Henry VIII: June 1535, 11-15

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1885.

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, 'Henry VIII: June 1535, 11-15', in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535, (London, 1885) pp. 325-345. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol8/pp325-345 [accessed 24 May 2024].

. "Henry VIII: June 1535, 11-15", in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535, (London, 1885) 325-345. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol8/pp325-345.

. "Henry VIII: June 1535, 11-15", Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535, (London, 1885). 325-345. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol8/pp325-345.


June 1535, 11-15

11 June.
R. O.
854. Sir Fras. Bigode to Cromwell.
I have delivered the King's letters to the archbishop of York the 8th June, and to the bishop of Durham the 9th. They received them with great humility, and were evidently glad of them. The Bishop sent for his chaplains to execute them in all haste. He himself tarried to make precepts, and send to every ecclesiastical person in his diocese. The effect I shall report. I purpose to be at York on Midsummer Day, and also on St. Peter's Day, which is there the most solemn day of the year. If the Archbishop preach sincerely, and set forth the King's title, he will do much good, as that day all dignitaries must be in the church. If the Archbishop be negligent, my chaplain, who, as Dr. Crome, Master Latimer, and Barnes can show you, is well learned, will be ready to say the Word of God truly. I have for him the archbishop of Canterbury's licence, and the King's likewise; but till I know your pleasure he shall not preach either at York or elsewhere. I have drawn an abstract from the statute touching the deposition of the bishop of Rome and the style of Supreme Head, which I intend to nail on a table in my parish church, and give a copy of it to all who can read, to instruct their families at home. I send a copy. Setteryngton, 11 June.
Hol. pp. 2. Add.: Secretary. Endd.
11 June.
Royal MS., 18, B. vi. f. 40 b.
B. M.
855. [James V. to Montmorency.]
"Magnifico et potenti domino, Galliarum [magno magistro], ami[co] suo charissimo."
Requests him to persist in his endeavours to preserve friendship between the two kingdoms, both of which he knows are much profited by it. Desires credence for the bearer. Stirling, 3. Id. Jun. 1535.
Lat, copy, p. 1. Mutilated.
11 June.
R. O.
856. Fisher and More.
"Answers by confession of Richard Wilson, servant to Mr. John Fisher, doctor of divinity, late bishop of Rochester," before Sir Edmund Walsingham, lieutenant of the Tower, and Thomas Legh, D.C.L., and in presence of Henry Polstede, John Whalley, and John ap Rice, to certain interrogatories ministered to them 7 June 27 Hen. VIII. in the Tower of London.
1. (fn. 1) To the first interrogatory, he says that about Midsummer come 12 months he heard his master say to Mr. Wilbere, Mr. Johnson, commissary of Rochester, and Mr. Robert Fissher his brother, when they would have persuaded him to take the oath of succession, that he wished himself some great misfortune if he went to any place for that purpose.
2. To the second, touching the Act of Supreme Head, about Candlemas last Rob. Fisher came and told him of it in the Tower, when he "toke up his hands and blessed him, saying, Is it so?" Rob. Fisher also told him of an Act "by reason whereof men should come to the Tower thick and th .... For now. said he, speaking is made high treason, which was never heard of before, that words should be high treason. But there was never such a sticking at the passing of any Act in the Lower House as was at the passing of the same, said he; and that they stuck at the last to have one word in the same, and that was the [word] maliciously, which, when it was put, it was not worth ..... for they would expound the same statute themselves at their pleasure." Cannot remember if Dr. Fisher made any answer to this.
[3?] On Friday after Ascension Day last, Mr. Secretary, and others of the Council, came to examine Fisher on the Act of Supreme Head, and this respondent, standing in the Chamber without the partition, heard some part of the examination. Mr. Secretary said they were sent for two things, first touching the Act of Supremacy: the second point respondent did not hear. Mr. Secretary read the Act, and Fisher replied that he could not consent to take the King as Supreme Head. The Act was also read to him making it treason to deny the King to be Supreme Head. After supper respondent told his master that he thought Mr. Bedyll's reasons weak when he said the King was head of his people, and the people was the Church, with some further observations. The bishop asked if he thought he had been too quick with Mr. Bedyll, and respondent said no. Had no conversation with the bishop afterwards till he was examined again, but how they looked for the Council every day to come to them again. Cautioned the bishop to beware what answer he made as to the supremacy. During the interval Edw. White, the bishop's brother-in-law, was twice with him. Heard no words between them but salutations, and touching the Anabaptists, of whom the said Edward spoke to him.
To the third [and fourth] interrogatories, says he never had communication of those matters with his master other than is abovesaid, but had heard his master say since he was last examined that he had heard one of the statutes read but not the other.
4. To the fifth and every part of the same he says No, except as above rehearsed.
[5]. To the sixth, seventh, and eighth he also answers No.
[6]. Further examined whether he knew any letter, writing, or intelligence to be between Mr. More or any other man and his master since he came to the Tower; said that Dr. Adyson brought his master about Michaelmas last two letters which he found in his master's books, and after he had showed them to him he took them with him again; but what their contents were he cannot tell. Notarial signature of John ap Rice.
ii. [The answers of John à Wood, servant to Sir Thomas Moore, the day and place aforesaid]. This heading is crossed out.
iii. "What communication has been between my lord and me since the first cu[ming of the Council.]
My answer:—
7. "I remembered unto him ..... this word 'maliciously' to be put in that statute or some other like, for so heard I my lord's brother, Robert Fisher, tell my lord." Moved my lord (bishop Fisher) to send for the statute book, and asked Edw. White to send it. Read the two statutes to my lord, and he read them himself, and on Friday or Saturday last the book was burned. Said that a man may answer a question without any malice; but my lord would not tell him what he would answer. After his last answer before the Council, my lord said he had stuck to the word "maliciously," and that the Council suspected he had counsel from Mr. Moore. But he said Nay, but his brother Robert had told him of the word and bade him so say.
"Whether I suspect any note between my lord and Mr. Moor."
8. Heard my lord tell George that there was no peril in the statutes except it were maliciously done and spoken, and suspects he bade George tell Moore so about seven or eight days before the last coming of the Council. Heard from George that Mr. Moore said Mr. Secretary gave him very good words, but he would say nothing about his answer but that my lord was certified. Told George he thought my lord would suffer death if he gave no other answer, and asked him to get the statute book, but he would not.
"What I have sent to Mr. Moor or his servant."
[9]. Never sent anything concerning the King's matter, either, in word or writing. Sent to Mr. Moor's servant half a custard on Sunday last, and long since greensauce. Moor or his servant sent him an image of St. John, and apples and oranges after the snow that fell in winter. On New Year's day Moor sent him a paper with writing, 2,000l. in gold, and an image of the Epiphany.
[10]. Has often suspected George of carrying letters between my lord and Mr. Moor.
[11]. Has seen my lord burn papers, and has burnt them at his bidding, but never was so bold as to look at them, "and for such causes I did suspect the matter the more." Has also burnt old papers that were written before he came to the Tower.
12. Gave George a letter to Moor from my lord since the first examination, but read it not.
13. "We" were agreed to deny any letters being sent between them. Thinks my lord gave many letters to George, and heard him tell George he might say he never carried any letters on the King's business, but he would not counsel him to be forsworn for other things.
iv. [Further examination of Richard Wilson, servant of bishop Fisher.]
Heading mostly illegible * * * * "the viijth day of June ............................. the person abovenamed, except ......... "
14. First: he says he has put in writing and sent by Mr......... certain things omitted in his first examination. When the books were here. Mr. More sent word to "the said" Mr. Fissher by Geo. G[olde], the Lieutenant's servant, that he heard that his own books should be condemned, but he does not remember Mr. Fisher's answer. After the said Mr. Fisher's first examination, said to him that he remembered that Mr. Robt. Fisher said to his brother that "maliciously" was in the statute, and therefore a man might answer to the questions not maliciously, and be in no danger; and the respondent asked George and Mr. White to get the book, which the latter at length did.
