Henry VIII: March 1534, 1-5

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

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'Henry VIII: March 1534, 1-5', in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 7, 1534, (London, 1883) pp. 114-126. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol7/pp114-126 [accessed 20 April 2024]


March 1534, 1–5

March. 271. Robert Frelove to Cromwell.
R. O. It has been moved to me by one Ric. Best that a gentleman of the Temple called Rob. Ewe would gladly sell some of his plate, but because his arms are engraved upon it he durst not for fear of slander sell it openly, but would first have it molten, because his father-in-law would lay in wait for it. Unless I speak with you, or be brought from them by some policy, they would be my death. “Written this day of March, 1534.”
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Right worshipful. Endd.
1 March. 272. John, Abbot of Croyland, to Cromwell.
R. O. Has received his letters in favor of Ric. Clerke of Elmyngton, Northt., (whose real name is Thomas,) the Abbot's farmer, for a grant of lands which he says he has in feefarm of the house at a yearly payment of 107l. 10s. Would be glad to gratify Cromwell for his kindness, especially in allowing him to remain at home at the Queen's coronation, but the lauds were never granted in feefarm by him or his predecessors. Desires, therefore, to be excused answering till next term, when he or one of his council will explain matters to Cromwell personally. Croyland, 1 March. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Of the King's Council. Sealed.
1 March. 273. Lord Darcy.
R. O. Lease by Thos. lord Darey and Sir Geo. his son and heir apparent, to John Haggarston of Berwick-on-Tweed, merchant, and Custance Bekk, widow, of half the waters and fishing in the Tweed near Berwick belonging to Baumburgh, which Lord Darcy and his son hold for life by the King's gift, for 10 years, at a rent of 10l. and two barrels of good salmon “of the best of Berwyk bynde, rede, swete and able merchauntes and noo gylses,” and a fine or “garsomme” of 33l. 6s. 8d. 1 March 25 Hen. VIII. Signed by the lessees.
Vellum. Endd. with a mem. that the indenture was sealed and delivered 16 April 26 Hen. VIII., before Matthew Thompson, Rauf Hogeson and Root. Childe.
1 March. 274. John Cheryton to Lord Lisle.
R. O. I am in Bordeaux, and have there and in Toulouse a great sum of money belonging to Florentines to bestow in woad for them. When I left Leghorn in the Portingale I freighted there, I put in her as much silk as cost me above 500 ducats besides the silks I had appointed for your lordship and my lady and for your daughters, with other merchandise also, viz., camlets, alum and galls, the total value being above 800 ducats, as Francis Sbarra can certify. I beg your lordship to write me a letter, by which I shall be in better credit, and I hope in the course of a year to be out of every man's danger. Please deliver it to the bearer, a poor kinsman of my lady's. 1 March 1533.
Hol., pp. 2. Scaled. Add.: Deputy of Calais. Endd.
275. James V. to the Cardinal of Ravenna.
Royal MS. 18 B. vi. 31 b. B. M. “Jacobus, etc. Manet adhuc Romæ lis indecisa, pater reverendissime, de præcentoria Dunkeldensi, possessore Rob[erto] Creichton, familiari nostro. Cujus competitor est [D]a[vid] . . . . . nia venerant in controversiam re . . . . . . ubi hactenus indecisa manet. Movit vero . . . tio non solum odia cædesque reipublicæ nostræ per . . . familiam a Borthuik ni vicerit alioqui . . . ne reduxit. Quo fit ut dum apud hostes . . . t nu~eri facit autem singulas Willielmi . . . re æqua pro homine æquitatis studio . . . agitur fortunis S.V. imploremus . . . tam terminari curet. Idque habita ratione . . . ne totum exhaustum est Willielmi peculium . . . tia admissum pro lege inter nostrates . . . dinem perire. Rursum autem S. V. roga[mus] . . . hujus per nostram commendationem accessisse . . . x in ævuin sospitet.” Stirling . . . 1533.
276. James V. to the Cardinal of Ravenna.
Royal MS. 18 B. vi. 32. B.M. “[Jacobus Dei gratia Rex Scotorum] reverendissimo in Christo Patri Benedicto [Ravennæ cardinali, rerum suarum] promotori, salutem. Reverendissime pater, . . . [patrem san]ctissimum tuamque paternitatem R. ut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . diu causam quæ ascit tot annis . . . tum. [N]unc vero . . . conferam adverso nostro dispendio . . . rores pietatis . . . tanto precio regu . . . novissimus dum . . . vulgariter nomen Hay . . . subituri annuo . . . tur inde quod . . . quod efficere vehementer . . . a samptus quoque impensi quo . . . rationem habere ut lite . . . Vale, pater reverendissime.”
