In the month of October, the same year following, was born Prince Edward; shortly after whose birth, Queen Jane, his mother, the second day after, died in childbed, and left the king again a widower, who so continued the space of two years together.
Here, by the way, is to be understood, that during all this season, since the time that the king of England had rejected the pope out of the realm, both the emperor, the French king, and the king of Scots, with other foreign potentates, (which were yet in subjection under the pope,) bare him no great good favour inwardly, whatsoever outwardly they pretended. Neither was here lacking privy setters-on, nor secret working among themselves how to compass ungracious mischiefs, if God, by contrary occasions, had not stopped their intended devices. For first the pope had sent Cardinal Pole to the French king, to stir him to war against the realm of England.
Secondly, whereas the French king, by treaty of perpetual peace, was bound yearly to pay to the king of England, at the first days of May and November, about ninety-five thousand crowns of the sun, and odd money, and over that ten thousand crowns at the said two terms, for recompence of salt-due, as the treaties thereof did purport, that pension remained now unpaid four years and more.
Furthermore, the emperor and the French king, both, retained Grancetor, a traitorous rebel against the king, and condemned by act of parliament, with certain other traitors more, and yet would not deliver him unto the king at his earnest suit and request.
The French king also, digressing from his promise and treaty, made alliance with Clement, the bishop of Rome, in marrying the dauphin to his niece, called Katharine de Medicis.
The said French king .moreover, contrary to his contract made, married his daughter to the king of Scots: all which events were prejudicial; and put the king, no doubt, in some fear and perplexity (though otherwise a stout and valiant prince) to see the pope, the emperor; the French king, and the king of Scots, so bent against him.
And yet, all this notwithstanding, the Lord still defended the justness of his cause against them all. For although the French king was so set on by the pope, and;so linked in marriage with the Scots, and lacked nothing now but only occasion to invade the realm of England, yet notwithstanding he, hearing now of the birth of Prince Edward, the king's son by Queen Jane, and understanding also, by the death of the said Queen Jane, that the king was a widower, and perceiving, moreover, talk to be that the king would join in marriage with the Germans, began to wax more calm and cold, and to give much more gentle words, and to demean himself more courteously, labouring to marry the Queen of Navarre, his sister, to the king.
The ambassadors resident then in France for the king, were Stephen Gardiner, with Dr. Thirleby, &c.; which Stephen Gardiner, what he wrought secretly for the pope's devotion, I have not expressly to charge him. Whether he so did, or what he did, the Lord knoweth all! But this is certain, that when Dr. Bonner, archdeacon then of Leicester, was sent into France by the king, (through the means of the Lord Cromwell;) to succeed Stephen Gardiner in embassy, which was about A.D. 1538, he found such dealing in the said bishop of Winchester as was not greatly to be trusted: besides the unkind parts of the said bishop against the aforesaid Bonner, coming then from the king and Lord Cromwell, as were not to be liked.
Long it is to recite from the beginning, and few men peradventure would believe, the brawling matters, the privy complaints, the contentious quarrels and bitter dissensions, between these two; and especially what despiteful contumelies Dr. Bonner received at the hands of Winchester. For understand, good reader! that this Dr. Bonner all this while renamed yet, as he seemed, a good man, and was a great furtherer of the king's proceedings, and a favourer of Luther's doctrine, and was advanced only by the Lord Cromwell, whose promotions are here to rehearse: first, he was archdeacon of Leicester, parson of Blaydon, of Dereham, Chiswick, and Cheryburton; then he was made bishop of Hereford, and, at last, preferred to be bishop of London: the chief of which preferments and dignities were conferred unto him only by the means and favour of the Lord Cromwell, who was then his chief and only patron and setter-up; as the said Bonner himself, in all his letters, doth manifestly protest and declare; the copies of which his letters I could here produce and exhibit, but for prolonging my story with superfluous matter. Yet that the world and all posterity may see how the coming up of Dr. Bonner was only by the gospel, (howsoever he was afterwards unkind unto the gospel,) this one letter of his, which I will here infer, written to the Lord Cromwell out of France, may stand for a perpetual testimony, the tenor whereof here ensueth:
"My very singular especial good Lord, as one most bounden, I most humbly commend me unto your honourable good Lordship. And whereas in times past it hath liked the same, without any my deserts or merits, even only of your singular exceeding goodness, to bestow a great deal of love, benevolence, and good affection, upon me so poor a man, and of so small qualities, expressing indeed sundry ways the good effects thereof to my great preferment, I was very much bound thereby unto your honourable good Lordship, and thought it always my duty, (as indeed it was,) both to bear my true heart again unto your Lordship, and also, remembering such kindness, to do unto the same all such service and pleasure as might, then lie in my small power to do.
"But where, of your infinite and inestimable goodness, it hath further liked you of late, first to advance me unto the office of legation from such a prince as my sovereign lord is, unto the emperor and French king; and next after, to procure and obtain mine advancement to so honourable a promotion as the bishopric of Hereford, I must here acknowledge the exceeding greatness of your Lordship's benefit, with mine own imbecility to recompense it.
"Surely, my good Lord, I neither am, neither shall be able to requite this your Lordship's most special kindness and bountiful goodness at any time, unless I should use that civil remedy called in law 'acceptilation,' which great debtors especially are accustomed to procure at the hands of their creditors; whereby yet nevertheless your goodness, the only doer thereof, should rather be increased, than my duty towards the same thereby diminished. And cessio bonorum (the only extreme refuge and help of poor debtors, devised also in civil) might somewhat help herein, saying that it is not possible that I should come ad tam pinguem fortunam, (whereupon that remedy is grounded,) whereby I may recompense and requite this debt worthily.
