We may regard it as the chief result of the Norman-Plantagenet rule, that England became completely a member of the Romano-German family of nations which formed the Western world. In however many ways the invading nobility had mingled with the native houses, it yet held fast to its ancient language; even now it is part of the ambition of the great families to trace their pedigree from the Conquerors. Attempts had been made, sometimes of a more political, sometimes of a more doctrinal nature, to break loose from the hierarchy, which prevailed throughout these nations; but they had only increased its strength; the native clergy saw that its safety lay in the strictest adherence to the maxims of the Universal Church. Similarly the character of the Estates in England was akin to that of those in North France and especially in the Netherlands; on this rests the sympathy which the enterprises of Edward III and Henry V met with; for it was indeed the feeling of these centuries, that the members of any one of the three Estates felt themselves quite as closely bound to the members of the same Estate in other lands as to their own countrymen of the other Estates. There was but one Church, one Science, one Art in Europe: one and the same mental horizon enclosed the different peoples: a romance and a poetry varying in form yet of closely kindred nature was the common possession all. The common life of Europe flowed also in the veins of England: an indestructible foundation for culture and progressive civilisation was laid. But we saw to what point matters had come notwithstanding, as regards the durability of its internal system and its power. The Plantagenets had extended the rule of England over Scotland and Ireland: in the latter it still subsisted, but only within the narrow limits of the Border Pale; in the former it was altogether overthrown. The best result that had been effected in home politics, the attempt to unite the Powers of the country in Parliament had, after a short and brilliant success, led to the deepest disorder by disregarding the rights of birth. The degraded crown above all had thus become the prize of battle for Pretenders allied with France or Burgundy. But it could not possibly remain thus. The time was come to give the English realm an independent position and internal order corresponding at once to its insular situation and to the degree of culture it had attained.
The first who attempted this with some success was Edward IV, of the house of York, who in the war of the Roses had remained master of the field.
But everywhere there began once more an era of autocratic princes.
Edward IV was a most brilliant figure, the handsomest man of his time, at least among the sovereigns, so that the impression he thus made was actually a power in politics; we find him incessantly entangled in love affairs: he was fond of music and enjoyment of all kinds, the pleasures of the table, the uproar of riotous company: his debauched habits are thought to have shortened his life, and many a disaster sprung from his carelessness; but he had also Sardanapalus'? nature in him: with quickly awakening activity he always rose again out of his disasters; in his battles he appeared the last, but he fought perhaps the best; and he won them all. In the history of European Monarchy he is not unworthy to be ranked by the side of Ferdinand the Catholic?, Charles the Bold?, Louis XI?, and some others who regained prestige for their dignity by the energy of their personal character.
In itself we must rate it as important that he made good the birthright of the house of York, independent as it was of the maxims of Parliament, or rather contradictory to them, and maintained the throne. He deemed himself the direct successor of Richard II; the three kings who had since worn the crown by virtue of Parliamentary enactments were regarded by him as usurpers. We have Fortescue's? contemporary treatise in praise of the laws of England, which (written for a prince? who never came to the throne) contains the idea of Parliamentary right which the house of Lancaster upheld: but Edward IV did not apprehend it. He allowed the lawfulness of his accession to be recognised by Parliament, because this was of use to him: but otherwise he paid little regard to its established rights. We find under him for five years no meeting of Parliament; then a Parliament that had met was prorogued some four or five times without completing any business, till it at last agreed to raise the customs duties, included under the names of Tonnage and Poundage; a revenue which being voted to the Kings for life (and this came gradually to be regarded as a mere formality) gave their government a strong financial basis. Other Parliaments repaid their summons with considerable grants, with large and full subsidies: yet Edward IV was not content even with these. Under him began the practice, by which the wealthy were drawn into contributions for his service in proportion to their property, of which the King knew how to obtain accurate information; these contributions were called Benevolences because they were paid under the form of personal freewill offerings, though none dared to refuse them1: we may compare the imposts which in the Italian republics the dominant parties were wont to inflict on their opponents. Though holding Church views in other points, and at any rate a persecutor of the Lollards, he did not however allow the clergy to enter on their temporalities without heavy payments: he created monopolies in the case of some especially profitable articles of trade. In short, he neglected no means to render the administration of the supreme power independent of the money-grants of Parliament. He made room for the royal prerogative as understood by the old kings, as well as for the right of birth.
But yet he had not established a secure position, since the party of the enemy was still very powerful, and after his early death a quarrel broke out in his own house which could not fail to destroy it.
To the characteristic traits of the Plantagenets, their worldwide views, their chivalry abroad, their versatility at home, the ceaseless war they waged with each other and with others for power, their inextinguishable love of rule, belongs also the way in which those who held power rid themselves of foes within their own family. As formerly King John had murdered in prison Arthur the lawful heir to the throne, so Richard II imprisoned and murdered his uncle Thomas of Gloucester, who was dangerous to himself. Richard II, like Edward II, died by the hand of a relative who had wrested the crown from him; of the details of his death we have not even a legend left. Another Gloucester, who had for many years guarded the crown for the infant Henry VI, was, at the very moment when he might become dangerous to the new government, found dead in his bed. So Henry VI perished in the Tower the day before Edward IV made his entry into London. Edward IV preferred to have his brother Clarence?, though already under sentence of death, privately killed. But the most atrocious murder of all was that of the two infant sons of Edward IV himself; they were both murdered at once, as was fully believed, at the behest of their uncle Richard III, who had put himself in possession of the throne. I know not whether the actual character of Richard answered to that type of inborn wickedness which commits crime because it wills it as crime, such as following the hints of the Chronicle2 a great poet has drawn for us in imperishable traits, and linked with his name: or whether it was not rather the love of power, that animated the whole family, which in Richard III grew step by step into a passion that made him forget all laws human and divine: enough, he did such deeds that the world's abhorrence weighs justly on him. But it was owing to the internal discord of the ruling family that throughout the course of its history a path was made for political and national development, and so it was now: these crimes opened a way out of the disorders of the time. For as Richard, while continuing to persecute the house of Lancaster, struck still harder blows against the chief members of that of York, he gave occasion to the principal persons of both parties, who were equally threatened, and had the same interest in opposing the usurper, to draw nearer to each other.
The widowed Queen Elizabeth?, who was lingering out her life in a sanctuary, was brought into secret connexion through the mediation of distinguished friends with the mother of the man who now came forward as head of the Lancasters, Henry Earl of Richmond?, and it was determined that Henry and Elizabeth's daughter?, in whom the claims of both lines were united, should marry each other, a prospect which might well prepare the way for the immediate combination of the two parties. Henry of Richmond at their head was then to confront the usurper and chase him from the throne. The fugitives scattered about in the sanctuaries and churches called him to be their captain3. The question arises—it has been often answered in the negative—whether Henry was rightfully a Lancaster, and whether he had any well-grounded claims on the English crown. He loved to derive his family from the hero of the Welsh, the fabulous Arthur. His grandfather, Owen Tudor?, a Welshman, was brought into connexion with the royal house by his marriage with Henry V's widow, Catharine of France?: for unions of royal ladies with distinguished gentlemen were then not rare. And Owen Tudor of course obtained by this a higher position, but there could be no question of any claim to the crown. This was derived simply from the fact that the son of this marriage, Edmund Tudor? Earl of Richmond, married a lady of the house of Somerset? descended by her father from John of Gaunt, the ancestor of the Lancasters, by his third marriage with Catharine Swynford. It has been said that this marriage, in itself of an irregular nature, was only recognised as legitimate by Richard II on the condition that the issue from it should have no claim to the succession—and so it is in fact stated in the often printed Patent. But the original of the document still exists, and that in two forms, one of which is in the Rolls of Parliament, the other on the Patent Rolls. In the first the limitation is wanting, in second it exists, but as an interpolation by a later hand. It may be taken as admitted that Richard II in legitimising the marriage did not make this condition, and that it was first inserted by Henry IV (who took offence at the legitimisation of his half-brothers) at the ratification. But the legitimisation once effected could not possibly be limited in a one-sided manner by a later sovereign. I think no objection can be made to the legality of Henry VII's claim, which then passed over to his successors4. The limitation belonged to those proceedings of one-sided caprice by which Henry IV tried to secure for his direct descendants the perpetual possession of the crown. It was not from him, but from his father, the founder of the family, that the Earls of Richmond derived their claim.
Now that the banner of a true Lancaster appeared again in the field, and the discontented Yorkists, ill-treated by Richard, joined him, it might certainly be hoped that the usurper would be overthrown, and that a strong power would emerge from the union of both lines. Yet the issue was even then very doubtful.
As in the earlier civil wars, so now too the help of a foreign power was necessary. With French help the Earl of Richmond led about 2000 men, of which not more than perhaps 800 were English, to Wales5; in his further advance he was joined by proportionately considerable reinforcements; yet he did not number more than 5000 men under his banners, badly clothed and still worse armed, when Richard with his chivalry came upon him in overwhelming numbers. Henry would have been lost, had he not found partisans in Richard's ranks. Even before the engagement the desertion from Richard began: then in the middle of the battle the chief division of his army passed over to Henry. Richard found the death he sought: for he was resolved to be King or die on the battlefield itself. Henry was proclaimed King.
There is no doubt that he owed to his union with the house of York, whose right was then generally regarded as the best, not only his victory, but the joyous recognition also which he experienced afterwards: yet his whole nature revolted against basing his state on this union: he cherished the ambition of ruling only through his own right.
At the first meeting of Parliament, which he did not call till he was fully in possession and crowned King, he was met by a very genuinely English point of law. It arose from the fact that many members of the Lower House had been attainted by the late government. How could they make laws who were themselves beyond the pale of law? Who could cleanse them from the stain that clove to them? This objection could be raised against Henry himself. In this perplexity recourse was had to the judges: and they decided that the possession of the crown supplied all defects, and that the King was already King even without the assent of Parliament6. In the general disorder things had gone so far, that it was necessary to find some power outside the continuity of legal forms, from which they might start afresh. The actual possession of the throne formed this time the living centre round which the legal state could again form itself. By exercising the authority inherent in the possession of the crown, the King could effect the revocation of the sentences that weighed on his partisans and on a large portion of the Parliament. After the legal character of that Assembly had been established, it proceeded to recognise Henry's rights to the crown in the words used for the first of the Lancastrian house.
In the papal bull which ratified Henry's succession, three grounds are assigned for it: the right of war, the undoubted nearest right to the succession, and the recognition by Parliament On the first the King himself laid great stress: he once designates the issue of the battle as the decision of God between him and his foes. He thus avoided any mention of the marriage with Edward IV's daughter, which he did not complete till he was acknowledged on all sides. The papal bull declared that the crown of England was to be hereditary in Henry's descendants, even if they did not spring from the Yorkist marriage.
We can easily understand this: Henry would not tolerate by his side in the person of his wife a joint ruler of equal, and even better, right than his own; but we can understand also that this proceeding drew on him new enmities. At the very outset the widowed Queen gave it to be understood that her daughter was rather lowered than raised by the marriage. The whole party of York moreover felt itself contemned and insulted. To the ferment of displeasure and ambition into which it fell must be attributed the fact that a pair of adventurers, who acted the part of genuine descendants of the house of York, Lambert Simnel? and Perkin Warbeck?, supported from abroad, found the greatest sympathy and recognition in England. The first Henry VII had to meet in open battle, the second he got into his hands only by a great European combination.
But he did not wish to have always to encounter open disturbance. He was entirely of the opinion which his chancellor gave, that enmities of such a sort could not be extinguished by the sword of war, but only by well-planned and stringent laws which would destroy the seed of rebellion, and by institutions strong enough to administer those laws. Above all he found it intolerable that the great men kept numerous dependents attached to them under engagements which were publicly paraded by distinctive badges. The lower courts of justice and the juries did not do the service expected from them in dealing with the transgressions of the law that came before them. Uncertainty as to the supreme authority, and the power which the great party-leaders exercised, filled the weaker, who had to sit in judgment on them, with dread of their sure revenge. To put an end to this Henry VII established the Starchamber. With consent of the Parliament, from which all hostile party-movements were excluded, he gave his Privy Council, which was strengthened by the chief judges, a strong organisation with this end in view. It was to punish all those personal engagements, the exercise of unlawful influence in the choice of sheriffs, all riotous assemblies, lastly to have power to deal with the early symptoms of a tumult before it came to an outbreak, and that under forms which were not usual in the English administration of justice. This powerful instrument in the hands of government might be much abused: but then seemed necessary to keep in check unreconciled enemies and the spirit of faction that was ever surging up again. We see the prevailing state of things from the fact, that the King's councillors themselves, to be secured against acts of violence, passed a special law, which characterised attacks on them as attacks on the King himself. But then, like men who stood in the closest connexion with the King and his State, they used their authority with unapproachable severity. The internal tranquillity of England has been thought to be mainly due to the erection of this court of justice7.
Since Henry laid so much stress on his being a Lancaster, it might have been expected that he would revive the rights of the Parliament. But in this respect he followed the example of the house of York. He too imposed Benevolences, like Edward IV, and that to a yet greater extent; he made an ordinance that what was voluntarily promised should be exacted with as much strictness as if it were an ordinary tax. Another source of financial gain, which has brought on him still worse reproaches, was his commission against infractions of the law. It was inevitable that in the fluctuation of authority and of the statutes themselves innumerable illegalities should have taken place. And they were still always going on. The King took it especially ill that men omitted to pay the dues which belonged to the crown in right of its feudal superiority. All these negligences and failures were now visited and punished with the severity of the old Norman system, and at the same time with the officiousness of party-men of the day, who saw their own advantage in it. This proceeding pressed very many heavily on private persons and communities, and ruined families, but it filled the King's coffers. One of his maxims was that his laws should not be broken under any circumstances, another that a sovereign who would enjoy consideration must always have money: in this instance both worked together.
If we look at the lists of his receipts we find that they consist, as in other kingdoms, of the crown's revenue proper, which was considerably increased by the escheated possessions of great families which had become extinct, the customs duties settled on him for life, the tenth from the clergy, and the feudal dues. It was estimated that they produced nearly the same revenue as that of the French kings at this time, but it was remarked that the King of England only spent about two-thirds of his income. He did not need a Parliamentary grant, especially as he kept out of dangerous foreign entanglements. In his last thirteen years he never once called a Parliament.
This precisely corresponded to the idea of his government. After all had become doubtful owing to the alternate fluctuations of parties he had established his personal claim by the fortune of arms, and made it the central point of his government. Was he to allow it to be again endangered by the ceaseless ebb and flow of popular opinion? He founded a supreme court independent of popular agitation, a finance system independent of the grants of a popular assembly. But he thus found himself under the disadvantage of having to apply compulsion unceasingly: his government bore throughout the bitter and hateful character of a party government. With untiring jealousy he watched the secret opponents who still looked out for some movement from abroad, as a signal for fresh revolt: he kept diaries of their doings and conduct: it was said he availed himself of the confessional for this purpose: men whose names were from time to time solemnly cursed at S. Paul's on account of past treasons, so that they counted for open enemies, became useful to him as spies. If the decision lay between services received and suspicious conduct, the latter easily weighed down the balance, to the ruin of the victim. William Stanley?, who had played the most important part in the battle which decided the fate of the crown, and was regarded as almost the first man in the realm after the King, had at the appearance of Perkin Warbeck (who gave himself out as Edward's younger son, Richard of York) let slip the words, 'he would take his side, if he were the person he gave himself out to be.' He had to atone for these words by his death, since he had intimated a doubt as to the King's lawful right, which might mislead others into sedition. Gradually the movements ceased: the high nobility showed a loyal submission to the King: yet it did not attach itself to him, it let him and his government alone. The King's principle was, to execute the laws most strictly, yet he was not cruel by nature; if men implored his mercy, he was ready to grant it. The contracted position of a sovereign, who maintains his authority with the utmost strictness, does not however exclude a paternal care for the country. Henry clipped his people's wings, to accustom them to obedience, and then was glad when they grew again. We find even that he made out a sketch of how the land should be cultivated so that every man might be able to live. The people did not love him, but it did not exactly hate him either: this was quite enough for Henry VII.
A slight man, somewhat tall, with thin light-coloured hair, whose countenance bore the traces of the storms he had passed through; in his appearance he gave the impression of being a high ecclesiastic rather than a chivalrous King. He was in this almost the exact opposite of Edward IV. He too certainly arranged public festivities and spared no expense to make them splendid, since his dignity demanded it, but his soul took no pleasure in them, he left them as soon as ever he could; he lived only in business. In his council sat men of mark, sagacious bishops, experienced generals, magistrates learned in the law: he held it to be his duty and his interest to hear their advice. And they were not without influence: one or two were noted as able to restrain his self-seeking will. But the main affairs he kept in his own hands. All that he undertook he conducted with great foresight and as a rule he carried it through. Foreigners regarded him as cunning and deceitful; to his own people his successful prudence seemed to have something supernatural about it. If he had personal passions, he knew how to keep them under; he seemed always calm and sober, sparing of words and yet affable.
He directed almost his chief energies to this object, to keep off all foreign influences from his well-ordered kingdom.
Forthe history of the world the decisive event of the epoch was the rapid rise of the French monarchy, which after it had freed itself from the English invasions, became master of all the hitherto separate territories of the great vassals, and lastly even of Brittany, and rapidly began to make its preponderance felt on all sides.
Considered in itself no one would have been more called on to oppose this than the King of England, who even still bore the title of King of France. In fact Henry did once revive his claim on the French crown, on Normandy and Guyenne, and took part in a coalition, which was to have forced Charles VIII? to give up Brittany; he crossed to Calais and threatened Boulogne. But he was not in earnest with these comprehensive views in his military enterprise, any more than Edward IV had once been in a similar one. Henry VII was contented when a considerable money payment year by year was secured to him, as it had been to Edward. The English called it a tribute, the French a pension. It was acceptable to the King, and advantageous for his home affairs, just at that moment—1492—to have a sum of money at his free disposal.
And no one could have advised him to attach himself unconditionally to the house of Burgundy. Duke Charles' widow? was still alive, who found it unendurable that the house of York, from which she sprang, should be dethroned from its 'triumphant majesty, which shone over the seven nations of the world'—for so she expressed herself. With her the fugitive partisans of the house of York found refuge and protection: by herself and her son-in-law Maximilian of Austria? the pretenders were fitted out who contested the crown with Henry VII. Henry could not really wish Brittany to pass to his sworn foe, so that he might be threatened from this quarter also at every moment. For how could he delude himself with the hope that a transitory alliance would prevail over a dynastic antipathy?
At this crisis Ferdinand the Catholic? of Spain offered him an alliance and connexion by marriage.
That which induced this sovereign to do so was above all Charles VIII's invasion of Italy, and his conquest of Naples, to which the crown of Aragon had just claims. His plan was to oppose to the mighty consolidated power of France a family alliance with the Austro-Burgundian House, with Portugal, above all with England: he hoped that this would react on Italy, always wont to adhere to the most powerful party. Ferdinand offered the King of England a marriage between his youngest daughter Catharine and the Prince of Wales?. In the English Privy Council many objections were made to this; they did not wish to draw the enmity of France on themselves and would have rather seen the prince united to a princess of the house of Bourbon, as was then proposed. It was on Henry VII's own responsibility that the offer was accepted. In September 1496 an agreement was come to about the conditions: on 15th August 1497 the ceremony of betrothal took place in the palace at Woodstock8.
The motive which impelled Henry to his decision is sufficiently clear; it was his relation to Scotland, on which the Spaniards already exercised influence.
There the second pretender, Perkin Warbeck?, had found a warm reception from the young and chivalrous James IV?: he there married a lady of one of the chief houses: accompanied in person by this sovereign he made an attempt to invade England, which only failed owing to the unfavourable time of the year. The Spanish ambassador Pedro de Ayala? then out of regard to Henry secured Perkin's withdrawal from Scotland. But in 1497 the danger revived in a yet greater degree. Warbeck landed in Cornwall where all the inhabitants rallied round him, and a revolt already once suppressed broke out again; at this moment James IV, urged on by the nobles of the land, crossed the border with a splendid army: the cooperation of the two movements might have placed the King in a serious difficulty. Again it was the Spanish ambassador who made James IV determine not to let himself be urged on further; but rather to give him the commission, to adjust his differences with England. Henry VII was set free to suppress the revolt in Cornwall; Perkin Warbeck was taken in his flight.
As the object of the Spaniards was to sever Scotland from her old alliance with France, and that too by means of a family alliance, it was an essential point in their mediation that Henry VII, as he betrothed his son Arthur to a Spanish Infanta, should similarly betroth his daughter Margaret? to James IV. The understanding with Spain and that with Scotland went hand in hand.
And on another side too the alliance with Spain was very useful to the King of England. Ferdinand had married his elder daughter Juana? to Maximilian's son the Archduke Philip?: Philip could not possibly uphold the Yorkist interests so zealously as his father or his grandmother. It was an event of importance that at Whitsuntide? 1500 a meeting took place between the English and the Austro-Burgundian Court in the neighbourhood of Calais. Henry applied himself to win over those whom he knew to be his enemies: but at the same time he wished it to be remarked that the Archduke showed him the honour which belongs to a lawful King. If there were still Yorkist partisans in England, who placed their hopes in the house of Burgundy, they would find that they had nothing more to hope from that quarter.
So the Spanish alliance served the prudent and circumspect politician, to secure him from any hostile action on the side of Scotland and the Netherlands. When Catharine? in 1501 came to England for her marriage, she was received with additional joy because it was felt that her near connexion with the Burgundian house promised good relations with the Netherlands9.
But never was a more eventful marriage concluded.
We do not know whether the Prince of Wales? had really consummated it when he died before he was yet sixteen. But the two fathers were so well satisfied with an alliance which increased the security of the one and gained the other great consideration in the world, that they could not bring themselves to give up the family connexion, by which it was so much strengthened. The thought occurred to Ferdinand—a very unusual one in the rest of the European world, though not indeed in Spain—of marrying the Infanta to Henry?, brother of the deceased prince, who was now recognised as Prince of Wales. With his condolence for the loss he united a proposal for the new marriage. In England from the beginning men did not hide from themselves that as regarded the future succession, which ought not to be contested from any side, the matter had its delicate points. The solution which Henry found shows clearly enough the natural tactics of the old politician. He obtained from the Roman Court a dispensation for the new marriage, which expressly included the case of the first marriage having been consummated. But it almost appears as though he did not fully trust this authorisation. High as the prestige of the supreme Pontiff still stood in the world, there were yet cases in which canonists and theologians doubted as to his dispensing power; men could not possibly have forgotten that, when Richard III wished to marry his niece Elizabeth, a number of doctors disapproved of such a marriage, even if the Pope should sanction it. At any rate Henry VII instigated, or at least did not oppose, his son's solemnly entering a protest, after the marriage ceremony between him and Catharine was performed, against its validity (on the ground of his being too young), the evening before he entered his fifteenth year, in the presence of the Bishop of Winchester, his father's chief Secretary of State. Hence all remained undecided. Catharine lived on in England: her dowry did not need to be given up; the general influence of the political union was saved; it could however be dissolved at any moment, and there was therefore no quarrel on this account with France, whence from time to time proposals proceeded for a marriage in the opposite interest. The prince kept himself quite free, to make use of the dispensation or not.
For the King himself too, whose wife died in 1503, many negociations were entered into on both sides. The French offered him a lady of the house of Angoulême; he preferred Maximilian's daughter, Margaret of Austria, not indeed for her personal qualities, however praiseworthy they might be; he stipulated after his usual fashion for the surrender of the fugitive Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, who was regarded as the chief representative of the house of York, and (as once previously in France) had at that time found a refuge in the Netherlands. Philip, who after the death of his mother-in-law wished to take possession of his wife's kingdoms in Spain, was on his voyage from Flanders driven by a storm on the English coasts: he was Henry's guest at Windsor, Richmond, and London. Here then the King's marriage with Philip's sister was concerted, and with it the surrender of Suffolk. Philip strove long against this: when he yielded, he at least got a promise that Henry VII would spare the life of the earl, whom he accused of treason. He kept his word: the prisoner was not executed till after his death.
Margaret had no inclination to wed herself with the harsh and self-seeking King, who was growing old: he himself, when Philip shortly after his arrival in Castile was snatched away by an early death, formed the idea of marrying his widow Juana, though she was no longer in her right mind. He opened a negociation about it, which he pursued with zeal and apparent earnestness. The Spaniards ascribe to him the project of marrying himself to Ferdinand's elder daughter, and his son to the younger, and making the latter marriage, which he was purposely always putting off, the price of his own. One should hardly ascribe such a folly to the prudent and wise sovereign at his years and with his failing strength. That he made the proposals admits of no doubt: but we must suppose that he wished purposely to oppose to the pressure of the Spaniards for the marriage of his son with the Infanta a demand which they could never grant. For how could they let the King of England share in Juana's immense claims of inheritance? Henry wished neither to break off nor to complete his son's marriage; for the one course would have made Spain hostile, while the second might have produced a quarrel with France. Between these two powers he maintained an independent position, without however mixing in earnest with their affairs, and only with the view of warding off their enmity and linking their interests with his own. His political relations were, as he said, to draw a brazen wall round England, within which he had gradually become complete lord and master. The crown he had won on the battlefield, and maintained as his own in the extremest dangers, he bequeathed to his son as an undoubted possession. The son succeeded the father without opposition, without a rival—a thing that had not happened for centuries. He had only to ascend the throne, in order to take the reins of government into his hand.
Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey? in their earlier years.
But that the political situation should continue as it was could not be expected. What has not seldom in the history of great kingdoms and states formed a decisive turning point now came to pass: to the father who had founded and maintained his power with foresight and by painful and continuous labour, succeeded a son full of life and energy, who wished to enjoy its possession, and feeling firm ground under his feet determined to live in a way more after his own mind. Henry VIII too felt the need of being popular, like most princes on their accession: he sacrificed the two chiefs of the fiscal commission, Empson? and Dudley?, to the universal hate. In general his father's point of view seemed to him too narrow-hearted, his proceedings too cautious.
The first great question which was laid before him concerned his marriage: he decided for it without further delay. No doubt that in this political reasons came chiefly into account. France had been ever growing mightier, it had just then struck down the republic of Venice by a great victory; men thought it would one day or another come into collision with England, and held it prudent to unite themselves beforehand with those who could then be useful as allies. At that time this applied to the Spaniards above all others10. Yet, unless everything deceives us, political considerations only coincided with the prince's inclinations. The Infanta? was in the full bloom of her age; the prince, was even younger than herself and against his will had been kept apart from any association with her, might well be impressed by her: besides she had known how to conduct herself with tact and dignity in her difficult position; with a blameless earnest mien she combined gentleness and loveable qualities. The marriage was carried out without delay; in the ceremonies of her husband's coronation Catharine could actually take part as Queen. How fully did these festivities again breathe the ancient character of chivalrous splendour. Men saw the King's champion?, with his own herald in front, in full armour, ride into the hall on his warsteed which carried the armorial bearings of England and France; he challenged to single combat any one who would dare to say that Henry VIII was not the true heir of this realm; then he asked the King for a draught of wine, who had it given him in a golden cup: the cup was then his own.
Henry VIII had a double reason for confidence on his throne,—the blood of the house of York also flowed in his veins. In European affairs he was no longer content with keeping off foreign influences, he wished to take part in them like his ancestors with the whole power of England. After the dangers which had been overcome had passed out of the memory of those living, the old delight in war awoke again.
When France now began to encounter resistance in her career of victory, first through Pope Julius II?, then through King Ferdinand, Henry did not hesitate to make common cause with them. It marks his disposition in these first years, that he took arms especially because men ought not to allow the supreme Priest of Christendom to be oppressed11. When King Louis and the Emperor Maximilian tried to oppose a Council to the Pope, Henry VIII dissuaded the latter from it with a zeal full of unction. He drew him over in fact to his side: they undertook a combined campaign against France in which they won a battle in the open field, and conquered a great city, Tournay. Aided by the English army Ferdinand the Catholic then possessed himself of Navarre, which was given up to him by the Pope as being taken when it was in league with an enemy of the Church. Louis's other ally, the Scottish King James IV, succumbed to the military strength of North England at Flodden?, and Henry might have raised a claim to Scotland, like that of Ferdinand to Navarre: but he preferred, as his sister Margaret? became regent there, to strengthen the indirect influence of England over Scotland. On the whole the advantages of his warlike enterprises were for England small, but not unimportant for the general relations of Europe. The predominance of France was broken: a freer position restored to the Papacy. Henry VIII felt himself fortunate in the full weight of the influence which England had won over European affairs.
It was no contradiction of the fundamental ideas of English policy, when Henry VIII again formed a connexion with Louis XII?, who was now no longer formidable. He even gave him his younger sister? to wife, and concluded a treaty with him, by which he secured himself a money payment, as his predecessors had so often done before. Yet he did not for this break at all with Ferdinand the Catholic, though he had reason to complain of him: rather he concluded a new alliance with him, only in a less close and binding manner. He would not have endured that the successor of Louis XII (who died immediately after his marriage), the youthful and warlike Francis I, after he had possessed himself of Milan, should have also advanced to Naples. For a moment, in consequence of these apprehensions, their relations became less close: but when the alarm proved to be unfounded, the alliance was renewed, and even Tournay restored for a compensation in money. Many personal motives may have contributed to this, but on the whole there was sense and system in such a policy. The reconquest of Milan did not make the King of France so strong that he would become dangerous, particularly as on the other side the monarchy which had been prepared by the Spanish-Netherlands' connexions now came into existence, and the grandson of Ferdinand and Maximilian? united the Spanish kingdoms with Naples and the lordship over the Netherlands.
To this position between the two powers it would have lent new weight and great splendour if the German princes could have been induced to transfer to the King of England the peaceful dignity of a Roman-German Emperor. He bestirred himself about this for a moment, but did not feel it much when it was refused him.
But now since the empire too was added to the possessions in Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, and hence redoubled jealousy awakened in King Francis I?, which held out an immediate prospect of war, the old question came up again before King Henry, which side England was to take between them, and that in a more pressing form than ever. A special complication arose from the fact that yet another person with separate points of view now took part in the politics of the age.
In another point Henry VIII departed from his father's tactics and habits; he no longer sat so regularly with his Privy Council and deliberated with them. He had been persuaded that he would best secure himself against prejudicial results from the discords that reigned among them, by taking affairs more into his own hand. A young ecclesiastic, his Almoner Thomas Wolsey?, had then gained the greatest influence over him; he had been introduced alike into business and into intimacy with the King by Fox?, Bishop of Winchester, who wished to oppose a more youthful ability to his rivals in the Privy Council. In both relations Wolsey was completely successful. It stood him in good stead that another favourite, Charles Brandon?, Duke of Suffolk, who had married Henry's sister (Louis XII's widow), and was the King's comrade in knightly exercises and the external show of court-life, for a long time remained in intimate friendship with him. Wolsey was conversant with the scholastic philosophy, with Saint Thomas Aquinas?; but that did not hinder him from cooperating also in the revival of classical studies, which were just coming into notice at Oxford: he had a feeling for the efforts of Art which was then attaining a higher estimation, and an inborn talent for architecture, to which we owe some wonderful works12. The King too loved building; the present of a skilfully cut jewel could delight him; and he sought honour in defending the scholastic dogmas against Luther's views; in all this Wolsey seconded and supported him, he combined state-business with conversation. He freed the King from the consultations of the Privy Council, in which the intrinsic importance of the matter always weighs more than one's own will; Henry VIII first felt himself to be really King when business was managed by a favourite thoroughly dependent on him, trusted by him, and in fact very capable. Wolsey showed the most manysided activity and an indefatigable power of work. He presided in court though he was not strong in law; he mastered the department of finance; the King named him Archbishop of York, the Pope Cardinal-Legate, so that the whole control of ecclesiastical matters fell into his hands; foreign affairs were peculiarly his own department. We have a considerable number of his political writings and instructions remaining, which give us an idea of the characteristics of his mind. Very circumstantially and almost wearisomely do they advance—not exactly in a straight line—weighing manifold possibilities, multiplied reasons: they are scholastic in form, in contents sometimes fantastic even to excess, intricate yet acute, flattering to the person to whom they are addressed, but withal filled with a surprising self-consciousness of power and talent. Wolsey is celebrated by Erasmus? for his affability, and to a great scholar he may have been accessible, but to others he was not so. When he went to walk in the park of Hampton Court?, no one would have dared to come within a long distance of him. When questions were asked him he reserved to himself the option of answering or not. He had a way of giving his opinion so that every man yielded to him; especially as the possession of the King's favour, which he enjoyed, made it impossible to oppose him. If the government was spoken of, he was wont to say, 'the King and I,' or 'we,' or at last 'I.' Just because he was of humble origin, he wished to shine by splendid appearance, costly and rare furniture, unwonted expenditure. Early one morning his appointment as Cardinal arrived, that same morning at mass he displayed the insignia of his new dignity. He required outward tokens of reverence, and insisted on being served on bended knee. He had many other passions, of which the chief was ecclesiastical ambition pervaded by personal vanity.
It gave him high satisfaction that both the great powers emulously courted the favour and friendship of his King, of which he seemed to have the disposal.
In June 1520 took place within the English possessions on French soil the meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I, which is well designated as the Field of the Cloth of Gold. It was properly a great tournament, proclaimed in both nations, to which the chief lords yet once more gathered in all their splendour. With the festivities were mingled negociations in which the Cardinal of York played the chief part.
Immediately before this in England, and just afterwards on the continent, Henry VIII met Charles V also, with less show but greater intimacy; the negociations here took the opposite direction.
In 1521, when war had already broken out between the two great powers, the cardinal in his King's name undertook the part of mediator. There in Calais he sat to a certain degree in judgment on the European powers. The plenipotentiaries of both sovereigns laid their cases before him: with apparent zeal and much bustle he tried at least to conclude a truce: he complained once of the Emperor, that he disregarded his good advice though weighty and to the point: on which the latter did come a step nearer him. It was a magnificent position if he understood and maintained it. The more powerful both princes became, the more dangerous to the world their enmity should be, the more need there was of a mediating authority between them. But the purity of intention which is required to carry out such a task is seldom given to men, and did not exist in Wolsey. His ambition suggested plans to him which reached far beyond a peace arbitration.
When he promoted that first interview with Francis I against the will of the great men and of the Queen of England, the Emperor's ambassadors, who were thrown into consternation by it, remarked that the French King must have promised him the Papacy, which however, they add, is rather in the Imperial than in the royal gift. It does not appear that the Emperor went quite so far at once, he only warned the cardinal against the untrustworthy promises of the French, and sought to bring him to the conviction—while making him the most advantageous offers—that he could expect everything from him13. Clear details he reserved till they met in person; and then he in fact drew him over completely to his side. Under Wolsey's influence King Henry, immediately on the outbreak of the war, gave out his intention of making common cause with the Emperor. For he had not, he said, so little understanding as not to see that the opportunity was thus offered him of carrying out his predecessors' claims and his own, and he wished to use it. Only he preferred not to commence war at once, since he was not yet armed, and since a broader alliance should be first formed. The cardinal hoped to be able to draw the Pope, the Swiss, and the Duke of Savoy, as well as the Kings of Portugal, Denmark, and Hungary, into it. What an impression then it must have made on him, when Pope Leo X, without being pressed, at once allied himself with the Emperor! Wolsey's attempt at mediation—no room for doubt about it is left by the documents that lie before us—was only meant as a means of gaining time. At Calais Wolsey had already given the imperial ambassadors, in the presence of the Papal Nuncio, the most definite assurances as to the resolution of his King to take part in the war against France. Before he returned to England to call the Parliament together, which was to vote the necessary ways and means, he visited the Emperor at Bruges. At the last negociations, being at times doubtful about his trustworthiness, Charles V held it doubly necessary to bind him by every tie to himself. He then spoke to him of the Papacy, and gave him his word that he would advance him to that dignity14.
The opportunity for this came almost too soon. When Leo X died, just at this moment, Wolsey's hopes rose in stormy impatience. When the Emperor renewed his assurance to him. he demanded of him in plain terms to advance his then victorious troops to Rome, and put down by main force any resistance to the choice proposed. Before anything could be done, before the ambassador whom Henry VIII despatched at once to Italy reached it, the cardinals had already elected, and elected moreover the Emperor's former tutor, Hadrian?. But was not this a proof of his irresistible authority? Hadrian's advanced age made it clear that there would be an early vacancy: and to this Wolsey now directed his hopes. He gave assurance that he would administer the Papacy for the sole advantage of the King and the Emperor: he thought then to overpower the French, and after completing this work he already saw himself in spirit directing his weapons to the East, to put an end to the Turkish rule. At his second visit to England the Emperor renewed his promise at Windsor castle; he spoke of it in his conferences with the King15. Altogether the closest alliance was concluded. The Emperor promised to marry Henry's daughter Mary?, assuming that the Pope would grant him the necessary dispensation. Their claims to French territories they would carry out by a combined war. Should a difficulty occur between them, Cardinal Wolsey was fixed on as umpire.
So did the alliance between the houses of Burgundy and Tudor come to pass, the basis of which was to be the annihilation of the power of the Valois, and into which the English minister threw his world-wide ambition. From England also a declaration of war now reached Francis I. Whilst the war in Italy and on the Spanish frontiers made the most successful progress, the English, in 1522 under Howard Earl of Surrey?, in 1523 under Brandon Earl of Suffolk?, both times in combination with Imperial troops, invaded France on the side of the Netherlands, invasions which, to say the least, very much hampered the French. Movements also manifested themselves within France itself, which awoke hopes in the King that he might make himself master of the French crown as easily as his father had once done of the English. Leo X had already been persuaded to absolve the subjects of Francis I from their oaths to him. It was in connexion with this that the second man in France, the Constable of Bourbon?, slighted in his station, and endangered in his possessions, resolved to help himself by revolting from Francis I. He wished then to recognise no other King in France but Henry VIII: at a solemn moment, after receiving the sacrament, he communicated to the English ambassador, who was with him, his resolution to set the French crown on King Henry's head: he reckoned on a numerous party declaring for him. And in the autumn of 1523 it looked as if this project would be accomplished. Suffolk and Egmont? pressed on to Montdidier without meeting with any resistance: it was thought that the Netherland and English forces would soon occupy the capital, and give a new form to the realm. Pope Hadrian was just dead at Rome; would not the united efforts of the Emperor and the King of England succeed, by their influence on the conclave, especially now that they were victorious, in really raising Wolsey to the tiara?
This however did not happen. In Rome not Wolsey but Julius Medici was elected Pope; the combined Netherland and English troops retreated from Montdidier; Bourbon saw himself discovered and had to fly, no one declared for him. This last is doubtless to be ascribed to the vigilance and good conduct of King Francis, but in the retreat of the troops and in the election of the Pope other causes were at work. In the conclave Charles V certainly did not act with as much energy for Wolsey as the latter expected: Wolsey never forgave him. But he too has been accused of having basely abused the confidence of the two sovereigns: he had kept up friendly connexions all along with Francis I and his mother?, and they likewise had given him pensions and presents: he had purposely supported the Earl of Suffolk so ill that he was forced to retreat16. Of all the complaints raised against him, not so much before the world as among those who were behind the scenes, this was exactly the most hateful and perhaps the most effectual.
In 1524 the English took no active part in the war. Not till February 1525, when the German and Spanish troops had won the great victory of Pavia and King Francis had fallen captive into the Emperor's hands, did their ambitious projects and thoughts of war reawaken.
Henry VIII reminded the Emperor of his previous promises, and invited him to make a joint attack on France itself from both sides: they would join hands in Paris; Henry VIII should then be crowned King of France, but resign to the Emperor not merely Burgundy but also Provence and Languedoc, and cede to the Duke of Bourbon his old possessions and Dauphine. The motive he alleges is very extraordinary: the Emperor would marry his daughter and heiress, and would at some future time inherit England and France also and then be monarch of the world17. Henry declares himself ready to press on with the utmost zeal, provided he can do it with some security, and himself undertake the conduct of the war in the Netherlands and the support of Bourbon. The letter is from Wolsey, full of copious and pressing conclusions; but should not the far-reaching nature of its contents have been a proof even to him that it could never be taken in earnest?
Charles V could not possibly enter into the plan. He had lent it a hearing as long as it lay far away, but when it came actually close to view, it was very startling for him. The union of the crowns of France and England on the head of Henry VIII would in itself have deranged all European relations, above all it would have raised that untrustworthy man, who was still all powerful in his Council, to a most inconvenient height of power. The Spanish kingdoms too were pressing for the settlement of their succession. He was in the full maturity of manly youth: he could not wait for Mary of England who had barely completed her tenth year: he resolved to break off this connexion, and give his hand to a Portuguese princess?, who was nearly of his own age. It could not be otherwise but that to the closest union, which was broken at the moment when it might well have been able to attain its object, the bitterest discord should succeed.
Perhapsit is not a matter of such very great weight whether the Emperor did his best for Wolsey in the conclave, or Wolsey his best for the Emperor in the campaign of 1523. That the result did not correspond to the expectations on either side was quite enough to bring about an estrangement. What could the Emperor do with an English minister who was not in a condition to support warlike enterprises properly? what could the English do with an ally who appropriated to himself exclusively the advantages of the victory they had won? Henry VIII, while trying to win the French crown, had only weakened it, and thereby given the house of Burgundy a preponderance in European affairs, by which all other powers, and himself as well, felt themselves threatened.
After the battle of Pavia a feeling prevailed throughout the world that the rule of Spain and Burgundy would be intolerable, if France were no longer independent. The ministers of the Pope in Rome first came to a consciousness of this: as the best means of restoring the balance, they looked to the dissolution of the alliance between Henry VIII and Charles V. The Pope's Datary [chancellor]Giberti?, made approaches to the English Court, though still with timid caution, in order in the first place only to propose a reconciliation between England and France18.
To his joy he remarked that Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey were more inclined to this plan than he had expected. If not before yet certainly since his alienation from the Emperor, the cardinal had entered into secret negociations with the mother of the King of France: the last proposals to the Emperor had been only an attempt to turn the success of his arms to the advantage of England also: when he rejected them, the cardinal entered into the French connexion with increased zeal. Before the end of the summer of 1523 peace between England and France was effected with the sympathizing co-operation of Rome.
In it the Regent Louise? accepted the conditions laid down by the cardinal: she did not neglect to secure him by a considerable pension. From the beginning she had on her side also tried to excite his world-wide ambition; for Francis I and Henry VIII, if once they became friends, would do noble deeds to their own undying renown and to the glory of God, and the direction of their enterprises would fall to the cardinal10.
Even after Henry VIII abandoned him, the Emperor still kept the upper hand. He extorted the Peace of Madrid; the League of the Italian princes with France, by which its execution was to have been hindered, and to which England lent her moral support without actually joining it, led Charles V to new victories, to the conquest of Rome, and hence to a position in the world which now did really threaten the freedom of all other nations. The necessary result was that France and England drew still more closely together. Cardinal Wolsey appeared in France; a close alliance was concluded and (not without considerable English help) an army sent into the field, which in fact gained the upper hand in Italy and restored to the Pope, who had escaped to Orvieto, some feeling of independence. Soon the largest projects were formed on this side also, in which the two Kings expected to have the Pope entirely with them. The French declared their wish to conquer Naples and never restore it to the Emperor, not even under the most favourable conditions. Wolsey thought that the Pope might pronounce the deposition of the Emperor in Naples and even in the Empire, for which certain German electors could be won over; he boasted that he would bring about such a revolution as had not been seen for a century.
It was at this crisis in the general situation, and when an attempt was being made to direct politics towards the annihilation of the Emperor, that the thought occurred of dissolving Henry VIII's marriage with the Emperor's aunt, the Infanta Catharine.
It is very possible, as a contemporary tradition informs us, that Wolsey was instigated to this by personal feelings. His arrogant and wanton proceedings, offensive by their excesses, and withal showing all the priestly love of power, were hateful to the inmost soul of the pure and earnest Queen. She is said to have once reproached him with them, and to have even repelled his unbecoming behaviour with a threatening word, and he on his part to have sworn to overthrow her20. But this personal motive first became permanently important when joined with a more general one. The Queen was by no means so entirely shut out from the events of the day as has been asserted; in moments of difficulty we find her summoning the members of the Privy Council before her to discuss the pending questions with them. When Wolsey began a life and death struggle with the Emperor, the influence of the Queen, whose most lively sympathies were with her nephew, stood not a little in his way; it was his chief interest to remove her.
It was indeed the feeling of the time, that family unions and political alliances must go hand in hand. At the very first proposal for a reconciliation between England and France, Giberti had advised the marriage of the English princess Mary, who had been rejected by the Emperor, with a French prince, and there had been much negociation about it. But owing to the extreme youth of the princess it was soon felt that this would not lead to the desired end. If a definitive rupture was to take place between England and the Burgundo-Spanish power, Henry VIII's marriage with Catharine must be dissolved and room thus made for a French princess. This marriage however was itself the result of that former state of politics which had led to the first war with France. Wolsey formed the plan of marrying his King, in Catharine's stead, with the sister or even with the daughter of Francis I who was now growing up21: then only would the alliance between the two powers become indissoluble. When he was in France in 1527, he said to the Regent, the King's mother, that within a year she would live to see two things, the most complete separation of his sovereign from Spain, and his indissoluble union with France22.
But to these motives of foreign policy was now added an extremely important reason of home policy: this lay in the precarious state of the Succession.
When the King several years before was congratulated on the birth of his daughter?, with an intimation that the birth of a son might have been still more acceptable, he replied quickly, they were both still young, he and his wife, why should they not still have a son? But gradually this hope had ceased, and as hitherto no Queen had ever reigned in her own right in England, the opinion gained ground that at the King's death the throne would fall vacant. It had a little before created a party among the people for the Duke of Buckingham, when he maintained that he was the nearest heir to the crown, and would not let it be taken from him. He had been executed for this: Mary's right to the succession met with no further opposition; but even so it was still always a doubtful future that lay before the country. People wished to marry Mary at one time to the Emperor, at another to the King or a prince of France: so that her claim to the inheritance of the crown should pass to the house of Burgundy or to that of Valois. But how dangerous this was for the independence of the country! Henry would surely not have lost himself in Wolsey's intrigues, had he had a son and heir, to represent the independent interests of England.
In other times relations of this kind would have probably been reckoned as in themselves sufficient reason for a divorce: but not so in that age. The very essence of marriage lies in this, that it raises the union, on which the family and the order of the world rests, above the momentary variations of the will and the inclination; by the sanction of the Church it becomes one of that series of religious institutions which set limits on every side to individual caprice. No one yet dared so far to deny the religious character of marriage, as to have avowed mere political views in wishing for a separation, either before the world, or even to himself. But now there was no want of spiritual reasons which might be brought forward for it. The King's own confessor? revived the doubts in him which had once been raised before his marriage with his brother's widow. And when the King was then reminded that such a marriage had been expressly forbidden in the books of Moses, and threatened with the punishment of childlessness, how could it fail to make an impression on him, when this threat seemed to be strictly fulfilled in his case? Two boys had been born to him from this marriage, but both had died soon after their birth. Even within the Catholic Church it had been always a moot point whether the Pope could dispense with a law of Scripture. The divine punishment inflicted on the King, as he thought, seemed to prove that the Pope's dispensation (encroaching as it did on the region of the divine power), on the strength of which the marriage had been concluded, had not the validity ascribed to it. Scruples of this sort cannot be said to be a mere pretence; they have something of the half belief, half superstition, so peculiarly characteristic of the spirit of the age and of that of the King. And none could yet foresee what results they implicitly involved.
It still appeared possible that the Pope would revoke the dispensation given by one of his predecessors, especially as some grounds of invalidity could be found in the bull itself. Wolsey's idea was that the Pope?, in the pressing necessity he was under of ranging England and France against the preponderance of the Emperor, could be brought to consent to recall the dispensation, and this would make the marriage null and void from the beginning. Always full of arrogant assumption of an influence to which nothing could be impossible, Wolsey assured the King that he would carry the matter through23.
When tidings of this proposal first reached Rome, those immediately around the Pope took special notice of the political advantages that might accrue from it. For hitherto there was a doubt whether Henry VIII was really so decidedly in favour of France as was said: a project like this, which would make him and the Emperor enemies for ever, left no room for doubt about it. When the Pope saw himself secure of this support in reserve, his word, in a matter which concerned the highest personal and civil interests, acquired new weight even with the Emperor24.
It is undeniable that the Pope at first expressed himself favourably. It appeared to make an especial impression on him, that the want of a male heir might cause a civil war in England, and that this must be disadvantageous to the Church as well25. He only asked not to be pressed as long as he was in danger of experiencing the worst extremities from the overwhelming power of the Emperor. In the spring of 1528, when the French army advanced victoriously into the Neapolitan territory and drove back the Emperor's forces to the capital, Wolsey's request for full powers to inquire into the affair in England was taken into earnest consideration by the Pope. It was at Orvieto, in the Pope's working room, which was also his sleeping-chamber: a couple of cardinals, the Dean of the Roman Rota?, and the English plenipotentiaries sat round the Pope, to talk over the case thoroughly. One of the cardinals declared himself against the Commission demanded by Wolsey, since such a grant contravened the usage of the last centuries in the Roman tribunals; the Pope answered, that in a matter concerning a King who had done such service to the Holy See, they might well deviate from the usual forms; he actually delegated this Commission to Cardinal Campeggi?, whom the English esteemed as their friend, and to Wolsey.
By this nothing was yet effected: it even appears as though Clement VII had given tranquillising promises to the Emperor; the Bishop of Bayonne? declared that the Pope's intention was thus to keep both sides dependent on him—but it was at all events one step on the road once taken, which aroused hope in England that it would lead to the desired end.
But let us picture to ourselves the enormous difficulty of the case. It lay above all in the inner significance of the question itself. In his first interview with Henry VIII Campeggi remarks that the King was completely convinced of the invalidity of the Papal dispensation, which could not extend to Scripture precepts. No argument could move him from this; he answered like a good theologian and jurist. Campeggi says, an angel from heaven would not make him change his opinion. He could not but see that Wolsey cherished the same view.
But was it possible for the Roman court to yield in this and to revoke a dispensation, which involved the very substance of its spiritual omnipotence? It would have thus only strengthened, and in reality confessed, the antagonism against its authority which was based on Holy Scripture. Campeggi could not yield a hair's breadth.
