Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

writing, made certain petitions to the king, protesting that they never intended hurt towards his royal person. These petitions the king received, and made this answer again to them as followeth.

VIII.

A. D. 1537.

The King's Answer to the Rebels in Lincolnshire. First, we begin to make answer to the fourth and sixth articles, because upon them dependeth much of the rest. Concerning choosing of councillors, I never have read, heard, or known, that princes, councillors, and prelates, should be appointed by rude and ignorant common people, nor that they were persons meet, or of ability, to discern and choose meet and sufficient councillors for a prince. How presumptuous then are ye, the rude commons of one shire, and that one the most base of the whole realm, and of the least experience, to find fault with your prince, for the electing of his councillors and prelates, and to take upon you, contrary to God's law and man's laws, to rule your princes, whom you are bound, by all law, to obey and serve with both your lives, lands, and goods, and for no worldly cause to withstand.

As for the suppression of religious houses and monasteries, we will that ye Suppresand all our subjects should well know, that this is granted us by all the nobles sion of spiritual and temporal of this realm, and by all the commons in the same, by houses. act of parliament; and not set forth by any councillor or councillors upon their mere will and fantasy, as you full falsely would persuade our realın to believe.

And where ye allege that the service of God is much diminished, the truth thereof is contrary; for there be no houses suppressed where God was well served, but where most vice, mischief, and abomination of living was used; and that doth well appear by their own confessions, subscribed with their own hands, in the time of their visitations, and yet we suffered a great many of them (more than we needed by the act) to stand; wherein if they amend not their living,' we fear we have more to answer for, than for the suppression of all the rest.

And as for the hospitality for the relief of the poor, we wonder ye be not ashamed to affirm that they have been a great relief of poor people, when a great many, or the most part, have not past four or five religious persons in them, and divers but one, which spent the substance of the goods of their houses in nourishing of vice, and abominable living. Now what unkindness and unnaturality may we impute to you, and all our subjects that be of that mind, which had lever such an unthrift sort of vicious persons should enjoy such possessions, profits, and emoluments, as grow of the said houses, to the maintenance of their unthrifty life, than we, your natural prince, sovereign lord, and king, who do and have spent more of our own in your defences, than six times they be worth?

As touching the Act of Uses, we marvel what madness is in your brain, or The act upon what ground ye would take authority upon you, to cause us to break those of uses. laws and statutes, which, by all the noble knights and gentlemen of this realm (whom the same chiefly toucheth), have been granted and assented to, seeing in no manner of things it toucheth you, the base commons of our realm.

Also, the grounds of all those uses were false, and never admitted by law, but usurped upon the prince, contrary to all equity and justice, as it hath been openly both disputed and declared by all the well learned men in the realm of England, in Westminster-hall: whereby ye may well perceive how mad and unreasonable your demands be, both in that, and in the rest; and how unmeet it is for us, and dishonourable, to grant or assent unto, and less meet and decent for you, in such a rebellious sort, to demand the same of your prince.

As touching the Fifteenth which you demand of us to be released, think ye The act of that we be so faint-hearted, that perforce ye of one shire (were ye a great many more) could compel us, with your insurrections, and such rebellious demeanour, to remit the same? or think you that any man will or may take you to be true subjects, that first make and show a loving grant, and then perforce would compel your sovereign lord and king to release the same, the time of payment whereof is not yet come? Yea, and seeing the same will not countervail the tenth

fifteenth.

(1) In these visitations of religious houses, horrible it is to read, what wickedness and atomination were there found and registered by the visitors. VOL. V.

L

hath ;

The act of first fruits.

ment.

Henry penny of the charges which we have, and daily do sustain, for your tuition and
VIII. safeguard, make you sure that by your occasions of these ingratitudes, un-

naturalness, and unkindness to us now administered, ye give us cause (who A.D.

have always been as much dedicated to your wealth, as ever was king) not so 1537.

much to set our study for the setting forward of the same, seeing how unkindly
and untruly ye deal now with us, without any cause or occasion: and doubt ye
not, though you have no grace nor naturalness in you to consider your duty of
allegiance to your king and sovereign lord, the rest of our realm, we doubt not,

and we and they shall so look on this cause, that we trust it shall be to
your confusion, if, according to your former letters, you submit not yourselves.

