Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 18 Part 2, August-December 1543. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1902.
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The King, as we mentioned in the end of the last Preface, married his sixth and last wife, Katharine Parr, on the 12 July. But unlike most of his previous marriages, it was a matter of purely domestic interest; and though doubtless not without a bearing on other domestic subjects, it has no particular significance in relation to great matters of policy. It only disgusted Anne of Cleves, who apparently, since Katharine Howard's fall, had entertained some hope of being recognised again as Queen, and who now found that she was supplanted by a lady not so beautiful as herself. (fn. 1) But even if the King had been able to conquer his professed dislike of her, he was now the Emperor's ally against France, and a renewal of old relations with Cleves was not to be thought of. The marriage, however, must have pleased not merely courtiers like Wriothesley, who were sure to applaud, (fn. 2) but also the increasingly influential multitude of those given to new opinions, to which Katharine decidedly leaned.
The day before his marriage the King had a farewell audience with a special Imperial envoy, (fn. 3) and an interview, which was not quite a final one, with the French Ambassador. The Imperial envoy was the Sieur de Chantonnay, Granvelle's son, who had been despatched from Brussels in the end of June to hasten the defensive aid which by the treaty Henry was to give to the Emperor. (fn. 4) He arrived on the 2 July, and had a most favourable reception next day, when he presented himself to the King along with Chapuys. (fn. 5) In answer to their request, Sir John Wallop was appointed captain of the horse and foot sent for the defence of the Low Countries, and left Guisnes Castle for a time in the keeping of Sir Edward Ryngeley. (fn. 6) So Chantonnay had every reason to congratulate himself on the success of his mission. The French Ambassador, on the other hand, made vain efforts to stave off the rupture, saying that his master was away from Paris and required time to answer Henry's demands. But the King told him that he was quite resolved, when the time notified expired, to treat Francis as an open enemy, and he advised the Ambassador to leave the realm at once. The Ambassador then asked leave to come back on Sunday following (the 15th) to take leave, when he received a handsome present, and a few days afterwards he departed.
Wallop's mission had in fact been determined on before Chantonnay's arrival, and he himself was making arrangements for it while holding a friendly correspondence with Du Bies, the Governor of Boulogne, in which each kindly brought under the other's notice as much unpalatable intelligence as he could find in fact or rumor touching the war and things which might affect it. (fn. 7) The Frenchman informed Wallop that the Emperor was not likely to be soon in the Low Countries. By last advices, Du Bies said, he was at Pavia waiting for an answer from the Pope about their interview, which his Holiness at first declined as the Emperor had become an ally of the King of England, and which he only consented to when the Emperor explained that his object was to bring Henry back to the obedience of the Church. But the interview could not be before the end of June and the Emperor would hardly be near the seat of war before winter. In exchange for this Wallop informed Du Bies of the defeat of the army of Cleves at Heinsberg on the 22nd, which had not yet penetrated, he conceived, into Frenchmen's ears. On receiving his instructions Wallop, of course, accepted his command with the greatest satisfaction. He and his band, however, were only commissioned for 112 days to aid the Emperor in the defence of the Low Countries; and ere long matters took such a turn that it seemed as if their services were little needed. For though after setting out from Calais on the 22 July, they marched on through French territory, destroying and burning with little interruption, news came on the 1 August, while they were encamped beside Béthune, that Francis had broken up his camp and withdrawn towards Burgundy. (fn. 8) Shortly afterwards Wallop asked of the Governor of Arras who came to him from the Great Master, de Roeulx, what further services would be expected of them; and the Governor thought that they would be asked to aid in besieging Landrecy in Hainault. Wallop was doubtful if his instructions would permit this and wrote to the King for definite orders. (fn. 9) He was commissioned in reply to tell the Imperialists that, if they specially desired it, although both he and the King believed that they would waste their time there with little result, he and his men were authorised to do as requested, on the understanding that the King might in like case hereafter call upon Imperialist auxiliaries during their four months' service to assist in besieging a town. Wallop, however, must make it clear to them that he and his band must come home at the end of the four months unless the Emperor would keep them at his own expense. (fn. 10)
Their services were gladly accepted and they marched towards Hainault (fn. 11); where, however, we may at present leave them, as it is important, in the first place, to see what came of the conclusion of the treaties with Scotland.
As mentioned in the last Preface, those treaties were signed at Greenwich on the 1 July, and were the best security Henry could obtain against Scotland joining with France. Yet only five days later the lord Warden Parr wrote from Warkworth that the Governor was not to be trusted; his promises were merely craft. Just lately his Council had told him they wondered he would pledge himself to what he could not perform—that is to say, to deliver the young Queen when she was ten years old; and his answer was that the King of England was a mighty prince whom they could not hope to resist, and it was best to tide over the difficulty by fair words. Before the end of the ten years the Queen might die or some other change might make Scotland more able to resist. Such were the views of the Governor. Moreover if he had the best will in the world he was poor, and had spent all the King had given him and all he could afford besides. None of the Lords were assured to him but Angus, Cassillis and Maxwell. Angus, the Lord Warden wrote, was an honourable man but not reputed capable of managing such a business; Cassillis and Maxwell were "men of small manrede" and the power of the latter was much decayed since the death of King James. The really able man among the Scots, George Douglas, was reported to be "practising with both parties." (fn. 12) This and other uncomfortable intelligence was followed next day by an opinion which came from a servant of George Douglas at Coldingham, that the Governor only waited the coming of his master to forsake him and Angus and revolt to the Cardinal—a course to which he had been persuaded by Argyle. (fn. 13)
But it was scarcely time yet for any manifest defection on Arran's part; nor did he in fact desert the Douglases at all. He had appointed a Convention at Edinburgh for the purpose of ratifying the treaties; "but it was thought that sundry great lords would not appear." Then he was apprised that the Cardinal, Huntly, Argyle, Lennox and Bothwell were gathering men to meet at Stirling on the 20th with a view to surprise Linlithgow, take possession of the young Queen's person and remove him from his office, while the Cardinal's friends on the Borders, Lord Hume, the laird of Buccleuch and the Kerrs, were to make raids into England for the express purpose of breaking the peace. The Governor summoned his friends and warned the country in the Queen's name to resist rebellion, and he hoped, as he told Sadler, to have 20,000 men in the field, though the rebels, who denounced him as a heretic and a good Englishman, pretended that they only rose in defence of the Faith and to preserve the liberty of the realm. (fn. 14) As a matter of fact, Beton and his friends did come to Linlithgow, where on the 24th they signed a bond for mutual defence against the Governor and to rescue the young Queen and her mother from the danger of being conveyed to England. (fn. 15) Sadler was greatly depressed, but by and by took comfort; the storm seemed to have blown over, and a good agreement was taken. Glencairn had succeeded in composing matters. There had been meetings between the two parties, and it had been finally resolved that the Queen should be committed to the custody of four barons of those appointed by parliament for her surety; that a day and place should shortly be appointed for a convention of the nobility to ratify the treaties and establish a Council; and that the Cardinal and Angus, each accompanied by their partizans and a hundred followers, should meet in the fields as friends and agree to these two points; immediately after which the Queen should be handed over to her Parliamentary custodians. On the 25th accordingly the meeting between Angus and the Cardinal took place, with much shaking of hands and embracing and long familiar talk. The two points were agreed on, and Cassillis and Glencairn rode to Linlithgow, dismissed the Governor's men, and appointed Lords Grahame, Erskine, Lindsey and Livingstone to take charge of the infant Queen. Two of these were the Governor's nominees and two the Cardinal's; and Glencairn undertook that they would be sure to deliver her to Henry at the time named in the treaty, the Cardinal himself desiring it to be known that he and his friends were quite as glad of the peace and marriage as any in the realm, and quite determined to give effect to them. (fn. 16)
Sadler was much comforted. What remained was to settle the day and place of the convention. The Cardinal and his friends desired to have it at Stirling, but the Governor insisted that the lords should come to him at Edinburgh; and in conversation with Sadler afterwards Arran certainly made the most of his firmness on this and other points. Sir George Douglas also assured Sadler that the Governor was at present, if he would so remain, as "dedicate" to the King as any of them. But he suggested that just at this moment £1,000 bestowed on the Governor would be of very particular use, and Sadler thought it would be not amiss for the King to risk the experiment. (fn. 17) On the 31st Sadler reported that the Governor had sent for him that day, to explain how Lord Fleming and the Bishop of Orkney had come to him from the Cardinal, who agreed to the convention being held at Edinburgh instead of Stirling, but required such extravagant conditions as he could not think of granting; so that in reply he had sent the Earl Marischal, the Abbot of Paisley and Sir James Leirmonth to charge the Cardinal and his friends in the Queen's name to come to Edinburgh to the ratification, with an intimation that if any of them were afraid of Sir George Douglas he would lay his own son, the Master of Morton, in pledge, with others, for their safety. This Sadler thought too great a concession; but he believed they would not be induced to come and that they did not really wish the treaties to be ratified. (fn. 18)