Mutilated and faded.
1 [March?] 277. James V. to Cardinal of Ravenna.
Royal MS. 18 B. vi. 32. B.M. “[Jacobus Dei gratia Rex Scotorum, revere]ndissimo Ravennæ cardinali, rerum [suarum promotori, salutem. Cum] superiore anno bellum gereremus . . . e quod cum fari consuevit ut . . . alteri quam maxime nocere . . . tus Johannes Symontoun sacerdos (?) . . . sequutus dum acribus hostib[us] . . . nedum quoque aliarum quas in adversam gentem . . . cipem se fatetur et irregularitates cr . . . visum est nihil minus a nobis usque pass . . . in rebus nostra causa vitæ periculum s . . . mereri damus has ad suam P.R. Et quem ad . . . rie vocab . . . cris . . . iatur . . . non decuit tam . . . voluntarie celerisque absolvi petentem . . . um redire cupientem adjutes suscipi . . . a quibus nunc commissa prohibent t . . . a . . . exorari sinis nobis gratissimum feceris . . . . Ex regia nostra Falklandiæ, primo die . . . [anno supra] sesquimillesimum trigesimo tertio.”
Mutilated and faded.
278. [James V. to—.]
Royal MS. 18 B. vi. 32 b. B.M. “Treshaulte, tresexcellente et tres[puissante] . . . et treseimee seur, salut, amour . . . avons receu vos bonnes amyca[bles et . . . lettres par vostre] ambassadeur. Par lesquelles e . . . par vous a nous dire entendon[s la tres grande et singu]liere affection que portez a nou[s] . . . nous sentons grandement a . . . eine . . . qu'il m . . . ose . . . q . . . ne nous . . . pone . . . autre . . . rechef re . . . noz ambassad[eurs] . . . apostolicque . . . chevallier. nostre secr[etaire?] . . . comuniquer mon . . . donner credit tant . . . sur. Priant le Create[ur] . . . . . . A nostre palais de Falkland . . . A treshaulte, tresexcellent[te] . . . re et tresamee seur cousine . . .”
Mutilated and faded.
279. [James V. to Clement VII.]
Royal MS. 18 B. vi. 33 b. B. M. “Beatissime p[ater],. . .tur hos novem annos inf . . . gumentum Andreas novissim . . . morem gereret consanguineo nostro wi . . . no vendetur (?) ecclesiastica prædia . . . stow. Est enim gentis nostræ recept . . . atten~ ante hæc tempora donata competens emolumentum a præla[to] . . . no paucæ alentur familiæ ha . . . reipublicæ commodissima prest . . . harbere posset. Successit non it . . . [Sancti] Andreæ, Jacobus a Beton, sedis . . . pro arbitrio * * *”
Faded and mutilated.
2 March. 280. Thos. Wynter to Cromwell.
R. O. My friends say that you would do everything for me, but you are so much overwhelmed with business. They say further, the Pope is ejected. (fn. 1) and there are new laws and new officers. I replied that if he had been ejected a few months before I might have spared my 50 gold crowns. The fact is that Peter Vannes, when I left for Italy, promised me a papal diploma freeing me from taking priest's orders immediately. He did not keep his promise. Aleander being legate at Venice, I settle the matter with him for 50 crowns and get my diploma; so lose my money. I know not whether I have to go through the same transaction with the archbishop of Canterbury. I am devoted to letters, but desire to keep my preferments. It is admirable, I admit, to cast out of one's mind all worldly anxiety; but whether it is the part of a philosopher to lose what he has got for want of exertion I am not so sure. To use wealth aright is a better thing, I think, than to despise it. Here I shall excite the anger of all the theologians, because riches in the gospel are called thorns. Whoever feels them to be such and finds that they prick him I advise him to have nothing to do with riches. They are a great assistance to study and an ornament to life, let him reject them who will. But for my part, I hope you will befriend me in this matter as in others. I should have returned home to look after this business if I had trusted more to my friends' advice than to your fidelity. Ferrara, postridie cal. Martias.
Hol., Lat., pp. 2. Add.: A consiliis.
