181. KING HENRY'S BREACH WITH ROME
And thus we have, as in a gross sum, compiled together the names and causes, though not of all, yet of a great, and too great, a number of good men and good women, which in those sorrowful days (from the year of our Lord 1527, to this present year 1533, that is, till the coming in of Queen Anne) were manifold ways vexed and persecuted under the tyranny of the bishop of Rome. Where again we have to note, that from this present year of our Lord 1533, during the time of the said Queen Anne, we read of no great persecution, nor any abjuration to have been in the church of England, save only that the registers of London make mention of certain Dutchmen counted for Anabaptists, of whom ten were put to death in sundry places of the realm, A.D. 1535; other ten repented and were saved. Where note again, that two also of the said company, albeit the definitive sentence was read, yet notwithstanding were pardoned by the king; which was contrary to the pope's law.
Now to proceed forth in our matter; After that the bishops and heads of the clergy had thus a long time taken their pleasure, exercising their cruel authority against the poor wasted flock of the Lord, and began, furthermore, to stretch forth their rigour and austerity, to attach and molest also other great persons of the temporalty; so it fell, that in the beginning of the next or second year following, which was A.D. 1534, a parliament was called by the king about the fifteenth day of January: in which parliament, the commons, renewing their old griefs, complained of the cruelty of the prelates and ordinaries, for calling men before them ex officio. For such was then the usage of the ordinaries and their officials, that they would send for men, and lay accusations to them of heresy, only declaring to them that they were accused; and would minister articles to them, but no accuser should be brought forth: whereby the commons were grievously annoyed and oppressed;, for the Aparty so cited must either abjure or do worse: for purgation he might none make.
As these matters were long debating in the commons' house, at last it was agreed that the temporal men should put their griefs in writing, and deliver them to the king. Whereupon, on the eighteenth day of March, the common speaker, accompanied with certain knights and burgesses of the commons' house, came to the king's presence, and there declared how the temporal men of his realm were sore aggrieved with the cruel demeanour of the prelates and ordinaries, which touched their bodies and goods so nearly, that they of necessity were enforced to make their humble suit, by their speaker, unto his Grace, to take such order and redress in the case, as to his high wisdom might seem most convenient, &c.
Unto this request of the commons, although the king at that time gave no present grant, but suspended them with a delay, yet notwithstanding, this sufficiently declared the grudging minds of the temporal men against the spiritually, lacking nothing but God's helping hand to work in the king's heart for reformation of such things, which they all did see to be out of frame. Neither did the Lord's divine providence fail in time of need, but eftsoons ministered a ready remedy in time expedient. He saw the pride and cruelty of the spiritual clergy grown to such a height as was intolerable. He saw again, and heard the groaning hearts, the bitter afflictions, of his oppressed flock; his truth decayed, his religion profaned, the glory of his Son defaced, his church lamentably wasted. Wherefore it was high time for his high majesty to look upon the matter (as he did indeed) by a strange and wondrous means, which was through the king's divorcement from Lady Katharine, dowager, and marrying with Lady Anne Bullen, in this present year; which was the first occasion and beginning of all this public reformation which hath followed since, in this church of England, and to this present day, according as ye shall hear.
The marriage between King Henry and Queen Anne Bullen; and Queen Katharine divorced.N the first entry of this king's reign ye heard before, how, after the death of Prince Arthur, the Lady Katharine, princess dowager, and wife to Prince Arthur, by the consent both of her father and his, and also by the advice of the nobles of this realm, to the end her dowry might remain still within the realm, was espoused, after the decease of her husband, to his next brother, which was this King Henry.
Thus then, after the declaration of these things gone before, next cometh to our hands (by the order and process of the time we are now about) to treat of the marvellous and most gracious work of the holy providence of God, beginning now to work, at this present time, here in England, that which neither durst be attempted before by any prince within this realm, nor yet could ever be hoped for by any subject; concerning the abolishing and overthrow of the pope's supremacy here in the English church: who through the false pretended title of his usurped authority, and through the vain fear of his keys, and cursed cursings and excommunications, did so deeply sit in the consciences of men; did keep all princes and kings so under him; briefly, did so plant himself in all churches, taking such deep root in the hearts of all Christian people so long time, that it seemed not only hard, but also impossible, for man's power to abolish the same. But that which passeth man's strength, God here beginneth to take in hand, to supplant the old tyranny, and subtle supremacy of the Romish bishop. The occasion hereof began thus, (through the secret providence of God,) by a certain unlawful marriage between King Henry the Eighth, and the Lady Katharine, his brother's wife; which marriage, being found unlawful, and so concluded by all universities, not to be dispensed withal by any man, at length brought forth a verity long hid before; that is, that the pope was not what he was accounted to be; and, again, that he presumptuously took more upon him than he was able to dispense withal.
These little beginnings being once called into question, gave great light to men, and ministered withal great occasion to seek further: insomuch that at length the pope was espied, both to usurp that which he could not claim, and to claim that which he ought not to usurp. As touching the first doubt of this unlawful marriage, whether it came of the king himself, or of the cardinal, or of the Spaniards, as the chronicles themselves do not fully express, so I cannot assuredly affirm. This is certain, that it was not without the singular providence of God, (whereby to bring greater things to pass,) that the king's conscience herein seemed to be so troubled, according as the words of his own oration, had unto his commons, do declare; whose oration hereafter followeth, to give testimony of the same.
This marriage seemed very strange and hard, for one brother to marry the wife of another. But what can be in this earth so hard or difficult, wherewith the pope, the omnipotent vicar of Christ, cannot by favour dispense, if it please him? The pope which then ruled at Rome, was Pope Julius the Second, by whose dispensation, this marriage, which neither sense of nature would admit, nor God's law would bear, was concluded, approved, and ratified; and so continued as lawful, without any doubt or scruple, the space of nearly twenty years, till about the time that a certain doubt began first to be moved by the Spaniards themselves, of the emperor's council, A.D. 1523; at what time Charles the emperor, being here in England, promised to marry the Lady Mary, daughter to the king of England; with which promise the Spaniards themselves were not well contented, objecting this, among many other causes, that the said Lady Mary was begotten of the king of England by his brother's wife.
Whereupon the emperor, forsaking that marriage, did couple himself with Lady Isabel, daughter to King Emanuel of Portugal. This marriage was done A.D. 1526. After this marriage of the emperor, the next year following, King Henry, being disappointed thus of the emperor, entered talk, or rather was laboured to by the French ambassadors, for the said Lady Mary to be married to the French king's son, duke of Orleans; upon the talk whereof, after long debating, at length the matter was put off by a certain doubt of the president of Paris, casting the like objection as the Spaniards had done before; which was, Whether the marriage between the king, and the mother of this Lady Mary, which had been his brother's wife before, were good or no? And so the marriage, twice unluckily attempted, in like sort brake off again, and was rejected, which happened A.D. 1527.
The king, upon the occasion hereof casting many things in his mind, began to consider the cause more deeply, first, with himself, after, with certain of his nearest council; wherein two things there were which chiefly pricked his mind, whereof the one touched his conscience, the other concerned the state of his realm. For if that marriage with his brother's wife stood unlawful by the law of God, then neither was his conscience clear in retaining the mother, nor yet the state of the realm firm by succession of the daughter. It happened the same time that the cardinal, which was then nearest about the king, had fallen out with the emperor, for not helping him to the papacy, as ye before have heard; for which cause he helped to set the matter forward by all the practice he might. Thus the king, perplexed in his conscience, and careful for the commonwealth, and partly also incited by the cardinal, could not so rest; but inquired further to feel what the word of God, and learning, would say unto it. Neither was the case so hard, after it began once to come in public question, but that by the word of God, and the judgments of the best learned clerks, and also by the censure of the chief universities of all Christendom, to the number of ten and more, it was soon discussed to be unlawful.