The only solution lay—and Campeggi was authorised to attempt it—in inducing Queen Catharine to renounce her place and dignity. Soon after his arrival he represented to her at length how much depended on it for her and the world, and promised her that in return not only all else should be secured to her that she could desire, but above all that the succession of her daughter also should be guaranteed. The wish, in which both Pope and King agreed, that she should enter a convent, Campeggi at first did not mention to her; he thought she would herself seek for some expedient. But she avoided this. Campeggi had spoken to her in the name of the Pope: she only said she thought to abide till death in obedience to the precepts of God and of the Church: she would ask for counsellors from the King, would consult with them, and then communicate to the Holy Father what her conscience bade her. Her consent still remained possible. This gained, the legate would have no need to mention further the validity or invalidity of the dispensation. He was still hoping for it, when Wolsey came to him one morning early (26 Oct. 1528) and told him the Queen had asked the King for leave to make her confession to him (Campeggi), and had obtained it. A couple of hours later the Queen appeared before him. She told him of her earlier marriage, which was never really consummated; that she had remained as unchanged by it as she had been from her mother's womb; and this destroyed all grounds for the divorce. Campeggi was however far from drawing such a conclusion; he advised her in plain terms to make a vow and enter a convent, repeating the motives stated before, to which he now added the example of a Queen of France. But his words died away without effect. Queen Catharine declared positively that she would never act thus; she was called by God to her marriage, and resolved to live and die in it. A judgment might be pronounced in this matter; if the marriage was declared to be invalid, she would submit, she would then be as free as the King; but without this she would hold fast to her marriage union. She protested, in the strongest terms conceivable, that they might kill her, they might tear her limb from limb, yet she would not change her mind; had she two lives, she would lay them both down in such a cause. It would be better, she said, for the Pope to try to divert the King from his design; he would then be able to trust all the more in the inclination of her kinsman the Emperor to help in bringing about a peace.
In the presence of the counsellors given her at her wish, both legates repeated two days later in a formal audience their admonition to the Queen not to insist on a definite decision; but already Campeggi had little hope left; he was astonished that the lady, usually so prudent, should in the midst of peril so obstinately reject judicious advice26.
The question between King and Queen was, we might say, also of a dogmatic nature. Had the Pope the right to dispense with the laws of Scripture or had he not? The Queen accepted it as it had been accepted in recent times, especially as the presupposed conditions of a marriage had not been fulfilled in her case. The King rejected it under all circumstances in agreement with scholars and the rising public opinion.
But into this question various other general and personal reasons now intruded themselves. If the question were answered in the negative Wolsey held firmly to the view of forming an indissoluble union between France and England, of securing the succession by the King's marriage with a French princess, of restoring universal peace; to this he added the project, as he once actually said in confidential discourse, of reforming the English laws, doubtless in an ecclesiastical and monarchic sense; if he had once accomplished all this, he would retire, to serve God during the rest of his life.
But he had already (and a sense of it seems almost to be expressed in these last words so unlike his usual mode of thought) ceased to be in agreement with his King. Henry VIII wished for the divorce, the establishment of his succession by male offspring, friendship with France, and Peace: but he did not care for the French marriage. He was some years younger than his wife, who inclined to the Spanish forms of strict devotion, and regarded as wasted the hours which she spent at her dressing table. Henry VIII was addicted to knightly exercises of arms, he loved pleasant company, music, and art; we cannot call him a gross voluptuary, but he was not faithful to his wife: he already had a natural son; he was ever entangled in new connexions of this kind. Many letters of his survive, in which a tincture of fancy and even of tenderness is coupled with a thorough sensuousness; just in the fashion of the romances of chivalry which were then being first printed and were much read. At that time Anne Boleyn?, a lady who had lately returned from France, and appeared from time to time at Court, saw him at her feet; she was not exactly of ravishing beauty, but full of spirit and grace and with a certain reserve. While she resisted the King, she held him all the faster27.
The reasons of home and foreign policy mentioned above, and even the religious scruples, have their weight; but we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that this new passion, nourished on the expectation of the divorce which was not unconditionally refused by the spiritual power, gave the strongest personal impulse to carry the affair through.
The position of parties in the State also influenced it. Wolsey who had diminished the consequence of the great lords, and kept them down, and offended them by his pride, was heartily hated by them. Adorned though he was with the most brilliant honours of the Church, yet for the great men of the realm he was nothing but an upstart: they had never quite given up the hope of living to see his fall. But if he brought the French marriage to pass, as he designed, he would have won lasting support and have become stronger than ever. Besides the great men took the Burgundian side, not that they wished to make the Emperor lord of the world, but on the other hand they did not want a war with him: merchants and farmers saw that a war with the Netherlands, where they sold their wool, would be an injury to all. When Wolsey flattered the Pope with the hope of an attack on the Netherlands, he was, the Bishop of Bayonne? assures us, the only man in the country who thought of it. He felt keenly the universal antipathy which he had awakened, and spoke of the efforts and devices he would have need of, to maintain himself.
It was therefore just what the nobles wanted, that Wolsey fell out with the King in a matter of such engrossing nature, and that they found another means of access to him. The Boleyns were not of noble origin, but had been for some time connected with the leading families. Geoffrey the founder of the house had raised himself by success in business and good conduct to the dignity of Lord Mayor of London. His son William married the daughter of the only Irish peer who had a seat and vote in the English Parliament, Sir Thomas Ormond de Rochefort?, Earl of Wiltshire. His titles passed through his daughter to his grandsons, of whom one, Thomas Boleyn, was created Viscount Rochefort, and married the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk; his daughter was Anne Boleyn: she took high rank and an especially distinguished position in English society because her uncle, Thomas Duke of Norfolk?, was Henry VIII's chief lay minister (he held the place of High Treasurer) and was at the same time the leading man of the nobility. He had the reputation of being versed in business, cultivated, and shrewd; he was Wolsey's natural opponent. That the King showed an inclination to his niece, against the cardinal's views, was for him and his friends a great point gained28. It was soon seen that Anne's influence had obtained the recall of an opponent of Wolsey, who had insulted him and was banished from the Court29. It was of the greatest importance for home affairs, that the King was inclined to make Anne Boleyn his wife. The English kings in general did not think marriages in their own rank essential. Henry's own grandfather, Edward IV, had married a lady of by no means distinguished origin. It was seen beforehand that, if this happened, Wolsey could not maintain himself, and authority would again fall into the hands of the chief families. Even the cardinal's old friend, the Earl of Suffolk?, now joined this combination: the whole of the nobility sided with it.
But besides this the chief foreign affairs took a turn which made it impossible to carry out Wolsey's political ideas. In the summer of 1528 the attacks of the allies on Naples were repulsed, and their armies annihilated. In the spring of 1529 the Emperor got the upper hand in Lombardy also. How utterly then did the oft-proposed plan, of depriving him of the supreme dignity, sink into nothingness: he was stronger than ever in Italy. The Pope was fortunate in not having joined the allies more closely; the relations of the States of the Church with Tuscany made a union with the Emperor necessary; he had a horror of a new quarrel with him. And as the Emperor now took up the interests of his mother's sister in the most earnest manner, and protested against proceeding by a Commission granted for England, the Pope could not possibly let the affair go on unchecked. When the English ambassadors pressed him, he exclaimed to them (for apart from this he would gladly have shown more favour to the King) that he felt himself as it were between anvil and hammer. Divers proposals were made, one more extraordinary than the other, if only the King would give up his demand30; but this was no longer possible. The two cardinals, Campeggi and Wolsey, had to begin judicial proceedings: King and Queen appeared before the Court, Articles were put forward, witnesses heard: the Correspondence shows that the King and Anne Boleyn expected with much confidence a speedy and favourable decision31. Wolsey too did not yet abandon this hope. It was thought at the time that he did not do all he might have done for it, that in fact he no longer favoured it, seeing as he did that it would turn out to the advantage of his rivals32. But it was in truth his fate, that the consequences of the design which originated with him recoiled on his own head. If it succeeded, it must be disadvantageous to him: if it failed, he was lost. The exhortations he addressed to the French Court, to exert yet once more its whole influence with the Papal Court for this matter, sound like a cry of distress in extreme peril. He had only undertaken it to unite France and England; the thing was reasonable and practicable, the Pope would not wish by refusing it to offend both crowns at once; he would value it more highly than if he himself were raised to the Papacy. But he had now to find that King Francis?, as well as Pope Clement?, was seeking a separate peace with the Emperor. Wolsey had given Henry the strongest assurances on this point, that such a thing would never happen, France would never separate herself from him. But yet this now happened, and how could any influence from that quarter on the Roman Court be still expected in favour of England, in a matter which was so highly offensive to the Emperor! The legates received from Rome distinct instructions to proceed slowly, and in no case to pronounce a decision33. While King Henry and those around him were eagerly expecting it, the cardinals (using the holidays of the Roman Rota as a pretence) announced the suspension of their proceedings.
It appeared in an instant into what a violent ebullition of wrath, which unsettled every thing, the King fell in consequence; it seemed as if all his past way of governing had been a mistake. In contradiction to many of the older traditions of English history he had hitherto ruled chiefly through ecclesiastics to the disgust of the lay lords: now he betook himself to the latter, to complain of the proceedings of the two cardinals. These were still in the hall where they had sat, when Suffolk and some other lords appeared, and bade them bring the matter to an end without delay, even if it were by a peremptory decree, that might be issued on the next day, on which the holidays would not have begun. But the prorogation was in fact only the form under which the cardinals fulfilled their orders from Rome; they could not possibly recall it. Suffolk broke out into the exclamation that cardinals and legates had never brought good to England. The two spiritual lords looked at each other with amazement. Had they any feeling that his words contained a declaration of war on the part of the lay element in the State against ecclesiastical and foreign influences in general? Wolsey, at any rate, could not shut his eyes to the significance of such a war. He often said that what Henry VIII took in hand he could not be brought to give up by any representations; he had sometimes tried it, he had fallen at his feet, but it had been always in vain.
Henry contained himself yet a while, as hopes had been given him that the proceedings might be resumed. But when a Breve [sealed document]came, by which Clement VII recalled his Commission and evoked the question of the divorce to Rome, he saw clearly that the influence of the Emperor in the Pope's Council had quite gained the upper hand over his own on this point. He was resolved not to submit to it. Had he not, before the mayor and aldermen of London, declared with a certain solemnity his resolution to carry through the divorce for the good of the land? his passion and his ambition had joined hands for this purpose before the eyes of the country. To prevent the need of recoiling, he formed a plan of incalculable importance, the plan of separating his nation and his kingdom from the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman See.
Already at Orvieto Stephen Gardiner? had told the Pope that, if the King did not obtain justice from him, he would do himself justice in his own kingdom. Later it was plainly declared to the Pope that, if they saw the Emperor had the ascendancy in his Council, the nobility of England with the King at their head would feel themselves compelled to cast off obedience to Rome. It seems as though the Roman Court however had no real fear of this. For the King, so they said, would do himself most damage by such a step34. The Papal Nuncio? declared himself positively convinced, that it was necessary to deal with the English sharply and forcibly, if one would gain their respect.
But these tendencies were more deeply rooted among the English than was remembered at Rome. They went back as far as the Articles of Clarendon, the projects of King John, the antipapal agitation under Edward III; the present question which involved an exceptionable and personal motive, exposed to public disapprobation, nevertheless touched on the deepest interests of the country. The wish to make the succession safe was perfectly justifiable. According to Clement VII's own declarations, the English were convinced that he was only hindered by regard for the Emperor from coming to a decision which was essential to them. His vacillation is very intelligible, very natural: but it did not correspond to the idea of the dignity with which he was clothed. There was to be an independent supreme Pontiff for this very reason, that right might be done in the quarrels of princes, without respect of persons, according to the state of the case. It clashed with the idea of the Papacy that alterations of political relations exercised such a decisive influence as they did in this matter. There was indeed something degrading for the English in their being made to feel the reaction of the Emperor's Italian victory, and his preponderance, in their weightiest affairs.
Henry VIII had now made up his mind to throw off that ecclesiastical subjection, which was politically so disadvantageous; the circumstances were very favourable. It was the time at which some German principalities, and the kingdoms of the North, had given themselves a constitution which rested on the exclusion of the hierarchic influences of Rome: the King could reckon on many allies in his enterprise. Moreover he had no dangerous hostilities to fear, as long as the jealousy lasted between the Emperor and King Francis. Between them Henry VIII needed only to revert to his natural policy of neutrality.
And the accomplishment of the affair was already prepared in the country itself, through no one more than through Cardinal Wolsey.
The dignity of legate, which was granted him by Pope Leo, and then prolonged for five, for ten years, and at last for life, gave him a comprehensive spiritual authority. He obtained by it the right of visiting and reforming all ecclesiastical persons and institutions, even those which possessed a legal exemption of their own. Some orders of monks, which contended against it, were reduced to obedience by new bulls. But from the visitation of the monasteries Wolsey proceeded to their suppression: he united old convents (such as that one which has brought down to recent times the name of an Anglo-Saxon king's daughter, Frideswitha, from the eighth century) with the splendid colleges which he endowed so richly, for the advancement of learning and the renown of his name, at Oxford and at Ipswich. His courts included all branches of the ecclesiastical and mixed jurisdiction, and the King had no scruple in arming him with all the powers of the crown which were necessary for the government of the Church. What aspirations then arose are shewn by the compact which Wolsey made with King Francis I to counteract the influence which the Emperor might exert over the captive Pope. When it was settled in this, that whatever the cardinal and the English prelates should enact with the King's consent should have the force of law, does not this imply at least a temporary schism?
When Clement became free, he named Wolsey his Vicar-General for the English Church: his position was again to be what it had been from the beginning, the expression of the unity between the Pope and the Crown. But now how if this were dissolved? The victorious Emperor exercised a still greater influence over the Pope when free than he had ever done over him when captive. Under these circumstances Wolsey submitted to the supreme spiritual power, the King resolved to withstand it: it was exactly on this point that open discord broke out between them. For a time the cardinal seemed still to maintain his courage; but when on St. Luke's day—the phrase ran that the evangelist had disevangelised him—the great seal was taken from him, he lost all self-reliance. Wolsey was not a Ximenes? or a Richelieu?. He had no other support than the King's favour; without this he fell back into his nothingness. He was heard to wail like a child: the King comforted him by a token of favour, probably however less out of personal sympathy than because he could not be yet quite dispensed with35. The High Treasurer, Norfolk?, who generally acted as first minister, received the seals, and held them till some time afterwards Thomas More? was named Chancellor. While these administered affairs in London, Suffolk?, as President of the Privy Council, was to accompany the King in person. The chief direction of the administration passed over to the two leading lay lords.
Henry VIII's resolution to call the Parliament together was of almost greater importance for the progress of events than the alteration in the ministry.
During the fourteen years of his administration Wolsey had summoned Parliament only once, and that was when, in order to carry on the war in alliance with the Emperor against France, he needed an extraordinary grant of money. But his opening discourses were received with silence and dislike. Never, says a contemporary who was present, was the need of money more pressingly represented to a Parliament and never was there greater opposition; after a fortnight's consultation the proposal only passed at a moment when the members of the King's household and court formed the majority of those present36. The Parliament and the country always murmured at Wolsey's oppressive and lavish finance management37; a later attempt to raise taxes that had not been voted doubled the outcry against him. His fall and the convocation of a Parliament seemed a return to parliamentary principles in general, which in themselves exactly agreed with the view taken by the King in the present questions.
In the first years of Henry VIII the Parliament had wished to do away with some of the most startling exemptions of the clergy from the temporal jurisdiction, for instance in reference to the crimes of felony and murder; the ecclesiastics had on the other hand extended their jurisdiction yet further, even to cases that had reference solely to questions of property. Hence the antagonism between the two jurisdictions had revived at that time with bitter keenness. It is noticeable that the temporal claims were upheld by a learned Minorite [Franciscan] Henry Standish?, who declared it to be quite lawful to limit the ecclesiastical privileges for the sake of the public good; especially in the case of a crime that did not properly come before any spiritual court. Both sides then applied to the King: the ecclesiastics reminded him that he ought to uphold the rights of Holy Church, the laymen that he should maintain the powers of jurisdiction belonging to the crown. The King's declaration was favourable to the laymen; he recommended the clergy to acquiesce in some exceptions from their decretals. But the contest was rather suspended than decided. Wolsey's government followed, in which the spiritual courts extended their powers still further, and in reality exercised an offensive control over all the relations of private life. Even the ecclesiastics did not love his authority: they acquiesced in it because it was ecclesiastical: the laity endured it with the utmost impatience.
It was inevitable that at the first fresh assembly of a Parliament these contests about jurisdiction should be mentioned. The Lower House began its action with a detailed charge against the spiritual courts, not merely against their abuses and the oppression that arose from them, but against their very existence and their legislation; the clergy made laws without the King's foreknowledge, without the participation of any laymen, and yet the laity were bound by them. The King was called on to reconcile his subjects of the spiritual and temporal estate with each other by good laws, since he was their sole head, the sovereign lord and protector of both parties.
It was a slight phrase38 'the sole head of his subjects spiritual and temporal,' but one of the weightiest import. The very existence of the clergy as an order had hitherto depended precisely on their claim to a legislative power independent of the temporal supremacy as being their original right: on its universal maintenance rested the Papacy and its influence on the several countries. Were the clergy now to leave it to the King, who however only represented the temporal power, to adjust the differences between their legislation and that of the state? Were they, like the laity, virtually to recognise him as their Head?
It is clear that they would thus sever themselves from the great union under one spiritual Head, from the constitution of the Latin Church. Whoever it was that introduced the word 'Head,' no doubt had this in view. The King and the laity took it up, they wished only to induce the clergy themselves to come to a resolution in this sense.
The chief motive which was to serve this purpose is connected with the lordship which the Popes possessed in England in the thirteenth century, or rather with the reaction against it which went on throughout the fourteenth. This is most distinctly expressed in the statutes of 1393, which threatened with the severest penalties all participation in any attempt, to the injury of the King's supremacy, to obtain a church-benefice from Rome; and this too even where the King had given his consent to it. Clergy and laity were thus allied against the encroachments of the Roman Curia. Wolsey was now accused of having transgressed this statute39: he had in virtue of his legatine power given away benefices, and established a jurisdiction by which that of the King was encroached on; he was found guilty of this in regular form. He anticipated the full effect of this sentence by submitting without any defence and surrendering all his property to the King. It was then that York House in Westminster, with its gardens and the land adjoining, the Whitehall of later times, passed into the possession of the crown40. He still kept his archbishopric; we find him soon after at Caywood, the palace belonging to it, and in fact even busied once more with his buildings. At times the King again thought of his old counsellor, and to many it quite seemed as though he might yet recover power. In those days the general belief was, that Anne Boleyn had exerted her whole influence against it. But most of the other persons of distinction in court and state were also opposed to Wolsey. Did he then really, as was imputed to him, try to gain a party among the clergy, and move the Pope to pronounce excommunication against the King?41 A pretext at any rate was found for arresting him as a traitor: but as he was being brought to the Tower, he died on the way. He wished, so far as we know, to starve himself to death; it was at that time supposed that in his wish to die he was aided by help from others.
Neither for his mental nor for his moral qualities can Wolsey be reckoned among men of the first rank; yet his position and the ability which he showed in it, his ambition and his political plans, what he did and what he suffered, his success and his fall, have won him an imperishable name in English history. His attempt to link the royal power with the Papacy by the closest ties rent them asunder for ever. No sooner was he dead than the clergy became subject to the Crown—a subjection which could forebode nothing less than this final rupture.
The whole clergy was so far involved in Wolsey's guilt that it had supported his Legatine Powers, and so had shared in the violation of the statutes. It shows the English spirit of keeping to the strict letter of the law, that the King, though he had for years given his consent and help in all this, now came forward to avenge the violation of the law. To avert his displeasure the Convocation of Canterbury was forced to vote him a very considerable sum of money, yet even this did not satisfy him. Rather it seemed to him the fitting and decisive moment for forcing the clergy, conformably with the Address of the Commons, to accept the Anglican point of view. He demanded from Convocation the express acknowledgment that they recognised him as the Protector and the Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England; he commanded the judges not to issue the Act of Pardon unless this acknowledgment were at once incorporated with the bill for the money payment. It is not hard to see what made him choose this exact moment for so acting; it was the serious turn which the affair of his Divorce had taken at Rome. He had once more made application to the Curia to let it be decided in England; the Cardinals discussed the point in their Consistory, Dec. 22, 1530, but resolved that the question must come of right before the Assessors of the Rota, who should afterwards report on it to the Sacred College42. What their sentence would be was the less doubtful, since the Curia was now linked closer than ever with the Emperor, who had just closed the Diet of Augsburg in the way they wished, and was now about to carry out its decrees. The traces of a new alliance with Rome, which was imputed to Wolsey as an act of treason, must have contributed to the same result. The King wished to break off this connexion by a Declaration, which would serve him as a standing-ground later on, and show the Court of Rome that he had nothing to fear from it. On Feb. 7, 1531, the King's demand was laid before both Houses of Convocation. Who could avoid seeing its decisive significance for the age? The clergy, which had without much trouble agreed to the money-vote, nevertheless strove long against a Declaration which altered their whole position. But a hard necessity lay on them. In default of the Pardon, which, as the judges repeatedly assured them, depended on this Declaration, they would have found themselves out of the protection of the King and the Law They sent two bishops, to get the King's demand softened by a personal appeal; Henry VIII refused to hear them. They proposed that some members of both Houses should confer with the Privy Council and the judges; the answer was that the King wished for no discussion, he wanted a clear answer. Thus much however they ascertained, that the King would be content with a mode of statement in which he was unconditionally recognised as the protector and sovereign of the Church and clergy of England, but as its supreme head only so far as religion allows. This was comprehended in the formula in so far as is permitted by the law of Christ, an expression which men might assent to on opposite grounds. Some might accept it from seeing in it only the limitation which is set to all power by the laws of God; others from thinking that it excluded generally the influence of the secular power on what were properly spiritual matters. When the clause was laid before them, at the morning sitting of Feb. 11, it was received with an ambiguous silence; but on closer consideration, it was so evidently their only possible resource, that in the afternoon, first the Upper House of Convocation, and then the Lower, gave their consent. Then the King accepted the money-bill, and granted them in return the Act of Pardon44.
The clergy had yet other causes for seeking the King's protection. The writings of the Reformers, which attacked good works and vows, the Mass and the Priesthood, and all the principles on which the ecclesiastical system rested, found their way across the Channel, and filled men's minds in England also with similar convictions. The only safeguard against them lay in the King's power; his protection was no empty word, the clergy was lost if it drew on itself Henry's aversion, which was now directed against the Papal See.
The heavy weight of the King's hand and the impulse of self-preservation were however not the only reasons why they yielded. It is undeniable that the conception of the Universal Church, according to which the National Church did but form part of a larger whole, was nearly as much lost among the clergy as among the laity. In the Parliament of 1532 Convocation had presented a petition in which they desired to be released from the payments which had been hitherto made to the supreme spiritual authority, especially the annates and firstfruits. The National Church was the existing, immediate authority—why should they allow taxes to be laid on them for a distant Power, a Power moreover of which they had no need? As the bishops complained that this injured their families and their benefices, Parliament calculated the sums which Rome had drawn out of the country on this ground since Henry VII's time, and which it would soon draw at the impending vacancies; what losses the country had already suffered in this way, and would yet suffer45.
The tendency of men's minds in this direction showed itself also in the understanding come to on the chief question of all.
Parliament renewed its complaints of the abuses in the ecclesiastical legislation, and learned men brought out clearly the want of any divine authority to justify it; at last the bishops virtually renounced their right of special legislation, and pledged themselves for the future not to issue any kind of Ordinance or Constitution without the King's knowledge and consent. A revision of the existing canons by a mixed commission, under the presidentship of their common head, the King, was to restore the unity of legislation.
The clause was then necessarily omitted by which the recognition of the Crown's supremacy over the clergy had been hitherto limited. The defenders of the secular power put forth the largest claims. They said, the King has also the charge of his subjects' souls, the Parliament is divinely empowered to make ordinances concerning them also46.
So a consolidation of public authority grew up in England, unlike anything which had yet been seen in the West. One of the great statutes that followed begins with the preamble that England is a realm to which the Almighty has given all fulness of power, under one supreme head, the King, to whom the body politic has to pay natural obedience, next after God; that this body consists of clergy and laity; to the first belongs the decision in questions of the divine law and things spiritual, while temporal affairs devolve on the laity; that one jurisdiction aids the other for the due administration of justice, no foreign intervention is needed. This is the Act by which, for these very reasons, legal appeals to Rome were abolished. It was now possible to carry out what in previous centuries had been attempted in vain. All encroachments on the prerogative of the 'Imperial Crown' were to be abolished, the supreme jurisdiction of the Roman Curia was to be valid no longer; appeals to Rome were not only forbidden but subjected to penalties.
The several powers of the realm united to throw off the foreign authority which had hitherto influenced them, and which limited the national independence, as being itself a higher power.
As the oaths taken by the bishops were altered to suit these statutes, the King set himself to modify his coronation oath also in the same sense. He would not swear any longer to uphold the rights of the Church in general, but only those guaranteed to the Church of England, and not derogatory to his own dignity and jurisdiction; he did not pledge himself to maintain the peace of the Church absolutely, but only the concord between the clergy and his lay subjects according to his conscience; not, unconditionally, to maintain the laws and customs of the land, but only those that did not conflict with his crown and imperial duties. He promised favour only for the cases in which favour ought to find a place46.
How predominant is the strong feeling of aggrandisement, of personal right, and of kingly independence!