15. Read the book to his master, and said there was nothing to bind him to answer.
16. And afterwards heard him say to George that he saw no great peril in the statute, unless it were done or spoken maliciously. The next night Fisher wrote a letter to More, which was not sealed or closed, and told him, if George was sober, to give it him to be delivered; which he did. Knows nothing of the contents.
17. Thinks Fisher told George to show more about the statute.
18. Does not know whether George brought any answer, but heard him say that Mr. More was merry, and that my Lord was satisfied. Then within a few days came the Council again to the second examination.
19. At supper, Fisher, in answer to his questions, said he had not made answer, "but the [Co]uncil was gone even as they came. Then said my master to this respondent, [You] remember, Sir, that the last day before this that the Council was here, the Council should ask me two questions or two points. And this respondent said Yes, for he heard Mr. Secretary say then and purpose that he had come then principally for two things, [on]e was touching the Act of Supreme Head, and the other this deponent could [n]ot hear." Then said his master that the Council bore him in hand that they purposed to ask him two questions, of which one was whether he would accept the King as Supreme Head; "and I remember no such thing. Nor I nother, said this deponent then." But a while after he came to his master as he was saying evensong, and said Yes, that he had answered that he did not think the King might be supreme head, but his master denied having said so. The next day he remarked to his master that he had been a long time with the Council yesterday.
20. His master said the Council had blamed Mr. Lieutenant sore for keeping him and Mr. More so negligently, thinking that they had counsel of each other, and it was not so, but they supposed it, because both stuck much upon one point. Said that if it was upon the word "maliciously" the book was worth sending for; but he answered nothing.
21. On Saturday next "the said George" said to Fisher that he heard he was made a cardinal. "Then, said Mr. Fisher, A cardinal! Then I perceive it was not for nought that my Lord Chancellor did ask me when I heard from my master the Pope, and said that there was never man that had exalted the Pop[e a]s I had."
22. A further conversation between the respondent and Fisher, the former saying that if the [King] were Head of the Church, he would have power to [make] the body of Christ, and hear confessions.
23. Between the examinations George brought Fisher certain scrolls of paper, [written] with lead in some places, and in some other with an agg[let or] dry point, so that they could not be well read; which George said his master had bade him cut out of one of the monks' books. In one was written "Pasce oves meas," &c.; "and I am sure that these words Christ spake himself, and dare take that quarrel to my death." In another place he read, "My Lord, ye should not judge me to death this day, for, if ye should, ye should first condemn yourself and all your predecessors, which were no simple sheep in this flock, but great bellwethers. And, my lord, if ye would, in detestation of this opinion, dig up the bones of all our predecessors and burn them, yet should not that turn me from this Faith." Could not read any more. Showed them to his master, who said "T[h]ey be gone. God have mercy on their souls!" And when they were alive, Fisher said, referring to the said monks under examination, "I pray God that no vanity subvert them."
24. Thinks that letters have passed between Fisher and More since the last examination, for he saw George bring his Master a letter, and afterwards cast it in the fire, last Sunday.
v. Depositions of Geo. Golde, [servant u]nto Mr. Lieutenant, 8 June, before Mr. Ch ....., in the presence of ....., John ap Rice, and .....
25. Says that on Sunday last ..... "Mr. Fisher" wrote a letter to Mr. More, and sent it by him. The next day More sent back an answer, with Fisher's letter. Burned both at Fisher's order.
26. About 10 days ago, told Fisher he heard that he should be a cardinal; to which he answered that "he set as much by that as by a rush under his foot."
27. Heard this from John, some time fa[lconer] to the said Mr. Fisher, who heard it from one Noddy and one Andrew, servants of Ant. Bonevys[e].
28. No one else told him of this. About 10 days ago Fisher sent a letter to More by him, and More caused him to burn it. The next day More wrote an answer and sent it by him. Fisher told him to burn it.
[29]. About six days after the monks of the Charterhouse were executed, Mr. Lieutenant caused him to carry to the Charterhouse six books which the monks had left in the prison, out of which books Mr. Lieutenant caused him to cut six leaves of parchment, "which leaves were as though it were with lead or like thing." Laid them up in the Lieutenant's parlour under a cupboard cloth. Two days after gave them to Ric. Wylson, Fisher's servant, and, on their being returned, burned them.
30. Two days after the execution, Fisher said to him that he saw not so great peril in the statute, unless it were done or spoken maliciously, and he marvelled much that the monks were put to execution, [say]ing that they did nothing maliciously nor obstinately.
31. Delivered a letter from Wylson for the buying of the book of the statute to the Falconer, but does not know whether it was directed to the Falconer or to Edw. Whyte, Fisher's brother. Received the book from the Falconer, and gave it to Wylson.
32. When the Lubecks were lately in London, More caused him to tell Fisher that he heard say thow … works should be condemned, unto whom the said Mr. Fisher ...... that so they would condemn his .....
33. Has conveyed about a dozen letters between More and Fisher, some being written with ink, and some with coal.
34. It was agreed between Mr. Fisher, his servant, and this deponent, both times the Council came to the Tower, to deny having carried any letters between them; but if he were sworn on a book, that he should speak the truth.
35. More also wrote four letters to his wife and Mrs. Roper [his dau]ghter.
36. Does not know of Fisher sending letters, except to More.
37. Further examined, 9 June.—About a week ago, went to Wm. Thorneton's house in Themystrete for Mr. Fisher's diet, as he was accustomed, and asked him if he had heard that Fisher should be made cardinal. Thorneton replied that he had heard it from a servant of lord Rochford.
38. About five days ago, took a pot of conserve from Fisher to Ant. Bonvise [but he would not have it, saying that Fisher had more need of it than he]. (fn. 2) There were no letters in the pot.
39. Bonvise sent to More, two or three times every week, meat and a bottle of wine, till a quarter of a year ago, since when, he has sent none. Before the said time he sent Fisher a quart of French wine every day, and three or four dishes of jelly.
40. Heard of Fisher being made cardinal, on Friday or Saturday last, from Mrs. Roper, and the same day told Fisher. Mentions Fawconer and Nody in connection with the report.
vi. Depositions of John à Wood, servant to Sir Thos. [More], Knt., taken by Mr. Thos. Lee, doctor of l[aw], Hen. Polstede, and John ap Rice, 10 [June] 1535.
41. Being examined as to the intercourse between his master and Fisher, said that about a fortnight after the first being of the Council in the Tower, George, the Lieutenant's servant, came to More, and asked him, from Fisher. what answer he had made. More replied that he would not dispute of the King's title, but give himself to his beads and think on his passage hence; and this he wrote in a letter to be given to Fisher. Soon after he sent another letter by George to the effect that he would not counsel Fisher to make the same answer, lest the Council might think they were agreed, and that he would meddle with no man's conscience but his own. After the Coun[cil were at the] Tower, Fisher sent to tell More what answer he had made. Does not know if More sent an answer.
42. Wm. Thorneton, of London, says that he heard of Fisher's being made cardinal from George, the Lieutenant's servant, and the Falconer, who serves Fisher with his meat.
43. Andrewe, servant to [Anthony] Bonvies, about 12 days ago heard Florence Volusene say at his master's house at dinner. that he heard at the French ambassador's house that Fisher was made Cardinal. and since heard others speak of it.
44. Examined, 11 June.—Never carried any letters or other intell[igence], but bare stewed meat d[ivers times] ..... passed for the which Mrs. Roper did give ........... buying of the same, when she was ........ Also that John the falconer came to his master.
45. vii. Examination of John Pewnoll, alias Fawconer, [somet]yme servant to Mr. Dr. Fisher, sometime bp. of Rochester. Last Lent carried a letter from Fisher, about his disease, to Mr. Bonviese. who consulted Mr. Clement. and sent back word that Fisher's liver was wasted, and he should [ta]ke gote's my[lk] and other things. Carried another letter to Dr. Fre … concerning physic, and others to Mr. Whyte, to desire him to seek relief for the said Mr. Fisher.
46. Fisher had money from his brother Robert, and, since he is dead, of Mr..... and Mr. Thorneton.
47. Twice or thrice Mr. Antony Bonvise sent him a dish of stewed meat, before .... six weeks passed, and a quart of French wine and .... when Fisher sent for it.