All these censures, books, and writings, of so many doctors, clerks, and universities, sent from all quarters of Christendom to the king, albeit they might suffice to have fully resolved, and did indeed resolve, the king's conscience touching this scruple of his marriage; yet would he not straightway use that advantage which learning did give him, unless he had withal the assent as well of the pope, as also the emperor; wherein he perceived no little difficulty. For the pope, he thought, seeing the marriage was authorized before by the dispensation of his predecessor, would hardly turn his keys about to undo that which the pope before him had locked; and much less would he suffer those keys to be foiled, or to come in any doubt; which was like to come, if that marriage were proved undispensable by God's word, which his predecessor, through his plenary power, had licensed before. Again, the emperor, he thought, would be no less hard for his part, on the other side, forasmuch as the said Lady Katharine was the emperor's near aunt, and a Spaniard born. Yet, nevertheless, his purpose was to prove and feel what they both would say unto it; and therefore he sent Stephen Gardiner to Rome, to weigh with Pope Clement. To the emperor was sent Sir Nicholas Harvey, knight, ambassador in the court of Gaunt. First, Pope Clement, not weighing belike the full importance and sequel of the matter, sent Cardinal Campeius (as is said) into England, joined with the cardinal of York.
At the coming of these legates, the king, first opening unto them the grief of his conscience, seemed with great reasons and persuasions sufficiently to have drawn the good will of those two legates to his side; who also, of their own accord, pretended no less but to show a willing inclination to further the king's cause. But yet the mouths of the common people, and in especial of women, and such others as favoured the queen, and talked their pleasure, were not stopped. Wherefore, to satisfy the blind surmises and foolish communication of these also, who, seeing the coming of the cardinals, cast out such lewd words, as that the king would, "for his own pleasure," have another wife, with like unbeseeming talk; he therefore, willing that all men should know the truth of his proceedings, caused all his nobility, judges, and counsellors, with divers other persons, to resort to his palace of Bridewell, the eighth day of November, A.D. 1529, where,openly speaking in his great chamber, he had these words in effect, as followeth:
The king's oration to his subjects.
"Our trusty and well-beloved subjects, both you of the nobility, and you of the meaner sort: it is not unknown unto you, how that we, both by God's provision, and true and lawful inheritance, have reigned over this realm of England almost the term of twenty years; during which time, we have so ordered us (thanked be God!) that no outward enemy hath oppressed you, nor taken any thing from us, nor have we invaded any realm, but we have had victory and honour, so that we think that neither you, nor any of your predecessors, ever lived more quietly, more wealthily, or in more estimation, under any of our noble progenitors. But when we remember our mortality, and that we must die, then we think that all our doings in our lifetime are clearly defaced, and worthy of no memory, if we leave you in trouble at the time of our death; for if our true heir be not known at the time of our death, see what mischief and trouble shall succeed to you, and to your children. The experience thereof some of you have seen after the death of our noble grandfather, King Edward the Fourth; and some have heard what mischief and manslaughter continued in this realm between the houses of York and Lancaster, by which dissension this realm was like to have been clearly destroyed.
"And although it hath pleased Almighty God to send us a fair daughter of a noble woman, and of me begotten, to our great comfort and joy; yet it hath been told us, by divers great clerks, that neither she is our lawful daughter, nor her mother our lawful wife, but that we live together abominably and detestably in open adultery; insomuch that when our ambassador was last in France, and motion was made that the duke of Orleans should marry our said daughter, one of the chief counsellors to the French king said, It were well done, to know whether she be the king of England's lawful daughter or not; for well known it is, that he begot her on his brother's wife, which is directly against God's law and his precept. Think you, my lords, that these words touch not my body and soul? Think you that these doings do not daily and hourly trouble my conscience, and vex my spirits? Yes, we doubt not but if it were your cause, every man would seek remedy, when the peril of your soul and the loss of your inheritance is openly laid unto you. For this only cause I protest before God, and on the word of a prince, I have asked counsel of the greatest clerks in Christendom; and for this cause I have sent for this legate, as a man indifferent, only to know the truth, and so to settle my conscience, and for none other cause, as God can judge. And as touching the queen, if it be adjudged by the law of God that she is my lawful wife, there was never thing more pleasant, or more acceptable to me in my life, both for the discharge and clearing of my conscience, and also for the good qualities and conditions which I know to be in her. For I assure you all, that beside her noble parentage of which she is descended, (as you well know,) she is a woman of most gentleness, of most humility and buxomness, yea, and in all good qualities appertaining to nobility, she is without comparison, as I, these twenty years almost, have had the true experiment; so that if I were to marry again, if the marriage might be good, I would surely choose her above all other women. But if it be determined by judgment, that our marriage was against God's law, and clearly void, then shall I not only sorrow the departing from so good a lady and loving a companion, but much more lament and bewail my unfortunate chance, that I have so long lived in adultery, to God's great displeasure, and have no true heir of my body to inherit this realm. These be the sores that vex my mind, these be the pangs that trouble my conscience, and for these griefs I seek a remedy. Therefore I require you all, as our trust and confidence is in you, to declare to our subjects our mind and intent, according to our true meaning; and desire them to pray with us that the very truth may be known, for the discharge of our conscience, and saving of our soul: and for the declaration hereof I have assembled you together, and now you may depart."
Shortly after this oration of the king, wherewith he stirred the hearts of a number, then the two legates, being requested of the king, for discharge of his conscience, to judge and determine upon the cause, went to the queen lying then in the palace of Bridewell, and declared to her, how they were deputed judges indifferent, between the king and her, to hear and determine, whether the marriage between them stood with God's law or not.
When she understood the cause of their coming, being thereat something astonied at the first, after a little pausing with herself, thus she began, answering for herself.
"Alas, my lords, (said she,) is it now a question whether I be the king's lawful wife or no, when I have been married to him almost twenty years, and in the mean season question was never made before? Divers prelates yet being alive, and lords also, and privy councillors with the king at that time, then adjudged our marriage lawful and honest; and now to say it is detestable and abominable, I think it great marvel: and, in especial, when I consider what a wise prince the king's father was, and also the love and natural affection that King Ferdinand, my father, bare unto me, I think in myself, that neither of our fathers were so uncircumspect, so unwise, and of so small imagination, but they foresaw what might follow of our marriage; and in especial, the king, my father, sent to the court of Rome, and there, after long suit, with great cost and charge, obtained a licence and dispensation, that I, being the one brother's wife, and peradventure carnally known, might, without scruple of conscience, marry with the other brother lawfully, which licence, under lead, I have yet to show: which things make me to say, and surely believe, that our marriage was both lawful, good, and godly.
"But of this trouble I may only thank you, my lord cardinal of York. For because I have wondered at your high pride and vain glory, and abhorred your voluptuous life and abominable lechery, and little regarded your presumptuous power and tyranny, therefore, of malice you have kindled this fire, and set this matter abroach; and, in especial, for the great malice that you bear to my nephew the emperor, whom I perfectly know you hate worse than a scorpion, because he would not satisfy your ambition, and make you pope by force: and therefore you have said more than once, that you would trouble him and his friends; and you have kept him true promise; for all his wars and vexations he may only thank you. And as for me, his poor aunt and kinswoman, what trouble you have put me to, by this new-found doubt, God knoweth; to whom I commit my cause, according to the truth."
