By JAMES GAIRDNER, C.B., LL.D.
Interviews of the King with Charles V and Francis 1, 1520.416
Treaty with Charles V. Execution of Buckingham., 1521 . 417
Wolsey at Calais and Bruges . 418
Charles V in England. Treaty of Windsor, 1522. Albany in Scotland . 419
War with the French and the Scots, 1522 . 420
Money for the wars. Suffolk in France, 1523 . 421
Failure of Suffolk. War with Scotland . 422
Negotiations with Bourbon, with France. Battle of Pavia, 1525 .423
Arrest of de Praet. Embassy from Flanders . 424
The Amicable Grant. Treaties of the Moor, 1525 . 425
Treaty of Madrid. Position of England . 426
League of Cognac, 1526. Embassy of the Bishop of Tarbes . 427
Treaties with France. Wolsey in France. Sack of Rome. 428
Anne Boleyn. War declared by France and England against the Emperor 429
The Divorce. Campeggio's mission to England . 430
The Trial before the Legates . 431
Fall of Wolsey. New Parliament . 432
Thomas Cranmer. Mission to Bologna .433
The Divorce. Wolsey's pardon. His College. Arrest of Wolsey .434
His death, 1530. His character. Pressure on the Pope . 435
Praemunire. The King Supreme Head of the Church . 436
Henry leaves Catharine finally. Annates abolished . 437
Submission of the Clergy. Resignation of Sir Thomas More . 438
Alliance of France and England. Marriage with Anne Boleyn, 1533 . 439
The King's marriage annulled, 1533. Excommunication . 440
Sir Thomas More and Fisher sent to the Tower . 441
Irish Rebellion. Act of Supremacy . 442
Fisher and More executed. Character of More . 443
Visitation and first suppression of monasteries . 444
Anne Boleyn beheaded. Jane Seymour. Act of Succession . 445
The Ten Articles. Aske's rebellion . 446
The rebellion suppressed. Reginald Pole's mission . 447
Further suppression of the monasteries . 448
Executions of various noblemen. Intrigues against Henry . 449
Act of Six Articles. Anne of Cleves . 450
Anne of Cleves divorced. Catharine Howard. Cromwell beheaded .451
His character. The King in Yorkshire . 452
Catharine Howard beheaded. Scotland . 453
Scotland during the youth of James V . 454
James V and Henry VIII . 455
Battle of the Solway Moss. Death of James V . 456
Treaties with Scotland. War with France . 457
Mary Stewart crowned. The treaties repudiated . 458
Siege of Boulogne. The currency . 459
Ancrum Moor. Ineffective war with France . 460
Peace with France . 461
Murder of Beton. Death of Henry VIII . 462
Absolutism of Henry VIII. Breach With Rome . 463
The new conditions of religion. Translation of the Bible . 464
Tyndale Coverdale . 465
The Great Bible. Effects of the Act of the Six Articles . 466
Anne Askew. Dissolution of the monasteries . 467
Effects of the suppression. Education . 468
Agrarian legislation and poor laws . 469
Taxation. Debasement of the coinage. Wales . 470
Council of the Marches, of the North. Ireland . 471
Irish title. The navy . 472
The army . 473
HENRY VIII. 1519-1547.
ON his election to the Empire Charles became a much greater potentate in the eyes of all, and, as he was also the Queen of England's nephew, there were manifest reasons for England to desire his friendship. On the other hand, the close alliance of France, which Wolsey had twice succeeded in securing, however beneficial to England, was exceedingly unpopular. It had scarcely been contracted when efforts were made to undermine it ; and soon a strong party at Court, headed by the Queen herself, endeavoured to prevent the French interview, which had been arranged for April 1, 1519, from taking effect. The new Emperor, equally desirous to counteract, if he could not prevent, the meeting, agreed to visit England on his way from Spain to Germany. Matters, however, had to be arranged beforehand, and though the anti-French party contrived to put off the visit to Francis till June, 1520, it was only in April of that year that the imperial ambassador in England succeeded in concluding a specific treaty. It was settled that the Emperor should, if possible, land at Sandwich in May just before the King went to France, or, if he failed to do so, should have a meeting with Henry at Gravelines after the French interview. He actually landed on May 26, at Dover, barely in time for a very hurried visit. Next day, which happened to be Whitsunday, the King conducted him to Canterbury, where he was introduced to the Queen, his aunt, and attended service in the Cathedral. On the 31st he had to embark again for Flanders, in order that Henry might fulfil his engagement with Francis. But a further meeting at Gravelines after the French interview was promised.
Wolsey meanwhile had taken care that this French interview should not be a failure. A great deal of negotiation, indeed, had been found necessary ; but Francis, to facilitate matters, at last put all the arrangements under Wolsey's control, so that they advanced rapidly. The King crossed from Calais to Dover the same day that the Emperor embarked from Sandwich. At Guines on June 6 he signed a treaty
Nothing could have appeared more cordial, and the world was for some time under the impression that the alliance between England and France was now more firmly knit than ever. And yet, immediately afterwards, the King with Queen Catharine proceeded by agreement to another meeting with the Emueror at Gravelines, which took place on July 10. On the 14th at Calais a secret treaty was signed, binding both Henry and the Emperor to make no further arrangements with France giving effect either to the marriage of the Dauphin with Mary or to that of Charles himself with the French King's daughter Charlotte-a match to which he was bound by the Treaty of Noyon. Indeed, there is no doubt that in their secret conferences both at Canterbury and at Calais, the project had been discussed of setting aside agreements with France by both parties and marrying the Emperor to the Princess Mary. Of these perfidious compacts Francis was, of course, not directly informed; but he was not to be persuaded that the two meetings with the Emperor, before and after the interview, were mere matters of courtesy. He felt, however, that it would be impolitic to display resentment. The Emperor was crowned at Aachen on October 23.
In April, 1521, the Duke of Buckingham was summoned from Gloucestershire to the King's presence, and on his arrival in London was charged with treason. Information had been given against him of various incautious expressions tending to show that, being of the blood of Lancaster, he had some expectation of succeeding to the Crown, the fulfilment of which events might hasten ; also, that, should he succeed, Wolsey and Sir Thomas Lovel would be beheaded ; and further, that if he had been arrested on an occasion when the King had been displeased with him, he would have tried, as his father had with Richard III, to get access to the King's presence and would then have stabbed him. That this testimony was strongly coloured by malice, there is little doubt. But the Duke had a formal trial before the Duke of Norfolk as High Steward, and was found guilty by seventeen of his peers. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on May 17, to the general regret of the people.
At this time Francis I had stirred up war against the Emperor, who was already perplexed with a rebellion in Spain, while occupied in Germany with Luther and the Diet of Worms. Charles, hard pressed,
Pope Leo X died on December 2 following. Charles V had promised Wolsey at Bruges that on the first vacancy of the papal chair he would do his best to make him Pope, and the King sent Pace to Borne to help to procure his election. The Emperor wrote to Wolsey that he had not forgotten his promise, but he certainly did not keep it, and in January, 1522, Adrian VI was elected. It may be doubted whether Wolsey was much disappointed; but he knew now what reliance to place on a promise of Charles V. On February 2 he and the papal ambassador presented to the King the deceased Pope's Bull bestowing upon him the title of Defender of the Faith, in acknowledgment of the service he had done the Church by writing a book against Luther.
Henry had been more eager to take part with the Emperor than Wolsey thought prudent. Charles now required a loan and claimed from Henry fulfilment of a promise of the pay of 3000 men in the Netherlands. He was already in Henry's debt ; but Wolsey was disposed to allow him a further advance of 100,000 crowns on condition that the
King should not be called on to declare openly against Francis till the money was refunded. This did not suit Charles at all, and he hastened on another visit which he was to pay to Henry on his way back to Spain, and arrived at Dover again in 1522 on May 26-the very day of his landing there two years before. He was feasted and entertained even more than he cared for at Greenwich, London, and Windsor, at which last place on June 19 he bound himself by a new treaty to marry Mary when she had completed her twelfth year. But he secured a further loan of 50,000 crowns, and had the satisfaction, during his stay, of seeing Henry committed to immediate war with France by an open declaration of hostility, which the English herald Clarencieux made to Francis at Lyons on May 29. On July 2 a further treaty was concluded for the conduct of the war, and on the 6th the Emperor sailed from Southampton. Just before his departure he gave Wolsey a patent for a pension of 2500 ducats on vacant bishoprics in Spain, and guaranteed him the continuance of another pension which Francis had hitherto paid him in recompense for the bishopric of Tournay, that city having surrendered to the Imperialists on December 1. But Spanish pensions were commonly in arrear, and that charged on the Spanish bishoprics was only in lieu of one specifically charged on the see of Badajoz, which the Emperor had already granted to Wolsey in 1520. Nor was Charles at all ready at any time, when called upon, to pay his debts to the King himself.
It was no surprise to Francis when England declared war against him. As a means of keeping Henry in check, he had again let Albany find his way to Scotland while the Calais conferences were still going on in 1521. He pretended that he had not connived at Albany's escape, and he made a show of urging him to return ; but he meant to make use of him in Scotland. Albany, on his arrival, desired of Henry a prolongation of the truce between the two kingdoms, in which France should be included. Evidently France was so impoverished by taxation that she would have been glad to stave off war by any means. But Henry would hear nothing about prolonging the truce while Albany was in Scotland ; and he wrote to the Estates of that country in January, 1522, not to allow him to remain there, seeing that he had escaped from France surreptitiously and his presence was not even safe for their King. This was just what Henry had told them before ; but it was a stranger plea to urge than formerly; for this time Queen Margaret, James Vs own mother, had solicited Albany's return. She, indeed, had found it hard to live amid a factious nobility, especially as she had been neglected by her own husband, from whom she was now seeking a divorce. But Henry had small regard for his sister's good name, and insinuated that it was Albany who had tried to separate her from her husband, with the intention of marrying her himself. Such a charge was scarcely even plausible, for Albany had a wife then living, with whom, as he told the
English herald, he was perfectly satisfied. The Estates of Scotland made a very temperate but firm reply, saying they were prepared to live and die with their Governor, while both Margaret and Albany repelled the shameful insinuations against them, certainly not with greater vehemence than the case deserved. Henry then sent a fleet to the Firth of Forth, and some raids into Scotland took place, in which Kelso was partly burned.
As to France, so soon after the declaration of war as the wind would serve and bad victualling arrangements permit, a force under the Earl of Surrey as Lord Admiral sailed from Southampton, and on July 1 sacked and burned the town of Morlaix in Britanny, setting fire to the shipping in the harbour. It then returned with a rich booty to the Soient ; for the merchants of Morlaix had stores of linen cloths. There was , also some desultory fighting about Calais and Boulogne ; but nothing noteworthy was done till September, when Surrey, now the commander of an invading force, in co-operation with an imperial army, burned and destroyed with great barbarity a number of places in Picardy. Hesdin also was besieged, and the town much injured; but it was found difficult to assault the castle, and the besiegers withdrew. The season was wet, the artillery difficult to move, and the understanding between the allies not altogether satisfactory. Surrey's empty victories won him great applause in England ; but he returned to Calais in October.
Meantime the Scots had created some alarm. In May, for want of French support, Albany had been on the point of withdrawing from the country and letting peace be made, when some slender succours came ; moreover, the English raids called for retribution. Albany advanced to the borders at the head of a very numerous army, intending to invade England on September 2. Though the design was known even in July, when the Earl of Shrewsbury was appointed lieutenant-general of an army to be sent against Scotland, the borders were ill prepared to resist, and Carlisle, against which Albany's great host was directed, was defenceless. But Lord Dacre, Warden of the Marches, was equal to the emergency. Towards the close of August he sent secret messages to Albany, which led to negotiations, though he acknowledged that he had no powers to treat; and he appealed to Margaret to use her influence for peace, which would become more hopeless than ever between the kingdoms if arrangements were not made at once. He effectually concealed the weakness of his own position, and caused the enemy to waste time till, at length, on September 11, Albany agreed with him for one month's abstinence from war, and disbanded his army. Wolsey was much relieved, and Dacre was thanked for his astuteness. It was in vain, now, that Albany in further negotiations pressed for the comprehension of France; and he sailed again for that country in October, leaving a Council of Regency in Scotland, and promising to return in the following August.
Much money was wanted for the French war. Wolsey had not only levied from the City of London a loan of ,£20,000, but afterwards, on August 20, had sent for the mayor and chief citizens to inform them that commissioners were appointed over all the country to swear every man to the value of his moveable property, of which it was thought that everyone should give a tenth ; and though some had already contributed to the loan as much as a fifth of their goods, they were told that the loan would only be allowed as part of the tenth to be exacted from the whole city. Nor was even this enough; for Parliament, which had not met for more than seven years, was called in April, 1523, expressly for further supplies. A subsidy of ,£800,000 was demanded, for which the Commons were asked to impose a property tax of four shillings in the pound on every man's goods and lands. Sir Thomas More, who was elected Speaker, backed up the demand, but it was resisted as impossible. There was not coin, it was said, out of the King's hands in all the realm to pay it. Cardinal Wolsey came down to the House, and would have discussed the matter ; but the Commons pleaded their privileges, and he contented himself with setting before them evidences of the increased prosperity of the country, and withdrew. After long debate a grant was made of two shillings in the pound, payable in two years, on every man's lands or goods who was worth £20, with smaller rates on men of inferior means. But Wolsey insisted that this was not enough, and ultimately further grants were made of one shilling in the pound on landed property, to be paid in three years, and one shilling in the pound on goods, to be paid in the fourth year. The amount was unprecedented. The Parliament sat continuously, except for a break at Whitsuntide, till August 13, when it was dissolved. The clergy were also taxed at the same time through their convocations, that of Canterbury meeting at first at St Paul's, and that of York under Wolsey at Westminster; an attempt of Wolsey to induce them to resolve themselves into a single national synod failed. They were permitted to vote their money in the usual way; and, after much opposition, a grant was made of half a year's revenue from all benefices, payable in five years.
