Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1885.
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The present volume, more limited both in bulk and in range than any of its predecessors, covers only a period of seven months. The continual increase in the number of documents as we advance in the reign, and the objection felt to the issuing of very bulky volumes, have made it advisable to divide the year 1535 into two parts, and the reader has now before him the papers which bear upon the progress of affairs from January to the end of July.
It is a very marked period in the history of the reign—the very crisis of Royal Supremacy and of a totally new order in the Church. Slowly and gradually as the fabric had been built up, first by the submission of the Clergy, then by Order in Council, and lastly by Parliamentary enactment, it was only now that the new system could be considered fully established; and how it was to be practically worked remained yet to be seen. The Acts declaring the King Supreme Head of the Church, and granting him the first fruits and tenths hitherto paid to the See of Rome, had been passed in the November Session of the preceding year. On the 15th January the new title was, by a decree of Council, incorporated in the King's style; (fn. 1) and, so far as regards external form, the revolution was complete. But all would have been to little purpose if the King had not been prepared to vindicate his new authority by something more than declarations and enactments; and the seven months of which this volume contains the record beheld a series of appalling executions, which completely subdued in England all spirit of resistance, while abroad it filled the minds alike of Romanists and Protestants with horror and indignation.
That the nation at large disliked the change, as it disliked the causes of the change, there can be very little doubt. On no other subject during the whole reign have we such overt and repeated expressions of dissatisfaction with the King and his proceedings. (fn. 2) And what was said in secret we may judge from the intelligence communicated at various times by Chapuys to the Emperor. On the very first day of the year he writes of secret messages sent to him by Lord Darcy, who was afraid to visit him in person for fear of coming under suspicion. (fn. 3) Darcy was the bosom friend of Lord Hussey, with whom he afterwards suffered for complicity with the Northern Rebellion; and Hussey had, even as early as September in the preceding year, been eager to tell Chapuys that everybody was expecting the Emperor to come to their assistance, and would gladly welcome the invasion which should free them from the existing tyranny. (fn. 4) Darcy had backed this statement by an assurance that there were 1,600 of the noblemen and gentry of the North who, loyal like himself in all matters that did not touch the conscience, considered the King's conduct an outrage against God and religion, of which they were anxious to wash their hands. Darcy, in fact, had been urgent to be excused attendance on the Parliament (fn. 5) which sat in November, knowing that it was expected to pass laws against the Church. He wished to go home into the North, and there, if he were but assured of assistance from the Emperor, he would raise the banner of the Crucifix side by side with the Imperial eagle, and the first thing he would do would be to seize the persons of such noblemen as the earl of Northumberland, who favoured the King's proceedings. (fn. 6) But he was detained in London, not only during the whole time of Parliament, but even to the new year; (fn. 7) and when in Christmas week he sent Chapuys a present of a handsome sword, the latter was at no loss to interpret it as a hint that the times were ripe for action. Indeed, the discontent with the King's proceedings was stronger than even Darcy imagined, for it was shared by the very nobleman whom he had named as the King's best supporter, the earl of Northumberland. The Earl's physician confidentially informed Chapuys, just as Darcy himself had done, declaring that his master had expressly said so, "that the whole realm was so indignant at the oppressions and enormities now practised, that if the Emperor would make the smallest effort the King would be ruined." (fn. 8)
Nor was this all. Northumberland reported that even the duke of Norfolk, Anne Boleyn's uncle, was intensely disgusted with her arrogance, and she had addressed him in such a shameful style that he was obliged to quit the chamber. (fn. 9) We need not wonder that other lords dissembled. The atmosphere of the Court had become unpleasant even to men not commonly squeamish in mere matters of morality. Lord Sandes pretended sickness as an excuse for going down to his own place in Hampshire, and apparently the genuineness of his plea was not suspected. But before he went he sent a message to Chapuys to say he regretted that the times were such that he could not invite him to his house. He wished him, however, to assure the Emperor that he had the hearts of all the kingdom, and that people were so alienated from the King they would offer very little resistance to any attempt of Charles to apply a remedy to their disorders. (fn. 10) Thus, Sandes, who was believed to be one of the most loyal, as he was undoubtedly one of the most valiant, of Henry's captains, was anxious to press upon the Emperor the very same advice for the invasion of England that had been offered independently by Hussey, Darcy, and Northumberland.
It is not to be supposed, however, that the King was wholly blind to this source of danger. He may not have been aware of the dissimulation practised even by those who professed the greatest devotion both to him and to the new state of things; but he could not have been unconscious that his proceedings gave deep offence to almost all his subjects, and that the prospect of foreign interference might not have been regarded with very great dissatisfaction. Against this he had been careful hitherto to guard himself by his alliance with France. The Emperor, as he knew very well, was far too cautious to begin a war with either kingdom without being well assured that he should not have both as enemies; so the real danger was, lest Francis should prefer the Emperor's friendship to his own. And this, as we have seen, towards the close of 1534, did not appear altogether improbable. (fn. 11) Francis was clearly balancing in his own mind which of the two alliances was likely to be the more profitable; and his subjects had little sympathy with a nation of heretics. A correspondent of the earl of Wiltshire, in France, mentioned that the bailiff of Roan (either Rouen or Rohan), who, he understood, was at this time sent on embassy to England, and by whom he apparently means Palamedes Gontier, Treasurer of Britanny, was accompanied on the way as far as Rouen by the duke of Longueville, who gave out that he had been sent for to go on embassy himself, but that he could not endure to speak or discuss matters with such mad heretic knaves as the English. If Francis would send him thither with an army he would go and destroy them rather. The Duke's servants, moreover, reported that Francis was sending the bailiff to England, by the Emperor's advice, to admonish Henry to see correction done upon heretics, otherwise both the Emperor and Francis would make war upon him. And, indeed, Francis himself was showing quite unwonted zeal at this time in burning the enemies of orthodoxy at Paris. (fn. 12)
Henry and his Council were not a little anxious. The result of the French Admiral Brion's mission to England in November had been sufficiently disappointing, and after his return there was a long and ominous silence on the part of France. The Admiral himself had been evidently very little pleased during his stay in England, and had not even affected to be gratified when he was shown the Tower of London and the Ordnance. He had got no satisfactory answer to his proposals; the King said he would defer it till his personal interview with his brother Francis. Worse still, at a ball on the eve of his departure an awkward occurrence had taken place, when, as he was seated next Anne Boleyn, she burst out in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. "What, Madam," exclaimed the Ambassador, "do you laugh at me?" Her laughter seems to have been hysterical, and the result of pent-up feeling. The excuse she gave for it—apparently quite a genuine one—was that the King had told her he would 'go and fetch the Admiral's Secretary to amuse her, but on the way he had met a lady with whom he got fascinated in conversation, and consequently forgot all about it. (fn. 13) The French Admiral might really have pitied her.