2 March. 281. Wm. Lord Dacre to Lady Dacre.
R. O. Is glad to hear of her good expedition and deliverance. Her father sends his blessing. Has declared to the King her news and letters sent by Geo. Blenkansop, for which he had great thanks. They could never have come in better. Wishes Humfrey Farlham to keep in his hands the money Dacre ought to pay to Sir Thos. Clifford, for the fee is now in traverse betwixt them. Wishes her to inquire who they were that handled two kinsmen of Rice's upon the Borders. Upon hearing of it made a statement to my lord of Norfolk, and is now informed by Master Cromwell that they are attached. John Horsley is come hither. Understands Northumberland is much displeased with him. There cannot be a better time for you to show my uncle thereof, and let him cause Thos. Dacre and others to ride over and pull down all such “intakkes” as the said John Horsley hath made in Horsley forest, and enter John Lisle to his office of bailiwick of that forest. Yesterday morning died the earl of Lincoln, my lord of Suffolk's son and heir. He has no more sons. Sends home the parson of Mellmorby to raise money on Dacre's lands in Yorkshire and Durham. Thank my uncle Sir Christopher in my name for his good attendance about you and getting advertisements from Scotland.
Remembrances to his little ones. Carlisle rent without Temple Bar, 2 March. Signed.
Pp. 2. Add.
2 March. 282. Dr. Ortiz to Charles V.
Add. MS. 28,586, f. 146. B.M. Last Friday the auditor Simoneta propounded in the Consistory the whole process and remissorias very clearly and briefly. Cardinal Farnese has acted like a servant of God and your majesty. Though the justness of the Queen's case is well known, I fear that doubts will be proposed about the process and cause delay. I have therefore asked the Pope that the first point to be discussed may be the fact that this marriage was never forbidden by natural or divine law, because when this is decided, even though the first marriage was consummated, there will be no difficulty in the whole cause nor need of witnesses or remissorias. I hope the cause will not be prolonged until the Queen has finished her martyrdom. Previous delays have been the cause of the loss of England. Rome, 2 March 1534.
Sp., pp. 3. Modern copy.
3 March. 283. William Waytte to Lady Lisle.
R. O. Recommendations from his wife and his cousin Leoner. Is glad to hear of her ladyship's speed in her matter of Claryngdon. Would be glad to hear of her return. Was so bold as to write to the prior of Schelbred for a little black brache in her name and Lord Lisle's. She was not delivered on his first bill, so he sent Rauffe Riggisby with another letter in lord Lisle's name to the prior, who had sent the brache to master Dawtre, who was very loath to part with her. Asks her to tell lord Lisle of these letters in his name. Wymeryng, 3 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add. Endd.
4 March. 284. Robert Kokett to Cromwell.
R. O. My reason for writing to you of the house and hospital of St. Antony's, London, is because the King is the founder, and it is appropriated to the college of Windsor. If you would take for me the whole province of York, that I might have “in latyng” the devotion and brotherhood belonging to God and St. Antony there, and have authority from the King and you to receive the said devotion, I will be bound as you shall think proper to pay the house their rent yearly as custom hath been, which is 98l. per annum. And besides the yearly rent. I will give you 20l. yearly as long as the privilege is valid. He that receives the rent now is a grocer of London residing at the sign of the Harp at Bucklersbury, named Mylner. He was executor to Laurence Egyllesfeld, clerk of the check to the King's guard and farmer of the said privilege as long as he lived. You may take this at your pleasure. Bolton Percye, near York, 4 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Councillor.
4 March. 285. The Mayor and Eschevins of Gravelinghes to [Lord Lisle].
R. O. Complain that certain persons of Oye, and especially Clais Choquel, persist in pasturing their beasts on certain pastures and “hems” between the old and new rivers, which the corporation of Gravelinghes has rented from the town of St. Omer. Have determined to arrest the beasts of the said Clais, if the offence is repeated, and request lord Lisle to order his subjects not to trespass on this land.
In the year 1363, by the treaty between Edward III. and king John of France, who was then a prisoner, the territory of Calais, Guisnes, Mark and Oye, as far as the river, was assigned to the king of England. Sixty or eighty years afterwards the old river was repaired and dug within the country of Flanders, so that the said pastures are entirely in the jurisdiction of the Emperor. Request him to prevent his subjects from interfering with their property. Gravelinghes, 4 March 1533.
Fr., copy, pp. 3.
4 March. 286. Dr. Ortiz to Charles V.
Add. MS. 28,586, f. 148. B. M. I hear from the cardinals Campegio and Cesarino that the Consistory decided last year that this marriage was not prohibited by divine law. Simoneta tells me that several persons informed the king of England of this decision of the Consistory and Rota, and that therefore the sentence must be given against him: which was the reason of his refusing the proposal made at Marseilles that the case should be remitted to Cambray or elsewhere.
The bishop of Paris and the French ambassador are working for the king of England, and the cardinals, who wish to please the king of France, create delays, as they cannot avoid giving sentence in the Queen's favor.
Today they proposed certain doubts in the Consistory, among which was that this marriage is not prohibited by divine law. Concerning these doubts they wish the information to be finished by the Sunday called Domingo de Lacaro (que se haga y acabe la information de aqui al Domingo de Luçara). (fn. 2)
If the sentence is given this Lent I shall thank God and not complain of the delay. Rome. 4 March 1534.
