him absolutely untouched ; the practical, the politically 
serviceable aspect of the case, alone appealed to him. 

Popular as Henry doubtless was, Cromwell 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 were 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 *. 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 was endangering his 
crown by his marriage, for great and little were murmuring 
at it. The 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 warden and preacher both arrested 2 . Most 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 necessary to discover and either destroy or convert 

1 Cal. v. 1202. 2 Ca i v . 941. 



IN THE KING S SERVICE 99 

the laymen opposed to it, as it was to keep in submission the 
clergy from whose 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 
1532 Cromwell began to create a system of espionage, the 
most effective that England had ever seen, that in a short 
time was to render unsafe the most guarded expression of 
dissent in politics or religion. The success which 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 new 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 William 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 sword, no law except the law of the land 
advocated in The Obedience of a Christian Man, doubtless 
struck Cromwell, if he read the book. It 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 Cromwell was able to 
persuade the King to permit him to attempt this is a good 
proof of his influence with Henry. In May, 1530, Tyndale 
had been denounced as a perverter of God s word l ; but so 
great was the change which the new minister s accession to 
power had wrought 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 

Demaus, p. 257. 2 Demaus, p. 274. 

H 2 



100 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Cromwell, informing them that he had written to the 
reformer (three separate letters to different places, not know 
ing where he was) 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 Cromwell, 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 works. * Would God he were in 
England. As usual Vaughan s enthusiasm had run away 
with his discretion. He was the exact opposite of Cromwell 
in this respect ; he was ever full of emotion and feeling, 
while his master was to the last degree practical and 
calculating. 

In spite of his first rebuff, Vaughan persevered in his attempts, 
and on the 25th of March sent Cromwell another letter, in 
which he expressed a little more hope of getting Tyndale to 
go to England 2 . Three weeks later his efforts received some 
more substantial reward, for on the 1 8th of April he wrote to 
Henry 3 , that he had at last obtained an interview with the 
reformer, and that though the latter still refused to comply 
with 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 Plenry 
had seen it, because the latter had been displeased at the 
hasty and unlicensed printing of his former work, The Practise 
of Prelates. The letter and the book were not destined, 
however, to have the desired effect on the King. 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 Tyndale s brother John had been 

referred to the steps taken by arrested in London for selling New 

Bishop Stokesley and others to Testaments received from abroad, 

punish those who favoured the new 2 Cal. v. 153. 

religion. It was at this time that 3 Cal. v. 201. 



IN THE KING S SERVICE 101 

his counsellor. For once Cromwell had mistaken his man. 
To say that the King was thoroughly vexed and annoyed, 
when he had perused Vaughan s letter, and the enclosed 
work, is a mild statement of the facts. The original letter 
which Vaughan wrote is not extant, but there is a copy of it 
in the British Museum which ends most abruptly with the 
words To declare to yow Magyste what In my pore Judge 
ment I thynke of the man, I ass^rteyne your grace I haue 
not cowmunyd w/ t// A man l ; 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 which the latter s report 
had produced on the King. What with the precipitation of 
his emotional, enthusiastic, and unpractical friend, Cromwell 
must have been placed in a very awkward position. The 
many corrections and interlineations in the draft of the letter 
he wrote in reply to Vaughan, sufficiently reveal his great 
perplexity and bewilderment 2 . The subject-matter of the 
letter will speak for itself. The rage of the King is vividly 
described, and Vaughan is repeatedly warned to abandon the 
reformer : but in spite of everything he continued to attempt 
to persuade Tyndale to return. He had two more fruitless 
interviews with the latter, described in his letters to Henry of 
the 2oth of May, and to Cromwell on the I9th of June 3 , and 
after that came back to England for the summer. In 
November he returned to the Netherlands, and wrote again 
to Cromwell warmly on Tyndale s behalf, but not a word did 
he receive in reply 4 . In the meantime Henry and Cromwell 
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 worker, and dared say no more. The rest of his 
letters during these two years do not even once mention him. 
The whole Tyndale episode is noteworthy as the nearest 

L British Museum, Titus B, vol. i. Cal. v. 246, 303. 

p. 67. 4 Cal. v. 533, 574, 618. 

2 Letters, 21. 5 Demaus, p. 307. 



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 would 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 was 
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, 
ana 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 
was 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 
wiched 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 New 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 
libera sit Cam into the Statute V The less important items 
are of course by far the more numerous, especially in the first 

1 Cal. v. 701, 1548, 1600, 1728; 2 British Museum, Titus B,vol. i. 
Letters, 36, 39. p. 422. 



IN THE KING S SERVICE 103 

six years when the King loaded his new minister with details 
of the greatest variety and complexity. Towards the last 
the remembrances are fewer in number, and deal less 
extensively with minor matters ; but even up to the very end 
we find ample evidence that the King s minister carried in 
his head an amount of detail of a comparatively unimportant 
nature, which would 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 minor affairs at home. Cromwell, in 
his ten years of power, not only atoned for the errors of 
Wolsey, but also familiarized himself with 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 
which had followed the divorce, without the aid of a counsellor 
of the peculiar talents of Thomas Cromwell. 

The thread of our narrative now becomes so complicated, 
when 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 Cromwell s policy, up to the reaction of J539- 
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 were 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 most humble Wise Shewen vnto your excellent highnes and 
most prudent wisedom your faithfull louyng and most humble and 
obedient Subiecto The Cowmons in this your p^sente parliament 
assembled That where of late aswell thorough new fantasticall and 
erronyous opynyons growen by occasion of Frantike sedycious and 
ou^rthwartly 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 (vnreasonableand) extreme (rygour 
vndiscrete} and vncharytabk behaueour and dealing of dyuers ordy- 
naries Ther Commyssaryes and Substytuttzs which haue heretofore 
had and yet have thexamynacion in and vppon the saide errours and 
hereticall opynyons moche discorde varyaunce and debate hathe 
rysen and more and more daylie is like to encrease and insue 
emonges the vniu^^sall sorte of your saide Subiectdr aswell spzWtuall 
as temporall either ayenst other in most vncharitable maner to the 
grete inquietacion vexacion and breche of your peax w/ t^in this your 
most catholik realme. The speciall perticuler greues whereof which 
most principally concerne your saide Commons and lay Subiecte? and 
whiche ar (as they vndoubtedlie suppose) the veray chief Founteyns 
occasions and causes that daylie bredeth Fostereth Norissheth and 



BOKE AYENST THE CLERGY 105 

maynteneth the saide sedycions factyons dedelie hatered and most 
vncharitable parte takings either parte and sorte of your saide 
Subiecte? spirituall and temporall ayenst thother hereafter Folowing- 
lye Do ensue. 

Furst where the prelate and spzWtuall Ordynaries of this your 
most excellent Realme of Englonde and the clergie of the same 
haue in their conuocac/ons heretofore made and caused to be made 
and also day lie do make dyuers and manye Facyons <?/" lawes consty- 
tuabns and ordena2tunces wz L&out your knowlege or most royal! 
assente and w/t/fout the assent and consent of any your lay Sub 
jects vnto the whiche lawes your saide lay Subiecto haue not onelie 
heretofore and day lie be {boundene} constraynyd to obbeye as well 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 expense ayenst all equytee right and good 
conscience. And yet your saide humble subiectar ne their predeces- 
sours coulde euer be pryuey to the saide lawes Ne any of the saide 
lawes haue ben declared vnto them in thinglisshe tong or otherwise 
publysshed By knowlege whereof they might haue extued the daun- 
giers censures and penaltees of the same Which lawes so made your 
saide most humble and obedyent subjects vnder the supportacion 
of your Maiestee Suppose to be not onelie to the dymynucyon 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 Wyllyam Archebusshop of 
Caunterburie that in the Courts whiche he callith his Courtes of the 
Arches 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 Courts. By reason whereof if any 
of your lay Subiecte? shoulde haue any lawfull cause ayenst the Judge 
of the saide Courts or ayenst any doctor or proctour of the same 
or any of their Frend^ or adherents they can ne may in any wise 
haue indifferent counsaill. And also all the causes depending in 
any of the saide courts may by the confederacie of the saide Few 
proctours be in suche wise tracted and delayed as your Subiect^ 
suing in the same shalbe put to importable charges costes and 
expencs. And in case that any matiers there being p^ferred 
shoulde touche Your Crowne Regallie Jurisdiction and pmogatif 
royall yet the same shall not be disclosed by any of the saide proc 
tors for fere of losse of their offices. Wherefore your saide most 



106 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 courts 
of tharches and audience there to be sworne aswell to the preferre- 
ment of your iurisdiction and prerogatif royall as to thexpedyc/bn 
of all the causes of your Lay Subiectes repayring and suing to the 
same. 

And Where also many of your saide most humble and obedient 
subiecter and specyallie those that be of the pourest sorte w/t/^in 
this your Realme ben daylie conuented and called before the saide 
sp/Wtuall Ordynaries their Commissaries and Substytutetf ex officio 
somtyme at the pleasures of the saide Ordynaries and Substytuter 
for malice w/t^out any cause and sumtyme at the onelie pr^mocyon 
and accusement of their {false} Somoners and apparitours being 
veray light and vndiscrete persons w/t/fout any lawfull cause of 
accusacion or credible fame proued ayenst them and wzt/fout any 
presentement in the vysitacion ben inquieted disto&rbed vexed 
troubeled and put to excessiue and importable charges for them to 
bere and many tymes be suspended and excowmunycate for small 
and light causes vppon thonelie certificat of the proctours of the 
adu^rsaries made vnder a fayned Scale which Query proctor hathe 
in his keping where as the partie suspended and excowmunycate 
many tymes nQuer had any warning and yet when he shalbe absolued 
if it be out of the courte he shalbe compelled to pay to his owne 
proctor xxd and to the proctowr which is ayenst him other xxd 
and xxd to the Scribe beside a pryuey rewarde that the Judge 
shall haue to the grete impouerysshing of your saide poure Lay 



Also Your saide most humble and obedient subiecto Fynde them 
greued w/t% the grete and excessyue Fees taken in the said spmtuall 
courts and in especiall in the saide Courts? of tharches and audience 
where they take for euery Cytacyon ii 8 vi d for Query Inhibycyon 
vjs viij d , for euerie proxie xvj d for Query certificat xvj d , for Query Libell 
iij 3 . iiij d ., for Query answer to any Lybell iij 8 iiij d , for Query acte if it 
be but two woord&r to the Register iiij d , for Query personall Cytacion 
or decree iij 9 iiij d . for euery sentence or iudgement to the Judge 
xxvi 8 . viij d , for Query testiwonyall vppon any suche sentence or iudge 
ment xxvj s . viii d for Query significant xij 8 . for Query cowmyssion to 
examyn wytnes xij 8 Which is thought to be importable to be borne 
by your saide Subiect^ and veray necessarie to be reformed. 

And Furthermore Where the saide spyrytuall Ordynaries {many 



BOKE AYENST THE CLERGY 107 

tymes purposedlie to revenge their inwarde greves and displeasures 
and to put their saide lawes in execucion } theyr Commyssaryes 6 
Substytuttes sumtymefvr thayr own pleasures Sumtyme by the Synister 
procurement of other spmtuall persons vse to make out proces 
ayenst dyuers of your saide Subiecto and thereby compell them to 
appere before themselffey to answer at a certen day and place to 
suche articles as by them shalbe of office afore themselffcf then 
purposed and that Secretlye and not in oppen places and fourthwzt/fc 
vppon their apparaunce w/t/fout cause or any declaracion then 
made or shewed cowmytt and sende them to warde Where they 
remayne w/t/fout bayle or mayneprise sumtyme half a yere and 
somtyme a hole yere and more or they may in any wise knowe 
either the cause of their imprysonement or any name of their accuser 
and fynallie their grete coster charges and expenc^r therin when all 
is examyned 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 
amende in that behalf to be towards them adiudged. 

And also if percase vppon the saide proces and apparaunce any 
p<zrtie 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 p^rtie so accused to be trew 
then the person so causeles accused is {clerely} for the more parte 
wzUout any remedie for his charges and wrongful vexacyon to be 
{in that parte} towards him adiuged and recouered. 

Also vppon thexamynacion of the saide accusacion if heresie be 
ordynarylie layed vnto the charge of the partie so accused then the 
saide ordynaries or their ministres vse to put to them 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 man 
wztfout lerning and bryng them by suche sinyster introduction sone 
to his owne confusion And Fourthw/t/^ if there chaunce any heresie 
to be by suche subtill polycie by him confessed in vtourdes and yet 
neuer cowmytted nor thought in dede, then put they wzUout ferther 
fauour the saide person either to make his purgacion and so thereby 
to lose his honestie and credence for euer orelkr as som simple sely 
Sowle precyselie stonding to the clere testymonye of his owne well 
knowen conscience rather then to confesse his innocent trouth to 
abyde {thextreme examynacion of deth by the Fyer} thextremyte in 
that behalf zn& so is vtterly distroyed. 



108 THOMAS CROMWELL 

And if it fortune the saide partie so accused to denye the saide 
accusacion and so put his aduersarie to proue the {false} same 
vntrewlie forged and ymagened ayenst him then for the more parte 
suche wytnesses as ben brought fourth for the same be they but 
ij in nombre 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 ordenaryes ther Commyssaryes 
& Substytuttes and therevppon sufficient cause to procede to iudge- 
ment to delyu<?r the partie so accused either to the seculer hands 
{and so to be burned) after abiuracion w/tfcout remedie and afore 
if he Submytte himself to compell him when best happeneth to make 
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 realm e heretofore euer hitherto hathe ben 
in thorough your poletique wisedom in most honourable fame and 
catholik feith invyolablye pr^serued. It may therefore most benigne 
Souereigne lorde lyke your excellent goodnes for the tender and 
vnyuersallye indyrTerent zele benigne loue and fauour that your 
highnes berith towarde both the saide parties, the saide articles if 
they shalbe by your most clere and perfite Judgement thought any 
instruments or causes of the saide variaunce and disorder or those 
and all other occasions whatsoeuer accompted by your highnes to 
make towards the saide factions depelie and weightylie after your 
accustomed weyes and maner serched weyed and considered gra- 
ciouslie to prouyde all vyolence on both sides vtterlye and clerelie 
set a parte some suche necessarie and behofull remedies as may 
effectuallie reconsile and bryng in perpetuall vnytee your saide 
Subiects sp/Wtuall and temporall. And for thestablisshing thereof 
to make and ordeyn on both sides suche straite lawes ayenst the 
brekers transgressours and offendours as shalbe to hevye daungerous 
and weightie for them or any of them to bere suffer and susteyne. 
Whereunto Your saide Comons 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 whom the 
onelie and sole redresse reformacion and remedie herein absolutely 
restith and remayneth. By occasion whereof all your saide Comons 



BOKE AYENST THE CLERGY 109 

in their conscience surelye accompt that beside the meruelous 
Feruent loue that yo//r highnes shall thereby (gain) and engendre in 
their harts towards Your grace Ye shall do the most pryncelie Feate 
and shew the most honourable and charitable president and Mirrour 
that Quer did Souereigne lorde vppon his subiects and therew/t//all 
merite and deserue of our mercyfull lorde eternall blisse Whose 
goodnes graunt your grace in most godlie pryncelie and honourable 
astate long to reigne prosper and contynew as the Souereigne lorde 
ouer all your saide most humble and most obedyent Subiects. 

[Two blank pages herel\ 

And Where also the said prelatis and ordinaries daily do pmnytte 
and suffer the parsons vicars Curates p#rishe presto and other 
sp/r/tuall parsons hauing Cure of soule w/t/zin this your Realme 
Ministring {vnto your said loving subgietts} to exact and take of your 
humble 6 obedyent Sulriecfes dyuers Summys of money for the Sacra- 
mentor & sacramentalUs of holy churche { as the holy sacrament of 
the Aulter Baptyme, Matrimonye Confession, buriall weddyng 
churchings and suche other} Sumtyme denying the same w\t\\out 
they Fyrst be payd the sayd Sitmmys of money {6 to take for the 
ministracion of the same of your said Subiects diuers and certen 
sowmes of money allegging the same to be their dueties. } Whiche 
sacraments and sacramentalls yoz/r saide most humble & obedient 
subiectes vnder the protection of yoitr highnes doo suppose & think 
ought to be in most Reuerent charitable & goodlie wise freely 
mynystred vnto them at all tymes requisite w/t^oute denyall or {any 
maner somme or} exaccyon of any maner sowmes of money {or other 
duetie or contribucion to be asked demaunded or required for the 
same \ to be demaundyd or askyd for the same And also where in the 
spmtuall courts of the said Prelatis & ordinaries ben lymyted and 
appoynted for many Judges Scribes Apparitowrs Somwzers praysours 
and other ministres for the approbacion of testaments Whiche 
coveting somoche theire owne priuate Lucres and satisfaccion of the 
appetits of the said prelats and Ordinaries that when any of your 
said loving subiects 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 
Rewards for the same as is Importible 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 spzWtuall Ordinaries in their said Courts 



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 subiectdf 
having any cause or matier 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 same. So that no thing is or can be obteyned in any of the 
said Courts w/t/^oute money. } 

Wherfor Your said most humble and obedient subiecter 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 
spmtuall promocions stipend and salarye as they being Judges in 
their said Courtermyght and may mynystre to euery parson repairing 
to the same Justice wz t/foute taking any mam?;- fee or Rewarde for 
any maner sentence or Judgement to be yoven before theym. 
And also where as diuerse sp/V/tuall persons being presented aswell 
by your highnes and by other patrons w/t^in this your Realme to 
{any} dyuers benefices or other sp/r/tuall promocion. The said 
ordinaries and there mynystres do not onely take of theym for theyr 
Le#<?res of Institucion and Induction many grete and {excessive} 
large sommes of money & Rewards But also do pact and coue- 
naunte with the same, taking sure bonder 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 & impoumsshement 
whiche your said subgietto 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 spzWtuall Ordinaries do daily conferre 
and geve sundry benefices vnto certen yong folkes calling them their 
Nephews or Kynsfolkvs> being in their mynorite and wz"t/in age not 
apt ne able to Smie the Cure of any suche benefice Wherby the said 
ordinaries do kepe and deteyn the frutes & p^fittes of the same 
benefices in their owne handes and therby accumulate to themselffof 
right grete and large sommes of money & yerely proftttes to the most 
pernicious exsample of all your said lay subiect^ and so the Cures 
& other promocions youen vnto suche Infants ben onely {youen 
but} Imployedto {enriche} thenryching of the said ordinaries & the 



BOKE AYENST THE CLERGY 111 

pore sely soules of your people and subjects whiche shulde be 
taught in the paroches yoven as aforsaid for lak of good curates do 
perisshe w/t/kmte doctrine or any good teaching. 

And also where a grete nombre of holy daies whiche nowe at 
this present tyme \v/t/fc veray smalle Devocion be solempnised and 
kept thorough oute this your Realme vppon the whiche many grete 
abhomynable and execrable vices idle and wanton sportes ben vsed 
and exercised whiche holy daies if it may stond w/t^ your gracious 
pleasure and specyall suche as Fall in the heruest myght by your 
maiestie by thadvice of your most 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 more 
Devoutely religiously & reu^rently 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 administration 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 
follow till the end of his days. His own theories of internal 
government, the traditions of the Tudor monarchy, and the 
situation of the realm at the time of his accession to power, 
combined to convince him that the maintenance 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 was 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 Crown, and as affording golden opportuni 
ties for the increase of the power of the monarchy ; but as 
soon as the decisive step had been taken, he saw that the 
security of his own position had become conditional upon 
the permanence of the new ecclesiastical system, which in 
turn could only be ensured if the King, for whose sake it 
had been created, was 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 Crown to sovereign power above every other institution 
in the realm. Perhaps no minister has ever had more varied 
problems to confront him, than those which Cromwell had to 
deal with 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 was the only sure 
road to national greatness. With this great principle firmly 
borne in mind, the history of Cromwell s domestic adminis 
tration becomes comparatively simple. 

A further assertion of the Supremacy of the Crown in 
ecclesiastical affairs was necessary, before Cromwell 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 was to utilize the consequences 
of the breach with Rome for the benefit of the monarchy, 
and to provide that none of the power of which 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 .divorce, but 
at last his patience came to an end, and he surrendered 
himself entirely to the guidance of Cromwell, who had been 
persuaded from the first that nothing further was to be 
obtained from the Pope. In January, 1533, the King was 
secretly married to Anne Boleyn ; on the loth of May 
Cranmer, who had lately been raised to the see of Canterbury, 
opened his archiepiscopal court at Dunstable l . With a 
promptitude which 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 coming 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. 2 Cal. vi. 461, 469, 496, 525, 526, 527. 

3 24 Hen. VIIIj c. 12. 



MERRIMAN. I 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 new one 1 , which enacted that an appeal might always be 
made from an archbishop s court to the King s Court of 
Chancery, the decision of which was to be final. The abo 
lition of the Annates (which will be considered in another 
place) occurred at the same time. The effect of these two 
measures was to complete the work begun in 1530, and to 
sever the last links of the chain which bound the Church of 
England to Rome. y 

In the meantime the famous Act of Succession 2 , bastardiz 
ing the Princess Mary and establishing the offspring of Anne 
Boleyn as lawful heirs to the throne of England, had also been 
passed in Parliament, and before the year had closed a new 
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 
1531 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 administer 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. received in her place, and that he 

2 25 Hen. VIII, c. 22. Mendez was sure that they all loved His 
Silva, pp. 14 and 15, asserts that Majesty so much that they would 
Cromwell was responsible for the not refuse to do his will. Clergy, 
passage of this statute. The King s Lords, and Commons, al peligro 
minister appeared in Convocation de la conciencia . . . se reduxeron 
and Parliament, and made a speech facilmente. 

in which he said that his master 3 26 Hen. VIII, c. I. 
desired that Mary be excluded 4 25 Hen. VI 1 1, c. 20. 
from the succession and Elizabeth 



INTERNAL POLICY 115 

introduce any very radical innovation here. The bishops 
were already virtually in the King s hands, for the elections by 
chapters had long been a mere farce, and the royal nominee 
had been almost invariably chosen. So the Act had aimed at 
a legalization of the stattis quo merely adding a few new 
provisions to strengthen the King s hold on the Church. All 
relations with the Pope were of course to cease ; the bishops 
were to be consecrated by virtue of a royal commission ; and 
if the chapter failed to elect within twelve days, the King 
was empowered 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 1535 
informs us that the King s Secretary called 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 V Cromwell 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, was at a loss to devise a 
means to silence the objections which were 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, I535 3 - 

Yf they (the bishops) had any Jurisdiction, they muste 
nedes haue receued (it) either by the lawe of god or by the 
busshop of Romes Authoritie or els by the King^j grace 
permission. Which is no sufficient discharge ageinst the 
statute. 

1 Cal. viii. 121. 254; and Strype, Ecclesiastical 

Cal. ix. 517. Memorials, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 216. 

1 British Museum, Cleop. E. vi. 

I 2 



116 THOMAS CROMWELL 

I 

Yf they saye by the Lawe of god, Lett theym bring foorth 
scrzptur 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. 

4 Yf they saye by the Kinges permission why be they more 
discontent that the king shuld call agein nowe to his handes 
that which came from hym to theym, than they wolde haue 
ben^ yf he had never graunted it theym. And surely they 
are not able to iustifie thexercise of their iurisdiction hetherto. 
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, Cromwell consistently pursued 
his relentless policy with the humbler orders of friars and 
monks. His method of dealing with the latter did not differ 
materially from his policy with the former, except that it was 
perhaps more sanguinary. Priors Lawrence and Webster, 
two Carthusians who denied the validity of the King s new 
title, were 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 s 2 . But notwithstanding the wide popular dissatisfac 
tion at the new measures, most malcontents, both lay and 
spiritual, kept their thoughts to themselves. Men were be 
ginning to discover how 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, 
which Cromwell had so laboriously established all over the 
country in 1532, had now begun to bear fruit. It was impos 
sible to tell who the government spies were : 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 

1 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 Crowle in Worcestershire, was walking home in the rain 
from Worcester market on the Saturday before St. Thomas 
Day, in company with Margaret Higons. Yt ys long of the 
Kyng that this wedre is so troblous or vnstable, he said, and 
I wene we shall nevir haue better wedre vvhillis the Kinge 
Reigneth, and therefore it makith no matter if he were 
knocked or patted on the heed V These facts were declared 
on August 12, 1535, before John Russell Esq., Justice of the 
Peace, by Richard Fulke, husbandman, and Joan Danyell of 
Crowle. Brocke confessed that he had said that it was 
a hevy and grevous wether and that there was neuyr good 
wedring^y sithins the King began this busines, but what he 
meant by busines he could not tell : as to the rest of his 
words, he said, he was mad or drunk if he spoke them more 
than this he would not answer. 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, walking with him in the church 
yard, said that they that rule about the King make him 
great bankettey and geve him swete wynes and make him 
dronke, and that then they bring him byllis and he puttyth 
his sign to them whereby they doo what they will and no 
man may Correcte them V Margaret Chanseler, of Senklers 
Bradfeld in Suffolk, spinster, was 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 om? child by our sou^reigne lorde the 
Kynge, which the seid (child) was ded borne, & she prayed 
god that she myght neuer haue other ; also that the quenes 
grtfce was a noughtty hoore & that the Kynges grace ought 
not to mary within his realme. Tyllet and Harward, when 
summoned, made the matter somewhat worse. They declared 

1 Cal. 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 
were 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 mis 
demeanours were not seldom rewarded with death. 

But of all the devices For the putting the Kyng^ subiecto 
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 well 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 Cal. viii. 196. 2 Letters, 107. 



INTERNAL POLICY 119 

known as the Nun of Kent 1 . Her reputation for holiness 
and for divine inspiration was so high throughout the land, 
that her mad follies were everywhere regarded with almost 
superstitious reverence. Cromwell, 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 who 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 ymagynaczon, only to satisfie the Myndeis of theym 
Whiche Resorted vnto her, and to obtayn worldly prayse V 
She and her accomplices were forced to read their public 
confessions on a scaffold erected at Paul s Cross, while 
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 with some of her accomplices 

at Tyburn 4 . 

But the destruction of the Nun was only of secondary 
importance for Cromwell 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 was 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 forma only. Cromwell must have realized 
that he could never hope to overcome two men who were so 

1 Cal. vi. 835. 2 Letters, 52 ; Cal. vi. 967, 1445- 

3 British Museum, Harl. MSS. 6, 148 f, 40 a. 

4 Cal. vii. 54 (31), 522. 5 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 was 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 were an unimportant interview 
with the Nun herself, a letter which he confessed to have 
written 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 ; 
when he was 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 
were stayed until the following April. 

In the meantime the new Act of Succession had been 
passed in Parliament, and the oath of allegiance which it 
required was promptly tendered to More and Fisher, who 
finally consented to swear to the statute itself but not the 
preamble 4 . They were unwilling to give their reasons for 

1 Cf. Lewis, chap, xxxii. ! Cal. vii. 296. 

2 Cal. vii. 287. * Cal. vii. 499, and Letters, 71, 



INTERNAL POLICY 121 

rejecting the latter, but Cranmer cannot have been far wrong 
when he wrote to Cromwell that the cause of their refusal 
to accept it lay in it s 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 King s minister to 
accept the compromise which More and Fisher offered, but in 
vain. The ex-Chancellor and the aged bishop were com 
mitted to the Tower, which they never quitted again. For 
more than a year they remained there subjected to every 
sort of indignity, until on May 5, 1535, they were sum 
moned by the King, and told that unless they swore to the 
Act of Succession and the Royal Supremacy, they would be 
treated no better than the Carthusian monks who had lately 
been executed 2 . They were allowed six weeks 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 when 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 would 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 V But in spite of 
this there is every reason to think that he was the true cause 
of the ex-Chancellor s death. It is not likely that Henry 
would have consented to the execution of a man whom he 



1 Strype, Cranmer, vol. i. p. 39 ; Lewis, chaps, xxxiv, xxxv, and 

vol. ii. p. 693. xxxvi. 

Cal. viii. 666. 4 Cal. vii. 575. 
! Cal. viii. 742, 876. Cf. also 



122 THOMAS CROMWELL 

had formerly loved and respected as much as More, unless his 
counsellor had poisoned his heart against him. Moreover, 
the mentions of More and Fisher in Cromwell 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 *. It was a terrible evidence of the ruthlessness of 
the forward policy to which Henry had now committed 
himself by the advice of his new minister. The most brilliant 
and cultivated Englishman 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 wrath and the swift, passion 
less blow of his all-powerful agent. Terror had mastered the 
country, and men 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 yer^ where he doth call the 

1 Lewis, chap, xxxvii ; Roper, su Corona, sujecion, y terror en 
55. los vassallos. Mendez Silva, p. 

2 * Obraua Cromuel, estas, y otras 13. 
atrocidades libremente, dando a" 3 Letters, 197. 

entender ser conueniencia del * Henry de Bracton s De Legi- 
Principe, para la estabilidad de bus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. 



INTERNAL POLICY 



123 



Grace Vicarins Christi^ .... wherfor, he continues, 
1 1 do rekyn a papiste and a traitow to be one thing V But 
the most drastic of the measures which Cromwell adopted to 
strengthen the power of the Crown was 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 were given the force 
of Acts passed in Parliament, save when they touched- the 
subject s lives, lands, goods, or liberties, or infringed the estab 
lished laws ; and these exceptions were 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 1535. A letter 2 
which he wrote to Norfolk in July of that year affords us 
interesting information concerning the origin of the measure. 
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 V The Chief 



1 Cal. xiii. (i) 120. 

: Letters, 107. 

The following passage from 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 Proclamations : 

Whether the King may 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 Lawyers have 
said, than I ... being of the Coun 
cil, when many Proclamations were 
devised against the Carriers out of 
Corn ; 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. 

It will be 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 
coiri) while Gardiner informs us that 
the statute was devised to prevent 
the export of corn. It is possible 
that the Bishop of Winchester, 
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. From this time 
onward there occur in his remembrances 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 *. 



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 Proclamations 
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 
parently agrees with Burnet in this 
last statement, and ignores the 
evidence supplied by the letter of 
the Bishop of Winchester. It 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. 129) 
sees in the Act about Proclamations 
a timid attempt to draw the pre 
rogative within the limits of regular 
legislation, 3 and seeks to show that 
its true intent was to curtail, while 
legalizing, a power which the Crown 
had exercised hitherto illegally and 
without any restraint. It 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 show 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 that the practical value 
of these limitations was in reality 
far less than at first appeared ; for, 
as Hallam and Burnet justly re 
mark, the immediate effect of them 
was to confer great power on the 
judges, upon whom the duty of 
interpreting the statute devolved; 
and the judges mere puppets in 
the hands of Henry and Cromwell 
-were sure to render every verdict 



INTERNAL POLICY 125 

It is scarcely necessary to state that a legislative body 
which could be forced to consent to such a statute as this 
retained in practice but few traces of that independence of 
the Crown which it theoretically possessed. The passage 
of the Act about Proclamations marks the culmination of a 
process begun long before Cromwell came into power, but 
only perfected at the close of his ministry, by which the 
subserviency of Parliament to the royal will was secured. 
But though the system did not reach its highest development 
until 1539, the earlier years of Cromwell s administration 
show such an advance over that of his predecessor in this 
particular, that we 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 was to register the decrees which emanated 
from the royal council chamber. 

Of course in order to render Parliament as tractable as 
it was, 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- the true significance of the Act are 
ceptions in the Act about Procla- certainly correct : The prerogative 
mations may well be compared to could not soar to the heights it 
the Quantum per Christi legem aimed at, till thus imped by the per- 
licet, which had been tacked on fidious hand of Parliament. The 
to the recognition of the King s fact that the statute was repealed in 
Supremacy. Both were concessions the first year of Edward VI simply 
granted merely as a sop to the proves that it was so unpopular 
popular feeling : both were so that it was impossible to renew it, 
guarded that they could easily when the strong hand of Henry VIII 
be rendered nugatory. Finally, had been removed. Cf. Hume, vol. 
the fact that Cromwell himself iii. pp. 255, 256 ; Hallam, vol. i. 
was so active in assisting the p. 35 ; and Blackstone, vol. i. p. 269. 
passage of this statute should be There is a curious passage in Beo- 
a conclusive proof that its real aim wulf (11. 67-73), i n which the King 
was not to legalize and limit, but rules as he wills, saving his sub- 
to legalize and confirm the power jects lives and heritages, that is 
of the Crown. The straightforward in striking congruence with this 
verdicts of Hume and Hallam on Act. 



126 THOMAS 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 1 1 , and to accept the royal nominee to that office a . 
But thirty years later, the Crown 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 fair 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 us examine the details of 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, 1536* 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. Maior that he should cause an elec- 
p. 439- tion to bee made for a new Sheriffe, 

2 * William Copingar, Thomas at which day, came into the Guild 
Johnson, Sherifes. These Sherifes Hall Mayster Edmond Dudley the 
being on the morrow after Michael- Kings President, and there shewed 
mas day by the Maior and Alder- the King s letters, that his corn- 
men presented before the Barons mons shoulde name for the Kings 
of the Exchequer, only William pleasure, William Fitz William, to 
Copingar was admitted and sworne, bee Sheriffe for the peace ensuing, 
but Thomas Johnson they woulde which with much difficulty at length 
not admitte till they knew far- was granted, which William Fitz 
ther of the Kings pleasure. The William kept his feast the Six- 
x of October a commandment was teenth day of October. Stow s 
brought from the King to the Lord Chronicle, p. 879. 



INTERNAL POLICY 127 

On the following morning the sheriff directed a humble 
letter to Cromwell l , stating the facts, and begging that the 
election of Starky and Levyns might be allowed to stand, as 
the King s wishes were not known until too late ; if your seid 
letters had come to me by fore the seid eleccion, he pleaded, 
1 1 wolde haue done the best that had been in my powr to 
(have) Accomplished our Souereigne lord the YLinges pleasure 
and yoz/rs 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 King s will was to be accomplished at all costs. 
On May 18 he addressed a significant letter to the Mayor 
and Burgesses of Canterbury, which was quite sufficient 
to induce the recipients to nullify their former proceedings. 
The phraseology of the letter is noteworthy : 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 
1 the same litle or nothynge regardynge but rather cotemn- 
yg* had elected their own candidates, according to their 
owne wylles and myndes cowtrarie to the kingly plesure and 
comandemewt in that behalfe. This of course was a thing 
whereat the King did * not a lytell marvell, and the burgesses 
were admonished notwythstondynge the seyd elecczbn to 
1 precede to a new and electe thosse other, accordyng to the 
tenure of the former letters : they were also desired to notify 
Cromwell at once * if any persone wyll obstynatly gaynsay 
the same, so that the King s minister might deal with the 
refractory burgess according to his master s pleasure. Two 
days later Mayor Alcok replied with the following dutiful 
letter. In humble Wise certefie you that the xx th Day 
of this present monyth of Maye at vi of the Clok in the 
mornyng I John Alcok mayre of Cauntebury receyved your 
letters Dyrected to me the seid mayre Sheryf and Comynaltie 
of the seid Citie sygnyfying to vs therby the kynges plesure 
and co;^maundement is that Robert Darknall and John 
Bryges shoulde be burgesses of the P^Hyament for thesame 

1 Cal. x. 852. 



128 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



V 



Citie of Cauntebury by Vertue wherof accordyng to our bounde 
Dutye immedyatly vppon the syght of your seid \ettew and 
contend thereof p^rceyved caused the Comynaltye of the 
seid Citie to Assemble in the Court Hall ther wher appered 
the nombre of Fower score and xvii p^rsones Citizens and 
Inhabltauntes of theseid Citie And accordyng to the Kyng^ 
plesure and Cowmaundement frely with one voyce and with 
out any contradiccon haue elected and chosen the fore-seid 
Robert Darkenall and John Bryges to be burgesses of the 
ptfrlyament for thesame Citie which shalbe duly certefied by 
Indenture vnder the scales of the seid Citizens and Inhaby- 
taunter by the grace of the blyssyd Trynyte Who preserue 
you . . . V Such was the calm way in which parliamentary 
suffrage rights were made of no effect and the King s pleasure 
enforced. It is important to notice in this connexion how 
careful Henry and Cromwell were to cloak their most un 
warrantable proceedings by the preservation of ostensible 
constitutionalism. Never 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 within and upon the 
already existing constitution, and the public protest was thus 
in great measure disarmed. 

It is no wonder that the invaluable services which Cromwell 
rendered to the Crown were rewarded 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. It was overlooked at the 
time of the compilation of the tenth 
volume of the Calendar, and escaped 
the search of Fronde and Fried- 
mann, both of whom discuss the 
details of this election at some 
length. Its discovery throws much 



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, which enabled him soon 
to do almost what he pleased with his two great rivals, 
Norfolk and Gardiner. At first he had cautiously held him 
self aloof from these men, but now that he had outstripped 
them in the King s favour, his bearing towards them altered 
accordingly. It is a very significant fact that in his ten years 
of service, he never left the King for any considerable length 
of time, but often contrived to get Norfolk and Gardiner sent 
away the one to cope with internal troubles, the other to act 
as ambassador to France. Cromwell succeeded in harassing 
them both while they were 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 * a thousand blasphemies 
against the Pope, even more shocking than those of the King, 
calling him c an unhappy whoreson, a liar, and a wicked man; 

and that it should cost him (Norfolk) wife 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 was he .... who 
favoured most the authority of the Pope ; but he must act in 
this way not to lose his remaining influence, which apparently 
does not extend much further than Cromwell wishes ; 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 Cromwell s 
favour. The new minister tantalized him in much the same 
way as he did Norfolk, and doubtless increased the enmity 
of the Bishop of Winchester, which he had first incurred 
at the time of Wolsey s fall, and which five years later 
was to be such an important factor in effecting his own 
destruction. 

Cromwell 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 King s love for her better than 
anyone else, and to discern that when the royal passion had 

1 Cal. vi. 1510. 

MERRIMAN. I K 



130 THOMAS CROMWELL 

been satisfied, Henry s affection for his second wife would 
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 was 
ultimately certain, and he began to throw out hints that he 
no longer wished to be reckoned among her adherents. In 
April, 1536, it was notorious that there was a marked cool 
ness between them, and a month later a very unexpected 
turn in foreign affairs brought matters to a head and forced 
him to take active measures against her, in order to save his 
own reputation with the King l . There is reason to think 
that he was 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 
who 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 was only 
because her Protestantism was temporarily useful to Cromwell s 
designs, which 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 which Anne had once 
enjoyed had been transferred to Jane Seymour, and 
Cromwell 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. 

Nor can the fact that Cromwell 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. Now that the 

1 Cal. x. 351, 601, 1069, and Froude, The Divorce of Catherine 
footnote to page 232. Cf. also of Aragon, pp. 413-5. 



INTERNAL POLICY 131 

severance from Rome was 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 new 
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 were 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 worthy 
to be retained, were pronounced in themselves powerless to 
justify the soul 1 . But though the main aim of these Articles 
was doubtless to preserve the integrity of the Church of 
England at home, the time and circumstances under which 
they were published seem to indicate that they were also 
intended to serve a purpose abroad. We shall hear of them 
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 weapon 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 all 
passages which might have been interpreted in favour of 
Katherine, had purposely been rendered in the opposite 

Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 817. 3 Cal. vii. 1555. 

1 Letters, 159, 266, 273. 4 < High Dutch not Low Dutch 

K 2 



132 THOMAS CROMWELL 

sense 1 . But this version was soon destined to be superseded. 
The following year witnessed the appearance of the edition 
which is usually known as Matthew s Bible, and which con 
sisted of a combination of the translations of Tyndale and 
Coverdale. It received the official sanction of Cromwell 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 whose names had been con 
nected with the previous editions, received a licence from 
the King to publish a new 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 with 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 plac^ be referred 
to men of higher iugement in scripture 3 . But Cromwell 
was 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 wind 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, were suddenly 
cited to appear before the Inquisitor-General for the realm 
of France 4 . The Englishmen made haste to escape, without 
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 towards the publication of the Bible in Paris, and 
begging him to ask his master to permit the work to be 
continued there, or at least to allow the copies already 

1 Cal. x. 352, 698 ; xiv. (i) i86(v). 

2 Cal. xii (ii), Appendix 35, and xii. (ii) 593. 

3 Letters, 273. * 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, however, to 
prevent the final accomplishment of the work in London 
in 1539 1 . The new version, commonly known as the Great 
Bible, was 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 
was not long before a royal commission was 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 
himself 2 . 

Perhaps the strongest point of Cromwell s domestic ad 
ministration was 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 
was shrewd 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 was through Cromwell s agency that 
a supplication was addressed to the King early in the year 
1532 3 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, cation or of Parliament. But the 
371. Dixon, vol. ii. p. 77, and question is of minor importance: 
Eadie, vol. i. p. 360. it is safe to say that neither body 

2 Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 659. originated the Supplication, but that 
Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 760. It is it was forced upon the Commons 

not clear whether this petition was or the clergy by the King or his 
put forth in the name of Convo- minister. 



134 THOMAS CROMWELL 

them are to be found in large numbers among the minister s 
letters and papers 1 , and the petition by which 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 V 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 was 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 which 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 was deprived of all contributions that had not already 
been arrested by the Acts about Annates. The use to which 
the rescued funds were put is aptly described by a significant 
remembrance of Cromwell s to the effect that thenhabit- 
aunt&y and peple of this realme shall pay yerely vnto the 

1 Cal. vi. 299 (ix. x), 1381. In 2 23 Hen. VIII, c. 20. 

one place occurs the significant 3 Cal. v. 879. 

item To Remembre to make a 4 Cal. vi. 793. 

byll for the parlyament touching 5 25 Hen. VIII, c. 20. 

the augmentacyon of the Annattey. 6 26 Hen. VIII, c. 3. 

British Museum, Titus B. i. 421. 7 25 Hen. VIII, c. 21. 



INTERNAL POLICY 135 

kyng for ever, in lieu or stede of smoke pence, whiche they 
were wont to pay to the busshop of rome, for euery hed or 
house a certayne small thyng for and towards the defense 
of thys Realme, whiche may be ymployed in makyng of 
forteresses throughout the Realme 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 which he newly obtained from the clergy, and an 
ordinary fifteenth from the laity, which was granted him 
last year, and which may amount to 2cS,ooo 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 will amount to a great sum. These 
are devices of Cromwell, who boasts that he will make his 
master more wealthy than all the other princes of Christen 
dom: and he does not consider that by this means he 
alienates the hearts of the subjects, who are enraged and in 
despair, but they are so oppressed and cast down, that 
without foreign assistance it is no use their complaining, 
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 with 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 ministry : it began again after 
Cromwell 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. 725 (i). 2 Cal. vii. 1554. 

3 Cal. vii. 1304; ix. 144, 183; x. ii/o; xii. (ii), 1151. 

4 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 535-7. 



136 THOMAS CROMWELL 

treasury while Cromwell was 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 shows 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 1511, but this law had 
run out in 1523, and from that time onward there was no 
legal hindrance to the practice, though the statutes enacted 
previous to Tudor times were still considered in force l . 
The result was that the earlier laws began to be transgressed, 
and Cromwell, in devising methods to prevent further in 
fringements of them, hit upon the expedient of a royal 
proclamation, as we have already had occasion to notice. 

Another most important measure passed during Cromwell s 
ministry, was 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 owner 
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 was 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 will 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- 

Schanz, vol. i. p. 518. Digby, pp. 267-80, and Reeves, 

2 27 Hen. VIII, c. 10. Cf. also vol. Hi. pp. 275-89. 
on this and the following pages 



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. Two ineffectual attempts had been made to re 
medy these evils in the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII J , 
and at Cromwell s accession to power the subject was 
brought up again. There is reason to think that the Statute 
of Uses was under consideration as early as 1531, and the 
main principle of it bears a close resemblance to the measure 
devised in the reign of Richard III. A mention of it occurs 
in Cromwell s * remembrances of the year 1535-, but it was 
not finally passed until 1536, probably on account of the 
popular opposition, which, according to Chapuys, was very 
pronounced. The upshot of the statute was, that all right 
to the estate was taken from the grantee to uses and vested 
in the beneficiary, and the distinction between legal and 
beneficial ownership was thus entirely destroyed. The 
ostensible tenant was 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 power of 
disposing of interests in land by will 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 Cromwell s connexion with this im 
portant measure. It is worthy of note, however, that the 
attainments needed to plan and draft such a statute were 
precisely those which Cromwell possessed in the very highest 
degree intimate knowledge of the law, 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 grown up to become its own 
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 was partially 

1 I Rich. Ill, c. i ; 4 Hen. VII, 2 Cal. viii. 892. 

0.17. 3 Cal. viii. 892; ix. 725. 



138 THOMAS CROMWELL 

caused by it, and as such his death was demanded. It 
therefore seems highly probable that it was he who 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, was 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 away 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 was 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 
willing of land by testament 1 , 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 
willing of land possible under another name, the actual right 
to bequeath landed property without circumventing the law 
was 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. Cromwell s varied experience in foreign 
markets and his intimate knowledge of all 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 
competition of continental rivals, than to attempt any radical 

1 32 Hen. VIII, c. i. 



INTERNAL POLICY 139 

innovations. The monopoly of the trade in the Mediterranean 
which Venice had enjoyed in Lancastrian times, had been 
a serious menace to the interests of the English merchants ; 
but the Italian wars had now 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. Cromwell followed the same policy, and 
further seized the favourable opportunity afforded by Venice s 
decline to foster the interests of English merchants in other 
parts of the Mediterranean l . With the towns 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 commanding position that the growth of English com 
merce in the north was rendered well-nigh impossible. 
Henry VI Ts aim had been to overthrow the supremacy of the 
Hanseatic League, by a gradual withdrawal of the concessions 
which 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 which the 
threatening situation on the Continent had led England to 
conclude with Liibeck, 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 were sufficient to 
prevent Cromwell from making any permanent stand in their 
favour. Political necessity alone had induced him to postpone 
the complete withdrawal of their privileges : he knew that 
the tendency of the times was irresistibly against the 
Hanseatic towns, and he was perhaps the more willing 
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 which 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 neighbours 
until the accession of the house of Tudor ; but the concessions 
which resulted from the temporary removals of the English 
wool-mart from Antwerp to Calais by Henry VII, and the 
enormously advantageous commercial treaty which that King 
was able to wring 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 Wolsey had been directed towards preserving 
the provisions of the agreement of 1506, the validity of which 
the Netherlanders were of course unwilling to acknowledge. 
Cromwell 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 was not carried through, owing to 
the unwillingness of the King to offend the Emperor; but the 
news of the proposals for it was soon known in the Nether 
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 
which 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 more conciliatory attitude 
than ever before, and it may 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 commercial 

1 Busch, vol. i. p. 149. 2 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 76-86, 107-8. 



INTERNAL POLICY 141 

policy was strongly influenced by his desire to increase 
and improve English shipping, especially at the last, when 
an invasion was threatened from the Continent 1 . His 
remembrances are filled with items for appropriations for 
building and rigging vessels of various kinds, and for making 
and improving harbours 2 . He did his utmost to clear the 
Channel of pirates, and was diligent in writing letters to 
demand restitution of goods taken from English merchants at 
sea 3 . In 1,54 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 5 to those who transported 
their wares in English ships. 

Throughout Cromwell s remembrances occur countless 
minor items dealing with miscellaneous questions of internal 
reform. Memoranda for the building and improvement of 
roads and highways, for bettering the state of the coast 
defences, and for the regulation of the rates of wages, are 
especially numerous. In 1.538 he aided Norfolk in suppressing 
a sort of strike among the Wisbech shoemakers, who had 
agreed to stop work unless their wages were raised from 
15^. to i8W. 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 was intensely un 
popular, especially in the south-west of England, where 
people seem to have got the notion that * some 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 was it is difficult to say, 



1 Schanz, vol. i. pp. 372-4. custome and subsidy as the 

2 Cal. xiv. (i) 399, 655. subiects. British Museum, Titus B. 
Letters, 74, 190, 213. i. 572. 

4 32 Hen. VIII, c. 14. 6 Cal. xiii. (ii) 57, 84, 91. 

5 This proclamation, issued Feb. 7 Letters, 273. 

26, 1539, decreed that for seven 8 Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83. 
years straungers shall paye like 



142 THOMAS CROMWELL 

though there is little reason to think that the fears it aroused 
among the people of Cornwall and Devonshire were realized. 
It has been grudgingly applauded by one writer, and 
characterized as an inadequate attempt to supply the loss 
of the registers of various kinds which had been kept by 
the monks l ; 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 s 
zeal for the advancement of learning. As his political schemes 
had caused him incidentally to take sides with the Reforma 
tion, his object was to strengthen those who 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 work he had begun. He 
therefore took steps to see that the opportunities for learning 
were improved. Among the injunctions which he issued to 
the clergy in I536 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. 5 
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 between 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 schoolmen, to read and teach the 
Scriptures, and to swear to the Royal Supremacy and the new 

1 Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83. ! Letters, 106, 116, 124, 129, 186, 

Letters, 159. 206. 



INTERNAL POLICY 143 

Succession 1 . Henry s minister, as usual, was the instrument 
employed to see that the injunctions were enforced. Of 
Cromwell s relations to Oxford still less remains to be said. 
There are letters from him 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 was 
chosen without any parcyalyte or corruptyon 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 domestic 
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 Jewels, Clerk of the Hanaper, and Master of the King s 
Wards in 1531 and 1532. The Chancellorship of the Ex 
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, 1535, Lord Privy Seal, Vicegerent of the King in 
Spirituals 5 in July, J 536. He was also created Baron Crom- 

Cooper, vol. i. pp. 374, 375. In Cootes, formerly 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. 350. 

them, while Strype (Ecclesiastical 5 On the Commissions to Crom- 

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 n., 342-3 //. ; Collier, 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. 78, 79. It 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 Wilson, Mag- little reason to think that the title 

dalen College, p. 80. of Vicar-general was granted later 

1 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 was granted no less than nineteen minor offices, through 
which his income must have been very greatly increased J . 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 Council, and Parliament ; he enjoyed para 
mount authority in the direction of internal affairs, and next 
to the King was by far the most important man in the realm. 
A letter of Chapuys in the summer of i536 2 , soon after 
Anne Boleyn s execution, tells us that it was even rumoured 
that Cromwell might marry the Princess Mary, but the Im 
perial ambassador himself was too shrewd to be misled by such 
an improbable report 3 . Had Cromwell seriously entertained the 
idea of a union with the daughter of the divorced Queen, he 
would 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 
June 10, 1536 4 . But the inequality in rank is certainly in 
itself sufficient proof of the absurdity of the proposition. 
Cromwell was about the last man in the world to become 



1 See vol. ii. p. 283. 

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 Filio nobis reliquit 
Perfectum humilitatis exemplar. 
Factus est obediens Patri. 
Et ipsa etiam natura parentibus 
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. 
Cal. xi. 148. 
4 Letters, 150. 



INTERNAL POLICY 145 

reckless with success ; he never for a moment forgot his low 
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 him 1 . If such a proposition were put 
forward at all, and we cannot believe that it was, it could 
only have been as a pretext to prevent the Princess from 
leaving the realm and joining with her cousin the Emperor 
in an attempt to dethrone the King. 

Cromwell 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 wed such a wife as would enable him to found a noble 
family. In April, 1533, Gregory had been taken from Cam 
bridge, and sent to live with his father s friend Dr. Rowland 
Lee, with whom he appears to have spent a summer in hunt 
ing 2 . In 1535 he came out into public life, and in 1539 
he was summoned to Parliament as a peer of the realm. 
Two years earlier he had been able to contract an advantageous 
marriage with the widow of Sir Anthony Ughtred, sister 
of Jane Seymour 3 . This fortunate match must be attributed 
to his father s influence, for Gregory seems to have been 
entirely without ambition, and such an idea would never 
have entered his mind ; his father, on the contrary, was pre 
cisely the man to think of it. The number of grants either 
made jointly to Cromwell and his son, or providing for the 
succession of the latter at his father s death 4 , 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 course Cromwell was 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 Cal. xi. 147. Cal. xii. (ii) 423. 

5 Cal. vi. 913, 981, ion, 1014. 4 As Cal. viii. 571. 

MERRIMAN. I L 



146 THOMAS CROMWELL 

and prosperity. He gave costly New Year s presents at the 
Court, and owned several houses, all of them magnificently 
furnished l . After October, 1534, when he was made Master of 
the Rolls, his correspondence shows him to have been con 
stantly in residence at the Rolls House, where he held his 
Court. Writing in 1535, the Prioress of Little Marlowe 
complained that so great was the crowd of his visitors there, 
that it was impossible to gain access to him 2 . 

1 Cal. ix. 478, 862 ; xiv. (i) 5. 2 Cal. viii. 108. 



CHAPTER VIII 

IRELAND, WALES, 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 Wales 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 while these 
countries remained in the state in which they were at Wolsey s 
fall, and he determined as soon as possible to deal with them 
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, however, Surrey was recalled 
at his own 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 l . 

The affairs of Ireland had naturally been thrown into con 
fusion by these numerous changes, and Cromwell became 
convinced that subjugation by the sword was absolutely 
essential, before any attempt could be made to govern the 

1 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 124-52. 
L 2, 



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 l . 

During his first two years in the King s service, Cromwell 
was 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, however, 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 within that lande V 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 clans, 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 King and Cromwell. Dublin 
was almost the only place in the country, which remained 
perfectly loyal to England. The neighbouring tribes were 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 well as Fridays, provisions were so scarce 

1 Cal. vii. 1141. 2 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 152-5. 

3 State Papers, vol. ii. p. 167. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 149 

that people had become more devout still, and abstained 
also on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. * This 
is a very sore abstenaunce . . . the country is so quiett that 
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 wynde hath blowen hym soo in the erys 
that he can nott here them. But yt is a comon sayinge 
"whoo is so defe as he that lyst not to here 1 ." Things 
went on from bad to worse, and finally John Alen, Master 
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 which had become prevalent in the country 2 . 
Alen finally succeeded in procuring Kildare s recall ; and the 
Deputy arrived in London in April, 15345 having left his 
eldest son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, in his place. Efforts were 
made to induce the young man to come to England also ; and 
when he persistently refused to put himself into the King s 
hands, his father was arrested and sent to the Tower. These 
vigorous measures, according to Chapuys, were due to Crom 
well ; 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 with his kinsmen the Desmonds 
threw off his allegiance. All the English were ordered out 
of the Geraldines land before a certain day. The Archbishop 
of Dublin attempted to flee the country, but encountering 
a storm, was driven back on the Irish coast, fell into young 
Thomas hands, and was murdered with most of his following 4 . 
A formidable revolt against the royal authority was evidently 
pending. Henry and Cromwell were 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. 4 Cal. vii. 1057. 

2 Cal. vi. 1586. 5 Cal. vii. 1095. 
8 Cal. vii. 957, 1141. 



150 THOMAS 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 away 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 
affairs 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 ; 
Henry would have been only too glad to grant Kildare peace 
on any terms, but the latter refused every offer. Skeffington, 
who was Cromwell s friend, was sent over again as Deputy to 
quell the rebellion. After many delays he crossed on the 
i4th of October, with 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 come 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 excommunication 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 was destined to be made evident by succeeding 
events. A new 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. s Cal. vii. 1418. 

2 Cal. vii. 1193, 1257, 1366, 1389. * Bagwell, vol. i. p. 172. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 151 

complained l ; 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 Tower, was not as empty as Chapuys thought. May- 
nooth Castle, a rebel stronghold, was besieged and taken 3 ; 
many rebels were executed, others fell away from Kildare, 
the young Earl finally surrendered, and was sent a prisoner 
to London. Two years later he was hanged with five uncles 
at Tyburn 4 . With his surrender other chieftains came to 
terms ; 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 was 
a significant triumph for Cromwell s policy over that of 
Norfolk, and did much to increase his influence with 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 1536 6 . Its first act was to pass a bill securing 
the succession of Anne Boleyn s issue: the report of this 
came to Cromwell in London in June, two weeks after Anne s 
execution 7 . He must have been somewhat puzzled, when he 
heard the news ; events were moving so rapidly, that even an 
ordered* Parliament 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 V It was too late, 
however, to do this ; but when the report came that Anne had 

1 Cal. vii. 1297; viii. 140. 

3 Cal. vii. 1573, and Bagwell, vol. i. p. 173. Cal. viii. 448. 

* Bagwell, vol. i. p. 1 80. 6 Cal. x. 15 n. 

6 Cal. x. 822. 7 Cal. x. 897, 937- 

8 Letters, 179. 



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 1 , and George 
Browne, Provincial of the Austin Friars, 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 Cromwell 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 was now 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 a burden, that the King 
and his minister had undertaken to subjugate it. A letter 
from Henry to the Deputy and Council in 1537 blames them 
for taking excessive fees, thinking only of private gain, and 
not taking care of the royal income 2 . To remedy this 
Cromwell appointed and sent over Commissioners, who 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 down the retinue of the Deputy and Treasurer to 
340 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 with the adjustment 
of petty land claims. The most interesting of them is the 
one concerning the policy to be pursued towards that 
traytor Bryan OconorV 

There are significant depositions against some of these Com- 

1 Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 196, 197. 