We have seen that he had greatly perplexed the King by asking the princess Mary in marriage for the duke of Angoulême, and that Henry had endeavoured to escape from the difficulty by offering the Duke his other daughter, Elizabeth, instead. (fn. 14) That Francis should actually have desired to match his son with a lady whom her own father had been so anxious to bastardise, was a reflection upon Henry's policy of a very disturbing character. But what could he say? O, Francis could not be in earnest; but if Angoulême would marry the true Princess, Elizabeth, and Francis would only get the Pope to annul the sentence of his predecessor, Clement, Henry was willing to renounce the title of king of France in favor of his ally. With this answer Brion was obliged to return very ill satisfied early in December; and Henry waited in great anxiety all through January to know how his counter-proposition was received. Apparently he had charged the Admiral to procure a speedy reply, and Henry chafed and spoke so bitterly to Morette, the resident French Ambassador, about the long delay, that the latter was unwilling to. show himself in Court. At length, on Sunday, the 31st January, arrived in London Palamedes Gontier, Treasurer of Britanny, who had been over with the Admiral in November. He sailed up the Thames to Bridewell, the residence assigned to the French embassy, and Morette at once sent notice to Norfolk and Cromwell of his arrival. Immediately he was conducted to the King at Westminster, to whom he presented letters from the Admiral; and Henry, leaning on a sideboard, heard what he had to say. (fn. 15)
He told Henry that the Admiral had reported to Francis the great desire of the English King to preserve and augment the amity between them; and that Francis had responded in a like spirit. With regard to the proposed marriage of Angoulême with "the Princess" (that is to say, Elizabeth), Francis had no doubt that as Henry had given her that title he would take care to secure it to her and treat her as his only heiress. But he suggested that some means ought to be found effectually to deprive Mary of any power of vindicating her right to the succession. The King on this replied that since the Admiral's departure the question of the succession had been fully settled by Parliament; that Elizabeth had been proclaimed as Princess, and an oath taken throughout the kingdom which secured her future rights. Moreover, everybody, the King was pleased to say, was quite convinced that Mary was a bastard, and there was no chance of her becoming Queen. But Francis ought to get the Pope to annul the sentence of his predecessor, and then all doubts would cease. (fn. 16)
Francis, there can be little doubt, would have been willing enough to cement a new alliance with England by almost any marriage treaty that could have been arranged, provided he could have secured Henry's aid against the Emperor on reasonable terms. He was willing to offer Henry a contribution of 50,000 crowns for his wars in Ireland and in Denmark (we shall explain about those wars in Denmark presently), but expected that Henry would contribute a like sum to an invasion of Savoy and Piedmont by himself. He hoped also (but this he did not say himself) the King of England would remit those pensions of 50,000 crowns for life and 10,000 crowns for salt, to which he was bound by the hard terms of the treaty of Amiens. He was willing to make a treaty with Henry against the Emperor on certain specified points which he would propose to Charles in the first place, for at present he was bound by treaty not to make war upon the Emperor directly. He only proposed to make war on the duke of Savoy in Piedmont, so as to provoke the Emperor to hostilities both with him and Henry, and he hoped that Henry would then aid him to recover Milan, Genoa, and the county of Aste, the true inheritance of his children. Henry replied that he was far too scrupulous towards one who was always friend or foe merely as his own interest required.
The suggestion that Henry should remit the pensions from France came ostensibly not from Francis himself but from the Admiral Brion. Nevertheless it was clear that without some such inducement Francis saw no particular reason for preferring Elizabeth to Mary as a daughter-in-law, and for committing himself to a declaration, which Henry was anxious to extort from him, of the validity of the marriage with Anne Boleyn. So great a sacrifice, however, Henry was not prepared to make; and he wrote repeated letters to De Brion to complain of the unreasonableness of the proposal. No doubt zeal for his master's interest might excuse him, but would it be consistent with friendship on the part of Francis himself to show so little appreciation of Henry's kindness? The king of England offered to give away his daughter and heir "of most certain title, without remainder of querel to the contrary," the revenue of the Crown being now increased to the amount of 200,000 marks a year; and yet with the prospect of such an inheritance for his son, Francis was also to be relieved of some annual payments which were but the just reward of great services done to him in the past. The thing was not to be thought of. Palamedes, however, was detained in England for a month, awaiting, it would seem, some more satisfactory proposal; and at last was permitted to go back to France on an understanding that the conditions of the marriage were to be settled by Commissioners on both sides, who were to meet at Calais at Whitsuntide. (fn. 17)
While matters stood in this doubtful condition with France, it was all the more important for Henry to obtain support, or at all events secure himself against enmity, in other quarters. We have already seen how, even in 1534, he had been eager for this reason to make peace with Scotland. But the Editor was mistaken in supposing, as stated in the Preface to the last volume of this work, (fn. 18) that the peace was followed by a mission of lord William Howard to Scotland in the autumn. Instructions were certainly drawn up at that time for his despatch, and quite a different set of instructions were given him when he was actually despatched to Scotland in the following January; nor did there seem anything to exclude the supposition that he was sent thither twice within the space of three or four months, though, from the absence of other evidences, perhaps the statement ought to have been made with caution. The despatches of Chapuys, however, of which no transcripts for the year 1535 had been received when the last volume was published, prove clearly that lord William was sent to Scotland for the first time in January of that year. "There is some talk," wrote the Imperial Ambassador on New Year's Day, "that the King means to send into Scotland, I know not for what; but it cannot be for anything that requires much tact or judgment, because it is proposed that lord William, brother of the duke of Norfolk, shall be entrusted with the commission." (fn. 19) This disparaging remark clearly could not have been made on an ambassador who had not long returned from the country, and was going thither a second time.
The object of the instructions prepared in autumn was, as shown in the last volume, to intimate to James the King's intention to confer upon him the Order of the Garter, and his desire for a personal interview. The death of lord Mountjoy on the 8th November (fn. 20) created a vacancy in the Order, which the King at length filled up on the 20th January by the election of James. (fn. 21) Lord William had already left London five days before (fn. 22); but Garter King-of-arms was sent after him with the habit and insignia of the Order. (fn. 23) He was naturally very well received by James, and fulfilled his mission very much as might have been expected — without making too much use of his eyes or ears, or going one inch beyond the ceremonious functions allotted to him. "I think," wrote Chapuys, he has discovered nothing except at the collation of the Order of the Garter, which the king of Scots accepted on condition that Henry shall receive his." James, apparently, meant to accept favors on equal terms, and was not going to appear overwhelmed by Henry's condescension. One thing, indeed, was not hidden, even from lord William Howard—that he was daily expecting an answer from the Emperor about a marriage with a daughter, either of the king of Portugal or of Denmark. He had received the Emperor's Order of the Toison d'Or in public in the principal church at Edinburgh in presence of a great concourse of his nobility. He received that of Henry in his private chapel at Holyrood before a very select company, and declined to take any oath till Henry had received his Order of the Thistle, in order that they might take mutual oaths to each other at the same time. (fn. 24)
Whether, with all this unwonted show of attention, Henry could have relied after all on his nephew keeping the peace towards him in case of any movement against England on the Continent, is more than doubtful. It was fortunate for Henry that the mutual jealousies of Francis and the Emperor protected him in this respect far more effectually than any measures he could take himself. For, as a matter of fact, he had made a most disastrous mistake elsewhere in seeking friends against the Emperor; to explain which we must go back a little in our history, and relate some circumstances hitherto left unnoticed.
