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The bishop of Auxerre, the French ambassador, had wrote from Rome* ; "that the pope would do all that they asked, and more if he durst or could : but he was so pressed by the emperor's people, that though it was against God and reason, and the opinion even of some of the imperial cardinals, he was forced to do whatsoever cardinal Dosme demanded.” In a letter to cardinal Tournon, the bishop of Auxerre complains, that the king of England was ill used ; and in a letter to the pope's legate in France he writes, “ that the pope was disposed to grant King Henry's desire, yet he was so pressed by the imperialists, that he expected no good from him, unless in the way of dissembling : he firmly believed he would do well if he durst : his answer to the king of France was as good as could be wished for, he hoped the effects would agree to it: Cardinal Farnese, the ancientest cardinal (afterwards Pope Paul the Third), was wholly for them : the cardinal of Ancona, next to him in seniority, was wholly imperialist. He writes, that the ambassadors had an audience of three hours of the pope, when they delivered the king of France's letters on the king of England's behalf: the pope saidt, he was sorry that he must determine the matter; for he should have small thanks on both sides. The thing had been now four years in his hands, he had yet done nothing; if he could do as he wished, he wished as they all wished : and he spake this in such a manner, that they were much mi
much mistaken if h oke not as he thought. The pope asked them what made the king of France to be so earnest in this matter : they answered, that the two kings were so united, that they were both more touched with the affairs each of the other than with their
In another letter to Montmorency, he writes, “ that there was a new delay granted for four months. The pope, upon his granting it, pressed him to write to the king, to prevail with King Henry to send a proxy. He answered, he believed that would not be done unless assurance was given, that the cause should be remitted. If the matter had been then put to the vote, the ancient and learned cardinals would have judged for the king of England; but they were few, and the number of the others was great ; so that the cause would have been quite lost.”
At the same time the cardinal of Ancona proposed to Bennet and to Cassalit, that, if a proxy were sent to Rome, they should have not only justice, but all manner of favour :
* Mel. Hist. p. 174.
* Mel. Hist. p. 175.
for both the pope and the cardinals did very positively promise, that a commission should be made to delegates to hear the witnesses in England, reserving only the final sentence to the pope. Cassali was, upon this, sent to England ; but his negotiation had no effect: only he seems to have known wall the secret method of practising with the cardinals. For, upon his return, he met the king of France at Compeigne, with whom he had much discourse about managing the cardinals ; particularly Cardinal de Monte (afterwards Pope Julius the Third). The king of France had sent forty thousand crowns, to be distributed in the court of Rome; upon which he offers some very prudent suggestions. The letter to the king from thence seemed so considerable that I have put it in the Collection (No.xix).
These were the preparations on all hands for the meeting at Marseilles; where Francis protested that he set himself so earnestly to get satisfaction to be given to Henry, that he minded no business of his own, till he should see what could be done in that. The pope said indeed, that he had left the process at Rome; but they wrote over, that they knew this was false: yet, by that, they saw the pope intended to do nothing in it. Francis indeed complained, that there was no proxy from the king sent to Marseilles : if there had been one, he said, the business had been ended. It was also reported, that the king of France had said to the duke of Norfolk, he would be the king's proxy (here, in the margin it is set down, The duke of Norfolk denies he said this )*; but the king of France knew that the king would never constitute a proxy, that being contrary to the laws of his kingdom. The pope confessed that his cause was just : all the lawyers in France were of that mind. But the pope complained of the injury done the see by King Henry. Francis answered, The pope begun doing injuries : but King Henry moved, that, setting aside what was past, without asking reparation of either side, justice might be done him; and if it was not done, he would trouble himself no more about it.
He afterwards charged King Francist, “ that in several particulars he had not kept his promises to him. He believed, that if he had pressed the pope more, he would have yielded. It was said, King Henry was governed by his council ; whereas he said he governed them, and not they him. Upon this audience, the duke of Norfolk seemed troubled that the king was so passionate : he had advised the king, but in vain, to let the annats go still to Rome.” This is put in the margin.
In another memorial, set next to the former *, and, as it seems, writ soon after it, it is said, that the emperor had sent word to the queen and her daughter not to come to Spain, till he had first got right to be done them: and that the people were in a disposition to join with any prince that would espouse their quarrel. This is said to be the general inclination of all sorts of people : for they apprehended a change of religion, and a war that would cut off their trade with the Netherlands; so that the new queen was little beloved.
But now I must return, and set out the progress of matters that provoked the pope and court of Rome so much. I shall give first the several proceedings of the convocation.
The parliament had complained of the oath ex officio, by which the ordinaries obliged persons to answer to such accusations as were laid to their charge, upon oath : and as they answered, charging themselves, they were obliged either to abjure or to burn. To this they addeå some other grievances. When they presented them io the king, he told them he could give no answer till he heard what the clergy would say to them. They also passed acts about some points that the clergy thought belonged to them; as mortuaries, plurality of benefices, and clergymen taking farms.