48. Heard that Fisher was made a cardinal first from George, the Lieutenant's servant, who heard it from Andrew ....
49. 11 June.—Geo. White deposes that last Saturday Wm. Thorneton told him Fisher was made a cardinal, and afterwards John the Fawconer. Asked about letters and communications between Fisher and others, "saith that he knowe[th] .... but that he hath received himself bills of [the said Mr. Fisher's] diet, which he hath got to show." Was also asked to send him a book of the statutes, which he did by Fawconer.
50. Examined who conv]eyed to him any books or letters; says he sent himself a book of divinity.
51. Illegible.
viii. Further examination of John à Wood, 11 June.
52. Says that on the morning after the Council came to the Tower his master (More) told him that his daughter, Roper's wife, wished to know what had taken place, and he wrote her three letters. Gives the substance of them.
53. Ric. Wylson further examined on June 11.—Says that he does not know of any one encouraging Fisher. About two ...... past he found the copy of a letter in Fisher's chamber to the effect that his opinion concerning the matrimony was true, and he should no[t] doubt therein, i[nsomu]ch as the Pope ha[d] .... asstipulat ..... Whether it was directed to [Fisher] or not he does not know.
54. ix. Further examination of Wm. Thorneton, 11 June.—Says he first heard that Fisher was made cardinal of Mr. Thornam, steward to my lord of Wiltshire, in Poules, eight or nine days ago, in presence of another priest. The same day, or the next, John Falconer and George both told him. Does not know whether any letter was sent to Fisher from beyond sea or on this side. Does not know or suspect any one of counselling or encouraging Fisher.
Mutilated, pp. 21. The leaf containing § iii. is in a different hand from the rest; apparently that of Wilson, the deponent, himself.
12 June. 857. Sir Thomas More and Sir John Daunce.
See Grants in June, No. 10.
12 June.
Cleopatra, E. vi. 169. B. M. Archæol. xxv. 95. Lewis' Fisher, ii. 407.
858. Bishop Fisher.
The answers made by Mr. John Fisher, D.D., to the interrogatories ministered to him, 12 June 27 Hen. VIII., at the Tower of London, by Mr. Thos. Bedyll and Mr. Richard Lay ton, clerks of the Council, in the presence of Sir Edm. Walsingham, lieutenant of the Tower, Hen. Polstede, John Whalley, and John ap. Rice, notary.
1. His brother, Robert Fisher, told him of the Act in hand in the House of Commons, by which speaking of words against the King should be made treason, and said there was much sticking at it, because divers thought that no man lightly could beware of the penalty of the statute, and he thought it would not pass unless it were added that the words should be spoken maliciously. Asked him whether men should be bound to answer upon oath, to any point, by virtue of the same Act, as by the Act of Succession; which he said was not the case. Had no other conversation with him about the Acts. 2. Can say nothing more than his former answer. 3. Does not remember having any such conversation with his brother. 4. Can say nothing more than his first answer. 5. About four letters have passed between him and More concerning the matters mentioned in this question since they came to the Tower. Does not remember the contents of the letters written before the Council first visited him. On further consideration, remembers now that More's first letter was to ask him what answer he had given to the Council in the matter for which he was committed to the Tower. Sent a reply to his question. Does not remember the effect of any other letters before the Council's first visit, but subsequently George, Mr. Lieutenant's servant, showed him a letter from More to Mrs. Roper, stating that when the Council had proposed to him the matter about which they came, he said he would not dispute the King's title, and Mr. Secretary gave him good words. Sent him a letter by George to know his answer more precisely, but does not recollect his reply. Wrote also to More about the words his brother had spoken concerning the Act of Parliament, and the insertion of the word "maliciously," but did not ask More's advice. More thought that their answers would be much alike, and that the Council would suppose that one had "taken light" of the other, and wrote to Fisher to avoid this suspicion. Being asked whether any other letters passed between them, replied that after the Council was last at the Tower, and Mr. More's books were taken from him, George told Fisher that More was in "a pecke of troubles," and wished to know what answer Fisher had made to the Council. Wrote a letter, that he had answered according to the statute, which condemns no one but those who speak maliciously against the King's title; that the statute compelled no man to answer; that he besought them not to constrain him to answer more than the statute required, but to allow him. to enjoy the benefit of the said statute. Does not recollect any more communications between him and More. 7–17. Has already answered and can say no more. 18. No. He knoweth where none is. 19. They were all burnt as soon as he had read them, for he was loth to be reproved of his promise made to Mr. Lieutenant, not to do anything to cause him to be blamed. Is sure there was nothing else in the letters except exhortations to patience, and prayers to God for grace. 20. Received no letters but what are above mentioned. 21. Received the book from Edward White by the hands of George. 22. Remembers no communication with Edw. White, but he had communication with Wilson about the time they read the statutes. Wilson "threppened upon this respondent" that the Council had proposed to him two points. Remembered only one, that the Council was sent to know his opinion touching the statute of Supreme Head. Wilson further said that he stood behind the door, and heard Fisher's answer and Mr. Bedyl's reasons. After Wilson had read the statutes once or twice, caused them to be burnt, thinking that Mr. Lieutenant would have made much business thereupon. 23. Does not remember declaring to Wilson, or any man, what answer he was disposed to made. 24. Received no such letters but one from Erasmus, which his brother Robert showed first to Mr. Secretary. 25, 26. George brought him word since the last sitting of the Council, that he heard from Mrs. Roper that Fisher was made a cardinal. Said in presence of George and Wilson, that if the Cardinal's hat were laid at his feet, he would not stoop to take it up, he did set so little by it. 27. Received no other letters touching the same business. 28. Received no such letters or message. 29. Wrote letters often concerning his diet, to him who provided it, as to Robt. Fisher, while he lived, and to Edw. White; one to my lady of Oxford, for her comfort, and requests to certain friends, that he might pay Mr. Lieutenant for his diet, to whom he was in great debt, and was in great need. 30. Received money from them, and no other answer.
Being asked whether there was any compact between himself, his servant Wilson, and George, concerning sending letters, replies that they were agreed to keep it as secret as they might. Signed.
Pp. 6. With corrections.
R. O. 859. Bishop Fisher. (fn. 3)
In the letters which were written by an unknown hand to the lady Katharine dowager, and found in the bishop of Rochester's study, it is said:—"which things I showed to your Nobleness in my Prince's name of late by the reverend father E. R. [and] what things your Nobleness gave unto me [afterwa]rde by the same father, it needs not [to rehearse] he[re]. (fn. 4) That thing only I would your Nobleness should believe, that I will be both so faithful and close in concealing these things that no mortal man shall ever know them besides them whom it behoveth. Of which thing, to the intent your Nobleness may the less doubt, know ye that I have sent over sea, now six days since, one of my servants with that which I received of the bishop of Rochester."
Concerning these letters the bishop of Rochester is to be asked:—1. Who wrote them? 2. Who was the [lord]e or prince of the writer? 3. If E. R. means the bishop of Rochester? 4. What the writer showed in his prince's name to the lady Katharine by the Bishop, and what she gave to the writer by the said Bishop? 5. If he say they were trifles, why should the writer promise to keep such taciturnity? 6. Who are they who should know these things which must be concealed from all other mortal men? 7. What was it that the writer received from the Bishop and sent over sea? 8. How many books he has written concerning the King's matrimony and divorce? 9. How many copies have been made of them, and in whose hands they are? 10. How many books or copies have been sent over sea? 11. To whom they were sent? 12. Whether he has given any of the books or copies, to any foreigner, that the contents might be published openly under a strange style by some one who was not the King's subject and feared not his indignation, though he wrote what was lewd and slanderous? 13. Whether the book, which was printed and born without certain author or father, and yet is said to be written either by Agrippa, or Lewis Vives, or Antony Pullion, was published by Rochester's counsel or knowledge? 14. Let him be straitly examined who was the author. It is not credible that he does not know, for all the arguments are taken from notes found in his study. 15. Whether he gave counsel or consent to Abel's publishing his book against the King's cause? This is likely, for most of the book is gathered out of Rochester's books.