In the month of August 1533 seven armed vessels belonging to the city of Lubeck arrived in the Downs off Dover. They had been in the entrance to the Thames, and, cruising southwards, had seized two small vessels, the one an Imperial galley, the other a Biscayan ship, and took harbour at Rye. The Lubeckers, as every one knew, were at war with the Dutch, but they could only allege some private injury done by a Spaniard for attacking Spanish vessels, and the freedom they used while sheltering in an English port was altogether unaccountable. They not only remained some time at Rye and supplied themselves with provisions, but asked leave to land artillery to be used against fifteen other vessels which had come to the same port. The townsmen not only refused, but, acting on the King's express commands (for Sir Edward Guildford, then warden of the Cinque Ports, had communicated on the subject with the court), caused one of their chief captains who had landed to be arrested and lodged in Dover Castle. On this the little fleet at once sailed away, leaving their captain prisoner. (fn. 25)
The King sent a man to Lubeck to demand reparation for the outrage and restitution of goods taken. The town council wrote promising full restitution, and saying that the act was done against their orders, for they had expressly instructed the captains to spare Englishmen, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Frenchmen. At the same time the city requested the liberation of the captain who had been taken prisoner, as they were sure he was not accessory to the outrage. (fn. 26) He was a young man, by name Mark Meyer, and, it soon appeared, a man of very considerable address. Henry sent for him to court, conversed with him, received him into high favor, allowed Cromwell to feast him, and on Sunday, 7 December, conferred upon him the honor of knighthood, with a valuable chain, before allowing him to return to his country. (fn. 27) In short, it was clear that either his eloquence had induced the king of England to change his policy, or that Henry had found him a convenient instrument for an intrigue to which he had been from the very first inclined.
The city of Lubeck,—chief of those great commercial towns in Germany which formed the Hanseatic League,—was at this time making a sturdy effort to recover its former greatness. For a long time it had not only held the keys of the Baltic, but had exercised even a political supremacy over the three Scandinavian kingdoms, till the national growth of Denmark and the commercial rivalry of the Dutch curtailed its privileges. Then it naturally favored the enemies of Denmark, or at least of Denmark's king, such as Gustavus Vasa in Sweden, and helped to expel the tyrant Christiern II., who was replaced by Frederic of Holstein. But now Frederic was dead and the Danish throne vacant. A revolution had taken place in the municipal government of Lubeck itself, and an active democratic party among the citizens had chosen one George or Jürgen Wullenwever (fn. 28) as burgomaster, whose hope was, during the interregnum, to make the city strong enough to dispose of the crown of Denmark at the coming election. In this matter a good understanding with England might be of some value to the Lubeckers, while to Henry a confederacy between England, Denmark, and the heretical city of Lubeck, seemed likely to strengthen his position greatly against Pope and Emperor. Perhaps he even dreamed that his friends the Lubeckers might be able to offer the Danish crown to himself.
Mark Meyer, decorated with the order of knighthood, returned to Lubeck in January 1534, and the result of his report to Wullenwever was, that a secretary of Lubeck was despatched to England, who reached London in the middle of February, but did not remain long. He was dismissed in haste, and departed very secretly, in order, as Chapuys truly suspected, to prevent a settlement being made between Holland and Lubeck at a diet convoked at Hamburg. What he negociated no one knew except the King and Cromwell; even Norfolk was not admitted into confidence, he was so much of an Imperialist. The corporation of the Hanse merchants in London also complained of the city of Lubeck thus sending to the King without their cognizance—a thing which was never done by any of the allied towns. (fn. 29) The secret of this mission, however, has been preserved in one of the Cottonian MSS. (of which a notice, unfortunately, has been omitted in this Calendar), and may be read as follows:—
"Item, that in case the King's Highness will refuse this enterprise, that then a certain prince in Alemayn will adventure and attempt the same, and so become tributary to the King's Majesty, so he may have the King's aid and help to obtain the same. Of all which things the said Lubeck desireth answer with expedition." (fn. 30)
Thus it appears that in reward for his very handsome treatment in England, Sir Mark Meyer had induced the Government of Lubeck to offer to make Denmark tributary to Henry VIII. if he did not choose to accept the crown of that country himself. Some money, of course, was required for such an enterprise, and also a speedy answer whether the King would allow himself to be put forward as a candidate to the vacant throne, or was content that Count Christopher of Oldenburg, the "prince in Alemayn" referred to in the above memorandum, should attempt to secure the prize with his assistance. The matter required both haste and caution, and Henry was prudent enough not to commit himself too deeply. His answer was, in brief, that he was much gratified by this proof of Sir Mark's devotion; that it was clear the adversaries of Lubeck wished to bring Denmark into subjection to themselves, and that it was desirable to put an end to the diet without coming to terms with the Dutch. But as to accepting the crown of Denmark for himself, the King must first be assured that he could rely on keeping it when gained, and he would like some discreet person of Lubeck sent over to him with full authority to discuss the whole subject with him and negociate the terms. (fn. 31)
Meanwhile he had an agent negociating upon the spot in Dr. Thomas Legh, whose mission to the Continent has been noticed in the preface to the preceding volume. (fn. 32) Legh had already been employed in a mission to Denmark and the town of Hamburg in 1532; and even in the beginning of October 1533 it was said that he would be sent thither again, perhaps along with Dr. Barnes, to prevent the new king of Denmark, whoever he might be, from seeking an alliance with the Emperor. (fn. 33) Months, however, passed away before he crossed the sea, and he was at length despatched in the beginning of February 1534, not to Denmark, (fn. 34) but to Lubeck, Nicholas Heath being at the same time sent into Germany, and William Paget into Poland, all, of course, with the view of securing friends for the King, who would engage to maintain his cause against the Pope, the Emperor, or even a decision of a General Council.