Henry VIII too regarded himself as a successor of Constantine the Great, who had given laws to the Church. True, said he, kings are sons of the Church, but not the less are they supreme over Christian men. Of the doctrines which came from Germany none found greater acceptance with him than this—that every man must be obedient to the higher powers. We possess Tyndale's book in which these principles are set forth; by Anne Boleyn's means it came into Henry's hands. That Pope Clement summoned him formally before his judgment-seat, he declared to be an offence to the Kingly Majesty. Was a Prince, he exclaims, to submit himself to a creature whom God had made subject to him; to humble himself before a man who, in opposition to God and Right, wished to oppress him? It would be a reversal of the ordinance of God47.
Whilst we follow the questions which here come into discussion—on the relations of Church and State, the rights of nations and kings—questions of infinite importance for this as for all other states, we almost lose sight of the affair of the Divorce, which had been the original cause of quarrel, and which had meanwhile moved on in the direction given it once for all. Pope Clement restrained himself as much as possible, he still more than once made advances to the King and offered him conciliatory terms; but the King had already gone too far in his separation from Rome to be able to accept them. At the beginning of 1533 he celebrated his marriage with Anne Boleyn privately. He had once, when he was still waiting for the Pope's decision, tried to influence it by favourable opinions of learned theologians48. With this view he had applied to the most distinguished universities in Italy and Germany, in France and in England itself; and managed to obtain a large number of decisions, by which the Pope's right of dispensation was denied; and this in spite of the constant efforts in various ways of the Imperial agents; even the two mother-universities, Bologna and Paris, had declared in his favour. He protested that he had been thereby enabled in his conscience to free himself from the yoke of an unlawful union, bordering on incest, and to proceed to another marriage. But all the more urgent was it that the legality of this marriage should be recognised according to the forms at that time lawfully valid. He no longer wished for a recognition from the Pope; he laid the question before the two Convocations of the English Church-provinces. For the general course of Church history we must admit it to be an event of the highest significance, that they dared to pronounce the dispensation of Pope Julius II invalid according to God's law. The authority hitherto regarded as the expression of God's will on earth was found guilty, by the representatives of the Church of one particular country, of transgressing that will. It now followed that the King's marriage, concluded on the strength of that dispensation, was declared by the Archbishop's? court at Canterbury null and void, and invalid from the beginning. Catharine was henceforth to be treated no longer as Queen but only as still Princess-dowager.
She was unable to realise the things that were happening around her. That she was expected to renounce her rank as Queen awoke in her quite as much astonishment as anger. 'For she had not come to England,' she said, 'on mercantile business at a venture, but according to the will of the two venerated kings now dead: she had married King Henry according to the decision of the Holy Father at Rome: she was the anointed and crowned Queen of England; were she to give up her title, she would have been a concubine these twenty-four years, and her daughter a bastard; she would be false to her conscience, to her own soul, her confessor would not be able to absolve her.' She became more and more absorbed in strict Catholic religious observances. She rose soon after midnight, to be present at the mass; under her dress she wore the habit of the third order of S. Francis; she confessed twice and fasted twice a week; her reading consisted of the legends of the saints. So she lived on for two years more, undisturbed by the ecclesiastico-political statutes which passed in the English Parliament. Till the very end she regarded herself as the true Queen of England.
Immediately after the sentence on Catharine followed Anne's coronation, which was performed with all the ancient ceremonial, all the more carefully attended to because she was not born a princess. On the Thursday before Whitsuntide? she was escorted from Greenwich by the Mayor and the Trades of London, in splendidly adorned barges, with musical instruments playing, till she was greeted by the cannon of the Tower. The Saturday after she went in procession through the City to Westminster. The King had created eighteen knights of the Order of the Bath. These in their new decorations, and a great part of the nobility, which felt itself honoured in Anne's elevation, accompanied her49: she sat on a splendid seat, supported by and slung between horses: the canopy over her was borne by the barons of the Cinque Ports; her hair was uncovered, she was charming as always, and (it appears) not without a sense of high good fortune. On Sunday she was escorted to Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury? and six bishops, the Abbot of Westminster? and twelve other abbots in full canonicals: she was in purple, her ladies in scarlet, for so old custom required; the Duke of Suffolk? bore the crown before her, which was placed on her head by the hands of the archbishop. Nobles and commons greeted her with emulous devotion, the ecclesiastics joined in; they expected from her an heir to England.—Not a son, but a daughter, Elizabeth?, did she then bear beneath her heart.
Anne's coronation was at the same time the complete expression of the revolt of the nation collectively from the Roman See: it is noteworthy that Pope Clement VII, in his all-calculating and temporising policy, even then reserved to himself the last word. As he had once yielded to the Emperor, to conclude his peace with him, so now again—for he did not wish to be entirely dependent on him—he had entered into close relations with King Francis, who on his side saw in the continuance of his union with England one of the conditions of his position in Europe. The political weight of England reacted indirectly on the Pope: he indeed annulled Archbishop Cranmer's decision, but he could not yet bring himself to take a further step, often as he had promised the Emperor and pledged himself in his agreements to do so50. Charles V supplied his ambassador at Rome with yet another means to advance (as he expressed himself) the decision of the proceedings with the Pope and with the Holy See—for he made a distinction between them. The Pope inquired of him what, after this had ensued, would then be done to carry it out. The Emperor answered, his Holiness should do what justice pledged him to do, what he could not omit if he would fulfil his duty to God and the world, and maintain his own importance; this must come first, the Church must use all its own means before it called in the temporal arm: but if the matter came to that point, he would not fail to do his part; to declare himself explicitly beforehand might excite religious scruples51. And however much the policy of the Pope might waver, there could be no doubt about the decision of the Rota. On the 23 March 1534 one of the auditors, Simonetta?, bishop of Pesaro, made a statement on the subject in the consistory of the cardinals: there were only three among them who demanded a further delay: all the rest joined without any more consideration in the decision that Henry's marriage with Catharine was perfectly lawful, and their children legitimate and possessed of full rights. The Imperialists held this to be a great victory, they made the city ring with their cries of 'the Empire and Spain'52[: yet even then the French did not give up the hope of bringing the Pope to another mind. But meanwhile in England the last steps were already taken.
King Henry reckons it as honourable to himself that he had not yielded to the offer of the Roman Court, made to him indirectly, to decide in his favour, but had set himself against its usurped jurisdiction, without being influenced by the proposal53, not for himself alone but in the interest of all kings. Yet once more had he laid the question before learned ecclesiastics, whether the Pope of Rome had any authority in England by divine right; as the University of Oxford declares, their theologians had searched for this through the books of Holy Scripture and its most approved interpreters; they had compared the places, conferred with each other on them and come at last to the conclusion, to answer the King's question unreservedly in the negative. The Cambridge scholars and both Convocations declared themselves in the same sense. On this the Parliament had no scruple in abrogating piece by piece the hierarchic-Romish order of things; it was nothing but a revocable right which they had hitherto borne with. The Annates were transferred to the crown; never more was an English bishop to receive his pallium from Rome. It was made penal to apply for dispensing faculties; with their abolition the fees usually paid for them also ceased. The oldest token of the devotion of the Anglo-Saxon race to the Roman See, the Peter's penny, was definitely abolished. Care was taken that for the appeal in the last resort, hitherto made to the Roman courts, there should be a similar court at home. On the other hand the King granted a greater freedom in the election of bishops, at least in its outward forms. The existing laws against heretics were confirmed, though those independent proceedings of the bishops which had been usual in the times of the Lancasters received some limitation. For the episcopal constitution and the old doctrine were to be retained: the wish was to establish an Anglo-Catholic Church under the supremacy of the crown. The King added to his titles the designation of 'Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England immediately under God.' The Parliament awarded him the right of Visitation over the Church in reference to abuses and even to errors, as well as the right of reforming them. For the exercise moreover of the Papal authority, which so far passed over to him, he had an example before him which he had only to follow. Wolsey for a series of years, as Legate of the Pope and then as his Vicar General, had administered the English Church by means of English courts: the unity of the English common-weal had been represented in his twofold power as legate and first minister; practically it was no violent change when the King himself now appointed a Vicar General who, empowered by him, exercised this authority without any reference to the Pope. It was an assistant of Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell?, who was at the same time Keeper of the Great Seal, who regulated the management of these affairs in a way not altogether new to him. From this point of view Wolsey represents exactly the man of the transition, who occupied the intermediate position in nationalising the English Church.
Though Henry VIII did not always follow in his father's footsteps, he was yet his genuine successor in the work he began. What the first Tudor achieved in the temporal domain, viz. the exclusion of foreign influence, that the second extended to spiritual affairs. The great question now was, whether the conflicting elements, in themselves independent but ceaselessly agitated by their connexion with the rest of Europe, would continue loyal to the idea of the common-weal; then even their opposition might become a new impulse and help to perfect the power of the State and the Constitution.
Among the results of these transactions in England that which most directly concerned the higher interests of the nation was the abolition, by a formal decision of Parliament, on religious grounds, of the hereditary title of the King's daughter by his Spanish Queen, and the recognition of the succession of Queen Anne's issue to the throne, even in the case of her having only the one daughter who had been meanwhile born. This does not depend so much on the actual measures taken as on the fact, that now, according to Wolsey's plan, the government had broken with the political system which had prevailed hitherto, and indeed in a sense that went far beyond his views. Not merely was a French alliance avoided; the separation from the Church of Rome was to become the basis of the whole dynastic settlement of England.
At home men felt most the harshness and violence of basing a political rule on Church ideas. The statute contains threats of the sharpest punishments against all who should do or write or even say anything against it: a commission was appointed, in which we find the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, which could require every one to take an oath of conformity to it. It was to be carried out with the full weight of English adherence to the law.
It was to this very statute that Bishop Fisher? of Rochester and Sir Thomas More? fell victims. They did not refuse to acknowledge the order of succession itself thus enacted, for this was within the competence of Parliament, but they would not confirm with their oath the reason laid down in the statute, that Henry's marriage with Catharine was against Scripture and invalid from the beginning. More ranks among the original minds of this great century: he is the first who learnt how to write English prose; but in the great currents of the literary movement he shrank back from the foremost place: after he had aided them by writings in the style of Erasmus, he set himself as Lord Chancellor of England to oppose their onward sweep with much rigour: he would not have the Church community itself touched. Of the last statute he said, it killed either the body if one opposed it, or the soul if one obeyed: he preferred to save his soul. He met his death with so lively a realisation of the future life, in which the troubles of this life would cease, that he looked on his departure out of it with all the irony which was in general characteristic of him. The fact that the Pope at this moment had named Bishop Fisher cardinal of the Roman Church seems to have still more hastened his execution. They both died as martyrs to the ideas by which England had been hitherto linked to the Church community of the West and to the authority of the Papacy.
If we turn our eyes abroad, the succession statute above all must have made a most disagreeable impression on the Emperor Charles V. He saw in it a political loss, an injury to his house, and indeed to all sovereign families, and a danger to the Church. With a view to opposing it, he formed the plan of drawing the King of France into an enterprise against England. He proposed to him the marriage of his third son, the Duke of Angouleme?, with the Princess Mary, who was recognised as the only lawful heiress of England by the Apostolic See, and whose claims would then accrue to this prince. And they would not be difficult, so he said, to establish, as a great part of the English abhorred the King's proceedings, his second marriage, and his divergence from the Church. At the same time the Emperor proposed the closest dynastic union of the two houses by a double marriage of his two children with a son and a daughter of Francis I. What in the whole world would he not have attained, if he had won over France to himself! His combination embraced as usual West and East, Church and State, Italian German and Northern affairs.
Perhaps the success of such a scheme was not probable; but independently of this, Henry VIII had good cause to prepare himself to meet the superior power of the Emperor, with whom he had so decidedly broken. As we have already hinted, he could have no want of allies in this struggle. It was under these circumstances that he entered into relations with the powerful demagogues who were then from their central position at Lubeck labouring to transform the North, and to sever it from all Netherlandish-Burgundian influence. But it was of still more importance to him to form an alliance with the Protestant princes and estates of Germany proper, who had gradually become a power in opposition to Pope and Emperor. In the autumn of 1535 we find English ambassadors in Germany, who attended the meeting of the League at Schmalkald, and the most serious negociations were entered on. Both sides were agreed not to recognise the Council which was then announced by the Pope, for the very reason that the Pope announced it, who had no right to do so. The German princes demanded an engagement that if one of the two parties was attacked, the other should lend no support to its enemy; for the King this was not enough; he wished, in case he was attacked, to be able to reckon on support from Germany in cavalry, infantry, and ships, in return for which he was ready to give a very considerable contribution to the chest of the League. It was even proposed that he should undertake the protection of the League54.
All this however was based on a presupposition, which could not but lead the English to further ecclesiastical changes. It was not a schism affecting the constitution and administration of justice, but a complete system of dissentient Church doctrines, with which Henry VIII came in contact. The German Protestants made it a condition of their alliance with England, that there should be full agreement between them as to doctrine.
We may ask whether this was altogether possible.
If we compare the Church movements and events that had taken place during the last years in Germany and in England, their great difference is visible at a glance. In Germany the movement was theological and popular, corresponding to the wants and needs of the territorial state; in England it was juridico-canonical, not connected with appeals to the people or with free preaching, but based on the unity of the nation. Though the German Diet had for a moment inclined to the Reform and had once even given it a legal sanction, it afterwards by a majority set itself against it: to carry it through became now the part of the minority, the Protesting party. In England on the contrary all proceeded from the plan of the sovereign and the resolutions of Parliament, in which the bishops themselves with few exceptions took part. Perhaps a more deep-seated ground of difference may be that the German bishops were more independent than the English, and that an Emperor was then ruling who, being at the same time King of Spain and Naples, troubled himself little about the unity of Germany in particular; while in England a newly-formed strong political power existed which made the national interests its own and upheld them on all sides.
Despite all this the English Schism had nevertheless a deep inner analogy with the German Reformation.
From the beginning the dispute as to jurisdiction was based on the historical point of view, on which Luther? too laid much stress. Standish?, who has been already mentioned, derived the right to limit the ecclesiastical prerogatives, from this among other grounds, that there were Christian churches in which they were altogether rejected, for instance the rule as to the celibacy of the clergy was not accepted by the Greeks. He inferred too, that, as no one disputed the claim of the Greek Church to be Christian, the conception of the universal Church must be different from that which Romanism asserts. Both countries also found the groundwork of the true church-community in Scripture. In the chief instance before them, that of the divorce, the German theologians were not of the same mind as the English; but both sides agreed in this, that there was a revealed will of God, which the ecclesiastical power might not contravene: the conviction took root that the Papacy did not represent the highest communion of men with divine things, but that this rested on the divine record alone. The use of Scripture had at last influenced various questions in England also. For abolishing the Annates it was argued that such an impost contradicts a maxim of the Apostle Paul; for doing away the Papal jurisdiction, that no place of Scripture justifies it. This is what was meant when the assertion that the Papacy is of divine right was denied. This becomes quite clear when Henry VIII instead of the previous prohibitions against distributing the Bible in the vernacular gave his licence for it. As he once declared with great animation, the advancement of God's word and of his own authority were one and the same thing55. The engraved title-page of the translation which appeared with his privilegium puts into his mouth the expression 'Thy word is a light to my feet.' The order soon followed to place a copy of the Book of books in every church: there every man might look into the disputed places, and convince himself, by this highest of codes, as to the rightfulness of the procedure that had been chosen.
But then it was impossible to stop at mere divergences of jurisdiction. The German interpretation of Scripture gained ground in every direction: a theological school grew up, though only here and there, which adhered to it more or less openly.
It must needs have had the greatest effect, that the followers of this view obtained a great number of bishoprics. The archbishopric of Canterbury had already fallen to the lot of a man who had completed his theological training in Germany: this very man, Thomas Cranmer?, had carried through the divorce; his was one of those natures which must have the support of the supreme power to help them to follow out their own views; as they then appear enterprising and courageous, so do they become pliant and yielding when this favour fails them; they do not shine through moral greatness, but they are well suited to preserve, under difficult circumstances, what they have once embraced, for better times. Hugh Latimer? was cast in a sterner mould; he actually dared, in the midst of the persecutions, to admonish the King, whose chaplain he was, of the welfare of his soul and his duty as King. However little this act effected for the moment, yet he may have thus contributed to enlighten the King (who now and then showed him personal goodwill) as to his title of 'Defender of the Faith.' Latimer was a fervent and effective preacher: he was made bishop of Worcester. Nicolas Shaxton?, Bishop of Salisbury, Hilsey? of Rochester, Bisham? of S. Asaph's and then S. David's, Goodrich? of Ely, were all disposed to Protestantism. Edward Fox? who had been named Bishop of Hereford, had at Schmalkald openly declared the Pope to be Antichrist, and assured the Protestants in the strongest manner of his sovereign's inclination to attach himself to their Confession. It was the grand union of these biblical scholars among the bishops, which in the Convocation of 1536 undertook to carry through the work of drawing their church nearer that of Germany. Latimer opened the war by a fervent sermon against image-worship, indulgences, purgatory, and other doctrines or rites which were at variance with the Bible. Cranmer proved that Holy Scripture contains all that is necessary for man to know for the salvation of his soul, and that tradition is not needed. The Bishop of Hereford communicated it, as an experience of his journey, that the laity everywhere would now be instructed only out of the Revelation. Thomas Cromwell, who took part in the sittings as the King's representative, lent them much support, and once brought with him a Scottish scholar who had just returned from Wittenberg, to combat the received doctrine of the Sacrament56. On the other side also stood men of weight and consideration, Lee? archbishop of York who had expressly opposed himself, together with his clergy, to the adoption of the King's new title, Stokesley? of London who broke a lance for the seven sacraments, Gardiner? of Winchester and Longland? of Lincoln who after contributing materially to the King's divorce nevertheless rejected any alteration in doctrine, Tonstall? of Durham, Nix of Norwich.
It seems as though the King, who was still busied in the Parliament itself with the confirmation of his church regulations, thought he detected in this party too much predilection for the Papacy. He found another motive in the necessity of having allies for the coming Council; he decisively took the side of Reform. Ten articles were laid before the Convocation in his name, the first five of which are taken from the Augsburg Confession or from the commentaries on it; as to these the Bishop of Hereford agreed with the theologians of Wittenberg. In them the faithful were referred exclusively to the contents of the Bible, and the three oldest creeds; only three sacraments were still recognised, Baptism, Penance, and the Lord's Supper. The real presence was maintained in them, in the words of those commentaries, and entirely in Luther's original sense57. But still this tendency was not yet so strong as to be able to make itself exclusively felt. In the following articles, the veneration, even the invocation, of saints, and no small part of the existing ceremonies, were allowed—though in terms which with all their moderation cannot disguise the rejection of them in principle. Despite these limitations the document contains a clear adoption of the principles of religious reform as they were carried out in Germany. It was subscribed by 18 bishops, 40 abbots and priors, 50 members of the lower house of Convocation: the King, as the Head of the Church, promulgated it for general observance. His vicegerent? in Church affairs commanded all the clergy entrusted with a cure of souls to explain the articles, and also at certain times to lay before the people the rightfulness of the abrogation of Papal authority. He required them to give warnings against image-worship, belief in modern miracles, and pilgrimages. Children were henceforth to learn the Lord's Prayer, the articles of the Creed, and the Ten Commandments in English58. It was the beginning of the Church service in the vernacular, which was rightly regarded as the chief means of withdrawing the national Church from Romish influence.
But Cromwell was also engaged in another enterprise, not less hostile and injurious to the Papacy.
As many of the great men in State and Church thought, so thought also the pious members of the monasteries and cloistered convents; they opposed the Supremacy, not as they said from inclination to disobedience, but because Holy Mother Church ordered otherwise than King and Parliament ordained59. The apology merely served to condemn them. In the rules they followed, in the Orders to which they belonged, the intercommunion of Latin Christianity had its most living expression; but it was exactly this which King and Parliament wished to sever. Wolsey had already, as we know, and with the help of Cromwell himself, taken in hand to suppress many of them: but in the new order of things there was absolutely no more place for the monastic system; it was necessarily sacrificed to the unity of the country, and at the same time to the greed of the great men.
But it cannot be imagined that innovations which struck so deep could be carried through without opposition. After all the efforts of the old kings to establish Christianity in agreement with Rome, after the victories of the Papacy when the kings quarrelled with it, and the violent suppression of all dissent, it was inevitable that the belief of the hierarchic ages, which is besides so peculiarly adapted to this end, had in England as elsewhere sunk deep into men's minds, and in great measure still swayed them. Was what had been always held for heresy no longer to merit this name because it was avowed by the ruling powers? In the northern counties neither the clergy nor the people would hear of the King's supremacy; they continued to pray for the Pope; Cromwell's injunctions were disregarded. It may be that horrible abuses and vices were prevalent in the cloisters, but all did not labour under such reproaches; many were objects of reverence in their own districts, and centres of hospitality and charity. It would have been wonderful if their violent destruction had not excited popular discontent. And this temper was shared by those who enjoyed the chief consideration in the provinces. Among the nobles there were still men like Lord Darcy of Templehurst?, who had borne arms against the Moors in the service of Isabella and Ferdinand: how offensive to them must innovations be which ran counter to all their reminiscences! The lords in these provinces were believed to have pledged their word to each other to suppress the heresies, as they called the Protestant opinions, together with their authors and abettors. The country people, who apprehended yet further encroachments, were easily stirred up to commotion; collections of money were made from house to house, and the strongest men of each parish provided with the necessary weapons: in the autumn of 1536 open revolt broke out. A lawyer, Robert Aske?, placed himself at its head; he set before the people all the damage that the suppression of the monasteries did to the country around, by diverting their revenues and abstracting their treasures. In a short time he had gained over the whole of the North. The city of York joined him; Darcy admitted him into the strong castle of Pomfret: in that broad county only one single castle still held out in its obedience to the government: then the neighbouring districts also were carried away by the movement: Aske saw an army of thirty thousand men around him. He took the road to London to, as he said, drive base-born men out of the King's council, and restore the Christian church in England: he called his march a 'Pilgrimage of Grace.' But when he came into contact with royal troops at Doncaster he paused; for it was not a war, which would cost the country too dear, but only a great armed remonstrance in favour of the old system that he contemplated. He contented himself with presenting his demands—suppression of heresies, restitution of the supreme charge of souls to the Pope, restoration of the monasteries, and in particular the punishment of Cromwell with his abettors, and the calling of a Parliament60.
When we consider that Ireland was in revolt, Cornwall in a state of ferment, men's Catholic sympathies stirred up by foreign princes, it is easy to understand how some voices in the King's Privy Council were raised in favour of concession. Henry VIII, a true Tudor, was not the man to give in on such a point. He upbraided the rebels in haughty words with their ignorance and presumption, and repeated that all he did and ordered was in conformity with God's law and for the interests of the country; but it was mainly by promising to call a Parliament at York that he really laid the gathering storm. But at the first breach of the law that occurred he revoked this promise61; if he had relaxed the maintenance of his prerogative for a moment, he exercised it immediately after all the more relentlessly. He at last got all the leaders of the revolt into his hands, and appeared to the world to be conqueror. But we cannot for this reason hold that the movement did not react upon him. His plan was not, and in fact could not be, to incur the hostility of his people or endanger the crown for the sake of dogmatic opinions. True, he held to his order that the Bible should be promulgated in the English tongue, for his revolt from the hierarchy, and demand of obedience from all estates, rested on God's written word: nor did he allow himself to swerve from the legally enacted suppression of the monasteries; but he abandoned further innovations, and an altered tendency displayed itself in all his proclamations. Even during the troubles he called on the bishops to observe the usual church ceremonies: he put forth an edict against the marriage of priests (although he had been inclined to allow it) from regard to popular opinion. The importation of books printed abroad, and any publication of a work in England itself without a previous censorship, were again prohibited. Processions, genuflexions, and other pious usages, in church and domestic life, were once more recommended. The sharpest edicts went forth against any dissent from the strict doctrine of the Sacrament and against any extreme variations in doctrine. The King actually appeared in person to take part in confuting the misbelievers. He would prove to the world that, he was no heretic.
It had also already become evident that no invasion by the Emperor was at present impending. Soon after his overtures to the King of France, Charles V perceived that he could not win him over to his side. In the Spanish Council of State they took it into consideration that Henry VIII, if anything was undertaken against him, would at all times have the King of France on his side, and in his passionate temperament might be easily instigated to take steps which they would rather avoid62. After Catharine's death they made mutual advances, which it is true did not bring about a good understanding, but yet excluded actual hostilities. It would only disturb our view if we were here to follow one by one the manifold fluctuations in the course of these political relations and negociations. One motive in favour of peace under all circumstances was supplied by the ever-growing commerce between England and the Netherlands, on which the prosperity of both countries depended, and the destruction of which would have been injurious to the sovereigns themselves. When, some time after, the prospect of an alliance with France against England was presented to him by the interposition of the new Pope, Paul III?, Charles declined it. He remarked that the German Protestants, to whom his attention must be mainly directed, would be strengthened by it63. At the most an interruption of this system could only be expected in case civil disturbances in England invited the Emperor to make a sudden attack. Once it even appeared as if a Yorkist movement might be combined with the religious agitation. A descendant of Edward IV, the Marquis of Exeter?, formed the plan of marrying the Princess Mary, and undertaking the restoration of the old church system. He found much sympathy in the country for this plan; the co-operation of the Emperor with him might have been very dangerous.
Henry lost no time in fortifying the harbours and coasts against such an attack.
