Henry VIII: December 1527, 1-9

Pages 1629-1640

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1875.

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December 1527

Hears from his Chancellor that Wolsey has not complied with the request in his letter sent by Mr. Paulet. Asks Wolsey to allow him to return, as the clerical subsidy must be assessed before Christmas, and he, from the last three years' practice, can do more in fifteen days than any other in a month.
Thanks God that his wit and body serve him as they did when he was last with Wolsey, but he trusts he does not think he will ride about the country this winter season for the subsidy. His Chancellor has had to do not only with the subsidies, but also with the prests which the King has had of the clergy. They have always been assessed before Christmas, soon after levied, and paid before all others. His Chancellor can return to Wolsey to answer any complaint, but Fox hopes Wolsey will find him what he said in his last letter. Marwell, 1 Dec. Signed.
Pp. 2. Add.: To, &c., my lord cardinal of York, legate and chancellor. Endd.
1 Dec.
Vit. B. IX. 187*. B. M.
Desires credence for Hieronymus Ferrofinus. Ferrara, 1 Dec. 1527. Signed.
Lat., p. 1. Add. Endd.
1 Dec.
R. O.
Since coming home, has had with him some of the most substantial men of Colchester, Ipswich, Hadleigh, Bergholt, Manyngtre, Harwich, Stratford, Dedham, Boxford, Wayland, and other smaller towns within eight or ten miles, and has told them that Wolsey offers them 200 out of 800 moyes of wheat, which the French king has licensed him to import from Picardy, at the price at which his factors will buy it, if they will send agents thither to convey it to England. Notwithstanding the scarcity, they are loth to lay out money, and expect part of the provision made in France by Coo and others to be brought to them. The substantial people have provided for themselves, and would rather the poor should buy for themselves than lay out their money at a venture. They hear that wheat is a mark a quarter in France,—which, they think, would leave little profit. Has, however, persuaded them to speak again to their neighbours, and they doubt not to be able to make shift to pay by New Year's Day for the amount in the enclosed schedule. They wish to know the price per moye, and how much it contains. Colchester and Bergholt are in great necessity, and he thinks they will shift for the money.
Most of the commissioners for this part of the shire have been with him today, and have put everything in order according to the instructions. The privy search shall be made on the 9th, and the search for corn on the 11th. It cannot be done before, as many of the commissioners are in London. Stoke, 1 Dec. Signed.
Pp. 2. Add.: To my lord Legate. Endd.
1 Dec.
R. O. Rymer, XIV. 233.
3626. FRANCIS I.
Acquittance by Francis I. for the sum of 64,444 crowns of the sun, to be paid by Hen. VIII. for his share of the war in Italy in Nov. and Dec., and delivered to the lord De Montmorency, with specification of the sums deducted. Paris, 1 Dec. 1527. Signed.
Fr. Vellum. Sealed. Endd.
2 Dec.
R. O.
Since the receipt of the King's letter to him, Lautrec has shown himself more willing to set forward, but has not yet been able to follow his purpose. He is waiting for certain lanceknights, 5,000 or 6,000, as he says, though Jerningham thinks they are not more than 4,000, whom for greater speed he is causing to come by water. Lautrec has shown the King's letters openly among the Council, and in presence of the Cardinals here, much to the King's honor. We expect shortly to win over the marquis of Mantua to the league. Parma, 2 Dec. Signed.
P. 1. Add. Endd.
2 Dec.
S. B.
Commission as warden general of the East and Middle Marches towards Scotland, with power to array all men between the ages of sixteen and sixty in such places as Sir Henry Percy and Henry late earl of Northumberland, grandfather of the present Earl, or any other warden of the said Marches, did.—Cites a similar but more ample commission by patent, 24 July 17 Hen. VIII., to Henry duke of Richmond, as warden general of the East, West and Middle Marches, with power of array extending to Cumb., Westmor., and Northumb. Del. Westm., 2 Dec. 19 Hen. VIII.
Pat. 19 Hen. VIII. p. 2, m. 28.
2 Dec.
S. B.
To be bailiff of Tynedale, Northumb. Del. Westm., 2 Dec. 19 Hen. VIII.—S. B.
Pat. p. 1, m. 16.