2 Cal. xii. (i) 503. s Cal. xii. (ii) 382. 
4 Letters, 198-205, 207, 208, 211, 212, 214, 215, 232. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 153 

missioners who dared to murmur at Cromwell s notorious 
accessibility to bribes, which seems to have been more notice 
able in his dealings with Ireland than anywhere else. He 
appears to have received enormous sums from the rich 
and powerful family of the Butlers, kinsmen 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 was 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. My Lorde Pryvee Scale hathe wrought to his awne 
confusion and dethe/ said one, and of late tyme was veray 
nere the same, and escapid veray narrowly . . . noo lorde or 
gentilman in Englande berith love or favor to my Lorde 
Pryvee Scale by cause he is soo great a taker of money, for 
he woll speke, solicite, or doo for noo man, but all for money. 
... I wold not be in his case for all that ever he hathe, 
for the King beknaveth him twice a weke, and sometyme 
knocke him well aboute the pate ; and yet when he hathe 
bene well pomeld about the hedde, and shaken up, as it 
were a dogge, he will come out into the great chambre, 
shaking of the bushe with as mery a countenaunce as thoughe 
he mought rule all the roste 1 . We may well believe that 
Henry was willing that Cromwell 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 was comparatively 
quiet, the following year witnessed 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 power, 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 was 

1 State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 551, 552. 2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 999. 



154 THOMAS CROMWELL 

blown ashore on the English coast at South Shields ; the 
messenger was 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 was forced to flee into Brittany, and the rebels 
were left without 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 were 
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 1541 5 . 

It may be said that from 1534 until his fall, Cromwell 
was the virtual ruler of Ireland. His significant triumph 
over Norfolk and his policy of pacification, mark the beginning 
of his influence. From that time onward 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 instructions 
which the Commissioners received in 1537, we gather that 
the main object of the Crown 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 
King, while it remained in the state in which it was when 
he came into power, he saw that it was 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. 4 State Papers, vol. v. p. 178. 

2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 137. 5 Bagwell, vol. i. p. 249. . 

3 Cal. xv. 441. 



IRELAND, WALES, 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 Wales he was confronted with a problem of a very 
different nature. What was needed there was thorough legal 
reform. The country was not large enough to render an 
insurrection there very formidable, but the wild and law 
less state of the Welsh Marches, which afforded hiding-places 
for criminals of all kinds, was a source of much evil. One 
Thomas Philips wrote to Cromwell in May, 1532 1 , that the 
whole country was in great decay, and that the King s repre 
sentatives there took fines for felony and murder, and used 
the money for their own 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 
Exeter, who was 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 was 
high time measures were taken to rectify this lawlessness, 
and his remembrances are full of items for the reform of 
Wales. He replaced the Bishop of Exeter by his own friend 
Rowland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, who in his 
younger days had served with 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 
Wales in earnest. It was probably at his instance that 
Cromwell devised several Acts, passed in the Parliament of 
1534, to establish justice and maintain order 4 . As the King s 
writ did not run in Wales, it was next to impossible to get 
a case fairly heard there ; so Royal Commissioners were sent 
thither, with authority to punish crimes and felonies (which 
were 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 Welsh at 



1 Cal. v. 991. Cal. vi. 946 ; vii. 1026 (28). 

Ruding, vol. i. p. 308; Cal. vii. 4 26 Hen. VIII, c. 4, c. 6, c. n, 
1225. c. 12. 



156 THOMAS CROMWELL 

these measures 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 were violently in favour of the 
cause of Katherine and Mary, and longed for an opportunity 
to declare themselves. A rising was probably prevented by 
the fact that the King himself was of Welsh descent. 
Cromwell was exceedingly active in his endeavours to stamp 
out all sedition of this sort, and was ably seconded by Lee, 
who, when the clergy in 1535 were required to preach in 
favour of the Royal Supremacy, and against the power of the 
Pope, declared himself ready to ride into his diocese in his 
own 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 Cromwell, who must have rejoiced to 
find an agent whose energy corresponded so closely to his 
own 3 . 

But in spite of Lee s good-will, the state of Wales was not 
satisfactory, until Cromwell 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 empowered by the Act to erect courts 
in Wales every five years. These fundamental reforms laid 
the basis for an entirely new 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 weak 
defences of the northern marches of England, were a con- 

1 Cal. vii. 1554. 3 Cal. viii. 133, 195, 240, 509, 91$, 1058. 

3 Cal. viii. 839. 4 27 Hen. VIII, c. 26. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 157 

stant source of alarm, which was rather increased than 
diminished by Henry s strained relations with those continental 
powers who were on the best of terms with James. It was 
obvious that in case of a foreign invasion of England from 
the Continent, the enmity of Scotland would be the only thing 
lacking, to render disaster certain. It is also not improbable 
that an attack from the north would have been welcomed 
by some of Henry s more disaffected subjects. In his speech 
in the Parliament of 1523 Cromwell had advocated a policy 
of unification with Scotland: from this principle he never 
departed, but he saw that it was now no time to gain his 
ends by force. He therefore adopted a pacificatory attitude 
towards 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 between the Commissioners of the two countries 
upon the Borders, Oct. i, 1533 l . Anxious to show all pos 
sible courtesy to the Scottish delegates who were finally sent 
to London to open negotiations, the King prepared for them 
a house, which had been occupied by the Grand Master of 
France, and, contrary to his custom with most ambassadors, 
supplied it with choice wines 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, which exasperated the King 
greatly, an alliance was finally made, to continue during the 
joint lives of the two sovereigns, and one year longer. During 
the two following years Henry continued his pacific policy 
by making James a Knight of the Garter, and by sending an 
embassy to induce him to abandon the Pope. The latter 
plan was doubtless a suggestion of Cromwell s ; a mention 
of the ambassadors Barlow and Howard occurs in his * remem 
brances/ and Barlow later wrote him continual reports of 
his progress. The mission was unsuccessful in attaining its 

1 Cal. vi. 1196. Cf. also Hume Brown, vol. i. p. 381. 

2 Cal. vii. 296. 



158 THOMAS CROMWELL 

purpose ; but there were no signs that James leaning to 
Rome would render him an active enemy of England l . 

The year 1537 brought with it new 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 
will 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 France through England 2 . James marriage and Henry s 
outspoken wrath 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 which filled 
Henry with suspicion. Twelve Englishmen boarded the 
Scottish ship when it touched at Scarborough for provisions, 
welcomed James, and promised their aid if he invaded Eng 
land. This episode was repeated at another town further 
north, and it was even reported that the Scottish King had 
boasted, that if he lived a year longer, he would himself 
break a spear on one Englishman s breast V Such incidents 
must have been unpleasant, coming as they did just after 
a serious northern revolt had with difficulty been quelled, 
and while the Borders were still in a wild and lawless state. 
But any thoughts James may have entertained of an in 
vasion were interrupted by the sudden death of his young 
French Queen. Henry perhaps had hoped that his nephew 
would come to him with offers of peace and a petition for 
the hand of the Princess Mary, but, if so, he was rudely 
disappointed. In October it was announced that James was 
engaged to marry a second French wife, Mary of Guise 4 ; 
and though Henry, at that time a widower, made every effort 
to prevent the match by putting himself forward as a rival 
to his nephew, his proposals were courteously set aside 5 . 

1 Cal. ix. 178, 730; x. 75, 227, 8 Cal. xii. (i) 1286. 
482, 863, 944, and Pinkerton, vol. ii. * Cal. xii. (ii) 829. 
pp. 327-8. 6 Cal. xii. (ii) 1201. 

2 Cal. xii. (i) 398, 399. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 159 

That the King of France should have distinctly preferred 
a Scottish to an English alliance when the choice lay open, 
stung Henry to the quick ; but he was quite aware that he 
could not afford just then to quarrel with Francis or James, 
and he may 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 Cromwell s 
fall, yields ample proof of the complete triumph of the 
English minister s pacificatory policy. Attempts made in the 
past to stir up Border jealousies were completely abandoned, 
and England seemed almost suspiciously desirous to show every 
courtesy to her troublesome northern neighbour. A letter 
of Cromwell to Sir Thomas Wharton *, deputy Warden of 
the West Marches, directs him to hand over to the Scottish 
officers an arrant traitor who had made his escape to England, 
even if the Scots failed to doo the sernblable. Actions as 
gracious as this were a new thing on the Borders : the usual 
policy in the past had been for each nation to give shelter 
to the outlaws who 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 was working at the Scottish 
Court in the interests of Rome, made Henry still more anxious 
to preserve friendship with his nephew, 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 
Ralph 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 wrecked 
on the Northumbrian coast, Henry had been furnished with 
the means of misrepresenting the objects of the Cardinal 
at his nephew s Court. Sadler was instructed to hint that 
Beton was plotting to usurp all the authority of the King 
of Scotland, and to advise James 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 

1 Letters, 330. " Cf. Pinkerton, vol. ii. pp. 352-3. 

8 Cal. xv. 136. 



160 THOMAS CROMWELL 

by suppressing the monasteries in his kingdom as his uncle 
had done in England. Finally Sadler was to represent to 
the Scots King 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 himself 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 would not listen to any proposals to abolish the old 
religion or to suppress the monasteries, he still assured Sadler 
that no alliance he made on the Continent would 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 J . The mission of Sadler marks the last stage of 
the relations of England and Scotland during Cromwell s 
ministry; and the fact that war between the two countries 
broke out so soon after his fall, furnishes a final reason for 
believing that it was by the able and unceasing efforts of 
the Privy Councillor that an open rupture was 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 were graven 
on the heart of Mary Tudor at her death, from the grief 
which 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 them during the last 
seven years of the latter s power. 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 Cal. xv. 248. Cf. also Hume 2 Cal. vi. 300 (21), 619, and 
Brown, vol. i. pp. 388-9. Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 452. 



IRELAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, CALAIS 161 

days : he possessed small discrimination in judging what 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 Cromwell s letters to him l , in 
some of which he chides him for bothering the King about 
such a trivial thing as a private quarrel between two minor 
officials in Calais, while in others he mervayles not a litel 
that he should be so negligent as not to make immediate 
report of sacrilegious preaching. Calais was by no means 
an easy post to manage; Henry and Cromwell kept its 
officers and garrison exceedingly short of money ; the soldiers 
wrangled 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 scale presented all the 
difficulties of that of a great kingdom, the Deputy was in 
a position which 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 which was yet 
standing 2 . Lisle was of course continually busied in pre 
venting his neighbours, French and Flemish, from meddling 
with 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 was bidden by Cromwell, though 
seldom successful, for he lacked ability. After 1537 he was 
confronted with a new and more difficult problem. 

In the spring of 1538, Cranmer heard that there were seven 
or eight persons in Calais, who manifestly denied Christ. 

1 Cf. Letters, 86, 260. 2 Cal x 

8 Cal. xi. !8. 



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, who slandered those 
who applied themselves to God s word ; the letter went on to 
suggest that Cromwell 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 was 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 which the latter had ad 
ministered to the Deputy seems in this case to have been 
undeserved, for Lisle, who apparently was more on the watch 
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 which had shocked the good people of Calais 
beyond measure. This young priest can have been none 
other than Adam Damplip, originally a strong papist, 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 J 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 who 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 

J Cal. xiii. (i) 813, 934. ! Letters, 263. 

2 Letters, 260. * Cal. xiii. (i) 1219. 



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 without, to pay much attention to Damplip at 
Calais during the latter part of 1538 and 1539. He was far 
more anxious to have the town well victualled and defended, 
in case of a sudden attack from France or Spain. Damplip 
himself, however, had gone over to England to answer to the 
charges brought against him before Cranmer l . The result of 
the examination seems to have been very favourable to him, 
and the Archbishop, in a letter to Cromwell about it, supported 
the position which the priest had taken up in only denying 
Transubstantiation while admitting the Real Presence 2 . 
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 was being made too 
much of, and that the King was busy about other things 3 . 
Exhortations to charyte and myld handeling were not 
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 England. 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 Calais was deemed sufficient to prevent 
a recurrence to the heresy. The recall of Lord Lisle in the 

1 Cal. xiii. (i) 1446, 1464. 3 Letters, 312. 

2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 97. * Letters, 314. 

M 3 



164 THOMAS CROMWELL 

spring of 1540 was probably less due to his inefficiency in 
handling the affair of the Sacramentaries, than to the many 
proofs he had given of general incompetence. He was com 
mitted to the Tower, where he remained a close prisoner till 
January, 1542, when a message was sent to him that he was 
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 whims of a foolish wife), was solely 
due to the guidance which he received from Cromwell. The 
brilliant success of the great minister s administration in 
England was fully equalled by the wisdom 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 work begun by Henry VII 
the elevation of the Crown to absolute power on the ruins 
of every other institution which had ever been its rival. In 
attaining this end, which (as we must 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, supreme in 
Church and State. 

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



CHAPTER IX 

THE MONASTERIES 

THE suppression of the English monasteries, though in one 
sense but a single branch of Cromwell s internal administra 
tion, still deserves to be considered in a separate chapter. 
Of all the changes that followed the breach with Rome, none 
bears as plainly as this the stamp of Cromwellian origin. 
The sinister genius of the King s minister particularly fitted 
him for this task of destruction, and his title of malleus- 
monachorum is thoroughly well deserved. Cromwell s intent 
in suppressing the monasteries was obviously, like that of 
all the rest of his internal administration, the strengthening 
of the Crown : how far his measures were successful in 
accomplishing what was expected of them must be deter 
mined not only from their immediate effects, but also from 
the developments which later resulted from them. 

It has been pointed out in an earlier chapter that the state 
of the lesser monasteries was far from satisfactory in Crom 
well 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 was immediately raised among the rural 
population. During his first few 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 new 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 
scheme 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 the richest King that ever was in 
Christendom. If the idea of dissolving the religious houses 
in order to increase the wealth of the Crown, 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 *. The decrees were 
quickly put in operation. By the month of August in the 
same year Cromwell s two agents, Legh and Ap-Rice. were 
hard at work among the Wiltshire monasteries, and sent in 
their reports to their master full of ludicrously pathetic 
lamentations, when unable to trump up any plausible charges 
against the monks 2 . Doctor Richard Layton, who 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 Cal. ix. 139. 



THE MONASTERIES 



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, sumptuus 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 many of the reports which they made. 
The Commissioners found means, as it has been significantly 
stated, * to make divers monasteries obnoxious V 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 [played] 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 religious houses in the 
south and west counties, before 
permitting their agents to com 
plete the visitation. Cal. ix. 58. 
: Cal. ix. 138. 

3 Cal. ix. 621, 622. 

4 Herbert, p. 186. 

5 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 1536. 
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 nolle 
to your mastershipp, 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 V We may well believe that 
this proposal did not fall on deaf ears. Though we do not 
possess the reply of Cromwell in this particular case, the 
letters 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 Lay ton. The Sussex monas 
teries which he visited in October, 1535, were so unfortunate 

1 Cal. ix. 321, 322. Warwickshire, Yarmouth in Nor- 

2 Wright, p. 73. folk, and Laund in Leicestershire. 

3 Letters, 163, 180. Cf. also Gas- Sir Richard Cromwell, his nephew, 
quet, English Monasteries, vol. i. and great-grandfather of Oliver, 
pp. 413, 421. Cromwell also took received Ramsey Abbey, Hinchin- 
good care that some of the sup- brooke Nunnery, Sawtry Abbey, 
pressed houses also should fall to his St. Neot s Priory, and a house of 
portion. He appropriated to his Austin canons in Huntingdonshire, 
own share the rich Priory of Lewes with Neath Abbey in Glamorgan- 
in Sussex (including its cell of Mel- shire, and St. Helen s Nunnery in 
ton-Mowbray in Leicestershire), the London. Blunt, vol. i. p. 377- See 
Priory of Michelham in the same also note 4 at the bottom of the 
county, that of Modenham in Kent, same page. 

of St. Osythe in Essex, Alceter in 



THE MONASTERIES 169 

as to incur his particular displeasure. He does not appear 
to have troubled himself, like Legh, with devising means 
to make the monks accuse one another : he reported every 
thing to head quarters on his own responsibility, and wrote 
to Cromwell how at one place he found the abbot the 
* varaste hayne betle and buserde and the aranttes chorle 
he ever saw, while at another he swore that his master would 
scarcely believe quanta sit spurcities. He concluded with 
two philosophic reflections that sacerdotes omnes non creati 
ex natura angelica, sed humana/ and that the blake 
sort of dyvelisshe monkes ... be paste amendment V 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 worse than 
ordinary, and especially popular with their neighbours 2 . 
Lay ton, however, found willing listeners to his accusations 
in the King and Cromwell, and a commission was 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. It 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 the 
northern counties. Early in 1535 Lay ton had taken occasion 
to inform Cromwell that he and Legh were particularly 
competent to carry on the work there. Ther ys nother 
monasterie, selle, priorie, nor any other religiouse howse in 
the north/ he wrote, * but other doctor Lee or I have familier 
acqwayntance within x or xii mylles of hit. . . . We knowe 
and have experiens bothe of the fassion off the centre 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 sorttesV Cromwell certainly had no reason to be 
dissatisfied with the results which his agents had already 
accomplished, and doubtless welcomed their zeal to continue 
their labours in a new field. With most astounding rapidity 

1 Cal. ix. 509, 632. 2 Cal. ix. 829. s Wright, p. 156. 



170 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the visitation was carried through : all the houses in the north 
had been reported on by the end of February. There was 
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 monks 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 word for word 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 Cromwell s hands fairly to judge of the 
character of the visitors, or of the circumstances under 
which 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 V Another 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 way most profitable to 
the Crown. 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. VIII, c. 61. 3 Cal. x. 1191. 



THE MONASTERIES 171 

inventories and estimates of their property, and to ascertain 
the number of monks who desired capacities for entering 
secular life, and the number who intended to remove to some 
other religious house. It 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 immediately followed the 
first visit of the Commissioners. They sent in their report 
to the Court of Augmentations, which then issued its final 
orders for the dissolution of the house, and its conversion 
to the King s use. A receiver was appointed to plunder 
the church, and sell the lead, bells, &c. An interesting 
letter, from an agent of Cromwell s to his master, sheds some 
light on the usual methods of these officials. * We ar 
plucky ng 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 . . . we browght 
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 walles 
abowte, amonge the whych ther were 3 carpentars : thiese 
made proctes to undersette wher the other cutte away, 
thother brake and cutte the waules V 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 . iiij 8 
Item a vestment and ij tynakles of old prest 

velvet sold to Johan Savage baylyf . . xiij 3 iiij d 

Item ij pannes vi d 

Item a cope of tawny damaske xij d 

Item a image of Seynt Katerine sold to Lee . . vj d 
Item sold to John Webbe the tymber worke 
of the hyegh quyer, and a auter of alablaster 
in the body of the churche . . . . ix 8 viij d2 . 

It will be noticed that the sums for which these articles were 
1 Wright, pp. 1 80- 1. 2 Wright, pp. 267-9. 



172 THOMAS CROMWELL 

sold, were very small. It is said that not more than 100,000 
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 32,000, a sum 
which was quite sufficient to render the measure a successful 
one from a financial point of view. 

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 writes : It is a lamentable thing to see a legion of 
monks and nuns, who 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 how to live V The Act 
for the protection of the exiled inmates cannot have been at 
all strictly enforced, and there were certainly many monks, to 
whom 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 was written in 1591 
by one whose father and uncle witnessed 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 V Nor is this tendency of the people of the neigh- 

1 Cal. xi. 42. ? Ellis, 3rd 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 down they 
would lose all the old charities, easy rents, and other advantages 
to which 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 would be so strong, that it would be impossible 
to continue it. As it was, the famous rebellion of the 
Pilgrimage of Grace, which broke out in the northern counties, 
just as the first houses were being suppressed, gave him 
a terrible warning of the general unpopularity of the change. 
The insurrection, however, was soon quelled, and Cromwell s 
genius was 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, without 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, 
Whalley 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 monkes there their grevous offences, 

and therwith assaye their myndes, whither they woll conforme 
themselfes 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 which 

1 Cal. 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 evyll liff both unto 
God and our prynce of the bredren of the said monasterieV 

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 Cromwell s, found full of certen 
ingynes and olde wyer wyth olde roton stykkes in the backe 
of the same, that dyd 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 
the 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 was 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- 

1 Wright, p. 153. 3 Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. p. 

2 This was perhaps the man 168. 

whom Cromwell years before had 4 Introduction to vol. xiii. of the 
helped to obtain from the Pope the Calendar, pp. 8-14 ; Wordsworth s 
indulgence for the Boston Gild. Cromwell, pp. 346-7 nn. 



THE MONASTERIES 175 

less from a financial point of view, that when the bluddy 
abbot, as Latimer called him, came to consult him about it, 
he was forced to pay 140, 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 l . 

The first Act of dissolution had only given to the King 
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. 
So 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 work 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. 
So 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 was reached in the 
executions of the Abbots of Glastonbury and Reading. 
Cromwell s famous remembrance concerning the latter was 
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) 
1 86, 709-10. 

2 31 Hen. VIII, c. 13. 3 Cal. xiv. (ii) 399. 



176 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Glastonbury was, if possible, even more unjust. Though 
weak and broken with 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 1 . It is stated that on 
examination 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 worshypfull 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 Cromwell s scheme from the very 
first ; it will 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 carry on 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 
intimate 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. 4 Cal. xiii. (i) 225. 

2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 530, 531. Cf. 8 Cal. xiii. (ii) 102 1. Cf. also 
also Gasquet, The Last Abbot of the Introduction to vol. xiii of the 
Glastonbury, chaps, vi and vii. Calendar, p. 23. 

3 Cal. vii. 587 (18). 



THE MONASTERIES 177 

have been found in those days. The number of houses he 
visited during the first six months 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 was 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, 
Warden of New 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 Commissioners 
more trouble than the monks. They seemed to have secret 
ways of learning when the visitors were going to arrive, and 
either carefully hid, or else sold all their valuables beforehand, 
a fact which affords the most probable explanation of the 
amount of poverty reported by the visitors. Still the houses 
fell without ceasing ; if not by voluntary surrender, by com 
pulsion. Nor 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 Cromwell was 
obliged to recognize the justice of the complaints of the 
Abbess of Godstow against him, and * steye his procedinges V 
Doctor Londone/ wrote the abbess to the Vicar-general/ whiche 
. . . was ageynste my promotyon and hathe ever sence borne me 
greate malys and grudge like my mortall enmye, is sodenlie 
cummyd unto me withe a greate rowte with him, and here 
dothe threten me and my susters, sayeng that he hathe the 
kynges commyssyon to suppres the house spyte of my tethe V 
It appears that London himself wrote 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 we to 
infer that his usual methods were even more brutal than 
this? 

Wright, pp. 195, 197. * Wright, p. 230. 

1 Cal. xiii. (i) 1335. 5 Cal. xiii. (ii) 767. 

1 Cal. xiii, (ii) 758, 911. 

MERRIMAN. I N 



178 THOMAS CROMWELL 

And thus the work was finished. Within five years of the 
time that the first visitation of the monasteries had begun, 
a complete devastation of all the religious houses had been 
accomplished, and a torrent of wealth had been poured in 
upon the Crown, such/ says Hallam, as has seldom been 
equalled in any country, by the confiscations following 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 imposing 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, which yielded 
a most substantial income. The King had then in his hand, 
says Burnet, the greatest opportunity of making royal and 
noble foundations that ever King of England had. But 
whether out of policy, to give a general content to the gentry 
by selling to them at low rates, or out of easiness to his 
courtiers, or out of an unmeasured lavishness of expense, it 
came far short of what he had given out he would do. . . . 
He designed to convert 18,000 into a revenue for eighteen 
bishoprics and cathedrals. But of these he only erected six. . . . 
Great sums were indeed laid out on building and fortifying 
many ports in the Channel, and other parts of England V 

Lacking any evidence from the sources on the subject 
of the use to which the revenues from the suppression of the 
monasteries were put, one must judge from this passage, and 
from subsequent events. An Act giving Henry the power 
to erect bishoprics by letters patent, was passed in Parliament, 
May 23, 1539*. It was by the authority of this statute, that 
the King founded the six new 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 methods of employing 
the money gained from the suppression of the monasteries, 
which it seems likely that Cromwell suggested. The use 

1 Hallam, vol. i. p. 76. 3 Burnet, vol. i. p. 431. 

2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 457 (3). 4 31 Hen. VIII, c. 9. 



THE MONASTERIES 179 

of the funds to strengthen the coast defences along the 
Channel was always one of his favourite schemes ; it is 
probable that he found no difficulty in persuading the King 
how necessary such a precaution was, in view of the danger 
of foreign invasion, which threatened England at the close of 
1539. But the plan of selling the lands of the confiscated 
houses to the nobles at low prices, is even more Cromwellian. 
It immediately reminds 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. Cromwell 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 Cromwell s policy, which was 
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 whole. 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 originally intended 
to compass. 



N 2 



CHAPTER X 

THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE. 1536 

WHEN 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 known. 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 were both perfectly well 
aware of the opposition the new measures must arouse in the 
minds of those who were outside the Court circle and 
consequently could not see the reason of them. For a long 
time these efforts were crowned with success. We have seen 
that it was not until the year 1535 that those who were in 
close proximity to the King discovered what a power Cromwell 
had become in Church and State. It was even longer before 
the country 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 were universally thought to be 
the work of the King alone, and traditional English respect 
for royalty was 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 was destined to conduce directly to the formid- 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 181 

able rising that nearly hurled him from his hard-won place. 
The moment the Vicar-general sent out his agents to visit the 
monasteries, the Englishman of the country began to realize 
that the puzzling changes, of which he had hitherto under 
stood so little, were going to have an important and also a 
disagreeable effect on his own life. Up to this time he had 
been unwilling actively to express his dissatisfaction at the 
new measures, because they had seemed but remotely 
connected with his own fortunes : but now there came an 
evidence to the contrary which he did not fail to appreciate. 
The army of outcast monks and nuns, from whom in old days 
he had been accustomed to receive every sort of kindness, 
now passed his door, begging for food and shelter. The spoil 
which 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 following verses of a 
song written for the Yorkshire rebels in the autumn of 1536 : 

I. for clere it is 

Crist crucifyd the decay of this 

for thy wounds wide how the pore shall mys 

vs commons guyde no tong can tell. 

which pilgram^j be 
thrughe godes grace 

for to purchache for ther the y hade 

olde welth & peax boith ale & bre y de 

of the sp/rzVualtie. at t y me of nede 

and succur grete 

^ in alle distresse 

Gret god^r fame 

, .,, , , and hevynes 

doith church pr^clame 

, . * # * * 

now to be lame . . 

, c u j and wel intrete. 

and fast in bounds 

robbyd spoled & shorne 5. 

from catell & corne In troubil & care 

and clene furth borne where that we were 

of howsez landes. in man^ all bere 
3. of our substance 

alacke alacke we founde good bate 

for the church sake at churche me gate 

pore comons wake without checkmate 

& no irarvell or vary^zmce 1 . 

1 Cal. xi. 786 (3). 



182 THOMAS 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 
away, 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 Cromwell as the author 
of all their troubles ; and the thought that a man whom they 
knew to be low-born, of no better or more noble origin than 
themselves, had been able to cause them such misery, was 
enough to kindle a smouldering 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 whom 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 would return. The last verse of their 
war- song contained a frank avowal of their object : 

Crim l crame 2 & riche z 
w/t/z thre 111* and ///e liche 5 
as sum men teache 

god theym amend 
And that aske may 
wz t/^out delay 
here make A stay 

and well to end 6 . 

The reasons why 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. 

i Cromwell. 2 Cranmer. 3 Richard Riche. 

The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Legh, and Dr. Layton. 
5 The Bishop of Lichfield. 6 Cal. xi. 786 (3). 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 183 

A comparison of the comperta of the northern and southern 
monasteries, or of the details of the different visitations, 
will 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 
with the King or Cromwell l . The letters of Dr. Legh from 
the south of England contain frequent reports of towardness 
among the inmates, and willingness to adopt the New Faith 2 . 
In the north one finds none of this. The reports concerning 
the monasteries there are of a very different sort : immorality 
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 their loyalty to the Old Faith and their hatred of those 
who 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 Cromwell s spy system operated less 
perfectly there, partly owing to this spirit of conservatism 
and love of the old usages permeating every sort and 
condition of life, and partly owing 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 was thickly populated, and to a certain extent 
commercial ; the north sparsely populated, and for the most 
part pastoral and agricultural. Cromwell 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 correctly interpreted. It was said that 
the King made such laws that when a man died his wife and 

Cal. ix. 314, 321, 322. Cal. ix. 694. 

3 Cal. x. 364. 



184 THOMAS CROMWELL 

children had to go a-begging l . 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. Cromwell was constantly occupied with the 
suppression of minor disturbances there 2 , owing to the very 
lax administration of the Courts and Wardens of the three 
Marches, while across the Tweed an attitude of more or less 
active hostility to the English government was always 
maintained. There was every probability that a revolt in the 
northern counties of the realm would receive substantial aid 
from Scotland. 

But though the Pilgrimage of Grace was locally restricted 
to the northern counties, it embraced all classes, animated 
by the most varied interests 3 . The objects of the insurgents 
were secular and religious, their mottoes conservative and 
progressive. On their banners were borne the emblems 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 was brought among the rebels by the commons 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 remedies 
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 any one 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; also A. L. Smith in Social England, 
xiii. (ii) 307. vol. Hi. pp. 21 ff. 

2 Letters, 105. 4 Cal. xii. (i) 70 (13). 

3 Cal. xii. (i) 138, 786, 900. Cf. 5 Cal. xii. (i) 163. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 185 

supported by men of such various classes, which aimed at 
the extirpation of abuses of so many different sorts, and 
which yet was united by the feeling that all these abuses 
were due to one man alone, was regarded as the daungerest 
insurrection that haith ben seen V 

On September 29, 1536, when the Commissioners for the 
suppression of the monasteries came to Hexham in Northum 
berland, they were rudely surprised by finding the house 
there fortified, and prepared to defend itself to the last. 
The Commissioners left the town and reported the affair to 
the King, who ordered them to assemble all the forces they 
could muster, and if the monastery did not yield, to treat 
the monks like arrant traitors 2 . But scarcely was this danger 
past when news came that the Commissioners for levying the 
lay subsidy, the collection of which was superintended by 
Cromwell, 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 were pursued, taken, and forced to 
write to Lord Hussey at Sleaford, to summon him to join 
the rebel commons, unless he wished 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 was 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 
wrote to the Commissioners for levying the subsidy, express 
ing his distress at the vnnatural vnkyndness of his subjects, 
and marvelling that he that is worth xxli sholde rebell for 
the payment of x s 5 . But this sort of letter of mild surprise, 
with which Henry had sometimes successfully warded off 

1 Cal. xi. 585. 2 Cal. xi. 504, 544. 

Cal. xi. 533-4, 536-9, 552-3, 567-8. 

1 Cal. xi. 547. s Cal> xi< 



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 wished 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 Cromwell, 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 was committed to them and to their policy, 
and believed in it. 

The situation was 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 well harnesyd x or xii m spars and bows ; & 

xxx m other sum harnesyd and sum not harnesyd and 

all the contrey Rysys holly as they goo before them 

Mellessent your seruauni they have hanged & Baytyd Bellowe 
to deth wyth Dogg^ wyth a bull skyn vpon his bake wyth 
many Regorous word^ agaynst your lordeshepp V Letters 
were 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 himself 2 . 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 were at work on his uncle s house. Cromwell 
himself was in great fear. The Imperial ambassador informs 
us 4 that the whole blame for the insurrection was laid 



1 Cal. xi. 567. and Katherine Cromwell. Cf. chap. 

8 Cal. xi. 579-80. iii. pp. 54-5. 

3 The son of Morgan Williams 4 Cal. xi. 576. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 187 

on him. Norfolk was 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 towards 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 when the latter was 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 while he himself remained at 
home l . Cromwell had not only succeeded in getting him 
away 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 would 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 would 
have been induced to return quietly to their homes. Nor 
did Cromwell even dare to give orders at arm s length, or 
in any way 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 with Norfolk and Suffolk. The 
few letters which Cromwell did write 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 was not until the revolt had been thoroughly 
suppressed that Cromwell 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 answer to their first letter. Richard 
Cromwell had found great difficulty in conveying to the 
scene the arms and artillery he had got out of the Tower, 
because the people were at first unwilling to furnish the 

1 Cal. xi. 601-2, - Letters, 165, 167, 169. 



188 THOMAS CROMWELL 

requisite number of horses, owing to sympathy with the 
insurgents, if one may believe the report of Chapuys nephew l . 
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, was advancing 
at the same time from Nottingham. Caught between two 
armies supplied with the ordnance which the insurgents so 
much dreaded, the Lincolnshire men, further frightened by 
a proclamation from the Earl of Shrewsbury 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 
King was 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 answer 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 , expatiating on 
the trouble he had given himself in their defence, and assuring 
them that they had no grounds to complain of any of the 
new measures, either secular or religious. He was just 
thinking that the worst part of the danger was over, when 
suddenly news came from Lord Darcy, who was the chief 
person in the north, that all Yorkshire had risen in a 
similar way 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 lawless and 
hostile Scottish borders. They had from the very first been 
in sympathy with their neighbours in the south, and had 
communicated with 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 

1 Cal. xi. 714. * Cal. xi. 6ll. 

2 Cal. xi. 674, 694, 706, 715, 717. 5 Cal. xi. 563, 622. 

3 State Papers, vol. i. p. 463. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 189 

barrister named Aske, who issued a proclamation for all men 
to assemble on Skipworth Moor, 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 commonwealth a clever 
euphemism for demanding the death of Cromwell and his 
adherents. The Yorkshiremen had gone about their revolt 
with far more method and system than the Lincolnshire 
rebels. The latter had been easily conquered, mainly because 
they lacked a head ; but the Yorkshiremen 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 any one who refused to take their oaths 
and rise with them should be put to death, whether he 
was lord or peasant. It was 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 \ 

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 
wrote to the Lord Mayor of York, warning him to be 
prepared to resist the insurgents, while he himself proceeded 
to Pomfret Castle to hold it against the rebels, and there 
awaited further instructions from the King 3 . He succeeded 
in maintaining his position at Pomfret for only ten days 
however, for on October 20 he surrendered the town to 
the rebel army under the leadership of Aske, and together 
with the Archbishop of York, who had sought refuge there, 
swore to take part with the insurgents 4 . At his trial in the 
following year he pleaded that he was 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 with the 

1 Cal. xii. (i) 163, 259, 1080. 3 Cal. xi. 627. 

2 Cal. xi. 611. 4 Cal. xii. (i) 900, 944. 



190 THOMAS CROMWELL 

insurgents, he could the more easily induce them to lay 
down 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 carry all before them. 
Shrewsbury had been ordered to go to Yorkshire and engage 
the insurgents there, now 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 
21, to read a royal proclamation 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 town had been surrendered. 
Aske, although he treated the royal envoy with all due 
respect, entirely refused to let him read his proclamation in 
public, and sent him away with two crowns and his errand 
unaccomplished 2 . 

Meantime the Duke of Norfolk, who 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 . Nor 
folk s whole proceeding in this crisis was eminently character 
istic. He never hesitated to spend money or to tell lies, if he 
thought that by so doing there was any possibility of gaining 

1 Cal. xii. (i) 853, 1087. ; Cal. xi. 626, 671, 758. 

2 CaJ. xi. 826. 4 Cal. xi. 793, 800. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 191 

the royal favour. He assured the King 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 l . 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 wrote back hinting that if Nor 
folk made promises to the rebels that he could not keep, he 
must make them on his own responsibility, and take great 
care that the King s name remained unsullied. 

When the Duke arrived in the rebel country he issued 
a proclamation to the insurgents, commanding them in proud 
and haughty terms to submit, and promising to be an inter 
cessor for them with the King. This was on October 27. 
But the very next day he wrote 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 ~. 
It is evident that in the meantime a meeting must have taken 
place between 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 awaited his 
first interview with the King is vividly described in the letter 
in which he announced to the Council his prospective return 
to the Court. * I come, wrote the Duke, -with my hert nere 
bresten .... inforced to appoynt with the rebelltfj .... and 
fearing how his maieste shall take the dispeachyng of our 
bande V 

Norfolk finally arrived at Windsor with two emissaries 
from the insurgents, who were to report their grievances 
and receive the King s answer. 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 King suspected him of treachery in deliver 
ing up Pomfret to Aske, and advised him to do his best to 

1 Cal. xi. 864. 3 Cal. xi. 901. 

2 Cal. xi. 887, 902. * Cal. xi. 909. 



192 THOMAS CROMWELL 

extinct the ill bruit, by taking the rebel leader dead or 
alive l . Meantime the King detained Ellerker and Bowes, 
the two 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 new revolt, if such occurred. So seeing their maner, im- 
plieng a great repentance, and contrasting it with the rebel 
lious attitude of the Yorkshiremen, he sent them on the i4th 
of November a full pardon 2 . Meantime the report of the 
probability of a fresh insurrection passed by, and Ellerker 
and Bowes returned with 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 who were truly penitent. A conference 
for discussion of terms was arranged to assemble at Doncaster 
on the 5th of December, in which Lords Scrope, Latimer, 
Lumley, Darcy, and others were to represent the rebels, and 
Norfolk, Suffolk, Shrewsbury, Rutland, and their subordinates 
the King a . 

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 would be broken by the rebels 
than by the King ; but the former certainly had no intention 
of returning to their homes without 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 fail 5 . The conference at Doncaster lasted 

: Cal. xi. 995. 4 Cal. xi. 1224, 1225. 

2 Cal. xi. 1061. 5 Cal. xi. 1236. 

3 Cal. xi. 957, 995, 1115, 1206. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 193 

four days, but in the end the rebels were successful in gaining 
their wishes, and the desired pardon was proclaimed on the 
9th of December l . 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 were novel. Still it was 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 were master of the 
situation, and began by stating that he had learned that 
Aske was sorry for his offences in the late rebellion. The 
King also did his utmost to stop any rumours on the Con 
tinent which might give the impression that the rebels had 
come off victorious. He instructed Cromwell 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 peticzon 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 V 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 what 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 Cromwell 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. 1276. 3 Cal. xii. (i) 44. 

2 Letters, 174. 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 . 5 A plan was evolved by Sir Francis Bigod and a 
certain John Hallam, to attack and take both Hull and Scar 
borough : the whole 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 which 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 ; ( Ye 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 pr^clamacion. The commons responded to 
his words with 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 Lumley 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 attempt 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 tem 
porary, and it was soon to be replaced by a more stable form 



1 Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. 53. 

2 Cal. xii. (i) 201, 370. 

3 Cal. xii. (i) 104. 



4 Cal. xii. (i) 369. 

5 Cal. xii. (i) 234, 3^9 (? 166). 

6 Cal. xii. (i) 86, 98. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 195 

of government. The true mission of the Duke was to do 
dreadful execution. Before a permanent reorganization of 
the north could be attempted, it was absolutely essential 
that the chief rebels should be dealt with in such a way 
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 were 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 Cromwell : f It is thow 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 
hedd^ and I trust that . . . thought thow Boldest procure 
all the nobell mens hedd^y within 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 words as these. He 
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 was 
again doomed to disappointment. The reason why the 
King had not been willing to employ his favourite instru 
ment of destruction in this case, lay 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) 498. 2 Cal. xii. (i) 976. 

O 2, 



196 THOMAS CROMWELL 

in dealing with this problem the King preferred to consult 
Cromwell. 

The Border Counties of England had never been governed 
like the rest of the kingdom l . 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 middle 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 Marches a definite head in 
an officer called the Lieutenant of the North, who represented 
the King s interest, and derived his authority from the Crown 
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 rican Historical Review for April, 
pages, cf. G. T. Lapsley, * The 1900, pp. 440-66. 
Problem of the North, in the Ame- 



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 attempt 
of Wolsey 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 which 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 Marches was forced to confess itself 
incompetent to deal with even the simplest problems which 
presented themselves for solution, and the old unsatisfactory 
state of affairs continued with little change, until after the 
Pilgrimage of Grace. 

The problem of the reorganization of the north was now 
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 
teristic of the Tudor policy, and Henry and Cromwell saw 
no reason to depart from it. It 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 regime, 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 new 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 competence 
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 l . 

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 Cromwell 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 land. Moreover the 
personal character of many of the members of the new 
Council was 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 ; now 
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 Cal. xii. (i) 595. * Cal. 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 September, 
and the Duke was forced to content himself with writing 
letters to the King and Council, to complain of the new 
arrangements for the government of the Borders which 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 men 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 was convinced that the wylde 
peple of all the Marches wolde not be kept in order vnles 
one of good estimacz on and nobilitie have the ordering 
therof, while 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 men to serve his Grace under him w/th- 
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 Kingly 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 offence 3 . An animated correspondence 
on this topic continued for several months, the dispute 
finally centering about the Presidency of the new Council 
and the Wardenships of the three Marches ; Norfolk insisted 
that only noblemen were fitted to hold these offices 4 . In 

1 Cal. xii. (i) 318, 319, 321, 3 Cal. xii. (i) 319. 

594, 651. 4 Cal. xii. (i) 651, 667, 916, 

2 Cal. xii. (i) 594, 636. 919. 



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 declaraczbn of your 
opinion for the Marcher. Neuertheles 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 meane to p^rceyve the same For surely we woll 
not be bounde of a necessitie to be smied there with lordly, 
But we wolbe s^rued with such men what degre soeuer they 
be of as we shall appointe to the same V The Presidency 
of the Council was finally conferred on Cuthbert Tunstall, 
Bishop of Durham. The death of the Earl of Northumber 
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 Council 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 !53^5 that the storm passed over him and left him scath- 



1 Cal. xii. (i) 1118. 2 Cal. xii. (ii) 254, 914. 

s Cf. Gneist, pp. 513-4. 



THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE 201 

less. The failure of the Pilgrimage of Grace and the process 
of reconstruction which followed it, bore witness 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 with the history of Thomas Cromwell. 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 with 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 forward in his education, paying 
twelve 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 carry on 
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 2 Cal. i. 4190. 
the genealogy at the beginning of s Cal. iii. p. 1544. 
the book. 4 Cal. iv. 6252. 



CARDINAL POLE 203 

Henry now urged him openly to support the divorce, and 
offered him as an inducement the archbishopric of York, 
which had been left vacant at Wolsey s death, but in vain. 
Pole firmly refused to approve of the King s new measures, 
saying that to do so would be inconsistent with his prin 
ciples \ A little later he witnessed the concessions wrung 
from the clergy concerning the Royal Supremacy, and was 
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 with the Satanae Nuncius, when the latter 
had dared to uphold the superiority of Machiavelli s doctrines 
to the scholastic learning, and soon became convinced that 
England was 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, when the King determined to find 
out -about him. He sought information concerning Pole and 
his beliefs from one Thomas Starkey, who had long been 
an intimate of the future Cardinal. In answer to the King s 
inquiries Starkey sent back an imaginary dialogue between 
Pole and his companion Lupset, in which the former was 
represented as opposed on principle to a royal despotism, 
but still personally faithful to Henry VIII. The King, how 
ever, was 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, 1536, 
with a letter enclosing his famous treatise, De Unitate 
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 how much he had been shocked by its 

Poll Epistolae, i. 251-62. * Cal. viii. 217-9. 

2 Cal. v. 737. * 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 command 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. It was remembered that as far 
back as 1512 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 Cromwell 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. 2 Cal. xi. 229. 4 Cal. xi. 1353 ; xii. (i) 779. 

3 Cal. xi. 93. 5 Cal. 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 
with Rome might have taken place in 1537 instead of in 
1554. But the bull of legation was unaccountably delayed 
till the 3ist 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 new-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 were 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 
(who was just then in terror of losing England s friendship 
because of his war with Charles) that Pole was coming 
through France with money to help the northern rebels, 
Henry was bold enough to demand in answer 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 Liege, 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. 4 Life of Pole, Dictionary of 

Cal. xii. (i) 625, 939. National Biography, vol. xlvi. 

1 Cal. xii. (i) 1219; Letters, 187. p. 38. 



206 THOMAS CROMWELL 

fulfilled his promise and returned to England 1 . If Henry 
had 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 from 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 Liege 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 which it was inevitable that strong measures 
would 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 King 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 3 Cal. xii. (i) 249, 296, 313. 
Throgmorton had promised to be 4 Cal. xii. (i) 429; xii. (ii) 
a spy on Pole s movements for 552. 



CARDINAL POLE 207 

Rome, in the hope that some final agreement might be reached. 
He promised to use his own 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 which Throgmorton proposed 
seems to have found acceptance with Henry. A favourable 
reply was drawn up by Cromwell, and Dr. Wilson and his 
companion, Dr. Nicholas Heath, received instructions prepara 
tory to a conference with Pole 1 . But though Henry, 
discouraged as he was 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 Cromwell must have 
succeeded, before it was 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 family 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 attempt to surmount it had 
failed. 

Pole meanwhile remained in Italy, assured of his personal 
safety but grieved to the heart that his mother and brother 
were still in England, where the King could take vengeance 
on them for his own alleged treason. In August, 1538, his 
brother, Sir Geoffrey Pole, was arrested and placed in the 
Tower, where he was examined on the charge of having had 
treacherous correspondence with his brother Reginald, and 

1 Letters, 216-7. 2 Letters, 218. 



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 Yorkist 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 Kyng, 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. 91). 

2 Cal. xiii. (ii) 695, 770, 771. 

! 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 Parliament, 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 l . In fact the 
whole plot against Pole may in one sense be regarded as 
preparatory to a final attack on the Yorkist nobles, whose 
position had never been secure since the accession of the 
House of Tudor. Blow after blow 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, whose action in the case was certainly influenced 
more than usual by personal animosity, found little difficulty 
in persuading the King that the existence of Courtenay was 
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 whole 
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 which he did not fail to take advantage. Exeter, 
Montague, and Nevill were beheaded in December, on Tower 
Hill, while Sir Geoffrey Pole, who had been tried and con 
demned with 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 V 

The Marchioness of Exeter and the Countess of Salisbury 
were meantime held prisoners in the Tower. On May 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 Cal. xiii. (ii) 986, 1 163. 

never called to answer, was the said 3 Wriothesley s Chronicle, vol. i. 

Earl of Essex (Thomas Cromwell) : p. 92. 

MERRIMAN. I P 



210 THOMAS CROMWELL 

1539, the moste tractable parlament 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 remained 1 . The Marchioness of Exeter was sub 
sequently pardoned, but the Countess "dragged on a miserable 
existence in prison for more than two 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 arms 
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, almost a year after the death of Cromwell, that an 
insurrection in Yorkshire under Sir John Nevill sealed her fate, 
and she was barbarously beheaded by a clumsy executioner 
on May 28 2 . 

Meantime the Cardinal at Rome, powerless as he was to 
prevent the ruin of his family, was contriving in some way 
to humble the arrogant King and the ruthless minister who 
had caused him so much woe. The Pope saw that what 
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 two 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 own safety, 
though he knew that his path would be full of Henry s hired 
assassins, he set out for Spain and reached the Emperor s 
Court at Toledo in safety in February, 1539. When the 
King heard of his arrival there, he wrote to Charles in very 
much the same way that he had addressed Francis two 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 
now 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 wrote to Wriothesley, that if 

1 Cal. xiv. (i) 867, .15. 2 Cal. xvi. 868. 

3 Cal. xiv. (i) 279-280. 



CARDINAL POLE 211 

Pole were his owne traytoz/r, cowmyng from that holy 
father he could not refuse him audience l . 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 which he could not enforce. Pole could 
not obtain his consent to the Papal proposals and left Toledo 
much discouraged 2 . He was 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 with hidden meaning 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 an< 3 1540 is the 
thread which binds together the foreign and domestic, 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 which 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 

1 Letters, 301. 8 Cal. xiv. (ii) 212. 

2 Cal. xiv. (i) 603. 4 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 which soon led him into disastrous 
conflict with the King. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE FOREIGN POLICY 

DURING the ten years of Cromwell s ministry, the relations 
of England with the great continental powers presented 
a problem fully as difficult as that afforded by the course of 
events at home. Cromwell s efforts to cope with the dangers 
which threatened England from without were far less success 
ful than his internal administration : in the latter he never 
failed to render invaluable service to the Crown, while 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 
now return to the chronological order of events, which was 
abandoned while the various phases of his home government 
were under consideration. 

Cromwell had entered the King 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 with different 
trades, his legal ability, and his experience in the suppression 
of the smaller monasteries for Wolsey s purposes were of 
inestimable value to him throughout his ministry in dealing 
with problems at home. But in the management of affairs 
abroad he was 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 
showed 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 awaiting the development of the 
King s foreign policy. In this he was wise, 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, while 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 betwe en them were 
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. How 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 
Wolsey. 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 Crepy l in the same way that he had been abandoned 
before by Francis at the treaty of Cambray. But during the 
life of Cromwell the King made no such blunder as this. 
Though he sometimes 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, from 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 which never 
really bore fruit. A more intimate acquaintance with the 
practical and calculating nature of Charles V would certainly 
have convinced the King s minister that however much the 
Emperor threatened, he would never actually embark on 
the somewhat 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 
\CromweH s inexperience in the management of foreign affairs 
Blinded him to this important fact : and his over-eagerness to 
seek means for England s defence proved his ultimate ruin. 
After successfully co-operating with Henry for seven years on 

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



THE FOREIGN POLICY 215 

the basis of maintaining strict neutrality between France and 
Spain, and of encouraging all disputes between 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 new 
alliance turned out disastrously. At the moment of its 
completion, the situation on the Continent which had called 
it into existence suddenly changed ; it was thrown over, 
together with the minister who had originated it. Such 
is the outline of the history of England s foreign affairs 
from 1530 till Cromwell s fall. We can now take up the very 
complicated story in detail. 

Although Henry ardently desired at once to put in practice 
the policy of neutrality which 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 which Wolsey had bequeathed to 
Henry was so close that the King saw that he must at least 
partially withdraw from it, before he could hope to come 
to such terms with the Emperor as would enable him to act 
the part of a neutral and benevolent mediator between the 
foreign powers. But at this juncture the King s anxiety 
to obtain a legal justification for his second marriage was 
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 moment 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- 
interviews, but with very different results. While 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 two 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 1 . 
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 
Henry with excommunication in case he proceeded with his 
second marriage 3 , refused to accede to the Emperor s wishes 
that he should take more active measures against England. 
Meantime Henry had endeavoured to come to an under 
standing with the See of Rome concerning the hearing of his 
case before a Council, in the hope that by giving the Pope 
fair words, 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 ne dared to give 
it expression by increasingly harsh treatment of Katherine. 
She was moved further away from the Court than ever 
before, and hardly a day passed without seeing her subjected 
to some new indignity. Every effort which her friends made 
on her behalf seemed unavailing. As petitions to Henry 
himself were unanswered, Chapuys in despair turned to 
Cromwell, whom he had by this time recognized as the man 
who managed all the King s affairs 5 . But Cromwell succeeded 
in evading the demands of the Imperial ambassador also ; in 
fact he displayed such ability in beknaving 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 when 
he finally met Chapuys, he spent much time in applauding 
all the efforts that had been made to maintain friendly 

Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77. illness. Cf. Cal. vii. 959. Though it 

Cal. vi. 64, 92. is certain that he suffered at times 

! Cal. v. 1545. from violent attacks of ague, it is 

Cal. vi. no. doubtful if it was always his ill- 

Cal. vi. 465. health which prevented him from 

6 Cal. vi. 508. Cromwell often fulfilling his engagements to the 

begged to be excused from a pro- Imperial ambassador, 
mised interview on the plea of 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 217 

relations between 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 which 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. The threat, 
however, had no lasting effect. The treatment of the Queen 
went on from bad to worse, and two months later the same 
conversation took place all over again, with the same 
unsatisfactory result 1 . As long as Cromwell consented to 
obey his master s commands implicitly, and to devote himself 
solely to finding means to carry out the plans which the 
King s riper experience told him were feasible, without trying 
to take the lead himself, the two were an almost invincible 
combination. 

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 we have already seen, postponed the application of 
his wise 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 made, and to threaten the Pope, if his Holiness 
refused to do the same. Francis only partially acceded to 
Henry s wishes. Meantime all hope of obtaining the divorce 
from Rome had been abandoned owing to Cromwell s advice ; 
the affair was tried in England, and Anne Boleyn was 
publicly proclaimed Queen. A provisional sentence of ex 
communication was passed on Henry in July, giving him 
till September to decide whether he would take Katherine 
back or not. A few months before, Francis and Henry had 

1 Cal. 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, however, blusteringly 
assured him that he was not in need of any mediation he 
hoped that Francis would not trouble himself 1 . But the 
latter would not take the hint that England s policy towards 
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 own plans 
for the prevention of the dreaded Council, readily accepted 
the opportunity which had been offered 2 . Henry was of 
course unable to prevent an interview between the two 
potentates, but he attempted to throw cold water on the 
whole affair by sending an embassy to Clement while 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 which the Pope was attempting 
to forestall. The chief result of this extraordinary proceeding 
was simply to deprive the King of the only ally that he had. 
Francis was naturally exceedingly angry, and flatly refused 
to fight Henry s battles for him any more 3 . Such was the 
reward reaped from the alliance which Wolsey 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, 

Cal. vi. 614, 641. Neither writer produces any very 
1 Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77. conclusive evidence in support of 
1 Cal. vi, 1426, 1427. his theory: but Mr. Friedmann s 
1 Mr. Friedmann (Anne Boleyn, view is certainly, on the face of it, 
vol. i. pp. 225, 250 fF.) believes that the more plausible. It may be too 
this break with France was due to much to say that it was by Crom- 
the influence of Cromwell, who had well s advice that Francis was in- 
urged the King to strike out an suited at Marseilles, but it is certain 
independent policy as regards the that the King s minister evinced 
Pope. M. Bapst (Deux Gentils- a decided preference for an Imperial 
hommes, pp. 97, 113), on the other alliance long before the year 1535. 
hand, thinks that the King s minister Cf. Froude, The Divorce of Cathe- 
originally favoured the French alii- rine of Aragon, p. 308. 
ance, and adhered to it until 1535. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 219 

instead of gaining him his desired position as neutral and 
pretended mediator between 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 with 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 with the 
Lutheran princes, which began in July, 1533, were planned by 
him. It is of course natural to look to the man, whose 
name six years later became inseparably associated with a 
German alliance, as the originator of the scheme ; in addition 
to this there is documentary evidence. A letter which 
Chapuys wrote to the Emperor, July 30, 1533, informs us that 
two of Cromwell 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 l ; and on August 3, 
a letter reporting the progress of the ambassadors was written 
by them to Cromwell from Antwerp 2 . Vaughan and his 
companion, a certain Christopher Mont, arrived in Niirnberg 
on the 22nd, whence they sent home minute accounts of the 
state of religion in Germany ; 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 whose towns were so much divided 3 . Some 
time in the autumn Cromwell sent a reply to Mont, praising 
his diligence, and urging him above all things to discover the 
state of feeling in Germany towards 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. 3 Cal. vi. 1039-40. 

* Letters, 64. 5 Cal. vii. 21. 



220 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 were confirmed by a new development of England s 
foreign policy in the same year. 

As one of the consequences of an unwarrantable 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 Liibeck, 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 l . Such bounty was 
seldom showered on anybody by Henry VIII without some 
ulterior purpose, and Meyer s case was no exception to the 
general rule. It soon transpired that proposals had been 
made for a close alliance between England and Liibeck 2 . 
Ever since the peace of Stralsund in 1370, the cities of the 
Hanseatic 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 Liibeck was at this moment bent on obtaining the dis 
posal of it. Henry signified his willingness to aid the 
Liibeckers 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 crown. In May, 
1534, the Liibeckers 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 
larger issues of Henry s foreign policy. The social and 
political revolution which had been in progress in Liibeck 
since 1530 had placed the power in the hands of a party 
whose anti-papal tendencies were fully as violent as those of 
the Wittenberg theologians, and whose conscientious scruples 
were of less weight, when thrown into the scales of political 

[ Cal. vi. 1510. 3 Schafer, p. 512. 