But the chief means of preventing all dangers of this kind lay in cutting from under them the ground on which they rested. Henry VIII was not minded to yield a jot of the full power he had inherited: on the contrary his supremacy in church matters was confirmed in 1539 by a new act of Parliament: another finally ordained the suppression of the greater abbeys also, whose revenues served to endow some new bishoprics, but mainly passed into the possession of the Crown and the Lords: the unity of the Church and the exclusive independence of the country were still more firmly established. But the more Henry was resolved to abide by his constitutional innovations, the more necessary it seemed to him, in reference to doctrine, to avoid any deviation that could be designated as heretical. And though he some years before made advances to the Protestants because he needed their support against the Emperor and the Pope, things were now on the contrary in such a state that he could feel himself all the safer, the less connexion he had with the Germans. Under quite different auspices of home and foreign politics was the religious debate, that had led in 1536 to the Ten Articles, resumed three years later. The bishops who held to the old belief were as steady as ever and, so far as we know, bound together still more closely by a special agreement. They knew how to get rid of the old suspicion of their having thought of restoring the Papal supremacy and jurisdiction, by showing complete devotion to the King. On the other hand the Protestants had suffered a very sensible loss in Bishop Fox of Hereford, who had always possessed much influence over the King, but had died lately. An understanding between the two parties on questions which were dividing the whole world was not to be thought of; they confronted each other as irreconcilable antagonists. The debates were transferred on Norfolk's proposal to Parliament and Convocation; at last it was thought best that each of the two parties should bring in the outline of a bill expressing its own views. This was done: but first both bills were delivered to the King, on whose word, according to the prevailing point of view, the decision mainly depended. We may as it were imagine him with the two religious schemes in his hand. On the one side lay progressive innovation, increasing ferment in the land, and alliance with the Protestants: on the other, change confined to the advantages already gained by the crown, the contentment of the great majority of the people, who adhered to the old belief, peace and friendship with the Emperor. The King himself too had a liking for the doctrines he had acknowledged from his youth. The balance inclined in favour of the bishops of the old belief: Henry gave their bill the preference. It was the bloody bill of the Six Articles, mainly, so far as we know, the work of Bishop Gardiner? of Winchester.
The doctrine of transubstantiation and all the usages connected with it, private masses and auricular confession, and the binding force of vows, were sanctioned anew; the marriage of priests and the giving the cup to the laity were prohibited; all under the severest penalties. The whole of the high nobility to a man agreed to it: the Lower House raised the resolutions of the clergy into law.
How completely did the German ambassadors, who had come over with the expectation of seeing the victory in England of the theologians who were friendly to them, find themselves deceived! They still however cherished the hope that these resolutions would never be carried out. Their ground for hope lay in the King's marriage with a German Protestant princess, which was just then being arranged.
Some years before Anne Boleyn had fallen a victim to a dreadful fate. How had the King extolled her shortly before his marriage as a mirror of purity, modesty and maidenliness! hardly two years afterwards he accused her of adultery under circumstances which, if they were true, would make her one of the most depraved creatures under the sun. If we go through the statements that led to her condemnation, it is difficult to think them complete fictions: they have been upheld quite recently. If on the other hand we read the letter, so full of high feeling and inward truthfulness, in which Anne protests her innocence to the King, we cannot believe in the possibility of the transgressions for which she had to die. I can add nothing further to what has been long known, except that the King, soon after her coronation, in November 1533, already showed a certain discontent with her64. Was it after all not right in the eyes of the jealous autocrat that his former wife's lady in waiting now as Queen wore the crown as well as himself? Anne Boleyn too might not be without blame in her demeanour which was not troubled by any strict rule. Or did it seem to the King a token of the divine displeasure against this marriage also, that Anne Boleyn in her second confinement brought a stillborn son into the world? It has been always said that the lively interest she took in the progress of the outspoken Protestantism, whose champions were almost all her personal friends, contributed most to her fall. For the house from which she sprung she certainly in this respect went too far. In the midst of religious and political parties, pursued by suspicion and slander, and in herself too tormented by jealousy, endangered rather than guarded by the possession of the highest dignity, she fell into a state of excitement bordering on madness.
On the day after her execution the King married one of her maids of honour, the very same who had awakened her jealousy, Jane Seymour?. She indeed brought him the son for whom his soul longed, but she died in her confinement.
In the rivalry of parties Cromwell after some time formed the plan of strengthening his own side by the King's marriage with a German princess; he chose for this purpose Anne of Cleves?, a lady nearly related to the Elector of Saxony, and whose brother as possessor of Guelders? was a powerful opponent of the Emperor. This was at the time when the Emperor on his way to the Netherlands paid a visit to King Francis, and an alliance of these sovereigns was again feared. But by the time his new wife arrived all anxiety had already gone by, and with it the motive for a Protestant alliance for the King had ceased. Anne had not quite such disadvantages of nature as has been asserted: she was accounted amiable65: but she could not enchain a man like Henry; he had no scruple in dissolving the marriage already concluded; Anne made no opposition: the King preferred to her a Catholic lady of the house of Howard. But the consequent alteration was not limited to the change of a wife. The hopes the Protestants had cherished now completely dwindled away: it was the hardest blow they could receive. Cromwell, the person who had been the main instrument in carrying out the schism by law, and who had then placed himself at the head of the reformers, was devoted to destruction by the now dominant party. He was even more violently overthrown than Wolsey had been. In the middle of business one day at a meeting of the Privy Council he was informed that he was a prisoner; two of his colleagues there tore the orders which he wore from his person, since he was no longer worthy of them66; that which had been the ruin of so many under his rule, a careless word, was now his own.
Now began the persecution of those who infringed the Six Articles, on very slight grounds of fact, and with an absence of legal form in proving the cases, that held a drawn sword over innocent and guilty alike. Bishops like Latimer? and Shaxton? had to go to the Tower. But how many others atoned for their faith with their life! Robert Barnes?, one of the founders of the higher studies at Cambridge, well known and universally beloved in Germany, who avowed the doctrines imbibed there without reserve, lost his life at the stake. For what the peasants had once demanded now again came to pass;—the heretics perished by fire according to the old statutes.
After some time a check was given to extreme acts of violence. Legal forms were supplied for the bloody laws, which softened their severity. To Archbishop Cranmer?, who was likewise attacked, the King himself stretched out a protecting hand. When he once more made common cause with the Emperor against France, and undertook a war on the Continent, he previously ordered the introduction of an English Litany, which was to be sung in processions. The fact that the Bible was read in the vernacular, and popular devotional exercises retained in use, saved the Protestant ideas and efforts, despite all persecution, from extinction.
It gives a disagreeably grotesque colouring to the government of Henry VIII to see how his matrimonial affairs are mixed up with those of politics and religion. Queen Catharine Howard?, whose marriage with him marked also the preponderance of the Catholic principle, was without any doubt guilty of offences like those which were imputed to her predecessor Anne: at her fall her relations, the leaders of the anti-Protestant party, lost their position and influence at court. The King then married Catharine Parr?, who had good conduct and womanly prudence enough to keep him in good temper and contentment. But she openly cherished Protestant sympathies; and she was once seriously attacked on their account. Henry however let her influence prevail, as it did not clash with his own policy.
Now that once the sanctity of marriage had been violated, the place of King's wife became as it were revocable; the antagonistic factions sought to overthrow the Queen who was inconvenient to them; that which has been at various times demanded of other members of the household, that they should be in complete agreement with the ruling system, was then required with respect to their wives, and indeed to the wife of the sovereign himself; the importance of marriage was now shown only by the violence with which it was dissolved.
This self-willed energetic sovereign however by no means so completely followed merely his own judgment as has been assumed. We saw how after Wolsey's? fall he at first inclined to the protestant doctrines, and then again persecuted them with extreme energy. He sacrificed, as formerly Empson? and Dudley?, so Wolsey and now Cromwell? to the public opinion roused against them. He recognised with quick penetration successive political necessities and followed their guidance. The most characteristic thing is that he always seemed to belong body and soul to these tendencies, however much they differed from each other: he let them be established by laws contradictory to each other, and insisted with relentless severity on the execution of those laws.
Under him, if ever, England appears as a commonwealth with a common will, from which no deviation is allowed, but which moves forward inclining now to the one side now to the other. It was no part of Henry VIII's Tudor principles and inclinations to call the Parliament together; but for his Church-enterprise it was indispensable. He gave its tendencies their way and respected the opinion which it represented: but at the same time he knew how to keep it at all times under the sway of his influence. Never has any other sovereign seen such devoted Parliaments gathered round him; they gave his proclamations the force of law, and allowed him to settle the succession according to his own views; they then gave effect to what he determined.
In this way it was possible for Henry VIII to carry through a political plan that has no parallel. He allowed the spiritual tendencies of the century to gain influence, and then contrived to confine them within the narrowest limits. He would be neither Protestant nor Catholic, and yet again both; an unimaginable thing, if it had only concerned these opinions: but he retained his hold on the nation because his plan of separating the country from the Papal hierarchic system, without taking a step further than was absolutely necessary, suited the people's views.
In the earlier years it appeared as though he would alienate Ireland by his religious innovations, since there Catholicism and national feeling were at one. And there really were moments when the insurgent chiefs in alliance with Pope and Emperor boasted that with French and Scotch help they would attack the English on all sides and drive them into the sea. But there too it proved of infinite service to him that he defended dogma while he abandoned the old constitution. In Ireland the monasteries and great abbeys were likewise suppressed; the O'Briens, Desmonds, O'Donnels, and other families were as much gratified as the English lords and gentlemen with the property almost gratuitously offered them. Under these circumstances they recognised Henry VIII as King of Ireland, almost as if they had a feeling of the change of position as regards public law into which they thus came: they received their baronies from him as fiefs and appeared in Parliament.
Towards the end of his life Henry once more drew the sword against France in alliance with the Emperor?. What urged him to this however was not the Emperor's interest in itself, but the support which the party hostile to him in Scotland received from the French. Moreover he did not trouble himself to bring about a decisive result between the two great powers: he was content with the conquest of Boulogne. He had reverted to his father's policy and resolved not to let himself be drawn over by any of his neighbours to their own interests, but to use their rivalry for his own profit and security67.
And he was able to do yet more than his father to increase England's power of defence against the one or the other. We hear of fifty places on the coast which he fortified, not without the help of foreign master-workmen: the two great harbours of Dover and Calais he put into good condition and filled them with serviceable ships. For a long time past he had been building the first vessels of a large size (such as the Harry and Mary Rose) which then did service in the wars68. It may be that the property of the monasteries was partly squandered and ought to have been better husbanded: a great part of their revenues however was applied to this purpose, and conferred much benefit on the country so far as its own peculiar interests were concerned.
The characteristic of his government consists in the mixture of spiritual and temporal interests, the union of violence with fostering care. The family enmities, which Henry VII had to contend with, are combined with the religious under Henry VIII, for instance in the Suffolk family: as William Stanley? under the father, so Fisher? and More? under the son, perished because they threw doubt on the grounds for the established right, and still more because they challenged that right itself. It raised a cry of horror when it was seen how under Henry VIII Papists and Protestants were bound together and drawn to the place of execution together, since they had both broken the laws. Who would not have been sensible of this? Who would not have felt himself distressed and threatened? Yet at the opening of the Session of 1542, after the Chancellor had stated in detail the King's services (who had taken his place on the throne), Lords and Commons rose and bowed to the sovereign in token of their acknowledgment and gratitude. In the Session of 1545 he himself once more took up the word. In fatherly language he exhorted both the religious parties to peace; a feeling pervaded the assembly that this address was the last they would listen to from him; many were seen to burst into tears.
For his was the strong power that kept in check the fermenting elements and set them a law that might not be broken. On their antagonism, by favouring or restraining them, he established his strong system of public order. In Henry VIII we remark no free self-abandonment and no inward enthusiasm, no real sympathy with any living man: men are to him only instruments which he uses and then breaks to pieces; but he has an incomparable practical intelligence, a vigorous energy devoted to the general interest; he combines versatility of view with a will of unvarying firmness. We follow the course of his government with a mingled sense of aversion and admiration.
The question arises, whether it was possible permanently to hold to Henry's stand-point, to his rejection of Papal influence and to his maintenance of the Catholic doctrines as they then were. I venture to say, it was impossible: the idea involves an historical contradiction. For the doctrine too had been moulded into shape under the influence of the supreme head of the hierarchy while ascending to his height of power: they were both the product of the same times, events, tendencies: they could not be severed from each other. Perhaps they might have been both modified together, doctrine and constitution, if a form had been found under which to do it, but to reject the latter and maintain the former in its completed shape—this was impracticable.
When it was seen that Henry could not live much longer, two parties became visible in the country as well as at court, one of which, however much it disguised it, was without doubt aiming at the restoration of the Pope's supremacy, while the other was aiming at a fuller development of the Protestant principle. Henry had settled the succession so that first his son Edward, then his elder daughter (by his Spanish wife), then the younger (by Anne Boleyn), were to succeed. As the first, the sovereign who should succeed next, was a boy of nine, it was of infinite importance to settle who during the time of his minority should stand at the helm. The nearest claim was possessed by the boy's uncle on the mother's side, Edward Seymour?, Earl of Hertford, who had begun to play a leading part in Henry's court and army, was in close alliance with Queen Catharine Parr, and like her cherished Protestant sympathies. But the Norfolks with their Catholic sympathies who had previously so long exercised a leading influence on the government, would not give way to him. Norfolk's son, the Earl of Surrey?, adopted the immoral plan of ensnaring the King, who though dying was yet supposed to be still susceptible to woman's charms, by means of his sister, in order to draw him back to the side of his family and the strict Catholics: a plot which failed at once when his sister refused to play such a part. The ambitious announcements into which he allowed himself to be hurried away could only bring about the opposite result: he himself was executed, his father thrown into prison, and the man who could have done most in the Catholic direction, Bishop Gardiner?, was struck out of the list of those who, after the King's death, were to form the Privy Council69. Immediately afterwards, January 1547, Henry died. He had composed the Privy Council of men of both tendencies in the hope, as it appears, that in this way his system would be most surely upheld. But men were too much accustomed to see the highest power represented in one leading personage, for it to continue long in the hands of a Board of Councillors. From the first sittings of the Privy Council Edward VI's uncle, the Earl of Hertford?, came forth as Duke of Somerset and Protector of the realm. In him the reforming tendency won the upper hand.
It appeared at once with full force at the Coronation, which was not celebrated at all after the form traced out by Henry VIII, since even this would have tied them far too much to the existing system; Cranmer?, in the discourse which he there addressed to the young King, departed in the most decided manner from all the ideas hitherto attached to a coronation. Whither had the times of the first Lancaster? departed, in which a special hierarchic sacredness was given to the anointing through its connexion with Thomas Becket?? Becket's shrine had been destroyed. The present Archbishop of Canterbury went back to the earliest times of human history: he brought forward the example of Josias?, who likewise came to the government in tender years—and extirpated the worship of idols: so might Edward VI also completely destroy image-worship, plant God's true service, and free the land from the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome; it was not the oil that made him God's anointed, but the power given him from on high, in virtue of which he was God's representative in his realm. His duty to the Church was changed into his duty to religion: instead of upholding the existing state of things, it at once pledges and empowers him to reform the Church70.
The great question now was, how an alteration could be prepared in a legal manner, and how far it would be possible to maintain in this the constitution of the realm in its relation to the states of Europe. On the ground of the supremacy and of a precedent of Henry VIII, they began with a resolution to despatch commissions throughout the realm, to revive the suppressed Protestant sympathies; the precedent was found in the ordinances that had once proceeded from Thomas Cromwell, just as if they had not in the least been annulled by what had happened since, but simply set aside by party feeling and neglect. They were to enquire whether, as therein ordered, the bishops had preached against the Pope's usurpation, the parish priests had taught men to regard not outward observances but fulfilment of duty as the real 'good works,' and had laboured to diminish feast-days and pilgrimages. Above all, images to which superstitious reverence was paid were at last to be actually removed: the young were to be really taught the chief points of the faith in English, a chapter of the Bible should be read every Sunday, and Erasmus' Paraphrase employed to explain it. In place of the sermon was to come one of the Homilies which had been published under the authority of the Archbishop and King. For this last ordinance also authority was found in an injunction of Henry VIII. Archbishop Cranmer, whose work they are, establishes in them the two principles, on which he had already proceeded in 1536, one that Holy Scripture contains all that it is necessary for men to know, the other that forgiveness of sins depends only on the merits of the Redeemer and on faith in Him. On this depends absolutely the possibility of rooting out of men's minds the belief in the binding force of Tradition, and the hierarchic views as to the merit of good works. The Archbishop's views were promoted by eloquent and zealous preachers such as Matthew Parker?, John Knox?, Hugh Latimer?; more than all by the last, who had been released from the Tower, weak in body but with unimpaired vigour of spirit. The fact of his having maintained these doctrines in the time of persecution, his earnest way and manner, and his venerable old age doubled the effect of his discourses.
No direct alteration could be thought of so long as the Six Articles still existed with their severe threats of punishment. In the Parliament elected under the influence of the new government it needed little persuasion to procure their repeal. The Protector? assured the members that he had been urgently entreated to effect this, since every man felt himself endangered71.
One of those popular beliefs gained ground, which are often more effective in great assemblies than elaborate proofs: the conviction that doctrine and authority were too closely akin for the separation from Rome to be maintained without deviation in doctrine; the breach must be made wider if it was to continue, and the hierarchic doctrines give way.
So it came about that by a unanimous resolution of Convocation, which Parliament confirmed, the alteration was approved, which almost more than any other characterises those Church formularies that deviate from the Romish, the administration of the communion in both kinds.
Now it was exactly from this that the transformation of the whole divine worship in England proceeded. The very next Easter (1548) a new form for the communion office was published in English. This was followed, according to a wish expressed by the young King, by a Liturgy for home and church use, in which the revised Litany of Henry VIII was also included. In this 'Common Prayerbook' they everywhere kept to what was before in use, but everywhere also made changes. The Reforming tendencies obtained the upper hand in reference to its doctrinal contents; thus even one of the rubrics previously in favour by which auricular confession was declared to be indispensable was now omitted; it was left to every man's judgment to avail himself of it or not. At times they again sought out what had been disused in later ages: they recurred to Anglo-Saxon usages. The Common Prayerbook is a genuine monument of the religious feeling of this age, of its learning and subtlety, its forbearance and decision. In the Parliament of 1549 it was received with admiration: men even said it was drawn up under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The order went forth for its adoption in all churches of the land, no other liturgy was to be used; it has nourished and edified the national piety of the English people72.
And just as it was now asserted that in all this they were only carrying out the views of the deceased King, as he had set them forth many years before and had at the last again proclaimed them, so now Somerset undertook to carry through another of his intentions as well, which was closely connected with his religious plans.
In 1542 Henry VIII had agreed with some of the most powerful nobles of Scotland that in that country too the Church should be reformed, all relations with France broken off, and the young Queen brought to England in order if possible to marry his son Edward at some future day. The scheme broke down owing to all kinds of opposition, but the idea of uniting England and Scotland in one great Protestant kingdom had thus made its appearance in the world and could never again be set aside. The ambition to realise it filled the soul of Somerset. When, before the end of the summer of 1547, he took up arms, he hoped to bring about an acknowledgment of England's old supremacy over Scotland, to prepare the way for the future union of both countries by the marriage, and to annihilate the party there which opposed the progress of Protestantism. A vision floated before him of fusing both nations into one by a union of dynasty and of creed. It was mainly from the religious point of view that his ward regarded the matter. 'They fight for the Pope,' wrote Edward to the Protector when he was already in the field, 'we strike for the cause of God, without doubt we shall win73.'
Somerset had already penetrated far into the land when he offered the Scots to retreat and make peace on the one condition that Mary should marry Edward VI. But the ruling party did not so much as allow his offer to be known. A battle took place at Pinkie, in which Somerset won a brilliant victory. Not a little did this victory contribute to establish his consequence in the world: even in Scotland some districts on the borders took the oath of fidelity to King Edward. But in general the antipathies of the Scotch to the English were all the more roused by it; they would hear nothing of a wooing, carried on with arms in the hand: the young Queen was after some time (August 1548) carried off to France, to be there married to the Dauphin. The Catholic interests once more maintained their ascendancy in Scotland over those of the English and the Protestants.
And how could Somerset's plans and enterprises fail to meet with resistance in England itself? All the elements were still in existence that had once set themselves in opposition to King Henry with such energy. When an attempt was made in earnest to carry out the innovations at home, in the summer of 1549, the revolt burst into flame once more.
In Cornwall a tumult arose at the removal of an image, and the King's commissary was stabbed by a priest. The troubles extended to Devonshire, where men forced the priests to celebrate the mass after the old ritual, and then took the field with crosses and tapers, and carrying the Host before them. When their numbers became so large as to embolden them to put forth a manifesto, they demanded before all—incredible as it may seem—the restoration of the Six Articles and the Latin Mass, the customary reverence to the Sacrament and to images. They did not go so far as to demand the restoration of the authority of the Roman See, like the rebels under Henry VIII; but they pressed for a fresh recognition of the General Councils, and of the old church laws as a whole. At least half of the confiscated church property was to be given back, two abbeys at least were to remain in each county. But this movement owed its peculiar character to yet another motive. The enclosures of the arable land for purposes of pasture, of which the peasantry had been long complaining, did not merely continue; the nobility, which took part in the secularisation of the church-lands in an increasing degree, extended its grasp also to the newly-gained estates. So it came to pass that a rising of the peasants against the nobles was now united with tendencies towards church restoration, as in previous times with ideas of quite a different kind. East and West were in revolt at one and the same time and for different reasons. On a hill near Norwich, the chief leader, a tanner by trade, called Ket?, took his seat under a great oak which he called the Oak of Reformation; he had the mass read daily after the old use: but he also planned a remodeling of the realm to suit the views of the people. The wildest expectations were aroused. A prophecy found belief according to which monarchy and nobility were to be destroyed simultaneously, and a new government set up under four Governors elected by the common people. And woe to him who wished to reason with the peasants against their design. They were already bending their bows against a preacher? who attempted to do so, he was only saved with difficulty. But they were still less capable this time of withstanding the organised power of the State than they had been under Henry VIII. In Devonshire they were beaten by Lord Russel?, the ancestor of the Dukes of Bedford; in Norfolk, where they had risen in the greatest force, by John Dudley Earl of Warwick?. Under his banners we find German troops as well, who were untouched by the national sympathies, and in the rebels combated only the enemies of Protestantism. The government obtained a complete victory.
The insurrectionary movement was suppressed, but it once more produced a violent reaction in home affairs, by which this time the head of the government was himself struck down74. Among English statesmen there is none who had a more vivid idea of the monarchical power than the Protector Somerset. He started from the view that religious and political authority were united in the hand of the anointed King in virtue of his divine right. The prayer which he daily addressed to God is still extant; it is full of the feeling that to himself, as the representative and guardian of the King, not only his guidance but also the direction of all affairs is entrusted. Such was also the view of the young sovereign himself. In one of his letters he thanks the Protector for taking this employment on him, and for trying to bring his State to its lawful obedience, the country to acknowledge the true religion, and the Scots to submission. Somerset did not think himself bound by the opinion of the Privy Council, since with him, and with no other, lay the responsibility for the administration of the State. He held it to be within his competence to remove at pleasure those of its members who showed themselves adverse to him. He too had that jealousy of power, which always directs itself against those who stand nearest to it. There is no doubt that his brother, Thomas Lord Seymour, impelled by a restless ambition, hoped to overthrow the existing government and put himself in possession of the highest place, and committed manifold illegal acts; he—the Lord Admiral of the realm—even entered into alliance with the pirates in the Channel75. But despite this it was thought at the time very severe when the Protector gave his word that the vengeance of the law should be executed on his brother. His reason was that Lord Seymour would not submit to sue in person for mercy to him the injured party and possessor of power. Such were these men, these brothers. The one died rather than pray for mercy: the other made the bestowal of it depend on this prayer, this confession of his supreme authority76. The Protector took all affairs, home and foreign, exclusively into his own hand. Without asking any one, he filled up the ministerial and civil posts: to the foreign ambassadors he gave audience alone. He erected in his house a Court of Requests77, which encroached not a little on the business of Chancery. The palace in the Strand, which still bears his name, was to be a memorial of his power; not merely houses and gardens, but also churches which occupied the ground, or from which he wished to collect his building materials, were destroyed with reckless arbitrary power. Great historical associations are indissolubly linked with this house. For it was Somerset after all, who through personal zeal opened a free path for the Protestant tendency which had originated under Henry VIII but had been repressed, and gave the English government a Protestant character. He connected with this not merely the Union of Scotland and England, but a yet further idea of great importance for England itself. He wished to free the change of religion from the antipathy of the peasantry which was at that time so prominent. In the above-mentioned dissensions he took open part for the demands of the commons: he condemned the progress of the enclosures and gave his opinion that the people could not be blamed so heavily for their rebellion, as their choice lay only between death by hunger and insurrection. It seemed as though he wished in the next Parliament by means of his influence to carry through a legal measure in favour of the commons.