"So that in conclusion there resteth this; that unless your Lordship's self do loose me, as you have bound me, I shall (and that full gladly) remain continually your most bounded beadsman. And, sir, I most humbly beseech your good Lordship, in the honour of God, seeing this thing is begun and advanced only by your goodness and means, you will, to the intent the act may be wholly your own, stretch out your goodness, not suffering the rest to be perfected otherwise than by your own hands; wherein, as I must and shall acknowledge myself to be exceedingly beholden unto your good Lordship, so shall I the same more esteem and set by, during my life, having so attained it by your only goodness: and verily, if your good Lordship be not better to me herein than I can (unless it be of your own goodness) desire you, I know not how I shall be able to overcome the great charges annexed to this promotion. For though my promotions afore were right, honest, and good, yea, and such as one of far better qualities than I was, or am of, ought therewith to have been contented; yet, considering that divers of them, that is to wit, Leicester, Blaydon, Dereham, Chiswick, and Cheryburton, the first-fruits, tenths, and charges borne, I have not received clearly one penny, I am now never a whit the more able to bear the great charges of this.
"I shall therefore herein, and in all things else pertaining hereunto, seeing your Lordship is so great a patron, and will needs bind me for ever to be your own, (as indeed I will,) refer altogether unto your goodness, beseeching you to take the order and disposition of all into your hands. I cannot tell whether the late bishop standeth bounden for the first-fruits, tenths, or other duties which by statute may be demanded of his successor; but I fear it greatly, and beseech your Lordship that I may be holpen therein. My charges now here enforce me the more to speak and trouble your good Lordship, which at the beginning are not a few, and yet not ended. Of my fidelity to your good, I have, of five hundred crowns, remaining forty, bestowed upon horses, mules, mulets, raiment, and other necessaries, standing debtor to Master Thirleby nevertheless, and also to Master Dr. Heynes, for one hundred marks, or fast upon, to them both. And besides this, such is my chance now at the beginning, divers of my servants have fallen sick, being in great peril and danger, putting me to no little charges.
"Over and besides these displeasures coming unto me by not having their service, and others to keep them, and also wanting mine other servants in England, which, though I have sent for them, yet neither they, neither my horses or stuff, are come, I must and do take patience, trusting it will mend.
"Upon the closing up of this letter, and depeach of this bearer, God willing, I will pack up my gear, and to-morrow betimes follow the French king, who yesterday departed from Shambour, and maketh haste toward Paris. And thus our blessed Lord long and well preserve your good lordship in health.
"At Blois, the second of September, in the evening.
"Scribbled by the weary hand of him that is bounden to be, and is indeed, your Lordship's beadsman, and at commandment,
Divers other letters besides this, of Dr. Bonner, remain in writing, unto the like effect and purport, which here also I might add for a further demonstration hereof; but this one, instead of many, may suffice. Now to our purpose again, which is to declare how this Dr. Bonner, in the time of his first springing up, showed himself a good man, and a fast friend to the gospel of Christ and to the king's proceedings; and contrariwise, how Stephen Gardiner did halt then both with God and with the king: also what unkindness and contumelies the said Bonner received at Gardiner's hands; what rancour and heart-burning was between them; and what complaints the one moved against the other, remain, consequently, by their writings and records, to be opened. For the more evident demonstration whereof, they that have the letters of the said Dr. Bonner, written from France to the king and the Lord Cromwell, may right well perceive. And first, to note what a gospeller he was: in his letter from Rouen, he, speaking of his trusty companion, and bearer of his letters, (who was belike Dr. Heynes,) he giveth this report both of him and of himself; saying, "If this bearer had been so much desirous to please the emperor, and follow his religion, as he was studious to serve truly your Grace, and to advance the truth, he had not wanted," &c. And again: "And besides that, he hath not wanted the evil report of naughty fellows, naming him a Lutheran, wherein, for company, I was joined, such was their goodness," &c. Again, in another letter written to the Lord Cromwell, these words he hath, speaking of his companion Dr. Heynes: "Especially for that the said Dr. Heynes, by his upright dealing herein, and professing the truth, neither got thanks nor reward, but was blazed abroad by honest folks to be a Lutheran. The less he pleaseth in Spain, the better argument it is, that his intent was to serve none but the king's Highness and the truth," &c.
And furthermore, in another minute, writing to the Lord Cromwell of Stephen Winchester, and of his churlishness toward him, thus he saith: "And there found I, in Master Dr. Thirleby, much kindness, and in the bishop of Winchester as little," &c. And in the same letter it followeth: "And if I had received any entertainment of the bishop of Winchester, I would likewise have sent you word. I thank God I need not, for I had nothing of him," &c.
Also in another letter, the said Bonner, writing to the Lord Cromwell concerning one Barnaby and himself, what cold welcome they both had at the hands of Winchester, used these words following: "And, my good Lord, I beseech you to continue your good favour to this honest poor man Barnaby, who is body and soul assuredly your own, and as well beloved of the bishop of Winchester as I am: and of my troth I suppose and believe verily, one of the chief grudges the bishop hath against him, is because your Lordship, of your charitable goodness, doth love and favour him.
Another letter of Dr. Bonner to the Lord Cromwell, complaining of Winchester, and also declaring how he was promoted by the said Lord Cromwell, to the bishopric of Hereford.