As touching the first fruits, we let you to wit, it is a thing granted us by act of parliament also, for the supportation of part of the great and excessive charges, which we support and bear for the maintenance of your wealths and other our subjects: and we have known also that ye our commons have much complained also in times past, that the most part of our goods, lands, and possessions of the realm, were in the spiritual men's hands; and yet, bearing us in hand that ye be as loving subjects to us as may be, ye cannot find in your hearts that your prince and sovereign lord should have any part thereof (and yet it is nothing prejudicial unto you our commons), but do rebel and unlawfully rise against your prince, contrary to the duty of allegiance and God's command

Sirs ! remember your follies and traitorous demeanours, and shame not
your native country of England, nor offend any more so grievously your doubted
king and natural prince, who always hath showed bimself most loving unto you;
and remember your duty of allegiance, and that ye are bound to obey us your
king, both by God's commandment and the law of nature.

Wherefore we charge you eftsoons, upon the aforesaid bonds and pains, that
you withdraw yourselves to your own houses every man, and no more to
assemble contrary to our laws and your allegiances, and to cause the provokers
of you to this mischief, to be delivered to our lieutenant's hands or ours, and
you yourselves to submit you to such condign punishment as we and our
nobles shall think you worthy of: for doubt you not else, that we and our
nobles neither can nor will suffer this injury at your hands unrevenged, if ye
give not to us place of sovereignty, and show yourselves as bounden and obedi-
ent subjects, and no more intermeddle yourselves from henceforth with the
weighty affairs of the realm, the direction whereof only appertaineth to us your
king, and such noblemen and councillors as we list to elect and choose to have
the ordering of the same.
And thus we pray unto Almighty God, to give you grace to do

your duties,
to use yourselves towards us like true and faithful subjects, so as we may have
cause to order you thereafter; and rather obediently to consent amongst you
to deliver into the hands of our lieutenant a hundred persons, to be ordered
according to their demerits, at our will and pleasure, than, by your obstinacy
and wilfulness, to put yourselves, your wives, children, lands, goods and
chattels, besides the indignation of God, in the utter adventure of total destruc-
tion, and utter ruin, by force and violence of the sword.

Commotion of Lincoln

[ocr errors]

suaged.

After the Lincolnshire men had received this the king's answer

aforesaid, made to their petitions, each mistrusting the other, who should shire as- be noted to be the greatest meddler, even very suddenly they began

to shrink, and out of hand they were all divided, and every man at
home in his own house in peace : but the captains of these rebels
escaped not all clear, but were afterwards apprehended, and had as

they deserved. Popish in

After this, immediately, within six days upon the same, followed a new insurrection in Yorkshire for the same causes, through the instigation and lying tales of seditious persons, especially monks and priests; making them believe, that their silver chalices, crosses, jewels, and other ornaments, should be taken out of their churches; and that no man should be married, or eat any good meat in his house,

surrection in Yorkshire.

(1) Ex Ed. Hal.

VIII.

A holy

power

the rebels in the

.

stubbornness of

but should give tribute there for to the king: but their especial malice Henry was against Cromwell and certain other counsellors. The number of these rebels was nearly forty thousand, having A.D.

1537. for their badges the five wounds, with the sign of the sacrament, and . Jesus' written in the midst.

pilgrimThis their devilish rebellion they termed by the name of a “Holy age. Pilgrimage;' but they served a wrong and a naughty saint. They had also in the field their streamers and banners, whereupon was painted Christ hanging upon the cross on the one side, and a chalice, with a painted cake in it, on the other side, with other such ensigns of like hypocrisy and feigned sanctity, pretending thereby to fight for the faith and the right of holy church.