The cardinal of York excused himself, saying, That he was not the beginner nor the mover of the doubt, and that it was sore against his will that ever the marriage should come in question; but he said that by his superior, the bishop of Rome, he was deputed as a judge to hear the cause; which he sware on his profession to hear indifferently. But whatsoever was said, she believed him not; and so the legates took their leave of her, and departed.
These words were spoken in French, and written by Cardinal Campeius's secretary, who was present; and afterwards, by Edward Hall, translated into English.
By these premises it is sufficient to judge and understand what the whole occasion was, that brought this marriage first into doubt, so that there needeth not any further declaration in words upon this matter. But this one thing will I say, if I might be bold to speak what I think: other men may think what they list. This I suppose, that the stay of this marriage was taken in good time, and not without the singular favour of God's providence. For if that one child, coming of this aforesaid marriage, did so greatly endanger this whole realm of England to be entangled with the Spanish nation, that if God's mighty hand had not been betwixt, God only knoweth what misery might have ensued; what peril then should thereby have followed, if, in the continuance of this marriage, more issue had sprung thereof!
But to return again to our matter concerning the whole process and discourse of this divorcement, briefly to comprehend in few words, that which might be collected out of many; after this answer was given of the queen, and her appeal made to the pope, the king, to try out the matter by Scriptures and by learning, sent first to the pope, then to most part of all universities, to have it decided to the uttermost.
In the next year ensuing, A.D. 1530, at the Black Friars' of London was prepared a solemn place for the two legates: who, coming with their crosses, pillars, axes, and all other Romish ceremonies accordingly, were set in two chairs covered with cloth of gold, and cushions of the same. When all things were ready, then the king and the queen were ascited by Dr. Sampson to appear before the said legates the twenty-eighth day of May; where (the commission of the cardinals first being read, wherein it was appointed by the court of Rome, that they should be the hearers and judges in the cause between them both) the king was called by name, who appeared by two proctors. Then the queen was called, who being accompanied with four bishops, and others of her council, and a great company of ladies, came personally herself before the legates; who there, after her obeisance, with a sad gravity of countenance, having not many words with them, appealed from the legates, as judges not competent, to the court of Rome, and so departed. Notwithstanding this appeal, the cardinals sat weekly, and every day arguments on both sides were brought, but nothing definitively was determined.
As the time passed on, in the month of June, the king being desirous to see an end of the controversy, came to the court, and the queen came also, where he, standing under his cloth of estate, uttered these or like words, which can best declare his own mind, and which here I thought to notify, that they who have not the chronicles present, may here read his mind, and the better understand the matter.
The king's oration to the legates.
"My lords, legates of the see apostolic, who be deputed judges in this great and weighty matter, I most heartily beseech you to ponder my mind and intent, which only is to have a final end for the discharge of my conscience. For every good Christian man knoweth what pain and what unquietness he suffereth, which have his conscience grieved. For I assure you, on my honour, that this matter hath so vexed my mind, and troubled my spirits, that I can scantly study any thing which should be profitable for my realm and people: and for to have a quietness in body and soul is my desire and request, and not for any grudge that I bear to her that I have married; for I dare say, that for her womanhood, wisdom, nobility, and gentleness, never prince had such another: and therefore, if I would willingly change, I were not wise. Wherefore my suit is to you, my lords, at this time, to have a speedy end, according to right, for the quietness of my mind and conscience only, and for no other cause, as God knoweth."
When the king had thus said, the queen departed without saying any thing. The queen again, on the other part, (who had before appealed to the pope,) assisted with her councillors and doctors, who were four bishops, that is, Warham of Canterbury, West of Ely, Fisher of Rochester, Standish of St. Asaph, with other learned men whom the king had licensed her to choose, was called to know whether she would abide by her appeal, or answer there before the legates. Her proctor answered, that she would abide by her appeal. That notwithstanding, the councillors on both sides every day almost met, and debated this matter substantially, so that at last the divines were all of one opinion that the marriage was against the law of God, if she were carnally known by the first brother, which thing she clearly denied. But to that was answered, that Prince Arthur, her husband, confessed the act done, by certain words spoken; which, being recorded in other chronicles, I had rather should there be read, than by me here uttered. Furthermore, at the time of the death of Prince Arthur, she thought and judged that she was with child, and for that cause the king was deferred from the title and creation of the prince of Wales almost half a year: which thing could not have been judged, if she had not been carnally known.
Also she herself caused a bull to be purchased, in which were these words, "peradventure carnally known;" which words were not in the first bull granted by July, at her second marriage to the king. Which second bull, with that clause, was only purchased to dispense with the second matrimony, although there were carnal copulation before: which bull needed not to have been purchased, if there had been no carnal copulation, for then the first bull had been sufficient.
Moreover, for the more clear evidence of this matter, that Prince Arthur had carnal knowledge of the said Lady Katharine his wife, it appeareth in a certain book of records which we have to show touching this marriage, that the same time when Prince Arthur was first married with this Lady Katharine, daughter to King Ferdinand, certain ambassadors of Ferdinand's council were then sent hither into England for the said purpose, to see and to testify concerning the full consummation of the said matrimonial conjunction; which councillors here resident, being solemnly sworn, not only did affirm to both their parents, that the matrimony was consummated by that act, but also did send over into Spain, to her father, such demonstrations of their mutual conjunction as here I will not name, sparing the reverence of chaste ears. Which demonstrations otherwise, in those records being named and testified, do sufficiently put the matter out of all doubt and question.
Besides that, in the same records appeareth that both he and she not only were of such years as were meet and able to explete the consummation hereof, but also they were and did lie together both here and in Wales, by the space of three quarters of a year.
Thus, when the divines on her side were beaten from the ground, then they fell to persuasions of natural reasons, how this should not be undone for three causes. One was, because, if it should be broken, the only child of the king should be a bastard, which were a great mischief to the realm. Secondly, the separation should be cause of great unkindness between her kindred and this realm. And the third cause was, that the continuance of so long space had made the marriage honest. These persuasions, with many others, were set forth by the queen's council, and in especial by the bishop of Rochester, which stood stiff in her cause. But yet God's precept was not answered; wherefore they left that ground, and fell to pleading, that the court of Rome had dispensed with that marriage. To this some lawyers said, that no earthly person is able to dispense with the positive law of God.
When the legates heard the opinions of the divines, and saw whereunto the end of this question would tend, forasmuch as men began so to dispute of the authority of the court of Rome, and especially because the cardinal of York perceived the king to cast favour to the Lady Anne, whom he knew to be a Lutheran, they thought best to wind themselves out of that brake betimes; and so Cardinal Campeius, dissembling the matter, conveyed himself home to Rome again, as is partly above touched. The king, seeing himself thus to be deferred and deluded by the cardinals, took it to no little grief; whereupon the fall of the cardinal of York followed not long after.
This was A.D. 1530. Shortly after it happened, the same year, that the king by his ambassadors was advertised, that the emperor and the pope were both together at Bologna. Wherefore he directed Sir Thomas Bullen, lately created earl of Wiltshire, and Dr. Stokesley, afterwards bishop of London, and Dr. Lee, afterwards bishop of York, with his message to the pope's court, where also the emperor was. Pope Clement, understanding the king's case and request, and fearing what might follow after, if learning and Scripture here should take place against the authority of their dispensations; and moreover doubting the emperor's displeasure, bare himself strange off from the matter, answering the ambassadors with this delay, that he presently would not define in the case, but would hear the full matter disputed when he came to Rome, and according to right he would do justice.