The King thought well of Sadler's advice, and on the 6th August Sadler presented the Governor with the £1,000, stating that the King desired him to regard it as "utterly nothing in respect of that which his Majesty determineth towards him"; on which Arran, in expressing his gratitude, said that though the Cardinal now sought his favour and the King's, and promised to accomplish the treaties, he could not trust him fully till he found that his conduct agreed with his professions. At the same time, if the Cardinal with his "complices"—this was always the designation for Beton's partizans—would keep the convention, now agreed on for the 20th, he hoped the King would remit the past to them and take them into favour. (fn. 19) Shortly afterwards he received letters from the King in answer to what he had written on the 31st July about the Cardinal's overtures to Arran through the Bishop of Orkney and Lord Fleming; and he was desired to thank the Governor for his honourable proceedings and assure him of the King's support. The King had ordered his lieutenant to have 5,000 men on the Borders ready to be sent over in two divisions, on the East side and on the West, whenever Arran and Sadler should write for them. (fn. 20)
Meanwhile Sadler had an interview with the Queen Dowager, who had sent for him to Stirling. She was anxious that he should understand she was of the same mind as ever to accomplish the King's object, the marriage of his son with her daughter, and had better hopes of it now that the nobles had delivered the child from the hands of the Governor into those of the custodians appointed by Parliament. All were well minded to the treaty and would convene with the Governor for the ratification on the 20th. Sadler, of course, was pleased to find her so constant to the King, which he hoped her deeds would prove, and he only expressed his regret that the nobles she spoke of had rebelled against him whom they chose as Governor, which might have led to great bloodshed if the Governor had not been conciliatory. But she replied warmly that their quarrel had been only for the surety of their Sovereign lady, whom the Governor had been keeping a virtual prisoner on the pretence that her mother was trying to get her conveyed out of the Kingdom; and moreover the Governor, in these weighty affairs treated with England, had been using the advice only of private persons without calling great lords to Council, though the latter wished the King to know that they were as well inclined to satisfy him as the Governor, and without their consent things would not be valid. To these contentions Sadler had no difficulty in making a very plausible answer—especially to the allegation that the Governor had acted only on private advice, when the first Ambassadors had been actually despatched by the Three Estates of the realm. The Queen Dowager, however, was glad to be at Stirling and praised the air there. She also showed him her daughter, who, she said, grew apace and would soon be a woman if she took after her mother; for Mary of Guise was indeed remarkably tall. (fn. 21)
It was on his return to Edinburgh from this interview that Sadler received the King's letter offering the Governor the aid of 5,000 men on the Borders. Henry had no great expectation that the Cardinal's party would ratify the treaties, but rather that they were now collecting an army to convey the child Queen out of the realm and dispose of her in marriage otherwise. If that were attempted, Sadler was commissioned to tell the Governor, Henry, by virtue of the old English claim of superiority, would make him King of Scotland beyond the Firth, provided he went through with the marriage between his son and the Lady Elizabeth—a match the like of which he could not hope to find in Christendom. It is really a great evidence of the King's alarm that, knowing how such a splendid bait had proved hitherto ineffectual, he pressed it again upon the Governor's attention with further allurements added. His cooler judgment should have told him that the position of a vassal King beyond the Forth would scarcely be an enviable one among a nation like the Scots. Arran replied, with thanks for the profferred aid, that on discussing the matter with his Council they found that to bring in 5,000 Englishmen would make 20,000 Scots forsake them, but he begged that the men might remain still in readiness, and that the King would lend him £5,000 within the next ten days to wage enough men in Scotland to daunt the Cardinal and his "complices" into compliance; for the late ruffle had cost him 20,000 marks Scots; and if they conveyed the Queen away, or otherwise prevented his keeping promise with Henry, he would be ordered by him both as to the delivery of the strongholds and other things. As to Henry's offer to make him King beyond the Forth, all his lands lay on this side the Forth, and he would not gladly change them for any lands beyond. (fn. 22)
The King did not like Arran's application for a loan of £5,000. What did the Governor mean to do with it, when the Cardinal and his party by their deputies had agreed to ratify the treaties? The Cardinal would no doubt remain rooted in his attachment to France, but he had no force to withstand the Governor and need not brag of French aid, for the French had enough to do at home to defend themselves, and any aid they could send, either by East or West Seas, would be intercepted by the King's ships, which had already met with the Sacre of Dieppe and her consorts, taken two of them and given chase to the rest. (fn. 23) Then there were suggestions that the King should extend the time allowed for the ratification beyond the two months limited in the treaty; but this request he first absolutely refused, and when it was afterwards pressed he passed it over in silence, keeping Arran bound by his own promise to ratify, whether he could bring the Cardinal and his "complices" to it or no. (fn. 24) The Governor accordingly ratified the treaties at Holyrood on the 25th August, in the presence of the English Ambassador Sadler, of Angus, of the Earl Marischal and of a few other Scottish nobles and officials, with the consent, moreover, as both Arran and Sadler understood, of the Cardinal and his "complices," although they were absent. (fn. 25)
After dinner that day, the treaties being ratified, the Governor ventured to ask Sadler if he had any answer about the £5,000; to which Sadler replied that he had received such an answer as might be expected of a grave and experienced prince. Henry would certainly be Arran's friend and not suffer him to be crushed; but, having already at no small charge to himself got the aid of men ready for him, he was loth to advance £5,000 now that the Cardinal and his complices had consented to the treaties. They could make no party against him now if the Governor "went roundly to work" to repress them. The Governor took the refusal quietly; he would ask for neither men nor money till he had real occasion, and he would keep the oath he had taken that day if it cost him his life; only he hoped if he was attacked by the Cardinal and his complices, who with the money of the Church and aid from France expected to make a strong party, he might rely on Henry's assistance to withstand them. He believed, however, that the Cardinal would be honest towards the King; and that afternoon he himself meant to go to Perth and Dundee, where he had not been since he was Governor, and so on to St. Andrews, where he would meet the Cardinal and compose differences. Sadler could only hope that he was right, but could hardly believe that the Cardinal would show himself "so honest." (fn. 26)
That afternoon, accordingly, the Governor left Edinburgh, and was conveniently out of the way of further pressure which the King instructed Sadler to put upon him. (fn. 27) He crossed the Firth, but did not find the Cardinal so tractable as he wished Sadler to believe. The Cardinal, in fact, would not pay him the smallest respect—not so much as to come out of St. Andrews castle to meet with him. The Governor then proclaimed him a traitor in St. Andrews town, and returned to Edinburgh on the 28th. Next morning Sadler found him so highly incensed against the Cardinal that there was little need to prick him forward according to the King's directions. Moreover, Angus, Cassillis, Glencairn and the chief English partizans were going to levy their forces, finding the Cardinal was continuing to make musters contrary to agreement. But the Cardinal's party had the start of them and were to be at Stirling on Friday the 31st. The crisis was serious. Angus, Cassillis and the others said the King must support the Governor with money or send a large army to conquer the realm. Arran himself confessed he durst not deliver the strongholds or he must fly the country. But he would adhere to the King, for he had lost every other friend beside, and he was going to send the laird of Brunstone to Henry to explain how he stood. (fn. 28)
Brunstone's departure was delayed till the 31 August, (fn. 29) the Governor being much occupied with his preparations to meet the rebellion of the Cardinal and his friends. His mission had reference to a good many different subjects. First of all, he was to show the miserable state of the country which prevented the performance of the treaties, and to beg for a respite. He had also a private credence about the great match offered to the Governor for his son, which Arran admitted to be greatly to his honor but could not then accomplish. He was instructed besides to explain away the Governor's promise made in case of non-fulfilment of the treaties, especially touching the strongholds, by which he would have it understood that he had only meant they should be in his and his friends' hands ready to do Henry service. But still he would do his very utmost for the performance of the treaties. Finally, Brunstone had a commission to entreat for the release of certain Scottish ships arrested by the English because laden with victuals for France. (fn. 30) This last was the only part of his charge which was not apologetic, and the tone of the application seems to have been submissive enough, considering the deep feeling aroused in Scotland by the act to which it referred.
According to Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, from which the received accounts of this incident have been hitherto derived, as soon as the treaties with England had been ratified, Scottish merchants again prepared to send ships to sea, which they had been afraid to do for years past on account of the wars; and twelve vessels sailed from Edinburgh, as others did from other ports, with a feeling that they were safe from capture. But on hearing that the young Queen was crowned "and new promise made to France," the King caused Scottish ships to be stayed and the merchants and mariners in them to be placed in custody. (fn. 31) This account, however, is inaccurate in various ways, and especially in two points :—First, as to the setting out of the ships, which was more than a fortnight before the ratification, and secondly as to the arrest, which was about four weeks before the Queen was crowned. The true story, however, is mixed up with other things, of which it will be well to speak more fully.