"My very singular especial good Lord, according to my most bounden duty, I recommend me right humbly unto your good Lordship, advertising the same, that the twenty-ninth of the last month, about four of the clock at afternoon, there arrived here Barnaby with your Lordship's letters, dated at Eutrecht the twenty-fourth of the same: and thinking that, at his said arrival, the bishop of Winchester, Master Thirleby, and I, had been all lodged together, whereas in very deed we had several lodgings, he went straight to the bishop of Winchester's lodging,. (Master Thirleby and I being then walking in the fields,) and the bishop incontinently inquired of him, not how the king's Grace did, as was his duty, but, (as Barnaby told me,) inquired of him where he left the king's Grace at his coming away: whether he had brought any letters for him: whether Master Brian and Master Wallop were in the court at his departing: and finally, what news were in England. To the which questions, when Barnaby had made answer, saying that he left the king's Grace at Berlin, and that Master Brian and Master Wallop were in the court at his departing; and withal, that he had no letters from them, nor any other to him; and finally, for the news that the king's Highness had given me the bishopric of Hereford; the bishop (as Barnaby reporteth, and I doubt not but he saith truly) cast down his head, making a plaice-mouth with his lip, and afterwards lifting up his eyes and hands, (as cursing the day and hour it chanced,) seemed so evil contented therewith, that he would neither bid Barnaby drink, or tarry supper, nor yet further commune with him, but turning from him, called one Master Medow, and showed him of the same tidings, taking it (as it appeared) very heavily; semblably as he doeth every thing that is or may be for my preferment. And when Barnaby perceived that I was not there, and that also this comfortable countenance and good cheer were made unto him, he went thence and searched for me, who then was walking with Master Thirleby, as is before; and was by chance communing with him of the bishop of Winchester, giving him advertisement that he should not be abused by the said bishop, whom, I said, made him, not for any hearty love, I thought, he bare unto him, but either in despite of me, to whom he thought it should be greatly displeasant; either else under colour thereof, and by familiarity, for to grope him, and to serve his own crafty purposes by him.
"And soon after the departure of Master Thirleby from me, who then went to the bishop to supper, I returned towards my lodging, and by the way met with Barnaby, whose salutation was after that sort, that it caused me to wonder at it, especially I having no expectation or hope of such thing as he rehearsed unto me. And surely, my good Lord, I would not believe him in the thing he told, till I perceived the same by the superscription of your Lordship's letter, which he afterwards delivered unto me: declaring withal (to my great comfort) the prosperous estate of the king's Highness, and of your good Lordship. Which known, I besought Almighty God to grant the long continuance thereof, and also, as was my duty, did give most humble thanks to the king's Highness, and to your said good Lordship. And hereupon, keeping your Lordship's letters still in my hands unbroken, I went incontinently to the lodging of Master Thirleby, which was in my way, to communicate these my news and great good fortune with him; and not finding him there, I read over your Lordship's letters, sending the same afterwards to Master Thirleby; and perceiving, by Barnaby, that he had other letters for me, which he told me he must deliver unto me secretly, I went to mine own lodging with him, and there receiving them accordingly, did read them over, both that, your Lordship's second letter sent to me, and also the other sent to Master Wyat, &c.
Your Lordship's most bounden beadsman, And always at commandment,
When the king, by the advice of the Lord Cromwell, and others of his council, had appointed Dr. Edmund Bonner to return from the emperor, and to be resident in France, in the place of Winchester and of Dr. Thirleby, he sent his letters to the said bishop of Winchester, and to Master Thirleby, showing his pleasure unto them in that behalf, with this clause in the same letters contained in express words as followeth:
"And whereas the said Master Bonner wanteth furniture of stuff and plate meet for that office, our pleasure is that you, Master Thirleby, shall deliver unto him by indenture, all the plate you have of ours in your custody, and that you, my Lord of Winchester, shall furnish him with all such other stuff, as shall be necessary for him; wherein as you shall do unto us pleasure, so we shall be content at your return, to satisfy you for the same," &c.
The bishop of Winchester receiving these letters of the king, and being loth to come into England, (whatsoever the matter was,) also hearing that Dr. Bonner should succeed him, his disdainful nature did stomach him exceedingly. But because there was no other remedy but that the king's commandment must be done, first he sendeth the king's letter, with his also, to the emperor's court, unto Master Bonner, and to Dr. Heynes, willing them in all haste to repair to Lyons within two days. Beside these letters of Winchester, Dr. Thirleby adjoined his letters also, with like quickness, to the said Dr. Heynes and to Bonner, the contents whereof here follow:
"With my hearty commendations, and the desire of your company, and now so much rather that I shall thereby have a great benefit, viz. the deliverance from trouble to ease, from a strange country to mine own, from the waiting upon him that forceth as little for me, as I am acquainted with him, to the service of him whose prosperity and love I account as my life; these shall be to pray you to make no less speed hither, than you would make to a good feast when that you be hungry. Master Bonner shall know many things, but when you come I shall tell you more, so that you haste you. Come, I pray you; I would fain be at home. I saw not my master these four months. When you, Master Bonner, shall come to Lyons, it shall be good to go to Bonvise; he is a good money-maker: in faith Ican write no more, but bid you come heartily, hastily,' I would have written, and the sooner the better welcome to Lyons, where this was given the last of July.
By him that hath loved you well,
And now will love you better,
If you haste you hither,
At the receipt of these letters, Dr. Bonner and Dr. Heynes did put themselves in a readiness to repair incontinent unto Lyons, thinking there to have found Winchester and Thirleby, according to the purport of their letters. But Winchester and Thirleby, not abiding their coming, made haste away from Lyons to La Barella, where Bonner, riding in post after Winchester, overtook him. With whom what entertainment and talk he had, and what accusations he laid to his charge, and what brawling words passed between them, and what great misliking Bonner had of him for special causes here in this brabling matter or brawling dialogue, under following, may appear; which, for thy recreation, and the further understanding of Winchester's qualities, I wish thee, loving reader! to peruse and consider.
