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A. D. 1533.
The cardinal's shoes.
Also he said, If he were before my lord cardinal, he would not let to speak to him, and to tell him, that he hath done naughtily in imprisoning Arthur and Bilney, who were better disposed in their livings to God, than my lord cardinal, or my lord of London, as holy as they make themselves.
Also he said, My lord cardinal is no perfect nor good man to God, for he keepeth not the commandments of God; for Christ (he said) never taught him to follow riches, nor to seek for promotions or dignities of this world, nor did Christ ever teach him to wear shoes of silver and gilt, set with pearl and precious stones; nor had Christ ever two crosses of silver, two axes, or a pillar of silver
Also he said that every priest might preach the gospel without license of the pope, my lord cardinal, my lord of London, or any other man; and that he would abide by: and thus he verified it, as it is written, Mark xvi., ‘Euntes in mundum universum, prædicate Evangelium omni creaturæ.' Christ commanded every priest to go forth throughout all the world, and preach the word of God by the authority of this gospel; and not to run to the pope, nor to any other man for license : and that he would abide by, he said.
Also he said, Well, Sir Edmund!' say you what you will, and every man. and iny lord cardinal also, and yet will I say, and abide by it, my lord cardinal doth punish Arthur and Bilney unjustly, for there be no truer christian men in all the world living, than they two be; and that punishment that my lord cardinal doth to them, he doth it by might and power, as one who would say, This
may I do, and this will I do: who shall say nay? but he doth it of no justice.'
Also about the 14th day of October last past, at three o'clock at afternoon, sir Richard Bayfield came to St. Edmund's in Lombard-street, where he found me, sir Edmund Peerson, sir James Smith, and 'sir Miles Garnet, standing at the uttermost gate of the parsonage; and sir Edmund said to sir Richard Bayfield, 'How many christian men have ye made, since ye came to the city?' Quoth sir Richard Bayfield, 'I came even now to make thee a christian man, and these two other gentlemen with thee; for well I know ye be all three pharisees as yet.'
Also he said to sir Edmund, that Arthur and Bilney were better christian men than he was, or any of them that did punish Arthur and Bilney.
By me, Edmund Peerson.
And thus we have, as in a gross sum, compiled together the names and causes, though not of all, yet of a great, and too great a number of good men and good women, who, in those sorrowful days (from the year of our Lord 1527, to this present year 1533, that is, till the coming in of queen Anne) were manifold ways vexed and persecuted under the tyranny of the bishop of Rome. Where again we have to note, that from this present year of our Lord 1533, during the time of the said queen Anne, we read of no great persecution, nor any abjuration to have been in the church of England, save only that the registers of London make mention of certain Dutchmen counted for Anabaptists,' of whom ten were put to death in sundry places of the realm, A.D. 1535; other ten repented and were saved. Where note again, that two also of the said company, albeit the definitive sentence was read, yet notwithstanding were pardoned by the king ; which was contrary to the pope's law.
Com plaint of the commons against the clergy.
Now to proceed forth in our matter: After that the bishops and heads of the clergy had thus a long time taken their pleasure, exercising their cruel authority against the poor wasted flock of the Lord, and began, furthermore, to stretch forth their rigour and austerity, to attach and molest also other great persons of the temporalty ; so
(1) The names of the ten Dutchmen Anabaptists, who were put to death, were Segor, Derick, Simon, Rupa, Derick, Dominick, David, Cornelius, Elken, Milo.
it fell, that in the beginning of the next or second year following, Henry which was A.D. 1534, a parliament was called by the king about the 15th day of January :' in which parliament the commons, renewing A.D. their old griefs, complained of the cruelty of the prelates and ordi- 1534. naries, for calling men before them • Ex officio. For such was then the usage of the ordinaries and their officials, that they would send for men, and lay accusations to them of heresy, only declaring to them that they were accused ; and would minister articles to them, the clergy but no accuser should be brought forth : whereby the commons were against grievously annoyed and oppressed; for the party so cited must poralty. either abjure or do worse : for purgation he might none make.
As these were long debating in the common house, at last it was agreed that the temporal men should put their griefs in writing, and deliver them to the king. Whereupon, on the 18th day of March, the common speaker, accompanied with certain knights and burgesses of the common house, came to the king's presence, and there declared how the temporal men of his realm were sore aggrieved with the cruel demeanour of the prelates and ordinaries, who touched their bodies and goods so nearly, that they of necessity were enforced to make their humble suit, by their speaker, unto his grace, to take such order and redress in the case, as to his high wisdom might seem most convenient, &c.