Even before the treaty was signed at Greenwich, Henry had been extremely jealous of communications by sea between France and Scotland. In June a well-equipped French fleet of 15 or 16 sail had landed men at Aberdeen, sent letters to the Queen Dowager, to Cardinal Beton and to Lennox, and had remained awhile, professing to lie in wait for a Flemish fleet to Iceland. It was suspected that they had really come to convey away the young Queen to France. They came from Dieppe, however, at their own charges and with strict orders from Francis not to fight with any Englishman (war, apparently, not having been declared when they set out) except in self-defence. On their return to France (war having been declared in the meanwhile) they were encountered on the 6th July off Orfordness by Sir Rice Mancell, who fought them from break of day till 3 or 4 in the afternoon and effectually checked their progress Southwards. He chased their flagship The Sacre, and three attempts were made to board her, one from The Primrose and two from the Minion. Eight of them reached the entrance of the Firth of Forth in a very battered condition and stood for awhile behind the Isle of May. Their Admiral and 60 men on board were severely wounded; but they had taken one English ship while the English had taken two of theirs. They came to Leith and Burntisland to refit, and waited for wind to depart. The Governor had, not long before, intimated to Sadler, in response to a demand from Henry, that English ships should be free to apprehend them in the Firth, or even in Leith harbour; and, apparently to play the English game, he attempted to detain them a few days longer on the pretence that he desired to send letters into France. They sailed, however, on Thursday the 9 August, escorting a not inconsiderable fleet of Scotch merchants for security against the English, for as yet the treaty had not been ratified by the Governor. Fifty sail, it was thought, were descried off Holy Island next day. (fn. 32)
They were not more successful this time than before. They were again encountered, and Henry informed Sadler on the 16 August that his ships had again taken two of them and given chase to the rest. Shortly afterwards two more yet were taken and The Sweepstake drove a third to Dundee. Meanwhile the Scotch vessels, or some of them, had entered Yarmouth Roads and, "without any great necessity," according to Knox, had come near enough the port to be arrested. That they were at first kindly received by the English, and trusting in the amity, made no great haste to depart, are further statements of Knox which seem due to after impressions of the story. Five or six of them were arrested in accordance with orders from the King that all Scotch ships sailing without the Governor's safe conduct should be detained, as otherwise the Cardinal and his "complices" would have free communication with France. And the crews of the ships arrested were certainly of the Cardinal's party, and spoke very dishonourably of the Governor, Angus, Cassillis and others as traitors to their Queen and realm. (fn. 33)
The crews no doubt felt what the citizens of Edinburgh felt when the news reached Scotland. The Governor and his friends, they thought, were betraying the independence of their country by a treaty which the stronger power would not respect when passed. If the arrest was known in Edinburgh before the ratification (which, one would think, must have been the case), (fn. 34) what was done at Holyrood that day must have been greatly against the feelings of the people. Indignation was everywhere prevalent. Both men and women swore they would set Sadler's house on fire, and that the Governor had "coloured a peace" only to undo them. The provost of Edinburgh had much ado to prevent an outrage; for they threatened that Sadler should not leave the town alive until their ships were restored. "This," wrote Sadler, "is the rage and beastliness of this nation, which God keep all honest men from!" (fn. 35)
The threats used towards Sadler moved Henry to write a strong letter to the town of Edinburgh. He warned them that injury to an Ambassador was never left unpunished. The pretext for their violence, he knew, was the arrest of certain ships of Scotland, but that was a thing he was prepared to justify. It was for the quietness of both realms that he had condescended to the treaties, and those who would conform themselves to those treaties should find him friendly; he would even restore their ships and goods. But if any set themselves against the treaties or misused his Ambassador, he would treat them as enemies of both kingdoms. (fn. 36) The letter, when it arrived, Sadler considered, did some good, though "the common people" of Edinburgh were much offended with the sharpness of its tone; and he hoped they would leave him more at peace if they had their ships restored. (fn. 37)
The Scotch ratification was sent up to Henry by the laird of Fyvie, from whom the King received it on Friday, 31 August. This gentleman (misnamed by the English "the laird of Fife") had been despatched five days before Brunstone, purely about matters connected with the treaty, with a message to excuse the delay of the ratification, to offer a suggestion about hostages and to desire aid for the Governor, who lacked the relief that the Scotch Kings had from the clergy. (fn. 38) Henry in reply said he would not be over exacting as to the punctual fulfilment of obligations, but rejected the proposal about hostages, and, as to aid, said he would be sorry to see the Governor lack, but must not spend his treasure fruitlessly. Hitherto, he observed, the Governor had acted in such a way that none seemed either to love or to fear him. Now that he was with the Cardinal he might, if he could win and keep him, recover such "commodity of the spirituality" as others in authority had had. But if he could not gain the Cardinal he must prosecute him, take Stirling Castle, remove those keepers of the Queen who were not at his command, putting others in their place out of those appointed by Parliament, declare the Humes, with Bothwell and others, traitors, give away their offices and goods, expel Lennox and put Dumbarton Castle in the hands of Cassillis or Glencairn, "and so be lord on this side the Firth and hold the key of the North." (fn. 39)
Truly a very fine programme! But the course things actually took was this. On the 3 September, the Governor rode out from Edinburgh with but three or four attendants; professing anxiety about his wife's confinement at the Black Ness on the Forth, some miles north of Linlithgow. Next day he went on from the Black Ness to Lord Livingstone's house between Linlithgow and Stirling, where the Cardinal and Murray met him, and after friendly embracings all departed together to Stirling. The abbot of Paisley and David Panter were sent back to Linlithgow to countermand musters in behalf of the Governor. Instead of winning over the Cardinal, Arran was won over by him; and on Sunday the 9th the young Queen was crowned at Stirling in the presence of both of them. (fn. 40)
On the 17th the Governor and Cardinal arrived in Edinburgh in company with the Queen Dowager, Murray, Argyle and Bothwell, and their friends, all but Huntly and Lennox, the latter having now joined Angus's party, not to be on the same side with Arran. Sadler was sent for next day to a conference at the Cardinal's house, where he was treated with much respect, and great regret was expressed for the violence of the townsmen of Edinburgh, their abuse of the King, and some other injuries. But when the authority of the treaties was touched upon, and Sadler maintained their sufficiency and desired their accomplishment, the Cardinal said they had not sent for him to discuss that matter, on which they would advise what to do when all the Lords were come. (fn. 41) He was sent for again on the 23rd, when they complained of the arrest of the ships after the treaty had been passed. Sadler defended this on the ground that they were laden with victuals into France contrary to that treaty, and because those in the ships spoke unseemly words of the Governor. But the Cardinal replied that they carried no victuals except fish, which was their common merchandise, and as to unseemly words, that was an offence for the Governor himself to punish. In further discussion it was remarked that the King, on his part, had not ratified the treaties; but this, as Sadler pointed out, was because the laird of Fyvie, who conveyed to him the Scotch ratification, was commissioned to ask for a respite of some conditions; and if they proceeded for their part to the effectual execution of those treaties, Sadler said he believed that the King would be satisfied and restore the ships. He was urged to write to ascertain the King's pleasure positively about this, and said he would do so, but would like to be able to write also that they promised to perform the treaties. But they declined giving a pledge till the question of their validity had been fully considered among themselves. (fn. 42)
Beton and his friends seem to have taken a perfectly sober view of the case, They constituted the majority of the Scotch nobility, but had hitherto been excluded from Council, and the treaties had been passed without them. They bore no ill will to England, and if they found what was done was really valid they were prepared to accept it. The Cardinal himself, having got Sadler shortly afterwards to a conference with him at the Black Friars, made him a long discourse to assure him he was particularly anxious for the King's favor and would do his utmost to get the nobility and clergy to agree to the performance of the treaties. (fn. 43) But, of course, what had occurred was to the King himself most disconcerting and a breakdown of all his plans. He considered the Council's answer so arrogant that he must reply to it by a herald By the weakness and mutability of the Governor the treaty, he held, was annihilated, and he considered himself at liberty to take it or leave it as he pleased. Even Angus, Glencairn and Douglas and his other friends in Scotland had deceived him, leading him to trust the Governor and expect the easy acceptance of those treaties. To set things right now, they must get both the Cardinal and the Governor into the King's hands, or at least deprived of all authority, and a Council established by the authority of Parliament with eight persons to have the custody of the Queen according to a schedule (which unfortunately has not been preserved) enclosed in the King's letter to Sadler. (fn. 44)
In reply to this Angus, Cassillis, and Glencairn wrote to Henry on the 12 October, and though their letter has not been preserved we know its purport from that which Sadler wrote next day and from the King's answer on the 19th. (fn. 45) They showed great willingness to do as Henry required, but they found practical difficulties. In conference with Sadler, Maxwell even protested that since he had seen the King in England and tasted his liberality he had always wished that Henry were King of Scotland. But how were they to accomplish his purpose? If they were assured that he would send "a main army" at once to the Borders, or carry on a frontier war, they would know what to do; but considering the barrenness of the country and its natural strength they thought an army at that season could do little. Sadler drew up a set of specific questions as to their intentions; but after five or six days' consideration, they said it was impossible to give direct answers, owing to the daily alterations that were taking place. For not only the Governor had revolted to the Cardinal, but Lennox, who came from France as Ambassador from Francis I., had joined the King's friends. It was difficult to trust anyone! Still, Sir George Douglas believed that Lennox would be more constant than the Governor, if two things were assured to him—first that he should marry the King's niece Lady Margaret Douglas (Angus's daughter) and have "a convenient living" in lieu of that which he should lose in France, and, second, that he should be assisted to supplant the Governor and receive the government of Scotland from the King's hands.