In the above-mentioned letters it is written as follows:—" But as conce[rning] these letters which I have ...... (fn. 5) unto the King's highness, I have decreed not to deliver them, or cause them to be delivered, before I shall have taken ship; for even then I intend to send one of mine servants to deliver them; and in the mean season so to order the matter that the King shall not perceive that those letters were brought by me."
16. Let Rochester be asked if this messenger lurked in his house till he himself told the lady Katharine what the messenger had from his prince, and if he brought an answer. It is likely that he kept the said letters so long, because he feared that if they were delivered before his departure he should be taken by reason of them, and so plucked out of his lurking-place into open sight.
It follows in the same letter—"If there be anything therefore [that your] Nobleness will farther commit u[nto me, as] (fn. 6) to go unto other princes of Ger[man]y (fn. 7), a[nd to so]licit them or to have anything done by me, &c." 17. Whether he knows what else the lady Katharine committed to this messenger to be moved with his ow[n lord or] other princes of Germany, for he that carried both the message and the answer could not choose but know. 18. Also he writes, "When I come into Ger[many] I will show, declare, and defend amongst good men, and that by books written, the cause of your Nobleness most diligently and honorably, and whatsoever I shall bring to pass with the princes in this matter, therefore shall I diligently and secretly ascertain your Nobleness." 19. Whether, saving his faith and allegiance to the King, he could or ought to aid, counsel, or consent to him who went about such manner of things with the princes of Germany against the king of England? 20. By what hope he was moved, or for what [reason] he concealed so long [time so] great a matter which he knew to be intended against the king of England? 21. For what cause the letters to the lady Katharine came to his hand, who sent them, and who brought them to him? If a true answer to these questions cannot be gotten from the bishop of Rochester, the King hy[mself can] sh[o]we what prince's servant he w[as tha]t wr[ote] those letters, if he would call to mind what prince sent unto him those letters whose sentence is described in a certain schedule here following, which begins—"Si regia serenitas tua recte valet, &c.," which are the letters which are mentioned to be delivered after the messenger's departure? Lastly, it is to be noted that he who wrote the letters was crafty and subtle, and that he promised to write books against the King's cause, and to defend the contrary cause, and to spend his labour with the princes of Germany that they should take in hand to defend the lady Katharine's cause.
22. Let the bishop of Rochester be asked who wrote to him the three letters without name concerning Luther's business, the King's cause, and the translation of the New Testament into English, with other notable things. At the end of the second letter is written thus:—"But what I have heard of Master Lee ye shall know at my coming home." By the first letter it appears that he is speaking of Lee, who is now archbishop of York, for it is written that he was not well accepted at Bononye "afore (fn. 8) the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield was neve[r at] Bononye." From which clause it may be gathered, as it seems, that Master Lee has uttered the King's secrets to the writer of these letters that they might be told to Rochester. 23. Let him be asked if he wrote or sent a message to George Daye, (fn. 9) of Cambridge, that he was not a little grieved that Daye should seem to faour the King's cause because he subscribed not the sentence of his friend Bayne. If he deny this, let Daye's letter be showed him, which contains these words:—"And whereas I hear [that] your Ladyship hath by chance taken [suspic]ion of me, as though I favoured the King's cause, for so much as I have by no means clyv[en] or stuck to the sentence of my friend Bean (Bayne in draft), &c., at such time as I was elected [by the] university faithfully to declare what [was] my mind in that matter." Daye would not have endeavoured so greatly to purge himself with so many words and persuasions from the said suspicion, if he had not perceived that the Bishop took the matter grievously because [he suspected] him to favour the King's cause. He therefore asked the Bishop to suspend the sentence until he had made purgation of that suspicion. 24. Let him be asked whether it did not seem enough to him that he himself was against the King's cause with as great assaults as he might, except [he migh]t also be aggrieved if any o[ther person should come] and defend the sam cause. 25. It is also written in Day's epistle:—"I beseech God that you Lordship may as lightly overcome in that cause which ye most coveteth, as simple as I do here cleave to nother part, being overcome either with fear or else w[ith] infirmity of my mind." It is clear with how much study and affection Rochester desired the victory in this cause against the King. But all this may be known from Geo. Day, if he were earnestly convented and spoken to. 26. Let him be asked if he wrote letters to William [late] archbishop of Canterbury, saying that he knew certainly that all the universities of the world could never prove that marriage with a dead brother's wife is against the laws of God and of nature. That he wrote it is proved by a copy of the letter in his own hand. 27. Whether he wrote this for any other cause than to make the Archbishop harder a[nd inclined] less [to f]avor the King's cause? 28. Whether Rochester wrote to the Archbishop that he (the Archbishop) intended to deceive and betray him to his adversaries, when he asked him to come to Knoll to see the determinations of the universities, and whether he asked the Archbishop not to think that h[e would sin] against the Holy Ghost? This and many other things appear from the said copy? 29. Whether he wrote any letters to the lady Katharine, the Queen putative, as if she despaired of the mercy of God, as appears by copies in his own hand? 30. Whether the cause of this despair was that she committed perjury, and, as some say, received the Host, that she was never carnally known by prince Arthur? 31. Why he should exhort her not to despair of the mercy of God unless he knew she despaired thereof? 32. Who brought unto him [the articles] sent from the said lady Katharine [in] which mention is made that a cer[tain ch]aplain of the bishop of Bath revela[ted un]to her almoner that the bishop of Bath, Master Thos. Moore, ch[ancellor, the] bishop of Exeter, and the bi[shop of Chi]chester would favour the cause [as much as] she could desire? It is many[fest from] the letters following that R. Griffyn brought the articles. 33. Whether the bishop of Rochester's book, containing the reply against the universities and the book of Mr. Wylson and the bishop of Bath's book [were sent to Pa]rys to a Spaniard, Dr. [of divinity, a frien]de to the said lady Katharine, by advice of the bishops of Exeter, Chichester, Bath, and Rochester? 34. Whether he received any letters from Dr. Peter Ligham containing these words:—" I beseech the Lord Jesus to give us grace and spiritual strength to show the truth, putting all fear apart; for, by all conjecture that I see, there be many corrupt solicitors intending to make division and schism in taking away the Pope's auctority; but would God they were cut off and separated which trouble the King?" 35. Why he kept close these letters, and did not show them to the King's Council, as they seem to be w[ritten again]st them that were of the [King's Council], or those in whom [he trusted] ? To wish that such were [cut off] is not to be reputed [a light fault]. 36. What were the writings which Ligham promised he would send by his servant, as appears by his letters? 37. Why he concealed the letters of one Bayne, of Cambridge, in which the King's cause was diffamed, and said to be handled by authority and conveyance? 38. What "those words of Ric. bishop of Winchester, a good stert sennys departed [mean], where he prayeth that he and the same Roffensis might once speak to[geth]er before he died, so that it were not in [Parliament or convocation, from which God deliver us"? 39. Whether he received two letters from the bishop of Bath, one concerning the curates, and the other the interpretation of the Levitical law of marriage with a brother's wife, as if it meant a living brother? 40. Whether he has followed in his books this interpretation of the bishop of Bath?
P. 11. Multilated and defaced.
R. O. 2. Corrected draft of the preceding.
Pp. 8. Very worn, faded, and mutilated.
R. O. 3. Latin translation of the same.
Pp. 7. Mutilated and defaced.
Cleop. E. vi.
174. B. M. Lewis' Life of Fisher, II 403.
4. [Replies by Bishop Fisher to the preceding questions.]