! B. M. Nero B. iii, 105. 4 Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 539. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 221 

expediency 1 . The treaty concluded with England contained 
certain doctrinal statements which lay suspiciously close 
to the needs of Henry s immediate position 2 , and the 
King must have been at least temporarily convinced that 
he had obtained a valuable ally against the See of Rome. 
The treaty with Liibeck was also a very distinct move against 
the Emperor, for an Imperial candidate had been proposed 
for the vacant throne of Denmark, and by supporting the 
Liibeckers Henry necessarily opposed Charles. But the new 
alliance failed to accomplish what was expected of it : in 
fact it actually worked to England s disadvantage. Before 
its conclusion, George Wullenwever, the demagogue whom 
the recent upheaval had rendered temporarily supreme in 
Liibeck, 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 Liibeckers 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 which an 
agreement was reached in regard to the affairs of Holstein, 
though both parties reserved the right of continuing the war 
for the disposal of the crown of Denmark. 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 III 
a severe blow to the pretensions of the Liibeckers, who 
were now robbed of their best excuse for interference in 
Danish affairs, namely their professed desire to introduce 
pure religion there 3 . Liibeck, however, had now gone too 
far to draw back, and prepared to attack the new King in 

1 Waitz, vol. i. p. 83. dispensatio. Entwurf eines Ver- 

2 One of the provisions of the trags zwischen Konig Heinrich 
proposed agreement was : * Ducere und Liibeck ; Sommer, 1534. Tran- 
uxorem fratris mortui sine liberis est scribed from the original in the 
jure divino et naturali prohibitum. Archives at Weimar ; Waitz, vol. 
Contra prohibitiones divinas inva- ii. pp. 319-25. 

lida ac prorsus nulla est Romani 3 Ranke, vol. iii. pp. 406-425. 
pontificis vel cujuscumque alterius 



222 THOMAS CROMWELL 

connexion with England. Henry 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 
Liibeck 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 Liibeckers, in their 
new attempt to overthrow Christian, were again completely 
defeated. Henry had aided them with the services of two 
skilled engineers, and the Danish King 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 master s anxiety 
by several preposterous lies 3 . But still the King was un 
willing to consent to a complete reversal of his Liibeck 
policy, and finally sent the ambassador home with an answer 
which Chapuys characterizes as obscure and ambiguous. 
Several subsequent victories of Christian, in which certain 
English ships which had been sent to aid the Liibeckers 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 Liibeck 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 Liibeckers, and who had dared to attack one 
of their own number. 

Thus each of the two alliances with which Henry had 
sought to fortify himself against France and Spain had 
rendered the other worthless. The King probably bitterly 
regretted that his matrimonial difficulties had led him to stray 
so far from the policy which he originally intended to pursue. 

1 Cal. vii. 970. 2 Cal. viii. 72, 327. 3 Cal. viii. 556, 1178. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 223 

Had he been able to secure his desired position as neutral 
and pretended mediator between France and Spain, he could 
have relied on this eminently advantageous situation alone to 
secure safety for England abroad, without troubling himself 
about any outside alliance. But to attain this position was 
impossible, as we have seen, until he became reconciled to 
Charles, and reconciliation with Charles was out of the 
question as long as Katherine remained subjected to such 
indignity. Here lay the key to the whole situation. The 
treatment of the divorced Queen was the sole hindrance to 
a cordial relation between Spain and England, and con 
sequently to the final application of the policy which Henry 
so ardently desired. But there could be no hope of an 
alleviation of her sufferings, for the King and Cromwell were 
by this time irrevocably committed to a brutal attitude 
towards Katherine 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 l . 
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 coming to terms with the 
Emperor. The first of these events was the death of the 
Pope in September, an occurrence which, according to 
Chapuys, caused Henry and Cromwell such joy that the 
latter was unable to refrain from 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 V 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. 1095. 2 Cal. vii. 1257. 



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 meantime 
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 Angouleme 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 Cromwell sent for a number of beautiful 
young ladies to come to the Court to entertain them 2 . There 
seems to be some doubt whether de Brion first proposed that 
Mary should be given to the Duke of Angouleme 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 Mary 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, was that he would agree to give 
Mary to Angouleme if both would make a solemn renuncia 
tion of all claims that they could bring forward to the English 
throne 4 . But the Spanish ambassador seemed to think that 
this proposal would 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 was void, he might be induced to renounce 
his claim to the French throne in exchange for certain lands 

1 Cal. vii. 1060, and Baumgarten, 3 Cal. vii. 1483, 1554. 
vol. iii. pp. 145-6. 4 Cal. vii. 1554. 

2 Cal. vii. 1437. 



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 Angouleme 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 way that Chapuys had done in the 
previous year. When Cromwell appeared in the great hall 
to make the farewell present, the Admiral 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 well 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 followed 
the Admiral s return. But Francis himself was in too pre 
carious a position to afford to throw away 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 Angouleme. 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. 1483. 2 Cal. vii. 1507. 3 Cal. viii. 174, 557. 

MERRIMAN. I Q 



226 THOMAS 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 which had been 
sent to the French Court, and which required all Christian 
princes to cease to hold intercourse with the heretical King 
of England ; he further instructed his ambassador to make 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 saw fit to make war on the 
Emperor. This announcement, which 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 J . 
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, who had sent for him in order 
to obtain the support of his followers 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 King 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. Letters, 126, 128, 135. 

2 Cal. ix. 443. 4 Letters, 113. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 227 

support him against the Pope, and he promised them that 
another ambassador, the Bishop of Hereford, would come and 
talk further with them 1 . At the close of the year the envoy 
was received in Germany. Long negotiations followed, at 
first with some hope of success. A request by the English 
ambassador that the Germans would unite with 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 well, 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 
widow was wrong, 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 was finally sent away empty-handed, 
the negotiations having resulted in a failure which plainly 
foreshadowed the events of 1538 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 Cromwell 
sought security in a league with the Lutherans without 
success. Two proofs had been afforded that a reconciliation 
with 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 

L Cal. ix. 390, 1016. Reformatorum, vol. ii.pp. 1028 ff.; Hi. 

2 Cal. x. 771. Cf. also Corpus pp. 46-50. 

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 scarcely wonder 
that the Imperial ambassador reported to his master that the 
death of the Queen, which occurred on January 7, 1536, 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 Parliament 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. c 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, 
embalmed, 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 
medical 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 poor 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. 4 Cf. Dr. Norman Moore, on the 

2 Cal. ix. 776, and Friedmann, Death of Katherine of Aragon, in 
vol. ii. pp. 169-73. the Athenaeum for Jan. 31 and 

Cal. x. 141. Cf. also Fried- Feb. 28, 1885. 
mann, vol. ii. p, 176. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 229 

of his character and training such a step would have been far 
less repugnant than to Henry, had he once assured 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 was always alarmed by the danger of foreign invasion far 
more than his master, 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 advance 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 J 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 conference and pro- 
cedyng^5 wzt/z the frensh kyng and his counsaile to keep 
themselves the more aloof and be the more Froyt and colde 
in relentyng to any their overtures or requests V 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 King s secretary was no less prompt in pointing out to 
the Imperial ambassador the bearing of the decease of the 
divorced Queen on England s relations with Spain. He was 
not ashamed to remark to one of Chapuys men that the 
Emperor had the greatest cause to be thankful for the death 
of Katherine, which in his judgement was 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 
Cromwell 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 
was impossible, and with characteristic calmness and self- 
control he determined to conceal his resentment and conciliate 
Henry. It was doubtless with 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 which 
Gardiner, at Cromwell s command, had given him, and was 
again using every effort to regain Henry s favour. The 
breach between the two continental sovereigns was, to the 
King s intense joy, becoming wider every day, with the result 
that each was making frantic attempts to outbid the other for 

1 Letters, 136. 2 Letters, 126. 3 Cal. x. 141. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 231 

England s friendship. Henry s position was for the moment 
almost ideal. All he needed to do was to keep the two 
rivals just evenly balanced. But precisely at this critical 
juncture, Cromwell for the first time in his ministry made 
a move without the King s leave, which, had it not been 
instantly forestalled, would have completely upset the 
beautiful equilibrium which Henry had laboured so hard to 
establish. The King had doubtless ordered him to be cordial 
to Chapuys, in order to counterbalance the effects of the 
warmth of Francis ; but he had not the least idea of entering 
into any definite agreement, which might lose him his precious 
position of neutrality. But Cromwell did not see this. He 
exceeded his instructions, was voluble in his disparagement of 
the French in Chapuys presence, and finally brought matters 
to such a point that he went with Chapuys to the King to 
propose an Imperial alliance 1 . It was the most open avowal 
he had yet made of a leaning towards Spain, that he had 
doubtless cherished for a long time. Born among the 
common 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 him almost as many enemies 
among the lower classes as his reputation as originator of 
oppressive financial measures. Cromwell 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 1 
himself into collision with the King. But this time he had 
forgotten his previous caution, and his rashness resulted in 

1 Cal. x. 351. 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. 
1 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 was 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 rightfully belonged to the 
French, waived the point at issue entirely, and was with 
difficulty persuaded to look over the treaties at a later time. 
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 V 



1 Cal. 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 powers 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 retreating 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 doth neither refuse their alliance, 
ne moche encorage them, to co^ceyue that they maye without 
difficultie obteyn their desire 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. * He 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, 
263. 



234 THOMAS CROMWELL 

English ambassadors were ordered to give at the French and 
Spanish Courts l . 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 Mantua, 
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 was very fortunate for England 
that her affairs abroad were so prosperous at this juncture, as 
the end of 1536 and the beginning of 1537 were 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 were signs of a reconciliation. 
Francis, moreover, had strengthened his position by a league 
with the Turk, and began to feel powerful enough to make 
a move without Henry s leave. The first intimation 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 more 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 way for a possible alliance with Mme. 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, whereupon Charles 
turned on him, and informed him that negotiations with 
France were already set on foot, though he relieved Henry s 
anxiety a little by assuring him that no actual treaty should 

1 Letters, 170. 2 Cal. xii. (i) 1310. 3 Cal. xii. (ii) 1201. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 235 

be made without the King of England s being included as 
a premier contrahent, a promise which Cromwell was con 
tinually harping upon a year later, when the situation had 
entirely changed l . 

Thus the year 1538 opened rather darkly for England. 
The dread with which Henry watched the increasing signs 
of good-feeling between Charles and Francis led him into 
ridiculous and undignified action. As soon as it was 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, which would strengthen his position 
and avert the impending crisis. A somewhat confusing set 
of double instructions from Cromwell to his friend Philip 
Hoby, instructing him to negotiate for possible marriages 
with the younger sister of James wife, with the daughter 
of the Duke of Lorraine, and also with 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 would have put him on friendly 
terms with Spain ; but none of them was 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 drew a blush from the King himself 3 . 
Finding that his endeavours to obtain a suitable wife 
for himself were abortive, Henry looked about for an 
advantageous marriage for his daughter Mary. By altern 
ately holding out to the Emperor 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 Cal. xii. (ii) 1053, 1285. 

Letters, 243. Cf. also Preface to vol. xiii. pt. i. of the Calendar, pp. 37-8. 

Cal. xiii. (i) 1355, 1405, 1451, 1496 ; xiii. (ii) 77, 232, 277. 



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 show 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 
meddle 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 
was 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 l . It is needless to state that 
neither of the proposed unions ever took place, and Henry s 
frantic endeavours to frustrate the steadily increasing amity of 
France and Spain were entirely unavailing. 

Matrimonial agitations being found useless to serve his 
purpose, Henry had recourse to other methods 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 wrote to Sir Thomas Wyatt 
at the Spanish Court, directing him to declare how the 
frenche men show themselfej so ernest to put al in the king*?.? 
hand that they offer vpon any significaczon that thcmperour 

woll make 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 Themper^r 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 Cal. xiii. (i) 995, 1147, 1355. 2 Letters, 244. 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 237 

that his own friendship was 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 between Charles and Francis and of their subsequent 
interview at Aigues Mortes reached England in July, 1538 1 . 
Still so confident was the King in the wisdom of his original 
policy of strengthening England solely by attempts to embroil 
these two 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 
would 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 I53^> now broke forth again under a slightly altered form, 
which it was destined to maintain till the end. At first we 
saw that Cromwell 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 remained 

1 Cal. xiii. (i) 1486. 



238 THOMAS CROMWELL. 

for England, if the policy which had been so successful in 1536 
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 war, 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 Liibeck 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 German 
alliance as a defensive measure was 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 



THE FOREIGN POLICY 239 

consent to the experiment, though, as we shall soon see, his 
acquiescence was only temporary. The opportunity for an 
alliance with the Germans was in many respects most favour 
able. The proclamation which Henry had put forth to show his 
contempt of the Papal authority to convoke a General Council, 
coupled with the Ten Articles of 153^, 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 Mont to go to the Germans again, and tell 
them how nearly Henry s theological views coincided with their 
own, arid to request them to send representatives to discuss 
with him points of faith l . The 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 Crown, so that the evidence 
afforded by the authorship of the instructions to Mont is of 
small weight ; whereas the course of events in 1539 and 1540 
leaves little doubt that the guiding hand throughout was that 
of the King s minister. Henry s name 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, temporarily 
forced upon him by the apparent failure of his own plans. 

But the outside world 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 which was later to bring Cromwell to disaster. The 
Lutherans were greatly flattered by the proposals that had 
been made to them, and in May 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 minister were not destined 
to bear fruit, for the only result of the Lutheran embassy 
was procrastination which seemed little better than failure. 

1 Cal. xiii. (i) 367. 



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 had 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 Emperor, 
which he at first had feared were to be aimed at England, 
were in reality directed against the Turk l : 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 
would 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. 316, 409, 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 time the minister did not humbly accept the 
rebuff as he had done before, but continued to oppose his 
schemes to those of his master. 

Thus at the close of the year 1538, England was trembling 
at the prospect of a coalition of France and Spain against her. 
The outlook was 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 own 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 was no drawing back, 
and he paid the penalty for his rashness with his life. 



MERRIMAN. I R 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE CATHOLIC REACTION AND THE ALLIANCE 

WITH CLEVES 

THE first few months of the new year brought no improve 
ment in the state of England s foreign affairs. Having 
postponed the Lutheran alliance which Cromwell had so 
strongly advocated in the end of 1538, 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 wrote 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 l . But these petty remonstrances had no 
effect in diminishing the growing 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 Cal. xiv. (i) 92, 147. 2 Cal. xiv. (i) 62. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 243 

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 we 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 with a very feeble plan for 
gaining friends against the Pope, the chimerical nature of 
which was quite at variance with the direct and practical 
character of most of his schemes. He had proposed a league 
of England with the Dukes of Ferrara, Mantua, and Urbino 
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 
Venice tells the story of this negotiation very vividly l . But 
the princes of northern Italy were too weak 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 now 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. almost identical with those of the 

2 John Lambert, moreover, had King at this time, but the Germans 
been tried and burnt, for denying certainly disapproved of the violence 
the Real Presence, in November, of Henry s measures for enforcing 
1538. The doctrines of the Luther- them. 

ans in this matter were probably 

R 1 



244 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



the English bishops in the preceding summer, and finally to 
learn whether 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 Cromwell 
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 between the young 
Duke of Cleves and the Princess Mary, and the other between 
Anne, the elder of the two unmarried daughters of the old 
Duke, and the King himself 3 . It appears that Cromwell had 
already discussed the feasibility of the first of these two 
matches with the Vice-Chancellor, when the latter had been 
in England in the previous summer, and John Frederic had 
subsequently written to the King s minister that the plan met 
with his entire approval. The proposal for Henry s marriage, 
on the contrary, was now brought forward for the first time. 
We shall soon see why it was that Mont was sent to the 
Elector of Saxony, rather than to the Duke of Cleves himself, 
to feel the way for these two alliances. 

In order to understand the precise bearing on the foreign 
affairs of England of the two marriages which Cromwell 
proposed, and of the political league which 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) 103. 

2 Letters, 287. 

Throughout the negotiations 
for the Cleves marriages Cromwell 
made desperate efforts to assert 
the dignity of the King, which he 
could not help feeling was a little 
lowered 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 power 
of the House of Saxony, had led the Emperor Maximilian 
in 1496 to declare Maria, the only child of the Duke of 
Juliers and Berg, to be the lawful heiress of these two 
provinces ; a step which was in direct contravention of a 
grant which Maximilian, at his election as King of the 
Romans, had made to Frederic the Wise of the reversion of 
Juliers and Berg in case of failure of male heirs in the ducal 
line there. This grant was definitely revoked in various 
documents of the years 1508 and 1509 ; and Duke John of 
Cleves, who in the meantime had married the heiress Maria 
of Juliers and Berg, was permitted to unite these three rich 
provinces in his own hand, and to establish a strong power 
on the Lower Rhine which prevented undue preponderance 
of the House of Wettin, and furnished a useful support for 
the Hapsburgs in the western part of the Empire 1 . The 
peace-loving Duke John lived and died in friendship with 
Maximilian and his grandson, although his desire to see 
a reform in the Church had prevented his definite acceptance 
of the Imperial invitation to join a Catholic League against 
the Schmalkaldner in 1537. Instead he devoted himself to 
strengthening his power in his own possessions by a series 
of wise and prudent measures, through which he welded the 
three component parts of his dominions into one 2 . But 
during the last year of his life (which ended on February 6, 
1539, while Mont was on his way to the Saxon Court) 
affairs took a turn which was destined to bring his son and 
heir William into direct conflict with the Empire. In June, 
1538, the warlike Duke Charles of Gelderland, whose 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 
forward 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; in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bio- 
Ranke, vol. i. pp. 226-9. graphic, vol. xiv. p. 214. 

2 Life of Duke John of Cleves 



246 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



of France 1 . This scheme 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 was 
finally forced, much against his will, to designate young 
William 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 with the Emperor, who realizing how 
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 William naturally turned to the Elector of 
Saxony, whose rights to Juliers and Berg, once rudely 
revoked by Maximilian, had not been forgotten, but who 
seems to have preserved sufficiently friendly relations with 
the family in favour of which his claims had been set aside, 
to marry Sibylla, one of the sisters of the Duke 3 . Common 
enmity to Charles V now drew them very close together, and 
at the Imperial Court it was actually thought that Cleves had 
been formally admitted to the Schmalkaldic League 4 . This 
however was a mistake. Though Duke William was certainly 
not 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 with him 5 . Still he was on very intimate 



1 Ranke, vol. iv. p. 128 ; Heid- 
rich, I, 2. 

1 Heidrich, 21. 
1 Heidrich, 4. 

4 Ranke, vol. iv. p. 129. 

5 Heidrich, 34, 35. Driven by 
political necessity, William in 1543 
finally took the decisive step, 
and declared himself ready to in 
troduce the new religion into his 
dominions, in the hope of gaining 



aid from 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 William s acceptance 
of Lutheranism. The lands of the 
Duke were invaded by the Imperial 
forces, and William was forced, at the 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 



247 



terms with John Frederic, who had promised, when he wedded 
Sibylla of Cleves, to advance money for the marriage of her 
sisters, and thus had a certain right to be consulted when 
husbands were to be chosen for them. Henry was doubtless 
well aware of all this, and it was 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 
matrimonial alliances from which Cromwell hoped so much. 

Having completed this preliminary survey of the position 
of the Duke of Cleves, we are enabled to make some interest 
ing observations on the instructions to the English ambassador. 
It is very significant that the inquiries which Mont was 
ordered to make concerning the religious tendencies of Duke 
William were concerned only with 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 New Faith to an alliance with the Schmalkaldner. Else 
why did he rather seek to unite with Cleves than with 
Saxony? Both were politically valuable, as enemies of the 
Emperor; the only difference was that Cleves was not as 
yet avowedly Protestant, and Saxony was. 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 was 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 Juliers 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 establish there a purified 
and enlightened Catholic Church, 
Erasmian in its tendencies, and 
in many respects approaching very 
closely to the tenets of the Augs 
burg Confession. Cf. Heidrich, 
91-4, and the Life of William of 
Cleves in the Allgemeine Deutsche 
Biographic, vol. xliii. pp. 107-13. 



248 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Cromwell at last succeeded in persuading him reluctantly to 
return to a German alliance, it was 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 which was 
now 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 between Henry and Cromwell. The King, 
always 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, which he doubtless felt he 
could throw 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. Cromwell 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 with Cleves 
can thus only be regarded as a compromise between the 
royal and Cromwellian policies, which 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 important 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 himself 
might the more easily renounce it if occasion served. The 
fact that the new alliance, if accomplished, would from its 
very nature commit him to far less than the Lutheran league 
which he had put off in 1538, was not enough for Henry; he 
must needs have other safeguards, and determined to make 
Cromwell his scapegoat. All the practical and important 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 249 

parts of the instructions to Mont were given by the King s 
minister. The conciliatory expressions with which Henry 
had directed the ambassador to sound the Elector of Saxony 
and the Landgrave of Hesse on the question of theology 
were merely empty words, as is proved by the utter failure 
of an attempted agreement four months later. Their sole 
object was to induce John Frederic more favourably to 
receive the practical proposals which followed. But the 
King purposely left to Cromwell 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. We are merely told 
that as regards the match proposed for the Princess Mary, 
Cromwell perceived * the kinges hieghnes ... by his grac/j 
countenance and exterior Visage ... to be of good In- 
clinaczon V On the more vital question of the King s attitude 
concerning his own marriage, the instructions of Cromwell to 
Mont give us even vaguer information. The fact was that 
the King was willing 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 with France and Spain. From the day that Mont 
departed on his mission, the fate of the alliance with Cleves 
and the fate of Thomas Cromwell were 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 two 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 & iwporta/zce of that grudge, which thewperowr 

1 Letters, 287. 2 Letters, 295. 



250 THOMAS CROMWELL 



doth beire, for the Bishop of Rom^j- pleasure against them 
and oth^r of the avangelik sorte, which they may nowe easely 
perceive by that he worketh and goeth aboute. At the same 
time, another embassy, headed by a certain Dr. Nicholas 
Wotton, was sent to Cleves to obtain confirmation of the 
promises of Burckhard, and further to carry on 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 
with Duke William *. The latter was at first less eager to 
accept the alliance which England offered than his brother- 
in-law was to promote it : he wanted to postpone a definite 
answer 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 willing 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 
with 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. We have seen that the King s proposals for 
a religious agreement were chiefly intended as a blind to 
cover the more practical matrimonial proposals which had 
followed, but Cromwell evidently thought it worth while 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 th[em to] redubb the same 
and give you more favourable] answer. 

And at first Cromwell s eagerness for the alliance with 
Cleves seemed to have every justification, for Henry s policy 
in other parts of Europe appeared to have failed even more 

1 Cal. xiv. (i) 489. 2 Heidrich, 32. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 251 

completely than before. Ominous letters were received from 
Wriothesley, the ambassador in the Netherlands, who did not 
hesitate to express his fear that war would soon come and that 
his retreat to England would be cut off 1 . At the same time 
Chapuys received orders to return to the Court of the Queen 
Regent, and Cromwell 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 Cromwell s orders for the detention of Chapuys at Calais, 
until the safety of Wriothesley was assured, and by the instruc 
tions of the Queen Regent to the Provost of Mons to follow 
the English ambassador to Gravelines 3 . But fortunately these 
precautions were 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 
v/as 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 
was but little relieved thereby. The most that Cromwell 
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 war. So he took 
him, as he later wrote to the King, to his armoury, showing 

him a store of harneys and wepens the whiche he 

semed to esteme moche/ and telling him that there were 
twenty more armouries in the realm as well or better equipped ; 
e wherat he woundred and sayd that he thought yotir grace 
the prince best furnished thereof in Chm/endom V 

But though Cromwell may have exaggerated the security 
of England s fortifications, his words to Castillon were by 
no means empty. 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. 2 Letters, 291, 301. 

1 Letters, 297; and Cal. xiv. (i) 584. * Cal. xiv. (i) 570. 

5 Letters, 288. 



252 THOMAS CROMWELL 

they were, as always, united. Here Henry suffered himself 
to be guided at all points by Cromwell. 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 warfare, 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 
were sent to him. General musters were ordered through 
out the realm ; every precaution was taken to fortify all 
vulnerable points. Beacons were placed upon all the hills, 
and no detail that could add to the strength and efficiency 
of the defences was left out 1 . 

But just at this very moment, when everything seemed to 
point to an open rupture with Charles and Francis, when the 
schemes which Cromwell had opposed to those of the King 
seemed to have every justification, an event occurred which 
totally changed the aspect of affairs, and restored Henry s 
badly shaken confidence in his own ability to stave off the 
threatened crisis without the aid of outside alliances or an 
appeal to arms. This event was the arrival in England on 
March 38 of a new French ambassador, Charles de Marillac, 
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 
which the ambassador reported his reception at the English 
Court to Francis and Montmorency give us a vivid picture of 
the universal joy with which this apparent reassurance of 
friendship with France was hailed 2 . Henry was delighted, 
and his satisfaction was increased when Marillac, at his 
master s command, followed up the advantage already gained 

1 Cal. xiv. (i) 398-400, 529, 564, 615, 652-5. 

2 Cal. xiv. (i) 669-70. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 253 

by renewed assertions of the cordiality of France. The whole 
Court seemed to wear a new aspect and to be quite de 
lighted V Had Henry seen the letter of instructions which 
Marillac received from the French Court, he would have 
realized that Francis was only endeavouring to keep him 
in good humour 2 , while making a little more certain of his 
own relations with Charles ; and he might have been less 
encouraged. But Marillac s cordiality seems to have put him 
off his guard, and he was led, in his exultation, to welcome 
the apparent friendship of Francis in ways which very nearly 
resulted in the permanent stultification of all the laborious 
efforts of Cromwell to maintain amicable relations in Germany. 
The events which took place in England in the three months 
following the arrival of the French ambassador furnish ample 
proof of this new departure in the royal policy. 

On April 28 Parliament had met, its assembling being 
indispensable to carrying on the * Kinges 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 Parliament of 1539 was undoubtedly his master 
piece 3 . It will be remembered that it was in this session 
that he first succeeded in forcing the Lords and Commons to 
sanction the statute by which royal proclamations were given 
the force of laws. Cromwell 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 which the Six Articles were 
later evolved as A devise in the parliament for the vnitie in 
religion V It is very improbable that Cromwell had any 
really accurate information concerning the King s real inten 
tions in connexion with this last item. Henry had purposely 
concealed them under a very non-committal statement. 
Doubtless the King had long cherished the idea of making 

1 Cal. xiv. (i) 908. ! Cal. xiv. (i) 520, 573. 

2 Cal. xiv. (i) 804. 4 Cal. xiv. (i) 655. 



254 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 would re 
move the main pretext of the Emperor and the French King 
for an attack on him, namely 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 was 
rather led to shun all moves which would imperil his friendly 
relations with Germany, so that he had scrupulously avoided 
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 have 
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. 
His position was now a very uncomfortable one, and the 
fact that a committee of bishops under his superintendence 
was utterly unable to cope with the difficulties of the newly 
presented religious problem, is very significant. Henry was 
not to be balked however. He quickly took the matter 
out of the hands of the incompetent 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 strictly 
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 31 Hen. VIII, c. 14. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 



255 



proclaimed in this Act, however, Henry took good care that 
there should be no mistake about his attitude towards the 
Pope. He was 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 matters 
of doctrine, no consideration whatever could induce him to 
make the least concession to the Papacy. In fact he took 
measures to show, 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 
was played on the river in the King s presence a game of 
poor grace, much less invention, of two galleys, one carrying 
the King s arms, the other the Pope s, with several Cardinals 
hats (so he was told, for he would have deemed it contrary to 
duty to be a spectator). " The galleys fought a long time, and 
ultimately those of the King were victorious, and threw the 
Pope and Cardinals and their arms into the water, to show 
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 Foxe tells an amusing 
and characteristic story of Crom 
well s saving Cranmer from punish 
ment for a book which he had 
written against the Six Articles. 
There appears 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 tumult 
which ensued he lost the precious 
book. It was subsequently picked 



up by the bearvvard, who per 
ceiving what it was, and being him 
self a violent papist, gave it to a 
priest of his religion, who told the 
bearvvard that whosoever wrote it 
would be hanged if the King should 
see it. The bearward 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. Foxe, 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 Cromwell 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 
was not yet quite sure of his ground with Marillac, and 
had not fully decided what 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 which Henry, though he 
carefully avoided committing himself to any definite promises 
of an alliance, spoke in the warmest terms of the Elector and 
Landgrave, 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 February 2 . A subsequent interview of the am 
bassadors with Cromwell and other members of the Privy 
Council was equally satisfactory, and Burckhard and Baum 
bach were convinced that their mission would ultimately be 
crowned with success. Had they understood the meaning of 
the many excuses which 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 wished to 
detain them until he had made perfectly sure that they could 
be of no more use to him. His relations with 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 between 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 news of the truce concluded between the Em 
peror and the Lutherans on the I9th of April was finally 
announced in London towards the middle of May : it at once 
decided the King to send the envoys home empty-handed 
again, for it was obviously useless to continue negotiations 
for an alliance, which was primarily to have been directed 
against the very power with which the Schmalkaldner had 
just made a temporary peace. So much had Henry been 
encouraged by the favourable signs of the past few weeks, 
that he would 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 was 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 was quite 
sufficient to stultify all their efforts. In the seventh article 
of their treaty with the Emperor, the Schmalkaldner had 
agreed not to admit any new members into their league 
during the period of the truce. There is every reason to 
think that this provision was especially directed against the 
English negotiations, for both Brandenburg and the Count 
Palatine had always looked with disfavour on the attempts 
of Saxony and Hesse to gain the alliance of Henry, and 
doubtless availed themselves of this opportunity to persuade 
the Schmalkaldner 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. 
Wearisome disputes and attempts at a compromise ensued : 
the question of reciprocity was discussed at length ; the 
envoys insisting that England was sure to derive quite as 
much benefit from the proposed alliance as the Lutherans, 
the King and his ministers in turn demanding concessions 
which they knew that the ambassadors were not authorized 

1 Bezold, p. 686. 

MEKR1MAN. 1 S 



258 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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 which 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 meantime 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, who had been ear 
nestly labouring to remove the disagreeable impression which 
Henry had made on Christian III by his blundering Liibeck 
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 was now in close 

1 Cf. Appendix I at the end of this : Cal. xiv. (i) 441, 442, 955~ 
chapter. 958. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 250 

alliance with John Frederic, and Barnes was soon enabled 
to persuade them to arrange to send a joint embassy to the 
King of England to treat of the political league which was 
to follow a theological agreement l . But at this juncture 
Burckhard and Baumbach returned with a very discouraging 
report, which obtained full confirmation by the news which 
arrived a week later, that the Six Articles had actually been 
passed 2 . The enthusiasm of the Lutherans was of course 
considerably dampened, and they wrote to Henry that if 
a league was to be treated of at all, he would have to be the 
one to send ambassadors ; they could not themselves venture 
to visit England because of the machinations against the 
Evangelical cause there 3 . Even in Cloves, where Henry and 
Cromwell had sought an alliance of a purely political nature, 
unhampered by religious restrictions, the news of the passage 
of the Six Articles created profound distrust, and we may 
well believe that John Frederic discouraged his brother-in- 
law from 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 with 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 were 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 match must have been abandoned long 
before this time. But now that the union with 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) 1273. 2 Cal. xiv. (i) 1278. 3 Cal. xiv. (ii) 59, 

S 2 



260 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Duke Anthony and his son would have to be satisfied, he 
said, before his sister could be offered to Henry l . 

Altogether it looked as if the German alliance would be 
abandoned, and Cromwell, who of all people was most deeply 
involved in it, must have been roused to a sense of his danger. 
But 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 when it appeared 
that dread of the Turks, who had advanced up the Adriatic, 
was the sole cause of the Emperor s apparent unwillingness 
to offend England, and it was rumoured that there was imme 
diate prospect of another interview between 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. 
He 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, which a few months before he had abandoned as 
useless, but which now 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, ! Cal. xiv. (i) 603. 

pp. 17, 18. 3 Cal. xiv. (ii) 218, 300, 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 May the outbreak of a serious 
rebellion in Ghent made it imperative for the Emperor to 
appear in person in the Netherlands, and in early August 
Francis sent him an invitation to pass through France on 
his way to the Low Countries. The prospect that Charles, 
in close alliance with his former rival, would soon be brought 
within striking distance of Gelderland, was by no means 
agreeable to Duke William. It was fairly obvious that 
Charles would bend his energies to punishing the Duke of 
Cleves for his contempt of the Imperial authority, before 
attempting to chastise the King of England for the general 
weal of Christendom. The Duke of Cleves was much more 
practical than his brother-in-law : 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 was confirmed, Duke 
William s doubts concerning the pre-contract of his sister 
Anne and the son of the Duke of Lorraine were cleared up 
with gratifying celerity. He probably had some difficulty 
in obtaining the consent of the more scrupulous John Frederic 
to a renewal of the negotiations with 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 September by four ambassadors from 
Cleves and Saxony who were authorized to conclude the 
match 2 . The King must have been greatly relieved at the 
arrival of the envoys. Since May 3 he had heard nothing 
from his friends in Cleves except for the famous description 
of his intended bride, which 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 with the needle, wherwithall 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, 128. 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



Germanye for a rebuke and an occasion of lightenesse, 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 V In the end it proved 
unfortunate for Cromwell that this letter, and the portrait 
which Holbein made 2 were not sufficient to turn the King 
against her, without 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 was now as 
reckless in accepting the alliance as he had been a few 
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 
monial bliss. So the preliminaries of the match were hurried 
through with a speed quite as remarkable as the delays in the 
previous negotiations with 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 
Cromwell that the lady s party could only make five miles 
a day 4 ) that Anne of Cleves did not arrive at Calais until 
December n, and there she waited till the 2;th, for weather 
sufficiently favourable for her crossing 5 . 

Having landed, she proceeded to Canterbury, where 



Cal. xiv. (ii) 33. Minute 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 details 
when compared to that of the 
ambassadors of Henry VII con 
cerning Joanna of Naples, whom 
the English King had once thought 
of marrying in 1505. Anne of 



Cleves was certainly considered 
beautiful in Germany. Sleidan, 
vol. ii. p. 150, refers to her as ele- 
ganti forma virginem. 

2 Now in the Louvre. 

3 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. 

[ Cal. xiv. (ii) 634, 677. 
5 Cal. xv. 14. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 263 

Cranmer welcomed her with due pomp and ceremony. He 
had received from Cromwell fifty sovereigns to be presented 
to her on her arrival, and promised to do his best to induce 
the townspeople to give her fifty angels more 1 . From Can 
terbury Anne journeyed on to Sittingbourne and Rochester, 
where 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, accompanied by eight persons of his Privy 
Chamber, he rode down to Rochester on New Year s Day and 
saw for the first time his intended bride 3 . It is unfortunate 
that we possess no trustworthy information concerning the 
impression which Anne made on Henry at this first meeting. 
A letter which Cromwell wrote 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 
was spokyn of"/ and had added that had he known as much 
as he then knew she shold not haue Commen wzt/nn this 
Realme 4 . It will be seen in a later chapter, however, that 
Cromwell wrote this letter under circumstances which rendered 
it very improbable 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 Cromwell 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 married her. The 
sonday after, Hall adds, there were kepte solempne Justes, 

on whiche daie she was appareiled after the Englishe 

fassion, with a Frenche whode, whiche so set furth her beautie 
and good visage, that euery creature reioysed to behold her 5 . 1 

1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 753. telling of her wedding, the Chronicle 

Cal. xv. 14. of the Grey Friars of London (p. 43) 

Hall, pp. 832 ff. informs us that * thene beganne 

1 Letters, 349-50. alle the gentyl women of Yngland 

Hall, p. 837. It appears that to were Frenche whooddes with 

the fashion changed in England at bellementtes of golde. 
the time of the arrival of Anne. In 



264 THOMAS 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 well as political. Even Cromwell had by this time dis 
covered the uselessness of endeavouring to persuade the 
King 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 him to attempt to break away 
from a plan with which his name 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 which Cromwell spoke to the ambassador on that 
occasion give us a very clear insight into the attitude of the 
King s minister l . It was the last attempt which the Lutherans 
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 Mont in 1533. Philip of 
Hesse had sent his councillor, Ludwig 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 was to make 
it clear that a political alliance would be conditional, as 
always, on religious agreement 2 . 

Baumbach arrived early in January and immediately betook 
himself to Cromwell, whom he evidently considered the best 
friend the Lutherans had at the English Court. But this 

1 Cf. Appendk II at the end of 2 Lenz, vol. i. pp. 409-10, 420- 
this chapter. 21. 



THE 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 safe question, for no one knew better than 
Cromwell that the Lutherans would insist on doctrinal re 
conciliation in the first place. Baumbach tried to give an 
evasive answer, but was soon summoned to Henry, who 
repeated his minister s demand with still greater directness. 
The ambassador could only reply that he must consult with 
Burckhard, who having returned with Anne of Cleves to 
England, was still in London. On January 12 the two 
Lutherans had a conversation with Cromwell, in which the 
latter defined his position with absolute clearness. He told 
the ambassadors that the King desired a political alliance 
with them, but that this must come first ; the religious 
question could be settled later. Kaumbach and Burckhard 
answered that this was impossible ; nothing could be done 
until a theological agreement had been concluded. At this 
Cromwell could contain himself no longer. With almost 
pathetic frankness he turned to the Lutherans and told them 
that he plainly saw what they wanted in regard to religion ; 
but, as the world stood then, that he must hold to the same 
belief as his master, even if it cost him his life 2 . Such was 
the faith of the man who six months later was brought to 



1 Cf. Appendix II at the end of 
this chapter. 

2 The truth of Baumbach s state 
ments is confirmed by Seckendorff, 
who obtained his information from 
the report of Burckhard on this 
same interview. Speaking of Crom 
well Seckendorff says : 

Lutheranum fuisse Burnetus pro 
certo habet, nee dissentiunt Saxoni- 
corum Legatorum de eo relationes. 
Ex iisdem tamen et historiarum 
documentis constat, hominem fuisse 
non saltern solida doctrina minime 
imbutum sed eius ingenii ut Regis 
favorem omnibus rebus anteponeret. 
Ultima sane Burcardi ex Anglia 
relatione de II Jan. scripta . . . 



diserte dicitur, ilium de religione 
ita disseruisse ut se cum Evan- 
gelicis in Germania consentire non 
negaret, necessarium tamen sibi 
esse diceret ut Regis voluntati sese 
conformaret, etiam cum vitae suae 
periculo, id quod eventus paulo 
post comprobavit. Non est itaque, 
ut hunc pro martyre Evangelicae 
religionis habeamus, et ipse in loco 
supplicii mori 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. 
Ixxviii, p. 261 ; liber iii, sect. 21. 



266 THOMAS CROMWELL 

the block on the charge of counter-working the King in 
matters of religion ! There is little need to dwell 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 contempt 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 were attacked, he said, he was fully able to defend him 
self, owing to England s insular position and strong navy, 
which was 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 few counter-proposals" which he knew would never 
be accepted, he dismissed Baumbach with a polite but non 
committal message to the Landgrave, and Cromwell, who 
bade the envoy farewell 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 
were too late. We shall see in the next chapter that the 
events of the previous years had so thoroughly identified him 
with the Lutheran alliance in the minds of the people, that his 
enemies 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 
more 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 without attempting to form an alliance of a very 
different sort with 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 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 267 

about for another German husband for his daughter. It was 
doubtless with the royal authority that Christopher Mont had 
let fall a casual hint in conversation with a certain Niirnberg 
merchant named Gundelfynger, that Henry would gladly see 
Mary wedded to a prince of the Empire. The merchant 
responded by proposing Duke Philip of Bavaria as a suitable 
candidate for her hand. This prince was a member of the 
Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach family, and a nephew 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 severely wounded in a brave attempt 
to oppose the Hessian lanzknechts at the battle of Laufen *. 
In spite of the fact that he belonged to a notoriously wavering 
family, he appears to have been a firm adherent of the Old 
Faith, at least at the time of which we are speaking. But on 
the other hand he was certainly loyal to every tradition of 
Wittelsbach impecuniosity. He had sacrificed all his property 
in the Emperor s service, 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 Milan. 
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 with the daughter of 
the rich King of England was opened to him. The proposal 
of Gundelfynger seems to have met with Henry s approval, 
and he soon signified to Philip his desire that the latter 
should visit him in England. The Duke jumped at the 
chance to conclude a marriage which 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 with 
unexpected rapidity. Against two points on which Henry 
insisted, however, Philip raised strong objections 3 : the first 

x Von Freyberg, vol. iv. p. 264. 2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 657. 

Cf. also Life of Philip of Bavaria 3 Life of Philip of Bavaria in the 

in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bio- Allgemeine Deutsche Biographic, 

graphic, vol. xxvi. pp. 16 flf. vol. xxvi. p. 18. 



268 THOMAS CROMWELL 

was that he should take Mary as a bastard, incapable by the 
laws and statutes of the realm of claiming any succession or 
title by right of inheritance. The second was the King s 
refusal to except the name of the Pope from the list of those 
against whom the financial and political agreement which 
was to accompany the marriage was to be concluded : Philip, 
as a faithful Catholic, was apparently at first unwilling to 
enter a league which might bring him into conflict with the 
See of Rome. But the firmness of the King, coupled with 
the great financial profits which the match promised to 
Philip, finally triumphed over the religious scruples of the 
Wittelsbacher, and on January 24 he signed a treaty in which 
he accepted the marriage and the compact under the con 
ditions on which Henry insisted : the agreement, however, 
was not to be considered binding unless Philip could get it 
ratified by his relatives in Germany before Whitsuntide, 1540. 
He left England, January 37, for this purpose, but his attempts 
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 
interesting 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 on 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 
minister at his house, and visiting the Princess Mary in his 
company l ; but it is pretty obvious that all the negotiations 
were conducted throughout with the full approval of the King, 
and not, as was the case with the Lutheran affair, partially in 
opposition to the royal wishes. For the scheme was radically 
different from the proposed Lutheran alliance which had 
failed, and not exactly similar to the union with Cleves which 
had just been completed. It was far more cautious and non 
committal than either of them, and it was for this reason that 

1 Cal. xiv. (ii) 719; xv. 76. 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 269 

Henry liked it. In the first place, Philip was a Catholic, so 
that an agreement with him involved no contradiction to the 

o 

doctrines proclaimed in the Six Articles. In the second 
place, he was ostensibly a close ally of the Emperor s and 
a member of the Imperial Order of the Golden Fleece l , 
though, as we have seen, the ingratitude of Charles after his 
services in Germany must necessarily have tended to make 
their relations less cordial. Henry was doubtless accurately 
informed of all this, and saw in an agreement with a member 
of this powerful though vacillating Wittelsbach family, an 
opportunity to gain valuable aid in case he were really 
attacked, without ostensibly committing himself to a policy 
which would at any time prevent a return to cordial rela 
tions with France and Spain. In the next chapter we shall 
see that it was precisely during Philip s visit at the English 
Court that Henry s hopes of staving off the dreaded coalition 
of Charles and Francis against him were once more revived 
in a most unexpected way. The terms of the agreement 
which he attempted to conclude with the Duke may thus be 
regarded as the first intimation of the complete reversal of 
England s foreign policy which was witnessed by the first 
six months of the year 1540. According to the draft of a 
treaty drawn up in England to be presented to Philip for his 
approval, the Duke was to send to the King s assistance the 
number of horse and foot if Henry was 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 which he was 
defrauded 2 . We 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 was 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 Roman 
Empire, which was probably introduced at Philip s request, 

1 Cal. xv. 177. menigklich, ausgenommen wider 

2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 733, 737. das Romisch Reich, 1000 wohl ge- 
The words, as given in the riste Pferdt Und 4000 wohl geriste 

life by Ottheinrich, are : Herzog fuesknecht zufiehren. Von Frey- 
Philipp soil dem khonig wider berg, vol. iv. p. 266. 



270 THOMAS CROMWELL 

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, which was all that Henry 
wanted, 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 him. On the 
subject of the Pope and the illegitimacy of Mary, the King, as 
we 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 which Henry, even in the 
gravest peril, was not prepared to take. But the other terms 
of the agreement were precisely to his taste. The new treaty 
could be very useful if the crisis came, and yet it was so 
arranged that with his well-known ability for quibbling, the 
King could easily throw it over, if his hopes of a change for 
the better in his relations with France and Spain were actually 
fulfilled. It thus stands out in sharp contrast to the Lutheran 
alliance which Cromwell had advocated, and which, if it had 
been accomplished, would have irrevocably committed England 
to permanent hostility to Charles. The terms of the treaty 
with Philip were cautious, carefully guarded, and strictly non 
committal ; the Lutheran alliance, had it been carried through, 
would have been rash, definite, and irrevocable. The contrast 
between the two schemes is the contrast between the policies 
of Henry and Cromwell. Though the treaty with Philip was 
never ratified and the agreement which it proposed was 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 which Cromwell had been the 
chief supporter, were finally abandoned, is very significant in 
revealing the relative positions of King and minister at the 
opening of the year 1540. 

Briefly to review 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 



THE CATHOLIC REACTION 271 

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. Cromwell, on the con 
trary, was now too far advanced in the policy he had followed 
since the summer of 1538 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 was in vain that he attempted to persuade 
his master to sanction an alliance with the Lutherans. Henry 
refused to consent to any move which would bind him 
as permanently as this. Instead the King directed his 
efforts towards concluding an agreement of a very different 
nature with Duke Philip of Bavaria, but his demands were so 
great that this scheme also failed, owing to the unwillingness 
of the other members of the Wittelsbach family to ratify the 
treaty. The only alliance which did materialize was that 
with Cleves. It was 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 
Cromwell s shoulders, and the minister must have realized 
that his safety depended on its success. While it was under 
negotiation, the danger from France and Spain seemed so 
threatening that the policy of Cromwell was apparently justi 
fied. Almost at the moment of its completion, however, 
events took place which totally changed the aspect of affairs, 
called for the abandonment of the alliance with Cleves, and 
led to the ruin of the man whose fortunes were identified with 
it. What these events were will be seen in the succeeding 
chapter. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XIII 



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

{ Swwmarie bericht vnd verzeichnisz der gepflog^z handelu^ge in 

Engelant anno domini 1539 V 

Nachdem die gesantf^ desz churf. zu Saxsen etc vnd la^tgraue^ 
zu Hesse?z vnser g. vnd g. hern rethte den viij tag aprilisz zu Franck- 
fort abgeraist sint sie den 23 deszselbig<?# monatz zu London 
anko#/me# vnd nachdem die konigliche mayw/at dazumal nicht 
dess orczt sondern auff eynem schloisz Riczmu/zt genant nicht fast 
verne von Lunden gewest haben sie sich nichtsz destowinger biem 
hern Crumello, \uyoiglichen mayestat zu engelant obersten vnd ge- 
heywbsten raidt anczaig^ lassen. Als hat derselbige ob er wol 
etwas die cziet myt schwachait beladi?* solchsz koniglichen m&yestat 
von stands an zu erke^nen geben hat auch den gesante^ von 
wege^ koniglichen mayestat eyne herberge vorordent vnd inen 
komiglichen may?j-/t forderliche zukunff vormeld^^ lassen mit 
anczaigu^ge^ dasz sie \ioniglichen may^/at gancz wilckuwme^ were^ 
vnd dasz die Tuooigliche mayestat auff den nest^/z sontag wilcher der 
25 aprilisz gewest der gesante;z werbu^ge genedicklich zu horen 
erpottick. Esz ist auch der kom g myt den 26 aprilisz obgemeltz 
monatz gege;z London in ir<??z pallast zu Westmo^ster koines und 
nachdem eyn parlame;zt beschriben gewest wilchesz auff den 
28 aprilisz angefang^;; hat sich die \LOnigliche mzyestat desz 
vorczoigksz halben entschuldig^z lassen vnd den 29 tag aprilisz 
der gesante/z werbu/zge anzuhoren bestywmet wie dan geschehen. 
Vnd hat die \.>nigliche m&yestat denselbig^^ tag der gesante^ wer- 
bu^ge gehort die sie vormoge irer entpfa^en instrucion gethan. 
Alsz hat sich die Isxmigliche mayestdt genedicklich^/z darauff vornew- 
men lassen mit f. 2 dangsagu?zge^ gege den churf. zu Saxsen vnd 
lantgraue/2 zu Hessen mit dem anhangk dasz ir<? mayesfat hern 

Transcribed from the original document in the Archives at Marburg. 
2 stc y for freundlicheo. 3 



BURCKHARD S REPORT 273 

Crumello vnd eczlich anderen vnd vornewmisten vnd geheimstew 
ir maiesfat rethte befelich thon wolten mit den gesanten von eyner 
erlichen trostlichen vorste/misse zu handeln haben sich auch hoich 
gegew vnsere g.g. hern erpotten vnd von der franckfordissen fridsz- 
handelluge allerlii gefragk auch v.g.h. von Gulich vnd Geldern 
gedacht, vnd in latinisser vnd franczosser sprach sich mit de/* 
gesanten in gespreche ingelassen darauff die gesantew siner males/at 
allenthalben nach gelegenheit nottorfftigm bericht gethan. Es hat 
\iOnigliche mates fat in sondernhait erinneru/zge gethan dasz sich 
obgemelte vnsere g.g. hern mit guten worten nicht wolten vorfuer<? 
lassen dan sin^ matestat wuste dasz man allerley wider ir ch. vnd 
f. g. vnd der vorste/z vorwanten vorhette allein dasz men bys anhere 
an forteil gemangeldt, darauff sie dan tag vnd nacht traichten vnd 
bedorffte^ vlissigesz auffsehensz etc. 

Es were auch gewisz dasz man sine maiesfat hette mit den schiffen 
in Selant vberfallen wollen aber Got lobp sine mates fat hette ire prach- 
ticke vorno/wmen vnd were/? durch gute frunde vorwarnnet warden 
hatten sich auch alszo zur gegenwere gestellet vnd die vorsehuge 
in irer mayesfat kon(ig)rich thon lassen dasz sie vor innen vner- 
schrocken weren vnd wolte gerne dasz sie sich etwasz tetlichesz 
vnderstanctai dan sie alszo entpfanen wurdew dasz sie den schimp 
gerucht solte haben etc. Item es hat sine \ionigliche maiesfat angec- 
zaigk dasz sie gewisz kunschafft hette wie dasz der kayser driemal- 
hundert thusent gulden iczt cistern vorschien^/z in Duczlant etliche 
krigsvolck domit anzune/men vorordent darumb solte man nicht 
zu vil vortruen vnd die dinge in guter achtu^ge haben vnd nachd^w 
here Crumello duezumall etwasz schwach gewest hat die laonigtiche 
maiesfat begerdt eyne kleynne cziet gedult zu tragen dan s. maiesfat 
wolt^^ die saiche szo mogelich zu fordern beuelen vnd sindt alszo 
daszmal die gesanten von \Qmgtichcr mayesfat abgeschaid^^. 

Den andern tag desz monacz maij sindt die gesanten in hern 
Cruwmello hausz zu London erfordert do dan \&nigliche mayesfat 
rethte alsz newmelich die bayde herczogen Norfoick vnd Soyffoick 
desz richsz engelant cantzeller der oberste awmerall her Crumello 
vnd der bisschoff von Derm Tustalliwj genant Wilche erstliche^ 
desz ma^datetsz halben allerley disputacionesz inngefort darauff 
innen vorlegunge vnd bericht darmit sie dozumall zufneden gewest 
von den gesanten geschehen vnd zum andern haben sie sich mit 
den gesanten der condicio^ halben vnd wilcher gestaldt die con 
federacies auffzuricht^ auch wasz \&nigliche mayesfat vor gege/z- 
hulrf zu gewarte^ vntteredet denen die gesanten inhalcz irer in- 

MERRIMAN. I T 



274 THOMAS CROMWELL 

struciow nach der lenge bericht vnd anczaigimge vorgewant dasz 
dan die rethte mit flissz angehort vnd der ding allenthalben 
\ioniglicher mayestat zu berichten auff sich gennowmen vnd ist ge- 
betten die saichen so vil mogelich zu fordern domit kein vorczoigk 

erfolge. 

Nach disser vnderredu/zge vnd handelu^ge haben sich die dinge 
etliche tage vorczug^ ausz vrsach dasz \Qniglicher mayestat rethte 
obgemelt teglich insz parlament haben sin mossen vnd auff den 
xvi tag maij sindt \Lomglicher mayestat rethte vnd die gesanten yn 
mayestat pallast zu sent Jocop beim hern Cruwmello 
ander# male bie eynnander gewest, vnd haben die konnigliche 
rethte angeczaigk wie dasz der koniglichen mayestat vor gewissz 
ausz Franckrich vnd Flanders geschriben dasz der churf. zu Saxsen 
vnd lantgraue zu Hessen sampt irer chf. vnd f. g. relionszvorwanterc 
sich in der gepflog* fridez handellu^ge zu Franckfort vorpflicht 
forder in cziet desz anstansz nimancz in buntnissz zu nemmen wilchsz 
der koniglichen mayestat fast befromdlich vnd beschwerlich (wird) 
vnd darauff bericht begerdt etc. Alsz 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 zukowme^ war den bericht vorgewant dasz die 
kon(ig)lich<??z rethte daran guten genugen gehaipt vnd sich erpotten 
der koniglichen mayestat solchsz zti/w forderlicheste^ zu vormelden 
auch die saichen irsz vormogensz zu fordern helffen vnd darbie esz 
daszmalsz blieben vnd haben die gesanten angehaltffl domit sie nicht 
lenger auffgehalte^ mochte^ werd^. 

Den xviij tag maij sindt die koniklichen rethte vnd die gsanten 
zuw dritten male in obgemelt^ \aomgKcher may^/t pallast zu sent 
Jocop zusame/z kome vnd haben die kongissen rethte nach lenge 
erczelet dasz sie komglicher may es tat alle handelu??ge mit vlisz 
bericht gethan esz wusten sich auch tonigliche mayestat der gesant^ 
werbu^ge selbst zu erinner^ were auch geneigk sich in eyn erlich 
glichmessig vnd trostlich vorstentnissz mit ire^ her sampt dersel- 
bigen relionszvorwant^^ irem vorigen erbitten nach inzulassen 
aber die \e>nigliche mayestat kont nicht befind^ dasz sulchesz vor- 
stentnisz der gegen hulff halben deren sich die chur vnd fursten 
sampt iren relionszvorwantt<??z erbiten theten die glichait oder reci- 
procuw mit sich breichte derhalben were der ^oniglichen mayestat 
genedigesz begeren ob die gesant^ nach ferner be felich hetten der 
gege^hulff oder reciproci halben dasz sie sich desz wolten vnbe- 
schwerdt vornewme^ lassen. 



BURCKHARD S REPORT 275 

Item die \ionigliche mayestat vormyrck dasz dasz ma^dat sere enge 
vnd restringirt were wilchsz auch allerlij nachdencken hette bie siner 
\ioniglichen mayestat vnd ob die gesanten vmb ferner befelich vnd 
volkommener mandat schriben wolten. 