The war, which had languished somewhat since Surrey's invasion of France, was now renewed with greater vigour. In August the Duke of Suffolk was appointed Captain-general of a new invading army-a larger one, it was said, than had sailed from England for a hundred years. France was not only in great poverty but was now isolated. Scotland could not help her, and her old ally, Venice, had turned against her, not being allowed to remain neutral. Moreover, Henry was calculating on the disaffection of the Duke of Bourbon, with whom both he and the Emperor had been for some time secretly in communication. In September the Duke's sudden defection took Francis by surprise, and compelled him to desist from conducting personally a new expedition into Italy. Meanwhile Suffolk, having crossed the Channel, was joined by a considerable
Meantime, though later than he promised, eluding English efforts to intercept him, Albany had again crossed the sea to Scotland. During all the time of his absence Henry had persistently tried to undermine his influence and weaken the Scotch alliance with France. For this it was not difficult to make further use of Margaret, who, in the hope of seeing her old authority restored, was soon persuaded once more to desert Albany. A truce had been arranged with the lords without reference to him, and Albany in France took serious alarm at rumours that Henry had been negotiating to keep him permanently out of Scotland with the suggestion of marrying James to the Princess Mary. But the truce was allowed to expire in February, when Surrey was appointed lieutenant-general of the army against Scotland, and under his direction the Marquis of Dorset, who was appointed Warden of the East Marches, invaded Teviotdale in April, 1523. A series of further invasions was kept up all through the summer, and, just when Albany returned in September, Surrey succeeded in laying Jedburgh in ashes- till then a great fortified town more populous than Berwick. He met, however, with a most obstinate resistance, and was thrown on the defensive when Albany, immediately on his arrival, prepared to invade in his turn. Knowing the weakness of Berwick and the strength of Albany's reinforcements, Surrey was seriously alarmed. But Wolsey had reason for believing his fears to be exaggerated, as the event proved them to be. Encumbered by heavy artillery Albany moved slowly, and at last laid siege to Wark Castle on November 1 The fortress seemed in real danger, the outer works being actually won; but the garrison made a gallant defence, and next day, as Surrey was coming to the rescue, Albany suddenly gave up the siege, and returned to Edinburgh.
His mysterious retreat was branded by the English as a shameful flight, and satirised in contemptuous verse by Skelton, the poet laureate. But the truth seems to be that several of the Scotch lords deprecated a policy of invasion as being only in the interest of France. Albany's influence was clearly on the wane; for next year he met a Parliament in May, and again obtained leave for a brief visit to France on the understanding that if he did not return in August his authority was at an end. He left immediately and never returned again.
Meanwhile, on the death of Adrian VI in September, 1523, Charles V again promised with the same insincerity as before to advance Wolsey's candidature for the papacy as advantageous alike to England and himself. But on November 19 Giuliano de' Medici, a great friend of both princes, was elected as Clement VII. He soon after confirmed for life Wolsey's legatine authority, which at first had been only temporary but had been prolonged from time to time.
In 1524 the war made little progress after February, when the Emperor recovered Fuenterrabia; all parties were exhausted. But little came of the mission of a Nuncio (Nicholas von Schomberg, Archbishop of Capua), whom the Pope sent to France, Spain, and England successively to mediate a peace. Negotiations went on with Bourbon on the part both of the Emperor and Henry for a joint attack on France. But the King and Wolsey had long suspected the Emperor's sincerity, and were determined that there should be either peace or war in earnest. Bourbon invaded Provence, and laid siege to Marseilles ; whereupon orders were issued in England, September 10, to prepare for a royal invasion in aid of the Duke. The siege of Marseilles, in itself, was entirely in the Emperor's interest; no English army crossed the Channel, and Bourbon was forced to abandon the enterprise.
Henry, in the meantime, had been feeling his way to a separate peace with France, in case the Emperor showed himself remiss in fulfilling his engagements. In June a Genoese merchant, Giovanni Joachino Passano, came over to London, as if on ordinary business. He was soon known to be -an agent of Louise of Savoy, the French King's mother, who had been left Regent in her son's absence. His stay in England was unpopular with the English, but his secret negotiations with Wolsey were disavowed, and in January, 1525, another French agent, Brinon, President of Rouen, joined him in London.
Francis, seeing how matters lay, made a sudden descent into Italy and recovered Milan, which he had lost in the spring. But the protracted siege of Pavia ended with the defeat and capture of the French King, which seemed to throw everything into the Emperor's hands, and it was not likely that he would share with his allies the fruits of his victory. Wolsey, however, had been ordering matters so as to secure his master's interests, whether the French should succeed or fail
Just after this occurrence, and before news had yet arrived of the great event at Pavia, an important embassy came over from Flanders, from the Emperor's aunt, Margaret of Savoy. The situation in Italy was then so doubtful, and the Imperial forces there so distressed for want of means, that England was to be urged to send a large army over sea to create a diversion by a new joint attack on the North of France. Another request was, that the Princess Mary and her dowry might be given up to them at once, or sent over as early as possible in anticipation of the time appointed by the treaty. The first point Wolsey was willing to concede, if assured of sufficient co-operation from Flanders; but the conditions he required were declared by the Flemings to be quite impossible in the exhausted condition of the country. The second demand looked strange enough, and Wolsey asked what adequate hostages they could give for a young Princess who was the treasure of the kingdom. Would they meanwhile put some of their fortified towns into the King's hands? This, too, the ambassadors said, could not be thought of; and the embassy had made little progress when, on March 9, the news from Pavia reached London. The King professed delight at the Emperor's victory ; bonfires were lighted, wine flowed freely for everyone in the streets, and on Sunday the 12th a solemn mass was celebrated by Wolsey at St Paul's.
The Cardinal then, at the request of the Flemings, dismissed Brinon and Passano, and strongly urged that now was the time for both allies to put forth all their strength. They might completely conquer France between them, and Henry, meeting the Emperor in Paris, would accompany him to Rome for his coronation. The scheme, of course, was preposterous; but the proposal of it to the Emperor by the English ambassadors in Spain wrung from him the confession that he had no money to carry on the war, with other admissions besides, wliich proved clearly that he was really seeking to break off his engagement to the Princess Mary, and was bent on a more advantageous match with Isabella of Portugal. Thus England was to obtain nothing in return for all her loans to the Emperor; but the Emperor, as it soon appeared,
Meanwhile the victory at Pavia was declared in England to be a great opportunity for the King to recover his rights in France by conducting a new invasion ; in aid of which commissions were issued to levy further contributions, called an " Amicable Grant," though some instalments of the parliamentary subsidy had still to be received. As commissioner for the City of London, Wolsey called the Lord Mayor and Aldermen before him, telling them that he and the Archbishop of Canterbury had each given a third part of their revenues, and urging that persons of over £50 income might well contribute a sixth of their goods according to their own valuation made in 1522. At this there was very natural discontent, the more so as many had incurred serious losses since that date; but the matter was pressed both in London and in the country. The demand was generally resisted. At Reading the people would only give a twelfth. In Suffolk the Duke of Suffolk persuaded them to give a sixth; but the clothiers said it would compel them to discharge their men, and a serious rising took place. At last, instead of a forced demand, Wolsey persuaded the King to be content with a voluntary "benevolence." But a new objection was raised that benevolences were illegal by an Act of Richard III ; and ultimately the King had to give up the demand altogether, and to pardon the insurgents.
Wolsey told the citizens that the demand was abandoned because the French King's capture had disposed him to make suit to England for an honourable peace; for if the King had not crossed the sea (he alleged) the money would have been returned, and now it would probably not be required. But until peace was actually concluded, they must still hold themselves prepared to make further sacrifices. Thus did Wolsey smooth the way for a policy of peace with France, which he was now actively pursuing. Passano, who had not ceased to hold indirect communication with him, again appeared in London in June, no longer as a secret agent, but as an accredited ambassador from Louise of Savoy, now ennobled with the title of the Seigneur de Vaulx. He concluded with Wolsey a forty days' truce; but the Flemings immediately concluded one for five months with France, and the truce concluded by de Vaulx was prolonged to December 1 by Brinon, who soon followed him again to England with a commission to both for a more lasting treaty. The terms required by Wolsey were hard; but demands made at first for a cession of Ardres or Boulogne were given up, and the old payments exacted from France were increased to a capital sum of 2,000,000 crowns payable at the rate of 100,000 crowns a year. After long discussions with Wolsey, a set of five treaties was signed at his palace of the Moor in Hertfordshire on August 30, the most important being a league for
The Pope, the Venetians, and other Italian Powers who dreaded the overwhelming ascendancy of the Emperor, were glad of this arrangement between France and England. But it had little effect on the Emperor's conduct towards his prisoner, who by this time had been conveyed to Madrid. His sister Margaret, Duchess of Alençon, came to Spain to treat for his liberation; but the conditions demanded "by the Emperor were such as she had no power -to grant. The chief difficulty concerned the cession of Burgundy. But Francis fell dangerously ill, and on his recovery he agreed to concede even this for the sake of liberty. On January 14, 1526, he signed the Treaty of Madrid, with all its onerous terms, including, among other things, the promise to refund the sum of 500,000 crowns due from the Emperor to Henry.
England had been unable to do anything to mitigate the severity of the conditions. Henry, indeed, had sent a new ambassador, Dr Edward Lee, to Spain with that object; but it was easy to prevent either him or his colleagues from effectually interfering with the negotiations. After the treaty was signed, however, Francis told them that he was grateful to Henry above all princes living for not having invaded France, and that Henry should know his secret mind upon some things as soon as he had returned to his realm. What he meant by this we may imagine from the sequel.
The preponderance in Europe which seemed to be secured to Charles by the Treaty of Madrid alarmed not only the King of England. It was generally believed, however, that Francis on regaining his liberty, neither would nor could allow himself to be bound by provisions to which he had no right to assent without consulting the Estates of his realm and the duchy of Burgundy. The Italian Powers accordingly looked anxiously to Francis, and, on account of Francis, not less anxiously to Henry.
England was strong, and even stronger than she had been. The only active pretender to Henry's throne, Richard de la Pole, self-styled Duke of Suffolk, " White Rose " as his followers called him, had been slain at the battle of Pavia fighting for Francis. Moreover the Duke of Albany had left Scotland for the last time (he accompanied Francis to Italy and, but for the event of Pavia, would have gone on to Naples); so that the French party in Scotland was overpowered, and though there were changes enough in that country none of them were injurious to English interests. Henry was powerful, and no prince was held in higher esteem. Special gifts had been conferred upon him by three successive Popes,-a golden rose by Julius II, a sword and cap by Leo X (besides the title of Defender of the Faith), and another
It was on March 17, 1526, that Francis was released and reached Bayonne. That same day he took the English Ambassador Tayler in his arms, expressing warm gratitude to Henry, and soon after he dispatched de Vaulx once more to England with his ratifications of the Treaties of the Moor. On May 22, after Francis had reached Cognac, ambassadors of the Pope, the Venetians, and the Duke of Milan made an alliance with the French King against the Emperor.
Henry, who had confirmed his own treaty with Francis at Greenwich on April 29, was not a party to this League of Cognac ; but he was strongly solicited to join it by the Italian Powers. Indeed, a special place was reserved for him in the treaty itself as Protector and Conservator of the alliance if he chose to join it, with a principality in Naples as an additional attraction. But he and Wolsey only dallied with the confederates, insisting on various modifications of the treaty, while the others were already committed to hostilities in Italy. Meanwhile the confederacy moved on to its ruin, which was completed at the Sack of Rome.
Francis naturally desired to obtain from the Emperor the best terms he could for redeeming his sons. Wolsey, however, had from the first endeavoured to keep him from any kind of agreement, assuring him that he was in no wise bound by the Treaty of Madrid, and hinting that a match with the Princess Mary would be more suitable for him than one with the Emperor's sister Eleanor, whom by that treaty he had engaged to marry, And though the bait did not take immediately-for Francis, as his own ministers said, was ready to marry the Emperor's mule to recover his sons-the Emperor still insisted on such intolerable conditions that Francis at last desired an offensive alliance with England by which he might either dictate terms or redeem his sons by war. An embassy with this view headed by de Grammont, Bishop of Tarbes, came to England in February, 1527. The ambassadors were long in negotiation with Wolsey, who insisted first on a new treaty of perpetual peace, with a heavy tribute from France, and after all his demands were conceded coolly told them that, if the Emperor would not release the Princes without Francis marrying Eleanor, the King recommended him to do so. Three treaties were at last signed on April 80, and, after the Bishop of
Tarbes had gone back to France and returned again, another was concluded on May 29, for maintaining a joint army in Italy. But there were still matters to be settled, for which Henry desired a personal interview with Francis. This the French did not favour, but said that Wolsey would be welcome in France as his master's representative ; and Francis himself wrote that he would go to Picardy to meet him.
The King is said to have alleged later,-though there is no sufficient proof of the truth of the story,-that, during this embassy the Bishop of Tarbes had expressed a doubt concerning the Princess Mary's legitimacy, as her mother Catharine had been the wife of Prince Arthur, her father's brother. It was the King himself who was now contemplating a divorce on this plea, although no one yet knew it. As a first step, in May he allowed himself to be cited in private before Wolsey as Legate and called upon to justify his marriage. Nothing came of this proceeding, except that on June 22 Henry shocked his wife by telling her that they must part company, as he found by the opinion of divines and lawyers that they had been living in sin. He desired her, however1, to keep the matter secret for the present ; and Wolsey, on his way to France, persuaded both Archbishop Warham and Bishop Fisher that the King was only trying to answer objections raised by the Bishop of Tarbes.
Wolsey himself, however, did not know all the King's mind upon the subject when, after landing at Calais in July, he proceeded through France with a more magnificent train than ever, not as ambassador but as his King's lieutenant, to a meeting with Francis at Amiens. On this matter he believed he was commissioned, not only to hint that Catharine would be divorced, but also to put forward a project for marrying the King to Renée, daughter of Louis XII. This would, of course, have knit firmer the bond between Henry and Francis against the Emperor, who was Catharine's nephew. But in France he was instructed to keep back " the King's secret matter," or only to intimate it very vaguely ; and during the whole of his stay there, which extended to two months and a half, he did not venture to say anything definite upon the subject.