Sp., pp. 2. Modern. copy.
287. More to Cromwell.
Arundel MS. 152, f. 296. B. M. Barnet, v. 431.
Thanks him for his goodness in accepting his rude long letter, and for telling [his son] Roper that he wished to hear from More about his communications with the lewd nun of Canterbury. It is about eight or nine years since he heard of the huswife first. “at which the bishop of Canterbury th[at] was, God assoyle his soul, sent” (fn. 3) to the King a roll with certain words spoken in her trances. The King gave More the roll, asking him what he thought about it. Told him there was nothing in it that he could at all regard or esteem, for except that some was in rhyme, and that full rude, there was nothing that a right simple woman might not speak of her own wit; but that as it was reported that a miracle was showed upon her, he durst not be bold in judging the matter. Thought that the King esteemed the matter as light as it afterward proved lewd. From that time till Christmas twelvemonth, though there was much talk of her and of her holiness, never heard talk of any revelation or miracle, except that he heard that in the Cardinal's days she had been both with him and the King, but he never heard what she said to either.
“Now as I was about to tell you, about Christmas was twelvemonth [Father] Resbye, Friar Observant, then of Canterbury, lodged one [night at mine] house, where after supper, a little before he went to his [chamber, he fell] in communication with me of the Nun, giving her [high commendation of] holiness, and that it was wonderful to see and understand the works that God wrought in her.” Answered that he was glad to hear it. Resby then told him that she had been with the Legate during his life, and with the King too, and that she had told the Legate a revelation about three swords, which God had put into his hand, and that if he did not order them well, God would lay it sore to his charge. The first sword was the ordering of the spiritualty under the Pope as legate, the second the rule over the temporalty as chancellor, and the third was the meddling he was put in trust with by the King concerning his marriage. Refused to hear any revelation of the King's matters, doubting not that God would direct him so that the affair should end for his honor and the surety of the realm. At these words he said that God had specially commanded her to pray for the King, and spoke of the Cardinal's soul being saved by her mediations, and without saying more, went to his chamber. Never talked more with him about such matters, nor saw him after his departing on the morrow, till he saw him at Paul's Cross. About Shrovetide, father Riche, Friar Observant of Richmond. came to More a little before supper, and during conversation, asked him if Resby had told him anything about the holy nun of Kent. Said he had, and that he was glad to hear of her virtue. Riche said he would not tell him again what he already knew, but God had wrought many great graces in her and in other folk by her, which he would gladly tell him of, and asked whether Reseby had told him of her visit to the Cardinal and the three swords. “Yea, verily, quoth I. Did he tell you, quoth he, of the [revela] cions that she had concerning the King's grace? Nay, for sooth, quoth I, n[or if he wou]ld have done, I would not have given him the hearing, no[r] verily no more I would in deed, for sith she hath been with the King's gra[ce her]self and told him, methought it a thing needless to tell the matter to me [or to] any man else. When he saw that More would not hear her revelations concerning the King, he talked a little of her ver[tue], and let her revelations alone. Asked him to stay to supper, but he would not, and went to London. After that saw him twice, once in [his] own house, and another time in his own garden at the Friars. Talked not of any revelations touching the King, but other mean folk, of which things some were [very strange], and some very childish. Though he said he had seen her [in] her trance in great pains, and that he had taken great spiritual comfort in her communications, be never said [she] had told him those tales herself. If he had, would have liked him and her the worse for the tale of Mary Magdalen and the tale of the host, with which she said she was houseled at the King's mass at Calais. Does not remember whether he heard it then or since s[he] was in hold, but thought it too marvellous to be true, and very likely that she had told some man her dream, who told it out for a revelation. Doubted little that some of these tales were un[true], but never having heard them reported as from her own mouth, many of them might be untrue, (fn. 4) and she a very virtuous [woman] too, as some lies are peradventure written of some that be saints in Heaven, and yet many miracles indeed done by them for all that. After this, being upon a day at [Sion], while talking with divers of the fathers at the grate, they told him she h[ad been] with them, and mentioned divers things which they misliked in her, wishing that More had spoken with her. Hearing that she was there again, “I came thi[ther to see] her and to speak with her myself: at which communication had in a little chap[el there] were none present but we two. In the beginning whereof I showed that my com[ing] to her was not of any curious mind anything to know of such things [as folk talked] that it pleased God to reveal and show unto her. but for the grea[t virtue that I had heard] so many years every day more and more spoken [and reported of her. I therefore] had a great mind to see her and be acquainted [with her, that she might have somewhat] the more occasion to remember me to God in her devotion and prayers.” To this she gave a very good virtuous answer, that as God did far better by her than such a poor wretch was worthy, she feared that many people spoke more favorably of her than was the truth, and that she had heard such things about More, that already she prayed for him. Thanked her, and told her that one Ellyn, a maid dwelling at Totnam, of whose trances and revelations there had been much talking, had told him she had been with her, and she had said that her revelations were but illusions of the Devil, and advised her to cast them out of her mind; and that she had found these words true, for ever since she had been less visited by them. She disclaimed any praise for this, but said God had wrought meekness in the maid's soul, who had taken her warning so well, and not grudged to hear her spirit and her visions reproved. Liked her better for this answer than for many things he heard reported of her. She said afterwards that folk who are visited with such visions have great need to prove of what spirit, they come, and that lately the Devil in the likeness of a bird was flickering about her chamber, and suffered himself to be caught, and then suddenly changed into such a strange ugly-fashioned bird that they were all afraid, and threw it out of the window.