1. The time since I received the letters is so great that I can recollect neither the name of the writer nor the messenger. 2. Cannot recollect the name of the lord, though I doubt not that he was a German prince, as he says 3, 4. It is clear the same person is not indicated by the letters E. R. and by the bishop of Rochester, for afterwards distinct mention is made of the bishop of Rochester; so that if so learned a man as the writer seems to be had intended to speak either of the same E. R. or of the same bishop of Rochester, and when he had taken such pains to conceal the name of the former, why did he betray it if he mentioned the same person in either place? Besides, I have never addressed the said lady Katharine in private since the King commanded me to give her my counsel in her matter. 5. The writer promises that he can do what things he wished, as many do who make grand promises and perform nothing; but he made those promises without either my knowledge or countenance. 6. I know not who they were. 7. It is very probable that there was some token (fn. 10) to be sent to one of the German princes, but, God help me, I know not now what it was, or to whom of those princes it was sent, unless it was to Ferdinand king of Hungary. 8. I am not certain of the number, but I think I have written seven or eight. The matter was so serious, both on account of the importance of the persons concerned, and on account of the injunction given me by the King, that I devoted more attention to examining the truth of it than to anything else in my life. 9. I do not know, nor was I very particular about the others, but only of the two last written by me, which contained the pith (nervos) of the former ones. One of those the archbishop of Canterbury now has. 10. I never sent or consented to the sending of any of these books over sea, nor had the writer or his servant any of them to my knowledge. 11. To no one, with my knowledge, as is clear from the last. 12. No such thing was ever in my mind. 13. Not by my counsel or knowledge. 14. I am quite ignorant of the author, but suspect, from the style, it was Cornelius Agrippa. 15. I never counselled Abel, or consented to his publishing the book; neither had he any book of mine to my knowledge. 16. The messenger was never more than a quarter of an hour in my house. 17. I know not at all, unless she wished to be vindicated with those princes as to the oath she had formerly sworn that she had not been known by prince Arthur. 18. I certainly gave no consent that the writer should attempt anything with the German princes against the King, neither did these letters come to hand before the messenger had left me. 19, 20. The letters were sent to me by the lady Katharine, to whose counsels I was sworn by the King's orders; nor did they contain anything, as it seemed to me, except as to the declaration of the lady Katharine's virginity. 21. I know no other cause, unless it was to let me see she was not despised by the princes of other countries; but by whom they came to my hands I cannot remember, for she sent to me sometimes one person and sometimes another, although both then and long before I had abstained from giving her counsel except in some things touching her conscience. 22. I know not who wrote them, unless it be the hand of Dr. Adeson. What Lee he meant, I do not know for certain. 23. I blamed neither Geo. Day nor any other man for favoring the King's cause. But I remember having said, when I heard that he followed neither opinion, that I was not pleased with him because he studied to obtain the goodwill of both sides. Perhaps it was this that made him so anxious to purge himself by his letters. 24. I never blamed anyone for defending the King's cause, or advised anyone to advocate that of Katharine. 25. Geo. Day may have judged of me what he pleased. I am certain I desired nothing but the victory of the truth. 26. I acknowledge that I have written and said such things. 27. I did not write so to change his opinion, but that he might desist from soliciting me to assert anything against my conscience. 28. I wrote so because he had not deigned to warn me by his letters of the matter about which he had summoned me, so that I might be the better prepared to answer those who were then ready. But when I came to Knoll I prayed his Lordship not to suspect I would sin against the Holy Ghost, either by impugning a known truth, or by not admitting the truth, if it could be shown by the writings of the universities or by others. 29. The King knows very well that the lady Katharine, not for one time only, sent for me by his consent on account of certain scruples which offended her conscience, and that long before this affair began. To remove these scruples I used many words when I was with her, and wrote some letters afterwards. 30. I never heard from her that she despaired of mercy, or had committed perjury. 31. If I wrote so, I wrote that she might put away all scruples of conscience, and establish her mind in the hope and trust of the promises of Christ. 32. Cannot remember who brought the articles, nor should I have remembered them unless I had read them now. 33. I feel sure that the book I wrote against the opinion of the universities was not sent to Paris, for at that time when the lady Katharine asked it of me scarcely half of it was written, neither was auy of the others sent thither with my knowledge or assent. 34. I should not have remembered these letters either, unless I had seen them now. 35. I did not understand anything in these words to express ill-will against the King. 36. I do not know. 37. I truly believed Bain did not write them out of ill-will to the King. 38. I do not know what they mean, unless it be that he would not thenceforth willingly mix himself with the business of those two places. 39. Many learned men and esteemed interpreters of the Old Testament have followed this interpretation, that the Levitical prohibition applies to a living brother. 40. Although in my writings I cited many who affirm that interpretation, I do not endeavour to rest my opinion altogether upon them, as my writings clearly show.
Hol., Lat., pp. 6.
12 June.
R. O.
860. George Tayllour to Lady Lisle.
Thanks her, on behalf of his uncle Geo. Gaynesford, and thanks her also for the shirt cloth she sent him by Mr. Hussy. London, 12 June.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: At Calais.
13 June.
R. O.
861. Roland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to Cromwell.
As the Castle of Ludlow is in great ruin, and the time is now suitable for repair, I beg you will have it in remembrance, and also the multitude of outlaws who are submitting themselves voluntarily without safe-conduct, which has not been heretofore. I beg also that you will remember the King's pardons in that behalf left with you by Englefuld, when they shall come to your hands subscribed by me and him. Gloucester, 13 June. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Mr. Secretary. Endd.
13 June.
R. O.
862. William Fayrfax (fn. 11) to Cromwell.
On receipt of Cromwell's letters informed the justices of the peace, who thereupon appointed a privy sessions. By the evidence of John Leper and Brian Banke an indictment was found against Sir Thos. Jakson, priest, which he sends that he may ascertain whether the justices have authority to inquire of treason in this case without a special commission. Wishes a commission to make certificate of certain villages and houses wasted in Yorkshire. Stetom 13 June. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Master Secretary. Endd.
R. O. Pocock, ii. 468. 2. Deposition by John Lepar (fn. 12) and Brian Banke before Wm. Fayrefax, sheriff, co. York, against Thos. Jackson, chantry priest of Chepax, for saying,—1. That the King lived in adultery [with Anne Boleyn] before his marriage, and still lives so. 2. That he kept the mother and afterwards the daughter, "and now he hath married her whom he kept afore, and her mother also."
13 June.
R. O.
863. Sir Richard Tempest to Cromwell.
Reminds him of his suit for the discharge of the Yorkshire abbeys from certain charges, which Cromwell promised should be considered by the Council. Heard on coming home that the archbishop of York and the other commissioners had allowed all the charges. A riot has been committed by 300 or 400 persons in Craven, who have cast down houses, dykes, and hedges about Gygkylswyke, &c. Bollyng, 13 June.
Hopes Cromwell has his two bills in remembrance. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Master Cromwell, secretary to the King. Endd.
13 June.
R. O.
864. Sampson Thomas, Mayor of Southampton, and Others, to Cromwell.
We thank you for the comfort we have received touching certain arrears hanging over us in the King's Exchequer for a trespass done in the time of one of the King's progenitors. When his Grace was at Windsor last summer, and was moved thereupon, he referred us to you. The sum is 700l. Although you made an order that no process should be taken out against us, divers attachments are awarded out of the Exchequer against divers of our late sheriffs.
We beg your help, and, that done, will repair our sea-walls according to our promises. For your pains we send you 40l. Southampton, 13 June. Signed: Sampson Thomas, mayor there—Jamys Bettes—Harry Huttoft—Recharde Caplyng—and 10 others.
Pp. 2. Add.. Mr. Secretary. Endd.
13 June.
Add. MS. 20,021.
B. M.
865. Dunmowe Priory.
Accounts of Geoffrey [Shether (fn. 13) ], prior of Dunmow, beginning at the week before Palm Sunday [23 Hen. VIII.] and ending the third Sunday after Trinity 27 Hen. VIII.