R. O. 2. "Articles to know the King and my lord's Grace's pleasures in concerning the ordering of Northumberland."
1. What they shall do about English outlaws in Scotland if they come in and submit to the warden. 2. Whether the warden is to invade Scotland if the outlaws commit felonies in Northumberland and flee thither. 3. What is to be done with Tynedale and Ryddisdale men, who have committed robberies before the coming of the warden, if they will not submit, or with their pledges if they do. 4. Whether the warden shall punish offences committed before his coming. 5. How he shall order disputes between parties. 6. How he shall be paid his 1,000l. a year. 7. Concerning John Norton, Rob. Bowes, and others that should be of counsel with the said warden. 8. To know my Lord's pleasure if the warden may have his castle of Norham, as Sir Chr. Dacre had. 9. And touching the sheriffship of Northumberland, which the warden ought to have.
Pp. 2. Endd.
R. O. 3. A remembrance to my lord of Northumberland.
1. The instructions are to be strictly executed by advice of counsel. 2. The proclamations to be made at once, where most necessary. 3. It is to be considered whether Sir Wm. Evers is meet for these borders, or will serve for a less fee than before, seeing that he, being late vice-warden and lieutenant of the Middle Marches, and officer of Tynedale and Riddisdale, and in receipt of the following fees, viz., 33l. as vice-warden, 66l. 13s. 4d. as lieutenant, 40l. for Tynedale, and 40 marks for Riddisdale, and being besides sheriff of Northumberland, acknowledged that he was not able to rule the Middle Marches. 4. Sir Ralph Fenwick was long officer of Tynedale, with 40l. fee, and could not rule the country. Cannot see how he can do so with less. 5. The men who have not done well should be refused, and those who have be chosen, or else others likely to favor justice and repress theft, who will not "patesse" between true men and thieves, with making detestable and foul redress by maintenance and concealment. 6. Good rule will never be had till Tynedale and Riddisdale be kept under such obedience that any inhabitant suspected of burning, murder or robbery may be brought in immediately to answer to the King's laws, without excusing himself by old customs or pretended privileges. 7. No enterprises should be made upon Tynedale or Riddisdale, nor upon Sir Wm. Lisle and his accomplices, till word come from Leonard Musgrave what the earl of Angus will do, "when and where, &c.," that all things may be ready.
In Magnus's hand, p. 1. Endd.
R. O. 4. "These be the nay[mes o]f those gentylmen within Northumberland which ar not reteigned in the King's se[rvice by] patent, with a declaration of what ability they are of to do the King service by e[stimation], and of other their qualities."
Paper roll.
Thanks him for this augmentation of his "perseverant nobleness" towards the Earl. Desires credence for his old bedfellow. Lekyngsfeld, the _ (fn. 1) day of _.*
Hol., p. 1. Add.: To my lord Cardinal.
R. O. 3631. [SIR W. EURE] to [WOLSEY ?]
At my Lord's coming to Northumberland, it was resolved to lay a company at Felton "for avoydyng the racours of the utlaws from thens qwych daylly ramanyt thar afor my Lord's coumyng," and robbed travellers. I accordingly lay at Felton with forty men twenty-five days, "to the utlaws coum in and was at rest." Was then appointed my Lord's officer of Tynedale, when all others refused to meddle with it, and has kept it in good rule to this time. Took Nich. Lisle, one of the principal outlaws, and brought him to my Lord; "and he is justiflit acordyng to the kirkes lawys." Took Hob Dod alias Loushorn, who was killed in taking; also Percival Dod and Jo. Stokke, Tynedale men, for "recetting" outlaws; also John Merwood, of Redysdalle; who were justified at the last assize at Newcastle. Took also Matthew Foster, now in prison at Newcastle, who killed his servant in taking.
In Eures' hand, p. 1. Endd.: A bill mentioning the taking of certain outlaws in Tynedale and other places of the Borders.
3 Dec.
Vit. B. IX. 188. B. M.
Mons. Lau[trec] informs him that today a messenger has arrived from the Pope, to tell him that his Holiness has bound himself to pay to the Emperor 102,000 cr. immediately, a like sum in three weeks, and 96,017 cr. in three months; that he has granted a crusade in Spain, licensed the Spaniards to sell benefices in Naples to the extent of 6,000 cr., and granted the Emperor the tenth of all his countries; for the performance of which he has given hostages. He, however, desired Lautrec to continue his march, but sent no word of any assistance he could give him. Nevertheless, Lautrec intends to march on with all possible speed. Lautrec also says that he has written once or twice secretly to the Pope, urging him, on leaving Rome, to come towards the army, and, if he can, entice the lanceknights to desert the Spaniards, and join Lautrec as he approaches Rome. He has already a person in those parts who is practising for this. Parma, 3 Dec. Signed.
