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Lincoln, with some abbots, the dean of the king's chapel, and Fox, his almoner, would intercede in behalf of the clergy; which they undertook to do.
In the 106th session, which was on the 10th of May, the archbishop appointed a committee to go and treat with the bishop of Rochester at his house upon that matter. In the 107th session, the 13th of May, the archbishop appointed the chanceller of Worcester to raise Tracy's body: then they agreed to the answer they were to make to the king. In the 108th session, on the 15th of May, the writ for proroguing the convocation was brought to the archbishop : at the same time, the duke of Norfolk, the marquis of Exeter, the earl of Oxford, the Lord Sands, Lord Chamberlain, and the Lord Bullen, and Lord Rochfort, were in secret conference with the archbishops and bishops for the space of an hour; when they withdrew the prolocutor and clergy came up. The archbishop asked, how they had agreed to the schedule, which, as appears, was the form of the submission. The prolocutor told him how many were for the affirmative, how many for the negative, and how many were for putting off the three articles of the submission. The archbishop said, he expected those lords would come back to him from the king, and so sent them back to their house. These lords came back to the chapter-house, and after some discourse with the bishops they retired. After dinner the schedule was read in English, and the archbishop asked if they agreed toit; they all answered, they did agree to it; only the bishop of Báth dissented. Then he sent it down to his chancellor, to propose it to the lower house. After that, on the 15th of May, it seems the schedule was sent back by the lower house, though that is not mentioned in the abstract that we have remaining. For that day the convocation was prorogued, and the next day the archbishop delivered it to the king, as enacted and concluded by himself and others. The convocation was prorogued to the 5th of November.
And thus this great transaction was brought about in little more than a month's time : the first motion towards it being made on the 12th of April, and it was concluded on the 15th of May. It appears by their heat against Tracy's testament, and
gainst Latimer, that they who managed the opposition that was made to it, were enemies to every thing that looked towards a reformation. It seems Fisher did not protest ; for though by their sending a committee to his house, it may be supposed he was sick at that time, yet he might have sent a proxy, and ordered a dissent to be entered in his name ; and that not being done, gives ground to suppose that he did not vehemently oppose this submission.
By it, all the opposition that the convocations would probably have given to every step that was made afterwards in the reformation, was so entirely restrained, that the quiet progress of that work was owing chiefly to the restraint under which the clergy put themselves by their submission : and in this the whole body of this reformed church has cheerfully acquiesced, till within these tew years, that great endeavours have been used to blacken and disgrace it.
I have seen no particular account how this matter went in the convocation at York, nor how matters went there ; save only that it was agreed to give a tenth. I have seen a letter of Magnus, one of the king's chaplains, who was required by Cromwell to go thither, where Dr. Lee was to meet him. There is no year added in the date of the letter ; but since he mentions the last convocation, that had given a great sum of money, and owned the king to be the supreme, that fixes it to this session. He dates it from Marybone the 21st of April, as it will be seen in the Collection (No. xxi).
He was then in an ill state of health, but promises to be at York soon after the beginning of their convocation. He complains, that he had no assistance at the last meeting ; and that the books, which the king had promised should be sent after him, were not sent; which made the king's cause to be the longer in treating, before it came to a good conclusion. The prelates and clergy there would not believe any report of thie acts passed at London, unless they were showed them authentically, either under seal, or by the king's letters. He hopes both these things which had been neglected formerly would be now done ; otherwise the clergy in those parts would not proceed to any strange acts; so he warns him that all things may be put in order.
Whatsoever it was that passed either in the one or the other convocation, the king kept it within himself for two years : for so long he was in treating terms with Rome; and if that had gone on, all this must have been given up: but when the final breach came on, which was after two years, it was ratified in parliament,
Before the next meeting Warham died. He had all along concurred in the king's proceedings, and had promoted them in convocation ; yet in the last year of his life, six months before his death, on the 9th of February, 1531, he made a protestation of a singular nature, not in the house of lords, but at Lambeth ; and so secretly, that mention is only made of three notaries and four witnesses present at the making, of it. It is to this effect : “ that what statutes soever had passed, or were to pass in this present parliament, to the prejudice of the pope or the apostolic see, or that derogated Vol. III, PART I.
from, or lessened the ecclesiastical authority, or the liberties of his see of Canterbury, he did not consent to them ; but did disown and dissent from them. This was found in the Longueville library, and was communicated to me by Dr. Wake, the present bishop of Lincoln. I leave it with the reader to consider what construction can be made upon this ; whether it was in the decline of his life put on him by his confessor about the time of Lent, as a penance for what he had done; or if he must be looked on as a deceitful man, that, while he seemed openly to concur in those things, he protested against them secretly. The instrument will be found in the Collection (No. xxii). Upon his death, the prior and convent of Christ's church of Canterbury deputed the bishop of St. Asaph to preside in the convocation. On the 20th of February, in the fourth session, the bishop of London moved that the two universities should be exempted from paying any part of the subsidy : the same was also desired for some religious orders, and it was agreed to; Gardiner only dissenting as to the exemption of the religious orders. It may reasonably be supposed, that his opposing this was in compliance with the king, who began to show an aversion both to the monks and friars; seeing they were generally in the interests of Queen Katharine ; and Gardiner was the most forward in his compliances of all the clergy, Bonner only excepted, though the old leaven of popery was deep in them both.
