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to serve his friend, and to prevent the great mischief that might follow to the church, and to all Christendom: for there was not any one thing omitted, that could have been done. The imperialists were running about the streets in great bodies, crying, Empire and Spain, as if they had got a victory; and had bonfires and discharges of canaon upon it. The Cardinals Trevulce, Rodolphe, and Priane, were not of that number ; others had not behaved themselves so well as was expected. Raince, one of the ambassadors, said he would give himself to the devil, if the pope should not find a way to set all right that is now spoiled: he pressed the other ambassadors to go again to the pope for that end, it being a maxim in the canon law, that matrimonial causes are never so finally judged but that they may be reviewed : they were assured that the pope was surprised in this, as well as he had been in the first sentence passed in this matter. The pope had been all that night advising with his doctors how to find a remedy, and was in great pain about it; upon the knowledge of this they were resolved to go to him, and see if any thing was to be expected. In a postscript he tells the king, that he ought not io think it strange, if in their last letters they gave other hopes of the opinion of the cardinals than appeared now by their votes : they took what they wrote to him from what they said, which they heard, and not from their thoughts, which they could not know*.” By a letter that Pompoue Trevulce wrote from Lyons to the bishop of Auxerre, it appears, that the bishop of Paris passed through Lyons, in his return, on the 14th, two days before: “in it he gave him the same account of the final sentence that was formerly related : the bishop said to him it was not the pope's fault, for he was for a delay, and if they had granted a delay of six days, the king of England would have returned to the obedience of the apostolic see; and left his cause to be proceeded in according to justice; but the imperialists and their party in the consistory presse i the matter so, that they would admit of no delay : but when after a day the courier came, the imperialists themselves were confounded : he adds one thing, that the bishop told him of his brother the cardinal, that he pressed the delay so earnestly, that he was reproached for it, and called a Frenchman : he avowed that he was a servant to the most Christian king, and that the king of France, and his predecessors, had never done. any thing but good to the apostolic see.
And now I have laid together all the proceedings in the
* Mel. Hist. p. 117.
matters relating to the king's divorce, and his breach with the court of Rome. In opening all this, I have had a great deal of light given me, by the papers that M. Le Grand had published, and by the book that he gave me ; for which, whatever other differences 1 may have with him, I return him in this public way my hearty thanks. There appears to have been a signal train of providence in the whole progress of this matter, that thus ended in a total rupture. The court of Rome, being overawed by the emperor, engaged itself far at first: but when the pope and the king of France were so entirely united as they knew they were, it seems they were under an infatuation from God, to carry their authority so far at a time in which they saw the king of England had a parliament to support him in his breach with Rome. It was but too visible, that the king would have given all if the pope would have done him but common justice. But when the matter was brought so near a total union, an entire breach followed, in the very time in which it was thought all was made up: those who favoured the Reformation saw all their hopes as it seemed blasted; but of a sudden all was revived again. This was an amazing transaction; and how little honour soever this full discovery of all the steps made in it does to the memory of King Henry, who retained his inclinations to a great deal of popery to the end of his life, yet it is much to the glory of God's providence, that made the persons most concerned to prevent and hinder the breach, to be the very persons that brought it on, and in a manner forced it.
The sentence was given at Rome on the 23d of March, on the same day in which the act of the succession to the crown of England did pass here in England : and certainly the parliament was ended before it was possible to have had the news from Rome of what passed in the consistory on the 23d of March: for it was prorogued on the 30th of March. So that if King Henry's word had been taken by the pope and the consistory, he seems to have put it out of his power to have made it good, since it is scarce possible to think, that a parliament, that had gone so far in the breach with Rome, could have been preyailed on to undo all that they had been doing for four years together.
Nothing material passed in convocation before the 31st of March, and then the actuary exhibited the answer of the lower house to this question, Whether the bishop of Rome has any greater jurisdiction given him by God in the Holy Scriptures, within the kingdom of England, than any other foreign bishop ?" There were thirty-two for the nega.
tive, four for the affirmative, and one doubted. It was a thin house, and no doubt many absented themselves on design : but it does not appear how this passed in the upper house, or whether it was at all debated there : for the prelates had, by their votes in the house of lords, given their opinions already in the point. The convocation at York had the same position, no more made a question, put to them on the 5th of May: there the archbishop's presidents were deputed by him to confirm and fortify this. After they had examined it carefully, they did all unanimously, without a contrary vote, agree to it; upon which an instrument was made by the archbishop, and sent to the king, which will be found in the Collection (No. xxvi), as it was taken out of the register of York.
The king sent the same question to the university of Oxford, and had their answer. That part of the king's letter that relates to this matter, and the university's answer, were sent me, taken from the archives there, by the learned Mr. Bingham, which will be found in the Collection (No. xxvii). The king required them to examine the question sent by him to them, concerning the power and primacy of the bishop of Rome, and return their answer under the common seal, with convenient speed, according to the sincere truth. Dated from Greenwich, the 18th day of May. The answer is directed to all the sons of their mother church, and is made in the name of the bishop of Lincoln, their chancellor, and the whole convocation of all doctors, and master regents, and non-regents.