As soon as the king was certified of this new seditious insurrection, The he sent with all speed against them, the duke of Norfolk, the duke of Suffolk, the marquis of Exeter, the earl of Shrewsbury, and others, against with a great army, forthwith to encounter with the rebels.

These noble captains and councillors, thus well furnished with habili-north. ment of war, approaching towards the rebels, and understanding both their number, and how they were full bent to battle, first with policy went about to essay and practise how to appease all without bloodshedding; but the northern men, stoutly and sturdily standing to their Blind wicked cause and wretched enterprise, would in no case relent from their attempts : which when the nobles perceived, and saw no other way sillows to pacify their furious minds, utterly set on mischief, they determined people,

rebelling, upon a battle. The place was appointed, the day assigned, and the where hour set ; but see the wondrous work of God's gracious providence ! the causes The night before the day of battle came (as testifieth Edward Hall), fell a small rain, nothing to speak of, but yet, as it were by a great miracle of God, the water which was but a very small ford, and that men in a manner, the day before, might have gone dry-shod over, A great suddenly rose of such a height, deepness, and breadth, that the like God, for no man that there did inhabit, could tell they ever saw before ; so of his that that day, even when the hour of battle should come, it was gospel. impossible for the one army to come at the other.

After this, that the appointment made between both of the armies (being thus disappointed as it is to be thought, only by God, who extended his great mercy, and had compassion on the great number of innocent persons that in that deadly slaughter had like to have been murdered), could take no place; then, by the great wisdom and policy of the said captains, a communication was had, and a pardon of the king's majesty obtained for all the captains and chief doers of this insurrection ; and they were promised that for such things as they found them aggrieved withal, they should gently be heard, and their reasonable petitions granted ; and that their articles should be presented to the king, that by his highness's authority, and the wisdom of his council, all things should be brought to good order and conclusion : and with this order every man quietly departed, and those who before were bent as hot as fire to fight, being letted thereof by God, went now peaceably to their houses, and were as cold as water.

"A Domino factum est istud.' In the time of this ruffle in Yorkshire, and the king lying the

VIII.

Popish priests rebelling against

Henry same time at Windsor, there was a butcher dwelling within five miles

of the said town of Windsor, who caused a priest to preach that all A.D. they that took part with the Yorkshiremen, whom he called God's 1537.

people, did fight in God's quarrel ; for which both he and the priest were apprehended and executed.

Divers other priests also, with others about the same time, committing, in like sort, treason against the king, suffered the like exe

cution. Such a business had the king then to rid the realm from the thic king servitude of the Romish yokes.

• Tantæ molis erat, Romanam evertere sedem!' But God's hand did still work withal, in upholding his gospel and trodden truth against all scditious stirs, commotions, rebellions, and whatsoever was to the contrary; as both by the stories before passed, and by such also as hereafter follow, may notoriously appear.

The next year after this, which was A.D. 1537, after the great execution had been done upon certain rebellious priests, and a few other laymen, with certain noble persons also and gentlemen, amongst whom were the lord Darcy, the lord Hussy, Sir Robert Constable, sir Thomas Percy, sir

Francis Bygot, sir Stephen Hamilton, sir John Bulmer and his wife, William Lomeley, Nicholas Tempest, with the abbots of Jervaux and of Rivaulx, &c.

In the month of October, the same year following, was born prince

Edward ; shortly after whose birth, queen Jane, his mother, the second Death of day after, died in childbed, and left the king again a widower, who

so continued the space of two years together. Upon the death of this queen Jane, and upon the birth of prince Edward her son, these two verses were made which follow :

• Phænix Jana jacet nato Phænice, dolendum

Secula Phænices nulla tulisse duas. 'l

Prince Edward born.

queen

[ocr errors]

The pope

War against

Here, by the way, is to be understood, that during all this season, since the time that the king of England had rejected the pope out of the realm, both the emperor, the French king, and the king

of Scots, with other foreign potentates (who were yet in subjection under the pope), bare him no great good favour inwardly, whatsoever outwardly

they pretended. Neither were here lacking privy setters-on, nor secret blirreth working among themselves how to compass ungracious mischiefs

, if God, by contrary occasions, had not stopped their intended devices. England. For first the pope had sent cardinal Pole to the French king, to stir ual Pole. him to war against the realm of England.