But first, here is to be noted, that the king and the Lord Cromwell, at what time they had appointed Dr. Edmund Bonner to be resident ambassador in France, required in their letters, that he should advertise them by writing, what he did mislike in the doings and behaviour of certain persons whom they did note then unto him. Whereupon the said Dr. Bonner sendeth this declaration of Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, as followeth:
"First, I mislike in the bishop of Winchester, that when any man is sent in the king's affairs, and by his Highness's commandment, the bishop, unless he be the only and chief inventor of the matter and setter-forth of the person, he will not only use many cavillations, but also use great strangeness in countenance and cheer to the person that is sent: over and besides, as small comfort and counsel as may be in the matter; rather dissuading and discouraging the person earnestly to set forward his message, than imboldening and comforting him, as is his duty, with help and counsel to adventure and do his best therein. The experience whereof I have had myself with him, as well at Rouen, the first time I was sent to Rome, commanded by the king's Highness to come by him, and at Marseilles, the time of the intimation of the king's protestation, provocation, and appeal; as also lately, going to Nice, touching the general council, and the authority of the bishop of Rome; and finally, now last of all, at my return from Spain, where neither my diligence in coming to him, and using him in the beginning with all the reverence I could, neither the king's letters written unto him in my favour, nor yet other thing could mollify his hard heart and cankered malicious stomach, but that he would spitefully speak, and unkindly do; as indeed he did, to his great shame and my dishonesty, as followeth:
"When riding in post I came to La Barella, a post on this side Lyons, the seventh day of August, he being in bed there, I tarried till he, rising up and making himself ready, came at last out to me, standing and tarrying for him in a second chamber; and at his coming thither, he said, 'What, Master Bonner! good morrow! Ah sir, ye be welcome;' and herewithal he put out his hand, and I, kissing mine, took him by it, and incontinently after he said, 'Come on, let us go and walk awhile into the fields;' and withal drew towards the door, preparing him to walk. To whom I said, I would wait upon him. His going to the fields, (as appeared afterwards,) was not so much to walk, as to have a place where he might speak loud, and triumph alone against me, calling in his words again, if he spake any amiss; or utterly deny them, if that made for his purpose. And by chance, rather than by good wisdom, afore I went forth, I asked for Master Thirleby, and desired I might see him and speak with him. The bishop that perceiving, and, withal, that I stuck upon it, he commanded one of his servants to call Master Thirleby; but yet, afore his coming, the bishop could not be idle, but said this to me: 'Master Bonner! your servant was yesterday with me, and as I told him, I will tell you: In good faith you can have nothing of me.' 'Nothing, my Lord!' quoth I, merrily speaking, marry, God forbid! that is a heavy word, and much uncomfortable to him that wanteth all things, and trusteth much upon your goodness that hath a great deal.' 'In faith,' quoth he, 'ye shall have nothing of me: marry, ye shall have of Master Thirleby, his carriage, mules, his bed, and divers other things, that he may spare; and which he hath kept for you.' 'Well, my Lord!' quoth I, 'if I shall have nothing of you, I must make as good shift as I can for myself otherwise, and provide it where I may get it.'
"And here the bishop, because I would not give him thanks for that thing which was not worthy thanks, and that also I would not show myself greatly contented and pleased, though I received nothing at his hands, he began somewhat to kindle, and asked what I wanted. I told him again, that I wanted all things saving money and good will to serve the king's Highness. 'Tell me one thing,' quoth he, 'that you want.' 'One thing,' quoth I, 'marry, amongst many things that I want, I want napery.' 'That shall ye not need,' quoth he, 'here in this country:' and here he began to tell a long tale, that none used that, but Master Wallop and he, in the beginning: which is not true generally. And from this he began to go, descending by his negatives: 'My mulets,' said he, 'ye cannot have, for if ye should, I must needs provide others for them again: my mulet-cloths ye cannot have, because mine arms are on them, not meet for you to bear: my raiment, (I being bishop,) that is not meet for you.' And so proceeding forth in the rest, nothing had he for me, and nothing should I have.
"And here came Master Thirleby, who welcomed me very gently, and after an honest sort: to whom the bishop rehearseth again his negatives, and maketh a long discourse, bringing in conclusion, for all that he could do, that nothing I should have of him and this rehearsed he still on end I am sure above a dozen times, and that with a pilot's voice; so that all his company, standing more than three or four pair of butt lengths off, heard him.
"When I saw that he would make no end, but ever rehearsed one thing still, I said to him, 'My Lord! I beseech you, seeing I shall have nothing of you, but of Master doctor here, let me give him thanks that deserveth it, and trouble you therein no more: but leaving communication therein, let me desire and pray you, that we may commune of the king's matters; and that I may have therein knowledge, as well of the state thereof, as also of your counsel in that behalf.'
"The bishop was so hot and warm in his own matters, that he would not hear, but needs would return again, and show why that I could have nothing of him. 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'here is still on end one tale, which methinketh, seeing that I understand it, ye need not so oft repeat it, especially seeing that it cometh always to this conclusion, that I shall have nothing of you.' 'Ye lie,' quoth he, 'I said not so.' 'I report me,' quoth I, 'to Master Thirleby here present, whom I shall desire to bear record of your sad and discreet honest behaviour with me.' 'I say you lie,' quoth he. 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'I thank you.' 'I do not say,' quoth he, 'that ye shall have nothing of me; but I say you can have nothing of me. And though the one here comprehendeth the other, yet there is a great diversity between these two manners of speaking: I can spare nothing unto you, and therefore ye shall have nothing; and though I can spare you, yet you shall have nothing; -- for in the one is an honesty in the speaker, which would, if he could, do pleasure; and in the other there lacketh that honesty.
"'My Lord!' quoth I, 'to examine whether I shall have nothing, because ye can spare nothing: or shall have nothing, though ye have plenty, because ye will I shall have nothing, it shall not much help me in my journey. Wherefore, seeing ye bide upon this, that I shall have nothing, I will thank you for nothing, and provide otherwise for myself.' 'Dirt in your teeth!' quoth he, 'and provide as ye will.' 'Bishop-like spoken, by my faith,' quoth I, 'and well it becometh you to speak thus to me.' 'Yea marry! doth it become me,' quoth he: and repeating, the words again, said with a sharp accent, 'Have nothing of me? Dirt in your teeth!' 'Well, my Lord!' quoth I, this needeth not, saving that ye have a full stomach, and your wit abroad, willingly hereby to ease your stomach against me.' 'Yes, marry,' quoth he, 'it needeth for me, though it needeth not for you; for I intend,' quoth he, 'I would ye should know it, to justify myself to the king in all things.' 'If ye do so,' quoth I, 'ye shall do the better.' 'Nay,' quoth he, 'I do it, and will do it.' 'Well,' quoth I, 'ye are the more to be commended, if ye so can do.' 'Yes,' quoth he, 'I can do it.'