Although the king owed no such service to the pope, to stand to his arbitrement either in this case, or in any other, having both the Scripture to lead him, and his law in his own hands to warrant him, yet, for quietness' sake, and for that he would not rashly break order, (which rather was a disorder indeed,) he bare so long as conveniently he might. At length, after long delays and much dissembling, when he saw no hope of redress, he began somewhat to quicken and to look about him, what was best both for his own conscience, and the establishment of his realm to do.
No man here doubteth, but that all this was wrought not by man's device, but by the secret purpose of the Lord himself, to bring to pass further things, as afterwards followed, which his divine providence was disposed to work. For else, as touching the king's intent and purpose, he never meant nor minded any such thing as to seek the ruin of the pope, but rather sought all means contrary, how both to establish the see of Rome, and also to obtain the good will of the same see and court of Rome, if it might have been gotten. And therefore, intending to sue his divorce from Rome, at the first beginning, his device was, by Stephen Gardiner, his ambassador at Rome, to exalt the cardinal of York, as is before showed, to be made pope and universal bishop, to the end that he, ruling that apostolic see, the matter of his unlawful marriage, which so troubled his conscience, might come to a quiet conclusion, without any further rumour of the world: which purpose of his, if it had taken effect as he had devised it, and the English cardinal had once been made pope, no doubt but the authority of that see had never been exterminated out of England. But God, being more merciful unto us, took a better way than so; for both without and contrary to the king's expectation, he so brought to pass, that neither the cardinal of York was pope, (which should have been an infinite cost to the king,) and yet nevertheless the king sped for his purpose too, and that much better than he looked for. For he was rid, by lawful divorcement, not only from that unlawful marriage which clogged his conscience, but also from the miserable yoke of the pope's usurped dominion, which clogged the whole realm; and all at one time.
Thus God's holy providence ruling the matter, as I said, when the king could get no favourable grant of the pope touching his cause, being so good and honest, he was forced to take the redress of his right into his own hands, and seeing this Gordian knot would not be loosed at Rome, he was driven against his will, as God would, to play the noble Alexander himself, and with the sword of his princely authority knapped the knot at one stroke clean asunder, loosing, as it were, with one solution infinite questions. For where the doctors and canonists had long disputed, and yet could never thoroughly discuss the largeness and fulness of the pope's two swords, both temporal and spiritual; the king, with one sword, did so cut off both his swords, that he despatched them both clean out of England, as ye shall see more anon. But first the king, like a prudent prince, before he would come to the head of the sore, thought best to pare away such rank flesh and putrefied places as were about it; and therefore, following his own proverb, like as one going about to cast down an old rotten wall, will not begin with the foundation first, but with the stones that lie at the top, so he, to prepare his way better unto the pope, first began with the cardinal, casting him, by the law of præmunire, out of his goods and possessions: and so at length, by poisoning himself, he procured his own death; which was A.D. 1530.
This done, shortly after, about the year 1532, the king, to provide betimes against mischiefs that might come from Rome, gave forth eftsoons this proclamation, touching the abolishing of the pope, and establishing of the king's supremacy; the tenor whereof here followeth:
"The king's Highness straitly chargeth and commandeth, that no manner of person, what estate, degree, or condition soever he or they be of, do purchase, or attempt to purchase, from the court of Rome, or elsewhere, or use and put in execution, divulge or publish any thing heretofore, within this year past purchased, or to be purchased hereafter,containing matter prejudicial to the high authority, jurisdiction, and prerogative royal of this his said realm, or to the let, hinderance, or impeachment of his Grace's noble and virtuous intended purposes in the premises, upon pain of incurring his Highness's indignation, and imprisonment and further punishment of their bodies for their so doing, at his Grace's pleasure, to the dreadful example of all others."
It chanced about the same time, or a little before, that the king, taking more heart unto him, partly encouraged by the treatise afore mentioned, called "The Supplication of Beggars," which he had diligently read and perused, and partly provoked by the pride and stoutness of the clergy, brake off with the cardinal, caused him to be attainted in the præmunire, and afterwards also to he apprehended.
After this was done, the king, then proceeding further, caused the rest of the spiritual lords to be called by process into the king's bench to make their appearance, forasmuch as the whole clergy of England, in supporting and maintaining the power legantine of the cardinal, by the reason thereof were all entangled likewise in the præmunire, and therefore were called into the king's bench to answer. But before the day of their appearance, the prelates together in their convocation concluded among themselves a humble submission in writing, and offered the king for a subsidy or contribution, that he would be their good lord, and release them of their præmunire by act of parliament, first to be gathered in the province of Canterbury a hundred thousand pounds; and in the province of York, eighteen thousand eight hundred and forty pounds and ten pence: the which offer with much labour was accepted, and their pardon promised. In this submission the clergy called the king supreme head of the church of England, which thing they never confessed before; whereupon many things followed, as after (God willing) ye shall hear.
But first, forasmuch as we are in hand now with the matter, we will borrow by the way a few words of the reader, to speak of this clergy-money, of one hundred and eighteen thousand eight hundred and forty pounds and ten pence, to be levied to the king, as is above touched. For the levying of which sum an order was taken among the prelates, that every bishop in his diocese should call before him all the priests, parsons, and vicars, among whom Dr. Stokesley, bishop of London, a man then counted to be of some wit and learning, but of little discretion and humanity, (which caused him to be out of the favour of the common people,) called before him all the priests within the city of London, whether they were curates or stipendiaries, the first day of September, being Friday, in the chapter-house of St. Paul; at which day the priests appeared, and the bishop's policy was to have only six or eight priests together, and by persuasions to have caused them to grant some portion towards the payment of the aforesaid hundred thousand pounds. But the number of the priests was so great, (for they were six hundred at least, and with them came many temporal men to hear the matter,) that the bishop was disappointed of his purpose; for when the bishop's officers called in certain priests by name into the chapter-house, with that a great number entered, for they put aside the bishop's officers that kept the door.
After this the officers got the door shut again. Then the priests without said, "We will not be kept without, and our fellows be within: we know not what the bishop will do with them." The temporal men, being present, comforted and encouraged the priests to enter, so that by force they opened the door, and one struck the bishop's officer over the face, and entered the chapter-house, and many temporal men with them; and long it was ere any silence could be made. At last, when they were appeased, the bishop stood up and said, "Brethren! I marvel not a little why you be so heady, and know not what shall be said to you; therefore I pray you to keep silence, and to hear me patiently. My friends all, you know well that we be men frail of condition, and no angels; and by frailty and lack of wisdom we have misdemeaned ourselves towards the king, our sovereign lord, and his laws, so that all we of the clergy were in the præmunire; by reason whereof, all our promotions, lands, goods, and chattels, were to him forfeit, and our bodies ready to be imprisoned: yet his Grace, moved with pity and compassion, demanded of us what we could say, why he should not extend his laws upon us. Then the fathers of the clergy humbly besought his Grace of mercy: to whom he answered, that he was ever inclined to mercy. Then, for all our great offences we had little penance; for where he might, by the rigour of his law, have taken all our livelihood, goods, and chattels, he was contented with one hundred thousand pounds, to be paid in five years. And although this sum be more than we may easily bear, yet by the rigour of his laws we should have borne the whole burden. Wherefore, my brethren! I charitably exhort you to bear your parts of your livelihood and salary, toward the payment of this sum granted."