[23 Hen. VIII.] Easter day, the Sepulchre light, 9d.; Our Lady's light, 1d. Fourth Sunday after Easter, the convent's wages, 53s. 4d.; the cook's wages, 6s. 8d. Fifth Sunday, reward to a servant of the King's, 3s. 4d. Sixth Sunday, the lord's rent, 4l. 13s. 5d.; given to a friar for his commencement, 2s. Second Sunday [after Trinity], lime for the steeple, 6s. 6d. Third Sunday, mowing of Burmede and Covent Mede, 10s. Fourth Sunday, Law for the parson of Bartun, 18s. 8d.; my costs at London, 13s. 3d. Eighth Sunday, convent's wages, 53s. 4d. Ninth Sunday, linen cloth for the "nonys," 16s. 8d. Eleventh Sunday, to a servant of my lord Brode Seell, 10s. Fourteenth Sunday, for glasses, 6d. Fifteenth Sunday, my costs and the hire of a cart to Stebryche Feyer, 10s. 9d. Seventeenth Sunday, to my lord of Darby's players, 3s. 4d.; to my lord Markes Exeter's juggler, 8d.; to my lord Fuater's steward, 2s. Eighteenth Sunday, to a "Bredeall," 12d.; to Toteryche and Balarde, for covering the steeple, 12s. Nineteenth, to the bailiff of the hundred for his fee. Twentieth, to a tailor, half day's work, 6d.; alms, 4d. Twenty-first, "my turney in the jecur" (exchequer), (fn. 14) 6s. 8d.; Master Mumfurde, 5s.; (fn. 14) my costs to London, 6s. 10d. Twenty-second, the convent's wages, 53s. 4d. Twenty-third, allowance to "my farmer of Cloptun Hall," 20s. Twenty-fifth, my costs to Panfylde, 9d. Third Sunday in Advent, the King's subsidy, 16l. 14s.
Christmas 24 Hen. VIII., a bottle of wine, 8d.; reward to the Lord of Mysrulle at Dunmow, 8d. First Sunday after Christmas, New Year's gifts, 12d.; my servant's costs to London, 2s. 8d. First Sunday after Epiphany, reward to the under-sheriff and his man, 3s. 8d.; reward to players, 12d.; alms, 3s. First Sunday after the Octave of Epiphany, my costs to London, 12s. 5½d.; reward to my lord of London's servants, 8d. Sexagesima Sunday, to a pardoner, 4d.; my costs to London, 7s. 10d. Quinquagesima Sunday, to Seynt Nycolas jerche (church) in Cales, 20d.; reward to a servant of my lord of Sussex, 4d. First Sunday, a proxy to the convocation, 6s. 8d.; writing of a presentation, 2s.; my servant's costs to London, 20d.; two women, for sowing of Lent corn, 2s. 4d. Third Sunday, to a horse leech for cutting of the spaven, 6d.; reward to the commissary's servant, 4d. Palm Sunday, five store calves, 11s. Easter, "Mawde (Maundy) mony," 11s. 4d.; to Our Lady's light, 2d. Second Sunday after Easter, my costs to London, 12s. 6d. Sixth Sunday, sugarcandy, 6d.; to a man of Felsted for making clean of Woldre Hall, 5s.; to two men for making clean of the "wyer," 22d. Whit Sunday, to a friar for preaching, 12d. Third Sunday after Trinity, to Robt. Coke, for cleaning of "Splente," 4d.; to a bear ward, 4d.; a "tangcarde," 5d. Fourth Sunday, alms to a Gray Friar, 4d.; to Rodyng play, 4d. Sixth Sunday, the convent's wages, 3l. 13s. 4d. Eighth Sunday, reward to master Capel's servants, 4d. Twelfth Sunday, costs to my lord of Sussex, 7d.; alms to a friar of Clare, 4d. Fourteenth Sunday, hire of a cart, packthread, &c. bought at Stebryche feyer. Seventeenth Sunday, the frary clerk, 2d. Twenty-second Sunday, the "comuntyne," 3d. Twenty-third Sunday, John Carter's costs to Yngatstone feyer, 7d. Third Sunday in Advent, wine bought when my lord of Sussex was here, 15d.
Christmas 25 Hen. VIII., a bottle of red wine, 5d.; alms, 5½d.; to my lord of Misrule, 12d. First Sunday after Epiphany, my costs to my lord Fywater, 3s. 10d.; reparations at Hemham "jauncell," 4s. 4d. Third Sunday, my costs at London, 17s. 3d. Sexagesima Sunday, reward to two scholars of Cambridge, 2s. 4d. First Sunday in Lent, to Skoryar, for making of a buttress at the Dorter wall, 16s. 8d. Second Sunday, my costs to London, 10s. 8d. Easter, a reward for oil and cream, 8d.; to the butler, for his offering at Easter, 4d. Dominica in Albis, reward to three minstrels, 16d.; to the bayley of the hundred, 3s. 4d.; to the King's players, 20d.; the escheator's fee, 5s.; repairs at Styrstun, for a "jemny," 20s. Fourth Sunday, convent's wages, 3l. 6s. 8d.; my costs to London, 12s. 5d. Trinity Sunday, Carter's costs to Storfurde fair, 4d. First Sunday, the Nouys (novices) when they went to orders, 3s. 8d. Second Sunday, repairs at Mangap, 7s. 11d. Fifth Sunday, costs of my lord of Canterbury's visitation, 4l. 11s. 2½d.; wine, 16d.; rewards among his servants, 7s. Sixth Sunday, mowing of Covent Mede and Burmede, 6s. Eleventh Sunday, reward to the excheator['s] man, 4d. Twelfth Sunday, wine I bought when lord Fywater was here, 20d. Fourteenth Sunday, my costs to Cambridge, 5s. 6d. Sixteenth Sunday, to a man of law, for seeking of evidence, 3s. 4d.; reward to the King's pursuivant, 16d. Seventeenth Sunday, lime for the steeple, 3d. Eighteenth Sunday, Bensun, for making of 9½ feet of the steeple, 11l. 7d. Nineteenth Sunday, to my lady of Berkyng, for Plesden, 20s. Twentieth Sunday, tithe to the vicar of Dunmow for John Browne, 16d.; my costs to London, 15s. 7d. Twenty-first Sunday, to the Convocation, 6s. 8d. Twenty-second Sunday, to the prior of Lyys, 2s. Advent, for my lady Gates deryge, 6s. 8d.
Christmas 26 Hen. VIII., rewards in my lord of Sussex's house, 2s. 8d.; my costs to Wodham, 4s. 8d.; rewards for New Year's gifts, 9d. Septuagesima Sunday, my costs to London, 6s. 7d. Sexagesima Sunday, reward to players and a minstrel, 2s. 4d. Quadragesima Sunday, Wm. Wall, for engrossing court rolls of Clopton Hall, 3s. 4d.; a medicine for rats, 2d. Second Sunday in Lent, "the sercue (qu. sheriff?), for his fee," 3s. 4d. Third Sunday, a reward to a servant of my lady Markes, 8d. Dominica in Passione, my costs to my lord of Sussex, 7d. Palm Sunday, mawndy money given on Scher Thursday, 9s. 1d. Second Sunday after Easter, making a rochet, 6d.; reward to a sumner, 2d. Third Sunday, the King's subsidy, 15l. Trinity Sunday, costs to my lady Markes, 8d. Fourth Sunday after Trinity, my costs to London, 10s. 3d. Fifth Sunday, three pair of spectacles, 6d. Eighth Sunday, "a ranell," 3d.; mending a barn of Falyng, 48s. 9d.; to women for making clean of the hostre, 8d. Ninth Sunday, a fine for Wyattes, 10s.; reward to my Lord's steward, 2s.; fee to the steward of Kocsall, 10s. Tenth Sunday, convent's wages, 3l. Fourteenth Sunday, for singing bread, 2d. Twentieth Sunday, to my steward, for keeping my Court at Dunmow, 3s. 4d.; the bayly of the hundred, 3s. 4d. Twenty-first, my lady of Berkyng, 20s.; my lord of St. John, 20s. Twenty-second Sunday, reward to my lord of Sussex's cook, 8d.; the convent's wages, 3l. Advent, a clampe of brick, 16l. 13s. 4d.; my costs and rewards to the King's visitation at Coksale, 57s. 8d. Second Sunday, pype sylver, 6d. Third Sunday, when the "novys" (fn. 15) (novices) went away at the King's commandment, their apparel was 48s. 10d.; my lady Gates' derege, 3s. 4d.