The result was, as far as Lubeck was concerned, that the town gave a commission to Dr. Otto Adam von Pack (fn. 35) (called, in Latin, Pacæus) and two others, to offer Henry VIII. their confession of faith, and treat for an offensive league against the Pope. (fn. 36) Encouraged by the support he had received from England, Sir Mark Meyer had already involved his townsmen in a war with the duke of Holstein, (fn. 37) so the proposed alliance was all the more desirable. The embassy was conveyed to the Thames in three ships of Lubeck, accompanied by other three from Hamburg, containing ambassadors from that city also. The two cities, though members of the same confederacy, apparently viewed the situation differently. The servants of the Lubeckers were clad in a gay red livery with bands of yellow and white satin, and exhibited the boastful motto on their sleeves, Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos? while those of Hamburg, modestly dressed in black, bore the more truly pious legend, Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris. (fn. 38) They were received by the King at Hampton Court on Midsummer Day, and delivered their letters; after which Dr. Tayler, the Master of the Rolls, thanked them by the King's command, who, he said, considering the fatigues of their journey, would defer hearing their charge till Sunday following. Meanwhile, he expressed the King's satisfaction at an acute and learned judgment they had come to on the subject of his marriage, and gave an account of the King's scruples and of the Pope's unprincipled conduct, such as was to be expected from one in his position. On Sunday the ambassadors returned, and Dr. Adam von Pack, in a Latin oration which lasted nearly two hours, rivalled all that Tayler had said in vilification of Pope Clement. (fn. 39)
It was soon found, however, that the ambassadors of Lubeck and of Hamburg were not well agreed; and a divine of Hamburg, by name Æpinus, who arrived shortly afterwards, so far from concurring in the sentiments expressed by Dr. Pack, was distinctly of opinion that the King's marriage with Katharine was valid. (fn. 40) His stay in England was thereby made uncomfortable, and he and his colleagues were accused of having come only to excite sedition and spread false doctrine. In a letter to Cromwell, which is certainly placed much too early in the Calendar, (fn. 41) he complains that he and his fellow-ambassadors were so well known to have incurred the King's indignation that his host wished he had never received him, and he earnestly desires his congé. With those of Lubeck, however, the case was very different. The plenipotentiaries of that city, on the 2nd August, made a treaty with the King, consisting of 15 articles, providing for free mutual intercourse, and binding their Republic to support Henry's marriage with Anne Boleyn against Clement VII.; also that they would not consent to any General Council except in such a place as Henry should agree to, and that they would maintain Henry's views about marriage with a deceased brother's wife and the limitation of the "Bishop of Rome's" authority. Further, they were to supply the King with 12 ships armed with guns, and to offer the Crown of Denmark, which they alleged to be at their disposal, to the King; and if he accepted it they were to aid him to obtain possession of the kingdom. If he declined, they were to repay a loan of 20,000 guldens which Henry thought good at this time to advance to them. (fn. 42)
Unfortunately, at the very time the heads of this treaty were agreed upon between Henry and the Lubeckers—indeed, nearly a month before it—the election to the Crown of Denmark had already taken place. The duke of Holstein, with whom the Lubeckers had entered into conflict, was chosen King by the Estates of Jutland on the 4 July by the title of Christiern III. Of course the Lubeckers ignored what was done, and even an observant spectator might have doubted whether the election would not ultimately be set aside. But the fact of its having taken place put matters on a very different footing, and it was a serious question whether the King had not made an error in policy in giving so much encouragement to the new king of Denmark's enemies. Dr. Barnes, who was then acting as the King's agent at Hamburg, desired instructions how to proceed, and strongly recommended a firm alliance with Christiern, whose interests as a Protestant and an enemy of the Emperor were essentially the same as Henry's. He was related, as Barnes showed, by blood or marriage to the margrave of Brandenburg, the duke of Prussia, the duke of Lunenburg, and the Elector of Saxony; and he had the command of one side of the sea as Henry had of the other. The Dutch could have no commerce in corn, pitch, or tar, without his leave, and he had the city of Hamburg, now apparently quite separated from Lubeck, at his devotion. If Henry were to confederate with others they might desert him after a time, but he could always make the king of Denmark feel the value of his alliance; and no potentates, it was safe to say, would be able to withstand the power of these two Kings united. (fn. 43)
Henry did not see fit to take this advice. Appearances were somewhat against its policy at the time, even if he had not, as he almost had, committed himself too far already. (fn. 44) Count Christopher of Oldenburg, who had headed a party in favor of the restoration of the deposed king Christiern II. (now a prisoner in the hands of the new King at Sonderborg), had landed in Zealand in June, and meeting with really no opposition till he came to Copenhagen, forced that city to capitulate on the 25th July— just three weeks after the election of Christiern III. in Jutland. Across the Sound, the nobility of Scania—a district then subject to Denmark, though geographically belonging to Sweden—had already submitted, and count Christopher took their fealty to the old king Christiern on the 10th August. The other provinces and islands followed suit, and the peasantry in Jutland itself were stirred up against the nobles who had elected the duke of Holstein as their King. (fn. 45)
Nevertheless, the policy of England was not farsighted. In order to raise a thorn in the Emperor's side and get some assistance against the Pope, Henry had allied himself, not with Protestantism, but with men whose principles the German Protestants detested and he himself denounced and repressed at home. Wul lenwever was an Anabaptist, like John of Leyden at Munster, and his party owed whatever success they gained to their energy in stirring up the lower classes against tho nobility in Denmark. The German Protestants took alarm at his proceedings, and several of the Princes came to the aid of the new King, who, with their assistance, carried the war home to the gates of his enemies. He encamped before Lubeck, cut it off from the sea, and compelled it to make a treaty which secured him at least in the tranquil possession of Holstein. But his advantage was not so great as might be supposed; for the Lubeckers, relying on the aid of the duke of Mecklenburg and others, only consented to the treaty with a strange reservation of their right to aid count Oldenburg and the Danish towns in procuring the liberation of Christiern II., without, however, landing themselves at Sonderborg or violating the territory of Holstein. So the war still went on. Lubeck, however, had lost ground; the city and its allies were perplexed by divided counsels, and the new King had a firm supporter in Gustavus, king of Sweden, who, though he owed his crown to Lubeck, invaded Scania in behalf of the duke of Holstein, and compelled the nobility there to renounce the allegiance they had promised to count Christopher. At last, on tho 13th January, the Lubeckers in Scania mot with a decisive overthrow, and Henry's friend, Sir Mark Meyer, was taken prisoner. (fn. 46)
Henry must have been considerably put out in his calculations. At the close of October 1534 he had despatched to Lubeck Christopher Morres—an experienced gunner, engineer, and naval commander, of whose mission we should have known almost nothing from any English source (fn. 47) but for the bill of expenses he afterwards delivered to the King. (fn. 48) He arrived at Lubeck on the 27th November from Hamburg, where he appears to have made a pretence of negociating for the purchase of ships and horses for his master along with Richard Cavendish, who was probably sent after him. He afterwards went on to Rostock, from which he sent a messenger on the 25th January to George Wullenwever, then at Copenhagen. Later still he visited Copenhagen himself, and other parts of Denmark. What it was that the King expected him to effect we cannot precisely tell; but it is clear that the Lubeckers were to have the aid of his experience and that of Cavendish (also a very able engineer), and that Henry hoped to profit by the result.
