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their lands, which had been openly talked at some tables. If the king of France intended to interpose in his favour, no time was to be lost. Anne Boleyn, as it was believed, had got a promise of the king. that he would not admit him to a private audience, lest that might beget some pity in him.”
On the 22d of October, he wrote, “that all his goods were seized on, and that his spirit was quite sunk. It was not known who should have the great seal; it was believed it would no more be put into a priest's hands; but he saw Gardiner was like to have a great share in affairs f. The cardinal's goods that were seized on were valued at 500,000 crowns. More, who had been chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, was made lord chancellor. The see of York was to be left in his hands; and some of his goods were to be sent back to him. The bishop did apprehend, that if the new ministry did not agree, which he believed they would not do long, he might be brought back to court again.”
I have given the relation of this great transaction more particularly than was perhaps necessary; but finding so clear a thread in those letters, I thought it not improper to follow them closely; the rather, to show, that none of the papers that Mr. Le Grand has published, do in the least contradict, but rather establish all that I had written: and so punctual a relation being laid before me, by those who bore no good will to me, nor to my work, seemed an invitation to me to enlarge further than perhaps was necessary. I will end theretore all that relates to Cardinal Wolsey at once.
Upon his going to York, he behaved himself much better than he had done in the former parts of his life. In a book that was printed in the year 1536, entitled A Remedy for Sedition, writ by one that was no friend to popery, this character is given of the last part of Wolsey's life :-“ None was better beloved than he, after he had been there awhile. He gave bishops a good example, how they might win men's hearts. There were few holy days but he would ride five or six miles from his house; now to this parish church, now to that; and there cause one of his doctors to make a sermon unto the people: he sat among them, and said mass before all the parish. He saw why churches were made, and began to restore them to their right and proper use. If our bishops had done so, we should have seen, that preaching the gospel is not the cause of sedition, but rather lack of preaching it. He brought his dinner with him, and bade divers of the parish to it. He inquired if there was any debate or grudge between any of them ; if there were, after
dinner he sent for the parties to the church, and made them all one.”
I had, in my work, mentioned the concluding character that I found Cavendish gave of him, that was left out in the printed editions ; which made me vouch the manuscript, from which I had it: but the last edition agreeing with that copy, I need say no more to justify my quotation, for it will be found in it.
It may seem strange, that when the bishop of Bayonne first suggested to Wolsey, that if the king's marriage was against the law of God, the pope's dispensation could be of no force, yet no inferences were made from this. All ou writers give Cranmer the honour of having started that first; and they make that the foundation of his advancement. I can see no other way to reconcile all this, but that it may be supposed Wolsey, as true to the interests of the papacy, was unwilling to let it be moved in public; and that he kept this between the bishop of Bayonne and himself, without communicating it to the king. Now the cause was called away to Rome, and so a new process followed with a very slow progress : delays upon delays were granted, and yet all was precipitated in conclusion.
In the meanwhile, the king sent his questions to the facul. ties of law and divinity, in the several universities of Europe : and understanding that Martin de Bellay, the elder brother of the bishop of Bayonne, distinguished by the title of Sieur de Langey, had great credit in the universities, both in France, Italy, and Germany, he engaged him to procure their opinions upon the point of the unlawfulness of his marriage : who, in the view of this service, prevailed with the king to lend the king of France 150,000 crowns, being to be advanced as a part of the two millions, that he was to pay for the redemption of his son ; which was to be repaid to King Henry in five years. Besides, he assigned over to him the forfeiture due by the emperor, for not marrying his daughter* : and he sent, in a present to his godson Henry, afterwards king of France, a jewel, with some of that which was believed to be the true cross, that had been left in pawn with the king, by Philip, Charles's father, for 50,000 crowns : so ready was the king to engage the king of France into his interest at no small charge to himself.
I come next to open the transactions in the convocation that was summoned to meet on the 5th of November, 1529, two days after the opening of the parliament. At their first meeting, a reformation of abuses was proposed ; and with
* Mart. de Bellage's Memoires, p. 282,
that an inquiry was made concerning heretical books. A committee of bishops was appointed with relation to heretics. On the 19th of December secrecy was enjoined, and that was again a second time enjoined under the pain of excommunication : then the prolocutor came up, and had secret conference with the upper house. They remitted to the king the loan that they had made him ; and they put an end to that work on Christmas-eve, a week after the parliament was risen.
The bishops were much offended at the translations of the the New Testament by Tindall, Joyce, and others (May 24); and proceeded severely against those who read them : yet it was not easy to put a stop to the curiosity and zeal of the people. The king came to the star-chamber, and conferred with the bishops and other learned men on this subject : the bishops said, these translations were not true, and complained of the prologues set before them. So the king commanded by a proclamation, issued and printed in June, 1530, that these translations should be called in, and promised that a new one should be made. On this occasion it is not unfit to mention what Doctor Fulk writes that he heard Miles Coverdale say, in a sermon he preached at Paul's Cross. After he had finished his translation some censured it; upon which king Henry ordered divers bishops to peruse it: after they had it long in their hands he asked their judgment of it; they said, there were many faults in it: but he asked upon that, if there were any heresies in it; they said they found none : then said the king, In God's name, let it go abroad among my people. The time is not marked when this was said, therefore I insert it here : for in the beginning of the following year, the king ordered a bible of the largest volume to be had in every church, but it does not appear to me by whom it was translated.