Another matter, however, helped to strengthen the case for a union against the Emperor. A month before Wolsey crossed the Channel, news had reached England that Rome had been sacked, and the Pope shut up in the Castle of St Angelo. At Canterbury Wolsey ordered a litany to be sung for the imprisoned Pope, but considered how he could best utilise the incident for the King's advantage. At Amiens on August 18, three new treaties were made, which Henry and Francis ratified forthwith ; and among other things it was settled that Mary should be married to the Duke of Orleans instead of to Francis, and that no brief or Bull should be received during the Pope's imprisonment, but that whatever should be determined by the clergy of England and France in the meantime should be valid. It was also agreed what terms should be demanded
Before Wolsey returned from France he had made the discovery that the King's real object in seeking a divorce had not been imparted to him, and that Henry was pursuing it independently. It was not a French princess whom Henry designed to place in Catharine's room, but one Anne Boleyn, daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, a simple knight, who had only been created a viscount (by the title of Rochford) in 1525. The elder sister of this lady had already been seduced by the King, but she herself had resisted till she was assured of the Crown, and Henry persuaded himself that all that was required for his marriage with Anne Boleyn was a dispensation for a case of near affinity created by illicit intercourse with her sister. For he did not, in this first phase of the question, maintain, as he afterwards did, that cases like that of Catharine could not be dispensed for at all. He maintained that the dispensation procured for his marriage with Catharine was technically insufficient, and that the marriage was consequently ipso facto invalid.
He accordingly, while Wolsey was still in France, dispatched Dr Knight, his secretary, to Italy on pretences that did not satisfy the Cardinal ; and Knight performed his mission with great dexterity according to his instructions. He arrived at Rome while the Pope was still in confinement, and though it was hopeless to procure an interview, found means to convey to him the draft dispensation desired by the King, and obtained a promise that it should be passed when he was at liberty. Not long after the Pope escaped to Orvieto, where Knight obtained from him, in effect, a document such as he was instructed to ask for. But unfortunately it was absolutely useless for the King's purpose until he should be declared free of his first marriage ; and Knight's mission had no effect except to open the eyes of the Pope and Cardinals to Henry's real object.
Meanwhile, France and England having become the closest possible allies, the two sovereigns elected each other into their respective Orders of St Michael and the Garter; and their heralds Guienne and Clarencieux jointly declared war upon the Emperor at Burgos on January 22, 1528. On this the English merchants in Spain were arrested, and it was rumoured that the heralds were arrested also ; in return for which Wolsey actually imprisoned for a time the Imperial Ambassador Mendoza. This war was extremely unpopular in England. A French alliance, indeed, was generally hateful, especially against the Emperor, who was regarded as a natural ally. The mart for English wools was removed from Antwerp to Calais ; trade was interrupted both with the Low Countries and Spain ; and this, added to the effect of bad harvests at home, produced severe distress. Cloth lay on the merchants' hands unsaleable, and the clothiers of the Eastern Counties were obliged to discharge their spinners, carders,
The expedition of Lautrec and Jerningham in Italy, very successful in the spring, proved completely disastrous in the following summer. Plague carried off the two commanders, and the defection of Andrea Doria completed the ruin of the allied forces.
After Knight's failure Wolsey addressed himself to the real difficulty in attaining the King's object, and dispatched his secretary Stephen Gardiner with Edward Foxe to persuade the Pope to send a Legate commissioned jointly with Wolsey to try in England the question whether the dispensation to marry Catharine was sufficient. The commission desired was a decretal one, setting forth the law by which judgment should proceed, and leaving the judges to ascertain the facts and pass judgment without appeal. This was resisted as unusual, and the ambassadors were obliged to be satisfied with a general commission, which Foxe took home to England, believing it to be equally efficacious. His report seems to have convinced the King and Anne Boleyn that their object was as good as gained. But Wolsey saw that the commission was insufficient, and he instructed Gardiner to press again by every possible means for a decretal commission, even though it should be secret and not to be employed in the process ; otherwise his power over Henry was gone and utter ruin hung over him as having deceived the King about the Pope's willingness to oblige him. Urged in this way, the Pope with very great reluctance gave for Wolsey's sake precisely what was asked for- a secret decretal commission, not to be used in the process, but only to be shown to the King and Wolsey, and then to be destroyed. He also gave a secret promise in writing not to revoke the commission which was not to be used. This secret commission was entrusted to Campeggio, the legate sent to England as Wolsey's colleague to try the cause, with strict injunctions not to let it go out of his hands.
Campeggio suffered severely from gout, and his progress to England was slow and tedious. He reached London on October 7, prostrated by illness ; but he had the full command of the business, and Wolsey found, to his dismay, that he had no means of taking it out of his hands. Moreover, Campeggio had promised the Pope before leaving not to give sentence without reference to him. He tried first to dissuade the King from the trial ; then to induce the Queen to accept an honourable release by entering a convent. Both attempts he found hopeless. The Queen was as determined as the King, and was supported by general sympathy out of doors, the women, particularly, cheering her wherever she went.
On November 8 the King declared to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen at Bridewell the reasons for his conduct, imputing, as before, to the French ambassadors the first doubts of his marriage. But before matters had come to a trial Catharine showed Campeggio a document
The King was now living under one roof with Anne Boleyn, having given her a fine suite of apartments next to his own at Greenwich, and was quite infatuated in his passion, only awaiting an authoritative pronouncement that should allow him to marry. Early in February, 1529, his prospects seemed to be changed by a false report of the death of Clement VII; but the Pope, after being really very ill, recovered slowly in the spring, and was no sooner again fit for business than he was pestered by English agents with demands to declare the brief in Spain a forgery. The attempt to discredit the brief, however, was at last abandoned ; and the King and Wolsey determined to commence the trial and push it on as fast as possible, for fear of some arrest of the proceedings. Good reasons had already been given at Rome by the Imperial ambassador for revocation of the cause; but the Pope declined to interfere with the hearing before the Legates.
The Court was formally opened accordingly at Blackfriars on May 31, when citations were issued to the King and Queen to appear on June 18. On that day the Queen appeared in person before the Legates, and objected to their jurisdiction. This objection being considered, on the 21st the Legates pronounced themselves to be competent judges ; whereupon the Queen intimated an appeal to the Pope and withdrew, after some touching words addressed to the King in Court. Being called again and refusing to return, she was pronounced contumacious, and the trial went on. But an incident at the fifth sitting, which was on the 28th, astonished everyone. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester-a lover of books, who commonly avoided public life-said that the King at a former sitting had professed justice to be his only aim, and had invited everyone who could throw light upon the subject to relieve his scruples. He therefore felt bound in duty to show the conclusion which he had reached after two years' careful study ; which was that the marriage was indissoluble by any authority, divine or human, and he presented a book which he had composed on the subject. He was followed by Standish, Bishop of St Asaph, and Dr Ligham, Dean of the Arches, who maintained the same view.
The Legates remonstrated, rather mildly, that Fisher was pronouncing
The fall of Wolsey was now inevitable. From the first the business of the divorce had been a source of intense anxiety to him, knowing as he did that, if he failed to give the King satisfaction, his ruin would be easily achieved by the leading lords who had been so long excluded from the King's counsels. And now that the failure was complete he was visibly out of favour. But the King was too well aware of his value not to desire his advice about many things, even now ; and there was one matter in particular in which his guiding hand had scarcely completed his work. The King, indeed, had intended to send him to Cambray to assist in a European settlement if the trial could have been got over soon enough; but Bishop Tunstall and Sir Thomas More were sent in his place. By the Treaty of Cambray, signed on August 5, the state of war between Francis and the Emperor was ended, the conditions of the Treaty of Madrid were at length modified, and Francis was permitted to redeem his sons without parting with Burgundy. It was undoubtedly the Emperor's fear of England that secured these favourable conditions for France, and France had in return to take upon herself all the Emperor's liabilities to Henry. The English also made their own separate treaties at Cambray both with the Emperor and with Francis.
But through the influence of Anne Boleyn Wolsey was presently excluded from the King's presence, and ultimately he found himself cut off from all communication with his sovereign. On October 9, the first day of Michaelmas term, he took his seat as Chancellor for the last time in Westminster Hall. That day an indictment was preferred against him in the King's Bench, and the 30th of the same month was appointed for his trial. But meanwhile he was made to surrender the Great Seal and to execute a curious deed, in which he confessed the praemunire of which he was afterwards found guilty, and desired the King to take all his land and property in part compensation for his offences. This he did, not because the praemunire was just, but only in the hope of avoiding a parliamentary impeachment ; which nevertheless was brought forward in the House of Lords, but was thrown out in the Commons by the exertions of his dependent, Thomas Cromwell.
For a new Parliament had been called, after an interval of six years, and the session had been opened by Sir Thomas More, who had just been appointed Lord Chancellor in Wolsey's place. The elections had
On the breaking up of the Legatine Court the King had been just about to give up further pursuit of a divorce as hopeless ; and in that belief he had sought to get the cause superseded at Rome that he might not be summoned out of his own realm. But in August, when he visited Waltham Abbey in a progress, he was told of a suggestion made by one Thomas Cranmer, a private tutor who had been there just before (having been driven from Cambridge by an epidemic), that he might still get warrant enough for treating his marriage as invalid by procuring a number of opinions to that effect from English and foreign universities. He at once caught at the idea, and relied on the friendship of Francis to procure what he wanted on the other side of the Channel.
In the beginning of the year 1530, when the Emperor had gone to Bologna to be crowned by the Pope, Anne Boleyn's father, who had recently been created Earl of Wiltshire, and Dr Stokesley, Bishop elect of London, were sent thither with a commission to treat for a universal peace and a general alliance against the Turk. That was the pretext ; and no doubt aid against the Turks would then have been particularly valuable to the Emperor, seeing that they had got fast hold of Hungary, and had quite recently besieged Vienna. But the main object was to explain to Charles with great show of cordiality, now that the two sovereigns were friends again, the manifold arguments against the validity of Henry's marriage with his aunt. And with this purpose in view, Stokesley on his way through France strove to quicken the process of getting opinions from French universities. The decisions even of the English universities were only obtained in March and April, under what pressure it is needless to say. The mere purpose of the proceedings raised the indignation of the women of Oxford, who pelted with stones Bishop Longland, the Chancellor, and his companion, when they came to obtain the seal of the University. No wonder, therefore, that when Wiltshire arrived at Bologna in March no French university had been induced to pronounce a judgment. His mission, in truth was anything
Wolsey, meanwhile, had been living at Esher, in a house belonging to him as Bishop of Winchester, whither on his disgrace he was ordered to withdraw. But his enemies, fearing lest the King should again employ his services, were anxious that he should be sent to his other and more remote northern diocese ; and an arrangement was made in February, 1530, by which he received a general pardon, resigning to the King for a sum of ready money the bishopric of Winchester and the Abbey of St Alban's, while the possessions of his archbishopric of York were restored to him. He began his journey north early in Lent, paused at Peterborough over Easter, and spent the summer at Southwell, a seat of the Archbishops of York, where he was intensely mortified to learn that the King had determined to dissolve two Colleges, the one at Ipswich and the other at Oxford, of which he had brought about the establishment with great labour and cost. For this object, as early as 1524, he had procured Bulls to dissolve certain small monasteries and apply their revenues to his new foundations ; and the obloquy he had incurred from other causes was certainly increased by the dissolution of those Houses. Indeed in 1525 a riot took place at Bayham in Sussex, where a company in disguise restored, though only for a few days, the extruded Canons. The Ipswich College was suppressed by the King. At Oxford, however, the buildings had advanced too far to be stopped and the work was completed on a less magnificent design. After Wolsey's death the King called it "King Henry VIII's College." It is now known as Christ Church.
In the autumn Wolsey moved further north, and, reaching Cawood by the beginning of November, at length hoped to be installed in his own Cathedral of York on the 7th. But on the 4th he was visited by the Earl of Northumberland, who suddenly notified to him his arrest on a charge of treason. His Italian physician Agostini had been bribed by the Duke of Norfolk to betray secret communications which he had held with the French Ambassador de Vaulx, and the charge was added that he had urged the Pope to excommunicate the King and so cause an insurrection. Unconscious of this, he was conducted to Sheffield, where, at the Earl of Shrewsbury's house, he was alarmed to learn that Su1
William Kingston had been dispatched to bring him up to London. As Sir William was Constable of the Tower, Wolsey now perceived that his execution was intended ; and sheer terror brought on an illness, of which he died on the way at Leicester.
So passed away the great Cardinal, the animating spirit of whose whole career is expressed in the sad words he uttered at the last, that if he had served God as diligently as he had served the King, He would not have given him over in his grey hairs. Conspicuous beyond all other victims of royal ingratitude, he had strained every nerve to make his sovereign great, wealthy, and powerful. His devotion to the King had undoubtedly interfered with his spiritual duties as a Churchman ; it was not until his fall that he was able to give any care to his episcopal function. The new career, so soon terminated, showed another and a more amiable side in his character. That he might have been happy if unmolested, even when stripped of power, there is little reason to doubt. Yet his was a soul that loved grandeur and display, magnificent in building and in schemes for education ; he was ambitious, no doubt, and it might be high-handed, as the agent of a despotic master, but with nothing mean or sordid in his character. And something of ambition might surely be condoned in one whose favour the greatest princes of Europe were eager to secure. For with a penetrating glance he saw through all their different aims and devices. The glamour of external greatness never imposed upon him ; and, whatever bribes or tributes might be offered to himself, his splendid political abilities were devoted with single-minded aim to the service of his King and country. He raised England from the rank of a second-rate Power among the nations. His faults, indeed, are not to be denied. Impure as a priest and unscrupulous in many ways as a statesman, he was only a conspicuous example in these things of a prevailing moral corruption. But his great public services, fruitful in their consequences even under the perverse influences which succeeded him, would have produced yet nobler results for his country, if his policy had been left without interference.
Meanwhile, the King had fallen on a new device to force the Pope's hand. • A meeting of notable persons was called on June 12, to draw up a joint address to his Holiness, urging him to decide the cause in Henry's favour, lest they should be driven to take the matter into their own hands. To obtain subscriptions to this the nobles were separately dealt with, and the document was sent down into the country to obtain the signatures and seals of peers and prelates, among others of Wolsey at Southwell. It was finally dispatched on July 13; and Clement, though he might well have felt indignant at this attempt to influence his judicial decision by threats, made on September 27 a remarkably temperate reply. He had, moreover, a few months before, sent to England a Nuncio named Nicholas del Burgo to smooth matters; and the prospect of justice to Catharine was not improved by this perpetual dallying.