"'Now, by my troth,' quoth I, 'seeing the king's Highness hath written so tenderly for me unto you, as appeareth by his Highness's letters that his Grace hath done, me thinketh, ye having so great plenty of all things, and I so great need thereof, coming post, as I do, ye go about as evil to justify yourself to the king, as any one that I have seen. And I wish, my Lord,' quoth I, 'I would have reckoned, that coming as I do come, I should have been both better welcome, and better treated of you, than now I am, even and it had been for no other respect, than because I am an Englishman.'
"'I shall tell you,' quoth he, 'for the king's sake, ye may look to have: but for your own sake, ye get nothing.' 'Well,' quoth I, 'then having nothing, I will give no thanks at all; and having any thing, I shall give thanks to the king, and none to you.' 'I tell you,' quoth he, 'ye get nothing:' 'and I tell you again,' quoth I, 'that I will thank you for nothing.' And here the flesh of his cheek began to swell and tremble, and he looked upon me as he would have run me through; and I came and stood even by him, and said, 'Trow you, my Lord!' quoth I, 'that I fear your great looks? Nay, faith! do I not. Ye had need to get another stomach to whet upon than mine, and a better whetstone than any ye have; for, I assure you, you shall not whet me to your purpose: and if ye knew how little I do set by this unloving and indiscreet behaviour of yours, ye wouldnot use it upon me. And I shall tell you,' quoth I, 'if I were not bridled, and had not other respects both to the king's Highness, my sovereign lord, and also unto others that may command me, I would have told you, ere this time, my mind after another sort.' 'Tell me?' quoth he, 'dirt in your teeth!' 'Well, my Lord!' quoth I, 'ye would, I perceive by you, and by your words, provoke me to speak as indiscreetly and bedlamly, as ye do: but surely ye shall not, howsoever ye shall speak. But this will I tell you, I shall show you how I am handled of you.' 'Marry, spare not,' quoth he. 'Well, my Lord!' quoth I, 'you have here full well played the part of a bishop, and it is great joy of you, that with this your furious anger and choler, ye can make all the company here about you to be ashamed of you, as I am sure they are. And for my part, if ye yourself be not ashamed, or, coming to yourself, (for now your anger is such that you hear not yourself,) be not displeased, I shall be ashamed, and pity this your doing without wisdom; and the oftener you use this manner, the more shall it be to your dishonesty.'
"'Lo!' quoth he, 'how fondly he speaketh, as who saith, I were all in the blame. Will you not hear,' quoth he, 'this wise man?' 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'I would you could hear with indifferent ears, and see with indifferent eyes, yourself. Ye have made a brabling here for nothing, and would that I should give you thanks for that thing which Master Thirleby hath done for me.' 'I look for no thanks of you,' quoth he; and said withal, looking spitefully, that he knew me well enough; and that he was not deceived in me. 'Well!' quoth I, 'and methinks I know you well enough too; wherefore, as ye say you are not deceived in me, so I trust I will not be deceived by you. But I pray you, sir,' quoth I, 'because ye say ye know me well enough, and that ye be not deceived in me, How do you know me? for honest and true, or otherwise? If you do, say it, and I shall make answer.'
"I could not drive him to answer hereunto; so that I suppose, either of his own naughty nature he hath made me an image after his own fantasy, or else believed the report of such in conditions as he is himself, who, in malice, I suppose, and disdain, may be compared to the devil in hell, not giving place to him in pride at all. In communication he repeated oft the provision of the thousand crowns. I told him they went in my diets, and that it would be a good while afore they were come out. And further I said, that seeing they had been simpliciter given to me, I would never thank him for them, but the king's Highness; and I said, that if they were twenty thousand, he should break so many sleeps, afore he should have any part thereof, entreating me as he did. 'Well,' quoth he, you have them.' 'That is truth,' quoth I, 'and nothing thankful to you.' 'Why then,' quoth he, 'seeing you have here divers things of Master Thirleby's, and all other things are parabilia pecunia, which you have, ye may make thereby good provision for yourself.' 'That is truth,' quoth I; 'and that can I and will do, though ye tell me not, seeing I have nothing of you, and afore this had provided at Lyons for all things necessary, if ye without necessity had not made that great haste to depart thence, enforcing me thereby to follow you. And yet,' quoth I, 'one thing may I tell you: ye are very desirous I should be provided well for, as appeareth in that you have taken away at Lyons one horse that Francis had provided for me, and also your servant Mace, having a horse to sell, and knowing my need, by your consent hath sold his horse to a stranger, rather than he would sell him to me. So that nothing suffering me to have of you, and taking away that provision which I make, and go about to make, you well declare how heartily you desire I should be provided for.' 'In faith,' quoth he, 'choose you, ye may provide and you will; and seeing your journey hither from Lyons is vain, you may thither return again, and make there provision for yourself.' 'I thought,' quoth he, 'departing from Lyons, to have made easy journeys, and to have followed the court till you had come, and now come you, squirting in post, and trouble all.' 'I came forth in post,' quoth I, 'by the commandment of the king my master, and had liberty to return at pleasure by his Grace's letters; and seeing that I had no horses for the journey, methought better to ride in post than go afoot.' 'Well,' quoth he, 'I will not depart hence this twelvemonth, except ye be otherwise provided.' 'Provided?' quoth I, 'I must tarry till I may be provided for horses, if ye speak of that provision: and seeing that this riding in post grieveth you, it causeth me to think you are loth to depart, and angry that I shall succeed you. I have here already two gowns and a velvet jacket, so that you shall not be letted an hour by me.'