If Lennox could be relied on, his turning to the King's side was no doubt a considerable counterpoise to the defection of Arran. But another thing was new in the situation which caused additional anxiety. An Ambassador from France had just landed in the West along with a Legate from Rome. The latter was Grimani, of whom we have heard already (fn. 46); the former was Monsieur la Brossé (or la Brochey, as his name was given by Sadler). They came with seven ships into the Clyde, and brought with them stores of money and munitions of war, which on their landing, Lennox, who was intended by the French King to take charge of them, (fn. 47) secured in Dumbarton Castle, with the full intention of keeping them from the party for whose use they were intended. The King hoped also that Glencairn would contrive to take the Legate prisoner; but his advice to this effect, as Sadler said, came too late. The attempt, however, had already been made by Angus without waiting for orders, and had been very nearly successful. For the Legate, having reached Glasgow on the 11th, quietly awaited, apparently for some days, the coming of Lennox and the Earl of Argyle, both of whom he took to be friendly, when he was warned by a gentleman of the Queen and by another of the Cardinal to beware of Angus, who was coming thither next morning, and some of whose men had already arrived. In company with these two gentlemen and a single servant he stole from Glasgow in disguise next morning three hours before daybreak and escaped to Stirling, which he reached, presumably, the same evening— at least on the evening of Tuesday the 16th, for the day he left Stirling is not precisely stated. Next week it was arranged that he should go to St. Andrews and remain there till it was seen what turn affairs would take. (fn. 48)
So here were in Scotland an emissary of Rome and also an emissary of France, both trying their best to set aside the peace with England, (fn. 49) and the people already exasperated about the detention of the ships. A month before this the provost of Edinburgh had sent Sadler repeated messages to keep himself and his men within his house as the people were so violent against him. And the warning was justified by experience; for one of his servants venturing into the streets without his knowledge was called English dog and wounded in several places. (fn. 50) At that time the King, thinking of immediate war, wished him to withdraw himself to Tantallon Castle or some strong place in the keeping of the King's friends; but it was hopeless for him to convey himself away unaided. (fn. 51) His position was not improved now in October, though the townsmen desired his safety as a hostage for the restoration of their ships; and he arranged with Angus and Sir George Douglas for his conveyance to Tantallon, which was by and by effected. (fn. 52)
The whole realm was inclined to France. So Sadler himself reported to the Council, and he had good reason to know. (fn. 53) Henry's friends were but a small body of lords who had private interests and private feuds with others. These held a meeting at Douglas Castle on Thursday 25 October, and the only defaulter among them was Lennox. He had promised to come, the others said, but sent an excuse, and they did not trust him; for he had been with the Queen and Cardinal and the French Ambassador at Stirling, and was one of the Commission appointed by the French King to distribute money and munitions and bestow yearly pensions among the nobles. He was still playing a double game, it seemed; but on which side lay his interest was not doubtful if he could only be sure of marrying the King's niece and becoming the son-in-law of Angus, with proper provision to maintain himself in a manner worthy of so great a connection.
Lennox himself, doubtless, saw pretty clearly his value to the King at this juncture, and the reports spread, apparently by his expected father-in-law, Angus, that he was wavering, or had actually revolted again to the Dowager and Cardinal who were striving to reconcile him to the Governor (fn. 54) tended only to increase his importance and show the King how necessary it was to secure his fidelity. For Henry's friends in Scotland were daily diminishing or losing power of action. On the 1 November lords Maxwell and Somerville were committed to Edinburgh Castle, and as Sadler was informed a few days later at Tantallon, Maxwell, who had been staying in Edinburgh with his wife and some servants for nearly a week before, was not taken without his own consent. (fn. 55) The Douglases, no doubt, were still fast friends of the King's—how could they be otherwise? But they confessed they had no power to fulfil the King's expectations by apprehending the Governor and Cardinal or getting the young Queen into their hands. To all appearance, they would have enough to do to save themselves from their enemies. (fn. 56) They were not sure, Sadler said, of their own servants. Indeed the asylum they had given himself at Tantallon was not altogether secure, for it was said the Governor would besiege it; and though the castle was strongly built enough, and pretty well furnished with artillery besides, the store of victuals and fuel would not last long unless new supplies came by sea. (fn. 57)
In short, Henry's whole policy in Scotland was already pretty nearly undone, and a Parliament which was called to meet at Edinburgh in December (fn. 58) was evidently going to administer the final blow to it. The hostile attitude of the Scottish Government was even perhaps exaggerated by a report conveyed to Sadler by the laird of Brunstone, who said that the Governor, secure of French aid, was now determined on war with England, and that the Cardinal himself had told him the King should not have the honor to begin the war—they would begin it themselves. (fn. 59) But Arran's own letter to Henry in reply to his reproaches, though he denied any breach of promise to the King, and mainly confined himself to a vindication of his own conduct, gave a rather unpleasant intimation that the treaties had not been made with the concurrence of the whole Scotch nobility, and that they had been broken by Henry's own delay to confirm them and by the capture of Scotch ships at sea. (fn. 60) The King, who had intended to recall Suffolk from the Borders before Christmas, now felt it necessary that he should remain there, to keep the friends of England steady and her enemies in fear. (fn. 61)
Day by day the friends of England were diminishing in number or in power. In November the Governor and Cardinal went Northwards to Dundee and secured the persons of Lord Gray, one of the Solway prisoners on parole, the Earl of Rothes, whose son was another of those prisoners, and Mr. Henry Balnavis, one of the Ambassadors who had negotiated the treaty at Greenwich. (fn. 62) With what strange feelings, at such a time, did Sadler, cooped up in Tantallon castle, receive orders to repair to Angus and the King's friends in Scotland! (fn. 63) Such friends as the King had were not all in one place, and Sadler could not reach them with any escort that Angus could put at his disposal. Angus had enough to do to justify the fact that he gave Sadler shelter in his castle; for the Governor insisted strongly on his turning him out and sending him across the Border, saying that he had forfeited all the privileges of an Ambassador by his intrigues to pervert the loyalty of Scottish subjects. Angus, in fact, to evade the Governor's demand, required that it should be signed by all the lords for his security; but Arran, "finding it strange" that the sufficiency of his own authority should be questioned, sent Rothesay herald again to charge Angus to cause his guest to return to England. (fn. 64) It was clear that Sadler's last refuge in Scotland was becoming untenable; and Suffolk at last sent him letters for his recall. Sir George Douglas accordingly on the 11th December waited on him with an escort of 400 horse, with which he was safely conveyed to Berwick on the following day. (fn. 65)
In December the Scotch Parliament met at Edinburgh, and on the 11th declared the peace and contract of marriage with England to be at an end as ratifications had not been exchanged within the stipulated time, and the King of England had meanwhile seized as enemies the ships of Scotch merchants at sea. An Act was also passed for the renewal of old treaties with France, and a commission given to the Cardinal, Argyle, Murray and others to conclude with the French Ambassadors. (fn. 66) And so the year ended, as regards Scotland, with a repudiation of what had been done in summer and a strengthening of relations with France against a common enemy.
This result must have been already seriously apprehended when, in November, before the peace and marriage had yet been repudiated, Henry instructed Dr. Wotton, whom he sent to replace Bonner as Ambassador with the Emperor, to insist that the Scots should be proclaimed enemies of both princes according to the treaty. (fn. 67) The war on the Continent, meanwhile, had been going on with varying success, but, on the whole, the most signal advantage rested with the Emperor. Of its progress a very brief record here will be sufficient.