Bishop Fisher, however, was most assiduous in writing books to support her cause-so much so that Archbishop Warham, awed by the King's authority, called him to his house one day, and earnestly, but in vain, besought him to retract.
Nevertheless inhibitions came from Rome which, it was believed, made the King at one time really think of putting away Anne Boleyn. This was at the beginning of the year 1531. But he recovered heart when repeated briefs seemed only to grow weaker ; and, conscious of his power at home, he sought to attain his object by breaking down the independence of the clergy, from the whole body of whom he contrived to extort, not only a heavy fine for a praemunire which they were held to have incurred by submitting to the legatine jurisdiction of Wolsey, but also an acknowledgment of his being " Supreme Head " of the Church of England. This title was only conceded to him by the Convocation of Canterbury after a 'three days' debate, when it was carried at last by an artifice, and with the modifying words "so far as the law of Christ allows." Nor was it without protest that the northern clergy were brought to the same acknowledgment. This encroachment on their liberties made the clergy of the south regret their pecuniary grant; but they were altogether helpless, though in the end of August their assessment led to a riotous attack on the Bishop of London's palace at St Paul's.
Parliament had met on January 15, and was kept sitting into March without doing anything material. All the members were anxious to go home, and the Queen's friends easily got leave. On March 30 it was prorogued for Easter, when Sir Thomas More as Chancellor, though utterly sick of an office which he had unwillingly accepted even with the assurance that his own convictions would be respected, found himself obliged to declare to the Commons, in order that they might check ill reports in the country, the conscientious motives by which the King said he had been induced to seek a divorce, and the opinions obtained in his favour from the greatest universities in Christendom. What effect this had in allaying popular indignation at the King's proceedings is very doubtful. A strange occurrence in February in Bishop Fisher's household had produced a most unpleasant impression. A number of the servants fell ill, and two of them died. It was found that the cook had put poison in some pottage, of which happily the Bishop himself had not tasted ; but it was generally believed his life had been aimed at by Anne Boleyn's friends. The King, however, was very angry ; and, to avert suspicion, caused the Parliament to pass an ex post facto law, which was at once put in force, visiting the crime of poisoning with the hideous penalty of being boiled alive.
At Rome the cause hardly made any progress. Henry in fact, though he would not appear there, either personally or by proxy, employed agents to delay it, especially a lawyer named Sir Edward Carne, called
Meanwhile, Catharine suffered more and more from the delay of justice. On May 31 she had to endure a conference with about thirty of the leading peers, accompanied by Bishops Stokesley and Longland and other clergymen, who were sent by the King to remonstrate with her on the scandal she had caused by his being cited to Rome. In July she was ordered to remain at Windsor while the King went about hunting with Anne Boleyn ; and, when the Queen sent a message after him regretting that he had not bid her farewell, he sent her word in reply that he was offended with her on account of the citation. After that they never met again. She was ordered to withdraw to the Moor in Hertfordshire, and afterwards to Easthampstead. But even then she was not free from deputations ; for another came to her at the Moor in October, to urge her once more to allow her cause to be decided in England. But it was in vain they plied her with arguments, which she answered with equal gentleness and firmness. As she came to understand the King's mind, she was more resolved than ever to have her cause decided at Rome.
And Rome was at last really moved in her behalf. Slow as he was to take action, Clement was compelled, on January 25,1532, to send the King a brief of reproof for his desertion of Catharine and cohabitation with Anne Boleyn. But Henry induced the Parliament, now assembled for a new session, to pass a bill,-which he told the Nuncio was passed against his will by the Commons out of their great hatred to the Pope- for abolishing the payment of First-fruits to Home. This Act, however, it was left in the King's power to suspend till the Pope met his wishes ; and how little the Commons acted spontaneously in such matters may be seen by what speedily followed. On March 18 the Speaker and a deputation of that body waited on the King to complain of a number of grievances to which the laity were subjected by "the Prelates and Ordinaries,'" and which they desired the King would remedy. But with this petition they at the same time begged for a dissolution of Parliament, considering the excessive cost they had sustained by long attendance.
The King replied that their second request was inconsistent with their first. They must wait for the answer of the Ordinaries to their complaints, and meanwhile he desired their assent to a very unpopular bill about wardships, which he had persuaded the Lords to pass. But he could not get the Commons to agree to it.
Parliament was prorogued for ten days at Easter. On Easter Day (March 31), William Peto, Provincial of the Grey Friars, preached before the King at Greenwich a sermon in which he pointed out how Kings were encouraged in evil by false counsellors. After the sermon, being called to a private interview, Peto further warned the King that he was endangering his Crown, as both small and great disapproved of his designs. The King dissembled his ill-will and licensed Peto to leave the kingdom on his duties; after which he caused Dr Richard Curwen, a chaplain of his own, to preach in the same place a sermon of an opposite tenor. In this Curwen not only contradicted what Peto had said in the pulpit, but added that he wished Peto were there to answer him ; on which the Warden of the convent, Henry Elstowe, at once answered him in Peto's place. Peto was then recalled by the King, who asked him to deprive the Warden ; but he refused, and both he and Elstowe were committed to prison.
When Parliament met again in April the Commons were solicited for aid in the fortification of the Scotch frontier. They objected to the expense ; and two members said boldly that the Borders were secure enough, if the King would only take back his Queen and live in peace with the Emperor ; for without foreign aid the Scots could do no harm. On the 30th the King sent for the Speaker and others of the Commons, and delivered to them the answer of the Ordinaries to their complaints, which he said he did not think would satisfy them, but he would leave them to consider it, and would himself be an indifferent judge between them. In such strange fashion did he declare his impartiality. On May 11 he sent for them again, and said that he had discovered that the clergy were but half his subjects, since the Bishops at their consecration took an oath at variance with the one they took to him. After some references to and fro the final result was the famous " Submission of the Clergy " agreed to on May 15, and presented to the King at Westminster on the following day. Hereby they agreed to enact no new ordinances without royal licence and to submit to a Committee of sixteen persons, one half laymen and one half clerics, the question as to what ordinances should be annulled as inconsistent with God's laws and those of the realm.
On that same day Sir Thomas More, who had done his best to prevent these innovations, surrendered his office of Chancellor, from which he had long sought in vain to be released. To fill his place in some respects, Thomas Audeley, the Speaker, was at first appointed Keeper of the Great Seal, but in the following January received the full title and office of Lord Chancellor.
Henry's way was now tolerably clear, and on June 23, 1532, he made a secret alliance with Francis I for mutual aid against the Emperor when it should be required. Francis for his part delighted in the belief that to gratify an insane passion Henry had put himself completely in his hands. Henry, however, was really using him to ward off excommunication ; which, if pronounced, Francis informed the Pope he would resent as deeply as Henry himself. And, to give greater effect to the threat, Henry persuaded him to an interview, the only professed object of which -the concerting of measures against the Turk-was not only seen to be a pretence, but was meant to be seen through. It took place in October between Calais and Boulogne, with much less pomp than the Field of Cloth of Gold twelve years before. But the various meetings lasted over a week, and made an effective demonstration ; and to counteract this the Emperor arranged a meeting with the Pope, which took place at Bologna in December. Anne Boleyn, of course, crossed with Henry to the meetings with Francis, who was found ready to dance with her. She had been created Marchioness of Pembroke on September 1, and Imperialists were relieved to find that Henry had not yet married her. Clement was compelled to warn the King by another brief on November 15 to put her away on pain of excommunication.
Towards the close of the year the Earl of Northumberland invaded the Scotch border, and a state of war continued between the two countries for some months, but led to no great results.
Another event favoured Henry's aims. Archbishop Warham, who had striven hard to maintain the old privileges of the clergy, died in August. Henry at once proposed to name as his successor Thomas Cranmer, who had-been so useful in suggesting the appeal to the universities. He had lately sent him as ambassador to the Emperor with secret messages to the German Princes to gain their alliance against their sovereign. This intrigue was ineffectual, but he accompanied the Emperor to Vienna, and then to Mantua, where in November he received his recall with a view to his approaching elevation. In February, 1533, bulls for his promotion were demanded of the Pope, who was then still at Bologna in frequent conference with the Emperor, and were obtained free of payment of First-fruits by the suggestion that the King, if favourably dealt with, had it in his power to cancel the Act against First-fruits generally.
But before this, on January 25, Henry had secretly married Anne Boleyn, and, knowing her to be with child, was preparing to have her openly proclaimed as Queen. To guard against consequences, however, he first obtained from Convocation opinions against the Pope's dispensing power in cases similar to that of Catharine, and then from Parliament an Act making appeals to Rome high treason. On Easter Eve, April 12, Anne went to mass in great state and was publicly named Queen. No sentence had yet been given by any Court to release the King from his
Sentence of excommunication was pronounced against Henry at Rome on July 11 ; but even now he was allowed until the end of September to set himself right, before the sentence should be declared openly, by taking back his wife and putting away Anne Boleyn. This troubled his ally Francis more than himself ; for the Pope was coming to France for an interview at which he hoped to make Henry's peace. This interview, indeed, had been planned with Henry's own approval, the policy then being to make the Pope feel that he must look to France and England to save him from the necessity of holding a General Council at the Emperor's bidding. But Henry now completely changed his tone and endeavoured to dissuade Francis from meeting the Pope at all ;-which, however, Francis was bent on doing, in order to arrange the marriage, which afterwards took place, of his son Henry, Duke of Orleans, with the Pope's niece, Catharine de' Medici. He met the Pope at Marseilles in October ; but, while they were both there still in November, Dr Edmund Bonner, a skilful agent of the King, who had followed Clement from Rome, intimated to his Holiness an appeal on Henry's behalf to the next General Council against the sentence of excommunication. Next month the King's Council at' home came to a resolution that the Pope should henceforth be designated merely " Bishop of Rome " ; and during the following year written acknowledgments were extorted from Bishops, abbeys, priories, and parochial clergy all over the kingdom that the Roman pontiff had no more authority than any foreign Bishop.
The policy which the King had now been pursuing for four successive years had been inspired by Thomas Cromwell, who, as we have seen, had been in Wolsey's service. He was a man of humble origin, who, after a roving youth spent in Italy and elsewhere, had risen by the use of his wits, and since his master's fall had now been for three years a Privy
Councillor. In 1534 he was made the King's chief secretary, and a few months later Master of the Rolls. But even in August, 1533, he had directed Crarimer as Archbishop to examine one Elizabeth Barton, commonly called the Nun of Canterbury, or the Holy Maid of Kent, who had long professed to have visions and trances. Afterwards he examined her himself, and committed her and a number of her friends to prison. She had uttered fearful warnings to the King in the case of his marrying Anne Boleyn; and efforts were made to prove that she had been encouraged by Catharine's friends. It was even sought to implicate Catharine herself, but no case could be made out against her. The charge was more plausible against Bishop Fisher, who had certainly communicated with her in previous years, but only in order to test her pretensions, which found wide credit, even with people of high standing. His name, and at first that of Sir Thomas More likewise, were included in a bill of attainder against the Nun's adherents ; but Sir Thomas entirely cleared himself, and the charge against the Bishop amounted only to misprision. Ultimately the Nun and six others were attainted of treason and afterwards executed at Tyburn, while the Bishop and five more were found guilty of misprision of treason, and were sentenced to forfeiture of goods.
NOn March 23, 1534, the Pope pronounced Henry's marriage with Catharine valid, while Parliament in England was passing an Act of Succession in favour of Anne Boleyn's issue. Her daughter, Elizabeth, had been born in September, 1533. Orders were circulated throughout the kingdom to arrest preachers who maintained the Pope's authority, and to put the country in a state of defence in case the Emperor should attempt invasion. The King's subjects generally were required to swear to the Act of Succession ; and those who refused were sent to the Tower, Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher among the first. Then, to prevent inconvenient preaching, the different Orders of Friars were placed under two Provincials appointed by the King. But the Grey Friars Observants declined the articles proposed to them by these Visitprs as contrary to their obedience to the Pope ; whereupon some were sent to the Tower, and soon afterwards the whole Order was suppressed. It was fortunate for Henry that on May 11, this year, he was able to make a peace with his nephew, James V, which relieved him from the danger of a papal interdict being executed by means of an invasion from Scotland. Just about the same time William, Lord Dacres, who for nine years past had ruled the West Marches as his father had done before him, was committed to the Tower on a charge of treason, arising, apparently, out of border feuds. He was tried in July, and, strange to say, acquitted, for such a result of an indictment was then quite unheard of. And the joy of the people at the event was all the greater because it was known that Anne Boleyn had been using her influence against him as one who sympathised with Catharine.
But a more serious danger now appeared in Ireland. Gerald, Earl of Kildare, the Lord Deputy, who had used the King's artillery for his own castles, had been summoned to England in 1533, but delays ensued, and he only arrived in London in the spring of 1534, suffering from a wound that he had received in an encounter, and not likely to live long. He was not at first imprisoned, and efforts were made to lure his son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, over to England. But the young man (deceived, it is said, by a false report of his father's execution) rebelled, declaring that he upheld the Pope's cause and that the King's adherents were accursed. He murdered Archbishop Alien of Dublin, the Chancellor of Ireland (July 28), as he was endeavouring to sail for England, and became for a short time virtual ruler of the country, which he ordered all the English to quit on pain of death. Piers Butler, Earl of Ossory, however, made a stand for the King at Waterford, and Lord Thomas was compelled to raise the siege laid by him to Dublin, when Sir William Skeffington, appointed a second time as Lord Deputy, arrived from Wales in October; after which matters began to mend.
In England, to complete the work of the year, Parliament met in November, and passed, among other legislation, Acts for confirming the King's title as Supreme Head of the Church, for granting him the first-fruits and tenths before paid to the Pope, and for attainting More and Fisher of misprision and the Earl of Kildare of treason. But Parliament passed measures at dictation, and several of the chief lords of England were in secret communication with the imperial ambassador Chapuys to urge the Emperor to invade England.