Had no talk with her about the King or any other great person, and indeed only of herself and himself. On going away gave her a double ducat and asked her to pray for him and Lis. Never spoke to her again, but had a great good opinion of her. Afterwards because I heard that many right worshipful folks, both men and women, had much communication with her, “(and many folks are by nature inquisitive and curious whereby they fall sometimes into such talking as b[etter it were to] forbear, of which thing I nothing thought while I talked with her of [charity,) therefore I wrote her a letter thereof,” of which a copy follows, dated [Chelsea], Tuesday, dissuading her from talking about matters of princes or of the realm, instancing the duke of Buckingham and the monk with whom he talked.
For this letter she told More's servant she heartily thanked him. Soon after the proctor of the Charterhouse at Shene, and one brother William, came to his house and talked of the Nun, and of the great joy they had in her virtue, but they said nothing about her revelations. Another time brother William told him a long tale about her being at the house of a knight in Kent, who was tempted to destroy himself. Another day at Sion some of the fathers asked him how he liked the Nun. Answered that he liked her very well in her talking, but she was never the nearer tried by that; he would think her good if she seemed so, till she was proved nought.
This is indeed his manner unless he is set to examine the truth upon likelihood of some cloaked evil. In that case, though he did not suspect the person himself, would find out the truth as far as he could, as Cromwell has done very prudently in this matter. Thinks Cromwell has done a very meritorious deed in bringing to light such detestable hypocrisy, so that others may take warning and be afraid to set forth their own devilish dissembled falsehood under the color of the wonderful work of God. Verily this woman so handled herself with the help of the evil spirit that inspired her, that after her confession at Paul's Cross, when More sent his servant to tell the proctor of the Charterhouse that she was undoubtedly proved a false deceiving hypocrite, the good man had so good an opinion of her that he could searcely believe it. Many other good men thought her good till she was proved nought. Advised father Riche that in the strange things concerning folk who had come to [her], to whom she had told the causes of their coming ere them [selves spake] thereof, and the good fruit that many said they had received from her prayers, he and others should cause the things to be examined by the ordinaries, that it might be known whether they were true, and that there were no lies* intermingled, or else the lies (fn. 5) might [take] awaye the credence of what was true.
When Rich repeated the tale of Mary Magdalen, said he thought the Nun to be a virtuous woman, and that God might perhaps work some good and great t[hing] by her, but these strange tales were no part of the creed, and he therefore advised him not to wed himself to the credence of them so as to report them as true, lest they were afterwards proved false and the estimation of his preaching diminished. For this advice Rich thanked him. Does not know how he used it.
This is all that he can remember doing or saying in this matter. If any one reports else of him, and no one can speak truly of his breach of truth or duty to the King, will answer as it becomes a poor true man to do. Has neither done, said nor thought evil in this matter, but has only been glad and rejoiced of those who were reputed for good.
Intends so to bear himself in every man's company that neither good nor bad, neither m[onk, friar nor] nun, nor other man or woman, shall make him digress from his faith to God and his prince. Begs Cromwell as he finds him true to continue his goodwill to him.
Apologises for not writing in his own hand. Is obliged to leave off writing for a while in consequence of his disease, which it is thought comes from stooping and leaning on his breast as he writes.
Later copy mutilated, pp. 8.