After his interview with the Pope in Italy, the Emperor's journey into Germany was by no means so protracted as Du Bies had insinuated to Wallop. On the 20 July he was at Ulm in Bavaria, (fn. 68) and on the 25th he reached Spires with a great number of Spanish noblemen and 400 horse besides his bodyguard. Next day the Archbishop of Mayence arrived at the Diet and endeavoured to intercede with him for the Duke of Cleves; but he would hear of no arguments in his favor, as the Duke had not only seized the Duchy of Gueldres but also invaded Brabant. The Emperor went on to Mayence and down the Rhine to Bonn, where, on the 10 August, he mustered a force to invade the duchy of Juliers. All Germany till then had been unprepared and uncertain, but his arrival stirred up the loyalty of the cities. He summoned Duren, and after a brief siege took it by assault; he put all the inhabitants to the sword without remorse and gave the town a prey to his Spanish and Italian followers. The terror thus inspired had an immediate effect. Juliers and a large number of places held by the Duke at once submitted. The dowager Duchess of Cleves died of grief, and the Duke himself on the 7 September was compelled to make his humble submission to the Emperor, renouncing his title to Gueldres and Zutphen as a condition of his pardon. (fn. 69)
Thus Francis lost a valuable ally. He had just sent Orleans to Luxemburg to succour the Duke of Cleves, when Cleves submitted to the Emperor and informed him that he need send him no further aid. (fn. 70) The French, however, took Luxemburg, laid siege to Thionville and even threatened Metz. But they could do no more, and found it necessary to withdraw, leaving a garrison cooped up in Luxemburg for the remainder of the year.
They were, in fact, mainly anxious about Landrecy, which they had captured in June when Francis invaded Hainault, and which they had taken care immediately to fortify. (fn. 71) The position was important, though the place itself was small, and the Emperor was now bent on its recovery. It was for this object, as we have seen, that Wallop and his men were wanted; and it must be said that the anticipation, alike of the King and of Wallop himself, that he and his English band would be made to waste their time there with little practical result, was completely verified. From the 12 August to the end of October they remained in Hainault, making trenches before the Emperor's arrival and helping Arschot to invest the place. In that operation their assistance was found so indispensable that Arschot remonstrated when the Emperor proposed to draw them off to co-operate in the futile attack on Guise made by Fernando de Gonzaga. (fn. 72) But on the 29 October a body of French cavalry approached Landrecy, and the besiegers saw that despite their efforts the place would be at once revictualled. This was done, and on the 4 November the Emperor resolved to withdraw his forces to Crevecoeur. The hundred and twelve days for which the services of the English auxiliaries had been lent were now more than expired—indeed, twenty days additional had been allowed by Henry VIII.'s generosity; and as the Emperor was unwilling to continue them at his own expense, Wallop took his leave on Sunday the 11 November and returned to Calais. (fn. 73)
So ended a campaign the general results of which do not concern us much. England, so far, had derived no advantage from the war except that which doubtless was Henry's special object, that it had made French interference in Scotland rather more difficult. But even here the prospect was full of anxiety for the future; and the King was particularly desirous that hostilities should be pressed next year with greater vigor. In the first week of December, accordingly, Don Fernando de Gonzaga, Viceroy of Sicily, was despatched to Henry with a programme for a double invasion of France, to be accomplished by the two allies next year. (fn. 74) And a treaty with this object was signed on the 31 December. (fn. 75)
Barren as the campaign had been of political advantage for England, the military historian will doubtless be interested in the "artificial bullets," the use of which was so strongly recommended by Wallop at Landrecy. The use of bombshells is commonly supposed to have begun at a later epoch; but here the King and Wallop speak of employing mortars which should shoot from the camp on the town "such shot as would break of itself and scatter abroad to do hurt." (fn. 76) There was a fine exhibition of their effect shortly afterwards before the Duke of Arschot and the Earl of Surrey (who had left England at the beginning of the month with a royal letter to Charles V. saying that he desired to see the Emperor's camp), (fn. 77) and the spectators declared "that it was a strange and dreadful sight to see the bullet fly into the air, spouting fire on every side; and at his fall they might well perceive how he leaped from place to place, casting out fire, and within awhile after burst forth and shot off guns out of him an hundred shot, every one as loud to the hearing as a hacquebut à crocq, whereof they counted well fourscore." It was a new invention, and the Emperor, at Wallop's suggestion, allowed the maker to go to England and show it to the King. (fn. 78)
Apart from the war in which England was engaged there is, of course, much continental intelligence in this Volume—indeed in both Parts—which is of no small interest; but a very brief survey of some points must suffice. The French King's relations with the Turk had disgusted the whole German nation; for even the Protestants felt the call for aid against the common enemy of Christendom. The efforts of Francis to excuse his conduct to the diet at Nuremberg were not very effectual. They only provoked Granvelle to exhibit an intercepted correspondence between the French Ambassador and the Turk, by which the case was shown to be quite as bad as it had always been considered. But the Protestants felt that a reform of the Imperial Chamber must precede the granting of any aid whatever; and though, after four months' deliberation, the diet ended with a grant of foot and horse for the defence of Hungary, with provisions for the settlement of other questions, the decision was very far from unanimous, and the aid granted, after a time, could not be levied, as the reform of the Chamber was still postponed and the security for domestic peace was still left unsatisfactory. (fn. 79)
So great was the fear of the Turk that even in the early spring Ferdinand had been preparing for the defence of Vienna. The Queen of Hungary (widow of the Waywode) and the redoubtable "Friar George" had openly declared for the aggressor. The Turk actually set forward in April, and by June he had probably reached Buda, already for some time a Turkish stronghold. (fn. 80) He took Gran and Stuhlweissenberg (Strigonium and Alba Regalis) and terrified Vienna; while his fleet under Barbarossa sailed round Italy, and to the horror of all Europe, though it spared the Papal States, co-operated with a French land force in an attack on Nice. The attack was a failure; for on the approach of the Marquis of Guasto Barbarossa withdrew, burning half the town and carrying off some French prisoners as well as men of Nice. (fn. 81) So the French gained nothing by this attempt except additional odium, with some misfortune to themselves. But it was rather strange that the Pope, who disliked so much the Emperor's alliance with the excommunicated King of England, himself felt more kindly to the ally of the Turk, and was indebted to the Franco-Turkish understanding for the immunity of the Italian coast!
In October the Turkish army, owing to the ravages of pestilence, had returned to Constantinople; but it left considerable garrisons in Hungary to maintain its hold there. (fn. 82)
We must now turn to a domestic subject which deserves, indeed, fuller inquiry than we can afford to give it here, and much fuller than has been possible hitherto in the absence of published evidences from contemporary documents. It has already been pointed out (fn. 83) that the act of the Six Articles — the "bloody Statute," as it was bitterly named by those against whom it was directed, — had really done but little execution. The loose statements of early writers to the contrary have been too generally believed; but there is no evidence that the victims were at all numerous. (fn. 84) Shortly after it was passed there was an inquiry at the Mercers' Chapel, and no less than five hundred persons were presented and imprisoned for heresy; but they all received a pardon from the King and were dismissed unscathed. (fn. 85) Next year (1540) there were in London (besides Barnes and the two other Protestants who suffered under an Act of Attainder) but four or five preachers imprisoned, when the King ordered "that no further persecution should take place for religion, and that those in prison should be set at liberty on finding security for their appearance when called for." (fn. 86) This is said to have been due to the action of Dr. Crome, the most popular preacher of the new school, who for some time seems to have hidden himself, but, hearing that he was denounced, came to the King and on his knees implored him to stop these severities. Crome himself, however, had to submit to the King's judgment on the 18 January 1541, when he made a declaration of his views on certain subjects (fn. 87) and agreed further to explain himself in a sermon at Paul's Cross; which he delivered accordingly on Septuagesima Sunday the 13 February. (fn. 88)
The Act, however, was by no means a dead letter. In January 1541, a commission was issued to Bishop Bonner and his Chancellor to receive the oaths of the Lord Mayor of London and other civic personages who had been entrusted with its execution. (fn. 89) Most heretics were intimidated. But there was one victim that year, apparently a single one, whose case was indeed most pitiful. A young man of eighteen (fn. 90) named Richard Mekins had given utterance to Lutheran views about the Eucharist. It was not the commonplace heresy of denying the Corporal Presence; it was Consubstantiation that he maintained. But this was equally against the new law, before which common heretics quailed; for on this one point—the doctrine of the Sacrament—no abjuration was to be admitted in bar of punishment after once the case was proved. (fn. 91) It was therefore impossible to save him. But in prison he received what consolation the condemned might have from the visits of Bishop Bonner, whom Puritan writers have unjustly pictured to us as a monster of inhumanity, and made an abjuration before he died, acknowledging the Bishop's kindness and regretting that he had ever known Dr. Barnes, who had led him into false doctrine. (fn. 92)
Yet this "Act abolishing diversity in opinions," as it was curiously entitled, had only silenced the expression of them on some topics, and diversity of opinions began to show themselves as to doctrines not specified in the Act. They even received a large amount of toleration, as time went on, from high authorities who were supposed to be in duty bound to repress them. On the 8 April 1541 the Cathedral foundation of Canterbury was altered by patent. The prior and twenty-six of the monks were pensioned off; seven others were made prebendaries on the new foundation; a gospeller and an epistoler, were appointed (probably re-appointed) and the remainder were provided for as petty canons or scholars. Five other persons, not on the old establishment, were also appointed prebendaries, making the number of these dignitaries up to twelve; among whom was Dr. Nicholas Ridley, vicar of Herne (already, if the lists are accurate, master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Chaplain to the King), Arthur St. Leger and one Richard Parkhurst. These, if not of Cranmer's promotion, must have been appointed with his approval. Among the prebendaries who had been monks were Richard Thornden, warden of the manors, William Sandwich, otherwise named Gardiner, and John Warham, otherwise named Milles. (fn. 93) These last two, in the occurrences presently to be related, go most frequently by their second names of Gardiner and Milles. It was also, no doubt, intended from the first to have six preachers attached to the Cathedral, though they do not seem to have been named till a few months later.