Cromwell was now appointed the King's Vicar-General in spiritual things, and in the spring of 1535 the Act of Supremacy began to be put into execution. An oath to the succession of Anne Boleyn's issue had already been extorted in the previous year from the monks of the Charter House, which some of them seem not to have taken until after a significant visit from one of the London Sheriffs. But now they were required to swear to the supremacy in derogation of the Pope's authority. Prior Houghton, with two other Priors of the Order who had lately come up to London, approached Cromwell at the Rolls in the hope of obtaining some mitigation of the terms required ; but unconditional acknowledgment of the King's supremacy was insisted on. All three refused, and repeated their refusal a few days later in the Tower. They were tried in April, together with Dr Reynolds of the Brigettine Monastery of Sion, who, having been also committed to the Tower, had joined in their refusal ; and all received sentence together. With them also were condemned, for a private conversation about the King's tyranny and licentiousness, John Hale, vicar of Isleworth, and a young priest named Robert Feron ; but the latter had his pardon after sentence, having turned King's evidence. All the others were hanged at Tyburn on May 4, with even more than the usual barbarities.
Next came the turn of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More, who with three fellow-prisoners, Dr Wilson, Abell, and Fetherstone, priests lately most intimate in the Royal household, were warned that they must swear to the Statutes both of Succession and Supremacy. All declined to do so. Six weeks were given them to consider the matter ; and visits were paid by Cromwell and other councillors to More and Fisher in the Tower to shake their constancy; but all in vain. Fisher denied that the King was Supreme Head of the Church of England; More said he would not meddle with such questions. Fisher was condemned on June 17, and was beheaded on Tower Hill on the 22nd. The King was all the more resolved on his death because the Pope had made him a Cardinal on May 20. On July 1 More was brought up for trial on a complex indictment, one article of which showed that he did not, like Fisher, expressly repudiate the King's ecclesiastical supremacy, but only kept silence when questioned about it. He made, as might be expected, an admirable defence, but in vain ; and after his condemnation he declared frankly as to the statute that it was against his conscience, as he could never find, in all his studies, that a temporal lord ought to be head of the spiritualty. He was sentenced to undergo a traitor's death at Tybum ; but it was commuted by the King to simple decapitation on Tower Hill, where he suffered on July 6.
These executions filled the world with horror, both at home and abroad. The Emperor Charles V is said to have declared that he would rather have lost the best city in his dominions than such a councillor as Sir Thomas More. In Italy More was vehemently lamented, and men related with admiration the touching devotion of his daughter, Margaret Roper, who broke through the guards to embrace him on his way to the Tower. He was indeed a man to inspire affection far beyond his own family circle. Full of domestic feeling, yet no less full of incomparable wit and humour, dragged into the service of the Court against his will on account of his high legal abilities and intellectual gifts, he had refused to yield one inch to solicitations against the cause of right and conscience. A true saint without a touch of austerity, save that which he practised on himself in secret, he lived in the world as one who understood it perfectly, with a breadth of view and an innate cheerfulness of temper which no external terrors could depress. Of a mind altogether healthy, he was not beguiled by superstition or corrupted by gifts, but held his course straight on. Brought up in the household of Cardinal Morton, he had early devoted himself to learning, and became the special friend of Erasmus. His learning was entirely without pedantry, even as his humour was without gall. He loved men, he loved animals, he loved mechanism, and every influence that tended to humanise or advance society. He had served his King in diplomatic missions with an ability that was fully appreciated, and as Lord Chancellor with an integrity that was
The three priests who had refused to acknowledge the Supremacy were retained in confinement. Two years later Dr Wilson received a pardon. The other two remained steadfast during five years' imprisonment, and were executed in 1540.
Pope Paul III, who had conferred the hat upon Fisher (he had succeeded Clement VII in the previous year), would have issued a Bull to deprive Henry of his kingdom; but, owing to the mutual jealousies of the Emperor and Francis I, there was no sovereign who dared to execute the sentence. Henry, moreover, had been scheming for years with the citizens of Lübeck to fill the throne of Denmark with one who would unite with him and the Northern Powers of Europe against both Pope and Emperor ; and, though his plan was a failure, the Danes elected a Lutheran King (Christian III), ill-pleasing to Charles V. Further, the English King was seeking to conclude a league with the German Protestants, and his intrigues gave the Emperor some anxiety.
During the latter half of 1535 the Bishops in England were inhibited from visiting their dioceses pending a royal visitation of the whole kingdom, while Cromwell sent out special Visitors for the monasteries, who with remarkable celerity traversed the greater part of the country in a very few months and sent private reports of gross immoralities, alleged to have been discovered in a number of the Houses they visited. It is impossible, for many reasons, to attach much credit to these reports, or to think highly of the character of the Visitors. The object was seen when Parliament met again in February, 1536, and passed, as the principal measure of the session, an Act for the dissolution of such monasteries as had not revenues of £200 a year. It was passed, as tradition in the next generation reported, under very strong pressure, and certainly, as the preamble shows, on the King's own statement of the results of the visitation. These, it was said, proved that the smaller monasteries were given to vicious living, while the larger were better regulated; though in truth the Visitors had reported abominations quite as flagrant in the latter as in the former.
Meanwhile, in January, Catharine of Aragon had died at Kimbolton. On hearing of the event Henry could not help exclaiming, "God be praised ! We are now free from fear of war." If Catharine had lived, the Bull of privation might even yet have been launched when the Emperor arrived at Rome in the spring ; but the King calculated truly, The Court and Anne Boleyn wore mourning for Catharine. But Anne's own fate was near at hand; for Henry had long since grown tired of her, and could not make men respect her. He now said that he had been induced to marry her by witchcraft. In the course of the month she miscarried. On May Day there was a tournament at Greenwich, during which the King suddenly left her and went to Westminster. Next day
For some time before her arrest the King had been secretly talking of matrimony with Jane, daughter of Sir John Seymour, of Wolfhall, Wiltshire. On the very day of Anne's execution Cranmer gave the King a dispensation for this new match, and on the next day the couple were secretly betrothed. On Ascension Day, however (May 25), the King wore white as a widower in mourning ; and it was not till Whitsunday, June 4, that Jane was openly produced as Queen, having been married the week before.
Parliament had been dissolved not long before Anne Boleyn's arrest. It was the same Parliament which had been summoned at Wolsey's fall, and it had lasted for six years and a half. A new Parliament was called, and met on June 8, to pass, among other things, a new Act of Succession in favour of Jane Seymour's issue, disinheriting that of both the two former Queens. The Princess Mary, though her chief enemy was now dead, was not restored to favour until, to make life bearable, she had signed without reading an abject submission, acknowledging the King's laws by which she herself was a bastard. Shortly afterwards died the Duke of Richmond, the King's natural son, who was believed to have been destined by Henry to succeed him on the throne in case of failure of issue by Jane Seymour; for he had procured a clause in the Succession Act enabling him in that contingency to dispose of the Crown by will. Another Act passed was for the attainder of Lord Thomas Howard, brother of the Duke of Norfolk, who had presumed to contract marriage with the King's niece, Lady Margaret Douglas. He died in the Tower next year. At this time also the office of Lord Privy Seal was taken from Anne Boleyn's father, the Earl of Wiltshire, and given to Cromwell.
In July there was a meeting of Convocation, over which Dr Petre presided as deputy to Cromwell, the King's Vicar-General. Since Cranmer had been raised to the Primacy several other Bishops favourable to the new principle of Royal Supremacy had been appointed, including Latimer of Worcester ; and, as the King was hoping to strengthen his position by an alliance with the German Protestants, it was important to set forth by authority a formulary of the faith as acknowledged
The legislation of past years had created much popular discontent, which was now increased by the dissolution of the monasteries. In the north rumours were spread that the King would appropriate all the Church plate ; and when the Commissioners for levying a subsidy came to Caistor, in Lincolnshire, just after two small neighbouring monasteries had been suppressed, the people banded together to resist them. The Commissioners made a hasty retreat, but some of them were captured and compelled by the rebels to swear to be true to the King and to take their side. The insurgents likewise sent up two messengers to Windsor to lay their grievances before their sovereign. The answer returned by Henry was rough in the extreme, and he sent a force under the Duke of Suffolk to quell the rising, preparing himself to follow with another, which was to muster at Ampthill. The muster, however, was countermanded on news that the rebels were ready to submit ; but Lincolnshire was scarcely quiet when a more formidable rising began in Yorkshire, called the Pilgrimage of Grace. A lawyer named Robert Aske caused a muster on Skipwith Moor, at which the men swore to be faithful to the King and preserve the Church from spoil; for here, as in Lincolnshire, men desired to combine loyalty with religion, which they believed to be in danger from the rule of Cromwell and such Bishops as Cranmer and Latimer. Aske and his friends got possession of York. They took an oath of adhesion from the Mayor and commons at Doncaster. They replaced the expelled monks in their monasteries. Pomfret Castle was delivered up to them by Lord Darcy as too weak to hold out, though the Archbishop of York had taken refuge with him there ; and a herald named Lancaster, sent thither by the Earl of Shrewsbury, was forbidden by Aske to read the King's proclamation, though he fell on his knees and begged leave to execute his commission.
The Duke of Norfolk, sent by the King to put down the rising, joined the Earl of Shrewsbury and others in the Midlands, and sent an address to the rebels, offering them the choice of battle or submission. But on reaching Doncaster he found that the movement had assumed such dimensions that a conflict would have been disastrous ; and accordingly he made an agreement there with the rebels (October 27) and arranged for a general truce in the north, while Sir Ralph Ellerker and Robert Bowes were sent up to the King to ask for an answer to
But the pardon had been already ill received at Kendal, in Westmorland, where the people said they had done no wrong; and grave suspicions were aroused in Yorkshire that the King was fortifying Hull and Scarborough. One John Hallom was taken in an attempt to surprise Hull, and Sir Francis Bigod made an equally futile effort to march on Scarborough. Bigod fled and was afterwards captured near Carlisle, where he had joined himself to a new rising provoked by the King's use of border thieves to keep the country down. The Duke of Norfolk, when he came back, went first to Carlisle, where he proceeded by martial law against seventy-four of the insurgents and terrified the country with savage executions. He then went on to Durham and York, where he endeavoured to learn who were chiefly responsible for the demands made and conceded at Doncaster. He got Aske into his hands and sent him up to the King; while the Earls of Sussex and Derby reduced Lancashire to submission by hanging the Abbots of Whalley and Sawley and one or two monks, and securing the surrender of the Abbey of Furness.
The King's principal danger was past ; but meanwhile his anxieties abroad had increased. One thing was in his favour, that during the whole of 1536 the Emperor and Francis I were at war, and neither of them wished to interfere with him. But the Pope was trying to make peace between them ; and having created Reginald Pole a Cardinal in December, he gave him on February 7 a commission as Legate to bring about Henry's return to his obedience to Rome. Pole was a grandson of the Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV ; and his mother, the Countess of Salisbury, was a sister of that Earl of Warwick who was put to death by Henry VII. At the beginning of his reign Henry VIII wished to atone for his father's wrong and Reginald Pole, showing a great love of letters, was educated at the King's expense at Oxford and Padua. For this Pole was certainly most grateful ; but he did not approve Henry's later policy and obtained leave to go abroad again. Pressed by the King for a statement of his views as to the Royal Supremacy, he had written a
And now Henry, having reduced the whole of the north country to subjection, left unfulfilled his promise of a free Parliament at York. On Norfolk's return he instituted a Council to govern the north-at first under Bishop Tunstall of Durham, afterwards under Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff. Meanwhile a Council of divines met in London to supply some omissions in the King's book of Articles issued in the previous year ; and the result was the publication of a treatise entitled The Institution of a Christian Man, which the King allowed to go forth as a manual of doctrine agreed upon by the Bishops, without giving it the express sanction of a work which had been examined by himself. It was accordingly called "the Bishops' Book." Five years later, a considerably revised edition of it, which had really been examined by the King, was issued under the title of A Necessary Doctrine for any Christian Man, and was commonly called "the King's Book." In both these treatises the old number of seven Sacraments was acknowledged, and the doctrine concerning each of them was defined.
On October 12 the Queen gave birth to a son (the future Edward VI) at Hampton Court. She died twelve days after. Three months previously James V also had lost his newly-wedded Queen Madeleine.
In the following year (1538) the suppression of the monasteries was carried further. Several of the abbots and priors were induced to make formal surrenders, which were often, no doubt, voluntary in one sense, since pensions were more acceptable than visitations. The King's agents were likewise zealous in putting down images, pilgrimages, and superstitions. A wonder-working crucifix at Boxley in Kent was destroyed ; and a solemn enquiry was held into the nature of a venerated relic, the "Blood of Hailes," reputed to be the blood of our Lord.
Meanwhile the dissolution of the monasteries was quickened by information for treason against the heads of Houses who rejected the Royal Supremacy. The Prior of Lenton in Nottinghamshire, and the Abbot of Wobum were both executed. All friars were compelled to
But Henry anticipated the danger which threatened him. At the end of August Cardinal Pole's brother Sir Geoffrey was arrested ; and, questions having been put to him concerning his communications over sea, the fear of torture wrung from him information which was thought to implicate his other brother Lord Montague and the Marquis of Exeter. These two noblemen were accordingly lodged in the Tower on November 4. Exeter would be next in succession if the King died without lawful issue, and Montague was the lineal heir of Clarence. The Marchioness of Exeter and the Countess of Salisbury, Montague's mother, were also closely examined. The two noblemen were tried for treason and beheaded on December 9, others who were found guilty along with them being hanged and quartered at Tyburn. Sir Geoffrey received a pardon on January 4, in consideration of his unwilling disclosures. On the other hand, Sir Nicholas Carew, who was arrested on December 31, was found guilty of treason in February, 1539, mainly for conversations with the Marquis of Exeter, and was beheaded on Tower Hill on March 3.
The Pope, however, was now encouraged by the better understanding between the Emperor and Francis to send Cardinal Pole on a new mission to those two sovereigns to induce them to forbid commercial intercourse with England ; and David Beton was at the same time made a Cardinal with a view to his publishing in Scotland the Bull of Excommunication against Henry. Pole travelled by land to Spain, and on February 15 was received by the Emperor at Toledo in spite of the remonstrances of the English ambassador, Sir Thomas Wyatt. Yet his arrival did not seem agreeable to the Emperor, who declined to do as the Pope desired ; and Pole returned to Carpentras, where he stayed with his friend Sadoleto till he received an answer to a message that he sent to Francis. But the French King was only willing to prohibit intercourse with England on condition that the Emperor would do the same ; and Pole's second legation bore no more practical fruit than the first had done.