Pp. 2.
3 Dec.
R. O.
To the same effect. Parma, 3 Dec. Signed.
Pp. 2. Add. Endd.
3 Dec.
Cal. D. XI. 85. B. M.
* * * "autres choses ... sseure que vous en finerez ... t en esperance de vous escripre ... toutes choses par ledit Sieur de Brosse ... me recommandant treshumblement a vostre ... Suppliant nostre Seigneur vous donner, Monseigneur, [bonne] et longue vie. De Paris, le troisieme de Dec. ..." Signature burnt off. (fn. 2)
Fr., p. 1, mutilated. Add.: Mons. le legat d'Angleterre. Endd.: Montmorancy.
3 [Dec.]
Cal. D. X. 392. B. M.
3635. [TAYLOR] to WOLSEY.
"[Ple]as it your Grace, the xxii ... the court to Madame the ... [G]raunte Master, and on the ... Grace the which showed unto ... Master, hath made marvellous ... great cheer and costly entertey[nment] ... had in England, wherefore and for ... [the French] king should shortly send a ge[ntleman unto the] King's highness and your Grace f ... accordingly. The Great Maist[er] ... offertes to me, and commanded m[e] ... him, for in all things that he m[ay] ... [he] will be true servant to your G[race. And on the last] day of November, St. Andrew's d[ay] ... the King after he had heard mass [went] ... six leagues from Paris a-hunting; h ... erly showed me that he was much b[eholden to his] dear brother and to your Grace fo[r the Grand] Master's entertainment, and [that he would] send a secret servant of his to the [King's] highness and your Grace for divers [causes. He] will do nothing without your couns[el and] advisement, and commanded me to [write unto] your Grace in the meantime tha[t the duke] of Ferrara had made and published [a treaty of alliance] with him, and that Mons. Joachym ... down to the Marquis Mantua t ... he should have from him good ty[dings] ... and that Mons. Lautrec should w[ithin] ... days have 3,000 S[wiss] ... with him, and then to march ... Florence, for it was said that ... and lanceknights would come ... they might have had such mo[ney] ... for of the Pope's appointment ... [ca]nnot be performed up ... came letters to my hand ... [w]hich I send unto your Grace ... [new]es we have none but that ... [Kin]g hath lost a good servant old ... [Ro]bert Tette, whose soul God par[don. My Lady r]ewith much his death, and is no[t yet well healed] of her old chiragra." Paris, 3 ...
Mutilated. Add.: To my lord Legate's good grace.
Cal. D. XI. 6.
B. M.
3636. [_ to WOLSEY.]
* * * "... que loblige de se rena ... endroit, mais la malladye don ... [m]esmement la goutte qui la tient en ... contrainct de me donner ceste charge la[quelle il a vol]untiers et de bon cueur acceptee." Thanks him for the kind and honorable words used in his letters to him, and for the confidence which the king of England and he place in him. The King is sending to the King his brother and to Wolsey the news he has received from Spain, by which they will see that matters are approaching reason, and there is the king of England's remonstrance and declaration to be added. He also sends what has come from Italy [written] by Lautrec, and in four or five days he will despatch Brosse, a gentleman of his chamber, to visit the King, and to hear from Wolsey what he considers suitable "pour laccroissement et * * * ... congnoissant ... [l]a prosperite de leurs affaires ... tacion de ceste perpetuelle allian[ce] ... bien plantee et encommancee entre l ... leur est chose plus chere et plus pres ... font plus grant cas que d'autre chose qui ... advenir; vous advisant, Monsieur, que lun et [lautre,] assavoir le Roy et Madame, men on tant ... et dune si grande et bonne affection que je ne [le jamais] ... sauroys representer ne declairer par ma lettre et na es ... ce propoz que lon nait fait le cas de vous et ... intervention tel que dignement vous le meritez ... et noble present de cueur dor auquel est amprai[nt] ... et ymaige du roy d'Angleterre que Madame nayme ... que le Roy son filz luy a este a merveilles agrea[ble] ... croiez, Monsieur, que son cueur est tout entier en ces[te affaire], et que voyant l'amitie telle quelle la veoit e[ntre] ces deux grans Roys quelle ayme et estyme [comme] ses deux filz, elle est assouye du plus grant aise quelles ait jamais eu ne pour ladvenir espere quelquechose que Dieu luy envoye. Elle avo ..." * * *
Fr., mutilated, pp. 2.