Unto this request of the commons, although the king at that time gave no present grant, but suspended them with a delay, yet notwithstanding, this sufficiently declared the grudging minds of the temporal men against the spiritualty, lacking nothing but God's God's helping hand to work in the king's heart for reformation of such helping things, which they all did see to be out of frame. Neither did the time of Lord's divine providence fail in time of need, but eftsoons ministered a ready remedy in time expedient. He saw the pride and cruelty of the spiritual clergy grown to such a height as was intolerable. He saw again, and heard the groaning hearts, the bitter afflictions, of his oppressed flock; his truth decayed, his religion profaned, the glory of his Son defaced, his church lamentably wasted. Wherefore it was high time for his high majesty to look upon the matter (as he did indeed) by a strange and wondrous means, which was through the king's divorcement from lady Katharine, dowager, and marrying Anne with lady Anne Bullen, in this present year; which was the first married, occasion and beginning of all this public reformation which hath Katha followed since, in this church of England, and to this present day, divorced. according as ye shall hear.
2 Compendious Discourse, COMPREHENDING THE WHOLE SUM AND MATTER CONCERNING THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN KING HENRY AND QUEEN ANNE
BULLEN; AND QUEEN KATHARINE DIVORCED. In the first entry of the king's reign ye heard before, how, after A.D. the death of prince Arthur, the lady Katharine, princess dowager, 1527 and wife to prince Arthur, by the consent both of her father and his,
1533. and also by the advice of the nobles of this realm, to the end her
(1) Ex Ed. Hall. [The twenty-third year of Ilenry VIII., page 784. Lond. 1609.-ED.)
Henry dowry might remain still within the realm, was espoused, after the
decease of her husband, to his next brother, which was this king Henry. A.D. * Thus' then, after the declaration of these things gone before, next 1527 cometh to our hands (by the order and process of the time we are 1533.
now about), to treat of the marvellous and most gracious work of the holy providence of God, beginning now to work, at this present time, here in England, that which neither durst be attempted before by any prince within this realm, nor yet could ever be hoped for by any subject ; concerning the abolishing and overthrow of the pope's supremacy here in the English church : who, through the false pretensed title of his usurped authority, and through the vain fear of his keys, and cursed cursings and excommunications, did so deeply sit in the consciences of men ; did keep all princes and kings so under him ; briefly, did so plant himself in all churches, taking such deep root in the hearts of all christian people so long time, that it seemed not only hard, but also impossible, for man's power to abolish the
But that which passeth man's strength, God here beginneth to take in hand, to supplant the old tyranny and subtle supremacy of the Romish bishop. The occasion hereof began thus (through the secret providence of God), by a certain unlawful marriage between king Henry VIII. and the lady Katharine, his brother's wife; which marriage, being found unlawful, and so concluded by all universities, not to be dispensed withal by any man, at length brought forth a verity long hid before ; that is, that the pope was not what he was accounted to be ; and, again, that he presumptuously took more upon him than he was able to dispense withal.
These little beginnings being once called into question, gave great light to men, and ministered withal great occasion to seek further: insomuch that at length the pope was espied, both to usurp that which he could not claim, and to claim that which he ought not to usurp. As touching the first doubt of this unlawful marriage, whether it came of the king himself, or of the cardinal, or of the Spaniards, as the chronicles themselves do not fully express, so I cannot assuredly affirm. This is certain, that it was not without the singular providence of God (whereby to bring greater things to pass), that the king's conscience herein seemed to be so troubled, according as the words of his own oration, had unto his commons, do declare ; whose oration hereafter followeth, to give testimony of the same.
This marriage seemed very strange and hard, for one brother to dispenseth for marry the wife of another. But what can be in this earth so hard or
difficult, wherewith the pope, the omnipotent vicar of Christ, cannot Darry his by favour dispense, if it please him? The pope that then ruled at
Rome, was pope Julius II., by whose dispensation this marriage, which neither sense of nature would admit, nor God's law would bear, was concluded, approved, and ratified; and so continued as lawful, without any doubt or scruple, the space of nearly twenty years, till about the time that
certain doubt began first to be Spaniards moved by the Spaniards themselves, of the emperor's council
, A.D. doubted 1523; at what time Charles the emperor, being here in England,
promised to marry the lady Mary, daughter to the king of England; marriage. with which promise, the Spaniards themselves were not well con
(1) See Ed. 1563, p. 455,-ED.
the brother to
tented, objecting this, among many other causes, that the said lady Henry Mary was begotten of the king of England by his brother's wife. Whereupon the emperor, forsaking that marriage, did couple A. D.
1527 himself with lady Isabel, daughter to king Emanuel of Portugal. This marriage was done A. D. 1526. After this marriage of the
1533. emperor, the next year following, king Henry, being disappointed thus of the emperor, entered talk, or rather was laboured to by the French ambassadors, for the said lady Mary to be married to the French king's son, duke of Orleans ; upon the talk whereof, after long debating, at length the matter was put off by a certain doubt of the president of Paris, casting the like objection as the Spaniards had the sedone before ; which was, Whether the marriage between the king, doubt
, and the mother of this lady Mary, who had been his brother's wife whether before, were good or no ? And so the marriage, twice unluckily Mary was
rightly attempted, in like sort brake off again, and was rejected, which happened a. D. 1527.
