202. THE KING DIVORCED FROM THE LADY ANNE OF CLEVES, AND MARRIED TO THE LADY KATHARINE HOWARD, HIS FIFTH WIFE.
The same year, and in the month following next after the apprehension of the Lord Cromwell, which was August, 1540, the king immediately was divorced from the Lady Anne of Cleves; the cause of which separation being wholly committed to the clergy of the convocation, it was by them defined, concluded, and granted, that the king, being freed from that pretended matrimony, (as they called it,) might marry where he would, and so might she likewise; who, also, consenting to the same divorcement herself, by her own letters, was after that taken no more for queen, but only called Lady Anne of Cleves. Which things thus discussed by the parliament and convocation-house, the king the same month was married to his fifth wife, which was the Lady Katharine Howard, niece to the duke of Norfolk, and daughter to the Lord Edmund Howard, the duke's brother. But this marriage likewise continued not long.
In the same month of August, and the same year, I find, moreover, in some records, besides the four and twenty Charterhouse monks above recited, whom Cope doth sanctify for holy martyrs, for suffering in the pope's devotion, against the king's supremacy, other six which were also brought to Tyburn, and there executed in the like case of rebellion; of whom the first was the prior of Doncaster; the second a monk of the Charterhouse of London, called Giles Horn (some call him William Horn); the third one Thomas Ipsam, a monk of Westminster, who had his monk's garment plucked from his back, being the last monk in King Henry's days that did wear that monkish weed; the fourth one Philpot: the fifth one Carew; the sixth was a friar. See what a difficulty it is to pluck up blind superstition, once rooted in man's heart by a little custom.
Now, as touching the late marriage between the king and the Lady Howard, ye heard how this matrimony endured not long; for, in the year next following, 1542, the said Lady Katharine was accused to the king of incontinent living, not only before her marriage with Francis Dereham. but also of spouse-breach, after her marriage, with Thomas Culpepper. For this both the men aforesaid, by act of parliament were attainted, and executed for high treason; and also the Lady Katharine, late queen, with the Lady Jane Rochford, widow. late wife to George Bullen, Lord Rochford. brother to Queen Anne Bullen, were beheaded for their deserts, within the Tower.
After the death and punishment of this lady, his fifth wife, the king calling to remembrance the words of the Lord Cromwell, and missing now more and more his old counsellor, and partly also smelling somewhat the ways of Winchester, began a little to set his foot again in the cause of religion. And although he ever bare a special favour to Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, (as you shall hear more hereafter, God willing, in the life of Cranmer,) yet now, the more he missed the Lord Cromwell, the more he inclined to the archbishop, and also to the right cause of religion. And therefore, in the same year and in the month of October, after the execution of this queen, the king, understanding some abuses yet to remain unreformed, namely, about pilgrimages and idolatry, and other things besides, to be corrected within his dominions, directed his letters unto the aforesaid archbishop of Canterbury, for the speedy redress and reformation of the same; the tenor of which letters hereafter fully ensueth in these words:
"Right reverend father in God, right trusty and well-beloved! We greet you well, letting you to wit, that whereas heretofore, upon the zeal and remembrance which we had to our bounden duty towards Almighty God, perceiving sundry superstitions and abuses to be used and embraced by our people, whereby they grievously offended him and his word, we did not only cause the images and bones of such as they resorted and offered unto, with the ornaments of the same, and all such writings and monuments of feigned miracles, wherewith they were illuded, to be taken away in all places of our realm;but, also, by our injunctions commanded, that no offering or setting up of lights or candles should be suffered in any church, but only to the blessed sacraments of the altar: it is lately come unto our knowledge, that, this our good intent and purpose notwithstanding, the shrines, coverings of shrines, and monument of those things, do yet remain in sundry places of this realm, much to the slander of our doings, and to the great displeasure of Almighty God, the same being means to allure our subjects to their former hypocrisy and superstition; and also that our injunctions be not kept as appertaineth. For the due and speedy reformation whereof, we have thought meet, by these our letters, expressly to will and command you, that incontinent upon the receipt hereof, you shall not only cause due search to be made in the cathedral church for those things; and if any shrine, covering of shrine, table, monument of miracles, or other pilgrimages, do there continue, to cause it to be so taken away as there remain no memory of it; but also, that you shall take order with all the curates, and others having charge within your diocese, to do the semblable, and to see that our injunctions be duly kept as appertaineth, without failing; as we trust you, and as you will answer to the contrary.
"Given under our signet at our town of Hull, the fourth day of October, in the thirty-third year of our reign"
Furthermore, the next year after this ensuing, which was 1543, in the month of February, followed another proclamation, given out by the king's authority, wherein the pope's law, forbidding white meats to be eaten in Lent, was repealed, and the eating of such meats set at liberty, for the behoof of the king's subjects.