3 Dec.
R. O.
3637. The CARDINALS at Parma to HENRY VIII.
Are sending to the King a Latin [secretary], for whom they desire credence. Have great confidence that Henry will assert the liberties of the Church at this unhappy time. Parma, 3 Dec ...
Signed: A. Car. [Farnesius.]
Syl. Car. Co[rtonensis.]
J. [Car. Cybo.]
Lat., p. 1. Badly mutilated. Sealed with three seals. According to a modern endorsement, which seems to have been made before the mutilation, this letter was signed by the Cardinals Farnese, Como (sic), Cibo, Ridolf (?) and Gonzaga.
4 Dec.
R. O. St. P. VII. 16.
Has received his letters by his servant, and "a chaplain of my Lord of Rocheford," (fn. 3) containing a minute for a new dispensation. Perceiving the King's fervent desire, started for Rome, and advanced to Narny. Came on to Monterotundo, 12 miles from Rome, where we were set upon, and nearly slain. Next morning entered Rome about 10. Procured lodging at a Roman's house, where were many Spaniards. The Pope being advertised of my arrival sent Gambara to me, but he dared not enter my lodging, so I went to him, and was informed that if he had offered 10,000 crowns he could not have got for me admission to the Pope; so I wrote as much as I would have said on your behalf to the Pope, enclosing it with a letter of credence, and the last minute for your dispensation, directing the packet to the Pope, which was delivered to him by cardinal Pisa. At night the Pope sent me word that as Alarcon had knowledge of my being there, he advised me to withdraw, sending me word that if I would stay at Narny or thereabouts "he would send unto me all your Grace's requests in as ample form as they beth desired." He has made arrangements with the Spaniards; I trust therefore in a short time to have in my custody "as much perfect sped and under lead as your Highness hath long time desired." I have written to the Pope to be secret about the dispensation. If I perceive any delay, I shall venture to enter Rome. Fulignio, 4 Dec.
Hol. Add. Endd.
5 Dec.
Harl. MS. 421, f. 7. B. M. Strype's Mem. I. 70.
Recantation of Richard Foster, of the diocese of London, before Cuthbert bishop of London, Thomas cardinal of York, Nicholas bishop of Ely, Henry bishop of St. Asse, John bishop of Lincoln, and John bishop of Bath and Wells, commissaries.
Confesses that he believed that a priest could not consecrate the body of Christ, that he accompanied with persons of the manner of living of Martin Luther, and that he ate flesh on a Saturday. Renounces these heresies, and swears that he will not return to them, nor conceal heretics. Signed.
Attested by Matthew Grefton, 5 Dec. 1527, at the Chapter House at Westminster.
Pp. 3. Endd.
5 Dec.
Theiner, p. 559.
Consoles the Pope under his affliction with the hope of the Church being restored to greater splendor than ever. Could not have done more if his own life had been at hazard. The King will not fail in showing his affection, and sends for that purpose Gregory Casale, who will supplicate his Holiness in matters of great moment pertaining to the King. London, 5 Dec. 1527.
5 Dec.
Vit. B. IX. 189. B. M. Burnet, IV. 19.
After you left me last I wrote to you that, for very sufficient reasons, you should defer acting on your commission respecting the King's business until further information. On my return to the King I explained to him your great anxiety to devote yourself to his service, and your willingness to encounter any danger or trouble in that behalf. On my giving assurance of your fidelity, he has consented to employ you on his most secret affairs; and I doubt not, when you consider how much they concern the relief of his conscience, the safety of his soul, the preservation of his life, the continuation of his succession, the welfare and repose of all his subjects now and hereafter, that your proceedings in this business will redound to your honor, and after the late calamities the occasion has arrived for the aggrandizement of your family, and the King's gratitude towards you.
I have told you already how the King, partly by his assiduous study and learning, and partly by conference with theologians, has found his conscience somewhat burthened with his present marriage; and out of regard to the quiet of his soul, and next to the security of his succession, and the great mischiefs likely to arise, he considers it would be offensive to God and man if he were to persist in it, and with great remorse of conscience has now for a long time felt that he is living under the offence of the Almighty, whom in all his efforts and his actions he always sets before him. He has made diligent inquiry whether the dispensation granted for himself and the Queen as his brother's wife is valid and sufficient, and he is told that it is not. The bull of dispensation is founded on certain false suggestions, as that his Majesty desired the marriage for the good understanding between Henry VII., Ferdinand and Isabella; whereas there was no suspicion of any misunderstanding between them. And, secondly, he never assented or knew anything of this bull, nor wished for the marriage. On these grounds it is judged inefficacious. Next, when the King reached the age of fourteen, the contract was revoked, and Henry VII. objected to the marriage. To this the King attributes the death of all his male children, and dreads the heavy wrath of God if he persists. Notwithstanding his scruples of conscience, he is resolved to apply for his remedy to the Holy See, trusting that, out of consideration of his services to the Church, the Pope will not refuse to remove this scruple out of the King's mind, and discover a method whereby he may take another wife, and, God willing, have male children.