On Trinity Sunday, the 12 June following, Cranmer, being at Canterbury, called all the prebendaries and preachers before him at the palace, and made them an address, in the course of which he stated that "the Bishops' book" of 1537 had been published without his consent, as the King very well knew. (fn. 94) Two years, however, were yet to elapse before the revised and fully authorised formulary called "the King's Book" made its appearance in May 1543; and though Cranmer, we know, had some hand in the revision, it is not so clear that he had his way in all things. In his own diocese, however, he had authority, meanwhile, to give effect to some of his ideas. In October, 1541, he received the King's order for the destruction of shrines, which he immediately gave direction to carry out. (fn. 95) His commissary Nevinson, who had married his niece, (fn. 96) declared at Canterbury that it was the King's pleasure to have the image of the patron saint in St. George's church not only pulled down but destroyed. This image had been hitherto carried in procession on St. George's day, the mayor and aldermen with their wives and all the commoners going with it through the streets. One citizen remonstrated, thinking the order could not come from the King; but the Commissary was resolute. "Why not," he said, "as well as the Crucifix? We have no patron but Christ." "If you pull down the Crucifix," answered the other, "then pull down all." (fn. 97)
In July, 1542, we find further mention of the Six Articles in proceedings moved by the local authorities at Coventry under the Statute, which led to ten indictments; (fn. 98) but the issue of these cases does not appear. In September of the same year we come upon an early notice of Joan Baron of Canterbury, otherwise called Joan Bocher, who was burnt for strange opinions in the following reign. She was already a notorious person, and apparently was named Bocher or Butcher as being a butcher's wife. (fn. 99) At this time she was acquitted of heresy at Calais, but after half a year's further detention was sent back to England for examination on heresies objected to her at Canterbury. (fn. 100) These, in truth, were of old standing, and she evidently enjoyed the protection of Cranmer and his Commissary; for Prebendary Milles wrote that it was the general opinion that heresies had increased in Kent by the fact that such cases as hers were allowed to go unpunished. Her heresies apparently had begun at Colchester where she was abjured (fn. 101); after which she got again into trouble at Canterbury. She was two years in prison; yet no evidence was brought against her, "though she manifestly denied the Sacrament of the Altar with many slanderous words, her own confession remaining with the spiritual officers." When delivered to the Archbishop's officers, the Commissary would have set her free under a proclamation of Feb. 1539 (fn. 102) as an innocent person; but Prebendary Milles protested against his doing so, as her own confession condemned her. The Commissary called on Milles to prove his words. "Sir," said he, "her own confession is in your registry." The Commissary said he had inquired for the documents but could not find them; and on Palm Sunday week he sent for a number of witnesses, Milles among the number, to prove the case. Milles told him he need not have summoned them if he had only sent his officer for the documents, and though the Commissary professed that he was still unable to find them, Milles knew better and got leave to send a servant for them. The Commissary then was obliged to pronounce her a heretic, telling her it was useless to deny it, but adding, "You have a thing to stick to, and I advise you to stick to it." On this she brought out the King's pardon (i.e. the proclamation above-mentioned) to those who had been seduced by Anabaptists and Sacramentaries and meant to return to the Church. (fn. 103)
Joan Baron's case was no doubt special, but a good deal of the same sort of thing went on elsewhere. Cranmer and his Commissary were clearly inclined to look through their fingers at evasions of the severe law then in force with regard to doctrine. At the same time, it must be said that the Archbishop strained his authority in other matters to satisfy new modes of thinking. Images still existed in most of the churches, if not all; injunctions hitherto had been only against images which were "abused with pilgrimages or offerings." (fn. 104) But Cranmer, or his Commissioners, caused four images to be taken down in his cathedral, which some of the canons maintained had not been "abused" at all; (fn. 105) and it seems that, apart from the zeal of his Commissary, there was a good deal of removal and destruction of images, abused and not abused, in the diocese of Canterbury. (fn. 106) The most glaring offender in that matter was Thomas Cawby, or Dawby, (fn. 107) lately parson of Lenham, now of Witchling, who took down eight or more images in his own church "that never were abused by any pilgrimage," and induced Sir John Abbey, his successor in the neighbouring parish of Lenham, to steal the key of the church door from the sexton's keeping, and secretly to take down and break in pieces the image of Our Lady of Pity. This was the fairest image in the church, and, it was declared, had never been "abused." Cawby himself during his incumbency had in vain tried to persuade his parishioners to take down every one of the images, saying that they were all directly against God's commandment. Once also, at Sittingbourne, being told that images stood in the church there, he said to his informant, "Your curate is more knave." "Why do they stand in Cranbrook, then?" asked the other, "seeing that there dwelleth worshipful men, the King's justices, and, as I think, some of them be of the King's Council? And, by that, they are now building a goodly rood-loft." "They are pope-holy knaves," replied Cawby, "and I would that the roodloft were money in my purse." (fn. 108)
Many sayings and doings of this sort had been going on for years—sometimes, apparently, in defiance even of the King's injunctions. When Bishop Gardiner came home from abroad in 1541 he heard mass in Christchurch Cathedral, Canterbury. About half a year had elapsed since it was refounded, and it was not unnatural that he should inquire as to the state of religion, and whether there was general quietness among them. His namesake, the Prebendary, replied that they did not agree in preaching. "So I hear," he said, and, inquiring further, was told particularly about a Mr. Ridley's preaching, with some reference to a Mr. Scory's. This Mr. Scory under Edward VI. became a bishop. Not so the Mr. Ridley here referred to, who was Dr. Lancelot Ridley, a cousin of the more celebrated Nicholas, though the latter was at this time prebendary of Canterbury and his preaching too, was disliked. Lancelot Ridley had objected to prayers in an unknown tongue as mere babbling. "There he missed," said the Bishop, "the Germans themselves are now against that saying." And he added : "My lord of Canterbury will look upon this, I doubt not, or else such preaching will grow into an evil inconvenience." But it was not merely that new-fangled preaching was tolerated. Those who disliked it had to be on their guard, and Prebendary Gardiner felt that his sermons were criticised and that others hoped to catch him tripping. The Bishop advised him to write his sermon beforehand, every word as he would preach it, and before going into the pulpit deliver his MS. to some one who could read it while he preached, and so bear witness to what he really said. But if the Prebendary should at any time hear someone else preach otherwise than well, it would be best to take no notice. (fn. 109) Such was the Bishop's advice, showing that, in spite of the Six Articles, he was aware that influence was now largely used on the side of what had hitherto been accounted heresy.