Henry was nevertheless seriously alarmed. Orders were given for
In this crisis Henry sought security by arranging a new marriage for himself with Anne, sister of William, Duke of Cleves, who by his pretensions to Gelders was a thorn in the side of the Emperor, and had, besides, family and other ties with the Protestant Princes of Germany. With these, moreover, Henry had for some time been cultivating a good understanding and had given them great hopes in the previous years of a religious union against both Pope and Emperor. And though the Germans were sadly disappointed by the passing of the Act of the Six Articles, against which they strongly remonstrated, the political support of England was too valuable to be hastily rejected.
In November proceedings for treason were taken against the two great Abbots of Reading and Colchester; and against the Abbot of Glastonbury for felony; all three were executed. These trials were certainly irregular, and the treasons seem to have consisted merely of private conversations disapproving of Royal Supremacy and of the King's proceedings. But the unwillingness of these Abbots to surrender was perhaps their chief crime, and a rush of surrenders followed, so that very soon not a single monastery was left.
In the last days of December Anne of Cleves crossed from Calais to Deal, from which she went that day to Dover and on by stages through Canterbury to Rochester, where she remained all New Year's Day, 1540. Here she received a surprise visit from the King, who came incognito
Just six months later this marriage was declared null, but for the present no one doubted its validity. Believing that it would bring favour to the new German theology, Dr Barnes and two other preachers of what was called the New Learning, were indiscreetly bold at Paul's Cross ; but what school of opinion would prevail was for some time uncertain. Parliament met on April 12, and under the management of Cromwell, who on the 17th was created Earl of Essex, did its best still further to enrich the Crown. The great Military Order of St John of Jerusalem was suppressed and its endowments were confiscated; a heavy subsidy was also voted, payable by instalments in four years. But, these things being secured, a great change took place. On June 10 Cromwell was arrested at the Council table and committed to the Tower, where he was questioned about the circumstances of the King's marriage, and forced to make written statements to serve as evidence for its dissolution. But nothing was yet known on the subject when the two Houses of Parliament, acting on a hint, prayed that the validity of his marriage might be inquired into by Convocation. This was done, and after various depositions had been read to show that the King had never given his "inward consent" to his own public act, a sentence of nullity was pronounced.
This removed at once any fear of a misunderstanding with the Emperor, while it disappointed Francis and the Duke of Cleves. Anne herself, however, consented to the separation and was provided for in England, admitting that she remained a maid. A month later it was announced that the King had married Catharine Howard, niece of the Duke of Norfolk, who was prayed for as Queen on August 15. Meanwhile, July 9, a Bill of Attainder was passed against Cromwell in Parliament on account of various acts, some of which were regarded as treasonable and some heretical, among the latter being his support of Dr Barnes. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on July 28. Two days later Dr Barnes, and with him Jerome and Garrard, the two other clergymen who had preached at Paul's Cross in the spring, were burned as heretics at Smithfield ; while three of the Old Learning who had been attainted in Parliament were hanged at the same place as traitors.
It would be a mistake to say that Cromwell entirely directed the policy of England during the years of his ascendancy ; for, as he told Cardinal Pole, he himself considered it the very height of statesmanship to endeavour to discern what was in the King's own mind and set himself zealously to follow it out. And this, indeed, is the explanation
For more than a year the King was highly satisfied with his fifth wife. In other matters he was not yet at ease. He had now no such convenient tool as Cromwell, and, distrusting most of his remaining ministers, stood in fear of a new insurrection. In April, 1541, a conspiracy was detected in Yorkshire to kill Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff, whom he had appointed President pf the North, and take possession of Pomfret Castle. Though called a rebellion by chroniclers, the design was suppressed before it came to a head, and the conspirators were executed, some in London and some at York. It was clear that the north of England was in a dangerous state, and Henry thought it advisable to go thither in person with a force of 4000 or 5000 horse. First, however, he determined to clear the Tower of inconvenient prisoners. The aged Countess of Salisbury, who had been attainted in Parliament without a trial two years before, was beheaded in the Tower on May 28. Lord Leonard Grey was tried on June 25, and executed on the 28th for conduct considered treasonable when he was Lieutenant of Ireland.
The King left London for the north on June 30 ; but his progress was impeded by storms and floods, so that he only reached Lincoln on August 9. On entering Yorkshire he was met by the country gentlemen ; and those of them who had taken part in the rebellion of 1536-7, including Edward Lee, Archbishop of York, made their submission to him kneeling, with large gifts of money and thanks for his pardon. The like submission and gifts had been made to him in Lincolnshire. He delayed his arrival at York till the middle of September, expecting (as he afterwards gave out) a visit there from James V. But as the Scottish King made no sign of coming, he left on the 27th on his return southward. By the beginning of November he
For about a year and a half the King remained a widower. Meanwhile it should be noted that, having obtained from Parliament in 1539 powers for the creation of new bishoprics, during the next three years he applied a portion of the confiscated property of the monasteries to the endowment of six new sees ; one of which, Westminster, was dissolved in the following reign, but the other five, after some vicissitudes, are in existence at the present day. Here also may be mentioned the publication of an Authorised English Bible, which was first issued and ordered to be read in churches as early as 1536.
In March, 1542, Henry began pressing his richer subjects for a loan ; which, though little hope was entertained of repayment, was generally granted, in the expectation that the money would be used in a war against France. But, though Francis and the Emperor were on the verge of war, and the formet really invaded the latter's dominions in July, England remained neutral for nearly a whole year after. Henry's design was first to get Scotland completely into his power.
A brief account seems desirable at this point of the course of events in Scotland. At the time of Albany's final withdrawal from the kingdom in the early summer of 1524, James V was only twelve years old, and should have remained still for some time under tutelage. But the circumstances were peculiar. Albany had not relinquished his claims upon the government, but had left behind him a garrison at Dunbar, and his cause was still upheld by James Beton, Archbishop of St Andrews, and Gawin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen. His party, however, had really collapsed, and in July Queen Margaret caused her son to be declared of age by a Council at Holyrood, at which most of the Scotch lords swore fealty. There seemed then to be a very general feeling for an agreement with England, especially as the lords were encouraged to believe that their King would be allowed to marry the Princess Mary, notwithstanding her engagement to the Emperor; from which, as Wolsey secretly informed Margaret, Henry intended to induce Charles to release her.
Unfortunately, the plans of the King and Wolsey included the reconciliation of Margaret to her husband Angus, who, after being for two years a refugee in France, came to England just as Albany returned, and
Margaret next sent a secret message to Albany asking for French support; but the time was unlucky, for the date of her messenger's instructions was just two days before the battle of Pavia. Indeed from this time the French were generally very cautious about interfering in Scotch affairs without the consent of Henry, who was always a possible ally against the Emperor, or might be a very dangerous enemy. And Henry not only favoured Angus, but remonstrated strongly with his sister on her efforts to procure a divorce from him. Angus thus had full control of affairs for three years, during which the young King was jealously guarded, and all important offices were filled by his relatives. It was a time when none could prevail against a Douglas. But Margaret obtained from Rome a divorce from Angus and married Henry Stewart, who was afterwards created Lord Methven ; and her son, after repeated efforts had been made for his liberation, escaped to Stirling Castle in June, 1528. In a few months Angus and his brother Sir George Douglas were driven to take refuge in England, where, to James' great grief, they were well received by Henry.
James had no desire to quarrel with his uncle, but the intrigues of Angus, together with border raids, brought about the hostilities which we have noticed in 1532, when the Earl of Northumberland invaded the East Marches as far as the neighbourhood of Dunbar. By the mediation of Francis peace negotiations were opened next year at Newcastle, and in
May, 1534, peace was concluded in London. Henry then sent to his nephew the Order of the Garter and afterwards endeavoured, but without success, to draw him into his own policy in religion against the Pope. Henry might well desire this ; for his own conduct had raised the political importance of Scotland among the nations. The Emperor courted James' friendship, and the Pope sent him a consecrated sword and hat, meaning to take away Henry's title of Defender of the Faith and bestow it upon the Scottish King. Scotland, moreover, was an asylum for persons who disliked Henry's measures against the Church ; and there was a serious possibility of an invasion from Scotland to drive Henry from the throne if he would not make his peace with Rome.
In 1536 James went to France under engagement to marry Mary of Bourbon, daughter of the Duke of Vendôme ; but the lady did not please him, and he actually married Madeleine, eldest daughter of Francis I, at Paris in January, 1537. He took her with him to Scotland; but she died in the following July. Next year he married Mary, eldest daughter of the Duke of Guise and widow of the Duke of Longueville. Thus he was still strongly bound to France; but France remained on good terms with England, and James had no desire to disturb the existing tranquillity. In 1541 died two infant Princes to whom Mary had given birth, and also James' mother Margaret, the Queen Dowager. Another child was expected in 1542, the year at which we have now arrived, when Henry, as we have said, was scheming to get Scotland completely under his power.
In the spring Sir Thomas Wharton, Deputy Warden of the West Marches, submitted to the King and his Council a proposal to kidnap James while he was somewhere near Dumfries, and to bring him to Henry. The project, however, was disapproved as dangerous and sure to be attended with scandal if it failed. In July the outbreak of war between Francis and the Emperor cut off Scotland from any hope of aid from France against English aggression ; and, while James was anxious for a conference between commissioners of both realms to put down border raids, Sir Robert Bowes was sent down to the border and arranged with Angus an invasion of Teviotdale. It took place on August 24, when the English burned several places ; but on their return they were caught in an ambuscade at Hadden Rig, Sir Robert Bowes and most of the leaders being taken prisoners. Angus, however, escaped.
That very day, in total ignorance of this reverse in the north, the Privy Council were making preparations for a more considerable invasion under Norfolk. The news of Bowes' defeat made Englishmen all the more eager to avenge it. But James had done nothing to provoke war. His ambassador was still in the English Court, desiring a passport for a larger embassy to treat of peace ; and, though he hardly met with due civility, a meeting was at length arranged, which took place at York in September between commissioners on both sides. But musters were made at the same time all over England ; and, as Henry would accept
The Duke of Norfolk crossed the border in October, and burned Kelso and laid waste the neighbouring country, but was obliged to return to Berwick in eight days for lack of victuals. An army suddenly raised by James was only able to skirmish with the invaders and harass their retreat. James would have pursued them further to revenge the injury ; but the nobles objected, and he returned to Edinburgh. He was warned not to risk his life, being childless, in dangerous expeditions. But in November he passed secretly to the West Borders as far as Lochmaben, and directed Lord Maxwell, the Warden there, with the Earls of Cassillis and Glencairn and other lords, to invade England near the Solway They entered the Debateable Land by night, in numbers reckoned at about 17,000, and burned some places on the Esk before daybreak on November 24. But Wharton at Carlisle, having got notice of the project, sallied out first with a small company to reconnoitre ; and when others, following, brought up his numbers to about 2000, he crossed the Leven in view of the enemy. The Scots, believing that the Duke of Norfolk had come upon them, began to withdraw, discharging ordnance to cover their retreat, which they could only effect by fording the Esk with a moss on their left hand. But the retreat soon became a rout. Many were drowned in the Esk ; only twenty were slain, and about 1200 prisoners were taken, including two Earls and five Barons. Deeply mortified with this disgraceful defeat, James withdrew to Edinburgh and then to Falkland, where he remained, ill and dejected, while news was brought him that his Queen at Linlithgow had borne him a daughter on December 8. He had no comfort in the news, and died on the 14th,
The child was Mary Stewart, who thus became Queen when only a week old. On hearing of her father's death, Henry liberated the Solway Moss prisoners from the Tower, and called his pensioners, the Earl of Angus and his brother, to a conference with them, proposing a treaty between the two kingdoms, with provisions for the future marriage of Prince Edward with the new-born babe, who was to be brought up in England till she reached marriageable age. Having given pledges to promote this design, the Scotch lords were allowed to return to their country, for which they set out on New Year's Day, 1543, honoured with great gifts upon their departure. Meanwhile Cardinal Beton had claimed the government of Scotland under an alleged will of the deceased King; but, this being treated as a forgery, the claims of the Earl of Arran, as next in the succession, were admitted by the nobles, and Beton was thrown into prison. Hereupon the Cardinal laid the kingdom
This arrangement offered a fair show of an international settlement ; but there were secret articles, apart from the treaty, which Henry was getting his friends in Scotland to sign, and by which he hoped to keep the government of the country entirely in his power. Meanwhile, however, Cardinal Beton had been released from prison on April 10 ; Matthew, Earl of Lennox, who had just come from France (son of that Earl who had entered Edinburgh with Angus in 1524), sought to supplant Arran both as Governor and in the succession to the Crown ; and Argyle and Both well joined the party to protect the rights of the Queen Dowager and the independence of the country.
Meanwhile Henry, having obtained another heavy subsidy from Parliament, had concluded, on February 11, a secret treaty with the Emperor against France, which was still unavowed when confirmed, first by the Emperor in Spain, March 31, and then by Henry at Hampton Court on Trinity Sunday, May 20. But joint demands were formulated to be made of Francis by heralds of the Emperor and Henry at once. Francis, however, refused passports to the heralds to enter his country and the demands were intimated in London to the French ambassador. Then on July 7 Sir John Wallop was appointed commander of a detachment which joined the Emperor at the siege of Landrecies; where, however, the joint efforts of the allies, though prolonged for months, proved a total failure.
Just after Wallop's departure the King, on July 12, married his sixth and last wife, Catharine Parr. England won little glory from the campaign abroad, though, strengthened by Henry's alliance, the Emperor was able in September to bring the Duke of Cleves into subjection.
Open war with France rendered Henry's designs on Scotland more difficult. To secure the aid of Arran he had made him the most splendid offers-that he should have the Princess Elizabeth as a bride
In September, while professing peace with Scotland, Henry had meditated a further outrage by an invasion under the Duke of Suffolk ; but this was wisely forborne. The Scottish people were already deeply incensed ; and the English ambassador, Sir Ralph Sadler, had to leave Edinburgh for his own safety, and take refuge in Angus' Castle of Tantallon. In December the Scotch Parliament met, declared the treaties with England no longer binding, and renewed the old league with France. Henry immediately sent a herald to Scotland with a threatening and reproachful message to be read to the Estates. It was received by the Governor after the Parliament had been dissolved. It apparently helped to bring about a formal agreement which Angus and Lennox made with him on January 13, 154-4«, and in which the Earls of Cassillis and Glencairn likewise took part, all promising to unite against the old enemy England. But the same lords presently asked England's aid to support them in their own country ; and a treaty was signed at Carlisle on May 17, by Glencairn and by the Bishop of Caithness in behalf of Lennox, binding them to procure Henry's appointment as Protector of Scotland, to put the chief fortresses of the country into his hands, and, if possible, to get possession of the young Queen's person, and convey her to England. Lennox was then to have the regency of Scotland and to marry Henry's niece, Margaret Douglas. This marriage actually took place in the following summer ; and Darnley was born of it next year.