5 March. 288. Sir Thos. More to Henry VIII.
R. O. Ellis, 1 Ser. II. 47. Reminds the King that, when he allowed him to resign the Chancellorship, he said that in any suit which concerned his honor or profit be would find the King his good and gracious lord. Has resigned both the possession and desire of worldly honor in resigning his office, and he was never very greedy of worldly profit. His suit now to the King is that he will somewhat tender his poor honesty, and not allow sinister information to move him to distrust his truth and devotion any more than he gives cause. In this matter of the wicked woman of Canterbury, has declared the truth to Cromwell by writing, and believes that he has shown it to the King. Does not know whether any other man may move any suspicion about his dealing, but to himself no part of his demeanor can seem evil; the clearness of his conscience knows that in all the matter his mind and intent is so good. It does not become him to argue with the King, but he beseeches him to weigh the matter, and if he considers that, notwithstanding the King's manifeld goodness, he is a wretch of such monstrous ingratitude that he could with any person digress from his bounden duty of allegiance, then he desires no further favor than the loss of all that he may lose, goods, lands, liberty and life; whereof the keeping could never do him a pennyworth of pleasure, but his only comfort would be that after his short life and the King's long, he would meet his Grace and be mery again with him in heaven, where, among other pleasures, this would be one, that the King would surely see there that, however he takes him, he is and ever has been his true bedesman, however it may be the King's pleasure to do by him. If, on the other hand, the King perceives that he has only acted as may stand with his bounden duty of faithfulness, then he begs the King, by the knowledge of his persuasion in that behalf, to relieve the torment of his present heaviness by reason of his dread and fear, hearing of the grieveous bill put by the King's counsel into parliament against him. Begs him also not to suffer any man hereafter to take occasion to slander him by means of such a bill. Chelchith, 5 March.
Hol., pp. 6.
Cleop. E. VI. 182. B.M. 2. Another copy also in More's hand, with a few verbal differences.
Pp. 3.
5 March. 289. More to [Cromwell].
Ceop. E. VI. 149. B.M. Eng. Works, 1,424. Strype's Eccl. Mem. I. Pt. ii. No. 48. Thanks him for his charitable labor in his behalf with the King, of which he has heard from his son Rope. Would gladly endure the loss of goods, lands, liberty, or even life, for the pleasure of God or of his prince, but, as he told Cromwell by word of mouth, it thoroughly pierces his heart that the King should think that in his communication with the Nun or the friars, or in his letter to the Nun, he had any mind that could not stand with the duty of a loving subject, or that he had acted from obstinacy in anything he said or did concerning the King's marriage or the primacy of the Pope. Wishes the King knew his dealing and saw his mind as perfectly as he does himself. As to his dealings with the Nun, which he has plainly declared in his former letter, thought no harm, and even purposed good, and most in that thing of which the King has most suspicion, that is, in his letter to her. As he has declared in writing the truth of his deed, and is ready to declare on oath the truth of his intention, can devise nothing further to be done but to beseech God to put in the King's mind to take it as God knows it. Touching the second point, the King's marriage, will plainly declare his demeanor so that Cromwell may have the better conscience to make suit for him. On coming home from beyond sea, where he had been on the King's business, went to the King at Hampton Court. While walking in the gallery, the King suddenly spoke of his great matter, saying that it was now perceived that his marriage was not only against the positive laws of the Church and the written law of God, but so contrary to the law of nature that it could not be dispensed with. Before going abroad had heard things said against the bull of dispensation, concerning the words of Leviticus and Denteronomy proving the prohibition to be de jure Divino, but thought the point was that the bull was not sufficient, and that the counsel on the other side had produced a brief to supply the defect, but that the truth of the brief was suspected by the King's counsel. Either never knew or does not remember what was finally found on that point. Tells this that Cromwell may know that the first time he ever heard it moved that the marriage was against the law of nature, was with the King showd it him himself, laid the Bible open before him, and read him the words that moved him and other crudite persons so to think, and asked him what he thought about it. Not presuming to suppose that the King took the point for the more proved or unproved, told him what he thought. The King accepting benignly his unadvised answer, commanded him to speak with Mr. Foxe, now almoner, and read with him a book that was making. After reading it and declaring his opinion, the King assembled at Hampton Court a number of learned men, among whom there were divers opinions, but he never heard but that they agreed upon a certain form in which the book should be made. It was afterwards read at York Place in the Cardinal's chamber in the presence of divers bishops and learned men. They all thought it contained good and reasonable causes which might well move the King to conceive a scruple against his marriage, and that he did well to have his doubt decided by judgment of the Church.
