Henry VIII: Miscellaneous 1534

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Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 7, 1534. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1883.

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Miscellaneous 1534

1. The King's Marriage and Divorce. (fn. 1)
Pocock, II. 523. Articles devised by the King's Council in justification of his marriage with Anne Boleyn, and his proceedings in the divorce.
1. The archbishop of Canterbury's judgment against the first marriage was founded on the decisions of the most famous universities in Christendom and of the whole English clergy. 2. Decisions of councils are against removal of causes from the country in which they are initiated, and Parliament did not desire the inheritance of this realm to depend on “the bishop of Rome, by some men called the Pope,” who has detained the cause at Rome, and “would have made a commodiously and wealthy law lately, both for us and him, by which good people, living within the limits of true matrimony within this realm, shall not by malice or evil will be so long detained and interrupted from their right as in times past, nor unjust matrimony shall have his unlawful and incestuous demoure as by delays to Rome it was wont to have.” Hence our Prince's long protracted cause of matrimony has been ended here “with brief success of issue already had and other like to follow.” 3. The rejection of our Prince's excusator at Rome is against equity and a precedent injurious to all potentates. 4. A general council is superior to all bishops. 5. And any man, especially a prince, may appeal from the bishop of Rome to the Council. 6. After which appeal the bishop of Rome ought to do nothing to the appellant's prejudice; so that, since the King's appeal, all his censures may be despised. 7. Excommunication ought not to be executed, except in cases of deadly sin, and then only on obstinate persons. 8. Bishops are bound first to admonish and reprove before excommunicating; which course has been followed by our good archbishop of Canterbury since he came to his dignity, admonishing the King that he lived in unlawful matrimony. And how God is therewith pleased appears by many things, (1) issue being so soon had of this lawful matrimony; (2) so fair weather with plenty of corn and cattle; (3) peace and amity sought by foreign princes; (4) the purity of the air and freedom from pestilence for so long a time. 9. The Pope is undeserving of authority even by their own decrees, “for he is both baste, and came to his dignity by simony,” and is guilty of heresy in refusing the King's appeal.
Printed by Berthelct, London, 1533.
2. The King's Appeal to a General Council.
Cleop. E. VI. 320. B. M. A speech or sermon in defence of the conduct of Henry VIII. in the divorce, commencing, “If mortall creatures to theyr heddes souveraynes and naturell princes be chiefly bounde next unto God.”
It ends with five articles, as follows:—
1. A general council lawfully gathered is or ought to be superior to all jurisdictions. 2. Princes have only two ways to attain right,—in spiritual matters, an appeal to the General Council, and in temporal matters the sword. Whoever tries to take away these natural defence must be withstood by them and their subjects. 3. A law has been passed to prohibit appeals to Rome. The King's long protracted cause of matrimony has been brought to a final and prosperous end according to God's law. with brief success of issue already, and other like to follow. 4. The King has provoked and appealed from the Pope's unjust sentence to a Generall Council, which appeal the Pope has refused. His interdicts, censures, and other cursed inventions ought to be abhorred and despised and manfully withstood. 5. The bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction or authority by Holy Scripture. or Christ's law more than any other bishop. This bishop is a bastard, and attained his dignity by simony, and for refusing the King's Appeal, and for supporting the diabolical decree of his predecessor Pius, is determined to be a heretic by a General Council.
Pp. 7. Endd.: Concerning the General Council.
R. O. 2. Draft of the preceding five articles.
Pp. 3. Endd.: Capita rerum.
3. Preamble of A [Proclamation].
R. O. Stating that the King is not under the jurisdiction or power of any prince or potentate, and all causes within the realm ought to be judged there and not elsewhere. After the King's cause of matrimony has been determined within his realm, Clement, now bishop of Rome. has promulgated certain decrees and sentences against the King and his realm, intending to publish them in most slanderous and perverse wise. For redresss thereof, though the King need not use any other course than to resist and let the execution of them by his own power, seeing they were void and of none effect in law, still he has appealed to the holy Council General now next to be holden.
By this appeal the effect of the sentences, if they were of any before, is now clearly and undoubtedly suspended, and the cognition of the said cause, and also of the iniquity and presumption of the said bishop of Rome, clearly devolved to the said Council, so that neither these decrees and sentences nor their publication ought to be feared.
P. 1. Endd.
4. [Lord Lisle to Cromwell.] (fn. 2)
R. O. I have received yours of the 7th inst. showing that you have moved the King and his Council for the victualling of this town, and that some made answer that there had been conveyed into this town 60,000 qrs. of wheat. There have not come 5 qrs. since Michaelmas was twelve months. I think both the pales will hardly furnish this town when, need requires. There are not in the town above 1,500 qrs., and if the King would cause the customers' books in all the ports of England to be searched, he would soon find where the deceit arose. As to other victuals, the bearer has with him a note both out of the customers' books and the searchers'.