But already at the beginning of the same month of May a fleet of 200 sail under John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, had appeared in the
Firth of Forth and landed an army under the Earl of Hertford. The Earl first captured Leith, then burned Edinburgh and Leith also, and re-embarked in less than a fortnight, leaving a detachment to return to< Berwick by land, which likewise wasted and burned everything on its way. Having thus dealt an effective blow at Scotland, which was followed up in the summer and autumn by continual ravages of the border, with destruction of towns and villages on a scale quite unprecedented, Henry crossed, on July 14, to the siege of Boulogne, which was formed before his arrival. It had been agreed, after some disputes, that this time the Emperor and the King should operate against the common enemy separately and join their forces at Paris. The siege of Boulogne, which was very protracted, was not quite in accordance with this plan. The Emperor advanced into the heart of France, and captured St Dizier after a six weeks' siege; but, in default of active support from his ally, on September 18 he made a separate peace with Francis at Crépy, and England was left to carry on the war alone. Boulogne had capitulated on September 14. Another siege-that of Montreuil-was abandoned, in which Count van Buren had been engaged with the Duke of Norfolk. The King crossed again to Dover on the 30th. In October, after the failure of a French attempt to recover Boulogne by surprise, conferences took place at Calais through the mediation of the Emperor ; but peace could not be established, as the French insisted on the restoration of Boulogne, and the English on a promise to render no further assistance to the Scots.
The league between Henry and the Emperor had been hollow from the first ; nor had it then been easily adjusted, the objects of the allies being entirely different. Henry had foreseen, long before he entered on it, that his Scottish policy would involve a war with France ; the Emperor desired, if he could not drive the Turks out of Hungary, at least to break up the shameful alliance between them and the French King. The Pope meanwhile was urging both the Emperor and Francis to peace, so that a General Council might meet to put down heresy-that of England most of all ; and now that peace was made, the Council was appointed to meet at Trent in March, 1545.
England being thus isolated, her resources were now put to a severe strain. Henry had already, at the beginning of the year 1544, been absolved by Parliament from repayment of the forced loan he had levied two years before, and it was not in this year that he began to debase the currency. On May 16, however, he issued a proclamation "enhancing" gold and silver, that is, raising the rate of the coins to prevent their being exported ; for the quality of the English coinage, at this date, was still high, and it was consequently in much demand in other countries. But before another twelvemonth had expired, a debased currency was issued, which was afterwards lowered still further. Meanwhile, in June of this year a loan was obtained from the City of London
For the subjugation of the latter country Henry had relied chiefly on the aid of the Douglases and of the Scotch heretics, who hated Cardinal Beton and desired the overthrow of the monasteries and the Church. But the Douglases were double-dealers, and, since Hertford's burning of Edinburgh, when the Governor released them from confinement to serve against the common enemy, they had shown so much loyalty to their country that they were absolved from attainder by the Scottish Parliament in December. The King on this gave ear to a project of Sir B^lph Evers and Brian Layton for subduing the domains of the Douglases, together with the whole country south of Forth. In February, 1545, accordingly, Evers and Layton raided the Scotch border in the usual fashion as far as Melrose, where they wrecked the Abbey and violated the tombs of the Douglases. Angus and Arran, however, met them at Ancrum Moor near Jedburgh and with greatly inferior numbers routed the English host, taking prisoners the leaders and some hundreds of their followers.
The war between France and England still went on, but was attended with little advantage to either side. Marshal du Biez formed the siege of Boulogne in January ; but as England commanded the sea it was ineffectual ; and, though renewed efforts were made in the summer, they were equally fruitless.
The French, indeed, collected a great fleet under Annebaut and entered the Soient, where a squadron drawn up at Portsmouth was unable for some time to attack them for lack of wind. In preparing for action, moreover, the English lost a fine vessel, the Mary Rose, which heeled over by accident and sank before the King's eyes, almost all her crew being drowned. The French, on the other hand, would have attacked the fleet in Portsmouth harbour, but could not approach with safety ; and though they overran part of the Isle of Wight they were soon driven out. They were then carried eastward ofF the Sussex coast, which they attacked with little effect, and after an indecisive action in the Channel, ending at nightfall, they retired to their own coast. The siege of Boulogne was then abandoned, and in September Lord Lisle landed in Normandy and burned Tréport ; but sickness had broken out in the fleet and it returned.
That same September the Earl of Hertford invaded the Scotch Marches, took Kelso, Home, Melrose, and Dryburgh, and even outdid previous works of destruction. Between the 8th and the 23rd of the month he demolished seven monasteries, sixteen castles, towers, or "piles," five market-towns, 243 villages, thirteen mills and three hospitals.
In November Parliament met and, besides granting the King a new and heavy subsidy, put at his disposal the property of all hospitals, colleges, and chantries to meet the cost of the wars. Oxford and Cambridge
In the autumn there had seemed to be a prospect of peace with France. For peace the French were anxious if Henry could be induced to give up Boulogne. The Emperor offered his services as mediator ; but a conference at Brussels led to no result, because, though the whole English Council was in favour of the surrender, Henry himself was firmly opposed to it. The Emperor was not greatly distressed by the failure, but sought to renew and strengthen his treaty with England, as the unexpected death of the Duke of Orleans at this time upset some arrangements in the Peace of Crépy, and he was determined on keeping Milan to himself. Another set of mediators also offered their services- the German Protestants, who, though quite alienated from Henry for years past by the Act of the Six Articles and the divorce from Anne of Cleves, were alarmed by the near approach of the General Council summoned to meet at Trent, which did in fact open its first session in December. Anxious to discredit the Council, it was important for them to make peace between England and France, and in November they sent deputies to a Conference at Calais, which, though continued into the next month, proved as ineffectual as that at Brussels.
Direct negotiations, however, took place between English and French commissioners in May, 1546, with the result that peace was finally concluded at Campe, between Ardres and Guines, on June 7, on conditions severe enough for Francis, binding him to pay all the old pensions due to England and a further sum of 2,000,000 crowns for war expenses at the end of eight years. Boulogne was to be retained in Henry's hands till all was paid ; but some points were left to be adjusted later on ; and Henry agreed to the comprehension of the Scots, provided they would be bound by the treaties of 1543.
Meanwhile he had just achieved one great object in Scotland, which he had been clandestinely pursuing for years in order to get a more complete command of the country. This was the murder of Cardinal Beton. He was aided by factions, political and religious, within the country ; for the Cardinal had caused one George Wishart to be burned as a heretic in front of his Castle at St Andrews on March 2, and Wishart's friends swore to revenge his death. Early in the morning of May 29 a party of them entered the Castle when the drawbridge was down to admit workmen, struck down the porter and threw him into
The state of the King's health was now becoming critical, and in the prospect of a minority there was some speculation as to who should have the rule of his successor. By virtue of his birth Norfolk seemed highly eligible, and it appears that his son the Earl of Surrey (the poet) not only spoke of this privately, but had a shield painted with an alteration in his coat-of-arms suitable only for an heir-apparent to the Crown, which he kept secret from all but his father and his sister the Countess of Richmond. The matter, however, became known, and he and his father were both arrested on December 12, and committed to the Tower. Norfolk signed a confession of guilt on January 12, 1547. Next day Surrey was tried at the Guildhall, and he was executed on the 19th. Against Norfolk a Bill of Attainder was passed in Parliament, and only awaited the royal assent, for which a commission was drawn on the 27th; but the King died that night, and the Duke was saved.
The reign of Henry VIII has left deeper marks on succeeding ages than any other reign in English history. Nothing is more extraordinary than that within less than a century after Fortescue had written in praise of the Constitution and Laws of England, a despotism so complete should have been set up in that very country. But it was a despotism really built upon the forms of the constitution and due mainly to the remarkable ability of the unscrupulous King himself, who was careful to disturb nothing that did not really stand in his way. 'The enigma, in fact, becomes quite intelligible, when we consider how much weight the constitution itself allowed to the personal views of a very able sovereign. England was but a country of limited extent, without colonies or even dependencies except Ireland, or any continental possession save Calais. To frame a policy for such a nation required little more than one good diplomatic head, and when that head was the King's there was not much chance of controlling him. Henry VIII was really a monarch of consummate ability, who, if his course had not been misdirected by passion and selfishness, would have left a name behind him as the very founder of England's greatness. Not only was his judgment strong and clear, but he knew well how to select advisers. To
The old nobility were the King's natural advisers; the Commons could scarcely as yet be called a real power in the State. But the old nobility were reduced in numbers, and were no match for him in intelligence. They were superseded, moreover, in the end, by a new nobility created by himself out of the middle classes. Meanwhile, he took counsel both of noblemen and of commoners just as suited himself, and he soon found out who served him best. Early in the reign he made large use of churchmen, such as Warham, Fox, Wolsey, Pace, and Gardiner; for churchmen were generally men of greater penetration than ordinary lay agents of the Crown. A perceptible change took place in this matter, when with Cromwell's aid he compelled the Church to acknowledge Royal Supremacy and disown the Pope's authority. The churchmen then promoted were only those who fell in with the new policy and who, occupied in enforcing it on the clergy, were not capable of much service in framing Acts of State or assisting in secular government. For in truth this great ecclesiastical revolution was that which completed and consolidated the fabric of Henry's despotism. If among the laity he had neither lord nor commoner who durst withstand him, there were churchmen like some of the Observant Friars who actually spoke out against the public scandal which he was creating by repudiating his lawful wife ; and the King felt, truly enough, that if he was to have his way, the voice of the Church must be either silenced or perverted. So the central authority of Christendom was no longer to determine what was right or wrong. In England the Church must be under Royal Supremacy.
To this decisive breach with Rome Henry himself was driven with some reluctance ; for no King was at first more devoted to the Church or more desirous to stand well in the opinion of his own subjects. Nor could it be said that the Church's yoke was a painful one to mighty potentates like him. But wilfulness and obstinacy were very strong i'eatures of Henry's character. Whatever he did he must never appear to retract; and he had so frequently threatened the Pope with the withdrawal of his allegiance in case he would not grant him his divorce that at last he felt bound to make good what he had threatened. For the first time in history Europe beheld a great prince deliberately withdraw himself and his subjects irom the spiritual domain of Rome, and enforce by the severest penalties the repudiation of papal authority. For the first time also Europe realised how weak the Papacy had become
The Authorised English Bible was undoubtedly a new force in the religious history of England. Wiclif's Bible had preceded it by more than a century, and there had been earlier translations still. But Wiclifs attempt to popularise the Scriptures in an English form had been disapproved of by the Church, which considered the clergy as the special custodians and interpreters of Holy Writ, without whose guidance it could too easily be perverted and misconstrued. This was the feeling which inspired the constitution of Archbishop Arundel in 1408, forbidding the use of any translation which had not been approved by the diocesan of the place or by some provincial council. In days when the sacred writings were only multiplied by copyists, translations of particular books of Scripture, or even of the whole, might be episcopally authorised, if good in themselves, as luxuries for private use, without apparent prejudice to the faith. But Wiclif's version was regarded as a deliberate attempt to vulgarise a literature of peculiar sanctity which required careful exposition by men of learning. The vernacular Bible, however, was prized by many laymen, even in the fifteenth century, and certainly influenced not a little the religious thought of the period ; for, in opposition to the special claims of the Church, the Lollards set up a theory that Scripture was the only true authority for any religious observances and that no special learning was required to interpret it, the true meaning of Holy Writ being always revealed to men of real humility of mind. This was also the idea of Tyndale, who, encouraged by a London merchant, went abroad and printed for importation into
England a translation he had made of the New Testament, not from the Latin Vulgate, like Wiclif's, but from the original Greek text ; his aim being, as he said himself, to make a ploughboy know the Scriptures even better than a divine.
The invention of printing gave Tyndale's translation an immense advantage over its predecessors. It was smuggled into England and found no lack of purchasers, who were obliged to keep it in secrecy. But every effort was used by authority to put it down. Copies were bought up by the Bishops in the hope that the whole impression would be suppressed ; and there was more than one burning of the books in St Paul's Churchyard. But the effect was only to encourage Tyndale to print off further copies and extend the scope of his labours ; for he went on to translate some books of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. And in England, though his New Testament was denounced as erroneous and heretical (no doubt the language in many parts tended to discredit Church authority), yet the obvious thought presented itself that the best way to counteract the poison of an erroneous version would be the issue of one that was accurate and scholarly. So in June, 1530, when a royal proclamation was issued for the suppression of Tyndale's and other heretical books, it was intimated that, though translation of the Scriptures was not in itself a necessary thing, yet, if corrupt translations were meanwhile laid aside and the people forsook mischievous opinions, the King intended hereafter to have those writings translated into English " by great, learned, and Catholic persons."
A few years later, Cromwell having become Vicegerent in spiritual matters, Miles Coverdale under his secret patronage brought out in October, 1535, a complete English Bible, not, like Tyndale's, translated from the Greek and Hebrew, but, as the title-page announced, from the " Dutch " (meaning the German) and Latin-in fact, an English version of the Vulgate amended by comparison with the German Bible of Luther. This work, however, though dedicated to the King, was not issued by authority; and though Cromwell's injunctions of 1536 required every church to be supplied within a twelvemonth with a whole Bible "in Latin and also in English," the direction could not have been obeyed. In 1537 appeared Matthew's Bible which was really made up of Tyndale's version of the New Testament and of the Old Testament as far as the Second Book of Chronicles, the other Books of the Old Testament being supplied from Coverdale with alterations. Its origin would not have pleased the Bishops, but the facts were concealed ; and, a copy being submitted to Cranmer, he wrote to Cromwell that he thought it should be licensed till the Bishops could set forth a better, which he did not expect they would ever do. The King approved; Grafton and Whitchurch, the printers, were allowed to sell it ; and its sale was forced upon the clergy by new injunctions from Cromwell in 1538. Another and more luxurious edition, however, was called for, and Grafton went to Paris to see it
That edition was known as " the Great Bible." It was issued by the King's authority and Cromwell's ; but the clergy were by no means pleased with the translation, which they severely censured in Convocation in 1542, two years after Cromwell's death. They appointed committees of the best Hebrew and Greek scholars to revise it ; but the King sent a message through Cranmer forbidding them to proceed, as he intended to submit the work to the two Universities. This was simply a false pretence to stop revision ; for a patent was immediately granted to Anthony Marlar, giving to him instead of Grafton, who was now in disgrace, the sole right of printing the Bible for four years. The Great Bible continued to be used in churches, and six were set up in St Paul's Cathedral for general use.