“ It sets forth, that whereas the king had received the complaints and petitions of his parliament, against some intolerable foreign exactions; and some controversies being raised concerning the power and authority of the bishop of Rome, the king, that he might satisfy his people, but not break in upon any thing declared in the Scriptures (which he will be always most ready to defend with his blood), had sent this question to them (setting it down in the terms in which it;was proposed to the convocation). They upon this, to make all the returns of duty and obedience to the king, had brought together the whole faculty of divinity: and for many days they had searched the Scriptures, and the most approved commentators, and had collated them diligently, and had held public disputations on the matter ; and at last they had all unanimously agreed, that the bishop of Rome has no greater jurisdiction given him by God, in the Holy Scriptures, in this kingdom of England, than any other foreign bishop. This determination, made according to the statutes of their university, they affirm and testify as true, certain
and agreeing to the Holy Scriptures : dated on the 27th of June, 1534.” Here was a long deliberation : it lasted about tive weeks after the king's letter, and was a very full and clear determination of the point.
To this I shall add the fullest of all the subscriptions, instruments, and oaths, that was made, pursuant to these laws and decrees of convocation. I have seen several others to the same purpose : of which Rymer has published many instruments, all from page 487 to page 527, of ecclesiasties, regulars as well as seculars, mendicants, and Carthusians. but that from the prior and chapter of Worcester being much the fullest of them all, I shall only insert it in. my Coilection (No. xxviii), and leave out all the rest, that I may not weary the reader with a heavy repetition of the. various forms, in which some expatiated copiously, to show their zeal for the king's authority, and against the papacy; which was looked on then as the distinguishing character of those who designed to set on a further reformation: whereas those, who did adhere to their former opinions, thought it enough barely to sign the proposition, and to take the oath prescribed by law.
There was likewise an order published, but how soon it does not appear to me; Strype says in June, 1534; it was before Queen Anne's tragical fall, directing the bidding prayers for the king, as the only and supreme head of this catholic church of England, then for Queen Anne, and then for the Lady Elizabeth, daughter to them both, our princess : and no further in the presence of the king and queen; but in all other places they were to pray for all archbishops. and bishops, and for the whole clergy, and such as shall please the preacher to name of his devotion ; then for all the nobility, and such as the preacher should name; then for the souls of them that were dead, and such of them as the preacher shali name. Every preacher was ordered to preach once, in the greatest audience, against the usurped authority of the bishop of Rome ; and he was left after that to his liberty: no preachers were in the pulpit to inveigh against, or to deprave one another : if they had occasion to complain, they were to do it to the king, or the bishop of the diocess. They were not to preach for or against purgatory, the honouring of saints, that faith only justifieth, to go on pilgrimages, or to support miracles: these things had occasioned great dissensions; but those were then well pacified. They were to preach the words of Christ, and not mix with them men's institutions, cr to make God's laws and men's laws of equal authority; or to teach that any man had power to dispense with God's law. It seems there
was a sentence of excommunication with relation to the laws and liberties of the church published once a year, against all such as broke them ; this was to be no more published. The collects for the king and queen by name were to be said in all high masses; they were likewise to justify to the people the king's last marriage, and to declare how ill the king had been used by the pope in all that matter, with the proofs of the unlawfulness of his former marriage ; and a long deduction was made of the process at Rome, and of all the artifices used by the pope, to get the king to subject himself to him, which I need not relate: it contains the substance of the whole cause, and the order of the process formerly set forth ; I have put it in the Collection (No. xxix). "All that is particular in it is, that the king affirms, that a decretal bull was sent over, decreeing, that if the former marriage was proved, and if it did appear, as far as presumptions can prove it, that it was consummated, that marriage was to be held unlawful and null. This bull, after it was seen by the king, was, by the bishop of Rome's commandment, embezzled by the cardinals. He adds another particular, which I find nowhere but here; that the pope gave out a sentence in the manner of an excommunication and interdiction of him and his realm; of which complaint being made, as being contrary to all law and right, the fault was laid on a new officer lately come to the court; who ought to have been punished for it, and the process was to cease: but though this was promised to the king's agents, yet it went on, and was set up in Flanders. Perhaps the words in the bishop of Paris's last letter, that the pope was surprised in the last sentence, as he had been in the first, are to be explained and applied to this. He also mentions the declarations that the pope had made to the French king and his council, of what he would gladly do for the king, allowing the justness of his cause ; and that he durst not do it at Rome, for fear of the emperor, but that he would come and do it at Marseilles; and there he promised to that king to give judgment for the king, so he would send a proxy, which he knew before that he would not do, nor was he bound to do it.
Thus the king took care to have his cause to be fully set forth to all his own subjects: his next care was to have it rightly understood by all the princes of Europe. I have found the original instructions that he gave to Paget, then one of the clerks of the signet, whom he sent to the king of Poland, and the dukes of Pomerania and Prussia, and to the cities of Dantzic, Stetin, and Coningsburg : and it is to be supposed, that others were sent to other princes and