In the 11lth session, on the 26th of March, Latimer was again brought before them ; and it was laid to his charge, that he had preached contrary to his promise. Gardiner inveighed severely against him; and to him all the rest agreed. When the prolocutor came up, the president spoke to him of the subsidy; then the matter of the king's marriage was brought before them. Gardiner produced some instruments which he desired them to read : they were the judgments of several universities. Some doubted if it was safe to debate a matter that was then depending before the pope; but the president put an end to that fear by producing á breve of the pope's, in which all were allowed to deliver their opinions freely in that matter ; so he exhorted them to examine the questions to be put to them carefully, that they might be prepared to give their opinions about them.
In the 112th session, the president produced the original instruments of the universities of Paris, Orleans, Bologna, Padua, Bourges, and Thoulouse (Angiers and Ferrara are not named); and after much disputing, they were desired to deliver their opinions as to the consummation of the marriage. But because it was a difficult case, they asked more
time. They had till four o'clock given them; then there were yet more disputings; in conclusion, they agreed with the universities. This was first put to them; though, in the instrument made upon it, it is mentioned after that which was offered to them in the next session.
On the 2d of April, 1533 *, Cranmer being now consecrated, and present, two questions were proposed and put to the vote. The first was, “ Whether the prohibition to marry the brother's wise, the former marriage being consummated, was dispensible by the pope ?” Or, as it is in the minutes, “Whether it was lawful to marry the wife of a brother dying without issue; but having consummated the marriage ? and if the prohibition of such a marriage was grounded on a Divine law, with which the pope could dispense or not ?". There were present sixty-six divines, with the proxies of one hundred and ninety-seven absent bishops, abbots, and others: all agreed to the affirmative, except only nineteen. The second question was,
Whether the consummation of Prince Arthur's marriage was sufficiently proved ?”. This belonged to the canonists; so it was referred to the bishops and clergy of that profession, being forty-four in all, of whom one had the proxy of three bishops : all these, except five or six, affirmed it: of these, the bishop of Bath and Wells was
Of all this a public instrument was made. In the account I formerly gave of this matter, I offered a conjecture concerning the constitution of the two houses, that deans and archdeacons, who sat in their own right, were then of the upper house ; which, I see, was without any good ground. I likewise committed another error, through inadvertence : for I said, the opinions of nineteen universities were read ; whereas only six were read. And the nineteen, which I added to the number of the universities, was the number of those who did not agree to the
These questions were next sent to the convocation of the province of York, where there were present twenty-seven divines, who had the proxies of twenty-four who were absent: and all these, two only excepted, agreed to the first question. There were likewise forty-four canonists present, with the proxies of five or six : to them the second question was put; and all these were for the affirmative, two only excepted. The whole representative of the church of England, in the convocation of the two provinces of Canterbury and York, did in this manner give their answer to the two questions put to them ; upon which Cranmer wrote
to the king on the 11th of April, complaining that the great cause of his matrimony had depended long; and upon that he desired his licence to judge it : which the king readily granted. So he gave sentence, condemning it on the 230 of May: and then the king openly owned his second marriage, for the new queen's big belly could be no longer concealed.
This was highly resented at Rome, as an open attempt upon the pope's authority; and these steps, in their style, were called the attentates : so considering the blind submission to the popes, in which the world had been kept for so many ages, it was no wonder to find the imperialists call upon the pope, almost in a tumultuary manner, to exert his authority to the full when he saw it so openly affronted. And it is very probable, that if the pope had not, with that violent passion that Italians have for the advancing their families, run into the proposition for marrying his niece to the duke of Orleans, he would have fulminated upon this occasion: but he, finding that might be broke off if he had proceeded to the utmost extremities with King Henry, was therefore resolved to prolong the time, and to delay the final sentence; otherwise the matter would have been ended much sooner than it was.
Gardiner, Bryan, and Bennet, were sent as ambassadors to the king of France, to Marseilles. Bonner was also sent thither on a more desperate service'; for he was ordered to go and read the king's appeal from the pope to a general council, in the pope's own presence, at such time and in such a manner as the king's ambassadors should direct*. Of the execution of this he gave the king a very particular account, in a letter to him, bearing date at Marseilles, the 13th of November 1533 ; which the reader will find in the Collection (No. xxiii), copied from the original; in it he tells the king
That being commanded by his ambassadors, to intimate to the pope in person, the provocations and appeals that he had made to a general council, he carried one Penniston, who it seems was a notary,with him to make an act concerning it. They came to the pope's palace on the 17th of November, in the morning. He found some difficulty in getting access ; for he was told that the pope was going to hold å consistory, so that no other business was to interpose : yet he got into the pope's chamber, where the pope was with the two cardinals, de Medicis and Lorrain, the pope being apparelled in his stole to go to the consistory: the pope quickly
* Cotton Lib. Vitell. B, 14.