Secondly, whereas the French king, by treaty of perpetual peace, was bound yearly to pay to the king of England, at the first days of May and November, about ninety-five thousand crowns of the sun, and odd money, and over that ten thousand crowns at the said two terms, for recompense of salt-due, as the treaties thereof did purport, that pension remained now unpaid four years and more.

Furthermore, the emperor and the French king, both, retained Grancetor, a traitorous rebel against the king, and condemned by act of parliament, with certain other traitors more, and yet would not deliver him unto the king at his earnest suit and request.

(1) These verses were thought to be made by Maste Armigyl Wade.

VIII.

1537.

The French king also, digressing from his promise and treaty, made Henry alliance with Clement, the bishop of Rome, in marrying the dauphin to his niece, called Katharine de Medicis.

A.D. The said French king moreover, contrary to his contract made, married his daughter to the king of Scots : all which events were prejudicial ; and put the king, no doubt, in some fear and perplexity (though otherwise a stout and valiant prince), to see the pope, the emperor, the French king, and the king of Scots, so bent against him.

And yet, all this notwithstanding, the Lord still defended the justness of his cause against them all. For although the French king was so set on by the pope, and so linked in marriage with the Scots, and lacked nothing now but only occasion to invade the realm of England, yet notwithstanding he, hearing now of the birth of prince Edward, the king's son by queen Jane, and understanding also, by the death of the said queen Jane, that the king was a widower, and perceiving, moreover, talk to be that the king would join in marriage with the Germans, began to wax more calm and cold, and to give much more gentle words, and to demean himself more courteously, labouring to marry the queen of Navarre, his sister, to the king.

The ambassadors resident then in France for the king, were Stephen Gardiner, with Dr. Thirleby, &c.; which Stephen Gardiner, what he wrought secretly for the pope's devotion, I have not expressly to charge him. Whether he so did, or what he did, the Lord knoweth all ! But this is certain, that when Dr. Bonner, archdeacon then of Leicester, was sent into France by the king (through the means of the lord Cromwell), to succeed Stephen Gardiner in embassy, which Dr. Bonwas about A.D. 1538, he found such dealing in the said bishop of hinde Winchester as was not greatly to be trusted; besides the unkind ambassaparts of the said bishop against the aforesaid Bonner, coming then France. from the king and lord Cromwell, as were not to be liked.

Long it is to recite from the beginning, and few men peradventure would believe, the brawling matters, the privy complaints, the contentious quarrels and bitter dissensions, between these two; and especially what despiteful contumelies Dr. Bonner received at the hands of Winchester. For understand, good reader ! that this Dr. Bonner all this while remained yet, as he seemed, a good man, and in the bewas a great furtherer of the king's proceedings, and a favourer of Lu- gavmire, ther's doctrine, and was advanced only by the lord Cromwell, whose of the promotions are here to rehearse: first, he was archdeacon of Leices- a Lutherter, parson of Blaydon, of Dereham, Chiswick, and Cheryburton ; then he was made bishop of Hereford, and, at last, preferred to be bishop of London : the chief of which preferments and dignities were Lord conferred unto him only by the means and favour of the lord Crom-Cromweli well, who was then his chief and only patron and setter-up; as the setter-up said Bonner himself, in all his letters, doth manifestly protest and ner. declare ; the copies of which his letters I could here produce and exhibit, but for prolonging my story with superfluous matter. Yet up was that the world and all posterity may see how the coming up of Dr. gospel. Bonner was only by the gospel (howsoever he was afterwards unkind unto the gospel), this one letter of his, which I will here infer, written

A.D. 1538

an.

Bonner's coming

« VorigeDoorgaan »