As his Holiness is now in captivity, and there are some who will use their efforts to interfere with his wishes, he has devised a method whereby his Holiness may be dexterously instructed in this matter, and induced to grant the King's request. Trusting in your faith and dexterity, he desires that you should change your dress, and, as if you were in some other person's employ, or had some commission from the duke of Ferrara, obtain a secret interview with the Pope, "omnibus arbitris semotis;" and you shall promise to those who have the management of these matters any sums of money requisite for the purpose, to any person whatever who can secure you the interview. 10,000 ducats will be paid to your credit to the bankers at Venice, to be transmitted to you by your brother the Prothonotary.
When you gain admittance to the Pope you shall exhibit to him the King's letters of credence, in which there is an energetic paragraph written by the King's own hand. You shall tell him how grievous it is to the King and myself to hear of the misfortunes of his Holiness and the Cardinals, and the loss of the Church's patrimony; and you shall enlarge upon the zeal and services which the King and myself are willing to offer for removing these evils. In the second place, you shall dwell upon the insufficiency of this marriage, the King's scruples, and the vehement desire of the whole nation and nobility, without any exception, that the King should have an heir; that the more thoughtful consider that God has refused us so great a blessing, from the illegality of the marriage; and, unless some remedy be provided, worse evils will arise; for if this business be left undecided, factions and controversies will arise after the death of the King, and will plunge this nation into a civil war,—a result against which the Pope ought to provide as the Father of Christendom.
Thirdly, you shall set before him the evils of the Church at the present moment, the contempt for its authority, the avowed purpose of extinguishing the dignity of the See Apostolic; and you shall urge that there is no prince on whom so much reliance can be placed for refuge and defence against these evils as on the king of England, who has hitherto shown himself so good a friend to the Pope. Even if a man of inferior merit suffered from this remorse of conscience, he would have a claim on the Pope's consideration, and therefore the King expects no less, and that without any doubt, difficulty, contradiction or delay. The business is this: that when the Pope knows the insufficiency of the dispensation, he ought to offer, unsolicited, some relief for the King's conscience.
You shall then request the Pope, all fear and doubt set aside, to consider the state of the case, the infinite advantages which are likely to arise to the Apostolic See, if, without disclosing this affair to any one, without tract of time or circumstance, he will freely grant a special commission to this effect, in form of a brief directed to me, granting me a faculty to summon whom I please to inquire into the sufficiency of the dispensation according to the tenor of a bill enclosed, which I herewith send, so written and arranged as not to require transcription, or occasion any delay if the Pope's officials are to take a copy of it. But to avoid all peril on that behalf, the Pope may affix his signature and seal, thus openly testifying that it is his mere will and pleasure, and then I can proceed to take cognizance of the cause. I send you also a dispensation, drawn out in the due form of a brief, to be expedited by his Holiness affixing his signature and seal. And though the King does not fear the consequences which might arise, yet, remembering by the example of past times what false claims have been put forward, to avoid all colour or pretext of the same, he requests this of the Pope as indispensable. He firmly trusts that the Pope will grant him the said commission in the form that the King desires it, and so he will be bound to the Pope for ever, and use all his efforts for his liberation; for which purpose he has sent a sum of money to the king of France to support the army in Italy, and will make war on the Emperor if he refuses to liberate his Holiness. No temptation, however strong, shall interfere with this filial resolution.
When you have expounded all this to his Holiness, it is not to be doubted that the Pope will freely at once consent to the King's request, and grant the commission without making any one privy to it. But if this cannot be done, you are to urge the Pope not to refuse to make the concessions required by briefs or bulls in the most ample manner, taking care that it does not come to the ears of those who can offer any obstacle. Rather than that, you shall be satisfied with his simple signature to the aforesaid drafts, which he may afterwards confirm by subsequent instruments.