Christmas 27 Hen. VIII., to my lord of Sussex's players, 3s. 4d. Third Sunday after the Octave of Epiphany, reward to Dr. Petur and his clerk, 15s.; my costs to London and back, 41s. 1d. Fourth, Sunday, 4 Feb., the convent's wages, 40s.; to John Wornall, for making clean the river, 3d. Septuagesima Sunday, "for mynymentes to have them a geen," 20s.; my costs to London, 19s. 8d. First Sunday in Lent, repairs at Hemnall, 7s. 6d. Passion Sunday, to the King, for the tenth, 15l. 4s. Easter, the cook's offering, 4d.; frankincense, 2½d. Second Sunday after Easter, repairs at Tulsunt, 8s. 3d. Fourth Sunday, "a potell wyne for the ycrche," 8d. Sixth Sunday, to a scholar of Cambridge 8d.; to three chanuns of Lyys, 12d. Whit Sunday, my costs to London, 12s. First Sunday after Trinity, alms to a "janun" of Lyys, 4d.; a pair of shoes I bought for my lady, 7d.
Total, 45l. 4s. 7d.
Signed: Geffrey, prior of Dunmowe.
Pp. 41. Imperfect at the commencement. There are three pp. of memoranda and scribbling at the end.
14 June. 866. Suppression of a Nunnery in Ireland.
See Grants in June, No. 12.
14 June.
R. O. St. P. i. 431.
867. Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More.
"Interrogatories ministered on the King's behalf [unto] John Fisher, D.D., late bishop [of Rochester]," in the Tower of London, 14 June 27 Hen. VIII., by Mr. Thos. Bedyll, [Dr. Aldridge,] Ric. Layton, and Ric. [Curwen], of the King's Council, in presence of Harry [Polstede and John] Whalley, and of John Ap Rice, notary public; with Fisher's answers.
1. Whether he would obey the King as Supreme Head of the Church of England? —He stands by the answer he made at his last examination, but will write with his own hand more at length.
2. Whether he will acknowledge the King's marriage with queen Anne to be lawful, and that with the lady Katharine to be invalid?—He would obey and swear to the Act of Succession; but desires to be pardoned answering this interrogatory absolutely.
3. For what cause he would not answer resolutely to the said interrogatories?—He desires not to be driven to answer, lest he fall in danger of the statutes.
Signed by John ap Rice as notary: J. R.
St. P. i. 432. ii. Interrogatories ministered to Sir Thos. More.
1. Whether he had any communication with any person since he came to the Tower touching the Acts of Succession, of Supreme Head, or the Act wherein speaking certain words by (i.e. of) the King is made treason; and, if so, when, how often, with whom, and to what effect?
2. Whether he received letters of any man, or wrote to any, touching any of the said Acts; and, if so, how many, of whom, &c.
3. Whether these letters are forthcoming; and, if not, why they were done away, and by whose means?
4. Whether any man of this realm or without this realm sent him any letters or message exhorting him to persist in his opinion; and, if so, how many, of whom, when, and to what effect?
St. P. i. 433. iii. The answers of Sir Thomas More to interrogatories ministered to him, 14 June 27 Hen. VIII., within the Tower of London, before Mr. Bedle, Dr. Aldridge, Dr. Layton, Dr. Curwen, in the presence of Polstede, Whalley and Rice aforesaid.
1. Never had any communication of such matters since he came to the Tower.
2. Had written divers scrolls or letters since then to Dr. Fisher, and received others from him, containing for the most part nothing but comforting words and thanks for meat and drink sent by one to the other. But about a quarter of a year after his coming to the Tower he wrote to Fisher, saying he had refused the oath of succession, and never intended to tell the Council why; and Fisher made him answer, showing how he had not refused to swear to the Succession. No other letters passed between them touching the King's affairs till the Council came to examine this deponent upon the Act of Supreme Head; but after his examination he received a letter of Fisher, desiring to know his answer. Replied by another letter, stating that he meant not to meddle, but fix his mind upon the passion of Christ; or that his answer was to that effect. He afterwards received another letter from Fisher, stating that he was informed the word maliciously was used in the statute, and suggesting that, therefore, a man who spoke nothing of malice did not offend the statute. He replied that he agreed with Fisher, but feared it would not be so interpreted. Did not report to Fisher his answer to the Council with the advice to make his own answer different lest the Council should suspect confederacy between them. After his last examination sent Fisher word by a letter, that Mr. Solicitor had informed him it was all one not to answer, and to say against the statute what a man would, as all the learned men of England would justify. He therefore said he could only reckon on the uttermost, and desired Fisher to pray for him as he would for Fisher.
Also considering that it would come to the ears of his daughter, Mr. Roper's wife, how the Council had been with him, and other things might be reported which would cause her to take sudden flight, and fearing that, being, as he thought, with child, she might take harm, he sent to her, both after his first examination and after his last, letters telling her the answers he had given, and that he could not tell what the end might be, but whatever it were he prayed her to take it patiently and pray for him. She had written him before divers letters advising him to accommodate himself to the King's pleasure, especially urging this in her last. Other letters he neither sent nor received from any person. George, the lieutenant's servant, carried the letters to and fro.
3. There is none of these letters forthcoming, where he knoweth. He would have had George to keep them, and George always said there was no better keeper than the fire. When he saw this he desired George to let some trusty friend read them, and if he saw any matter of importance in them he might report it to the Council and get thanks before any man, otherwise that he should deliver them. But George said he feared his master, the lieutenant, who had ordered him not to meddle with such matters, and so burned them.
4. No.
Examined further, why he sent the said letters to Dr. Fisher? Replies that as they were both in one prison, and for one cause, he was glad to send to him, and hear from him again.
Signed as above: J. R.
S.P. i. 436. iv. Interrogatories ministered to Sir Thos. More, the day, year, and place above recited, by the Council aforenamed, and in presence of the said witnesses; with his answers.
1. Whether he would obey the King as Supreme Head?—He can make no answer.
2. Whether he will acknowledge the King's marriage with queen Anne to be lawful, and that with lady Katharine invalid?—Never spoke against it, "nor thereunto [can] make no answer."
3. Where it was objected to him that by the said statute he, as one of the King's subjects, is bound to answer the said question, and re[cogni]se the King as Supreme Head, like all other subjects.—He can make no answer.
Notarial signature mutilated.
All the above papers are in the same hand, and form one document.
14 June.
R. O.
868. Sir Marmaduke Constable.
Draft patent granting to Sir Marmaduke Constable the manor of Attwyke, [and lands in] Sulcottes, Drypole, Sutton, and Stanferry, &c., Yorksh., which came to the King by the attainder of cardinal Wolsey. Westm., 14 June 27 Hen. VIII.
Large paper, pp. 2.
14 June.
Cleop. E. vi. 236. Burnet, vi. 111. Ellis, 3 Ser. ii. 324.
869. Archbishop Lee to [Henry VIII.]
On the 8th June I received your letter by Sir Fras. Bygott, stating that you are informed that whereas you have been declared, as well by convocation as by Parliament, Supreme Head, I, notwithstanding my subscription, have not done my duty in teaching the same throughout my diocese. You also command me to preach in my own person, and instruct others in your name, declaring every Sunday the rightfulness of this your jurisdiction; also to erase out of all mass books the name of the bishop of Rome, and to order all schoolmasters to instil the foresaid truth into the hearts of their pupils. I beg to remind you that about this time last year, when I returned from you, the lord of Canterbury sent me a book with an order for preaching and a from of bidding prayer, wherein your are mentioned as Supreme Head. You command in the said books that every preacher should, before Easter last, declare the usurped Jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome, and justify your repudiation of the Princess Dowager and your marriage with queen Anne. In the same also an order is given for the suppression of the general sentence. On receiving of the book, the next Sunday being the second after Trinity, I went from Cawood to York, and preached as you desired. I also sent to York that I would be there on the Sunday, and I caused the churches to make an end of their service that every man might be at the sermon, especially the mayor. Mr. Magnus, and Sir Geo. Lawson. There was a great multitude, and I took for my text Uxorem duxi, ideo non possum venire, explaining the injuries done to you by the bishop of Rome. On your title of Supreme Head I did not touch, as no order was given for it. Since my coming to my diocese for more speed of time and utterance of matter, I have no prayers made in the sermon, but proceed forward without stop, rehearsing nothing in Latin but in English. I had copies made of the said book, and sent to every preacher in my diocese; and all, as far as I know, have done their duty. I have sent the same to every house of friars, and given advice to all to follow the book when they have consulted me upon it.