One of the six preachers (fn. 110) appointed to Christchurch was Robert Serles, who preached a good deal about the reverence due to images while some were removing and destroying them. He denied that such reverence involved idolatry, as the images were mere representations of the Saints and not idols. But on Trinity Sunday 1542, Cranmer told him in conference that he was wrong, for idolum and imago meant the same thing, the one being a Greek word and the other a Latin one. At this Prebendary Gardiner remonstrated that surely an image was not an idol unless honour was paid to it that was due only to God or to some Saint. "You know not the Greek," replied Cranmer; "idolum and imago are all one." Gardiner, however, was not to be silenced thus. "My lord," he said, "although I know not the Greek, yet I trust I know the truth"; and he referred to St. Paul's description of idolatry in the first chapter of the Romans (verse 23). (fn. 111)
Theology, of course, is not our province, except to note facts that affected social or political movements. But when an Archbishop of Canterbury thus avowed sentiments in advance of any accepted formularies or recognised Church teaching, what was likely to be the result? The story is well known, as originally told by Cranmer's Secretary Morice and repeated by Strype, Burnet and a host of other writers, how "a conspiracy" was formed against the Archbishop "by his secret enemies, the papists," including members of the Council, justices of Kent and some of the prebendaries of his own Cathedral, complaining to the King "of the doctrine by him and his chaplains taught in Kent." (fn. 112) The manner of procedure, at least, was not unnatural, as the King was Head of the Church; and things came to a climax during the period covered by this Part. We have seen already that there had been important arrests for heresy in the earlier part of the year, (fn. 113) and that the authorities had been roused to some degree of strictness. In July, the very month in which the King married Katharine Parr, four men were indicted at a sessions of the Six Articles at Windsor, and three of them were burned. The fourth, John Marbeck, the celebrated musician, obtained a pardon—owing, probably, to his excellence in that art—though he and Testwood, another of the victims, along with a man of the name of Benett, had been called before the Council as early as March. (fn. 114)
Matters were serious when even the Court at Windsor was infected with heresy, and "singing men" of the Chapel Royal, like Marbeck, stood in danger of the law. But it was more awkward still if it could be alleged, or even insinuated, that the Primate of All England was encouraging preachers who were not sound in the faith. Men of the old school had long been complaining of new-fangled preachers, but they found those who complained got nothing but displeasure. To Prebendary Gardiner the Archbishop said on one occasion "You and your company do hold me short. I will hold you as short." And speaking of Gardiner he had said to Shether, one of the six preachers chosen by himself for the Cathedral, "I will be even with him." This was because, in conference with the Archbishop, Gardiner had taken the part of Serles, with whom Cranmer was displeased. And to Prebendary St. Leger the Archbishop further said "You have made a bond among you. I will break your bond and make you leave your mumpsimus." (fn. 115)
These threats towards subordinates from the mouth of a prelate of Cranmer's reputed mildness seem to indicate that the Archbishop himself began to be uncomfortable about his own safety. He felt that even men on whose friendship he had relied, like Prebendaries Parkhurst and St. Leger—men whom he himself, it seems probable, had got placed in the Chapter of his Cathedral, were likely to give evidence against him if it came to a severe inquiry. (fn. 116) In 1541 when the six cathedral preachers were first named he had endeavoured to smooth matters by appointing three who were of the old learning and three of the new, "to the intent that they might between them try out the truth of doctrine." It was "about the Assumption of Our Lady" (15 August), that he first mentioned the selection of the preachers in the consistory of Christchurch; on which occasion he said that three of them were Oxford men and three of them Cambridge. (fn. 117) He again referred to the fact on Trinity Sunday (6 June) 1542, when he said that three were of the Old learning and three of the New. (fn. 118) Prebendary Gardiner on this remarked : "My lord, that is a mean to set us at variance!" But he was silenced by the Archbishop telling him, "The King's pleasure is to have it so." (fn. 119)
Cranmer's object, in truth, as he wished his hearers to believe, was quite the contrary of what Prebendary Gardiner suggested. It was "that matters then in controversy might be reasoned among themselves" (i.e., the six preachers) "and not preached among the people to engender strife." (fn. 120) But Gardiner's suspicion was not unnatural; and he, like others perhaps, was slow to believe that the King had really sanctioned the appointments beforehand. Both he and Arthur St. Leger seem to have understood at first that the Archbishop had made the appointments by his own authority and the King had approved them afterwards. But the Archbishop had distinctly claimed that he had the King's authority beforehand; and Prebendary Gardiner was questioned and cross-questioned again on this and other subjects to show that the Primate had actually told him so. (fn. 121)
About Advent in that year 1542, Serles preached at Chilham in Kent, where Dr. Willoughby, a King's chaplain, was vicar, and he endeavoured to induce Willoughby to "put up articles to the King." He himself had made an attempt to do so, but his articles were suppressed, so that the King never saw them, and he had been put in prison for a time for his pains. Dr. Willoughby agreed to do what was required if the articles were such as could be proved. Serles again visited him and preached in his church on Passion Sunday (11 March) 1543, and, as a result of further conference, they both rode to London together on Friday following. Next day Serles presented the articles to Dr. London, to whom he brought Willoughby on Palm Sunday. Dr. London, whom the reader will remember as a visitor of Friars' houses and nunneries, (fn. 122) had now returned to his old business of heresy-hunting, for which he had been noted many years before when Garrett escaped from Oxford. (fn. 123) No man, of course, could be more fit to impress upon a King's chaplain his duty of revealing utterances of false doctrine. Dr. London had then just brought to the King's notice the heresies of the Windsor men, "at the which the King's Majesty was astonied and wonder angry, both with the doers and bearers." So Dr. Willoughby might be well assured that heresy was not going to receive more encouragement, even among men at Court; and the Archbishop himself was not to be feared in this matter. Thus pressed, Dr. Willoughby consented, and Dr. London wrote the articles out anew, but with additions of his own, with a view "to bring the matter into the justices' hand and certain of the spiritualty." This was not fair either to Willoughby or Serles, and they were both displeased. (fn. 124) But Dr. London was master of the situation. The Council was even then busy in extirpating heresies, and a commission, he believed, would go out into every county in England. He got Serles to write what he knew about heresies in Kent, and then wished him to present his articles to the Council. But Serles, having been once already in trouble for such matters, declined, and Dr. London "swore a great oath" that if he shrank from what he had stated he would cause him again to be sent for. He also warned Dr. Willoughby that it would be his safest course to suppress nothing that he had heard, for he could not get rid of responsibility now for any single article. Dr. London went with Willoughby to Bishop Gardiner at St. Mary Overy's next day, and on Tuesday brought him to the Council door with careful instructions how to tell the tale. Happily for Dr. Willoughby (who could testify nothing except on hearsay), though he waited till 6 in the evening he was not called that day, and next day he stated to the Lord Privy Seal (Russell), to whom London then brought him, that he could report nothing of his own knowledge. This made him useless for Dr. London's purpose. He then prepared to go home, and would fain have had an interview with Bishop Gardiner on the Thursday morning before he left, but he found Dr. London in the parlour, angry that he was not gone, and he went home with a heavy heart. (fn. 125)
Dr. Willoughby took down with him into Kent a copy of the old articles, while Dr. London sent his enlarged edition of the document to Bishop Gardiner. (fn. 126) On Easter Eve Dr. Willoughby, finding Prebendary Gardiner in the choir of Christchurch, Canterbury, called him aside to a private interview and showed him two bills of matters of which Serles had informed him, that seemed to require reformation; and he added, according to Gardiner's account, that he had seen divers members of the Council, who had urged him to pursue the matter. Gardiner, however, was slow to take further notice till he himself observed that heretics presented for evil preaching only grew bolder afterwards; on which he and Coxon, a petty canon of Christchurch, who died soon afterwards, drew up a new set of articles, and, after consultation with a Mr. Thwaytes, delivered them to Willoughby, returning to him his own. Willoughby carried the document to London, but sent it back, desiring that the articles might be vouched for by the signatures of the prebendaries; which being obtained, with different signatures to each article according to personal knowledge of the facts, the "book," as it was called, was returned to him once more. Soon afterwards Parkhurst, Gardiner and Shether were sent for to London by the Dean, Dr. Wotton, to appear before the Privy Council. On their arrival, the Dean sent them to Sir John Baker, a member of the King's Council, who showed them another copy of "the book" unsigned (apparently London's) and desired them to make a fair copy of the articles they would abide by, telling them to fear no man under the King. (fn. 127) This was distinctly to intimate that they might say what they knew, even at the Archbishop's expense.