As the Pope may possibly have regained his liberty before your arrival, and then not think so much of the King's friendship, or if he should allege that in consequence of his arrangement with the Emperor he cannot do for the King what he would have done, you shall set before him the uncertainty of the Emperor's promises, and the inevitable tendency of his party to exalt the Imperialists at the expence of the Church. You shall remind him also how he granted the Emperor dispensation from his oath for his marriage with the princess Mary without regard had to the King, and therefore he ought now to do more for the king of England. If his Holiness shall make a difficulty of granting a commission to me, as one of the King's subjects, for taking cognisance of the cause, you shall urge it strongly, asserting that I will do nothing foreign to my duty as a Christian and a cardinal. If he will not consent, urge him to grant it to Staphylæus, dean of the Rota. I send you a form for that purpose. If he attempt to nominate another than myself to act with the Dean, you shall firmly oppose it, requesting him to appoint Staphylæus alone; not that the King would have any suspicion of the partiality of the Papal nominee, but that he had mentioned the dean of the Rota as a person in whom the Pope and the King would agree. Urges Casale to insist strongly on this point.
If the Pope will not grant the commission and dispensation without communicating with some of his officials, you shall point out to him the danger of this course; for which purpose I have sent you another letter you will receive with these, in which I have urged many weighty reasons for granting the King's petition. You must get the Pope to read this letter, which is strongly penned, and, I think, is sufficient to remove all difficulties. You shall explain to him the contents in private, if possible. If the Pope will consult others you must endeavor to obtain their good graces by promises and remuneration. With these you will receive my letters to Card. St. Quatuor and the College, delivering them as you think fit, applying the money sent to you at Venice at your discretion.
If there is any doubt of your gaining admission to the Pope under present circumstances, and delay should arise, the King has commissioned his secretary, who is now not far from the city, so that one or both of you shall endeavor to gain admission; but neither of you are to wait for the other; and if both gain admission, the one unknown to the other, that will not matter; but if one has succeeded it will not be necessary or opportune to employ further labor or expence.
I understand that Lautrec is surprised that the King's agents do not communicate with him. I have written to him and to Sir Rob. Jerningham about the duke of Ferrara, saying that you were sent for that purpose, and to procure the Pope's liberty, and you must act accordingly. If you obtain admission to the Pope, do not forget to speak highly in favor of the Datary, and our desire for his advancement. He is a person in whom the King places much confidence, and if he will employ his interest in this matter the King will not forget to be grateful. London, 5 Dec. 1527. Signed.
Lat. Add.
Vit. B. X. 52 b.
B. M.
Relies on his friendship, and will seek every occasion of repaying him for his assistance in his cause. Desires credence for Gregory Casale.
Draft, Lat., p. 1. In Vannes' hand.
[6 Dec.]
R. O.
3643. The DIVORCE.
1. [Copy of the bull to be submitted to Clement VII.]
As the steward and dispenser of the Lord's household, is bound to listen to the prayers of the faithful, especially to one like Henry VIII., who has distinguished himself in the defence of the Church, and by his accession to the crown of England has reconciled the dissensions of York and Lancaster; whose succession, therefore, ought to be protected against the designs of the ambitious. To take away all occasion from evil doers, "de potestatis nostræ plenitudine, nostramque in ea parte absolutam potestatem et quam habemus summam et maximam exercentes," we suspend (hac vice dumtaxat derogamus) all canons respecting the non-contracting of marriage in the fourth degree, and pronounce all those "qui de impedimento publicæ honestatis justiciæ ex sponsalibus clandestine contractis natæ matrimonium impedientis et dirimentis contractum, aut de præcontractu matrimoniali clandestine inito non consummato secundum matrimonium impedituro et dirempturo, ac etiam illos qui de affinitate ex coitu illegitimo in quocumque gradu, etiamsi primo, proveniente, matrimoniorum irritatori, impedimento extant, ad matrimonia per te contrahenda non pertinere, sic ut virtute aut vigore illorum canonum matrimonium per te contrahendum impeti aut impugnari posset." (fn. 4) And furthermore to avoid all ecclesiastical objections, "eam mulierem quæ propter [præcontractum per verba de præsenti clandestine aut secrete factum, impedimentumve] (fn. 5) publicæ honestatis justitiæ ex clandestino contractu provenientis, aut affinitatis [in quocumque gradu, etiamsi primo,] † ex illicito coitu contingentis, gradumve consanguinitatis modo [secundum aut] † tertium excesserit, tibi [alioqui per canones] † matrimonio copulari conjungique non posset, licite accipere [poteris] † uxorem, ac te et illam hujusmodi [mulierem] † vosque et quemlibet vestrum cum data contrahendi facultate accipere [eam] † velis [ducereque] † uxorem," free from all ecclesiastical censures. Removes all possible objections as granting this dispensation, "[ex certa scientia et mero motu nostris] † misericorditer in Domino." Legitimatises the children "tanquam ex matrimonio legitimo," against all objections that can be drawn from the aforesaid disqualifications, and exempts the King's conscience from every scruple in that behalf, "ac etiam quavis de non expressione causæ qua movemur, de nostra captivitate, de impetratione per importunitatem, de eo quod tempore præsentis concessionis a matrimonio liber et solutus non fueris; quas omnes pro frivolis et inefficacibus judicamus."