The first motion made by the lower house was concerning Tracy's testament; who had left his soul to God through Jesus Christ, to whose intercession alone he trusted, without the help of any other saint: therefore he left no part of his goods to any that should pray for his soul. This touching the clergy very sensibly, they begun with it ; and a commission was given for the raising his body.
In a following session, the prolocutor complained of another testament, made by one Brown, of Bristol, in the same strain. So, to prevent the spreading of such an example, it was ordered, that Tracy's body should be dug up, and burnt. In the eighty-fourth session, the house being thin, an order was made, that all the members should attend, for some constitutions were at that time to be treated of.
In the 91st session, which was in the end of February, the prolocutor came up with a motion, that those who were presented to ecclesiastical benefices should not be obliged by their bishops to give any bond, obliging them under temporal punishment to residence : but to this no answer was given, nor was any rule made against it. There had been complaints made of clerks non-residents in the former session of parliament; and it seems some bishops
thought, the surest way to stop that clamour was to take bonds for residence. And though this complaint shows the ill temper of the lower house, since they did not offer any other better remedy ; yet the upper house offering no answer to it, seems to imply their approving of it.
In the 93d session, Latimer, who had been thrice required to subscribe some articles, refused to do it: he was excommunicated, and appointed to be kept in safe custody in Lambeth. Session 96th it was resolved, that if Latimer would subscribe some of the articles, he should be absolved. Upon that he submitted, confessed his error, and subscribed all the articles except two.
In the 97th session, on the 12th of April, 1532, the archbishop proposed to them the preparing an answer to the complaints that the commons had made to the king against the proceedings in their courts.
In the 98th session, the preamble of that complaint was read by Gardiner, with an answer that he had prepared to it. Then the two clauses of the first article, with answers to them, were also read and agreed to, and sent down to the lower horise. Latimer was also brought again before them, upon complaint of a letter that he had written to one Greenwood, in Cambridge.
In the 99th session, an answer to the complaint of the commons was read and agreed to, and ordered to be laid before the king ; with which he was not satisfied. Latimer being called to answer upon oath, he appealed to the king, and said he would stand to his appeal.
Peyto and Elston, two brethren of the house of the observants in Greenwich, accused Dr. Curren for a sermon preached there ; but the archbishop ordered thern to be kept in custody, with the bishop of St. Asaph, till they should be dismissed.
In the 100th session, the king sent a message by Gardiner, intimating, that he remitted Latimer to the archbishop ; and upon his submission, he was received to the sacraments, This was done at the king's desire ; but some bishops protested, because this submission did not import a renunciation usual in such cases. After this, four sessions were employed in a further consideration of the answer to the complaints of the house of commons.
In the 105th session, the prolocutor brought up four draughts concerning the ecclesiastical authority, for making laws in order to the suppressing of heresy; but declared that he did not bring them up as approved by the house ; he only offered them to the bishops, as draughts prepared by learned men. He desired they would read them, and choose
what was true out of them ; but added, that he prayed, that if they prepared any thing on the subject, it might be communicated to the lower house. Some of these are printed : I shall therefore only insert one in my Collection (No. xx), because it is the shortest of them, and yet does fully set forth their design. It was formed in the upper house, and agreed to in the lower, with two alterations. In it they promise the king, “that for the future, such was the trust that they put in his wisdom, goodness, and zeal, and his incomparable learning, far exceeding the learning of all other princes that they had read of, that, during his natural life, they should not enact, promulge, or put in execution, any constitution to be made by them, unless the king by his royal assent did licence them so to do. And as for the constitutions already made, of which the commons complained, they would readily submit the consideration of these to the kirg only ; and such of these as the king should judge prejudicial and burthensome, they offered to moderate, or annul them according to his judgment. Saving to themselves all the immunities and liberties granted to the church by the king and his progenitors, with all such provincial constitutions as stand with the laws of God, and holy church, and of the realm, wbich they prayed the king to ratify : providing that, till the king's pleasure should be made known to them, all ordinaries might go on to execute their jurisdiction as formerly. This did not pass easily ; there was great debating upon it: but upon adding the words, during the king's natural life, which made it a temporary law, and by adding the words, holy church, after the laws of God, which had a great extent, this form was agreed to; but what effect this had, or whether it was offered to the king, does not appear. The alterations that were afterwards made will appear to any who compares this with the submission; of which a particular account will be found in my history.
The bishop of London, presiding in the absence of the archbishop, told them, that the duke of Norfolk had signified to him, that the house of commons had granted the king a fifteenth, to be raised in two years : so he advised the clergy to be as ready as the laity had been to supply the king. The prolocutor was sent down with this intimation: he immediately returned back, and proposed that they should consider of an answer to be made to the king, concerning the ecclesiastical authority; and that some might be sent to the king, to pray him that he would maintain the liberties of the church, which he and his progenitors had confirmed to them; and they desired, that the bishops of London and