Corrected draft, p. 1.
5. [Lord Lisle to Cromwell.]
R. O. I have several times written to you for the victualling of this town, but have had no answer, and if war break out, as it is expected, between us and the Flemings, we shall be in great perplexity. There are not six bullocks here to be had, much less cheese, tallow, malt, or beer, and we are so near driven that if the Council will not set the restraint free, that we may be victualled from all parts of the realm, we shall be undone. We beg that all men of arms and others of the retinue may come hither to do their duty, or that others may be had in their room, and that Robt. Fowler and the surveyor be sent hither with speed, for this night 40 foot of wall has fallen on the south side of the town. Also, that we may have a plain answer about the Main brook and Mr. Wingfield's marsh, lest danger arise. I send the verdict of the Commissioners, of the men of Guisnes, and of the Marches. The lord of Suffolk and you, with others, were commissioners at the King's last being here.
We think Beaucharap's tower and the other towers of a great height should be pulled down, for if any siege should take place it might fill the dykes, leaving an entry to the enemy.
Draft, pp. 2. Endd.: Copies of letters sent to Mr. Cromwell and others.
6. [Sir Ric. Whetthyll] to Master Marshal [of Calais].
R. O. I and others of the King's Council have received your letter showing that the King will grant free liberty to his realm to victual this town, (fn. 3) but would have us victualled after a rate, and that Master Cromwell would not take our words by promise that none shall pass this town or marches, but would have us bound in snics of money, as you will see by copy of a letter sent to him from hence, which was devised by Sir Robt. Wingfield.
Some hold other opinions, as ye shall hereafter perceive. Mr. Cromwell's letter declares that the King's pleasure is. first, that we should be bound, and then that the realm should be put at liberty to victual this town. Secondly, to appoint a rate as we think good. Thirdly, to devise a mode by which the town may be victualled and the realm not impaired. Some thought that if we had Sandwich, Dover, and Hythe, in Kent, it would be sufficient for beeves, muttons, wheat, and malt; and take London also to be free, and one port in Essex, another in Suffolk, and another in Norfolk, would cause us to be better victualled than we be. and that the King and Council command the customers' books to come together once again at London, and the customers' books of this town likewise, to see how they agree. Suggests that the King might ordain that no victual coming to this town out of England should be carried out of it, but to make a rate for this town and country is impossible; for if “they (the) country Avar ovar.... and they vitelles destryed, they mene most be take in for sowrty of they towne,” and if there were a navy at sea, it would be hard to get a rate out of England. Therefore, either the realm must be set at liberty, or the King and his Council must appoint the places he thinks most fit to victual us.
I beg you to show this to my lords of Norfolk and Suffolk, the King's Council, and to Mr. Cromwell, when he is come home, for my lord of Norfolk at his being here willed us to write to you. We also desire you to sue for the liberty of this town for merchant strangers and merchants of this town to come in and go out with merchandise out of the King's realm, as was granted in the book sent hither by Master Cromwell.
Hol., pp. 2. Draft.
7. Rowland Lee to Cromwell.
R. O. I thank you for helping me with my bill. I only intend my own surety, and to avoid the danger of the law, if I should be elected, nulla licentia præhabila. I will be with you tomorrow morning. Wednesday.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: My assured friend. Sealed.
8. [Christopher Hales to Cromwell.]
R. O. “This paper shall let you see now I am now infected with covetousness, because I am partly constrained.” (fn. 4)
I have spoken with Mr. Bedyll and done your errand to him. I find him very good to me touching the archdeacon's house at St. Stephen's, which will be no little commodity to me if I could obtain it by your help. The archdeacon is much better lodged at the college of Wyngham. St. Stephen's consists of the house and 10 or 12 acres of land. The parsonage, worth 10l. a year, belongs to the archdeaconry, which is let for 10 marks, and the residue to me. It is too much for me to desire, but I would not refuse it if I might get it by your help. I beg you will write to Bedyll to ask it of the archdeacon, who is now at Padocke at his learning, as I should like to be in the house at Easier. Let this bill be secret.
Hol., p. 1.


  • 1. This appears to be the book of nine articles issued at Christmas 1533 (see Vol. VI., No. 1571), notwithstanding the reference to Parliament, which might seem to refer to the Act of Succession passed in 1534.
  • 2. This letter must have been written in December 1533. See Vol. VI., Nos. 1500, 1505. But the correspondence about the victualling of Calais evidently was continued into the year 1534, to which the letter immediately following this belongs. Vol. VI. No. 1482. is probably of the year 1534 also.
  • 3. See Vol. V., Nos. 1702–3.
  • 4. See Vol. VI., No. 1574. This letter was evidently written not many days after the 28th Dec.. 1533, but the precise date is uncertain.