Darauff ist den konigissen rethten geantwortt dasz esz die chur 
vnd fursten dar aichten die konigtiche mayestat alsz eyn vortrefflicher 
berumpter richer konig wurde esz in solchen erlichen cristlichen 
saichen wider desz romissen bisschoff prachticke vnd tiranni an 
eyner tapffern summa geldesz zur defension nicht mangeln lassen 
ob sich auch ire ch. vnd f. g. der gege^hulff halben nichtsz sonder- 
lichesz erbiten tedten \nd aber nichtsz desto winger hetten sich ire 
ch. vnd f.g. vorne;men lassen siner \&niglichen mayestat im fall der 
nottorfft do solchsz sine? konigliche mayestat begeren worde eczliche 
thuse/zt zu fuessz vnd etliche hundert zu rosz etc zu zu schicken 
wilchsz kriegszvolck ire ch. vnd f. g. anne tappern vnkosten nicht 
word<?/7 vorgadern vnd auff eynn monsterplacz brings lassen mogen. 
Vnd domit sulchsz do daymen forder s. mayestat zugeschickt wurde 
vnd im fall dasz esz die Yvnigliche mayestat darvor aichte dasz 
solchsz gegen der summa geldesz szo die komgluhe mayestat erleg^w 
solte nicht szo gancz glich ader rer/procuw were szo hetten doch sine 
\anigUche mayestat zu bedenckf dasz esz siner koniglichen mayestat 
selbst zum besten gereichte allesz waisz ire \ionigliche mayestat den 
chur. vnd f. sampt ire/2 vorwanten gucz erczaigkt dan der romisz 
bisschoff vbete sine prachtike nicht winger wider sine \&nigliche 
mayestat dan ire ch. vnd f. g. vnd ier ch. vnd f. g. mitvorwante vnd 
do innen etwasz widerwertigsz wilchsz der almechtige wend^ wolt 
begegen solte worde darnach s. \smigliche mayestat solchsz auch zu 
gewarte^ haben etc. Desz mandacz halben ist inne/z die anczeige 
geschehen dasz sie desz puncksz zufried^ gewest vnd die ding 
komglicher mayestat zu berichten auff sich geno/wmen alsz ist 
deszmalsz nicht witter gehandelt vnd auff den 26 tag maij haben 
die \LQnigliche mayestat die gesant^ wiedervmb erfordem lassen vnd 
inne^ selbst angeczeigt desz 1 sie allenthalben vornowmen wasz sich 
vor handelu^ge czuissen siner maiestat rethten vnd den gesamV^ 
zugetrag^ vnd wiewole sine maiestat gancz geneigk sich in buntnisse 
mit den churf. zu Saxsen vnd lantgrau^ zu Hessen sampt ir^ 
relionszvorwantm ainzulassen szo vormirck doch ir<? \&nigliche 
maiestat dasz die vorgeschlagene condicion der geg^hulff nicht der- 
gestaldt reciproce were wie sich ire \iomgliche mayestat vorsehen 
hetten vnd esz auch billich in confederacy sin solt dan seine 

1 sic, for dasz. 1 
T 2 



276 THOMAS CROMWELL 

konigliche mayestat begert eyn rumelich erlich vnd baidersicz 
trostlich vorstentnisse vnd confederation myt iren chur vnd f. g. vnd 
iren relionsz vorwanten atiffzurichten vnd diewil die gesanten keinen 
witters oder fernern befelich hetten dan wie sie hie zuvor angeczeigft] 
szo muste esz seine Ysnigliche maiestat dasz malsz auch darbie 
wend^n lassen vnd wusten witer darauff mit men nicht zu handeln, 
sondern wolten men hiemit genedicklich wiedervmb erlaubt haben. 
Auch wolte sine \onigliche maiestat iren chur vnd f. g. schrifflich ire 
gemut anczaigen vnd do sie iren chur und f. g. sunsten fruntlichen 
willen erczaigen konte wolten ire YvnigHche mayestat alleczeit willig 
befonden werd^n wie sie sich auch in glichnisse herwider vorsehen 
theten. Alsz haben die gesanten irer konigKchen may es fat hinwider 
angeczaigk dasz sie sich von weg^n irer g. vnd genedigen hern nicht 
vorsehen hetten seine Ywnigliche mayestat worde sie nicht gancz vor- 
gebelich abschaid^n lassen wil ire mayestat wmb disse schickunge 
bei iren g. vnd genedigen hern ansuchung auch trostlich erbitunge 
gethan esz worden sich auch ire chur vnd f. g. vile winger solchsz 
abschaidsz vorsehen vnd were disse kegenhulff nicht szo geringe wie 
sie ire \ionigliche mayestat achten etc Aber wie denn szo musten sie 
esz darbie wend?/* lassen vnd wolten ire g. vnd genedige hern aller 
handelunge zum vnderthenigsten vnd truelichesten wilsz Got zu irer 
widerkumpfft berichten vnd worden sich demnach ire ch. vnd f. g. 
geg^n seiner koniglichen mayestat irer nottorfft nach zu \\a\ten vnd zu 
vornewmen lassen wissen vnd nachdem vil reden gewest dasz die 
\Qnigliche mayestat etczliche artikel der relion im parlament handeln 
lassen alsz newmelich von dem hoichwurdig^n sacrament desz liebesz 
vnd bludez unsersz hern Cristi item von der prister ehe haben die 
gesanten gebetten seine konigliche mayestat alsz die die warhait 
liebte wolte in dissen groswichtig^n saichen alleyne die warhait 
fordern vnd hanthaben etc Darauff dan die \JsmgKch6 mayestat in 
eyne hefftige disputacion desz artikelsz die pristerehe belang^n^ mit 
den gesantm komen die seiner mayestat nottorfftig^n bericht vnd 
anczaige gethan vnd darnach iren abschaidt von irer mayestat 
genonzmen etc. Vnd nachdem \>nigliche mayestat schrifften an 
hoichgemelte vnsere g. vnd g. hern vorfertiget vnd den gesanten 
durch hern Cruwmello zugesteldt haben sie gebetten sich zu 
berichten wesz doch konigliche mayestat maynunge sie der con 
federation halb^n vnd wesz seine borngtickt mayestat vor condicion 
ader geg^nhulff oder reciprocuw begerte darauff der here Crum- 
mellus angeczaigt dasz die koniglicke mayestat eyne tapffere summa 
geldesz zu erlegen willig aber der gestalt dasz solche geldt bayd^n 



BAUMBACH S EMBASSY 277 

teilen alsz seyner \iQniglidien may^/t vnd vnsern g. vnd g. hem vnd 
iren relionszvorwant^ zuglich zum besten kome vnd wilchsz tail 
eher angriffen <wurde) dasz daszselbige solche geldt zu gebrauchen 
haben solte etc. Vnd do iren ch. vnd f. g. sulchesz a/znemlich 
(ware) woste eher 1 dasz die \Lonigliche maiestat an eyner tapffern 
suwma geldesz niederzuleg^;z nicht erwind<? lassen etc. Alsz haben 
die gesantew diewil sie dissesz artickelsz halben zu handeln ader zu 
schlissen kein* befelich gehaipt sich erbotten daszselbige iren chur. 
vnd f. g. zu irer widerkunfft mit gotlicher hulff vnderthenichlich^ 
auch zu berichtew vnd alszo irn abschaidt den leczten tag maij 
genowmen anno vt supra. 

Franciscus Burchart 

vicecanczler 



Ludowicwj de Baumbach 

zufctrtpsit 

Endd. Relation Ludwigs von Baumbach vnd Mgr. Frantz Burg- 
hardi von vveg^z der sendung in Engellandt. 



II 

ACCOUNT BY LUDWIG VON BAUMBACH OF HIS JOURNEY 
TO ENGLAND. DECEMBER, 1539 TO JANUARY, 1540 2 . 

Auff donstag nach triuw reguw byn ich myt gottesz holff zu 
London ankomen vnd mich bye dem Hern Crumello ansagen 
Lassen hat er mich auff den freitag morgen frue alszo balde gefordert 
vnd holen Lassen vnd mich allerleii gefraugk wie esz im thuczlant 
stehe vnd ab ich nicht macht ader befelich habe dasz buntnisz myt 
ko. mayfj/at zu schlissen etc. 

Dar auff ich geantwort ich habe eyn credencz an die ko. mzyestat 
vnd eyne werbunge im geheym vnd vortruen syner mayw/at anzu- 
szgen vnd derhalp dem h. crumello gebetten myr forderlich zu sin 
dasz ich auff dasz erst szo mogelich von siner may^/at gehort moge 



Dar auff der H. Crumelhu geantwort er werde esz der ko. mayestat 
zu forderlichesten ken grunewicz zu wyssen thon vnd vorsehe sich 

1 sic, for ( er. 

2 Transcribed from the original document in the Archives at Marburg. 



278 THOMAS CROMWELL 

ir mayestat werde mich zu forderlichesten hore^ diewil ir mayestat 
mich ke/men. 

Auff den sonnobent byn ich von Cristoffel mo^t beschick vnd 
bericht die ko. mayestat habe befolen ich solt auff den sonntag 
morgen frue zu ix vren zu grunewicz sin do wolle ir mayestat mich 
ghoren vnd ir mayestat sie mynner ankonfft wole zufrieden. 

Die ko. mayestat hat mich auff den sontag durch den hern 
Crumelluw in s. mayestat innerst gemach fordern vnd fueren Lassen 
vor der messes da habe ich nach dem die ko. mayestat die credencz 
erbrochen vnd vorlesen allesz waisz myr befolen ist gewest nach der 
lenge myt besten flissze erczalet vnd bericht dar auff ir may^/t 
myt flisse gehort vnd alle wort zweygefraugk vnd alsz balde ich 
auszgeredt Hat s. mayestat geantwort ich habe lange desz ko vom 
franckrichsz gemudt gesport vnd vornommen vnd er wolde eyn<? 
botschaffe sich der dinge zu erkonnen thon vnd mich gefraugk ab 
ich solchsz auch lieden moge sonst wolle s. mayestat niemancz 
nicht meld<?^ dar auff ich s. mayestat geantwort dasz moge ich wole 
lied^ szo verne niemancz genent von wem s. mayestat disze dinge 
vorstand^ vnd mich gefraugk ab ich keine befelich habe die buntnisz 
myt s. mayestat zu schlyssen habe ich geantwort nein senders s. 
mayestat zu raiden dasz sich ir mayestat irsz gemucz entlichen vor- 
nemmen Lasse vnd zuw forderlichesten die bontnisz schlisse ehe esz 
zu kriege komme dar auff ir mayestat gesag m. h. habe im geschriben 
ich solde eyn<? zcitlangk bie s. mayestat blieben dar auff ich geantwort 
desz habe ich von m. g. h. keynen befelich. 

Dar nach ir mayestat allerleii gemeine rede gehaipt vnd alsz balde 
in die kirche^ gangen vnd alsz balde ir mayestat in ir. kapellen 
koines vnd mich gesehen haben ir mayestat 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. 
mayestat der buntnisz halber zu reden dar auff ich geantwort von 
dem schriben habe ich keine wisse der bontnisz halber wolle ich 
mich eyn kleinsz bedencken vnd mych myt dem Sexsissen vice 
canczeller vnderreden vnd sine mayestat beantworten. 

Auff den dienstag darnach hat der H. Crumelluj den vice canczeler 
vnd mich gefordert vnd allerleii myt vnsz bayden geredt vnd gesaugk 
s. h. der ko/znig sie geneigk sich myt vnsren h. zu vorbind^ vnd 
darnach von der relionsz saichn zu reden angefang^z dar auff myr l 
baide der vice canczeller auff latin vnd ich auff franczossiscz 

1 sic, for * wyr. 



BAUMBACH S EMBASSY 279 

geantwort esz were gotelichen vnd erlichen dasz s. mzyestat sich zu 
vor vnd ehe die pontnisz geschlossen myt vnsren g. h. desz gottlichen 
worcz vorgliche dar nach worde got genade vorliehen dasz alle saichen 
gudt word<? dar auff der. h. Crumelliu gesaugkt er siehe vnser 
maynuge den glauben betreffen aber wie die weldt iczt stehet wesz 
sich sin her der kcmnig halte desz wolle er sich auch halte vnd solte 
er darumb sterben er rade aber dasz die pontnisz beschlossen vnd 
dar nach von bayderseicz gelarten zus&men komen lasze vnd sich 
der schrifft vnd gotlichesz worcz vorglichen lasse wilche teil dan 
recht behalt dasz dem dan dasz ander teile folge vnd szo wyr myt 
s. h. dem ko. der saichen halber zu red* kemen szo wolt er vnsz 
geraid^ haben dasz wyr sidick vnd nicht zu hart myt s. may es fat 
reden wolten etc. da myt s. mayestat nicht zue rngenadffi vnd 
vngeduld* erregt werde. 

Dar nach von stonde an ist der H. crumellu.v zu dem konige 
gang* vnd alsz balde mich allein zuw konnige zu komen gefordert 
vnd hat s. mayestat angefangf vnd gesaugk die dinge die ich 
s. mayestat erczaldt habe nemen s. mayestat wonder dasz dasz 
vorhand** sin solte vnd solte im szo lange vorschwig* blieben sin 
in ansehu^ge dasz er syne anw/asatten an b&yden orten habe, zu dem 
szo kone sie sich in ile szo starck nicht rusten er koncz in ile 
erfare vnd szo sie den kreigk myt ime anfahen szo sollen sie 
entpfanen werd^ dan s. konrich sie nicht eyn lant wie die lande in 
thuczlant dan esz sie myt wasser vmbethomme beflossen vnd konnt 
niemancz zu im komen dan zu schiff. 

Da habe ich die sachen der massen myt ploichehausern vnd 
polwercken auch myt schiffen bestaldt vnd vor wart dasz sie 
entpfanen sollen werd<? szo habe ich gudte schucze^ vnd habe 
die von London hart bie myr vnd sonsten eyne stedt ist myr zu 
nene vorgessen da kan ich in ile eyn czemelich volck auffbringtf* 
auch szo habe ich die vorretter gemeinklichen richten vnd die 
koppe abschlag^ Lassen dasz myr niemancz lichlich eynen auffrure 
wirdt anrichten dasz magestu dyne/w hem sag aber ich bedanck 
mich kegen dmen h. wie gehort vnd ich vorstehe die sache nicht 
anderst dan dasz er die saichen trueliche vnd gudt myt myr 
maynt. 

Vnd szo vile den konig von dennemarck betrifft da habe ich 
nicht myt zu schaffen ich waiss auch kein bontnisz myt im zu 
machen dan er hat den alten konig nach gefang<? dasz isst wieder 
den pfalzgrau* vnd myt (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 kernes szo werden sie krancg vnd sint desz mersz nicht 
gewont wie myne luede 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 bremen 
vnd nicht vile vberlendisse stedt eyn erlichs bontnisz in alien 
gemeynen sachen beschlosse^, were von den selbig<^ vberzogew 
worde dasz im die andern alle holffen mosten vnd eynsz sachen 
aller andern sachen sin most szo wil ich pfalcz auch dar zu brings 
dasz sie vnsersz teilsz sin sollen. 

Dan die Vberlendisse stedt haben sich nit witter dan wasz die 
relion betrifft keigen eubere hern vorbondew vnd ab der kaiser eyn 
ander vrsach zu eubern h. suchen (werde) szo warden sie in keine^ 
biestandt thon. gedenck an mich vnd due magest dym h. solchesz 
wolle sagen dar auff ich s. mayestat geantwort ich habe die vorschri- 
bu^ge der bontnisz wie weidt sie sich streckt nicht gelesen der halp 
ich s. mayestdt keyne^ bericht dar von thon konde dar auff ir 
may^tft gesaugk esz ist gudt vnd genugk darvonn geredt vnd myr 
die hant gebotten vnd myn abschaidt ggeben vnd der bontnisz nach 
malsz wie vor begerdt dar auff ich siner may es tat geantwort Ich wolle 
die dinge mynem g. f. vnd h. szo verne mich got gesunt frist zu 
myner wieder ankonff myt flissz berichten vnd zwifel nicht vnd 
zwifel nicht * s. f. g. wer<k sich gancz frundelich alsz siner mayestdt 
frundt vnd der s. mayestdt ere vnd gucz gunne von vor wisslichen 
vornewme^ Lassen vnd byn do myt von s. mayestat abgeschaiden. 

Auff dinstag nach Sebastians vnd fabianes hat myr der H. 
crumellu^ myne abschaidt der massen ggeben dasz im s. h. der 
konnig befolen myr an zu sagen mynem g. h. sonderliche/z dangk zu 
sagen vnd sien ir mayestat mynem g. h. myt allem fruntliche^ willen 
auch allesz dasz zu thon dasz mynem h. zu ere^ vnd guttem kome zu 
willefare hoich geneigk vnd ir. mayestat habe die saichen nicht 
anderst dan trueliche^ von myr vorstanden vnd ir. mayestat sie myr 
vor myne person myt alien 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. Relation Ludove. von baumbachs aus Engelland vff d. 
gesheene verwarnung. 



1 sic. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE FALL OF THOMAS CROMWELL 

WHILE Henry and Cromwell had been occupied in negotia 
tions with 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 two 
rnonarchs were again on the most friendly terms. By the 
middle 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 accompanied the Emperor on his journey north 
ward, and on New Year s Day they entered Paris together 
amid great rejoicing. For eight days the Louvre saw a suc 
cession of balls, fetes, 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, who as we have seen 
had never even in his most anxious moments abandoned the 
hope of fomenting discord between the two sovereigns, 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 with 
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 between Francis and Charles were of course merely 

* Cal. xiv. (ii) 717. 

2 Martin, vol. viii. p. 260. Cf. also Guiffrey, pp. 276-318. 

3 Cal. xiv. (ii) 524. 



282 THOMAS CROMWELL 

a blind to cover his real intentions. It was not long before 
the character of the latter was made plainly evident. Wyatt 
wrote a full account of his proceedings to Henry on January 7, 
1540 l . In his letter he did not say whether he paid any 
attention to the written instructions which the King had 
previously given him or not, but reported his endeavours 
to obtain the arrest of one Brancetour, an Englishman in 
the Emperor s train, whom the Act of Attainder of 1539 had 
condemned. From Wyatt s account, however, it appears that 
the actual taking of Brancetour was a matter of secondary 
importance, compared to the possibility it opened of stirring 
up a quarrel between Francis and Charles. The two am 
bassadors had waited upon the French King, and had readily 
obtained his consent to the arrest. Brancetour was taken, 
but insisted that he acknowledged no master except the 
Emperor, and was 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 
will of the Emperor than that of Henry, gave orders for the 
prisoner s release. At first it seemed as if the efforts of the 
two 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 with the French King for permitting Brancetour to 
be restored to liberty. The chief result of this proceeding 
was 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. 38. possible for Henry to carry his 

: Cal. xv. 1 86. Bonner and intrigues very far, as long as the 

Wyatt moreover were on very bad two rivals remained together at the 

terms at this time, owing to mutual French Court. Cf. Nott s Wyatt, 

jealousy. It would have been im- vol. ii. pp. 44-52. 



HIS FALL 283 

at the Emperor s Court. He immediately saw that it was 
useless to blame Francis, as Bonner had done, for an act 
which the situation had forced upon him, and he forbore to 
mention the affair of Brancetour again in the presence of the 
French King. Instead he addressed himself to Charles, and 
in the most careful and guarded phrases insinuated that the 
Emperor had shown ingratitude to Henry, in obtaining the 
Englishman s release 1 . Wyatt s action throughout was 
characterized by an external courtesy quite as remarkable 
as the previous rudeness of Bonner, and his efforts were 
finally rewarded in a manner which exceeded the King s 
highest expectations. He had caught the Emperor 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 words 
escape him, of which Wyatt was prompt to take advantage. 
When reproached with ingratitude, Charles had turned 
sharply on the ambassador with a few angry words, which 
implied that it was impossible for him to be ingrate 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 V but hinted that an accusation of ingratitude 
from the petty King of England against himself, the acknow 
ledged head of Christendom, was entirely out of place. All 
this was reported at the English Court in early February. 
The use which Henry made of the information is remarkable. 
As a result of Wyatt s communications, the Duke of Norfolk 
was sent with a special message to Francis 3 . He was ordered 
to quote all the conversation between Charles and Wyatt, 
but so to distort the meaning of the Emperor s angry words 
as to make it appear that Charles was 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 slip 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 V 

Of course the intrigues of Norfolk and Wyatt were 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, which 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 Low 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 with 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 was 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 

Ca). xv. 222. 3 Cf. Gaillard, vol. iii. pp. 77, ?S. 

2 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 257. 4 Letters, 338, 340. 



HIS FALL 285 

showed that the league with Cleves was not indispensable 
for England s safety. More than this, it now looked as if 
the treaty with Duke William, far from being an advantage, 
would 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 * 
and did not disguise his intention of regaining Gelderland, 
rendered this disagreeable turn of affairs distinctly probable. 
Worst of all, the King s disgust for Anne of Cleves had 
increased so rapidly, that it was useless to attempt to conceal 
it. Henry might pardon a political blunder alone, but when 
combined with a matrimonial misfortune, it was 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 which his rival had been able 
to show was still feasible ; he had sought a cure before he 
was 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 Cromwell s enemies to compass his 
ruin, and Norfolk and Gardiner, the most inveterate of his 
foes, were not slow 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 Cromwell, and as soon as his enemies were certain 

* Bradford, pp. 515 ff. 



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 Cromwell served the King s interests, how 
ever, that at first it seemed almost impossible to find such 
a pretext, but the astute Gardiner was soon able to discover 
the one weak spot in his rival s armour. It is hardly 
necessary to state what this was. The only occasions on 
which Henry and Cromwell 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 King 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 Cromwell could have been more unjust than this. 
We have seen that the minister himself had abandoned the 
Lutherans by this time ; moreover 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 were 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 well 
aware of the actual state of affairs, and also of the gross 
misconception of Cromwell s true theological position which 



HIS FALL 287 

existed in the minds of the people. If he could only catch 
his rival in some definite act which would justify a distinct 
accusation of opposing the King in matters of religion, he 
saw that the ground was already well prepared for the 
success of his plot. The opportunity which he sought was 
soon to present itself. 

It will 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 come back to England, 
profoundly disgusted at the King 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 Cromwell, he con 
temptuously refused to grant him a hearing 1 . The King s 
minister was either unable or unwilling to take the hint, which 
his master had given him, that Barnes was no longer in 
favour, and he was rash enough to attempt to console the 
envoy for the ill-success of his mission, by promoting him 
to the prebend of Lanbedye 2 . Cromwell had thus played 
into his enemy s hand by an action which 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 protege might commit, and Barnes, who 
was one of the very extreme Lutherans, did not take long 
to fulfil the hopes which the Bishop of Winchester 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 which the latter had denounced 
certain Protestant doctrines. Preaching in the same pulpit 
two weeks later on the same text, Barnes denied all that 
Gardiner had said, insulted him openly, and finally threw 
down his glove to the people, as a defiance against the 
Bishop 3 . Barnes had doubtless presumed on Cromwell 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 Cal. xiv. (ii) 400. 2 Cal. xiv. (ii) 688. 8 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 what it had been, was unable to save him again. 
The Bishop of Winchester complained to the King, who was 
scandalized, and ordered Barnes to be examined before him ; 
the Lutheran was utterly worsted in a theological discussion ; 
he was 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 week of March. It was 
perfectly obvious to those who had any real knowledge of 
the trend things were taking, that Gardiner had made his 
complaint far more with 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 Cromwell 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 John Wallop 
which 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 hourly and opened theyre hart^ and so 
concluded that and therbe truthe or honesty in them not only 
all displeasures be forgotten, but also in thayre hertey be 
now perfight intier frencUtf 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) 750 (p. 279). 2 Cal. xv. 486. 3 Cal. xv. 429. 



HIS FALL 289 

it is not likely that Gardiner, backed as he was by the King, 
would have been the one to make it. In order to maintain 
his very precarious position, Cromwell had been forced to 
grovel before a man, whom two years before he could have 
ordered about to his heart s content. 

But it had been one of the greatest secrets of Cromwell 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 Bishop of Winchester, unaided by any outside occurrence, 
would have been sufficient to prevent his immediate over 
throw. The month of April, however, saw two 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 always been able to make 
himself particularly useful to the King. He was not slow 
to realize the opportunity that was offered him, and he 
laboured with 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 which 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 Jerusalem was the sole remaining 
stronghold of monasticism in England that had been suffered 
to escape the onslaught of the King 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 was carried 
through at the same time, seemed also to bear the stamp 

1 Lords Journal, vol. i. p. 129. 2 32 Hen. VIII, c. 24. 

MERRIMAN. I U 



290 THOMAS CROMWELL 

of Cromwellian genius. Such services to the Crown had not 
been suffered to go unrewarded, for on April 18 those who 
had 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 Cromwell was tottering to 
his fall, now confessed that the new-made Earl was in as 
much credit with the King as ever he was, from which he was 
near being shaken by the Bishop of Winchester and others. 

The other event which gave Cromwell a momentary 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 twelfth 
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 welcome news to 
Cromwell, who 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 Netherlands which offered reasons for the abandonment 
of the alliance with Cleves far more cogent than those 
which 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. 

1 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 323. 



HIS FALL 291 

the subjugation of the revolt of Ghent, had repeated his 
demands for the cession of Gelderland 1 by Duke William, 
and there seemed 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 work to England s 
disadvantage, and that Cleves might be the sole gainer from 
it. The news from the Netherlands was virtually a confirma 
tion of the minister s gravest fears. The prospect that he 
would soon be called upon to defend an ally whom 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 from 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 which 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, Cromwell s political blunders had 
got him into a position from which 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 
time. 

The events of the month of May were but foreshadowings 
of the end. On the ninth the King summoned Cromwell 

Heidrich, p. 43. House. Katherine Howard was 

2 Soames, vol. ii. p. 408, 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 sove- 

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 will to write a letter to Pate, the new ambassador to 
the Emperor, directing him to take steps to conciliate Charles 
and hinting that the alliance with Cleves might be thrown 
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 to 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, however, 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 two 
weeks after Marillac had written this letter. An entry in the 
Journal of the House of Lords on June 10 reads: Hodie 
Vicegerens Regius .... Comes Essex in hora pomeridiana 
per Dominum Cancellarium et alios Dominos in Arcano 
Domini Nostri Regis Consilio, ex Palatio Regio Domini 
Regis Westm. hora tertia pomeridiana super Accusationem 
Criminis lese Majestatis missus est in Arcem Londinens. 5 
This bald statement is confirmed by letters from Marillac to 
Francis and Montmorency at the time 6 , but a much more 

1 Cal. xv. 658. 4 Cal. xv. 736, 737. 

Letters, 345. 6 Lords Journal, vol. i. p. 143. 

3 Cal. xv. 735. 6 Cal. xv. 766, 767. 



HIS FALL 293 

striking account of the arrest is contained in another letter 
from the French ambassador to the Constable, written two 
weeks later. It tells us that as soon as the Captain of the 
Guard declared his charge to make 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 reward 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 King not to 
make him languish long. Thereupon some said he was 
a traitor, others that he should be judged according to the 
laws he had made, which were so sanguinary that often words 
spoken inadvertently with good intention had been constituted 
high treason. The Duke of Norfolk, having reproached him 
with some " villennyes " done by him, snatched off the order of 
St. George, which he bore on his neck, and the Admiral, to 
show 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 saw all the King s archers under Mr. 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 
28,000 crs., and the silver plate, including crosses, chalices, 
and other spoils of the Church, might be as much more. 
These moveables were before night taken to the King s 
treasury, a sign that they will not be restored V 

On the day of the arrest, a royal messenger was sent to the 
French ambassador, to tell him that he must not be amazed 
at what had happened, for though common ignorant people 
spoke of it variously/ the King said that he was deter 
mined that Marillac should know the truth. Henry stated 
that while he was trying by all possible means to lead 
back religion to the way 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 some of 
his principal servants to reflect that he was working 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 minister than that .which had been suggested by the 
Bishop of Winchester, a pretext which 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 mass 
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 Crom 
well being put in great trust by 
the King in matters of religion 
had not only of his sensual 
appetite, wrought clene contrary to 
this His Graces most godly entent, 
secretly and indirectly advauncing 
thone of thextremes and leaving the 
meane indifferent true and vertuous 
waye, which His Majestic 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 personne, 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 frame, 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 armes, 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, 350. 

8 Henry, however, used every 
means in his power to support the 



HIS FALL 295 

he was convicted was totally unjustifiable does not in any 
way imply that Cromwell was wrongly condemned. There 
were other perfectly valid reasons for his punishment, which, 
however, it was quite impossible 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 who 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 letter to 
Henry the day after the arrest, expressing his wonder and 
distress that one whom he had deemed so good and so faithful, 
should be accused of treason, but in vain *. The fallen 
minister 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 own 
enemies had been annihilated, was used as a swifter and surer 
means to bring him to the block. The Act of Parliament 
which attainted him was read in the House of Lords just one 
week after his arrest 2 : it simply enumerated various acts and 
speeches which had been laid to his charge, as indicating that 
he had plotted to make himself 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 was 
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 two years before, and probably as 

of a different nature, which if pos- a result of the letters of Chapuys) 

sible were even more unjustifiable. that Cromwell had intended to 

The King was not ashamed to marry the Princess Mary and to 

write to Wallop in France to try make himself King. Cal. xv. 792, 

and get confirmation of the old 801, 842. 

rumour (circulated on the Continent l Cal. xv. 770. 

by a certain Portuguese ambassador 2 Lords Journal, vol. i. p. 145. 



296 THOMAS CROMWELL 

March 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 Marillac 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 V This impression was 
current two weeks later, for Norfolk told Marillac on July 6, 
that Cromwell s end would be the most ignominious in use 
in the country V It was not until the day of his execution 
that grace was made to him upon the method of his death, 
and beheading was 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 might 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 man clutches at 
a straw to save himself from death, so Cromwell, at Henry s 
request, wrote a letter, which he must have known would 
be useless, to say what he could on his own behalf 4 . 
The letter speaks for itself: its denials of the charges are not 
as frequent as the acknowledgements 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. 

1 Cal. xv. 804. z Cal. xv. 847. Cal. xv. 926. 

* Letters, 348. 



HIS FALL 297 

To this purpose all the King s energies were now bent, and 
conscious that his fallen minister had known more of his 
relations with Anne than any other, he sent him in the end 
of June a list of questions on the subject, couched in 
such judicious language, that if Cromwell gave the replies he 
confidently looked for, they would supply cogent reasons for 
his divorce 1 . He was sure, he said, that now that Cromwell 
was condemned to die, he would tell the truth and not damn 
his soul also, by bearing false witness at the last -. Whether 
Henry s assumption here was correct or not, it is impossible 
to tell. Cromwell knew of course that his chance of pardon 
was almost nothing, but he was not so foolish as to throw it 
away absolutely ; he also knew that the King s heart s desire 
was a divorce from Anne, and he saw that his only hope lay 
in aiding Henry to his utmost to free himself from her. Nor 
was Cromwell the sort of man to whom dying with a lie on 
his lips would mean very much ; his whole interest was 
absorbed in the endeavour to make the most of the one very 
faint chance of escape that was offered to him. Hence it is 
possible that the testimony he bore in this case may not have 
been strictly true. He appears to have written two letters in 
answer 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 Museum 3 . Both of 
them are filled with abject pleas for mercy, and one of them, 
which was carried to the King by Cromwell 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 words : they give a full account 
of everything that Cromwell had seen of Henry s relation to 
Anne, since they first met at Rochester. They dilate on the 

1 Cal. xv. 822. than by his sympathy for his fallen 

2 Cal. xv. 825. minister. Certainly there is no 
! Letters, 349, 350. reason to think the closing scene 
4 Foxe, vol. ii. p. 433. If this of the Life and Death of Thomas 

story be true, the interest which the Lord Cromwell, in which a reprieve 

King evinced in Cromwell s letter is brought from the King by Ralph 

is to be explained rather by his Sadler after Cromwell s head had 

anxiety concerning his divorce, fallen, has any foundation in fact. 



298 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



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 King 
appears to have informed his minister that consummation had 
not followed. The truth of this last statement is apparently 
corroborated by a letter which 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 circumstances 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 minister almost under the shadow of the scaffold, 
and the confirmatory letter elicited from Anne, coupled 
with a breve trew and parfaict declaracz on from the King 
himself 3 , were quite sufficient to cause Convocation after 



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. 163-4. 
3 Cal. xv. 825. 



Cal. xv. 

2 It is somewhat significant to 
note that in this case Henry 
had practically acknowledged facts 
considered by the canonists as 
* sufficient proof 7 of consummation 
in the case of Arthur and Katherine, 
and that the King had been glad to 



HIS FALL 299 

three days of debate finally to agree on the judgement that 
the union was unlawful, and to send their decision to Par 
liament on July 12. An Act to proclaim the marriage null 
and void from the beginning was hurried through the Houses 
with all possible speed, and on the I4th it was passed l . From 
that time onward the lady Anne was treated as a sister by 
the King ; she was suffered to live in retirement, adequate 
lands and money were apportioned to her, and she remained 
in England, contented and happy that execution had not been 
substituted for divorce -. The Duke of Cleves was naturally 
enraged at the treatment of his sister, and resolutely refused 
to acknowledge that she had been honourably dealt with ; but 
he knew that he was too weak to avenge the insult, and 
coldly promised that the nullification of the marriage would 
not cause him to departe from his devotion leage and 
amytie with the King of England 3 . 

The story of Cromwell s arrest, followed by the report of 
the divorce of Anne of Cleves, was 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 Henry 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 
Cromwell in the Tower, and drew from him the reply con 
tained in the last existing letter which he wrote 5 . Francis 
enthusiasm at the ruin of a minister whom he had such reason 
to hate, seems to have been somewhat diminished when he 
learned that Anne s marriage had been dissolved, as he naturally 
saw that this step would immediately put England and Spain 
on a better footing. An interesting account of the ambassador 
Carne s breaking the news to Francis, is given in a letter of 

1 Lords Journal, pp. 154, 155. attainder confiscated to the use of 

2 Cal. xv. 899, 901, 953. Part of the Crown. Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 713^ 
Anne s income was derived from State Papers, vol. viii. p. 421. 
the manor of Canbery, previously 4 Cal. xv. 765, 792, 794, 841. 
owned by Cromwell, and at his 5 Letters, 351. 



300 THOMAS CROMWELL 

Wallop 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 V The French 
King, though he greatly rejoiced in Cromwell s fall, was 
evidently somewhat taken aback by the first result of the 
consummation of his hopes. Charles showed none of the 
same outward enthusiasm, when Pate declared 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 much relieved by what he had heard 2 . The 
common opinion which the sudden reversal of Cromwell s 
policy had caused on the Continent seems to have been, as 
Pate wrote to Norfolk on July 31, that Henry had lost the 
hartes of the Electors of thEmpire but had contravailed 
thEmprour or the Frenche King in there places V 

On July 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 two past years had accomplished, by nullifying 
the marriage of Henry and Anne. The rest of its proceed 
ings are unimportant, 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 whom the 
minister had favoured at home condemned, there was now no 
longer any impediment to the completion of the final act of 
the tragedy, and on July 28 Thomas Cromwell, shearman, 
was led forth to execution. In a letter to Francis, Marillac 
simply mentions the fact of his death 5 , 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 Foxe 6 . 

[ State Papers, vol. viii. p. 392. 5 Cal. xv. 926. 

Cal. xv. 794, 811. Holinshed, p. 817; Hall, p. 839; 

1 State Papers, vol. viii. p. 412. Foxe, p. 433. 

k Cal. xv. 498, p. 217. 



HIS FALL 301 

From the stones 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 was 
printed and publicly circulated is attested by Pole ; and the 
fact that Holinshed, Hall, and Foxe give it in almost exactly 
the same words 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 what 
Cromwell had actually said was something very different . 
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 wrong, asked 
forgiveness of his King, and finally asserted that he died in 
the Catholic Faith, not doubting in any article of his faith, 
no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church V This 
last statement was certainly untrue ; nor would it have been 
in any way less false, if Cromwell had said that he died a true 
Protestant 3 . His 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 more shameful death 
than beheading, or else, as is quite probable, to avert the ruin 
of his son Gregory, who 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, 1540 5 . 

Cal. xvi. 40. 5 Cal. xvi. 379 (34). Gregory 
! Cf. Appendix at the end of this Cromwell died in 1557, and was 
chapter. succeeded by his eldest son Henry. 
1 Cf. Collier, vol. ii. p. 181. The latter s grandson Thomas, 
1 1 readily grant Cromwell was no fourth Baron Cromwell, was created 
Papist at his Death. But then, it Earl Ardglass in the Irish peer- 
is pretty plain he was no Protestant age, April 15, 1645. The earldom 
neither. of Ardglass expired in 1687, and 
Cal. xv. 940. the barony of Cromwell became 



302 



THOMAS CROMWELL 



Besides this speech, which has given historians so much 
trouble, Hall makes mention of the fact that Cromwell made 
his praier, which was long, but not so long as both Godly 
and learned V 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 which were given him to speak, is however 
entirely another matter. It is unfortunate that we have 
no more credible authority than the martyrologist on this 
point. Cromwell s prayer, as he gives it, was certainly 
that of a man who 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 Prayer made, after he had 
godly and lovingly exhorted them that were about him on 
the Scaffold, he quietly committed his Soul into the hands 
of God, and so patiently suffered the stroke of the Ax, by 
a ragged and butcherly Miser, which very ungodly performed 
his Office V 



dormant in 1709. Life of Thomas 
Cromwell, in the Dictionary of 
National Biography, vol. xiii. p. 202. 

1 Hall, p. 839. 

2 Cf. Appendix at the end of this 
chapter. 

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- 
latada pena, le cortasse la cabec,a 
de vn golpe. Tendiose, pues sobre 
el madero, y recibiole terrible, mu- 
riendo aquel que nu?zca deuiera 
nacer, por quien Inglaterra desde 
entonces se abrasa en infernal 
incendio de heregias. 



APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XIV 

PASSAGES FROM FOXE S ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 

Vol. ii. p. 433. 

A true Christian confession of the L. Cromwel at his death. 

* I am come hither to die, and not to purge my self, as some think 
peradventure that I will. For if I should so do, I were a very 
wretch and a Miser. I am by the Law condemned to die, and thank 
my Lord God, that hath appointed me this death for mine Offence. 
For sithence the time that I have had years of discretion, I have 
lived a sinner, and offended my Lord God, for the which I ask him 
heartily forgiveness. And it is not unknown to many of you, that 
I have been a great Traveller in this World, and being but of a base 
degree, was called to high estate, and sithence the time I came 
thereunto I have offended my Prince, for the which I ask him 
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 my Faith, no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church. 
Many have slandered me 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 me 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 may long live with you in health and prosperity ; 
and that after him 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 remaineth in this flesh, I waver nothing in my 
Faith. 

The Prayer of the Lord Cromwel at his Death. 

O 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 most blessed will, and being 
sure that the thing cannot Perish which is committed unto thy 



304 THOMAS CROMWELL 

mercy, willingly 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 my Soul against 

all temptations, and defend me with the Buckler of thy mercy against 

all the assaults of the Devil. I see and knowledge that there is in 

my self no hope of Salvation, but all my confidence, hope and trust 

is in thy most merciful 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 

number of them to whom thou wilt not impute their sins ; but wilt 

take and accept me for righteous and just, and to be the inheritor 

of everlasting life. Thou merciful Lord wert born for my sake, thou 

didst suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake ; thou didst teach, 

pray, and fast for my 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 most precious Body 

and thy Blood to be shed on the Cross for my sake. Now most 

merciful Saviour, let all these things profit me, 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 my sins. Give me, Lord, thy grace, 

that the Faith of my salvation in thy Blood waver not in me, but 

may ever be firm and constant. That the hope of thy mercy and 

life everlasting never decay in me, that love wax not cold in me. 

Finally, that the weakness of my flesh be not overcome with the fear 

of death. Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up 

the eyes of my 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 commend my Soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE WORK OF THOMAS CROMWELL 

IT is inevitable that there should be the widest divergence 
of opinion concerning every great figure in Reformation his 
tory, and it is idle to attempt to form an estimate of the 
character and work of Thomas Cromwell that will satisfy 
those who take different views of the great struggle during 
which his life was lived. But Catholics and Protestants must 
agree on the fundamental and permanent nature of the changes 
which he wrought : whether his work was good or bad, no one 
can deny his success in fulfilling his life s aim as declared 
to Cavendish on the All Hallows Day when he rode forth to 
London * to make or to marre. He was the first chief 
minister that England had ever had, who was 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 own political ends. He came at a time when 
things were in an unsettled state and ready for a change : 
his personality, emotionless, practical, stern, impressed itself 
on every phase of the national life. It was 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 was largely due to the way in 
which he clinched every reform which he introduced. He 
followed up the separation from Rome by attacking in turn 
the bishops, clergy, and friars, and by suppressing the monas 
teries. He obtained the support of the King in almost every 
measure which he invented, and then forced Parliament formally 
to legalize it. His action was in no case ineffective ; the im- 
mediate result of it was almost always the attainment of the 
goal at which he aimed. 

MERR1MAN. I X 



306 THOMAS CROMWELL 

To the student of the present day, however, who is enabled 
to survey the decade of CrormveH 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 
were not always the results Cromwell wished to attain ; in 
many cases they were ends which, if he could have foreseen, 
Cromwell would have been the last person to promote. 
They came years later, indirectly, as it were, and were rendered 
possible only by the lapse of time, 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 few of 
the more important steps of his policy, it will not be difficult 
to see what some of these later developments were. 

Let us take in the first place his action in rejecting the 
authority of the See of Rome. Cromwell advised the King 
to shake off his allegiance to the Pope, solely because he saw 
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 was 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 was 
by Cromwell s means that Protestantism gained a footing in 
England, which even the Six Articles and the terrible perse 
cution under Mary could not shake. To guard against the 
return of the Papal power, and the annulling of the divorce, 
Cromwell attacked and subdued the clergy, and negotiated 
with the Protestants on the Continent. His immediate object 
was solely political safety ; the ultimate result was the loosen 
ing of some cf 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, grew consequences so great and so far-reaching 



HIS WORK 307 

that it is only with difficulty that one can trace their 



origin. 



The same remark will be found to hold true of the 
results of the suppression of the monasteries 1 . The main 
object of the King s Vicegerent in destroying them was 
undoubtedly to fill the royal treasury with the spoils of the 
Church, and to clinch the advantages gained by the separa 
tion from Rome. But the later result of his measures was 
actually to undo much of the work which they were first 
intended to perform. For though they had weakened 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 away, 
or else sold at exceedingly low prices to the impoverished 
nobles by Cromwell s advice, in order to ward 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 powerful territorial aristocracy, 
that later on was to use its influence to oppose the royal pre 
rogative and pave the way for modern constitutionalism. 
While Cromwell, 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 new 
aristocracy, was rearing an infinitely more potent enemy to 
the kingship for which he had sacrificed everything. It is well 
known that such families as the Russells, Seymours, and 
Cavendishes, who later figured most prominently in opposition 
to the Crown, owed their power to gifts out of the revenues of 
the suppressed monasteries. The smaller gentry also claimed 
a share in the general advancement to wealth and prosperity 
among the landed proprietors, and a sudden burst of political 
activity in the Lords and Commons bore witness to the fact 
that the Houses had once more asserted their right to govern. 

This brings us to Cromwell s relations with Parliament. It 
is here that we find the most striking instance of the con 
tradiction between the immediate and the permanent effects 

L Cf. for this and the following pages, Green, vol. ii. pp. 197-202. 



308 THOMAS CROMWELL 

of the changes he wrought. We have seen how his attitude 
towards Parliament differed from that of his predecessor. 
We have seen how Wolsey had looked upon the national 
assembly as a great force which continually hampered his 
schemes, so that his dislike of it led him to summon it as 
infrequently as possible, and only when it was absolutely 
necessary. We have seen how Cromwell was destined to go 
one step further, and how by packed elections, fraud, and 
violence, he succeeded in converting it into an utterly 
subservient instrument of the royal will. It was now 
no longer a power to be feared, but one to be relied on ; 
a firm ally that consistently obeyed the slightest hint of 
the wishes of the Crown. Consequently instead of rarely 
assembling as under Wolsey, it was being constantly sum 
moned, as a necessary means to accomplish the designs of 
Henry and his minister. While the latter lived, everything 
worked exactly as he had intended, and the Parliament re 
mained * tractable. But when after his death the idea of 
autocracy had passed away, and England had begun to 
recover from the terror Cromwell s ministry had inspired, 
Parliament suddenly realized that it had a power of its own. 
Its frequent assemblings which of course had helped the 
Crown, as long as under Cromwell the Houses had re 
mained subservient, now began to work 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. Now 
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 work of Cromwell was 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. 

Had the English character been one that could per 
manently suffer any form of tyranny or absolute monarchy; 



HIS WORK 309 

had the ends the great minister aimed at been such that when 
the temporary madness and terror inspired by his own per 
sonality had passed by, they could have aroused one spark 
of enthusiasm in the English heart, Cromwell s would have 
been the grandest figure in his country s history. But it 
was not destined to be so. The national drift was through 
out bitterly opposed to him and to the ideas for which he 
stood, so that much of his policy was reversed in the years 
that followed his death. There can be, it seems to me, no 
doubt that Cromwell was perfectly sincere in his attempt to 
establish an all-powerful 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 
work he was the true successor of Wyclif, the true predecessor 
of his own great kinsman. Cromwell lived in an age when 
a wave of monarchical enthusiasm swept over the entire west 
of Europe : a belief in the absolute power of kings was the 
most salient characteristic of the political atmosphere of his 
day. He was 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 with him, but his 
work remained and was 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 with 
their dynasty, the liberties of the nation survived. 



LETTERS OF THOMAS CROMWELL 



PREFATORY NOTE 

HERE follow a complete collection of the letters of Thomas 
Cromwell 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 few cases duly noted, when 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 follows 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 words 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 Thom a s in the original : I have transcribed it 
Thomas and not c Thomas. On the other hand, the word 
* your is usually written yo r in the manuscript : in this case 
I have taken the superior r as a contracted form of ur/ and 
so have transcribed it your. (3) In the originals the same 
script form is used for T and C J ; I have followed the modern 
use. (4) The bracket [ ] signifies that the words or letters 
enclosed would have been in the manuscript had it not been 
injured. The bracket { } signifies that the word or words 
enclosed have been inserted by me to complete the sense. 
The parenthesis ( ) signifies that the enclosure is bracketed 
in the original. (5) Sentences and words crossed out or 
underlined in the manuscript have been set below, except 
when evident mistakes of the writer. The letters * c. o? signify 



312 PREFATORY NOTE 

that the passage against which they are written was crossed 
out or underlined in the original. 

In dating letters, I have followed the modern use, and have 
taken the first of January and not the twenty-fifth of March 
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 which they were written are 
placed at the end of the year to which they apparently belong. 
The abbreviations R. O. and B. M. refer to the Public 
Record Office and British Museum respectively throughout 
the collection. 



LETTERS 

1. CROMWELL 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 Cromwell sat. News concerning 
Creke s friends in England. 

Maister Creke as hertelye as I can I co;;/mende me and 
in the same wise thanke yow [for your] gentill and louyng 
\etterzs to me at sundrye tymys Sent and wher as I ac- 
cordinglye haue not in lyke wise remembrid and rescribid 
it hath bene for that I haue not hade anything to wryt of 
to yottr adutf/mcement. Whom I assure yow yf it were in 
my lytyll power I coulde be well contentyd to p?rferre as 
ferre as any one man lyuyng. But at this present I being 
at Sum layser entending to remembre and also remunerate 
the olde acquayntauncrj and to renew otir not forgoten 
Sundrye cowmunycacions Supposing ye desyre to know the 
new^ curraunt in thes p^rtyes for it is said that newes 
refresshith the spy[rit] of lyfife, wherfor ye shall vnderstonde 
that by long tyme I amongist other haue Indured a parlya- 
ment which contenwid by the space of xvij hole wekes wher 
we co;;/munyd of warre pease Stryffe contencyon debatte 
murmure grudge Riches pouerte penurye trowth falshode 
Justyce equyte discayte opprescyon Magnanymyte actyuyte 
force attempraunce Treason murder Felonye consyli . . . 
and also how a co;;/mune welth myght be ediffyed and a[lso] 
contenewid wz t/nn our Realme. Howbeyt in conclusyon we 
haue d[one] as our predecessors haue been wont to doo that 
ys to say, as well as we myght and lefte wher we begann. 
ye shall also vnderstond the Duke of Suthffolke Furnysshyd 
wz t/z a gret armye goyth ouer in all goodlye hast [whit]her 
I know not, when I know I shall aduertyse yow. Whe haue 
in our p^Hyament grauntyd vnto the King^j- highnes a right 
large Subsydye, the lyke wherof was neuer grauntyd in this 
realme. all your frendes to my knowlage be in good helth 
and specially thay that ye wott of: ye know what I meane. 
I thinke it best to wryt in parables becaus[e] I am In dowt. 
Maister Vawhan Fareth well and so doth Maister Munkcaste[r]. 

MERRIMAN. I Y 



314 LETTERS OF [1523 

Maister Woodall is merye w/t/owt a wyffe and cowmendyth 
hym to yow : and so ys also NyclWas longmede which hath 
payd William Wilfforde. 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 [espjecial and entyrelye belouyd Frende 
John Creke be this youyn Bylbowe in Biscaye. 



2. CROMWELL TO ELIZABETH HIS WIFE. 

Ellis Letters, 2nd Ser. ii. 125 ; Cal. iv, App. 57. Nov. 29 (1525)- 

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 
news as ye have in those partyes I pray you sende me parte 
by this berer. At Begham the xxix th day of November. 
And farther I pray you sende me word in wry ting who hathe 
resorted unto you syns my departuer from you to speke 
with me. 

Per your husbend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my well beloved wyf Elyzabeth Crumwell 
agenst the Freyers Augustines in London be this given. 

3. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. iv. 955 (3). (1524 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 co;;zmend me vnto yow 
aduertesing yow that after knowlege hade of your departure 
In to the north partyes was veray sorye that my chaunce was 
not so happye to haue spokyn Vfitk yow befor wheruppon 
I was constrayned for the Singuler trust and conffydence 
which by long cotenuaunce hath Succedyd & ben approuyd 



1524 or 5] THOMAS CROMWELL 315 

In yow towards your Frend^y and louers to wryt vnto yow l 
Syr So hyt is that on^ John Flemyng of Crofton in the 
Countye of Yourke in the moneth of may last passid Solde 
vnto Robert Bolt Certayn land^ Tenements & heredyta- 
menttes to the Clere yerlye valew of Nyntene pounds and 
xvi d. of good and lawffull monaye of Ingland to myn^ vse 
to the Sum of ccclxxxj 11 vj 8 viij d wheroff the sayd John 
Flemyng resayuyd In partyc of payment on^ hundereth 
fortye eight pownd^j nyne shelingf & Syx pence and the rest 
of the sayd S?/m which amountyth vnto ccxxxij 11 xvij 8 ii d was 
put in the Saffe custodye and keping of your Frend Maister 
Butrye ther to remayn vntyll Suche tyme the sayd John 
Flemyng sholde haue p^rformyd all his couen<7?/nttey according 
vnto a payre of Indentures For the which Su;;/mys of 
Monaye and for the non pirfonxkumce of the sayd Coue- 
nattnttes the sayd John Flemyng standyth bounden to the 
sayd Rob^t Bolt In a statute of the Staple of Westminster 
in one thousand marker payable in the Fest of Saynt Ber- 
tholomew 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 Couenamitt wM me In eu^rye poynt I am Com- 
pellyd to take the execucyon vppon my statute which by this 
bringer I haue sent vnto yow desyring and her[tely] praying 
yow that ye will be so Frendlye vnto me yf it be possyble 
beffore your retorn hetherward^ 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 Yorkshyre maye be put in execucyon and 
extendyd befor your retorne owte of Yowkshyre and that 
the wryt of execucyon may be retoz/rnyd and what so eu^r 
charge shalbe For the Furnysshyng of the same I promyse 
yow and bynde me by this my letters to Satysfye and Ferther 
to recowpence your paynys in suche wyse I trust that ye 
shalbe contentyd. Syr I hertelye desyre and praye yow to 
haue me excusyd that I sholde be so bolde to requere yow 
to take Suche payn for me howbeit the experyence which 
I haue in your good and gentyll approuyd humanyte makyth 
me the more bolde wz t/z yow hauyng no dowbt but that ye 
will accept & take vppon yow as moche payne For yvur 
Frend as any man lyuyng Ferther Syr ye shall vnderstonde 



1 c. o. trustyng entyerlye In yow wzt/nn my lytyll power 
that ye will witsaffe as I may zuer 2 c. o. before your Retorn to 
herafter ow vnto yow my Symple London 
s<?myce or any pleasure that shalbe 

Y 2 



316 LETTERS OF [1527 

On the dorse 

A fragment of a document containing indentures and agreements con 
cerning the manor of Kexby. 

The manor of Kexby 

her after shall Inswe the abredgment of certayn Indentures 
evydence charters ded^ esc[riptes] and Mynumentey con- 
cernyng the mannowr of Kexbye with the appertena^ces wz t/nn 
the Countye of Yorke Delyuery[d] . . by lohn Aleyn Cytizen 
and Altherman of London to the hand^ of Sundrye Right 
worsshypfful and discret persons Councello^rs vnto the most 
reuefrent] Father in god Thomas lorde Cardenall legate de 
latere archbusshop of Yoz/rke pry . . . and chaunceler of 
Inglonde to the vse of the sayd most Reuerend Father in god 
the dattes of the whiche Indentures evydence charters ded^ 
escript^ & Mynimentt^ cons^rnyng the sayd Manno^r with 
ptfrte of the effects conteynyd [in] the same mor playnlye 
herafter shall appere 

4. (CROMWELL) TO LADY (DORSET). 

R. O. Cal. iv. 3053 (ii). April (1527). 

Reports a letter received from my lorde 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 xvij th daye of 
Aprell I resayuyd from my lorde a \ettero. directyd vnto your 
good ladyship with also all his honourable aduenture In to 
Scotland 3 theffect wherof your ladyship shall resayue in 
your letteres Ferther I resayuyd the same daye a letters from 
my lord George the tenoz/r and Copye wherof I haue sent 
yow herin Inclosyd Madame as ye shall Thinke by your good 
and vertuese discresyon it may please to adu^rtyse 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. (CROMWELL) TO (VISCOUNT ROCHFORD). 

R. O. Cal. 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 Clere, the sister 
of Rochford. 

Pleasyth it your good lordship to be adurrtysed howe that 
it hath pleasyd my ladye your suster wyff to Sir Rob^rte 
Clere Knyght to requyre and desyre me to be of counsayll 

1 c.o.l am ascertaynyd that your ladyship shall resayue 



1527] THOMAS CROMWELL 317 

w/t// the sayd Sir Robert her husbande in a certayn T Matyer 
in varyaunce betvvene the lady Feneux late the wyff of sir- 
John Feneux Knyght cheffe Justyce 2 desseasyd of and For 
the deffence of a wrytt of extent of late passyd out of the 
Kyngvj hygh courte of the Chauncery dyrected vnto the 
Sheryff of Norffolke and Suffolke aswell for the extendyng of 
the land^j of the sayd sir Roberte wzt//in the sayd countyes 
as alsoo For the puttyng in execution the bodye of the sayd 
s/> Robert Clere for the satysfactyon and payment of Foure 
hundreth pounds supposyd to be due to the sayd late chcff 
Justice disceasyd And For asmoche as by the reporte of my 
sayd lady your sust<?r and alsoo by the syght of certayn 
Indentures of Couen^/ntt^ & deffauntter made aswell bytwene 
sir John Paston Knyght disceasyd and the sayd Sir Roberta 
Clere as alsoo bytwene the sayd late cheff Justice and the 
sayd sir Robert yt maye appere that the sayd Statute of the 
Staple of cccc 11 was made and delyurred to none other intente 
but onlye For the p^rfformaunce of certayn couenatmtes of 
Maryage For the assuraunce and onlye aduaunseme^t of 
a Joynter to be made to one Elyzabeth late the wyff off one 
William. Clere disceasyd so/me and heyre at that tyme to the 
sayd sir Roberte whiche Elyzabeth ys nowe wydowe and was 
lately the wyffe of the sayd late lorde Feneux cheff Justice 
all whiche couenatmtes of Maryage the sayd sir Robert Clere 
hathe always as I am Informyd bene redye and yet ys to per- 
fourme notwzV/standyng 3 that the sayd Sir John Paston in 
hys lyffe nor sir William Paston nowe lyuyng so;me and heyre 
of the sayd sir John wolde ne wyll not accordyng to suche 
couenauntes * as the (same) be boundyn vnto paye vnto the 
sayd sir Roberte Clere CC H Resydue of foure hundreth Marker 
for the sayd 5 assuraunce of the sayd Couenauntte* of Maryage 6 
yet dewe and vnpayd the none payment wherof ys A greate 
matyer and it were gret pytye and also ayenst bothe reson 
S>L Conscyens that the sayd sir Roberte shulde haue his land^j 
extendyd and be co^pellyd to paye the sayd so;;zme of foure 
hundreth pounds consyderyng the sayd bounde was made 
but for the p^rformaunce of the couenauntes of Maryage 
whiche 7 the sayd Syr Robert was and ys Redye to performe 

1 c. o. case Clere in full co#tentaczV?n & pay- 

2 c. o. vnto the kynges highnes ment of cccc Mark<?j- whiche cc 11 ys 
of hys benche yet vnpayd 

1 c. o. yff yt soo had ben 7 c. o. was and shulde haue ben 

1 c. o. as was bytwene the sayd accomplyshyd in euery poynte 

sir John and the sayd sir Roberte yff the sayd sir John Paston had 

payd accordyng to hys couemz zmtej 1 payd 

5 c. o. aduaunsement the so;;zmes of money whiche he 

6 c. 0. one to the sayd str Roberte was bonde to paye by hys Inden- 



518 LETTERS OF [1527 

and good Reason it were that the Couenauntter on the partie 
of the sayd S/r John Paston also sholde be p^rformyd and 
the sayd cc 11 payde. Neuertheles the sayd Syr Robert Cleie 
ys vtterlye without Remedye by course of the cowmon lawe l 
to defende the execucyon of the sayd wryttes of extent so 
that the sayd cccc 11 shalbe recou^ryd of hys lands and bodye 
onles yt may please your good lordeshyp to moue my lorde 
hys grace in Conscyens to graunt a wryt of Iniu//ctyon 2 to 
be dyrectyd (to) the sayd lady Elyzabeth Feneux Com- 
mandyng her by the same no ferther to prosecute thexecucz^n 
of the sayd wryttw of extent vppon the sayd statute of cccc 11 . 
And alsoo ayenst the sayd Sz> Roberte as my sayde lords 
grace may gyue co/;2maundement 3 that no \vryttes of liberata 
goo out of the sayd courte of Chauncerye vntyll suche tyme 
(as) the hole matyer tochyng the pmnysses 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) with reason and good Conscyens as 
knowyth the holye Trynyte whom I most hertelye beseche 
to preseniQ your lordshyp in long lyffe good helth and moche 



6. CROMWELL TO WOLSEY. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 4135. April 2, 1528. 

Reports his proceedings in connexion with the monastery of Wallingford. 
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 most gracyous cof/zmaundement haue repayred vnto 
the late monasterye of Wallingforde Where I founde aswell 
all the ornamentts of the churche as all other ymplementts 
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 afterwards Mr. Croke and I surueyed 
amended^ and refourmed aswell the letteres patents graunted 
by the king his highnes vnto your grace as also yo?/r gyftes 
and graunttes made vnto yor said colledge in suche wise 
I trust that no defaulte or pmyssyon at this tyme is lefte 
vnrefourmed. 

ture for the adu^wncement of hys hundrethpoundes shalbe Reco^red 

sayd doughter. Neuertheles yt may of hys landes 

please your lordeshypp to knowe 2 c. o. to Inyoine 

the sayd sir Roberte Clere 3 c . o. in the courte of Chaun- 

c. <?. but that the sayd foure eery 



1528] THOMAS CROMWELL 319 

I haue also founde offyces aswell of the saide late monas- 
terye of Wallingforde and of all the \ondes and tenements 
belonging to the same \vit/i m the Counties of Oxforde and 
Berk as also of suche omyssions as were omytted within the 
saide counties belonging to Frediswid^j and Lytlemore. And 
now I do repayre into the Counties of Buck and Bedforde 
for offyces to be founde there aswell of suche lond^ as apper- 
teyne to the saide late monasterye of Wallingforde as also to 
the late monasterye of Praye beside saincte Albons. 