Then it was shortly said to the bishop,
"My Lord! twenty nobles a year is but bare living for a priest; for now victuals and every thing are so dear, that poverty in a manner enforceth us to say nay. Besides that, my Lord, we never offended in the præmunire; for we never meddled with the cardinal's faculties: let the bishops and abbots who have offended pay."
Then the bishop's officers gave to the priests high words, which caused them to be the more obstinate. Also divers temporal men who were present comforted the priests, and bade them agree to no payment. In this rumour divers of the bishop's servants were buffeted and stricken, so that the bishop began to be afraid, and with fair words appeased the noise; and for all things which were done or said there he pardoned them, and gave to them his blessing, and prayed them to depart in charity. Then they departed, thinking to hear no more of the matter, but they were deceived; for the bishop went to Sir Thomas More, then being lord chancellor, (who greatly favoured the bishop and the clergy,) and to him made a grievous complaint, and declared the fact very grievously. Whereupon commandment was sent to Sir Thomas Pargitor, mayor of the city, to attach certain priests and temporal men: and so fifteen priests and five temporal men were arrested; of the which some were sent to the Tower, some to the Fleet and other prisons, where they remained long after.
This being done A.D. 1532, it followeth moreover the same year, that divers preachings were in the realm, one contrary to another, concerning the king's marriage,; and in especial one Thomas Abel, clerk, which was the queen's chaplain, to please her withal, both preached, and also wrote a book, in defence of the said marriage; whereby divers simple men were persuaded. Wherefore the king caused to be compiled and reduced into a book the determination of the universities, with the judgments of great clerks; which book being printed and set abroad, did again satisfy all indifferent and reasonable persons, which were not too much wedded to their wills.
Mention was made a little before, of a parliament begun the fifteenth day of January, A.D. 1533, in the which parliament the commons had put up a supplication, complaining of the strait dealing of the clergy in their proceeding ex officio. This complaint, although at first it seemed not to be greatly tendered of the king, yet in prorogation of the parliament the time so wrought withal, that the king, having more clear understanding of the abuses and enormities of the clergy, and, in especial, of the corrupt authority of the see of Rome, provided certain acts against the same.
"First, as concerning the laws, decrees, ordinances, and constitutions made and established by the pretended authority of the bishops of Rome, to the advancement of their worldly glory, that whoso did or spake any thing either against their usurped power, or against the said laws, decrees, or constitutions of theirs, not approved nor grounded upon Holy Scripture, or else being repugnant to the king's prerogative royal, should therefore stand in no danger, nor be impeachable of heresy. And likewise touching such constitutions, ordinances, and canons provincial or synodal, which were made in this realm in the convocation of bishops, being either prejudicial to the king's prerogative, or not ratified before by the king's assent, or being otherwise onerous to the king and his subjects, or in any wise repugnant to the laws and statutes of this realm, they were committed to the examination and judgment of thirty-two persons chosen by the king out of the higher and lower house, to be determined either to stand in strength, or to be abrogated at their discretions: and further, that all the clergy of this realm, submitting themselves to the king, should and did promise never hereafter to presume to assemble in their convocations without the king's writ, or to enact or execute such constitutions without his royal assent, &e.
Further, in the same parliament was enacted and decreed, that in causes and matters happening in contention, no person should appeal, provoke, or sue, out of the king's dominions to the court of Rome, under pain of provisors, provision, or præmunire.
Item, In the same parliament was defined and concluded, that all exportation of annates and first-fruits of archbishoprics and bishoprics out of this realm to the see of Rome, for any bulls, breves, or palls, or expedition of any such thing, should utterly cease.
Also, for the investing of archbishops, bishops, or other of any ecclesiastical dignity, such order in the said parliament was taken, that the king should send a licence under the great seal, with a letter missive, to the prior and convent, or to the dean and chapter of those cathedral churches where the see was vacant, by the virtue of which licence or letters missive, they, within twelve days, should choose the said person nominated by the king, and no other; and that election to stand effectual to all intents: which election being done, then the party elect to make first his oath and fealty to the king, if it were a bishop that was elect; then the king, by his letters patent, to signify the said election to the archbishop of that province, and two other bishops, or else to four bishops within this realm to be assigned to that office, without any other suing, procuring, or obtaining any bulls, breves, or other things from the see of Rome.
Moreover, against all other whatsoever intolerable exactions and great sums of money used to be paid out of this realm to the bishop of Rome, in pensions, censures, Peter-pence, procurations, fruits, suits for provisions, and expeditions of bulls for archbishops and bishops, for delegacies and rescripts in causes of contentions and appeals, jurisdictions legative; also for dispensations, licences, faculties, grants, relaxations, writs called perinde valere, rehabilitations, abolitions, canonizations, and other infinite sorts of bulls, breves, and instruments of sundry natures, the number whereof were tedious particularly to be recited: in the said parliament it was ordained, that all such uncharitable usurpations, exactions, pensions, censures, portions, and Peter-pence, wont to be paid to the see of Rome, should utterly surcease, and never more to be levied; so that the king, with his honourable council, should have power and authority from time to time, for the ordering, redress, and reformation of all manner of indulgences, privileges, &c., within this realm.
Where is to be noted by the way, as touching these Peter-pence aforesaid, that the same were first brought in and imposed by King Ina, about A.D. 720; which Ina, king of the West Saxons, caused through all his dominion, in every house having a chimney, a penny to be collected and paid to the bishop of Rome in the name of St. Peter; and thereof were they called Peter-pence. The same likewise did Offa, king of Mercians, after him, about A.D. 794. And these Peter-pence ever since, or for the most part, have used of a long custom to be gathered and summoned by the pope's collectors here in England, from the time of Ina aforesaid, to this present parliament, A.D. 1533.
Finally, by the authority of the parliament it was consulted and considered concerning the legality of the lawful succession unto the crown, in ratifying and enabling the heirs of the king's body, and Queen Anne. In the which parliament, moreover, the degrees of marriage plainly and clearly were explained and set forth, such as be expressly prohibited by God's laws, as in this table may appear.
A table of degrees prohibited, by Gods law, to marry.
The son not to marry the mother, nor step-mother.
The brother not to marry the sister.
The father not to marry his son's daughter, nor his daughter's daughter.
The son not to marry his father's daughter, gotten by his step-mother.
The son not to marry his aunt, being either his father's or his mother's sister.
The son not to marry his uncle's wife.
The father not to marry his son's wife.
The brother not to marry his brother's wife.
No man to marry his wife's daughter.
No man to marry his wife's son's daughter.
No man to marry his wife's daughter's daughter. No man to marry his wife's sister.
All these degrees be prohibited by the Scripture.
All these things thus being defined and determined in this aforesaid parliament, and it also being in the same parliament concluded, that no man, of what estate, degree, or condition soever, hath any power to dispense with God's laws; it was therefore, by the authority aforesaid, agreeing with the authority of God's word, assented that the marriage aforetime solemnized between the king and the Lady Katharine, being before wife to Prince Arthur the king's brother, and carnally known by him, (as is above proved,) should be absolutely deemed and adjudged to be unlawful and against the law of God, and also reputed and taken to be of no value or effect; and that the separation thereof by Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, should stand good and effectual to all intents; and also that the lawful matrimony between the king and the Lady Anne his wife, should be established, approved, and ratified for good and consonant to the laws of Almighty God. And further, also, for the establishing of this king's lawful succession, it was fully by the said parliament adjudged, that the inheritance of the crown should remain to the heirs of their two bodies, that is, of the king, and Queen Anne his wife.