Certainly the King was not prepared for the triumph of the new king of Denmark, who at once sent an ambassador, by name Peter Suavenius, to inform him of the fact, and to desire an explanation of his transactions with the Lubeckers. (fn. 49) The event, indeed, had been somewhat over-magnified by report at the time the envoy left; and Henry was better justified than he could have been aware in refusing to credit the report of Suavenius that Sir Mark Meyer had been killed. (fn. 50) A victory in Scania, moreover, as it soon appeared, did not do much to establish the new King's authority in Denmark. Henry affected, however, not to believe in the defeat of the Lubeckers at all; while it was apparent that he was carefully considering how to avoid responsibility for a line of conduct which it would have been very convenient, if possible, to have disavowed. Cromwell denied for him the fact that he had made any treaty with the Lubeckers at all; but when the envoy was introduced into his own presence he knew that denial would be fruitless, and boldly justified his conduct. Why should he not accept the kingdom of Denmark if he were fairly elected? Christiern III. was not the true King; the kingdom had refused him. The ambassador had no difficulty in answering these and other observations, showing that his King was duly elected and desired Henry's friendship. (fn. 51) But for no less than six weeks he was kept waiting for an answer whether Henry would aid Christiern or the Lubeckers, or would merely stand neutral, and was at last dismissed with some unsatisfactory assurances that the King would not attempt anything to his master's prejudice. (fn. 52)
Meanwhile Henry was taking steps at home to establish his new supremacy. His Council were particularly active in burning English Testaments and prohibiting books of the Zwinglian heresy. (fn. 53) The bishops and others were called upon to surrender all the bulls they had received from Rome, and to acknowledge that they held everything from the King. (fn. 54) The Augustinian friar, Dr. George Browne, who was believed to have married the King and Anne Boleyn, led the way in a public sermon, declaring it a duty in every bishop to burn his bulls, as the Pope, by whom they were granted, was a limb of the Devil; and he even maintained (if he was not misreported) that it might be a question whether persons baptised under the old system should not be rebaptised under the new. That he was preaching to order was sufficiently apparent, and Chapuys was at no loss to divine the source of his inspiration. Cromwell had been questioning the bishops one after another to see how much ecclesiastical authority they would concede to the head of the State, and at a special Council required their opinion whether the King could not by his own authority make and unmake bishops. Of course if any of them had said No, the validity of his denial would immediately have been brought to the test; so to preserve their dignities they all replied in the affirmative. Cromwell himself confessed privately that that Council had been summoned only to entrap the bishops. (fn. 55)
Henry himself, in describing to Palamedes Gontier the revolution that he had effected, spoke of three things particularly as having given him great satisfaction:—the vast augmentation of his revenue, the union of his kingdom, and the peace of conscience that he enjoyed in having thrown off subjection to Rome. (fn. 56) Into the latter subject it is perhaps unnecessary to inquire, though it must be owned it is a rare thing to satisfy purse and conscience together, and secure external tranquillity at the same time. As to the augmentation of his revenue, that, it may be admitted, had a real "objective" existence, though not exactly at the time he spoke, for he was only preparing then to gather the rich harvest he so confidently anticipated from the grant of firstfruits and tenths. On the 30th January commissioners were appointed in every county to take the annual value of every monastery, parsonage, and other living, in order that it might be assessed, and minute instructions were drawn up to regulate their mode of proceeding. (fn. 57) At the same time a royal visitation of all the churches, monasteries, and clergy was projected, and a commission was issued to Cromwell to act as the King's vicar-general for the purpose. (fn. 58) The bishops were then called upon formally to renounce all obedience to the See of Rome, and a sealed declaration to that effect was given by each of them. (fn. 59) They were also required each to send in a list of the benefices in his diocese which had fallen vacant since the 1st January, with the names of the persons presented to them, and not to institute any one in future till the presentee had made arrangements with the commissioners for the first-fruits. (fn. 60)
But however well calculated these measures may have been to promote the King's "peace of conscience," they do not appear to have produced the same result upon the clergy. The complaints of individual priests in this volume are no doubt insignificant in point of number; but we must presume that where one clergyman spoke out and was informed against, a hundred viewed the new state of matters with secret ill will. Nor were those who spoke out, as some may be inclined to suppose, mere blind devotees whose unprogressive minds could not accommodate themselves to the spirit of a new era. Among them was, or was said to be, no less a person than Dr. Latimer, who, after having raised a storm of disapprobation two years before, and having incurred a rebuke from Convocation for his heresies at Bristol, (fn. 61) had been afterwards made a Court preacher, and shown himself most zealous for the King's supremacy. (fn. 62) Latimer, it was now declared, had turned over a new leaf, and, preaching before the King himself, had maintained the Pope's authority to be the highest authority on earth. (fn. 63) The report may have been erroneous, for we hear no more of the matter; but even so, while doing full justice to the preacher's honesty and boldness, it shows clearly how little the world could believe in the cordiality of any of the clergy in behalf of the King's proceedings. In fact it was the general opinion that royal supremacy, plainly and openly avowed, was an anomaly that could not last; and the expectation that it would pass away found expression in spite of informers. (fn. 64)
And doubtless if Henry had been a king of less determined character,—if he had been less resolute to enforce the authority he had taken upon himself, the doctrine of royal supremacy would have fallen flat, and would ultimately have been abandoned. But in April he found it necessary to issue a circular for the apprehension of preachers who maintained the Pope's jurisdiction, (fn. 65) and in the end of the same month the first victims of the new law were brought to trial at Westminster for denying that the King was Supreme Head of the Church of England.
Their names were John Houghton, prior of the Charter House, Augustine Webster and Robert Laurence, priors of the two houses of the same Order at Axholme, in Lincolnshire, and at Bevall, in Nottinghamshire, Dr. Richard Reynolds, of the monastery of Sion, and John Hale, vicar of Isleworth. With them was also indicted and condemned a young priest named Robert Feron, of Teddington, who was immediately afterwards pardoned. (fn. 66) His testimony was found useful along with that of others in procuring the conviction of his aged neighbour, the vicar of Isleworth, and the evidence given on his trial shows that he bought his pardon by the readiness with which he disclosed a number of private conversations. It was in the month of May 1534, while the oath to the succession was being extorted from the people, that Hale, meeting with Feron at various times between Isleworth and Sion, was naturally led to discuss the validity of the King's second marriage; and when Feron on one occasion asked if there was no one who would write against the King's evil deeds, he entered into a long invective against Henry's tyranny and oppression, adding that he had debauched almost all the matrons of his court, and had now "taken to his wife of fornication this matron Anne, not only to the highest shame and undoing of himself, but also of all this realm." Feron retained these words in his memory for ten months, and wrote down the effect of them in Latin (in the Tower, no doubt, when under examination) on the 10th March 1535. He also reported that Hale had spoken of the probability of an invasion of England by the Irish, aided by the Welsh, who resented the execution of Ap Rice, and by the sympathy of Englishmen, three-fourths of whom were against the King's proceedings, and would be glad to bring about a change. (fn. 67)
Being examined on these matters, Hale confessed four bills against him by Feron, Mr. Leeke, Mr, Skydmore, and Sir Thomas Mody to be true, "and that by such ways," he said, "I have maliciously slandered the King and Queen and their Council; for which I ask forgiveness of God, king Henry VIII. and queen Anne, and shall continue sorrowful during my life, which stands only in the King's will." At the same time he gave, as his authority for several of the scandals he had uttered against the King, the name of one of his accusers. He had conversed with Master Skydmore "concerning the King's marriage and other behaviours of his bodily lust," and at one time Skydmore had told him that young Master Cary (the son of Mary Boleyn) "was our Sovereign lord the King's son by our Sovereign lady the Queen's sister, whom the Queen's grace might not suffer to be in the Court." Another scandal he had heard from Cownsell, the porter, "that our Sovereign had a short (fn. 68) of maidens over one of his chambers at Farnham while he was with the old lord of Winchester." (fn. 69) We hear nothing of the original reporters of these stories being called to account. Perhaps it was not so much the statement of facts that was objected to, as the expression of displeasure at them.