The buylding^ of yvnr noble col] edge most prosperouslye 
and magnyfycently dothe arryse in suche wise that to euery 
mannes Judgement the lyke thereof was neu^r sene ne 
ymagened hauing consideracyon to the largeness beautee 
sumptuous Curyous and most substauncyall buylding of the 
same. 

Your chapell wzt/^in the saide colledge most deuoutely and 
vertuously ordered And the mynistres wzt//in the same not 
onely dyligent in the seruyce of god but also the seruice 
daylie doon wz t/rin the same so deuoute solempne and full 
of Armonye that in myne opynyon it hathe fewe peres. 

There is a benefyce voyde within the dyoces of saincte 
dauyes in Wales which is of yvur gracyous gyfte by meane 
of the chauncelorship of Englonde. Yf it may please your 
grace to gyue the same to Mr. Byrton he shoulde be the 
more able to do your grace seruyce. The name of the saide 
benefyce is called sayncte Florence. I assure yotir 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. Most humblye beseching the holie 
trynytee contynuallye to preserue the prosperous astate of the 
same in long lif and good helth. At Oxforde the Seconde 
day of Aprell. 

Your most humble seruaunt 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To my 1 ... 

Endd. M r Cromewel ii da Aprzlis 1528 

7. CROMWELL TO THOMAS ARONDELL. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 4441. June 30 (1528). 

Requests him to send information concerning Wolsey s wishes about 
various matters in connexion with the Colleges at Ipswich 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 [1528 

lorde his gracious letteres, wherin his grace commaundethe to 
be diligent in thexpediczVm 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 things 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 Gipswiche, so that the signet and pryuye 
Scale may be made out vpon the same, And that we maye 
examyn the boke of erection which nowe 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 Depryued or amoued from the saide Deanrie) his 
grace then wille that thellection of a new Dean shalbe emong^ 
them of the colledge or whether his grace will remytt the 
same to be ordred by his Statutt^ by hym to be made 
accordingly. It maye please youe also to moue his grace 
whether 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 Ughtred 
in the Counties of Yorke and Lyncoln, or that he will haue 
the same Monastori and other the premisses geuyn vpon 
condicion to his saide Colledge in Oxforde, to thyntent that 
they shall make a lyke guyfte of the \ondes apperteynyng to 
the late Monastoris of Snape, Dodneshe, Wyke and Horkisley 
to his saide colledge in Gipswiche, whiche condicion in myn 
opynyon shulde well serue for all casualties, and compelle 
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 wise 
precede to therrection of his saide colledge in Gipswiche, 
before the xxj. daye of Julye 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 
Monastori of Saynct Peter suppressed, vpon the whiche 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. 



1528] THOMAS CROMWELL 321 

chief Baron vnto whome I wille resorte from tyme to tyme for 
his good counsaile to perfo^rme fulfille and accomplisshe 
euery thing according to his said gracious pleasure, in suche 
wise that he shall therwithe be right well contented. Hartely 
Desiring youe to moue his grace for the signature of the 
letters for the poore man of Arragosco who lyeth here to his 
great and importunate costrj and charge in maner to his 
vtter vndoyng, And also for the signature of one other \ettexo. 
in Frenche Directed to the gouernours of the Towne of Depe 
for the Delyuerie of certeyn Englisshe mennys good^r beyng 
marchauntt^ of London of late taken vpon the See by men 
of warr of the saide toune of Diepe. It maye also please 
youe to shew my lorde his grace this \ettere and that I maye 
haue answer of his gracious pleasure withe all spede, whiche 
shalbe a great ftirtheraunce to his busynes. The mynute of 
his erexion is all redye Drawen and shalbe perfected vpon 
his answer And thus our lorde preserue youe At London 
the xxx Daye of June. 

At your co;;?maundement 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right woorshipfull maister Thomas Arondell 
be this youen. 

Endd. From Mr. Cromwell the xxx day of Junii about 
the p^rfectinge of the Cardynalls ij College of Oxford and 
Ipswich. 

8. CROMWELL TO WOLSEY. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 4697. (Sept 3, 1528.) 

Details concerning the colleges at Oxford and Ipswich, and the revenues 
from the lands and monasteries appropriated for their use. 

Please it your grace to haue in remembraunce your 
Fynours of Duresme whose contynuaunce here is not onely 
to their greate cost and losse of tyme but also to the greate 
hinderaunce of your werk^r ther, and also they be veray poore, 
your gracious pleasure therfore wold be knowen whether 
they shall resorte to your presence, or howe otherwise your 
grace will they shalbe ordred 

I haue according to your moste gracious cowmaundement 
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 
monasterie of Wallingforde 

If it may stonde with your pleasure to appoynte in whose 
name your grace intendithe to dedicate your colledge in 



322 LETTERS OF [1538 

Gipswiche, and by what name the maister and fellowes shalbe 
called, the lycence of erexion, the \etteres patentto, pryuate 
Scales and other things necessarie for the same myght be 
put in a redynes so that no tyme shulde be loste 

I haue caused suche bill^y as be allredie signed to passe the 
pryuy signet and pryuate Seale, and shall nowe put to wryting 
the \etteres patentto for the brode Seale, so that after the 
iii monethes expired your grace may geue the lond^j con- 
teyned within the same according to youre moste gracious 
pleasure. It shalbe well done that your grace haue in remem- 
braunce thappr^prza^on 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 bitwene your 
colledge in Oxforde and his religion for Saundforde, It 
may therfore please your grace that your pleasure may be 
knowen whether this vacacion yoz/r counsaile shall farther 
commune withe hym and other whiche haue auctoritie in that 
behalf, or not, whiche 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 knowen touching the premisses 
I shall most humblie indeuoir myself according to my duetie 
to accomplisshe your most gracious commaundement, As 
knowithe the holly trynytie vnto whome I shall daily during 
my lyfe praye for the prosperous conseruacion of yo//r good 



grace 



Your most humble servaunt 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my lorde his grace. 

Endd. From Mr Cromwell 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 
towching 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 



1529] THOMAS CROMWELL 323 

aduowson in grosse, that is to saye, aduowsonage 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 knowe whether the saide aduowson be intailed, and 
whether it be intailed to theires males, or to theires generall, 
and to receyue the dead^ of Intaile, or Fynes if any suche be, 
of the saide lorde Conyers 

Itm that thattourneis named in the deade of Feoffement 
made to the saide Willyam Holgill and other, do enter into 
thacre of londe named in the saide deade of Feoffement, and 
delyuer season by a turfe, to the saide maister Holgill, and 
also to delyuer possession and season by the ryng of the 
churche dore 

Itm after possession, lyueraye 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 thre^ l places, 
and to take at the leste xxx or xl witnesses, calling therto 
asmany yonge children as ye may 

9. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

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. 

Worshipfull Sir, after most hartie comendacyons it may 
please you to aduertise my lorde his grace that the cause 
Why I do not repayre thither at this present ys for that 
I haue certen bok^ to be don and accomplisshed concerning 
his colledge in Gipswich 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 patents of assent to the Suppression of the same late 
monasteryes, The King his let feres patents of assent to the pope 
his bull of exempcyon of the saide colledge The King his 
U /teres patents of lycence for thimpropryaczon of the benefyces 
belongyng to the saide late monasteryes A deade of gyft 
from the Duke of Norff. to my lord his grace of the saide 
late monasterye of Felixstowe A relesse from the prior 

1 sic, for these. 



3.24 LETTERS OF [1529 

and conuent of Rochester of all theyr right tytle and 
patronage of in or to the same late pryory of Felixstowe 
A relesse from the abbot and conuent of Saynct Maryes in 
Yorke of all their right and tytle in or to the late pryory of 
Rumburgh A relesse 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 
bokcs be not yet in a redynes ne parfyted vnto my mynde 
Intending assone as the same shalbe fynysshed and made 
parfyte, whiche I trust shalbe to morow at nyght or wenesday 
by none at the Ferthest to repayre vnto my lorde his grace, 
vppon his gracyous pleasure knowen 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 sights that ever I saw which to me 
before the Sight of the same was incredyble concernyng the 
breche out of the Thamyse into the marsshes of Lyesnes which 
be all ouerflowen and drowned And that at the last chaunge 
the tyde was so high that there happened a new breche which 
hathe fordone asmoche worke there as will cost ccc 11 the 
new making of the same 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 
hathe ben ther spent heretofore had ben clerely lost and 
cast away. And the workemen and labourers wolde haue 
departed and left all at chaunce whiche shoulde haue ben 
the gretest yuell that euer happened to the countrey ther. 
Newrtheles I wz t/z thaduyse of suche wyse men as ben in the 
countrey there haue set suche dyrectyon in the same that 
I trust all shalbe well and the vforkes there ended wM good 
spede god willing. For the furnyture and accomplisshment 
whereof there is a new assesse made and my lorde his 
colledge for theyr parte ben assessed at ccxx li which money 
of necessyte must be had out of hande Prayeng you so 
to solycyte my lordes grace that the same money may be 
had incontynent Assuring you that his grace shall do as 
merytoryous a deade in the delyumng 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 inconuenyenc<?.y 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 Whereunto for the quantytee thereof ys 



1529] THOMAS CROMWELL 325 

none lyke to the same in that countrey ne few in any other 
countrey. Yf the saide breche be not shortly amended and 
spedely prouyded for I assure you suche inconuenyenc^ may 
insue that yt were to grete pytee. And to thintent that ye 
may be the more assured of the trevvth in the pr^mysses 
I haue sent you a lettere here inclosed which I receyued 
from one of the maisters of the said worker ymedyatly after 
the wrytyng of this \ettre Intending to repayre vnto Lyesnes, 
wzt// all spede for the redresse and fortheraunce of the pre 
misses asmoche as in me shalbe possible. Hertely beseching 
you to procure that I may haue answer of my lordcs pleasure 
in tuery thing concerning the contents forsaid by this berer 
my serutf&nte. And thus our lorde pr^serue yo?/r long lyf 
At London the xviii day of Januarye. 

Yours most bounden 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right worshipfull Maister docto^r Gardyner 
be this yeuen \vith spede. 

Endd. Letters from M. Cruwwel of the xviij daie of 
Januarij 



10. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. iv. 5757 (ii). July (1529). 

Has written in favour of the chaplain. 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 Co/amende me vnto 
you and m^rvayle gretlye that ye haue made no better spede 
for yo?/r chaplayn In whos Fauours I haue wryten vnto 
Mr. Chaunceler of Wynchester trustyng that he wylbe good 
maister vnto hym For my sake I wooldbe 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 
Jentylwoman your wyfY and that ye wyll on my behalf desyre 
her to take her and to bryng her vpp for the which her 
goodnes yf she wylbe 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 wyll so content your wyffe as I trust she 
shalbe woll pleasyd that I may know your answer herin I 
hertelye praye yow and thus hartelye Fare ye well. 

At london the daye of July. 



326 LETTERS OF [1529 

11. CROMWELL TO MR. CLAYBROOK. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 5812. (July, 1529.) 

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 adu^rtise yovv as ever ye intend 
to doo my lord pleasure or s^ruyce that ye with all dylygens 
seke owt the register of Maister Tonneys and also all other 
registers wM also the bullys of my lord^ legacye to thentent 
the same may be shewyd this nyght to the Kynges attorney 
for suche Causes as I declaryd vnto yow at my last spekyng 
wM yow of answer by thys berer I praye yow that I may 
haue knowlege and fare ye woll. 

Your Frend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



1.2. CROMWELL TO WILLIAM BRABAZON. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 6099. Dec. 19 (1529). 

Desires him to ride with Mr. 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 wit/i Maister 
Cowplonde this berer into the North partey and to assiste him 
with your counsaill in suche matiers as he hathe there to do 
according to suche instruxions as I haue drawen and delyuered 
to the same 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 CROMWELL S LETTERS. 

MSS. Jesus Coll. in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon. c. 74, pp. 262 ff. ; Cal. iv. 6076. 



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). 

c As touching the pr^cesse against yoztr Grace out of the 
Exchequer and all other matters and suites brought against 



1530] THOMAS CROMWELL 327 

yow I haue pleaded your pardon, w//zch is allowed in all ///e 
King s Courts and by the same your Grace discharged of all 
manner Causes at the K s suite. 

Cromwell tells the Card 1 this sollicking 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 i coo 1. worse than I was when your troubles began. 

As touching your Colleges, the King is determined to 
dissolve them, and that new offices shall be found of all /7/e 
Lands belonging to them newly to intitle his Highnes w/ ch 
be allready drawn* for this purpose. But whether his Highnes, 
after the dissolution of them meane to revive ///em againe 
and founde the;;* in his owne name, I know not. Wherefore 
I entreat your Grace to be content, and let yo2ir Prince 
execute his pleasure. 

Cromwell to the Cardinal, May 17, 1530. 

That the King hath received his Letters and is very sorry 
/^at he is in such necessity, yet that for Releefe his Ma ty hath 
differed it till he speak w/th his Counsail. The D. of Norfolk 
pr<?miseth you his best ayd but he willeth you for the present 
to be content and not much to molest the King (concerning 
payment of your Debts etc) for, as he supposeth, the time is 
not meet for it. His Grace (i. e. the King) shewed me how 
it is come to his knowlege that your Grace should haue 
certain words of him and other Noblemen vnto my L d of 
Norfolk since the time of your adversityes w/zz ch words 
should sound to make sedition betwixt him and my Lord of 
Norfolk. 

Mr. Page received yoz/r Letters directed vnto my Lady Anne, 
and delivered the same, there is yet no answer, she gaue 
kind words, but will not premise to speake to the K. for you. 

Certein Doctors of both the Vniversityes are here for the 
suppression of the Lutheran opinions. The Kings H nes hath 
caused the sayd doctors at divers times to assemble, and hath 
com?;zoned wz th them. The fame is that Luther is departed 
this Life. I would he had never bin borne. 

Cromwel writes to Card 1 Wolsey, August, (1530). 

* Intreating him to haue patience etc. that there shall be some 
offices sent into York and Nottinghamsh. to be found of your 
Lands, belonging to your ArchBw^prick. This will be very 
displeasant to you, but it is best to suffer it. for if they 
should not be found you could not howld your Bis&Tprick 
quiet, notwithstanding your pardon : for your Restitution 
made by your Pardon is cleerly Voyd, for that the King did 



328 LETTERS OF [1530 

restitute yottr 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 behavioz/r and humility hath 
gayned him the Love and good report of the Country where 
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. 

Crumwell 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 haue 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 your Grace in some things over- 
shooteth your self ; there is reg[ard] to be given what things 
ye vtter and to whom etc. 

I find by these Letters that Cramwel kept certein scholers 
in Cambrige, for he entreats the Card 1 , to pr^ferre the;?z to 
Benefices w/itch should fall in his ArchB^^prick. x 

14. (CROMWELL) TO (WOLSEY). 

R. O. Cal. iv. 6368. May 5 (1530). 

Information concerning the progress of the Cardinal s affairs at Court. 
Advises him to comply with the King s requests. 

After my right hartie Cowmendaczons to your grace accord 
ing to your desire specified in your "Letteres of answer to the 
request made vnto youe by the King^ maiestie for the 
Treasourership of York I haue so solicited the matier bothe 
to his hieghnes and to doctor Leighton that bothe be content 
that your gift shall stande so as yoztr grace do accomplishe 
the tenour of his hieghnes L^/teres nowe eftsones directed vnto 
youe, whiche myn advise and counsail is that youe shall in 
any wise ensue, and that your chaunceloz/r shall do the sembla- 

1 This last sentence was added were transcribed, and who calls 
by the seventeenth-century scholar himself * Thomas Masters, Coll. 
by whom the foregoing passages Nov. 



1530] THOMAS CROMWELL 329 

ble in another request made by his Maiestie vnto him withoui 
staye tract or further stycking. And in any thing e\\es wherin 
I maye do vnto your grace stede or pleasure I shalbe as glad 
to doo thoffice of a frend^ as you shalbe to require the same of 
me. Thus moost hartely Fare youe well. From St. James 
beside Westminster the v th of Maye. 



15. CROMWELL TO WOLSEY. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 6431. June 3 (1530). 

Promises to send a full answer to his letters by Ralph Sadler. Recom 
mends the bearer. 

Please it your grace to be aduertised that I haue receyued 
your letteres by Thomas Rawlyns and haue perceyued the 
contents thereof and will make answer to the same parti- 
culerly by my seru<2unt Rafe Sadleyr, who our lorde willing 
shalbe wzt^ your grace with all spede. Your grace I assure 
you is moche bounde to the gentilman this berer for his good 
reporte in eu^ry place who I assure yoz/r 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 moche good, it shalbe in myn opynion 
therefore right well don to give him thanks accordingly, 
for by my faith he is right worthy e. 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 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. my lorde Cardinall(s) grace. 

16. (CROMWELL) TO (WOLSEY). 

B. M. Cott. 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 yow by the next maister Stubbis Sayth he will pr^uyde 
baudekyn for your grace I am sorye for hym he ys Swed in 
a primineri by burges which was ons ellect p^sydent of 
Maudlen Colledge I thinke it wyll cost hym money or he 
get owt 1 , my lord chaunselo&r hath pr^mysyd that Masteres 

1 . <?. For our lordys loue what 

MERRIMAN. I Z 



330 LETTERS OF [1530 

lacye shall here the Coster of them that shall bryng vp John 
lawrans and Robert Turner. I beseche yvur 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 pr^serue your grace in long lyffe good 
helth and moche honour at london the last daye of June 

17. CROMWELL TO WOLSEY. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 6530. July 24 (1530). 

In favour of his kinsman Dr. Carbot ; requests Wolsey to take him into 
his household and service. 

After my most humble Recommendations wit/i my dailie 
smiice and contynuall praier May it pleas your grace to call 
to your good and most graceous remembraunce how that 
I being wM your grace in your gallerie at the Chartrehouse 
at Shene most humblie supplied x vnto the same for the 
acceptaczbn of this berer Mr. doctour Carbot my kynsman 
vnto your sluice 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 wM 
him vnto your grace by meane wherof he thought the better 
to be esteemed But forasmoch as he now p^rceyueth that for 
dyuers causes I maye not he hath desired me to write vnto 
your grace in his fauowrs Most humblie and effectuallye 
beseching your grace to receyue him into your house and 
smiice Whome I trust your grace shall finde apte mete 
discrete dilligent and honest And suchon that WillingHe 
Louinglie and obedientlie shall and wilbe gladde to s^rue 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- 
placzon to take him wzt^owt reiection And thus the holie 
trenitie preserve your grace in long lyf and good helth. At 
Londe(n) the xxiiii th daye of July. 

Your most humble s^ru^unt and bedysman 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. my \ordes grace 

1 sic, for { applied. 



1530] THOMAS CROMWELL 331 

18. (CROMWELL) TO WOLSEY. 

R. O. Cal. iv. 6571. August 1 8 (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 
from England and the Continent. Cf. Letter 13. 

Please it your grace to be adu^rtised l that after the Receipt 
of your \etferes dated at Southwell on saynt Laurence Day 
I p^rceyued how that your grace remayned in som displeasure 
and anxietie of mynde for that I by my k/teres had before 
artefied you of the fynding certen office concerning your 
busshopriche of Yorke The Fynding whereof as I perceyue 
by your k/teres ye do suppose should be moche to your 
dishonor & detriment For the which intent that your grace 
may put yourself in repose & quietaczbn of mynde I haue 
sent vnto you this berer who shall at length declare vnto you 
beside the demonstracion of the copies of suche office as be 
drawen for that purpose that the Fynding of the said office 
savyng onelie that in the preamble of the same there is 
touched the conuiction of your grace in the pranunire which 
all the \vour\d alredie knoweth shalbe for your good onelie 
proffit and availe And yet your 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 spzVzVuall 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 yottr gracyous and benigne Sou^eigne lorde and 
wold in no wise that ye should be greued molested or 
troubeled. Wherfore it may please your grace to quiet 
yourself and to take the fynding of these office pacientlie 
and vppon the retowme of the same there shalbe such orders 
taken that your grace shall not be interrupted in the receyuing 
of your reuenues ne otherwise be molested in any maner case 
for any new sute As touching your colledges the office shalbe 
founde houbeit the Deane and suche other as haue sued to 
the king^ highnes haue had veray good answer wherof 
I think they haue 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 
Z 2 



332 LETTERS OF [1530 

concerning Batyrsey it may please your grace that such 
things as ye haue sent me the copies of may be sent hither 
vnder scale for they woll trust no scrowes and also that 
Serche may be made for Busshop Bothes will concerning the 
same. Strangwissh continually cryeth and maketh exclama- 
czon in the courte of you insomoch that the \ordes of the 
counsaill haue determyned to wryte vnto you in that behalf 
wold to our lorde your grace were rid of that man. As 
concerning the prebends of Witwang doubt ye not but in that 
all thing is and shalbe ordered to your good contentaczon. 
Sir I assure your grace that ye be moch bounde to our lorde 
god that in suche wise hath suffered you so to behaue and 
order yourself in thes parties to atteyne the good myndes 
and herter of the people 1 there the reporte whereof in the 
courte and ell&rwhere in these parties is & hathe ben 2 to the 
aquyryng SL augmentyng the good oppynyons of many 
persons towards 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 ell^where to the pleasure of 
god & the prynce And notwithstonding your good vertuous 
and charitable demeaning and vsing yourself 4 in thes parties 
ys not by your enemies 5 interpretyd after the best Fashyon 
yet always Folow and perseuer ye attemperatelye in suche 
things as your woorldlye affeccyons Sett apart Shall serue 
to stand best wM the pleasure of god and the kyng Sir som 
ther be that doth alledge in that your 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 
Query thing and consyderyng the tyme to refrangne your Self 
for a Season from all manner byldingg^r more than mere 
necessite requireth which I assure your grace 6 shall sease and 
putto Sylence Som persons that moche spekyth of the same. 
For the geldings 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 things not wryttyn 7 I do Relys your grace 

1 c. o. in the hole cuntrey 5 c. o. which do & will not let 

8 c. o. your grete good to interprete all your doings not in 

* c. o. after such sorte by your the best parte Alledging that your 

approuued high wisedom as ye lose onelie desire 

not the wele & benefite of the same 6 c. o. shalbe grete good vnto 

for yourself 

1 c. o. there I assure yoz/r grace 7 c. o. Fynallie beseching al- 

you haue mightie god to preserue your grace 



1530] THOMAS CROMWELL 333 

right happye that ye be now at libertye to serue god and 
to lern to experyment how ye shall banyshe and exyle the 
vayn desyrys of this vnstabyll warld, which vndowtydlye 
dothe nothing elL?.y but allure eu^ry person therin And 
specyally such as our lorde hath most endewyd wtt/i his 
gyftes to desyre 1 the affeccyons of theyr mynd to be 
satysfyed In Finding and Sekyng wherof most persons 
besyd the gret trauaylkj and afflyccyons that men Suffer 
daylye bene dryuyn to extreme Repentance and Serching for 
plesure and Felycyte Fynd nothing but So trowbyll Sorow 
anxyete and adu^rsyte Wherfor in myn oppynyon your grace 
being as ye ar I suppose ye woolde not be as ye werre to 
wyn a hundreth tymys as moche as ye were possessyd off 
the Busshop of Bayon;^ ys daylye lokyd For and my lord of 
Wyltshyre ys cummyn. home the Saying here is that the 
emperoure hathe good obbedyence of his Subiect^y in all 
thing sauyng that they wyll not discent from the lutheran 
sekt it ys also sayd that empro//r doth mak musters for 
a gret army to be p;vparyd agenst the turke to passe into 
Hungarye for the recou^rey of that Regyon And that the 
seconde Son of the emperour ys dep^rtyd this present lyffe 
the news here ys that the Germayns wyll medlye haue 
a gen^rall Consaylle for the reformacyon of many things 
the Florentynys doth styll 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 shelyngg^r. they loke daylye 
for an ambassadour from the pope who at the Ferthest wilbe 
here wzt// xiij dayes the kynges highnes is this nyght at 
amptell and ther wyll Contenew this xiiij dayes. it may 
please yoz/r 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 
knowyth my wyll and mynde. and I trust verelye that your 
grace doth p^rffytlye think that I woolde be glade to see yow 
and vnfaynydlye I woolde haue sene yo>ur grace long er this 
yf I hadde not bene lettyd by Importune busynes wherfor 
I eftsones most humblye besech your grace of pardon and 
though I am not wz t// yow in person yet be ye assured I am 
and duryng my lyff shalbe wz t/ your grace in hert spyryt 

in long lif & good helth w/t/z the of August 

full accomplisshment of your hertes * c. o. and enter into blynde to 

desire From london the xviii day satysfye 



334 LETTERS OF [1530 

prayer & s^ruyce to the vttrest of my poore and symple 
power as knowyth oz/r lorde whom I most hertelye besech 
to preserue your grace in long lyff good helth wtt/i thincreace 
of your hertys desyre. at london the xviij th daye of August. 
I beseche yo^r grace to depeche this berer whom I mygh(t) 
evyll haue forbern at this tyme but onlye that I p^rsayuyd by 
your k/teres 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 effects of such things as ye desyre 
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 hym. 

Endd. my lorde Cardenall. 

19. (CROMWELL) TO (WOLSEY). 

B. M. Cott. App. L. Si ; Cal. 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 Praemunire. Cf. Letter 13. 

. . . eyen three monethis in Chaunserye, howbeit your grace 
shalbe so prouydyd for that ye shalbe owt of all dowttes for 
all the kyng^j offycers in the meane Season. I most humblye 
beseche your grace to be good lorde vnto my poore kynsman 
Dociour Karbott and let hym haue sum lytyll offyce vnder 
your grace. I dowt not thoughe he be Sumwhat Symple in 
Aparence yet he shall discharge hymself yf ye put hym in 
trust and A lityll auctoryte. I beseche your grace [ajlso to be 
good lorde vnto your Seruaunt Nych<?Azs Gyfforde . . . when 
Anything shall happen to Fall which may do (him) good to 
Remembre hym for my sake your grace shall [fin]de hym in 
myn oppynyon thoughe he be yong and [some]what wylde 1 , 
on disspossyd bothe to trewthe [honejste and hardynes, and 
he (is one) that wyll loue yow [with] all his harte. yf any 
thing Falle I beseche your grace [to relmembre my scolers 
in Cambryge and bothe they [and I shajll pray to our lord 
Jh^ru Crist to preserue [you] in long lyff good helth wz t/fc 
Increase of [honour. Thjemperour wyl be at Colayn In the 
Feaste of ... wMowt Faylle the Payment ys prorogyd 
[yntil the] vi daye of January. The prelattar shalnot appere 
[in the] premunire. Ther ys Another way deuysyd in [place 



thereof 



as your grace shall Ferther know, the prync^ of 



J J O ^-V^AVAAN^* iVli\_/ VV L11V_, L/lVll^.C O V 

[Almayne] Can ne wyllnot Agree to emperowr and[I bese]che 
the holy trynyte preserue your grace . . . [in] quyetnes and 

1 c. 0. a you[th] 



1531] THOMAS CROMWELL 335 

Contentacyon I beseche your ... for this \ettetz . . . Wrytyn 
for lake of ... [in] hast the xxi of octobre 

20. CROMWELL TO MR. BOROUGH. 

R. O. Cal. 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 wise I co;;/mende me vnto 
you And so yt ys that my frende Mr. Sowmer 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 him before any other he hathe desyred me to know 
your 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 your mynde by this berer in wrytyng 
what ye will do And this l hartely fare ye well At London 
this present Saterdaye. 

Assurydlye your frende. 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right worshipfull Mr. Henry Borough be this 
yeuen. 

21. (CROMWELL) TO STEPHEN VAUGHAN. 

B. M. Galba B. x, 338 ; Cal. v. 248. (May, 1531.) 

An account of the reception of William 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 Vaughan I co^mende me vnto you And haue 
receyued your k/teres dated at Andwerpe the xviii tb day 
of Aprell wzt// also that parte of Tyndall^ boke Sewed and 
inclosed in lether which ye with your \etterzs directed to the 
kingly highnes After the recept whereof I dyd repayre vnto 
the courte and there presented the same vnto his royall 
maiestee who after the recept thereof made me answer for 
that tyme that his highnes at oportun leysoz/r wolde vysite 
ouersee and rede the contents aswell of you[r] \etterzs 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. Words printed in italics 
the use of an additional bracket is are crossed out. 

necessary, in order to render it pre- 



336 LETTERS OF [1531 

highnes to call for me declaring vnto me aswell the contents 
of yottr \ette\zs as also moche of the matier conteyned in the 
saide boke of Tyndalky. And albeit that I might well 
perceyue that his maiestee was right well pleased and right 
acceptablie considered your diligence and payn[es] taken 
in the wryting and sending of the saide boke as also in the 
perswading and exhorting of Tyndall to repayre int[o] this 
realme in the accomplisshement of his high pleasure and 
comaundement yet I might coniecture by the ferther declaracyon 
of his high pleasure Which sayed vnto me that by your wryting 
it manyfestlie appered how moche {yet his highnes nothyng 
lyked the sayd boke being fyllyd wzt^ Scedycyous Slaunderous 
lyes and Fantastycall oppynyon(s) Shewing therin nether 
lernyng nor trewthe and ferther Co;^munyng wztA his grace 
I mygh(t) well coniect that he though(t) that ye bare moche} 
affection and zele ye bere towards the saide Tyndall whom 
in his maners modes tie and Symplycytee {& knowlage in 
woordlye things} ye vndoubtedlie {in your letters] do 
moche more allowe and cowmende then his {whos} workes 
being so replete w\ft\ lyes and most {then the warke of hit Self 
is able to deserve} {being replete with so} abhomynable 
Sclaunders {& lyes} Imagened and {onlye} fayned to infecte 
and intoxicate {as it semythe} the peopull may to indyfferent 
Judgement declarethe him, for the which your fauours Supposed 
to be born to the saide Tyndall (who assuredlie sheweth himself 
in myn opynyon rather to be replete with, venymous envye 
rancour and malice then w\t\i any good lerning vertue knowlage 
or discressioii) hathe put the kinges highnes in suspectyon 
of you considering {dothe declare hym bothe to lake grace 
vertue lernyng discrecyon and all other good qualytes 
jijothing [ejlkr pretending in all his workes but [to] seduce 
_and djyssayve} that ye should {ye} in such wise {by your 
ette\ zs] lene vnto and fauour the evill dec try ne of so peruerse 
and malycyous a person and so moche prayse him {prayse 
Setforth and avaunse hym} {bothe to lake lernyng} {to be 
envyous and to lake lernyng gra[ce]} {vertue and ail good 
discrecyon} who nothing {zvhicke nothing elfes} {pretendyth 1 } 
goeth about or pt&endetk but l onelie to Seduce deceyiie and 
disquiet the people and comenwelth of this realme Whose 
{Repayre thether ys to be estuyd} cummyng into Englonde the 
kingzs highnes can right well for bere and {and sowe sedycyon 
among the peopull of this realme. The king^j highnes 
therfor} hathe cowmaunded me exptzssely to wryte vnto you 
{to adu^rtyse you that is plesure ys} that ye should desiste 

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



1531] THOMAS CROMWELL 337 

and leve any fcrther to persuade or attempte him thereunto 
{the sayd tyndalle to Com into this realme} alledging that 
his mates te so euydcntlie {he} p^rceyuing the malycyous 
perverse vncharytable {and Indurate} mynde and disposicyon 
of the saide Tyndall is rather vcray glad that he is out of his 
Realme then? {Joyous to haue his realme dcstytnte} ... {of 
the sayd Tyndalle ys in mam?r wz t//owt 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 defende) do as moche as in him were to infecte and 
corrup[t] the hole realme {which now ys so Indurate] to the 
grete inquietacyon and hurte of the cowmenwelth of the 
same. Wherfore {Stephen} I hertelie pray you that from- 
hensfonrth in all your doings and preceding^ and wryting 
to the king*? highnes ye do iustely trewlie and vnfaynedlie 
shew your self to be no Fantour vnto the saide {without 
dyssymulacyon Shew your self his trew louyng and obedyent 
Subiect beryng no manner Fauo//r loue or affeccyon to the 
sayd} Tyndale ne to his \vourkes in any man^r of wise but 
rather vtterlie to contempne and abhorre the same assuring 
you that {in so} doing the contrary ye shall not oneli[e] 
cause the kmges highnes royall Maieste whose highnes 
goodnes at this tyme is so benignelie and gracyouslie mynded 
toward*? you (- as by your good dyligence and Industrie to b\e\ 
vsed to serne his highnes and ex tewing and avoyding \to\ 
favour and allozv the saide Tyndale his erronyoiis workes and 
opynyons] ye are like shortelie to atteyne ( 3 So to prouyde for 
yon So to aduise yon So to Sett you forwardes as all your 
louers & frend*? shall haue gret consolacyon in yoti of the 
same \b\oth welth honestie and promocyon at his gracyous 
handzs to the singuler ioy pleasure and comforte of all your 
Frendzs) and by the contrarie to {doing ye shall} acquire the 
indignacyon of god and displeasure of your Sou^reigne lorde 
and by the same compell {cause} your good Frendes which 
haue ben euer glad prone and redie to aduaunce {bryng} you 
vnto the {into his gracyous} favours of your pry nee 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 bok^ craftie and false persuasions) 

underlined, not crossed out : that he hathe partelie don all redie 

[he] should retourne into the same a (...) underlined, not crossed 

there to manyfest his errours and out. 

sedycyous opynyons, which (being 3 (...) this passage is put in the 

out of the Realme by his most vn- margin, 
charytable venemous and pestilent 



338 LETTERS OF [1531 

purpose, hauing therefore firme trust that for the {Feare ye 
hane in god obedyens to you? souerayn lord} loue ye owe to 
your self me and other your French ye wilbe will beware 
from hensfourth {and estew} to enter into any such opynyons 
{or to the pray se of any such person} whereby any sclaunder 
dishonestie or daungier (or Susspycyonj might insue toward*? 
you whereof I promyse you I wold be as sorie as your good 
{natural} father. 

As touching Frith mencyoned in your saide \etteres the 
king*? highnes heryng tell of his towardenes in good letters 
and lernyng doth Regrete and {moche} lament that he should 
in such wise as he doth Set fourth Shew and applye his 
lerning and doctrine in the semynacyon and sowing such euill 
seed*? of dampnable and detestable heresies mayntening 
bolstring and aduawncyng the venemous and pestyferous 
wottrkes erronyous and sedycyous opynyons of the saide 
Tyndale and other Wherein his highnes as {lyke} a most 
vertuous and benigne pr[ince] and gouernour hauing charge 
commytted vnto him of his people and Subiect*y {&} being 
{veraye} sorie to here tell that any of the same should 
in suche wise Ronne hedling and digresse from th[e] lawes 
and precepfes {and holsom doctryns} of almightie god {and 
holye Fathers} {and most holsom} into suche dampnable {and 
most holsom doctryne of holye Fathers into suche dampnable} 
heresies and sedycyous opynyons and being euer inclyned 
willifng] 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 f rend [lie] exhortaaons and advertisement** 
of good people he may be revoked and called agayne to the 
ryght way wylleth {hath therefore} and desire th you {wyllyd} 
{and Commaundyd} {me to wryte vnto yow that ye} accordyng 
to his trust and expectacyon {will} -with your frendelie 
persuasions admonycyons and holsome exhortaczbns to 
counsaill and aduyse the said Fryth if ye may conuenientlie 
speke vfit/i the same to lev[e] his wilfull opynyons and like 
a good Christien to reto&rne vnto our Saueour Christe and 
also into his natif cuntrey So that by his procedinges as he 
begynneth there be no m\pre~\ \se~\dycyous infections and heresies 
sowed amongst the kinges peopzill {wher he assurydly shall 
Fynde the kynges highnes most m^rcyfifull and benygnlye 
vppon his conversyon disposyd towardzs hym to accept hym 
to his grace & mercye} Wherefore eftesoones I hertelie 
pray you and {exhort you} for the loue of god do not onelie 



1531] THOMAS CROMWELL 339 

exhorte you vtterlie to forsake leve and wzt/zdraw your afTectyon 
from the saide Tyndale and all his secte but also as moch as 
ye can poletiquelie and charytablie to allure all {the said 
Fryth and other} suche persons as ben {being in thes p#rtyes 
which in any wyse ye shall know or suppose to be} Fautours 
and assistenter to the same from all their erronyous mynd^ 
and opynyons. In which doing ye shall not onelie highlie 
merite of {in} Almightie god but also deserue high thanks of 
the k mges royall maiestee who will not forgett yo//r deuoyrs 
and labours in that behalf So that his maiestee may {evy- 
dentlye} p^rceyue that ye effectuallie {do} intende the same. 
And as touching your diligent adu^rtisement vnto the 
k mges highnes of the nombre of Shippes arryued wtt/i corne 
and grayn in those parties he hathe cowmaunded me on his 
behalf to gyue vnto you condigne thanks for the same And 
being moche desirous to know and atteyne the trewth of that 
matier his grace hathe co;;/maunded me to wryte vnto you 
that by all good dexteritee polycie and meanes ye should 
indeuoyr yoz/rself to atteyne to the knowlege of the Maisters, 
seruauntes owners or other that made sale of the saide grayn 
brought thither to thintent that by thexamynacyon of som 
his highnes might haue knowlege of the rest and that ye shall 
w/t/& 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 ayenst him the gifte of money in the low 
countreys to themperonr the abyding of themperour in the 
low parties the agremen[t] bytwen him and the prynces of 
Germanye as ye shafll] here by merchauntes or otherwise 
most certeynlie to acertey[n] his grace by your \etterts 
with as moch dyligence as ye can. Prayeng you therefore 
substauncyallie and circumspectflye] to indeuoz/r yourself 
to serue the king^r highnes herein effectuallie So that your 
towardenes good mynde duetpe] of allegiaunce and seruice 
towards his royall maiest[ie] may be apparaunt and notoryous 
vnto the same. Which I doubt not shalbe to your singuler 
proffite and aduauncement. 

22. (CROMWELL) TO MR. STRETE. 

R. O. Cal. v. 277. (May, 1531.) 

Encloses a commission 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 co^zmendaczons these shalbe to 
aduertise you that by the berers hereof ye shall receyue the 



340 LETTERS OF [1531 

k mges comission and warraunte yeuyng you auctoryte to 
Survey the lond^ of the bisshopriche of Couentre and Lich- 
feld and to receyue the renies and pr^fites of the same to the 
kmges vse. And also ye shall receyue his graa ous \etteres 
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 \\iik the receipt of any rentes 
there but also in case he haue receyued any, will repay the 
same vnto your handes accordinglie. Not dowbting but ye 
will diligentlie effectuallie and trewly put in execuczbn the 
teano&r and efifecte of your saide Co;/zmyssion in suche wise 
as shalbe most for your honestie & to the Kinges most pr^fite 
and adutfuntage. And for your paynes and diligence alredy 
taken and susteyned aboute his affayres there his highnes 
hathe co^m^unded me to yeve vnto you his most hertie 
thankes. And trustith that ye will so indeuow your self in the 
receipt of the said renter and reuenues as before the feaste of 
the Natyuyte of Saynt John Baptist next ye will bryng or 
send vp the hole half-yeres rent or the most parte of the same 
and that ye will have good awayte and regarde to his hauk^ 
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 grac/ous pleasure is that ye shall suffer the berers 
hereof named Fyndern and Curson to haue the pr^ferrement 
in the byeng of the same vppon suche reasonable prises as 
they may conuenyently lyve on taking of them som money in 
hande and such sufficient bonde and suertie for the residue as 
the king may be trewly answered of the same. And so Fare 
ye well &c. 

Your mastership. 



23. CROMWELL TO (GARDINER). 

B. M. 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 reco7?zmendaczons may it please 
the same to be adu^rtysed that I haue sent herein Inclosed 
the Mynewte with your Instruccions Beseching you to Survey 
the same and if ye shall fynde any erroure to order and 
correcte hit according to your wysdowme and goodnes 
or euer ye shall pr^sente the sight thereof vnto the King^j 
highnes which ons do/me and his highe pleasure knowne 
I shall \\iih dylygence cause it to be engrossed and sent I wold 



1531] THOMAS CROMWELL 341 

myself haue commyn therewzt^ 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 pr^serue you 
in Long lief & good helth wz t/2 thencrease of muche honour 
at London this xviij day of June. 

Yours most bounden 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



24. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. v. 458 (i). Oct. I (1531). 

Requests, on the King s behalf, the preferment of Thomas Beryer, 
warden of the Grey Friars of Blois, to be warden of the Grey Friars 
of Paris. 

Right worshypffull after most hertye cowmendacyons this 
shalbe to adu^rtyse you that the kingly plesure ys that ye on 
his gracyous behalf shall effectuallye move the Frenche kynge 
for 1 the pr^ffcrment of on Frere Thomas Beryer which ys 
now gardyen of the grey Freers of Bloyse so that he at the 
coTztemplacyon of his highnes may be now elect to be gardyen 
of the grey Freers in parys for assurydlye his highnes desyrethe 
moche the adu^uncement of the sayd Freer and wooll that 
ye in most effectuous wyse do solycyt the same vnto (the) 
Frenche king^r 2 requyryng the same on the his 3 graces behalf 
to move the gen^rall 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 woll that ye shall moue the gret maister in that 
behalf For I assure you his maiestye moche tenderyth the 
adu^un^ment & prefferment of this Freer and thus hertelye 
Fare ye well. 

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 from 
the King. 

Maister Heron in my right 4 hertye wyse I co^/mende (me) 
vnto youe and so it is that this berer whos name is Rychard 
Johnson hathe Supplyed 5 vnto the kyng^j highnes alledgyng 

1 c. o. on the behalf of 4 c. o. most 

2 c. o. highnes 3 sic* 5 sic, for applied. 



342 LETTERS OF [1531 

that he being possessyd of a certayn Ferme being parcell of 
the manno^r of Highe Hall * of the dymyse and graunte 
aswell of your Father as also of 2 your mother late disceasyd 
whose sowlys our lord pardon owt of the which as he affer- 
myth ye wooll expel hym Syr my aduyse shalbe that ye 
according to Justyce do Suffr the sayd Johnson to occupye 
his Ferme, consyderyng that your Interest In the same O/m- 
myth of the kynges graunt for assurydlye his grace wyll 
thinke straunge yf ye sholde expell his seruaunt hauyng a 
lawfful grante aswell of yo&r Father as mother 3 as he affer- 
myth. Wherffor methinkyth ye shall do well to let hym 
occupye his Ferme wzt/owt yoz/r Interrupcyon, he paying For 
the same as to right appartaynyth For I woolde ye sholde not 
be notyd extreme in your proceedings and specyallye agaynst 
your Felowes the Kyngs seruaunttes and thus hertelye Fare 
ye well at london the thyrde daye of Octobre 

26. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. v. 458 (ii). (Oct. 1531.) 

Advises him not to receive any of the King s courser men in his 
monastery. 

My lord aftr right hertye recowmendacyons this shalbe to 
Ortiffye yow of the receipt of your letters and being veray 
Sorye of molestacyon doo aduyse yow not to suffr anye of the 
kyng^r Courser men to lye with yow. For your monasterye 
vndowtydlye ys moche to small to Resayue the kingfj 
Coursers. 

27. (CROMWELL) TO (Sm 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. 

Woorshipfull Sz r in my most hertye manner I commend 
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 wM yow 4 my Sayd S^ruaunt Informyd yow how 

1 . o. which he helde For terme bargayn betwene me and John 
of yeres of his highnes and hauyng Ardren of and for the manoz/r of 
good and Suffycyent graunt In the Belthrop wM the apporten##nces 
same which, as I am Informyd ye wer in 

2 c. o. my ladye mynde to haue bought S/r I woold 

3 c. o. and hauing no Just Cause I hadde bene made preuey to your 
so to do mynd at whych tyme 

4 c. o. and as concern yng the 



THOMAS CROMWELL 343 

that I hadde concludyd a bargayn with John Ardren of and 
For the Manowr of Belthrop and ye then aduysyd my said 
Serutfunt 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 dowt ambygwyte or Any acte done 
by the sayd John Ardren or anye other Wherby I myght 
Sustayn Any manner displeasure danger or losse conc^rnyng 
the sayd Mannor 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 ends abruptly here, the bottom of the sheet being 
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. (CROMWELL) TO (GARDINER). 

R. O. Cal. v. 723. (Jan. 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 recowmen- 
daczbns these shalbe to adu^rtise yo^r lordeship how that 
I haue receyued your gentill \ette?e to me delyz^red by 
thandes of Mr. Wrythesley And whereas I do p^rceyue 
by my kynnesman this berer that ye moche desire to here 
newes from hens I assure you that here be non but such as 
vndoubtedlie by a multytude of yottr Frend^r (which are 
Farre more secret and nerer the knowlege of the same then 
I am) be to yo&r lordeship all redie related and knowen but 
yet to aduirtise of som parte that I know, as thys day was 
Redd in the higher house a bill touching the Annates of 
busshopriches for what ende or effecte it will succede suerlie 
I know not. And as yesterday because I knew your lorde 
ship not to be Furnisshed of all things necessarie for yozir 
being there I moued the King^ highnes aswell for money 
to be defrayed in and aboutes the furnyture of yoz^r purpose 
and affayres as also for yo?^r Retoz/rne hither sayeng that 
vppon myn owne coniecture your lordeship was wery of 



344 LETTERS OF [1532 

being there vvhereunto his highness answered me that you 
were not so wery of your being there but he was as sorie 
Sayeng by these \vordes expr^sselie. (His absence is the lacke 
of my right hand for I am now so moche pestred with 
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 King^r 
highnes and all other yo^r poure Frend^ beseching therefore 
your lordeship to Fynde som meanes on your parts as 
moche as in you is that your Retoz/rne hither may be 
shortelie which is long loked and wisshed for As our lorde 
knoweth etc. 

Endd. A mynute of my mr. s le//re. 

29. (CROMWELL) TO HENRY VIII. 

R. O. Cal. v. 1055. (May, 1532.) 

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 n?yall magestye to be adu<?r- 
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 co/^mawndment to me 
youyn yesterdaye haue Inclosyd them in this my letters, 
wherby your highnes shall and may woll p^rsayue of what 
Importaunce they be of. I haue also resayuyd a letters 
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 answer all things layd by 
the co;/trarye parte and nothing dowtyth but that they shall 
haue veray gud Successe in all your gracyous affayres and 
thys our lord Jesu Crist preserue and continew the most 
Royall estate of your most Ryoyall magestye in long lyffe 
& good helthe 

30. (CROMWELL) 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 Ho well s matter. News from 
Rome that the Turk is to invade Italy with a great army. 

Pleasythit your most Royall mageste to be adu^rtysyd 
how the Freer carmelyte browght vnto me this mornyng a 



1532] THOMAS CROMWELL 345 

boke willing me on yoz/r gracyous behalf wit/i all spede to send 
the same vnto yo//r highnes. Which I haue done accord- 
inglye I cannot yet certeffye your grace touching the Con- 
clusyon of Jamys Gyrffyth ap Howell^ matyer for asmoche 
as yet I haue not spokyn with mayster Thesaurer of yo?/r 
most honorable hovvshold who vndovvtydly this daye wilbe 
at Westm. Strange news haue arryuyd here aswell from 
Rome as Venyse of the turk^r Repayre vnto and towards 
Italye wz t/z a marvelous puisauntt Armye what shalbe the 
Successe thereof our lorde knoweth it ys Suppossyd that gret 
afflyccyon will Insew not onelye to the pope & the See of 
Rome but also to the emprour and his conffederatt^ wherfor 
it may please the holye trynytie in whos Inffinyte goodnes 
power & wyll Restyth the the 1 order and traunquylyte of all 
things to bryng peax good oppynyon and quyetacyo;/ 
amongyst Cristen pryncys and eu<?r conserue preserue & kepe 
your highnes in long lyff good helthe v/tt/i quyetacyon of 
your most vertuous most noble and most charytable mynde 
At london the xiii th of June 



31. (CROMWELL) TO THE MAYOR OF HAVERFORD WEST. 

R. O. Cal. v. 1106. June 19, 1532. 

Notifies him that Sir William Wolff 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] with him by recognisaunce 
that the saide Sir WillzVzm 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 king^ behaulf in this present Terme 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 writen the xix th daie of June 
at London in the xxiiii yere of the Reigne of oure Sou^raien 
Lorde the Kinge Henry the Eight. 

Add. To Maister maier of Harfford Weste this be 
deliu^red. 

1 sic. 

MERR1MAN. I A 3. 



346 LETTERS OF [1532 

32. (CROMWELL) TO MR. ROWLAND. 

R. O. Cal. v. 1185 (i). July 19 (1532). 

The King desires him to pay the bearer $, 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 monastery of 
Wallingford. 

Maister Rowland after my herty cowmendaczons this 
shalbe to adu^rtyse you that hitt is the kinges graces 
pleissuire and co;;miaundeme;2t that ye shall paye immediately 
after the sight off theis my letters to the hand^s- off Maister 
Herry Williams beyrrer heiroff Fyve povmdes off good and 
lawfull money off Englonde to the behoiffe off the deanne 
and Canons off his grac^ Colledge in oxford now lately 
erected. The whiche saide su/;zme off Fyve powndes was 
deue to haue byn payed by yow att the Feiste off sayntte 
Michel 1 tharchangell laste paste For thannuall porcio;? goyng 
owtt off your parsonage off Garsinto?z vnto the late sup 
pressed priore off Wallingford. And theis my letters shalbe 
vnto yow a sufficient warrauntt & acquyttaunce For the 
payment off the Forsaide Fyve pownd^r. Faill you nott thys 
to doo as ye tend re the king^ pleissuire and thus Faire ye 
well. In haist From london the xix th daye off July. 



33. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. v. 1184. July 19 (1532). 
Recommends Robert Hogan, the King s chief cook. 

Right worshipful! after moost hartie Reco;?zmendacions 
thiese shalbe to aduertise you that my louynge felowe and 
freende Robert Hogan Maister Coke to our sou^raigne 
Lorde the King^ 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 hartelie desire you to 
entreteigne and accepte in makinge and showinge vnto hym 
suche freendlie and louynge Chere and other pleasures for 
my 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 tyme co/^mynge 
in suche your Requestes and Affayres as ye shall haue here 
to do by the grace of god who euer kepe you. Att London 
the xix th Daie of July. 



1532] THOMAS CROMWELL 347 

34. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cai. v. 1185 (ii). July 20 (1532). 

Requests him to grant the farm of Myxberye in Oxfordshire to John 
Welsborne, one of the gentlemen of the King s privy chamber. 

My lorde after most hertye recowmendacyons this shalbe 
to desyre and hertelye praye (you) to be so good at my 
poore Instaunce and request to graunte the Ferme of 
Myxberye vnto my veraye Frend and Felow Mr. John 
Welsborne on^ of the gentylmen of the Kynges preueye 
chaumbre in doing wherof besyd^J the good wyll 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 who eu<?r pr^serue your lordship wrytyn at londen the 
xx tb daye of July 

35. (CROMWELL) TO THE LORD (CHIEF JUSTICE 

FlTZ-jAMES). 
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-James 
have recommended. Fitz-James may postpone the election for the 
trial of the King s title if he sees fit. 

My lorde after most hertie cowmendaabns these shalbe to 
adu<?rtise jour lordeship how that I haue receyued jour 
\etteres and according to the contents of the same moued 
the Kingly highnes concerning thelection of the Abbote of 
Bruton And like as I wrote vnto your lordeship in my last 
letteres that ye should stay the saide election vntill the 
Kinges title might be tryed So his high pleasure is that 
ye shall do if ye see good matier to bere it. Neu^rtheles 
his highnes at the sute of my lorde Lisle Supposing that he 
and you do both sue for the adu#uncement of one person to 
be Abbot of Bruton forsaid as my lorde playnlye affermyd 
to his grace hathe theruppon directed his grac/bus \etteres 
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 therewzt^ right well contented So that his highnes 
may (haue) me remembryd Sumwhat, lyke as your loiv&shyp 
wrot vnto me in your last whyche he onelye Remyttythe to 
your wisedom and discrecyon for his highnes p^rfectlye 
trustith that ye will substauncyallie loke thervnto, who woold 

A a 2, 



348 LETTERS OF [1532 

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 allway^y do as I haue pr^mysyd and thus most hertelye 
Fare ye well at london the xxiiii th daye off Septembre 

36. (CROMWELL) TO HENRY VIII. 

R. O. Cal. v. 1298. (September, 1532.) 

Reports the making 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 adu^tised that according to 
your graczbus comnaundement I haue caused patrons to be 
drawen after yoz/r graces Deuyse albeit I haue wyllyd yotir 
goldsmyth not to precede to the making of any thing In 
p^rffeccyon vntill your graaous 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 determyn your 
pleasure I haue Sent by this berer the patron of your Coller 
of balasys and Dyamond^ 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 good^ 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 kep^r of your grete seale Sir Willya;;z Poulet and me 3 . 
And as it appereth by thexamynacion as well of the executors 
as by Edmond 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 notwzt/^standz;/^ that 
ther was Agrement made betwene the executors and the 
ladye spencer that she sholde entyr into bargayn wM your 
highnes and also into the execucyon of the testament w/t^ 
them as an executrix which vndowtydly she hadde done yf 
Edmond Knyghtle hadde not bene Which Edmonde Knightley 

1 c. o. Thomas offence as haue ben cowmytted 

2 c. <?. Mr. Edmonde Knightley in that behalf haue ben onelie 

3 c. o. with other of yo^r graces done and executed by the saide 
counsaill Edmonde Knightley his Syster and 

4 c. o. as hathe ben had & made suche other of that parte and none 
of the saide goodly and also such otherwise 



1532] THOMAS CROMWELL 349 

hathe not onelie trauayled asmoche as in him is to sett pyke 
betwene the sayd ladye and the executors and to defeate 
your grace of your title to the heire of the saide Spencer 
but also Justeffyed the same befor my sayd lorde kep^r of 
///e gret Scale wher on the other partye it was openlye 
prouyd that your grace hade good tytyll and all his 
allegacyon vntrew yet neuertheles for the reducing of the 
same his vntrew purpose to effecte and to the Intent to 
slaunder your gracys tytill and others he hathe caused to be 
made certen proclamacions in yo^r Countyes of Warwyke 
leycester & Northampton in dyu^rs of your highnes Towns 
there to the high contempte of your grace and your lawes 
For it hathe not ben seen nor herd that any Subiecte within 
this Realm e sholde presume to make pr^clamacion w/t//in this 
yo//r realme but onelie in your grac^y Name Wherefore for 
his offence and other contempts ayenst your highnes in that 
behalf my lorde the kep^r of yo?/r grete (seal) takyng that 
matyer to be a greuous offens ayenst yo^r Crown & Imperyall 
magestye hathe cowmytted the sayd Edmond Knyghtley to 
yo?^r pryson of the Flete where he now remayneth vntyll 
yo?^r high plesure shalbe Ferther 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 your grace who hathe 
made p^rfytte bokes aswell of the sayd Cuppe & Corporas 
Case as also of all other yo;/r highnes Jewells now being in 
the hand^ of Cornelys to be orderyd according to your 
graces plesure and thys the holye trynyte pr^serue your most 
royall estate of yotir most excellent magestye 



37. (CROMWELL) TO THE ABBOT OF ST. EDMUNDS 

BURY. 

R. O. Cal. v. 1573. Nov. 24 (1532). 

Desires the farm of Harlowberry, in Essex, near Honysdon. Will do all 
he can for the monastery. 

My lorde after my hartie manner I comwende me vnto you. 
Adu^rtising you that for dyu^rse consideraczons I am verray 
desirouse To haue some house in essex nere vnto Honysdon. 
And forasmoche as your parsonage of Harlowebery 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 Farme of Harlowebury vnto me by lease for terme of Ix 
yeres for the same stokke Rent and Ferme that haithe byn 



350 LETTERS OF [1532 

of Olde tyme accustumyd paid and perceyuyd for the same. 
In doing whereof ye shall bynde me to do you and that your 
monastary suche pleasure as may ly in my Lytell power, in 
tyme to com. And what shalbe your towarde mynde herin 
I pray you to Adu^rtise me in wrytyng by this berer my 
serwzunt And as for the yeres that malery and his wyff haithe 
yitt to com ye shall vnderstaund that I haue Agred wttk 
theym for his lease Thus fare ye hartely well from Elth^m, 
the xxiiii day of Nouembre. 