These were the principal translations issued in Henry VIII's time ; and authority being given for their use, those, who maintained the old Lollard theory that the Bible could be safely interpreted without the aid of a priesthood, were encouraged in their opposition to the Church. This theory was clearly gaining in strength during the latter part of Henry's reign and its adherents became still more numerous in that of his son. Men founded their convictions on an infallible book, were confident in their own judgments, and died by hundreds under Mary for beliefs that were only exceptionally held in the beginning of her father's reign. The pure delight in the sacred literature itself inspired many with enthusiasm ; and among other results we find the musician Marbeck, who knew no Latin, compiling a Concordance to the English Bible, and the heroic Anne Askew, when examined for heresy, full of scriptural texts and references in defending herself.
These cases, and especially the last, deserve more than a passing mention. Some account has been already given of martyrdoms, both for refusal to acknowledge the Royal Supremacy and for doctrines of a novel kind. But the results of the severe Act of the Six Articles have not as yet been touched upon. They were not, in truth, so appalling as might have been expected. The presentments at first were quashed, and new regulations were made about procedure, which, with further modifications passed by Statute, considerably abated the terrors of the Act. But in 1543, just after the King's marriage with Catharine Parr, four men of Windsor were found guilty of heresy, of whom three were burned at the Castle, and one was pardoned. The man pardoned was John Marbeck, the celebrated musician just referred to, who possibly owed his escape in part to his musical talents ; for he was organist of St George's Chapel. Yet it does not seem that he had really transgressed
In 1546 the victims of the Six Articles seem to have been more numerous, and the chief sufferer was a zealous lady separated from her husband, and known by her maiden name of Anne Askew. She and three others were tried at the Guildhall for heresy, and confessed opinions about the Sacrament for which they were all condemned to the stake. Two of her fellows next day (one of them, Shaxton, had been Bishop of Salisbury) yielded to the exhortations of Bishops Bonner and Heath, and were saved on being reconciled to the Church; but Anne was ra/dute, and would not be persuaded even by the Council, before whom she disputed for two days when they evidently wished to save her, answering continually in language borrowed from Scripture. She was committed to Newgate and afterwards to the Tower, where she was racked some time before she was burnt at Smithfield. Suspicions seem to have been entertained that she was supported in her heresies by some of the ladies about Queen Catharine Parr, and she was tortured to reveal her confederates ; but she denied that she had any. The story of her examination and torture written by her own hand and printed abroad for the English market, certainly added new force to the coming revolution.
There was indeed another great change bearing on religion and social life, though not much on doctrine or ritual-the dissolution of the monasteries. Its immediate effect was to produce a vast amount of suffering. It is true that a considerable number of the monks and nuns received pensions, but very many were turned out of the houses which had been their homes and wandered about in search of means to live. Even at the first suppression Chapuys was told that, what with monks, nuns, and dependents on monasteries, there must have been 20,000 persons cast adrift ; and though this was evidently a vague and probably exaggerated estimate, it indicates at least very widespread wretchedness and discomfort. More permanent results, however, arose out of the prodigious transfer of property, affecting, as it is supposed, about a third of the land of England. It has been doubted whether the monks had been easy landlords ; but when the monastic lands were confiscated and sold to a host of greedy courtiers the change was severely felt. The lands were all let at higher rents, and the newly-erected Court "for the Augmentation of the Crown Revenues" did its best to justify its title. Moreover, the purchasers, in order to make the most of their new acquisitions, began to enclose commons where poor tenants had been accustomed to graze their cattle ; the tenants sold the beasts which they could not feed, and the cost of living in a few years advanced very seriously. This was one of the main causes of Ket's rebellion in the following reign.
Meanwhile, all over the country men beheld with sadness a host of
What arts and industries disappeared or were driven into other channels on the fall of the monasteries is a matter for reflexion. Rural labour, of course, still went on where it was necessary for the support of life ; but some arts, formerly brought to high perfection in monastic seclusion, were either paralysed for a time or migrated into the towns. Sculpture, embroidery, clockmaking, bellfounding, were among these ; and it is needless to speak of what literature owes to the transcribers of manuscripts and the composers of monastic chronicles. True, monasticism had long been on the decline before it was swept away, and monastic chronicles were already, one might say, things of the past ; but it was in monasteries also that the first printing-presses were set up, and the art which superseded that of the transcriber was cherished by the same influence. Finally, the education of the people was largely due to the convent schools ; and there is no doubt that it suffered very severely not only from the suppression of the monasteries, but perhaps even more from the confiscation of chantries which began at the end of the reign, for the chantry priest was often the local schoolmaster. Nor did the boasted educational foundations of Edward VI do much to redress the wrong, for in truth his schools were old schools refounded with poorer endowments.
Still more did the higher education of the country suffer ; for the monasteries had been in the habit of sending up scholars to the universities and often maintained some of their own junior members there to complete their education. After the Suppression, consequently, university studies went gradually to decay, and few men studied for degrees. In the six years from 1542 to 1548 only 191 students were admitted bachelors of arts at Cambridge and only 173 at Oxford. The foundation
Altogether, no such sweeping changes had been known for centuries. As regards the land some of the results may have been in the end for good. Better husbandry and new modes of farming, no doubt, succeeded in developing more fully the resources of the soil. A check, too, was doubtless placed on indiscriminate charity. But problems were raised which were new in kind. At the beginning of the reign the chief evils felt/were depopulation, vagrancy, and thieves. Economic laws, of course, were not understood ; and attempts were made by legislation to prevent husbandmen's dwellings being thrown down by landlords, who found it profitable to devote arable land to pasture to increase the growth of wool. The frequent repetition of these Acts only shows how ineffective they were in practice ; and in the beginning of the seventeenth century they had become so complicated that Coke rejoiced at their repeal. But the evils of vagrancy and poverty assumed new forms. The precise effect of the fall of the monasteries upon pauperism is not altogether easy to estimate ; but the statement of Chapuys removes all doubt that it was the immediate cause of bitter penury. The evidence of the Statute-book on this point requires careful interpretation ; for it was only in a later age that law was invoked to do the duty of charity. Down to the middle of Henry VIII's reign repeated Acts had been passed for the punishment of sturdy beggars and vagabonds; but it gradually came to be perceived that this problem could not be dealt with apart from relief of the deserving poor. In 1536 the same session of Parliament which dissolved the smaller monasteries passed an Act for the systematic maintenance of paupers by charitable collections ; and, in the first year of Edward VI, Parliament for the first time attempted to deal with the two problems together, with penalties of atrocious severity against vagabonds. But severity was futile; the Act was speedily repealed, and under Elizabeth a regular system of Poor Law relief was established.
From the beginning of his reign Henry had been profuse in his expenditure. His tastes were luxurious and he gratified them to a large extent at the cost of others. He made Wolsey present him with Hampton Court, after the Cardinal's fall he took York Place and called it Whitehall ; he purchased from Eton College the Hospital of St James, made it into a palace, and laid out St James' Park ; he built Nonsuch and made another large park in the neighbourhood. Before he had been many years King, the enormous wealth left him by his father must have been nearly all dissipated. Yet the subsidies he required from Parliament were very moderate till 1523, when, as we have seen,
The King's high-handed proceedings, alike as regards the Church, the monasteries, and the coinage, lowered the moral tone of the whole community. Men lost faith in their religion. Greedy courtiers sprang up eager for grants of abbey lands. A new nobility was raised out of the money-getting middle classes, and a host of placemen enriched themselves by continual peculation. Covetousness and fraud reigned in the highest places.
Yet " there is some soul of goodness in things evil," and the same policy that under Henry VIII destroyed the autonomy of the Church and suppressed the monasteries made him seek not only to unify his kingdom but to bring together the British Islands under one single rule. England itself, no doubt, was a united country at his accession, but its cohesion was not perfect. Wales and the north country beyond Trent each required somewhat special government ; and Ireland, of course, was a problem by itself. Yet no serious perplexities had grown up when in 1525 the King sent his bastard son, the Duke of Richmond, into Yorkshire, with a Council to govern the north, and his daughter Mary, with another Council, to hold a Court on the borders of Wales for the settlement of disputes in that country without reference to the Courts at Westminster. This arrangement was soon set aside when
Mary's legitimacy was questioned, and the disaffection of Rice ap Griffith, whose father and grandfather had governed Wales for Henry VII, was undoubtedly connected with the Divorce question. A little later a new Council for the Marches was set up under Roland Lee, whom the King appointed Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield ; and by several successive Acts of Parliament Wales itself was divided into shires, and the administration of justice in the principality assimilated to that which prevailed in England, only with a Great Sessions held twice a year in every county instead of quarterly assizes. The admission of twenty-seven members for Welsh constituencies to the English Parliament completed the union of the principality with the kingdom. <)f a similar tendency was an Act of the King's 27th year, by which the old prerogatives of counties palatine were abolished, and the sole power of appointing justices or pardoning offences over the whole kingdom restored to the Crown. Of the beneficial results of these changes it is impossible to doubt, especially in Wales, where " gentlemen thieves " had been a good deal too influential. The north of England was less easily coerced, and after the severe measures taken by Norfolk to put down the rebellion a new Council of the North was established, first under Bishop Tunstall of Durham, afterwards under Bishop Holgate of Llandaff. This Council which, like that of Wales, was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641, was undoubtedly without parliamentary authority ; it acted merely by the deputed authority of the Crown. Yet its acts could scarcely have been felt as extremely tyrannical after the submission of the whole country in 1537, renewed to the King himself when he went thither in 1541.
In Ireland the King's policy was after many years wonderfully successful. Early in the reign he had allowed the Earl of Kildare, as Lord Deputy, to manage everything, to treat his own enemies as the King's and appropriate their confiscated lands. This, however, could not last, and in 1520 the Earl of Surrey was sent over as Deputy, who with the aid of Sir Piers Butler set about reducing the land to subjection. He made a good beginning and handed over the work to Sir Piers ; but the feud between the Geraldines and the Butlers made government impossible. Kildare was restored for a time, but, as we have seen, had to be recalled, whereupon his son, becoming the Pope's champion, almost wrested, for a time the whole government of Ireland from the King. But before many years the Geraldines were completely crushed, and young Kildare and his five uncles were hanged at Tyburn. Lord Leonard Grey's government, however, was complained of; he was recalled and sent to the block. It was under his successor, St Leger, that real progress was at last made. Without attempting distant expeditions he endeavoured first of all to make the Pale secure, and by and by induced the Irish chieftains to submit, accepting titles from the King and renouncing the Pope's spiritual authority. The triumph was completed
Thus Henry, notwithstanding his defiance of the Pope, was wonderfully successful in making himself secure at home. Abroad he had warded off the danger of any attempt at invasion to enforce the papal excommunication by continually fomenting the mutual jealousies of the two leading princes on the Continent. The time came, however, when, neutrality being no longer possible, he prepared to throw in his lot with the Emperor against France ; and it was in view of a war with France, as we have seen, that he attempted, just when Ireland had been pacified, to get Scotland completely under his power-a task which proved too much both for him and for his successor.
Naturally, the navy and the defence of the coast occupied much of this King's attention. From the earliest years of his reign, indeed, Henry took much interest in his ships. Trinity House owes its origin to a guild founded by royal licence at Deptford Strand before he had been four years upon the throne. Earlier still, when the Regent was burned in 1512, he immediately set about the building of the Great Harry, on board of which he received a grand array of ambassadors and Bishops when it was dedicated in June, 1514. She was the largest vessel then afloat, and her sailing qualities were no less admirable than her bulk. In 1522 Admiral Fitzwilliam reported that she outsailed all the ships of the fleet except the unfortunate Mary Rose. The Royal Navy consisted commonly of about thirty or forty sail, but it could always be augmented from merchant-ships, or ships which were private property ; though it was reported by Marillac in 1540 that there were only seven or eight vessels besides the King's which were of more than 400 or 500 tons burden. Henry's solicitude about his ships was further shown on the sinking of the Mary Rose before his eyes in 1545. Next year, for the first time, a Navy Board was established.
The importance of the command of the sea was shown in two instances at the end of the reign, when the French besieged the English in Boulogne, and when the Scotch government attempted to besiege Henry's friends, the murderers of Cardinal Beton, in St Andrews. The hold which Henry thus had both on France and Scotland was important for his own protection ; and the foundation of England's greatness as a world-power may be traced to a tyrant's strenuous efforts to defend his own position. Of less permanent importance in this way were the
As to his army, for the most part he was not very well served. The policy of his father had been to prohibit by law the large retinues formerly maintained by the nobles to prevent the renewal of civil war. The result was that, when troops were needed for active service abroad, the nobles had no personal following, but, being each bound by indenture to bring so many soldiers into the field, hired men for the occasion at specific wages. In consequence they were raw and ill-disciplined; and their extraordinary revolt under Dorset in Spain in 1512 was almost paralleled in 1523, when Suffolk, partly by the weather and partly by the insubordination of his followers, was compelled to disband his army and return to Calais. After that date there was no great fighting for nearly twenty years, when the King again became involved both with France and with Scotland. In this French war he supplemented his own forces by engaging German mercenaries who demanded exorbitant pay and cheated him besides. He also detained in England with the Emperor's leave two Spanish noblemen of great distinction, and took a number of their countrymen into his service, who were delighted with his liberality. The increase of English influence abroad during this reign was in fact due rather to the personal qualities of the King, and to the skilful use which he made of European complications, than to the number or excellence of the troops at his command.