"'I tell you,' quoth he, 'ye shall otherwise provide, or else I will not depart. For I tell you,' quoth he, 'though you care not for the king's honour, but wretchedly do live with ten shillings a-day, as ye did in yonder parts, you and your companion, I must and will consider the king's honour.' 'And I tell you again,' quoth I, 'I will and do consider the king's honour as much as ye at any time will do, and as sorry will be, that it should be touched by any negligence or default in me: yea, and I say more to you,' quoth I, 'though ye may spend far above me, I shall not stick, if any thing be to bespent for the king's honour, to spend as liberally as you, so long as either I have it, or can get it to spend. And whosoever informed you of the wretchedness and spending scarcely of my companion and me in the parts where we have been, made a false lie, and ye show your wisdom full well in so lightly believing and rehearsing such a tale.' 'I cannot tell,' quoth he, 'but this was openly rehearsed by Master Brian's servants at my table.' 'Yea, was it?' quoth I. 'Yea, marry was it,' quoth he. 'Now, by my troth,' quoth I, 'then was the fare that was bestowed upon them very well cast away: for, of my fidelity, that week that Master Brian and his servants were with us at Villa Franca, it cost my companion and me five and twenty pounds in the charges of the housel' 'This, they say,' quoth he. 'Yea,' quoth I, 'and therein they lie.'
"And here I showed him, that being well settled at Nice, and having made there good and honest provision, to our no little charges, Master Wyat would not rest till he had gotten us to Villa Franca, where, even upon the first words of Master Heynes, he was right well content to take of us twenty shillings by the day; which was not during ten days: whereas, at his coming to us to Nice, himself and all his servants, and then tarrying with us two days, we took not one penny of him. And moreover, at the departing of Master Wyat from Villa Franca, in post, into England, we found ourselves, our servants, all Master Wyat's servants, to the number of sixteen, all his acquaintance, which, dinner and supper, continually came to us; sometimes twelve, sometimes ten, and, when they were least, six or eight; and for this we had not one penny of Master Wyat. And yet at our coming from Barcelona, where we tarried about eight days, we gave to Master Wyat twenty-eight livres, and to his servants five livres, besides forty shillings that privately I gave to some, being of gentle fashion, out of mine own purse: so that I told him, it was neither Master Wyat, nor Mason, that found us and our servants, but we paid for the finding of them: and here it chanced to us to have all the charge, and other men to have all the thanks.
"The bishop when he heard this was amazed, and stood still, finally saying, 'By my troth,' quoth he, 'I tell you as it was told me, and Master doctor here can tell whether it was so or no. Yea, and I will tell you more,' quoth he, 'they said that Master Heynes would have been more liberal a great deal, if you had not been.' '.Now, by my troth,' quoth I, 'I shall therein make Master Heynes himself judge thereof, who can best tell what communication hath been between him and me therein.'
"Thinking that this communication had driven the other matters out of the bishop's wild head, I held my peace and by and by was he in hand again with them, as hot as ever he was. 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'I desired ere while your Lordship to make an end of this communication, wherein the longer ye talk, the more ye make me believe that you would, (where ye have spoken undiscreetly, yea, and unkindly, not regarding the king's letters,) with multitude of words, and great countenance, I should think ye had not done amiss. But surely you lose your labour, for ye shall never make me think that ye are desirous to do me pleasure, neither for mine own sake, nor for the king's: for if your words be well weighed, I have as much of you indeed for mine own sake, as I have for the king's sake; that is, nothing at all.'
"Here both of us were talking together; but I held on still, and ever enforced him to this: 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'this is the thing that I shall only desire of you; that whereas the king's Grace hath here, in the French court, divers affairs, (as I take it,) ye would therein instruct me in the state thereof, and give me your best counsel and advice: and this I protest unto you, that if ye this will do, I will attentively hear you and if ye will not, I shall with pain hear you in your other things, but I will make no answer at all.'
"For all this the bishop ended not; but in conclusion, when he saw that he could by no means induce me to answer, he returned homewards, and I brought him unto his lodging and chamber.
"It being dinner time, and all things provided, and standing afore him, and he turning his back from me into a window -- I, at his turning towards me again, put off my bonnet, and said, 'God be with you, my Lord!' He gave no answer to me at all, nor countenance, but suffered me to go. Whereupon, returning to my lodging, which was in Master Thirleby's chamber, I caused my dinner to be provided; and when it was almost ready, the bishop's steward, called Myrrel, came for me, (whether sent from the bishop or not, I cannot tell,) and I told him my dinner was provided for, and withal, that my Lord, his master, had given me such a breakfast, that I needed no dinner nor supper; and so the steward, drinking with me, returned again, and I went to dinner at Master Thirleby's lodging, and after dinner I went to the bishop's lodging, who, at my coming, very gently put off his bonnet, and so we walked together quietly awhile; and shortly after, the bishop began after this manner: 'Master Bonner! to-day we communed of provision for you, and because ye shall lay no blame upon me, I will tell you what I will do for you: I will provideand make ready for you mules, mulets, horses, servants, money; yea, and all things that shall be necessary.'
"'My Lord!' quoth I, 'here is a large offer, and a great kindness come upon you; I marvel,' quoth I, 'that I could hear nothing of this to-day in the morning.' 'I tell you,' quoth he, 'this will I do; for know you, that I will consider the king's honour and pleasure, and doubt not but the king will pay me again.' 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'I have sent my servant already to Lyons, to make provision for me, and I have sent others abroad here into the town and country, to do the same: ye shall never need to trouble yourself herewith.' 'I will,' quoth he, 'you shall not say, another day, that ye could not be provided for.' 'My Lord!' quoth I, 'let me have instructions in the king's matters, and as for other things, I shall not ask of you, because this day ye made me so plain answer.'