Never meddled with the suit while the Legates sat, being little skilled in spiritual law. While they were sitting, was sent by the King with the bishop of London, now of Durham, to Cambray to conclude the peace with the Emperor and French king. On his return was made Chancellor. The King soon after again desired him to consider his great matter, and if it happened that he were persuaded, he would gladly use him among his other counsellers in the matter. Nevertheless, he declared he did not wish More to do or say anything but as his conscience served him, and that he should first look to God, and after God to him. These words were also the first lesson the King gave him on coming to his service. Wished, in addition to what he could find for himself, to have some conference with such of his counsel as had labored most in the matter, and the King assigned the arch-bishops of Canterbury and York, Dr. Foxe and Dr. Nycolas, the Italian friar. Not only sought and read as far as his learning would serve him, and considered what other men had written about it, but also had diligent conference with the said councillors. Has no doubt that they will report that they never found him obstinate, but as toward and conformable as reasoncould require in a disputable matter. When the King was informed by them and by More himself of his poor opinion in the matter, in which he would have been more glad than of any worldly commodities to have served him, his Highness took in gree his good mind, and only used in prosecuting the matter those whose consciences were persuaded, while those who thought otherwise he used in other business, being never the less gracious lord to every man, and never willing to put any man in ruffle or trouble for his conscience.
Never did anything more therein, nor wrote anything to the impairing of the King's part, nor any man else by his procurement. Settled his mind in quiet to serve the King in other things, and would not look at nor let lie by him any book on the other side, though afterward he gladly read divers books on the King's part. Never read Mr. Abell's book nor the other books which he heard were written in Latin beyond the sea, and never gave ear to the Pope's proceedings.
Moreover, found in his study a book that he had borrowed from the bishop of Bath which he wrote when the Legates sat, and which had been negligently cast aside. Told the Bishop of it. He said he had discharged his mind of the matter, and had burned his own copy and asked More to burn his, which he did. If he were to rehearse the way in which he used himself, it would appear that he never had any demeanor against the King's marriage to give the King any occasion of displeasure. It would not become him to take upon himself the decision of such a weighty matter, nor boldly to affirm anything about it, as divers points passed his learning. “So am I he that among other his Grace's faithful subjects, his Highness being in possession of his marriage (fn. 6) and this noble woman really anointed queen, neither murmur at it nor dispute upon is, nor never did nor will, but without any other manner meddling of the matter among his other faithful subjects, faithfully pray to God for his Grace and heis both long to live and well, and their noble issue too, in such wise as may be to the pleasure of God, honor and surety to themselves, rest, peace, wealth and profit unto this noble realm.' (fn. 6)
Touching the third point, the primacy of the Pope, meddled nothing in the matter. It is true that when Cromwell asked him what he thought of the matter, he was for some time not of the mind that the primacy of that See was begun by the institution of God until he read what the King had written in his book against Luther. On first reading this, moved the King either to leave out that point or touch it more slenderly, for doubt of what might after happen between his Highness and some Pope. The King answered that he would in no wise minish anything of that matter, of which thing he showed More a secret cause, of which he had never heard before. After reading the King's book and other things for these ten (fn. 7) years or more, found all the holy doctors from St. Ignatius to the present time, both Latins and Greeks, so agreeing in that point, and the general councils so confirming it, that he never read or heard anything on the other side of so much effect as to make him doubt that his conscience would be in great peril if he took the other side and denied the primacy to be provided by God. Cannot perceive any good that would come from the denial, for the primacy is at least instituted by the “corpes” of Christendom for an urgent cause, avoiding schisms, and corroborate by continual successions for more than 1,000 years, for there are almost 1,000 years passed since the time of S. Gregory.
As all Christendom is one “corpes,” cannot perceive how any member thereof may, without the common assent of the body, depart from the common head. If this is so, does not see the advantage of debating in a general council whether the primacy is instituted immediately by God or ordained by the Church. Never could perceive but that general councils are to be believed in the declaration of the truth, and that their authority ought to be taken as undoubted; otherwise there would be no certainty in anything, and by every man's “affectionate” reason everything would be brought from day to day into perpetual ruffle and confusion, from which the spirit of God, by general councils, keeps and will keep the “corpes” of his Catholic Church.
As the King, as appears by the book of his honourable Council, has appealed from the Pope to a general council, in which he prays God to send the King comfortable speed, thinks it would be no furtherance to his Grace's cause if by making laws or putting forth books he seemed to derogate from or deny not only the primacy of the See Apostolic, but also the authority of the general councils, which, he verily trusts, the King does not intend. It may well happen that in the next general council this Pope may be deposed and another substituted, with whom the King may be very well content. Has never considered the Pope above the general council, nor greatly advanced his authority in any of his books put forth among the King's subjects in the vulgar tongue. A man may peradventure find that he speaks of him as primate after the common manner of all Christian realms, but he does not reason about it or prove it. In his book against the Maskar, wrote not five lines, (fn. 8) and that only of St. Peter himself, from whom many take not the primacy even of those who do not grant it to his successors. That book was published before any of the books of the Council were printed or spoken of. Had written thereof at length in his Confutation before, and collected all that he could find, at a time when he little expected any breach between the King and the Pope. Afterwards, seeing that there was likely to be some displeasure between them, suppressed it utterly, and put nothing of the king in his book, but published the remnant. This shows that he never intended to meddle in the matter against the King's gracious pleasure, whatever his own opinion was.