Of the Carthusians, priors Laurence and Webster were examined before Cromwell on the 20th April at the Rolls, as to whether they would acknowledge the King as Supreme Head of the Church of England according to the statute, and their refusal was made the ground of their impeachment. (fn. 70) They repeated their denial along with prior Houghton and Dr. Reynolds at the Tower on the 26th April, and all were tried and condemned together on the 29th. (fn. 71) The defence made by Reynolds was singularly calm and argumentative. He said he had intended to have kept silence as Christ had done before Herod, but being interrogated why he had persisted in an opinion against which the Lords and the whole realm had pronounced in Parliament, he replied that if opinions were to be proved by authority, his were far stronger than those of his judges, for he could appeal to all the rest of Christendom besides England, and he was certain that the majority, even of Englishmen, agreed with him at heart, though partly from fear and partly from hope, they professed the contrary. On this Cromwell commanded him to declare under the heaviest penalties who were of his opinion. "All good men of the kingdom," he replied boldly; and he added that he was further supported by all the General Councils and all holy doctors of the Church for the last fifteen hundred years. For a fuller account of his trial, I content myself with referring to the very interesting paper (hitherto quite unknown) from which these details are taken. (fn. 72)
Sentence being passed upon the accused, Cranmer urged, with characteristic humanity, one great argument for mitigating the severity of the law. If two such divines as Webster and Reynolds could even yet be got to retract, their conversion would tend to that of others much more than the carrying out of the sentence; and he believed that he could do much towards that result if they were sent to him. (fn. 73) But mercy was not the spirit which governed now. The sentence was carried out on the five devoted men with all the barbarity of the old law of treason—if not, indeed, with something more. (fn. 74) The effect was to inspire universal horror. Whatever hopes might have been previously entertained that the King would at last relent, and govern in a style more in accordance with the usages of Christendom, were now shown to be utterly futile. The priests were not even degraded before their execution, which several of the leading noblemen and gentlemen of the Court went to witness in disguise; and it was said, with much appearance of truth, that the King, too, had a great mind to have been there to witness the butchery himself. (fn. 75)
Possibly he would have been glad to know from actual observation whether the terror inspired was sufficient to stifle every other feeling aroused by the execution. His chaplain, Starkey, who had recently come from Italy, and had earned his promotion by his readiness to vindicate the King's conduct through thick and thin, wrote to Harvel, at Venice, to ask what was thought of it in those parts; and Harvel, who had no wish to make matters worse than need be, could not but reply that it was considered to be extreme cruelty. All Venice, he wrote, was in great "murmuration" at it. (fn. 76) At Rome the news naturally excited great indignation, and several of the cardinals said they envied such a death. The English agent. Sir Gregory Casale, feebly attempted to answer this, telling them they might go to England, if so inclined, and imitate the Carthusians' folly. But the most disquieting thing was, that it was the French ambassador at Rome who first divulged the news, and his countrymen who expressed the chief astonishment at it. (fn. 77)
Still, whatever anxiety Henry may have felt. the terror he inspired at home overpowered the indignation. A day had not elapsed after the execution of the monks when it was rumoured that the King had caused Fisher and More, with Dr. Wilson, who had been his own confessor, queen Katharine's devoted chaplain, Abell, and Fetherstone, the princess Mary's schoolmaster, to be informed that they must swear to the Statutes lately made, both as to the succession and as to the King's supremacy over the Church, or be prepared to meet with the same treatment as the Carthusians. Six weeks were given them to consider the matter; but they replied that they were ready to suffer at once—six weeks or six hundred years, even if they could live so long, would not change their sentiments. (fn. 78) This effort to intimidate prisoners was doubtless made on the very day the Carthusians were executed. Efforts certainly were made that day to intimidate the remaining brethren at the Charter House, for they were visited by Bedyll, clerk of the Council, who left with them certain books against the primacy of the Pope, which they returned on the following day without word or writing. Bedyll, on this, sent for the procurator, Humphrey Middlemore, who said that his fellow, Newdigate, had examined the books, and found nothing in them to alter their opinions. Bedyll warned him of the danger of continuing obstinate, but was convinced from his demeanour that not even the knowledge of their prior's fate in any way deterred them. (fn. 79)
From the record of the subsequent trial of bishop Fisher it appears that the one single crime of which he was accused was, that he did, on the 7th May in the 27th year of Henry VIII. (1535), openly declare in English that "the King, our Sovereign Lord, is not Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England." (fn. 80) The date being fixed, there is no doubt of the place in which this dangerous sentiment was uttered. It was in the Tower, where the bishop had already been more than a twelvemonth prisoner; and it was not spoken gratuitously, but upon compulsion. On that day (Friday after Ascension Day) Mr. Secretary Cromwell, and others of the King's Council, came to examine the prisoner on two points, of which we are expressly informed that one was the Act of Supremacy. (fn. 81) Mr. Secretary Cromwell read that Act at length to him, and Fisher said he could not consent to take the King as Supreme Head. Another Act was then read which made it treason to deny the King that title. (fn. 82) Yet to procure a condemnation, even under this severe enactment, the law required to be a little strained; for so repugnant was the statute in question to the general sense of justice, that it had only passed the Commons after a most unusual opposition, and they had successfully insisted on the insertion of the word "maliciously" in order, as they hoped, to exempt from punishment persons who, while declining to accept the new doctrine, did not seek to encourage in others any spirit of resistance to the law. (fn. 83) And it seems to have been the prevailing opinion that Henry himself would hardly have ventured to bring Fisher to the block, even after this examination, but that a piece of news soon afterwards reached England which stung him to the quick.