During the time of this parliament, before the marriage of Queen Anne, there was one Temse in the commons house, who moved the commons to sue to the king to take the queen again into his company; declaring certain great mischiefs like to ensue thereof, as in bastardizing the Lady Mary, the king's only child, and divers other inconveniences. This being reported to the king's ears, he sent immediately to Sir Thomas Audley, speaker then of the parliament, expressing unto him, amongst other matters, that he marvelled much why one of the parliament did so openly speak of the absence of the queen from him; which matter was not to be determined there, for it touched (said he) his soul; and he wished the matrimony were good, for then had he never been so vexed in conscience. But the doctors of universities (said he) have determined the marriage to be void, and detestable before God; which grudge of conscience (he said) caused him to abstain from her company, and no foolish or wanton appetite. "For I am," said he, "forty-one years old, at which age the lust of man is not so quick as it is in youth. And, saving in Spain and Portugal,it hath not been seen, that one man hath married two sisters, the one being carnally known before: but the brother to marry the brother's wife, was so abhorred amongst all nations, that I never heard that any Christian so did, but myself. Wherefore you see my conscience troubled, and so I pray you report." And so the speaker, departing, declared to the commons the king's saying.
It was touched, a little before, how that the pope had lost great part of his authority and jurisdiction in this realm of England; now it followeth to infer, how, and by what occasion, his whole power and authority began utterly to be abolished, by the reason and occasion of the most virtuous and noble lady, Anne Bullen, who was not as yet married to the king, howbeit in great favour: by whose godly means and most virtuous counsel the king's mind was daily inclined better and better. Insomuch that, not long after, the king, belike perceiving the minds of the clergy not much favouring his cause, sent for the speaker again, and twelve of the commons house, having with him eight lords, and said to them, "Well-beloved subjects! we had thought the clergy of our realm had been our subjects wholly, but now we have well perceived that they be but half our subjects, yea, and scarce our subjects. For all the prelates at their consecration make an oath to the pope, clean contrary to the oath that they make unto us, so that they seem to be his subjects, and not ours." And so the king, delivering to them the copy of both the oaths, required them to invent some order that he might not thus be deluded of his spiritual subjects. The speaker thus departed, and caused the oaths to be read in the commons house, the very tenor whereof here ensueth.
The oath of the clergy to the pope.
"I, John, bishop or abbot of A., from this hour forward shall be faithful and obedient to St. Peter, and to the holy Church of Rome, and to my lord the pope and his successors canonically entering. I shall not be of counsel or consent, that they shall lose either life or member, or shall be taken or suffer any violence, or any wrong by any means. Their counsel to me credited by them, their messengers or letters, I shall not willingly discover to any person. The papacy of Rome, the rulers of the holy fathers, and regalities of St. Peter, I shall help and retain, and defend against all men. The legate of the see apos- tolic, going and coming, I shall honourably entreat. The rights, honours, privileges, and authorities of the Church of Rome, and of the pope and his successors, I shall cause to he conserved, defended, augmented, and promoted; I shall not be in counsel, treaty, or any act, in which any thing shall be imagined against him or the Church of Rome, their rights, estates, honours, or powers: and if I know any such to be moved or compassed, I shall resist it to my power; and as soon as I can, I shall advertise him, or such as may give him knowledge. The rules of the holy fathers, the decrees, ordinances, sentences, dispositions, reservations, provisions, and commandments apostolic, to my power I shall keep, and cause to be kept of others. Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our holy father and his successors, I shall resist and persecute to my power; I shall come to the synod when I am called, except I be letted by a canonical impediment. The lights of the apostles I shall visit personally, or by my deputy. I shall not alienate or sell my possessions without the pope's council. So God me help, and the holy evangelists."
This oath of the clergymen, which they were wont to make to the bishop of Rome, (now Pope Quondam,) was abolished and made void by statute, and a new oath ministered and confirmed for the same, wherein they acknowledged the king to be the supreme head, under Christ, in this Church of England, as by tenor thereof may appear hereunder ensuing.
The oath of the clergy to the king.
"I, John B., of A., utterly renounce, and clearly forsake, all such clauses, words, sentences, and grants, which I have or shall have hereafter of the pope's Holiness, of and for the bishopric of A., that in any wise have been, are, or hereafter may be, hurtful or prejudicial to your Highness, your heirs, successors, dignity, privilege, or estate royal: and also I do swear that I shall be faithful and true, and faith and truth I shall bear, to you my sovereign lord, and to your heirs, kings of the same, of life and limb, and earthly worship above all creatures, to live and die with you and yours against all people: and diligently I shall be attendant to all your needs and business, after my wit and power: and your counsel I shall keep and hold, acknowledging myself to hold my bishopric of you only, beseeching you of restitution of the temporalties of the same; promising (as before) that I shall be a faithful, true, and obedient subject unto your said Highness, heirs, and successors, during my life: and the services and other things due to your Highness, for the restitution of the temporalties of the same bishopric, I shall truly do, and obediently perform. So God me help, and all saints."
These oaths thus being recited and opened to the people, were the occasion that the pope lost all his interest and jurisdiction here in England within a short while after. Upon the occasion and reason whereof, the matter falling out more and more against the pope, Sir Thomas More, of whom mention is made before, being a great maintainer of the pope, and a heavy troubler of Christ's people, and now not liking well of this oath, by God's good work was enforced to resign up his chancellorship, and to deliver up the great seal of England into the king's hands. After whom succeeded Sir Thomas Audley, keeper of the great seal, a man in eloquence and gifts of tongue no less incomparable, than also for his godly-disposed mind; and for his favourable inclination to Christ's religion, worthy of much commendation.
These things being done in the parliament, the king, within short time after, proceeded to the marriage of the aforesaid Lady Anne Bullen, mother to our most noble queen now, who, without all controversy, was a special comforter and aider of all the professors of Christ's gospel, as well of the learned as the unlearned; her life being also directed according to the same, as her weekly alms did manifestly declare; who, besides the ordinary of a hundred crowns, and other apparel that she gave weekly, a year before she was crowned, both to men and women, gave also wonderfully much privy alms to widows and other poor householders, continually, till she was apprehended; and she ever gave three or four pounds at a time to the poor people, to buy them kine withal, and sent her sub-almoner to the towns about where she lay, that the parishioners should make a bill of all the poor householders in their parish; and some towns received seven, eight, or ten pounds to buy kine withal, according as the number of the poor in the towns were. She also maintained many learned men at Cambridge. Likewise did the earl of Wiltshire, her father, and the Lord Rochford, her brother, and by them these men were brought in favour with the king; of whom some are yet alive, and can testify the same; would to God that they were now as great professors of the gospel of Christ, as then they appeared to be; who were Dr. Heath and Dr. Thirlby; with whom was joined the Lord Paget, who, at that present, was an earnest protestant, and gave unto one Raynold West, Luther's books, and other books of the Germans, as Francis. Lambert. De Sectis; and at that time he read Melancthon's Rhetoric openly in Trinity-hall, in Cambridge, and was with his Master Gardiner, a maintainer of Dr. Barnes, and all the protestants that were then in Cambridge, and helped many religious persons out of their cowls.
It hath been reported unto us by divers credible persons which were about this queen, and daily acquainted with her doings, concerning her liberal and bountiful distribution to the poor, how her Grace carried ever about her a certain little purse, out of the which she was wont daily to scatter abroad some alms to the needy, thinking no day well spent wherein some man had not fared the better by some benefit at her hands. And this I write by the relation of certain noble personages which were the chief and principal of her waiting maids about her, specially the duchess of Richmond by name.