But by this he necessarily awakened the ill will of the aristocracy. He was charged with having instigated the troubles themselves by proclamations which he issued in opposition to the Privy Council; and with not merely having done nothing to suppress them but with having on the contrary supported the ringleaders and taken them under his protection78. No doubt this was the reason why the campaign against the rebels in Norfolk was not entrusted to him, as he wished, but (after some vacillation) to his rival, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick. The victory gained by him, with the active sympathy of the nobility, which was defending its own interests, was a defeat for Somerset. Even those who did not believe that he had any personal share in the movement, nevertheless reproached him with having allowed conditions to be prescribed to himself and his government by the people; the common man would be King. Financial difficulties arising from an alteration in the coinage, and ill success in the war against France, contributed to give his opponents the ascendancy in the Privy Council. Somerset once entertained the idea of setting the masses in movement on his own behalf: one day he collected numerous bands of people at Hampton Court, under cover of summoning them to defend the King, by whose side his enemies wished to set up a regency. But this pretext had little foundation, it was only himself whom his rivals would no longer see at the head of affairs: after a short fluctuation in the relations between the main personages he was forced to submit. He saved his life for that time: after an interval he was released from prison and again entered the Privy Council: then he once more made an attempt to recover the supreme power by help of the people, but thus drew his fate on himself. The masses who regarded him as their champion showed him loud and heartfelt sympathy at his execution.
On Somerset's first fall it was said that the Emperor Charles V had a share in bringing it about, and this is very conceivable; for what result could be more displeasing to this sovereign than that Protestantism, which he was putting down in Germany, should have gained at the same moment a strong position in England: it is certain that the change of administration was greeted with joy by the court at Brussels79.
But it brought the Emperor no advantage. At the moment the new government assumed a hostile attitude towards France: but soon afterwards the Earl of Warwick, who now took the lead of affairs as Duke of Northumberland, found himself driven to the necessity of making a peace with that power, by which Boulogne was given up and Scotland abandoned to French influence. One article of the treaty contains indirectly a renunciation of the proposed marriage between the King of England and the Queen of Scotland. And this treaty was greatly to the Emperor's disadvantage, since it now set the French free to renew the hostility against him which had been broken off some years before by an agreement all in his favour. They allied themselves for this purpose with the German princes who found the Emperor's yoke intolerable. These princes had even applied to the English government: and Edward would personally have been much inclined to lend an ear to their proposals. If the fear of being involved in war with the Emperor on this account withheld him from open sympathy, yet it is certain that his general political attitude essentially contributed to enable them to take up arms and break the Emperor's ascendancy.
Among the determining causes of a movement which is part of the history of the world must be specially reckoned the personal disposition of this prince, young as he was even at the close of his reign. Somerset had kept him rather close: the Duke of Northumberland gave him greater freedom, allowed him to manage his own money, and was pleased when he made presents and showed himself as King; he was careful to see that immediate obedience was paid him80. Whilst Edward had been hitherto almost exclusively busied with his studies, he now turned to knightly exercises for which he also showed aptitude: he sat well on horseback, drew his bow and broke his lance as well as any other young man of his age. But with all this his learning was not neglected81. Edward VI not merely possessed for his years extraordinary and manifold attainments; the written remains which are extant from his hand display a rare mental growth. What he has written for instance on his connexion with the two Seymours, his uncles, indicates a clear and almost a judicial conception of existing relations, which is very uncommon. On his tutor's advice, to prevent his passing thoughts from getting confused, he regularly noted them down, and composed a diary which has the same characteristics and may be regarded as a valuable historical monument. But studies and religion coincide in him: he is Protestant to the core; his chief ambition is by means of his rank and power to place himself at the head of the Protestant world. The duke could not have ventured to oppose the progress of the Reformation.
In the days of distress, after the defeat in the Schmalkaldic war, England was regarded as the refuge of the gospel: men welcomed the scholars who fled thither, whose co-operation in the conflict with Catholicism, still so powerful, was very desirable. In Cranmer's palace at Lambeth were assembled Italians, French, Poles, Swiss, South Germans and North Germans; the Secretary of State, William Cecil?, who had been trained in the service of the Protector, but had kept his place after his fall, obtained them the King's support. Martin Bucer? and Paulus Fagius? received promotion at Cambridge, Peter Martyr? at Oxford: he there maintained the Calvinistic views on the communion in a great disputation. There were Walloon and French churches in the old centres of Catholic worship, Canterbury and Glastonbury; John a Lasco? preached in the church of the Augustines in London. With no less vigour than these foreigners did natives, sometimes returned exiles, maintain the views then prevailing on the Continent. Under these influences it was impossible, in conformity with the view taken up in 1536, to abide by the dogmas, which had been put forth by the school of Wittenberg, now completely overthrown. The difference comes out very remarkably when we compare the Common Prayer-book of 1549 with the revised edition of 1552. Originally men had held fast to the real presence in England also: Cranmer in his catechism expressly declared for it: in the formula of the first book, which was compiled out of Ambrose? and Gregory?, this view was retained82: but men in England had since convinced themselves that this doctrine had not prevailed so exclusively in Christian antiquity as had been hitherto thought: following the example of Ridley?, the most learned of the Protestant bishops, the majority had given up the real presence: in the new Common Prayer-book a controversial passage was even inserted against it. First on their own impulse, and then with the help of the Privy Council, the zealous Protestant-minded bishops removed the high altars from the churches and had wooden tables for the communion put in their place: since with the word Altar was associated the idea of Sacrifice.
It was now inevitable that the question from which all had started in England, as to the relation between State and Church, should be decided completely in favour of the secular principle. It is very true that Cranmer held fast to the objective view of the visible church. If the ceremonies were altered with which the Romish church imparts the spiritual consecration, yet in this respect only the mystical usages introduced in recent centuries were abandoned, and the ritual restored to the form used in more primitive times, especially in the African church. But it was surely a violent change, when those who wished to receive consecration were now previously asked, whether their inward call agreed both with the will of the Redeemer and the law of the land; they were required to assent to the principle that Scripture contains all which it is necessary for man to know, and to pledge themselves to guard against any doctrine not in conformity with Scripture. It is generally believed, and the fact is of lasting importance, that the Convocation of the clergy, a commission of the spiritualty, the Primate-Archbishop and a number of bishops, took part in the change; but yet the decisive decrees went forth from the Parliament, to which the spiritual power had been irrevocably attached since Henry VIII, and sometimes from the Privy Council alone. To establish a normal form of doctrine, men set to work to compose a Confession, which was completed at that time in forty-two Articles. There had been a wish that Melanchthon? should have come over in person to aid in composing it; at any rate his labours had much influence in deciding the shape it took. The Articles belong to the class of Confessions, as they were then framed in Saxony by Melanchthon, in Swabia by Brenz?, to be laid before the coming Council. And it is just in this that their value lies, that by them England attached herself most closely to the Protestant community on the Continent. They are the work of Cranmer, who was entrusted with their composition by the King and Privy Council, and communicated his labours first to the King's tutor, Cheke?, and the Secretary of State, Cecil?: in conjunction with them he next laid them before the King; with the assistance of some chaplains their final form was given them; then the Privy Council ordered them to be subscribed. The influence of the government on the nominations to the office of bishop was now still more open: the bishops were to hold office as long as they conducted themselves well,—in other words, as long as the ruling powers were content with them: the church jurisdiction was no longer administered in the name of the bishopric, but, like the temporal jurisdiction, in the King's name and under the King's seal; when they proceeded to revise the church laws, the primary maxim was, not to admit anything that contravened the temporal laws83. The use of the power of the keys was also derived by Cranmer from the permission of the sovereign. Against this ever-increasing dependence some bishops of the old views made a struggle; to avoid coming into direct conflict with the supremacy, which they had acknowledged, they put forth the assertion that it could not be exercised by a King under age; they connived at the mass being read in side-chapels of their cathedrals, or refused to allow the change of the altars into communion-tables, or kept alive the controversy as to the doctrine of faith. The government on their side persisted in enforcing uniformity. They brought all opponents before a commission consisting of secular as well as ecclesiastical dignities, which had no scruple in pronouncing the deprivation of the bishops: a fate which befell Gardiner? of Winchester, Bonner? of London, Day? of Chichester, Heath? of Worcester. In vain did they plead that the court before which they were brought was not a canonical one; the government appealed to the general rights of the temporal power as it had once been exercised by the Roman Emperors. In the conflict of church opinions the Protestant-minded prelates now had the upper hand. Many who did not conform bought toleration from the government by sacrifices of money and goods. Elsewhere the newly-appointed bishops assented to concessions which did not always profit even the crown, but sometimes, as at Lichfield, private persons84. Already the further question was discussed whether there is in fact any essential distinction between bishops and presbyters: a church of foreigners was set up in London, to present a pattern of the pure apostolic constitution as an example to the country. The government which had acquired such a thorough mastery over the clergy developed an open disinclination to the old forms of constitution in the church. Who could have said, so long as things remained in the path thus once entered upon, whither this would lead?
We can easily see how the power of the crown, founded by the first Tudor, and developed by the second through the emancipation from the Papacy, was further strengthened under the third. From Edward VI we have essays, in which he speaks about the spiritual and temporal government with the consciousness of a sovereign, whose actions depend only on himself. In the Homilies, which obtained legal sanction, there is found an express condemnation of resistance to the King, 'for Godes sake, from whom Kings are, and for orders sake.'
Whilst men were now expecting that Edward VI would arrive at manhood, and take the government completely into his own hands, and conduct it in the sense he had hitherto foreshadowed—not merely carrying out the Reformation thoroughly at home, but assuming the leadership of the Protestant world, symptoms appeared in him of the malady to which his half-brother Richmond? had succumbed at an early age. But how then if the same fate befell him? According to Henry VIII's arrangement Mary? was then to ascend the throne who, through her descent from Queen Catharine and from an inborn disposition which had become all the more confirmed by her opposition to her father and brother, represented the Catholic and Spanish interest. Nothing else could be expected but that she would employ the whole power of the State in support of her own views, would, so far as it could possibly be done, bring back the church to its earlier form, would depress the men who had hitherto played a great part by the side of the King and subject them to the opposite faction. But were they quietly to acquiesce in their fate?
The ambition of the Duke of Northumberland associated itself with the great interests of religion, to prevent the threatening ruin. He persuaded the young King that it lay in his power to alter his father's settlement of the succession, as in itself not conformable to law, neither Mary nor the younger sister Elizabeth being entitled to the throne, as the two marriages from which they sprang had been declared illegal, and a bastard could not be made capable of wearing the English crown by any act of Parliament. Henry VIII had in his settlement of the succession passed over the descendants of his elder sister?, married in Scotland, as foreigners, but acknowledged those of the younger, Mary of Suffolk?, as the next heirs after his own children. Mary's elder daughter Frances had married Henry Grey? of Dorset, who had already obtained the title of Suffolk, and had three daughters, the eldest of whom was Jane Grey?. It was to her, whom the Duke of Northumberland married to one of his sons?, that he now directed the King's attention, and induced him to prefer her to his sisters. Yet it was not so much to herself in person as to her male issue that Edward's attention was originally directed. Never yet had a Queen ruled in England in her own right, and even now there was a wish to avoid it. Edward arranged that, if he himself died without male heirs, the male heirs of Lady Frances, and if she too left none, then those of Lady Jane, should succeed. He hoped still to live till such an heir should be eighteen years old, in which case he could enter on the government immediately after himself. If his death occurred earlier, Jane was to conduct the administration during the interval, not as Queen but as Regent, and conjointly with a Council of government still to be named by him85. This Council of executors was to avoid all war, all other change, and especially not to alter the established religion in any point: rather it was to devote itself to completing the ecclesiastical legislation in conformity with that religion, and to the abolition of the Papal claims86. We see that Edward's view was, like that of many other sovereigns, to secure the continuance of his political and religious system of government for long years after his own death. The members of the Privy Council, before whom these arrangements were laid in the King's handwriting, promised on their oath and their honour to carry them out in every article, and to defend them with all their power87.
And if the affair had been undertaken in this manner, who could say that it might not have succeeded? Northumberland did not neglect to form a strong family interest in favour of the new combination that he designed. He married his own daughter to Lord Hastings?, who was descended from the house of York, and one of Jane's sisters? with the son? of the powerful Earl of Pembroke?. He could reckon on the support of the King of France, to whom the succession of a niece of the Emperor was odious, and on the consent of the Privy Council, which was in great part dependent on him; how could the Protestant feeling have failed to gain him a large party in the country, especially since something might be said for the plan itself.
But Edward VI's malady developed quicker than was expected. At the last moment he was further induced to award the succession not to the male heirs of Lady Jane, but to herself and her male heirs88. He died with the prayer that God would guard England from the Papacy.
Lady Jane Grey had hitherto devoted her days to study. For father and mother were severe and found much in her to blame: on the other hand quiet hours of inward satisfaction were given her by the instructions of a teacher, always alike kindly disposed, who initiated her into learning and an acquaintance with literature: bending over her Plato, she did not miss the amusement of the chase which others were enjoying in the Park. After her marriage too, which did not make her exactly happy, she still lived thus with her thoughts withdrawn from the world, when she was one day summoned to Sion-House where she found a great and brilliant assembly. She still knew nothing of the King's death. What were her feelings, when she was told that Edward VI was dead; that to secure the kingdom from the Popish faith and the government of his two sisters who were not legitimate, he had declared her, Lady Jane, his heiress, and when the great dignitaries of the realm bent their knees and reverenced her as their Queen! At times they had already talked to her of her claim to the throne, but she had never thought much of it. When it now thus became a reality, her whole soul was overcome by it: she fell to the ground and burst into a flood of tears. Whether she had a full right to the throne, she could not judge: what she felt was her incapacity to rule. But whilst she uttered this, a different feeling passed through her, as she has told us herself: she prayed in the depths of her soul that, if the highest office belonged to her legally, God might give her the grace to administer it to his honour. The next day she betook herself by water to the Tower, and received the homage offered her. The heralds proclaimed her accession in the capital.
But here this proclamation was received in silence and even with murmurs. The succession had been settled by Henry VIII on the basis of an act of Parliament: nothing else was expected but that this would be adhered to, and Mary succeed her brother: that Edward without any legal authorisation of a similar kind had now put a distant relative in his sister's place, seemed an open robbery of the lawful heir. It made no impression, that at the proclamation men were reminded of the Popery of the Princess Mary and her intention to restore the Papal power. Religious discord had not yet become so strong in England as to make men forget the fundamental principles of right on its account. The man who brought the princess the first news of Edward's death (which was still kept secret) remarks expressly in telling it, that he did not love her religion but abhorred the attempt to set aside lawful heirs. Mary prudently betook herself to Norfolk, where she had the most determined friends, to a castle on the sea; so as to be able, if her opponent should maintain the upper hand, to escape to the Emperor. But every one declared for her, the Catholics who saw in her the born champion of their religion and were strongest in those very districts, and the Protestants to whom the princess made some, though not binding, promises; she was proclaimed Queen in Norwich. If the Duke of Northumberland wished to carry out his projects, it was necessary for him to suppress this movement by force. He at once took the field for this purpose, with a fine body of artillery and two thousand infantry, and occupied a position in the neighbourhood of Cambridge.
It seemed as though the crown would once more be fought for in open field just as it had been a century before, and that in fact, just as then, the neighbouring powers would interfere. On Northumberland's side French help was expected; on the other hand application was already made to the Emperor to send armed troops over the sea to his cousin89. It was not however this time to reach such a point: while the combination attempted in favour of Jane Grey met with strong popular resistance, it was shattered to pieces by internal discord. If the new Queen had such a good right as they told her, she would share it with none, not even with her husband; she would not appear as a creature of the Dudleys and a tool of their ambition: she would only name him a duke and would not allow him to be crowned with her as King. We recognise in this her high idea of the kingly power and its divine right; but we can also easily conceive that the discord which broke out on this point in the family could not but act on the members of the Privy Council, of whom only a section were in complete understanding with Northumberland, while the rest had merely yielded to the ascendancy of his power. While the duke was expecting armed reinforcements from London, a complete revolution took place there: under the management of the Privy Council Mary was proclaimed Queen, and a summons sent to Northumberland to submit to her. The fleet which was destined to prevent Mary's flight had already declared for her; the troops which were called out in the counties to fight against her crossed over to her side; in Northumberland's camp the same opinion gained the upper hand: the duke felt himself incapable of withstanding it: he allowed himself to be carried along by it like the rest. Men saw the extraordinary spectacle of the man who had marched out to destroy Mary now ordering her accession to be proclaimed in his encampment, he accompanied the herald and himself cried out Mary's name90. These English nobles have boundless ambition, they grasp with bold hand at the highest prizes: but they have no inner power of resistance, as against the course of events and public opinion they have no will of their own. However the duke might behave, he could not save either his freedom or his life. Soon afterwards Mary entered London amid the joyous shouts of the people. She was still united as closely as possible with her sister Elizabeth?: they appeared together hand in hand. Jane Grey remained as a prisoner in the Tower, which she had entered as Queen. Never did the natural right of succession, as it was established by the testator of the inheritance and the Parliament, obtain a greater triumph. After the succession was decided, the great questions of government came into the foreground, above all the question what position Mary should take up with regard to religious matters.
Among the Protestants the opinion prevailed that it could not yet be known whether she would not let religion remain in the state in which she found it. Towns where the Protestant feeling was strongest joyfully attached themselves to her in this expectation.
Her cousin, the Emperor Charles?, who justly regarded her accession as a victory, and who from the first moment exercised the greatest influence on her resolutions, advised her before all things to moderate her Catholic zeal. She should reflect that many of the lords by whom she was now supported, a part of the Privy Council, and the people of London, were Protestants, and guard against estranging them. She should at once call a Parliament to show that she meant to rule in the accustomed manner, and take care that the Northern counties, as well as Cornwall, where men still held the most firmly to Catholicism, were represented in it.
This good advice was not without influence on the Queen. In a tumult which arose two days after her arrival in the city, she had the Lord Mayor summoned in order to tell him that she would force no man's conscience, she hoped that the people would through good instruction come back to the religion which she herself professed with full conviction. When she repeated this soon after in a proclamation, she added that these things must shortly be ordered by common consent. But of what kind this order would be, there could be already no doubt after these words: she desired a change, but intended to bring it about in a legal manner.
In all the steps taken by her government her Catholic sympathies predominated. She felt no scruple in using the spiritual rights, which the constitution gave her, in favour of Catholicism. As 'Head of the Church next under God,' Mary forbade all preaching and interpretation of Scripture without special permission. But she entrusted the power of giving this permission to the same Bishop Gardiner who had offered the most persevering resistance to the Protestant tendencies of the previous government. The antagonism between the bishops entered again on an entirely new phase: the Catholics rose, the Protestants were depressed to the uttermost. Tonstal?, Heath?, and Day? were, like Gardiner, restored to their sees on the ground of the protests lodged against the proceedings taken with reference to them at their deprivation, protests which were regarded as valid. Ridley? had to give up the see of London again to Bonner?: the bishops of Gloucester? and Exeter? experienced the royal displeasure; not merely Latimer but also Cranmer were imprisoned in the Tower. Everywhere the images were replaced, in many churches the celebration of the mass was revived. Those preachers who declared themselves against it had to follow their bishops to prison. The Calvinistic model-congregation was dissolved. The foreign scholars quitted the country; and their most zealous followers also fled to the continent before the coming storm of persecution.
At the beginning of October the Queen's coronation took place with the old customary ceremonies, for which the Emperor's leading minister, Granvella?, Bishop of Arras, sent over a vase of consecrated oil, on the mystical meaning of which great stress was again laid. The Queen had some scruples about the coronation, as she wished previously to get rid of her title, 'Head of the Church': but,the Emperor saw danger in delay; he thought the declaration she had in the deepest secrecy made to the Roman See, that she meant to re-establish its authority, removed any religious scruple. He fully approved of the coronation preceding the Parliament, and recommended the Queen, in virtue of her constitutional right, without any delay to name bishops and prelates, who might be useful to her at its impending meeting.
But the supreme power once constituted, as formerly in the civil wars, so also in the times of the Reformation movement, had always exercised a decisive influence on the composition of the Parliamentary assemblies; would not this then be the case when it had declared itself again Catholic? No doubt the government, at the head of which Gardiner? appeared as Lord Chancellor, used all the means at its disposal to guide the elections according to its views. It appears to have been with the same motive that the Queen in a proclamation, which generally breathed nothing but benevolence, remitted payment of the subsidies last voted under her brother. Yet we can hardly attribute the result wholly to this. Parliamentary elections are wont to receive their impulse from the mistakes of the last administration and the evils that have come to light: and much had undeniably been done under Edward VI which could not but call forth discontent. The ferment at home was increased by financial disorder: church property had suffered enormous losses. But above all the supreme power had taken a sudden start in breaking through its ancient bounds. And, last of all, the Protestant tendencies had allied themselves with an undertaking which ran directly counter to the customary law and to previous Parliamentary enactments. And so it might come to pass that the same feelings swayed the elections which had mainly brought about Mary's accesssion.
But, after all, the result of these elections was not such as to make a complete return to the Papal authority probable. The Emperor Charles, who mainly guided the Queen's steps, warned her from attempting it. She had prayed him to communicate to her the Pope's declarations issued in favour of her hereditary right: he sent them to her, but with the advice to make no use of them, since they might involve her in difficulties without end. It seemed to him sufficient if the Parliament simply repealed the enactments which had formerly been passed respecting the invalidity of her mother's marriage with her father. In the bill which was drawn up on this point in the Upper House it was merely stated that the marriage, in itself valid and approved by the wisest persons of the realm, had been made displeasing to the King through evil influences and annulled by a sentence of Archbishop Cranmer, on whom the greatest blame fell. To many men this seemed already going too far, since together with the dispensation the old church authority was again recognised: but as there was not a word about the Pope in it, this was less apparent: the bill was passed unanimously. The act might be regarded as a political one. On the other hand religion was very directly affected by the proposal to repeal the alterations in the church service which had been introduced under Edward VI, and to abolish the Common Prayer-book. On this ensued the hottest conflict. Once the proposal had to be laid aside: when it was resumed, the debate on it lasted six days: a third of the members were steadily against it. But in the majority the opinion again prevailed that Henry VIII's church constitution—retention of the Catholic doctrines and emancipation from the Papacy—was the most suitable for England: a resolution was carried to the effect that only such books as were in use under Henry VIII should be henceforth used in the church. The new forms of divine service, which contained a clearly marked body of doctrine, were abolished and the old ones restored.
The position which the Parliament took up in relation to another scarcely less important question coincided with this sense of national independence.
It was a very widespread wish in England that the Queen should give her hand to young Courtenay?, son of that Marquis of Exeter? who had himself once thought of marrying Mary against her father's wishes. He was a young man of suitable age, handsome figure, and mental activity; Mary had not merely freed him from the prison in which her brother had kept him, but also endowed him with the Earldom of Devon, one of his father's possessions; in this act many saw a token of personal inclination. Bishop Gardiner was decidedly in his favour, and we can conceive how a great ecclesiastic, who had the power of the state in his hands, wished to altogether exclude every foreign influence; he of course knew that Courtenay would also conform in church matters.
Gardiner spoke once with the Queen about it and was very pressing: she was absolutely against it. The old chronicle is entirely in error when it repeats the then widespread rumour of Mary's inclination for Courtenay. Mary told the Imperial ambassador that she was altogether ignorant of what love was; she had never seen Courtenay but once in her life, at the moment when she released him. She intended to marry, since she was assured that the welfare of the realm required it, but not an Englishman, not one who was a subject. As in other things, so in this, she requested the Emperor to give her his advice.
Charles V would not have been absolutely against the plan of his cousin giving her hand to an English lord, whom England might obey more easily than a stranger: but, when she showed such an aversion to it, he did not hesitate for a moment as to what advice to give her. One of his brother's sons was taken into consideration, but rejected by him on the ground that there was already much ill-will against Spain stirring in the Netherlands, and a union of the German line with England might some day make it difficult for his own son to maintain those provinces: he therefore proposed him to the Queen.
Don Philip?, not yet thirty but already a widower for the second time, was just then negociating for a marriage with a Portuguese princess. These negociations were broken off and counter ones opened with England. Mary showed a joyful inclination to it at the first word: it was to this that her secret thoughts had turned.
It looked as if the dynastic union of the Burgundian-Spanish house with the English, which was also a political alliance and had been violently broken off at the same time with that alliance, would now be restored more closely than before, and this time for ever. Men took up the idea that Philip's eldest son was to continue the Spanish line, as Ferdinand and his sons the German, but that from the new marriage, if it should be blest with offspring, an English line of the house of Burgundy was to proceed: a prospect of the extension of the power of England and of her influence on the continent, which it was expected would set aside all opposition.
In England however every voice was against it, among nobles and commons, people and Parliament, high and low. The imperial court fully believed that it was Gardiner who brought the matter forward in Parliament. The House resolved to send a deputation to the Queen with the request that she would marry an Englishman. Mary, who had as high an idea of her prerogative as any of her predecessors or successors, felt herself almost insulted; she interrupted the speech as soon as she understood its purport, and declared that Parliament was taking too much on itself in wishing to give her advice in this matter: only with God, from whom she derived her crown, would she take counsel thereon91. When the Parliament, not satisfied with this, prepared a fresh application to her, it was dissolved.
But if this happened among men who adhered to her views in other points, what would those say who saw themselves, contrary to their expectation, oppressed and endangered by the Queen's measures in religious matters?