On the 20th May the Pope held a consistory, at which bishop Fisher was created a Cardinal. (fn. 84) Paul III. evidently believed that by this he had brought matters to a crisis; and so he had. That Henry's open disrespect for the Holy See provoked universal indignation in Europe, and met with little or no sympathy, even among his own subjects, he was quite justified in believing. But that an ostentatious display, even of well merited regard for one who was a prisoner in the hands of a tyrant, would do anything to overthrow his tyranny, was scarcely even probable. To break the power of a King like Henry VIII., it would have been necessary to secure beforehand such a strong political confederacy, such a union of Christian Princes, as he should have known to be impracticable. For such a union would have sufficed ere that day to have driven the Turk from Constantinople; and if now even the Turk had been found by some Powers a useful ally for their own purposes, what Christian Prince would have been so Quixotic as to imperil his own interests merely to punish an enemy of the Church in a distant corner of Europe? Certainly not Charles V., who, though besought and implored to intervene with the strongest assurances of support from the English people themselves, did not find it convenient to do anything even to avenge the wrongs of his own aunt and cousin.
When Henry was first informed that the Pope had made Fisher a cardinal, he declared in a passion "that he would give him another hat and send the head to Rome to receive the cardinal's hat afterwards." He immediately sent some members of his Council to the Tower to examine again both Fisher and Sir Thomas More, with an intimation that if they did not acknowledge the King's supremacy, they would be put to death as traitors before St. John's Day (the 24th June). (fn. 85) It was strongly suspected that the two illustrious prisoners had the means of communicating with each other, and so encouraged each other in their opposition to the King's wishes. But there was really nothing to conceal on this score, and More candidly revealed all the communication he had had either with Fisher, with his own daughter, or with anyone else since he was first imprisoned. To the three main interrogatories administered to each, they both gave substantially the same answer, declining expressly to recognise either the King's supremacy or the marriage with Anne Boleyn, but without saying a word against either. The terrors of the statute, and a warning given besides that even silence would be construed as a violation of the law, did not shake their constancy. (fn. 86) The examination left matters pretty much as they were before; and three days after it Fisher was arraigned at Westminster.
It is unnecessary to say that he was convicted. Three more of the Carthusians were condemned along with him. (fn. 87) On the 22nd June he was beheaded on Tower Hill. It seems that "by a mighty favor obtained," as the nuncio in France puts it, "from the infinite fury of the King," some of the more revolting features of an execution for treason were remitted in his case. He was not disembowelled or quartered, and his body was buried in the evening,—a leniency dictated, perhaps, by mere prudence, for the exhibition even of his head alone, on London Bridge, appears to have excited a sense of amazed reverence among the people by no means agreeable to the Court. (fn. 88) Of real consideration for his victims the King showed little evidence. Indeed, if Chapuys was not misinformed, the very day after Fisher's execution he rode 30 miles from London, and walked 10 miles further, at 2 o'clock in the morning, to see the performance of a farce which was a travestie of part of the Apocalypse, in which he himself was represented cutting off the heads of the clergy,—an exhibition which he so greatly enjoyed, that, to encourage the people, he discovered himself, and ordered the performance to be repeated a few days later, that Anne Boleyn might enjoy it also. (fn. 89)
We are at a loss to conjecture what place it could have been (fn. 90) where the people showed so much sympathy with his proceedings. Throughout Europe the execution of the Carthusians, followed by that of Fisher, a man whose holiness of life had procured him the dignity of cardinal, with the flagrant disrespect thus shown for an authority everywhere reverenced in Christendom, over and above the cruelty and injustice of the acts themselves, excited feelings of deep indignation. Francis was more deeply disgusted than ever. (fn. 91) Cardinal Tournon who had been so zealous two or three years before to stay proceedings against Henry at Rome, now wished to promote a confederacy against England, (fn. 92) and Paul III. himself wrote to different European princes of his intention to deprive Henry of his kingdom. (fn. 93) But before the world had recovered from the shock of a new-made Cardinal being put to death, a still more illustrious victim suffered the same fate. Sir Thomas More was brought to his trial on the 1st July. The accusation against him was not, as in Fisher's case, that he had positively denied the King's supremacy, but merely that he had declined to give an answer to the Council when questioned about it in the Tower; and further that he had sent letters to Fisher informing him of the line he had taken, which had influenced Fisher when he was examined a second time; moreover, that when Riche, the Solicitor-General, went and discussed the matter with him in the Tower, the conversation (which is detailed in the indictment) led ultimately to his remarking that though a King might be made or deprived by Parliament, and subjects were bound to acknowledge a King so made, they could not be bound to acknowledge his supremacy over the Church, a thing in which other countries did not concur. (fn. 94)
It is needless to relate the well-known story of his execution, as contained in the graphic news-letter (No. 996), of which copies were diffused over Europe, translated into Spanish, German, and probably other languages as well. Two different German translations of it were printed in Germany that same year. The horror of the Protestants at the King's enormities quite equalled that of the most obedient sons of the Church of Rome. Henry was now known and hated in a way that he had never been before. At home and abroad it was clearly seen by every one that neither holiness of life, high integrity, wit, wisdom, European fame, nor the remembrance of old familiar friendship, could shield any man from the King's resentment who would not declare his willing acceptance of the new doctrine of supremacy. But while at home all hearts were cowed, the one anxiety that crossed the mind of the King himself was lest he had now incurred the danger of a confederacy against him abroad. Fitzwilliam and other commissioners had lately been sent over to Calais to settle some disputes and difficulties that had arisen in the government of that important dependency. They were now to be sent back to give orders for the strengthening of its fortifications. (fn. 95)
To complete the revolution in Church government, in the beginning of June (fn. 96) the King issued a proclamation against the Pope's supremacy, in which the bishops were enjoined to preach the King's new title every Sunday and other high feast throughout the year, and to cause the Pope's name to be everywhere erased, not only in mass books and breviaries, but in all other books whatever. (fn. 97) Later in the same month, just after Fisher's execution, a circular was addressed, apparently to the justices of the peace throughout the country, to see that the King's orders in these matters were fulfilled, and to report whether the bishops and clergy "sincerely preached to the people." They were also to declare at the assizes all that had been done in establishment of the King's supremacy, and to set forth the treasons of Fisher and Sir Thomas More,—the latter of whom, it may be observed, had not yet been put upon his trial at the date the circular was sent out.
The success of the King's measures was unquestionable. The new supremacy was most effectually established, but with how much fear and anxiety on the part of the King himself lest his high-handed tyranny should miscarry, perhaps we shall never know. Some evidences, however, may appear in a subsequent volume. The game, from the nature of the case, could lead only to perfect success or to utter ruin; and the possibility of total shipwreck was certainly not absent from the watchful pilot's mind.