What came of all this we know from Morice's Anecdotes of Cranmer :—
"The King on an evening, rowing on the Thames in his barge, came to Lambeth bridge, and there received my lord, Cranmer, into his barge, saying unto him merrily, 'Ah, my chaplain, I have news for you. I know now who is the greatest heretic in Kent!' And so pulled out of his sleeve a paper, wherein was contained his accusation, articled against him and his chaplains and other preachers in Kent, and subscribed with the hands of certain prebendaries and justices of the shire." (fn. 128)
Cranmer, as the writer goes on to tell us, besought the King that he would have the truth of the matter inquired into by a commission. The King replied that he would do so, but the commission should be to Cranmer himself and such as he would appoint, for he had perfect confidence in the Archbishop. And though Cranmer protested that that would not seem indifferent, the King's answer was, "Well, it shall be none otherwise; for surely I reckon that you will tell me the truth—yea, of yourself, if you have offended." Cranmer was accordingly made judge in his own cause, a commission being made out to him and Dr. Cox, his chancellor, Dr. Bellasis, and Mr. Hussey, his registrar, who went down to Canterbury to prosecute the inquiry. So at least, the story is related by Morice, who, of course, is a good authority. But it would seem that there were other names included in this commission. For among the Commissioners who acted along with Cranmer appear to have been Sir Thomas Cheyney, lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Cobham and Dr. Legh; and we find the Archbishop and Dr. Legh acting together upon this Commission on the 2nd October. (fn. 129) It had, however, most probably begun its inquiries some time before. Cranmer, at least, had been busy from the 26th August, if not earlier, with a visitation of his diocese, conducted, apparently, in such a way as to counteract beforehand, as much as possible, the natural effect of a sessions of the Six Articles which was to be held before him—and, we presume, before them also—at Canterbury on the 27th September. On that day, at least, the Thursday before Michaelmas, the Sessions actually was held, and indictments were preferred against Bland and Turner, two preachers of Cranmer's own school. (fn. 130) In his preparatory visitation the Archbishop took down with his own hand depositions against Prebendaries Gardiner, Parkhurst and Milles, and against the preachers Serles, Shether and Willoughby, partly for non-compliance with the King's injunctions, partly for expressing disapproval of newfangled preaching, and partly, in Gardiner's case, for immorality. Whether the graver charge was substantiated we cannot tell, but it is curious to find the Archbishop noting as "seditious" an utterance of Gardiner's that hardly seems more than a pious expression of perhaps rather prejudiced opinion. The people, Gardiner said, had been deprived of the good wine of God's word, but a day was coming when they would have it again. (fn. 131)
It was easy to find matter against those of the old school if this was so very objectionable a sentiment. Prebendary Parkhurst had not made the ten yearly sermons in the country which a prebendary was bound to deliver. Moreover, he had more than one benefice. Shether had declared in the Chapter house that no man dared preach God's laws or had a mind to do it—an imputation marked by Cranmer as "slanderous." The Eves of feasts that had been abolished had not been proclaimed by this man as no fasting days; and so on. The investigation was clearly one-sided, and after the sessions of the Six Articles, even Barow, clerk of the peace, was closely questioned about the mode in which he had drawn the indictments against the Archbishop's friends, John Bland and Richard Turner. (fn. 132) But the reader may be left to examine the story for himself, for a complete record of the investigation lies before him (fn. 133) transcribed, with very little condensation, from a MS. volume in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. (fn. 134) It will be seen how Cranmer himself took down much evidence with his own hand; how his opponents were examined on numerous sets of interrogatories; and how all who had joined in drawing up or presenting the articles were imprisoned and brought to submission. Prebendary Gardiner, Shether and Milles were compelled to ask the Archbishop's pardon. (fn. 135) The disgrace that overtook Dr. London for perjury is known from Hall's Chronicle. J.G.
The following important letter printed in Foxe's "Acts and Monuments," where it is wrongly assigned to the year 1544, has been unfortunately omitted in this volume. The date is undoubtedly November, 1543, and the contents are of so much interest in connection with the dispute between Cranmer and his prebendaries that it may be appropriately inserted here at the end of the Preface.
1543. 2 Nov.
R. MORICE to DR. BUTTS and ANTHONY DENNY. (fn. 136)
Foxe. VIII. 31
[A passage omitted by Force at the beginning.] You know I was brought up under my lord of Canterbury in writing of the ecclesiastical affairs of this realm, the reformation of corrupt and the advancement of pure religion. I was thus led, being farmer of the parsonage of Chartham in Kent, to retain with me one Master Richard Turner, a man learned in Scripture and irreproachable in life, whom I placed as curate there. As he was a stranger in the country I thought his doctrine would have gained the greater credit; but nothing can quench malice against truth. He spared not, Sundays and holidays, to inveigh against the Bishop of Rome's authority and set forth the King's supremacy, so that innumerable people changed their opinions, and the church, large as it is, could not always hold the number who came to hear him. On this the popish priests went, some with capons, some with chickens and so forth, to the justices such as then favoured their faction, "and such as are no small fools, as Sir John Baker, Sir Christopher Hales, Sir Thomas Moile, knights, with other justices. The prebendaries of Christ Church in Canterbury were made privy hereof, giving their succour and aid thereunto; so that in conclusion, poor Turner and other preachers were grievously complained of unto the King's Majesty. Whereupon my lord of Canterbury and certain other commissioners were appointed at Lambeth to sit upon the examination of these seditious preachers. Howbeit, before Turner went up to his examination, I obtained of Sir Thomas Moile that he, in Easter week, was content to hear Turner preach a rehearsal sermon in his parish church at Westwell, of all the doctrine of his sermons preached at his cure in Chartham; which he most gently granting, heard Turner both before noon and after noon on the Wednesday in Easter week last past, and (as it seemed) took all things in good part, remitting Turner home to his said cure with gentle and favourable words. I supposed by this means to have stayed Master Turner at home from further examination, hoping that Sir Thomas Moile would have answered for him at Lambeth before the Commissioners." But after Moile's coming to London such information was laid against Turner that he was sent for to answer himself before the Commissioners; and he made such an honest and learned answer "that he was with a good exhortation discharged home again, without any manner of recantation or other injunction."
But the "pope-catholic clergy of Kent," finding that he preached as freely as ever, found means by the Bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner, to put him to confusion, "devising that he came home from examination in such glorious pomp by the highway side in the woods adjoining, that 500 persons met him then with banqueting dishes to welcome him home, stirring the people rather to an uproar and commotion than to keep them in any quiet obedience; when in very deed, contrary to this surmise (as God would), on this side Rochester a mile or two, for avoiding all such light and glorious talk with any his familiars or acquaintance, he of purpose left the highway and came through the woods all alone above eighteen miles together on foot, so wearied and meagered for want of sustenance, that when he came into my house at Chartham he was not well able to stand or speak for faintness and thirst." This malicious tale being reported to the King, he was so aggrieved at it that he sent for the Archbishop of Canterbury, willing him to cause Turner to be whipt out of the country. So the Archbishop sent for him again. But I, hearing this, immediately reported by my letters with such vehemency proving it to be mere malice, that the Archbishop, understanding the truth, pacified the King's wrath. Home comes Turner once more to his cure without blot. But the papists devised a new matter, that he had preached erroneous doctrine elsewhere before he came to Kent and had "translated the mass into English and said or ministered the same," and preached against purgatory, pilgrimages, praying for the dead, &c. He was then convented before the whole Council by the Bishop of Winchester, who sent Syriack Petite, gentleman, for him, "who brought him up to London bound, as I heard say, and being examined before the said Bishop of Winchester and others, he was committed to ward for a season." During which time, the Archbishop "being in Kent about the trial of a conspiracy purposed against himself by the justices of the shire and the prebendaries of Christ Church," Turner is now sent down to him that he may recant that doctrine which long ago he had preached elsewhere than in Kent. If his Majesty will thus permit learned honest men "to be overcrowed and trodden under foot with a sort of tyrannous or rather traitorous papists," who cannot abide to hear his supremacy advanced, it were better for men to dwell among the Infidels. Why should he recant to the overthrowing of 500 men's consciences and more who by his preaching have embraced a right opinion of the King's supremacy and reformed religion? All good subjects will lament this. What think you they will attempt if the King were at God's mercy (as God forefend that any of us "should see that day, without better reformation"), who thus dally with his Highness and blind his eyes with mists while he lives? My lord of Canterbury dare do nothing for the poor man's delivery, he has done so much already. "And his Grace hath told me plainly that it is put into the King's head that he is the maintainer and supporter of all the heretics within the realm; nor will he permit me or my neighbours to resort unto the Council for his purgation while he was at Chatham (Chartham?); saving only I have obtained this at his hand, that I may become a suitor in writing to my friends and good masters in the Court for his delivery." Therefore I write. You cannot do better service to your Prince; for if this honest poor man should be driven to recant (though I am sure he would sooner die) both God's cause and the King's will suffer detriment. "For if there be no better stay for the maintenance of these godly preachers, the King's authority concerning his supremacy shall lie post alone, hidden in the Act of Parliament and not in the hearts of his subjects." If Turner recant, these men will have gained the object for which they have so long travailed; and yet in effect, not Turner but Henry VIII., in Turner's person, "shall most odiously recant, to the wounding of all men's consciences here."
And now they have indicted Turner this last Sessions for offending against the Six Articles, by the witness of two papists of the parish of Chatham (Chartham), his utter enemies, Sanders and Brown by name, for a sermon preached at Chatham (Chartham) on Passion Sunday which chanced on St. Gregory's Even, (fn. 137) they both being absent that day at Wye fair, "saying that Our Saviour Christ was the only sole (qu. soul?) priest, which sung mass on the altar of the Cross, there sacrificing for the sins of the world once for ever, and that all other masses were but remembrances and thanksgivings for that one sacrifice."
Begs in conclusion that they will use their influence with the King and Council for Turner's delivery. Canterbury, 2 Nov.