The agitation was so general that men caught at the hope of putting an end to all that was begun by a sudden rising. We find a statement which must not be lightly rejected, that the English nobility, which had taken great part in the Reformation movement and put itself in possession of much church property, came to an understanding at Christmas 1553, and decided on a general rising on the next Palm Sunday, 18th March92: thus doing as the French, German, Netherlandish and Scotch nobility had done, who took the initiative in this matter. In Cornwall Peter Carew? was to have the lead, in the Midland Counties the Duke of Suffolk?, in Kent Thomas Wyatt?. As the Queen's Privy Council was even now not unanimous, they hoped to bring about an overthrow of the government before it was yet firmly established: and either to compel the Queen to dismiss her evil counsellors and give up the Spanish marriage, or if she remained obstinate to put her sister Elizabeth in her place, who would then marry Courtenay. The French, who saw in the Queen's marriage with the prince of Spain a danger for themselves, urged on the movement, and had a secret understanding with the rebels; their plan was to support it by an incursion from Scotland where they were then the masters, and an attack on Calais93[. But as often happens with such comprehensive plans, the government detected them; the attempt to carry them out had to be made before the preparations were complete; in most of the places where an effort was made it was suppressed without much trouble. Carew fled to France; Suffolk, who in vain tried to draw Coventry over to his side, was captured. On the other hand Sir Thomas Wyatt's rising in Kent was formidable. He collected a couple of thousand men, defeated the royal troops, some of whom joined him, and as he had the sympathies of a great part of the inhabitants of London with him, he attempted forthwith an attack on the capital. But the new order of things had too firm a legal foundation to be so easily overthrown. The Queen betook herself to the Guildhall and addressed the assembled people, decided as she was and confident in the goodness of her cause; the general feeling was in favour of supporting her. All armed for defence. For a couple of days, during which Wyatt lay before the city, every one was under arms, mayor, aldermen and people; the lawyers went to the courts with armour under their robes: priests were seen celebrating mass with mail under their church vestments. The Queen had some trustworthy troops, whose leader, the Earl of Pembroke?, told her he would never show his face to her again if he did not free her from these rebels. When Wyatt at last appeared in Hyde Park with exhausted and badly fed men, he was met and beaten by an overwhelming body of Pembroke's troops; with a part of his followers he was driven into the city, and there made prisoner without much bloodshed.
It has always been reckoned to the Queen's credit that amid the alarm of these days she never quitted the unfortified palace. She had now an opportunity to rid herself completely of Northumberland's faction. Jane Grey, whose name at least had been mentioned, her father Suffolk, her uncle Thomas Grey, were executed; Wyatt also and a great number of the prisoners paid for their rebellion with their lives94.
The effort to overthrow Mary's throne had strengthened it: for the second time she had rallied around it the preponderant majority of the nation. And this was all the more surprising, since no one could doubt any longer in what direction the Queen's exclusive religious views would lead her. In her victory she saw a divine providence, by which it was made doubly her duty to persevere, without looking back, in the path she had once taken. In full understanding with her Gardiner proceeded without further scruple, in the Parliament which met in April 1554, to attempt to carry through the two points on which all else depended, the abrogation of the Queen's spiritual title, which implied restoration of the Pope's authority, and the revival of the old laws against heretics. These views and proposals however met with unexpected opposition, both in the nation, and no less in the Privy Council and Parliament, especially in the Upper House. The lay lords did not wish to make the bishops so powerful again as they had once been, and rejected the restoration of the Pope's authority unless they previously had security for their possession of the confiscated church property. The first proposition could not, so far as can be seen, even be properly brought forward95: the second, the revival of the heresy laws, was accepted by the Commons over whom Gardiner exercised great influence, but the Peers threw it out. It was especially Lords Paget? and Arundel? who opposed Gardiner's proposals in the Privy Council and the Lords and caused their rejection.
Only in one thing were the two parties united, in recognising the marriage contract concluded with Spain: it was passed unanimously by Parliament.
In July 1554 Don Philip reached England with a numerous fleet, divided into three squadrons, with a brilliant suite on board. At Southampton the leader of one of the two parties, the Earl of Arundel, received him; Bishop Gardiner, the leader of the other, gave the blessing of the church to the marriage in Winchester cathedral. The day before the Emperor? had resigned the crown of Naples to his son, to make him equal with the Queen in rank. How grand it sounded, when the king-at-arms proclaimed the united titles: Philip and Mary, King and Queen of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem, Ireland! A title with an almost Plantagenet sound, but which now however only denoted the closest union between the Spanish monarchy and the Catholics of England. Philip was solicitous to gain over the different parties and classes of England: for he had been told that England was a popular monarchy. He belied his Spanish gravity and showed himself, despite the stiffness that was his natural characteristic, affable to every man: he tried to make the impression, and successfully, that he desired the prosperity of England. One of the chief resources of the time, that of securing the most considerable persons by means of pensions, he made use of to a great extent. Both parties were provided for by annual payments and presents, Pembroke? ard Arundel as well as Derby? and Rochester. We are assured that this liberality exercised a very advantageous influence on the disposition of the country96. Gardiner looked on it as a slight, that he was passed over in the list, for these pensions were considered at that time an honour, but this did not prevent him from praising the marriage in his sermons as ordained by heaven for the restoration of religion.
All now depended on whether the King's influence would be sufficient to carry at the next meeting of Parliament in November, the proposals which had been rejected in the last session.
But for this, according to the view not merely of the English lords, but of the imperial ambassador and of the Emperor himself, a previous condition was indispensable. The English nobles must be relieved from all apprehension lest the confiscated ecclesiastical property should ever again be wrested from them. Cardinal Pole? had been already for some time residing in the Netherlands: but he was told that his arrival in England would be not merely fruitless but detrimental unless he brought with him a sufficient dispensation with regard to this. In Rome the concession was opposed on the ground that it would be setting a bad precedent. But when it was pointed out that the English confiscations did not touch any church lands, but only monastic property, and still more that without this concession the restoration of obedience to the church could not be attained, Pope Julius III yielded to the request. Two less comprehensive forms were rejected by the Emperor: at last one was granted which would satisfy the English. The form of the absolution which the Pope was to bestow after their submission was previously arranged: it was agreed to avoid everything that could remind men of the old pretensions and awaken the national antipathies.
Meanwhile the elections to Parliament were completed. The proclamation issued gives the ruling points of view without reserve. An invitation to elect Catholic members of merit was coupled with the assurance that there was no intention of disturbing any kind of property. The means lately used for preventing any hostile influence were not yet sufficient: the advice was given from Brussels to go back to the older and stricter forms.
The leading men of the Upper House were won over: there could be no doubt about the tone of the Lower. At their first sitting a resolution to release Cardinal Pole from the attainder that weighed on him, and invite him to return to England, passed without opposition. Now the Emperor had no longer any scruple in letting him go. He said as to this very matter, that what is undertaken at the wrong time hinders the result which might else have been expected; everything has its time: the time for this appeared to him now come. From Philip we have a letter to his sister Juana in which he extols himself with much satisfaction for the share he had taken in recalling the cardinal and restoring the Papal authority. 'I and the most illustrious Queen,' he says in it, 'commanded the Parliament of the three Estates of the realm to recall him; we especially used our efforts with the chief among them to induce them to consent to the cardinal's return: at our order prelates and knights escorted him to our Court, where he has delivered to us the Breve of his Holiness.'—'We then through the Chancellor of the realm informed the Estates of what seemed to us becoming, above all how much it concerned themselves to come to a conclusion that would give peace to their conscience97.'
The Parliament declared itself ready to return to the obedience of the Roman See, and repeal all the statutes against it, provided that the cardinal pronounced a general dispensation, that every man might keep without scruple the ecclesiastical property which had fallen to his share98. On this understanding Cardinal Pole was allowed to exercise his legatine power, and the King and Queen were entreated to intercede that the absolution might be bestowed.
With heartfelt joy Cardinal Pole pronounced it without delay, first at a meeting of the Parliament in the palace, then with greater solemnity at S. Paul's at a high mass attended by the Court with a brilliant suite; among those present were the knights who wore the Burgundian order of the Golden Fleece, and those who wore the English Order of the Garter. The King stood by the Chancellor when from the outer corridor of the church he announced the event and its motives to the great crowds there assembled. It made an impression on the imperial ambassadors that no outward sign of discontent was heard.
The agreement that now followed bears more of a juridical than of a religious character. The jurisdiction was given back to the Pope which he possessed before the twentieth year of Henry VIII (1529): the statutes by which it was abolished were severally enumerated and repealed: on the other hand the Pope's legate in his name consented that the owners of church property should not be disturbed in their possession, either now or at any future time, either by church councils or by Papal decrees. Such property was henceforth to be quite as exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the crown as any other; whoever dared to call in question the validity of the title in any spiritual court whatever, within or without the realm, was to be punished as an enemy of the Queen. The cardinal legate strove long to prevent the two enactments, as to the restoration of obedience and the title to the ecclesiastical property, from being combined together in one Act, since it might look as if the Pope's concession was the price of this obedience to him; he once said, he would rather let all remain as it was and go back to Rome than yield on this point. But the English nobility adhered immoveably to its demand; it wished to prevent all danger of the restoration of obedience becoming in any way detrimental to its acquisitions, an object which was clearly best secured by combining both enactments in a single statute, so that they must stand or fall together; even the King's representations effected no alteration in this; the cardinal had to comply.
On the other hand the King's influence, if we believe himself, had all possible success in the other affair, which was at any rate not less weighty. 'With the intervention of the Parliament,' he continues in the above-mentioned letter, 'we have made a law, I and the most illustrious Queen, for the punishment of heretics and all enemies of holy church; we have revived the old ordinances of the realm, which will serve this purpose very well.' It was more especially the statute against the Lollards?, by which Henry V had entered into the closest alliance with the hierarchy, that was to be re-enacted by Parliament. Gardiner had not been able to carry it through in the previous session, though it was known that the Queen wished it. Under the King's influence, who was accustomed to the execution of heretics in Spain, the Lords after some deliberation let their objections drop and accepted the bill.
If we put together these four great Acts, the abolition of the Common Prayer-book, the Spanish marriage, the restoration of obedience to Rome, and the revival of the heresy laws, we could hardly doubt the intention of the members of the government, and of the Parliament, to return completely to the ancient political and religious state of things. With some members such an intention may have been the predominant one: to assume it in all, or even in the majority, would be an error99.
The agreement then legalised as to ecclesiastical property, and the abolition of the monastic system, already formed such an anomaly in the Roman Catholic church, that the ecclesiastical condition of England would have always retained a very abnormal character. And the obedience expressed was by no means complete. For it should have included above all a recognition of that right of dispensation, about which the original quarrel had broken out, and the revocation of the order of succession which was based on its rejection. In fact Gardiner's intention was to bring matters to this; being besides a great enemy and even persecutor of Elizabeth, he wished to see her illegitimacy pronounced in due form100; the resolutions passed seemed necessarily to lead to it. Men however did not proceed this time so logically in England. They did not wish to base the future state of the realm on Papal decrees, but on the ordinances once enacted by King and Parliament. They could not deceive themselves as to the fact that Elizabeth, though she conformed outwardly, yet remained true at heart to the Protestant faith; but not on that account would the Parliament deny her right to the English throne. It also by no means entertained exactly Spanish sentiments. The Emperor expressed the wish that his son might be crowned: his ambassador's advice however was against proposing it in Parliament; since, with the high ideas entertained in England of the rights implied in the coronation, this would never be allowed. In the event of the Queen's dying before Philip, and leaving children, the guardianship was reserved to him: but even for this object conditions had been originally proposed which would have been much more advantageous to him: these the Upper House threw out. So little was even then the policy of the Queen and King at the same time the policy of the nation and Parliament. In the Privy Council the old discords continued. The government obtained a greater unity by the fact that Gardiner, who now followed the Queen's lead in every respect, carried most of the members with him by the authority which her favour gave him. As Paget and Arundel, since they could effect nothing, refused to appear any more, there always remained a secret support for the discontent that was stirring. In the beginning of 1555 traces of a conspiracy in favour of Courtenay were again detected: if the inquiry into it led to no discovery, it was because—so it was thought—the commission entrusted with it did not wish to make any.
At this moment the revived heresy-laws began to be put into execution. Prosecutions were instituted for statements that under another order of things would have been considered as fully authorised. Still more than to single offences was attention directed to any variations in doctrine. In these proceedings we can remark the points which were then chiefly in question.
The first of the accused, one of the earliest and most influential of the martyrs, John Rogers?, was reminded of the article which speaks of the faith in one holy catholic church; he replied that by it was meant the universal church of all lands and times, not the Romish, which on the contrary had deviated in many points from the main foundation of all churches, Holy Scripture. Rowland Taylor?, who gloried in a marriage blest with children, which Gardiner would not acknowledge to be a marriage at all, maintained that Christian antiquity had allowed the marriage of priests. Gardiner accused him of ignorance. 'But,' said Taylor, 'I have read the Holy Scripture, the Latin and the Greek fathers;' a canon of the Nicene council, which was cited on the point, he interpreted far more correctly than the bishop. John Hooper? was called in question because he held divorce to be permissible on the ground given in Scripture, and because he found that the view of the real presence had no foundation in Scripture101. Their offence was the conception of church-communion as resting on the foundation of Scripture and extending therefore far beyond Romanism: the most telling defence could not save them here, for only the carrying out of old laws was concerned, and these unconditionally condemned such opinions. As the condemned were being taken back by night to their prison, many householders came out of their doors with lights in their hands, to greet them with their prayers and thank them for their steadfastness: a deep and sorrowful sympathy, but one which scarcely dared to utter itself, and thus renounced the attempt to effect anything. Rogers suffered death in London, Hooper at his episcopal see of Gloucester, Taylor (who on the way showed as much good wit as Sir Thomas More had formerly done) in his parish, Saunders? at Coventry, Ferrar? in the market-place at Caermarthen. Their punishment, in every place where they had taught, was intended to confirm the doctrines they had rejected. There have been more bloody persecutions elsewhere: this was distinguished by the fact that many of the more eminent men of the nation became its victims. Among them, besides those we have named, were Ridley?, who was looked on as the most learned scholar in England, the eloquent Latimer?, Bradford? a man of deep piety, Philpot? who united learning and religion. How could Archbishop Cranmer?, who had contributed almost more than any one to carry through the Reformation, who had pronounced the divorce of the Queen's mother, possibly find mercy? He persuaded himself of it once; and, yielding as he was, allowed himself to be tempted into a recantation, in despite of which he was condemned to death. But then there awoke in him also the whole consciousness of the truth of his belief. The hand with which he had signed the recantation he held firm, and let it burn in unutterable agony, as an expiation which he imposed on himself, before the flame of the fagots closed over him. The executions extended themselves over the whole country and even over the neighbouring islands; the diaries show that they continued till 1558. Many could have fled, but wished to testify to the firmness of their belief by dying for it, and thus to strengthen in their faith the people from whom they were taken away. Most of them showed a sublime contempt of death, which inflamed others to imitate them. How many would have been prepared to throw themselves with their friends into the flames! And no one could say that here there was any question of tendencies to revolt. The Protestants had on the whole kept themselves far from it: they did not contest the Queen's right to the throne; they died as her obedient subjects.
But now what an impression must these executions produce, combined with what preceded and followed them.
Gardiner? appears in all this imperious, proud, and with that confident tone which the possessors of power assume, implying that they regard themselves as being also mentally superior; Bonner? Bishop of London fanatical, without any power of discernment, and almost bloodthirsty. His attention was once drawn to the ill effects of his rough acts of violence; he replied that he must do God's work without fear of men. Under the last government they had both had much to endure: they had been deprived by their enemies and thrown into prison: now they employed the temporal arm in their own favour; they felt no scruple in sentencing their old opponents to death in accordance with the severity of the laws which they had again brought into active operation. Such was the issue of the contest between the bishops under the changing systems of government.
As Queen Mary is designated 'The Bloody,' we are astonished when we read the authentic descriptions, still extant, of her personal appearance. She was a little, slim, delicate, sickly woman, with hair already turning grey. She played on the lute, and had even given instruction in music; she had a skilful hand; on personal acquaintance she made the impression of goodness and mildness. But yet there was something in her eyes that could even rouse fear; her voice, which could be heard at a great distance, told of something unwomanly in her. She was a good speaker in public; never did she show a trace of timidity in danger. The troubles she had experienced from her youth, her constant antagonism to the authority under which she lived, had especially hardened in her the self-will which is recognisable in all the Tudors. A peculiarity found elsewhere also in gifted women, that they are weary of all which surrounds them at home, and give to what is foreign a sympathy above its worth, had become to her a second nature. She rejected with aversion the idea of marrying Courtenay, for this reason among others that he was an Englishman. She, the Queen of England, had no sympathy for the life, the interests, the struggles of her people: she hated them from her childhood. All her sympathies were for the nation from which her mother came, for its views and manners: her husband was her ideal of a man: we are assured that she even overlooked his infidelities to her because he did not enter into permanent relations with any other woman. Besides this he was the only man who could support her in the great project for which she thought herself marked out by God, the restoration of Catholicism 102. This is the meaning of her pledging herself in her bedchamber before a crucifix, when she had not yet seen him, to give her hand to him and to no other. For with him and his fortunes were linked the hopes of a restoration of Catholicism. Mary was absolutely determined to do all she could to strengthen it in England. Gardiner assures us, and we may believe him in this, that it was not he who prompted the revival of the old laws against the Lollards; the chief impulse to it came on the contrary from the Queen. And as those laws ordered the punishment of heretics by fire, and Parliament had consented, and the orthodox bishops offered their aid, it would have seemed to her a blameable weakness, if out of feelings of compassion she had stood in the way of the execution of those laws, to the suspension of which the bishops ascribed the spread of heretical opinions. Many of the horrors which accompanied their execution may have remained concealed from her; still it cannot be doubted, that the persecutions would never have begun without her. No excuse can free her memory from the dark shade which rests on it. For that which is done in a sovereign's name, with his will and consent, determines his character in history.
The conduct of the Queen and her government, without whose help ecclesiastical authority would have been null and void, had a result that extended far beyond her time: men began to inquire into the claims of the temporal power. John Knox?, who had now to fly from England before a Queen, as he had previously from Scotland before a Queen regent, and whose word was of weight, poured forth his feelings in a piercing call, which he himself named 'a blast of the trumpet,' against the right of women to the government of a country, which ought to be exercised only by men. And while Knox went no further than the immediate case, others examined into the powers of all State authority: above all, to prevent its taking part in religious persecution, they brought forward the principles according to which sovereignty issues originally from the people. Mary's government had awakened in Protestantism, and that not merely in England, the hostility of political theory.
But besides no man could hide from himself, that discontent, even without theory, had grown in England in an alarming manner. The French and Imperial ambassadors both gave their courts information of it, the former with a kind of satisfaction, the latter with apprehension and pain. He laments the bad effect which the religious persecution produces, makes pressing objections to it and demands that the bloody zeal of the bishops shall be moderated; but the matter was regularly proceeding in a kind of legal way; we do not find that he effected anything.
The Queen had hitherto flattered herself and her partisans with the hope that she would give the country an heir to the throne. When this expectation proved fallacious in the summer of 1555 it produced an impression which, as the imperial ambassador says, no pen could describe. The appearance had been caused by an unhealthy condition of body, which was now looked on rather as a prognostic of her fast approaching death. It is already clear, remarks the ambassador, that least confidence can be placed in those who have been hitherto most trusted: many a man still wears a mask: others even show their ill-will quite openly. For so badly is the succession at present arranged that my lady Elizabeth will without doubt ascend the throne on Mary's death and will restore heresy.
While things were in this state, Philip II was led to resolve on going to the Netherlands by the vicissitudes of the French war and his father's state of health; he wished either to bring about peace, or to push the war with energy.
He had hitherto exercised a moderating influence on the government. Not to let all fall back into the previous party strife, he thought it best to give the eight leading members of the Privy Council a pre-eminent place in the management of business. He could not avoid admitting men of both parties even among these; but he had already found a man whom he could set over the others and trust with the supreme rule of affairs in complete confidence. This was Cardinal Pole, who after Cranmer's death received the Archbishopric of Canterbury, long ago bestowed on him at Rome, and was released from the duty of again returning to the Roman court. He was descended from the house of the Yorkist Suffolks, persecuted by the earlier Tudors with great severity; but how completely did this family difference recede before the worldwide interests of religion! He served with the most entire devotion a queen of the house of Lancaster-Tudor who on her side reposed in him unlimited reliance: she wished to have him about her for hours every day. Reginald Pole was a man of European and general ecclesiastical culture; he shared in a tendency existing within Catholicism itself, which approached very nearly to Protestantism on one dogmatic question: we also hear that he would gladly have moderated the persecution103; but when it is said, that the obstinacy of the Protestants hindered him in this, all that can be implied is, that they held fast to a confession which was now absolutely condemned by the hierarchic laws, while he was bound and resolved to carry these laws into effect. His chief care was above all not to be involved in English party-divisions: he therefore usually worked with a couple of Italian assistants who shared his sentiments and his plans. The union of the ecclesiastical and temporal authority is seen once more in Pole, as it had been in Wolsey: he combined the powers of a legate with the position of a first minister. His distinguished birth, his high ecclesiastical rank, the confidence of the King and Queen, enhanced by completely blameless personal conduct104, procured him an authority in the country which seemed almost that of the sovereign.
A singular government this, composed of an absent king, who however had to be consulted in all weighty matters, a cardinal, and a dying queen who lived exclusively in church ideas. Difficulties could not be wanting: they arose first in church matters themselves.
We know how much the recognition of the alienation of the church property, to which Julius III was brought to consent by the Emperor, contributed to the restoration of church obedience; among the English nobility it formed the main ground of its submission. But in May 1555 Pope Paul IV? ascended the Papal throne, in whom dislike of the Austro-Spanish house was almost a passion, and who wished to base his ecclesiastical reputation on the recovery of the alienated church property. His third Bull orders its restoration, including the possessions of monastic foundations, and the revenues hitherto received from them. The English ambassadors who had been sent to Rome under wholly different conditions, to announce the restoration of obedience, found this Pope there on their arrival. When they mentioned the confirmation of the alienation of the monastic property, he answered them in plain terms: for himself he would be ready to consent, but it lay beyond his power; the property of the church was sacred and inviolable, all that belonged to it must be restored to the uttermost farthing. And so ecclesiastically minded was Queen Mary that she in her heart agreed with the Pope. The monasteries in particular she held to be an indispensable part of the church-system, and wished for their restoration. Already the fugitive monks were seen returning: a number of Benedictines who had remained in the country resumed the dress of their Order; the Queen made no secret of her wish to restore the monastery of Westminster in particular. Another side of church life was affected by the fact that, owing to the suppression of the great abbeys, a number of benefices, which were dependent on them, had lost their incomes and had fallen into decay. That Henry VIII should have appropriated to the crown the tenths and first-fruits, which belonged to the church, seemed to Queen Mary unjustifiable; she felt herself straitened in her conscience by retaining these revenues, and was prepared to give them back, whatever might be the loss to the crown. But she could not by herself repeal what had been done under authority of Parliament: in November 1555 she attempted to gain over that assembly to her view. A number of influential members were summoned to the palace, where first Cardinal Pole explained to them that the receipt of the first-fruits was connected with the State's claim of supremacy over the church, but that, after obedience was restored, it had no longer any real justification. He put forward some further reasons, and then the Queen herself took up the word. She laid the greatest stress on her personal wish. She asked the Parliament, after having shown obedience to her in so many ways, to prove to her that the peace of her soul lay near their hearts, and to take this burden from her. But the conception of the crown and its property had in England already ceased to be so merely personal. The most universally intelligible motive in the whole church-movement was the feeling, that the resources of the nation ought to be devoted to national purposes, and every one felt that the diminution of the royal revenues would have to be made up by Parliamentary grants. In addition to this, it appeared to be only the first step to such an universal restitution, as Pope Paul IV clearly contemplated and directed. Was there not much more to be said for the recovery of the church revenues from private hands than for their withdrawal from the crown which used them for public purposes?—A member of the Lower House wished to answer the Queen at once after her address: but, as he was not the Speaker, he was not allowed to do so.
When the proposal came under discussion in the Lower House, it met with lively opposition. A commission was then appointed, to which the Upper House sent two earls, two barons, and two bishops, and to which some lawyers were added; by these the proposed articles were revised and then laid before them again. The decisive sitting was on the 3rd December 1555. The doors were closed: no stranger was allowed to enter nor any member to leave the House. After they had sat in hot debate from early morning till three in the afternoon—just one of those debates, of which we have to regret that no detailed account has survived—the proposal was, it is true, accepted, but against such a large minority as was hitherto unheard of in the English Parliament, 120 votes to 183. Queen and cardinal regarded it as a great victory, for they had carried their view: but the tone of the country was still against them. However strong the stress which the cardinal laid on the statement that the concession of the crown was not to react in any way on private men's ownership of church property, the apprehension was nevertheless universal105, that with the Queen's zeal for the monasteries, and a consistent carrying out of the Pope's principles, things would yet come to this. But the interests which would be thus injured were very widespread. It was calculated that there were 40,000 families which in one way or another owned part of the church property: they would neither relinquish it nor allow their title to be called in question. Powerful lords were heard to exclaim that they would keep the abbey-lands as long as they had a sword by their side. The popular disposition was reflected in the widespread rumour, which gained credence, that Edward VI was still alive and would soon come back.