Add. To my Lord Thabbot of Seynt Edmounds Bury 
geve this. 

38. (CROMWELL) TO (THE EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND). 

R. O. ; 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 co^mendacions please it your lordeship 
to be adu^rtised that I haue receyued yoitr letters the con 
tents wherof I haue right well pm:eyued And touching your 
prosperous fortune and victorie in your last rode agenst your 
enemy es Shewing therby your valiaunt courage glad hert 
and mynde to serue the Kings highnes and annoye his 
enemyes, I assure your lordeship there is no man lyuyng 
gladder to here thereof then I am your poure Frende, 
Wisshing to god that your lordeship did knowe and here 
as I do how louynglie and acceptable the Kings highnes 
doth Regarde and take the same, which vndoubtedlie 
wold double the hardynes and courage of any man lyuyng 
to do his grace s^ruice. And because it is to be thought that 
after this rode your enemyes the scottes will invente & studie 
to be reuenged to your like annoyance or more if they can, 
my poure aduise shalbe that by all the wayes meanes and 
polycies ye can, your lordeship do circumspectlie and wz t// 
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 your saide enemyes ye be preuented But 
rather that yoz^r lordeship as ye alredy haue begon will so 
contynue endeuouring your self to greue and annoye your 
enemyes by doing of such valiant acts and exploytts to 
thincrease of your high merite and worthie praise So as the 
Fame renovvne and noble victorie which your lordeship hathe 
now won and obteyned be in no wise hurte blemisshed or 
defaced by any acte or exployte to be don hereafter for 



1532] THOMAS CROMWELL 351 

lacke of good forsight or preuencyon Thus I am bolde to 
gyue your lordeship my poure frendely aduise beseching the 
same to excuse my boldenes and to thinke I do it onelie for 
that I bere unto your lordeship my hertie good mynde and 
will And no man more gladder then I to here tell of any 
thing which should sounde to your lordeshippes good Fame 
and honour, the increase and augmentacion whereof I doubt 
not but your lordeship will contynew to procure wtt/i no lesse 
diligent propence glad hert and mynde to serue the king 
in his afifairees there then as ye haue begon to the vtter grief 
displeasure and annoyaunce of your enemyes wherein I 
beseche our lorde to sende you as prosperous fortune and 
good successe as your noble and valyaunt herte could wisshe 
or desire At london etc 

Endd. mynute of a \ettew 

39. (CROMWELL) 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 
them up at once. 

My lorde after all dew reco;;zmendacyons this shalbe to 
adu^rtise your lordshyp how that I and other hauyng charge 
aswell of the Kyng^j Bulding^ at his Towre of london as 
also at Westm. haue bene for lakke of masons Carpenters and 
other woorkmen compellyd to sende in to all the plases of this 
Realme For prouysyon of the same by the kingly co;#myssyon 
and albeit that the kingly mesenger by the auctoryte of his 
Commyssyon hathe repayryd into dyuers partyes of Suffolke 
ther to execute the same and also to Burrye Saynt Edmonds 
and therabowtt For to haue taken and prestyd masons For the 
accomplyshment of the kyng^y saycl woorkes ye lytell Regarding 
the kyng^y auctoryte and Co;;zmyssyon 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 yo>ur demeanure in 
that behalf For I dowt not though p^raduenture his highnes 
woolde esteme yow to be Abbot of his Monasterye of Burye, 
yet he woolde not forget that he ys yoz/r kyng and sou^rayng 
lorde, who p<?rcase might thinke sum vnkyndenes and also pre- 
sumpcyon in yow so to handell hym or his auctoryte within 
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 wzt& yoztr prynce ne wM his auctoryte 



SIC. 



352 LETTERS OF [1532 

I beseche your lordshyp to pardon my playne wrytyng For 
assurydlye I woolde be veray lothe that the kinges highnes 
sholde haue Anye occasyon to thinke anye vnkyndnes or dis- 
obedyence in yow and thus the holye trynyte pr^serue 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 will permit. Recommends the bearer Mr. Jones. 

My specyall good lord after my most humble recowmenda- 
cyons (it) may please the same to be adu^rtysyd how that 
the kynges highnes hathe Co/^maundyd 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 Cow?zsayle in his affayres and his grace 
dowtyth not but ye wyll yf it be possyble for yow to trauayle 
accomplyshe all thing that maye be to the Satysfaccyon 
of his pleasure. I assure yo^r lordshyp his grace hathe not 
a Few tymes lamentyd in the presens of your frend&y not 
onlye your absens but also your Infyrmyte wherfor his grace 
hathe bene veraye Sorye. And my lord bycause this berer 
Maister Jonys dothe now repay re vnto your lordshyp for yoz^r 
Fauours and goodnes to hym so shewyd towards his pr^ffer- 
ment vnto whom yt may please you at my poore Sute & 
medyacyon to be specyall good lorde Assuryng your lorde- 
ship that he ys a p^rftect honest gentylman and such one as 
ye shall neu^r Repent the thing that ye shall doo For hym as 
knowyth the holye trynyte who euer pr^serue your lordshyp 
in long lyffe and good helthe At londen the vi th daye of 
Aprell. 

41. (CROMWELL) 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 Hertfordshire. The King will give him 
good lands in exchange. 

My specyall goode lorde after all dew Recowmendacyons 
this shalbe to adu^rtyse the same that the kyngys highnes 
right thankffullye dyd accept your \etterts to hym dyrected 
SL delyuered by mr. chasye and his grace ys m<?rveylouslye 
well contentyd that your lordshyp wooll let his grace haue 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 353 

your mano^r & parke of Pyssow in exchaunge. Wherfor his 
Magestie hathe Cowmaundyd me to Inserche for land^y for your 
Recompens which I shall doo \viik all conuenyent spede and 
as to the rede howsys with the other things mouyd to me by 
this berer your seruaunt I wyll vndowtydlye doo my best so 
that yo7<r lordeshyp by the next shalbe certeffyed of the kynges 
Full and determynate pleasure in all things as knowethe our 
lorde who euer pr^serue your lordshyp in long lyffe & good 
helthe at london the xxv th daye of Aprell. 

42. (CROMWELL) TO (THE DUKE OF SUFFOLK). 

R. O. Cal. vi. 415. April (1533). 

The King is pleased with his willingness 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 Court at once. 

After my most humble Recowmendacions it maye please 
your grace to Vnderstande that the Kingly highnes hath been 
assuredlie aduertised howe that your grace is contente to 
surrendre your patente of the office of Therle Marshall into 
his handes Whervpon his Magestie hath graunted the same 
vnto my lorde of NorfiW/ his grace Whose Auncestors of longe 
tyme hadd thesame vntill nowe of late. And his highnes is 
contente that your grace in the lewe and place therof shall 
haue his letteres patents of the Justiceshipp of his Forests on 
thisside Trente for terme of yo^r lyfe. Assurynge yo?/r 
grace his highnes doth not onlie repute moche honour in yoz/r 
grace for that ye soo kyndlie will deptfrte wit/i the saide office 
of marshalshipp vnto my saide lorde of NorrT<?// but also his 
magestie supposeth and p^rfectlie p^rcevith that your grace 
hath moche more estimacion and zele to Norisshe kyndenes 
and love bytwene my saide lorde of NorfiW and you then ye 
haue to thatt or any other office whiche vndubtelie is highlie 
to his gracious contentacion to see and p^rcezue so grate and 
honorhable parsonages his subiectey so Jovynglie and Frendlie 
the on to love thother. Wherfore as he that always rekonith 
hymselfe [bou]nden vnto yo//r grace and beyng also ver[ayly ] 
Joyouse to p^rsayve howe pleasauntlie the kingly highnes 
taketh in gude parte and repute your honorhable and moost 
gentill demeanours in this and all other your procedyng^ 
thought I coulde no lesse doo then to adu^rtise you 
therof to thintente that ye knowynge thesame myght and 
may determyn your self therafter. And amongest other 
things as I can p^rceyue it shulde not be vnthankfullie taken 
towards the kinges highnes and your grace yf it were yoz/r 



354 LETTERS OF [1533 

ease and pleasure to repayre to the Courte with Resonable 
spede consyderyng that shortlye my lorde of Norfolke de- 
partyth towards his gret Jorney in Ambassade. Beseching 
your grace to pardon my bolde & Rude wryting whiche I am 
rnovyd vnto For the poore good wyll I b[ear] [yowr] 
grace as knowyth the holye trynyte who preserue your grace 
in longue lyffe good helth wzt/z thincrease of inoche hono?/r 
at London the daye of Aprell. 

43. (CROMWELL) 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 Calvvich in Staffordshire. Gives directions for the 
administration of Strete s office. Cf. Letter 22. 

Maister Strete as hertelye as I Can I commend me vnto 
yow and wher as by my last \etteres I wrott vnto yow in the 
Fauors of Curson and Fyndern to be pr^fferryd vnto the Catell 
and Corn of late belongyng to the pryorye of Colwyche and 
Sythyn that tyme I wrotte vnto yow on the behalf of 
Mr. longford for his preferment vnto the demaynes of the 
sayd late pryorye so hit ys that now 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 
vpponthe demaynes of the sayd late pryorye for this yerewhych 
tythe and Corn Sown vppon the demaynes 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 wzt//out 
any Fauoz^r to be born to anye othre partye and wher as 
I wrott in myn other letter that Curson and Fyndern shold haue 
the pr^ffermentt of the Catell 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 pr<?ffytte & aduaz/ntage. 
I well p^rsayue who grauntyth suchemen an Inche they wyll 
take an ell. I am Inrformyd they avauntc them selfs to haue 
Co^myssyons and graunttey of the kyng which ys vntrew 
I praye yew aduyse them to vse no suche Facyons. Syr the 
kynges highnes trustyth that ye viit/i all spede will bryng up 
the half yeres Ferme and Rcnttey of the Busshopryche which 
I praye yow may be here before his gracyous departyng in 
pr^gresse. 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 discrecyo;z 
suche as may stand -with the kyng^r honour and also to his 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 355 

honest Contentacyon and thus trustyng in your approuyd 
wysdom and experyence Co/mytt all the pr^mysses vnto your 
discrecyon trustyng eu<?r that ye wyll haue respect to your 
dewftie] and charge and also that I may haue short answer 
of thcs and other my !<?//<?res and so Fare ye well at london 
the xiiii tb daye of June 

44. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 706. June 26 (1533). 

Desires him to admit Bartholomew Peters as surgeon of Calais. Will do 
his best to obtain Lisle s requests for the town. 

My lorde after my right hertie rcco/;/mendacions these 
shalbe to adu^rtise [y]o?/r lordeship that where it hathe 
pleased the king^ highnes to gyve and [gjraunte to Bartholo 
mew Petres the rowme of Surgeon in his grace . . . wz t^in the 
towne of Calays, as by a bill signed for that purpose ... ye 
shall receyue of the saide Bartholomew more playnelie shall . . . 
[ajppere I shall therefore requyre your lordeship that insuing 
the teanoz/r purport and effecte of the k mges saide gr^unte 
ye do see the saide Bartholomew admytted into the saide 
rowme when tyme shall requyre accordingly. And concerning 
suche matiers as ye latelie haue written in for the towne of 
Calays, I do not ne shall not cesse to do my best to reduce 
and bryng the same to suche good passe and effecte as shalbe 
thought most requysite and expedient. I trust to your good 
contentacion. And so our lorde p^serue your lordeship in 
long lif and good helth wit/i thincrease of honour. At London 
the xxvi day of June 

\our lordshyppis assuryd 

THOMAS C[RUMWELL] 

I wrytt to your lordeshyp For this berer by the King^ 
expresse Cowmandmentt. 

Add. To the right honourable and his singuler good 
lorde my Lorde Lisle deputie to the King^ highnes of his 
town and marches of Calays 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 them over to the 
Emperor. He is to return with the Emperor s answer. 

First the k mges highnes pleasure is that ye hauing receyued 
your packet of letters and instructions directed vnto Mr. 



356 LETTERS OF [1533 

doctour Hawkyns, shall ymediatelie put yourself in aredynes 
to dep^rte towards the parties of beioynde the See, inserch- 
ing by yo?/r polycie the nerest wayes to suche place where 
it shall happen the Emperour to lye. 

Itm when ye shall repayre to thempro&rs Courte ym- 
mediatly to delyu^r the saide packet vnto the saide Mr. Haw 
kyns with hertie greting^y and salutacions from the king^j 
highnes adu^rtesing him ferther that the king^ pleasure is 
that when tyme shall Requyre, he shall not onelie intymate 
declare and communycate the effects of suche k/teres and in 
structions conteyned in the saide packet, with themproz/r, 
alwayes insuing the teano&r purpose and meanyng of the 
same, But also after his accustomed wisedom dexterite and 
good polycie shall indeuoz/r himself so to propone handle and 
set fourth all things as he by his good discression shall se 
tyme place and occasion So as the same may take effecte 
according to the King^ high trust and expectacion in that 
behalf. 

Itm that after declaracion of the premisses and co/#muny- 
cacz on had at length with themperour in the same, the saide 
Mr. Haukyns shall then if he so thinke good, devise determyn^ 
and conclude with you for your depeche and retoz/rne hither 
with \etteres and instructions purporting suche answeres ar 
ticles and allegacions as by themp^ro//r shalbe answered 
leyed and obiected to those things which the saide Mr. Haw 
kyns shall intymate and declare as is aforsaide on the kynges 
behalf, which being don^ and accomplisshed the kyng^ 
gracious pleasure is that ye shall make all conuenyent haste 
spede and diligence to repayre hither to his grace with the 
same accordingly. 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Endd. mynute. 



46. (CROMWELL) TO (THE MERCHANT 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 Warham. 

Right wellbeloued Frendes I recomend me 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 serutfunt Nicholas Glossop, an olde Auncient of youre 
Felisship of m^rchaunt Taillours a certeyn Annuytie of 
xxvi s. viii d. toward the Sustentacion of his lyvyng for terme 
of his Naturall life. Wherof by his report, he hath be(n) well 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 357 

and truly Answered of a long tyme. Howe be it nowe upon 
the deceas of his said maister, as it ys said, that ye entende 
to withdrawe From hym youre saide Benyuolence and 
graunte, which shulde be to his great Discomfort and 
Hyndraunce. And forasmoche as I bere good Mynde and 
Favour towardes hym And it were 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 my 
sake ye wille not only contynue the payment of the said 
Annuytie to hym for terme of his life according to yo^r said 
graunte, But also of youre larger Benyvolence and charitie 
to encreas the same xiii s. iiii d. more by yere. Wherby in 
myne opynyon, ye shall not only do the thyng whiche may 
be right meritorious to yowe, 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 alle tymes As knoweth god who 
pr^serue yowe. And Further I desire yowe of your good 
Answere in this behalf the morowe Folowing yo//r next 
Courte Day by yowe to be holden at your halle 

Endd. A \ettre for Nicholas glossop. 



47. CROMWELL TO MR. THOMAS ALEN. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 791. July 9 <I533>- 

For failing to pay his debts to Cromwell, and 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 cowmendacz ons 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 Hundreth pounds 
which of gentilnes I lent you but also sufficient bondes and 
suertie for your brother tharchebisshop of Duntlyn concern 
ing the payment of vii l mark^ which he oweth to the k mges 
highnes according to suche bonde as you and other wz t/z you 
stonde bounde in for the complement of the same. For lacke 
and defaulte whereof ye haue forfaited to the king^j highnes 
the Sowme of one thousande mark*?.*- which me thinketh ye 
ought substaunciallye to loke vppon for the king is no person 

1 i. e. 700. 



358 LETTERS OF [1533 

to be deluded nor mocked vritk all. And considering that 
for your sake I so gentillie departed wzt/z my money me 
semeth that reason and good honestie requireth ye should 
se me payed ay en. prayeng you that I may be adu^rtised 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 Raylegh. 



48. CROMWELL AND AUDELEY TO HAWKINS AND 
RANDALL, BAILIFFS OF WEYMOUTH. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 858. July 18, 1533. 

Warrant for the delivery into the nearest prison of six men taken in the 
ship Trinity, of Hull. The goods and the ship are to be delivered 
to William Gonson. 

Wellbelouyd we grete you well, and Where as William 
Gonson of london hathe shewed vnto vs an Indenture datyd 
the viii th daye of June last, made betwene Edward Waters 
and you specyfyeng the deliu^rauns of a Ship namyd the 
Trinite of Hull and Ixiiii Hoggyshedes of gascon wyne with 
dyu*?rs other things therin conteynyd to your Handes. We 
certefye yow that the Kyng his pleasure is that ye shall 
incontynent deliu^r or cause to be deliu^red all things 
conteanyd in the said Indentures to the said Willz tfm Gonson 
or his assignes. and as towching the sixe pryson^rs taken in 
the said Ship and lykewyse deliu^ryd into your kepyng that 
ye deliiw theim into the next pryson to you, ther to be 
surely kepte till the k mges pleasure be to you Further 
knowne vvheche deliu^raunce of Ship and goodes & 
prysoners 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 Reigne of our sou^raigne lorde kyng 
Harry the viii tb . 

THOMAS AUDELEY Kt. chauncelo^r 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To our Welbelouyd \M\\\iam Hawkyns and William 
Randall Baylyffkr of the towne of Waymowthe. 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 359 

49. CROMWELL TO SIR ANTHONY FITZHERBERT 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 my right hertie cowmcndacions Forasmoche as there 
is a Nisipriwj 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 warde Which Nisiprius 
is secretlie sued out and passed without my knowlege so as 
p^rcase the same may be moche pmudiciall vnto me in that 
thing whereunto I haue good iust and lawfull title as ye shall 
apperceyue by suche deades and writings as my Frend this 
berer shall shew vnto you, I therefore considering your 
worshippes and good indifferencies, trusting that ye will do 
me none iniustice in this behalf Do most hertelie require and 
pray you to staye the tryall of the saide Nisiprius, Vntill 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 will 
passe directlie ayenst the trowth. Eftesones therefore most 
hertelie requyring you to provyde and forsee myn indempnyte 
in this parte, And for the good acquytall of your gentilnes 
to be shewed vnto me herein if there be any thing wherein 
my poure powers can extende to do yow pleasure I shall not 
Faile godd willing to accomplisshe the same to the vtterest 
of my lytill power. And so most hertelie Fare ye well. At 
London the xix th day of Julie. 

It may please you to gyve firme credence vnto this berer 
in such things as he shall declare vnto you on my behalf 

Yo&r assuryd Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right worshipfull Mr. Anthony Fitzherberte 
knight one of the kmges iustic^ of his comen benche and 
to Mr. Walter Luke esquier and to either of them. 

50. (CROMWELL) TO MR. MUSTIAM. 

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 co7?zmende me vnto you. And 
in the same wise beseching you at this my poure contemplaczbn 



360 LETTERS OF [1533 

and request to be good master and Frende vnto . . . berar 
hereof, in letting hym to opteyne, and peacably to occupie 
and enyoye the hole effect of a lease of the ferme or parsonage 
of Brokesley, in the p^roche of Detford in the Countie of 
Kent to hym demysed by one Mr. Otywell of Westminst&t 
diseased wzt&out any your further let grief or disturbauns. 
Vntill suche tyme as ye shall knovve further of my will and 
pleasure, and inso doyng ye shall mynyster vnto me right 
singular pleasure. And this hartely fare ye well At London 
this xix day of July 

51. (CROMWELL) 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. 

Maist^r Mvstyam I hertelye cowmende me vnto yow 
adu^rtysing the same that the poore man berer herof hathe 
shewyd me that ye do Intend to do hym wrong in takyng 
From hym the tythe Corn of Brokleye, other wyse wyse 1 
Called west greenwyche whervnto I thinke ye haue no tytyll 
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 l Clayme therin and thus Fare ye well at 
london this xx th daye of July 

52. CROMWELL TO HENRY VIII. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 887. July 23 (1533). 

Reports the examination of certain Friars Observants, who have been 
taken by Cromwell s spies. Two of them would certainly confess 
much if examined by torture. Desires instructions how to proceed. 
Has inquired of Cranmer about the men, as the King desired. 

Please it your highnes to be aduertised that vppon myn 
arryuayle at London I receyued certen k/teres out of the 
North directed vnto your grace from the lorde Dacre. Which 
I haue sent to your maiestee herein closed wz t/z also certen 
letters and Newes sent vnto me from my Lorde Deputie 
of Calays. And touching the Freres obseruantej that were 
wM the prynces dowagier, being subtillie conueyed from thens 
were first espied at Ware by suche espialles as I leyed for 
that purpose, and hauyng good awayte leyed vppon them 
were from thens dogged to London, and there (notwzt>- 
stonding many wyles and cauteles by them invented to 
escape) were taken and deteyned till my cuwmyng home. So 



1 sic. 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 361 

as vppon my anyuayle here I called them before me and 
vppon examynacion of them coulde gather nothing of anye 
momente or grete importaunce, but entring into ferther 
co7munycaab;z founde the one of them a veray sedycious 
person, and so cowmytted them vnto warde where they now 
do remayne till your gracious pleasure knowen. Ymmedy- 
atelie afterwards repayred vnto me the warden of the grey 
Freres of Grenewich who semeth veray desirous to haue the 
punycyon of the saide two Freres, being named Hugh Payne 
and Cornelius, and made grete intercession vnto me to haue 
them delyu^red vnto him, Shewing unto me ferther that the 
mynyster and generall Cowmyssarie of this prouynce of 
Englonde had made out certeyne cowmaundements vnto 
the said Freers willing them by vertue of obedience to 
repayre vnto him to Rychemont to thintent they wold 
haue the correction of them accordinglie. Which co;;z- 
maundement^ 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 wolde haue prevented and taken the saide Freers 
if he had coulde by any meanes, Beseching yotir grace tha[t] 
I may knowe your gracious pleasure Whether I shall kepe 
and de[t]eyne them in warde and bring them wM me at my 
repayree to the courte, or Whether your grace will haue them 
sent ywmedyatelie to any other place or what other direction 
to be taken therein as shall and may stonde \vM your high 
pleasure. It is vndoubted that they haue intended and wolde 
confesse sum grete matier if they might be examyned as they 
ought to be that is to sey by paynes, for I perceyue the saide 
Hugh Payne to be a subtile Felowe and moche gyuen to 
sedycyon. 

I haue also eftesones sent vnto my lorde of Caunterbury 
according to your graczous co;;zmaundement touching the 
dissymuled holynes and supersticious demeanures of the 
Ipocryte Nunne, And haue declared your gracious pleasure 
vnto the Staple whom in maner I do Fynde agreable 
to all things 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 somme of money yerelie, which 
I do stycke vrtt/i them in. and as to morowe they will gyve 
me a resolute answer in the hole. 

And thus I shall daylie pray vnto almightie god for the 

1 i.e. 10,000. 

MERRIMAN. i~] B Q 



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 seruaunt 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. To the kmges royall maiestee. 

53. (CROMWELL) TO AUDELEY. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 894. July 26 (1533). 

Desires him 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 myn^ hartie commendaczbns. 
So it is that the king^ hieghnes hathe lately graunted Vnto 
a seruant of his named Stephen Vaughan a certeyne annuytie 
of xx li 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 owyng by the kynges hieghnes 
xx li 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 from his hieghnes. he hathe desyred me who vn- 
doubtidly do know that his pleasure is that he shulde be 
payde the sayde xx li. to Requyre yow that when his annuytie 
commythe to the greate scale your pleasure maye be to suffer 
it to bere date from Mydsomer Was a yere and that he maye 
by force therof be payde the yere now passed. And doubte ye 
not thus to do. for the king^ pleasure is he shulde be paide the 
xx li due for the yere passed. And I shall alwayse warrant 
yow to be sufficiently discharged and to be blameles for so 
doyng. The saide Stephen had obteyned the king^ warrant for 
the same, oneles his highnes had now sent hym into Germany 
for thexpedicion of certeyn his affayres there. And thus the 
holy trynytie pr^serue your lordeship in long lyfe goode healthe 
and much honour, from London the xxvi daye of July e. 

Add. To the right honourable Sir Thomas Audley knyght 
lord chancelloz/r. 

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 amend his ways. 

My lord after my duetie remewbred, soo it is that I am 
credibly enformed how that ye beryng inwarde grudge 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 363 

disples?/;v to my welbeloued Frend th Abbot of Vavvdy entende 
studie & goo aboutes by sinistre meanes to depose hyme from 
his abbacye for the pr^mocion therunto of oon of your awne 
monkes being the cellerer of your house. My lord I pray you 
vse yo2tr selffe vnto my saide frende as accordeth to yo?/r 
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 
promotion, is nowe by his good policie reduced to good 
& welthy state and condiczon aswell in catoll as in corne 
furnisshed with other requisite & necessaries. Wherfor my 
lord my trust ys that ye wol circumspectly loke therupon 
baring yottr good & lawfull fauo//r unto hyme, like as good 
charitie requireth. And the rather at my disire & request 
ascertaynyng you that I haue at this tyme writen my sem- 
blable k/teres in the fauow of my said frend vnto thabbot 
of fountayns not doubtyng but that he at my requisiczbn wol 
lovingly vse and intreate my said frend in all his busuynes. 
And wher as ye haue vsit/i you a monk of the said house 
of Vawdy oon Dauys Edward Clerke, wiche ye knowe well 
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 lyvynge Wherby ye shall 
doo averay good & charitable dede as knoeth god who kepe 
yow 

Add. To thabbot of Woborn 

Endd. a letters for the abbot of Woborne 

55. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 1064. Sept. i (1533). 

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 recommendation vnto your good 
lordship This shalbe to adu^rtise the same that I have 
resceyved your letteres wherein 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 your lordship the kinges highnes is not a litle 
displeased withe that your desire, but supposith your besynes 
to be veray small that will in any wise ymportune his highnes 
withe any soche matters Sayeng that before this tyme the 
Towne and marches of Calays hathe ben well maynteynyd 
and prospered wzt^out any soche newe devises. And I assure 
your lordship as your frynd to my power that I have great 

B b 2 



364 LETTERS OF [1533 

m^rvayll that ye will so sone enclyne to euery mannys devise 
and .... specially in matiers of small ympor[t] ... ye and 
. . . reportyd . . . nite me on ... causes as me semythe . . . 
nothyng . . . ne gentilwymen, for although my lady be right 
honourable and wise yet yn soche causes as longithe to 
yoz/r auctoritie her advise and discresion can litle prevayle. 
Wherfore I pray your lordship to consider the same, and 
to ymportune the king^ highnes wzt/z 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 
kingly deputie at Calays be thus youen. 



56. CROMWELL TO THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR. 

Huth Library; Cal. vi. 1128. Sept. 15 (1533)- 

Reports the arrival of Danish and Norwegian ambassadors at the Court 
of the Queen Regent of the Netherlands to conclude an alliance. 

Monsieur lambassadez/r Le Roy mon maistre a este aduerty 
par son agent estant en Flandres. Que puisnagueres les 
ambassadeurs de Danemarche Norwege & Hoist au nom du 
conseil et Royaulme de Danemarche, sont arriuez a la court 
de la Royne douagiere de hungz erye regent deflandres auec 
le nombre de xxxii p^rsonnes ou enuiron et co;/zme son dit 
agent peult entendre avecques plain et suffisant pouuoir et 
auctorite A conclure et affermer vne bonne allyance et paix 
auecques Tempere^r et tons ses pais & dominions tant defen- 
siue que offensiue, Aussy autant qu il peult entendre LadzY<? 
Royne & 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 1 espace dung an) II Jurera 
ratifiera & confermera la^ te allyance & Traycte de Paix. 
Desquelles choses le Roy mon dit Mazstre ma commands vous 
aduertir affin que en c^^uenient diligence vous en vuelles 
rescripre au Roy Tres chrestten vostre maistre et Ladviser 
quil seroit bon de penser sur cest affaire et essayer sil Luy 
semble expedient a estoupper leurs propoz et aultreme^t y 
po&rveoir ainsi quil Luy semblera conuenable. A tant Mon 
sieur Lambassade&r apres mestre affect ueuseme/zt 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 365 

mande a vous je prie nostre seigneur quil vous ait en sa 
tressaincte & digne garde. Escript a Stepney le xv jour de 
Septembre 

Wtf/re entier et parfaict amy 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. a monsieur Lambassadewr du Roy Treschr^j/ien 
a Londres 

Endd. de M r . Craumeuelle 



57. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. 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 Commendaczons to your lordshipp 
Whereas heretofore I addressed my \etteres vnto your lordshipp 
at the sute of my seruaunt Bartholomew Bayneham concernyng 
the steye of such good^ 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- 
placzon hereof to suffre thexecuto?/rs of his sayd Father Robert 
Baynam to execute and mynistre according to the meanyng 
of the Testament and last wyll of his sayd Father in as ample 
wise as heretofore they haue doon my sayd former \etterzs 
notwithstanding. And being enformed of your goodnes and 
also of my lad^ of late shewed vnto my sayd seruaunt 
p^rtely 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 which youe doo presently 
extende Vnto him. Wherein ye shall admynystre Vnto me 
Veray acceptable pleasur. And thus Fare you hertely well 
From Stepney the xxi th day of Septembre 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my Veray good lorde my lorde the Viconte Lisle 
Deputie of the king^ Towne of Calaysh and Marches of 
the same. 



366 LETTERS OF [1533 

58. CROMWELL TO RICHARD AND WILLIAM HAYBOURNE. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 1332. Oct. 24 (1533). 

The Lord Chancellor and Cromwell will sit on the dispute between them 
and Elizabeth Colcoke the Friday after All Hallowday. 

I commend me vnto you. Advertising you that it is fully 
determynyd betwixt my lord Chaunceler and me that we will 
sitt vpon the mater in variaunce betwixt E/zzabeth Colcoke 
widowe 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 
"london the xxiiii th day of October. 

Yoz/r Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my frynd^ Richard Haybourne and William 
Haybo&rne be this youen. 

59. (CROMWELL) 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 letters vnto you nowe at this presents 
tyme for the elecczon of a newe Abbote of Ryvaulx wherein 
his grace hathe bene adu^rtised ye haue not heretofore inde- 
vored youreselfoy to thaccomplishemente of the same according 
to his said letterzs and co;;zmaundemente (whereof I m^rvaile 
not a little) that ye wold incurre his high displeasure for the 
none executing of the same, therefore I hertely requyre you 
and neu^rthelesse doo advise you in exchewing of further 
Inconvenyenotf and displeasures that maye thereby ensue 
(all affeccions sette aparte) ye doo accomplishe the said 
elecczon according to the tenoz/r and purporte of his moste 
gracious \etteres directyd vnto you and to the Convente of the 
same monastary in that behalf. And thereby ye shall not 
oonly desmie the k mges moste graaous thanks, 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. 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 367 

60. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 1413. Nov. II (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. 

My lorde after my right hertie cowmendacions I haue 
receyued your lordeshippes letteres And haue prrceyued by 
the same what contencion is arrysen there by meanes of 
a lewde Felowe for a stroke yeven vnto him by Sir Cristofer 
Garnysshe the knight porter, Which matier hath ben debated 
here by the king^ counsaile who pmreyuing the saide stroke 
was yeven but onelie for correction and for none entente to 
breke any law 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 Cristofer should 
be put to any molestacion for the same. Wherefore your 
lordeship may let it passe and wey it as it is And so our 
lorde pr^serue your lordeship in long lif and helth vfitk moche 
honour At London the xi day of Nouember. 

[I] do also hertelie thanke your lordsship for yotir grete 
chere made to my s^ruaunte [Willjyam Johnson and to this 
gentilman straungier for whom 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. 

Your lordshyppis assuryd Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honourable and his singuler good 
lorde the lorde vicount Lisle deputie to the k mges highnes 
of his towne and marcheis of Calays. 

Endd. M. Crowwell the xi th of novewbr 

61. CROMWELL 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 cowmende me vnto your good 
lordship. And where as my frynd John Cooke the king^f graces 
seruaunt berer herof hath and holdeth a Ferme of yours 
calltd 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 letters 
that ye will graunte vnto the saide John Coke a newe lesse 
of the saide ferine vnder your Conventuall Scale for terme of 
Ix yeres paying vnto you and your Successours the accus- 
tumable 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 shewed vnto hym and other that hathe byn wz tA hym to 
do the k mges highnes seruice at the See muche Jentylnes and 
lib^ralitie, for the whiche ye have deserved the king^r right 
harty thankij. And therfore I for my parte hartylye thanke 
you And of your conformable mynde herin I pray you to 
adu^rtise me in wrytyng by this berer. And thus fare ye 
hartylye welle. At london the vi th day of December. 

Your lordshyppis Freend. 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the reu^rend 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 Commend me vnto you 
Adu^rtis[ing] the Same that the kinges pleasure is that 
Robert Bonvell merchaunt of parys sholde Repayre into this 
Royalme Towards his highnes with c^rteyn Juelks wherfore 
his speciall Cowmaundment is that ye seing the same Jewells 
do make Therof a Specyall note by bylles Indentyd betwyxt 
you and the Seid m<?rchaunt mensyonyng Query p^rcell 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 
wit/tin, this Royalm that he shall therfore paye Custom as 
Reason is and for that he Cannot Sell here to carry A waye 
wtt/i hym A gayne witftoute payeng therfore any Custom or 
other dutes Wherfore I requyre you takyng Surety in case 
he do make Sale to paye the Custom accordyngly That ye do 
p<?rmytt & Suffer the same m^rch#unt wz t/z the Same 

1 j/V, see Notes. 



I 533] THOMAS CROMWELL 369 



to discharge And vnlade the Same Accordyng to the 
Effects hereof 
The coppy of Mr. Crumwell^r letters Sygned wz[t//] hys hand. 

63. DRAFTS OF PORTIONS OF CROMWELL 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 shewyd in the dylygent 
wryting to me of your newse and according to your request 
I presentyd your letteres vnto my lorde of Norffolk^j grace 
who I assure yow ys singuler good lorde vnto yow and 
wher ye wryt in your Fyrst k/teres . . . 

Memorandum concerning the resignation of the chantry of Barking 
Church, in Essex. 

M d 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 William Cowplaunde my freind. 

End of a letter, urging care and perseverance in reporting important 
matters, and promising favour. 

. . . thus Fare ye hertelye well trusting that ye will perseuere 
as ye haue bego;m I meane so Freindlye and secretlye as thes 
things that shall passe betwene vs may be pr^ffytable to vs 
bothe so that your wryting matyers of grauytie & Importaunce 
wherin maye be persayued good will myxyd wtt/i wisdom and 
trowthe I then l may haue Corage as an entyre frende 2 to 
prosecute For your forderaunce & aduauncement with recu- 
peracyon of that which I am sure ye most desyre which as 
I shall See opportunyte I will not undowtydlye forget and 
ons agayn Fare well 3 daylye lokyng For answer 

64. (CROMWELL) TO CHRISTOPHER MONT. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 1374. (1533.) 

Encloses two letters from 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 



Felowe Cristofer I cowmende me vnto you And albeit 
sythen your departure ye haue not receyued any letteres or 
instructions from the kinges maiestee concerning the execucion 

1 c. o. be the bolder, must ned&r 2 c. 0. the more boldlye 
be cowpellyd 3 c. o. praying 



370 LETTERS OF [1533 

of suche his gracious affayrees as his highnes incow/mended 
to you at your departure Yet thinke ye not that your Indus 
trie labour travayle and diligence Vsed aswell in the setting 
fourth of his graces busynes, Whereof ye were sufficiently 
instructed at your saide departure as also in your diligent 
wrytyng often and Frequent aduertisementey is put in any 
oblyuyon or forgotten But for the same his maiestee hathe 
cowmaunded me to gyve vnto you his grac^r right hertie 
thanks. And in this packet ye shall receyue two L^/^res 
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 L?/teres (to 
th intent ye shalbe the more rype to answer 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 effects of the 
same, as shall apperteyne. And forasmoche as here hathe 
ben the Secretarye of the duke of Bauarie who is named 
Mr. Hubertus Thomas by whom the klnges 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 indeauo&r 
your self vritk all diligent Circumspection to explore enserche 
and knowe the state of the hole countrey of Germany and of 
their myndes intents and inclynacions towards the k mges 
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 intents of the prynce of Germany 
and of the Germaynes how they be inclyned aswell towards 
themperoz/r as the king of Romaynes. Being contynuallie 
vigilant and diligent in wryting to the kyng^ maiestee of 
all thinges and occurrauntey then according to his gracious 
trust and expectacion And because I wolde not haue you 
to lacke money ye shall receyue herewzt# a bill of exchange 
for the some of xxx li. 

Endd. A copy of a letters to Cristofer Mount. 



65. (CROMWELL) TO HENRY VIII. 

R. O. Cal. vi. 1369. (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 Royall magestye to be adu^rtysyd how 
that reparyng horn warder oone of my lorde chauncelers 



1533] THOMAS CROMWELL 371 



seruaunttes met wM me and delyumd me your warrauntt^ 
Signyd wM the hande of the prynces dowager which warrauntt 
I do send to yoz/r grace herin Inclosyd what your plesure 
shalbe to haue done therin being ons known I shall right 
gladlye accowplyshe I haue also Sythyn my repayre to 
london spokyn \vitk Freer Lawraunce who hathe Sethens his 
Repayre to london herde dyuers things touching the holye 
mayde which he wyll declare to yowr hygnes and to non other 
and he Shewyth me also that that 1 therbe ij strange Freersof 
the order of obseruanttes latelye repayryd into this Realm e 
which ij Freers haue exploryd here For all suche bokes 
centencys and determynacyons as hathe passyd touching 
your hygnes Matrymonye, which they Intend with other 
pryvey practysys to Convey \vit/i them, to Freer Petow who as 
I am Credyblye Informyd Sent them into this your Realme 2 
the sayd ij Freers as I am acertaynyd haue browght vrttfc 
them pryuy letters to dyuers and now bene gone to the 
sayd 3 dowager, in my poore oppynyon it shalbe right well done 
that thaye might be sent For by Som*? trustye person howbeit 
yt were best that theye Fyrste sholde be sufferyd to speke 
wzt/z her and suche other of hers as woolde p^raduenture 
delyuer to them anything wherby theyr Ferther practysys 
myght be p^rsayuyd and so thayr Cankeryd Intentter myght 
be therbye dyscyfferyd. I am also Infformyd that there ys 
A merchant of london whiche dothe practyse wit/i them in 
thes premysses I shall goo veray nere to haue knowlage 
therein yf it be trew he ys worthye to Suffer to make other 
beware in tyme he ys of good Substaunce. I wooll thys daye 
goo abowt to know the trowthe, thes things woold be met 
wit/i all in tyme and the sonner the better. I trust your 
highnes wyll by this berer adu^rtyse me in wrytyng what 
shalbe your plesure touching as well the sayd Falls Freers 
as also towching of the sayd dowager s warranter. I haue 
also Sent to your grace on^ acquytance to be assigned for 
the xxiiij** thousande Crowns dew to your highnes for the 
resedew of the emperowrs dett and also A warrant to your 
chanceler For the Sealyng of the same which warrantt and 
acquytazmce 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 acquy townees for your ordynarye 
pencyon and Sale ben allredye Signed and Sealyd. and this 
the Hollye trynyte to whom I shall contenewallye praye to 
pfrserue your highnes in long lyff and most prosperous helthe 
i 



sic. 



c. o. I trust to get owt the Roote of his practyse 



5 c. o. prynces 



372 LETTERS OF [1534 

and send the same the vyctorye with honour over all your 
Enemyes. 

Endd. ij mynutey of my Masters letters with my lord 
chancelo&rs. 



66. CROMWELL TO <CRANMER>. 

B. M. Harl. MSS. 6148, f. 81 ; Cal. vii. 19. Jan. 5 (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 cowmendaczons 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 coweniente celeritie to send vp hither Mr. heth, 
whome for his Lerning, good gravitie and circu;^spect[i]on 
the kyng^ highnes entendeth to send into the parties of 
Garmany in Ambassade to treate ther with the prince of 
Germany, as well in the kynges great cause of Matrymony As 
in other causes p^rteynyng to the Welth of this Realme And 
forasmoche as your grace knoweth the grounde, veray iustnes, 
and equitie of the kyng^y said cause, his Highnes requereth 
you to instructe the said Mr Hethe in the same as he may be 
Ryppe and perfite in the knowlege of the nolle circumstaunc^j 
of the same And that for lake of inst[r]uctzon when tyme shall 
com to propone the matier it Appere not hym to be vnp^rfaite 
and remysse to do suche s^ruice v;zto the kynges Maiestie in 
that behalf as shalbe to his gracious truste and expectaczbn 
which his highnes nothyng at all doubtith. Howbeit your 
graces adu^rtisement and good instruction arrected vnto the 
said Maister Heth shall vndoubtedly make hym more rype 
and perfite in the premisses to do that thing that may be 
moche 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 
ihynges in the said parties of Germany, concernyng the 
Auctoryte of the Bisshop of Rome. 

Your gracys Bedisman 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 373 

67. (CROMWELL) TO HENRY VIII. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 73. January (1534). 

Reports the passage in the Commons of the Act forbidding any man 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 your most Royall Mageste to be adu^rtysyd 
how that according to your most highe pleasure and com- 
maundeme;/t I haue made serche for suche patently and 
grauntys as your highnes and also the most Famous kyng 
your father whos Sowle our lorde pardon haue grauntyd 
vnto sir Rychard Weston knyght your vndertesawrer of 
your exchequer and the same haue sent to your highnes herin 
closyd yt may also please your most Royall Mageste to 
knowe how that yesterdaye ther passyd your Commons a byll 
that no person within this your Realme shall herafter kepe 
and Noryshe aboue the Nombre of twoo thousand shepe and 
also that the eight parte of eu^rye mans lande being a Fer- 
mour shall for euer herafter be put in tyllage yerlye which 
byll yf by the gret wysdom vertuew goodnes and zerale * 
that your highnes beryth towards this your Realme might 
haue good Successe and take good effect Amongyst your lord^j 
aboue I doo Coniecture and Suppose in my pore Symple and 
vnworthye Judgement that your highnes shall do the most 
noble proffyttable and most benefycyall thing that euer was 
done to the Cowmone welthe of this your Realme and shall 
therby Increase suche welthe in the same amongyst the gret 
Nombre & multytude for your most louyng and obedye[nt] 
Subiectys as neu^r was Seane in this Realme Sythen Brewtyse 
tyme most humblye prostrate at the Fete of your Magnify- 
cence beseche your highnes to pardon my boldnes (in) this 
wry tyng to your grace which onlye pr^cedythe for the trowthe 
dewtye allegaunce and loue I doo bere to your mageste and 
the Common welth of this your Realme as our lorde knowyth 
vnto whom I shall as I am most bounden Incessantly e praye 
for the contenewans & p?^sperous cons^ruacyon of your most 
excellent most Royall and Imperyall estate long to Indure 

68. (CROMWELL) TO (FISHER). 

B. M. Cleop. E. iv, f. 101 ; Cal. vii. 238. (Feb. 1534.) 
Reproves him at length for his communications with the Nun of Kent, 
and replies to seven reasons given by Fisher for not reporting her 
revelations to the King. Advises him to lay aside excuses, and beg 
the King s mercy. 

My lorde in my right hertie wise I cowmende me to your 
lordship doing you to vnderstand that I haue receyued your 



1 sic. 




\ r i 
^ fjBRARY U 

vv /py 




374 LETTERS OF [1534 

\ettetes dated at Rochester the xviij th of this moneth. In 
whiche ye declare what craft and cunnyng ye haue to persuade 
and to set a good countenaunce vpon an yl mater. Drawing 
som scripture to your purpose whiche wel weyed acording 
to the placer whereof they be taken, make not so muche for 
your purpose as ye allege thaim 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 word^j or terrible 
threte.y 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 \etteres is far insufficient to 
prove that ye haue deserued no hevy word^j in this behalf 
and to sey playnly I sent you no hevy word^ but wordes 
of great comfort wylling your brother to shewe you how 
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 folowed, rather than to haue writen 
thes k/teres to me excusing your self as thoughe there were 
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 
whiche 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 conceling of the numiys 
fals and faynid reuelations, and of your manyfold sending of 
your chapley[n] vnto her, by a certey;* intent whiche ye 
pretende yourself to haue had, to knowe by cowmonyng 
wM her or by sending your chapellaine to her, whether her 
reuelations were of god or no. alleging diu^rse scriptures, that 
ye were bound to pr^ve thaim, and not to reiecte thaim affore 
they were pr^ued My Lord whether ye haue vsed a due 
meane to trie her and her reuelations, or no. It appereth by 
the pr*?cesse of your owne \etteres. For where ye write that ye 
had conceyuid a greate opinion of the holines of the woman 
for many considerations rehersed in your letteres comprised in 
vi articles, whereof the first is grownde vpon the brute and 
fame of her, the secunde vpon her entreng into religion after 
her trauns^y and disfiguration, the third vpon rehersall that 

1 <:. o. a marginal comment as follows : I began to marke the notable 
poiuctes of his letteres 



3534] THOMAS CROMWELL 375 

her gostly father being lerned and religious shuld testifie that 
she was a maide of greate holmes. The fourth vpon the 
report that diuerse other vertuose presto me of good lernyng 
and reputation, shuld so testifie of her, with whiche gostly 
father and preestes ye never spake as ye confesse in your 
letters. The fyveth vpon the prayse of my late lord of 
Canter&ury, which shewed you (as ye write) that she had 
many greate visions the sixt vpon this saing of the pr<?phete 
Amos, Non faciet dominus deus verbum, nisi reuelauerit 
secretuw suum ad seruos suos pr^phetas by whiche con 
siderations ye were induced to the desire to know the very 
certente of this mater, whether the reuelations whiche were 
pretended to be shewed to her from god were true reuelations 
or nott ? your lordship in al the sewgle 1 of your \etferes shewe 
not that ye made no ferther trial vpo[n] the trueth of her and 
her reuelation, but only in cowmonyng with her and sending 
your chapellaine to her, with Idle questions as of the thre 
mary magdalens. by whiche your co?;zmony[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 
weyes more easely than with coramonyng with her or sending 
to her ; for litel credens was to be gyven to her affirmyng her 
owne fayned reuelations to be from god. 

For if credence shuld be gyven to Query suche lewd person 
as wold affirme himself to haue reuelations from god what 
redyer wey were there to subuert al common we[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 
palate ye shuld haue examined (as other haue) suche sad 
and credible persons as were present att her traunses & 
disfigurations, not one or two, but a good number by whoes 
testimony ye shuld haue pr^ued whether the brutes of her 
trauncs and disfigurations were true or not And likewise 
ye shuld haue tried by what craft and persuasion she was 
made a religious woman. 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 wel lerned gostly father 
(as ye cal him) or this tyme : and also with the vertuose, and 
wel lerned preestej (as they were estemed) of whoes reaportej 



1 sic. 



376 LETTERS OF [1534 

ye were informed by thaim whiche herd thaim speke 1 ye 
wold 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 communi 
cations wM 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, 
For 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 consummation and thende of thold testament and sythens 
the passion of Christ god hathe doen many greate and notable 
things in the worl[d]e, whereof he shewed no thing to his 
prophetes that hath cowmen to the knowlege of men. My 
lord all thes thinges moved you not to gyve credence vnto 
her, but only the very mater whereupon she made her fals 
pr^ficyes 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 kingly graces marriage 
whiche he now enjoy eth 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 yere^, where ye dwelt not from her but 
xx mylys, in the same shire, where her traunses and dis 
figuring^ and pr^phecyes in her traunses were surmised and 
countrefeyd. And if p^rcaas ye wol sey (as it (is) not 
vnlike but ye wol sey mynded as ye were wont to be) that 
the maters be not like, for the Law of god in your opinion 
standeth with the one and not wM 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 wztn his owne Law, as 
-with the 2 Israelites spoyling the egiptians and wzt/z Jacob to 
haue iiij wifes, and suche other 3 . 

Think you my lord that any indifferent man considering 
the qualite of the mater and your affeccion, and also the 
negligent passing over of suche lawful triall^y as ye myght 

1 c. o. -with whom ye never spake soeu^r ye sey or write for yourself, 
as in your lettres [ye say] the begynning of yo^r letters for 

2 c. o. Egiptians your . . . g 
J c. o. And suerly my lord what 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 377 

haue had of the said nunne and her reuelations, is so dull, 
that can not perceyue and discerne. that your commonyng 
and often sending to the said nun 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 wol be 
hard for you to purge yoz/rself bifore god or the worle, but 
that ye haue been in greate defaut hering beleuyng and con- 
celing suche things as tended to the destruction of the prince 
And that her reuelations wen? bent and purposed to that 
ende . it hathe been duely pr<?ued, affore as greate assembly 
and counsel of the lordes of this realme as hath been seen 
many yeres heretofore out of a parliament. And what the 
said lordes demed thaim worthy to suffer, whiche had beleued 
and conceled thees fals reuelations be more terrible than any 
thretej spoken by me to your brother 

And where ye go abought to defende that ye be not to be 
blamed for conceling her reuelations co;/cernyng the kinges 
grace, bicause ye thought it not necessary to reherse thaim 
to his highnes. for vij causes folowing in your le^eres affore 
I shewe you my mynde concernyng thees causes, I suppose 
that albeit ye percaas thought it not necessary to be shewed 
to the prince by you . yet that your thinking shal not be 
your triall, but the Law must diffine whether ye owghted to 
vtter it or not. 

And as to the first of said vii causes. Albeit 1 she told 
youe that she had shewed her reuelations concernyng the 
kinges grace to the king herself, yet her seyng or others dis 
charged not you but that ye were bound by your fidelite to 
shewe to the kinges grace . that thing whiche semed to con- 
cerne his grace and his reigne so nyghly . for how knew you 
that she 2 shewed thes reuelations to the k mges grace but by her 
owne seyng, to whiche ye shuld haue gyven no suche credence 
as to forebere the utterance of so greate maters concernyng 
a kir\ges welth And why 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 other thing els. Veryly my lord what so euer your 
Judgement 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 temporal lord shuld put the kinges grace 

1 c. <?. it was told or els 3 c. o. or any other 

MERRIMAN. I C C 



378 LETTERS OF [1534 

in dainger of his crowne yet there were weyes Inoughe, by 
whiche her said reuelations myght haue put the kinges grace 
in dainger, as the foresaid counsel of lordly . haue substan- 
cially and duely considered And therefor Albeit she shewed 
you not the meanes whereby the dayng^r shuld ensue to the 
kinges [grace] yet . ye were neverthelesse bounden to shevve 
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 
were conspired against a certen tyme, and wold ferther shewe 
you, that he were sent from his maist^r to shewe the same to 
the king and wol sey ferther vnto ,[you] that he wold go 
streyct to the king, were it not yet your duety to certifie the 
king^r 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 nu?me shewed youe, it was her 
messaige from god to be declared by her to the king^ grace. 

To the iiii th here ye translate the temporal duety that ye 
owe to your 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 pmll and punissheme^t of syn in an other 
worlde, the co7/celeme?/t whereof p^rteyneth to the Judgement 
of god, but the co^celeme^t of this mater p^rteyneth to other 
iudges of this realme. 

To the v th ther could no blame be arrested to you if ye had 
shewed the nuwnys reuelations to the kinges grace, albeit 
they were afterward found fals for no man owght to be blamed 
doing his duety And if a man wold 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 mischief were never Imagined. 

To the sixt . co;/cernyng an Imagination of master Pacy. 
It was knowen that he was beside himself, and therefore they 
were not blamed that made no report thereof, but it was not 
lik in this caas For ye toke not this nu;me for a mad woman, 
for if ye had ye wold not haue gyven vnto her so greate 
credence as ye dyd. 

To the final and vii th cause where ye lay l vnto the charge 
of our sou^raine, that he hath vnkyndly entreacted you . with 
grevous woi des and terrible letters for shewing his grace 
trowthe in his greate mater, whereby ye were discomforted to 
shewe vnto him the nu;mys reuelations. I beleue that I know 
the king^ 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 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 379 

pressed in your letters. And what so eu^r the k mges grace 
hath sayed or writen vnto you heretofore, yet that notwzt//- 
stonden, yc were neverthelesse bounden to vtter to him thecs 
pernicious reuelations. 

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 vvyl not lose your soule, but ye wyl speke as yo^r 
conscience ledeth you vfiik many moo word^r of greate 
curraige. My lord if ye had taken my counsel sent vnto 
you by your brother and folowed the same, submitting 
yourself by your letters to the kingly grace for your offenses 
in this behalf, I wold haue trusted that ye shuld never be 
quykkened in this mater more. But now where ye take 
vpon you to defewde the hole mater as ye were in no default. 
I cannot so far premise you 1 . And suerly my lord if the 
mater com to triall : yowr owne confession in thes letters 
beside the wittnes whiche be against you wolbe sufficient to 
co/zdemne you Wherefor my lord I wol eftsones aduise you 
that laying apart al suche excuses as ye haue alleged in 
your letters whiche in myn 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 your 
negligence ouersight and offence committed 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 towching the speking of your conscience, it is thought 
that ye haue writen and haue spoken as muche as ye can . 
and . many things (as som right probably beleaue) against 
your owne conscience. And men report that at the Last 
conuocation ye spake many things whiche ye could not wel 
defende. And therefor it is not greatly ferede what ye can 
sey or write in that mater, howsoeuer ye be quykkened or 
strayted And if ye had taken etc. 

69. (CROMWELL) TO (THE SHERIFF OF YORKSHIRE). 

R. O. Cal. 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 commend 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. 

C C 2 



380 LETTERS OF [1534 



whyche in his lyffe helcle of the king^j grace certayne 
and tenements in the County of Yorke In Capite. And by 
cause that the kyng^ righte shall not be hydde ne cloked 
It 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 Donham 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 
kyng^y excheto^r 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 11 
daye of march. 

Endd. mynute of a \ettete. 

70. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 348; -Cal. vii. 535. Apr. 24 (1534). 

Requests for a friend the advowson of the parsonage of St. John s of Sh er- 
borne, in Hampshire, the yearly value of which is 10 or n pounds. 

My Lord in my right hertie wise I co^mende me to you. 
And as I haue been, and wolbe glad and redy, to do you 
suche pleasirc 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 p^rsonaige of S. Jhons of [Shire] borne in 
hampshir^ being of your gift . whiche is of the yerely value 
of x or xj 11 and not aboue (as I am informed) by the gyft 
whereof ye shal shewe vnto me a right acceptable pleasire . 
whiche I wol not forgete when I may in recompense thereof . 
do the thing that may be to your co/ztentation. And of 
your beniuolent mynd in this behalf, I desire you not only 
to certifie me by your next writing but also to direct your 
letters to your vicar gen^rall and to the prio&r and comment 
of your churche . for thexpedition thereof to be made in due 
forme, and to be delluered vnto me wM suche spede as 
shall pleace you to co;;zmaunde thaim . the xxiiij th day of 
Aprile. 

Your lordshippis assuryd freei^d 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my verey loving Lord my lord of wynchester. 
Edd. the xxiiij of April Mr. Secretary 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 381 

71. (CROMWELL) TO (CRANMER). 

R. O. Cal. vii. 500. {Apr. 1534.) 

The King considers it expedient that More 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. 

My Lorde after myne humble commendations it may 
please your grace to be adu^rtesed that I haue receyued 
your \ettevQs and shewed the same to the kinges highnes who 
p^rceyuing your mynde and opynyon is that it were good 
that the bisshop of Rochester and Mr. 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 
were an occasion to all men to refuse the hole or at the lest 
the lyke. For in case they be sworn 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 king^ second mariage 
wherefore to thintent that no such things should be brought 
into the heddes of the people by the ensample of the saide 
Bisshop of Rochester and Mr. More the kingly highnes in 
no wise willeth but that they shalbe sworn aswell to the 
preamble as to the acte of Succession l in no maner of wyse 
Wherfore his grace specyallye trustyth that ye wyll in no 
wyse Suppose attempt or move hym to the Contrarye For 
as hys grace Suppossyth that that maner of Sweryng 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 

Endd. mynute. 

72. CROMWELL 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 cowmende me unto youe And 
wheras ye haue nowe in your handes and disposiczbn again, 
the ferme of Oxinbold 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 your graces approved wisedom 
to effecte the king&r highnes hath and dexteryte and thus the holie 
specyall trust and expectacion in trynyte . . . 



382 LETTERS OF [1534 



to Mr. Norreys vnder your convent seale for the 
terme of xl yeres yelding and payeng vnto yow suche rent for 
the same, as his father whiche was fermo?/r therof hertofore 
paid vnto your monastery 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 adu^rtise me by your Letteres with 
spede of your preceding in this Behaulf And thus Fare you 
hartely well From Stepnaye the first daye of Maye 

Your Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my loving freendes the prior and Convent of 
the Monastery of Wenlok. 

73. CROMWELL TO DR. SAMPSON. 

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 commendations Foras- 
moche as my lorde of Chester is not onelie destitute of Myter 
Crosier and other things necessarie but also shall to morowe be 
enbusied and occupied aboutef 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 
app^rtyneth 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. Doctor Sampson dean 
of the kinges chappell be this youen. 

74. CROMWELL TO THE SENATE AND CONSULS 

OF LUBECK 1 . 