Also concerning the order of her ladies and gentlewomen about her, one that was her silk woman, a gentlewoman not now alive, but of great credit, and also of fame for her worthy doings, did credibly report, that in all her time she never saw better order among the ladies and gentlewomen of the court, than was in this good queen's days, who kept her maids and such as were about her so occupied in sewing and working of shirts and smocks for the poor, that neither was there seen any idleness then among them, nor any leisure to follow such pastimes as daily are seen now-a-days to reign in princes' courts.
Thus the king, been divorced from the lady dowager, his brother's wife, married this gracious lady, making a prosperous and happy change for us, being divorced from the aforesaid princess, and also from the pope, both at one time. Notwithstanding, as good and godly purposes are never without some incommodity or trouble following, so it happened in this divorcement, that the said princess, procuring from Rome the pope's curse, caused both the king and the realm to be interdicted, whereof more is hereafter to be spoken.
In the mean time, Queen Anne, shortly after her marriage, being great with child, the next year following, which was 1533, after the first divorcement publicly proclaimed, was crowned with high solemnity at Westminster; and not long, after her coronation, the seventh day of September, she was brought to bed, and delivered of a fair lady; for whose good deliverance Te Deum was sung in all places, and great preparation made for the christening.
The mayor and his brethren, with forty of the chief citizens, were commanded to be present, with all the nobles and gentlemen. The king's palace, and all the walls between that and the Friars, were hanged with arras, as was the Friars' church. Also the font was of silver, and stood in the midst of the church, three steps high, which was covered with a fine cloth, and divers gentlemen, with aprons and towels about their necks, gave attendance about it. Over the font hung a fair canopy of crimson satin, fringed with gold. About it was a rail covered with say. Between the quire and the body of the church was a close place with a pan of fire to make the child ready in. These things thus ordered, the child was brought into the hall, and then every man set forward. First the citizens, two and two: then, the gentlemen, esquires, and chaplains: next after followed the aldermen, and the mayor alone. Next the mayor followed the king's council: then the king's chappel: then barons, bishops, and earls. Then came the earl of Essex, bearing the covered basons, gilt. After him the marquis of Exeter, with the taper of virgin-wax. Next him the marquis of Dorset, bearing the salt. Behind him the Lady Mary of Norfolk, bearing the chrism, which was very rich of pearl and stone. The old duchess of Norfolk bare the child in a mantle of purple velvet, with a long train furred with ermine. The duke of Norfolk, with his marshal-rod, went on the right hand of the said duchess, and the duke of Suffolk on the left hand. Before them went the officers of arms. The countess of Kent bare the long train of the child's mantle. Between the countess and the child went the earl of Wiltshire on the right hand, and the earl of Derby on the left hand, supporting the said train. In the midst, over the child, was borne a canopy by the Lord Rochford, the Lord Hussey, the Lord William Howard, and the Lord Thomas Howard the elder. In this order they came unto the church door, where the bishop of London met it, with divers abbots and bishops, and began the observances of the sacrament. The archbishop of Canterbury was godfather, and the old duchess of Norfolk, and the old marchioness of Dorset, widows, were godmothers, and the child was named Elizabeth.
After all things were done at the church door, the child was brought to the font, and christened. This done, Garter, the chief king-at-arms, cried aloud, "God, of his infinite goodness, send prosperous life and long, to the high and mighty princess of England, ELIZABETH." Then the trumpets blew, and the child was brought up to the altar, and immediately confirmed by the archbishop, the marchioness of Exeter being godmother. Then the archbishop of Canterbury gave the princess a standing cup of gold. The duchess of Norfolk gave her a standing cup of gold, fretted with pearl. The marchioness of Dorset gave three gilt bowls, pounced, with a cover. The marchioness of Exeter, three standing bowls, gilt, and graven, with a cover. And so, after a solemn banquet, ended with hypocras, wafers, and such like, in great plenty, they returned in like order again unto the court with the princess; and so departed
At the marriage of this noble lady, as there was no small joy unto all good and godly men, and no less hope of prosperous success to God's true religion, so in like manner, on the contrary part, the papists wanted not their malicious and secret attempts, as by the false hypocrisy and feigned holiness of a false feigned hypocrite, this year being espied and found out, may sufficiently appear what their devilish devices and purposes were. For certain monks, friars, and other evil-disposed persons, of a devilish intent, had put into the heads of many of the king's subjects, that they had a revelation of God and his saints, that he was highly displeased with King Henry for the divorcement of the Lady Katharine; and surmised, among other things, that God had revealed to a nun, named Elizabeth Barton, whom they called The holy maid of Kent, that in case the king proceeded in the said divorce, be should not be king of this realm one month after, and in the reputation of God, not one day nor hour. This Elizabeth Barton, by false dissimulation, practised and showed to the people marvellous alteration of her visage and other parts of her body, as if she had been rapt, or in a trance; and in those feigned trances, by false hypocrisy, (as though she had been inspired of God,) she spake many words in rebuking of sin, and reproving the gospel, which she called heresy; and among them uttered divers things to the great reproach of the king and queen, and to the establishing of idolatry, pilgrimage, and the derogation of God's glory: which her naughtiness being espied out by the great labour and diligence of the archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Cromwell, and Master Hugh Latimer, she was condemned and put to death, with certain of her affinity and counsel, in the month of April, A.D. 1533. The names of which conspirators with her were these: Edward Bocking, monk, of Canterbury; Richard Master, parson, of Aldington; John Dering, monk, of Canterbury; Hugh Rich, friar, warden of the Grey Friars, of Canterbury; Richard Risby; Henry Gold, bachelor of divinity, and parson of Aldermary; Fisher, bishop of Rochester; John Adeson, priest, his chaplain; Thomas Laurence, the bishop's registrar, of Canterbury; Edward Thwaits; Thomas Abel: of which persons, the said Elizabeth Barton, Henry Gold, Richard Master, Edward Bocking, John Dering, Hugh Rich, Richard Risby, were attainted of treason by act of parliament, and put to execution.
The residue, as Fisher bishop of Rochester, Thomas Gold, Thomas Laurence, Edward Thwaits, John Adeson, Thomas Abel, being convicted and attainted of misprision, were condemned to prison, and forfeited their goods and possessions to the king.
Edward Hall, a writer of our English stories, making mention of this Elizabeth Barton aforesaid, adjoineth next in his book the narration of one Pavier, or Pavy, a notorious enemy, no doubt, to God's truth. This Pavier, being the town-clerk of the city of London, was a man (saith he) that in no case could abide to hear that the gospel should be in English: insomuch that the said Hall himself heard him once say unto him, and to others by swearing a great oath, that if he thought the king's Highness would set forth the Scripture in English, and let it be read of the people by his authority, rather than he would so long live, he would cut his own throat. But he broke promise, saith Hall; for he did not cut his throat with a knife, but with a halter did hang himself. Of what mind and intent he so did, God judge. My information further addeth this, touching the said Pavier or Pavy, that he was a bitter enemy, very busy at the burning of Richard Bainham above mentioned; who, hearing the said Bainham at the stake speaking against purgatory and transubstantiation, "Set fire," said he, "to this heretic, and burn him." And as the train of gunpowder came toward the martyr, he lifted up his eyes and hands to heaven, saying to Pavier, "God forgive thee, and show thee more mercy than thou dost to me. The Lord forgive Sir Thomas More, and pray for me, all good people;" and so continued he praying, till the fire took his bowels and his head, &c.