All this while, it is unnecessary to say, the distress of Katharine and the Princess Mary was increased from day to day, Even when the year began, they were in continual fear of being called upon under the new statutes to abjure their titles of Queen and Princess, and recognise by oath the validity of the King's marriage with Anne Boleyn. (fn. 98) The health of Mary again gave way under the pressure of anxiety, and the King himself informed Chapuys that her illness was very serious; nevertheless, the ambassador in vain besought that she might be placed with her mother, and, when that was refused, that her old gourernante, the countess of Salisbury, might have the care of her again. The King would not hear of either course. It was her mother he said, who encouraged her in obstinacy and disobedience, and, as for the Countess, she was a fool who would not know how to tend her in illness half so well as the governess he had assigned her. The ambassador, however, could not perceive that he was very much distressed when he intimated that his daughter's disease was of a dangerous character, and that the physicians considered it incurable. He was anxious, he confessed, for his own honor, and to avoid suspicions, that Chapuys would choose one or two physicians to visit her along with Dr. Buttes, that they might bear witness to the care and attention paid to her. Katharine, meanwhile, in forced seclusion at Kim bolton, while her daughter was at Greenwich, pitifully entreated that she might be allowed to nurse her herself, which, she insisted, would be half her cure. But, though Cromwell at one time professed that he had gained permission of the King for her removal near enough to her mother to allow the same physician and apothecary to attend her, even this was not conceded. Katharine's physician, indeed, was allowed to go and see her (and incurred a rebuke as disloyal from the King himself for telling him that his daughter's illness would not bear to be trifled with); but the request that the daughter should be placed under the same roof as her mother was simply and absolutely refused. (fn. 99)
As the most effectual means of protecting her and vindicating her just rights, the Emperor had not only interested Francis in her behalf by suggesting her marriage with Angoulême, but had tried also to inspire James V. of Scotland with some hope of winning her; who would, indeed, have been only too glad if he could have believed it possible. But it was clear she must first be delivered out of her father's power, and Chapuys was directed to consider if any means could be devised for conveying her out of the country. (fn. 100) The design seemed at first so hazardous that even if a feasible plan were arranged Chapuys doubted whether she could be prevailed on to face the danger. (fn. 101) But afterwards he thought it might be effected if her residence were only at the Tower, where he appears to have considered that she could embark more easily than at Greenwich, and where, even if she and the Queen were prisoners, he believed they would not be so much in the King's power as he supposed; for the officer in command of the fortress (fn. 102) was secretly their friend. Unfortunately, just at this time it was determined to remove her; and the project, though never lost sight of, never took shape in any practicable form. (fn. 103)
Yet the sympathy of the people both with Mary and with her mother was a continual source of anxiety to the King. On the 22nd March the custodians of Katharine took sudden alarm, having discovered that on Maundy Thursday, three days later, she intended to perform the accustomed ceremonies appropriate to the day. She was willing, indeed, to have them in her own chamber, but she evidently preferred going to the parish church, where poor men would undoubtedly have been presented to her to have their feet washed; and it was clear that if she was forbidden entirely, she would have attempted the more public exhibition. A hasty message was despatched to Cromwell, who sent further to the King at Richmond for instructions; and an answer was returned that she might keep her Maundy in her own chamber as Princess Dowager, but if she attempted to hold one in the name of Queen, she and all her officers and those who received it would be guilty of high treason. (fn. 104)
It would certainly have been a great relief to the King and Anne Boleyn if they could only have got the Emperor to abandon the cause of his kinswoman; and in conversation with the Imperial ambassador, Cromwell was not ashamed to throw out hints that it would be a comfort if the two ladies were got rid of. Why, he said, should the Emperor raise obstacles to a closer alliance with his master merely on their account, seeing that they were mortal, and the death of the Princess would do little harm in comparison with the great good which would result from a perfect understanding? (fn. 105) Another time he made his meaning even more apparent by the very fact that he did not utter it completely. It was the Princess, he said, who created all the difficulty, "and if it pleased God—"; but the sentence was left unfinished. (fn. 106) "They think day and night," wrote Chapuys to Granvelle, "of getting rid of these good ladies." (fn. 107) Anne Boleyn continually spoke of them as rebels and traitresses deserving death; and the Imperial ambassador saw, with alarm and pain, that her influence, which last year had seemed on the decline, was now making itself more and more apparent, and that she grew more haughty than ever as the King advanced in cruelty. (fn. 108) The execution of the Carthusians, and afterwards of Fisher and Sir Thomas More, struck new terrors into the hearts of Katharine and the Princess Mary, and raised the alarm of their friends to a pitch to which it had never risen before. (fn. 109)
But these acts were like the acts of a desperate man. Henry had no sincere friends upon the Continent. He had failed to establish a closer alliance with France. He had made a mistake in his alliance with Lubeck. It was well for him, perhaps, that the Emperor was away on an expedition to distant Tunis, though doubtless, even if he had remained in Spain or Germany, there was no fear that Charles would have bestirred himself in the interests of his aunt and cousin one whit beyond the point in which they coincided with his own. (fn. 110) To cool his zeal in their behalf Henry might still, perhaps, cultivate an alliance with the German Protestants; (fn. 111) but there was little appearance on their part of sympathy with his proceedings. At home the King could rely only on the sympathy of Anne Boleyn and a little company of courtiers; and their spirit, like his own, was embittered by failure and disappointment. Everywhere the political horizon was dark, except in one single quarter. In Ireland the Fitzgeralds had been crushed. The Deputy Skeffington had besieged and taken Maynooth, and there was more appearance now of the land being brought into subjection than there had been for years." (fn. 112)
With this brief review of the principal matters of interest in the present volume, we must leave the reader to make further use of it at his own discretion. But, before concluding, it seems desirable to communicate a few personal details recently obtained regarding one whose despatches have formed for some time past the most marked and valuable feature of the present work. The Imperial ambassador. Eustace Chapuys, was a native of Annecy, in Savoy, where a college founded by him still exists. He was born in the year 1499, and was therefore only 30 years old when he was first sent to England, in 1529. For some further particulars I am indebted to the kindness of the mayor of Annecy, who, in answer to my inquiries, wrote to me as follows:—
"Le 24 juillet 1517, Chappuis fut élu official de l'evêque JeanLouis de Savoie, et prêta serment en cette qualité le 17 août suivant; doyen du Vullionex le 11 août 1521. II devint ensuite conseiller intime du due de Savoie qu'il servit dans diverses ambassades. L'Empereur Charles V., frappé de son éloquence, le retint à son service et l'envoya à François I. et Henry VIII.
"Eustache Chappuis fonda, par son testament du 13 décembre 1551, deux collèges, l'un à Annecy, pour les premières études, et l'autre à Louvain, pour les études complémentaires de droit, de médecine, et de théologie. Le testateur laisse une somme de deux mille cinq cents écus au soleil, à convertir en revenus annuels, à fin d'assurer le progrès et le développement des études littéraires dans la dite ville.
"Les Archives de la Société Florimontane d'Annecy abondent en renseignements sur Eustache Chappuis. Un séjour à Annecy me paraît indispensable si vous tenez à avoir de plus amples informations à son sujet."
I have only now to repeat acknowledgments already made in former volumes; first, to Mr. Friedmann, to whom I am still indebted for a few abstracts of documents at Paris besides those which have been already published; and secondly to my friends, Messrs. Martin and Brodie of this office, for their continued assistance and cooperation, which, though rendered only as a matter of official duty, has been always given with a zeal and willingness deserving my most grateful thanks.