Lat., pp. 15.
R. O.
Pocock, I. 28.
2. Copy of the commission desired by cardinal Wolsey, giving him plenary power to proceed in dispensing with the King's marriage, and joining with him in the commission the archbishop of Canterbury; with plenary and absolute authority. (fn. 6)
Lat., pp. 23. Endd.: Minuta commissionis missæ per Thadeum cursorem.
Vit. B. XII. 133.
B. M.
3. Commission of Clement VII. to Wolsey and Campeggio to examine the validity of the dispensation granted by Julius II. for the marriage of Henry and Katharine, dated Rome 1503, 7 kal. Jan., Pont. 1, and to finally decide the cause.
Draft. Lat., pp. 21.
6 Dec.
R. O. St. P. VII. 18.
I have written fully in my other letters. In this I will state what I wish you to lay before the Pope:—first, my great grief at the calamity which has befallen him, and my desire, even at the cost of my life, to remove and repair it. Among all the arguments that I can think of, none is stronger than the friendship with which I have inspired the King towards his Holiness,—a friendship which will be permanent, unless some occasion should be offered for alienating the King's mind, in which event it will never be in my power to serve his Holiness. 2. You shall represent to him how much this affair concerns the King's conscience, the prosperity of his kingdom, and the security of his succession. 3. That this concession will be honorable to his Holiness and agreeable to God; that there are secret reasons which cannot be trusted to writing, certain diseases in the Queen defying all remedy, for which and other causes the King will never live with her as his wife; that the King's friendship is of the utmost moment to the Pope, as his enmity is fraught with the most terrible consequences. If the Pope is not compliant my life will be shortened, and I dread to anticipate the consequences. I am the more urgent as the King is absolutely resolved to satisfy his conscience; and if this cannot be done, he will of two evils choose the least, and the disregard for the Papacy must grow daily, especially in these dangerous times. Considering the premisses, I am a humble suitor to the Pope to grant this request, not so much as an English subject, as one who has certain knowledge of what the result must be; and therefore I urge him, by obliging the King, to bind him also to the protection of the Holy See, the support of the confederate League, his own liberation and that of the Cardinals. If he refuses, I can do nothing hereafter in his behalf. London, 6 Dec. 1527. Signed.
Lat. Add.
Vit. B. X. 47.
B. M. Burnet, IV. 53.
To the same effect. [No date.]
Vit. B. X. 71.
B. M. Pocock, I. 166.
His duty to his Holiness impels him to write what he wishes to be kept secret; viz., that if he desires to keep the King and England devoted to him,—if he desires the restoration of the Holy See, he must send a decretal commission in the amplest and strongest form, which Wolsey will keep secret.
Draft by Vannes. Lat., p. 1.
6 Dec.
Theiner, p. 559.
Sends Gregory Casale to offer consolation, and to request the Pope's indulgence in a matter of great moment. Greenwich, 6 Dec. 1527.
P. S. in the King's hand.—The matter which Gregory has to speak about is of the deepest interest to the King, and therefore he implores the Pope's prompt kindness.
Vit. B. X. 90.
B. M.
2. Draft of the same by Vannes.
Pp. 2.
7 Dec.
R. O.
Nicholas Wilford, John Shaa, Thomas Traves, and other English merchants at Bilboa, represent that, considering the danger of war, they would gladly despatch all they have into England, but can only do so by help of Biscayan mariners, as there are no English sailors here. They accordingly asked one Ochoa de Arassa, of Plasenzia, to convey their goods in a ship of their own, who consented on condition that they would be bound in their persons and goods that he and his fellows should return safely, without being stopped by the King. The ambassadors, being applied to, have taken it upon them to say they might give them this assistance. Burgos, 7 Dec. 1527. Signed.