B. M. Vit. B. xxi, f. 107 ; Cal. vii. 707. May 24, 1534. 

On behalf of William Gilbank, whose ship was captured near Sandwich 
and taken to Liibeck, with goods worth 53 pounds sterling. 

{Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angliae, et Franciae, fidei 
defensor, ac "Dominus Hiber[niae] . . . Consulibus, et} Senator- 

1 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 CROMWELL 383 

{ibus}es Ciuitatis Lubiceom- etc. Amici{s} T\0stri{s] Carw- 
j/mi{s} {salutem} plunmafw Salutetn et Commen . . . 

Nuper apud {nos} . . . humiliter conq[uestus est] . . . s, ac 
fidelis {noster potentissimi nostri Regis} eius subditus Willel- 
mus gylbanke <\uod quum superioribus mensibus nauis quae- 
dam cui Hugo ship . . . [praejerat, ex harmyvve Zelandiae vico 
hoc {nostrum} inclytum Regnum uersus nauigatura soluerat, 
ac varij generis merces ad u[alorem] . . . quinquaginta trium 
librar//?;/ sterlingorum in ea onerasset, commercij givz/z a 
hue aduecturus, accidit, ut dicta nauis iam . . . [njauiga- 
tionis cursu {et nostrum] in eiusdem serent ssimi Domini 
nostr\\\ Regis portuw Sandwicensem ferme ingressa, a vcstra 
Classe quae belli praetextu, quod aduersus hollandos . . . bat, 
per hoc {nostrum} mare excurrebat capta. et una cum dicti 
{nostri subditi} WilWmi bonis, ac mercibusin ciuitatew istam 
vestram . . . abducta fuit ; erit longe quidem praeter veterew 
mutuamq/^ {nostram} amicitiam cum Serr;//^/ma hac Regia 
Maiestote, et ingenti {eiusdem subditi nostri Wilk/mi eius sub- 
di[ti]} prefati sui subditi detrimento, id q[u]od quum inscijs 
vobis a wj/rae classis praefectis {commissum fuerit, volui r 
mus} eadem Regia M^V^tas commissum fuisse plane credat, 
iussit ut suo nomine nvs/ris his \itfer\s hanc causam vobis 
imp^j^ntia commendaremus : Vos igitur quos pro intimis 
amicifs] habet impense rogat, ut pro vest[ro] erga iustas quas- 
que causas studio, pro mutuaqz^ {nostra.} secum coniunctione, 
vestrz. authoritate efficere velitis <\uod praedicta bona sic 
ablat[a] eidem {nostro subdito} Wilklmo uel eius procurator! 
in integrum restitua;ztur, id quod {ut nobis} ut [ejidem 
Regie Mates tati maxime gratum, et iustitiae consentane[um] 
erit, ita {nos} ipsam ad parem beneuolentiam erga subditos 
v^tros, data occasione, exhibendam propensior ardentiorque 
{efficiem[ur]} reddetur. Et bene valete. Ex Regia nostrz. 
Richemondiae Die xxiiij Maij MDXXXIHI. 

De nobis vero possunt v^/^ates ownes in iustis suis hie 
occurrentib.y negocijs ap^d ha[c] Regia?^ MazV.y/tftem omne 
humanitatis omcium sibi polliceri quod suo loco et tempore 
cumulate pr^z^stabim[u]s 

Vester bonus amicus 

THOMAS CRUMWELL 

Add. Magnijicis Domtnis Consulibus, et Senatoribus Ciui 
tatis Lubicen.V etc. Amicis nostris Carissimis. 



384 . LETTERS OF . [1534 

75. CROMWELL TO MR. SAPCOTTES. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 790. 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. Sapcotto I cowmende me vnto you. And For as 
moche as ye were executour and admynistratoz/r of the good*?.? 
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 my Wteres for that matier \\iih 
other things that I haue to sey vnto you ye do put your self 
in a redynes to repayre vnto me wM all conuenie^t celeryte. 
And at your cowmyng ye shall knowe Farther of the kinges 
pleasure. So Fare ye well From my house at Canbery the 
iiii tb day of June 

Yoz/r Freend 

i 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To his louing frend Mr. Henry Sapcotter be this 
youen at Lyncoln. 



76. CROMWELL TO THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY. 

Ellis Letters, 2nd Ser. 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, answered 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 Hermite unto 
you agayn, there befor the Justices of Assise to be tryed and 
to th exemple of all other to be punyshed according to right 
and the King s lawes. I thank evermor your Lordeship for 
your good 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] THOMAS CROMWELL 385 

I beseche our holy Creator to sende you prosperite and long 
liffe. From Cheleshith this xiij th of July. 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my very good Lord Therle of Shrewesbury 
Lorde Stuarde to the Kings Ma tie . 



77. 



(CROMWELL) 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 ma.ner I cowmend me vnto you and 
where as I am enfourmed that one p<?rcyvall worme, wylliam 
Corneforthe John bygott and wylh ^m dobson lately co;;z- 
mytted a detestable mourdo^r in the Countye of Yorke and 
beyng Indyttyd /V^erof thei ther vpon flede into Scottlond 
where as ///ei //*er Remayned as yt ys thought tyll now of late, 
that thei lyttyll dreadyng god nor the lawes of this Realme 
arne comme into the byschopryche of Durham wher as thei 
doo Ryde in all plac^y therof at ther pleasures to the greate 
boldnes and p^ryllous example of all other suche [ev]yll dys- 
posed p^rsonnes. And therfor my mynd ys that ye wit/i 
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 //ze lawes acquyted or otherwyse 
dyscharged as ye wyll aunswere to the kynges highnes at 
your p^ryll. Wretyn at my house in london /,&e xx th day of 
July. 

78. (CROMWELL) TO THE ABBOT OF (ST. AUSTIN S 

IN CANTERBURY). 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1007. July 25 (I533 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 reco;;zmende me vnto you etc. and 
where as George Goldwyn the brynger hereof hathe byn 
A continuall sutoitr vnto me A great tyme to haue A Warde 
made betwene you and hym 2 I shall hertelye desire & praye 
you vppon the sight hereof to take some reasonable waye 

1 sic, see Notes. 

2 c. 0. which 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 
co?/tynuall Sute and whereas his Father myght haue had l of 
yottr lordshyp & your predecesso&r dyuers offers who alwayes 
refused them yet neu^rtheles me thinkyth yo>ur lordshyp now 
can no lesse doo then to graunte hym so moche in con 
sciens 2 as ye woolde have yovyn his Father For he ys moche 3 
chargyd wzt/ the dettey of his Father as he affirmyth and also 
wz t/z the Fyndyng of his Brethern and sisterne 4 . Whereffor 
in myn oppynyon it shalbe well doon that ye take an ende 
w/t/z hym Yow know his Father dyed in pryson at yoz/r Sute 
and thus cowmyttyng this matyer to god & your Conscyens 
& thanking yow For my hawke & bydde yow hertelye Fare 
well at london the xxv 11 daye of July 

Endd. mynute of a letters. 

79. CROMWELL TO LORD COBHAM. 

B. M. Harl. MSS. 283, f. 203 ; Cal. vii. App. 33. July 30 (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 yo^r good lordship yn my right harty 
maner, Adu^rtisyng you that I have receyvyd your \etterzs 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 whome ye write if ye send theym hither 
I wil be contentyd to common wzt& theym and to do 
therin as the case shall requyre. I pray your lordshyp to 
have me co^mendyd vnto my good lady in my right harty 
maner and so to geve hir thanks 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 lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL 

Add. To my very good lord my lord Cobham this be 
delyu^ryd. 

1 c. 0. and good chargyng of your consciens I pray 

1 c. 0. to consider the said offers you at my Desire to yeve vnto hym 

vnto his sone a c 11 . whiche youe toke of his Father 

3 c. 0. he is greatly charged wz t^ And ferder to yeve vnto hym some 
his Fathers Dettes & also wz tfc his other Rewarde hereafter as you 

4 c. 0. whzV/z ys a great charge shall thynke in consciens mete for 
vnto hym wherfore my Lorde in dis- hym 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 387 

80. CROMWELL TO THE MAYORS AND OFFICERS OF 
SOUTHAMPTON, PORTSMOUTH, AND POOLE. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1132. Sept. 4 (1534). 

Asks assistance for two men who are going into those parts on the King s 
business. 

I commend me vnto you. (and) Advertise you that the 
king^ highnes at this tyme dothe send George Whelpeley 
and John Brawne about certayne besynes geven vnto theym 
in charge to be done in those parties, \\iih soche spede and 
diligence as they convenyently may requyryng you and eu<?ry 
of you to permytt and suffer the same George and John to 
execute and do in eu^ry thyng, as the kyng^r grace hath 
cowmaundyd theym wrtAout any yo^r ympedyment^ let or 
interupcion in and about the same. And in case any ill 
disposed p^rsone or prrsones 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 THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the Mayres Sheriffs and Bayliffes Custumers 
Comptrollers and Serchoz/rs wzt/zin the townes and porter of 
Suthampton Portesmouthe and Pole and eu^ry of theym and 
the Crek^j belongyng to theym and eu^ry of theym this be 
youen. 

Endd. My m 3 *. k//^re for George Whelpeley 



81. CROMWELL TO SIR ROGER REYNOLDS, ROBERT WOLF, 

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 adu^rtise you 
that the king^ pleasure is that ye ywmediately vppon the 
sight of these my letteres shall repayre hither to answer vnto 
suche things as then shalbe leyed and obiected to you on 
the king our saide sou^reigne lordly behalf. Fayle ye not 
thus to do as ye will avoyde ferther perill and inconuenyence. 



388 LETTERS OF [1534 

So Fare ye well From my house at Canbery the vi th day of 
Septembre. 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To Sir Roger Reynolds priest blaster of the Hos- 
pitall of Saynt Johns in Huntingdon Robert Wolf Baylif 
there and John Kytche and to euery of them be this youen. 

82. CROMWELL 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 man^r I co/^mende me vnto your good 
Lordshipp^. So it is that the ~K mges Highenes is certaynly 
informyd that dyuers and many things arne dayly conveyd 
ouit of this realme into the partyes 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 M<3rchys of Calais arne remysse and negligent in thexa- 
mynacion of their office his highenes therfor well considering 
the same, and also p^rceyving that his trusty servauntes 
Nicholas Caldwall and John Gowghe byn men of good cir- 
cumspiccion meate to make s^rche and fynde owt the same, 
hathe ordenyd and constitutyd them Joyntly and severallie to 
be attendant and vigilant abouit the serching of the same 
w/t^in the saide toune and marchys and the havon Longing 
to the same for this tyme. Wherfor adu^rtesing your Lord- 
shippes of the kingly ples^r therin I requyre you in the 
kingly behalff to assist and ayde the same Nicholas & John 
and eyther of them in execucyon of this the king^ plesur 
and co^/maundement as often and as the casse shall requyre 
as the king^ trust is in you. and thus the blyssed trinitie 
presume yotir good Lordshipp^ at Candbery the xxi of 
Septembre 

thus subscribyd 
your Lordshipp^ assuryd Frynd 

THOMAS CROMWELL. 

The sup^rscripcio^. 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 
this yeven 

Endd. Copia of Mr. Cromwell^ Lettere for the serene to 
John Gowghe and N. caldewall 22 Septembre. 1534. 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 389 

83. CROMWELL TO (THE LORDS OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL). 

R. O. (Museum) Cal. vii. 1271. Oct. 17 (1534). 
Asks them to srive audience to the bearer, who can tell them much about 

t^ 

the evil-disposed person apprehended on Sunday last. Advises that 
the said person be not put to death till he has made full confession. 

My lordes after my most afTcctuouse recowmendaczon, 
This present berer my lord of Yorker seruaunt is arryved 
nowe to me wz t/z Ir/fcres bothe to me and to the king^ 
highnes. I haue remitted hym furihwitA to deliver his 
maicstes letteres. And because he can fully Instructe yoz/r 
lordships and enfo^rme you of many things I pray you to 
heare hym fauourably and to geve hym full audience for ye 
shal here of hym sundry notable things and spmally ayenst 
hym that was apprehended on Sondaye last whom I tak to 
be an veray evill disposed prrsone and the which if he be 
examyned according to the said berers relation ye shal knowe 
things gretely to be marked & noted Therfor I beseche 
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 cancrcd hert. I pray 
you to sende to me aduirtissemetft howe ye shal fynde hym 
and knowlege of the veray mater And also of any suche 
things As I can do here, any expd/tfhon for the furtherance 
of any the kinges maters For I shal spaer no diligence. 
Thus our blessed creatowr have you in his tuition & keping 
From the Rooles this xvii th of Octobre. 

Your lordshippis assuryd Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



84. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1328. Oct. 29, 1534. 

Requests him to examine and reform the * anoysaunces made by Sir 
Robert Wingfield in the Marches of Calais. 

In my right harty maner I commend me vnto your good 
lordship. And wher as of late the kinges highnes hathe 
directed his Co;;zmyssion vnto yo?/r lordship and other for 
pullyng downe and reformation of certayne anoysaunces made 
and done by Sir Robart Wyngfeld wz t^in the Marches of 
Calays, the kinges pleasure is that ye and th other Co?;zmys- 
sion^rs shall circumspectly viewe and ou^rsee the same. And 
that that of neccssite ought to be refourmyd for the welthe 



390 LETTERS OF 

strengthe and cowmodite 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 pr^serue your 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. 

Endd. Maister Cromwell the xxix th of Octobre 1534. 



85. CROMWELL TO AUDELEY. 

B. M. Vesp. F. xiii, 105 b ; Cal. vii. 1415. Nov. n (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 co;;zmendaczons to your lordship 
Forasmoche as it shalbe very necessary to haue some copies 
of the proclamaczon also printed this night to thintent the 
same maye be sent into sundry parties wM 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 wel. 
From the Rulkj the xi tb of Nouembn? 

I require your lordship to cause the proclamaczons to be 
writen and sealed wM suche expedic/on as you may take the 
payne to be here wzt^ them tomorowe by tenne of the clock 
where my lord of NornW/ and I wzt/z others wil tary dyner 
tyl your cuwmyng. 

your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my very good Lord my Lord Chauncello?/^ 
delyu^r this with spede. 

Endd. m r . Lord my m r . to my lord Chauncellow, etc. 



1534] THOMAS CROMWELL 391 

86. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1438. Nov. 17 (1534). 

A letter of gentle reproof for failing to discharge his office, as his duty to 
the King demands. Points out that his excess of living has 
brought him into contempt. 

My very good lorde aftre my right harty cowmendaczbns 
I am now enforced to write my mynde plainly vnto youe as to 
him the p;rseruation of whose honour I desire Bothe for the 
discharge of my dueuty to the kingly highnes, and for the 
declaration of myn hartye good will whiche I here 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 k mges Maicstie and I woold youe should remember Both 
what 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 Behauio&r of the p<?rsonne having it. 
Nowe 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 wold Bring himself to suche necessitie that he 
shuld be constrayned to put all things to sale, that be com- 
mytted vppon sp^riall trust to his discreation, neglecting of 
thone parte the kingly highnes honour to be pr^serued in 
the satisfaction of his grauntto, of thother parte as it were 
contempnyng all frieendeship in giving place to a litle Lucre. 
Surely my lorde suche a gouernor as you Be shuld not 
Bynde himself at any manes request to p^rforme that shall 
not prrcase 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 estimaczbn of money thenne 
regarde to the tayle it Bringeth wz t/z it. If I were not 
determyned to contynue your lordships assured Freende 
I wold not worke this plainly wzt/z you, neither thinke that 
I doo it vppon any affection, for I wold (do) that I maywil 
honestly, oon man I haue often tymes recommended that 
is the Surveyor whom the K mges MazV-rte woold haue s^rued 
of foure men according to his graunte and Late cowmaunde- 
ment made 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 man that is berer herof who hathe your Bonde. 
Whiche your honour shalbe to performe and accomplishe, and 
Bothe myn aduise and desire shal concurre wzt/2 the same, lest 
it might be taken yvel where p^rcase you did it vppon an 
honest grounde. Finally my lorde I remayn^ yo>ur harty 
Freende, and desire you to expresse your Freendeship again 



392 LETTERS OF [1534 

towards me in your honourable preceding^ 1 , and the helping 
of such as the kingrj Mazkste wold shuld be there preferred, 
among^ the Whiche the Surveyr is not the last, and yet 
I wold he shuld haue nothing onles his s^ruice des^rue it. 
Thus most hartely Fare you wel From the Nete the xvii th of 
Nouembr 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my very good Lorde the Viscounte Lisle Deputie 
(of) the king^ towne and the Marches of Calays. 

Endd. by Lisle. Tochyng the gyft of romys 

87. CROMWELL 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 commend me vnto yo2ir good 
ladiship. And wheras I am infourmyd that reaport hathe 
been made vnto you that I shuld be displeasid wM your 
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 p^rsone, for your good ladiship vsyng yo^r 
selfe in all causes none otherwise then I here that ye do, and 
as I doubte not that ye will here after contynewe, 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 
pres^rue your good ladiship. At london the xx th day of 
November. 

Your louyng Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honourable and my very good lady 
my lady lisle be this youen. 

88. (CROMWELL) TO (HENRY VIII). 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1613. (1534.) 

Reports that Mr. 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 adu^rtysyd how that Sythyn 
my repayre to london I haue 1 spokyn wM Mr. Sowthwell 
to whom I haue declaryd your most gracyous pleasure 

1 c. <?. Surveyed and I Fynd I haue 



1534] , THOMAS CROMWELL 393 

touching the purchasing of his Ma.nn.our besydes est yafford 
who most humblye Submyttyth hym vnto the plesure of 
your magestye and ys right well content that your grace 
appoyntyng 1 Suche persons to vew the sayd mannoz/r as 
shall (stand) wit A your highe pleasure he wyll gyue his 
attendaunce to shew vnto them the same to thentent your 
highnes may be trewlye certeffyed vppon the vew of the 
Comodytes belongyng to the same, and that ons known, 
wtt/i your most gracyous plesure, Further conclusyon to be 
takyn SL Such as to yoz^ highnes shall Seme most mete. 
Wherfor and it might please your grace that I myght know 
your plesure who your highnes woolde appoynt to Survey 
the sayd Manour I woolde then accordyngly 2 cause In- 
struccyons to be in Redynes For the same 3 . 



89. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. 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 reco^mendaczbns where 
as I haue wrytten to you in the fauours of my veraye Frend 
Mr. Alen for his pr^ferrement to the Ferme of Canewod and 
Canefeld^j And hauing receyued your answer thereunto 
whereby I do pm:eyve yvur desire is to haue respite of 
your consent and graunntes in that behalf till your cowmyng 
to London alledging that in the meantyme ye will do your 
possible to call agayn a former premise by you thereof made 
to a nother person, My lorde I trust ye haue made no such 
pf0mise 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 satisfacczbn of my saide 
Frend in that parte, I shall eftesones most hertelie requyre 
you indelayedlie to confourme your self to thaccomplissh- 
m^t thereof, and all excuses set a parte, to make him out 
a lease of the said Ferme 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 precede 

3 c. o. yt may also pie 

MERRIMAN. I D d 



394 LETTERS OF [1534 

90. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1615. (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 co#zmendac/ons it may lyke you to 

undrestonde that where 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 mysforttme was ronne Aground in the north 

parties of the Realme of Scotland. And yet neuerthelesse 

the most p^rte of alle the goodes and merchandises in the 

said Shypp amountyng to the value of cclx li. 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 Kynges grace your maister 

wzt^out 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 gentilly premised me that if I wrote 

vnto you for relief or necessitie of any the Subiect^ 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 

premised vs that yf the partie damaged repayred to yo?/r 

parties for Justice after your comyng home that then he 

shold be restored as to reason, right, and conscience shold 

apperteyne. And thys notwzt^stondyng 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 cosies 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 wryght vnto you, right hartely desiryng 

you that at the repaire of the said Thomas or eny of hys 

servants to you with these my le//eres that he may 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 whiche doynges I shall accompt my self 
bounden to reaquite your gentilnes wzt& semblable pleasures 
for Any Frend or Neyghbour of yours. 

Endd. A Copie of a letters writen into Scotland in the 
favour of one Thomas miller of london 



91. CROMWELL TO 

R. O. Cal. vii. 1616. (1534.) 

Desires him to restore the lands which he has wrongfully taken from 
Reginald Williams in the West Country. 

After my right hertie cowmendaczbns Forasmoche as 
I haue bene sued vnto and requyred by my Freendes to 
adresse thiese my \etteres vnto you in the fauottr of one 
Reignolde Williams from whom as I am crediblie informed 
ye do deteyne and wzt^olde certeyne londes in the weste 
cuntrey contrary to all right and good equitie albeit the 
saide Reignalde Williams as manifestly appereth by his 
euydeno .y is nexte heire vnto the same lender I shall 
therfore hertely desyre you the rather at this my requeste 
and contemplacion that wit/tout any further molestation or 
truble in the lawe ye will calle togither your Freendes and 
after communication had in the mattier to conclude a Finall 
ende therin accordinge to equitie and co/zsciens so that the 
saide Reignolde receyue no iniurye nor wronge at your 
hande *, but also bynde me to shewe you lyke pleasures 
accordinglie. thus Fare ye well. At my howse of 
Stepneth 

92. (CROMWELL) TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. 

R. O. Cal. vii. 618. (1534.) 

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 yow Aduertysing the same that wher 
the king^j hyghnes is crediblie infourmed of your abusions 
vsurpacyons & vngentill demeanour vsed towards the kingly 
highnes his subjects & inhabitants of that his towne of 
Oxforthe & subberb^ 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 profitable 
and right meritorious for your sowle 

D d 2, 



396 LETTERS OF [1534 

self 1 not onelie in making of lawes & ordynaunces Amongst 
your self to their hindrance hurt and preiudice but also 
contrary to the kingly 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 king^ hyghnes therfore hathe coMmandyd me to. advise 
yow not onlie to restore all such persons as you haue dis- 
comoned permitting them to do & occupie as they did before, 
wzt^out mayntening or suffering any scoler or semauntes 
to occupie \\ith in the toune or suburbe of the. same as a bur- 
gesse there dothe except lie or they do agree there fore wit/t 
the sayd burgesses But also that in no wise ye do vexe 
trouble or inquyete any of the saide inhabitauntey by suspen 
sion excowrnuny cation discomonning banysshement or other 
wise, vsing suche discression that all varyaunces may ceasse & 
be stayed amongst yow so as all malice and evill will being 
coT/tempned & expulsed from yow, good amyte peax & quyet 
nes may take place accordynglie. And duobt ye not or it be 
long the K mges Counsaile by his graczbus co;^maundement 
will & haue determyned to set suche an ende & redresse 
amongst yow as god willing shall be an establisshing of a 
perpetuall peax good vnyte & accorde amongst yow for euer 
fayell ye not this to do as yow wyll answre vnto the kynge^ 
highnes & advoyde the daungzer of his indingnacion & high 
displessur And so Fare ye well 

Add. To the Ch#uncelour and comissarie with other the 
heddes & membres of the vnyversite of Oxforde be this youen 

Endd. A copye of a letters to Oxforth 

93. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. 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 the King s orders. 

In my most harty wise I commend me vnto your good 
lordship. And persayvyng that the k mges highnes hathe 
not only geven vnto Raufe Hare by sufficient writyng vnder 
the privey scale, the roume of eight pence sterling by the 
day whiche shall first and next fall voyde wzt^in that the 
towne of Calays, but hathe also writen vnto you his letteres 
vnder hys signet confermyng thesame and mencionyng therby 
his pleasure and expresse cowmaundment in that behalfe, 
these shalbe therfore as your lordshippes assured frynde to 

1 c. o. to their hindrance hurte & preiudice 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 397 

my power to advise you to folowe the kynges cowmaunde- 
ment therin for the satisfaction of his pleasure in that be- 
halfe. Wherby ye shall not only des^rue the Kyng^ right 
harty and condigne thanks but also admynyster and do vnto 
me and other of his hyndes whiche dothe write vnto you also 
in his favour, great pleasure and gratuyte, the whiche god 
willyng shalbe on my part in semblable wise recompensed. 
And thus the blessed Trenyte pr^serue your good lordship. 
At the Rolles the viii th day of February. 

Your lordshippis Freend assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honourable and my synguler good lord 
the vicount lisle the kynges depute at Calays. 

Endd. Mr. Secretoryes letters 

Mr. Sekretarye the viii th of Febrewary consuming raff Hare. 

94. CROMWELL TO THE PRIOR OF DUDLEY. 

R. O. Cal. viii. 191. Feb. 10 (1535). 
The King desires the Prior personally to repair to Cromwell at once. 

I Co;//mende me vnto youe. Lating youe wit that for cer 
tain causes the particularities wherof ye shal knowe herafter 
The k mges pleasure and co;;zmaundement is ye shal Ime- 
diatly vppon the sight herof all delayes and excuses set- 
aparte personally repaire vnto me wheresoeuer it shall chaunce 
me to be wzt//out faylling as ye wil answer to his grace at 
yo^r extreme pmll. From the Rulles the x th of Februarye. 

Your Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL 

Add. To my Freende the prior of Dudleye yeve this -with 
spede. 

95. CROMWELL TO THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF 

LONDON. 

R. O. Cal. viii. 221. Feb. 15 (1535). 

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 frend^ When cause & occasion hath 



398 LETTERS OF [1535 

so requyred. This shalbe to aduertise you that Robert 
Backster one of the Clarkes writers with John Joyner the 
kynges Preignetory of his grac^y comen bench at West- 
minster 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 fauoz/r 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 vacaczon of one of the iiii Clarke 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 Mayo?/? of the Citie 
of London and to his worshypfull Brethern thaldermen of the 
same & to euery of theym. 

Endd. From Mr. Crumwelle. 



96. CROMWELL 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 cowmende me vnto you, Aduertising 
the same that Whereas complaint hath nowe lately been made 
vnto the King^ MasV-rtie on the behalf of my Ladye Carewe 
howe that you haue made a wrongfull 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 letters patents 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 successoz/rs. His Hieghnes willed me to 
signifie vnto you by these my \ettetes his graces pleasoz/r and 
co?7zmaundeme;/t is that you do not onely permitte, and suffre 
the saied Ladye Carewe to enioye peaxably the possession 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 399 

of the premisses, and to restore suche thinges as you haue 
wrongfully taken owt of the chapell and grounde aforsaied, 
but also to cease your suete commenced againste her at the 
cowmen lawe vnto such tyme as both yo>ur titles maye be 
further examined and tryed by lerned and indifferent Coun- 
saill, Not failing hereof as you tendere His Hieghnes pleasoz/r, 
Thus fare you hertely well. From London the xix th daie of 
Februarye. 

Your louyng Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my Loving freende Henry Burton. 

Endd. In the bahalf of the Ladye Carewe & her sonne 
Fraunceys. 



97. CROMWELL TO THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY. 

Heralds Coll. of Arms, Shrewsb. MSS. A, f. 57; Cal. viii. 247. 

Feb. 20(1535). 

Sends him a letter from the King. As for the farm of which the Earl 
wrote, Cromwell has discovered that his servant is not anxious to 
leave it, and he is unwilling to urge him. 

After my right harty cowmendaczbns to your good lord- 
shippe wM semblable thanks for your Letteres Lately 
addressed Vnto me The same shall herewzt/k receyue the 
King^r highnes L^^/res of answer to suche credence as yow 
cowmytted to my Freende Maister Butter to be declared Vnto 
him. And albeit his Maiestie hathe not resolutely answered 
to the particular points of your credence aforsaid yet your 
lordshippe maye be assured at your cu;^myng vppe to re- 
ceyve suche answer in euery of the same as shalbe to your 
contentaczon. And vndoubtedly his grace woolbe as gladde 
to see yo^ir lordshippe as any man I suppose in his realme. 
Suche is his entier love and fauour towards yowe. Whiche 
I am as gladde to p^rceyve and see as your self could desire 
the same. Touching the ferme wherof your lordshippe wrote 
vnto me I haue been in hande viM my 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 sluice that wz t/z equitie I canne presse him no 
further therin thenne I haue doon. Neuertheles if yozir 
lordshippe woll haue me eftsones to travail in it I shall doo 
asmoche more therin as your self shall at your cummyng 



400 LETTERS OF [1535 

thinke mete for me. And thus moost hartely Fare yow well. 
From the Rull^s the xx th of February 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good Lorde Therle of Shrewisbury 
lord Steward of the King^ Houshold. 

98. CROMWELL TO ADMIRAL CHABOT, SIEUR DE 

BRION l . 

Bibl. Nat. de Paris, Fonds Moreau, 737, page 83 ; Cal. 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 M r . le Tresorier Pala- 
me"des, laquelle, selon sa tres bonne maniere de faire, et an 
tres grand contentement du Roy, mon maistre, il a sceu tres- 
bien dire et declarer, et pourtant que par la response qu il 
emporte, vous pourrez clairement cognoistre la bonne con- 
stance et continuation d amitid et vnion, en quoy le Roy mon 
dit maistre entend persister a tout iamais tant luy que sa 
posterite, sans aucunement varier, ains faire tout ce que avec 
son honneur et condescentement luy sera possible, au desir du 
Roy, son bon frere : pourtant aussy, que le diet Tresorier vous 
S9aura faire ample rapport de toutes choses ; 

Monseigneur, apres vous avoir tres afTectueusement prie que 
veuillies persuader, et si mestier est, inculquer a la ma^ du 
Roy V e Maistre, la grandeur de leur amitie, et bonne intention 
de la dicte response et qu il ne veuille presser ne desyrer le 
Roy de chose pourquoy Ton pense avoir suspicion ou con- 
iecture qu en 1 amitie d entr eux y entre aucun respect de 
lucre ou proffit particulier : car ce n est pas assez, comme 
vous s^avez trop mieux, que leur amitie soit cogneue et prinse 
pour ferme et establie par entr eux et leurs amys, qui est 
a leur grand confort et encouragement : Mais aussy est tres 
expedient de 1 entretenir et conduire en sorte que leurs 
Ennemis et malveillans n ayant cause d y pouvoir penser, ne 
suspecter aucune interruption, qui sera a leur tres grand 
esbahissement Confusion et desconfort : et ce faisant, comme 

1 From the official Record Office transcript. 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 401 

bien gist en vous, le bien et plaisir, qui a tout le monde en 
adviendra, ne se S9avoir assez estimer, sans vous rescrire pour 
le present plus au long, m estre de tres bon coeur recommande 
a V e Seigneurie et oftert tout ce en quoi vous S9auray faire 
honneur et plaisir Je supplie nostre benoist Createur, que, 
a vous Monseigneur, il veuille donner sa saincte et digne 
garde. 

Signe, Vostre a commandement 

THOMAS CRAMWELL. 

Escript a Londres, 
le iv iour de May l . 

J 534- 
Add. A Monseigneur 

Monseigneur I Admiral de France. 

99. CROMWELL TO LORD LISLE. 

R. O. Cal. viii. 419. Mar. 21 (1535). 

The King marvels at his delay in granting Thomas Appowell a position 
as soldier at Calais. Desires Lisle to give him the next vacant 
place. 

After my right harty cowmendacionsvnto yo?/r good lordship, 
thiese shalbe for asmoche as the kingly highnes before this tyme 
in consideracion of the good and acceptable s^ruice done vnto 
his sayd highnes by his faythefull subgec[t] Thomas Appowell. 
Hathe geven and graunted vnto hym the roume of a Souldiour 
of the retynewe at Calays whiche first or next shuld fall and 
be voyde wM the wages of viii d. a da[y] as by the kmges 
graunt therof made vnder his signet beryng date the second 
day of May in the xxiii th yere of his reigne and other his 
spmall 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 saythe wherat considering the kinges sayd graunt and 
\etteres seu^rally made for that purpose his highnes dothe 
not a litle marvaill. Wherfore I requyre and pray you for 
asmoche as thesayd Thomas hathe done good s^ruice, and is 
right mete for that roume. And the rather for my sake 
and at the contemplacion of these my \etterzs, to graunt vnto 
hym the next roume that shalbe voyde wM thesayd wages, 
shewing vnto hym yoz/r lordshippes favour in that behalf. 

The date May is obviously a quite certain that the letter was 

mistake; it should be March. The written March 4, 1535, which, of 

dates of the embassy of Gontier and course, was 1534 O. S. Cf. Cal. viii. 

the itinerary of the King make it 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 will in semblable wise requite, thus the 
blessed Trenyte preserue you. At the rolles the xxi day 
of Marche. 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good lord the vicount lisle the K mges 
depute at Calays. 

100. CROMWELL 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. 

Mag;/z/zce Domino, Gregori salutem et commendationem 
Complures post vestru//z hinc discessum, et uariis temporibus 
datas a vobis hVteras accepi, quarum recensiores sub die xx 
februarii Romae scriptae sunt, quicquid uero de occure^tiis 
istis publicis, ac priuatis Regiae Maz>.ytotis rebus in dictis 
\itteris unquam significabatur sigillatim, ac diligenter id ipsi 
semper exposui, gratumq?/^ et acceptum habet seduluw istud 
vestrum scribendi officium,nec ego antea vestris \itteris respondi, 
quod putaui, praeter istorum successuu/^ cognitioneM (quae 
sui nouitate grata semper est) non esse admodum multa, 
quibus particularius foret respondendum : Nunc autem 
Regia Ma&rtas quum vestr&s turn ad se, turn ad me 
litters pressius, accuratiusqz^ perlegisset, illud inter coetera, 
mente adnotauit, Pontificem vobiscuw loqui uoluisse, sum- 
mamque praesetulisse Regiae Ma&r&ti gratificandi propen- 
sionem, et ob earn causam, duos accersisse ex hetruria iure- 
consultos cum primis eruditos, quorum doctrinae sanoq 
iudicio potissimum fidat, eorumq^^ sententias, et opiniones 
pro Regiae Ma&f&ztis causa stare, et eiusmodi esse vestris vos 
\ittens affirmatis ut pontifex ex officio debeat praesens matri- 
monium, etiam si de ualiditate dispensationis a lulio factae 
constaret, approbare, Coeterum causa?^ hanc, ut ueritatis 
fundamento totam innitentem, et si Regia Ma/^tas cum Deo 
satis firmatam habeat, et omni ex parte stabilitam, in hunc 
tamen sensum IzY&ras vestr&s interpretatur, Pontificem scilicet 
de eius rectitudine et aequitate cum sua Regia Maiestate 
qttam optime sentire, Proinde si amicum ac syncerum istud 
pectus erga Seremssimum Dommum meum Regem (quod vos 
scribitis) re uera habet, quin potius, ut bonum quenq?/^ virum 
ab omni prorsus odio, et affectu liberum, et immunem in primis 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 403 

decet, si ueritati ex anima fauet, ems certe sunt partes, ut 
suam hanc erga Inuictissimum Domtnum meum Regem in 
causa omnium iustissima bene affectam uoluntatem, suo etiam 
publico testimonio, et approbatione vniuersi orbi reddat per- 
quam manifestam, suaque sponte, innataque animi probitate 
et solius ueritatis propagandae studio, nulla Regiae Matestatis 
intercessione expectata, ad id adducatur, ut nullius metu, seu 
respectu a uero rectoq?^ deflectens de prioris matrimonii 
inualiditate, praesentisq/^? firmitate, et robore ingenue pro- 
nunciet, quern ad modum doctissimis illis viris, quos huius 
rei causa ab eo accersitos, istic adesse scribitis, maxime probari 
significatis, efficiet certe Pontifex rem suo munere, et officio 
dignam, Sertnissimo Domino meo Regi, qui suae causae 
iustitiam tot uigiliis, sumptibus ac laboribus diu quaesitam, 
et iam pridem cum Deo compertam habet, ueheme^ter gratam, 
sibique in primis, et pontificatui suo longe utiliorem, qttam 
nunc demonstratione sit opus, Vos autem si hac in re nullo 
Regiae Mazkrtatis expectato mandate, nulloqz^ suo iussu (non 
enim firmiora suae causae quam nunc habet adiumenta 
aliunde sperat) qmcqitid profeceritis, ac Pontificem vestra. 
dexteritate ex vobis ad id quod scribitis adduxeritis, eiusdem 
Regiae Maitstatis expectationi quae non vana, aut victa 
officia, nee infructuosos rerum euentus de vestrls actionibus 
sibi pollicetur, procul dubio respondebitis, et haec a Pontifice 
beneuolentia et gratia ex officio proueniens eo nomine gratior, 
et acceptior erit, quod ueritatis ratio, deique respectus, sanaque 
conscientia ad hoc eum mortaliuw nemine procura^te, nunc 
commouerit. Et bene valete. Londini Die x Aprilis M.D. xxxv. 

Vester bonus amicus 

THOMAS CRUMWELL, 

Add. Mag//Jco Equiti, Domino Gregorio Casalio etc. 
Amico canssimo. 



101. (CROMWELL) TO <Sm GREGORY DA CASALE). 

R. O. Cal. vii. 268 *. (April 10, 1535.) 
Draft in English of the preceding. 

After my right (hearty) co/^mendacions, Sithen your depar 
ture I haue receyued sundry of your letterzs whereof the last 
bere date at Rome the xx day of Februarie. And whatsoeu^r 
ye haue signefied vnto me by your saide l^^res aswell of the 
publique occurranter there as of the King^j highnes pryuate 

1 This letter is obviously misplaced in the Calendar, 



404 LETTERS OF [1535 

affairees I haue aliwayes intymated and declared the same to 
the kings maiestie who right thankefully and acceptablie 
taketh and estemeth your diligence in wryting And now 
having p^rvsed and redde both your \ettei es 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 shewed himself veray propice and desirous to 
gratefie his saide highnes And that he had sent for out cf 
Ethrurie twoo Lawyers being singulerly well lerned in whose 
doctrine and good iudgement he hathe grete trust and con 
fidence Whose sentence and opynyons do stonde hollie wzt/z 
the kings highnes cause Affirmyng (as ye wryte) that the 
saide Bisshop of Rome of his duetie and office ought to 
approbate and confyrme this present matrymonie albeit it 
depended vppon the validite of the dispensacion made by 
Julius. So as Notwithstanding that the kingly maiestie having 
his saide cause sufficientlie diffyned and being himself 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 W/eres that (as appereth by the same) 
the saide bisshop of Rome begynneth now somwhat to saucer 
and fele the iustnes and equyte of the saide cause and 
ptfKelie to stande with the Kings maiestie in the same. 
Wherefore if the saide bisshop of Rome do in dede bere so 
frendelie and syncere good mynde and will towards the 
kings highnes (as ye do wryte) or rather if he love the trewth 
as it beco;^meth every good man to do setting aparte all 
hatred and affection it is his parte to shew the same now to 
the vnyu^rsall worlde in this most iust and rightcious cause 
by his owne publique testymonye and approbacion. And of 
his owne free will and wz t/out any sute or intercession of the 
kings maiestie onelie adhering to the trewth and neglecting 
all other respects to pronounce the invalidite of the first 
matrimony and the validite of the seconde according to the 
sentence Judgements and diffynytions of the saide ii 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 Rome will, surely he shall do (a) thing wourihie his office 
and merite of god and the worlde and to the kings highnes 
veray thankefull and acceptable pleasure, and also to him 
self and his see moche more pr^fite and good then now 
nedeth to expresse. And you for your parte if in this 
matier as of yoz/r self ye can any thing pr^fite or pr^vaile 
by your good policie and dexteryte towards the conducyng 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 405 

of the saide Bisshop of Rome to that conformyte (as ye wryte 
in your saide k//^res) ye shall then vndoubtedlie answer to the 
kingly highnes expectaczbn And the same preceding 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 
Kingly highnes and the hole wo//rlde, seeing that the mere 
veryte and the respecte that he hath to god and his owne 
conscience shall move him thereunto wzt^out any mortall 
mannes procurement 

Endd. A Mynute of certeyn letteres responsyve to on at 
Rome 

A mynute of a L<?^re to intymate to the Pope the King^ 
desyre to haue him condiscend to the dyvorce & to allowe 
th second maryage. 

102. (CROMWELL) 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 cowmende me vnto you, 
and evyn so I pray you at this my request and contemplaczon 
to be good Maister and frende vnto Edwarde Campion clerke 
of the peax wM m the shere of Essex of and in all suche his 
busynes towching the same his office and to be ameane for 
hym in the same unto Mr Sayntclere hym to desire to putt 
the said campion to no further vexacions and sutes for the 
said office as he hath heretofore done. In doyng whereof you 
shall admynister vnto me right singular pleasure, which god 
willing . I shall not for get semblable to requyte as shall lye 
in my litill power. And this hertelye fare ye well. At 
london this xx th day of Aprill 

Add. To my lovyng frende Master Riche. 
Endd. Mynute of letters. 

103. CROMWELL TO THE PRIOR OF TREWARDRETH. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 6,416, f. 8 ; Cal. viii. 743. May 21 (1535). 

The King is informed that the town of Fowey is in a bad state, because 
the Prior, who has the liberties of the town in his hands, administers 
it so badly. Desires him to amend his ways. 

M r priour as vnaccquanted I haue me commended vnto you, 
and whereas it is comen vnto the king^j 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 king^ highnes and his noble progenitours to your 
predecessours and by theime vnto the inhabitaunt^ of the 
saide Towne remayne in your handes and kepinge So that 
betwene you no maner good order equitie nor Justice is exe 
cuted and vsed wz t^in the saide Towne. Wherfore I require 
you to condiscende and agree wM the inhabitaunter of the 
saide Towne so that you hauynge your reasonable approued 
duties, they may haue theire liberties to be vsed and extended 
amongeste theime wzt^in the saide Towne to thincrease of 
good order wz t^in 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 wM good 
gouern^zmce and of defence for vtter enemyes as other his 
townes and porter be wzt/zin 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 bounde 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 man^ I co;#mende me vnto you. And 
where the Presedent of Mawdelyn College, as well by his 
seuera.ll \etteres as by mouthe (of his mere motion) at sundry 
tymes, myche commending the qualities of my Lord and frende 
master Thomas Marshall] graunted vnto me, that he wulde 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 407 

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 & wolde fynde the meanes to obteyne 
the goode willes & myndes of the felowes of the said College. 
Neuertheles nowe of Late (to me no litle m^rvaile) the saide 
presedent when I desired hym to accomplishe his saide pro- 
messe, alledged for his excuse that the goode willes of the 
saide felowes coulde not in that behalf be opteyned. Wherfore 
I hartely desire and pray you effectually in my name to 
solicite & entreate the saide felowes as by your wysdomes ye 
shall thinke most conuenient that they for my sake & at 
this my desire wilbe contented to conforme theym selves vpon 
the resignation of the said p^sedent to the admission of the 
saide master Marshall, or elles that contrary Wyse att the Leaste 
I may knowe by yottr writing in whome the mater sticketh. 
In doing wherof ye shall not only des^rue bothe Laude & 
prayse in the furderaunce of the saide master Marshall, whose 
advancement I hartely desire, but also I wille not faile 
to remembre your kyndnes in that I may doo you pleasure. 

And thus hartely fare ye well, from London the daye 

of May. 

Endd. The Copie of alitfire Sent to Mr. doctor London 
& Mr. Claymond, 

105. CROMWELL TO THE EARL OF CUMBERLAND. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 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 recowmendacion vnto your good 
lordship, thiese shalbe tadu^rtise the same that the k mges 
highnes hathe been adu^rtised that diu^rse riotous and ill- 
disposid persones of the parties wher ye inhabite, or wM m 
your offices and roumes (as it is sayd) hathe lately vnlawfully 
assembled theymselfes together to no litle nombre in riotous 
maner to so;;zme lewde and vnthriftie intent and purpose. 
Wherfor his highnes myndyng the quietenes of his subiect^y, 
and good rule and order to be maynteynyd and kepte wz t/zin 
this realme Willithe and cowmaundithe you and other of the 
Justices of his peax, furthewzt^ after the receyt herof to make 
inquisicion and serche, who and what nombre of the sayd 
p^rsones 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 hathe beene the Capitall and cheffe doers in that 
partye. and further that ye cause theym to be apprehended 
and taken and sent hither with all convenyent spede together 
vfM 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 accordy ng to his 
lawes, prayeng your lordship to adu^rtise me of that ye shall 
do in the premysses by the berer herof with all convenyent 
spede. And thus the blessid Trenyte presmie you At the 
rolles the xviii th day of June. 

Your lordshyppis Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honorable and my veray good lord 
the Erie of Cumberland be this youen. 

106. CROMWELL AND AUDLEY TO THE MAYOR AND 
COMMONALTY OF CAMBRIDGE. 

Cooper s Annals of Cambridge, i. 371 ; Cal. viii. 1036. July 14 



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 hath long depended betweene the Vycechauncellor 
of the Universite 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 most 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 
interrupcion 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 well 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 without violacion therof : Signifying unto 
you that we have written our letteres to the said Vycechaun- 
cellour 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 lawfull liberties that of right ye ought 
to have, uppon examynacyon and fynall determynacyon of 
ether your titles, To the proceeding in the finall order wherof, 
we will with all diligence (god willing) 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. Wrytten at London 
the xiiij th daye of July. 

Your frends, 

THOMAS AUDELEY Knt. Chauncell. 
THOM S . CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the Maier and comynaltie of the Towne of 
Cambridg be this yeven. 

107. (CROMWELL) TO THE (DUKE OF NORFOLK). 

B. M. Titus B. i, 318 ; Cal. viii. 1042. July 15 (1535). 

Sends a royal proclamation against conveying coin out of the realm, and 
a copy of the statute of 5 Richard II 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 your grace to be Adu^rtysyd that I haue 
resayuyd your \ettctzs l p^rsayuyng by the Contents therof 
that the Kyng^j highnes dothe moche m^rveyle that I haue 
not adurrtysyde your grace what order my lord chauncelor 
and others of his Counceyll hath 2 takyn Concernyng the 
conveyaunce of Coyne owt of the realme. Syr according 
to your gracyous co;;zmaundement vppon tewysdaye last 
Mr. Attorney and I bothe dyd Intymate & declare the 
King*?.? pleasure vnto my lorde Chauncelor who Immedyatlye 
Sent For My lorde cheffe Justyce of the kynges benche the 
cheffe Justyce of the Common place the cheffe Barren and 
Mr. Fytzeherberd Mr. Attorney Mr. Solysytor and I being 
present and the Case by my sayd lord Chauncelor openyd 
dyuers oppynyons ther were, but Fynally it was Concludyd 

1 c. o. this nyght at xii of the Cloke 

2 c. o. done and what order ys 

MERRIMAN, I E C 



410 LETTERS OF [1535 

that all the statuttes sholde be Inserchyd to See whether ther 
were anye Statute or lawe able to serue for the purpose and 
yf ther were it was thought good, that yf it sholde happen 
any accydent to be wherby ther myght Be any occasyon 
that the money sholde be conveyed owt of the realme that 
then proclamacyon sholde be made growndyd vppon the 
sayd Statute adding therunto poletyklye certayn things For 
the putting the Kynges Subiectey and other in more terroure 
ande Feare vppon which deuyse serche was made and a 
goode estatute Founde which was made in the Fyfte yere 
of Kyng Rychard the seconde the Copye wheroff translatyd l 
into Inglyshe I do sende vnto your grace drawne in manner 
of A proclamacyon by the aduyse of the Kynges lernyd 
Counsayle. But Amongyst all other things I mouyd vnto 
my sayd lorde chauncelor my lorde cheffe Justyce and other 
that yf in Case ther were no law nor statute made alredye 
for any suche purpose what myght the Kyng^ hignes by the 
aduyse of his Counsaylle doo to wzt/zstande so greate a 
daunger lyke as your grace alledgyd at my beyng wzt/; you 
to the which yt was answeryd by my lorde cheffe Justyce 
that the Kyngts hyghnes by the aduyse of his Cownsayll 
myght make pn?clamacyons and vse 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 law made by parly am ent or other wyse which oppy/y^n 
I assure your grace I was veray gladde to here 2 wheruppon 3 
the sayd statute 4 was drawen in to a (copy) in forme as 
(a) proclamacyon I do now sende the same to your grace 4 
and thus the holye trynyte pr^serue your grace in long 
lyff good (health) wM the Increase of moche honor at london 
the xv th day of July. 

108. CROMWELL TO SIR JOHN RUSSELL, ROGER WYNTER, 
JOHN PAKYNGTON AND JOHN VAMPAGE. 

Library of William Berington, Esq., of Little Malvern Court. Not in Cal. 

July 18(1535). 

Desires them to examine the complaint of Robert Symonds, of Pershore, 
in Worcestershire, and see that justice is done if possible. 

I cowmende me vnto you in my right hertie maner And 
by the tenure [of these letters] whiche I sende vnto you 



1 c. o. drawne * c. o. to thentent the 

* c. o. Serche was made and gracyous pleasure may be known 

3 c. o. the Copye of this drawen according to the sayd 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 411 

hcrin closid ye may perccuc the complaynt of Robert 
Symonckj- of p^rshor in the countie of Worcester wherfor 
I hartely desire and pray you groundly to consider and 
pounder the contents of the same and callyng the parties 
before you ye be soche waies and meanes as ye can best 
devise examyne the hole circumstaunce 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 wryte vnto me the truthe 
and playnes of the mater wz t/i the circumstaunces therof to 
thintent I may therin cause some meanes to be founde as 
the [case] rightfully shall require wherby ye shall do a very 
good and meritorious dede. And thus fare ye hartely well 
at London the xviij th day of July 

Your Frende 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my louyng frendes Sir John Russell Knyght 
Roger Wynter John Pakyngton and John Vampage Esquyres 
or to thre or two of them. 



109. CROMWELL (AND AUDELEY) TO SIR JOHN RUSSELL, 
JOHN PACKINGTON, AND JOHN RUSSELL, ESQUIRE. 

Library of William Berington, Esq., of Little Malvern Court. Not in Cal. 

July 20(1535). 

Desires them to survey the possessions of the clergy in the Shire of 
Worcester according to the King s commission, and to send an 
account of their value to London. 



After our right hartye co^mendacyons where the 
Co;;zmyssion was dyrectyd vnto you & other for the surveyng 
and taxacion of the clere yerely values of all the possessions 
of the clergie in the Shire of Worceter accordyng to a boke 
of Instruccyons assigned wit/i the hand of the Kynges highnes 
annexed vnto the said Co?;zmissyon we signyfie vnto you that 
the Kyng^j pleasure ys that ye callyng your fellowes Joyned 
\\ith you in Co;;miyssion shall wit/i all possible dylygens 
accomplysshe theffect^ therof And to sende to vs to london 
all the bokes taken by you of the vieu & value of the said 
possessions by one or two suche of your fellowes whiche were 
Audytours of the same before the xij th day of Septembre 
next coramyng. Not faylyng this to do at your perill. 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 

E e 2 



412 LETTERS OF [1535 

ye entende to advaunce the Kynges pleasure in this behalf. 
And thus fare you well. At london the xx th day of Julye 

THOMAS AUDELEY K. Chauncelloz/r 
THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To their loving freend^ Sir John Russell the yonger 
Knight John pakington Esquz>r and John Russell Esquier 
and to euery of theym be this yoven. 

Endd. Wigorn. 

110. CROMWELL TO BONNER. 

Library of Lord Calthorpe. Not in Cal. July 23 (1535). 

Begs him 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 co;;/mende me vnto you. Signefieng vnto 
the same that the Kynges pleasure is ye wit/i yotir college 
shall with all spede and possible haste set your selffes forward 
towards thaccomplisshement of your io^rney, and cause 
your Ship also to be rigged and made redy so as ye haue 
no cause of Delaye. "Your co7/zmission I vnderstonde ye 
haue alredy made and sealed, and touching the Duke of 
Holster \ettere. if ye haue not yet receyued it Mr. gostwike 
shall delyu^r it you or to Cauendish accordinglie. Prayeng 
you ones agayne to make all thacceleracion and hast 
forwards that ye can possiblie as ye intende to please the 
K mges highnes. And so Fare ye well. At Wynchcombe 
the xxiii day of Julie 

Yo//r Freend THOMAS 

CRUMWELL. 

Maister Boner the Kin g^ highnes nothing dowtyth in your 
wysedom polyce and discrecyo/2 But that ye wooll Vse yotcr 
Self according to his trust and expectacy0;z. 

Add. To his louing frende Doctor Boner be this youcn 
wzt/z spede. 

111. CROMWELL TO MR. RICHE. 

R. O. Cal. viii. 1130. July 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 hertie cowmendaczons these shalbe to 
adu^rtise you that the kingly highnes hauyng receyued your 
letters hathe youen me in co?;/maundement to make you 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 413 

answer as here insueth. First touching suche leases as it is 
supposed shoulde be made by the Duke of Suffolke, the 
kingly highnes seyeth that he knoweth not that the saide 
Duke or his officers haue made any lease syns the com- 
munycaczon had betwixt them of this bargayn, but his highnes 
is certenly infoz/rmed that the saide Duke or his officers haue 
offered to make fourth certen leases syns the tyme of the 
saide cowmunycaczon had. Whereof his maieste can not but 
mervaile and for the same conceyueth som ingratitude and 
vnkyndenes in the said Duke if it can so be proved. Secondely 
touching the Decay of Ewelme and Donyngton the king^ 
highnes answered that what soeu^r the saide Duke hathe 
spent vppon them, it may well appere in what decay they 
stonde, and who soeuer shall view them shall facilly p^rceyue 
that grete somes of money will not sufficientlie repaire them 
as his highnes himself with his eye hath vewed the saide 
Ewelme at his grac^ 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 wasted the wood^ in such wise 
as it is thought he hathe not onelie forfaited his patent but 
also right ill deserued to haue eyther fee or thanke for any 
good service he hathe don there. And semblablie the king^ 
highnes hauing ben at Hokenorton whiche his grace lyketh 
veray well 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 whatsoeu^r hath ben spent there, yet will it requyre no 
small sommes of money to repare and buylde it after the 
king^r mynde and pleasure whiche wilbe chargeable to his 
highnes. And touching the game of the red Dere at 
Hokenorton aforsaide, his maiestie Doubtith not but that the 
saide Duke will iustefie his couuen#//nte and agrement with 
the keper for the keping of Ixxx red dere there accordinglie. 
Thirdely concerning the reuersions of the lady Gordon and 
John Verney the k mges highnes p^rceyuing the conformyte 
of the saide Duke in that behalf and also yoz/r travaile and 
diligence in the same gyueth vnto him and you both therefore 
his graces hertie and condigne thanks. Trusting that like as 
his highnes hathe heretofore mynystered grete benefits and 
cowmodytees vnto the saide Duke, who hathe atteyned this 
degree honour and astate that he now is in by the meanes 
and onely adz/^uncement of the king^ saide highnes. So the 
saide Duke wilbe contented to departe with the saide reversions 
frankely and frely to his highnes of his mere lyberalite to 



414 LETTERS OF [1535 

extende towards him, and to permytte his maiestee to haue 
the saide retorsions wz t^in his bargayn alredy made as his 
grace thought he had had, onely trusting to his graces bountie 
and goodnes for the recompence of the same. Wherein the 
king^ pleasure is ye shalbe playne wM the saide Duke, 
vttering and declaring vnto him the good opynyon which the 
king^ highnes hathe conceyved in his conformyte towards 
all his graabus requester and affairees, and how he of all men 
is thereunto bounde if he do well consider the manyfold 
benefited that he hath receyued at the \ringes 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 will shew herein his frankenes 
and liberall herte towards his maiestie without sty eking vfit/i 
his grace in so small a matier. And so doing let him be 
assured that like as the king^? highnes heretofore for lesse 
cause youen on the saide Dukes p<zrte, hathe adz/#unced 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 forwards 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 
be^n, and euer wilbe his graces poure frende so I requere him 
not to stycke with the kinges highnes in this matier, and pray 
his grace not to doubte but that the klnges highnes wilbe as 
good lorde to him in recompence of the saide reu^rsions as if 
his highnes Did now parte and couue/ztfunte wz t/z him for the 
same aforehand. Wherein eftesones I pray you shew him on 
my behalf that my poure and frendelie aduise is that his grace 
shall liberally wryte to the king^ highnes in this matier so as 
his highnes may thereby perceyue the saide Duk^ gentill 
herte and naturall zele towards his maieste aswell in this 
as in all other things. Which be ye assured in myn opynyon 
shalbe more beneficyall vnto the saide Duke then x tymes 
so moche lande as the saide reuersions Do amount vnto. 
Requering you so to shew his grace fro me as from him that 
wold be as glad of his graces welth and pr^speryte as any one 
of his poure frende. So knoweth oz/r lorde who send you 
well to fare. From the Monastery of Tewkesbury the xxix u 
Day of Julie. 

Your Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To his louyng Frende Mr. Ryche Solycytour to the 
kingly highnes be this youen. 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 415 

112. CROMWELL TO THE EARL OF RUTLAND. 

Belvoir Castle MSS. 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 him to apprehend 
Friar John Colsell, and detain him till further notice. 