From time to time seditious movements showed the insecurity of the situation. At the beginning of 1556 traces were detected of a plan for plundering the treasury in order to levy troops with the money106. The Western counties were discontented because Courtenay was removed from among them: he died subsequently in Italy. Sir Henry Dudley?, the Duke of Northumberland's cousin, rallied around him some zealous and enterprising malcontents, who planned a complete revolution: he found secret support in France, whither he fled 107. In April 1557 a grandson of the Duke of Buckingham, Thomas Stafford, also coming from France, landed and made himself master of Scarborough castle. He had only a handful of followers, but he ventured to proclaim himself Protector of the realm, which he promised to secure against the tyranny of foreigners, and 'the satanic designs of an unlawful Queen.' He was crushed without difficulty. But in the general ferment which this aroused, it was observed how universal was the wish for a change108
Meanwhile foreign affairs took a turn which threatened to involve England in a dangerous complication. The peace between the great powers had not been concluded: the truce they had made was broken off at the instigation of the Pope; hostilities began again, and Philip II returned to England for a couple of months to induce her to join in the war against France. The diplomatic correspondence shows that the imperial court from the beginning valued their near relation to England chiefly as the basis of an alliance against France. We can easily understand how this early object was now attained. Besides many other previous wrongs, Stafford's enterprise, which was ascribed to the intrigues of France, was a motive for declaring war against that Power. And a French war still retained its old charm for the English: their share in it surpassed all expectation. The English land forces co-operated with decisive effect in the great victory of S. Quintin, and similarly the appearance of the English fleet on the French coasts ensured Philip's predominance on the ocean. But it is very doubtful whether this was the part the English power should have played at this moment. By his father's abdication and retirement into the cloister Philip had become lord and master of the Spanish monarchy. Could it be the mission of the English to help in consolidating it in his hands? On the foundation then laid, and mainly through the peace which France saw herself compelled to make, its greatness was built up. For the Spanish monarchy the union with England, which rested on the able use to which the existing troubles and the personal position of the Queen were turned—and which, strictly speaking, was still a result of the policy of Ferdinand the Catholic—was of indescribable advantage: to the English it brought a loss which was severely felt. They had neglected to put Calais in a proper state of defence; at the first attack it fell into the hands of the French. The greatest value was still laid in England on a possession across the sea, which seemed indispensable for the command of the Channel; its extension was the main object of Henry VIII's last war: that now it was on the contrary utterly lost was felt to be a national disaster; the population of the town, which consisted of English, was expelled together with the garrison.
And as Pope Paul IV was now allied with the King of France, the result was that he found himself at war with Philip II (whom he tried to chase from Naples), and hence with England as well. His hatred to the house of Austria, his aversion to the concessions made in England with reference to church property, and to the religious position which Cardinal Pole had hitherto taken up in the questions at issue within the Catholic Church, determined the Pope to interfere in the home affairs of England with a strong hand. For these Cardinal Pole was the one indispensable man, on whose shoulders the burden of affairs rested. But it was this very man whom Paul IV now deprived of his legatine power, on which much of his consequence rested, and transferred it to a Franciscan monk.
But what now was the consequent situation of affairs in England! The Queen, who recognised no higher authority than that of the Papal See, was obliged to have Paul IV's messages intercepted, lest they should become known. While the ashes of the reputed heretics were still smoking on their Calvaries, the man who represented the Catholic form of religion, and was working effectively for its progress, was accused of falling away from the orthodox faith, and summoned to Rome to answer for it.
Meanwhile England did not feel herself strong enough, even with the help that Philip offered, to attempt the reconquest of Calais. The finances were completely disordered by the war; and the Parliament showed little zeal in restoring the balance: just before this the Queen had found herself obliged even to diminish the amount of a subsidy already as good as voted. However unwilling she might be to take the step after her previous experiences, she had to decide once more in the autumn of 1558 on calling a Parliament. Circumstances wore an appearance all the more dangerous, as the Scotch were allied with the victorious French: the Queen represented to the Commons the need of extraordinary means of defence. A number of the leading lords appeared in the Lower House to give additional weight to the demand of the Crown by their presence. The Commons, though not quite willingly, were proceeding to deliberate on the subsidies demanded, when an event happened which relieved them from the necessity of coming to any resolution.
A tertian or quartan fever was then prevalent in the Netherlands and in England, which was very fatal, especially to elderly persons of enfeebled health109. The Queen, who had been for some time visited by her usual attacks of illness, could not resist this disease, when suffering besides, as she was, from deep affliction at the disappointment of all her hopes, and from heartrending anticipations of the future: once more she heard mass in her chamber—she died before it was ended. On the 17 November 1558, Cardinal Pole also was suffering: completely crushed by this news he expired the following night. It was calculated that thirteen bishops died a little before or after the Queen. As if by some predetermined fate the combination of English affairs which had been attempted during her government came at once to an end.
1 Historiae Croylandensis Continuatio II. ' Concessae sunt decimae ac quintodecimae multiplices in coetibus clericorum et laicorum, habentibus in faciendis concessionibus hujusmodi interesse. Praeterea haereditarii ac possessionati omnes de rebus immobilibus suarum possessionum partem libere concedebant. Cumque nec omnia praedicta sufficere visa sunt, inducta est nova et inaudita impositio oneris, ut per benevolentiam quilibet daret id quod vellet, imo verius quod nollet.
2 At least Sir Thomas More has not invented the nature and manner of the murder; it is derived from a confession of the persons concerned in it in Henry VII's time. 'Dightonus traditionis hujus principale erat instrumentum' (Bacon 212). Tyrel too seems to have known of it.
3 'Videntes, quod si novum conquestionis suae capitaneum invenile non possent brevi de omnibus actum foret.' Hist Croyl. 568.
4 I take this from Nicolas, Observations on the state of historical literature, 1830, P 178. Hume's objection, that the mother's right came before the son's, is done away with by the fact that men had in general never yet seen reigning Queens.
5 How the world regarded it then we ascertain from the words of the Chroniques de Jean Molinet, ed. Buchon, iii. 151. 'Le Comte de Richmond fut Couronné et institué Henri VII, par le confort et puissant subside du roi de France.'
6 'A quo tempore Rex coronam assumpserat, fontem sanguinis fuisse expurgatem—ut regi opera parlamentaria non fuisset opus.' So Bacon, Henricus VII. 99.
7 Edw. Coke: 4 Inst. cap. ix. 'It is the most honourable court, our Parliament excepted, that is in the Christian world—In the judges of the same are the grandees of the realm: and they judge upon confession or deposition or witness—This court doth keep all England in quiet.'
8 Zurita Anales de Aragon v. 100. The Spanish ambassador who then negociated the marriage was Doctor Ruyz Gonzales de Puerta. But the idea was much older: in 1492 at the first alliance mention was made of it (v. II); in the recently published Journal of an English Embassy to Spain, there appears in March 1489, 'donne Katherine al notre princess de Angleterre.' Memorial of Henry VII, 180.
9 Zurita v. 221. 'La princesa fue recibida con tanta alegria communemente de todos, que affirmavan aver de sei esta causa, no solo de muy grande paz y prosperidad de sodo a' quel reyno, pero de la unlon del y de los estados de Flandes.'
10 Zurita vi 193. 'Por que el rey Luys cada dia se yva haziendo mas poderoso y no teniendo el rey de Inglaterra confederation y adherencia con los que avian de ser enemigos forçosos del rey de Francia, quedava aquel reyno en grande peligro.'
11 He accepts the doctrine: 'Christi vicarium nullum in terris judicem habere nosque ei dehere vel dyscholo auscultare.' Lettres de Louys XII, iii. 307.
12 As it is said in Cavendish, Cardinalis Eboracensis:— 'My byldynges somptious, the roffes with gold and byse/Craftely entaylled as conning could devise,/With images embossed most lively.'
13 In an opinion given at Corunna it is sald that he must be persuaded, 'qu'il prende pour agreable et accepte ce que l'empereur lui a offert, luy traynant d'une souppe en miel parmy la bouche, que n'est le (que du) bien, que l'empereur luy veut (20 April 1520).' Monumenta Habsburgica II. I. 177, 183.
14 In a letter to his ambassador, the Bishop of Badajoz, the Emperor mentions les propos, que luy (au cardinal) avons tenu a Bruges touchants la papalité.' Monumenta Habsburgica II I. 501.
15 Wolsey mentions in his letter to the King 'the conference and communications which he (the Emperor) had with your grace in that behalf.' In Burnet iii. Record, p 11
16 Du Bellay au Grandmaistre 17 October 1529, in Le Grand, Histoire du divorce iii. 374: 'Que il avait toujours en tems de paix et de guerre intelligence secrette a Madame, de la quelle la dicte guerre durant, il avoit eu des grants presens, qui furent cause, que Suffolc estant a Montdidier il ne le secourut d'argent comme il devoit dont advint que il ne print Paris.'
17 The Instructions to Tunstall and Wingfield (30 March 1525), hitherto known only from the extract in Fiddes, are now printed in the State Papers vi. 333. Compare my German History, Bk. IV. ch. 2, but the statement there made needs revision in accordance with the newly-found documents.
18 Giberto al Vescovo di Bajusa. 3 Luglio. Ci sono avisi d' Ingliterra de' 14 del passato che mostrano gli animi di la e massimamente Eboracense non dico inclinati ma accesi di desiderio di concordia con Francia' . . . Lettere di principi I. 168.
19 'Le dit Cardinal sera conducteur, moderateur et gouverneur de toutes les entreprises.' The Regent's Instructions in Brinon, Captivité. de François I. 57.
20 Riccardus Scellejus de prima causa divortii (Bibliotheca Magliabecch. at Florence). Catharina ita stomachata est, ut de Vulseji potentia minuenda cogitationem susciperet, quod ille cum sensisset, qui ab astrologo suo accepisset, sibi a muliere exitium imminere, de regina de gradu dejicienda consilium inivit.'
21 Lodovico Falier, Relatione di 1531 'avendo trattato, di dargli a sorella del Cristianissimo adesso maritata al re di Navarra, gli promese di far tanto con S. Sta che disfacesse le nozze.'
22 Du Bellay au Grandmaistre 21 October 1528; after Wolsey's own narrative in Le Grand, Histoire du divorce de Henri VIII, iii. 186.
23 He says so himself. Bellay's letter in Le Grand iii. 318.
24 In Sanga to Gambara, 9 February 1528. I. d. p. ii. 85. 'La cosa che V.S. sa, che non potrà seguire senza gran rottura, fa S.S. facile a creder che posse essere ciò, che dice (Lotrec).
25 'Considering the nature of men, being prone into novelties—the realm of England would not only enter into their accustomed divisions, but also would owe or do small devotion unto the church: wherefore his Holiness was right well content and ready to adhibit all remedy that in him was possible as in this time would serve.' Knight to the Cardinal, 1 Jan. 1525, in Burnet i. Collect p 22.
26 'Incorrupta. Campeggi's letters to Sanga, 17, 26, 28 Oct. 1528. Laemmer, Monumenta Vaticana, 18 Oct. p. 25 seq. He gives his motive for communicating what the Queen said to him in confession as being her own wish. The archives too have long kept their secret.
27 According to Ricc. Scellejus, she prays the King, 'ne pergat suam oppugnare castitatem, quae dos erat maxima, quam posset futuro offerre marito, quaque violanda reginam etiam dominam proderet,—quoniam se illi fidelitatis sacramento obligasset.'
28 It seemed helpful to their working against the cardinal. Particularities of the life of Queen Anne, in Singer's Cavendish ii. 187.
29 Du Bellay in Le Grand iii. 296. 'Le duc de Norfolk et sa ande commencent deja à parler gros (28 Jan. 1520).'
30 In a letter of Sanga to Campeggi (Lettere di diversi autori eccellenti p. 60), we read the following words: 'In quanto alla dispensa di maritar il figliolo con la figliola del re, se con haver in questa maniera stabilita la successione S.M. si rimanesse del primo pensiero della dissolutione, S. Bne inclineria assai piu.' This looks as if a marriage between Henry VIII's natural son and Mary was spoken of.—So I wrote previously. The thing is quite true. Campeggi writes 28 Oct. to Sangan 'Han pensato si maritar la (la figliola) con dispensa di S. Sta al figlio natural del re, a che haveva pensato anch' io per stabilimento della successione.' (Monumenta Vaticana p. 30.)
31 Sanga to Campeggi 2 Sept. 1528 in the Lettere di diversi autori eccellenti, Venetia 1556, p. 40. ' V. Sra. vedra l' esito che ha havuto l' impresa del regno.—Bisogna che S. Bne vedendo l'imperatore vittoroso non si precipiti a dare all' imperatore causa di nuova rottura. . . . Sia almanco avvertita di non lasciarsi costringere a pronuntiare senza nuova et expressa commissione di qua.'
32 Falier says so very positively.
33 Sanga 29 May. 'S. Bne ricorda che il procedere sia lento et in modo alcuno non si venghi al giudicio.' Of the same date is Bellay's letter in which those exhortations of Wolsey to the French Court are contained.
34 ''Quasi che quello, che minacciano, non fosse prima a danno loro.' So it is said in a letter of Sanga, April 1529, Lettere di diversi autori p. 69.
35 'Pour ce qu'il n'est encoires temps qu'il meure que premierement l'on n'ayt entendu et veriffié plusieurs choses.' Chapuis to Charles V, 25 Oct. 1529, in Bradford, Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V, p, 291.
36 A letter printed in Fiddes (Life of Wolsey, Records 11. p. r 15, no 58), adds to the laconic parliamentary notices the desirable explanation: 'the knights being of the King's council, the King's servants and gentlemen . . . were long time spoken with and made to see (a misprint for "say") yea, it may fortune, contrary to their heart.'
37 Giustiniani: Four Years I. 162. 'They see that their treasure is spent in vain, and consequently loud murmurs and discontent prevail through the kingdom.'
38 'The only head sovereign lord and protector of both the said parties, your subjects spiritual and temporal.' Petition of the Commons 1529, in Froude, History of England I 200.
39 Indictment in Fiddes, Life of Wolsey p. 504.
40 'Pro domino rege, de recuperatione.' Ibid Collections no. 103.
41 Falier: 'comuneaciò a machinar contra la corona con S Stà.'
42 Pallavicino, Concilio di Trento III, XIV, V, from a Roman diary.
43 Original accounts in Burnet iii. 51, 53.
44 Proceedings in Burnet, History of the Reformation i. 117. Strype had already remarked its difference from the original demands.
45 Matters to be proposed in Convocation (in Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials i. 215 ) 'That the King's Majesty hath as well the care of the souls of his subjects as their bodies, and may by the law of God by his Parliament make laws touchlng and concerning as well the one as the other.'
46 Facsimile in Ellis's Original Letters, Ser. II. vol i. But this alteration cannot have taken place at the beginning of his government. This would presuppose all the results won by so much effort. The handwriting too is not that of a boy, but of a grown man.
47 Instruction for Rochefort, State Papers vii. 427.
48 Jean Joachim au roi (de France) 15 Feb 1510, afinche quesla opinion (della Faculta di Parigi) insieme con altre opinion delle universita di Angliteria et d' altrove per Mr. Winschier father of Anne Boleyn al papa si possino monstrar o presentar.
49 'The moste part of the nobles of the realm' Cranmer's letter to Hawkyns. Archaeologia xviii. 79.
50 In the treaty of Bologna (1 Feb. 1533) is an article, 'pro administranda justitia super divortio Anglicano et—amputando omnem superfluam dilationem '
51 Instruccion para el Conde de Cifuentes y Rodrigo Avalos. Papiers d'etat de Granvelle ii. 45
52 In a later report to the Emperor it is said, that the rights of the Queen and Princess were recognised, ' a l'instante pour suite de S. Me. Imperiale.' Ibid. ii. 110.
53 In Halliwell, Letters of the Kings of England I 317
54 Documents In the Corpus Reformatorum II 1032, III 42
55 Henry VIII to the judges—in Halliwell i 342 (25 June 1535).
56 Burnet, History of the Reformation i. 213. Soames, History of the Reformation ii 157.
57 Seckendorf, Historia Lutheranismi iii 13, xxxix. p. 112; my German History iv 46.
58 Injunctions given by the authority of the King. Burnet's Collection p. 160.
59 Prior of Charterhouse (Houghton), Speech, in Strype i. 313.
60 Froude, History of England iii. 104.
61 'The people were unsatisfyed that the parliament was not held at York: but our King alledged that since they had not restaured all the religious houses as they had promised he was not bound strictly to hold promise with them.' Herbert, Henry VIII, p 425.
62 ' Los impedimentos en que esta S. M, por la malignidad del dicho rey de Francia que haze gran fundamento en la adherencia del dicho rey de Inglaterra, y la obstinacion ceguedad y pertinacia en que esta. (Report in the State Archives at Paris.)
63 As it is said in the Emperor's letter of refusal to his ambassador at Rome. 'Los desviados de Germania se juntarian mas estrechamente con el rey de Inglaterra.' (Document in the Archives at Paris.)
64 In a letter of the Emperor, 2 November, is mentioned 'le descontentement, que le roi d'Ingleterre prenoit de Anna de Bolans.' Papiers d'etat 11. 224
65 Marillac au roi, 8 Juillet 1540. 'Le penple l'aymoit et estimoit bien fort, comme la plus douce gracieuse humaine Reyne, qu'ils eurent onque.'
66 A descriptlon of the scene, which deserves to be known, is contained in the letter of the French ambassador, Marillac, to the Constable Montmorency, 23 June 1540
67 Froude iv. 104
68 Marillac assures us that there were not more than eight vessels in England over 500 tons, that then the King built in 1540 fourteen larger ones, among them 'le grand Henri,' over 1800 tons; he had however 'peu de maistres que entendent a l'ouvrage. Les naufs (navires) du roi sont fournies d'artillerie et de munition beaucoup mieux que de bons pilots et de mariniers dont la plus pait sont estrangers.' (Letter of 1 Oct. 1540.)
69 Froude iv. 515 (extracts from the documents.)
70 Collier ii. 220 (Records lii).
71 Proclamatlon of 8 July 1549 in Tytler, England under Edward VI and Mary I, p. 180.
72 The point of view under which it was drawn up appears in a declaration inserted in the edition of 1549: 'the most weighty cause of the abolishment of certain ceremonies was, that they were abused partly by the superstitious blindness of the unlearned, and partly by unsatiable avarice.—Where the old (ceremonies) may be well used there they their opponents cannot reprove the old only for their age. They ought rather to have reverence unto them for their antiquity, if they will declare themselves to be more studious of unity and concord, than of innovations and newfangleness which is always to be eschewed.'
73 12 Sept. 1547 in Halliwell ii 31. Cranmer appointed a prayer in church for the marriage of Edward and Mary, 'to confound all those, which labour to the lett and interruption of so godly a quiet and amity.' In Somerset's prayer printed, since the first edition of this book, in Froude v. 47, it is said: 'Look upon the small portion of the earth, which professeth thy holy name; especially have an eye to thy small isle of Britain;—that the Scotsmen and we might thereafter live in one love and amity, knit into one nation by the marriage of the King's Majesty and the young Scotish Queen.'
74 Godwin, Rerum Anglicarum Annales 315
75 Proofs in Froude v. 1.36.
76 So Queen Elizabeth tells us. Ellis, Letters II. ii. 257.
77 Cecil however was not the first Master of Requests: Thomas More already appears under this title; Nares, Life of Burghley i. 179.
78 'You have suffered the rebels to be in camp and armour against the King his nobles and gentlemen; you did comfort divers of the said rebels.' Articles against the Lord Protector, in Strype, Memorials of Cranmer ii 342
79 Marillac 26 Oct. 1549. 'Ceux-ci (at the Emperor's court) font une merveilleuse demonstration de joye de ce que le protecteur est abattu ' In Turnbull, Calendar of State Papers 1861 p. 47 an Instruction of the Council is mentioned, 'to acquaint the Emperor with the proceeding taken against the Duke of Somerset.' We should like to be better informed about this Instruction, in which too the Emperor was asked for aid.
80 Soranzo, Relatione d' Inglaterra 1554. 'Per posseder la sua grazia ben amplamente, non solo faceva qualche spettacolo, per daigh piacere, ma gli diede liberta di danali ' Florentine Collection viii 37.
81 As he advises a friend 'Apply yourself to riding shooting or tennis—not forgetting sometimes when you have leisure, your learnlng, chiefly reading the Scripture.' Halliwell 1 49
82 Wheatly in Soames, History of the Reformation iii 604.
83 In the commission of 32 members (bishops, divines, civilians, lawyers) we find the names of Will. Cecil, Will. Peters, Thomas Smith.
84 Compare Heylin, History of the Reformation 50, 101.
85 King Edward. My devise for the succession in 'Chronicle of Queen Anna, with illustrative documents and notes' by Nicholls 89.
86 King Edward's Minutes for his last will in 'Chronicle of Queen Anna, with illustrative documents and notes' by Nicholls, 101
87 Engagement of the council, the signatures all autograph. Ibid 90
88 This was done by a correction. The original text was 'to the Lady Jane's heires masle;' instead of 'Jane's,' the King now wrote 'to the Lady Jane and her h m (Nares' Burghley I 452, Nicholls 87 )
89 Lettre écrite à l'empereur par ses ambassadeurs en Angleterre 19 Juill. Luy (nu roi de France) sera facile, d'envoyer 2 ou 3 m. Français et quelques gens de chevaux. Plusieurs de ce royaume sont d'opinlon, si V.M. assistoit ma dite dame (Mary) de gens et de secours contre le dit duc, la dite dame ne diminucroint rien l'affection du peuple.
90 Proclama avec le dict herault Mm Marie à haute voix. Lettre des ambassadeurs a l'empereur. Papiers d'état de Grenvelle iv. 58.
91 To the reports of the French and Spanish ambassadors (compare Ambassades de Mss. de Noailles en Angleterre ii. 269, Turner ii. 204, Froude vi. 124) may be added that of the Venetian: 'ch' ella si consiglierebbe con dio e non con altri.' I combine this with Noailles' account; for these ambassadors were immediately informed by their friends of the deputation and have noted down that part of the Queen's speech which made most impression on the bystanders.
92 Soranzo Relatione 79, a testimony worth consideration, as Soranzo stood in a certain connexion with the rebels.
93 So Simon Renard reports 24th Feb. 1552 to the Emperor after Wyatt's confession. 'Le roy feroit emprinse de coustel d'Escosse et de coustel de Guyenne (it should without doubt be Guisnes) et Calais': in Tytler ii, 207. Wyatt's statements in the 'State Trials' refer to a confession which is not given there, and from which the ambassador may have taken his account.
94 Renard a l'empereur, 8 Feb. The communications in Tytler, which come from Brussels, and the Papiers d'état de Granvelle, which come from Besançon, supplement each other, yet even when taken both together they are still not qulte complete
95 The Queen imputed the chief blame to Paget 'Quand l'on a parlé de la peyne des heretiques, il a solicite les Seigneurs pour non y consentir ny donner lieu a peyne de mort ' Renald a l'empereur, in Tytler ii 386.
96 Les seigneurs quils ont pension du roy font teis et si bons offices es contrées et provinces di roy ou ils ont charge que l'on ne oye dire si non que le peuple est content de l'alliance; ce que divertit les mauvais.' Renard à l'empereur, 13 Oct. Papiers d'état iv. 348.
97 Carta del rey Don Felipe a la princess de Portugal Donna Juana su hermana, in Ribadeneira, Historia del Scisma 381
98 Renald informs King Ferdinand that this resolution would be adopted the 29 Nov (Papiers d'état IV 344), 'Confiant que la dispense sont generale, pour sans scruple confirmer à possession des biens ecclesiasti jues es mains de ceux qui les tiennent'.
99 'La chambre haulte y faict difficulté pour ce, que l'autorité et jurisdiction des évesques est autorizee et que la pelne semble trop griefve.' Renard à l'empereur, Papiers d'état iv 347
100 Renard, ibid 341 'Le chancellier insistoit, que l'on declaira Mme Elizabeth bastarde en ce parlement.' They feared 'l'evidente et congnue contrariéte que seroit en tout le royaume.'
101 Condemnatio Johannis Hooper, in Burnet Coll. iii. 246. Compare Foxe, Martyrs vol. iii; Soames iv.
102 According to a despatch of Micheli (25 Nov. 1555) she says to the Parliament: 'che non ad altro fine dalla Maesta di dio era predestinata e riservata alla successione del regno, se non per servirsi di lei principalmente nella riduttione alla fede cattolica.'
103 'Erat tanta in plerisque animorum obstinatio ac pertinacia, ut benignitati et clementiae nullum plane locum relinquerent.' Vita Poli, in Quirini i. 42.
104 Micheli, Relatione, 'Incontaminatissimo da ogni sorte di passione et interessi humani, non prevalendo in lui ni l'autorità de principi ni rispetto di sangue ni d'amicizia.'
105 'Assicurando e levando il sospetto, che per quello che privatamente ciascuno possedeve, non sarebbe mai molestato ni travagliato.' Micheli, despatch 25 Nov., from whose reports I draw my notices of these proceedings in general.
106 Micheli, despatch 1556, 7 April, notes 'la maggior parte dei gentilhuomini del contado di Dansur (Devonshire) come conscii et partecipi della congiura.' 5 Magg. 'Tutta la parte occidentale è in sospetto.'
107 The Constable to Noailles, Amb. v. 310. 'Le roy a advisé d'entretenir doulcement Dudelay et secrettement toute fois, pour s'en servir s'il en est de besoing luy donnant moyen d'entretenir aussi par de là des intelligences, qu'il faut retenir.'
108 Suriano, despatch 29 April 1557. 'Si è scoperto l'animo di molti, che non si sono potuti contener di mostrarsi desiderosi di veder alteration del stato presente.'
109 Godwin 470 'Innumeri perierunt, sed aetate fere provectiores et inter eos sacredotum ingens numerus '