"After much communication I departed from him lovingly, telling him that I would be at Ferrara that night, where he intended to be lodged. And so the bishop, bidding me farewell, took soon after his horse, riding to Ferrara to bed; and by the way I overtook him, and passing by, doing my duty to him and his company, I came to Ferrara, lodging at the post-house, and even as the bishop came into the town, stood at the post-house door; to whom the bishop said, 'We shall see you soon, Master Bonner!' 'Yea, my Lord!' quoth I, thinking that thereby he had desired me to supper, and at supper-time I went to his lodging, having others to eat my supper at home; and glad he appeared to be that I was come, making merry communication all supper while, but nothing at all yet speaking to me, or giving any thing to me, saving, at the doming of the fruit, he gave me a pear, I trow, because I should remember mine own country. After supper, he walked, taking Master Thirleby with him, and I walked with an Italian, being ambassador for the Count Mirandula; and after a good space we returned, and bade the bishop good night.
"I did not after that night dine or sup with the bishop, till he came to Bourges in Berry, where, upon the depeach of Francis, and closing up of our letters sent to the king's Highness, the supper was so provided, and set upon the board; and the bishop in washing, standing so between me and the door that I could not get out; and there would he needs that I should wash with him and sup. And I suppose, all the way from Barella to Blois, he talked not above four times with me, and at every time, saving at Moulines, (where he by mouth told me somewhat of the king's affairs here in France,) and at Varron, (when he, answering to my request in writing, delivered me his book of his own hand for mine instructions, the copy whereof is now sent herewithal,) there was quick communication between us. His talking by the way was with Master Thirleby, who, I think, knoweth a great deal of his doing, and will, if he be the man I take him for, tell it plainly to your Lordship. I myself was out of credence with the bishop, not being appliable to his manners and desires.
"And surely, as Master Thirleby told me at his first coming to Lyons, and then speaking with the bishop, the bishop seemed to be so well content to return, and so glad of his coming to succeed him, that his flesh in his face began all to tremble, and yet would the bishop make men believe, that he would gladly come home: which thing, believe it who will, I will never believe; for ever he was looking for letters out of England, from Master Wallop and Master Brian, whom he taketh for his great friends. And Master Wyat himself reckoned, that the bishop should have come into Spain, or else my lord of Durham; so that the bishop of Winchester ever coveted to protract the time, desiring yet withal to have some shadow to excuse and hide himself; as tarrying at Barella, he made excuse by my not coming to Lyons: and coming to Varennes, and there, hearing by the ambassadors of the Venetians a flying tale of the going of the French king towards Bayonne, to meet the emperor, by and by he said, 'Lo! where is Master Diligence now? If he were now here, (as then I was that night,) we would to the court and present him, and take our leave.' But when I in the morning was up afore him, and ready to horse, he was nothing hasty. No; coming to Moulines afore him, and there tarrying for him, the French king lying at Schavenna, three small leagues off, he made not half the speed and haste that he pretended.
"I mislike in the bishop of Winchester, that he cannot be content that any, joined in commission with him, should keep house, but to be at his table. Wherein either he searcheth thereby a vain glory and pride to himself, with some dishonour to the king, as who saith, there was among all the king's ambassadors but one able to maintain a table, and that were he; or else he doth the same for an evil intent and purpose, to bring them thereby into his danger, that they shall say and do as liketh him alone; which, I suppose verily, hath been his intent.
"I mislike in the said bishop, that where he, for his own pomp and glory, hath a great number of servants in their velvets and silks, with their chains about their necks, and keepeth a costly table withexcessive fare, and exceeding expenses many other ways, he doth say, and is not ashamed to report, that he is so commanded to do by the king's Grace; and that is his answer commonly, when his friends tell him of his great charges; and so, under colour of the king's commandment and honour, he hideth his pride, which is here disdained.
"I mislike in the said bishop, that he, having private hatred against a man, will rather satisfy his own stomach and affection, hindering and neglecting the king's affairs, than, relenting in any part of his sturdy and stubborn will, give familiar and hearty counsel (whereby the king's Highness's matters and business may be advanced and set forth) to him that he taketh for his adversary.
"I mislike in the said bishop, that he ever continually, here in this court of France, made incomparably more of the emperor's, king of Portugal's, Venetians', and duke of Ferrara's ambassadors, than of any Frenchmen in the court, which, with his pride, caused them to disdain him, and to think that he favoured not the French king, but was imperial.
"I mislike in the bishop, that there is so great familiarity and acquaintance, yea, and much mutual confidence, between the said bishop and M., as naughty a fellow, and as very a papist, as any that I know, where he dare express it. The bishop, in his letters to Master Wyat, ever sendeth special commendations to Mason, and yet refuseth to send any to Master Heynes and me, being with Master Wyat, as we perceived by the said letters. And Mason maketh such foundation of the bishop, that he thinketh there is none such; and he told me at Villa Franca, that the bishop, upon a time, when he had fallen out with Germain, so trusted him, that weeping and sobbing he came unto him, desiring and praying him that he would speak with Germain, and reconcile him, so that no words were spoken of it: and what the matter was, he would not tell me; that young fellow Germain knoweth all. And Preston, who is servant to the bishop of Winchester, showed me one night in my chamber at Blois, after supper, that Germain is ever busy in showing the king's letters to strangers, and that he himself hath given him warning thereof. This thing Preston told me the night before that the bishop departed hence, and when I would have had more of him therein, be, considering how the bishop and I stood, kept him more close, and would say no further."
In this declaration of Dr. Edmund Bonner, above prefixed, sent to the Lord Cromwell, divers things we have to note: First, as touching Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester; here we have a plain demonstration of his vile nature and pestilent pride, joined with malice and disdain intolerable: whereof worthily complaineth Dr. Bonner aforesaid, showing six special causes, why and wherefore he misliketh that person, according as he was willed before, by the king's commandment, so to do.
Secondly, In the said Stephen Winchester, this we have also to note and understand, that as he here declareth a secret inclination from the truth (which he defended before in his book De Obedientia) to papistry, joining part and side with such as were known papists; so he seemeth likewise to bear a like secret grudge against the Lord Cromwell, and all such whomsoever he favoured.
Thirdly, As concerning the before-named Dr. Edmund Bonner, the author of this declaration, here is to be seen and noted, that he, all this while, appeared a good man, and a diligent friend to the truth; and that he was favoured of the Lord Cromwell for the same.