Mylorde after my right hertie cowmendac/ons these shalbe 
to adu^rtise yonr lordship that having receyued your \etteres 
and declared the effects of the same to the king^j highnes, 
who for your dyligent adu^rtisement of suche things as do 
touche his maiestie and for your good will shewed towards 
the correction of suche transgressones gyueth vnto you his 
graces hertie and condigne thanks, Forasmoche as the k mges 
highnes is adu^rtesed that the warden of those Freres which 
haue spoken those sedicious wordes, is a right honest person 
and that it may be that he is accused by such light persons 
as p^rcase can not iustefie the same, the kinges 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 examym? the 
matier \vith them and their accusers, so as the trewth and the 
hole circumstauno\y of the matier may trewlie and substaun- 
cyallie appere in suche wise as eu^ry man may haue his 
merits and deserts according to good iustice. And of your 
lordeshippes preceding^ in that behalf and what matier ye 
shall Fynde vppon the saide examynaczon it may please yo^r 
lordeship to signefie the same wit/i the circumstaunc^ to the 
king^ high;/es or his counsaile, vppon the which adu^rtisement 
your lordship shall knowe ferther of the kinges pleasure. 
Touching the other Frere named Frere John Colsell vsing the 
decitful arte of magike and astronomye, the king^ pleasure 
is that ye shall cause him to be taken and apprehended and 
deteyn him in warde vntill ye shall haue other knowlege and 
adu^rtisement of the king^j pleasure in that behalf, and thus 
the holie trynytie pn?serue yo?/r lordeship in long lif and helth 
wz t/z thincrease of honour At Barklay hoornes the ix th day of 
August. 

Your lordeshyppes assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honourable my lorde the Erie of Rut- 
lande be this yeuen. 



416 LETTERS OF [1535 

113. (CROMWELL) TO (WALLOP). 

R. O. 1 Cal. ix. 157. August 23 (1535). 

Instructs him 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 recommendations these shalbe to 
adu^rtise you that the xvii th Day of this Moneth I receyued 
from you a packet of k/&?res which indelayedlie I delyuered 
vnto the kingly highnes and conferred with his grace theffect^ 
both of your let feres and all others within the saide packet 
being directed aswell to his highnes as to me. And after his 
highnes had with me p^rvsed the hole contents thoroughlie 
of your saide letterzs, p<?rceyuing not onelie the lykelyhod of the 
not repairee into Fraunce of Philip Melanchton, but also yo//r 
communications had with the frensh king vppon yottr De- 
maunde made of the kinges highnes pencions with also yo?/r 
Discrete answers and replications made in that behalf, for the 
which his maiestee gyueth vnto you his hertie and condigne 
thanks, Ye shall vnderstonde that his highnes co?maundid 
me to make you answer in this wise folowing First as touching 
the kynges money his highnes dowtith not but seeing bothe 
the Frensh king and also the grete Maister haue premised 
you it shalbe depechid ye will as the case shall requyre not 
cease to call vppon them till it be Depeched And ferther 
considering that the saide frensh king vppon yo?/r saide 
Demaunde of \he saide pensions so sodaynelye fell into co?/2- 
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 specyally being last at 
Marcelks 1 with Pope Clement with other things as in your 
saide L?//^res appereth, as also concernyng the executions 
lately don^ here wit/tin this realme, The kingly highnes not 
a litle m^rvaileth thereat, and thinketh it good that as of 
yourself ye take som occasion at conuenyent tyme and opor- 
tunyte to renovate the saide co?^munycacyon both with 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 answered for the kynges highnes in his 
cause and specyally to the saide Pope Clement at Marcelk^ 
affirmyng his procedynges to be iust and vpright concernyng 
the Matrymony as ye do wryte, in that albeit the kynges 
highnes proczdinges in all his affairees within this realme 
being of such equyte and iustnes of themself as they be, nedeth 

1 A copy of this letter is also to be found in Longleat House. 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL . 417 

not any defence or assistence ayenst Pope Clement or any 
other foreyn power, having goddes worde and lawes onelie 
sufficient to defende him Yet in that that 1 the said frensh kyng 
hathe as he sayeth answered at all tymes on the kingly p^rte, 
he hathe don* nothing but the parte of a brother in iustefieng 
and verefyeng the trewth, and so contynuyng shall Do as 
ap^rteyneth to a prynce of honour which the kingly highnes 
doubtith not he hath and will do onely in respecte to the 
veryte and trewth beside the amyte betwixt them both iustlye 
requyring the same. And concerning thexecuabns Done 
wzt//in this realme ye shall sey to the saide Frensh Kyng that 
the same were not so mervelous extreme as he alledgeth, for 
touching Mr. More and the Bisshop of Rochester \vit/i suche 
others as were executed here, their treasons conspiracies and 
practises secretely practised aswell wz t/nn the realme as vfitk- 
out to move and styrre discension and to sowe sedycyon 
wzt//in the realme, intending thereby not onelye the distruc- 
tion of the kyng but also the hole subuersion of his highnes 
realme being explaned and declared and so manyfestly proved 
afore them that they could not avoyde nor Denyc 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 Sou^reigne and the totall Distraction of the 
cowmen weale of this realme, were well worthie if they had 
had a thousande lyves to haue 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 Judgement and also what exhortacions 
he shoulde gyue vnto the kyng^ subiect^ to be trew and 
obedient to his grace (assuring you that there was no such 
thing) whereof the gret Master promysed you a Double at 
length. In that the k mges 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 kyng<?.y highnes can not other 
wise 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 whom he hathe mynystered so many grete 
benefit*? pleasures and cof/zmodytees shoulde so lightly gyue 
eare faith and credence to any such vayne brutes and fleeng 
tales Not hauyng first knowlege or adu^rtisement from the 
kingly highnes here and his counsaile of the veryte and 
trewth, 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 compressed 
the bruters thereof to sylence or at the leest not p^rmytted 
them to haue dyvulged the same vntill such tyme as the 
king^r maiestee being so dere a frende had ben adu^rtesed 
thereof and the trewth knowen before he shoulde so lightly 
beleve or allege any suche reporte which 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 towards the "kmges highnes and 
his prvced mges as his highnes alwayes heretofore hathe 
expected and loked for. Which thing Ye may propone and 
alledge vnto the saide frensh king and the grete Maister or to 
one of them with suche modestie and sobrenes as ye thinke 
they maye p^rceyue that the king^ highnes hathe good and 
hist 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 k mgcs highnes hathe made 
he will not medle wMa.ll 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 ch^unged, to that ye shall sey that such 
lawes as the kmges highnes hathe made here be not made 
without substauncyall grounds 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 were 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 
m^rvaile 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 wise execute them And specyallie con 
sidering that the saide frensh king himself in cowmonyng 
with 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 kinges 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 Determyn himself to 
call home into his realme agayn his subjects being out of the 
same for speking ayenst the Bisshop of Romes vsurped auc- 
toryte, and counsaile the kynges highnes to banysshe his 
traytours into straunge partes where they myght haue good 
occasion tyme place and oportunyte to w^rke their feates of 
treason and conspiracie the better agaynst the king^ highnes 
and this his realme. In which parte ye shall somwhat 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 419 

engreve the matier after such sorte as it may well appere to 
the saide frensh king that not onelie the king^ highnes might 
take those his counsailes and co;//munycaczons both straungely 
and vnkyndely thinking the same not to precede of mere 
amyte and frendship, but also vsing such polycie and austeryte 
in proponyng the same wit/i the saide frensh king and the 
grete Maister taking such tyme and oportunyte as may best 
serue for the same, as they may well p^rceyue the kingly 
highnes preceding^ here wz t/Hn this realme both concerning 
the saide execucyons and all other things to be onely groundid 
vppon iustice and the equyte of his lawes which be no new 
lawes but auncyent lawes made and establisshed of many 
yeres passed wz t/an this realme and now renovate and renewed 
as is aforesaide for the better order weale and suretie of the 
same. And ye may ferther say that if the frensh king and 
his counsaile well consyder as they ought to do that it were 
moch better to adu<7?mce the punysshment of traito&rs and 
rebellr^ for their offence then to ponysshe such as do speke 
ayenst the vsurped auctoryte of the bisshop of Rome who 
Daylie goth about to suppresse and subdue kyng^y and prynccs 
and their auctorytee gyuen to them by goddes worde. All 
which matiers the kynges pleasure is that ye shall take tyme 
and occasion as ye talkyng agayn wzt/2 the frensh king or the 
grete Maister may declare yotir mynde as before is prescribed 
vnto you. Adding thereunto such matier wzt^ such reasons 
after yoz/r accustomed dexteryte & discression as ye shall 
thinke most expedyent and to serve best for the kingly 
purpose, Defence of his preceding^ and the profe of the frensh 
k mgcs ingratitude shewed in this behalf. Not Doubting in 
yo?/r wisedom good industrie and discrete circumspection for 
thordering and well handeling of the same accordinglye. 

And touching Melanchton 1 considering there is no lyke- 
lihod of his repayree into Fraunce as I haue well p^rceyued 
by your L?/&?res, the kynges highnes therfore hath appoyntid 
Cristofer Mount indelaiedlie to take his ioz/rney where Me 
lanchton is and if he come to prevente MounszVz/r de Langie 
in suche wise as the saide Melancton his repay re into Fraunce 
may be stayed and dyu^rtid into Englond 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 
lerne and dissiphre the opynyons of the lernid men and their 
inclynacions and affections aswell towards the kynges highnes 
procedinges as to the bisshop of Rome his vsurped power and 
auctoryte, after such sorte as the kingly saide highnes hathe 

1 c. o. &c. the kynges high 2 c. c* reside and demoure 



420 LETTERS OF [1535 

now wrytten to him by his gracious letteres addressed both to 
him and the saide Cristofer Mount 1 . Dyrecting them what 
they shall do in all things comytted to their charge at this 
tyme As I doubt not they will put thereunto their devoires 
for the accomplisshment of the king^ pleasure as ap^r- 
teyneth. And thus makyng an ende prayeng you to vse 
yo?/r 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 moch displeas^untly taken Adu^rtesing 
the k mges 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. 

Endd. Fraunce 

114. (CROMWELL) TO NICHOLAS OLDISWORTHY. 

R. O. Cal. ix. 241 (i). Sept. i (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 wise I commend me vnto you . Aduertising the- 
same that for certayne causes the kingly highnes specially 
movyng, his graces pleasure is that ye shall surcease any 
farther to yntermedle \vitk the possessions and lander be- 
longyng to the Busshopriche of Hereford but that ye suffer 
suche as the Busshop elect shall appoynt to haue the doyng 
of the same. And that ye farther suffer the officers appoynted 
by thesayd Busshop to resceyve aswell the next rent due at 
the Fest of thannuaciacion of our lady last past as all other 
rentes due sithe that tyme. And that ye fayll not thus to do 
as the king^ trust is in you . thus fare ye well. At Bromham 
the first day of September. 

for Nicholas Oldisworthye. 
115. (CROMWELL) TO (THE ABBESS OF WILTON). 

R. O. Cal. ix. 271. Sept. 4 (1535). 

Desires her to act kindly towards his friend William Nevill in the matter 
of the lands belonging to her monastery. NeviJl does not wish to sue 
her though he has good cause so to do. 

Madame, after my right harty recommendations vnto you, 
thiese shalbe like as here tofore I have writen vnto you, to 

1 c. o. whereby 



J 535] THOMAS CROMWELL 421 

desire you to be good lady and frynd to my lovyng frynd 
willzVzm Nevell about the Ferme of Chalke and do such 
reparacions as belongithe vnto the same according to ysur 
graunt therof made and that ye will suffer hym to have and 
enioy such copy holdes as he of right shuld have and holde of 
your Mano?/r of Semky belongyng to that your Monastery, as 
by sufficient writyng and copies therof it dothe more at large 
appere, in suche wise as he may have no cause farther to 
complayne ouer you therfore. I cannot p^rsayve any reason 
iust cause or meanes wherby * ye may or shuld deny hym the- 
same. he hathe been, and yet is all wayes redy to paye his 
rent and do that which ought or shuld 2 apperteyne vnto hym 
to do in that behalf according to his wrytyng therefore. 
Which ye refuse and will not suffer hym to do 3 . I p^rsayve 
the honestie of the man to be suche, that he is veray lothe to 
vexe or sewe you by the order of the common lawe or other 
wise 4 , although he hathe good cause even so to do, whiche 
if he wold he may do right well to your inquietacion for 
thadvoydyng [wher]of I desire you the rather at the contem- 
placion of thiese my \etteres and for 5 your owne quietenes and 
ease to graunt hym his right yn the premysses 6 . Wherby be 
side that ye shall shewe and declare your self to be one that 
will do no p^rsone wrong-e, and kepe yo?/rselfe in quyetenes 
and rest, ye shall admynester and do vnto me therby right 
thankfull pleasure. The whiche I will not forgete semblably 
to requyte. And thus fare ye hartely well. At Wolfall the 
fourthe day of September. 

116. CROMWELL TO THE MAYOR AND COMMONALTY OF 

CAMBRIDGE. 

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 may cease. Requests the Mayor to permit 
the University to continue in the enjoyment of its privileges. 

After my moost harty commendacions, Understanding that 
the body of that the Universitie of Cambridge hath elected 
and chosen me to be their hed and Chauncelor, and that there 
is question at this tyme betwene you touching the exposition 
and qualifieng of the Deere made the last yeer by the kings 

1 c. o. ye can haue to right well do and 

2 c. o. shall c. o. my sake 

3 c. o. wherfore and for asmoche 6 c. o. in suche wise as he may 
as haue no cause eftesones to com- 

4 c. o. whiche if he wold he may playne one you for this matier 



422 LETTERS OF [1535 

counsail, for an order to be had without contencion betwene 

youe and the Universitee in Sturberige fayr, whiche decre ye 

have already commaundement for this yere to observe and 

kepe, contending 1 on your part nothing to be comprehended 

under the name of Vitaill, but that whiche shuld be presently 

spent in the said faiier, and calling Salmon in barrel, musterde 

sede, fishe, and suche other, with an exempcon from the terme 

of vitaill by the name of merchandise, denyeing in like maner 

the said Universitie to appoint two of their body to ioyne 

with two of youe in the serche of merchandises 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 nowe 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 will at my con- 

templacon remembre the preservacion of the Kings peax, 

and use suche a temperaunce in yottr procedings, as with the 

saufgards thereof I may have cause to rest in your love and 

kindness towards me, Being again for myn owne parte, moche 

desirous nowe 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 betwene youe) to have al contencions and 

controversies ceasse on eyther side, tyl direction and final 

order may be taken therein, In the whiche I assure youe 

I shal with such celeritee and indifferency travyll, as ye shall 

not perceyve me a partie, but a personage holly bent without 

al respects to the advancement of the common weal ; I have 

thought good to addresse my letteres 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 Universitie 

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 precede on your part no 

cause of breache of the peax, wherin 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 most 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 your dueties 



*535] THOMAS CROMWELL 4:23 

towards the king in the keping of his peax, and shewe your 
selves gladde to doo unto me gratitude and pleasure. And 
thus fare youe hartcly wel. From Whofall the fifte day of 
September. 

Your lovying freend, 

THOM S CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my loving Frends the Mayre and his Brethern 
of the towne of Cambridge, and to every of them. 



117. CROMWELL TO CriAruvs 1 . 

Vienna Archives; Cal. ix. 326. Sept. 10 (1535). 

Reports the joy of the King at hearing of the success of the Emperor in 
storming Tunis. Hopes on his return to give Chapuys satisfaction 
in his request to visit the Princess Mary. Cf. Letter 121. 

Magnificc atquc observande Domine orator plurimam 
salutem ct commendationem. Quern admodum D. vestra, 
felices et christiano cuique principi speratos cesaree ma ti3 
successus non grauatur crebris suis litteris Serenissimo domino 
meo regi significare ita sepe antea ab eius regia ma te conceptam 
toto pectore letitiam, suis nunc recentioribus litteris eadem 
vestra D. ingeminauit et quam pulcherrime adauxit. Ex 
lectione namque turn cesaree ma tis turn domini de granuell 
litterarum, que toti christiano orbi saluberrimam diuinitusque 
concessam Tunisii expugnationem describebant tarn solido 
gaudio inuictissimus dominus meus rex affectus est, ut si sue 
ipsi ma 11 gloriosa hec obuenisset victoria, maiori ncutiquam 
affici potuisset nee alium vllum quam qui a deo nunc concessus 
est, tarn sancte a cesare suscepte expeditionis euentu sibi 
vnquam pollicebatur. Hanc igitur victoriam omni quidem 
dignam laude, cesaree ma u iterum atque iterum gratulatur 
salutaremque rei publice christiane precatur, cui sic ex corde 
fauet, vt si vlla vnquam occasione, vllane sua opera, quicquam 
addi poterit, experietur cesarea ma tas me nihil de Serenissimi 
domini mea regis in se affectu, amicoque animo meis antea 
litteris vestre D. frustra, aut parum sincere totiens affirmasse. 
Ad id vero quod in suarum litterarum calce vestra D. addidit, 
vt scilicet, quantum intelligo, bona regia Ma 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 turn hac in re, turn 
aliis omnibus presenti meo sermone vestre do is expectation! 

1 From the^official Record Office transcript. 



424 LETTERS OF [1535 

plurimum satisfiet siue feliciter valeat. Ex aula regia apud 
Wolfal die x. septembris. 

v. D. 

Ex animo amicissimus 

THOMAS CRUMUELL. 

Add. Magnifico atque observando domino Eustachio 
Chapuysio Cesare ma tis oratori. 

118. (CROMWELL) TO . 

R. O. Cal. ix. 470. Sept. 29 (1535). 

The King desires him to pay half the last year s rent of the bishopric of 
Worcester to the Bishop, and the remainder to M. Gostwick for the 
King. 

1 1 commend me vnto you. Adu^rtisyng thesame, that the 
kyng^ pleasure and cowmaundement is, that ye wzt/z 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 your owne hand^ to the kynges vse Wherfore 
I require you furthew/t/z so to do wit/tout any delay, as the 
kyng^r trust and expectacion is yn you. Thus fare ye hartely 
well. At Wynchester the xxix day of September. 

Postscript. 

I Co;;/mend me vnto yow aduertysing the same that the 
kynges highnes pleasure is that of the nolle yeres Rent dew 
to his highnes and levyable at this Fest of Saynt Mychell 
of the yssews reuenews and prcffccttes of the Busshoprych 
of Worcester ye shall Content and paye or Cause to be 
Contentyd (and) payde vnto my lorde the Busshop of 
Woorcester the hole half yeres proffytt^ evynlye to be 
deuydyd and the residew For the Fyrst hallffe yere to 
be payd to the hand*?.? of Maister gostwyke to the kynges 
vse and this ys expresslye the kyng^ plesure and so Fare ye 
well at Wynchester 

119. CROMWELL TO THE COUNTESS OF OXFORD. 

R. O. Cal. ix. 485 (i). Sept. 30 (1535). 

Desires her to restore Mr. 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 commend me vnto your good 
ladishippe. And wher as ther hathe of long tyme depended 

1 c. o. In my right harty wise 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 425 

betwene you and this berer Maister Tirrell certayne con- 
trau^rsies, aswell concernyng his clayme to the parke and 
Bailliswike of Camps, as a certayne copie Holde Whiche he 
bought in the same Towne, from all the whiche ye haue 
expulsed hym, I shall most hartely desire and pray you at the 
especial! 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 towards 
you, done vnto hym, in his expulsion from the same park 
Bailliwike and copie hold and your detynewe therof all 
togither wronge 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 way disapoynted of yo?tr will and pleasure, whiche as 
I nowe frendly and frankly write vnto you, bicause that 
I wold be glad, ye shuld wzt//out constraynt do as shall 
apperteyne to your "honour, and Justice. So I am enforced 
to adu^rtise you, as your poore frende, that the kinges highnes 
like a prynce of honour is mynded to haue iustice precede 
wzt/zout respect in that cause, Eftesones therfore requyryng 
your good ladiship the rather for my sake wzt^out any 
extremyte to be good lady vnto hym, who I dare affirme wilbe 
glad to do vnto you during his liffe that srruice and pleasure 
that shall lye in his litle power. As know*?//* god who send 
your good ladiship long liffe and well to fare. From 
Wynchester the last day of September. 

Your ladyshyppis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To the right honourable and my good lady my 
Lady Anne Countes of Oxford by this youen. 

Endd. A letters directed from my master to the Lady 
Anne Countes of Oxford. 

120. CROMWELL TO (DAVYE MORGAN KEMYS). 

R. O. Cal. ix. 486. Sept. 30 (1535). 

Requests him to allow John Crede to retain possession of certain lands 
in Cromwell s manor of Rumney in Monmouth to which he has a deed, 
until reasonable cause can be shown for his ejection. 

Datum per Copiam 

I Commend me to yow. And for Asmoche As I haue 
scene the Deed made (to) John Crede for certeyn Lander 
in my mannour of Rompney called the Splott^ And other 

MERRIMAN. I F f 



426 LETTERS OF [1535 

Lonckf there. W/iic/i I take to be a goode Deade. And 
that Notwithstanding the said Crede Saithe that ye entend 
to putt hym From the Same. Wherefore I Requyre you to 
p^rmytt And Suffre hym to holde And kepe the possession 
thereof According to the tennowr of his Deade Vntill Suche 
tyme as Apon youre Adu^rtisement thereof I maie knowe 
A Reasonable Cause . Whie he shuld be putt from the same. 
Att Wynchester the Laste daie of September. 

Your Loving maister 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 



121. CROMWELL TO CHAPUYS 3 . 

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. Cf. Letter 117. 

Magnifice et observande domine orator plurimam salutem 
et commendationem. Litteras quas vestra D. antea ad me 
dedit grato hilarique semper animo accepi, non mediocremque 
animi letitiam ob id presertim semper attulerunt, quod cesaree 
ma ti8 successus vt sperandum et christiano reipublice saluti- 
feros, vberrime nunciabant ; recentiores vero iste eo nomine 
gratiores acceptioresque extitere quod succinte atque distincte 
totius expeditionis rerum, temporum atque locorum seriem 
et euentum ab ipso initio in hunc vsque diem sic describunt 
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 publicam 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 suspicatur, non possum pro 
mutue nostre coniunctionis sinceriorisque amicitie vinculo, 
earn 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] THOMAS CROMWELL 427 

esset oblitus nisi carissimam filiam paterno complecteretur 
affectu et aliorum vigilantia sibi in mentem redigi expectaret, 
quod salubritati, atque solatio filie esse posset. Itaque quam 
possum ex animo dominationem vestram obsecro, vt suum 
istud illustrissimam dominam mariam inuisendi desiderium 
ab amico pectore potius quam vlla necessitate profectum in 
aliud commodius tempus defferre non grauetur, et enim vt fieri 
facile potest de huius illustrissime domine neglecta valetudine 
falso aliquid ad vos deferri, ita a dominatione vestra peto, vt 
affirmanti mihi velit certam habere fidem nihil scilicet cure 
studii, atque diligentie omitti quod ad illustrissime domine 
Marie conseruationem expedire posse videatur. Pestis deinde 
sic londini, locisque vicinioribus seuit, vt inofficiosus videri 
posset, quicunque illinc veniens dominam mariam in aere 
alique temperie agentem, quam saluberrima, officii gratia 
nunc temporis vellet inuisere. Non grauetur itaque dominatio 
vestra hoc meum responsum 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- 
gressum colloquemur vberius, et felix valeat vestra dominatio 
cui ex animi sententia, optima queque euenire precor . wintonie 
die vltimo septembris 1535. 

E. v. D. 

Ex corde amicus 

THOMAS CRUIMUELL. 

Add. Magnifico Domino Eustachio Chapuysio Cesaree 
ma tis oratori plurimurn observando. 

122. CROMWELL TO SIR GREGORY DA CASALE. 

R. O. Cal. ix. 240. Sept. 1535. 

Explains, for the Pope s benefit, the reasons for the executions of More and 
Fisher, and describes them as men proved guilty of high treason 
Wonders at the Pope s indignation at their just sentence. 



D0ne Gregori plurimam salutem et com- 
Quae turn ex ferraria turn ex bononia vcstns 
\ettev\s nuper ad me scripsistis, sigillatim omnia (ut mei est 
officii) Serenissimae Regiae Mates tati significaui, in quibus, 
ut multa erant, publicarum rerum cognitionis gratia lectu non 
iniucunda, et vestri cum Domino Parisiensi habiti sermones 
ipsi probantur, ita non satis demirari potuit, Ep&ogri Roffeiww 1 
et Thomae Mori mortem, pontificis, illiusqw* curiae animutfg 
adeo grauiter offendisse, ut ex hac re conceptam indignationem 

Ff 3 



428 LETTERS OF [1535 

haud facile possint concoquere, licetq/^ Inuictissimae Regiae 
Mates tati mortalium nemini. praeterq?/^ Deo (cum quo actiones, 
consiliaqz^? sua habet qtiam maxime coniuncta)ulla sit factorum 
suorum reddenda ratio, ne tamen maleuolorww calumniis, ac 
ueritatis obscuratione, Regium suum nomen istic traducatur, 
quid ea in re actu;;/ fuerit succincte ad vos perscribam : Post- 
quam igitur Regia Ma&rtas bene fauente, ac promouente Deo, 
causam suam publicam eruditissimor?/;^, probatissimoruwqz/^ 
totius christianitatis viron/w, qui nullis passionibus, seu 
affectibus essent obnoxii, consensu, et authoritate tandem 
terminasset, et ad ipsam ueritatem omni ex parte firmasset, 
coeperunt isti boni viri, quibus res praeter expectatione?;z 
ceciderat, et spes moliendi noua (ut iam animo agitarant) 
praecisa fuerat, in alias cogitationes, syncere parum, animum 
intendere, quumq?^ optimus Rex ex uigilantissimi principis 
officio (quod a Deo acceptum sustinet in terris) sui Regni 
quieti, et commodo prospicere, hominumqz/^ mores multa iam 
parte collapsos in melius corrigere conaretur, istud etiam 
publicum bonum, quoad fieri per eos potuit, simulatae integri- 
tatis praetextu adnissi x sunt, sed nullo cum fructu impedire, 
atq# praeuertere, huius eorum sceleris indicia Rex habebat 
perqttam manifesta, sed ut vana semper floccifecit, et nihili 
habuit, sperans aliquando futurum <\uod hac sua indulgentia, 
hos viros (quos ut non penitus cognitos nonnunqz/tfw 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 mansuetudine pertinaciter sunt abusi, 
et ubi publicum Regni concilium (quod parliamentu//? uocant) 
pro Regni quiete stabilienda, ut ad certa tempora haberetur, 
indictum foret, ceperunt undecunq?/^ sollicita cum sedulitate 
clanculuw exquirere, qua de re tractari, quidque in hoc 
parliam<?;2to, ut expediens rei p//#/z*cae agi oporteret, quicquid 
uero aliomm delatu ex re praeterita rerum usu, uel coniectura 
usqz/ collegissent id statim communibus consiliis trutinabant, 
omnia secus interpreta;/tes, qiie Regni quies ac utilitas ex- 
poscebat, eo quidem argumenton/w et rationum apparatu, ut 
rudi plebeculae non rnulto cum labore potuisset imponi, 
quumqz/^ ex conscientia parum sana, Regis animum sibi 
offensum suspicarentur, ueriti ne parum commode, audacterqz^, 
quod tacite animo moliebantur, tractare possent, ex hiis non- 
nullos delegerunt, quos audaculos aut linguae uelocitate 
promptiores, aut sui studiosos existimarunt cum his anti- 
quioris amicitiae occasione ageba^t familiaribusq//^ colloquiis 
excipiebant ; ac si quos morbo animi laborantes suae opinionis 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 429 

reperissent, in horum sinum Jam antea conceptu; pectore 
uenenum euomebant, suae erga claementissimum Regem fidei, 
et obseruantiae, atq//r in ipsam patriam charitatis prorsus 
obliti, Haec dum in uulgus haberentur passimque sparsa 
promiscue essent, baud somnulenter solertissimus princeps 
perscrutari coepit, quibus fundame/ztis tarn impia coniuratio 
niteretur, quibusq?/^ enutriretur authoribus, luce clarius per- 
spexit, ab hiis integerrimis iuris tantam iniquitatem deriuari, 
quam redarguebant non obscuri testes, ultro, citroq?/^ missa 
chyrographa, ipsorumq/^ oris confessio, haec et alia que multa 
iustissimuw principem adegeru;/t, ut hos rebelles, ac degeneres 
subditos, in patriam ingratos, communi bono aduersos, publicae 
pacis turbatores, tumultuosos, impios, seditiososq?/^ viros in 
uincula carceresq?^ coniecerit, nee id praetermittere poterat, 
nisi patefacta iniquitate, sui officii consulto immemor permittere 
uoluisset, huius sceleris contagionem publica cum pernicie in 
<\uam multos transferri. Carceribus autem mancipati tracta- 
bantur humanius, atqz^ mitius qitam par fuisset, pro eorum 
dementis, per Regem illis licebat proximonoft colloquio, et con- 
suetudine frui, ij fuerant illis appositi, praescriptiqz^ ministri, 
quos a uinclis immunes antea fidos charosq^ habeba;/t, id cibi 
genus eaq?/ condim^ta, et uestitus ei concedebantur, quae 
eorum habitudini, ac tuendae sanitati, ipsi consanguinei, nepo- 
tes atq?/ affines, et amici iudicabant esse magis accommoda, 
Coeteru;;/ tanta Regis mansuetudine, fides, obserua/jtia, ueritas, 
amorq^ recti apud rebelles istos, proditoresq?/^ homines usq?/^ 
adeo exoleuit, ut constanter iniqui esse maluerint, quam sui 
sceleris poenitentia Regis bonitatematq//^ claementiam experiri, 
et enim postqttam certae leges, statuta, atque decreta, re prius 
multa deliberatione in omne;;z partem discussa, publica parlia- 
mewti authoritate, assensu atq?/^ consensu condita prae- 
scriptaq?/^ fuere, et ab omnibus nullo discrimine, repugna/^te 
nullo, ut sancta necessaria toti Regno utilia. et cum uera 
christi religione potissimuw consentientia admissa, atq& re- 
cepta sunt, soli isti repugnabant, suae impietatis praesidium 
semper aliquod fortuitum sibi ex tempore pollicentes, non- 
nunqitam omissa rerum humanan/7/z cogitatione se totos 
diuinan/;;? contemplationi egregie simulabant addictos, interim 
studia, uigilias. cogitatusq?^, suos omnes utcunqz^ carceribus 
obnoxii eo intendebant, ut quibuscunq?^ possent fallaciis, 
praestigiosisqz/^ argumentis tarn sanctas Regni leges, ta.nta.que 
authoritate firmitas ac rectissime stabilitas, soli ipsi perni- 
ciosissimae seditionis principes in commune malum eluderent, 
refellerent, atq?^ turbare;/t, huius autem tarn impiae, perfidae 
ac iniquae affectae uoluntatis extant manifestissima indicia 
extant chyrographa ipsa eorum manu carbonibus, et creta (si 



430 LETTERS OF [1535 

quando deerat atrame;2tum) depicta, ultro, citroque clam ab 
ipsis destinata, neque ipsi ibant inficias complures mutuo 
acceptas missasqz^ lifteras, fuisse in ignem coniectas ut 
taciturn, tutumq//^ suae iniquitatis seruatorem, aliud nihil 
hiis hV/iris conscriptum erat, quam quod ad publicam sedi- 
tionem potissimu;^ spectaret, sustinere diutius non potuit 
mitissimus Rex istorum culpam tarn atrocem, legumqz/^ 
examini publico foro et aperto iudicio illos commisit. Laesae 
Mazkyfotis, ac rebellionis rei reperti sunt, zkque damnati, 
supplicium de eis sumptum est longe quidem mitius quam 
leges, ac iudicia praescribebant aut eorum culpa exegisset, 
ex quorum exemplo ad sanitatem, ad fidem qziam multi 
rediere : Quicunq&l sano defecatoqz/^ est iudicio non obscure 
huic perspicere potest quod praecipitanter pontifex, et curia 
Romana ullam ex hac re animi ofTensionem conceperit, per 
Regiam Mazestatem non stat, quominus pontifex in suos 
Cafrft**#les Epsw/os eosqwe omnes, in quos ius ullum sibi 
uendicat, iure suo utatur, non eorum causam suam aestimat, 
nee oflfenditur, si pontifex, aut quiuis alms chrw/zanus princeps 
ullum de male mentis subditis aut rebellibus supplicium 
exigat : Iterum igitur, atqz/<? iterum miratur, pontificem ex 
hac re tantum indignationis animo concepisse, sed hanc 
indignationem, quam tantopere exacerbare uidetur curia, tune 
depositam iri putat, quum desierint maleuoli suggerere quae 
falsa sunt, quumque mentiendi uia fuerit illis praeclusa, quibus 
quum nil aeque graue, atque molestuftf sit, quam quod suon/;;z 
consilion/7/2 tarn strenua fundamenta deiecta fuerint, id operae 
precium non exiguum esse ducu^t, ut hoc uelamine suas 
technas callide contega;/t priuatamq?/^ ofTensionem, si quae 
sit, pontificis causam faciant. Non grauetur itzqne pontifex, 
si Regia Matestas suo Regniq^ sui iure, si quando expedit, 
uicissim utatur : Haec itaque omnia turn pontifici, turn 
coeteris omnibus, qui ex horum rebelliuw suscepto supplicio 
qmcquid offensionis concoeperint sedulo enarrabitis, ut quam 
ex falsa auditione animi molestiam imbiberu;zt, hanc uera 
audiendo, multa mentis tranquillitate quandoque deponant, 
nihilq^^ omittetis, in eorum qua superius commemoraui 
enarratione, etenim Regiae Mates fati gratissimuw erit, ne 
ipsa ueritas, ut se habet, maleuolon/;;z calumniis obscuretur, 
quta si tantum increbuerit mendax paucorum delatio, ut 
nullus hac in re amplius apud illos sit locus ueritati relictus, 
falsas eorum calumnias quantuw cum Deo poterit Regia 
Maiestzs sustinebit, quae sic Regni sui statum, resquc omnes 
undequzquc firmitas, stabilitasq?/^ habet, sic suorum fidem, 
pectora, et obseruantiam compertam tenet, ut iniuriam omnem, 
si qua alicunde inferatur, queat non multo cum labore deo 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 431 

bene iuuantc, refellere et propulsare. Et bene valete. Ex 
Aula Regia apud Brumham Die Septembrw MDXXXV. 

Vester bonus amicus 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 
Add. Mag;/z/fco Equiti, Domino Gregorio Casalio etc. 

123. (CROMWELL) 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 cowmendacion, ye shall vnderstand that 
I have resceyved your \cttere. of the xxvi th day of August wit/i 
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 kingly highnes who * consideryng your 
payne and travaill takyn therin right well allowithe and 
acceptithe your good procedyng^ and doyng^ in that 
behalfe, yevyng vnto you therfore right harty thanks, 
requyryng 2 the same farther like as ye have alredy begonne 
So to precede therin withe suche acceleracion and spede as ye 
convenyently may do, accordyng to thexpectacion and trust 
that his highnes hathe in you. And touchyng the enquestes 
that ye have charged for that purpose all though they be the 
kinges seruauntes and sworne for that purpose, yet for asmoche 
as many of theym in some poyntes p^rchaunce may be 
offendoz/rs will therfore conceyll and not fynd the truthe in 
every poynt. Wherfore the kingrj pleasure is that ye well 
consideryng the same may order and devise eu^ry thyng after 
your discresion, and as ye shall se cause beside thefFect of 
the verdictes of thesame enquestes. 

124. CROMWELL TO THE MAYOR, 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 commende me unto youe. And 
whereas 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 z c. o. you even 



432 LETTERS OF [1535 

depending betweene you and them, in contencon and variaimce, 
might be 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 with suche dexteritie to travayl, as 
you shall have good cause to think that all respects and 
affecttions laide aparte, I only mynd that which 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 yere, to be furnyshed 
with the townesmen, 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 Tolbothe, for 
the punyshment of all such other offences, as they may by 
their said Charters correct and punish, the rather of perverse 
mynd than otherwise, doo from tyme to tyme, when the 
said letes be summoned, as wel make slender appearance in 
the same, ne being theer charged, present and amerce the 
offenders, as by virtue of yvur othe you be bounde. wherby 
the good order to be observed therin is utterly confounded, to 
the great detryment of the publique weale 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 them to 
have the correction of waightes and measures, and the use of 
the said prisonne at their liberties, as they have had, without 
yo>ur 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 with al speede and 
celeritie. And thus fare youe hartely well. From Stepnay, 
the 1 5th daye of Octobre. 

Your lovyng freend, 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my hartely beloved Freendes the Mayre, BailiefTs, 
and Burgesses, of the towne of Cambridge, and to every of them. 



THOMAS CROMWELL 433 

125. (CROMWELL) TO JOHN GOSTWICK. 

B. M. Titus B. iv, ff. 114-5 I Cal. ix. 647. Oct. 20, 1535. 

Finds that Gostwick is charged with the sum of ,16,032 i6s. 8d. due to 
the King from divers persons, for conveying corn out of the realm. 
Desires him to collect as much of it as he can. 

Mr Gostwyck. Where ye stande Charged in the Books 
of Specialties Betwene you & me made at your furst entrie 
into your Office subscribed wit/i QUT hands for the Receipt 
of Sixtene Thousande thirty & two pounds sixtene shil 
lings and eight pence, due vnto the Kings Maiestie by 
diucrse & sundry pc/ sonnes, for the Conveyaunce of Corne 
& other things out of this Realme contrary to the Kings 
Lawes, as appereth by the condiczbns of their obligaczons, 
remaynyng in your Custodye, And forasmuche as I do vnder- 
stande and perfitely knowe that a grete p#rte of the said 
su;;;me of xvi ml xxxii li xvi s viii d ys vnlevyable, desperat 
& cannot be had nor recouped by reason that certain of the 
saide personnes haue certificaths, sorame other fallen in vtter 
decay, by occasion of the grete losses & hynderauncs that 
they haue susteyned as well by See, as Lande, And sorame of 
theim dedde, & not knowing of whome to be aunswered 
Whereby I haue Considered the same to be mattier of Con 
science, not intending nor mynding to charge you further 
than shall stande with the same, nor wzt/i nomore sume or 
su?;/mes than hath or herafter shall co?;zme vnto your hands 
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 Kings Maiesties name Auc- 
torizing you, to call all the said parties before you, wzt/z all 
seleritie & spede, And by your discresczon, so to vse them, 
That the kings highnes may be aunswered of the money, 
that by your saide discrescion shalbe thought of verey right 
& Conscience sufficient. Further in the kings name Auc- 
torizing you by vertue herof, to take newe composic/ons of 
suche as hath not their money in arredynesse. And also by 
the same to deliuer all suche specialties vnto the parties or 
ther deputies, as shalbe proved of right either to haue Cer 
tificate or other sufficient Discharge. And this Subscribed with 
my hande shalbe vnto you your heires executors & deputies 
sufficient Discharge at all tymes hereafter, for your so doing. 
Wrytten the xx li day of Octobre the xxvii 11 yere of the Reigne 
of our Soueraigne Lorde king Henry the eight. 

Eudd. A minute of a lettre to M r Gostwyke, towching 



434 LETTERS OF [1535 

a newe ordre and composiczbn to be taken w/t/fc certayn 
p^sons standing chardged in grete sommes of monaye vnto 
the kingly Ma^tie whiche be vnleviable and desperate by- 
reason the parties by casualtes be brought to greate pou^rtie 



126. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. no ; Cal. ix. 848. Nov. 19 (1535). 

Urges him 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 him to distribute 
according to his discretion. 

My veray good lorde aftre my moost harty cowmendac/ons 
by maister brian whom the king^j highnes at this tyme 
sendeth vnto his good brother the frenche king sufficiently 
instructed to certain purposes, as by his instructions wherunto 
ye shalbe participant and make him again the semblable to 
yours, ye shal p^rceyve, ye shal receyve his highnes ktf&res, 
touching matiers of importaunce, whiche as his grace doubteth 
not but ye wil setfurth wit/i suche dexteritie as shal best 
conduce his desire to effecte Soo his pleasure is ye shal wtt/i 
suche stomak and courage travail wzt/z 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 shewe therwzt/z howe ingrately his highnes is 
handeled therm specially being at this tyme soo secrete and 
freendly treatie betv/ene him and his good brother as there is 
for matiers of soo high consequence, among^j whiche things 
also his grace desireth youe to remembre the declarac/on 
of the french king of tharticles sent by Melancton, luthers 
epistle in the same, wtt/i thother circumstances conteyned 
in the copies lately sent vnto you. Ye shall also receyve 
herwztA a dosen of yoz/r orations and another dosen of the 
deanes, whiche the king^j pleasure is ye shall by thaduise of 
Mr. brian and Maister Wallop destribute to suche persoun.es 
there as among^ youe ye shal think convenient. In whiche 
treatie to be had concernyng the shippes ye may not forget 
to inculce what Joye the subgiettej here conceyved for his 
recouerye in the procession, and howe they bee again sithens 
stayed vppon this staye of the shippes whiche hath indede soo 
contrary a countenance to oz/r doings as it is no mervayl 
thoughe they be abasshed at it. And this matier the kmges 
highnes woll haue you chiefly prosecute, leving to Sir John 
Wallop only the sute for the moneye, bicause the pmnyse 
therof was made vnto him. And thus I pray god sende your 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 435 

lordshipp well to fare. From the Rulles the xix th daye of 
Nouembrc 

Your lordshippis assuryd 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good lorde my lorde of Winchestre 
the kingly highnes Ambassador at this tyme wit/i the french 
king. 

Endd. From the Roulles the xix th of Novembre. Mr. 
Secretary 

127. CROMWELL TO GARDINER AND WALLOP. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 232 ; Cal. ix. App. 8. Dec. 7 (1535). 

Desires them to discover the real inclination of the French King, and to 
ascertain whether they have any secret plans on foot. Gives a list of 
the sums of money due to the King. 

Aftre my moost harty co7#mendac/ons wtt/t like thanks 
for your gentle let ten zs and aduertisement^ of the Occurrant^ 
there, ye shal at this tyme receyve the kinges highnes li/&res 
answering to yours of the xxviii th of Nouembre The contents 
wherof as his highnes dotibteth not but ye wil duely consider 
and accomplishe tempering neu^rtheles the same in suche 
sorte, as your wisedomes shall think maye best s^rue to 
thentertaynement of thamytie betwene his grace and the 
frenche king, and the conducing of his graces desire to effecte. 
Soo his highnes spetVally desireth youe to endeuo//r yourselfes 
by all the meanes ye canne possibly deuise and excogitate 
to explore serche and knowe the veray inclynac/on of the 
frenche king and whither the frenchemen haue any pryvie 
practises in hande, and of the lightlywod of the successes of 
the same wit/i suche other occurrantej 1 as shall chaunce to 
comme to your knowleage 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 wil give you leave. The 
treatie belli offensiui ratified at Amyans I sende vnto youe 
herwzt/z, And as co;/cernyng thaccompt of the money due to 
the kingly highnes First there is due to his grace 1M 1 1 crownes 
lent to the duke of Bavier for the whiche the frenche king 
standeth bounde by obligaczbn. Item 1M 11 crownes lent at 
his request for the assistence of the duke of Wittenberge, for 
the whiche they haue non acquietance, but were bounde by 
promyse to repaye it in cace there ensued no good successe 

1 i. e. 50,000. 



436 LETTERS OF [1535 

of themployment of the same whiche condition and con- 
venaunt is wz t/zout question determyned. 

Item there is due vnto his grace the hole penczon and salt 
moneye for the last yere ended at Nouembre. 

And wheras the king^ highnes in these his k/teres nowe 
sent vnto youe hathe co/wmaunded youe Mr. wallop to presse 
themperours, Ambassador for your declaration to the denyal 
of thouertures, like as I writing by his graces cowmaundement 
vsed the same terme, for declaraczon of yourself, to thintent ye 
shal not thinke that anything is further ment therby thenne 
to haue youe vse that worde to him to extorte what ye canne 
in that matier, his highnes co;^mazmded 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 speaally desireth youe to remewbre his 
co^mandement touching the delyu^rance of the shippes 

Your assuryd Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To myn assured frendes My lorde of Winchestre 
and sir John Wallop knight the king^ Ambassadors in 
fraunce. 

Endd. From Richemonde the vii th of decembre. Mr. 
Secretary. 

128. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 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 him to labour for the delivery of the ships. 

Aftre my moost harty co;;zmendaczons to your lordshippe 
Thise shalbe to aduertise youe that Albeit in myn other let feres 
writen ioyntly to youe and Maister Wallop I haue signified 
that ye shuld by this berer receyve the treaty belli offensiui 
whiche ye wrote 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 we shal dispeche another currour vnto youe, thenne to 
demore your seruaunt here tyl I might haue goon to london 
for that purpose. And wheras your said seruaunt hath de 
clared vnto me your credence concernyng your necessitie of 
money, I shall not fayle by the next messanger to take 
suche direction \vit/i youe for the satisfaction of your desire 
in that parte as ye shall haue cause to be contented. The 
kingly highnes desireth youe to labour effectually (for) the 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 437 

delyu^rance of the shippes at Burdeulx according to suche 
instructions as ye haue in that behaulf. And thus moost 
hartely Fare youe well. From Richemonte the vii th daye of 
Decembre in hast 

Your lordshippis assuryd Freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good lorde my lorde of Wynchestre 
the k mgfs Ambassador; in fraunce. 

Endd. From Richemonde the vii th of decembre. Mr. 
Secretary. 

129. CROMWELL TO THE MAYOR, ALDERMEN AND 
BAILIFFS OF CAMBRIDGE. 

Cooper s Annals, i. 377 ; Cal. ix. 977. Dec. 15 (1535). 

Marvels that they have not complied with his requests that the University 
be permitted to use the Tolbooth, and desires them to delay no 
longer. Will see that justice is done in all respects. 

In my right harty maner I comende me unto youe. Lating 
you wit that I cannot a little marvayle to understand that 
notwithstanding 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 newc 
practises, usages, or imposicions, wherby might insewg debate 
and contencion betweene you and the said universitie, to yoz/r 
owne disquiet, with the offence of the kings peax, ye have 
both refused to doo and accomplish those things persuaded 
and enioined therin unto youe, and for the contynuance and 
nutryment of discorde and trouble amonge the kings subiectts, 
devised newe things and meanes to augment and engrece the 
same. The prysonne first is the kings, and seing his grace by 
his charters and grauntes hath ioyned the universitie with 
youe in the use therof, I cannot conceyve what ye meane to 
denye that whiche his grace hath graunted, and by vertue 
thereof, they have so long enjoyed, which expressly your 
baylie Ousburn did bothe to the procurators, and also to the 
vicechancelors deputie. A sergeant of yours also lately tok 
a peace of cloth from the stall of a commone minister of the 
Universities for non apparance in your Leate contrary to the 
comandment given at the tyme of Sturberige fayr, that ye 
shuld reyse no newe custome, or gather any newe exaction or 
imposiccon, uppon any scoler, his servaunt or their comone 
ministers ; ye have also refused alonly this yere, to make a 
certain othe before the congregacion at Saint Maryes church, 
for the conservacion of the peax, and the presentement to 



438 LETTERS OF [1535 

the vicechauncelor of vagabundes and others, breakers and 
interrupters of the said peax. Nowe shal I, being only a 
Counsailor, and otherwise then honestie and justice wil no 
partie, whiche have not only proffessed to travayl for the 
quiet of both parties, but will devise and labor also to per- 
forme the same, desire youe to permytt them, first to have the 
free use of the tolboth as they have had : to see the cloth 
restored, taken violently awaye by your sergeant ; To see their 
leats furnished, and to tak such othe, and use all suche things 
and custumes as ye have doon, untyl fynal direction may be 
taken betweene both parties. And yet I must ever saye, 
whiche ye shall also fynde true, that in cace ye shall doo any 
wrong, or not fulfill that ye be bound unto, wherby tumult 
and busines shuld rise amonge the kings people, though I do 
indede favor your cause, as appertayneth, and will also be 
gladde to doo therein what I canne for your comoditie, Yet 
in cace prayer and gentle entreatie cannot pull and allure 
youe awaye from the doing of wrong and iniury, both to the 
king and his subjectts, I will not fayle to advaunce, to the 
uttermost of my power Justice and to see punished with 
extremytie the interrupters thereof, to the example of other. 
And therfor eftsones, I most hartily praye youe to conforme 
yourselfs to quietnes in these pointes, and therein to performe 
that without contencon whiche the princes grauntes, ever to 
be reverently obeyed, doo require of youe, Ye shal by this 
waye and meane, doo your dueties, first toward his grace, to 
me administer most thankfull pleasure, and with your honesties 
provyde yourselfs quiet and rest, with a good end in all suche 
controversies as depende between youe and the said uni- 
versitie. And thus fare youe hartely well. From Stepnaye, 
the xv th daye of Decembre. 

Your freend, 

THOM^^ CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my loving freendes, the Mayre, Aldermen and 
bailieffs of the towne of Cambridge. 

130. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 112 ; Cal. ix. 1010. Dec. 24 (1535). 

Thanks him for his letters, and promises to attend to Gardiner s wants. 
The postscript of Cromwell s other letter will inform Gardiner of 
Thwaites arrival here, and of the answers made to the letters he 
brought. 

Aftre my moost harty co;;miendacons to your lordshippe 
\vt/t like thanks for your gentle k//fcres by the post scripta 



1535] THOMAS CROMWELL 439 



in myn other let feres nowe writen vnto youe by the 
highnes cowmaundement ye shal p^rceyve tharryval here of 
your seruaunt Thvvaytes, wtt/i the determynaczon for answer 
to be made to suche k/fcres as he brought wtt/i him. I shall 
in the meane tyme so satisfie peter lark yo?/r seruatmt 
touching your request for money that ye shall by the next 
post prrceyve ye be not forgotten, but sufficiently and soo 
furnished as ye shall haue cause to be contented. Your 
doings be no lesse thankfully accepted, thenne your wisedom 
travail and diligence therin do require and for my p#rte if 
there be anything ell^y here that I may doo your pleasure 
in, vppon your aduertisement I shalbe glad wit/i al my 
harte to satisfie youe in the same. And thus most hartely 
fare youe wel, from the Rulles the xxiiij th of Decembre 

"Your lordshippis assuryd freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good lord my lord of Winchestre. 

Endd. From the roulles the xxiiij of decemb^r Mr. 
Secretary. 

131. CROMWELL TO GARDINER. 

B. M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 114 ; Cal. ix. 1039. Dec. 30 (1535). 

The King approves of his service, and assures him that he will be glad to 
welcome him on his return. Reports the illness of Katherine. Has 
arranged for his money with Peter Lark. 

My veray good lord aftre my moost harty cowmendaczbns 
Thise shalbe taduertise youe that vndoubtedly the k mges 
highnes doth in soo thankfull sorte accepte your sluice 
there doon vnto his maiestie, and in euery condiczbn soo 
allowe approve and co;;zmende your wise substanciall and 
discreate preceding, as like as ye haue moche cause to 
reioyse therin, soo shall the same be certain meane and 
occasion, that ye shall assuredlye what ende soeuer your 
busines there shall take, returne to his highnes as hartely 
welcom and in as greate reputaczbn as youe could yourself 
desire, wherof for my parte I am euen for many respects as 
gladde as ye canne be yourself. Touchyng his graces 
affayres I write nothing bicause the same be sufficiently 
touched in his highnes letferes nowe addressed vnto youe, 
only for nevves ye shal vndrestand that the douagier is in 
greate daunger whiche his Maiestie also willed me to signifie 
vnto youe, as by the copye of a lettere sent from ihemperours 
Ambassador here touching her syknes ye shal p^rceyve. 
And as concernyng yo^r money I haue taken ordre w/t/z 



440 LETTERS OF [1535 

your servant peter lark, soo as ye shall I doubt (not) be 
shortly therin satisfied. And thus beseching god to sende 
youe a good newe yere, I bid youe as well to fare as I wold 
myself. From the Rulles the penultime of Decembre 

Yo?/r lordshippis assuryd freend 

THOMAS CRUMWELL. 

Add. To my veray good lord, My Lord of Winchestre 
the King^ highnes Ambassador in Fraunce. 

Endd. From the Roulles the xxx tb of Decembre Mr. 
Secretary 

132. (CROMWELL) TO (THE PRIOR OF MONTACUTE). 

R. O. Cal. ix. 1127. (1535.) 

Has received his letters saying that a young person has made suit to 
obtain the lease after its expiration. The King is assured that he 
will not recommend any one to him who will not act honourably and 
for the King s profit. 

In my right hertie mam?;- I cowmende me vnto you Ad- 
u^rtesing the same that I haue receyued your k//^res right 
well p^rceyuing the contents of the same And where as ye 
write vnto me that a nother person of younger yeres should 
make sute for thopteyning of the lease after the yeres all 
redie gr^unted in the same being expired and determyned 
the truth is that there is labour made aswell vnto Mr. Norres 
as other which is not so vehement ne hastie But that it may 
be right well stayed. Neu^theles the k mges highnes hauing 
ferme trust in your dexteritie and wisedom must ned^ haue 
regarde and expectaczon in your letters. Doubting not but 
ye will not pr^ferre any other vnto his highnes but suche as 
shalbe right mete to do that thing which shalbe most for their 
own honestie and will haue good regarde and aspect to the 
King^r most proffite. 

133. (CROMWELL) TO (POLE) 1 . 

B. M. Cleop. E. vi, 371 ; Cal. viii. 220. (1535.) 

Desires the recipient to answer the things contained in Starkey s letter 
to him, which was written by the King s express commandment. 

Syr after my most harty reco;^me;/datyanys thys shalbe in 
few & short wordys to requyre you accordyng to the callyng 

1 This letter, though written in Cromwell to Pole, transcribed by 

Starkey s hand and addressed to Starkey on the inside of the cover 

Harvell, is believed by Mr. Gairdner of a letter to Harvell. 
to be a copy of a letter written by 



i .-,35] THOMAS CROMWELL 441 

that our lord ]hcsu Chryst hath callyd & redemyd you that 
ys to say as vvel wyth the gyft of gud letters and vnd er 
st ondyng, as wyth the most excellent gyft of jugemewt in the 
same, ye wyl indeuur yourselfe to make answere vnto such 
thyngys as be co/ztynyd in master starkeys \etteres to you 
wrytyn at thys tyme, by the kyng our masturys & soueraynys 
expresse cu;;2ma;/deme#t & that the same answer may be 
such & of such gravyte, as the tyght & truthe therof may be 
to the honowre of god, & the satysfactyon of hys hyghnes. 
Wherof I assure you I wold be as glad as any parent or frend 
ye haue lyuyng not dowtyng in your approuyd wysedome & 
jugeme;/t but that ye wyl extend the gyftys gyue;; vnto you 
in such wyse as leuyng al your respectys or affectyon wole 
so inserch your co;/scyence & jugeme;/t for the truth as ye 
wole both dyscharge yourselfe agaynst god & your pry/zee, in 
clowyng wherof you shal assurydly dow the thyng much to 
thencrese of your meryte & fame, wherin as he that ys your 
assuryd frend to hys lytyl power I requyre you to haue 
indyffere/rt co;/syderatyon & so to ordur yourselfe therm 
as the expectatyon of your frendys wythe the jugeme;/t of al 
me;z that knowyth you may be satysfyd in that behalfe & thus 
our lord send you no worse to fare than I wold ye dyd at 
london 

Add. To my synguler frend Mayster Edmu;?de Herwel 
marchant at Venyce 

* 

134. (CROMWELL) TO (AN ABBOT). 

R. O. Cal. viii. 1122. (1535.) 

Jn consideration of his willing mind, has obtained the King s licence for 
him to resort to his manors near his monastery, provided that by so 
doing he causes no disturbance. 

Ye shall vnderstand that I haue rescey ved your \etteres } , 
and touching that ye desire amonges other things licence for 
your selfe and certayn of your bretherne to walke to your 
manors and other places about your monastery. Ye shall 
understand that in consideraczon of the good and toward 
mynd that I have found yn you towards me and my ser- 
uauntey diiurse ways 1 2 have opteynyd licence of the k mges 
highnes for your selfe that ye may resorte vnto your maners 
and other convenyent walkes nygh vnto your monastery, so 

1 c. o. wz t// the . . . and towch- ceyued your letteres 
ing the contents of the same ye J c, o. am contented 

shall vnderstand that I haue res- 

MERRIMAN. 1 " g 



442 LETTERS OF THOMAS CROMWELL [1535 

that no common brute may be reysed therby, not doubtyng 
but ye will vse your selfe so (as for the good will and mynd 
I bere toward you) it may be to the good zele of religion 
and as I may therby resceyve no disworship therby. so that 
always your bretherne must ned^ use and order theymselfoy 
accordyng to the Iniunccions in that case geven unto theym 
in that behalf. 



END OF VOL. I. 



Oxford : Printed at the Clarendon Press, by HORACE HART. M.A. 



Merriman R.B. 



334 
Life and letters of G9M5^ 

v7T~ 

foomas Cromwell v. 1 




fUL. /- 



DA 

334 

.C9M5 

v.l