Has thus troubled Cromwell with a long process of these matters, with which he could not have encumbered the King. Begs him to inform the King of his true faithful mind, and that in the matter of that wicked woman, or in anything else, there was not, on his part, any other mind than good. There never was nor ever shall be any further fault found in him, than that he cannot in everything think the same way that other men of more wisdom and deeper learning do, nor can find in his heart otherwise to say than as his own conscience gives him. This condition, in anything that might touch the King's pleasure, has never grown of any obstinate mind or misaffectioned appetite, but of a timorous conscience, rising perhaps for lack of better perceiving, and yet not without tender respect to his duty to the King, whose favor he so much esteems that he would forego anything in the world, except his soul, rather than abide from him one heavy displeasant look. Chelchithe, 5 March. Signed.
Pp. 19. Endd.
Harl. MS. 283, f. 120 b. B.M. 2. A later copy, pp. 7.
290. Sir Thomas More.
R. O. Depositions.
“. . . And another time to bring her certain . . . was twice, once at Chelsey and another [time at the Black]friers, to have spoken with the said Mo[re, but he would] not speak with her at nother of both [tymes, but sent] at the one time by Mrs. Roper, and the other [by Herne?] himself, who charged this examinate that s[he] . . . to speak with her, saying that nother s[he] . . . . [nor] none of his household should speak with [her].
Also about Allhaloutyde last, as she re[members], as this examinate brought the said Herne (fn. 9) to his bed at . . . . [the] said Herne said to this examinate that he had . . . . [t]rust to p . . . . [h]ys mind unto . . . . [l]tem what is . . . . mind that ye . . . . othe . . . should find him there at Chelsey, at the Blacklong after, and asked this examinate whether she had any [m]oney to give him in hand. And she said, Nay; but as [s]one as he had done the deed he should have all the sum [a]foresaid together. And this communication this examinate reported [th]at night to her master Guyles Herne, which said if the [sa]id person would do that deed, that he would give him the [sai]d sum of money. And within three or four days after this examinate came to the said priest and again to know of [him] what he had [done] in the said matter. And he said [th]at his mind [was] altered, and wol[d] not meddle no [more in] that matter * * * I have heard him say as much as you. And being asked what words she heard More [speak of the] King, she saith that afore Midsummer last s[he heard the] said More in the parlour a[t S]backellwell mumble [cert]en [words] touching the King, and that his Grace kept . . . . might here speak of hoores, and saith h . . . . in his hand that he look upon; and she . . . . balett. And as this examinate came by [she bad him be]ware what he said. And he said t[ruly thou] art a good wench, if women's word . . . . had been long ago.
“And this is all . . . . He heard . . . .” Signed: . . de . . . . Pp. 3, mutilated.
5 March 291. Sir Anthony Wyndesore to Lady Lisle.
R. O. Has received her letter dated Calais, 7 Feb. Was not in London this term soliciting lord Lisle's business, as she supposed, but if need had been Mr. Marven and his cousin Edmund Wyndesore would have sent for him. Would be sorry to put lord Lisle to more charge than needeth.
As for Mr. Seymour, Mr. Marven sent word before that he offered to pay lord Lisle 80l. yearly, taking 60l. as his own; but now he offers 120l. She may perceive that this ruffling has done no hurt. My lord's counsel heard not about Kingston Lisle this term. Plain answer was given in Michaelmas term that lord Lisle would not part with possession unless he might be in as good state again with all casualties as before. Supposes they stay upon this. They were very hot upon it all Michaelmas term. Advises lord Lisle to keep them at this point, and then he will lose nothing by their possession.
Will pay the 10l. to my lord of Chichester at Lady Day if there is enough from the revenues after the charges have been deducted. Shortrysden, 5 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add.


  • 1. See Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 21, which, though not even sent up to the Lords from the Commons till 12 March, must have been determined on long before.
  • 2. Le Lazare is the Friday of the fourth week in Lent, according to the Art de Verifier les Dates.
  • 3. The MS reads “I sent,” but the “I” appears to be superfluous.
  • 4. “True,” MS.
  • 5. Misprinted “letters” in Burnet.
  • 6. In the printed copy the passage between the asterisks runs thus, “will most heartily pray for the prosperous estate of his Grace long to continue to the pleasure of God.”
  • 7. vij. in More's Works.
  • 8. “times,” in printed copy.
  • 9. Corrected from “him.”