Pp. 2. Add. Endd.
7 Dec.
R. O.
While at Framlingham, lord Willoughby, the abbot of Sypton, Sir Anthony Wingfield, Sir John Hennyngham, and other gentlemen, with above 20 of the most honest yeomen in the county, asked him to obtain from the King permission for them to export cheese, butter, sparling, red herring, &c., to Flanders, as they were wont, or else the rents will be unpaid, and the whole country impoverished. Inquired of Thos. Roushe and Thos. Alforde, the customers, and was told that a restraint came for all manner of victuals, and some time after Palmer of London, or his brother, the King's servant, got a licence for a certain quantity to pass, and allowed only those who would pay him to send, whereby the King loses a great sum in his customs, and the subjects are impoverished.
Hears also that a ship came from Flanders with salt, expecting to return with cheese, &c., and went away saying that they would prevent any other ships coming; and none have come since. Will show him more complaints when he goes to him in about 12 days. Stoke, 7 Dec. Signed.
Pp. 3. Add.: To my lord Legate's grace.
8 Dec.
R. O.
The marquess of Mantua has entered the League and proclaimed peace, promising an aid of 100 furnished men-at-arms. Mons. Lautrec has heard that the hostages given by the Pope to the Spaniards have fled, and the Pope himself has escaped, and is on his way to Urbyet (Orvieto). Lautrec would be pleased to have letters at times from the King or Wolsey. He will leave in three days towards Bononya. Parma, 8 Dec. Signed.
P. 1. Add. Endd.
9 Dec.
R. O.
Understands that he has complained to my lord Legate, that though he has written most urgently, both to Sandes and the treasurer of Calais, of the danger in which the town stands for lack of wheat, malt, and oats, the ports of England will not allow him to depart with the provisions already bought by the victuallers of Calais; also that Sandes' officers at Guisnes will not allow any rent-corn to be brought to Calais till the landowners have paid a year's rent due last Michaelmas, which Wingfield declares has not been used before this time. Wingfield has, therefore, caused the mayor and staplers of Calais, with the constables, to meet him in the council chamber, who have thought it best to open the county of Guisnes as before. Writes to say that he and Mr. Treasurer have done their utmost to procure a remedy. As to the restraint made by Sandes' officers at Guisnes, Sandes thinks, his responsibility being as great as Wingfield's, his authority should not have been interfered with, at all events without a friendly notice in the first place. Has, nevertheless, commanded his officers to search what grain there is in the county, and, if it be found sufficient for the castle and county, is content that Wingfield shall have the surplus. Wonders that Wingfield, who knows the weakness of the Castle of Guisnes, had no more regard to his honor, seeing that Guisnes is exempt from his jurisdiction. The walls of the castle could not resist a sudden surprise. Wingfield and master Porter have disobeyed Wolsey's command not to provide grain within the English pale, and the corn taken by them was the King's only security for rents which were due last Michaelmas. Hopes Wingfield will henceforth interfere as little with his jurisdiction as he has done with Wingfield's. The Vyne, 9 Dec. Signed. (fn. 7)
Pp. 4. Endd. erroneously in modern hand: To Sir Arthur Plantaganet, afterwds visct Lisle.
9 Dec.
R. O. St. P. VII. 22.
News has come that the Pope has escaped, as well as the hostages given by him to the Spaniards. Lautrec will be glad to hear from you. He intends going to Bononia. Parma, 9 Dec. Signed.
Add. Endd.


  • 1. Day and month blank in orig.
  • 2. The subscription "Votre treshumble," &c., is certainly in Louise's handwriting.
  • 3. Cranmer ?
  • 4. Originally thus: "qui de impedimento publicæ honestatis justiciæ ex sponsalibus in septennio aut alias clandestine contractis natæ matrimonium et impediendo et dirimendo illicitumve reddendo extant, et etiam illos qui de affinitate ex coitu illegitimo proveniente loquuntur ad matrimonia per te contracta aut contrahenda virtute aut vigore illorum canonum impeti aut impugnari posset." The expression "in septennio" has reference to the precontract of Ormond with Anne Boleyn in 1520. See vol. III. preface, p. ccccxxxii.
  • 5. Added in another hand.
  • 6. In substance this is the same as the commission published by Burnet from Vit. B. XII. 178. (Pocock, IV. 48.), where, instead of the Archbishop, space is left for the insertion of some legate to be sent by the Pope, and either legate is empowered to act with plenary authority.
  • 7. The signature is not in Sandes' hand.