On the 19th of September, 1530, another proclamation was made against all who should purchase any thing from the court of Rome, contrary to the king's prerogative, or to hinder his intended purposes. The convocation was again brought together, about the 7th of January; their greatest business was to purchase their pardon : for, as the cardinal had fallen under a premunire by the act of the sixteenth of Richard the Third: so they were generally involved, more or less, in the same guilt: the sum was soon agreed to, with the consent of the lower house ; £100,000 was to be their ransom.
On the 7th of February some of the king's counsellors and judges came and conferred with them about some words that were proposed to be put into the preamble of the bill of sub
sidy, which were these, “ The king, who is the protector, and the only supreme head of the church and clergy of England. Upon this the prolocutor and clergy were cal
and clergy were called up to confer about it: the lord chief justice, with others, came into the convocation, and conferred with the archbishop and his brethren : the next day the prolocutor desired a further time, and the archbishop assigned them one o'clock : then the archbishop had some discourse with them concerning the king's pardon. Some of the judges came and communicated to them a copy of the exceptions in the act of grace : this was in the twenty-third session : in the twenty-fourth session there was yet further talk about the king's supremacy.
The judges came and asked them whether they were agreed upon the exceptions; and added, that the king would admit of no qualifications : when these were gone, the prolocutor came up and asked yet more time; the archbishop appointed two o'clock the same day : a long debate followed. The next day the archbishop had a secret conference with the bishops, and Cromwell came and had some discourse with him ; when he went away, the bishops resolved to send the bishops of Lincoln and Exeter to the king, it seems to soften him ; but they came back, and reported that the king would not speak with them. The judges told them, they had no orders to settle the king's pardon till they did agree to the supremacy. They were prorogued till the afternoon, and then there was so great a variety of opinions, tha
nat no agreement was like to follow. The Lord Rochford, Anne Boleyn's father, was sent by the king with some expedients ; the archbishop directed them to consider of these, and that when they were come to a resolution upon them, that they should send three or four of each house to treat with the king's council, and with the judges ; but the king would admit of no treaty, and asked a clear answer. It was put off a day longer, and on the 11th of February the article was thus conceived in Latin *, Ecclesia et cleri Anglicani singularem protectorem et unicum et supremum dominum, et quantum per Christi legem licet, etiam supremum caput, ipsius Mujestatem recognoscimus. In English thus, We recognize the King's Majesty to be our only sovereign lord, the singular protector of the church and clergy of England ; and, as far as is to be allowed by the law of Christ, likewise our supreme head.
The form being thus agreed on, the archbishop offered it to the whole body; all were silent : upon which he said, Whosoever is silent seems to consent; to this one answered,
Then we are all silent. The meeting was put off till the afternoon; and then, after a long conference, all the upper house agreed to it, none excepted; Fisher is expressly named as present: and in the evening the prolocutor came and signified to the archbishop, that the lower house had also consented to it: and thus the bill of subsidy was prepared, and offered to the king on the 1st of April. Thus this matter was carried, by adding this limitation, which all parties understood according to their different notions.
Though these words of limitation had not been added, the nature of things required that they should have been supposed; since, among Christians, all authority must be understood to be limited by the laws that Christ has given : but those who adhered to their former notions, understood this beadship to be only a temporal authority, even in ecclesiastical matters ; and they thought that, by the laws of Christ, the secular authority ought not to meddle in ecclesiastical matters; whereas others of the new learning, as it was then called, thought that the magistrate had a full authority, even in ecclesiastical matters ; but that the administration of this was so limited to the laws of the gospel, that it did not warrant him to command any thing, but what was conform to these. So that these words were equivocal, and differently understood by those who subscribed, and afterwards swore them.
It seems the king thought it was of great advantage to him to have this matter settled with any limitation ; for that in time wouid be dropped and forgotten, as indeed it was : this, no doubt, was intended to terrify the court of Rome ; since it was published over all Europe, that it went unanimously in the convocation of this province.
Tonstall was now translated to Duresme: and being a man of great probity, he could not approve of a thing in which he saw a frandulent management, and an ill design; so he protested against it: he acknowledged the king's headship in temporal matters, but did not allow it in spirituals : but the king, who had a particular friendship for him, wrote him a letter, which, from the printed title to it, I too hastily thought was directed to the convocation at York; but it was writ only to Tonstall; and it seems it so far satisfied him, that he took the oath afterwards, without any limitation.
I shall now go through the rest of the abstract of that convocation, by which it will appear what was the spirit that prevailed among them. In the forty-ninth session, after all had agreed to the preamble of the bill of subsidy, the bishop of London laid before them a libel against the clergy: in the next session, Crome, Latimer, and Bilney, were examined