On Good Friday last I charged the treasurer of York to leave out the collect pro Papa, and that the deacon in the hymn Exultet angelica should omit the Pope. You know me to have been always open and plain with you, and that I never deceived you. On receipt of your letters by Sir Fras. Bygott I sent to my lords of Durham and Carlisle and all archdeacons strictly to follow your commands with the last addition; and on Sunday last I made them known to my audience when the abbots of St. Mary's and others were present. "The time is now such that some men think they do high sacrifice when they may bring into your displeasure such a poor priest as I am," but I trust you will continue gracious to us. Bishopsthorpe, 14 June 1535. Signed.
Pp. 6.
14 June.
R. O.
870. Archbishop Lee to Cromwell.
Has received the King's letters, and answered them. All things, save his soul, he owes to the King. Sends this by his chaplain, by whom he asks Cromwell to signify his mind in all things. Bisshops Thorpe, 14 June 1535. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: "Secretary." Endd.
14 June.
R. O.
871. William Lord Sandys to Lord Lisle.
As the King has given the bearer a bill signed of 8d. a day, of which as yet he has but 6d. a day, I beg that when any room of 8d. falls he may have it. London, 14 June. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Deputy of Calais.
15 June.
R. O.
872. Sir W. Courtenay to Cromwell.
On the 10th June, John Arundle with others came to the house of Hartland, and sent for Sir Harry King, a canon there, to bring a due account of everything there received during the vacancy, and bring him the key of the buttery. As soon as he came there he was in jeopardy of his life by part of the canons, John Arundle and the servants of Sir Thomas Arundle, who brought home the old abbot and took the keys from King. Will tell him of the words used by Arundle's servant. Powderham, 15 June. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Secretary. Endd.
15 June.
R. O.
873. John Smyth to Cromwell.
Thank you for your many kindnesses. I beg you will have me in remembrance for my lord Edmund Howard's obligations. Since my last being in London, I and my wife have been very sore sick. Let me know when I or my wife shall attend upon you according to our duties. 15 June 1535.
Hol., pp. 2. Add. Endd.
15 June.
Nero, B. vii. 93.
B. M.
874. Edmond Harvel to Thos. Starkey.
Has received his letters the 20th and 21st ult. Is glad that Mr. Secretary and Mr. Russell favor him. Desires Starkey to thank the latter for showing himself his friend in his matter with Mr. Secretary. Is greatly satisfied to hear from Starkey's letter, with what hope, surety, and condition he may go to England; which he will do when he has compounded his business. Does not write to Mr. Secretary, as it is divulged here that he "should be" at this parliament with the French nobility. Will write hereafter, and has written already, but is not certain whether the letter has arrived. Did not mean to accuse Starkey of negligence or arrogance. but wished to inflame him to more frequent writing, being very desirous of his letters. Suffer not Everton to delude us after this manner, which grieves me more than the value of the money. By Pole's own letters you will know his mind concerning all things. Doubt not that he will at length so satisfy the King, that his Grace and all his other friends will take great pleasure and consolation, for his mind is well disposed without any doubleness. His prudence and virtue you have cause to know better than I, having been his "domestical" for many years. He is willing to treat of the arguments required of him, but cannot do it substantially without convenient leisure. He will show his opinion in it, liberrime atque etiam ingenue.
You wished to know the judgment here of the death of the monks in England. It was considered to be extreme cruelty, and all Venice was in great murmuration to hear it. They spoke long time of the business, to my great displeasure, for the infaming of our nation, with the vehementest words they could use. They are persuaded of the dead men's honesty and virtue, and that their opinion conformed to that of the rest of Christendom. They consider their execution as against all honest laws of God and men, and as novum atque inauditum. I never saw Italians break out so vehemently at anything; it seemed so strange, and so much against their stomach.
Letters from Surye state that the Turk's and Sofi's hosts were not far apart, and battle was probable. Have been certified of the Emperor's leaving Spain on the 30th. At Sardinia he will deliberate about his going to Africa in person. The matters between the Pope and the duke of Urbino are referred to the Emperor, to be decided in six months. The Vaivoda's ambassadors were at Vienna with Ferdinand. The ambassador Cassal is prisoner in Vienna, and not fled as was reported. Barbarossa has determined to remain in Africa, and has fortified himself in Tunis. Many of his slaves and rowers are dead, and he was unable to repair his galleys.
It is thought he will not be able to resist the Imperial power, and if he be subdued, men reckon quod actum esset de Othomano.
The Emperor will leave Spain with 300 sail; the marquis of Guasto has 150 in Sicily. The army numbers 30,000 foot and 2,000 horse, besides many gentlemen and nobles with their family, and the soldiers belonging to the ships. A more puissant navy by long memory came not abroad, as is this Imperial. Will go shortly to Ancona. Venice, 15 June 1535.
Hol., pp. 3. Add.: Mr. Thos. Starkey, in London.
15 June.
Nero, B. vii. 95.
B. M.
875. Bernardin Sandro to Thomas Starkey.
Has received his letter dated 20 May. All are well; but the eye of "Signor" (Pole) has troubled him again; John Baptist, of Pavia, is attending him, and it is hoped he will be cured. Asked M. Cortino whether he or the cousin of Jaques had any news of him, but he said he had not for a long time. Jonys has not yet come from Mantua; when he does, I will impart to him your letters.
I suppose you have heard in England of the creation of these cardinals without money. They are the bishop of Paris, the Auditor of the Chamber, Simoneta, Gaspar Contarini, and the bishops of Rochester and Capua. The Doge and Senate have done great honor to M. Gasparo, whose character the writer extols. Il Filetto, one of the greatest lawyers here, who made 3,000 cr. a year, and had hopes of being chancellor, has given up his profession to follow M. Gaspar.
The Emperor is expected in Sardinia; some say, on his way to Africa, others to Naples; the latter is more probable. The Signory is sending out a large galleon. Padua, 15 June 1535.
Hol., Ital., p. 1. Add.: D. Thomæ Starkeio utriusque juris doctori ornatiss.° Londini in Aula Regis.


  • 1. The numbers in the margin of this paper do not refer to the interrogatories, but are continued consecutively through the examinations of several deponents, simply to mark paragraphs. It is by the evidence of these numbers, faint and illegible in many cases, that the order of the leaves of this document has now been ascertained; for each leaf was found separate and seemed to be a separate document when first examined. The Roman numbers are not in the MS.
  • 2. This passage is struck out.
  • 3. These papers perhaps belong to a time not long after Bishop Fisher's arrest in March 1534.
  • 4. In the Latin copy it is thus: [Serc]nitas vestra vicissim per eundem ad me dedit, nihil .... t me .. morare.
  • 5. A short word, illegible here. The Latin has simply "quas ad S. R. habeo," and the English in the other copy, "which I have unto the King's Highness."
  • 6. Nempe si præcter dom ..... quos quoque .... [Germa]nie principes a me adiri et sollicitari ........ aliud per .... curari, &c.
  • 7. Here the other copy adds, "besides my Lord."
  • 8. This seems to be a corrupt reading from the draft, which itself is a little obscure from the omission of a pronoun: "as for the bishop of Coventry and L., [be] was never at Bonony."
  • 9. He was public orator of Cambridge, and afterwards master of St. John's College and provost of King's.
  • 10. "Intersignium." The word is not classical, and has puzzled Lewis to read.
  • 11. Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1534–5 (from Michaelmas).
  • 12. Misread "Kepar" by Pocock.
  • 13. Inserted in pencil.
  • 14. To these and similar entries, "law" is put in the margin.
  • 15. "nonys," in MS.