The king, upon the occasion hereof casting many things in his Two permind, began to consider the cause more deeply, first, with himself, In the after, with certain of his nearest council ; wherein two things there king's were which chiefly pricked his mind, whereof the one touched his conscience, the other concerned the state of his realm. For if that marriage with his brother's wife stood unlawful by the law of God, then neither was his conscience clear in retaining the mother, nor yet the state of the realm firm by succession of the daughter. It happened the same time that the cardinal, who was then nearest about Cardinal the king, had fallen out with the emperor, for not helping him to the whole of a papacy, as ye before heard; for which cause he helped to set the the dimatter forward by all the practice he might. Thus the king, perplexed in his conscience, and careful for the commonwealth, and partly also incited by the cardinal, could not so rest ; but inquired further to feel what the word of God, and learning, would say unto it. Neither was the case so hard, after it began once to come in public question, but that by the word of God, and the judgments of the best learned clerks, and also by the censure of the chief universities of all Christendom, to the number of ten and more, it was soon discussed to be unlawful.
All these censures, books, and writings, of so many doctors, clerks, and universities, sent from all quarters of Christendom to the king, albeit they might suffice to have fully resolved, and did indeed resolve the king's conscience touching this scruple of his marriage; yet would he not straightway use that advantage which learning did give him, unless he had withal the assent as well of the emperor ; wherein he perceived no little difficulty. For the pope, he thought, seeing the marriage was authorized before by the dispensation of his predecessor, would hardly turn his keys about to undo that which the pope before him had locked ; and much less would he suffer those keys to be foiled, or to come in any doubt; which was like to come, if that marriage were proved undispensable by God's word, which his predecessor, through his plenary power, had licensed before. Again, the emperor, he thought, would be no less hard for
(1) · All quarters,' that is, the judgments of ten or twelve universities against the king's marriage, Orleans, Paris, Toulouse, Anjou, Bologna, Padua, the faculty of Paris, Bourges, Oxford,
pope, as also the
The king's persuasion to the legates.
Henry his part, on the other side, forasmuch as the said Lady Katharine was
the emperor's near aunt, and a Spaniard born. Yet, nevertheless, his A.D. purpose was to prove and feel what they both would say unto it; and 1527 therefore he sent Stephen Gardiner to Rome, to weigh with pope
Clement. To the emperor was sent sir Nicholas Harvey, knight,
embassador in the court of Gaunt. First, pope Clement, not weighthempie's ing belike the full importance and sequel of the matter, sent cardinal
Campeius (as is said) into England, joined with the cardinal of York.
At the coming of these legates, the king, first opening unto them the grief of his conscience, seemed with great reasons and persuasions sufficiently to have drawn the good will of those two legates to his side ; who also, of their own accord, pretended no less but to show a willing inclination to further the king's cause. But yet the mouths of the common people, and in especial of women, and such others as favoured the queen, and talked their pleasure, were not stopped. Wherefore, to satisfy the blind surmises and foolish communication of these also, who, seeing the coming of the cardinals, cast out such lewd words, as that the king would, for his own pleasure,' have another wife, with like unbeseeming talk ; he therefore, willing that all men should know the truth of his proceedings, caused all his nobility, judges, and counsellors, with divers other persons, to resort to his palace of Bridewell, the 8th day of November, A. D. 1529, where, openly speaking in his great chamber, he had these words in effect, as followeth.
The King's Oration to his Subjects. Our trusty and well-beloved subjects, both you of the nobility, and you of the meaner sort: it is not unknown unto you, how that we, both by God's provision, and true and lawful inheritance, have reigned over this realm of England almost the term of twenty years; during which time, we have so ordered us (thanked be God !) that no outward enemy hath oppressed you, nor taken any thing from us, nor have we invaded any realm, but we have had victory and honour, so that we think that neither you nor any of your predecessors, ever lived more quietly, more wealthily, or in more estimation, under any of our noble progenitors. But when we remember our mortality, and that we must die, then we think that all our doings in our lifetime are clearly defaced, and worthy of no memory, if we leave you in trouble at the time of our death; for if our true heir be not known at the time of our death, see what mischief and trouble shall succeed to you, and to your children. The experience thereof some of you have seen after the death of our noble grandfather, king Edward the Fourth ; and some have heard what mischief and manslaughter continued in this realm between the houses of York and Lancaster, by which dissension this realm was like to have been clearly destroyed.
And although it hath pleased Almighty God to send us a fair daughter of a noble woman, and of me begotten, to our great comfort and joy, yet it hath been told us, by divers great clerks, that neither she is our lawful daughter, nor her mother our lawful wife, but that we live together abominably and detestably in open adultery; insomuch that when our ambassador was last in France, and motion was made that the duke of Orleans should marry our said daughter, one of the chief counsellors to the French king said, It were well done, to know whether she be the king of England's lawful daughter or not; for well known it is, that he begot her on his brother's wife, which is directly against God's law and his precept. Think you, my lords, that these words touch not my body and soul? Think you that these doings do not daily and hourly trouble my conscience, and vex my spirits ? Yes, we doubt not but if it were your cause, every man would seek remedy, when the peril of your soul, and the loss of your inheritance is openly laid unto you. For this only cause I protest before God, and