Fourthly, That the said Dr. Bonner was not only favoured of the Lord Cromwell, but also by him was advanced first to the office of legation, then to the bishopric of Hereford, and lastly to the bishopric of London; whom the said Dr. Bonner, in his letters, agnizeth, and confesseth to be his only patron, and singular Mecænas.
Which being so, we have in this said Dr. Bonner greatly to marvel, what should be the cause that he, seeing all his setting-up, making, and preferring, came only by the gospel, and by them of the gospel's side, he, being then so hated of Stephen Gardiner, and such as he was; being also at that time such a furtherer and defender of the gospel, (as appeareth both by his preface before Gardiner's book De Obedientia. and by his writings to the Lord Cromwell; also by helping forward the printed bibles at Paris,) could ever be a man so ungrateful and unkind afterwards, to join part with the said Stephen Gardiner against the gospel, (without the which gospel he had never come to be bishop, either of Hereford, or yet of London,) and now to abuse the same bishopric of London, to persecute that so vehemently which before so openly he defended? Wherein the same may well be said to him in this case, that he himself was reported once to say to the French king in the cause of Grancetor; to wit, that he had done therein against God, against his honour, against justice, against honesty, against friendship, against his own promise and his oath so often made, against his own doctrine and judgment which then he professed, against all truth, against the treaties and leagues between him and his setters-up, and against all together; and, to conclude, against the salvation of his own soul, which would God he would have mercy upon, although he had showed want of mercy unto others!
But to refer this to the book of His accounts, who shall judge one day all things uprightly, let us proceed further in the continuation of this Dr. Bonner's legation; who, being now ambassador in the court of France, as ye have heard, had given him in commission from the king to treat with the French king for sundry points, as for the printing of the New Testament in English, and the Bible at Paris; also for slanderous preachers, and malicious speakers against the king; for goods of merchants taken and spoiled; for the king's pension to be paid; for the matters of the duke of Suffolk; for certain prisoners in France. Item, For Grancetor the traitor, and certain other rebels, to be sent into England, &c. Touching all which affairs, the said Dr. Bonner did employ his diligence and travail to the good satisfaction and contentment of the king's mind, and discharge of his duty in such sort as no default could be found in him; save only that the French king, one time, took displeasure with him, for that the said Bonner, being now made bishop of Hereford, and bearing himself somewhat more seriously and boldly before the king, in the cause of Grancetor the traitor, (wherein he was willed, by the advertisement of the king's pleasure, to wade more deeply and instantly,) used these words to the French king, (as the French king himself did afterwards report them,) saying, that he had done, in deliverance of that aforesaid Grancetor, being an Englishman, against God, against his honour, against justice, against reason, against honesty, against friendship, against all law, against the treaties and leagues between him and his brother the king of England; yea, and against all together, &c. These words of Bishop Bonner, although he denieth to have spoken them in that form and quality, yet; howsoever they were spoken, did stir up the stomach of the French king to conceive high displeasure against him, insomuch that he, answering the lord ambassador again, bade him write these three things unto his master:
First, Among other things, that his ambassador was a great fool.
Secondarily, That he caused to be done better justice there in his realm in one hour, than they did in England in a whole year.
Thirdly, That if it were not for the love of his master, he should have a hundred strokes with a halbert, &c.
And furthermore, the said French king beside this, sending a special messenger with his letters to the king of England, willed him to revoke and call this ambassador home, and to send him another. The cause why the French king took these words of Bishop Bonner so to stomach, (as the lord chancellor said,) was this: For that the kings of France, standing chiefly, and in manner only, upon their honour, can suffer that in no case to be touched. Otherwise, in those words (if they had been well taken) was not so much blame, perchance, as boldness, being spoken somewhat vehemently in his master's behalf. But this one thing seemeth to me much blameworthy, both in this bishop, and many others, that they, in earthly matters, and to please terrene kings, will put forth themselves to such a boldness and forwardness; and in Christ's cause, the King of all kings, whose cause they should only attend upon and tender, they are so remiss, cold, and cowardly.
To these letters of the French king, the king of England sent answer again by other letters, in which he revoked and called home again Bishop Bonner, giving unto him, about the same time, the bishopric of London; and sent in supply of his place Sir John Wallop, a great friend to Stephen Gardiner: which was in February, about the beginning of the year of our Lord 1540. Here now followeth the oath of Bonner to the king, when he was made bishop of London.
The oath of Dr. Edmund Bonner, when he was made bishop of London, against the pope of Rome.
"Ye shall never consent nor agree that the bishop of Rome shall practise, exercise, or have any manner of authority, jurisdiction, or power within this realm, or any other the king's dominion; but that you shalt resist the same at all times, to the uttermost of your power: and that from henceforth ye shall accept, repute, and take the king's Majesty to be the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England; and that to your cunning, wit, and uttermost of your power, without guile, fraud, or other undue mean, ye shall observe, keep, maintain, and defend, the whole effects and contents of all and singular acts and statutes made, and to be made, within this realm, in derogation, extirpation, and extinguishment of the bishop of Rome, and his authority; and all other acts and statutes made, and to be made, in reformation and corroboration of the king's power of supreme head in the earth of the Church of England. And this ye shall do against all manner of persons, of what estate, dignity, degree, or condition they be; and in no wise do, or attempt, or to your power suffer to be done or attempted, directly or indirectly, any thing or things, privily or apertly, to the let, hinderance, damage,or derogation thereof, or of any part thereof, by any manner of means, or for any manner of pretence. And in case any oath be made, or hath been made, by you to any person or persons in maintenance or favour of the bishop of Rome, or his authority, jurisdiction, or power, ye repute the same as vain and annihilated. So help you God, &c.
"In fidem præmissorum ego Edmundus Bonner, electus et confirmatus Londinensis episcopus, huic præsenti chartæ subscripsi."