After Bainham's martyrdom, the next year following, this Pavier, the town-clerk of the city, went and bought ropes. Which done, he went up to a high garret in his house to pray, as he was wont to do, to a rood which he had there, before which he bitterly wept: and as his own maid; coming up, found him so doing, he bade her take the rusty sword, and go make it clean, and trouble him no more and immediately he tied up the rope, and hung himself. The maid's heart still throbbed, and so came up, and found him but newly hanged. Then, having no power to help him, she ran crying to the church to her mistress to fetch her home. His servants and clerks he had sent out before to Finsbury, and to Master Edney, serjeant to the lord mayor, dwelling over Bishop's-gate, to tarry for him at Finsbury-court till he came: but he had despatched himself before, so that they might long look for him before he could come. This was A.D. 1533.
To this story of Pavier may also be added the like terrible example of Doctor Foxford, chancellor to the bishop of London, a cruel persecutor, and a common butcher of the good saints of God; who was the condemner of all those afore named, who were put to death, troubled, or abjured under Bishop Stokesley, through all the diocese of London. This Foxford died about this present year and time; of whose terrible end it was then certainly reported and affirmed, by such as were of right good credit, unto certain persons, of whom some be yet alive, that he died suddenly sitting in his chair, his belly being burst, and his entrails falling out before him.
About the same time died William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury; in whose room succeeded Thomas Cranmer, which was the king's chaplain, and a great disputer against the unlawful marriage of the Lady Katharine, princess dowager; being then so called by act of parliament.
Ye heard before, how the parliament had enacted that no person, after a certain day, should appeal to Rome for any cause: notwithstanding which act, the queen, now called princess dowager, had appealed to the court of Rome before that act made; so that it was doubted whether that appeal was good or not. This question was well handled in the parliament house, but much better in the convocation house; and yet in both houses it was alleged, yea, and by books showed, that in the councils of Chalcedon, Africa, Toledo, and divers other famous councils in the primitive church, yea, in the time of St. Augustine, it was affirmed, declared, and determined, that a cause arising in one province, should be determined in the same, and that neither the patriarch of Constantinople should meddle in causes moved into the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Antioch, nor any bishop should intermeddle within another's province or country. Which things were so clerkly opened, and so cunningly set forth to all intents, that every man that had wit, and was determined to follow the truth, and not wilfully wedded to his own mind, might plainly see, that all appeals made to Rome were clearly void, and of none effect: which doctrines and counsels were showed to the Lady Katharine, princess dowager; but she (as women love to lose no dignity) ever continued in her old song, trusting more to the pope's partiality, than to the determination of Christ's verity.
Whereupon the archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer above named, accompanied with the bishops of London, Winchester, Bath, Lincoln, and divers other great clerks in a great number, rode to Dunstable, which is six miles from Ampthill, where the princess dowager lay and there, by a doctor, called Dr. Lee, she was ascited to appear before the said archbishop, in cause of matrimony, in the said town of Dunstable. And at the day of appearance she would not appear, but made default, and so was called peremptorily, every day, fifteen days together; and at last, for lack of appearance, and for contumacy, by the assent of all the learned men there being present, she was divorced from the king, and their marriage declared to be void and of none effect; which sentence given, the archbishop and all the others returned back again.
Here note, that although this divorce following after the new marriage needed not at all to be made, the first marriage being no marriage at all before God, yet, to satisfy the voice of the people, more than for any necessity, the king was contented, through the persuasions of some, so to do. For else, as touching God and conscience, what great need was there of any divorce, where before God no marriage was to be accounted, but rather an incestuous and detestable adultery, as the act of parliament doth term it? But to our matter again.
After the dissolution of this first marriage made between the king and the lady princess dowager, she nevertheless, bearing a stout mind, would not yet relent, neither to the determination of the universities, nor to the censure of the clergy, nor of the whole realm; but, following the counsel rather of a few Spaniards, to molest the king and the realm by suit and means made to the pope, procured certain writings, first of monition and aggravation, then of excommunication and interdiction, to be sent down from Rome, wherein the pope had interdicted both the king and the whole realm. But the pope's curser being not the hardiest man, belike, that ever showed his head, thought it much more sure for him to discharge his popish carriage without the king's reach; and so, keeping himself aloof off, (like a pretty man,) set up his writings in the town of Dunkirk in Flanders: in which town first, upon the north door of the church was set up a monition, that the king of England should surcease the suit of divorce; which John Butler, clerk, then commissary of Calais, by commandment, took down in the night.
After that, before Whitsun-week, there was set up in the same place an excommunication, aggravation, reaggravation, and interdiction; for which also the said Butler, by commandment, was sent to Dunkirk, to take it down. And because the council of Calais would be certified of his diligence therein, they sent a servant of the Lord Lisle, then deputy of Calais, whose name was Cranvel; and upon Wednesday in Whitsun-week, at seven o'clock in the morning, he took it down whole, and brought it with him, and delivered the same to the lord deputy aforesaid: which was about the year 1533.
This being known and certified unto the king, he was motioned by his council, that such as were about her, and moved her thereunto, should be put from her. And therefore the duke of Suffolk was sent to Bugden, beside Huntingdon, where the said Lady Katharine lay; who, perceiving her stomach to continue froward still, in answering him with high words, and suddenly so in a fury to part from him into her privy chamber, and shut the door, brake up the order of her court, and discharged a great sort of her household servants; and yet left her a convenient number to serve her like a princess. They that remained still, were sworn to serve her as princess only, and not as queen; of whom some said, they were once sworn to serve her as queen, and otherwise would not serve; and so were dismissed. The others who were sworn to serve her as princess, she utterly refused for her servants, and so she remained with the fewer, living after this about the space of two years.
And thus much hast thou, good reader, touching the king's divorcement; by occasion whereof it pleased God so to work, through his secret and unsearchable wisdom, that the pope, who so long had played rex in England, lost his whole jurisdiction and supremacy.
The abolishing of the pope out of England.
THESE things thus finished and despatched concerning the marriage of Queen Anne, and divorce of Lady Katharine, dowager, next followeth the year 1534; in the which was assembled the high court of parliament again, after many prorogations, upon the third day of February; wherein was made an act of succession, for the more surety of the crown, to the which every person being of lawful age should be sworn. During this parliament time, every Sunday preached at Paul's Cross a bishop, which declared the pope not to be head of the church.
After this, commissions were sent over all England, to take the oath of all men and women to the act of succession; at which few repined, except Pr. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester; Sir Thomas More, late lord chancellor; and Dr. Nicholas Wilson, parson of St. Thomas the Apostle's in London. Wherefore these three persons, after long exhortation to them made by the bishop of Canterbury at Lambeth, refusing to be sworn, were sent to the Tower, where they remained, and were oftentimes motioned to be sworn. But the bishop and Sir Thomas More excused them by their writings, in which they said that they had written before that the said Lady Katharine was queen, and therefore could not well go from that which they had written. Likewise the doctor excused, that he in preaching had called her queen, and therefore now could not well unsay it again. Howbeit, at length, he was well contented to dissemble the matter, and so escaped: but the other two stood against all the realm in their opinion.
From the month of March this parliament furthermore was prorogued to the third day of November abovesaid; at what time, amongst divers other statutes, most graciously, and by the blessed will of God it was enacted, that the pope, and all his college of cardinals, with his pardons and indulgences, which so long had clogged this realm of England, to the miserable slaughter of so many good men, and which never could be removed away before, were now abolished, eradicated, and exploded out of this land, and sent home again to their own country of Rome, from whence they came. God be everlastingly praised therefore, Amen!